Welcome to another edition of the, er, we’ll say bi-weekly mailbag. All questions are from spammers who send their letters via courier, whether that be in Skyrim or New Vegas.
If any humans would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just make sure to let me know this is for the mailbag and that you want your name public, or else I will attribute your question to spammers.
On to the mailbag:
A Nexus poll recently showed that 88% of Nexus users identified as male. Does that seem about right?
Oh boy, those are the kind of percentages you’d expect to find on Ashley Madison, not a well-rounded community like Nexus. Granted, I’m a little biased because it feels like the majority of posters here are women, not to mention half the fan art posts are taken from Tumblr. The mere fact Tumblr exists proves we are long past the dark days of the internet when men were men, women were men, and children were FBI agents.
So yeah, that number seems a bit high to me. On the other hand, even if we ignore the silent majority, it’s not like the twelve or so people who post here are representative of the modding community the way Nexus is.
For one, we’re much better looking.
Blessing Adam asks:
Novigrad is such an impressive city. Walking through Solitude is kind of laughable in comparison.
Well, it’s a difference in style and scale. The cities in Elder Scrolls games are deliberately scaled down because the NPCs aren’t clutter. They have names, they have homes, and they have schedules. So basically as a developer you have two choices. Make a grand city and populate it with nameless strumpets, or create a small town and fill it with actual people.
If you’re wondering, okay, why not both? Money, for one. Time, for another. It would take an inordinate amount of both, especially when Jim in Creative keeps taking 20 minute smoke breaks and just asked for a raise. No Jim, we’re not doubling your salary, and nowhere in your contract does it say you get extra breaks because you’re an addict. That’s your problem, not ours.
In any case, like all things this massive, they can’t be hand crafted. You’ll need a computer to procedurally spit out NPCs, assign them homes, schedules, and relationships before you ever got started on the dialogue. That – if online spam comments are any indication – would still have to be done by hand.
Mr. Waleed Messe asks:
My favorite Key & Peele sketch is Substitute Teacher. It got me thinking though, aren’t JRPGs basically the inner city version of fantasy? They’re willing to take more risks, which at times can lead to creative brilliance, but other times feel phonetically absurd. They’re the Jay-quell-linn and A.A.Ron to the WRPGs Emily and Michael.
So…just so we’re clear. Are you telling me Todd Howard is a racist?
Accountant General of SUV Deals asks:
Hello, favorite modder! I just want to say that I think your Interesting NPCs is the bomb and I LOVE your crazy/snarky answers that you leave us, the readers, to enjoy. My question, or maybe QUESTIONS, are as follows:
- Which one of your Interesting NPCs would you relate to the most?
Hello, my new favorite person! It is rare indeed we get multiple questions on the mailbag, but that’s probably because most people don’t like to stick around for very long. You either get used to the smell or you don’t.
As for your first question, it depends on when you ask me. Right now I can relate most to a boiled creme treat because my room is a cool 1000 degrees. Or perhaps an irradiated ghoul would be a better choice? Really, this is just another excuse to post more Audrey videos.
2. Who would you hang out with from said group of NPCs?
Well, I don’t know if I’d like hanging out with any of them, as it seems like it would require some measure of participation. I prefer to loiter, procrastinate, or observe. In short, I would make for a terrible hero. This is why in the culture wars, I tell people I’m a Social Justice Intern, or squire at best. I know nothing of being a warrior.
If I must travel with a group, I’d need someone who’d get me off my ass. Let’s avoid some of the more popular names just because. For an active social life, Alassea would drag me to fancy parties and not take no for an answer, whereas I think some of the more emotionally vulnerable companions would take it personally. I’d probably keep the Dwarvenborn around just for shits and giggles, Ingarte to keep the drink flowing, Nythriel to share some gossip, Arghus and Iris to tell me stories, Gorr to laugh at my jokes and Callen to cringe at them.
Lastly, both Skyrim and the Capital Wasteland are kind of lonely, so I think I’d take someone like Mortar or Anum-La along. They’re leaders, friends, but not afraid to kick you in the pants if need be. Someone like Rumarin would just enable all my bad habits. We’d end up a couple of dead, drunken deadbeats, without so much as a song to commemorate our failures.
3. Who would you likely kiss, kill, marry from your group of stellarlly Interesting NPCs?
I like how of the three choices, it’s taboo to say the eff word here but not the other horrible word, marry. Shivers. In either case, I don’t think I can do anything of the sort, the NPCs are more or less my children so it’d be a bit weird to kiss, kill, or marry them, regardless of how sexy Aranas’ voice is.
Anyways, I’ve told this story before, but a few years back I was looking at sex mods for research purposes and someone posted a picture of Zora nudes as an example. My reaction was to close my browser and yank the power cord before diving headfirst out the window.
Okay, maybe that’s not quite how it happened. The truth is, I closed my browser, clicked the button in the left corner and waited for Windows to properly shut down before yanking the cord and bailing. After all, I was mortified, not crazy.