Milambit - Mod Author Spotlight

June 18, 2015 by Dusty_Mustard

As we continue our look at mod authors we chat with Milambit a well known modder.

View Milambits Mods on Trovesaurus

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Where does your name come from?Top ^

Oldschool story:

I was a huge fan of the "Riftwar Saga" fantasy novels growing up, and one day when I was 15 or so my friend and I were trying out Lineage II and I punched in "Milamber", a main character in the series - the name was already taken.  So after spending a while trying to figure out something with the same ring to it I settled on "Milambit", it's been 9 years of using that name since. 

Outside of Trove, do you have any other experience with modding or art?Top ^

Modding... yes.  Art... Sorta. 

Many, many years ago I got ahold of an old 486 computer hoping to play SNES games on it but to no avail.  So I pleaded for an upgrade and finally got a Pentium II equivalent AMD computer.  At ages 9-10 I designed my first simple Space Invaders-style game with it.  From there I started tweaking game genie and gameshark codes to get effects I wanted in other games; a big step for me was getting page-long GameShark codes to work with Tony Hawk's Underground - one of my favorites was "Jokering" a code so it would engage and disengage at the press of a button.  It always scared people online when I turned giant all of a sudden.  So modding all kinds of stuff has been just something I do.  My latest "popular" mods from other games are "Mech Wings" from Starbound and "Mao Zedong" for Civilization V. 

With art... I come from a fairly artistic family.  My great grandfather was a tinkerer/painter, my grandfather was a master woodworker, my father is a master trim carpenter (the detail work), while all the rest of my family is relatively artistically inclined.  Doodling miscelanious things through miscelanious mediums is thus second nature to me.  In the words of Mr. DNA from Jurassic Park it's "from your blood!"
I also play guitar and stuff.  Music is art (sometimes).

Which Artist do you feel most inspired by, and why?Top ^

I'd have to say Daniel Johnston inspires me the most through his music and his unconventional art on top of the fact that I relate to some of the problems he has to deal with.  The obviously tortured but light-hearted nature of his artwork inspires me to keep my own work as simply "enjoyable" rather than "serious" or "propagandist" in nature. 
Of course Grumpntug/Brian, Atronos/Kumar, Junebug/Keetsie, and the rest of the Trove aesthetics peeps  not only set the standard, set the bar, but push the limits that us modders work with. I can't help but admire the work they do in and out of Trove.  Trove might "appear" simple on the outside, but it takes an artistic mastermind to apply genuine artstyle to the "simple" voxel form, let alone as successfully as they do. 

What inspired you to start modding?Top ^

It is simply a personality trait of mine to tweak literally everything I can to my personal liking.  After a little hiatus from most online gaming and stuff I came back to Trove and a modloader was suddenly available with Aviarei's mount-modding guide being a great foundation on working with the modloader(s).

Which modders work inspires you the most?Top ^

I'm not sure if I can say any single modder particularly inspires me, but the zeitgeist of the modding community itself.  There's a lot of negative points about it all, but for the most part I've watched it evolve, struggle, adapt, and progress immensely as many of the mod-makers got better and better. 

My ideas often come from a convoluted thought process that I'd have to attribute the modding inspiration to various modders in the community from Yeronix to Aviarei, MysticLugia to Ocgineer, Dusty_Mustard to TheIgmo; but most of my actual work comes from the non-modder community's input as I alter a shallow project into an in-depth one. 

What mods have you made so far?Top ^

View Milambits Mods on Trovesaurus

Jeeze.  Will the next question be to list individual skin-cells by name? 

You can check Trovesaurus for my mostly-complete mod-list, but I guess I'll try to list some off memory:

  • Scootaloo Mount
  • Twilight Sparkle Mount
  • Spike Pet
  • Neon Ninja Nemesis Costume
  • Sharp Shooter SH Costume
  • Xero Wings
  • A Diverse Mining Laser Mod
  • The "Digital Surfer" series mod featuring like 7 separate mounts
  • ...John the toilet Mount
  • Qubesly Gondola Mount
  • Trireme Ship
  • 4 Sails (Viking, Dopefish, Doge, Hellenic)
  • The Wings of Lunacy
  • Moshi the RedFox Mount
  • Ryouka the Firefox Mount
  • Hyouga The Tundra Fox Mount
  • Yuki the Arctic Fox Mount
  • Petrifying PyroCumulus (dark cloud) Mount
  • Ostrich Mount
  • Candy Pocky Wings
  • Doge stuff...
  • Weird comedic things...
  • Unreleased secret mods for friends...

And other stuff, you get the point.

I've helped with a lot of mods too... Like... 

  • The Crimson Night Cycle by Screamheart
  • The Aquatic Ambience Wings by FriedSushi
  • Shadow Invader by Tribe
  • etc. etc.

What is the most popular mod you have made?Top ^

Ironically the "Wings of Lunacy", not in the game (yet?), has the most "hype" I've ever been involved in.  with 197 replies (including my own) and 4,110 views.  It's ironic because I meant to instigate no hype and basically promised nobody who posted would get a code -IF- they get implemented.  It goes to show that begging for hype is unnecessary because if you work hard enough on it and it appeals to people then it will receive proper views. 

What are you most proud of making?Top ^

Good question.  I'd have to say it's a tie between my compilation of "horrible abominations" that scares even the devs (giving the moon a smiley face, memes in the clouds, and turning Sebastian into a humpy worm-creature) and the Wings of Lunacy.  The horrible abominations was just pure fun to do while the Wings of Lunacy were the most tedious hard-work I had ever invested into a project (totaling a tiny bit over 50 hours). 

What type of mods do you enjoy making?Top ^

That's a mood-dependant thing.  Sometimes I like to just set aside a whole day to "play with blocks" in Qubicle, other times you'll find me waist-deep in PopcornFX particles.  Mainly I'd have to say that I like making a mod that consists of both blueprints and popcornfx parts; I like being able to compliment one part with the other and such.

What tools do you use to make mods?Top ^

An old Boss I had once said...  "2X4 and a hammer.  All the tools you'll ever need". 
Well he lied; to mod you need a bunch of editors.  The ones I use are:

  • GIMP
  • PopcornFX
  • Qubicle 2
  • Metaforge
  • PicPick (for screenshots)

Can you list the steps you take in making a typical mod?Top ^

Probably not.  In a philosophy resembling Bruce Lee's; the best method is to not have a method at all.  I'll try to elaborate the very basics of the raw process I typically go through anyway though.
(RE: Both Popcorn and Voxel mods)

Inspiration comes from many places and it always starts here.  Without a foundation you have nothing to build your project on. 

Should the inspiration be an idea rather than a solid visualization then I try to find reference images to further concrete the visuals in my head. 

From the essence of the concept and loose mental visuals I begin to roughly shape out what I'm working on.  For effects I would start with basic particles and mess with their effects until they go the general direction I want them to go and move on to textures.  For voxel models, using additive methods, I start from a blank model or delete all the unnecessary parts for the base model and begin adding from there.

After shaping out my general idea I begin to color (but not shade) the "thing" in question.  If in popcornfx I colorize my color-less textures/billboards.  If in qubicle I start painting it and detailing the shape alternatingly. 

As a firm believer in the idea that "art is never done" I tend to only get my work to a "recognizable" state and publish it to the forums for criticism to further shape the mod or creation.  If I start getting comments saying things like "I wouldn't change a thing" or input that strays from the core concept then I move on to adding other parts or moving on to a new project. 

One thing to keep in mind is that the approach depends on my goal and my method is ever-evolving.  I used to flat-out suck at this stuff and it took a lot of practice to be able to make tolerable things, especially with a loose methodology, haha.

What is the most challenging thing about making mods for you?Top ^

There's a lot of things about modding that makes it a challenge.  But I'd have to say "staying on track" has to be my main challenge.  Whether adding to or tweaking a mod it becomes difficult to maintain the core concept and theme of the initial creation; such as with the Digital Surfer series.  Only now looking back I notice a sudden deviation from the concept of "surfing" straight into a full whimsical comedic theme.  From the elegant bubbly water surfer to... a Choco Taco.  It's only obvious now that it belongs in a seperate thread entirely.

Top ^

What are you currently working on?Top ^

What aren't I working on?  Someone requested I make a candy fox, I'm helping some other modders with their projects, slowly chiseling at other requested projects, etc. etc.  A modder's work is never done!

What type of mods would you most like to see in the future?Top ^

Honestly, if I mention anything here it'll make the article obsolete by tomorrow when somebody attempts to make it, ey?  haha. 

I'd like to see more obscure mods and mob mods, deco mods, misc. things like that.  Just imagine the cool stuff you could do with torch vfx!

If you could change attachment and VFX points, what mod would you want to make?Top ^

That's a tough question, haha.  With what's already available in the different mounts and costumes we have an overwhelming plethora of modding capacity.  Through the use of voxel Meshes we can implement all sorts of crazy things with popcornFX too! 

Since we've only just scratched the surface of Trove's actual modding capacity, all I can do is look forward to what comes out next. 

What could the dev team do to help you create mods?Top ^

Well, they already use the affordable/freely-available Voxel Design model for the scope of in-game objects and everything.  They use a freely-available PopcornFX for their VFX work.  The only things left to tweak are Skeletons/Animations (which would be EXTREMELY difficult!!!), and sound .bnk modding availability. 
For them to transition their skeletal animation properties to another format would be an absurd request, in reality.  Sound .bnk modding is understandably off-limits (but still currently doable). 
There's not much left to ask of them other than to keep releasing new cool stuff to mod. 

Do you have any advice to give to new modders?Top ^

Don't let anyone or any project intimidate you.  With enough perserverence you will definitely complete whatever you wanted to make - as long as you know your realistic limits.  Also, never be afraid to ask the community for help! 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the community?Top ^

There is a saying of "Art for art's sake", and a quote in retort to that:

“Art for art's sake is an empty phrase. Art for the sake of truth, art for the sake of the good and the beautiful, that is the faith I am searching for.” - George Sand

To mod for the sake of credits is an empty endaevor that will fail.  To mod for the sake of hype is manipulation through artwork.  There is a motif to modding and that is to further expand the game we love.  Whether by filling in percieved gaps, or expanding on existing themes to push the boundaries.  We must also never forget that a mod becomes a community endaevor upon release with its creator as the vanguard. 

Also, some misconceptions on "challenges" to modding should be addressed:

Making sure it fits Trove is irrelevant when the goal is to create an item that suits your taste while appealing to the community - actual acceptance is dependant on factors elaborated in the Trove Creations Wiki on abiding by Trove's innate style - mods and modding exist outside this paradigm. 

Making it look "good" is a non-factor as all forms of art are accepted by some and rejected by others - the goal is to create a mod which appeals to your own tastes and which appeals to the community as releasing the mod to the community itself is a personal choice.

No matter whether you make stuff for Trove Creations, you're a modder, or an in-game builder reading this: Never stop pushing the boundaries!





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