BigBizkit: Thank you for joining us today. First of all, could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
iRetrospect: Gladly, I am an educator in real life and most people who know me would never think I would be someone who is interested in gaming, let alone game modding. In my spare time, other than modding, I enjoy learning about anything technology or history related. Just recently, I have started a new chapter in my life entering into a doctoral program and have gone back to being a student once again!
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You’re most well known for your FX overhauls as well as your recent Movement Behaviour overhaul for Skyrim SE. How would you describe the kind of mods you make and what drives you to create this type of mod in particular?
I guess the kinds of mods I make and what drove me to create them are both the same as they have always been projects stemming from a place of passion after finding out what other related mods that were available seemed lacking and I felt capable of creating potential improvements to the game with my own mediocre abilities.
Movement in Skyrim is one of those things that just always feels “off” compared to much newer games. Did you take inspiration from other games for your movement overhaul and what obstacles did you encounter when trying to improve movement in Skyrim?
My recent movement and jump behavior mods took inspiration from a combination of real world reference videos I found as well as a variety of modern third-person games such as Monster Hunter World, the Assassin’s Creed series, Black Desert Online, and even Bethesda’s own Fallout 4 (which ironically already natively features many of the behaviors I’ve added). I’d say my biggest obstacle in making these behavior mods was when I was first starting off and trying to learn and understand how to use the various tools needed to make the changes I wanted. Fortunately, I received a lot of help and support from within the behavior modding community.
One of your mods that stands out to me is the quest/spell mod Secret of the Blood Armory - can you tell us a bit more about it?
Secret of the Blood Armory is still to this day the mod I put the most painstaking effort in creating as I had just begun to learn to use the Creation Kit and scripting with Papyrus at that time. Despite it being a rather short quest mod, I was deeply motivated to add in little titbits and tried my best to make it lore-friendly and interesting for users to adventure through. Hopefully, one day I’ll get back to this mod and implement the host of other features I had wanted to add and expand upon.
Do you have any favourite mods from other authors?
Spellspihon by Arctal is one of the mods I tout as being the only innovative take on spell mechanics ever made and I recommend everyone to try it out.
Open Cities by Arthmoor is a mod I always install in the rare instances I spend time on an actual play-through, I just can’t go back to having loading screen when entering to cities.
All the mods by Isoku, one of my all-time favorite authors since I first modded Skyrim because of the various ways his work has simply increased “immersiveness” in the game.
What are some of the games you grew up with? Do you still sometimes go back to old classics from your childhood?
I was not really much of a gamer per se growing up but I did take interest in MMORPGs such as Maplestory and Tera Online for a few years. I then only became more interested in gaming (or actually modding specifically) when I first played Oblivion a year after the release of Skyrim because that was all my laptop could handle at that time and well since then, I have been a member of the Nexus Mods community.
Have you ever tried your hand modding other games?
I have dabbled with some slight modifications for games such as Oblivion, Fallout 4, Dragon’s Dogma, and Monster Hunter World for my own personal use but I am now more interested in perhaps taking up learning about game development as a hobby instead of just merely modding.
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What advice would you give people interested in becoming a mod author?
I would say to follow what I did and simply just go ahead and get started at any moment! All the tools that are needed are freely available and if you ever run into any difficulties, ask for help either on the Nexus’s forums, any of the Skyrim Modding Discords, or just directly PM any experienced mod authors and I’m sure that most of us would be glad to provide advice on what we know about.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
I would like to give my thanks to all the people who have guided me through my journey as a mod author for the past year. Specifically, shout-out to 4109 along with mindflux for advising me on my vfx mods and as for my animation/behavior mentors, I wouldn’t have come this far without the help of Distar66, NickaNak, and Shikyokira!
A big thank you to iRetrospect for taking the time to talk to us! If there's an author or mod project you'd like to know more about, send your suggestions to BigBizkit or Pickysaurus.