Morrowind Modding Interview — Stuporstar

Our newest TES Modding interview features Sarah, a.k.a. Stuporstar from the Official Bethesda Forums.

Hailing from Canada, Sarah is a trained jeweler, illustrator, graphic designer, editor, and writer who currently works as a freelance fiction editor and book cover designer. Some of her most popular Morrowind mods include Uvirith’s Legacy, Books of Vvardenfell, and recently The Tea Mod and Uvirith’s Legacy (released after the time of this interview) for Morrowind.

How did you get involved with modding?

My brother gave me a copy of Morrowind in 2006, and I later bought both expansions for it. At the time, I’d been making minor mods and maps for Civilization IV, but never got heavily into it. I played Morrowind for a week or two before delving into modding. I was disappointed with the first stronghold I got in the game, Rethan Manor, so it didn’t take long for me to jump into the Construction Set to try to improve it. My first mod was a mess, and so was the next–unpublishable–but while learning I discovered the modding community. I remember distinctly how Fliggerty made me the most welcome and helped answer my most complicated scripting questions. I’ve tried to pay it forward ever since.

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Morrowind Mod Interview – Adras

Reddit can be a dangerous or inspiring place. Sometimes you turn up real treasures if you have the right timing. This was the case of us seeing Reddit user, Adras’s Morrowind mod. The project took has taken him seven years and he’s still working on it. Turns out Adras is James Hartley of Traverse City, Michigan and in his day-to-day he works as a Network Technician. We spoke with Adras about the work he did on his mod, Ravenhold Castle, and the work he’s still doing to complete it.

What’s it been like working on Ravenhold Castle?

More than anything, it has been a great learning experience. When I first started out making mods, I didn’t know the first thing about how video games were made or the amount of work that goes into them. It has really given me a great perspective and respect of the people who do it for a living. Modding is a fun and rewarding experience, but it is also a lot of work.

The years of working on Ravenhold Castle has really helped expand my creative thinking skills. While working on the mod, I combined items and room pieces from the existing game to make new interior designs and other structures never before seen in Morrowind. Rather than making new objects that needed to be imported, I opted to be creative with the design and keep the mod entirely dependency-free; meaning that when installing the mod, there will only be one file, rather than many. That helps keep the mod simplistic, yet detailed.

Over the years you’ve put a lot of effort into preserving mod projects for Morrowind, can you talk about that?

Morrowind was the first open-world RPG game I played extensively. Most of my gaming experience before Morrowind was First Person Shooters and console games. The world of Vvardenfell is just so incredibly immersive that, even after 10 years, I can still walk around and see beauty in things that I didn’t notice before. That’s not to say that Oblivion or Skyrim aren’t beautiful – they certainly are – but Morrowind has something special about it. I can walk around Vvardenfell looking at all these strange creatures walking past me and huge mushroom trees off in the distance, and I feel like I am right at home.

Ravenhold Castle wasn’t the first mod I’ve created, but it is the first one that I really put a lot of time and effort into. I have been working on it for over 7 years, and it has become more part of my life than just a simple side project. I’ve put countless hours into it, I’ve had input from friends and family on it, and it has developed and changed over the years as I have. I’ve spent a lot time playing Morrowind over the past 10+ years, so much that it will always have a special place inside me. Through this mod, I’ve had a chance to give something of my own back to the world of Tamriel.
Ravenhold Castle isn’t ready for release yet due to time constraints with work, though I am hoping to be able to get enough work done to release it soon. Originally I was planning on having a entire quest line, but at this point it would only be a housing/town mod.

The interview continues after the break

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Morrowind Mod Interview – Fliggerty

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…

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Now on iTunes: The Best Beats from Bethesda

We are pleased to announce that the official soundtracks for seven of our most popular games are now available for purchase on iTunes. Soundtracks include:

To purchase these soundtracks, just click on the album names above and you’ll be taken directly to iTunes.

Happy 10th Anniversary, Morrowind!

Time sure flies.

10 years ago this week, we released the PC version of the The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. While I was still a senior in college at the time, I remember it being a monumental release, and I was envious of PC gamers playing it before it released on Xbox. In the five years I’ve been working at Bethesda, I’ve learned to appreciate the game even more. The game was vital our company, and allowed us to continue the series with Oblivion and Skyrim.

It never ceases to amaze me how strong Morrowind’s community remains. The modding community continues to push the game to its limits and Morrowind will always be the sentimental favorite for longtime fans.

Want to go back and play the game? Grab it on sale on Steam and GameFly.

Feel free to share your favorite memories in the comments section.

Around the web and on newsstands

Welcome to another round of Around the Web… step right up and read the news!

But first, with RAGE’s new trailer unveiled, we thought we share some archived coverage for those of you catching up on the title. Above is a GameTrailers’ interview (featuring gameplay) from QuakeCon last year with creative director Tim Willits. For more of RAGE (and Tim), check out the videos embedded here.

Moving along, one of my favorite stories of the year so far is this one I spotted a week back on Kotaku. It’s about a Fallout fan named Gareth. Unlike most of us, Gareth can’t play games with his hands, but he’s put together a setup that allows him to play games using his chin. Watch a video of him playing New Vegas here… cool, inspiring stuff.

Staying in the Mojave, last month we blogged about an ambitious mod project for New Vegas called Project Nevada. Those interested in checking out the mod can download it now at New Vegas Nexus.

Check out more on New Vegas at these sites…

  • British Academy of Film and Television Arts (that’s BAFTA) has announced their GAME British Academy Video Games Awards’ nominees with New Vegas receiving nominations for Best Strategy Game and Best Story
  • Game Industry News has nominated the game for Best RPG
  • GamePro includes New Vegas (and Oblivion) in a feature on the 10 Best RPGs you should be playing

Skyrim news (and more) after the break…

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Planet Elder Scrolls Hall of Fame – November Entries

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Planet Elder Scrolls has announced the newest Hall of Fame mods for both Morrowind and Oblivion. Join us in celebrating the latest inductees…

Morrowind mods

  • Hilgya the Seamstress Expansion 1 by Plangkye: More than 80 new articles of Better Bodies clothing have been added to Hilgya’s store in Dagon Fel. Requires Hilgya the Seamstress.esm.
  • Daedric Warhammer Replacement by Android (shown above): This mod replaces all generic daedric warhammers in the game with a new model and texture, stats remain the same.
  • Pursuit Enhanced by Yacoby: The chase is on. This mod makes up to six people or creatures that are chasing/attacking you follow you through load areas.

Oblivion Mods

  • Companion Share/Recruit by Talkie Toaster: Boss NPCs around or make friends with them! This mod allows you to recruit any NPC in the land to follow you, give them orders, and even access their inventories. Alternatively, you can make friends and influence people by giving gifts, then borrow things from them.
  • Expanded Hotkeys and Spell Delete by scruggs: Just like it sounds, this mod increases the number of hotkeys (to 28) and also lets you delete spells from your spell book.
  • Banes Witchking Lair by Bane: Lord of the Rings fans won’t want to miss this mod inspired by Tolkien’s masterpiece.

Congrats to all of the these modders for their work!