Showcase Guidlines

Showcase Guidlines

Postby Rattfink333 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:51 am

NOTE: If you are a modder with TR, P:C, or SHotN you do NOT have to make a showcase. Modders from other province mods are immediately promoted. No Showcase required.

The guidelines for showcases are exactly the same as TR, P:C, etc. which is why they are pretty much copied. (slightly changed)

EXTERIORS -

Exterior cells should have 150 references minimum, unless otherwise specified. Also, you must have at least 3 cells. You can make 3 cells out in the wilderness or in an unmodded area. The 3 cells should be pretty detailed. If you want your "landmass" to meet the water that's fine by us, we really only need two full cells of land to review. The other cell can be something of your choice.
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INTERIORS -

The Elder Scrolls Advanced Mod Editor (TESAME):
A lot of plug-ins have a small effect on the original game. We call plug-ins that affect/change the original game "dirty". To clean it you can use a program called TESAME. Open TESAME, then select your mod. Delete everything from it except TES3, any object you made yourself ,(such as a note) and any cell you modified. The plug-in should then be clean. Don't forget to save it.

Cookie Cutting:
Cookie Cutting means copying a Bethesda interior, or any part of a Bethesda interior, and using it as your own. It is not professional and should be avoided at all costs. We do not allow it here.

Gridsnap:
Gridsnap is an essential part of constructing interiors from scratch. We want to see if you can use gridsnap well, and if you can make hard-to-gridsnap pieces work properly using it. It's the raster button in your Construction Set. All interiors should use it. We recommend a 3X2 Hlaalu_de_p interior for your showcase. Make sure your items are correctly rotated to the de_p surfaces if you choose to do this theme.

Floating:
We call objects floating if they aren't resting completely on a surface. This is quite easy to deal with. Just press 'f' and most of the time an item will fall down to the surface. This doesn't work for some lights; you must lower those manually.

Bleeding:
An object is bleeding if a part of it is within another solid object. For example, a chair can be stuck in a floor. To deal with most of these, raise them above the surface and press 'f'. Or just move it out of the other object.

Mixing styles:
In TES III: Morrowind there are two main styles; Dunmer style and Imperial style. These should not be mixed, as Bethesda Softworks did not mix them. To tell them apart, look at their name in the editor. Dunmer objects have 'de' in their name, like furn_de_p_chair. Imperial objects have 'com' in their name, like furn_com_r_table. Some Imperial objects can be used in Dunmer interiors, however, such as bottles and sacks.

Furniture is also divided between rich and poor. These shouldn't be mixed either. You can tell which is rich and which is poor by looking at the color of the wood. The richer the furniture, the darker the wood. You can also read it in the name. In the example above, p = poor, and r = rich. M also means middle class.

Lighting:
Most plug-ins in the showcase still have default light settings. This is seen as incorrect because default light settings look like a spotlight has been put on the interior cell in game. This can be fixed quite easily. Go to World, Interior Cells. Find your cell(if you have it loaded and have been editing it, it should be the first one to pop up) and then darken the 3 settings. The default lights are above 200, while most interiors should be beneath 150. Try to find another interior that is like your own and copy the light settings. Also, be sure to check the "Illegal To Sleep Here" box.

Dependencies:
DO NOT HAVE DEPENDENCIES ON ANYTHING OTHER THAN MORROWIND, BLOODMOON, AND TRIBUNAL!!!

Northmarker:
The Northmarker is a static that is used by the game to correctly orient the minimap. Please make sure you include one in your cell, outside of the actual interior walls!

Fitting the Exterior
It's important to make sure that if your interior has an exterior shell, it fits! (NOTE: Interior tiles are bigger than exterior tiles) If your exterior has a little square building, don't create a star-shaped interior for that building!

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QUESTS -

Requirements: You need only one quest for promotion if it is of normal length. When I say normal, I mean something that takes more than five minutes to do without rushing. If you want to make a short fetch quest with no extra paths, go ahead and include another small quest of a different objective so we can effectively evaluate you. And hey, dialogue needs spice. Remember that.

TESAME: Just like Interiors, you want to clean out anything you didn't change. Here are the most common ways a mod can be dirty.

NPCs:
You will ALWAYS have to add dialogue for a quest, even if it's just journal entries. To get to the dialogue window you have to go through an NPC, or click the red balloon icon next to the pencil icon at the top of the window. If you use a pre-existing NPC, this is likely to mark them as "changed" even if you didn't change anything. Also be aware that adding dialogue to an NPC does not constitute changing the NPC.

Dialogue: Like I said, you will ALWAYS add dialogue for a quest. If you add that dialogue to a pre-existing topic, such as greeting 5, it will mark the dialogue entries above and below the added ones as changed even if you haven't changed them. Clean them out.

Cells: The Construction Set likes to create dirty cell references (refs)- usually about three or four of them - which must be cleaned. Sometimes the only cell-change you make is adding one quest NPC along the road. In such a case it can be difficult to tell which cell you changed, because exterior cells often don't have a name listed in TESAME. What you need to do is double-click on the cell reference in TESAME. The program will display details as to what was changed in that cell. If you don't see something you put in there, it's a dirty cell and should be cleaned out.

Dialogue: Dialogue often has to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, especially for spelling & grammar, but here are a few things to watch out for:

- Quests should use greeting 5 unless you have a good reason to do otherwise. The reason for this is to exclude people who are vampires, mass-murderers, afflicted by Corprus, or otherwise unlikely candidates to be asked for a favor. This rule can be broken in the following cases: The NPC is in immediate peril and doesn't care who saves them; the NPC is offering a quest that is *only* available to vampires, mass murderers, etc.; or 'forcegreetings'. In those cases you should use greeting 1. Explain your logic if you don't follow this guideline; there are times when it is appropriate to break it.

- If you give the player the option to refuse a quest, the quest giver should respect that. It's okay to allow the player to change their mind and ask about it again later, but the NPC should not *ask* for help if the player has already refused.

- Use specific dialogue topics whenever possible. Avoid topics like "problem", "little help", etc. because they are more likely to cause conflicts. For example: If you want help finding your friend, don't say "%PCName, I need some help." Say "%PCName, have you seen my friend Zaphod?"

- In some cases you may notice that one of your dialogue topics doesn't turn blue and add itself to the topic list. There are two major reasons for that:

1. You don't have a response for the current conditions. This is especially common right when you start the quest. If the greeting "%PCName, have you seen my friend Zaphod?" triggers journal entry 10, and your first dialogue response occurs if the journal is >= 10, you will not get a blue Zaphod because the journal updates AFTER the quest giver says the line, so it's still 0 by the time the engine checks the word Zaphod.

2. You have used a topic that is similar to an existing topic. The response "%PCName, please don't tell my husband!" will not give you a blue husband because the engine will parse the topic 'my husband' which exists in the game as released by Bethesda, instead of the topic 'husband.' This is less common, but it happens.

Modeling/Texturing

Modeling

Basic Mesh:
The mesh has to be modeled efficiently in regards to polycount and has to look good. Pretty much that simple. Keep in mind the size of your model, a sword should not have as many polygons as a house. Make sure to bevel edges on larger models.

UV Maps:
Your model needs to have a UV map, regardless of whether you're making a final texture or not. The map needs to utilize as much space as possible and be laid out in such a fashion that it is easy to understand and use for texture artists. Larger objects, such as architecture, should use several textures and tile efficiently.

Collision/Havok:
The model must have working collision or physics (for non-static objects). The collision should be tight enough to behave realistically in game while using as few polygons as possible.

Export:
This is very important: you must be able to get your mesh in game! Program specific files (.blend, .max, .mb, etc.) are next to useless for showcases, we need to be able to see that you can complete your model.

Make sure you export your model to the correct nif version!

Concept:
It is best to focus on creating a model from our concept art for the showcase. Models that are related to the project are not only easier to grade but can also be used in game after your promotion. If you are not sure of what to model for your showcase please ask, the moderators will be more than happy to find you a suitable concept.

If you are modeling from a piece of concept art please stay as close to it as possible. We want to see that you can follow artistic direction. It is of course fine to make changes to the concept, just make sure to let us know that they are on purpose.

Texturing

Realistic Textures
Textures need to look believable. The best way to achieve this is to use photos as bases for your textures. There are plenty of great photo texture sites out there.

Textures will of course be at least partially hand painted. Make sure that the colors are not too saturated and that the texture looks real. Remember to weather older textures and to add shadows and highlights. Make it look good but DO NOT give so much detail that the texture stands out in Morrowind. That makes the quality go down believe it or not.


**As noted below we are pretty lenient compared to TR and others. This is because we want to give as much freedom as possible and to encourage more people to help out. Your showcase can pass with a maximum of 3 MINOR errors as a result of this standard. (excluding dialogue and scripting, these cannot have errors)**
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