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Showing posts from 2006

The Oblivion Quest List

Now for my next act: The Oblivion Quest List (TOQL), which is intended to be a comprehensive guide to good quest mods that make it fun to keep playing Oblivion. Once again, this is a community project, in the sense that all of the mods listed here have been recommended by members of the mod community. Good quest mods are critical to the future of Oblivion modding, because without them people quickly get bored with plundering random dungeons, no matter how great the "eye candy" is.

Now you have a reason to keep staring at all those great textures listed in the TOTO project!

The Oblivion Quest List

The Oblivion Texture Overhaul

I've launched a new project called The Oblivion Texture Overhaul (TOTO), which is a guide to all the great mods out there that improve the appearance of Oblivion. I'm hoping it will grow into an ongoing community project for information about texture replacers, including comparison screenshots, installation instructions, download mirror listings, etc.

Check it out!

The Oblivion Texture Overhaul

mod site finished

I finally finished working on my new web site. Yay!

This blog site isn't going away. The two sites compliment each other pretty well, I think.

dev/akm mods

Mod Site Under Construction

I'm finally getting around to creating a web site dedicated to my Oblivion mods (now that I actually have enough of them to make it worth doing a separate site).

It's still under construction, but it's looking pretty good so far:

dev/akm mods

Enjoy!

Mod: Qarl's Normal Maps Reduced

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My latest mod is a texture replacement that acts as an unofficial option pack for Qarl's Texture Pack 2 (QTP2). QTP2 is an amazing high-res texture replacer for Oblivion, but the textures are so large that it can cause some stuttering on 256Mb video cards. So, I have attempted to improve performance of QTP2 on mid-range video cards without sacrificing the quality of his great textures. I do this by replacing all of the high-res normal maps from QTP2 with dramatically smaller normal maps. None of the color maps are altered. The normal maps are reduced to one quarter of their original size, which can significantly help reduce stuttering on 256Mb video cards with almost no loss of quality that you can see in-game.

Here's some screenshots of the reduced normal maps compared to Qarl's originals:

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The difference is only really noticeable when you are very close up to some objects (you can see it if you look very closely at the shot of the…

FAQ posted to TESSource

Looks like my FAQ will be getting even more readers.

TESSource, which hosts by far the largest database of Oblivion Mods, has opened a new Tutorials section, and I've posted a copy of my Oblivion Mods FAQ there.

DarkOne, who manages the site, has promised to "pin" the tutorial once he gets finished creating his new "pinning" system. This will greatly increase the chances for people to find the FAQ, which is great news.

Thanks, DarkOne!

An Old-Timer's Review of Oblivion

Comparisons to Morrowind
What the Expansions Need to Improve

Revised and updated, but still a work in progress, so please offer feedback.

I'm an old-time PnP (pen-and-paper) gamer, but I love CRPGs and video games in general, too. I didn't play Daggerfall, but that's probably because I was too hooked on Ultima Online and Diablo. I loved video games like Windwaker, Halo, Prince of Persia, KOTOR, Burnout, Fable, Jade Empire, Half-Life/2, etc., etc.

Morrowind stands tall near the top of my list of favorite games, right up there with the original white box Dungeons & Dragons, perhaps even equal to Squad Leader, Melee/Wizards, AD&D, Car Wars, Hero, GURPS, and then computer games like the original Wolfenstien 3D, Doom, Command & Conquer, Quake, Warcraft, and Planescape: Torment, as well as the video games mentioned above.

Oblivion is the newest entry to my list of greats.

You see, all this fuss about preserving "true RPG" elements and such don't mean much to …

Elder Scrolls Forum pins FAQ

The good news just keeps rolling in!

The moderators on the official Elder Scrolls Forums have pinned the ESF version of my Oblivion Mods FAQ. This means it will always stay at the top of the Oblivion Mods thread list and will continue to be available for new players to read. This should make it a LOT easier for new fans to get started with player-made mods for Oblivion and help to reduce the number of newbie questions posted in the official Oblivion Mods forum.

:)

PlanetElderScrolls Adds Links to Oblivion Mods FAQ

Good news update!

APY, over at PlanetElderScrolls, has added a link from his Installing Oblivion Mods intro to my FAQ. I think this will introduce a whole new group of readers to the Oblivion Mods FAQ.

Thanks, APY!

John Romero is hurting the game industry

John Romero, co-founder of id Software (Doom, Quake, etc.) is seriously out of touch. He has posted a series of blog entries claiming, and then retracting the claim, that game modders are hurting the industry. His comments were prompted by the ESRB's change in its rating for Oblivion from Teen to Mature.

This is old news, but it is worth mentioning even now because:

1. Romero's comments are wildly inaccurate. He claims the ESRB changed the rating for Oblivion because "some modder" added nudity to the game. The ESRB did mention this fact in its statement, but it is NOT the real reason they changed the rating, and Romero fails to address the main reason at all.

2. The press repeated Romero's statements, further spreading the misinformation and giving it a lot more validity than it deserves.

In fact, the nudity mod issue is a red herring.

It's just a convenient excuse for the ESRB to correct a mistake in the way they rated Oblivion to begin with.

I think the ESRB rati…

Current Release Threads

These are the curent release threads I'm actively supporting on the Elder Scrolls Forums.

Qarl's Texture Pack II
Basically I'm just handling support for Qarl's mod on the ESF forums and a few other places (at his request).

Skingrad Roof Textures
This is an unofficial add-on that I made for Qarl's Texture Pack II.

README ArchiveInvalidation Template
This is a modder's resource I created for people developing texture replacers.

Other threads where I can frequently be found lurking include:

Oblivion Mods FAQ
This is the ESF thread for my FAQ.

ArchiveInvalidation Destroyed
I frequently answer questions on almost anything related to ArchiveInvalidation problems.

I'm also active on the CanadianIce Oblivion forums.

ArchiveInvalidation Destroyed

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Previous Thread

SOLVE YOUR ARCHIVEINVALIDATION PROBLEMS FOR GOOD!
Updated 7-1-2006 11:15 AM CDT

Timeslip's Oblivion Mod Manager (0.7.10 or later) and BSA Patcher provide an archive invalidation method that will rename textures in your BSA files so you never have to worry about ArchiveInvalidation problems again. This method is vastly superior to standard invalidation methods.

This BSA alteration method of invalidation has been tested by the ArchiveInvalidation Explained Research Team and adoption of this method in the community is rapidly growing. It has proven extremely stable. You should probably make a backup of your BSA files if you have the space (or a DVD-burner) just in case, but we haven't seen any corruption issues.

OBMM and BSA Patcher will keep track of which files have been renamed in your BSAs and provide a "Remove BSA edits" function to rollback any changes they have made to your BSA.

Assuming you have OBMM 0.7.10 or later already, and have already installed/…

ArchiveInvalidation Explained

Preamble
This is from my ESF thread: ArchiveInvalidation Explained (2). My previous ESF threads on this subject were: ArchiveInvalidation Explained and ArchiveInvalidation testing thread.

Last Updated: 7-5-2006 12:15 PM CDT
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NEWS FLASH: DELETE YOUR ARCHIVEINVALIDATION.txt file!
Working closely with the contributors to this thread, Timeslip has created a new invalidation method that is is vastly superior to standard invalidation methods.

Timeslip's Oblivion Mod Manager (0.7.10 or later) and BSA Patcher provide an archive invalidation method that will rename textures in your BSA files so you never have to worry about ArchiveInvalidation problems again.

This BSA alteration method of invalidation has been fully tested by the ArchiveInvalidation Explained Research Team (see credits below) and adoption of this method in the community is rapidly growing. It has proven extremely stable.

I've created a separate thread to try and get the word out about this new invalidation method…