I started out modding during Oblivion, my pet project being a rather sizable project “Imperial Bank of Cyrodiil” which is still available on Nexus btw. I sadly burned out on modding at that point right before I was able to finish it and clean it all up, so the mod, though playable and almost completely useable, still has some considerable hiccups.
But there goes that tangent again.
I avoided playing Skyrim during it’s initial release because I knew once I hopped on, i would never get IBoC finished… my suspicion was correct. I eventually broke down and played a little and decided to shift my focus to playing this new awesome game. At this point the creation kit had not been released yet and I was content to just merely play. When the CK did eventually come out, I had burned out on Skyrim and did not return until a couple years later. I saw what kinds of neat things were out there, modded up my game a little and played again. Everything was great until I got “Elyssium Estate” by thejadeshadow.
This house mod was fantastic (and still is). I spent hours setting up displays and reveling in how great the ambiance was. Then I had to try and tinker. I wanted more, so I opened up the CK and started my long journey which started out as a need for a few extra display cases. I quickly screwed up my copy of EE and decided that I wanted to resurrect an idea I had back in Oblivion days; a museum, somewhat like the Mournehold museum but with more player interaction and involvement.
The Dragonborn Gallery was born. This mod started out with the hall of heroes central room, and a small library (single floor then) which housed all the main unique weapons and armor of the game. By V2.4 I was pretty pleased with what was developing. I started getting some considerable interest from users who were all too eager to suggest ideas which I soaked up like a sponge and tried my hardest to implement. Back then I was only a moderate Oblivion modder, able to adapt existing scripts and add in a few functions here and there. I hadn’t developed scripts from the ground up, which didn’t matter because Skyrim’s scripting system was completely different anyway.
I spent a great deal of time learning everything I could so that I could start asking pertinent questions using the correct terms, and believe me it was a headache. I had the damnedest time understanding the whole property/function/variable/Calls differences and uses, and even today I still learn something new almost every day as I work.
It was months and months of frustration that followed, but the support I received from folks was astonishing. You see, I come from the land of the internetz where people are, well for lack of a better term; dicks, and when I had 100% support from constructive, polite people, I was just floored. In the first year I think I can only count maybe 3 people who were less than genuine about anything and even those where just people whining about low texture screen shots which I had no control over because my laptop at the time was little more than a paperweight, but I still managed to build most of Legacy using it.
As the ideas began to sprout like weeds from my followers (mod users not Lydia that is) and my imaginations, the versions and updates just kept coming; adding more displays more gallery sections, integrating more and more mods from other modders who were willing. It was fantastic. By V10 I had displays for literally 95% of every unique item in the game and THOUGHT I was near done. In fact I had considered V10 to be a final when I realized that the sorting system needed an overhaul due to the massive quantity of stuff. V11 saw some vast additions and improvements and V12 finally saw what IU felt was a solid package that was 99% papyrus bug free and rock solid stable. It had very few issues and I thought that I could finally begin working on Odyssey of the Dragonborn which was to be my followup addon project for Legacy.
Back in V9 I think it was I came up with the idea that the dragonborn should go to other provinces and collect other relics not yet added via mod to the game, but it wasn’t until late in V11 I began working on it. It became a project that I added to on the side as I continued to finish Legacy. I added stuff to it all through V12 and then the unthinkable occurred… I had more ideas. I just couldn’t leave well enough along and call it “DONE” to save my life. I had always maintained a excellent bug squashing and complete content development practice, but I just couldn’t stem the flow of ideas that I wanted to see in this project, and every one of them seemed to fit the theme without any justification.
When I decided that V12.10 was solid, I looked at the model for how I was working. Until this point I basically was working off 1 ESP and BSA pair like most mods, but the BSA had filled up back in V9, so I started a new dependent plugin so I could utilize another BSA. Well by V12.10 that one also was maxed out. So the issue posed before me was; “Do I add another dependent package that can further confuse the base package, or do I go loose file format and combine it all into one? Ultimately in the end with the help of some awesome supporters, I was able to get a solid merged package for V13 and that’s where we stand today as I finish beta development for a “final” release. I also merged all of my Odyssey content developed up to that point because I felt it was more relevant to the museum content rather than the adventure content which Odyssey focused on.
But as far as “final” release goes, this time I mean it.
I gave myself a set list of items and have declared that when they are done and debugged, V13.X would be the “Final” release for Legacy (with additional other updates later, but not any massive overhauling. So far I feel like I am on track with committing to a final release and have back burner-ed some key ideas for later so I could flesh out what is here and finish a few last large idea features like the excavations and planetarium missions.
Today as of V13.3 the museum holds over 1200 displays, has 2 sizeable main quests a half dozen medium ones and numerous small bread crumb and one off side quests all tied into it. I have integrated support for a dozen mods, patched support for a half dozen others and an army of ravenous supporters who will lynch any user who makes a non constructive critical comment on the board… believe me, it’s a good feeling to be able to sit back and not even have to say anything as your raving fans rip some troll to shreds 🙂