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The Dance of the Dragons Mod Project (Game of Thrones)

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The Dance of the Dragons Mod Project (Game of Thrones)

Post  GoodGuyA on Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:47 pm

Winter's Coming

The immortal words of House Stark, launching a phenomenon stretching over five books (soon to be seven) and a ten episode HBO series, headed into its second season. The overarching story is called A Song of Ice and Fire, penned by George R. R. Martin who also wrote for the series Wild Cards, though this fantasy series is his claim to fame. Based off of Medieval history with the most mystical dash of magic I have ever seen as well as a heavy emphasis on gritty character, A Song of Ice and Fire has captured audiences across the world to make all four of the original books and the latest release of A Dance with Dragons reach the New York Time's Best Sellers Top 10, some almost a decade after original release.

That was merely a backstory for the project itself, for whether you're all ready into this series or just don't know it yet, A Song of Ice and Fire is a fantastic tale with a fantastic background and world. Many compare it against Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, though I will have to say the latter has a heavier emphasis on the magical than the former does. Believe me, it's a fantasy lover's dream, and the great depth of character and world really makes it the best full series I've ever read. Even if you're not into reading, the HBO show is amazing as well! But let's stop talking like a walking advertisement and get to the project.

The Dance of the Dragons

About 170 years before the events of the novels/TV show (Martin has also written prequel novellas, though I'll not bring those up), there was a war in the land of Westeros that split society in two. As a historical reference, the conflict was based on The Anarchy, which was a war between Empress Matilda and Stephen of England. To make a long story short, the two nobles fought over control for the throne and to decide a line of succession (in this case, whether a female could take the full power of the throne for being an heiress). The two sides in this conflict are two members of House Targaryen, half-siblings, and have dragons at their side.

Did I say dragons? I certainly did! The original idea for this Skyrim project was for it to be set some time during the show (or during Robert's Rebellion, about a decade before hand), to which I realized was infeasible and would completely omit dragons from being a part of gameplay. Dragons died out after this conflict due to the massive use of them in warfare, as well as they fact they were caged up for use by the Royal house. The last dragon dies, weak and lonely, much a metaphor for how powerful rule must always come to an end. Whilst we have dragons though, we may as well use them! They will be a central part of gameplay just as they are in Skyrim, with both scripted encounters and infinite randomized dragons.

More on the plot, though. Westeros is split into two sides, rooting for each claimant to the throne. King Aegon II controls King's Landing, the capital city of the 6 Kingdoms (at this time, Dorne had not yet been conquered) as well as the majority of the Riverlands and the North. Queen Rhaenyra rules out of Lannisport, the port city owned by the Lannisters, as well as the whole of the Westerlands. This is, of course, at the beginning of the game, and the territories will shift depending on how the main story progresses. The center of the story is about family conflict, gender conflict, and what rights mean to a kingdom. Through the world you will interact with peasant and noble alike as well as visit important locations from the book/TV show.

The main thing I wish to do with this project is to create an epic world and a sweeping story. We are creating a replication of Westeros, as close as what we can get to the source material(s), whilst taking a bit of artistic merit due to the time gap. A lot of people in this project are fans and have desperately wanted to explore these fantastical lands in full 3D, and that's what we are looking to do. We are not, however, recreating the entirety of Westeros. Due to engine limitation for Skyrim, I have created what I believe is a reasonable amount for creating as a hobby project and will work given the tools we are given. The majority of the art will be assets from the original game, though artists of all types are welcome to apply so that I may set you out to help the world dazzle!

Westeros Map With to be Created Areas Highlighted:


Who We Are & What We Need

Let me say first and foremost that I do not want this project, for anyone, to be a full time commitment. Mods are hobbies, and I shouldn't have to say much more than that. I don't want to set strict deadlines or be overbearing, because I want people who are passionate to be working on the project, and not those who are stubborn or completely unskilled. Obviously when we first get the Creation Kit, there will be rough edges to sort out, but please come to the project with at least some idea how to operate tools from the previous Elder Scrolls games. Obviously if you're just a texture artist, your idea doesn't have to be extensive, but if you're a designer then it's paramount.

Anyways, I'm GoodGuyA. I'm the Project Lead, meaning I hope to oversee all major decisions of the project. I am also Lead Story Writer, and that position will not change, despite if my others do. I am also currently the lead Level and Interior Designer, for I seem to be the only one who wants to do it! My artistic ability outside of layouts and stories are very limited, and that's hard when you're trying to make something that stands out in story also visually eye-catching. My main hope is to see many skilled artists join the team, as well as others to help me on the vast world I've tried to create while staying faithful to Martin's works.

Joining me on the project are a couple chaps. First off, trancemaster_1988, the man behind the excellent Morrowind Rebirth mod. He is actually the originator of the idea (as I know it), though I've heavily re-worked it after assuming leadership. He will be working on Exterior Design, and if you've seen his stuff, you know it's good!

Another veteran Morrowind modder, Wollibeebee of Solsthiem Overhaul and Pronvince: Cyrodil is also in for the land as he is collaborating with trancemaster in order to sculpt the outer world of Westeros! He is also a very active voice in the modding scene, offering suggestions to up and coming modders in the community.

Darkdeliverians has joined in as... Something. I can't really tell! He just seems to be an all around nice guy, and an absoltely stellar artist. Make sure to check out his projects over on his deviantart account and Bethesda Forums page. He's currently working to create a a role-playing board game as well, so be sure to check that out!

Nostra has put his face forward as well, both creating the superawesome forum that we use, as well as being a story and level advisor. He apparently plays a lot of DotA2 as well. Lucky...

There are a couple others that I need to get in contact with (should be easier now that we have the forum), but we also have two awesome contributors. Maegfaer (of the incredibly inspiring MERP mod from Oblivion going to Skyrim) DiGiTAL ZOMBiE (who you may all ready know) have both made welcome contributions to the project.

Now, onto the rest of you. Understand that with the Creation Kit not yet released, there are people at present time that we don't need, but may need later in the project. Keep that in mind, because I'm always open to new members (and feel free to join the megaaaa forum!) but currently there are people we need to cover the basics. Thus, I will start off telling you what we don't need at present time:

Voice Actors
3D Modelers
Coders
Testers
The Guy Who Drinks All the Coffee


Now, what we do need (plus, stipulations needed):

Writers

Face it, writing is easy. We've all seen bad Hollywood movies, and bad game. However, writers on this project must work within established parameters based on A Song of Ice and Fire. Any interpretation must be run by me to ensure that it is lore friendly, and I have full right to veto it fully if I find it inappropriate. Depending on your skills, you'll be assigned to any various aspects of the quests, or perhaps details in the UI system should it need alteration. The stipulation for this position though is that you are a very big fan of the series and have read at least the first four books: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows. I would recommend them either way as well as the latest book, A Dance with Dragons, but the writers here must have read at least that much.

Texture Artists

Probably one of the most important roles in the project. I am not looking to uproot the entire foundation of Skyrim's visuals, but I do want a bit of decoration here and there to give the world an impression of life. The biggest thing that I want are the House banners to be taken in a unique direction. Given that the Houses most likely change their banners much like sports teams do (as well as reflecting the times) and that the HBO show changed the looks of some of the banners as well, I want to see artists take the Game of Thrones world and create something unique. Other bits of work I will mention later, but primarily I want to see if you can create a banner. Create me a rough draft (does not need to be colored) of your interpretation of banner. Down below are four to choose from, so sketch away one as proof of concept!

Banner of House Martell "Their sigil is a gold spear piercing a red sun,"

Banner of House Tarbeck "They blazoned their arms with a seven-pointed star, parts silver parts blue, on silver and blue field."

Banner of House Mormont "Their blazon is a a black bear over a green wood."

Banner of House Glover "Their blazon is silver mailed fist on scarlet."

Exterior (Environment) Designers

The good ol' outdoors, right? The majority of the people coming to me love to work with outdoor areas, and Skyrim has certainly provided a good variety to work from. We have a descent idea from the source material exactly what the landscape of Westeros is like, though again some liberties will be taken (mainly due to size and ignorance). I have all ready formulated a list of locations to be built, where the borders will be, and the general layout of the area. From these ideas we can form something that's truly amazing in visual terms, from the towns to the hills we cross over. On that note, Westeros is far more about hills than mountains, so mountains will mainly serve as borders to the various locations we don't have the ability to create. To apply for this, you can either show me some previous work at Exterior Designs (preferably through Oblivion, Morrowind, or Crysis, but if you're really good I will have a look!) or you can show a layout of how you could create a town or an exciting exterior environment. Have fun with it!

Interior/Level Designers

It gets chilly outside sometimes though, doesn't it? Why not cozy up in a nice inn?... Or a castle, or a dungeon, or a house? Buildings need to be populated, dungeons have their own atmosphere, and a city needs to breath energy from top to bottom! The meat of a game, no matter what it is, comes from level designers and how they work out the mostly linear sections of gameplay. Interiors must be created based on a game's strengths and weaknesses, creating an environment that feels appropriate for the setting. The wealth of things that can be done with interiors is as vast as what you can do with an open world, so I need people who really know how to squeeze the maximum amount out of a game like Skyrim. One can either send me previous work, from any game, or an overlay of how you would design any sort of interior. I strongly encourage lateral thinking, even though these are directed streams of gameplay. I want to see beauty told in the things you create, whether it's a poor bunkhouse, a guard's tower, or a bustling inn.

Sound People/Musicians

I didn't want to generalize the idea of "Sound Designer", because there are various parts of Sound Design that I don't fully understand. At this point, I am more looking for this position as an advisory, though I am always looking for composers to see if they can help match the style of the HBO show. The details will be worked as the project progresses, but I always love to hear insight and what directions they could be taking in terms of distinguishing the ever important sound design. Watching the show would definitely help a prospective sound designer understand my perspective as it comes to the world of Westeros.

I will most likely be putting more things here later, so be sure to remind me if I missed anything!

This project is currently in the Pre-Planning stage. We have been working out specifics as well as how to divide work on our ultracool forum, as well as general discussion of the project's direction. I encourage anyone with talent and even a fleeting interest to take part, even if you don't want to specifically put your name on the project. Whether it be advice, corrections, questions, progress, or discussing other projects, I welcome it.

If you have anything to add or ask, you can contact me here, the Bethesda forums, ModDB, or the Dance of the Dragons forum. Thanks for reading, and Valar Morghulis.

The Dance of the Dragons Official Forum

The Dance of the Dragons ModDB Group

The Dance of the Dragons Bethesda Thread (Old)


Last edited by GoodGuyA on Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:36 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Dance of the Dragons Mod Project (Game of Thrones)

Post  Ultiman on Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:20 am

this project sounds great. im am however worried about any copyright infringements particularly if you plan to use some of the names, banners and such from the original.
not that i think you will run into any issues with being sued so long as you don't make any profits from it i am still wondering if you have given that side of things any thoughts?

Still i love the sounds of the mod and the team you have sound really talented including your self. When time opens up for me a little ill see what i can do to help you. as it seams you already have a forum for this it it might not be beneficial creating one for you Razz but please get in contact with me if you would like one over here also.


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Re: The Dance of the Dragons Mod Project (Game of Thrones)

Post  GoodGuyA on Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:32 am

Ultiman wrote:this project sounds great. im am however worried about any copyright infringements particularly if you plan to use some of the names, banners and such from the original.
It's a fan project, thus protected, though I can't really defend if a cease and desist is thrown at me. But there is all ready a mod set in the A Song of Ice and Fire universe called Westeros: Total War for Medieval II: Total War, so it's not like this is unprecedented.

I will not be ripping non-Skyrim related fan works for assets either. In terms of the banners, I want them all recreated with some sort of visual distinction to set them apart from what's been taken as a representation previously. I'm looking to get close to the HBO show, but not it exactly, thus the artistic liberties mentioned.

And thanks for the offer about the forum, but I have enough trouble consolidating to one place! Perhaps when the project expands, but with the team that we have thus far, keeping it somewhat isolated and consolidated is beneficial to working out the general splitting of the project. Thanks for the support, and I hope I do see you about!

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Re: The Dance of the Dragons Mod Project (Game of Thrones)

Post  Ultiman on Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:52 am

I signed up to your forums and had a look around, looks good Razz

Would be great if you can find the time every now and then to update us on the progress of the mod and if any of the needed talent changes. Would be great to watch as this Project as it is developed as it sounds very well planned and has a nice team behind it all ready. Smile

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Re: The Dance of the Dragons Mod Project (Game of Thrones)

Post  GoodGuyA on Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:08 am

I plan to update it whenever there's a major change. I will hopefully be editing it sometime to explain exactly what alterations we're going into. I just needed a general hook for people to read. A couple of the things will be very challenging, for those looking to put their skills to the test.

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Re: The Dance of the Dragons Mod Project (Game of Thrones)

Post  Poleonil on Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:05 pm

To see such a mod would be really nice, thus I'd love to help in any way I can. Of course I have read (and loved) A song of Ice and Fire.
I'll try myself at drawing some banners and post them here when done. I'd also like try to write any stuff you'd want, I love the Lore of the series and I think there is really a lot of work to be done so that players feel they really are in Westeros instead of Skyrim.

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