Old Things are New Again: Skyblivion Interview
By Jonathan Balofsky On 8 Sep, 2017 At 02:49 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Interviews, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I recently had a chance to speak with Kyle Rebel, the lead developer of the upcoming Skyrim mod, Skyblivion. SKyblivion is a mod that will remake Elder Scrolls Oblivion within the Skyrim engine.

Take a look below and enjoy.

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JB: How did this project come about? Obviously modding Elder Scrolls games has always been a big thing, but where did the idea of bringing Oblivion to Skyrim’s engine originate?

 

KR: It started out as a silly hobby project between Zilav and Monocleus (Ormin in the past) tha was never really supposed to turn into anything, After they posted their first results people like myself showed interest and later on I took the lead in making sure we got organized and recruited the people necessary to turn this idea into something concrete. Our team now consists out of some of the most talented modders found in the TES community. Because of this we are able to do things not seen in mods up until this point such as creatures with custom skeletons, animations and behaviors. Real spear combat mechanics (there exist some amateur mods for this but they dont add actual spear into the game).  On the graphics side for example we are able to create better looking trees and distant details than Bethesda ever could.

 

 

JB:  How has Bethesda’s reaction been to the project? Has there been any backlash? Any support?

 

KR: They have mentioned the TESR projects in the past but nothing major. We appreciate the worlds Bethesda build and for this reason we will require our users to own legitimate copies of the original games in order to install our projects.

 

JB: What has the fan reaction been to the project over the years?

 

KR: Reactions have been wonderful for the most part. There are complaints about how the project takes too long and how we are only releasing videos to make a name for ourselves and feed some nostalgia hype train but people need to understand we are not a professional game developer. Everyone on the project including myself works on this in their free time and doesn’t get a dime for the work they put into it.

For this reason we need to make those videos to let people know the project is still going strong and that as long as it is in development we can use all the help we can get to realize this dream as fast as possible.

 

JB:  Did the arrival of Skyrim Special Edition throw anything off? If so, how?

 

KR: Not at all, it did tear the modding community apart to some extent but other than that nothing has changed. We plan to release Skyblivion for both versions of Skyrim to make sure as many people as possible will be able to play it. Also SkyrimSE has some handy improvements we can utilize to further enhance the experience.

 

JB:  What are some of the big challenges with this project? Both in terms of programming, design, and resources as well other issues more external.

 

KR: Definitely the production and organization of any and all aspects of the mod.

Keeping track of all our developers and dealing with people going inactive is a big part of my job and I can tell you that its pretty exhausting and takes up a big chunk of my time on the project. We have several department leads who take care of 3D (devided in creatures, weapons, armors, misc props and enviormental assets) 2D, Level design, Music, Navmeshing, UI development, Textures, Mechanics etc. These department leads have to keep track of the people within their respected teams and help/guide them where needed. We are fortunate to have some very experienced/professional people on our team whoes main job it is to assure the content people creature are up to snuff.

Lastly we have the review stage which is time consuming. When someone finishes his/her assets or area in-game, a department lead or myself will have to go over what they did and see if there is room for improvement before we can call it ”finished” and get it ready to be merged.

 

JB:  Will there be any use of Skyrim assets or will the project be avoiding that?

 

KR:  Our aim is to recreate Cyrodiil and Most of Skyrims assets don’t fit into the province that well. We are re-using some simple assets like the rock and mountain meshes and some shrubs here and there but for the most part we are working with our own custom assets to ensure the world looks as vibrant as one would expect from the Imperial province.

 

JB: Bethesda recently revealed creation club. Will Skyblivion be part of that?

 

KR: No, this video will tell you everything you need to know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89d0fWCOsM

 

JB: Has the skyblivion team been working with the Skywind team at all? Shared resources/developers and such?

 

KR: Yes, we try to share as many assets and knowledge as we can. This goes for Beyond Skyrim too.

 

JB:  Has there been any temptation to change things in any way? I don’t mean bug fixes but rather serious changes.

 

KR: Most certainly, Cyrodiil’s landscape for instance will be seriously enhanced and overhauled. Weapons and armor sets are also getting a more realistic overhaul. Also we are adding back cut content from the game and repairing some areas that can be found in the lore but are left out in the game like the city of Sutch.

 

JB:  Do you foresee this mod getting a modding scene of its own in the future?

 

KR:  I hope so, unfortunately I myself (and many others) am so close to the development of the mod that I won’t be able to get that ”first time playing” experience that all ours users will be able to enjoy. I hope some modders will go nuts with our work and in turn will give me something new and exciting to check out 😉

 

JB:  How do you deal with the fan demands regarding the project?

 

KR: Generally we like to stick to our own plans, we are very well acquainted with the lore and backstory of Cyrodiil. At the end of the day everyone has an opinion and trying to make compromises based on fan demands would turn into an endless cycle or revisiting semi completed tasks.

That said we do listen to feedback given to us an n occasion make changes based off of it.

 

JB: Is there a current estimate for when the project will be done?

KR: Our personal goal is late 2018 but this is nothing more than an internal goal set in the prime of our development cycle. In order to make this goal come true we will need more help from new volunteers.

 

JB: Is there any concern about expectations for the project?

KR: Not at all, I think people will be blown away by the project when it is released.

 

JB: What will be next for the team after Skyblivion is complete? Perhaps remakes of the first two games?

KR: A loooooong break from modding. This project has been fun but it has been taking up too much of my time for the past 2 years. I am dedicated to bringing TES fans this remake ASAP but after it is released I think myself and many others from the team will take a well earned break and focus on our careers and our own futures for a change.

 

JB: Do you have anything you would like to say to the readers of Real Otaku Gamer?

KR: The same thing I say to all the other Skyblivion supporters, thank you all for the continuing support, kind words and feedback you have provided us with over the course of the development of Skyblivion. We wouldn’t be here without you.

 

We thank you for doing this interview.

 

 

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If you would like to know more about Skyblivion, you can visit their website here, or visit their twitter account @TESRSkyblivion      , Kyle can be found on twitter   @Rebelzize

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