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> Khajiit Hearthfire, Possible mod
ghastley
post Aug 25 2015, 06:39 PM
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Yes, it's probably a good idea to have a separate thread.

The idea is for a Khajiit merchant to be able to get a mobile home, i.e. a horse-drawn carriage/cart that will carry his wares, and be suitable for sleeping in, with a bit of re-configuration in-game.

It would add a canopy (Conestoga-like) and a removable board to fill the gap between the seats/containers when used for sleeping. The seats would theoretically hinge up for storage, but could be activated as containers without the need to add that animation, if it proves too difficult.

The game has animations for driver and passenger to enter/exit/use the carriage, so as long as it's the base model, they should work.

Unknowns: Can I add sleeping furniture to the cart? Will animations to show/hide elements in the nif be playable by script, so the re-configuration works?

I'm also considering having the player do some of the building work. Make pieces from iron ingots and lumber, at wainwright's forge only.

Player can already buy a horse, no need to add that. Lumber purchase at mills only starts with Hearthfires quests, but this will be one. The log pile will be at the wainwright's home, in this case.

OOOHHH!! Sudden idea. Wainwright is dead, house derelict. Journal contains plans for wagon-making, notes about loss of tools. Player tracks down tools, and makes own wagon. This avoids the need for dialog and minor town site. There are a couple of derelict houses near the roads that could be converted by adding a forge. Might need a derelict forge that can be repaired as step one. Hmmm....


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mALX
post Aug 25 2015, 06:48 PM
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QUOTE(ghastley @ Aug 25 2015, 01:39 PM) *

Yes, it's probably a good idea to have a separate thread.

The idea is for a Khajiit merchant to be able to get a mobile home, i.e. a horse-drawn carriage/cart that will carry his wares, and be suitable for sleeping in, with a bit of re-configuration in-game.

It would add a canopy (Conestoga-like) and a removable board to fill the gap between the seats/containers when used for sleeping. The seats would theoretically hinge up for storage, but could be activated as containers without the need to add that animation, if it proves too difficult.

The game has animations for driver and passenger to enter/exit/use the carriage, so as long as it's the base model, they should work.

Unknowns: Can I add sleeping furniture to the cart? Will animations to show/hide elements in the nif be playable by script, so the re-configuration works?

I'm also considering having the player do some of the building work. Make pieces from iron ingots and lumber, at wainwright's forge only.

Player can already buy a horse, no need to add that. Lumber purchase at mills only starts with Hearthfires quests, but this will be one. The log pile will be at the wainwright's home, in this case.

OOOHHH!! Sudden idea. Wainwright is dead, house derelict. Journal contains plans for wagon-making, notes about loss of tools. Player tracks down tools, and makes own wagon. This avoids the need for dialog and minor town site. There are a couple of derelict houses near the roads that could be converted by adding a forge. Might need a derelict forge that can be repaired as step one. Hmmm....



That sounds Awesome!





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ghastley
post Aug 25 2015, 07:06 PM
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I need to check out the house ruin between the Western Watchtower and Fort Greymoor. That might be just right for this, if it has room for forge, logpile, and a carriage being built. I can flatten terrain a bit, remove rocks if needed, so it has promise.


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Grits
post Aug 25 2015, 09:18 PM
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Oh my gosh, thatís an excellent idea! Quests plus built it yourself is lots of fun, and a dead wainwright needs no voice acting. Brilliant idea to possibly give a purpose to that location.


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ghastley
post Aug 25 2015, 09:51 PM
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Current thoughts (assuming site is suitable):

Player reads journal, fetches tools. This enables a carpenter workbench. He can now repair the forge, as step one to begin wagon-making. That should just be a disable broken / enable fixed swap. He needs to buy lumber as usual, and buy ingots or mine iron and smelt it. There are half a dozen iron veins near the site.

Wagon-making depends on my being able to break down the mesh into parts, but that was needed to animate it, so most is already done for me. I'm not sure if body is separate from frame, but wheels, front axle/tree are jointed. I can control build order, so wagon can be built on top of a trestle with wheels added last. When final wheel is made, trestle disabled again. Then canopy, and any other optional parts can be added ad hoc.

The game has a saw, a hammer as clutter items. Nails, locks, hinges and iron fittings are HF standard, made from iron ingots. Dawnguard has a drawknife, but making a spokeshave isn't hard. I want one specialized tool like that as justification for making carts at this location only. Giving the forge a unique keyword does the job, like the Skyforge, but it needs an in-game reason.

Does forge repair need materials? It can't use nails/fittings as it makes them, but could use lumber/stone. House building has an extra anvil for making nails/fittings/hinges/locks but I don't want that here.

Should a smelter be an option? Local ores, so some might want to do that, especially if they're RP'ing that a Khajiit isn't allowed into cities.


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Grits
post Aug 25 2015, 10:08 PM
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A smelter would be a good idea, and that made me realize that once the caravan is finished and on the road maybe the character could use the derelict house site for their future blacksmithing needs.

Iíd say in a quest update or somewhere that you could salvage some of the old fittings and just need iron ingots, stone, and sawn logs to repair the forge. That way you donít need a starter anvil and you donít create a situation for Khajiit characters having to borrow Alvorís forge in Riverwood.

Also the game has tongs, if you're looking for another tool to lose. biggrin.gif


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ghastley
post Aug 26 2015, 02:08 AM
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That site will work nicely.

I had to flatten a little, and remove grass (first attempt had grass growing in the lit forge!) but it looks great now.

Forge in derelict condition.

Forge rebuilt

Forge with Smelter

And as a bonus, I found there's a chest under the floorboards where I can add the journal!


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Grits
post Aug 26 2015, 02:29 AM
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Wow, it's looking good already!


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haute ecole rider
post Aug 26 2015, 04:22 AM
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Fantastic thoughts, all! I like the idea of using that old house by the Western Watchtower as the location - I remember when I first came across it, just having started playing the game on the laptop. Alise went in there out of curiosity - would we find a story? A quest? Something to occupy us? A mystery? We were so disappointed to find that there apparently was nothing there.

So your idea to use it as the location for building a wagon/cart is excellent! That was all that place needed - a mystery and a purpose!

Watching this space now! emot-ninja1.gif


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ghastley
post Aug 27 2015, 03:25 PM
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I'm spending most of my modding time trying to slice up the wagon model so it can be constructed.

The wheels have to turn for the intro scene, so they are individual parts already. However, the majority of the body is divided up by texture material, rather than function. That means that all the nail heads are part of the chassis, together with various bits of leather that they found space for on the same texture map. The wooden parts are divided into lighter and darker, rather than functionally.

I'm not sure if I'll have the wagon built as a series of models that get disabled and the next stage enabled, or if I'll try to fade the pieces in as animation groups on a single model. I need to learn how to do that for the moving version, as I want a canopy and bed-platform that you can turn on and off.

It looks like I need to learn the havok tools even for things as simple as visible/invisible toggles on a nif. sad.gif

This post has been edited by ghastley: Aug 28 2015, 01:23 PM


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mALX
post Aug 29 2015, 08:25 PM
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QUOTE(ghastley @ Aug 25 2015, 09:08 PM) *

That site will work nicely.

I had to flatten a little, and remove grass (first attempt had grass growing in the lit forge!) but it looks great now.

Forge in derelict condition.

Forge rebuilt

Forge with Smelter

And as a bonus, I found there's a chest under the floorboards where I can add the journal!



The grass in Skyrim grows mainly on the plain? laugh.gif This is so exciting, I hope you don't get burned out on Hearthfire house building before finishing the Khajiit one (since I don't play an Orc or Argonian, I am waiting for this one with baited breath !!!).








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ghastley
post Aug 30 2015, 02:06 AM
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I've started de-constructing the carriage, so that it can be built in stages. It occurs to me that a couple of them would be useful in the game as they are.

Original carriage - for carrying people.

Minus seats - suitable for merchants.

Minus sides - I could see this with a stack of straw bales going to the stables.


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Grits
post Aug 30 2015, 02:12 AM
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These look great, wow! I think they would be very useful for stables and merchants. I stuck a regular carriage outside my South Shore Trader loading dock because thatís all I had. Minus Seats looks particularly cool without that rolled-up rug hanging from the side. Yay! biggrin.gif


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mALX
post Aug 30 2015, 03:09 AM
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QUOTE(ghastley @ Aug 29 2015, 09:06 PM) *

I've started de-constructing the carriage, so that it can be built in stages. It occurs to me that a couple of them would be useful in the game as they are.

Original carriage - for carrying people.

Minus seats - suitable for merchants.

Minus sides - I could see this with a stack of straw bales going to the stables.



Minus sides looks like an old-timey hearse, lol. Did you do this in Nifskope?



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ghastley
post Aug 30 2015, 03:31 AM
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QUOTE(mALX @ Aug 29 2015, 10:09 PM) *

Minus sides looks like an old-timey hearse, lol. Did you do this in Nifskope?


No, there are some things that can be done there, like taking the wheels off, but for the body of the carriage, it's divided into materials, instead of sectioned. So I had to load it into Blender. Then I found out that there were no planks under/behind the seats, so I had to copy some into the gaps.

I still have to make axles to leave behind when the wheels come off. The existing model just has a hole in the end of the bar, because they're not supposed to be removable, just rotatable.

The wagon also wants a canopy, and possibly a tail-gate, which I'll have to make from scratch.


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mALX
post Aug 30 2015, 03:42 AM
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QUOTE(ghastley @ Aug 29 2015, 10:31 PM) *

QUOTE(mALX @ Aug 29 2015, 10:09 PM) *

Minus sides looks like an old-timey hearse, lol. Did you do this in Nifskope?


No, there are some things that can be done there, like taking the wheels off, but for the body of the carriage, it's divided into materials, instead of sectioned. So I had to load it into Blender. Then I found out that there were no planks under/behind the seats, so I had to copy some into the gaps.

I still have to make axles to leave behind when the wheels come off. The existing model just has a hole in the end of the bar, because they're not supposed to be removable, just rotatable.

The wagon also wants a canopy, and possibly a tail-gate, which I'll have to make from scratch.



I would so love to learn how to do something like that, your creative talent is amazing!




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haute ecole rider
post Aug 30 2015, 06:10 PM
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Ever since you've announced this latest project here, I've been keeping a weather eye out for the carts in Skyrim. As I use no mods that add carriages or carts, what I see are the vanilla assets. I see both the covered types that you've mentioned, and they're very similar to the old Conestoga wagons of US Pioneer Days, only on a much smaller scale. But it would be worth going to a nearby farm/pioneer museum to see these Prairie Schooners up close, as they could be worthy models for what you are going for. Scaled down to Skyrim size, of course.

The big Conestoga wagons were designed to be pulled by teams, rather than singles. I think the smallest team that could pull one of those things all day would be a pair - oxen, horses or mules. Mules were favored because they were "easy keepers" and could go all day on very little, could outrun most dangerous situations, and still be smart enough to avoid potholes, quicksand and rattlesnakes. Oxen are very hardy and strong, but they are very slow moving and can be difficult to maintain if they don't get time for cud-chewing (an essential part of bovine digestion). Horses are fast and strong, but can be quite stupid about getting into dangerous situations that mules would avoid, and require more feed than the other two.

I imagine that you are going for a smaller wagon that could be drawn by a single horse (getting two horses to move side by side in the CK can be an animation nightmare, I would imagine), so the pics you showed (more like the buckboard wagons used by many farmers in the US) would work just fine. If you are going to make one without sides (the flatbed), remember that those used for hauling straw often had poles stuck in the sides to keep the bales in place- these poles are removable to facilitate loading and unloading).

I continue to follow your progress with interest. While I have no modding experience when it comes to making new things in the CK, I think I understand your difficulties in making a wagon that would work with your concept. My hat's off to you in making such a detailed undertaking!


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ghastley
post Aug 31 2015, 02:54 PM
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I have to be careful if I look to the Conestoga for inspiration, as those were surprisingly high-tech - with roller bearings in the axles, for example. And "prairie schooner" was more appropriate than you'd think. They were designed to float like a boat for river crossing, and had a curved floor to keep goods central. Most of the pictures found by googling show a team of six horses for a proper Conestoga!

The existing model is a bit of a problem as it appears to be unsprung, and has torsional stability issues. It's less of a problem as a complete model, but since I'm building it up gradually, the part-built stages have to look reasonable.


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haute ecole rider
post Aug 31 2015, 05:48 PM
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Yes, the Conestoga wagon was the height of freight wagon technology.

In the game, is the vanilla carriage body perhaps suspended from the frame by leather straps? I seem to recall something about old-fashioned carriages being built that way, obviously before someone figured out how to make springs. Hmmm . . .


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ghastley
post Aug 31 2015, 06:16 PM
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No, if you look underneath the model, it's supported by pillars from the central "metal" spine to a parallel wooden one. There's probably room to introduce the usual three elliptical springs - the rear two longitudinal, the front one transverse - and remove the pillars. The rear axle is weird and looks like it's supposed to be a multi-link modern car one.

However, there won't be much left of the original by the time I've finished. I want the result to look like the existing carriages as much as possible, given there's currently only one design in the entire province!

In the Conestoga design, and several others of the period, the body sat in a pair of cradles that were sprung somehow from the chassis. So you could lift off the top and put it on another base (or go sailing). The cradles themselves may have incorporated transverse leaf springs, but they're hard to see in most pictures.


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