December 12, 2011: War Baby: Creative Character Saves for Skyrim

Not all characters are created equal. Characters should be attractive, without being boring.

War Baby is a new line of character saves I'm creating for Skyrim. The objective is to create characters that are not only attractive, but interesting. Eventually, there will be at least one character for each race and gender.

November 27, 2011: Content Scaling in Role-Playing Games

Should this bear be statically determined, or dynamically scaled to the player's level?

Content scaling is a hot topic in role-playing games, especially in games like Skyrim and Oblivion. This article talks about different types of content scaling (better known as level scaling), how developers use them, and how they affect the player's experience of a game. Be forewarned: it's a long read! (4,500 words)

News: November 17, 2011

I've finally taken a break from playing Skyrim to add a new section to my web site. (You new it was coming.) Right now it's only got a couple of mini-tutorials hosted on HubPages, but as soon as the Creation Kit is released you can bet you'll be seeing a whole lot more here. Go to the Skyrim tutorial page to find out how to take screenshots, change your character's appearance after starting the game, and how to change how quickly time passes in the game (timescale).

November 11, 2011: Skyrim Raises the Bar for Role-Playing Games

Skyrim release

Bethesda just released Skyrim, volume five in the Elder Scrolls series. If you don't already own a copy, do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy right now. In spite of some minor UI issues resulting from a hasty console to PC port, Skyrim is hands down the best RPG that I've played in years. Words cannot describe the feeling of pure epic win I felt when I stumbled across these ruins in-game. Seriously, the screenshots do not do the game justice.

News: November 10, 2011

Here is the 4th installment of my video game series: How to Make Video Games, Part 4: The Hacker. Covers things like programming languages, APIs, math requirements, etc. Was kind of a chore to write, but the pictures were fun to caption!

News: November 8, 2011

I just posted the first tutorial in my HubPages Blender series: How to Translate, Rotate, and Scale 3D Objects in Blender. Check it out! This is a great introduction to this fantastic program. I plan on publishing a tutorial every week in this series.

News: November 7, 2011

Published another article on HubPages about modding. Check it out -> Modding Video Games. I'd like to thank all of the modders who contributed screenshots to the article. Your work is inspiring!

News: November 3, 2011

Okay, so I bit the bullet and admitted by ownership of several articles on HubPages. I've also linked to them on my articles page. I admit it: I'm a sell-out! You, too, can feed a starving game designer for only pennies a day by reading my articles! (For some reason, I feel cheap... :)

October 31, 2011: Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Get in the holiday spirit! Or, you know, get eaten by spirits. Check out IGN's great coverage of Dark Souls if you haven't already.

News: October 30, 2011

Still working on the redesign, so some things might change a bit still. I'm always curious to know what people would like to see on a site like this, so if you have any suggestions or special requests, please let me know. Reviews (mods, games, books)? Articles about game design? Tutorials about specific subjects? Mods? Interviews? What have you always wished someone would do on a site like this but never did?

News: October 24, 2011

I've started a couple of different projects. A MaPZone User Interface Guide, which is a more thorough and technical exploration of the MaPZone user interface. It duplicates portions of the first tutorial, but I'm going to be rewriting that part eventually anyways. The second project is very much incomplete: a guide to region generation in Fallout 3. I actually uploaded it by accident when I was reformatting the Fallout 3 section but, whatever; it's up there now. I need to run a lot of tests on it, which is why it's so disjointed. Maybe having it posted will inspire me to do some work on it.

The third project is a brank spankin' new C++ tutorial using Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Express Edition. I've been meaning to get back into programming for a while now, so I figured writing a tutorial would be a good way to get the juices flowing.

News: October 20, 2011

Okay, so I've started working on the new design. It looks quite a bit different, but I think you'll like it. I did the MaPZone portal page first, just for Ben. :P Incidentally, some of the pages might move around a little. I'm trying to avoid moving too much, because I know there are links floating around to some of my tutorials, but I'm definitely going to be implementing some sort of portal system for each application (ie. Skyrim, Fallout 3, Oblivion, MaPZone, etc.) to complement and/or replace the existing organization (mods, projects, tutorials, etc.). I think people interested in Oblivion will find it handy to have all of the Oblivion-related stuff listed on one page instead of having to click back and forth. At the same time, I kind of like having a page listing all of my tutorials, all of my mods, etc. Let me know what you think.

News: October 18, 2011

Currently in the process of re-designing the site...again! Stay tuned for a new look and...Skyrim tutorials?!

News: September 22, 2011

I've added a new tutorial -> Generating LOD Data for Custom World Spaces (WIP). I put quite a bit of work into it, but it's not entirely complete. Please feel free to leave your comments in the shiny new comment box at the bottom of the tutorial page (you may need to allow scripts if you're using IE). You might also notice that I'm testing affiliate links with Amazon on that page. This is more experimental than anything else since I'm considering the possibility of developing other web sites and wanted to get my feet wet.

News: July 23, 2011

The site update is (more or less) done. I hope you enjoy the new skins! Please feel free to email me if you experience any problems with the redesign. Now that that's out of the way, I can return my focus to making mods and writing tutorials!

News: July 15, 2011

I'm currently in the process of updating my website so I'd like to apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. This update will bring many of the pages up to the new style standard that I've had on the home page for some time now. It will also involve the rearrangement of certain files and folders to improve organization and ease future developments. Don't be too surprised if some of the pages are a little messed up for a while as this update involves editing dozens of pages, hundreds of links, etc., all of which has to be done by hand. I've added a custom 404 and a redirect for the MaPZone tutorial which is now located here: MaPZone.

News: July 12, 2011

Well, my hard drive crashed on me a couple of weeks ago, obliterating almost everything I've done in the last 7 years (writing, design documents, web pages, tutorials, articles, models, textures, etc., all in various stages of completion). I finally got a new computer up and running, and I can retrieve some of my creations from various places on-line but it's still a major setback for me. Bummer.

On a lighter side, I've spent the last few weeks working on a number of different projects: a design document for a new survival horror IP (lost the document in the crash, but most of it is still pretty fresh in my memory); lore for Balzu (I hesitate to work on the actual implementation since Skyrim will be coming out soon); Flex/ActionScript and re-teaching myself some C++. The last two might seem weird, but I've started to seriously consider creating some small casual games to get my toes wet in the industry.

News: March 23, 2011

I've been working hard on Balzu for the last couple of months and finally making some progress again. Stratman1 has been composing music for the mod and helping with the sound design, and MorganaNiNuala has been helping out by cobbling together new clothing and other assets, so look for samples of both of their work in the near future. I've also set up a new forum and a new wiki, both designed to support the mod. The initial landscape (10x10) cells is almost finished now, with only minor tweaks to the pathnodes and additional flora left to do. I'm hoping to have the first beta available for public download by the end of the year, though there is still a lot of work left to be done.

News: December 12, 2010

Well, four months have drifted by and I can't say I really got much accomplished. I spent some time working with the Unity game engine and the Blender Game Engine, played around a bit with the sculpting tools in Blender, and spent some time working on my doomed fantasy novel (based on the Balzu universe), but I didn't get a lot done modding-wise. The OBSE guys did adopt my new stylesheet for the OBSE documentation page, though, which was cool.

I've also started converting the layout of this site to match the layout in my Oblivion tutorial and added a section for articles. (I don't have any articles written, yet, but I do plan on writing some.)

News: August 9, 2010

I've begun work on another tutorial, and this one is big. It's an introduction to modding Oblivion, with the main focus on learning how to use the Construction Set effectively. It is very much a beginner tutorial, but it is crammed full of information and insights that I've gained after over two years of using the editor. It is still very much a work in progress, and changes almost daily, so it probably seems a little 'rough' right now. I still need to add a TOC and I plan on splitting it up over many pages, but right now it's just one big wall of text (with pictures!). You can check it out here: Modding Oblivion. I am planning on redesigning the site to match the new layout in the tutorial, so let me know what you think.

I also added a third lesson to my MaPZone tutorial a few weeks back. I have a lot of additional content planned for this tutorial as well, but it's sort of taken a back seat to my Oblivion tutorial at the moment.

Work on Balzu has sort of hit a lull at the moment from sheer scripting and tree-planting fatigue. I'll probably pick it up again in a little bit once I've had a bit of a break from it.

News: April 18, 2010

Hard at work, as usual, on a number of projects. Most importantly, work is still progressing on my custom world mod, Balzu, although a lot of the work is still 'behind the scenes'. Part of this work involves decoding the speedtree file format (.spt) so that I can create some custom trees by hand-editing files. Progress on this front is slow, but is starting to yeild some results. I've also created a couple of additional meshes (a lamp hook and an open box for holding collections of clutter items) and expanded the worldspace by 7 additional cells (about half done).

Another major project involves reformatting the OBSE home page. I started this for my own benefit, but expect other modders will benefit from it as well. The goal is to make the homepage a usable resource instead of a wall of text. I decided to reformat the page as I was looking up functions for the Enhanced AI portion of Balzu, so this ties back into that project as well, albeit in a roundabout way.

Last updated June 30, 2014

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