The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an increasingly ancient beast, gnarled and twisted over the past decade-and-a-bit by many, many mods that sometimes conflict with one another. That’s why Tyler Hallada put together Modmapper, a free tool released earlier this year that shows which of the mods hosted at NexusMods affect which areas of Skyrim. Now, Hallada’s written about the experience of creating the tool in a blog post, and the reasons for taking on the project.
Hallada got the idea for Modmapper while searching for places in Skyrim to create mods for that hadn’t already been shown a lot of attention. “After over a decade of modifications, there could be conflicts with hundreds of mods in any area I chose which could cause issues like multiple buildings overlapping or terrain changes causing floating rocks and trees,” Hallada said on his blog earlier this week. Rather than mucking about with tools such as TESSEdit to work through and resolve mod conflicts, Hallada decided to create something to find conflicts across as many mods as possible.
Modmapper was (dragon)born from that process. “With that database I can power the website which visualizes how popular cells are in aggregate as well as allow the user to drill down to individual cells, mods, or plugins to find potential conflicts without ever having to download files themselves,” Hallada said. Very snazzy. Modmapper’s been garnering praise from Skyrim’s modding community since it was released back in March. The site the tool resides on has been getting around 7,500 visitors each month.
Hallada goes into the technical details of creating Modmapper and its site in the post, the ins and outs of which I admit are way beyond me. It’s an interesting read to see the kinds of challenges a project like this poses for an individual modder, though. Hallada’s set up a Trello board to keep track of feedback and requested changes suggested by Modmapper’s users, and plans to keep improving the tool as long there’s still motivation to do so. Intriguingly, Hallada adds that “it’d be neat” to create similar tools for Elder Scrolls 6, and Starfield.