Sunday, March 17, 2013

New Hoddminir page

Noir has made a new site for the Hoddminir project, hosted at Dark Creations. This blog has now been migrated over to the new site, and it looks fantastic :)
This site here on Blogger will still stay up, and if you leave comments here I will still see them and respond, but no new posts. All new posts will be on the new site, and you can also find information on updates on both Twitter and Facebook.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Detailing the forest

At the moment we are still generating the conifer forest, but have also started to put in some hand placed details in the parts that are finished. I have been testing to make streams and small ponds, cliffs and clearing away some of the forest to get nice views.

We have also been working on some more plants, both re-textured grass models and novel flower models. I have for example made Iris and Crocus.
Ztree made really nice new models that I'm very excited about, new daffodils, tulips and crocus :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

First look at the Jotunn moor

Let me present the first look at the Jotunn moor. As with the conifer forest that I have shown before this is all done with the region generator.
The moor lays just north of Seyland and the Hoddminir forest on the open high plain, and it goes all the way to the northern most river valley. We have been aiming for a slightly barren look, where only bushes and shrubs can live. The dominating plants are juniper bushes, heather and sloe, and of course there are lots of rocks. The moor will be mostly wilderness, with some isolated farmsteads in the south.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Re-texturing in the Creation kit

I have previously made a small guide on how to change the texture of an object using NifSkope. I just recently found out over at the Dark creations forum that you can also use the Creation kit it self to do this. The advantage of using the Creation kit is that you will not make a new nif file. But on the other hand you can't as easily share with others the re-textured object as a resource. Another disadvantage using the Creation kit is that you can't (as far as I know) adjust the UV-map of the model to fit the texture better. I often adjust the UV-map, for example by scaling and rotation so the texture will fit nicely on different models, without having to make several different textures.

Lets take an example:

I want the cliffs in the game to match the textures we are using in the conifer forest we are making. I used NifSkope to set the matching rock textures as I have to scale the UV-Map so the rock texture would be the same size as the ground texture. 

First of if you don't already have this, you need to have a texture set for the texture you wish to use. You can find these under Miscellaneous and Texture set.

Many of the cliffs also have dirt textures on flatter surfaces, and these I want to change to the moss ground texture I have around the cliff.

Double click on the cliff in the object window to edit it. Make sure to give it a new name, otherwise you will change all the cliffs of this type in the game. Press the Edit new to the Model path.
In the Alternative textures window, for this model there is two entries. The lowers one is the one I like to change. Click on it and a new Select form window will come up. Here you can scroll down to the alternative texture set you like to use. In my case this will be the same as the moss texture surrounding the cliff.
Press OK in all windows open, you now will have a new entry in the object window for the alternatively textured cliff. I removed the old cliff and placed the new one in the same place.

 Easy right :)


Monday, February 11, 2013

Sneak peak at the first forest house

In the conifer forest we would like to have wooden log houses, like those found in Riften. But I would like to change the texture to match the "Falu red" theme I have been using for the Whiterun houses. I still have to find a good actual wall to take the photo for the texture. In the mean time I have been testing my textures on another set out house models. We got permission from TLD to use some of there house models, and my new textures works nicely on these too.

I also wanted to make new decorations. The first attempt resulted in traditional painted Kurbits on window shutters.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

First look at the river region

I just got Noir's latest region generated river area and it looks so nice I had to share a small preview :)


Some new ferns

This week I have been working on some new ferns and other green plants. They are part of the summer plants package I'm working on, using grass models. We will be using them in the different forests as under growth.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

New trees and bushes

At the moment I'm working on new textures for trees and bushes. I thought I show some of the progress I have so far. I have many more species I would like to do, like spruce, apple, oak, maple, ash, aspen, birch and so on :)

Most of these uses models Ztree made, but there are also some vanilla re-textures models.

I made rowan trees and bushes, both with and without flowers. I'll probably make a variant with the pretty red berry's too later on. All of these are re-textures of Ztrees trees and bushes.

Ztree made some really nice new Juniper bushes for the mod. He made two texture variants (shown on bush 01 and 02) and I made one extra (shown on bush 03 and 04).

I promised before to show of Ztrees new Scottish pines too :)

One of my favorite spring bush is the sloe or blackthorn, and I really wanted it in the mod. Making these really made me long for spring :)
These are both ztrees and vanilla modes.

Today I also made some raspberry bushes. It would be nice to be able to actually pick raspberries from them too. I see If I can figure out how to do that with Nifscope.

I have some more, but I will show them of later :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New beta worldspace released

I just updated the worldspace esm on Nexus. This is the functional base esm containing the imported height map that we are using when developing the mod. Some things have changed compared to the old release.
  • The new esm now works, no more save and load issues or CTD.
  • The size of the world is slightly smaller, 14x14 quads compared to the old one that was 16x16 quads. We did not want the files to become to big to run, and this is the reason for the change in size. The side effect is that the land is a bit more dramatic in the elevation changes.
  • Sea level and lowest land levels are shifted upwards. Now the sea level is at -6144 units, and the lowest land (sea bottom) at -8192 units. Before the sea level was at -14000 units, and lowest land at -16048. This is because of the way I had to imported the height map using the Height Map editor in the CK. 

Future releases

We will be making several esms containing the populated lands, at least 12 of them. I have tried to divide the world in to meaningful chunks, and not to make any of the planned esm cover a region that is larger than 18 quads in total, some will be smaller. The first esm region we are working on now covers the Hoddminir forest, Seyland and Okolnir kingdoms (the yellow region).
Each regional esm will have different biotopes in them. We are using the region generation tool in the CK to make them, and when one such biotope is done (like the conifer forest we are generation now), we will release it together with any new resources we used making it. We will also try to release the region generation settings that was used to make the biotope (just have to figure out a meaningful way to present these in).
After generating the flora, we will start building the cites, town, farms etc.

Climate Zones  

The world is large enough to include climate zones range from cold to temperate. Generally speaking, there will be early spring in the north, spring/early summer around the middle of the map (cell Y 0), full summer in and below south of Illwadon, Andlang/Svallin (cell Y -128 and below).

In the far north mountains ranges have glaciers, just south there is tundra, this is the region called Hel. In Jotunn (purple) and Hoddminir (yellow) regions there is generally conifer forests or moorland (Scandinavian climate), with the exception of the Ymir river valley (in the Hoddminir region) that has northers type deciduous forests (Aspen, Birches and Alder). South of the Ymir river in Okolnir (yellow), Vidblain/Svallin (darkblue) and Illwadon (pink) the climate is temperate with leaf trees with Oak and Beech forests, similar to the north and mid European continent. In the west, with the high mountain ranges going from north to south there are glacier all the way down. In the south there are two different zones. In Andlang/Surtsland (lightblue) the climate is more Mediterranean like, where as the west of Falarion (brown) is more jungle like.

Seyland and Okolnir

So how will the the first regional esm look?
It includes three distinct regions. Hoddminir and Seyland, which both are part of the Seyland kingdom and the Okolnir kingdom. In the map you can see the land controlled by each of the two kingdoms Seyland and Okolnir are represented in black dots. The different colors indicate the approximate biotope types.

  • In the north lays the inhospitable moorland called the Jotunn moor (purple). There are some small farms living on sheep herding on the edges of the moor. Some parts of the moor will be included in this first regional esm.
  • The dark green region is the largely uninhabited conifer forest of Hoddminir, thick with spruce and pine. The Hoddminir and Ymin mountain region is rich in ore, especially iron.
  • Light green represent a more deciduous forest, in seyland this will contain for example Aspen, Birch, Willow and Alder. In Okolnir the deciduous forest also has Beeches, Maple and Oak. The majority of the population in Seyland lives in the valley around the river Ymir and the lake of Sey.
  • Yellow has a stormy coast flora, with low and thorny trees and bushes. There are many small fishing villages in the relative shelter of the valleys.
  • The reddish brow of Okolnir is a very rich agricultural land and is densely populated with lots of small villages and farms dotting the lands. Most of the original forest is cleared away for fields and pastures, but some small forest crops remain in hilly terrain. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

[REL] Water plants and Ztrees rocks

It is almost like it is Christmas again, be course here is a double release for you :)
First of are the water plants and them we also have Ztrees rocks.

The water plants

I have mentioned before that I have been working on some new water plants, and now the long wait is over :)
There are three types of plants; lake and river plants for fresh water, kelp and algae for salt sea water and plants that grow on the shore. All these are simple low poly re-textures grass models. I have again used SparrowPrince Lush Grass models for some thicker variants.

You can download them here on Nexus.

There is an added surprise for you that I have not show here before.
Ztree have been working on several new plants and trees, and I have helped by making some additional textures. It has been a really nice collaboration with results of life like plants. One of them are new water lilies, and they are also released with the rest of the water plants :)

All in all there are 26 variants to choose from, including five different models with and without flowers, and different colors of flowers too. They look stunning in game, and we will use every opportunity to use them in Hoddminir.

As an optional file you can download a image library with jpg of the plants in game. These are really helpful to keep track of all the plant variants you can choose from when modding (I will add similar image libraries to the previous plants releases too).

Ztrees Rocks

There are 13 different rocks, all using 13 of my ground texture rock textures. I have to say I love these rocks. The have working collision and they are whole models so they can be turned any way you like, not like Skyrims original rocks that have holes in the bottom.

You can download them here on Nexus.

I hope you will enjoy these as much as we have :)