The Phoenix Flavour – Spring 2019 Update

Update time, everyone! Welcome back.

So first up – the Nexus page was hidden since last Saturday and I’m truly sorry for the inconvience. This update should have been published that Saturday and everything, including the Nexus page, was updated and ready. Then I went and wiped the wrong subdomain, losing all my progress in the process. I’d love to say it was some sort of data corruption but it really just was my own stupidity.

Well, I was crushed but with the help of my hoster I recovered an update that contained at least some of the update. Over the last couple days I restored the rest from memory (probably forgot something very important). Below is the original blog post.

This time around the actual guide update is quite minor but I do have other exciting stuff to talk about, including the website rework that you are probably wondering about right now. Everything looks a little more neat and tidy than before. Let’s dive into it.

Website changes

This is what I spent most of the week on and I’m quite happy with the results! Beyond the visual improvement, I have made one other very important change and that is a split of the website into the main site and the guide.

The main site contains all the important stuff like my blog, the Resources section (which I’d like to expand in the future) and access to the guide plus room to tuck away some other sections that I’ll talk about in a moment.

The guide itself now has its own navigation menu and I ditched the sidebar menus because they ruined the page layout. Right now there is an Index page containing links to all the steps, sub-steps and choices but it’s not an optimal solution and I’m not happy with the way it is right now. I will be looking into other options to help keep the pages clean while still allowing easy access to any step / page.

Branching out

There are two projects that I’m planning to implement in the future, both based on the original guide.

A mod pack utilising Automaton is already in the works as I mentioned last week. Nathan has finished up work on the Core setup and is now waiting on the next Hephaestus update (the tool that creates installable .auto files). We have agreed to aim for a full mod pack similar to Ultimate Skyrim, so it’s not going to be modular. You can probably expect a beta release of the .auto files as well as the launch of a new guide section specifically for the mod pack here on the website sometime in May.

A project tentatively called Phoenix Framework has also been on my mind quite a bit in recent weeks. Taking the knowledge I gathered while building TPF, I’m looking to create a different kind of modding game – something similar to Nordic Skyrim. It is supposed to be based on the TPF Core and promotes the use of xEdit to figure out load order and patches yourself. This will allow everyone who’d rather choose their own mods to use the TPF separators and general mod order to build a stable setup.

While I’m going to start working on the Automaton-based version of the guide in the next days, there is nothing concrete yet on the Phoenix Framework project. I’m not even sure if there will be anything tangible in 2019 because my focus remains the main guide and the upcoming content module.

Speaking of which…

Road Map for Spring 2019

Just to be clear – below are my notes and plans that I choose to share with everyone. Please don’t understand them as promises or set in stone. Knowing myself I cannot rule out the possibility of another plunge in motivation. This below is merely what I’m aiming at if things go well.

  • Next week: Writing a guide version for Automaton. Integration of CBBE in the Visuals module. Possibly some additional mods.
  • In May: Finally start working on the Content module and release a first version.
  • Afterwards: Reworks for the ENB / Appearance sections of the regular Visuals module. Writing an alternative ‘Lite’ Visuals module.

Content and beyond

After due consideration I have added two more sections to the main guide that come after the four main modules – Additions and Expansions. Here’s what they will include:

Additions will have multiple categories of mods that are both easy to add as well as dependant on the user’s individual taste. Some examples would be player homes, font replacers or additional retexture mods – everything that can be made optional and where many people will want to pick their favorite from a larger pool of options.

Expansions are very much inspired by STEP packs, collections of mods that you could add to an existing STEP guide installation. Some themed packs (with mostly Gameplay / Content focused mods) could be for Vampires / Werewolfs or Mages. There may also be a Survival expansion. These packs are meant to be optional additions to the four main modules of TPF to add some playthrough-specific extras.

Donations

First up, I’d like give a big shout-out to everyone who donated in April. I was absolutely blown away by the positive feedback and generosity. Big thanks to Erin, MepTech, Ignacio, Erik, Anne and Mark! You guys really blew me away. Thank you. ♥

I have also switched completely to PayPal now and removed all links to the Buy Me A Coffee site. This is mostly to avoid fees and complicated donation and payout procedures. PayPal is simpler for everyone involved.

Let me add that donating to say thank you is and will always be 100% optional. Please don’t ever feel pressured or guilty. I’m working on the guide because it gives me something to do and structure my day around while I’m waiting for a spot in a clinic. Routine and a project like this does wonders against depression, and so does all the support everyone’s been showing!

Let me know what you think about my plans and upcoming projects, and please share any feedback and comments with me on our Discord server or over PMs on reddit or the Nexus. I’m looking forward to spend the next couple weeks on the guide again, because it sure is worth the effort!

Enjoy your weekend and happy modding!

– Phoenix