The Arcane University
Learn valuable video game development skills from experienced modders and industry professionals. In collaboration with TESRenewal.
The AU aims to provide teaching and support to any and all members and applicants to help them to acquire, expand, or improve the skill set needed to contribute to Beyond Skyrim and/or their partnered modding projects. In addition, it serves as the primary location for learning or enhancing existing skills for the wider modding community, becoming the go-to place for anyone looking to learn.
2D & concept art
Concept art in Game Development is drawn art that establishes the visuals and the build-up for the world, objects, flora, fauna, creatures, and characters. The concept artist must draw the art in a way that it is suitable as blueprints for the 3D and level design department. This can be achieved with different views, the depiction of parts and the visualisation of the texture.
3D modeling & texturing
3D Art is the discipline responsible for the creation of merge-ready assets, which can be defined as the objects that make up the world inside of a videogame (let it be creatures, apparel, weapons, clutter, etc.). The process encompasses modeling, texturing, animating (when required) and test-implementation to ensure that said asset is ready to be used by Level designers or Implementers.
Often the least recognised part of building a game. It's all the sounds that aren't people speaking or music playing. It's the footsteps, item interactions, spells, wind noises, creature sounds. Sound design brings the game to life. It's the voice of the world around you.
Working in sound design requires a lot of creative thinking. You never know what household items you can hit or brush or rattle to make the exact sound you need for your sound effect. There are also free and paid libraries of sound samples that can be used, and twisted to suit your needs in whatever Digital Audio Workstation you call home.
Writing & narrative design
Game writing is the development of NPCs, quests, in-game books, and all the other words the player sees and hears. In many cases, it's also the narrative design of the world you're working on.
Games are interactive medium and due to the open, sandbox-like nature of TESV, the idea is to let the world and gameplay systems speak for you. Exposition inevitably comes with writing at all, but engine limitations, available resources, and other requirements mean that quests have to be designed carefully with the player's experience in mind.
Game writers learn how to create engaging dialogue, characterisation, quest branching, and masterfully write instruction for implementers, voice actors, and level designers to bring their ideas to life.
A Voice Actor will lend their voice and acting to characters of the game world, making them immersive, believable and unique.
A Level Designer is a person who can create the physical shape of the lands and places where the stories imagined by Writing and Concept Art and team discussion take place. These creations must also be compatible with the Music Composition, they deserve their own Sound Effects and they must be compatible with the planned method of implementation for the quests and activities later on.
Scripting & implementation
Implementation is the realisation of ideas. How do you take all of a project's art and story and communicate it with the player? From quests to assets, through coding and animation, implementation is the craft of making things come alive in game. It is one of, if not the most challenging skill set to learn but also the most rewarding. At the AU we look at the Creation Kit, quests, assets and code implementation.
We also look at pushing vanilla mechanics to their limits and working together on all becoming more knowledgeable about what we can do within the Skyrim engine. Students would be advised to choose a single implementation skillset (such as quest implementation) if they are novices but are of course invited to engage on any implementation topic, as are all AU members.
What we offer to students
1) Specialised courses for every department
Every Department in the AU has a dedicated channel with specialised courses and teaching routines. Teachers oversee the progress of the students, provide feedback and guidance, and hand out assignments in order to help the students reach their full potential.
2) Ranking Systems
The AU gives special roles to certain students in order to display and honour their improvements and the time invested into improving their skill set.
Arcane scribes > Arcane Mystics > Arcane Praxographicalists
3) Wiki for Tutorials (In Development)
We are currently working on a website that collects and expands tutorials that cover every field of modding. We aim to make it available for the whole community, and all of our teachers and experienced modders are welcome to expand it.
4) Arcane Together Modding Meeting (AToMM)
Every month we have a meeting aptly nicknamed “The Arcane Together Modding Meeting” or AToMM for short. Each meeting we discuss the individual progress, goals, and tasks of every member present. We will feature different workshops, streams and lessons in our separate seminar rooms.
Following the meetings, we proceed to work, train or relax. The goal of the AU is to bring the modding community together, motivate its members and provide help with problems. Members can choose the level of their engagement, such as voice text, voice chat and screen sharing.
5) Streams, Workshops and Lessons
We try to provide a large variety of streams, interactive workshops and lessons to our community. Every teacher and experienced BS or Third-Party Developer is allowed and encouraged to hold them.
6) Test Claim Board
The Test Claim Board is used to give students access to authentic BS and Third-Party project claims. Ultimately, the plan for it to be separated into different boards for BS and non-BS claims. Each student has one month to complete their chosen claim.
Test claims are, primarily, an exercise. If a student completes the claim and it is of a very high quality, the claim in question can become part of the project. Teachers are allowed and encouraged to use these claims as final exams for students.
7) Student Collaboration
Every six months the students are able to participate in a group project. All departments work together to create a little mod for the Nexus. The main goal is not the release itself, but rather learning, cooperation and the acquisition of new skills. These mini projects are run freely by the students and the teachers only provide technical help and guidance.
The AU is working with multiple projects to unite the Skyrim modding community and build a source of shared knowledge.
Skyblivion is a fan made recreation of the 4th Elder Scrolls game, Oblivion, in the Skyrim engine.
Our goal is to give the Elder Scrolls community a free remaster of Oblivion that includes all weapons, armors, quests, locations and NPC’s.
Skywind is a total conversion mod that is remaking the 2002 game The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in the more modern Skyrim: Special Edition engine.
Our team is a group of artists and engineers, tinkerers and enthusiasts, unified by a love of The Elder Scrolls, and working to breathe new life into Morrowind.
We’re working to renew Vvardenfell’s beauty and barbarity, its alien terrains and its mistrustful occupants, its myriad stories, its jealous gods, and its long-fated reborn hero.
Discord link: https://discord.gg/invite/skywind
Thras: The Coral Kingdom is a new lands mod for The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim exploring the strange and terrifying world of the Sload. Slug-men Necromancers whose actions and history are shrouded in mystery but possess a malice that is legendary.
Set on the Coral scarred Islands of Thras to the south-west of Tamriel, horror both survival and cosmic await the player. Themes of exploration, learning and survival turning to more daunting mechanics that unlock the further the player pulls back the curtain of the Sloads alien great game.
Cathnoquey; The Fractured Isles is an upcoming DLC-sized mod set to the far east of Tamriel, on the second of four Padomaic isles conquered by Uriel Septim V in 3E 276. This project aims to bring the archipelago of Cathnoquey to life in stunning detail in the Creation Engine during the timeline of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Set in 4e 201, the East Empire Trading Company recently reestablished the colony of Wardensbay on the island of Cathnoquey after the Imperials abandoned the isle in 3E 291 following the death of Emperor Septim in Akavir.
Tensions are high among the local population of men known as the Keptu, considered to be the long lost descendants of the Men-of-Ket from central Hammerfell.
Ancient whispers and secrets have slowly been coming to light in the form of dreams and visions across the isles, and the player must decide what to do in the coming conflict, and who to side with, as the shadows slowly encroach upon the islands.
TES Valenwood are aiming to bring Tamriel's Garden to life. The team's aim is ultimately to join Beyond Skyrim and complete the recreation of the entirety of Tamriel by creating the province of Valenwood.
Valenwood will feature the Bosmer, Tamriel's greatest archers living in harmony with nature due to the Green Pact. Also featured will be the tough but agile Wood Orcs as well as the ape-like Imga.
Some explorers started speaking of riches and an island that promises a new way of life. Naturally the order of the Black Watch decided to colonize it and reap it's fair share of profit. Things did not turn out as expected. The island seemed empty, abandoned. That is..until the dead started rising from the ground.
Explore the ancient island and unravel the mysteries and secrets hidden within it. Just make sure to run when you hear bones shaking around you.
Alinor: The Eternal Paradise
Cracks have begun to form in the Eternal Paradise. There are whispers in the air, rumours of another Great War on the horizon. The Empire stands divided, its blades held to its own throat, and malignant, rebellious tumours grow within the Dominion, hidden by its very shadow.
New alliances have been forged, old ambitions have been rekindled, and wickedness stirs in the darkness. The home of the High Elves beckons - will you heed its call?
Alinor: The Eternal Paradise seeks to join the Beyond Skyrim umbrella, adding the entirety of the Altmeri Province of the Summerset Isles, now known as Alinor, as well as the Psijic isle of Artaeum, to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as a fully-explorable ‘expansion-style’ region, complete with new quests, NPCs, cities, armour and weapons.
Your adventures on this blessed isle will see you uncover Daedric conspiracies, fight terrors of the deep, delve into the most ancient of Aldmeri and Sload ruins, encounter the Psijic Order, stand against - or beside - the Dominion, and much, much more.
Interested in joining the Arcane University?
We welcome anyone, regardless of prior experience and skill level.