Skyrim: Cat’s Cradle

<CatsCraddle_03Over the past few weeks I’ve begun using some new editors and programs as I work on portfolio pieces. One that I’ve started working with is the Skyrim Creation Kit, which has been pretty nice so far. I’m still in the middle of learning everything, from creating layouts and placing objects to AI and player interactions. So I figured that a nice place to start was to create a quick custom house.

I’ve always liked playing stealth characters, I’ve played them in practically every game that allows me to. It’s just the play style I love and I figured for my first attempt at using the Creation Kit, I’d focus on building something for myself / my character type.

My stealth character’s home is called the Cat’s Cradle, a house I’m placing outside of Whiterun. When I started thinking about this project I first focused on the utility it could provide. For a stealth character, I wanted 3 major functions, first was a hidden treasure room, a spot for the thief to show off all the things he has stolen over the course of the game. Second was to have a practice room for practicing lock picking, combat and hold all of the player’s weapons. Finally was an area for creating poisons, not every thief / assassin character likes this but it’s really for me and I do. I added in a room that has a number of the poisonous ingredient plants so I can harvest them mix the poisons together at a placed Alchemy table.

I also didn’t want the project to be too big, right now its still a work in progress but I’ve already learned a lot and the level is pretty close to where I want it in terms of layout and style. It is lacking in custom content and decorations, as I just don’t know where to find absolutely everything yet and I haven’t created some of the extras I wanted yet either. But I wanted to get the first part out there and completed for the time being and update it as I learn more.

Something that I’ve found that is difficult with Skyrim is creating spaces that are smaller that don’t feel claustrophobic. I wanted this first house to be pretty small, but was having trouble doing that and getting it to feel perfect. My first iteration was actually quite big. But I created a second smaller version early on right next to it and felt that it wasn’t too bad. Each time I go back and play through the smaller homes in Whiterun I see that they can be even smaller and be fine.

In the end, this is a nice quick introduction to the toolset for me and I plan on updating the home with some custom meshes, scripts and cool interactions as I learn.

Categories: Game Design

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