Tasheni added a blog entry in Skyrim - Tasheni FollowersTasheni Followers - Diary of a wannabe modder
Diary of a wannabe modder
Now four weeks have passed since my mod release and it’s time to do a retrospective view to the whole process.
First fazit: Mod releasing under time pressure is not a good idea.
I started in 2015 with lots of wishes and no experience with mod creating, voice acting, scripting and the ck – best conditions to fight with a monster.
I grabbed every tutorial I could find but tutorials cover mostly basics and seldom help with special problems. As you have no idea about the whole process of creating a mod until it can be released, you surely ran into the wrong direction. I did. Most is trial and error – like every mod creator knew – and a lot of pain.
Worst of all for me was the attempt to make this mod standalone. It started out with my wish to apply better textures for the eyes of my followers and better facetextures. It was no problem for Sherda, Chiomara and Tom, but Ramgar’s appearance broke and also Eldrid’s eyes looked suddenly weird. I don’t know why it happened but to solve this, I had to recreate the faces. It was then that I realized I had no ECE files anymore for Ramgar and Eldrid – perhaps I oversaved the slots with another playerface, I don’t know.
Fact was that for a long time I had no idea where ECE was saving the faces and I had no idea that I would need these files from the skse folder again. It confused me pretty much that if I looked at Sherda in ck she had suddenly the face of Ruby – because slot 32 of ECE after exporting the face was occupied by Ruby’s head and if you start ck with ECE.esp and CME.esp checked, all npcs that uses the nose 32 type are suddenly faces of this one slot. This makes a lot of trouble if you have to care for the dark face bug because you must export the head from ck and redo the texturepaths with nifskope. When I realized that, I knew I had to recreate all missing ECE faces and save my skse chargen data elsewhere after once created.
I have a lot of saves of the facegeom files from ck but they are useless, if you not have the ECE facegeom file stored in skse. You can’t simply copy them back, because you then run into the dark face bug, that is also occuring if you alter something in the actor’s window in ck. You need to merge the ECE head with the exportet ck head.
I needed four whole days and nights to create the faces new. I have tons of screenshots from my npcs but it seems to be not possible to do the same face again. I have incredibly astonishing faceexpressions of Eldrid that I won’t miss. But if you create a player’s face it’s expressions are starred. It shows no movement features like anger or disgust or happiness if you are playing the character. When I created the npc face from the player’s face the npc looked always different because of that.
I managed to make the faces nearly similar to the original ones and can live with it now, but the time I’ve lost with this issue was a bit of a peeve.
One crucial obstacle is that the list of conditions from the ck wiki is mostly useless as it does not explain most of the entries. And there are no samples what combined conditions were able to do. Obscure is really that you can look at other quests in the ck and copy the same conditions that work for the one quest to your own, but it does not work.
Worse, a hundred times a dialogue fires with the same certain conditions, then you alter a package or what else – not for this npc, but anotherone – and the dialogue stops working. From the logical side, the circumstances for the dialogue to be fired must have been altered somehow but you know you have done nothing with it. You doublecheck that you’ve made your seq file but nothing happens.
As my mod is based mostly on conditions and fewer on scripts with the exception of short running fragments, I need securement of conditions to be reliable. Obviously the game can’t handle that proper. I’m getting grey hair about this.
The solution would be to manage all with scripting but this will get problems in heavily modded Skyrim versions – and really, who wants to play with pure vanilla Skyrim? Another truth is that I’m really bad with scripting and without help some things would not work as they do now.
Another very time consuming part is Tamriel lore. I’m very familiar with the history and myths of ancient sumer and akkad that is quite confusing if you start learning and researching about that matter. Tamriel is worse because of the changings in several ES games and ESO. I want to have my npcs self awareness of their present and past to let them act as natural as possible in their environment. They should talk about things that are in the heads of people of that actually time with their view of the present and the history that was delivered over generations in Tamriel. I always felt that Tamriel lore and history is poorly involved in Skyrim and at my first playthrough I had no idea of the rich past of Tamriel. So I was reading a lot over the last to years and the dialogues I try to create will reflect that, I hope. But I don’t want to bore the player with it and try to weave information in action and sidetalks.
At last I lost the overview of what I’ve done and what not – the mod structure was chaos and I had double texturefiles and meshes and some packages were not running as they should, so I made the structure completely new and of course I had to change the filepaths again with nifskope and in ck and was left with the dark face bug again after that. So I did all nine faces once again.
When I released the first beta version I was quite proud and happy – until I tried out Live Another Life mod. Game crashes with my mod installed, when I tried to activate the Mara statue. I was lucky though this bug happened to Arissa and Vilja and was documented in the forum of LAL. But now I had to control more then 1800 dialogue lines for their conditions. Not a single tutorial covers this issue but I now understand why in the condition menu the selection is always GetIsId at first – because you crucial need to set it on top of all your conditions to avoid problems. I’m really happy that this occurred now and not when I have once implemented a thousand dialogue lines more.
Testing the mod is also a critical point, because if you change things you have to test on a new game without other mods. You do things that you won't do normally like coc somewhere or teleport, but while testing you have to, simply because some action is playing at a certain location and you must get there in the shortest time that's possible. So you must hire your follower first, jump into the location and test, if it works. If you have several npcs on different locations that are needed for the action, this process gets worse time consuming. And what happened mostly is, if you teleport into a location to meet npcs that have a timetable on their action packages, they are never there where they should, because teleporting breaks the timetable.
So it is a fact that I'm not gone further than level 1 or 2 while testing and I have no idea how my followers will advance in higher levels. I have also no idea how they are doing with the dragon attacks because the only one I was testing was the first dragon at Whiterun tower.
After some issues with the playerhorse I solved recently I noticed that some important dialogue of Ruby is suddenly cut out and some of Tom’s lines are cut off also. It’s minor thing but big anger for me, though my patience runs sometimes a little bit short. It worked before, what the hell happened? Who knows. I will fix it with the next beta version and who knows how long as a beta the mod will stay. My hope is, that I will achieve a solid fundament to develop this mod further and that somebody has fun with it.
So long and happy modding, Tasheni
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Tasheni added a file in Companions & FollowersTasheni Followers v0.1.3This is a WIP, an early beta version. Please read the description carefully and the forum post.
Tasheni Follower were born since two years and when I got this crazy idea to create a mod, I didn't know, what an immense time consuming work it would become.
You are welcome to test it out.
It is a lot to read but this is meant to help you to get the things right. Please take your time and read carefully and follow the instructions.
playerhorse package fixed – bug occured only if you were playing Helgen intro. No scripts were changed. Please read changelog.
major bugs fixed - look at the bugs reports and the changelog.
replacing the esp and bsa should be safe in mid game as only one script was attached for dismissing playerhorse. Perhaps some package changes will not work midgame but this occures very rarely. If you want to get safe dismiss your followers, uninstall mod, go in game and make a new safe, than install new version and recruit followers again.
Before installing this mod make a safe so you can roll back to in case you want to uninstall. Otherwise you will get problems. Install with MO or NMM .
This is a standalone mod dependent only on
FixLipSyncis highly recommended. FixLip Sync
May I introduce to you
Sherda Akkadim, chronist, the Breton from Cyrodiil Tomalik'r Torquesson, the farmer Redguard from Hammerfell Chiomara Northwind, smithing witch and pure Nord Ramgar of Stony Creek, true Nord, scout and hunter Ruby Trevelyen, Imperial of Cyrodiil and agent Eldrid Firerider, barmaiden in Whiterun, Breton witch
Look at my project page on Dark Creations:
TasheniFollowers Dark Creations
They come with their own AI and their own horses. They are fully integrated into the Tamriel lore and are designed to be companions, friends - with their own past, opinion, motivation and custom voices.
If you like intelligent „normal“ people around you while running through the wilds, fight or relax somewhere they are perhaps the right ones for you. You will not find half naked beauties or barbarians or bad asses in this mod.
These followers are intended to stay for a whole playthrough with the player but as this is a WIP in an early stage ( despite the two years I'm working on it :)) you will find not too much dialogue for every single follower. Together they have 1180 individual, carefully recorded dialogue lines with player or in interaction with another.
So dialogue lines will be repeated, but not all. Possibe questlines are hidden in the dialogue but not yet developed. Goal is to repeat as few as possible but this is on the long run.
You will get the most out of them if you take all six with you.
The basic dialogue lines like follow, wait, etc. are hidden behind the dialogue: „can we have a word“ or „I've orders for you“.
Individual dialogue shows up always at the first tier so you don't need to scroll through the lines, if new dialogue is available. I've changed all blocking topics into top level topics because blocking topics are often cut off and this is quite annoying. So player dialogue will only appear if you click on them in different locations. These lines are only said once.
Scenes are running mostly in inns or at playerhomes. If a scene is running outside it is better to wait until it is finished before doing some action. Combat ends scenes but not the leading scenes of Ramgar. After combat he continues his way. If you want to end his lead, use the stop leading spell from his inventory. He will come back to you.
Together there are 15 banter scenes between various followers, firing mostly in inns or player homes. Eldrid has some special scenes and dialogue in Whiterun, mostly before she is following the player.
Where to find them?
Eldrid, Sherda, Chiomara and Tomalik'r have their daily schedules in Whiterun. If you arrive on sunday they are mostly out for a ride. At late evenings you will find them all at the Bannered Mare.
Ramgar lives at Hunter's Rest and for Ruby look at Helgen.
They are quite busy so look around to find them.
Ruby is designed to be close to the main quest so you will find her automatically if you start a new game in Helgen (notice that this is not finished yet, comments are until the first dragon is killed, if you play the mainquest). You can also use an Alternate Start mod and find her also in Helgen, than she starts with other dialogue.
All followers have the necessary basic functions of course, so what ever you play they should be usable. If you recruit
them inside a shop or inn they will start to follow you if you go outside because of their sandbox package.
Take the spell tomes for every follower out of their inventory, you will need them. For every follower exist a map marker, so you can find them if they are lost somewhere.
If you don't like to have the player horse Vala, you can dismiss it. But think about it, she will never be yours again.
You can talk to Vala and give her orders. You can open her saddlebags. Storage should be safe.
Also included in this mod are several horses – in front of Whiterun stables and in Rorikstead. You can ride them but they will wander home if you dismount.
Also included is Shepherd Erk Thrymsson and his flock of sheep. He will talk to you but has to care for his sheep He's planned for a questline.
There are two more followers included, Rikja Sharpeye the huntress and Rendel Dorcas the thief maiden. Rendel will talk to you but she can't be recruited for this time. Rikja is not voiced yet and is planned for a side quest.
Mod is incompatible with mods that changes the area of Whiterun in front of the stables, where the cabbage field is besides Old Hroldan, the area under the great trees. I also added some clutter in front of Pelagia farm and some flowers in front of Drunken Huntsmen. Mod is compatible with Convenient horses, but it overwrites the settings for Vala, so you have to set them in CH.
I have not tested the mod with any companion mods like UFO or AFT. As my follower use their own AI it should work together but I recommend not to use dialogue options from these mods.
TasheniFollowers uses the CurrentFollowerFaction, so every mod that manipulates this faction affect them. This is the case with Vilja, because you can command a follower to follow Vilja instead of the player. I'm not sure if I like that but it is a minor thing and for that not worth to go through the whole process to change the faction of my mod. Perhaps it will be necessary in future.
Two soundfiles of Sherda have a bad quality. I forgot to do these lines again and decided to include the old ones. Will be fixed with the next dialogue advancement in hopefully december.
Eldrid uses sometimes the Whiterun Player Horse instead of her own. This happens if player mounts at Whiterun stables or when she is riding before recruiting her. I don't know why she's doing it.
Solution: ride away from the stables, Eldrid's horse will follow, than dismount and wait until Whiterun horse heads home. Mount again and she is using her horse again.
When entering a player home clothes are not changed from armor to normal.
If you entered a home during nighttime they will only search for a bed and don't change or do much things. At six in the morning sleeping package ends and they will change clothes and talk again.
Solution: Try to go out and in again or simply let them be. At next day, if you stay at home, they change automatically.
Getting npcs on mount takes some time, especially if you have all six followers with you and perhaps other as well.
Solution: Simply ride away, but not too fast until all are mounted. Mostly they will come close to you again after some time. If someone gets stuck because of the lousy game engine you can teleport them with a spell to you.
Playing without using the horses:
Solution: Mount Vala, dismount and after that put off her ring. She changes to NPC. Talk to her and let her wait. All followerhorses will wait with her.
If you teleport with more than two followers mounted, game will crash. Never teleport while mounted. Better: Never teleport at all if you have horses with you, especially into cities!
The game does not interprete the conditions of dialogue or packages correct. Sometimes dialogue is spoken at the wrong time or following lines to topics are cut off, especially blocking topics. Some packages intend to stop working without noticable reason. This is because of the buggy game engine. I can't find a solution to solve this.
Future plans:apply a script to get the followers fast mounted and dismounted developement and advancement of dialogueadvance leading options for Ramgaradvance collect things options for Chiomara development of questlines optimizing as much as possible add a packmule for the shepherd's stuffadd instruments to the songs This is my first mod I've ever made. I started with no idea how to do everything with the ck and learnt all the hard way but with the greatful help of nexus comunity. There were many downs – but also ups despite the many bugs I've been confronted with, like everyone else. So I'm really proud of my work that it has come so far. A last point: I'm not an english native speaker and never have to speak english in my daily life. I did my best but some things will stay weird for your ears. I'm working on it Songs included:
Chim-El-Adabal: music by Tasheni, text from Imperial Library - this is my own interpretation and not the eso version.
Sleeping Giant: music and text by Tasheni
Anvil's Golden Shore: music Irish traditional, text adapted from Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore
Ride On: Irish traditional
Eldrids short songs written by Tasheni
This mod would not be possible without some people who helped me a lot with different things:
Very warm thanks to my boyfriend who got my back and gave me the time to work everyday on this mod.
Thank you Dark Creations and nexus for hosting my project and files.
Thank you for my very special voice actors, you've done a fine job:
kaomau for the voice of Ruby Trevelyen
Joachim 'dojoe' Fenkes for the voice of Ramgar of Stoney Creek
Roarbee for the voice of Tomalik'r Torquesson RoarBee on youtube
Mona Bruemmer for the voice of Chiomara Northwind
Eldrid Firerider and Sherda Akkadim are voiced by Tasheni
I'm also very thankful for the help of IsharaMeradin and ReDragon2013 on nexus for helping me with scripting and other things.
All assets are used with permissions except of the horse saddles by Sedryn. He's not available for me, perhaps inactive. So, dear
Sedryn, I ask you right here for your permission for using these wonderful saddles and hope you will read this or someone has contact
and will inform you.
Look at the mod and decide if I can use your assets. If not, I will remove them from the mod immediately but this would be very sad.
Credits go to
apachii for her wonderful apachii skyhair
Xerperious for Dark Souls Rings resoucre Dark Souls Rings
Tamira for her new flowers resource Tamira New Flowers Resource
Fierymarigold for her fantastic horse modder's resource Swift Steeds Modder's Resource
Alien Slof for most beautiful horse Textures Slof's Lair
LogRaam for the amazing Eyes of Beauty The Eyes of Beauty
stormshallow for his lovely Sheep Modders resource Sheep Modder's Resource
Nazenn and missjennabee for sparkling Improved Eyes textures Improved Eyes
Sparky210 for his nice SparkyDogFollower mod Sparky Dog Follower
Oarystis and Tony67 for great useful modder's resource packs Oaristys Modder's Resource Pack
Sedryn for his unique great Ornate saddles Ornate Saddles
Urshi for his amazing Fine Faces for men texture Fine Face Textures for Men
tktk for the beautiful Pretty Face textures Pretty Face
Geonox for High Res Face Maps for Men High Face Res Maps
pikkatze for Smooth Faces for Ladies and Gents Smooth Faces For Ladies And Gents
Skyla for her great tutorial Make any character a standalone follower Make any character a standalone follower
Thank you to all developers of the tools that are necessary to get such things working like niftools, BSAOpt and that of other ones.
Thank you to the forum comunity on nexus that is always providing important informations and help.
At this early state of the mod I can't give permissions to anyone. Please be patient. This may change in future.
Thank you for downloading and testing. Greetings from Tasheni
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Tasheni added a blog entry in Skyrim - Tasheni FollowersMod is onlineI'm very proud that I finally did it. Mod is out in an early beta version. I hope there will be not too much bugs. You will find it here:
Now I will not work on it for the next half year but then I will be back for debugging and further development. This way will be long, though. The end is not in sight:)
Greetings from Tasheni
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Tasheni added a blog entry in Skyrim - Tasheni FollowersBefore mod releasing I ran into an issueThe last weeks I work really hard to get this mod ready to release but I ran into a big problem when I tried to make my mod standalone. For Eldrid I have no ece file under the skse folder because I made her with ck only. I had installed the Pretty Face mod from tktk1 but this is a female face replacer and I don't want to replace all faces in game. So I tried to get the textures from this mod attached to the head of Eldrid. But it doesn't work. Now it looks like that: Look at the attachments.
That's pretty annoying and I have no idea how to fix it. I have only the files in the facegendata folders and no Eldrid.npc to import her again. I'm pretty sure I've exportet the face several times but it is not on my disk anymore??? I've read every tutorial I could grab and watched videos how to made npcs standalone and how to replace face and textures but nothing works.
If there's anyone outside who could advise me I would be so damn happy.
Edit: Problem is solved. It happened because I tried to copy the head and put it into the character's folder. Everytime I tried to apply this head to the character this happens. I simply did not know that it's not needed to use an own headmesh for standalone characters. And she's only made with ck and not racemenu or ece and so I was on the completely wrong way. I only needed the 00000D62.nif and apply all the textures to it - that's enough. Now she looks great again and I'm very, very happy.
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Tasheni added a blog entry in Skyrim - Tasheni FollowersTasheni Followers - Tomalik'r Torquesson and Ramgar of Stony CreekRecently I had bad luck: Exactly after I had all soundfiles at the right place and corrected wrong subtitles my game crashed and destroyed my esp-file. A whole days work was lost and at the end I didn't knew what I've changed first. It was all too much stuff. It toolk me two days to do it all again. Now I'm proud to introduce the two men of my follower to you: Ramgar of Stony Creek and Tomalik'r Torquesson, now fully voiced. Video is not too good because I have not enough time to do it better. I'm at holidays for the next four weeks. After that I will debug and pack the mod for the first release in July. I hope there will be no delay anymore but who knows ... Here is the video:
Greetings from Tasheni
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Tasheni added a blog entry in Skyrim - Tasheni FollowersSkyrim - Tasheni Followers - Song of Chim-El AdabalThe mod makes progress, I have more ideas as I can work on and of course the release is delayed. I have another goal, that is July. It takes an amount of time to test and find bugs. And my voice actors have a real life, too and I have to be patient. I'm proud of their work - and also of mine
I have recorded another song, voice only as before. I focused on animations to get this lively, but I ran into another annoying problem. The verses are separated dialogue fields, because I wanted a new animation every second line. And so I have pauses between the lines. I read somwhere that this is because of a hidden timer Bethesda included in scene dialogues. I don't know anymore which post it was and if there's a solution. If someone could tell me I would be more than happy.
The song's text is from the Imperial Librairy (what have I written, french, english? Looks weird, I get lost) the melody is mine. It's about the Amulet of Kings, the Chim-El Adabal. And if I get someday some time, I will learn to play it on my Bouzouki and include it in the game. For now, I present you this one with the annoying pauses. I hope, you like that song.
Greetings to all, Tasheni
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Tasheni added a blog entry in Skyrim - Tasheni FollowersSkyrim - Tasheni Followers - Giant's SongWith the help of IsharaMeradin and ReDragon2013 on nexus I now have a player horse that can be talked to and player can remove the saddle or saddle up and give orders. That's a pretty nice thing.
I've written a short song for Skyrim and implemented it. It's a ballad about Skyrims eldest creatures. No instruments for now - it was years ago since I played guitar or bouzouki and have no time to learn it again. We will see. Look at this short video and enjoy the Giant's Song:
Work is going on, but mod presentation is delayed. I've lost one of my most important voice actor, he has not the time for a long run, but that's necessary because the mod will grow over time. And I'm already waiting for the sound files of another one. But at least it's not too bad, because there are so many things that have to be done before releasing. My patience is slowly sinking to the ground
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Tasheni added a blog entry in Skyrim - Tasheni FollowersSkyrim - Tasheni Followers - Talking Horse via race switchingAfter messing around with actorTypes and a scripted menu for switching from talking to riding the horse, nothing was successful. The ActorTypeHorse keyword forces the player to mount, even if a script is running that changes the race when activating the horse . So I found another solution:
I have the horse with the ActorTypeNpc on it. Set up a quest with follower AI and alias for the horse. Dialog shows up with the decision to saddle the horse or ride without. Script started after the dialog and switches the race to ActorTypeHorse, saddle is equiped and now player can ride the mount. Problem is to switch the race back to Npc. I tried to make it, when actor dismounts, but than the saddle is immediately vanishing, because an npc can't wear a saddle (is that right????) .
But perhaps I can use a ring or necklace and when player equips it, horse changes back to Npc race. It gives some kind of control over this process. IsharaMeradin wrote me a script that controlls, if player is on mount and updates it regularly, if he dismounts, race switched back. I've not tested yet, but will do. So far I'm happy that it works, because it is so much more immersive to give horses orders by talking than by pushing a key for put that gear off or on or let it wait or follow. Pretty much options available, if the horse is a npc
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Tasheni added a blog entry in Skyrim - Tasheni FollowersPerk Entry Points and talking horseProblem with horse saddles is solved and works like a charm for the companions, now the poor creatures do not have to stand fully geared up around anymore, when idle. But I run into another problem - huh, what else!
I want the player to be able to give his own horse orders, so that he can put the saddle down himself or tell the horse to wait or follow. But the horse has the ActorTypeHorse on it that handles the mounting. Player can only talk to it, if mounted and that's pretty annoying. He should not mount after talking. On nexus I was pointed to perk entry points, where I was able to create a menu for activating. But it seems to be not possible to trigger a dialog with it. So ReDragon2013 does a nice script for me to get my player talk to the horse without perk entry points - but now player jumps on the horse right after he has talked to him There seems to be no possibility to remove the ActorType via script from an actor, but now I have the idea to replace the horse with another one, that has the ActorTypeNPC on it. Than I can talk to him and the dialog could replace the actor via script to a similar one, that has the ActorTypeHorse on it and let me ride. I'm working on it and because I'm a scripting noob this could take while.
But what I have achieved is to give my follower map markers, so they could easily be found, if they getting lost. That's very helpful.
For today I which you creative hours. Greetings Tasheni
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