Daggerfall Unity Modding

I’m a big fan of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series, but mainly started with 2002’s Morrowind as the earlier DOS releases, Arena (1994) and Daggerfall (1996), were a bit clunky for my liking and appeared while I was still performing CPR on the already cold corpse of my Commodore Amiga.

As such I never really experienced the gem that is 1996’s The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall back in the day. That changed a few years ago when developer Interkarma and DF Workshop’s Daggerfall Unity engine was released.

Almost 20 years in the making, and largely a one man project, Daggerfall Unity is a new game engine for the venerable fantasy sandbox adventure game. It utilises the existing assets and faithfully recreates the game to run natively on modern systems without needing to use emulators like DOSbox. It also has a well thought-out modding system so new game functions and assets can easily be added to change and enhance the gameplay, such as changing the graphics, adding locations, new enemies, factions and quests.

“I’m on a horse.”

Most mods can be found on NexusMods and can be installed using the Vortex installer or simply by copying the .dfmod files into the Mods folder in the DFU game directory. They can then be managed from DFU’s startup screen.

I decided recently to try my hand at game modding seriously for the first time by making some mods and quests for the game and in doing so, learn a bit more about the tools used; such as: Unity, Blender, GIMP, json, C# etc.

Modding Daggerfall is 10% inspiration, 30% perspiration and 60% searching for documentation. Most people modding are winging it and don’t want to show the messy ways they got where they are, or are too psychologically drained after the process that they can’t face writing it up for others. This is one of the reasons I’m writing this as I go. Perhaps others can find these scribblings when I’ve been taken out to pasture and learn from my mistakes.

As such, as with everything I do, expect some rambling.

Tezkan N’daiyt, the Redguard Battlemage who helps me with my modding