BigBizkit: To start this off, let me ask you, wiggolp, about your mod adding a completely new quest to the game - Ciri’s Sole Memento. How would you describe the mod and quest for those curious to play it?
wiggolp: The majority of players who finished the game probably guessed it right what this quest is about by reading the title. I don't want to spoil the main game plot for those who haven't finished the game yet so I won't say too much. This mod is tied to the main game story's questline. It allows the player to continue the main game story - if the player gets one of the "good endings". Basically, it can be described as a Ciri and Geralt "witchering together" kind of story.
[img width=850,height=478]https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/952/images/4585/4585-1601429646-684248463.jpeg[/img]What gave you the idea for the mod?
I believe this particular thing the mod tries to address is something that has bothered many players - a loose end which you cannot tie up unless you get a "bad ending". There are a few other loose ends in the game but this particular one bothered me the most. The release of radish modding tools finally allowed me to make a full legitimate quest.
We haven’t seen many quest mods being made for Witcher 3 yet. What inspired you personally to pick up the powerful, community-made radish modding tools and create a quest mod for The Witcher 3?
I learned about radish tools by reading an article in some video game blog. I watched the videos about them and I was really impressed with what can be done with them. However, I didn't pick them up right then. I was discouraged by the warning that you have to be an experienced Witcher 3 modder to be able to use them and I hadn't made a single mod for Witcher 3. I finished the first and the second game in the series, and I read all the books. I wanted more. I wanted to make something myself. I had this Ciri's Memento idea for quite some time so I thought to myself - how hard could this be? The worst that could happen is that it would be too hard for me and then I would just drop it. But at least I'll know because I would have tried. So I downloaded the tools and started learning.
[img width=500,height=281]https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/952/images/4585/4585-1600335742-1270041424.jpeg[/img] [img width=500,height=281]https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/952/images/4585/4585-1596723740-969789603.jpeg[/img]What was the development process like? Was it difficult to learn how to use radish modding tools?
At first, I downloaded and rebuilt the Escaping the Cage project to make sure that the tools worked fine. Once that was done, I started making my own quest. Technically, new modders are asked to complete the "trials of radishes" - a set of tasks to show that they understand the quest mechanics and know how to use the radish tools. I started from the other end - I started making my own quest. It took me a month to make this very first version that you can see here. I made it alone without any help. I read radish trial articles and googled for information in the Witcher 3 modding sites and forums. I posted this video on the radish tools page here on Nexus and the tool's developer rmemr offered me to join the radish modding tools Discord server.
Note: The video may contain main quest spoilers for the Witcher 3.
2ljYEo6C8EsI was hesitant at first, thinking I could make this mod alone by myself but further into development I encountered problems which I couldn't find answers for - so I joined it. I've got a private channel for my mod set up, rmemr, nikich340 and erxv (he made the Witcher 1 Prologue mod) helped and advised me a lot. Basically, I would post videos and share my ideas with them and I got their feedback on what I could do to improve it. The channel is now open to public so anyone interested can join the radish tools server and read about it.
The learning process on how to use the tools depends on every person individually - how quick they understand things and how easy or hard working with the tools might seem to them. But the most important thing in my opinion is determination and the will to learn. There are many "trials of the radishes" participants but only a handful of them made it far and are still active. Many just leave without explanation. And that's a shame because the community there is very helpful and friendly.
Thank you, wiggolp, for taking the time to answer our questions!
Now, over to Damastor - author of several quest mods for The Witcher 3 as well as the Toussaint Extended Project which adds new areas to the region from the Witcher 3 DLC: Blood & Wine.
Damastor, can you tell us a bit about the kind of mods you make?
Damastor: Although I had many ideas and wishes, I never managed to make graphics/gameplay mods for The Witcher 3 like I did for Civilization 4 quite some time ago. So the only kind of mods I'm capable of making right now are quest mods and environment editing - including the creation of a completely new hub (map area) comparable to Novigrad and other areas from the main game.
[img width=850,height=478]https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/952/images/4959/4959-1598701331-2062404453.jpeg[/img]What made you choose Toussaint as the stage for your additions to the game?
Lots of explorable, yet completely wasted space in the Toussaint hub (map area) outside playable borders. The actual hub is at least 4 times larger than the area you are allowed to explore in vanilla - and by this I mean areas of the map that contain trees, fine-looking mountainous, horizons (without seeing edges of the map) and even roads and flower meadows in some parts - I'm pretty sure that the developers initially planned for a much larger Duchy (hence the generated map is a lot larger than the final border area), but something happened and these plans were abandoned. Perhaps some deadline issues which forced them to release a much smaller (though still amazing) DLC than we could have had.
From adding new areas like vineyards and villages to implementing entirely new quest lines and dialogue: how did you develop the skills necessary for using the available modding tools? Did you get a lot of help from the community?
The main help from the Nexus Mods community has come in the form of hosting amazing modding tools made by rmemr and erxv (authors of W1 prologue remastered), including Storyboard UI required for creating ingame scenes or just cool screenshots. Initially, this was the only tool available and all I did was having fun with it, i.e. being unable to make proper mods, I used it to create the Beast of Angren web-comic - a sort of fan-fic story about Ciri's adventures based on her dialogue with Geralt in the end of "Blood and Wine". Its unfinished yet, contains only 8 parts but this made rmemr notice me and invite me to the (at the time) closed Discord server "radish trials" for practicing skills needed for quest making with the use of the "radish modding tools", also developed by rmemr and erxv.
As a matter of fact, the 8th part of "Beast of Angren" comic took me to building an entirely new city as a background for screenshots. This city was based on CDPR's Thronebreaker concept art and later would be featured in an upcoming mod as a part of a new hub.
What are some of the tools you use to create your mods?
Storyboard UI for scenes, radish modding tools for quests, levels and terrain, as well as World Creator (check it out, it's great) as an augmentation for faster generation and editing of new hubs.
[img width=500,height=281]https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/952/images/4958/4958-1598700508-1118438952.jpeg[/img] [img width=500,height=281]https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/952/images/4958/4958-1598700396-1229225431.jpeg[/img]What is it about The Witcher 3 in particular that made you want to create mods for it?
The only game I modded before W3 was Civ4, for the reason that it had great gameplay but lots of graphics stuff that I was unhappy about. In the case of W3 - it's quite the opposite. Although W3's gameplay has only one flaw, its a major one: this game ends. I don't accept that and am sure that many would agree with that. And that's the reason why I make quest mods for it.
Thank you, too, Damastor for taking the time!
Last but not least, this question goes to both of you: Do you have any tips for budding mod authors who’d like to follow in your footsteps?
wiggolp: Do it. Don't hesitate. If you have an idea for a quest or just want to try your hands on quest making come join us. You'll get all the help you need to push further.
Damastor: Join the radish tools Discord server? which can be found here.
The community is very supportive and helpful there, and there are enough experienced modders online to help you with any questions you'll have upon learning these tools.
Although the tools are currently not extremely easy to install, their authors as well as recent newcomers made great progress in terms of improving them and making them user-friendly in the past few months. Just remember, - a little patience at the start - and within a week or two (with dedicating at least one hour to it per day) you'll be fully capable of creating your own quests, locations and even worlds for the Witcher 3.
Thanks for reading our interview with wiggolp and Damastor - two talented Witcher 3 modders! As always if there's an author or mod project you'd like to know more about, send your suggestions to BigBizkit or Pickysaurus.