TR Handbook Ideas + updates

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10Kaziem
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As people may or may not know, our new place to put guidelines, tutorials, and resources is now the TR Handbook.

This handbook is really under construction, and that means we need help to write it and get ideas.

What is going in this handbook?

- A quick guide to what TR needs in terms of help from modders

- Guidelines to each type of modding: asset development, concepts, literature, quests and dialogue, making a showcase, etc

- Links to tutorials and resources for modders that are having trouble or want to learn more about how to mod their particular thing.

 

What do we need help with? If you're someone who makes content of any kind for us here at TR, we need your input on how things are made and what is necessary. And if you know of tutorials, resources, places for inspiration, hints, tips, programs, or anything that is generally helpful as a modder, please post it here. This includes anything you know of from the old forums, please relink it here.

 

I and others will be updating the handbook. If you make a suggestion in this thread, it will be tagged when it has been incorporated or seen to. Updates will be posted below as they happen.

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On interiors & exteriors, some tutorials were reposted in this thread. [Added 4/10/16 -10K] There's a pdf resource I can't find :( that compiled ground textures with samples... apparently all the original tutorial threads were dumped amidst everything else in the Archive forum so it might be somewhere in there. A basic TESAME cleaning [Added 4/10/16 -10K] tutorial is probably needed. An old list of ideas for tutorials that were probably never made.

On questing, there are good if pell-mell guidelines and advice in this old thread. For scripting everybody should know about MSFD, but just in case. [Added 4/10/16 -10K]

On animation, you'd probably be better off asking one of the couple people who know how to do it for the MW engine, but here are all the tutorials I'd gathered over time (unsorted)

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Hello all! Tamriel Rebuilt’s lead devs have finally gotten the handbook in working order, though the section with the guidelines for each forum is still under construction, the handbook is now our new go-to place for all the things you need to know about TR, such as:

Guidelines for how to do modding

Information on skype meetings and the IRC channel

An explanation of our pipeline

A progress report

Our planning documents for House Dres, the Master Plan, and so on.

Assets needed lists for the Deshaan Plains, etc

Begin directing questions to the handbook. It is still under construction, but it has plenty of info in it.

 

Feedback on the handbook can be put in this thread. There is now a link to the handbook in the main navigation menu under Development.

Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable, disappears for a few days or a week (or more) without warning. Still active. Find me on Discord mainly but also IRC.

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10Kaziem
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Alrighty people! Anyone with itchy editing fingers who knows stuff about TR, please post yourself here. We need help to update this thing.

Things badly in need of updating:

http://www.tamriel-rebuilt.org/content/asset-development-guidelines

http://www.tamriel-rebuilt.org/content/showcasing-guidelines

If anyone knows enough about this stuff to write up guidelines, please post your ideas here. We need help! We’re also looking for suggestions for good resources and tutorials for people that we can link to.

Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable, disappears for a few days or a week (or more) without warning. Still active. Find me on Discord mainly but also IRC.

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Modder’s Guide has been updated to a more readable state. I’m going to try to work on the Asset and Showcase guidelines more, but help is always appreciated.

Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable, disappears for a few days or a week (or more) without warning. Still active. Find me on Discord mainly but also IRC.

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Hey Kaziem.

I don’t know, if it helps, but here is our checklist for reviewing models at P:C, that could be a helpful addition in your asset creation guidelines. It’s just a list of a number of very simple but crucial points:

http://project-tamriel.com/viewtopic.php?f=116&t=91

 

[Added 4/9/16. -10K]

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Awesome, Worsas. I’ll take a look through it and see what we can use from it.

Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable, disappears for a few days or a week (or more) without warning. Still active. Find me on Discord mainly but also IRC.

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Something I’d like to add to the writing guidelines:

All dialogue for individual settlements should be written and compiled in a Google Doc first. All modders should have access to these documents for commenting, though to prevent haphazard editting, a single modder should be assinged to each document to add or edit entries. Never write dialogue in the Construction Set directly. Editting and reviewing topics in the CS is a major hassle, and writing should not be implemented in the game until it has been vetted and finalized beforehand.

 

The modder formerly known as Yeti.
Head of NPCs - Skyrim: Home of the Nords

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  • Be sure to clean up any duplicate vertices, edges, and faces.

I just read this in your new guidelines. I would like to add that duplicate vertices are nothing you can or should prevent with the nif-format, we are using. Sure there may be duplicates that are needless, but for the most part it is how you implement hard edges. If you have a flat face in your modelling program it will be exported as a disconnected piece of geometry. Also, you automatically get disconnected geometry at texture seams, on exporting.

Alpha should only be included on faces that require it. Be sure not to put alpha’d faces on top of each other, since this causes texture errors in Morrowind.

It is possible to sort faces in blender, so they will blend correctly together. Alternatively you can split them into separate nitrishapes, which is how the alpha blending with the vanilla trees is done, But alpha blending is generally very performance-costly. If you disable blending and go with only alpha testing you can have faces behind each other or even overlapping faces without a problem, even without any underwater problems, at the cost of a hard alpha edge.

[Notes incorporated into Handbook, with Seneca37’s suggestions below. 4/9/16 -10K]

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I still stand by the removal of duplicate vertices. Most of the features that result in duplicate vertices (i.e. seams) are lost when the file is exported to nif file. Having duplicates add not only to the vertices, but the UV maps and Triangles too.

 

As for the alpha stuff. Yeah I agree, unfortunately most of MW’s models are crappy. If the NiAlphaProperty is set properly then the issue is resolved.

 

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Minor updates we included today to showcasing and asset guidelines. Worsas: your notes + link to the P:C page have been seen and used.

Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable, disappears for a few days or a week (or more) without warning. Still active. Find me on Discord mainly but also IRC.

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Shuffled the tutorials all into one page called Tutorials. Admins now have the capability of adding new tutorials to the site, where they will be automatically sorted into the list of tutorials. http://www.tamriel-rebuilt.org/content/tutorials

Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable, disappears for a few days or a week (or more) without warning. Still active. Find me on Discord mainly but also IRC.

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Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable, disappears for a few days or a week (or more) without warning. Still active. Find me on Discord mainly but also IRC.

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Something I’d like to be added to the guidelines on literature writing, and that is letting folks know the formatting that the ingame books accept, for they are limited. Like this:
*No italics, bold, or underlined text, for the game engine doesn’t support these.
*Consider that a couple lines in a Word document or a forum page may turn into a sizeable paragraph ingame. Write like you are writing for a web page (aka, more white space, shorter paragraphs) rather than a physical book.
*Red colored text is accepted by the game engine, but should be rare and only used in special circumstances. AKA, don’t use this in place of italics or other formatting. Ask yourself, why is the author using red ink?
*Text can be centered, but typically this is only for use in scrolls and pamphlets, or for formatting title pages.
*There is no maximum length as far the game engine is concerned, but most ingame books are no more than 15,000 characters. Longer books should be broken up into volumes.

There are two parts to a title page as well.
Part One: The title and the author name that appears when the player mouses over the ingame book. Both should be short as this identifies the object at a glance: no longer than about 25 characters. Put Anonymous in the case of the text having no identified author.

***And I would propose putting these into the asset browser using the tags TITLE: and AUTHOR: at the top of the description rather than the bold/italic thing we have now. That’s just me and my OCD though.

Part Two: Then there’s the title page that appears within the book’s text itself. This part isn’t a requirement, but the space to use should you wish to make a more lengthy title or elaborate on the author’s titles. For example:
 

Literature Guidelines
An Exhaustive and Exhausting Report on How to 
MAKE THINGS PURDY
With some Caveats and Quibbles, see Appendix X..

This report put together by Lord Kevaar Prolexity
Proprietor of the Tamriel Rebuilt Library and Author Extraordinaire

While the author/title tagline would then look like this:
TITLE: Literature Guidelines
AUTHOR: Lord Kevaar Prolexity

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Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable, disappears for a few days or a week (or more) without warning. Still active. Find me on Discord mainly but also IRC.

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The Literature Guidelines have been updated for use with the Asset Browser. (I had to walk back my statement up there about the author subfield. My mind is still in some other game’s construction kit...the Morrowind CS dun care about no author!)

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Something that came up in InfallibleDres’s showcase thread; it would be good to explicitly mention in the showcase guidelines that modders should make sure they don’t have any mesh replacers installed, as they can be easily overlooked.

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Right! I’ll add that in when I get a chance.

Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable, disappears for a few days or a week (or more) without warning. Still active. Find me on Discord mainly but also IRC.

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I don’t see any section for NPCing but Klinn’s catalogs on MMH for heads and clothes may be useful (though they don’t include TR items)

Rot

There's a pdf resource I can't find :( that compiled ground textures with samples

Not quite the same one but there’s this catalog for terrain textures