Biting off more than you can chew

My mouth is quite full and has been for some time, but I also have a plate full in front of me and the waiter is walking this way with more. That’s at least how I feel at times. I have always had a very creative mind and had a propensity to become fairly competent at a skill set fairly quickly, but once I break through into an area beyond that where my skills and expertise starts to become second nature, it’s like the flood gates of inspiration begin to open. I start to plot new projects or offer to help with other people’s ventures and I rarely do a very good job of estimating time requirements and being able to manage multiple projects at once in a way that satisfies my expectations.

It becomes vital to prioritize projects and the most important part of that is to balance what people want with what I want. If you end up working to do what everyone else seems to be wanting most but it’s in conflict with the current project you want to be working on, the stuff you end up doing can feel more like work. I’ve learned that not only does it end up feeling like work, but the quality of the output ends up suffering extensively. I have recently crossed a bridge into a new skill set (model building) and it has occupied by drive for the last week. I know very well that if I were to focus on say quest making, it would end up being a contrite, bland quest with little to no unique draw to it, so I resign myself to putting some things on the back burner for a week or two because the output quality of the models I am making right now is really high because I am currently driven to make them so in an effort to learn more. After I feel confident in those basic skills and that I can make my artistic vision come to 3D life, I can start using those skills to implement objects into the game that will go hand in hand with that new quest I have been putting off working on for example (quest just is an example, not a specific plan mind you). So ultimately any facet of modding will ultimately benefit another.

That said, commitments should be observed as well. I have made commitments to help others with their projects but at the expense of my own at times, so I sadly have had to learn the hard way and have withdrawn from a couple collaborative projects in the last several months, so to those people, I do apologize, but I have learned that I have to be true to what most interests me at the moment, and focus on the commitments to others that most support my overall goals in the grand scheme of my modding projects. It’s not an easy choice to make, but it has made me be more realistic about what I can and can’t accomplish given the amount of time and interest I have.

So, philosophy aside, here is a small status update on projects at hand and where I am headed. I also want to take a moment here and thank a handful of generous contributors who in the last couple months have donated enough money that I was able to procure a piece of software that I needed for my model texturing work, so thank you all again. And also thanks to Kettlewitch for his help with advice on texturing.

  • Model building: I finally got Blender installed properly, watched some videos on some basic functions I needed to know and have managed to learn to output a model into NIFSkope and configure it for Skyrim. I also have gotten Crazy Bump (thanks a donor’s generous contribution), and have been working non stop with little other workd going on for the last week. I have made a nice spear weapon for SUT, a chitin axe (Windof Ahz) for the Morrowind episode of Odyssey, Veloth’s Judgement (no idea where I’ll implement that yet), and have been working for days on a new single model for the museum building which is nearly done. My interest has been about 90% in this area recently but I expect it will subside a bit after I finish the museum model. This skill set opens a TON of doors with possible additions to the museum such as new Natural Science exhibits, new weapons, additional archeology items, and much more. I need to reign myself in though and keep those as ideas rattling around and developing in the background of my mind’s main processor so I can focus on other pressing priorities in my projects.
  • Legacy of the Dragonborn: V14.11 is active and V14.12 has some fixes applied and is in development. I can say with all certainty that V14.12 will be out before the end of the year, most likely the start of December. It’s not a current priority given what else is on my plate and my current interest level, but will get done within the next week or two.
  • Druid’s Den: I have been very hot and cold with Druid’s Den since the start. The learning curve to understand the script setup of the mod was quite harsh, even for someone fairly skilled, so it was hard to get started but I hit a stride early on and then my interest ebbed away for a bit to focus on other projects and have come back to in in spurts over the last month. I have accomplished a good amount of work but I intend on withholding releasing an update until I can be sure that I either will not have more time to delve wholeheartedly into it again, or that I will complete some other projects and have the time to focus more on it. I still have some solid interest and good ideas I want to implement before the update, and my honest estimation would be before the end of the year. I HOPE by the end of November as this will be my big focus once I get my initial modeling obsession quelled 🙂
  • Skyrim’s Unique Treasures: V2.0 was released this week and I intend on adding additional updates in the coming months but the ball is now in Kettlewitch and RonnieMagnum’s hands as they have agreed to update the weapon models. So far they each have done 2 and I have done 1 model, so a solid start. I will be reworking many of the textures and meshes of misc items both for the benefit of the mod and the advancement of my skills in that area, but as the main update has been posted, the updates that follow are a lower priority, so SUT will be a background project for the next couple months and once all the weapon models are completed, I will be able to more or less put it to bed.
  • Deepholme: I went on a week long stretch of working on Deepholme and it’s almost entirely complete. I ended up pulling away from it right before testing item displaying because the next section is going to be tedious; replica recipe making. I have to contemplate how I want to go about facilitating this in regards to the rest of Legacy and the display setups. I am considering making Deepholme part of V14.12 instead of an addon and redesigning the museum display activator scripts to function off of form lists instead of embedded properties which would make them FAR more updatable and patch compatible. Then I have some more work to do on the new NPC guards and explorer’s armor.
  • Explorer’s guild wave 2: I have recently had a small amount of inspiration about expanding the explorer’s guild content, but have been putting it on hold for awhile until it fully forms in my mind. I want to ensure that any further expansion is done in a fully plotted way rather than a piecemeal method of ongoing development. I have for some time talked about snow elf archeology sites and implementing support in connection for “Much Ado about snow elves” mod which sadly is a dead mod. I may approach the author about possibly integrating it assuming the quests are as good as people seem to say and is the mod is as stable as it appears to be. Again integration of this mod probably won’t happen for awhile and I’m still debating about how I want to implement it, assuming we go down that road at all. If not, snow elf archeology will still be added, but likely will come in a later Legacy patch or in an Odyssey addon.
  • Odyssey: Odyssey is still very much alive. I haven’t done any expansive development or planning, but MyBad and I have been working on the isle of balfiera for some time now and the worldspace is making good progress. By the end of the year I suspect that we will be finished with the worldspace development and be working on the start of NPC creation and quest planning. By that point I intend to be done with SUT entirely, as well as Druid’s Den and have V14.12 of Legacy nearing release with Deepholme included. Then I can focus almost 100% on it.
  • Bolar’s Retreat: Oh Bolar’s retreat… I really enjoy where I am going with this mod, but sadly it does not connect in any way with the rest of Legacy or Odyssey, so it’s a side project to be sure. Finding time for Bolar’s is a hard thing, but I still very much want to work on it, and know that when I do, my new modeling skills will be very handy for making more custom architecture for the home. Beyond that I have no eta on when I will get back to working on it, but it’s certainly not dead.

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