Darkfox127 April Newsletter
Hey everyone, this is a large article post just to keep you all updated on all of the recent changes to my content. This article is going to be broken down as I discuss a lot of topics including Discord changes, website additions, Twitch changes, mod news and more. I hope you take the time to read this article as I've been putting a lot of time and effort into everything mentioned in order to make my content better across the board.
NEW MOD TRAILER
How about we start with the most exciting news for this month. I have just released the official trailer for a new side project I have been working on for some months, or more accurately; been waiting to release for a few months. Shaldior's Migrant Portals is a small mod which introduces pocket portals into the game, allowing for instantaneous transport between to points. Every attempt has been made to fit this magic into the lore with the use of the Labyrinth by adding a new miniature dungeon into Shalidor's Maze.
For more information on the mod and a sneak peek at what is to come on May 1st, you can check out the Early Preview video I made back in February.
A CAT'S LIFE PROGRESS
If you've been watching the live streams, checking out the website's WIP page or reading these articles on my bulletin, you'll know of a project which has been in development since January this year. A Cat's Life is a mod which aims to add cats into the world of Skyrim. Features include the adoption of stray cats, the purchase of house cats and the inclusion of additional cats found around the world. There will even be the ability to interact with your cats and keep relationships with them which can change over time depending on your actions.
Up until about a month ago, the project was being developed very quickly, however recent events have kept development on hold for a short while until more time is freed up to work on some more complex elements of the mod. Do not fear though as my passion for this project remains strong and we'll be returning to A Cat's Life development during upcoming live streams.
MORSKOM ESTATE REPAIR PROJECT
As much as I really want to get this mod fixed up and possibly uploaded to Special Edition, at the moment I'm just not feeling that urge to do anything with it. For the moment I'm going to place it on hold and hopefully come back to it. When I announced that I had started a repair project some months back, I stated it might not happen and that may well be the case, however I'm not ruling it out yet.
Instead, I've been recreating a couple of projects which are far smaller in scale which I want to discuss in a little more detail. As a modder, I need to work on mods which are fun to create and work with.
RIVERSIDE SHACK 3.0
As some of you may already know, I'm not my own greatest fan when it comes to my own projects, including Caranthir Tower Reborn. I rarely use my own mods in my games whenever I come around to starting a new playthrough and that remains the case. However, one exception to that is Riverside Shack. I've actually started using this mod in my own playthroughs in the past but I never quite got the start of the mod right and made multiple changes to it.
Shortly after starting A Cat's Life, I decided to shelve The Lost Observatories (another WIP mod) and work on rebuilding the house mod I always wanted to use for my own character. Upon the release of the 64bit Creation Kit for Special Edition, I rebuilt the entire structure of Riverside Shack from scratch but never continued it. The last month or so, I've made huge project getting the majority of the mod restored and re-envisioned. I can say with some certainty that the next edition of Riverside Shack isn't far from being completed and even portable to SE.
BAD CHICKEN - A CHICKEN RETURNS RE-CREATION
If you've made it this far into my article then you may be noticing a pattern emerging. I have so many projects on my hands and so very little time to work on them. This is why some projects are going on hold in favor of smaller projects that I can complete during my live streams, given that I don't have the time to work on mods much outside of streams these days.
Another mod I wish to revive is The Chicken Returns; a mod I've already made twice prior to this article. With the knowledge I now have of Papyrus scripting and dialogue, I feel this mod could be a large hit and be something a little different from my normal content. At this point in Skyrim's life cycle, I think I need to make something that's not too heavily based on lore and is just a laugh to create. Bad Chicken is going to be how I first envisioned this mod and I hope to create a spectacular trailer for it's release.
For now, that's where I'm going to leave details of this mod as there will be more videos and announcements in the future.
Now that the fun modding stuff is out the way, lets discuss the final look of the website and the new additions which have been introduced. Firstly, I'm finally happy with the style and layout that I have on the website. It's clean, easy to navigate and includes all of the required information for visitors.
Secondly, I've now re-added a link to my Spreadshirt store and I'm going to be organising the available merchandise on there soon. The store is a great way for people to support my work and get something cool in return. I don't actually make a lot from the site, but it's enough to buy some custard creams which help fuel my creativity. This is a scientific fact! On the subject of contributions, I've had a change in the naming scheme for "donations" via live streams and the website. I have come to realise that the word "donation" really isn't the best term to use when it comes to people helping contribute financially to my work. Given that in a sense I'm more of a creator and entertainer, it seems more appropriate to call the money I receive a "tip". To that end, I've been making changes across the site and my Twitch overlay to address contributions from viewers and followers to be called tips.
Overall the website is now as polished as I need it to be with the exception of The Forge which is something I'm still trying to work a good design out for.
TWITCH STREAM NEWS
For those still unaware, I do live stream three times a week over on Twitch and YouTube simultaneously the development of my mods. I've been doing this for years now and the past 12 months have seen the quality and viewership of the stream increase greatly. I love live streaming my work and interacting with the community and as a result have decided to try and expand the platforms I stream to. You can now find me streaming on Mixer which is Microsoft's own streaming service. It's mostly used on their Xbox One console and I'm looking to expand my audience to that platform.
In addition to the potential of a new audience, Mixer offers a pretty nice UI and it doesn't mute past broadcasts due to bullshit copyright reasons which should fall under fair usage. From now on, I'll be recommending that people head over to Mixer for watching streams they might have otherwise missed.
Another addition to the streaming setup is Gamewisp; a service which allows for non-Twitch partners to accept subscriptions from viewers and even offer rewards for their continued support. You can check out my profile here and you'll see Gamewisp start to appear on my stream information soon. This is just another great way for people to support my streams and my content creation in general.
The most major change I've made to my streaming is more on the back-end of things. Anyone who has watched my streaming setup will realise how many pieces of software I have to run in order to stream everything that I do to the standard that I want. I've now started using Streamlabs OBS as a replacements for the regular OBS software. Although it's still in the BETA stages, it's done wonders for me and it makes streaming all that much easier.
Another change is that I've finally ditched Fussbot as it never had the full functionality that it offered and Streamlabs Chatbot now has the ability to control my commands, events and everything else for all three of the platforms I'm now streaming to.
To put it simply, my streaming setup has vastly improved and it's awesome.
Now to finally get around to the changes for the Discord community. Over the last 6 months I've been unable to wrap my head around exactly how I wanted the Discord server set up. I wanted to highlight members of the Discord that contribute a lot to helping people and show my appreciation for those who have been around for so long, while at the same time not be removing roles and re-adding roles based on the time people spend on the server actively talking with others.
I've now made some major changes to the naming of the roles again and I can finally say that I'm happy with the naming scheme we've come up with. The welcome channel has everything laid out to explain to both newcomers and existing members what the roles now all mean.
In some sad news regarding the server, I've made some demotions for long serving admins of the Discord who are no longer able to manage the server due to responsibilities or just moving on from the community. As time goes by things change, priorities change and people move on to other things. This is normal and as a result we have some promotions to other members who have proven themselves to be worthy members of the community.
Hopefully that last bit wasn't too mushy and I got across what I meant. Again, put simply, the Discord has had another transitional phase and it's a good one for the most part. I'm also happy to report that the community has grown a huge amount the past two months and it's a super friendly and fun place to hang out.
YOU MAY GO NOW
In conclusion, I hope that this article has helped people understand mostly everything that has been going on this year so and where my projects are at. I'm going to be continuing to live stream the development of my mods and in regards to YouTube, we'll have to see what the future brings as my time is a little short right now. There are more changes to come and more announcements to be made, so please do continue to follow me across my social media and even consider helping to support my work through Patreon, Gamewisp or the other methods available.
Thanks for reading and happy modding everyone!