Modder's Interview: Enclavekiller

Modder's Interview: Enclavekiller

How long have you been modding and what was your first complete mod ?

I have been modding since early 2016 at the age of 16. My first mod was The Mysterious Hunter which took me about 4 or 5 months as I was learning everything in the Construction Set step by step. It started as a simple seyda neen shack and then blossomed into a dungeon/quest mod about the player being trapped in a cave with a bunch of op vampires. It’s naturally far far far below my current quality standards but I’m still proud of it.

The Mysterious Hunter

How do you approach modding?

It really depends on what I’m doing for the session, unless I’m working on a modjam or madness mod I tend to work in 2-3 hour bursts. If I’m writing and scripting a quest I like to play or watch videos on some of my favorite rpgs for quick influence and inspiration before opening up a google word doc and just letting the ideas flow onto the keyboard. I’ll then go through it and keep what’s good and toss the rest. If I’m doing interior work for a dungeon or house I’ll do the basic layout and then use ms paint to do a map where I will label rooms/areas and what I want in them. If I’m modeling in blender or nifskope, well I’ve never been good at drawing so I kind of just visualize what I want in my head and go from there.

Oh, and regardless of what I’m doing I’ll have hard rock/heavy metal blaring.

Have other modders inspired you?

Countless. To name a few, Darkelfguy and Melchior Dahrk were big ones when I had started out, it’s rare these days to find someone as helpful and patient as DEG, the man truly is a saint. And of course Mechior is just a wizard in everything he creates, pushing me and others to try to keep up in just the sheer quality his works ooze.

Others include Qarl, who I unfortunately never had the opportunity to meet, and Autoclock. They both helped teach me the importance of being yourself and making what YOU want to make and play, if other people don’t like it, who cares? You still expressed yourself and had fun doing it.

Last example, Hrnchamd and NullCascade for showing that while yes there are limits to what we can do, there is a lot more magic that can be done within those limits than we initially think, it just takes the desire, passion, and skill to reach them. Other than these legends I am of course always and always will be inspired by my peers, who I have been amazed by for several years now.

What’s your favourite thing about modding?

Definitely the overall freedom and ability to express yourself and your passions, and seeing the results from others taking advantage of this. Modding truly is an art form, regardless of if you’re scripting a new gameplay mechanic in notepad, writing a new quest, building an interior such as a house or dungeon, or making pretty assets. Those are all ideas and creativity being developed out of love in a practice that has collectively drawn in these artists both young and old from different cultural/religious/economic backgrounds all over the globe for nearing two decades now, and that as a concept is beautiful to me.

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

To me, that’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is. For finished and published mods I suppose that would be The Forgotten, a quest mod I had made with Caeris that brings a sect of Namira cultists to Vivec’s sewers. A lot of effort went into that one for just the two of us, with me making two different resource asset kits which I had never done before at the time. I also still love the flesh harvesting mechanic we came up with, allowing players role-playing as cannibals to have a somewhat infinite source of human flesh, cause that’s something not many other mods have done, if any.

For unfinished projects I had one involving the ninja monkeys (the leveled creature markers in the Construction Set for those that are not aware) becoming a full on invading force that the Nerevarine would have to deal with to once again save Morrowind. It was a silly joke mod that I had worked on in a dark time of my life and it had several jokes and absurd quest moments that ranged from being super dark to lighthearted silliness to outright bizarreness. Eventually I became uninspired to finish it so I shelved it, which was then lost due to a hard drive failure. Two teasers of it survive however, a video I put on youtube titled “Morrowind: The Ninja Monkey Menace suicide” and a crappy (no pun intended) april fools mod I published.

Is there a mod you are especially proud of?

I’m proud of a few mods for different reasons; The Mysterious Hunter as it was my first mod and proved to myself that I am capable of making and finishing things for other people to enjoy, The Forgotten as this was my bridge from my beginner level mods to what would become my current quality standards, Palace of Vehk for easily being my most “successful” mod, and lastly Recovery of the Nomads for me writing and developing 5 quests in one day with another day devoted to testing.

Palace of Vehk
Quick note, Recovery of the Nomads is a Modjam mod and the next Modjam is just aroung the corner!! (January 15th). For general information about Morrowind Modding competitions, you can rerad this article.

You often take part in modding events such as MMM and modjam, why?

Few reasons, first is that despite the stress and chaos involved I usually find them fun especially the challenge they give. Second is I can best describe it as a modder’s call of arms, it’s show time and we’re the entertainers as we celebrate our skills and abilities by overcoming the challenges. Third is that since I’m inherently a loner by nature I like the opportunities of getting with fellow modders in the teams and learning their methods and workflows and then sharing ideas. I like to try to collaborate with everyone at least once, and it's extra satisfying to release a mod after discovering you had good chemistry with your partner(s) and that you both put great effort into it.

WIP: Creature assets

Are you working on a mod these days?

I always have a project in the works, and at the moment I have three. For when I feel like writing I have my Better Dialogue-Choices project, a quest overhaul mod that brings rpg elements to dialogue while providing the player new ways to complete quests. When I feel like doing interior work I have my Arkngthand Revamped mod, a complete overhaul of the dungeon that converts it into a dwemer city-prison. When I feel like making creepy/spooky assets I’m working on a dead/skinned/half-eaten creatures kit to put on my resources page. I shift between them depending on the mood, but the one getting the most progress these days would be the dialogue one.

WIP: Arkngthand Revamped

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

I haven’t “played” Morrowind since my last playthrough right before I started modding, 6 years ago. There’s just too many cool projects in the works that I don’t want to play without trying, and I’d rather spend that time on my own projects anyways. However, I will say that during my various play testing I will catch myself getting side tracked and take a moment to explore the game world or a dungeon or screw around in a town, just to get it out of my system.

How did you discover Morrowind?

When I was 12 years old I was bored out of my mind and going through my stepdad’s old xbox games, and came across his copy of the GOTY edition. Having only played first person shooters such as call of duty, bioshock and various adventure games, I was curious as to what a rpg was like and the unique box art and screenshots on the back really intrigued me. Firing it up on my xbox 360 through backwards compatibility, my life was forever changed and I don’t regret any of it.

What makes Morrowind special for you?

Two different things, one is the complete player freedom to do what you want when you want. See that guy over there? You can stab him a hundred times with a rusty dagger and steal his ten gold pieces! Score! Who cares if you just broke a questline by murdering him? Oh, and those plates and silverware on that table? Yours! You can do any of the quests at your own pace and go anywhere in the gameworld that you want (if you can survive) at any time. Even the game mechanics encourage you to abuse any system you can to get ahead even if they become ludicrously broken. The second is easily the game world, from a writing perspective Morrowind is phenomenal in giving the player a believable fantasy world rich with politics and cultural/religious strife, allowing the player to engage with it on their own terms through factions or exploration, forming their own opinions much like a citizen living there would. The game doesn’t tell you or force you to believe anything, it shows it to you and it’s up to you to piece it all together after making your own observations. This is all ignoring how alien and harsh Morrowind is, with almost everything wanting you dead or far away from them. Much like in real life!

What are the mods you simply cannot play without?

MGE-XE is a no brainer, other than that I’ve grown greatly accustomed to Weapon Sheathing. A clean install with those two and I’m good to go honestly.

Are there any underrated mods that you really enjoy?

I’m not sure if they’d be considered underrated but I particularly love AnOldFriend’s texture mods, I would have been more than willing to make a “considerable donation” for a complete AOF makeover of the game. The style and detailing still win me over when comparing them to today’s texture mods all these years later. For quest mods I really loved Vivec’s Fate back in the day, a main quest expansion by Brother Juniper that showcases the consequences of the Nerevarine being real. Reclaim Gnisis by Alxemical remains a good influence for my own quest mods. The dungeon mod Bloodwind by MattTheBagel remains one of my favorite dungeon crawls to date. Other than those, I honestly don’t try out enough mods to know.

Do you play other games?

Play? Other games? Are you accusing me of adultery? Jokes aside there are a few particular series/games that I always come back to. Fallout, Stalker, Red Dead Redemption, and the Batman Arkham games hold the rest of my heart and I’m sure I have thousands of hours split between them all. As cringey as it is I’m also a League of Legends fan and have been for almost the same amount of time for Morrowind. I can preemptively feel the scolding and disgust of various people reading this.

Do you mod other games?

No, but I would like to someday. Fallout: New Vegas and Stalker in particular. However Morrowind comes first and my projects for it seem to be infinite.

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

Right, while Morrowind was the first rpg I ever played Fallout 3 was my second and my introduction to the Fallout franchise. It was always comical to me how some dork kid who lived sheltered in the ground his/her entire life manages to completely destroy a highly trained and dangerous paramilitary organization that descended from the remnants of the US government and military. Then you take into consideration that this was the remnants of the group where the main force was taken out by a spear wielding tribal and it gets even better. So when I was brainstorming for an online moniker that popped into my head and the name “Enclavekiller” was born.