Modder's Interview: Trancemaster

Modder's Interview: Trancemaster

How long have you been modding?

I've been modding since 2003 or so, and my first complete (and published) mod was called New Seyda Neen. This mod was later part of the so-called New Cities Project, which eventually became Morrowind Rebirth.

How do you approach modding?  

My sources of inspiration are mainly other roleplaying games (no specific game, but in general), but also other modders. As for my workflow, it's a bit all over the place. I don't generally work on one thing for hours at end, but rather I try to spread my workload. This also reduces the risk of burning out and losing interest.

What’s your favourite thing about modding?  

I'd say creative freedom. You can do pretty much whatever you like as long as you put in time into it. The satisfaction from realising an idea is also an amazing feeling.

What’s your favourite mod that you’ve made so far?  

With a massive mod such as Rebirth, I'd have to say Morrowind Rebirth.

How does one even tackle such a massive endeavour as Morrowind Rebirth?

I'd say you'll have to have a lot of patience, and belief in what you do. The latter is especially important since a lot of people will have an opinion on how things should be done. Although that doesn't mean you can't be open to ideas or won't undo changes that people don't like.

Are you working on a mod these days?  

Morrowind Rebirth is under constant development and will be for the foreseeable future. I will probably put it somewhat in the backburner of the first and second quarter of 2022 though since I am to become a father.

How do you decide what to change from one version of MR to another?  

I do have some long-term goals that I try to fulfill, then I've got a rather large list of ideas and suggestions from the community. With that said a large majority of the changes in each update are not actually planned in advance. I like to keep things open and do whatever I feel like doing, may that be exterior/interior design, new weapons, and armor, fixing models, etc.

You can join the Morrowind Rebirth discord to see what Trance is currently working on.

How much do you play Morrowind, not counting play testing?  

Zero hours, which is pretty embarrassing to admit. I guess this is a pretty common pattern for many modders, however, so hopefully, I don't have to feel too bad about it.

How did you discover Morrowind?  

I read about Morrowind in a PC Gamer Magazine and later got it as a Christmas gift. Funny thing is that I actually traded it away not long after, but got it back for a few Pokémon cards. I still wonder to this day what I would have done with all the time I spent on Rebirth, if I had not gotten it back.

What makes Morrowind special for you?  

I'd say the lore and how original it is from other role-playing games. Most other RPGs are not original enough with weird creatures, plants, and names that you can't pronounce.

What are the mods you simply cannot play without?  

Better Dialogue Font for sure, which makes the text readable. UI Expansion and Descriptive Descriptions are also super cool and make the game feel more up-to-date.

Are there any underrated mods that you really enjoy?  

Happy Harvesting, which is an alternative to Graphic Herbalism. Since it's an MWSE mod it's also compatible with almost all mods. Starting Equipment is another MWSE mod I really enjoy using, which gives the player a few pieces of equipment at the start, based on the class you choose.

Trancemaster, I forgive you, since you've been busy in rl, for not knowing about Ahead of the Classes, that does what Starting Equipement does and then some! (The code is still based on Merlord's) :)

Do you play other games?  

Yes. Planetside 2, which is a Massive Multiplayer First Person Shooter. I've played it since 2012, and I've put way too many hours into it.

Do you mod other games?  

I don't, but I've tried to make a few mods for Fallout NV with less than satisfying results.

And by the way, what's the story behind your user name?  

I'm not sure. I've always liked Trance music, but I think it had to do with the fact that a ton of user names on the old Bethsoft forums were unavailable, and I just came up with the most unreasonable username I could think of.