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OpenMW is a free, open source and modern engine based which reimplements and extends the one that runs the 2002 open-world RPG Morrowind. The engine comes with its own editor , called OpenMW-CS which allows the user to edit or create their own original games. Both OpenMW-CS and OpenMW are written from scratch and aren’t made to support any third party programs the original Morrowind engine uses to improve its functionality.

Editing outdoor environments in OpenWM © OpenMW, 2016

Subtle, but gorgeous. As an added bonus, OpenMW can now automatically use normal maps if it answers to the naming scheme. As Scrawl explains it: “This is now implemented. For example, for the color texture, the game will automatically use as a normal map (if it exists). The benefit is that you don’t have to go around modifying (and distributing) all the .nif files / mesh files.”

But normal maps are not everything. OpenMW now supports specular maps too, and both specular andnormal maps can be used with the terrain shader. For example, lysol (who has worked in the past on Warcraft III and Rome: Total War re-textures), has put his expertise at work and made some new textures for Vivec with specular and normal mapping, while still trying to stick close to the original:

OpenMW level © OpenMW, 2016

For more information on this, check out the wiki page on texture modding. It has instructions on how to enable mapping right there, and might be a good starting point for anyone thinking of making graphical mods for Morrowind.

There’s also been some significant progress on the OpenMW-CS side of things. For one, we’ve got the cell markers and cell borders visible now. Also, you can now drag-and-drop stuff from the Objects table into the 3D view of a cell, and it will appear, right there. So if you have made a really cool item, and you want to drop an instance of it somewhere in the world, now you can. Next up: in-scene instance editing. Ooooh. Can’t wait to see what Zini is doing with that.

Oh yes, speaking of Zini, Morrowind Modding Showcases has done a follow-up interview with him. So bathe with me in his Germanic glory and check out the video!

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