Hellooo!

This website (that isn't really a tumblr, that was just a way to get free hosting) is where I keep all the mods and music I have been making. It pretty much exists because I wanted to have a go at making a website, but now I'm using it for things I suppose!

To introduce myself, I am 19 and currently attending university as part of an ongoing experiment attempting to integrate bears into modern society without anyone noticing. When not practicing my human impression, I mod, make a lot of music, shoot videos and now I make websites with unnecessarily surreal personal introductions.

All the music on here is free to download and there are links to all the finished mods, I also post the progress of what I'm working on from time to time. There is some other stuff floating around here too, including the fighting game I made a while back!

If you want to get in touch about my mods or modding (probably to inform me of a new way one of them has stopped working) you can do so by email at:
Mysterious.Bear@hotmail.com
You can also find me at:

The Nexus

Bethesda Forums

TESAlliance

Youtube

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A Mysterious Blog Appears...






 

New video: The Dragonborn’s Army

YO.


As well as fixing various boring problems throughout the mod (faction morale was broken, people who weren’t at camp dying when the camp is attacked, squad controls bust, etc etc) I have fleshed out and pretty much finished the team control features. So I made a no frills video to show them off!



Full control is now implemented with your personal entourage, Men-At-Arms, and Archers, allowing you to draft spare manpower into your own personal army. In this video, I take a team of one follower, three Men-At-Arms, and four Archers to assault a fairly simple bandit camp. As you can see, they make short work of the inhabitants- I have made sure it does not imbalance the game though. Anyone serving in these squads makes no gold, contributes nothing to defence, and still requires food and pay. Furthermore, whilst the soldiers in this video are effective at my level (seven), they will not level as fast as the player does- they stay several levels below the player, but minimum is six. The player can get around this by recruiting Warriors who will stay effective until level 20, or Elites who will always be effective- but they require more food and gold per day. 

(note: this doesn’t mean soldiers will get slaughtered if you are a high level player. They will be as fighting effective as the basic bandits you encounter at this level- where as Elites will always be a strong companion whatever level you are.)

If you build your faction to serve this purpose, it will make quests and exploration easier for you at the expensive of having to work hard to maintain your camp. Since each of the three support teams can hold five soldiers, the mod allows you to have 15 of your possible 25 faction members as part of your army- to be able to do this without running out of gold or rations or leaving yourself undefended will take a lot of planning, and require you to make allies who can protect you or provide rations and gold whilst you are away.

Hoping to start working on the quest system soon which will be fun- still plagued with pathfinding issues and other such niggles that need ironing out though. Hopefully I’ll be posting more fun stuff soon!

Bear

New video- Archery Support demonstration, faction dialogue

Helloo!



So. That’s another 5 months of near inactivity again. For those crazy enough to stick around (and so theres actually something here when I start telling people about the mod) I’ve made a video showing off one of the flashier features that I’ve been working on- the ability to organise your faction into teams, and assign those teams roles such as Archery Support.
This allows you to, once a day, place a marker for a barrage of arrow fire with a multi-purpose power “Bear Paw Leadership”- once the marker has been placed, you can use the power again to pull out a horn and signal for the archers to strike.

Your archers will autonomously identify hostile targets and target them. The more soldiers you assign, and the better trained they are, the more arrows will be fired: each soldiers fires 3 arrows per “wave” of arrow fire, with warriors firing 5, and elites firing 7. This means you can be calling down up to 35 arrows per “wave”! As it currently stands, you have the ability to place one marker a day, which will call down three waves of arrow fire, one after the other. I’ve realised this gets crazily overpowered fast, and you end up wasting a lot of arrows (as seen in the video, as they plink around me as I check the corpses), so I’ll be changing it to allow you to call down 3 separate barrages per day.

In terms of practical effect (not just feeling like a badass) it is useful even to have one soldier providing archer support, at low levels. Three arrows is more than enough to put down a lot of low level threats- and it does so without alerting anyone else in the camp as to whats happening (providing they don’t find the corpse). At higher levels, you will need to invest more into your archery team for it to remain effective- but warriors and elites fire more deadly arrows, with a single elite intended to be able to take down or severely wound an endgame threat. If your arrow fire is to thin spread and the targets survive, they will draw arms and begin searching for you.
It’s an expensive use of resources, as those team members still count towards your max population and still need paying and feeding, but don’t contribute towards income or defence. If your faction is already occupied with defending itself, engaging in local politics, or expanding mining/trading operations, you will have to run a very successful camp indeed to afford this kind of support. On the other hand, by keeping a low profile and running a self-sustaining camp that pays its own gold and rations, you can easily find yourself with a team of footsoldiers, a personal armed entourage and long-range archer support without having to worry about the camp being raided or people giving up the cause. Furthermore, if you chose to side with one of the political factions and aim to complete their campaign, you will face missions designed to require the involvement of your faction- you may even be given additional resources and manpower by your allied faction to control.


The video also shows how factions members are commanded through voiced dialogue- once organised into teams, they can also be ordered through the camp log. 

Sorry again for super hyper mega ultimate negligence of posting things!!! 

As a uni student of music with no musical training, education, or qualification, I’m being kept on my toes to say the least. A lot of the time I find time to mod, but posting about it either slips my mind or would take up too much time that could be spent modding. When I’m working on something that isn’t bug fixing (like this) I try to post something, though- one of the problems of working on this thing for two and a bit (!!) years is everything I did two years ago needs fixing and updating to be up to scratch with what I’m doing now! The main reason I haven’t mentioned this thing on the forums anywhere is because I just don’t feel ready to present it yet- hopefully soon though, I’ll feel happy enough to start letting people know this even exists, and there will be lots of videos/screenshots/rambling about it to be found :)

One of those days

Aside from editing away, I’ve been completely stuck on simulated battles (that handle attacks on the camp whilst the player is away) the entire day. Or rather, I got almost all of it working, and one tiny little feature has caught me off guard. Everything is calculated correctly now and will hopefully be kinda sorta in the ballpark of balanced: Pitting a stormcloak force of 70 attack points against a defending force of 114 resulted in the deaths of one warrior and one elite- so 40 defence force was lost over all. 

To prevent a situation where you are just constantly losing guards every day unless you’re baby sitting them, you get a bonus to defence the larger your army is compared to theirs. For example, if there is a bandit force of 50 (roughly 12 bandits of varying level) against your defending force of 100 (About 17 bearpaw soldiers, or just 4 bearpaw elites) your army is twice as powerful, so you gain a x2 multiplier advantage. (this number is then mashed up in further calculations or it would be crazily overpowered, but thats the general idea). If the same defending force is attacked by a Whiterun attack team of 20 attack power, you would have a 5x multiplier advantage. I’m not making things a cakewalk though: if your defending force is weaker than the attacking army, they will receive exactly the same advantage.
To prevent the game becoming predictable and therefore exploitable, there is a small (but important) factor of randomness to each battle: essentially; a dice roll either adds or subtracts points from this multiplier for every fight. This means you have the temptation to leave your camp with a slightly smaller force than needed in the hope they will pull through, and also you cant just work out the bare minimum you need to defend yourself with and leave it at that.

The multiplier is actually far more important than it sounds: It gives you options in how you want to play. I wrote out a big long spiel about the different things this can effect and all the new things you will have to consider, but then I accidentally deleted it- no major loss, as it basically read like me desperately trying to prove that I understand my own game mechanics well enough to be making the game :P The long and very short of it is basically: I’m trying to make gameplay with depth that you can invest yourself in and get something out of, whilst still keeping it that if you want to run around skyrim becoming the head of every guild and destroying the dawnguard whilst occasionally checking in on your camp, thats cool too. I think i say something like that every time I open a text editor now, but oh well!

Possibly the coolest feature of the simulated battles (for me, anyway) is that when you return from your daily questing, you will find the remains of the days battles. This is one of the features that I brazenly announced I would be achieving (due to the hilarity of end-game base defence in epic necromancy) without having literally any idea how I would be doing it, if anyone else had done it, or if it was even possible; all things considered, I’m quite happy with how it’s looking! In todays tests, returning to the camp I found the right amount of bearpaw faction bodies, scattered pretty convincingly about the place.

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I had to admire my handiwork with god mode active however; as the enemies “dead bodies” had spawned very much alive and rather angry. 

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(excuse murky images: the dramatic rain of CoT combined with my current ENB makes for images composed solely of brown, grey, and angst)


This is what I have spent the day doing- comparing the identical lines of code used to kill friendly NPCs and hostile NPCs and tearing my hair out wondering why one of them isn’t working. I’ve came to the conclusion that since bearpaw faction members are assigned their aliases (think reference numbers) long before the kill script is engaged, and hostile NPC’s are assigned them a fraction of a second after spawning and a fraction of a second before dying (and before EVER being loaded into the game) this is probably the cause of the problem. After half heartedly using wait commands to attempt a fix, I’ve settled on fool-proof solution that I will execute in the morning; duplicate all 20 possible enemy archetypes and create dead versions of each of them, which can be spawned in place of the actual ones. 

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Dodge that.

 

 

Excuse any worse-than-normal punctuation/grammar/spelling or horribly written paragraphs, I was very sleepy!

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EDIT:

 

So I’ve fixed the living dead bodies problem, in possibly the most rag-tag fashion imaginable. 
As it transpires, the “start dead” option I intended to use was only available for specific in-game references, whilst my NPC’s were being generated on the fly. So, I had to get creative: the mod now spawns an entire army 200ft underground beneath the players feet, kills them all, then teleports them to their intended “dead body” locations, all within a split second. Unless you have a penchant for staring at your feet whilst standing on a glass floor however, you will be non the wiser, and will return home to find the aftermath of a glorious battle as intended. 

bugfixing and progress ahoy! aww yiss

Updates since last post:

Previously decorational camp upgrade (lakeside structuring) now given a purpose: it adds a fishing rod that can be activated once a day to provide a bonus ration.

Forge improved- unlocking armour for Soldiers, Warriors, and Elites with forge upgrades now also grants +1 defence per respective unit.

Main menu overhaul: previously presented very basic information- important camp statistics were scattered across sub-menus or even unavailable. Now main menu has a button to change few various views, showing Military statistics, personnel statistics, or a general camp overview.

Added the ability to pass 12 hours instantly via bed, autosaving in the process. If there are any battles waiting to happen due to political tension, they will be instantly triggered upon waking to prevent time-spamming until tensions die down.

System implemented to “un-stick” glitched NPCs.

Activating a dead bearpaw member or assaulting enemey now triggers a fade-to-black that removes the body, with the message “You have the body buried.”. Both for neatfreaks and people on low-end systems.

Rebalenced attacking forces- if you reached even a small ammount of aggression with any faction and didn’t have the imperial legion guarding your camp, you would be utterly destroyed. 
Added unique “styles” of attack per faction: Bandits consistantly attack in small groups and starts easy but grows dangerous quickly, Whiterun attacks rarely but in force and is a slow but fearsome foe to anger, stormcloaks have a fair chance of attacking with a fair force and start dangerous but grow in power very slowly, and imperials attack consistantly with a small chance of a double attack, growing consistently in threat.

Implemented built-in “help” button to all menus.

Upgraded camp construction menu: Now all buttons display the price of the chosen construction, and only the constructions you can afford appear. The menu also displays the progress of your construction (eg Forge 3/4, Mine 2/3) and your stockpile of materials and septims.

"Morale" now a fully implemented gameplay feature: Morale ranges from -1o to 10, with 0 being no bonus or loss. The more underfed or underpaid your camp is, the faster it will fall, and with every minus point, there is a 10% chance of someone abandoning the cause (so -10 means someone will deffinately leave each day.) If you are in minus numbers of morale, morale will increase by one point each day if you are making enough gold, and another if you are making enough food. Having a defence rating twice as big as your daily threat raises moral by one point each day up to a maximum of five. Having a daily threat twice as big as your current defence rating lowers morale by one point each day. Each positive morale point assists the camp in battle whilst you are away, and for every 3 morale points, one worker will produce an extra material and one hunter will produce an extra ration. Morale can be raised at any point through two options (with possibly more on the way): Double pay day, and double ration day, both instantly boosting moral by one point.

LOTS of bugs squashed including:

Dead members of squads counting towards squad power

Menu buttons not working correctly

Confusing language inconstancies (“materials” sometimes being referred to as “componants”, etc)

Inaccurate information on trading rates.

There are FAR more than that, but I’ve been zipping about the place fixing things so randomly I tend to forget what I’ve done :S I’ve been keeping a check-list of what needs fixing, so I might just mark each finished item as “done” instead of deleting it so I can remember what I’ve been fixing!

Somewhat-bi-weeklyish progress update

Since my last post, I have landed a contract filming and editing promotional videos for a local music venue, which is fantastic! (Don’t worry, I have improved since my embarrassing movie maker mod trailers…)

I’ve stayed on top of modding though and have had a good few solid days working away at her. A “change log” of sorts, for anyone who might be interested in such a thing:

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>Polished off AI packages to minimize the likelihood of bearpaw residents standing about like zombies (and added a “you aren’t were you should be…” dialogue options that resets their behaviour, fixing any bugs)

>Fixed hefty bugs with the economy features:

  • certain menus not updating resource amounts 
  • miscalculated costs when purchasing upgrades and hiring people
  • glitch allowing the player to over-populate the camp with hunters, then being stuck with negative amounts of population capacity until they are fired, killed, or more tents are pitched.

>Rebalanced the cost and sell price of materials in favour of producing your own materials through mining, instead of earning money through mercenary work and buying them in. This makes running some kind of mining operation a more viable investment of money and precious population count.

>Fixed bugs with Military features:

  • One of the five teams you can assign soldiers to miscalculating the teams attack power/mercenary value.
  • Unit tracking for all teams was at some point re-routed to display Red team data for all teams, i.e if you have three soldiers and one warrior in Red team, menus would report all teams had three soldiers and one warroir. This definitely wasn’t the case at one point, so I must have messed something up! Hope nothing else is broken….

>Recalculated mercenary earnings to make it easier to have the camp remain sustainable without player interaction. The idea is that if you want to take a break from leading the camp and you’ve not left the place under threat, you can hire out some soldiers as mercenaries and set a daily export rate on any surplus food or materials and the camp will be able to sustain itself without the player being there (though there is always a chance that an unexpected attack will go badly…). This means players who want to expand their camp have to watch out for trading opportunities, hand-pick well paying quests, and micromanage their followers and resources, but players who are happy with their camp and just want to reap the benifits of their work can do so without worrying about the place being destroyed.

>Programmed a system to track the players current resources, daily gains/losses, defence and current threat. This will be used for an “assistant” NPC that can offer advice on what to do when the camp is struggling, and also for optional daily updates sent to the player via courier when he is away from camp.  

>Redesigned workers and hunters to be more distinct from each other through different clothes.

_______________________________

I realise not much of this will be interesting or even make sense to almost anyone, as the only glimpse of the mod that I’ve shown didn’t even feature game play. I just wanted to show that I’d been working on things though and that every day I’m getting closer! I know if I had found this mod, I’d have stopped following the project long ago and would have declared the mod dead almost every time I visited the site, which I want to change. The way I work, however, is not in clear, objective blocks, so I can never really announce a big change or addition that would be genuinely interesting! Instead I’ve been hopping from one aspect of the mod to another as I spot things that need changing; the progress tracking feature was started 6 months ago, and worked on and tweaked sporadically since then until I finished it the other day! 

I am getting frighteningly close to implementing the final features of the mod now though; I have found myself for the first time actively searching for bugs to squash and features to rebalance instead of desperately grabbing handfuls of code and smushing them together trying to keep the mod in one piece, which in my books means I’m read to move on to a new feature to impliment, break, lose track of, and finally fix! All that is left to go until I will be releasing:

>Soldier armour upgrades for improving the camps forge

>Advanced team commands (archer support, infantry support)

>Trading system (a days work that I will clumsily stumble through in a week)

>Procedual quest system (a weeks work that I will throw myself at, because I’ll finally be doing something other than designing menus)

>Assistant and shop keeper NPC’s, and some in-game guide books

>A quest update that points new players to the camp in the beginning


After that, there really shouldn’t be anything left to do: each piece of the mod has been built separately but once these features are finished, it all should click into place by itself in a gigantic, bug ridden unbalanced beautiful mess ready for beta testing!

AI completed!

So, I’ve got back from a week away in Ireland, and have got back to work with the problem of buggy AI. I’ve rebuilt the package system from scratch (instead of using the Templates I’ve made up my own) and AI is not only fixed, but improved! Now instead of cycling between four roughly central locations randomly, soldiers will search for a new place to stand guard when their package begins, and will see any locations you have built, allowing them to make full use of the camp without being told to do so (though there is still the option to order soldiers to guard specific areas). I’m going to apply this new system to the Workers and Hunters tonight so they will make better, more natural use of camp facilities, clean up the utterly ridiculous 2000+ lines-of-code previous attempt at achieving this, and then I’ll be back to ensuring the battle simulations are running as expected.

Once that’s out of the way, I’ll be starting work on Missions and Raids (both player-based and simulated for your squads) and then we are incredibly, incredibly close to playable Beta (where I will be balancing and bug-fixing with peoples help).

I can’t wait for this to be finished almost as much as nobody else cares about it!

Mysterious Mr. Bear :D :D

"Macro details and micro details"

Since the video, I’ve made a lot of progress improving the system that keeps track of who is at your camp. Now, each new member is assigned a reference number and is monitored by the mod from the start until death, which gives me a lot of control as to what happens to them. For example, it used to be the case that if your camp was attacked when your not there and the battle manager worked out that two people died, when you returned, there would be a black screen whilst scripts were run to kill off the right amount of people (which could only be done when the player was nearby). Now, the mod kills them off whilst your not there and automatically re-calculates the impact this has: Reducing your defence rating, population count, food needed each day etc etc. 

I have also been working on making life at the camp immersive and believable. The rudimentary AI packaging and scripting I had previously done was not up to scratch: the default packages that made NPC’s interact with the environment were not at all designed to handle so much use in one scene, and resulted in people freezing on the spot and not unsticking until the package ended. Since all the NPC’s are generated in game, I can’t simply spend time editing their packages by hand telling them what to do- I have to create a system to tell them what to do for me.

The system now implemented by adding invisible “tokens” to their inventories allows workers to live believably and autonomously- they will mine, chop wood, take breaks, eat, and chill out in their spare time, and no matter how many you hire, you (hopefully) wont see clusters of them all trying to do the same thing. This little token system has lead to some interesting possibilities too- for example, workers sleeping out in the open will wake up to find shelter when it rains, opting to sleep on the hard floor of a tower or storage tent instead. When the rain cleans up, they will wake back up and return to their more comfy beds. It’s fun to stand watching a group of NPC’s sit down under the sun on their break, reading or cooking on the fire, and then put in a console command to create a thunderstorm and watch them all run for shelter XD

Guards also have a similar autonomous default behaviour: they will move from place to place guarding the camp. And not in a weird, standing-like-robots way: they’ll interact with the camp around them as you build it, sweeping up, leaning or sitting against things, reading beneath trees, and the widest range of actions I could fit in to keep it varied. They can also however be told to guard specific locations by the player: you can order them to literally any part of the camp through dialogue, whether it is to keep watch for bandits from a tower or guard the mine from animal attacks. Or just sit next to a particular tent because you think it looks nice.

Currently, I am finishing off the default guard packages, but I’m very close to this. (90% of my time modding is overcoming bugs and “features” of the creation kit… that’s not an exaggeration.). Once that is done, unless more problems show up, I’ll be moving on to the quest/raid systems: everything else is already finished!

STOP PRESS: Something finally happened



It is a ridiculous set of circumstances in which I can mention making a video, and it not be released until about a month later. These are the circumstances I present however, unfortunately. At last, I have finished a video that is almost 3 minuets long! I better take a holiday now, I’m working too hard.

Seriously though, I apologise this, like everything else, took so long, to anybody who was waiting for it! Life, as always, has had the annoying habbit of getting in the way of more important things, and just de-bugging the features displayed in the video took a few days. (plus along the way, I took the opportunity to de-bug things I had half-finished previously, which means the mod is a little closer to completion at least…)

One of the major delays was filming and exporting it in high quality with 2gb of space to spare and uploading it with pre-historic internet speed. Hilariously, both the export, and then the upload botched, resulting in fairly disappointing video quality considering the effort :/ I recommend watching it here where I have customised the embedding to display it as best as possible. I didn’t want to spend another 3 days sorting it out and re-uploading, but at least in future I will know what to do!

I’m not even going to say that I’m going to try and upload more details and information here, because I’ve already said that like 5 times and just didn’t but… you know. The thought is there. Ok I wish I would start uploading more things. Perhaps it’s out of my power. In the mean time, there is an updated description and stills and stuff on the Bear Paw Camp page! happy Skyrimming everyone, I’ll be in the bear cave modding!

Mysterious Mr. Bear :D :D

Site Overhaul!

I planned to release Bearpaw Camp in my first weeks of university. 

Ahahahaaaaaaaa….ha. That didn’t really work. 

However, after a good month or so of not even looking at an Elder Scrolls game, my body is ready for more modding. It was also ready for a new website design, and so I made one, and this is it!


Currently my biggest bother is that all the comments from the old design have been lost, there was some useful information there, and some funny quotes. I’ll have another chat box up soon enough! As of today (9th nov) the site is still in progress and the pages with the actual content are not finished. I’ve just done the framework and learned lots of fancy new tricks….

I will have the site design finished soon, update it with relevent information, and then get cracking with Bearpaw! Hopefully it will be done sooner, rather than later….

Mysterious Mr. Bear :D :D 

Today’s Promise: No more promises

…and I know I’ve promised that before.

I’ve spent today’s break from revision admiring ASIS by plutoman, and wishing I had time to play it. It’s mod’s like these that make Elder Scrolls what it is for me… not the limitless piles of beautiful armour or even the flashy game mechanics, but the mods that just take things and make them better. I can’t wait to get blasted around with Midas Magic and attacked by new, mod added summons, or to have actual intelligent enemies to fight against.

I have also spent the past few minuets looking at this site, and what I actually put up here. Of which 80% is promising things that come… incredibly late :P So I’ll be adding a new rule to play by- I’m not going to mention anything until I have something to show for it, whether that is photos, videos, a “demo” sort of thing, whatever. Just more things of actual interest and less of my waffle! The site essentially plays the purpose of a place to put everything I’ve done, and to offer a place to update with news on projects without having to create threads on the various modding websites for each project. Thanks to the comment section it’s also turned into a place to get feedback/have a chat with people about what I’m up to- what it isn’t is some egotistical device to shout into empty space about what I’m doing, expecting someone to take interest. There are plenty of websites for that.