Hi, I’m Bellatrix, the interiors lead for Beyond Skyrim: Cyrodiil.
To celebrate the Bruma release interiors going beta, I thought I’d tell you a bit more about the interiors department and the kind of work we do.
The core interiors team is quite small: there will typically be 4-5 people actively working on claims at any one time. For Cyrodiil we’re keeping the dungeons and interiors depts separate, but there is quite a bit of overlap between skillsets and many team members work on both dungeons and interiors. It’s also not always obvious when an interior becomes a dungeon (the rule of thumb is if the occupants aren’t initially hostile, it’s an interior).
Before we start work on an interior, we need to know both the layout of the area we’re working on and who will be living there / using it so we tend to start work on an area after the landscaping and writing departments have finished with it.
In terms of cluttering the interiors, we’re sticking close to the style of Bethesda’s interiors in terms of the level of clutter and overall feel, but we’re trying to make each interior feel unique and reflect the temperament of its owner. We are very fortunate to have a lot of new assets that have been created by the modelling department that give Cyrodiil’s interiors their own character, which feels very different to Skyrim!
We also work very closely with both the writing and implementation teams to make sure that the interior tells the story that the writer envisioned for it and that any items that are needed for quests, scenes, or anything else are there and ready for the implementation department to work on when we’ve finished with it.
Interiors will typically have several clutter passes to ensure that the level of detail is consistent throughout Cyrodiil and to add any new clutter that has been modelled. We also do a lot of optimisation of interiors, such as the addition of room-bounds, to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible in-game.
Work on the interiors for Bruma release started in 2013 and the mod will feature approximately 40 new interiors, including Bruma and several villages, as well iconic landmarks from Oblivion such as Cloud Ruler Temple and Frostcrag Spire. As roughly 200 years have passed since the events in Oblivion, some of these interiors have changed ownership over that time, although many, such as the Jerall View Inn, will still be familiar.