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Want to contribute? Download the current master here and let us know what task you're working on!
I'd like to preface this by saying I'm not trying to take charge or tell anyone what to do or anything like that. I've just been thinking about what steps we need to take once we have the initial converted mod files, and posting it here helps me organize my thoughts. These are really suggestions more than anything, and I'm sure those of you who have been through this before with Morroblivion will have a better idea of what works and what doesn't.
So, the Project Andoran guys have told us what their tool can and can’t convert. We don’t have the converted master yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start working! We can start making base objects, connect generic dialogue, and—because of the special way Skyrim handles quest references—we can even start putting quests together.
Here are my thoughts on how to best organize the project. If anyone wants to take a task, call it, and the bigger tasks can be split up as needed. I’ve split tasks up into “projects,” and put the tasks for each project in rough order. Like I said, these are more guidelines than anything else.
Project 1: Basic Tasks
Create Base .esm and Assign .esm “Master”—We should probably work off of one .esm and have one person who gathers our progress as .esp files and merges them.
Form Naming Conventions--We'll want to decide on form naming conventions for new data types. For starters, I suggest we begin all new Morroskyrim forms with the prefix "MW," as this prefix isn't used by any forms in vanilla Skyrim. (So for voices, Male Dunmer voice could be "MWDunmerMaleVoice" or somesuch.)
Global Variables—Any global variables we’ll need. Off the top of my head, I can only think of “IsInMorrowindWorld.”
Convert Meshes, Textures—Meshes and textures should be optimized before being added to this project. In the meantime, use vanilla meshes and textures as placeholders. Start in Morrowind Mod (Requires Converter)—A separate plugin that makes you start in Morrowind. Not strictly necessary, but handy.
Best Practices Guide (Optional)—A best practices guide to help everyone stay on the same page. I think this is particularly important since Skyrim does present many new systems, and misunderstanding some of these systems could have some pretty nasty side effects (I’ve already seen a few popular mods with conflict-prone script implementation).
Retextures (Low Priority)--This is probably more important for other people than it is for me. :P Update textures to match Skyrim standard. Perhaps all the retextures done for Morroblivion already surpass the standard? I don't know, I'm not a graphics guy.
Project 2: Magic
Create Base Morrowind Magic Effects—Create the spell effects from Morrowind that we’ve lost. For more complicated spells, we should just create placeholders for now. (A note on Skyrim spell effects: range and cast type are part of the effect. If the same spell can be cast both on touch and on target in Morrowind, it requires a different spell effect for each version in Skyrim.)
Create Morrowind Spells—Recreate the abilities, spells, powers, and diseases of Morrowind.
Create Morrowind Scrolls—Recreate the scrolls of Morrowind.
Create Morrowind Potions—Recreate the potions, drinks, and alchemy ingredients of Morrowind. Need to see if final converter will handle these.
Balance Spells (Low Priority)—Balance spells according to Skyrim’s game systems.
Balance Scrolls (Low Priority)—Balance scrolls according to Skyrim’s game systems.
Balance Potions (Low Priority)—Balance potions according to Skyrim’s game systems.
Morrowind Vampirism (Low Priority)—Recreate the 3 forms of Morrowind vampirism.
Bloodmoon Lycanthropy (Low Priority)—Recreate Bloodmoon lycanthropy.
Magic Keyword Check (Low Priority)—Make sure magic has proper keywords so they get perk bonuses and whatnot.
Blight Diseases--With Skyrim's keyword system, we can probably implement blight diseases as a separate thing that requires a different potion/spell to cure again.
Project 3: Items
Create Base Weapons—Create Morrowind weapons. For items we don’t have models of, use vanilla Skyrim models for now. Classify crossbows and thrown weapons as normal bows for now (pending addition of crossbows in future patch and integration of throwing weapons mod into this project). Need to see if final converter will handle these. In which case, this task is actually just creating base objects for crossbows and thrown weapons.
Create Base Armor—Create Morrowind armor and clothes. For items we don’t have models of, use vanilla Skyrim models for now. We have to make a decision here: implement lost armor types (pauldrons, separate gauntlets, greaves) as invisible gear until we have models for them, or stick to Skyrim’s combined body armor for now. Need to see if final converter will handle these. In which case, this task is actually just creating base objects for pauldrons, gauntlets, belts, and maybe greaves.
Implement Misc Objects—Create all other Morrowind objects. Determine what pre-existing Skyrim objects can be used instead (like soul gems, for instance) and document these. Item Level Lists—Create Morrowind item level lists.
Enchant Weapons—Add enchantments to weapons, depending on the progress of Project 2.
Enchant Armor—Add enchantments to armor and clothes, depending on the progress of Project 2.
Balance Gear (Low Priority)—Balance weapons, armor, and level lists to Skyrim standards.
Models for Morrowind Weapons (Low Priority)—Implement models for Morrowind weapons.
Models for Morrowind Armor (Low Priority)—Implement models for Morrowind armor and clothing. For now, this should include separated greaves/cuirass, but since we probably don’t have pauldron or gauntlet meshes handy, let’s save that for later.
Models for Pauldrons/Gauntlets (Low Priority)—Implement models for Morrowind pauldrons, gauntlets, and sleeveless armor.
Implement Throwing Weapons (Low Priority)—Implement code for throwing weapons.
Implement Crossbows (Low Priority)—Implement crossbows when patch comes out.
Crafting Recipes (Low Priority)—Create crafting recipes for Morrowind items.
Item Keyword Check (Low Priority)—Make sure items have proper keywords so they get perk bonuses and whatnot.
Project 4: Actors
Create Voice Types—Voice types are named "MWGenderRaceVoice." For example, Dunmer males should use "MWMaleDunmerVoice." Unique voice types have also been made for Vivec, Dagoth Ur, and Almalexia.
Create Factions—Recreate all of the factions that exist in Morrowind. Set faction relations.
Create Creature Types—Create a stand-in race for every creature type that appears in Morrowind. For now, use vanilla Skyrim models and animations until we can get proper ones (unless they already exist).
Plan Actor Classes—Either create new classes exclusively for Morrowind NPCs, or create a table for what Skyrim classes match what Morrowind classes. Do the same for combat AI. Create Base NPCs—Create base NPC objects. Pay attention to new Skyrim options like “Unique” (Very important! All unique/named NPCs should have this checked!) and “Voice Type.” If they’re ready, try to populate the NPC’s faction list, inventory, and spell list, as well. Create Base Creatures—Create base creature objects.
Populate Actor Inventories—Based on the progress of Project 3, populate actor inventories.
Populate Actor Spell Lists—Based on the progress of Project 2, populate actor spell lists.
Create Actor Level Lists—Create actor level lists that appear in Morrowind. (Do any level lists appear in Morrowind?)
Place Actor References (Requires Converter)—Place actor references at appropriate locations in the world.
Set Up Services (Requires Converter)—Set up training, merchant, and fast travel services for all applicable NPCs.
Unique Creature Models and Animations—Add unique models and animations for Morrowind-specific creatures.
Balance Actor Power (Low Priority)—Balance actors/actor level lists according to Skyrim’s game systems.
NPC AI Packages (Low Priority)—Once we have Morroblivion converted to Skyrim, we can think about giving NPCs AI routines.
NPC Faces (Low Priority)—Give NPCs unique looks.
Actor Keyword Check (Low Priority)—Make sure actors have proper keywords so they are affected by correct spells.
NPC Relationships (Low Priority)--Group NPCs in relationships in the CK. Probably won't be needed for what we're doing, but this level of thoroughness could open up possibilities for us in the future.
Project 5: Content
Base Locations—Create locations for all cities and dungeons, as well as a parent Vvardenfell location. We don’t need to populate this with data yet; but having them early will let us implement quests before the worldspace is converted.
Dialogue Implementation--Add all non-quest dialogue to the game. All generic dialogue should be kept in container quests so that things are nice and organized. NOTE: Unlike in previous games, never check for character race when determining who can speak a line! Instead, check for voice type—that way, only Morrowind characters will speak Morrowind dialogue.
Quest Implementation--Add the Morrowind quests to the game. Using the Alias system, we can have these mostly implemented without having access to the worldspace. Testing them to make sure they work, however, is another matter…
Connect Aliases to World (Requires Converter)—Any aliases that need to be connected to the world (x-markers, for instance) should be hooked up to their appropriate references.
Populate Locations (Requires Converter)—Populate locations with references, encounter zones, and cells.
Criminal System (Requires Converter)--Proper crime and punishment system will need to be implemented. Might as well have the Imperials, Ordinators, and each House count as its own criminal faction while we're at it, eh?
Location Keyword Check (Low Priority)—Make sure locations have proper keywords.
Block SM Event Nodes (Low Priority)--Create blocks in the SM Event Nodes to prevent Skyrim events from occuring while in Morrowind. I don't think we want dragons swooping down on 3rd era Balmora or Astrid sending assassins to kill you in her past. We can key these blocks to trigger Morrowind-specific events, if we find a use for them.
Project 6: Environment (All require converter, of course)
NavMesh Generation--Generate a navigation mesh so NPCs can actually move around the world. New Item Placement—Place the items that the converter couldn’t handle into the world. Item Adjustment—Adjust the positioning of any items that couldn’t be replaced. Land Textures—Set up appropriate land textures. Working Doors—Make sure doors can open and close.
Working Furniture (Low Priority)—Get furniture working properly.
New Trees (Low Priority)—Place more Morrowind-esque trees in place of the stock Skyrim trees.
Crafting Workstations (Low Priority)--Placement of crafting workstations for all crafting skills in suitable places throughout the world.
Mining Locations (Low Priority)--Morrowind already has ebony and glass (malachite now, I guess) mines. We might want to consider adding veins for all the other ores.
Weather & Climate (Low Priority)--Set up proper weather for the various regions.
Trapping Treasure Chests (Low Priority)--Add Skyrim-style traps to the treasure chests that were originally trapped in Morrowind.
Running Rivers (Low Priority)--Implement Skyrim-style running rivers.
Environment Population (Low Priority)--Populate the environments with critters and ambient sounds.
Project 7: Additional Features
Loading Screens--Port the loading screens from Morrowind and set them to load when the player is in the Morrowind world. Note that this will require Morrowind-specific 3d models, as well.
Morrowind Birthsigns--If we get support for this, create birthsigns for Morrowind? Up for discussion. Should we: (A) allow the player to gain the power of a guardian stone as their birthsign; (B) recreate the Morrowind birthsigns as a separate bonus from the guardian stones, which might be OP if the player did Skyrim before Morrowind; or (C) remove the birthsign part of getting off the boat entirely?
Taking Over Houses--With Radiant Story, we may be able to have an NPC's home (or at least the bed and cell) change ownership to the player upon death, like in Morrowind. Is this something we want?
Marriage--Implement the marriage system. (There's another way to get a place to live!)
Radiant Encounters--Implement Skyrim-style wilderness encounters.