Modder’s Journal: Week One (Preparation)
Modder’s Journal details the progress being made on The Crevices mod, lessons learned, and other random related stories. It’s like a free-for-all, but with a subject.
I’ve decided to keep an online journal of the things I learn and the progress I make while working on my Skyrim mod, The Crevices.
What’s the point of The Crevices? The goal is to create a level that evokes feelings of claustrophobia, fear, and disorientation. It is also an experiment in creating an overly large, challenging maze while still maintaining some sense of accessibility. I want the player to feel as though they are truly discovering a place that hasn’t been tread often before.
What does this mod require? It requires level design, Papyrus scripting, dialogue creation, quest creation and management, actor creation and management, and narrative creation.
The narrative of The Crevices is as follows:
The hero encounters a worried husband, a huntsman. The huntsman informs the player that his wife has been out hunting for a few days longer than usual. He worries that she may have gone into The Crevices again–last time she did so, she found herself trapped and with dwindling supplies for a few days. The Crevices aren’t well-known outside of the hunter community, and are notorious for claiming lives of those that wish to explore. Few have dared to traverse through the caves, and fewer still make it out alive. As a result, The Crevices are neither charted nor fully explored.
The player enters The Crevices, well-hidden and tucked away, and begins to search for the missing huntswoman. The player finds tight, claustrophobic spaces and little light within. These close-cut spaces seem to go on forever. A false exit is found, forcing the player to start over again. The rock bridge beneath the player crumbles, thrusting them into a deep pit of water. A rock slide, barely missing the player, forces a change of direction.
These are The Crevices, and hopefully the player can make it out alive.
I knew from the start that I wanted to create a level filled with interconnecting pathways, dead ends, and false exits. I knew the feeling I wanted to evoke. To prepare, I sketched out a rough draft of the level.
The inspiration for the layout of the level came from Yggdrasil, from Norse mythology. The winding nature of the branches depicted in the above illustration demonstrates exactly how I wish to see The Crevices laid out.
The rough draft will definitely change in order to ensure a enjoyable experience while playing. To start, I’ll be creating only the first third of what’s depicted above. That will be the complete quest. I plan on fully decorating each third section, perfecting the lighting, triggers, and scripting, then moving on as soon as each portion is tested thoroughly enough.
A rough draft of the characters and their dialogue have been completed. The quest progression has been sketched out.
Hopefully it all comes together! I’ll post another update as soon as something major happens. For now, I’m just working on crafting the first third of the level.