The Imperial Shipyards is a mid-large scale project for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. This mod aims to address several shortcomings in the vanilla Oblivion experience related to ships. First and foremost the lack of ships and pretty much everything associated with them.
My first time touring Cyrodiil was a bittersweet experience. While the scenery was...and still is beautiful, there was so much missing. Particularly in the waterfront areas. In a land with four major port cities built on the water, only two have waterfront docks with a total of four functional ships in the entire game. Nothing that resembles shipping commerce, no naval defense system, and a Coast Guard station that is merely a shack in the weeds. Said shack having no real dock, no boats, and no members to man boats if there were any to be manned. Fortunately all of that can be fixed.
The primary goals for this project are:
1. Adding more waterfront docks in places that allow for expansion. Adding new ships to the ports and crews to populate them.
2. Creating a trade route schedule for at least some of the ships so that they move from port to port. Thereby simulating a system of commerce.
3. Creating at least a partial Navy defense system.
4. Expanding on the existing..but pitiful..vanilla Coast Guard. Giving them a proper base, some ships, crew members, etc.
5. Adding working shipyard dry docks to the port areas where one can see ships in various stages of construction.
Current Project Status
Currently in early alpha stages. However, a LOT of work has already been done. I have spent a good deal of time assembling resources for the project (both community and custom made resources), honing my modding skills, and planning/designing various elements.
Just as each of the cities in the game have their own unique architecture, one would expect to find a variety of ships. To that end I have given each of the five named vanilla ships a unique look inside and out. This can already be seen in my "Improved Waterfront Ships" mod, which was actually developed as the precursor to this project. In addition there are now eleven more re-textured variants of the vanilla ship. Mr. Siikas ship models have been included as well. There are four re-textured cog ship variants, three variants of the small cog, six variants of the small fisher boat, two new variants for the Elven Galleon, two variants for the corvette model, and last but not least the mighty Imperial War Galley.
I have also acquired a few less well known models from older mods whose authors gave me permission to use their works. So there are also Norse and Greek style models that have not been widely used. I have re-textured vanilla boardwalk and dock pieces using regional vanilla textures so as to give port areas their own distinct look. Many free to use community resources have been given this treatment also. Such as cranes, and various bits of clutter. In short ...I have the bulk of what will be needed to do the work.
There is already a working plugin created. So far landscaping has been roughed out, and architecture placed for Imperial City Waterfront and most of Leyawiin. Anvil has been started while Bravil is still only detailed notes. Some interiors have been done strictly for testing purposes at this point. No NPCs just yet.
While compatibility is always a concern with any modding endeavor, in this case it is also kind of a moot point. Anything designed around the waterfront areas at this point in the games existence will have numerous mod conflicts. I am taking great pains to minimize conflicts. This is intended to be a standalone mod. However, I am a realist and want it to also be relatively easy to patch and integrate with mods such as Better Cities and Open Cities Reborn. So as things progress I am constantly doing comparison checks against those mods.
One of the reasons why work on Bravil hasn't been started yet is that trying to design the Bravil docks in such a way that they can easily be integrated with docks from those mods has been challenging. In addition to a preliminary working plugin, there are already alpha stage compatibility patches developed. So as you can see I am taking this concern very seriously.
This project has been sitting in the closet for quite a long time now. It became apparent to me during the early days of development that I just didn't have the skills I needed at that time. So first things first...I have to dust off and re-assemble all the various bits and pieces that are strewn about my pc and external storage devices. Need to get everything organized back into a structure that can be worked with. Over the course of the next few days I will begin uploading resources. Then upload some screen shots so everyone can get a better idea of what I'm playing at here. Create a few more project threads, etc. In the meanwhile I am open to comments, ideas, suggestions....what have you. Feel free to chime in.
Interested in Lending a Hand?
I may have mentioned this is something of a large project. Some of you may already be familiar with my comings and goings. During the "learning to mod" process I have gotten myself wrapped up in a few other projects which I refuse to give up on now. So my time is a little stretched thin. However, this was one of my first serious modding endeavors..so it is special. And I would like to see it realized while I'm young enough to still enjoy it. So I have come to the realization that a few helping hands would be very welcome. If anyone out there feels moved by what I've sketched out here, and would like to team up, or even just pitch in on an irregular basis, please drop me a line. I would be happy to have you along for the ride.