Monthly Blog Post
Skywind is, to a high degree, a visual project. Many of our sister projects dip into game mechanics much more than we currently do (by building or editing entire engines), whereas we focus much more on atmosphere and recreating the world of Morrowind as it would look with modern day graphics. That being said, Skywind has a coding department aiming to overhaul the perk and blocking systems among other things, and reintroduce features from Morrowind such as levitation. The coding department will have a larger part to play in the future, but as for now, the visual aspect of Skywind remains the point of focus.
So whats new this time around?
Molag Amur assets
Throughout the past few blog posts, we have showcased Molag Amur assets, and this time around will be no exception. The assets have been done in stages, but a revisit of stage two has been necessary. Stage one and two consisted of rocks, stage three was sulphur and tar, stage four was lava and burning trees. The assets created this time are therefore a mix of rocks, dried out lava and lava flows, which should help create diversity to the area.
In relation to reimagining Morrowind, much of the modeling is done in the same way as when developing a game from the ground. Before actually going into the process of modeling or landscaping, we create concept art. We have the the old models to rely on, and gain inspiration from, but use concept art to go the extra mile. Concept art is key to focusing that single artistic vision and to iron out any visual kinks that could be problematic down the line. It is easier to adapt the concept art than it is the model, and basically it allows for people to sync and discuss models before they are set in stone.
Concept art can be a range of many things. It is not always as detailed as one might think; sometimes speed modeling is more appropriate during urgent tasks, or where detail is not as important. Detailed concept arts, however, tend to capture more atmosphere, and is something often used during landscaping. Other times it is detailed schematics of a tileset of interiors. In truth, concept art and illustrations are of great benefit for the Skywind project, which is why we will be showing some off today.
Originally we were going to limit the concept art to Red Mountain and Dwemer related things. However, we have so much concept art worth showing off that we hope you will forgive us for throwing a bit more at you.
Landscaping is probably one of the most time consuming aspects of Skywind. Creating an environment that is to intriguing to explore and interesting to look at requires both skill and time. The time required to finish one region entirely, is well above 300 hours. There is no way around this, as the CK only allows one person to work on a region at a time, otherwise there will be conflicts when merging the two landscapes, and even more work cleaning it up afterwards. Pinpointing how far landscaping has progressed would therefore be a wild estimation at best, and is one of the reasons why it is so hard to predict how far along the project is.
What we can show you however, is the areas currently claimed and being worked on by our landscapers:
As you can see there are still areas unclaimed, so if you’re sitting on a bunch of spare time, alongside a lot of untapped motivation, knowledge about CK and landscaping, we would like to you contact us, and work with the team. And if you do not, perhaps you will be content at looking on some of the progress that has been made in the landscaping department:
Over the last couple of months, progress on the Skywind project has been so rapid, that we have had to take a step back, and review our organisational methods. Things are simply progressing at a faster rate than our current methods can keep up with.
Among the new organisational initiatives, is an efficiency improvement of the volunteering process, in an attempt to make it much simpler for all parties involved. The system we currently use for recruiting is not optimised, and can be extraordinarily time consuming for our department leads who deal with the volunteers directly. This takes away from time that could be better spent actually making the mod itself, and we all know that you guys would much rather we worked on the mod right?
The new system is based on a Google Form, which each volunteer fills out. The applications are then filtered and assessed quickly, based on the information obtained there. The forms (if completed correctly) will provide department leads with most, if not all, the information they require to accept the volunteer or not, negating the need for the lead to spend more time than is necessary trying to get that information out of the volunteer in subsequent messages, as well as reducing the risk of the department lead forgetting who they have spoken to and who they have not.
It should be noted that while the form looks scary, we will still consider all volunteers as we have before, and those with lesser experience are not disadvantaged by it.