Jump to content
DanielCoffey

Book Covers Skyrim - Lost Library

Recommended Posts

I am in the planning stages of a new book-related mod which I am calling "Book Covers Skyrim - Lost Library" and I have some early questions for you all that will affect the direction I take with the mod.

 

 

The Brief

======

 

Bring new covers in the style of Book Covers Skyrim to a very broad range of books from previous Elder Scrolls games as well as some of the Developer commentaries. I am aware that this has been done before in Books Books Books and the Tamriel Compendium but I will be creating all new covers.

 

Add the more common books into the Levelled Lists for Merchants, Bandits and Container Loot.

 

Add rarer books to specific book-related Merchants or "experts". These could be Alchemists, Priests or leading Craftsmen.

 

Hand-place common books of poetry, plays and stories in places where it is logical to do so but without creating conflicts.

 

Hand-place rare books in hard to find places such as dungeons or wilderness where it is logical to do so. Examples would be Michael Kirkbride's commentaries on the Dwemer inside Dwemer dungeons or museums.

 

Add some quests and treasure hunts to do with books. Examples might include a Note found on a dead Thalmor agent indicating banned pro-Talos books in a hidden location or a map to a lost cache.

 

 

Feedback Needed - Skill Books

===================

 

The key piece of feedback that I need at the moment is whether I should make any of the new titles skill books or not as it affect the artwork for the covers.

 

As you may know from Book Covers Skyrim, there is a star somewhere on the spine of books that will grant a skill point. This, in conjunction with mods that allow books to be read later mean you can choose when (or whether) to read skill-affecting books. I have to decide now whether I will be adding a couple of books for each skill or not. I then have to consider compatibility with mods like SkyRe.

 

As I see it at the moment, the choices are...

 

1. No stars and no skill books. One version only - No Skill.

 

2. No stars but skill books optional. Three versions available - No Skill, Vanilla Skill or SkyRe Skill.

 

3. Stars added and skill books mandatory. Two versions available - Vanilla Skill or SkyRe Skill.

 

Option 1 is the simplest and has no conflicts what so ever.

 

Option 2 gives players the most choice but also may cause some to miss the visual clue that a certain title is a skill book. Deviates from the Book Covers Skyrim mod experience.

 

Option 3 means the visual appearance reflects the content but alternative covers would be needed for the few Wayfarer skill books for SkyRe (the current SkyRe patch for Book Covers Skyrim does not include alternative textures for the Wayfarer books). This is not a serious overhead as I can plan for it now.

 

So there you have it. I need comments and feedback on that issue before I continue much further. I will have other questions about placement and concealment of books but I wanted to nail down the skill books choice first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think skill books should definitely be included from previous titles and they should still give skill. I would say #3.

 

Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really looking forward to this, I've tried both books mods, but I'm afraid I've been spoiled by your Book Covers mod :p

 

Option 3 sounds best. It's not like you can't gain a skill point by spamming smithing/alchemy or other stuff, at least this makes perfect sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really appreciate the feedback, thanks. I was leaning towards that option myself.

 

Since there are 5 books per skill in Skyrim out of around 430 total books (not counting the Oghma), I was thinking of having 2 new skill books out of the 200-odd new books for the purposes of balance.

 

Here is a little teaser for the Morrowind junkies. It is just a proof of concept and does not represent where this book will be placed.

 

Posted Image

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently in the process of setting up a new PC for gaming and need to migrate my Photoshop CS6 license from OSX to Windows. I am waiting for my replacement install media from Adobe. I should be able to resume work on this later this week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I now have my CS6 license installed again and can carry on working on the new covers from tomorrow. I have to investigate the nDo2 normal map tool and see whether it will be suitable for this project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait, you mean there's people who actually buy Photoshop, not just companies? ::P:

 

On a more serious note: How many books do you plan to make for this mod? And do you plan on splitting the longer books into separate volumes? Because some books in the Tamriel Compendium mod did slow down the game a bit with their 30 pages+...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been a domestic Photoshop user since about 2005 or 2006 I think when I bought Photoshop Elements (the "Home" version of PS) for creating forum signatures and avatars way back in my Everquest days. I took the opportunity to upgrade to CS3 because I could claim a rebate for the money spent on Elements. I jumped up the ladder to CS6 when it became clear that CS3 was the last upgradeable version and I am glad I did. CS3 was not really aware of multi-core processors and I was using it more heavily for Guild website graphics. When I jumped to CS6 I found that it could use the GPU for the more complex filter tasks. Sure I barely scratch its surface but it is a tool I am glad I own as I have put hundreds and hundreds of hours into it.

 

As for the Lost Library mod, there are around 200 TES titles stored in The Imperial Library that never made it into Skyrim and yes, I will be breaking the larger ones into sets. This means more covers but I think I have managed to get the hang of fading, grunging and altering covers to prevent too much repetition.

 

It would probably be prudent to release the mod in, say, four significant stages of 50-odd books each but I don't want to commit to anything at this point. I have to learn the scripting and CK side of mod-making to make these books interesting to find. Treasure hunts... mysterious notes on corpses... abandoned loot... that sort of thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course there are people who actually pay. In fact, I myself have a copy of the CS6 Master Collection that I got at a nice discount (even after my student prices). At one point, before I was fansubbing I did renders and signature design for people in exchange for a Megaupload Premium and Photoshop license.

 

Mod sure sounds ambitious Daniel-san looking forward to it mate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just joking about the buying PS part guys, hence the ::P: smiley

 

And don't worry about the CK part of modding, it's really easy, you'll get the hang of it in 2 days top :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

/snip

 

As for the Lost Library mod, there are around 200 TES titles stored in The Imperial Library that never made it into Skyrim and yes, I will be breaking the larger ones into sets. This means more covers but I think I have managed to get the hang of fading, grunging and altering covers to prevent too much repetition.

 

It would probably be prudent to release the mod in, say, four significant stages of 50-odd books each but I don't want to commit to anything at this point. I have to learn the scripting and CK side of mod-making to make these books interesting to find. Treasure hunts... mysterious notes on corpses... abandoned loot... that sort of thing.

This sounds amazing, Daniel. Making the books scattered around Skyrim with mini/micro-quests or subtle clues where to find them is an excellent idea and will make your mod stand out I think. There are a lot of players that love and appreciate this kind of activities, as opposed to just stuffing all the books in 1 merchant's inventory for purchase. 

Just an idea that came to my mind now - how about cooperating with the author of Achieve That for him to include some special achievements for finding all the new books or something like that? I don't know if the author of AT is still active, I don't even use that mod, it's just an idea that sprung to my mind now :)

Good luck with the mod, looking forward to it. If you will need help testing it I'm willing to help, if time allows me to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have posted a Help Wanted thread over in the TES Alliance Study Hall asking for help with a specific use of the nDo2 normal map tool. If you use nDo2, please pop over there and read my post as I am struggling to get good specular maps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I am building up completed books, I have been sorting them into categories so that they can be placed into appropriate levelled lists. So far I have come up with the following...

 

Funny / General / Stories - Common levelled list

History / Esoteric / Poetry / Religion - Rare levelled list, specialists or hand-placed

Crafting - hand-placed

 

Even some of the Common list books will be hand-placed. Examples would be some of the books about the Alik'r being placed in Redguard homes and a few Ashlander poetry books with Dunmer or around Solstheim.

Edited by DanielCoffey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there any conventions in Skyrim for the values of books? What price would you expect to see for a common book, a rare one and a skill book?

 

Oh, and I have hit a bit of a bump in the road with the Lost Library... one of my so-called Enterprise Grade SSDs (Samsung 840PRO) has died and taken out my Steam folder and Skyrim installation as well as all the modding-related tools. I still have all my Photoshop source files and my master Book Covers Skyrim archive but I lost my working copy of the Lost Library ESP with over 40 books fully created.

 

I estimate a week to bring Skyrim back up to standard and getting all the tools back although I am now running on a slow WD Caviar Green drive until the warranty exchange is actioned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.