Author Topic: Oblivion Modding Interviews - Official Thread  (Read 2268 times)

Darkelfguy

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Oblivion Modding Interviews - Official Thread
« on: August 02, 2015, 01:24:54 PM »
Oblivion Modding Interviews

Confirmed Interviews:
Zaldir, Project Lead on Kvatch Rebuilt, Author of Creature Diversity, Viking Village, and Populated Prisons - Episode Online
ShadeMe, Author of Blockhead, Put it in its Place - Enhanced Grabbing, and Construction Set Extender - Episode Online
AndalayBay of the Assimilation Lab and Team Lead behind Dark Brotherhood Chronicles and many other Assimilation projects - Episode Not Yet Scheduled
Emma, Author of Companion Vilja, Red Rose Manor, and Children of Cyrodiil - Episode Pending (Airs after August 10th, pending Modder Availability)
Possibly DarkRider of TES Alliance and Reclaiming Sancre Tor at some point in the future - Episode Not Yet Scheduled
Alenet, Author of Oblivion Reloaded - OBGE v4 and Enhanced Grass - Episode Not Yet Scheduled
Saebal, Author of SDR - Sneaking Detection Recalibrated - Episode Not Yet Scheduled

Description:
After doing 17 interviews with Morrowind Modding Interviews, I thought it was about time that we started expanding the spoken interview format to cover some of the other modding communities for the Elder Scrolls series, starting with Oblivion. The format will basically be identical to our Morrowind Modding Interviews series, where you, the community, can recommend modders to interview and submit questions you'd like modders to answer. Each time we announce a new interview, you'll have about one or two weeks to submit questions for each modder to be asked, and so long as those questions are appropriate, they'll be included in the final spoken interview.
 
Our first confirmed interview for Oblivion Modding Interviews is with one of the staff at Nexus Mods, Zaldir. He's also the author behind such mods as Creature Diversity, Populated Prisons, Viking Village, Gold Horse Carrier, and the Project Lead on Kvatch Rebuilt, not to mention one of the level designers at Druid Gameworks. You can find the complete interview with Zaldir below:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApXxv85cDtI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApXxv85cDtI</a>

A full list of mods that Zaldir has made can be found below:

Quote
Zaldir's Website
Druid Gameworks Official Website
Druid Gameworks on YouTube

Zaldir's Oblivion Mods:

Kvatch Rebuilt
Creature Diversity
Populated Prisons
Viking Village
Gold Horse Courier - Delivery Job
The Isle of Stroti
Reclaiming the Nexus
Benirus Manor Remade

Zaldir's Morrowind Mods:

More Detailed Places 2013

Future Interviews:
 
We're now taking questions for AndalayBay of the Assimilation Lab, ShadeMe, Alenet, and Saebal, who have all agreed to do an interview for Oblivion Modding Interviews as well!
 
If you have any questions for AndalayBay, ShadeMe, Alenet, or Saebal please post them below!
 
Once enough questions have been submitted, we'll send a complete list to each interviewee to review and set a schedule for the actual interview recording. Keep in mind that, due to the nature of these interviews, they can sometimes take a while, occasionally up to a month or more, to schedule, but we'll update this thread once an interview goes live!
 
Also, please post suggestions for modders you'd like to be interviewed in the future!
 
Thanks for reading, and if you have any suggestions at all for the interview series, feel free to post them below! :)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2015, 09:53:02 AM by Darkelfguy »
True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, In writing what deserves to be read. - Pliny the Elder

The Nocturnal Winter

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Re: Oblivion Modding Interviews - Official Thread
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2015, 01:46:09 PM »
The Oblivion Fanatic.
We have not inherit the earth from out ancestors, we have stolen it from our children.

Darkelfguy

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Re: Oblivion Modding Interviews - Official Thread
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2015, 03:10:46 AM »
The Oblivion Fanatic.

The Oblivion Fanatic is a Morrowind modder, as far as I know they haven't made any Oblivion mods. Their last mod was Blades Operations for the Morrowind Modathon Month competition.
True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, In writing what deserves to be read. - Pliny the Elder

The Nocturnal Winter

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Re: Oblivion Modding Interviews - Official Thread
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2015, 05:22:48 AM »
He is the author of Realistic Player Dialog Overhaul, I guess he just used a different name when he uploaded it http://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/46243/?
We have not inherit the earth from out ancestors, we have stolen it from our children.

Lougian

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Re: Oblivion Modding Interviews - Official Thread
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2015, 06:21:38 AM »
I have a question for Alenet :
-Will you help the development of the MGE XE in the future ?

It would be nice if you could interview Discovery1. :)

Darkelfguy

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Re: Oblivion Modding Interviews - Official Thread
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2015, 09:51:50 AM »
After much delay, I'm pleased to finally present our second episode of Oblivion Modding Interviews! This time around we're talking with shadeMe, the author behind the Construction Set Extender, Blockhead, and many other utilities for Oblivion, as well as popular gameplay mods like the dynamic shadows mod shadeMe and the famed slapper mod Put it in it's Place - Enhanced Grabbing. During this interview we discuss a number of shadeMe's mods, as well as the state of the community and shadeMe's impending retirement to the lovely lands of Resdayn (aka Morrowind).

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zKuiAFoMm0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zKuiAFoMm0</a>

I have a question for Alenet :
-Will you help the development of the MGE XE in the future ?

It would be nice if you could interview Discovery1. :)
Thanks for the suggestions, Lougian! :)
True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, In writing what deserves to be read. - Pliny the Elder

Darkelfguy

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Re: Oblivion Modding Interviews - Official Thread
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2016, 06:59:31 AM »
This is extremely late, but today we finally have the third episode of Oblivion Modding Interviews featuring an interview with Alenet, the author of Oblivion Reloaded, Improved Water, Enhanced Grass, and many other graphic mods designed to update and modernize Oblivion!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJgOOt-dKdE" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJgOOt-dKdE</a>

Below is a full transcript of the interview with Alenet:

DEG: Greetings and welcome to the third episode of Oblivion Modding Interviews, with me today is Alenet, author of the popular Oblivion Reloaded, along with a number of other graphics mods like Enhanced Grass and Improved Water. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview, and going right into our first set of intro questions, when did you first start playing Oblivion and the Elder Scrolls in general?

Alenet: I went to a shop to look for Skyrim, because I saw the advertisement on the tv. I like much RPG games in general and I knew the Elder Scrolls series but i didn't buy it until Skyrim was out. So, I found an offer with Oblivion plus Skyrim at a good price, and I bought both. I thought it was a good idea to start to play Oblivion before Skyrim and I began from Oblivion. It was at the end of year 2011 (two thousand eleven).
 
DEG: What inspired your forum handle?

Alenet: Nothing special, Alessio is my name and network is the entire structure, so I created Alenet as short name to use on internet. It was born several years ago and it is. You can find it also on my Facebook's profile.
 
DEG: What was your first mod and how did you get the idea for it?

Alenet: Really I don't remember my first mod. I started to mod Oblivion for the first time creating some mods for my use. Simply I was curious to use the Construction Set to modify some parts of the game. I didn't start with a specific idea.

DEG: What draws you to modding video games?

Alenet: I have always had the passion for video games from the early age and I like developing and computer in general. I have a company where I am the boss and one of the main developer but mainly I am the logic code designer. But that is work. So, when I have free time, I spend time with my family, some sports but also I mod to free the mind and to have relax because it is very funny.

DEG: Moving on to some more specific modding questions, you've made a lot of graphic mods for Oblivion, like Oblivion Reloaded, Improved Water, and Enhanced Grass. I'm sort of curious, what's the biggest challenge for you with making mods to improve the visuals of a game that's now nearly a decade old?

Alenet: Eheh! Working on old code is not a problem if you have the source code!! :) One of the main problems, is the limitations to overcome with old techniques. During these years, the techniques have been implemented, but anyway the DirectX 9 was pretty good and the Gamebryo's engine is good too. Sure, the biggest difficulty is to reverse the Oblivion's code to understand where you can change it in an efficient way getting the best effects. We must remember that Oblivion's source code is not free and a lot of time is required to understand how the code works.

DEG: Now sort of getting into that, One of the really popular mods you've released is Oblivion Reloaded, based on the work of you and the old Oblivion Graphics Extender modders, and I was curious, what made you decide to continue the legacy of OBGE and continue updating it with a new project like Oblivion Reloaded?

Alenet: I like Oblivion and I think it is one of the best games of the history, and it is so flexible, but it needed a sort of "refreshing"! The idea was a patch to update the game, merging a lot of my ideas into one single core, but it had to be also modular, so users can decide to enable a feature or an other. The Contruction Set is a very powerful tool, but you cannot change the core of the game by it. The OBGE was a great work about the graphics but I had in my mind also other features to be added, and OBGE was a bit old and had some limitations to resolve, like the possibility to have the anti-aliasing with the High Dynamic Range lighting. So, I decided to read the OBGE's source code to have a start given point. Oblivion Reloaded changes the internal shaders system and supports several new graphic effects. In addition, it has a lot of features and improves several other things. It can be called a mod, but it is not a "normal" mod, as i often say, because it is a real "code patch". It basically upgrades Oblivion to a new version. It is modular, so users can decides which single feature is good for themself.

DEG: Now, do you have any major plans for Oblivion Reloaded going into the future, like new features you'd really like to include?

Alenet: OR is mainly completed. I will fix some little bugs and I will add only some little improvements to complete the mounted and dual weapon combat. The OR's engine is able to inject any shader you want to replace, so somebody else could write better shaders for grass or sky. It doesn't require to change OR. One of the biggest feature that I would to add in the future is the possibility to intercharge the Player with an NPC like in other games, for example Dragon Age. But I don't know if i will be able to do that because it is very complex and I could make the game not stable. We will see....!

DEG: Another one of the popular mods you've made is Camera Commands, a mod that allows the player to change views in third person, something that's quite handy for making videos especially, but I was wondering, what was your motivation for making Camera Commands and were you originally disappointed with Oblivion's default 3rd Person view?

Alenet: Ah! I don't like so much that Oblivion hasn't "cinematic" effects. For example during a dialog, or during a combat the camera could be set in a different position for a better effect; or when you arrive for example in a new place, the camera could do a panoramic view for a while like in Assassin's Creed. An other good option is to avoid to have the camera directly behind the player, but it should be shifted to the left or right to avoid to see the player in the middle of the point of view. So, making commands to move the camera made Oblivion meets "cinematics".

DEG: Are there any other modding projects that you're working on currently outside of Oblivion Reloaded?

Alenet: Not by now. There is no so time for modding so by now it is the primary project and I am working only on it.
 
DEG: Going into some of our general modding questions, do you do any planning before you start a mod? If yes, how?

Alenet: It depends on the type of mod. I would to split the mods in two categories: mods like an implementation done by a specific tool like the Contruction Set for Oblivion, the Creation Kit for Skyrim or the Toolkit for Dragon Age etc...and the mods like a heavy modification of the game core. You have to use a real development environment to realize this second one so I prefer to call them "patches" (like OR is), because you must develop writing pure C++ code and you have to compile it like any other real software. So, in this case you have to plan the code structure and his way to be developed.

DEG: Are there any mod ideas you had that you did not pursue, and for what reason?

Alenet: When you see a game like Oblivion, you can have many ideas to change many things. But luckly other modders have already done some of that!

DEG: Have you been influenced by any non-TES games when you mod?

Alenet: Sure. I like a lot Assassin's Creed, for the game's story, sounds and cinematic effects. Good games where I took some ideas are also Dragon Age and The Witcher. Some feature like the possibily to create potions when you sleep is very nice in The Witcher, it could be a possible new feature for OR!

DEG: Conversely, are the any modders who have inspired or influenced you in some way?

Alenet: When you create a new project, you look for other realizations in general and you add your creativity to that, so every modders is important.

DEG: If you could make a single change to the capabilities of the Construction Set, what would it be?

Alenet: The initial capabilities of the Construction Set were heavily implemented by shadeMe with the Construction Set Extender. To be honest I really don't know because it is a very powerful tool to be a tool for modding a game!
 
DEG: How much do you use the community to get feedback and motivation for your mods?

Alenet: Community is the real tester of a project. If you have good feedback, this means the project works. Often I am not able to test all the features in all cases, users do that.
 
DEG: Is there anything you've had to give up to mod? Like playing more games or possibly your social life?

Alenet: No. I mod for relax and fun so I mod when I have time or when I need relax and fun!! :)

DEG: Are there any skills you've learned from modding? And if so, have you been able to use these skills elsewhere?

Alenet: I am a senior developer and I know very well C, C++, C# and VB languages, but working on new projects let you know always new things. Sure, I think the reverse engeneering is a very difficult thing and I learned a lot about it. I have never had the chance to view or use it in some projects, so this was the good one to start and I think everything I learned in this experience will be useful in the future.

DEG: Sort of off topic, but are there any other games outside of The Elder Scrolls that you enjoy playing? And if so, what do you like about them?

Alenet: Eheh! I like only RPG games and strategy games. They bring up your mind! Every game has its beauty, but I think in general they must have a good story and must have a high playability with a good graphics. But you cannot sacrifice the playability for the graphics and viceversa. They must be good both.

DEG: If you could mod one other game that perhaps doesn't support mods, what would it be?

Alenet: OR doesn't need to be supported. It is pure C code. I could mod every game with the same technique. The problem is not if the game supports mods or not but reversing the game's code and patch it. It requires to disassemble the code, so tools, developing and testing...lot of time and sometimes money. In Oblivion a lot of work has been made by the OBSE team that provides a lot of internal code structures in the OBSE code and exposes them in a readable and usable language by external project like OR. I went ahead with that work and I implemented new code structures updating also the OBSE definitions.

DEG: Is there any particular mod you're most happy/proud of out of the ones you've released so far?

Alenet: Obviously Oblivion Reloaded. I merged inside it all my better previous mods (Enhanced Grass, Camera Commands, Improved Water), so it is a very complex and big project, but modular and flexible. The code structure is very well made and I think a good developer can read and learn it in few times.
 
DEG: Now are there any mods or modders that currently have your attention in the community, or are there any major projects you're particularly excited about for Oblivion?

Alenet: In last times there aren't so new great mods because i think they are enough for everyone! I think shadeMe is a very good patch because Oblivion hadn't shadows and this cuts off the immersion. Then there are Oblivion Character Overhaul 2, Oblivion Grass Overhaul, Unique Landscapes, Better Cities......and so on.

DEG: Will you help with the development of the MGE XE in the future?

Alenet: I don't think so. I think I will start the project "Skyrim Reloaded" on the next year, so it will take all my modding time.

DEG: What do you think about other TES games?

Alenet: I think Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim are the best Bethesda games. I like much Oblivion for the landscapes. The only bad thing in general is that I found the games a bit "woody", in meshes, in profiles, in the details, and above all in the movements. Skyrim is better in this but something is still missing...

DEG: Any advice you'd like to give to budding new Oblivion modders out there looking to release their first mod?

Alenet: Do that to learn concepts, not only for doing something...

DEG: Finally, is there anyone in the community you'd like to give a shoutout to?

Alenet: Ooh! Sure!....first, OBSE and OBGE developers even if I didn't know them and a special thanks to every users and modders who gave contributions to Oblivion Reloaded mainly to ShadeMe with whom I have collaborated, and my co-worker Nunzio, with whom we often did brainstorming to find better solutions.

DEG: Alright, that wraps up all of the questions I have for you, thanks again for agreeing to do this interview!
True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, In writing what deserves to be read. - Pliny the Elder