Modder's Interview: Safebox
How long have you been modding and what was your first complete mod?
Nearly 2 years as of June this year. My first actual mod was Sola Lingua Bona (The Only Good Language) which translated some words to Dunmeri or Imperial depending on the player race, NPC race, and faction allegiance. It is... horribly broken with topics and I need to update it at some point. I did try to create a Skyrim-style dialogue system when I first saw the CS, but I was quickly informed it's been attempted before and abandoned with more progress so I bailed out.
How do you approach modding?
Is it a meme? Does it have potential? Did someone request it? Did someone give me the idea? All factors that come into play, the mods I make are mostly done for the sake of "no one else has done it, so why not". See my translation mod which was meant to be an earnest lore-friendly attempt. My 1-hit KO Sunder mod was an allusion to the One-Hit Obliterator from The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. And my Onion mod was requested by RuffinVangarr for his glasses and goggles mod but expanded to become its own thing.
What’s your favourite thing about modding?
I've always liked romhacks and game design, so the idea that I can just modify a game at all is an incredible and surreal feeling to me. It's like the programming equivalent of having superpowers.
What’s your favourite mod that you’ve made so far?
The compass mod, definitely the compass mod. It was started during your results stream for the Winter Modjam 2022 and development took longer than expected, but I think it turned out pretty nicely.
Is there a mod you are especially proud of?
The previously mentioned Onion. Wasn't sure if it was possible but it turned out surprisingly well. I managed to expand it recently with more slots with the main body, limbs, and beast race tail. Another MWSE modder, Greatness7, has also given an indication of how it might be possible to rig the additional slots to allow for extra functionality. So that should be a fun update to take on.
Are you working on a mod these days?
The soon-to-be-released Dwemer Cycle. About as close as we've come so far to physics in Morrowind. Spent 7-8 months working on it and it's by far the most complex thing I've ever done; mod or otherwise. Three gears can damage enemies when driven into, can be cast with some spells to have water-walking, levitate, speed boost, etc. I'm really excited about its release.
How much do you play Morrowind, not counting play testing?
Do you play Morrowind?
Despite the meme among other modders, yes I do play Morrowind; not as frequently as other people. But I have been making my way through House Redoran's questline since December.
How did you discover Morrowind?
I've been familiar with the game for over a decade, but I never actually played it till Bethesda gave it away for free a few years ago. A friend and fellow modder I know in real life, Lucevar, had spoken about the game in the past and that she makes mods for it. So I asked her about getting involved and she invited me to the Morrowind Modding Community Discord server.
What makes Morrowind special for you?
It's oddly alien for an Elder Scrolls game. There are things in this entry that feel so out of place in the others, including Battlespire which takes place entirely in eldritch realms. But I think that allows modders to get more creative with what they want to / can do as there's a lot more wiggle room for the insane and surreal.
What are the mods you simply cannot play without?
MGE XE, UI Inspector, and a few of my own. Mainly for testing other mods and to cheat through certain milestones.
Are there any underrated mods that you really enjoy?
I've seen a few weird race mods like winged gargoyles, dog races, stuff like that. I've not tried any myself, but I've seen some really old playthroughs on YouTube along with their screenshots and it's just fun to think about that early period of Morrowind modding where memes and weirdness dominated the landscape.
Do you play other games?
Dishonored and Deathloop on occasion. I enjoy watching other people play games more than actually playing them myself.
And by the way, what's the story behind your user name?
I used to have a toy safe when I was a child. And when I was coming up with usernames for Gmail I went through "safe box", "safe-box", and "safebox".
Anything else you’d like to share that we haven’t talked about?
Nothing that I can think of. Thank you for having me!