How long have you been modding and what was your first complete mod?
I believe I started making mods when I was around 11. That probably would have been around 2008-2009ish. It was mostly just recoloring vanilla items in free image editing software, making unbelievably awful dungeons and landmasses and other things along those lines. Fortunately, I never released any of them. I only seriously picked up modding around 2014 when I joined the official Bethsoft forums. My first published mod was HiRes Robes, if I remember correctly. It was just a really bad texture replacer that upscaled and filtered vanilla robe textures. It's still up on the Nexus, but I don't recommend it.
How do you approach modding?
Most of my mods are just random ideas I had and wanted to see in-game. I don't really have a schedule or anything. Sometimes I don't even touch the CS for weeks or months. It really just depends on my mood.
You mentioned the CS, is it your main modding tool?
When it comes to ingame work, it is. But I probably use Blender much, much more often overall, especially for Skyrim. I also used BlenderCS for some of my mods like Magas Volar, although it's still far from being finished and does have a lot of disadvantages compared to the regular CS. It's still very impressive, though.
What’s your favourite thing about modding?
It's very appealing that I can modify the game in any way I want and make it more personal. It's also just very fun to make things you want to see in the game and work on your skills while doing so. Basically, all of my current 3D and 2D skills, meager as they may be, are all thanks to modding, which I think is a great incentive as well.
What’s your favourite mod that you’ve made so far?
I think that would probably be Morrowind Optimization Patch, but I'm not the only contributor. A lot of people have contributed to the project over the years and the majority of the original work was made possible by Greatness7. I honestly didn't expect it to become what it is now when I first started, since it started off with only just a few vanilla meshes optimized by a script G7 whipped up.
Is there a mod you are especially proud of?
Well, that response will probably earn some boos, but it's definitely The Manifold Spires. Even though the final product might not be quite what we initially had in mind, I still think that our team did a really fantastic job with the mod. Unfortunately, we were really short on time and all of the actual "content" in the mod had to be crammed in by G7 and me pulling an allnighter one day before the deadline. I'd love to see the mod get redone, but we're probably too burned out to work on it again.
The Manifold Spires was a Morrowind Modding Madness mod, What is the appeal of modding competitions?
I think the main appeal is that it gives me the push to actually make a mod in the first place. I often find myself procrastinating instead of actually doing something outside of these competitions. The downside is the very strict time limit and theme, of course, although it can also allow you to get a lot more creative than being able to do whatever you want. While I do think that The Manifold Spires is a relatively impressive mod, it's still far from being finished or even playable for that matter, so the result isn't great.
Are you working on a mod these days?
I'm slowly working on several mods at the moment, most notably "Magas Volar, Realm of Storm" and "OAAB Sheogorad".
The first one is a major remake of the tiny room where you fight Lord Dregas Volar. It turns it into its own pocket realm of Oblivion instead and should make acquiring the Daedric Crescent more impactful. The latter is my own version of Sheogorad, inspired by Melchior Dahrk's own OAAB mods and based on the work I've already done on The Grove of Ben'Abi.
How much do you play Morrowind, not counting play testing?
I have to admit that I haven't really played through the game properly in 4-5 years. I used to play the game religiously back in the day, but I mostly just mod it now.
How did you discover Morrowind?
I was 6 or 7 when I first played Morrowind. I got the game from an old game magazine that used to come with full versions of certain titles. Morrowind was one of them. I borrowed the disk from my brother at the time and played on an ancient computer from the 90s that could barely run the game in the first place.
What makes Morrowind special for you?
It might sound sappy, but Morrowind is probably the only game that makes me feel at home. There's just something very special about Morrowind's incredible atmosphere and believable worldbuilding. I also really enjoy the lore of the game.
What are the mods you simply cannot play without?
If I really have to boil it down to a handful of mods, it would probably be:
-Morrowind Code Patch
-Patch for Purists
-Morrowind Optimization Patch
But that doesn't mean that there aren't many more mods that I consider essential! There are so many excellent mods that I'm not able to list here.
Are there any underrated mods that you really enjoy?
Pimp My Shrine! That mod is so unbelievably impressive and I really wish that its concepts could be translated to other mods. It's been a while since a mod made me go "Wow!" as much as PMS.
If you are the kind of player that finds it impossible to resist grabbing OP items at level 1 because you know you can get away with it, be sure to check Equipment Requirements by Remiros. It works great for me, I don't kill npcs for their armour anymore, I wait until I get good enough to actually use the gear ;)
Do you play other games?
I actually play a lot of different games apart from Morrowind. Way too many to list here, I'm afraid. Some of my favorites include Terraria, FromSoft games and several indie titles. I also really enjoy visual novels and old FPS games like Half-Life and Doom.
Do you mod other games?
I've made quite a few mods for Skyrim and also contributed to some projects there.
Is modding Skyrim very different from modding Morrowind?
To be honest, not really. Both the modding tools and the overall process are surprisingly similar. The Creation Kit does offer a lot of quality-of-life improvements compared to Morrowind's Construction Set, but I would still consider Morrowind Modding to be a bit more accessible.
And by the way, what's the story behind your user name?
It's nothing special, to be honest. I picked this name for my paladin in World of Warcraft back in the day and I guess it just stuck with me after a few years. It's just a random name.
Anything else you’d like to share that we haven’t talked about?
I think the recent development of Morrowind modding has been super impressive and I'm really excited to see what we'll get in the future. It's unbelievable that the modding community is still so strong and alive after almost 20 years. :)