A Letter…Not Sure Who From

Fallout3 2015-08-10 22-06-49-73.avi_snapshot_00.42_[2015.08.12_13.27.27]

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 kristakahashi@gmail.com. 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:

Free Piano asks:

Why is it that vegetables get softer the more you cook them, whereas meat gets harder?

Vegetables are full of pectin which is essentially the glue that keeps it hard and crisp. At a certain temperature the pectin melts, which causes the vegetable to lose its structurally integrity. While the collagen in meats go through a similar dissolution, the muscle fibers firm and harden, which is why a well done steak tastes like a Rob Liefield drawing.

AllGameMods asks:

Is there a game where I can play as a supporting player? I’m not protagonist material.

So you don’t want to be the guy, but you want to be one of the guys, unless you’re a gal. Of course, as a supporting character, you could very well be that guy, the party member everyone dislikes, or this guy, the one who’s always clowning around. But I agree, I think that would be a refreshing change from being the guy.

In any case, there are games where the primary character could be considered a supporting role, such as Vaan in FFXII, although being able to control Ashe, Basch (or Balthier) makes it less like the experience you’re going for. Mulitplayer in games like Borderlands offers the ability to hang back and let others take charge, as well as MMORPGs.

I don’t know of a single player game where that’s the main selling point, however, because most people prefer having more control over the outcome of their game, not less. I could see it working if you had an option to betray the protagonist depending on whether you agreed with their decisions. That way there’s a backup plan in case you get tired of following Delvin the Dragonborn and his cockney thu’um.

Best test for syphilis asks:

What school of magic is taught most in Dibellan schools? And yes, by “Dibellan” I’m referring to sex stuff.

If we ignore the fact that the schools themselves are mortal constructs, I don’t know if there’s a particular school, physical, alchemical or magical, that’s preferred. For example, take the three pillars of high school science -Biology, Chemistry, Physics. If you were training to be a professional sexmaster, you might mix in a combination of biological knowledge with a touch of chemistry (read: drugs) and the physics of humping.

Conjuration offers up bound dildos, for whenever you don’t have a horker tusk handy. Restoration would work great for condoms, i.e., dick wards. Alteration, with its paralysis, stoneflesh, would be popular with the S&M crowd, although Destruction would also fit into this category. Illusion would help with performance, whether it’s courage for yourself or clairvoyance to help you figure out what your partner likes. But if you suck at magic I imagine you just train by having a lot of sex.

Free Piano asks:

Tell me something about Amalee.

Talks to the wind like an old friend. Swears the sun dies every night to save the moon. Never blinks. Feels oddly conflicted when burrs get caught on her tunic. Has a cousin who makes the best sweetrolls you’ll never have. Believes time would not exist without nature to keep it. Raced barefoot up and down Markarth and never once slipped. Will neurotically count the stars to make sure they’re all there. Names the local wolves after family members. Once taught a fish to whistle. It sounded vaguely like Eyldi the Bear.

Anonymous asks:

So I assume Anum-La wears the mourner’s clothes as a symbolic gesture for the loss of her past life and the lives she took. Do any of the other NPC outfits have similar meaning?

I honestly do not remember, but like most things, I doubt I put too much thought into it. I do know that I originally wanted to start Zora out in a hood and have her remove it later on when she got more comfortable in her own skin. There was just one problem, I didn’t know how to do it. Eventually when I learned how to change outfits, I implemented the tactic with some of the other characters, Anum-La included, but ultimately the point is moot when you can dress your followers however you please.

Using wardrobe as a mood ring is something better suited for linear stuff, and something you see costume designers do a lot in television. Every outfit, every set piece has a purpose, whether to set the tone of the scene or say something about a character. In a way that makes games like Skyrim more true to reality.

In real life, I don’t put on a gray shirt because I’m depressed, or a bright outfit because I’m in a good mood.  Most of the time you’re just going for what looks good, taking into account the practical factors of weather, social acceptance, and comfort. Substitute those three for defense, weight, and agility and it’s more or less the same thing with games. Look good, fight good.

Lastly, variety matters too. You don’t want to go somewhere and find another person wearing the same dress, so I wasn’t going to have Morviah and Rinori doing the same either.

Pillz R Gud asks:

Why are Elf ears pointy?

If you’re asking from a Y TOLKIEN DO DIS perspective, I have no idea. Pointy ears look like leaves I guess. From a scientific perspective, the obvious answer would be they pose an evolutionary advantage.

According to some place called Google.com, larger ears are typically associated with cooling, which is why I imagine Hammerfellian elephants have humongous ears and why the mammoths in Skyrim don’t. Other desert animals like jackrabbits use their elongated ears to control temperature, expanding the blood vessels to dissipate heat during the daytime and reducing circulation to stay warm at night. The ability to remove heat without sweating or panting is also a key part of maintaining moisture and combating dehydration.

This would imply that Elves originated from warmer climates, or they were just so snooty they refused to sweat on principle. I like to think it was a little of both.

 

 

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A Letter…Not Sure Who From

Fallout3 2015-07-07 14-24-41-13.avi_snapshot_00.00_[2015.07.09_00.51.40]

Hey look, it’s a different courier bringing the mail this time, although I suppose this screenshot is technically Fallout 3 and not New Vegas. Still, he’s a mailman nonetheless, delivering letters and the occasional platinum chip, mostly from spammers walking the wastes.

If any humans would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. 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:

Free Marijuana Seeds asks:

Skyrim doesn’t make sense. I’m the Harbinger of the Companions, the Listener, the Archmage, and the Guildmaster all at once. That would be like a gay-married environmentally conscious terrorist winning the Republican nomination for President.

This is the kind of shit that pissed Robert Ebert off, so much so that he once strangled a video game to death with his downward pointed thumbs. True story. Part of his point is that when a game strives to be a piece of art, it ceases to be a game, and the mechanics that drive gameplay are forever at odds with a perfectly told narrative.

As an artist, you may want to express the idea that life is full of sliding doors, that walking the path of the warrior may prevent you from becoming a mage. As a gamer, I appreciate having the opportunity to play all four questlines regardless of whether it makes my Dragonborn a lunatic. In other words, Skyrim doesn’t have to make sense. But it can. It’s really up to you how you play it.

Herpes Survival Kit asks:

 I was talking to Vigram in Winterhold. He has a plan to use slavery to build a stable. If the player suggests children Vigram says that the thought of the children cooperating is just a wet dream.

Now, I have a very strong feeling that you don’t actually mean wet dream; perhaps pipe-dream? I’ll let you google wet dream yourself.

First of all, I wasn’t aware that the fatality rates from herpes infections were so high that an entire survival kit would be required. I wonder what people put in there, besides some calamine lotion for the rash (Disclaimer: Don’t put calamine lotion on your herpes sores I’m not a doctor I don’t know what I’m talking about).

As for your question, I wouldn’t take the term “wet dream” literally. Vigram’s not a pedophile, and his words aren’t sexual. Just like if you say something’s a pipe dream the speaker doesn’t really think you’re an opium addict. It’s just a colorful way of saying something’s impossible. If anything, the part that should offend you is his enthusiastic stance on child slavery.

No, I’d say the only thing Vigram loves is his horse, and he makes that abundantly clear.

I’ll give you another example to help illustrate how context can alter the literal meaning of something. If I say “OMG this pizza is orgasmic,” I don’t mean that literally. If you were an advocate for the elimination of pizza related pornography, you wouldn’t have to worry about putting me in a room with a Chicago deep dish. All I’m saying is the pizza tastes really, really good.

Despicable Me Toys Cursing:

What are your thoughts on drug testing for E-Sports?

I am all for testing out new drugs. Unless by drug testing you mean the opposite, then well, it depends. If a specific performance enhancing drug, whether it was Adderall or cocaine, was proven to have no side effects, then sure, do whatever you can to make your sport more entertaining. But as far as I know there’s no such thing as a drug without side effects. And even if it’s just one person who experiences these effects, it’s irresponsible to force that person to ingest harmful substances in order to keep his job or compete on a level playing field.

Now, it’d be different if this weren’t sports. No one is going to criticize the Dragonborn if he pumps his butt full of stanozolol the night before he has to face Alduin. The very world is at stake, do you think anyone is going to give a flying fuck if he saved it with chemistry and grew a pair of tits along the way? Maybe the Baseball Writers Association of America, but they’re insane.

MySeoService asks:

I saw a boat full of people on TV today. And it dawned on me that I have never heard anyone use the term “boatload of people” to describe people on an actual boat.

The same could be said about the word “buttload.” But I’m sure there’s a porn that proves otherwise.

 

A Letter…Not Sure Who From

fallout-3-poster-art

Welcome to another edition of our weekly mailbag. While the new captcha has significantly reduced the number of spammers, this doesn’t mean the occasional bot won’t pass a Turing Test every now and then. Case in point, this post.

If any humans would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. 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:

zakład szklarski piotrków asks:

What is your favorite quest in the Fallout bundle you released?

I never pick favorites, which I’m sure sounds like a cop out like when parents lie about their kids. After all, no one cares what happens to Rickon Stark, not even the author. With quests though, unless you’re pushing out the same fetch quest over and over again, there’s going to be things about each you find satisfying.

For instance, Dot’s Diner and Room 404 are probably as creative as anything I’ve done for Skyrim, including the Paper Mirror, and are buoyed by some amazing performances. The holotapes were really fun to make for Spider’s quest, and Captain Cosmos I like because of the things it parodies.  Factory Sealed, meanwhile, is a puzzle quest, so making the clues was almost as fun as the making the characters. Really, I could name something uniquely enjoyable about each mod, whether it’s a game mechanic or just a bunch kids doing school plays, that you won’t find elsewhere in the Capital Wasteland.

In other news, next month I should have 3 more quests for Fallout 3, and hopefully the release of The Blue Note for Fallout: New Vegas. Just going to do as much as I can before shifting gears to Fallout 4, depending on how moddable and complete that game is. Hell, Fallout 4 might already have interesting NPCs. If that’s the case, I’m better off adding generic ones, or something different like bikini-clad Deathclaws.

M.M. asks:

Do people in Skyrim like to read when taking a shit?

Of course they do. They take off their pants one leg at a time, just like you and me. Now, some people like to read the Beggar Prince, others prefer the Biography of Barenziah, but I’m sure they’ve all done it at some point or another. Which is why if someone ever develops the Immersive Bathroom mod, they need to add a reading feature so you can go through your favorite books while giving your offering to the porcelain god.

Bello Omar asks:

Is it me, or are people getting more and more attractive?

Sure. The spread of information isn’t limited to cheat codes, spaghetti recipes and how to tie a Windsor knot. It’s hair, makeup, fashion, and style. Think about the average nerd twenty years ago to the ones you’ll find today. That coupled with advances in nutrition, exercise, and hygiene and you have more Barbie girls to live in our Barbie world.

Shri Mahalingam asks:

I read the Black Arts on Trial the other day and started thinking about how misunderstood necromancy is. If I died tomorrow, I’d want to donate my body to serve as the family housecarl, or walk Olette down the aisle at her wedding. Nope, this wouldn’t be creepy at all.

Anyways, I was trying to think of a real life equivalent to necromancers, and I came up with this: Necromancers are basically the porn stars of fantasy. They’re stigmatized as evil despite doing something that is perfectly natural.

There are actually cultures, fictional and otherwise, that cast necromancy in a positive light. Although it’s not the same as raising zombies, the Dunmer used body parts of great ancestors to turn back the blight, something that is considered a great honor and sacrifice. In Dragon Age, Cassandra Pentaghast’s uncle is a necromancer who kept a corpse around the house and read to it like a child, so there are places where it’s all perfectly normal, even if it’s a little weird. Olette might find it amusing if she weren’t affected deeply by the time she saw her mother’s corpse.

In any case, I’m not sure necromancers are misunderstood since it’s natural to have an aversion to corpses. Not only do they smell bad, but the Black Arts require blood magic and other unsavory practices that aren’t always easy to stomach. It doesn’t matter if you just needed a wingman for your double date and couldn’t think of anyone better than your dead Uncle Lucien – the method for raising him would corrupt you. Porn stars, on the other hand, bring nothing but joy to the world, and should be regular nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Anonymous asks:

What are you watching now that Game of Thrones is on hiatus?

I like Halt and Catch Fire by virtue of aesthetic alone. The clacking keys, the Jolt cola, the New Wave music…I love the 1980s like a bad yearbook photo. Every moment manages to be a bizarre love triangle of embarrassment, extravagance, and earnestness.

Ah yeah, that’s the stuff. I seriously cannot get enough. In fact, if they were force feeding me 1980s crap every day and there was a button to make it stop, I would cut off all of my fingers and toes so I could not press said button. Then I would sacrifice said button to a volcano, which I believe is the plot of a 1980s movie. So the fact that there’s an entire show set in this time period is right in my house of wheels. The overriding narrative is neat too. It’s fun watching characters try to glimpse the future, reach for it, nurture it – all so they can build the world we presently depend on.

Plus, this scene happened to me in real life. Not sure if I had time to make an OH SHIT face because I was too busy shitting my pants. I had to quit that job naturally, since I’ll never be as awesome as Mackenzie Davis.

A Letter…Not Sure Who From

TESV 2015-05-18 22-12-28-08.avi_snapshot_00.12_[2015.05.29_22.41.08]

Welcome to another edition of our weekly mailbag. Again, all the letters below come from real spammers delivered via courier in the game Skyrim.

If you would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. 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:

vermox asks:

I was drinking water out of a toilet in Fallout the other day, and I started to realize why those beggars in front of the cities demand the pure stuff. What does dirty water really mean? I assumed it was mud in there, but now I’m not so sure.

Interesting point. You’re asking if the dirty water in Fallout literally tastes like shit. Well, the only way to really know is when Fallout XXVIII comes out for the Oculus Holodeck and people download the Immersive Dirty Water and Toilet mod for the first time. But if you’re a serious method gamer who doesn’t want to wait that long, you can easily make your own personal canteen of jenkem and drink whenever your character drinks. This way, it’s not just your tongue, but your body that suffers the effects of drinking fecal poison.

Personally though, I like a balance of immersion and fantasy. So in my game the poo water will probably taste like an Oreo shake and the Mojave will have air conditioning.

oovpzv asks:

Is it true the Witcher 3 has four times the landmass as Skyrim?

Perhaps, but like the man with the tiny penis is fond of saying, “Size isn’t everything,” and “Fuck you God for giving me a tiny penis.” He is fond of saying both those things.

In any case, if you did nothing else to Skyrim save expand the land mass, the only thing you’d be doing is spreading the content further apart.

Granted, pace is also determined by mobility. I find Bethesda games are perfect for someone like me who likes to walk from place to place. I only use a horse as a substitute for fast travel. I’ve heard The Witcher 3 gives you a horse from the start of the game, so that may be why there’s more distance between each point of interest. Ultimately though, the bigger the landmass, the more content you’ll need to create – through purty visuals or gameplay –  to justify it. Otherwise, it just means a longer walk.

generic viagra professional 100mg asks:

Amanda Knox? Guilty or not?

This is a very strange question to ask a Skyrim modder, but okay, I’ll bite. From what I gather she is a very attractive woman who was accused of a very horrible crime. Outside of that, I don’t know a thing about this case.

However, I imagine it’s these two details – beauty and blood – which made the case a cultural phenomenon to begin with. No one cares about the overweight candy thief from Blacksburg. People care about mysteries and sex, and I’m not entirely sure about the mystery part.

So yes, the only reason I suspect this question found its way into my inbox is the woman’s face, which is easy on the eyes. Only here’s the thing about beauty and youth. It represents such a small percentage of a person’s life. Now that I’m older, I’ve stopped looking at people from a single point in time. Amanda Knox isn’t just an attractive murder suspect. She’s an old woman with a secret, a wife with trust issues, a teenager studying abroad, someone’s precious baby daughter. And of course, all the other things about her personality, and how that will grow and change, that I know nothing about. I’m not sure if that makes the case more compelling or less so. I just know I don’t have time to give you an opinion that’s worth a shit.

quick cash now asks:

Will you and Alice review my Skyrim mod when I release it based on your GoT rating system?

Well, mods are more Modcast territory, but I suppose we can take requests. It’s been a while since the last show because Alice has been busy with school and other things. I’m actually going to call her tomorrow but only to help eradicate that English accent of hers once and for all. It’s like a root canal, the infection is buried in deep. You might even say she was born with it.

Speaking of podcasts, we’re going to have to shuffle things around a bit. I know Christian doesn’t have time for it anymore, so Anna and another modder are going to take over that show. There’s gonna be changes all around.

A Letter…Not Sure Who From

Welcome to another edition of our weekly mailbag. Again, all the letters below come from real spammers delivered via courier in the game Skyrim.

If you would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. 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:

silkroad silk hack 2015 asks:

Remember when Skyrim was about to be released, and people talked about what happens when you drop a valuable item on the floor, how it was going to be the most immersive thing ever? Well, I just watched Gorr and Orgnar fight over a bucket.

That is some Peter Molyneux shit right there. Still, when it comes to these immersion-based ideas, you got to believe in taking baby steps. Today, they’re fighting over a bucket. Maybe in TESVI, that bucket might be filled with delicious cupcakes. In TESVII, Orgnar might think twice before starting a fight with an Arena Champion over a bucket of sweets. And in TESVIII, Orgnar will probably be sentient enough to walk out of your screen, go to the market, and buy himself a bucket. Just don’t let him wear it on the drive home.

amoxicillin without rx asks:

If you did a taste test with bottled water and tap water, most people probably couldn’t tell the difference. What is the bottled water of video games?

To answer this question, we first need to list the things that make bottled water taste great. Like, for instance, the picture of a mountain on the label. The size of your mountain is not important, but not having a mountain can really affect the flavor of your water. It doesn’t have to be a picture of an actual mountain, like with Arrowhead or Coors Light, but it does help. I can’t tell you how many times I passed on a bottle of Aquafina because I confused their mountains for Wario’s mustache. Tap water, meanwhile, is like bottled water with a picture of a rusty pipe on the label.

The other thing that makes bottled water taste good is the amount of blue on your label. The bluer your bottle, the cleaner your product. Which is strange, given water is transparent. Granted, the ocean is blue, but all their mountains are below sea level, so it tastes like shit.

Of games that came out recently, I would say Pillars of Eternity would make for the tastiest water. Not only does it have a logo that looks kind of like a mountain range, the pillars/mountains themselves have an aqua tint. I forget what the question was, but I would totally drink their bottled water products.

Coach Handbags asks:

How do I fulfill JadroRa’s request?

Wait, do you coach a team, as in you’re Coach Handbags of the Fighting Irish? Or is Coach a brand name? Or is it both? Sigh, it looks like it is indeed a brand name. That is the most disappointing Google search ever.

As for JadroRa’s request, it can be done on a clear night through the power of imagination. There’s also another quest that comes after Forgotten Lore, so the story isn’t quite over yet.

Baby Einstein asks:

Are chickens like Hindu cows in TES lore? Because the guards sure get pissed off when I kill them.

I get that this is a meme of some kind, where everyone points and laughs at the crazy guard who is going ape shit because some useless chicken died. But I empathize with this guard. Because killing a chicken for no good reason – well, that’s just weird.

Put it this way. If you’re a cop patrolling the streets, and you see some punk kid beating a stray cat with tire iron, you’d probably react the same way a Skyrim guard would. You’d probably think this kid needed psychiatric help.

Now imagine you go home after a long day policing and locking up weirdos, and turn on your computer to masturbate. Only you never get that far, because the internet has turned you into a meme. Because somehow it’s you – not the homeless, chicken killing psychopath – who’s the crazy one.

ninja heroes hack asks:

What are your thoughts on Game of Thrones potentially passing ASOIAF and finishing the series first?

I’m okay with it. I can consume the books and the television show in any order I like. The question is, is George R.R. Martin okay with it. Remember, this is the series that will define his legacy. This is his magnum opus. He has to know that the majority of his fans will consume the ending through whichever medium finishes first. Is he really going to let someone else pen the final act? Does he really want David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to lip sync the Song of Ice and Fire?

Hold on…it’s time for a counterpoint.

Point taken. As it turns out, lip sync performances can be pretty damn good. To me, the HBO writers are the Emma Stone of the adaptation business. They’re killing it.  If you’re George R.R. Martin, you’re perfectly content just relaxing  on the beach with an umbrella drink and collecting them sweet, sweet royalty checks. Life is too short and too good and too wonderful, particularly when you’re rich, to do things yourself.

A Letter…Not Sure Who From

Welcome to another edition of our weekly mailbag. Again, all the letters below come from real spammers delivered via courier in the game Skyrim.

If you would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. 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:

Society asks:

What excites you the most about the next 20 years in gaming? What scares you the most?

The answer is the same for both. My biggest fear is that in 20 years video games will be too violent for me to play them. Not because of the content, but because of advances in graphics and virtual reality. It’s easy for me to slit a man’s throat if I’m holding a controller and his hair is made of plastic. But if he looks like a person and I’m holding a virtual knife? Fuck that. That’s a big, big NOPE for me. I am not going to play a real-life murder simulation.

But that’s also what excites me the most, because once developers can’t use violence as a gameplay mechanism, I think we’ll see a huge amount of innovation in non-violent gameplay. Well, either that or all the enemies will be androids like in the TMNT cartoons. Sorry Leonardo, robots and pizza are the only time you get to use your swords.

Christian Louboutin Ballet Heels asks:

If being blind like Daredevil gives you super hearing, wouldn’t being deaf give you super vision?

You jest, but this is actually a real phenomenon. The brain is a magical box that is built to adapt and survive, particularly if you’ve been hit with gamma rays and bitten by radioactive spiders.

przypudrowanie asks:

What is the song Felena sings when you first meet her? It sounds familiar.

The melody is from a very popular Japanese folk song called Toryanse. It has a very haunting vibe to it, so you’ll find it in a lot of horror movies or other places where creepy children congregate.

The funny thing is, I am probably the whitest Japanese person you know. I am the guy humming a Cat Stevens tune while standing in line for a latte next to a Wes Anderson poster as I think about last night’s episode of Mad Men. But I do pick up a lot of Asian things by osmosis. Obscure folk music being one of them.

fitflop salg asks:

In honor of the announcement of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, what kind of augmentation would you get if you had the chance?

I don’t know, but I’d be down for anything that didn’t require regular maintenance. I hate going to the doctor, but at least there’s some semblance of trust. But you know who your doctor’s gonna be in the future? Your fucking mechanic. And Sal over at the garage thinks you need to have your air filter replaced. See how dirty it is? He’s not even sure how you breathe with that thing.

And oh by the way, that oil you’re running through your joints, it’s totally contaminated. You’re gonna need to replace it with the premium stuff, just ignore the fact that you just watched him pump it out of a fifty year old winnebago. But hey, recycling’s all the rage. Good for the planet, and you. Of course, you could go with the regular, but do you really want to take that chance, friend? Take his word for it, that stuff will kill you. And did he mention how dirty your air filter is?

Tara asks:

Is this mod still going or are the goody bags all wrapped up and this writer is too late to contribute to the Notoriously Precious Cheeses? Are you personally working on anything or taking a looong break from this mammoth of a mod?

Here’s the thing about modding. It’s not just about how much free time you have. It’s about motivation, and more importantly, inspiration. When you’re inspired, it’s like running cross country in the best shape of your life.  Sure, it’s physically demanding, but you’re mentally prepared to finish no matter what obstacles stand in your way.

When you aren’t inspired, it’s like being fat, old, and out of shape with a chain smoking monkey latched to your back. Also, someone has replaced your shoes with bricks, an ice cream truck has just arrived at the starting line, and Donkey Kong Draper just told you he forgot to DVR Mad Men because he was too busy chain smoking and smearing feces on your couch.

So while I have the time to add more to Skyrim, I haven’t had the inclination. Fortunately, the same can’t be said for Fallout, so hopefully we’ll release some stuff soon.

A Letter…Not Sure Who From

Welcome to another edition of our weekly mailbag. Again, all the letters below come from real spammers delivered via courier in the game Skyrim. Well, usually. We actually have five real real questions this week, which is two more than last. I feel like this is a turning point in the quest for an authentic mailbag. That, or a high water mark. One of those things.

If you would like to send a question, PM me here or email them to kristakahashi@gmail.com. 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 questions:

bupropion asks:

I have a theory that adding a “Y” to the end of a name makes you faster. Bill sounds like an old construction worker. Billy sounds like a seventh degree black belt/fitness instructor.

I think you are on to something. Randy definitely sounds like the name of an athlete, as opposed to Rand, which is the name of a United States Senator.

I would take it a step further and say it probably applies to inanimate objects as well. A Jimmy is a flexible piece of latex. It is fun at parties and promotes safety. A Jim, on the other hand, is a lifeless stick of jerky made of questionable meat.

young old porn asks:

I think I’ve found another phrase that doesn’t make much sense. “Rich as a motherfucker.” Since when does sleeping with your mom make you rich? I suppose it could be referring to one’s inheritance, but it’s not something I would be bragging about to my mates. English is weird.

Yet it somehow makes sense. In fact, I’ve found the mind adapts fairly quickly to new words and rules. When people started saying “That feel when” instead of “that feeling when,” at first it hurt my brain. It hurt like a motherfucker. The headaches were bad enough that I wanted to Kickstart a program that copy-pasted ING onto every feel post on the internet.

Fast forward to now, and “That feel” feels grammatically correct. Why, I have no idea. The rules of grammar haven’t changed. The only thing that’s changed is me.

Megaptera asks:

Is Amalee’s focus on natural beauty and purity unusual among Dibellans? Is it a sub-sect or was she just really sheltered up until now? Or is the reputation of Dibellan priestesses and followers as harlots an unjustified stereotype?

It’s not unusual for religions to have multiple sects, especially given the Aedra are mostly hands off. I do believe, however, that Dibella’s realm goes beyond the pleasures of the flesh. In Oblivion, for instance, a Dibellan artifact is used to paint a forest, and at no point in the quest are you asked to fuck the painting.

Of course, for the mod, pretty much everything is about the character as opposed to their belief system. When Zarlak talks about how violence is a tool to be wielded by the wise, what he’s really telling you is how frayed his relationship is with Arngeir and how he failed to properly raise his fuckwit son.

With Amalee, she’s caught in this gentle tug of war between duty/tradition and youth/rebellion. While the most obvious example would be her relationship with her parents, the same rebellious attitude can be found in her relationship with the Dibellan priestesses. She grew up around it, was influenced by it, but in the end she took that information and turned it on its head.

Raynes says outright to Griffith that constantly being on the road isn’t appropriate for a child, and that Morrigan needs a structured life. For all his harsh exterior, it makes sense that if he hates lawbreakers he would value and want to protect innocence. Is there anything you can tell us about his own childhood?

I forget how much of Raynes’ backstory is explicitly stated outside of his Khajiit blood, and even that could be psychosomatic because Khajiit can’t reproduce with Dunmer. But regardless, his disgust for lawbreakers is rooted in a subconscious self-loathing (because Khajiit are known to be thieves) which is why he shaves his head. He’s scared there might be fur.

So based on that knowledge and his psychopathic tendencies, it’s safe to say Raynes had a rough childhood, one that probably involved a criminal guardian and heavy abuse. Now, by abuse I don’t necessarily mean something physical. Perhaps it was neglect or irresponsible behavior. Even getting jailed for being a thief is bad parenting, especially if your kid is orphaned and has to fend for himself. That could be why he says Morrigan needs structure, but I don’t think I ever stated something as being specifically canon.

Who would end up on the floor first in a drinking contest, Arghus or Erevan?”

Tough question. On the one hand, Arghus is old and lacks the constitution. Erevan, however, is the sort of choir boy who’d probably get plastered drinking Zimas. I’d say given he’s a scryer, I don’t see Arghus making that bet unless there was a pretty good chance he’d win. So the mere existence of a contest would mean the old man is your winner.

Mouse asks:

I’m working on my own script for a follower/companion, but I’ve never written something like this before, and I would really like to make interacting with a voice actor as smooth and engaging as possible. Do have any advice to offer?

I have a list actually, which may or may not be cribbed from dating advice on eHarmony.com.

  • Plan it. Have an answer for when and where the date VOICE ACTING will occur. While movie dates COMPANIONS are popular, they’re not great for first dates roles because you don’t want to stare at a screen the whole time may want to get a feel for the actor’s range, reliability, and sound quality.
  • Pay for the date nothing. You are not making money from this mod, so make this clear up front, or else there will be awkwardness and possibly poverty.
  • Be confident. They already said yes. They want to be there VOICE ACT.
  • Dress to impress.
  • Be on time. And be gracious if they’re THEIR LINES ARE fashionably late.
  • Be attentive. Ask great questions. Listen. Smile.
  • Use compliments appropriately. They likely put some effort into their look VOICE ACTING for you, so offer them a compliment or two.
  • Prove that chivalry is not dead. Sure, they’re an independent woman ACTOR. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t open the door for her MAKE A TRAILER VIDEO.
  • Say goodnight. Don’t let the evening end with a fizzle. Be intentional about saying goodbye, and initiate one of the following: a handshake, hug, or kiss (DO NOT TRY TO HUG AND KISS YOUR ACTOR THAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT).
  • Follow up. Ignore those three-day rules. If you had a great time MAKING YOUR MOD, let them know the next day.

Cato asks:

unnamed

WE KNOW

… Just kidding.

Hello, question time!

Clocking in at over 2GB, 3DNPC takes up quite a chunk of my mod load time, however I could never do without it. When you first started the project did you ever have a clearly defined end size or character limit? Or did things just evolve out of control? :P

Also when the day finally comes when they announce TESVI (2017/2018?) how will you react? Would you immediately sharpen your mod tools or just savour the game for yourself for a while?

I personally cannot wait.

In life and in modding I tend to wing it, but with Interesting NPCs I didn’t have much choice regarding its development. When I first started the project, there were five gray-faced NPCs that stood in place and required passing a speed reading seminar to talk to them. A year into the mod I was completely out of ideas and ready to quit when I decided to learn some basic scripting. So the development of the mod differs from most projects where people already have a skillset and now they just have to apply it.

That’s why you have so many prerequisites, because the NPCs were built first as standalone storybooks. Once quests were added, you had to go through the existing content (meeting and interacting with these characters) for the stories to make sense. While it’s not a coincidence that most of these backstories have loose ends, there was never any expectation that a quest would be made to resolve them. In fact, I always assumed I would need a separate programmer to handle the scripting. You see, I am not a computer guy. Ask me what operating system I use and I will tell you it is a “Dell Google” before resetting my router without prompting.

As for TESVI, shit, I can’t even believe we’re even talking about it. On the other hand, Skyrim’s going to be 4 years old in November. Fuck, that’s a long time. Time flies like an arrow, flesh flies like a Breton.