When Fliggerty is not ruling over his Great House, he is working as a Software Engineer for the UK2 Group in Hyrum, Utah. He took time out of his schedule to give us the inside details on what its like reigning over the Great House Fliggerty.
It’s been a long time since we last talked, what’s new for you?
It has been a long time, and a lot has changed. The biggest and most important part for me is that I’ve spent a lot of time and effort modding my family, and as a result it has doubled in size. We now have two gorgeous little girls (which, unfortunately, has seriously cut into my gaming/modding time.) Aside from that there is my career; during our last talk I was making garbage bags for a semi-living, but now I get to write code professionally. The great thing is that I got a job with the company that hosts Great House Fliggerty, and basically used my site and mods as my portfolio and resume. So if anyone ever tells you that modding is a waste of time, just point them towards me and I’ll set them straight. (Even my wife has finally conceded that point!)
More after the break…
Over the years you’ve put a lot of effort into preserving mod projects for Morrowind, can you talk about that?
I’m thrilled that you brought this up. Keeping such things available to the TES gaming community became such a passion for me, and the bug has certainly spread. It has been heart-breaking to see so many staple sites go under in recent years, sites like Elric Melnibone’s; and to lose the ability to upload and/or update mods at Planet Elder Scrolls. I consider it providence that we built Morrowind Modding History long before all of this happened so that there was somewhere for all of these homeless mods to go.
I need to fill in a little bit of the story of MMH in order to give credit where it rightly goes. Nearly five years ago Ronin49 approached me with a request. He had several gigabytes of mods that had been put into his care from other hosting sites that had gone offline, GamersRoam being one of them. He had no means to put them all online (there were nearly 4 thousand of them!) I decided to go about building a file hosting system that could handle all of these, and Morrowind Modding History was born. Since then so many people have joined the team over there and have devoted countless hours to sorting through the mods and filling in the entry details just so people can enjoy them.
Because The Elder Scrolls comprises more than just Morrowind, and there are sites hosting mods for those other games that are going away recently, we have planned on adding support for Oblivion and Skyrim and others. At one point I was working on a standalone Oblivion Modding History, but have since decided to go a different direction. Soon we will be changing (this is actually the first public announcement of this!) the entire site to Modhistory, which will be comprised of sections for each of our beloved games. We already have over six thousand Oblivion mods and utilities!
We already have a collection of several hundred Oblivion mods and utilities, and a few dozen for Skyrim. Of course the hope is that the community will come together and contribute and help collect missing mods just like they have for Morrowind….we currently have 14,139!
Why do you think Morrowind’s modding community continues to thrive more than a decade after the game’s original release?
I’ve pondered this a lot, and have a dozen theories that I could ramble about. In short, I think it’s about creativity and passion. (Please keep in mind that these statements are my opinion only…I don’t want to upset anyone here.) Skyrim and Oblivion are great games, but Morrowind is a legendary game. While it does have its technical shortcomings, things which were perhaps addressed in the other games, it had an atmosphere…a feeling to it that the other ones never quite nailed. You could tell that every room you entered was painstakingly handcrafted, that each quest you went on was thought out and written by a person rather than being generated. When you couple that with a Construction Set that is vastly simpler to use than that of its successors (not to mention all of the 3rd party utilities that are tried and true) it comes as no surprise that people continue to create mods and use them for this game.
Besides…we haven’t perfected it yet!
What Elder Scrolls-related projects are you working on these days?
Primarily I’ve been focused on Modhistory. Technically I have about a dozen mods that are in the “work in progress” stage, but the reality is that I haven’t actually opened up the CS in about a year now. I have always dreaded becoming one of those modders who hype up a project and then never do it (a “vaporware” developer) but I fear that has become the case due to real world responsiblities.
Since I work in the web hosting industry, that is where most of my attention lies; as such what little leisure time I have is spent in that direction as well. When I have ten minutes to spare, I can quickly connect to my development server and do some work on one of the GHF network sites wherever I am.
One of the things I have been most proud of is the MMH Smithy. Using Yacoby’s ESMLib I was able to create a web interface utility that actually creates a mod that uses the weapon resources we have at Morrowind Modding History. The mods it makes are very simple at this point; it just makes the weapon according to the stats you specify. I do intend to expand upon that quite a bit to include armor and clothing and possibly have a spellmaking and enchanting service. I have some vague notions about making some type of online social sharing/reward type game out of it too…but that is still in the seedling stage.
Are you looking into playing The Elder Scrolls Online?
To be frank, not really. I’ve never been one to play MMO’s, which is precisely why I fell in love with Morrowind in the first place. If there was ever one to pique my interest it would of course be TESO…but it would have to have been four or five years ago when I still had time to sit and game for many hours at a time.
What mods and modders (max 3) currently have your attention?
This was a humbling question…far more than I would have thought. A few years ago I could have rambled off a huge list without thinking, and at one point I was familiar with literally every single Morrowind mod that was released in a given week and all of the publicly discussed WIPs. Now, I’ve had to ponder this for a while and review some forum threads just to come up with my answer. I feel like the closest thing the TES community has to an “OG.”
I am always intrigued with Hrnchamd’s work. Everything he puts out is pure gold, and usually changes the game immensely. He is a talented programmer and hacker (I mean that in the positive sense of course!) not to mention a nice and supportive guy to other community members.
And there’s always Tamriel Rebuilt. I’m not entirely sure at this point what the status of the project is, but knowing how it usually goes, someone is surely plodding on and creating and sculpting and loving it.
Finally, I think I have to mention KiteFlyer61. He’s a good friend, and has become a talented modeller. For some time he has been working on fulfilling my requests for weapons from the Wheel of Time series. Most of them have been done and released at Great House Fliggerty, but as I go through those books again, I keep finding more to add to the list. And someday I intend to properly script Callandor!
All right, there we go. Thanks for this…it was fun!