Wednesday, July 31, 2013

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Best Mod Yet? Skyrim Savegame Manager Makes Juggling Multiple Adventurers Easier Than Ever

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Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

As I slide ever deeper back into playing Skyrim, one of the best parts of the experience is seeing mods and utilities that other players have created that solve the aproblems I was grudgingly dealing with when I played before. For example, since I play multiple characters, I used to have to switch my saves into custom folders manually after each session. Cloud saves made the whole process far messier than it should have been, and even though it was better than trying to keep track of ambiguously named saves kept all in one location it was just an all-around hassle.

Enter RedawgTS's TES V Savegame Manager, which has made the whole process utterly pain-free.

Skyrim savegame managerI suppose if you want to get technical about it, this might be considered more of a utility than a mod. It's a bit like a pre-launcher that you have to open before starting Skyrim, so it can redirect where the game is looking for its saves -- specifically, it redirects Skyrim to folders it's set up specifically to separate and handle each character.

After installation, you can tell the program to automatically scan for characters and move the related saves into appropriately named folders, or do it manually yourself. Creating a spot for a new character is as easy as creating a new folder, and you can switch between characters via dropdown menu before launching the game.

The only drawback to this so far has been that from time to time I'll forget to launch Skyrim through the Savegame Manager, which means I don't have access to those saves since the game is looking in the default location instead of in the tidy little array of folders that this mod sets up. But that's just me being sloppy, and the time lost in restarting the game through the Savegame Manager is nothing compared to the time I used to lose shuffling my character saves around by hand before.

I should add that if you're interested in making multiple characters, I also highly recommend Arthmoor's Live Another Life mod (as I have in the past) which will allow you to choose from a variety of different starting points that are integrated with the main quest line. Everything from dunmer refugees to shipwrecked wretches are available, making it a great way to start a new character that already feels like an integrated part of the world. If you're as much of a nerd as I am, these two mods combined might be a recipe for the very best kind of disaster.

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Mixed reality iris 2013Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.

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CronoCloud Creeggan

Doesn't the PC version assign the character name, save date, and time played to a field in the save that you can see when the game shows you your saves?

Iris Ophelia

@CC It does, but only in the file name, which it doesn't surface when you're actually browsing save files in game iirc. It just tells you the in-game date/time and shows a tiny screenshot which, if you play in first person, is not super useful. Also, in my experience, it will often get the naming of those files confused, which means I ended up with saves for one character named after another. It's a very messy, buggy, problematic system on its own.

Adromaw

My PC (steam) version displays each character name, race, level, and the timestamps for every save under the thumbnail. Both at the menu, and the menu in game.

I think that's what CC was talking about.

Did any of the mods you're using happen to adjust your UI? Or some other reason you're not getting the character name displayed like we do?

Not that the mod isn't useful in its own way anyway!

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