This thread is intended for modders to extend ideas for a dynamically changing environment of Skyrim in accordance with the calendar seasons. Essentially transitioning between Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn.
The idea is to build a team of developers to create this and brain storm using this thread. Please no requests unless you intend to join the team and help with any possible implementations.
So far the team is snapmoderator, joshezzel and soolie.
But we (above) can only spend short amount of time on it each week and such a mod requires a number of people ranging from all sorts of talent, including Creation Kit, Scripting and Modelling/Texturing. You can almost never be finished with such a mod as well, so expanding it and a team will be key.
I personally do not propose to be a project organizer, as I already have a number of modding commitments. The idea is that like minded modders will be able to get this technically thought out and implemented together.
I believe the scope of the project should be divided into a major first phase which is aesthetic environmental changes only.
Further ideas and development for other aspects of changing seasons can be done after the first phase is complete. This will be things like creature seasonal looks and behaviors. NPCs content to be correct, including dialog, behavior, clothing, etc. Just generally make content correct for a given season. The full scope is huge, so these can/should be discussed at a later stage. Unless of course a modder specifically wants to work on these, then discussion can be open.
Bethesda during their Game Jam in 2011 had a team create a seasonal foliage “mod”, but was never released.
If you look at 1:45 I believe we want to do something similar, as one aspect of this mod.
I believe that the aim of the seasons is to be realistic, not over the top with extremes of each season. I’m happy to be out voted on this, but I find some of the environmental overhauls are too much. I think making default Skyrim basically beginning of autumn is a good base to work off.
The idea of this thread is to plan exactly what we want. Technically how we are going to achieve it with research and then development.
I’m going to break it down into aspects that I think we want:
- Ground textures having varying levels of foliage and/or snow to reflect seasons. This includes changing colour of leaves.
- Trees to have varying amount of leaves and changing colours. Amount of snow coverage also changes.
- Objects to have varying levels of snow. Possible different snow and ice, like soft to icy.
- Weather and lighting to reflect seasons. Don’t want to re-invent anything here, so adapt for vanilla and CoT.
- Changing levels of fog and clouds. Again look to existing mods.
- Grasses to change, from almost dead brown grass to full bloom flowers.
- Possible models changes. Like glaciers “melting”. Ice and snow object removed or added.
- Distant terrain to be correct, mainly trees and mountains.
Some questions and thoughts I want to raise initially:
How do the transitions actually happens period wise? Do we see a change every day? Does this only happen when a load happens, like fast travel or moving into an interior or exterior? I think seeing transitions happen before the player eyes is a recipe for glitches. However the whole idea of this got me started when I thought about varying snow levels during snow falls. So let us discuss this.
Skyrim uses directional shaders for snow on objects, so changing these levels dynamically is something that would really need a solution to make this mod truly successful. I’ve already done a lot of work with the snow directional shaders, so this will be my main task. I’ll try and figure out what can be done. I would be very appreciative if anybody has ideas on this however.
As far as textures or models go, looking at overhauls like “Season of Skyrim – Summer and Winter”, and the resources created by modders, we will have all that is needed in my opinion. No need to reinvent the wheel on this one. Hopefully these modders will actually become part of the collaboration, but certainly will seek to use them with permission.
So far snapmoderator and tinymight are investigating methods for possible texture changes and other dynamically altering methods to achieve some of the above goals. But both of us have little experience with scripting at the moment, so members with know how will be greatly appreciated.
joshezzel is the mod author of Unique Grasses so he will be looking at what to use and potential transitions of grasses.
Roles that we want people to take ownership of at the moment include:
- Any modding experience :-P
- SKSE coding
- Creation Kit Scripting
- Texturing of ground textures for transitions. Adding leafs and snow to ground textures to show gradually changes between seasons. Number of different textures to be determined as yet.
- Somebody to take ownership of aesthetic of trees and/or plants. A tree changing through the seasons includes textures going from more/less leaves, more/less snow cover, and changing colours. We might be able to change the colour of the textures via model manipulation so this might save time and number of textures. Although we want to remain faithful to Skyrim, being as that its mostly Aspens and Pines, it would be nice to have at least one set of trees that blossoms flowers.
- Somebody who has worked with weathers before. We don't want to reinvent anything here, so more of a case of tying up existing mods to best use weather patterns. I'd say Climates of Tamriel would be best to incorporate, rather than rewriting the default weathers to better suit seasons.
I’m sure I’ve missed a lot. As ideas for aesthetic environmental changes come in I’ll add them to this top thread. But again I'll emphasize that we are looking for help with the collaboration, rather than a lot of ideas.
Edited by snapmoderator, 28 February 2014 - 09:46 AM.