Guidelines for Exterior Showcases

[This page is outdated! See instead the Project Tamriel wiki page:]

Showcases must be made by all modders who work directly in the Construction Set and want to claim exterior, interior, or questing claims. Everyone else does not need to and should not post a showcase thread; check the Modding Guides instead.

Showcases should all be posted in the Showcase Forum.
You should post exactly one showcase thread, in which you can display however many of the three types of showcase you would like.

If your showcase has not been officially reviewed or it seems to be taking a while, please bump the thread as a reminder, or mention it in #exteriors-foyada on Discord. Sometimes we forget!

If you have never made an exterior before, our Exterior Tutorial will be a great help.

Exterior Showcase Guidelines

Exterior modders create the landscape and all exterior spaces, including the wilderness, underwater, and city areas. Everything in an exterior cell, save for NPCs, are placed by exterior modders.

To make a showcase, post an esp in which you have designed a small island contained within about 6 exterior cells with no more or less than 2 points of interest. Your island should be emulating the style of one vanilla region. Pay attention to the following:

  • Object placement. Make sure you are properly placing objects so they don't float, bleed into things where not appropriate (use best judgement), or show back faces (the bottom or back part of a mesh which you can see through; in a review this will be called "caspering").
  • Editing the terrain. For showing off your terrain editing skills you are going to want to have a a nice, varied height landscape without jagged terrain or terrain spikes. The wireframe view mode (shortcut 'W') will help you spot these terrain errors.
  • Ground texture placement. Make sure that the textures you place are region appropriate, and are blending properly. When 3 or more textures touch in a corner you will get a texture seam; these are often unavoidable and should be covered with statics such as rocks or trees. (Texture seams become easier to spot when you hide statics with 'Shift-C.')
  • Vertex shading. Your objects should have region appropriate shading beneath them (in the Landscape Edit window, with Edit Colors ticked on, you can Ctrl-click to copy colours). In TR, most land textures will also have an outline with vertex shading; while this isn't common outside of roads in vanilla, its best to get into the habit of doing this.
  • Sinking and detailing your roads. While roads may not always end up sunk in the world for various reasons, its important to show your ability to sink them. Take a look at the Ascadian Isles Region for a great example. Roads are also usually more detailed with rocks and flora than other areas.
  • Pathing. Make sure players can actually traverse the land you make. You can explore your island with an Altmer or an Orc to test if there's anywhere you can get stuck. Pits should also have a way out.
  • Points of interest. Your showcase should have 2 different types of PoI, such as towns or dungeons, that have more pieces than just an entrance.
  • Assign your region to each cell in the World / Exterior Cell window.
  • Have a pathgrid in the cells with your PoIs ( Pathgrid Tutorial ).
  • Make sure your file is clean ( TESAME ).
  • Aim for the same level of references per cell as the region you are copying.
  • Don't set mix in your PoIs. While this isn't always forbidden, it's important to show your skill with a more limited set.
  • NPCs and creature spawners are NOT required.
  • Tamriel_Data is allowed. It can be nice to familiarize yourself with the new assets your claims will have once you pass showcase.

Experienced modders can ask about taking a claim for their showcase ( Discord would be your best place to ask) if the following points are met:

  • Proven experience. This could be a passed showcase of another area of dev work or a link to your published or personal mods.
  • Open or openable claims.
  • The claim would preferably be on the smaller side, and the 2 PoI maximum would not apply. The 2 PoI minimum, however, is still required.
  • The claim should not have (much) previous development work done. A claim somebody dropped after doing a cell and a half is fine, but one that is half completed or has every PoI finished is not fine.
  • No overhaul claims. Places such as Solitude Forest are handled differently and won't show off the same skill set as creating your own exterior.
  • An eligible region. A showcase-able region should have plenty of completed cells for you to reference so you aren't left in the dark with how to design your cells.
  • Constant updates. Ghosting will get your claim revoked. (This is also true for developers.)