Published on June 17th, 2014 | by IceCube

GLiTCH and the Skyrim modding adventure

Hi! I’m GLiTCH and I want to play as a sexy, naked Elf in Skyrim.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking right now; I’m a sleaze. Also, The Elder Scrolls games don’t have sexualized female character models worth sleazing on, right? Sure, with a great deal of care, you can customize a vaguely appealing human female, or a very disappointing long-faced Elf, but nothing that vaguely resembles a stereotypical sex symbol. Even the standard body options are as shapely as a rectangular board.

skyrim3Before: Skyrim’s normal options for female Elf.

The motivation struck me recently when I stumbled across YouTube videos of amazing female character models from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (and by “stumbled across”, what I really mean is that I saw pixel booty on the YouTube links panel and clicked on it).

I learned that the shapely female figures were created using a Skyrim mod, which, if you don’t already know, is in-game texture files that have been modified by third-party users (called modders) for the PC version of the game. With all of the game files at their disposal, advanced modders can reshape, retexture and redesign almost any part of the game for a different experience.

Modding PC games is nothing new, and over the years it has been one of the more subtle reasons why PC gaming has survived behind console sales dominance. But there was something about Skyrim modding in particular that has brought the worldwide modding community together.

The more I explored Skyrim mods, the more I discovered how huge this underground industry is. Or perhaps “cult” is the better word for it? There were hundreds of videos showing off Skyrim mods and thousands of Skyrim mod files to download online. It turned out that these files weren’t limited to drooling losers like myself seeking virtual porn, but everything for everyone. No monster, weapon, spell, armour, animation, background, NPC, or even the interface was safe from custom tweaking. At that point, all I knew is that I wanted in!

I’ve already invested well over 100 hours into Skyrim when I completed the game on Xbox 360 over a year ago. Now, I was willing to buy the Skyrim Legendary Edition for $49 on PC to do it all over again for the sake of some digital boobs.

Google pointed me to a website called Nexus Mods (www.nexusmods.com/skyrim), which turned out to be the central hub where the Skyrim modding community congregate. Here, modders build and share their creations, while the members like myself are simply there to download and endorse them. Basically, the modders are the website gladiators and we members are there to be entertained. Are we not?

Starting out is a daunting position, as you are faced with a load of techno-jargon and geeky acronyms that have no place in the real world. The modders usually include installation instructions for each file, but where they succeed with modding they struggle with wording. The general idea with all your downloaded mod file is to unrar (or extract) the “data” folder, and copy it into your main Skyrim directory so that it overwrites the existing “data” folder. It sounds simple enough, but it still begs so many unanswered questions, like:

– Is this file safe for my PC?
– Can I uninstall it if necessary?
– Do I have to start a new game first?
– Won’t the mods overwrite each other and conflict?
– How do I find the mod in-game once I’ve installed it?
– Is it in my inventory?
– Do I need to customize it at character creation?
– Do I need to buy it from a vendor?
– Do I need to craft it?

These simple, obvious questions were almost never covered in their readme files or FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions). I came to the conclusion that the answer for all of these questions is the same: “Who knows? Just try it.”

Thankfully, I entered the Skyrim Mods scene late in the picture, so the NexusMods website has had time to digest and respond to clueless members like myself. Their solution is a free downloadable program called Nexus Mod Manager (NMM), which sorts all of your downloaded Skyrim mods and installs and uninstalls them safely. This program allowed me to try and remove mods with no harm done. I also learned that the process was much quicker with a character save file near the start of the game where you first find a sword. From here you can run a mod called RaceMenu, which pauses the game to let you completely redesign your character using your newly-downloaded mods without starting a new game again.

So it was time to get what I came for: a mod to give my female Skyrim character sex appeal. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t hard to find adult-filtered nude texture mods for the female characters, and all things being equal, there were also many nude mods for male characters too.

Browsing through all the available files was like window shopping. There were mods for much-needed new hairstyle packs and even some for smaller details like new fingernails and eyelashes. These creative options were like paint for the palette, but upon reading the installation instructions, they often mentioned perquisites, like other mods I didn’t want, and those damned tech acronyms again, namely:  CBBE, UNP, CHSBHC and TBBP, which turned out to be abbreviations for: Calientes Beautiful Bodies Edition, UNPretend, Cherry Hotalings Super Busty H Cup and Tender Body and Bust Physics respectively. These, along with Dream Girl, are the most popular nude body mods for female characters available, and the individual download figures for these mod files were well into the millions. Yes, millions. We all presume that’s just a lot of geeky male perves, but a surprising percentage of users were women who, based on the feedback comments, were after more shapely models to mold their “ideal” character too.

Most modders use these particular body morphs as a working skeleton to create their own texture extensions. For example; if there’s a a particular armour mod you liked, there’s a good chance it was designed for one of the aforementioned body mods. Some modders created underwear for the nude mods to provide a less offensive base model.

Thus, after many hours of trial and error, I managed to achieve what I set out to do! I created a sexy, naked Elf to play in Skyrim. In the end, I went with the Dream Girl body mod, added a skin texture pack, new hair, eyes and lips and voila! Here are the results:

skyrim1After: My female Wood Elf with modded facial features.

skyrim2After: The Dream Girl bod mod for that Game of Thrones feel. (Censored by Gamebug)

This character has a custom armour waiting to be crafted at the first opportunity, but until then, we might be forced to make some town nudie runs. I’ll be sure to post images of her in armour here once it’s ready, but in the meantime, sorry, no nudie shots. The other body mods have different textures, more options, larger boob sizes, and body jiggle effects, but I went with Dream Girl for the realistic skin texture and specific mod sets.

If you’re keen to give modding a go, I hope my “adventure” story will save you making the same mistakes I did and streamline the understanding process for you. I was keen to create sexy, naked, female Elf and now that I have achieved this option, all I want to do is clad her in the finest armours out there. Perhaps my interest in a nude character was just in knowing that it was available to me?

In the end my modding experience was successful and I recommend it if you’re a bit patient and willing to read. I hit no technical issues along the way, just a lot of uncertainty. Just try to be cautious of what you download.

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