Oh my, it's been quite a while since I last published anything on here! Nevertheless I've been all but inactive during all that time.
First of all, I'm still alive. Well, that was not much of a surprise. I have been through quite some health issues recently, and am still not exactly done, but I'm doing fine enough right now, and that is all that counts, isn't it? My current work schedule still doesn't allow for much, but from time to time I'm getting/taking a little of such and put it into making some progress with my current modding projects.
Speaking of which, it's not at all exactly the same you might remember from years ago anymore either.Argonian Beautification
is on hold, and likely going to be for quite a while to come.Scripted Argonian Feet
is more or less the same, but I have some new thing cooking which might just change the whole concept in its core as well. More about that towards the end of the report.Drake's Anthro-Dragon Race
is more or less on hold currently, although at last I made a lot of progress in regards to the new wings and the overall reworked anatomy of my dragons. The meshes were completely redone, and the textures also received a heavy work-over, mainly provided by Terreflare
of course. A few pics show more than a thousand words, so have some here:
Taking a different route about the previously used wing hump and the connection of the wing arms to the upperbody this time I happened across an image in Blender that fueled an idea, and born it was, the wearable Wyvern Suit
(Never mind the body suit Drake's wearing in these. I was still primarily play-testing with a Half-Dragon race I designed, and instead of showing partly-bare skin in these putting him into the suit that's sporting his own colors and equipping his head as a wearable helmet was the much better idea.)
Speaking of which, I lately got the crazy idea to create a kind of wing suit for Drake and others to wear. I called it the Skyguard Armor
, resembling assets worn by the Airborne Rangers type of fighters aboard the airships in the story realm of mine. The Skyguard is not only manning the airships though, but back in the ancient times they were also consisting of dragon riders even as well. The non-dragon members among them, without wings to fly, were wearing a wing suit to this purpose as well as a glider at times. They use the dragons they ride or the airships to carry them into their drop zone, then they jump and dive deep down at extremely high velocity. This makes for efficient surprise attacks on hard to reach on ground targets, or easy deployment of large squads in combat zones without the enemy knowing.
The Wing Suit
came first:Skydiving in Style
- picture series link
- animated GIF
The Skyguard Armor
The design turned into scaled
Options became more casual
(You can also see more details of the Half-Dragon
race I mentioned here.)
I mixed it with my Guardian Equipment
, creating yet more options to choose:
And last but not least, different color schemes
to round it off:
White-Red-Black (The Heart-Of-Fire airship crew's theme)
Black-Blue-Skyblue (The Naval Military's theme)
Red-Brown-Golden (Drake's theme, doh^^)
Talking of the Heart-Of-Fire
, a Draconic Frigate, the flag-ship of the Draconic Navy, again from an occurrence in the story of mine, a little side-project was born. She's a Trimaran mainly, both engine-driven and with sails, capable of both, high-speed ocean cruising as well as flight. I'm not sure the ship will truly make it into the game, but nevertheless once in a while I just can't help and continue building away at it:
Its latest iteration
has not yet made it into the game, nevertheless it made impressive progress all the same:Video Turntable
- even more recent version of design with completely redesigned deck, transformation phase from sail ship to airship, sails folding in, masts turning down, sails turning into wings, wings folding out
Back to the Wing Glider you might have seen it necessitated the creation of my long-planned Gliding Flight
approach finally all the more. Heavy scripting and lot's of math, aero-dynamics, thermo-dynamics, approximations thereof for the limited unrealistic game, and of course a whole new set of fitting flight animations went into it, but the results, I think, are speaking for themselves. And while I was at it creating animations for the glider, so everybody can glide with, winged races or not, I also got around to do the same again for custom races with wings, supporting all wing bone structures in skeletons I was aware of. My own Anthro-Dragons, of course, as well as all races/mods based on them, Alexander's Wings based animated wings, as well as all races based on these, VipCxJ's Air Fight System, a rather famous framework doing the same, and again all races based on this, races of DivineAvenger's creation and even Selene's cool new WoW based Abyss Demon race, should all be supported the same.
Unlike other approaches the gliding flight approach is about exactly that, it's gliding mainly, with an occasional flap of the wings per the push of a button, no "air walking" at all anymore like all the others do. My main point of inspiration was the way flight worked in "The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon", but of course I had to compromise for the game and expand on it to fit my needs. It's working quite well so far, just a few remaining game-engine limitation bugs to squish left (momentum-based air movement physics completely subsiding with increasing skill of Acrobatics for example is one of them), and it's conceptualized in a way so every other mod/race can make use of it just as well, including configuration file based definition of what items can be used as gliders, as well as race folder based possibility to provide replacement/override animations per race and tell the framework which races can fly on their own and which can't.
Not really looking organic or like a dragon much? I agree, and already started reworking
the animations all over again to get them more to my liking and believable:
The animations are half done by now and the scripts still need more work, but I think it's safe to say "I'm getting there".
The Nirnroot Creature
side-project I needn't necessarily tell of, rigging those all-too-well-known plants to a creature skeleton to effectively turn the famous "Nirnroot Hunting" business into "Nirnroots Hunting You":
Don't incautiously pick a Nirnroot ever again, or the Nirnroots might just go picking on You.
While the big ones prefer submerging under ground, looking exactly like the static plants while preparing their attack, the little ones can also fly, or rather yet they helicopter around the area like the flying drone of Aimee from the movie Red Planet. You'll hear them rattle in the bushes around you, but whenever you think you saw something and turn towards its direction, the thing will be completely elsewhere already and you'll never know when they come to hit you or from where.Nirnrootflying
- animated GIF
This project is currently more or less on hold as well, as I got in over my head with all the game features I planned and cannot finish it the way I planned anymore in a timely fashion. But I plan to release it at one point nevertheless, for it's a really fun project and it'd be a shame for it to remain unreleased.
And last but not least I'm going the same way as with the Gliding Flight approach with my bodypart control scripts as used in my Anthro-Dragon Race and Scripted Argonian Feet. I am already designing the concept of Drake's Bodypart Control Framework
to be used as a master by both my own mods for the task as well as simple little compatibility plugins created to introduce control over other races as well, custom or not.
Drake's Anthro-Dragon Race will therefore be stripped of its body control scripting and make use of the new framework instead once it's released. The same will go for Scripted Argonian Feet and the remaining mod will concentrate solely on providing the adapted items and meshes I, and others, designed.
Thanks to Shademe and a new coming Blockhead release with equipment control functionality included the framework will be able to do exactly the same as my Anthro-Dragon Race's scripts are currently doing but better so and with lesser discomforting drawbacks as well. I will make everything INI file driven, so adding of another race to the collection is only a matter of putting an INI file into its folder instructing the framework what rules apply for the race and having according race name based folders at hand containing the bodypart meshes for when nude as well as adapted files for as much equipment items as one can provide, my "replacer templates" approach for not yet adapted items will be supported as well.
In the first iteration once I'm done with the framework itself I plan to provide support (and plugins) for my own Anthro-Dragon Race as well as Scripted Argonian Feet, like I said, but I'll also make sure the famous KATS, Khajiit Anatomical Transformation System, doing the same as my SAF does for Argonians just for Khajiiti, will be supported as well, just eliminating the need for its plugin but keeping its NIF files and using them through my framework just the way they are, and while I'm at it I'll of course make sure Tiffawolf's Wolven Anthros and the few existing adapted items for it will get the exact same treatment.
Quite ambitious, I know, but I'm still seeing possibility of getting it all done. After all, scripting is my primary art style when it comes to modding, and I'm really having fun doing it. Still it will take time of course to get stuff done, and I can't really tell when I'll have the time to get around to doing it all. But those who know me will also know by now my projects are never really aborted, and delayed means only delayed, they will make progress eventually, and a release is not a matter of impossibility but only a question of time.
Oh well, we'll see.
Now, my, that is quite a number of images, and all of them are only from inside my stash. But the same thing delaying my projects and modding endeavors is also preventing me from getting around to do real new deviations instead. Quickly uploading my screenshots to stash was all I got, so linking to them in stash is what I'll do. There will be new true deviations in future eventually... I just for the life of me can't tell when that will be.
In other news nothing out of the ordinary has happened. Business as usual is just as it's usual. Status Report completed. Drake the Dragon returning to duty.
(Nevermind the water issues on the right. I'm using Oblivion Reloaded for my game since recently, and it seems my virtual machine's graphics card uses a depth buffer that cannot be obtained by Alenet's plugin.)