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 theGreat 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!)
We would like to welcome to the Bethesda Blog Mike Hancho — commonly known by the forum community as Balok, creator of Helgen Reborn for Skyrim. When he’s not too busy rebuilding Helgen, Mike is an Operations Manager for a construction company in Clemmons, NC.
Recently we caught up with him to discuss Skyrim modding…
How did you get involved with modding?
It all started with a radio! I loved the “Built for the Future” mod for Fallout 3 and wanted a radio near all the lockers I used to store my gear. Getting started, I was completely overwhelmed and not a little bit lost, so I went through the basic tutorials and figured it out from there. Since Fallout 3 was my first Bethesda game it eventually led me to the official Bethesda forums where I learned about Oblivion. I bought it and spent the next year playing it.
I made a couple of unreleased mods that I used for my personal enjoyment and then Fallout: New Vegas came out. After playing it for a while, I decided to write and build my New Bison Steve Hotel and Afterschool Special mods. Then I joined the Boulder Dome team and built all the interiors for Inner Boulder including the Haunted Toy Store as well as Harcort Positronics and the Android Manufacturing levels. That led to Skyrim and here we are!
When I think of Helgen Reborn, the first thing that comes to mind is Oblivion’s popular mod, Kvatch Rebuilt. Do you view this mod as a spiritual successor?
In all honesty, no, not really. Although I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the name alone drew some attention to my project because of the popularity of Kvatch Rebuilt. In the beginning Helgen Rebuilt was a sort of working title, but I discovered someone had already uploaded a mod by that name. However, by this time I was well into development and into my closed beta test, and several of my testers liked my suggestion of using Helgen Reborn as they felt it was truly Reborn when it was finished, so I stuck with that. If anything, I see Helgen Reborn as the successor of my New Bison Steve Hotel and Afterschool Special mods for Fallout: New Vegas. I learned enough techniques building those mods that I felt confident enough to try something a little more ambitious. And since I like taking things you guys leave destroyed and turning them into places that are once again useable, Helgen was the obvious choice for my next project.
It’s been a loooong time since we did our last modding interview on Bethesda Blog, but I thought it was something that would be fun to bring back.
This week we’ve Scott Chaunce (aka Soolie). A college student hailing from Tasmania, Scott’s gotten some attention for his popular Tropical Skyrim mod…
What compelled you to create this project? Do you live in a cold weather area and needed a vacation?
I guess I never really ‘decided’ to create this project, it sort of just happened. Before I started work on it, I had always wanted to play through a tropical/desert climate in an Elder Scrolls game. Because I enjoy creating new environments and landscapes, I decided I might have a go at creating a few small tropical islands and deserts just for fun. However, I started to get a little excited about it, and I wanted to see results before I had even started. So, to satisfy the little part of me that just wanted to know what it would look like. I quickly made up a few desert textures and applied them to the tundra area. I then launched the game, turned the grass off and what I saw surprised me.
This past week the Skyrim Workshop reached another milestone – it’s 10,000th mod. Learn more about the mod, Shannara Weapon Set from joedamarsio, in an interview from the Skyrim Creation Kit (Public) Steam Group. Here’s an snippet…
Any advice you would offer to anyone playing Skyrim who maybe thinks about trying to make a mod but is intimidated?
It’s overwhelming when you first look at all the options on the Creation Kit but if you follow the Wiki it will talk you through everything and make modding a pleasurable and fun experience
Couple interesting Fallout bits worth checking out this weekend…
Spotted while reading The Verge, Flickr user LockVanish has taken pictures both in DC and Las Vegas and matched them with screenshots from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. Be sure to admire all his efforts within his Fallout Flickr sets.
In unrelated (but equally awesome) news, last week Kotaku featured a post highlighted breathtaking Fallout 3 screenshots taken by Flickr user Anthemios. Learn the mods he used to make screens like the one above here.
Want to drool over more screenshots? Dead End Thrills’ Duncan Harris has followed up his Skyrim work with some mod-enabled Fallout 3 screens.