Did you ever wake up one morning with such a profound epiphany you got carried away and the rest of the world shut up? That happened to me on the glorious first day of June. But before I get there, let me take you back to a year ago.
As most of you know, I came to Bethesda with the gift of cats… that’s right. I was the crazy cat lady. It was a simple and fun mod and I wanted to share it. Little did I even think I’d be here a year later. While Suzy would check the forums for mod requests and feed me information, I was importing mods, learning more about modding than I ever thought possible, managing a pharmacy and trying to keep up with my Spawn’s schooling. It was exhausting but I fared mostly okay. Suzy suggested I start a Discord to talk one on one with people so I could mod and chat at the same time. She would browse the forums and play her game. No problem!
The month wore on and Suzy deteriorated. Cancer is a bitch. But she always stayed as upbeat as humanly possible and tried to joke as much as she could. She would get into stitches over the littlest of jokes because she knew her time as a physical being was about to end.
I entered a very dark time. Suzy was the only person in this shit-hole country I could relate to. She wasn’t polite to be polite- she fucking meant it. Probably the only Canadian who never said sorry but would say “excuse me” instead. She didn’t try to pronounce “Mazda” with a nasally ‘a’ (think past), but actually said it properly. She got me involved in community service and taking care of the homeless. We started a Weed n Seed community and worked with businesses owners to provide “relief backpacks” to the needy so they could get job interviews or around town to shop for groceries. She was a goddamn angel and I dare anyone to find a more noble woman. So when she left, I had a massive void in my soul.
I kept modding, but my heart wasn’t really in it. I was doing it for other people and yet a part of me did enjoy aspects of it. But I wasn’t happy. I was snappy and short, low of patience. What really got my goat is that I would clean and clean and clean my mods to perfection and get accused of crashing people’s games. I took this to heart. So I went about to figure out this “LO” thing that seemed to plague the community and I made one that was simple and to the point. I didn’t make it for notoriety (and in fact a previous LO thread had closed beforehand). I just wanted users to stop having crashy games. My heart was in major pain but I still cared for people- I still cared that they had a fun game. Nothing is worse as a mod author than someone who can’t get their game to load because they were told crap advice as to where to put it. Not to mention that crashing was so rampant in the beginning every mod author wrote “put at the bottom of your LO”
I remember distinctly when someone came to me for advice and I gave it to the best of my ability and someone told them otherwise. Their game became unstable and I went to that other person and ripped them a new one. “How DARE you give false info?!” was the gist of it.
Mama Bear had arrived.
I couldn’t protect Suzy, but I could “protect” the mod users. I made it a goddamn fucking personal Batman-esque mission of mine to keep up to date on every piece of modding info I could. A little spark was ignited in my heart and I pushed on with modding instead of leaving. Vader knew; he saw me struggling from the get-go but he never lost sight of who I truly am as a human being. Others reached out to me like Doc who has always been available for me to talk to if I needed.
Fast forward to December and I’m getting most of myself under control. I’ve had some time to grieve, but I’m still overly blunt with people and apparently I earned a ‘scary’ reputation. Knowing that didn’t help things, but I couldn’t do much but continue to heal.
Bethesda has some shite fucking “4K” update at the time I decided to do ONE minor tweak to Divine Cities.
Oh. My. God.
Everyone screaming it caused crashing. I wanted to bury myself in a hole. I had been so precise with making DC and making sure it wouldn’t harm the console or cause performance issues and suddenly I’m the cause of crashing. Talk about a kick to the gut. Instead of taking it personally, I started a mission… Mission: Crash Finder.
The night of June 1st I had an epiphany. The kind that made the world stop and made me laugh with delight. Something I had lost sight on a year ago but came to me. You see, mod users are five year old’s. Mods are their Lincoln Logs. Most logs fit together, but some are broken and can’t be used. My goal as a mod author is to provide as many unique pieces as possible so that you can build the kind of buildings you want to play with. Of course! I thought…. and then I set to do just that.
I had been reading about how BSA’s are loaded and while that’s never been a secret, a thought occurred to me: what if all this overlap is causing issues with X users? Or users in general? What if something is breaking on the console like they did with the first CC update that broke the decompiler??? WHAT IF!!! Oi did my head swim!
So I worked ALL DAY on creating four texture packs to work with people who use ETD or HPP or SMIM because somehow it got into my brain that all these meshes and textures are loading at once and I was the cause of these problems. So I was gonna fix it. I wanted to make sure that people could use whatever fucking log they wanted to. I love modding and I love seeing people enjoy their game and by hell or high water I am going to facilitate that!
So the mama bear inside me roared again, determined to protect her cubs from the evil Bethesda monster; she was gonna make so many fucking customised texture mods people wouldn’t know where to begin.
Well… mama bear was wrong. While the BSA’s are loaded at run time, the Engine is smart enough to only load one table at a time. Isn’t that a relief?!! At the same time it taught me to stop. Slow down. Ask more questions. Lucky for me Vader is a voice of reason and can articulate questions far better than I can. Me? I push buttons and watch results. Silly mama bear!
So at the end of the day, I felt it was my responsibility to fix the crashing issues because I thought I was causing them by having overlap. Happily, thankfully, I was dead wrong. So now I have to tuck mama bear back into her cave and hopefully she’ll hibernate.
For a very long time.