So I want some opinions [Updated]

The Aether Suite has been expanding and expanding for years, and the file size for the mod had become very big, both as a download, and as an unzipped install. With that in mind, a lot of my more recent updates have been trying to provide new content without too much increase in asset load. For the Christmas update this year, I’d like to know, if you guys had to see more of the same, what would your preference be.

Here’s a poll. You can vote for multiple options, but please don’t vote for more than 3. It’s not helpful.

[Edit]

So after letting the poll run for a week, I got a lot more votes than expected, and the end results went in directions I also was pretty surprised about. You can view the results in the link below. I’ll be using these results to figure out just exactly what I want to do next, so thanks to everyone who voted.

Final Results

Thanks for your help!

36 Comments

    • Halofarm May 11, 2019 8:24 pm  Reply

      Nope. That’s not what I’m aiming for at all with Knox. I am aware of the mod, but it’s not my personal aesthetic.

  1. lll May 11, 2019 7:08 pm  Reply

    I really, really glad to see your update, and to see most of the people want the Knox become bigger! Even simply wondering in the city makes me feel fun…

    • Halofarm May 11, 2019 8:22 pm  Reply

      It certainly seems to be taking the lead quite well!

  2. Gnomods May 11, 2019 10:19 pm  Reply

    the hoteeeeeeeeeeeel :'(

  3. Momber May 14, 2019 11:10 am  Reply

    To me, file size is not an issue. If I had one free request to make, I would respectfully ask to redesign some of the lighting. In many places the lightsources are on the floor and shining light into the models’ nostrils is not very attractive to me. Thanks for your consideration.

    • Halofarm May 14, 2019 12:06 pm  Reply

      That’s on purpose. Not the nostrils part, but the lighting being below. When it’s above, it does far worse things. Dark eye sockets, ugly shadows on the neck, too much of the face in shadow. Things like that.

      Personally, I find mods that put all the lighting higher up are far harder to screenshoot in.

      • Momber May 16, 2019 7:03 am  Reply

        I understand. Maybe there is a middle ground? GomaPero World for instance seems to use some invisible light sources that are placed at a favourable angle. You could still keep the floor lights as a design element.

        • Halofarm May 16, 2019 9:10 am  Reply

          That’s why I use more mid-wall lights and tabletop lamps in my newer locations. Perhaps if I have time before Christmas, I can go back and look at some of the older locations regarding reworking lighting. I have to say though, it’s to my personal tastes to use floor lighting, so I’m not sure how much I’ll change. I just like it that way.

          • Momber May 16, 2019 3:27 pm 

            Of course it’s your prerogative to design the mod any way you like. All I’m saying is that when bikini tops and breasts are casting their shadows upwards (!), something is wrong imo. https://i.imgur.com/36BH70m.jpg

  4. Gregory Thomas May 14, 2019 6:54 pm  Reply

    You know me, I LOVED the spooky portion of the Knox, and even though it only received 19% I really think it should be considered. I’ll be honest, I haven’t felt sweat while holding my controller from fear since when I was playing Fatal Frame. ;)

    • Halofarm May 14, 2019 7:54 pm  Reply

      I don’t want to say much, in case it goes nowhere, but outside of this poll, I have some ideas about that anyway. It would require me to make quite a few new assets, so it doesn’t really relate to this. That’s also why I’m not certain I’ll do it. I guess we’ll see.

      • Sawbones June 20, 2019 6:11 pm  Reply

        Yeah uh…. after the first initial panic and my game crashing after i attacked my keyboard in self-defense, i haven’t mustered up the courage to try that bit out again even though i want to. maybe now I should since I’m full of post-surgery drugs. Surely I won’t panic again! Surely!

        • Halofarm June 20, 2019 6:34 pm  Reply

          Regarding your question at the bottom of the page, which I can’t reply to, Lurbuk and the Lords of Storm is not a real band. I wrote those lyrics. It’s a joke regarding the Orc bard from the vanilla game called Lurbuk, who you get tasked to kill as one of your marks for the Dark Brotherhood because his singing is so bad. I thought it would be amusing if he made it as part of a black metal band in my “alternate timeline”.

  5. soggy May 15, 2019 12:50 pm  Reply

    add me in discord [chopped]
    i’ll work together to help optimize and manage file size and shit like that, problem solved

    • Halofarm May 15, 2019 4:18 pm  Reply

      Well, firstly, putting your Discord tag out in public here is probably not the best idea, so I chopped that out of your comment.

      Regarding the rest, I don’t need help optimizing the file size. I’m very capable of optimizing both my meshes, and my textures. Everything in the mod right now is as small as it can be and still satisfy my personal standards for quality or resolution, without suffering things like ugly compression noise. The file size keeps going up because I keep adding more and more assets. That’s the issue. I don’t intend to stop making new assets either. This poll is to find out what people would like to see me reuse older assets for, in order to be able to expand the mod in a direction people would prefer while keeping the file size from increasing as much as it would if I just went off making completely new stuff over and over. That in itself is the optimization I’m doing. That’s what the poll is about. I have a lot of assets to work with, so there’s still plenty more I can do with them.

  6. soggy May 16, 2019 5:54 am  Reply

    i gave you my tag to discuss this in private. i offered solutions and assistance but if you are not open to opinions why even bother polling? you have already decided and sticking with it anyways

    • Halofarm May 16, 2019 9:02 am  Reply

      The question in the poll is pretty clear. It’s simply a question about how people would like to see old assets reused and what you said really isn’t the issue, and it’s not something I need help with. I know how to optimize file sizes, whether it be textures or meshes. I’m constantly overhauling things to strike the best balance between quality and quantity. It’s just not something I need help with.

      As for you giving me your Discord tag, I simply prefer to stick to keeping Discord for messaging friends. If that offended you, I’m sorry.

  7. soggy May 16, 2019 3:10 pm  Reply

    you seem to be the one offended in the first place and airs dirty laundry in public. i’m not here to shoot you down boi. i’m no longer interested anyways :)

    • Halofarm May 16, 2019 3:21 pm  Reply

      …dirty laundry?

      You’ve totally lost me now.

  8. soggy May 16, 2019 3:36 pm  Reply

    calm your tits i said i’m no longer interested and will stop posting or checking after this one. just a reminder to be courteous in public replies next time instead of I AM RIGHT YOU ARE WRONG GTFO and dont sidetrack to oblivion when replying

    • Halofarm May 16, 2019 3:46 pm  Reply

      I feel like we’re having 2 very different conversations here.

  9. TJHammersmith May 17, 2019 10:34 pm  Reply

    I voted for the clubs and exterior spaces because I love using the larger areas in Knox as group homes for my NPC’s.

    I remember there was a mod called Lorebane Manor that used your assets to create a large apartment that was kinda cool, but I think that modder’s left the scene now and the newer versions of the Aether Suite aren’t 100% compatible with their work, but my point is that those larger habitable spaces are cool.

    Either way, you know I love your work. :)

    • Halofarm May 18, 2019 7:25 am  Reply

      There was an update forever ago that broke Lorebane, because I renumbered all the formIDs to include the ayleid undercity stuff. I don’t think Undi updated to fix that, which is fair. He would’ve practically had to remake the mod.

      In fact, that was the reason I haven’t made any similar changes to the AS since. Don’t want to break anyone’s mods.

      • TJHammersmith May 18, 2019 10:09 pm  Reply

        That makes complete sense. Thanks for getting back to me.

  10. kuruairu May 28, 2019 1:15 pm  Reply

    Oh, I missed the poll! Thanks for the quick update on AS regardless :)

    If I still get to chime in, I like the photoshoot dedicated rooms like the photo studio (with different colored rooms and objects) and my favorite modded room in all of skyrim, Lily’s Aetherdash! I absolutely love the customization of light affects, it’ll be really awesome if we get another room like this, or just get this room updated with new lighting effects.

    Regardless, thanks for the continuous updates, and good luck in the future

    • Halofarm May 28, 2019 1:51 pm  Reply

      I’ll keep that in mind. I’d been thinking myself I’d like a similar room but slightly bigger, so maybe, in the midst of everything else, I can find the time to make 1 nice aethernet dash like that.

  11. Bob May 30, 2019 8:36 pm  Reply

    Please add a showroom with a sports car. A wall switch to change the color scheme would be cool as well.

  12. Fyrcynn June 20, 2019 10:49 am  Reply

    Damn, I missed this post. I would have given my input too. :(

    Ah, a little belated but I’ll still leave it here, my vote would have gone for making more apartments and expanding-streamlining the existing ones. Hot spring sliding doors in urban apartments feel quite a bit out of places in a few of them, those could be replaced by normal doors, like those in the hotel. More rooms in the Blue Butterfly and new apartments would also be great, especially with the amazing background music that can be heard in many of them.

    On the second place, I’m a little conflicted. I’d very much like to see more club buildings, but then, what kind of clubs would they be? I think you could create an art gallery like space similar to one of the Aethernet Dashes but without the glass walls and a dimmer lighting to simulate after visit hours. The library also needs, well, actual library like spaces because as it is, it’s a bare walled internet cafe in need of decoration to bring it in line with the more polished areas.
    MayQueen feels very small. Though we don’t get a very clear sense of how big it is in the novel, we can still safely assume it’s larger.

    School world
    Ah yes, I do think the floors could have more accessible areas, and we could even have a student council office either in the main building or as a separate cell. Properly built and decorated with the right items and clutter, it could look awesome, especially if lighting would change with the time of day.

    Knox exteriors
    Hmm, I certainly wouldn’t say no, but I think existing ones could be further polished before adding new areas.

    Hot springs hotel
    I mostly like it as it is, maybe the bath could be a little bigger. What I find puzzling is the garden area for some reason always plummets my FPS by half or more, despite having a GTX 1080.

    Something creepy
    Uhh, no. If I want to play horror games, there are plenty to choose from.

    More aethernet dashboards
    Oh, yes. Some of them, especially the more normal ones like the lounge with the elevated platform and couche are great, I’d love to see more of those.

    And no mannequins please.

    In any case, thanks for making more and better editions. :)

    • Fyrcynn June 20, 2019 10:52 am  Reply

      EDIT: Oh, and the office building that can be accessed by going past the BB Hotel, I’d love to see it having more rooms with a more polished design, or new cells like the Aesir Corporation building from Max Payne. I think it would fit into Knox quite beautifully.

      • Halofarm June 20, 2019 2:11 pm  Reply

        That’s a very old cell. I had originally planned to make more of it, but I realised I’d have to make an awful lot of new assets in order to do what I wanted to do, so it sort of fell by the wayside. Maybe one day I’ll come back to it, but for now it’s basically just a proof of concept for a direction I never took.

    • Halofarm June 20, 2019 2:09 pm  Reply

      Well, when I made this post, I just specifically wanted people to vote in the poll. I don’t need small opinions on every little thing, because in most cases, the things people want either don’t coincide with what I can do, or want to do, for different reasons. That’s why I only asked for a general vote instead of people dissecting the minutiae of the AS and telling me how I can adjust it to their tastes. Too many people use it for me to be that specific, I’m afraid. Which is why I usually just make things I personally like.

      However, since you went to the trouble of giving me specific answers anyway, let me do you the courtesy of explaining why those things are how they are and why I can’t or won’t implement those options.

      Regarding those “hot spring sliding doors” that you’re talking about. They were used in Knox long before I ever made a hot spring. I chose to use those doors simply because I wanted to use those doors. I’m not trying to match the real world or be realistic, so when it comes to details like that, it usually ends up as something I personally like. For rooms in the Blue Butterfly, there’s just no point. In line with the intentionally homogenised look and feel of the AS, all of the hotel rooms would be identical save for 1 or 2 things. That’s why there are only 2. That’s about as much variation as you’d find between the rooms each time.

      The library isn’t meant to look like what you think a library should look like. The entire library database is contained in the library server, which is why all those holopads are stacked at the door. So people can download and check out books. The actual books in the back are, in fact, the personal collection of the librarian, paid for with their own cash. At least, that’s how the story goes in my head. I don’t think I ever wrote it anywhere.

      Regarding clubs, those aren’t bad ideas, however the specific aim of this poll was to find out what people would like to see more of made out of existing assets. Something like an art gallery? I just wouldn’t be able to do a satisfactory job without making lots of new assets on that one.

      The may queen is not meant to represent the Steins;Gate location. I just stole the name because I wanted to make a little cafe on Ehlnofey’s Landing.

      With the school building, there will never be more added to the main building. Ideally, I would have made the entire thing, but the game engine can’t handle any more than is already there. As it is, it lags people’s computers without ENB even turned on. It’s not a matter of my own personal choice. There’s just nothing I can do about it. The engine has limits. Because I choose to use indoor cells for all my areas so that I can apply better lighting, I do lose out on the ability to optimise locations via occlusion planes and similar. There’s no solution except to move the school to an actual worldspace, which I won’t do.

      Apparently you are in the minority here. Between these and club buildings, they were the winners by a margin. Regarding polishing older exteriors, I assume you mean things like adding more details and variation. This is a similar situation to the school area. I am quite limited on what I can do with these exteriors, because when I start getting into the more detailed stuff, the FPS starts to plummet. There are actually quite a few elements I would have liked to make somewhat common, such as little bits of trash in the streets, more particle effects, more animated elements. Sadly, they’re just not feasible with cells this full.

      The courtyard in the hot springs hotel kills your FPS because of the grass meshes. The shadows don’t like casting over all those little blades of grass. It only works nicely in actual outdoor cells because the game handles outdoor grass differently to indoor meshes. You’ll notice the same in Faria’s Aethernet Dash, Carys’ Aethernet Dash, and Yanabayashi Park.

      It’s unfortunate that you don’t want more creepy, because I’m already making it. It didn’t get many votes in the poll, but I was already working on it when I took the poll. Also, while not many people votes for it in the poll, a lot of my actual friends want to see more of it, and as is the nature of corruption, I listen to their voices more than everyone else’s. I feel it’s also relevant to point out that Knox actually, believe it or not, began as a creepy zone. It grew into something else over time, but the creepy remains a core part of what makes up Knox, and it will always be a major element, even if some folks don’t like it. I do make sure to put it out of the way so that people don’t have trouble avoiding it, and I will continue to do so.

      Nobody voted for these, so you won’t be getting any. I don’t mean to sound cruel either. I actually enjoy making them, but they did so poorly in the poll, I won’t be doing any this time.

      There will be mannequins. There will.

      Hopefully this has explained a little about why the things you mentioned are the way they are, but also made you realise why I try to avoid getting too specific with people’s opinions. Even when I sometimes ask friends for ideas, there’s such a mixture of opinions that I usually just end up going off and doing whatever I’d most like to see, or taking little polls like this one to get a more generalised opinion.

      Also, please understand that I don’t mean to come across as standoffish. I understand how negative a long list of “no” can seem. I just prefer to give people full explanations of the whys instead of completely ignoring them or blowing them off with false platitudes. I feel it’s more respectful to be honest and to try to help people understand my methods and thinking.

      • Fyrcynn June 20, 2019 3:24 pm  Reply

        That’s fine. Since I was late by a month to the poll, I didn’t expect that you’d alter your plans in the first place. I’m happy to take what I can get, and Aether Suite is by far one of the best screenshooting area mods.

        The only thing I disagree on is you not being able to make an art gallery without lots of new assets. You’ve already sort of created one with one of the aethernet dashes I’ve mentioned. What I meant by art gallery is a more developed, larger version with much the same assets, but maybe with a higher ceiling, a separate lounge or entry hall area, that kind of thing. I think all or most of the assets needed are already present, which would leave the level design to consider. Meaning only the esp would get a little bigger with the cell data implemented.

        Pity about MayQueen though. Since the lab from SG is actually present, I assumed the cafe is also meant to be a location from the novel. I just wanted to mention it since the real cafe tha opens from the ramen shop is incredibly nice and atmospheric, so I was just wandering if MQ could get the same level of attention.

        In any case, thanks for explaining. Will keep liking and using it from now on as well.

        • Halofarm June 20, 2019 3:41 pm  Reply

          You’re actually right. I suppose with a little creative reconfiguring, I could create something akin to an art gallery. Matter of fact, I have quite a lot of black and white “photos” that I could put on the walls. Perhaps that’s where all those photos found in Knox apartments come from? Good on you. I think you might have given me a proper idea to work with.

          As for the May Queen thing… it’s uhh… how should I put it? Sometimes I go for a total 1:1 recreation, sometimes I just go for a reference. Example: The front end of the lab is (aside from some extra lamps and clutter) an accurate recreation. Likewise, the hotel room which you can open the curtain in is Kurisu’s hotel room. The Ramen Shop is actually a somewhat accurate recreation of the one from the anime. Even, that you enter from the Ramen Shop, is a quite accurate recreation of Even from Time of Eve, which was an idea someone gave me in the comments once a long time before. But then there are examples like May Queen and Town Vanguard which are simply named after things. Also some in-betweeners like Celty’s Apartment which is a very rough recreation of Celty’s Apartment from Durarara.

          I guess you could just say, when it comes to fanboy references, I just shoot from the heart and whatever sticks is what sticks.

          • Sawbones June 20, 2019 6:08 pm 

            Oh my gosh, those were all recreations? I’m a shit lady weeb, I haven’t even heard of the things you’d mentioned. Making stuff from scratch from your own head is impressive in and of itself, and an attempt to recreate something you’ve seen? That’s nothing to sneeze at either.

            When I tried to make an interior I made a single room with a floating table and a stick floating like 3 feet above it. In morrowind’s creation kit.

            I’m just gonna go… be impressed… and feel inferior now.

            (also, i tried to find that mortal coil song but i’m getting an actual band i listen to, this mortal coil, and nothing by lord of storm/lurbuk. is that another reference i’m not catching onto? Every time i think of the title ‘lord of storm’ the song ‘made of storm’ by Moonspell so i’m sure i’m going to give myself a weird association in my head now).

  13. sam September 12, 2019 11:57 am  Reply

    Someone may have already suggested this, but I saw a mod the other day where someone was trying to recreate a Lawson’s convenience store. Something like that could be really cool out on the streets of knox. Others might even be compelled to created NPCs to work the counter as an addon. For Dialog, I’m sure there are animes out there with some good audio bytes.

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