A brief development update, as well as some questions to mod trackers.
Posted by Woverdude on May 6th, 2013
So, it's been a while since I have updated this page. If you were wondering if Oblivionauts is a dead project, however, then I'm here to say that it is not. I am working by myself now, but I have been making good progress. I think it's high time that I give you guys an update on the project, though, so here goes. This will be a fairly long post, but important.
Currently, the Foundation Release of Oblivionauts is nearly complete. In fact, the only features missing right now are NPC dialog (conversations, vending, etc.), and the starting scene/character-creation. All other features have been implemented, and I have created a sample map without any original content to prove the teleportation system that will be used for map transitions.
It will take me at least another week or two to script the dialog and to co-ordinate with the voice-actors to get the audio files.
Thus, I have a question to pose to you. Would you rather that I release a beta version for you now that lacks NPC dialog, or would you rather wait until I have scripted all of the dialog and worked with voice actors to get the audio files? If I release the beta now, then those of you planning on making maps for Oblivionauts can already start learning how it works and trying your hand at making a map. It would also help me get input on the design and finish with a more polished Foundation Release. If I wait, then the difference is only a few weeks of time, but you will have complete Foundation Release with all of the dialogue and vendors. Which would you prefer?
Release Plan Update
Back in March I posted a Release Plan for Oblivionauts, which you can read here. In it I said that I was planning on doing a Foundation Release (v0.5) and then I would release a large map later for v1.0. Since I am now working by myself, however, the large map will have to be delayed until the possible future when I have more support and time to work on it. The Foundation Release is still coming, and will be everything that modders need to make maps using Oblivionauts.
So, how does this affect the project? Well, while Oblivionauts is a great concept and provides a fantastic platform for modders and modding teams to built maps upon, it is not much appeal to players unless there are actually maps to play. And since I won't be able to release a large map myself (at least not for a while), then that means it is up to the community to create maps. That's not easy when so few people know about the project. I truly believe that the freedom from conflicts and compatibility issues, as well as the freedom for modders to make whatever maps they want without having to worry about integration with vanilla Skyrim or it's world and quests is something that has the potential to boost the Skyrim modding scene incredibly. But it will not be very appealing to the modding community until there is an example of what can be done with the platform that Oblvionauts provides.
Thus, I am thinking about running a contest once the Foundation Release is complete. I would offer some prize (either cash or a piece of computer hardware) paid for by me. Whomever made the best map would receive the prize. I would also contact DarkOne, the founder of the Nexus sites, who has expressed interest in Oblivionauts and let him know of the contest. Hopefully this contest and news of the competition would build interest regarding Oblivionauts within the modding community.
Conclusion and Questions
In conclusion, I have some questions for you guys. I will update the project's description once I receive some feedback from y'all.
Unfortunately, the lack of a large-map upon delivery means that the rich story and class-based character creation may not be viable options. Do you still want me to add classes to the game, or would you rather just use the vanilla system?
What do you guys think? Ultimately it is you who will end up using the final product, so I want to get your input. What do you think about the beta release? Do you have any questions, suggestions, or criticism regarding the whole project?