What is Beyond Skyrim?
Beyond Skyrim is many things – it has been described as a mod, a community, a framework, a family of projects, and a support group. All of these are arguably true. We provide a place where Skyrim modders can meet each other, work together and exchange the fruits of their experience. We are organised into several autonomous teams, but we all have one final goal in common – to create a series of mods which will fit together into one seamless experience for our end users, allowing them to travel through all of Tamriel.
Seriously? All of Tamriel?
The mission we have set ourselves is to recreate as much of Tamriel as we possibly can. Whilst our ultimate goal will always be the completion of every corner of the continent, we believe it is equally important to focus on creating quality content in each area we work on. Therefore, even if we never reach our final destination, in the process we will be certain to create some of the largest, most intricate and, we hope, the most enjoyable mods ever created for any TES game.
Wait, I’m a little confused. Are you one big project, or several?
Beyond Skyrim is a group of several autonomous teams, which for various reasons decided to pool together aspects of their administration and decision-making processes. You can think of us as being a bit like a federal state – we have a central Council which has powers determined by our Charter, and exists to make the big decisions that affect all of our projects equally. But we also have a separate “local” leadership for each Project, each of which is essentially independent in terms of its day-to-day operation. There is, of course, extensive overlap and daily collaboration between the teams, as we work together to ensure that resources and expertise are shared, and our lore and plotlines tie neatly together. If you are interested in learning more about how our system developed, you can read about our history here.
When is it going to be finished?
We are under no illusions that this will be a very long-term project. All of our members are volunteers, and so naturally the speed of our progress will vary according to the amount of free time that our members are willing and able to contribute. As such, we do not think it is appropriate to propose hard deadlines or timelines for release. We are, however, considering the possibility of releasing our Provinces in stages, making part of each area available at a time. If we do so, each area may get its own estimated completion date, so watch this space!
How are you going to organize your releases?
Our current plan is that areas of each of the Provinces will be released early as standalone “teaser” mods which will provide players with a foretaste of the final product. The first of these is Beyond Skyrim’s Bruma, which will offer players the chance to explore the northernmost region of Cyrodiil. Further details will be announced on our Developers’ Blog in due course.
What about compatibility with other mods?
Beyond Skyrim is so enormous in scope, and affects so many areas of the base game, that conflicts with some of the countless other mods created for Skyrim is inevitable. That said, it is our policy to do what we can to advise 3rd party modders who approach us on how they can ensure that their work is compatible with Beyond Skyrim. However, the ultimate responsibility for ensuring compatibility will have to lie with them, as there are far too many mods out there for us to be able to patch our release for every single one.
What about Elder Scrolls lore?
The lore (or backstory and literature) of the Elder Scrolls series is the foundation of everything we do, and we hold ourselves to the highest standards in making sure that our work is consistent with it. Nevertheless, the manner in which Bethesda has depicted areas and cultures has varied greatly between installments in the series (compare Solstheim between TES III and TES V, for instance), and we do not feel ourselves bound to replicate design decisions which were made as a result of game engine or graphical limitations as they were depicted in previous games.