Like many Elder Scrolls fans, Oblivion was my introduction to the series and RPGs in general. I remember watching my uncle playing for hours on end, until I got my own copy a year or so after release. A lot of it still feels fresh in my mind. The feeling of going into that oblivion gate for the first time, plunging into an unknown realm filled with all manner of evil. That’s going to stick with me for the rest of my life.
Over the last month, the Skyblivion landscaping/level design team has been delving back into these realms for our reimagining of Mehrunes Dagon's realms of oblivion.
Anyone who has played Oblivion will shortly notice the repetition of these levels. In Oblivion there were 100 potential spawns for oblivion gates with only ever 60 of them spawning on a potential play through, with 10 gates always spawning in designated places.
The first wave of gates come after completing the Kvatch gate, with the remaining spawn after acquiring the Mysterium Xarxes. The oblivion gates chose from a pool of 8 oblivion realms, except from gates linked with the main quest line which had unique realms.
In Skyblivion, we are increasing the pool of realms that gates can choose from. Instead of 8 different gates, there will be around 25. In an ideal world, each gate would have a unique realm. We are doing this so that we can reduce the repetition of closing an oblivion gate, with only 2 gates being linked to a particular realm.
There are a number of things that we have set out to do with these new realms; introduce more varied terrain, particularly mountains and height variation. Allow for multiple paths/ways to close an oblivion gate. Keep the original feel/vibe while creating more interesting environments.
The landscaping quality of the new and existing realms is being improved upon tremendously compared to the original game thanks to a mixture of repurposed Skyrim assets, retextured with more fitting Oblivion textures and new assets from our Amazing 3D team and out friends over at Skywind. The Skywind team have given us the go ahead to use their lava assets used for Red Mountain. So we now have the ability to add lava rivers and lava falls which really sell the hellscape environment even more.
In Oblivion, there were realms from other Daedric Gods such as Boethiah and Peryite. These two realms took on the exact same appearance as Mehrunes Dagon's realms, in Skyblivion we are going to differentiate these. They will feature new weathers and unique assets so they will feel different from the rest of the game.
As of right now, I have completed 3 completely new Oblivion realms, the exteriors at least, with another one still in the works. This realm is only being worked on while streaming on Twitch, before eventually being turned into a time lapse and uploaded on Skyblivion's Youtube Channel for your viewing pleasure.
Written by Jack "TheLootist" Long.