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Default Skyrim - How the Modders Conquered Skyrim

July 29th, 2013, 14:19
IGN has a new editorial article for Skyrim were Richard Wordsworth explains how modders have vastly improved the game on the PC.

The greatest secret of the Glorious PC Master Race is that shh - most games on PC and games on consoles are basically the same, whether you're herding it along with a keyboard or a games controller. But the PC modding communities for games like Skyrim are the exception to that rule: talented individuals (or teams) working long hours to create all manner of extra content and gameplay tweaks, while console players must wait like Dickens characters for their next serving of official DLC. The PC is an immeasurably better place to play Skyrim than on console, and its modding community is why.

The jump-off for Skyrim's legions of modders is the Creation Kit - a suite of world-building tools that let players and would-be designers play around with the game's toybox of items, characters and dungeons. The Creation Kit is free to download (as are its equivalents for other Bethesda games) and very powerful: depending on your skill level you can create anything from simple dungeons to fully-voiced, ten-hour questlines with new animations, weapons, spells and lighting effects. Or, if you're Scott Caunce, you can cover everything in palm trees.
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July 29th, 2013, 14:19
There are so many junk entries on Steam Workshop which means modders conquered a junkyard, not a game.

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July 29th, 2013, 14:26
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
There are so many junk entries on Steam Workshop which means modders conquered a junkyard, not a game.
Broken record Joker. Don't ever change.

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July 29th, 2013, 15:19
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Broken record Joker. Don't ever change.
My god, it never does end.

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July 29th, 2013, 16:17
Pavlov's Dog syndrome? Mention Skyrim - joxer froths at the mouth…
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July 29th, 2013, 16:21
I never use the Workshop for Skyrim. From what I've heard it can only handle the simplest mods and completely fail when it comes to complex file and folder structures. Some authors have also complained that updating mods there is a hassle. In any case, the article isn't saying modders conquered the Workshop, where all the junk is.
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July 29th, 2013, 17:36
I love Skyrim - think it's one of the best RPGs ever made.

I almost never care for mods for games though.

I look thru list of "must have" and blah blah mods for Skyrim and zero of them appeal. But that's modding - some people love the stuff - I don't.

I tried a few UI mods to deal with the lame as hell console-influenced pile of shit that is the Skyrim UI on PC and they didn't work for me much better.

IMO, as a developer, there is a reason why professional developers create the games to begin with, and why the amateurs are doing mods, and this almost always manifests itself what gets created.

There are exceptions. But, in general, mods don't match or improve the quality of games vs what the pros and original designers do in the first place - to me at least. Ie, if the modders could create games, instead of hacking other people's creations, then they would be developers, but they are not. /shrug

For some, the modding scene extends games for them - and that's great. Doesn't really work for me.

For some, modding IS the game and doing this wannabe development is more fun for them than actually playing, and that's great too.
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July 29th, 2013, 18:08
If you think only the people who managed to get a job in the industry capable of making quality content, you're not a very wise person.

Also, a LOT of developers would have been more impressive doing another job.

Skyrim and Bethesda don't exactly represent the norm - so don't be a fool.
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July 29th, 2013, 18:11
Originally Posted by Voqar View Post
I love Skyrim - think it's one of the best RPGs ever made.

I almost never care for mods for games though.

I look thru list of "must have" and blah blah mods for Skyrim and zero of them appeal. But that's modding - some people love the stuff - I don't.

I tried a few UI mods to deal with the lame as hell console-influenced pile of shit that is the Skyrim UI on PC and they didn't work for me much better.

IMO, as a developer, there is a reason why professional developers create the games to begin with, and why the amateurs are doing mods, and this almost always manifests itself what gets created.

There are exceptions. But, in general, mods don't match or improve the quality of games vs what the pros and original designers do in the first place - to me at least. Ie, if the modders could create games, instead of hacking other people's creations, then they would be developers, but they are not. /shrug

For some, the modding scene extends games for them - and that's great. Doesn't really work for me.

For some, modding IS the game and doing this wannabe development is more fun for them than actually playing, and that's great too.
That was pretty much my attitude on modding for most of my gaming life. Then in December 2012 I decided what the heck … and started playing with Mods and ENB's. I was a diehard "vanilla" game player. Now I can't imagine playing Skyrim without an ENB or Mods.

Most of my mods are textures - which are way better than the developers textures. Also things like the console tend to limit how far you can push the game. For me modding and ENB made Skyrim reach the full potential of a PC game.

Some of the immersion mods are also amazing and completely bug and trouble free. Anyhow I understand the view point of vanilla gaming having been there … but having given MODS and ENB a good chance, and months of work I admit (takes a long time to build a good solid mod list and not all the most popular mods are the best … often you have to to really try a lot) there is no turning back to me.

Course it depends on the game. I have tried mods, since December, for other games and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Skyrim has some excellent modders and ENB creators though. Many of them have the same professional polish and execution as the developers. In a few cases I think they are better.

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July 29th, 2013, 18:11
Originally Posted by Voqar View Post
IMO, as a developer, there is a reason why professional developers create the games to begin with, and why the amateurs are doing mods, and this almost always manifests itself what gets created.

There are exceptions. But, in general, mods don't match or improve the quality of games vs what the pros and original designers do in the first place - to me at least. Ie, if the modders could create games, instead of hacking other people's creations, then they would be developers, but they are not. /shrug
As you said, there absolutely are exceptions. Derek "Kael" Paxton manged to turn his Fall From Heaven Civ 4 mod into a lead developer role for Elemental: Fallen Enchantress. He's since been promoted to VP at Stardock. But, as you mentioned, the good mods are far less common than the bad ones.

Edit: And the Magna Mundi mod for EU3 was so popular it outscored the base game on an official poll on the Paradox site. It got picked up to become a game, though that fell apart.
Last edited by greywolf00; July 29th, 2013 at 19:42.
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July 29th, 2013, 18:48
Originally Posted by greywolf00 View Post
As you said, there absolutely are exceptions. Derek "Kael" Paxton manged to turn his Fall From Heaven Civ 4 mod into a lead developer role for Elemental: Fallen Enchantress. He's since been promoted to VP at Stardock. But, as you mentioned, the good mods are far less common than the bad ones.
In my opinion the WW 1&2 mods of Civ4 was much better but only get published as an extension and as far I know didn't provided to the author a job in game industry.

But to take sources further in past, few mods authors for Doom get hired by id software, I don't remember if it was for Doom 2 or Quake.

NWN1 had more than a couple of mods that was at top level from any point of view including some about the emotional aspect and gameplay elements.

Realmz also had some "mods" no free but from single man, and for some I have still to see a similar achievement in some design points in RPG of game indutry. But in that case the author had already a well established job and wasn't looking for another.

But Elder Scroll series tend too much to generate tools and modifications more than pure creation. I noticed the recent hype about Falskaar mod for Skyrim that could a counter example for the series, ie a really creative mod.
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July 29th, 2013, 18:56
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
There are so many junk entries on Steam Workshop which means modders conquered a junkyard, not a game.
When a game tool is popular it is always generating ton of crap, but also it is generating gems and a fans population able to identify and highlight most of them among the mass.

That said, my opinion on modding isn't very high, I get too often the feeling it's modifications from players the think design better a game than the original designers.

I agree it can happen and have some distance with original creation can help, a distance that didn't had original game designers, plus some talents can happen to be at work in mods. But in general modifications are more like parasites, and tools mods and just useful. Purely creative mods are much more interesting but it's rare.

Myself I'd say, the only important and impressive modding communities/achievement was Doom 1&2, NWN1, Realm Z (but is paid mods still mods?), HoMM3, Warcraft 3, Civ4 but only very few major, and nothing else.
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July 29th, 2013, 19:27
Baldur's Gate modding was the inspiration for NWN. The overhauls on that game created huge player made expansions and ideas that Bioware borrowed. Ditto for NWN - problems such as capes, robes, free cameras, and databases were all solved by modders. Additionally they solved bugs in spells (I even contributed to that) and NWN2 implemented my suggestion of proper GUI controls to replace listeners. Other added controls included admin controls, functions based on player typed console controls, NPC scheduling and improved AI, etc. In many cases the developer didn't bother with their own version because the modder's version was so much better (ie. the database).

I'm very eager to see what can happen with Shadowrun Returns. I was in chat with a modding community yesterday and they were figuring out all sorts of workarounds.

Let's never forget Half Life: Counterstrike and DotA. If you want to go even earler how about Ultima, Telengard, and Rogue - all games that started off as mods or clones of DnD.

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July 29th, 2013, 19:33
I can't see playing skyrim without mods. I'm currently running 125 mods stable.

I find it weird that some of you claim not to really use mods but then comment on the quality of them. I can assure you there are many mods with the same polish as the developers content and I've found my self running in to content and wondering was that skyrim or a mod.

If your a keyboard and mouse player the skyui ans categorized favorites are a must IMO.

I can't see what's not to like about playing skyrim with more monsters,npc's,weapons, armor, quests, towns and much higher quality textures, and all for free. IMO you can't beat that.
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July 29th, 2013, 20:25
Few of the elder scroll mods really offered much of interest to me. A few UI mods here and there, visual mods are just eye candy. I've wanted quest mods that have something interesting and different. Lost Spires for Oblivion fit the bill.
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July 29th, 2013, 20:53
I didn't play Skyrim with mods because I player it on the 360. I had a great time with it, too.

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July 29th, 2013, 21:06
Well ok modifications, fixes, tools, that's what appreciate many players enjoying mods like in Elder Scroll series. And ok designers along time admitted those modifications of their games was making it better, I do hope there wasn't too much demagogy and marketing behind these words. Ok fine, but most often I have finish play the game when those mods really bring more (I didn't even finished Skyrim). And they are far to be enough to push me replay the game.

I did try very late Morrowind mods and honestly the most famed didn't improved enough the combats to make it significantly better, better than vanilla but still weak overall.

Mods that are totally new creations are different and because of the mods structures in the ES series such mods has always been burdened. But yeah that's just my own feeling and I know that many other players have a different point of view.
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July 30th, 2013, 03:13
Originally Posted by Voqar View Post
IMO, as a developer, there is a reason why professional developers create the games to begin with, and why the amateurs are doing mods, and this almost always manifests itself what gets created.

There are exceptions. But, in general, mods don't match or improve the quality of games vs what the pros and original designers do in the first place - to me at least. Ie, if the modders could create games, instead of hacking other people's creations, then they would be developers, but they are not. /shrug
Most mods don't match or improve quality, I agree. But that's just the numbers thing here same as I'd say most games, movies, books, shows aren't good. But there are some really talented modders out there some of whom are at least a match for the professionals who only need the opportunity to show it.

Some mods are really must-haves or greatly improve the game. Some of us here complain about the dumbing down of games that don't deliver the gameplay level we expect. While devs are constrained to do that for accessibility or economic purposes, modders are free to make a game as complex as they want.

In Oblivion, Oscuro did away with the atrocious level scaling. The fact that Bethesda hired him and abandoned OB scaling in favor of something like the "amateur" modder did in their future games says that modders can and do improve the quality of the vanilla game. UI mods helped me play without spending most of my time scrolling down in menus because vanilla only let me see a few items at a time.

I think perhaps you just haven't had the pleasure of being exposed to the really great mods out there (speaking of gameplay, not mere cosmetic or content mods, which btw are really great and many are better than vanilla). Most of the time when I see posts about people being against mods, they think mods are about nudity or cheating. I wouldn't play any Bethesda game unmodded now and just consider them game editor makers. Since after OB, I only play vanilla to see what mods I need to play the game.
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July 30th, 2013, 14:02
Originally Posted by greywolf00 View Post
Edit: And the Magna Mundi mod for EU3 was so popular it outscored the base game on an official poll on the Paradox site. It got picked up to become a game, though that fell apart.
That it "fell apart" is putting it mildly. It completely crashed and burned.

Exitus acta probat.
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