Skyrim CK Part 1: Laying the land/Introduction

In this series of posts, I aim to outline my processes and thoughts as I develop a quest mod for the Elder Scrolls V Skyrim using Bethesda’s mod tools.

The goal of this quest mod is to produce a quest of about 20 minutes in length which tasks the Dragonborn with delving into a mysterious Dwemer ruin on an island only accessible during certain months of the year thanks to the tides.

A group of Nordic mercenaries has lost a ship travelling past the previously uncharted cove, and the Dragonborn catches their next expedition to the island in the hopes of exploring the ruins off the coast of Skyrim.

The first stage of creating the mod was to create an exterior world space in the creation kit, and establish a piece of land that the mercenary ship could land on and recover the wreckage of the previous vessel.

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This took the form in engine of a small island with two docks and a large Dwemer structure at one end.

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Before moving on to issues like the clutter of the ship, static objects were placed in the environment like rocks and rubble in order to characterize the age of the ruin, versus the recently landed ship on the shore. The addition of more, “modern”, appliances from the ship like Nord tools, weapons and cooking equipment made from physics objects will help to establish this character down the line.

In order to try and obscure the player’s view of the vast sea at this early stage, a formation of rock was established around the outside to create a simplistic cove, which also acts as some of the foundation of the deeper Dwemer structures and caves carved from rock.

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The next goal is to complete the character and bring life to this opening area by adding various physics objects floating in the sea around the wrecked longboat, as well as some chests washed ashore. Establishing a small encampment for the mercenary crew landing on the shore will also add to this, and also provides the player with an adequate quest hub and a place to restock their items before moving into the ruined tower.

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