One for you fans of Skyrim Academy. I don’t often do this sort of thing, but I decided with this Skyrim Academy update, I wanted to provide a little insight. I’ve read over this post, now that it’s written, and I know it’s rambly, and tangenty and nasty, but for those of you who are truly curious about what this mod is and where it comes from, you can read just what’s going on in my mind as I make it.
I haven’t forgotten about you, or the mod. In fact, I’m just about to write a wall post about the mod. Stop reading here if you’re lazy, and jump to the end for v782.
So I’ve never really sat down and wrote about what Skyrim Academy really is, or why it exists. I often get comments from people, suggesting things I should do, things I should add, directions I should take the mod. The biggest one is, of course “add NPCs and make a quest”, but really, even at a glance, Skyrim Academy just isn’t that sort of mod, at least not in my mind. I also get requests to expand the school area. Add more accessible classrooms. Things like that. If I said the words “engine limitations” to you, I wouldn’t be joking. The main academy building is one single indoor cell, with absolutely no culling, primarily because with the massive number of windows you can essentially see from one end of the building to the other. Keeping that in mind, there’s no way I could continue adding to the school without dramatically decreasing performance until the mod eventually becomes unplayable due to the massive amount of content rendering at once. Moving on…
At its core, Skyrim Academy has absolutely nothing to do with the game it’s placed in, and short of effectively creating a total conversion mod, it just doesn’t seem like the direction I want to go.
Then what is Skyrim Academy? Well, I’ve asked myself that question many times. Originally, it began as a swimming pool, after a discussion I had with HoneyVanity about wanting one for screenshooting. It was just a nifty little screenshooting location, to take *not lore friendly* pictures. Users of ENB will also notice that quite a lot of this mod was designed to function with ENB in mind. A lot of the metallic surfaces look flat using only the vanilla engine, and that only serves to compound that this mod is meant for screenshooting with your pretty ENB. After that, as you’ll find on the mods page, I ended up making another unique location, which was intended to simply be a nurse’s office, but as I built that location the ideas began to spark and I ended up pretty much consumed with ideas on how to expand and use the space I was making.
Skyrim Academy was born. Even now, I still call Skyrim Academy a screenshooting location, because that’s exactly what it is, in practical use, but for me it’s become a way for me to learn how to create and world build, and just have fun making a vision come to life. Anyone who keeps an eye on the mod track page will see themselves that I have many grandiose plans for the mod, and it will likely never be finished, but as an experiment in just what I’m capable of and how far I can go with a solo project, it’s going far.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you all aren’t well within your rights to expect something more from a mod than just “a location”, but I just don’t think I’m the man to do that job. Perhaps, if I had a team to help me along, things might move faster, the world might come to fruition, and we could populate it, but this is my pet project, not a god tier story mod.
Every aspect of Skyrim Academy was born out of some sort of fandon, pastime, or fetish (not necessarily mine). Locations like The Velvet Room, which it seems a number of folks have never even found, come directly out of the Persona games. This incarnation specifically comes from Persona 3 (though my elevator goes down, not up). The swimming pool is a place to use your mizugi, personified by the fact I even gave you a mizugi to wear, in case you didn’t have one. The club rooms are just such an in-built part of high school life, and all the cliched ones are there. Though you may not recognise them yet, there’s a PC club, an anime club, a student council room, an art club, a film club, an occult club, and that one club which nobody really knows what it does.
The photographer’s studio is another exemplary part of the mod, in terms of the random creativity vibe. Normally one might make a mod like that a separate item, but with the nature of Skyrim Academy as just being a big sort of amalgam of all the shit I wanted to make, it just ended up tacked on.
As the mod expands, it becomes harder to work on, because it comes more well known, and more is expected of me. It’s an interesting dilemma, since at one point I had a clear direction for the mod, but as time goes on, I become more unsure of what it is or where it’s going.
In the end, the tl;dr is that Skyrim Academy is a big pile of shit that I mashed together. There’s no point in expecting it to become some amazing quest, or be populated with kawaii school girls. It’s just an ever expanding location for you to take your not so lore friendly waifu to, and take a picture of her. As I keep expanding the mod, more locations will appear, which are a little less age locked (because your 30 year old Breton probably doesn’t walk around in school uniforms), such as the “home” portion, or the inn, but it will always remain an interesting screenshooting location, and nothing much more.
Following all that garbage, of course, this post also has an update. A small update in terms of new content, but a big one in terms of bug squashing and under the hood improvements.
Here’s the changelog:
-Photographer’s studio updated with a reception cell. Instead of having to hike through 4 or 5 other cells to get to the unique rooms, all 7 studio cells can be accessed from reception via various doors.
-Fixed collision on over half of the meshes which were suffering from bizarre offsets. All collision meshes should now be working as intended.
-Minor alterations in various areas:
–Added shelving and balls to the sports hall, as well as basketball hoops.
–Replaced original diving boards in pool cell with properly modelled and collisioned ones.
–Replaced vanilla copied collisions on the stands with custom collisions.
–Moved pool cell shower heads higher up, so taller characters won’t bump their heads.
–Scaled down the comically huge shower heads in the sports hall showers, and also raised them.
–Minor optimisations in the pool cell.
–Restored door travel from Infirmary to Courtyard, since some folks didn’t even realise there *was* an Infirmary because it was too much *effort* to find it.
To top off this post to pierce the heavens, I also have my first showcase videos of the mod. I’ve been avoiding doing this for a long time, in no small part due to my shitty upload speed and the length of time it takes to upload HD video (in fact, it’s still only 720p, for that reason), but also because the mod is so far from being complete, I loathe to show it off like that. However, I’ve seen quite a few showcase videos made by others now, and a great many of them are lacking in one way or another. Mostly, I feel like none of them really give you a full scope of the mod and all its little ins and outs. For example, I haven’t seen a single video of the school at night, which I personally think is when it’s most charming (or most creepy, for some folks).
So here, in all their low quality 720p glory are my Skyrim Academy showcase videos.
And there it is friends. The ugly truth.
Until next time.