Mod interview with CaoMengde777

Posted by Xenius01 Jan 31, 2012 at 19:39 UTC


Today we are highlighting two mods created by CaoMengde777: Automatons and Shurikens, Dwemer Schematics and Quest for Goldbrand. Both of these mods bring back items that were present in Morrowind and Oblivion.



The first mod will add Dwemer Schematics to Skyrim, hidden in the Dwemer ruins scattered across the land. Besides adding these schematics they have also been made useful, unlike the ones found in Morrowind which served no purpose.
By using these schematics you can build various summonable Dwemer Automatons. They can be used to craft throwing stars as well, either enchanted or not.

The second mod adds Goldbrand, an ancient golden katana to the game and a quest to obtain it. You'll have to follow a trail of books and use a treasure map to complete this quest.
Once you own the sword you will be able to upgrade it into Eltonbrand, a more powerful version of the weapon.

Check these mods out if you were a fan of Skyrim's predecessors!



Find out more about the creation process of these mods below.

What inspired you to make these mods?
When I was like... hmm 14 or 15 when Morrowind came out, I used to mod that game more than I ever really played it haha, I never really made any really great mods, usually just silly things for me and my friends to mess around with, like boots that increase your speed 9999 or something like that, I did make a few areas for the Tamriel Rebuilt project, I got alot of experience modding games from Morrowind, and I tend to mess around making mods for most of the games I play, although I rarely release them to the public which is a shame....

How much time went into creating them?
Oh I am not sure, many many many hours, usually most the time is spent dawdling, just looking through the files and stuff trying to come up with some awesome ideas, or I tend to do a bit of the work, and then sit back and think about whats next... a lot of time wasting haha, sorta just making it up as I go along, If I had a proper plan of attack I'd make them much quicker.

Did you encounter any problems while working on your mods?
Many, many... too many to list, usually its because with somethings I make I screw up and misword a file path, or I forget something... but I go back and make sure it works.

Has it been difficult for you to mod without having the Creation Kit?
VERY, but after reading around websites I got a hang of it, I’m an electronics technician major, so I have some knowledge about hex code so I found it easy to mod the hex numbers. funny, I was adding objects into the game world by getting the object, then making a random change to the code, then load up the game..... and try another random number, (guess and checking)... recently I found out what these other modders that made the house mods were doing... jeez if I knew that method.... .... I’d have many more mods...

What tools did you use to make these mods possible?
Originally only Fallout Mod Manager's TESSnip, & NifSkope, also GIMP but for the newer mod, SkyEdit, Skyrim NPC Editor and Tamriel Rebuilt's name generator.

What did you like most about the development process of your mods?
What I like about modding, is it feels like I am inventing new things. and it's like artwork, but unlike a painting or drawing, it's an artwork you can interact with, and actually USE, so it feels like a really cool accomplishment. & I was looking in game to find a really epic location for the Goldbrand treasure... and I looked and looked all over, but then, I saw a shiny spot in the distance, and I was like whoooa!! thats soo cool thats what I needed to find :D :D

Are you planning to bring more features of previous Elder Scrolls games to Skyrim?
Well, I've added Goldbrand (morrowind and oblivion), and shurikens were something Morrowind had. I have retextured the caves and forts to look ashen, or daedric... I want to make an Oblivion Realm, the Hell level that Oblivion had, It will look different, have a different art style to it, but it will be pretty sweet... if I make it.... its alot of work... I was hoping to have the constuction kit for this contest, but I do have alot of the needed things already half made, I think I will take a short break from modding Skyrim, and then come back and complete the ideas I had (they are pretty epic, I have like 6 pages of a notebook FILLED with writings lol, new ideas too, like some sorcerers got stuck in Oblivion, one in particular is super powerful and has daedric metal dwemer robots, hopefully with machine guns and rocket launchers, which I already made a rocket launcher now as I write this :D) (im releasing a collection of new spells/ throwing items soon and the dwemer rocket launcher) and many more new ideas...

Do you have any advice for others who would like to start modding?
There is ALOT of information available, I have most of my experience just by modding other games, and I’ve modded ALOT of games hehe... but, It is actually very easy to learn, once you get into it, it is very easy... modding without the creation kit is really something you would have needed to know about how to mod oblivion first... but when the creation kit is out, it should be a breeze. The first part of anything is an Idea

Thanks to CaoMengde777 for creating these mods and for participating in the interview.

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Mod interview with SLuckyD

Posted by Xenius01 Jan 23, 2012 at 21:23 UTC


This time we are taking a look at Overlook Tower, a mod created by SLuckyD.


Overlook Tower


Similar to the last mod highlight we are looking at yet another player home. But this is not just any home! In fact, this mod will grant you access to a huge tower on top of a mountain.

If you enjoy hoarding as much loot as possible, this tower is for you. It offers plenty of storage space; each item category gets its own chest. Also there are crafting facilities available, such as an alchemy lab, a forge and more. This tower has everything you will need in one place. But that’s not everything: if you take the stairs to the top of the tower you will also get a great view of the landscape surrounding the tower.

Due to the lack of the Creation Kit making this mod was quite a challenging process for the creator. At the moment you will get free access to the tower, this might change in the future.


<span style="font-size: small;">Skyrim - Mod Highlight - Overlook Tower </span>

<span style="font-size: small;">Video by nickoli002</span>


Find out more about the creation process of this mod below. 

What was your inspiration for creating this mod?

I wanted to release a simple player home, winding up to the summit of some mountain having a scenic view. I literally FLEW (tcl) around all of Skyrim, reconnoitering ALL the prime locations. It isn't my style to just alter a Vanilla home; so I assembled a 'new' one using the Winterhold College kitset. Basically it was something to keep me busy before beginning work on my BIG projects. Oftentimes I find that making mods and creating new content is hella more fun than playing the actual game! (no offense, Ma Beth.. <wink>)

How much time have you spent working on it?

The mod itself, a few hours... maybe 5 or 6, tops. It was figuring out HOW to do it all, without the 'new' CK software... that took a WHILE; but I did most of the R&D during the making of my earlier 'proof of concept' mods.

Did you come across any problems while making your mod?

The only thing that gave me trouble, and I STILL haven't gotten to work, is the ability to have companions enter the home with Player. The 'old' navMeshes apparently aren't compatible with Skyrim; this is the "pathing" which NPCs, monsters, and companions use to 'find their way.' Without working navMeshes, they 'don't know how' to enter or to move around obstacles, even if they WERE inside the Tower. I plan to fix this as soon as Ma Beth releases the newCK.

I'm also unable to add scripting to a mod, which is in a relatively new format - compiled in a way which neither I, nor anyone else seems to be able to create something meaningful with. This precludes any 'true' quests, dialog, or other aspects which I believe are incremental to the elevation of a plain mod to something GOOD.

Has it been difficult for you to mod without the Creation Kit?

In the beginning, it took some time to see what 'old' data is compatible with Skyrim; and to develop the procedures to get that data into a working, playable form. I wouldn't say it's been "difficult" though... it's been great practice and familiarization for when that new software finally IS released!

What tools did you use to make this mod possible?

  • Fallout 3's GECK v1.5 - to create and arrange the interiors, and make new/custom items
  • TESvSnip - editing the mod's raw data, and to copy/paste some Vanilla stuff which GECK can't do
  • FO3Edit - for placing/arranging objects in SkyNilla's worldSpace ('Vanilla Skyrim' is just the plain game, WITHOUT any modifications)
  • 3DSMax 2010x64 - to convert Skyrim's NIFs to Fallout 3's format, enabling me to literally SEE the objects I place and arrange in GECK (as opposed to the intolerable !red! exclamation-point-triangles)
  • NifSkope - to tweak and modify those NIFs converted by 3DSMax

What did you like most about the development process of your mod?

The 'thrill of the chase,' as in the R&D, trial & error, and ultimate discovery of the methods to get all this stuff working and cohesive. There have been PLENTY of "Eureka!" moments the past two months! (I had NO idea we'd be able to pull this much off!) Second to that would be the actual arranging and placement of everything, as well as seeing my 'vision' working in-game and, ideally, enjoyed by others.

Are you planning to expand your mod when the Creation Kit is available?

ABSOLUTELY! There's a list a mile long of things I intend to add, change, or fix... then another list FIVE miles long of user requests I have no intention of doing myself. I'm MORE than willing to sanction others to make 'addons' or alternate versions of these things; though it seems few are willing to give 'true' modding a go 'preCK.' I foresee that after the new software is released, many may forget about or lose interest in this mod... in favor of making their own; somewhere else, and the way THEY want it from the get-go (NO hard feelings y'all!).

Could you tell us about any other mods you currently have in progress or planned for the future?

I'm currently working on my 'Gokstad Sailable Ship & Portable Player Home' mod; which itself is a standalone prequel to my future masterpiece - 'Stone Unhenged.' The former's title says quite a bit, and I've posted some details in the download section for that mod (which has a very basic, but working BETA version available).

Stone Unhenged is a HUGE project I've developed, which could EASILY evolve into another whole TES installment. It takes Player to the Lost Continent of Yokuda (aboard the Gokstad), a NEW worldSpace as large as Skyrim itself! Quests, lore, voice-acting, cities & NPCs, and even a 1:1 scale model of the REAL Stonehenge monument - which Player will be able to REBUILD and harness its power! There's simply TOO much to go into here. Much of this I've already done in/for Oblivion (though never released it, in anticipation of Skyrim). I only hope that I'll continue to have enough free time, energy, and resources to complete these projects and release them for Skyrim!

Do you have any advice for others who would like to start modding?

DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Start small and basic; THEN expand and complicate! Before asking questions, go to the MANY websites already dedicated to modding and asset creation; specifically the ones relating to Oblivion and Fallout 3 (and the different programs needed to do it with). Eventually there'll be Skyrim sites for this as well, but too much is still unknown and the 'old' ways will still carry a LOT of weight! Search for tutorials on specific methods, read forums and wikis for overcoming problems or 'sticky' situations, and make sure you follow directions! Trial & error, practice, and even the help files of software are invaluable.

I learned ALL I know about modding this way, the information is already out there SOMEWHERE... you just have to know what you need to be looking for and where to find it! Failing ALL that, THEN ask questions - many people would appreciate not having to type a single answer for something a thousand times. I LOVE to help others, but I've spent more time commenting, responding, documenting, and posting information than I've spent on actually developing and making the mods I've released! Of course I mean no offense to those I've personally helped... this is just general advice to anyone who is 'new' to the community! (or the few who want others to do everything FOR them.. heheheh)

Thanks to SLuckyD for creating this mod and for participating in the interview.

Mod interview with Shawkab

Posted by Xenius01 Jan 06, 2012 at 10:02 UTC

Today we will take a look at Hillside Home Quest, a mod created by Shawkab.


While we are still waiting for the Creation Kit to get released various mods have been created that were thought to be impossible at this moment, like new quests and player homes. Shawkab’s Hillside Home Quest is one of those creations.

This mod will not only add a new player home to the game, but also a quest that needs to be completed in order to obtain it. So that means you will have to do a little more than paying a sum of gold to get access to your new home! It all starts in Breezehome, the player home situated in Whiterun. Before installing this mod, make sure you have the house fully decorated, or else the quest will not start. The quest itself will be more challenging than most quests in the game; due to the lack of any map markers you will have to do some exploration to complete it.




Find out more about the creation process of this mod below.

What was your inspiration for creating this mod?
The location was my main inspiration, I found it way before I knew anything about modding and wanted to have a house there.

How much time have you spent developing it?
Way too much... Everything needs to be placed individually, I found a few tricks to make it a little simpler for me but I think we're looking at around 40+ hours for this one so far, most of that was spent after I released the beta because of bugs, etc.

Did you come across any problems while working on your mod?
A lot, The problem right now is I can't create a NAV Mesh (Navigation Mesh,) which allows spouses/companions to move and live in your house, this is something I wanted to keep intact but I slowly realized how impossible it would be to keep in.
Since I released this mod I have had to recreate the entire thing from scratch, placing every piece of celery and every wall individually so that it could be in its own Cell (zone.) I also had issues with bookshelves, weapon racks, and mannequins which were activating oddly during a load... they're now working 100% for my 0.2 update.

Has it been difficult for you to mod without the Creation Kit?
I guess with my complaining so far it would seem so :)
It's hard, but I find it is the best way to learn. Things may be hard now but when they become easy, it will just seem that much easier for those who learned it the hard way after the construction kit is released.

What tools did you use in the development process of your mod?
TESSnip, FNVEdit, and a small amount of GECK to create a new Cell.

Are you planning to make any changes to your mod when the Creation Kit is available?
I still think I can make most of the changes before the CK, but after the CK I plan to add a Navigation Mesh which allows players to have their followers and spouses come in the house with them. I want to eventually code a house pet, or a personal maid, etc.

Could you tell us about any other mods you have planned for the future?
I like doing things that no one else does, pushing what is possible at the moment so I am always learning something. I have a few ideas for some quests, and more houses. When I learn something new I try to make something out of all I have learned.
Right now I'm working on a quest for thieves. It will include a underground passage under a major city, and inside the passage there will be ten chests. To receive the contents of those chests you will need to find the 10 keys that open the chests; these ten keys are hidden throughout the city. The keys can be somewhere as simple as a barrel, but as difficult as a Jarl's bedroom in a locked strongbox, or maybe even in the Jarl's pocket. You might even find notes leading you to some of the harder keys.

Do you have any advice for others who would like to start modding?
If you really love Skyrim, finish it first, then start modding. Modding can tend to taint your perspective of the game.
With that said, just jump in, it’s fun as hell and there are tons of tutorials and resources online right now, specially for texturing and modeling.

Thanks to Shawkab for creating this mod and for participating in the interview.

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Mod interview with KrimsonLust

Posted by Xenius01 Dec 28, 2011 at 16:40 UTC

Today we will be featuring two mods created by KrimsonLust: Female Warpaints and Male Warpaints.

The character creation system of Skyrim brought us a lot of new features that were not present in its predecessor Oblivion, allowing us to customize our characters even more. One of those features is the ability to choose from a selection of warpaint patterns.

When the Creation Kit for Skyrim is available this will likely be one of the aspects that will be expanded upon by many mod authors, similar to what happened with eyes and hairstyles for Oblivion.

We still have to wait until the Creation Kit gets released in January, but KrimsonLust already went ahead and created two mods that replace 20 existing warpaint patterns, 10 for each gender. The designs vary in style, which makes them suitable for different characters and races. You will still be able to use the race-specific warpaint, as these mods only replace the generic warpaint that is available to all races (except the beast races).

Find out more about the creation process of these mods below.


What was the inspiration for the creation of your mods?
My inspiration for creating the warpaints was at first because I wanted my character to have more of a tribal look. After posting my first few I started getting requests for different warpaints so I continued doing it for other people.

How much time have you spent on the development?
Each warpaint only takes me about 20 minutes. A pack of ten warpaints can take up to 4 hours. It can be a bit time consuming because most of the time if I change a file in the texture folder it doesn't register in the game until I restart it. I haven't found a better way to view the warpaints as I create them... yet :)

Did you come across any problems while working on these mods?
The warpaints are fairly straight forward and easily done since you are only working with a black and white picture. The only problem I have really encountered is where the image stretches on certain faces, but that isn't anything I can really fix.

What tools did you use in the process of making your mods?
To edit the .dds files I use Photoshop CS5 and my trusty Wacom Graphire tablet.

Currently your war paint mods are replacements, will you change them into add-ons when the Creation Kit is available?
Yes, I will change the warpaints to be add-ons so people will have the option to keep the original warpaints if they desire.

Are you planning to add more content to your current mods?
No, the warpaint packs that are out will stay the same for now, but I will be making additional packs for males and females to download, as well as taking more requests.

Do you have any advice for others who would like to start modding?
Start with something you're interested in, or something you have skill in. It was easy for me to edit texture files because I have skill with Photoshop. Don't get frustrated if something doesn't work right away. Take a break and come back to it and it will probably be something simple that you overlooked... either that or search the forums :)

Could you tell us about any other mods you have planned for the future?
I'm currently learning how to mesh with 3d studio max because I've been wanting to design my own armor and amulets, so stay tuned :)

Thanks to KrimsonLust for creating these mods and for participating in the interview.

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Maintenance (completed)

Posted by Kaelten Dec 08, 2011 at 02:53 UTC

Hi guys!

On Thursday December the 8th at 12:30PM CST we'll be taking the site off line for a maintenance window. During this time the website and is related services will be offline. We expect the downtime to last for less than two hours.

Thank you for your patience during this inconvenience.

UPDATE 1:30 PM CST: The maintenance has been completed.