Pelanor

Something as ambitious as Pelanor should at least be recorded, even if it didn’t actually happen in the end.

Basically, Korana had the idea for this city that would be all in interiors. She made some pretty effing sweet cells.

Probably the hardest part of modding is keeping a clear design plan in mind. Mission creep is inevitable in any project (Dance of the Three-Legged Guar, for example, was supposed to be one companion and one apartment), so as soon as you notice it happening, you need to re-evaluate your project parameters and plan around the growth. My approach for Mournhold Expanded was to start with one or two areas and complete them (e.g. Mournhold Resort + Andeera), release those as a beta and then work on the next part.

Korana’s approach was similar, only the areas she was working on at any one time were significantly bigger, and she released only an alpha file to friends who were contributing interiors to this massive undertaking.

So it ended up with just me and a few others having access to the early alpha … and it has to be said that it was exceptional. It’s certainly in the top 5 mods as far as worldbuilding is concerned. I still have the .esp files of whatever stage of WIP it was at; it’s just all the textures and meshes I lost in a crash, which unhappily coincided with a similar loss Korana’s end, so I think between us we lost everything. If she still has the meshes and textures,¬† I can restore the Pelanor that I worked on – but this is very different again to the Pelanor that Korana made.

She put the project on hiatus for a while, and in that time (with her permission) I worked furiously. I made dozens of interiors – both in the city of Pelanor itself and on the island of Aldbarrow that she’d allocated to me – and I had a reasonably clear idea of a Mournhold Expanded-style mega-mod with quests.

The island of Aldbarrow. I built the whole island – all interiors – based on the map she drew. When she made a new version of Pelanor without Aldbarrow, I asked her about it and she suggested I should release the mod as a wholly self-contained project. I did. To this date, it’s the only part of Pelanor that is publicly released, though I believe Master Sam is releasing his contributions separately.

It should be noted that by this point, the scope had grown exponentially – effectively from a city to a continent.

An aerial view of Aldbarrow, based on Korana’s map. Of course, a lot of vegetation, etc was added subsequently.

The toy shop. I had the idea that the player would take ownership of the shop, and then customers would come in and give the player quests. It would have been an uneasy blend of AITravel, PositionCell and ForceGreet but it might have been really fun if I could ever get it to work right. NB – based on my ‘Three-Legged Guar’ experiences, getting such an idea to actually work in the game, in a sense that is actually fun, is close to zero.

I made almost all of the cells (that were part of my contribution) cells that you could look out of. Basically, Pelanor was the prototype of my Leyawiin mod; it was all based around interior-as-exterior cells so that the player would be able to see the view outside at almost any moment.

I didn’t really get to see this snowy village in-game. I don’t recall there being any (developed) interiors for it.

The mod was absolutely ambitious – combining the latest meshes with the latest scripts. Korana made several new animations for the mages’ guild and docks – neither of which was ever completed. The guild I made the most progress in was the fighters’ guild, for which I had considered a few quest ideas and approached some voice actors.

This is one of Cenobite’s contributions – just so detailed! I “borrowed” Cenobite’s ideas to influence my own butcher’s shop in Aldbarrow.

I made a restaurant – I remember that, because that’s where I found Joan Cass’s ‘Pirate’ song, which I ended up using in Mournhold Expanded – plus quite a few ordinary shops and houses.

Still, even though it never ended up as a finished mod, I’m still very proud and excited that I ever got to be a part of Pelanor.

Pelanor Maps

Pelanor Gallery

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