We’re gonna need a bigger bag (of tricks)

Expanding knowledge is a great thing. If you are new to modding and feeling overwhelmed and intimidated, you aren’t alone. Today I feel like I have reached the “upper echelon” of broad skilled modders being able to build elaborate quests, complex scripts, in depth dungeons and worlds, generate LOD and region generate worldspaces, implement custom maps, create dynamic lighting schemes, and now finally am able to create 3D models from scratch and texture them pretty nicely and implement them successfully into the game!

These kind of skills did not happen over night. This has taken literally over a year and a half of full time work (40+ hours a week of modding) to accomplish and has involved a great deal of hair pulling, tear inducing frustration. Frustration that frankly, a good amount more reading could have spared me. I tend to fall victim to the “trial and error” method of learning, mainly because my attention span and focus for reading is fairly fleeting. I delve in and read over things in a “skimming for nuggets of wisdom” method which is not always the most productive as it generally only yields half of the information at best. One trait I have though that does help me fill the gap is a natural propensity to be able to take a small amount of knowledge on a topic and self develop it into a competent skill set through doing. Often times however I end up doing things the long way and/or doing them in such a way that they end up needing to be redone (or at very least I choose to redo them) when I find a more efficient way of doing it.

So in the end, my advice to you is to read and watch tutorials in greater depth, do a little practice and come back and read some more before barreling full steam ahead. You will have much less frustration and be able to proceed more skillfully with more techniques under your belt to overcome obstacles you will inevitably encounter.

The main thing you want to learn about any modding related skill set is a very firm grasp of the fundamental elements so that when you hit a road block you know what terms to go searching for to find the answer.

Keep with it, and keep trying, and always ask questions of your more experienced fellow modders, you will find that the vast majority are more than happy to try and help out if they have the time, because they were once in your position as well and got help from others. And, once you have joined the ranks of the “competent enough to get yourself into trouble” group, make sure and pay that knowledge forward to the next person who is trying to learn. It’s through sharing knowledge that we become a greater community and are able to create amazing things together.

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