In this second day of mod feature highlights for Skyrim, we’ll be featuring a wonderful compilation package of mods from a hard-working author who truly loves what she does. Just like yesterday, we also managed to snag a rather informative interview to gain further insight into just what work goes into these sorts of mods.
If you missed yesterday’s feature highlight and interview, you can catch up here!
Cooking Recipe Bundle
Skyrimforge author Wolferoo decided that while the new food recipes and cooking skill in Skyrim were a wonderful additions, they just weren't refined enough. In fact, the idea for the mod came to her as she was forced to use console commands to obtain items like Baked Potatoes, which were oddly enough in the game, but had no cooking recipe.
Enter the gigantic, often-updated mod by the name of Cooking Recipe Bundle – a compilation of all the cooking mods Wolferoo had released at that point – adding over 60 new recipes, almost 50 entirely new items, and a super refined cooking experience. Skills and short-term food buffs were added, allowing for even more food options. Taking this customization even further is the existence of four separate files, so users can get exactly what they want.
Below, Wolferoo shares her thoughts and goals with the project from creation to execution.
What considerations did you have to try to keep the new recipes and the edits balanced to the original ones from the game?
Wolferoo: My goal was for resulting items to have similar quality to existing items, and scaled to the ease of acquisition. I can best explain this through examples...
-Baked potatoes was the first recipe I added. Cooking the base potato into the baked potato gave an increase in quality from 1 HP to 5 HP for the work of carrying the potato to a cook pot. The quality increase was small but so was the effort required.
-Cheesy bread results in a greater difference between ingredient quality and product quality, but takes a little more effort on behalf of the player. He must find two different ingredients, and possibly use recipes to cut the cheese into wedges before using them. Also when compared to other items of similar purpose, it is not overpowered. Its strength is equal to a standard quality restore health potion from an alchemy shop, or something an intermediate level alchemy character could produce.
-Draugr Porridge and a few others provide long term but fairly weak buffs, and require collecting several ingredients from various sources. I felt the difficulty in acquiring ingredients countered the long duration, and it would be too overpowered to have a strong buff with a long duration under any circumstance. As far as what enhancements to group together, I took inspiration from WoW on this one. The foods in this set are loosely based on classes, with the melee skills accompanied by stamina regeneration and the caster skills accompanied by majicka regeneration.
-Poached Warbler Egg and a dozen others were designed as an alchemy alternative. The ingredients are based on the ingredients' effects for potions. However the quantity required is greater than the two needed for creating a potion because there is no skill needed to create these items which have a greater quality than what a novice alchemist could create. Some characters may not want to learn alchemy, but want something more satisfying than buying buff potions from an NPC.
What methods did you use to add all these recipes? Was it difficult?
Wolferoo: I made the recipes using TESsnip. I got started by taking about two hours to go through a tutorial by Samutz on using TESsnip and trying out my own ideas for items to combine. Once I understood the pattern, which variables meant inputs outputs and quantities, making the mod was easy. I explored more of the data inside TESsnip and looked at what other modders were creating to get ideas for things I could make myself using the same patterns. Learning where spell IDs and variables were stored really opened up the possibilities because then I could put any buff on any item I created with whatever duration and strength I chose.
I have a background in programming, so understanding byte fields and how variables interact was simple for me. But a lack of prior experience doesn't need to scare off anyone interested in doing mods. If you have the patience to walk through the steps, learning about one field at a time, you can figure out how to change things too. And once the CK comes out, these modifications will have a much easier interface.
I'd estimate the time spent on the pack at about 8 hours, but it's hard to say because I expanded it in several stages. The learning curve is steep at first but once you've created a new item and a new recipe, most of the pain is over.
If you're interested in making recipe mods, or changing the attributes of items, open up a mod in TESsnip and poke around. Read what others have done both in the .esp or in their words on forum posts. And don't be afraid to ask questions. I'll gladly answer any PMs about where to find certain data I've manipulated and I'm sure there are other modders out there willing to help too.
Can you tell us about any mods you have planned for the future?
Wolferoo: My latest addition to the recipe package was the ability to refine sugar from honey, and then use the sugar as an ingredient. I plan to add flour in my next update, and then many recipes involving flour, sugar, and eggs. I would like to also add milk, perhaps sold by a farmer NPC, but I may wait until the Creation Kit for this addition. Depends on how ambitious I get, and how long until the CK is out.
Be sure to keep an eye out for updates from this author, as well as our next and final mod feature highlight and interview for this week tomorrow!