In this spotlight we chat with Trove Modder - Screamheart about his approach to modding.
Who are you?Top ^
My name is Jake! I was raised in a large family with 3 brothers and 3 sisters. We were super poor, and my parents always moved for the next opportunity. Because of that, I was mostly home schooled. I graduated with my GED when I was 16, and I've been working ever since. I took some basic college classes, but ended up deciding the debt was not worth the education I was getting. Instead, I've worked and taught myself as much as I could from home. I've learned some Z-Brush, 3dsMax, Photoshop, Flash Animation, Qubicle, PopcornFX, Gimp, and a few other art programs. My goal is to eventually find a job at a game company. I have skills in many areas, so at some point someone will take notice.
Screamheart is actually a euphemism for 'passion'. Unfortunately 'Super Passionate Guy' was already taken lol.
I've dabbled in every form of art. I've always known I wanted to do something related to art and video games. My first time doing any art for games, was in Minecraft. I designed my own texture packs in order to make Minecraft 'cleaner'. I couldn't stand how much 'noise' was used in the Minecraft textures. Thank god Trove is nice and clean!
I started playing Trove in Open Beta (November 5th). My apartment burned down in October last year, and Trove's Beta just happened to start the same day we got our internet back. I started designing basic weapons for Trove in November, then moved on to Dungeons by December. I started modding at the beginning of 2015.
Getting my weapons and dungeons officially into the game was the first taste I ever had of doing what I want to do for a living. Modding was the clear next step. It's a great feeling to be able to say “I made that!”
I am inspired by almost everyone's art. I think Milambit does some really interesting things. Even if they don't end up in-game, his work is the kind that inspires other cool ideas and breaking away from the 'norm'. Sushi has a really bright and happy art style that I enjoy. Her designs are usually creative, and not overly complex.
Current ModdingTop ^
I have 9 other accepted mods that should be going into the game in the near future, and another few mods waiting to be accepted on the forums!
That's hard to say. Dark Infineon costume was very popular, but I got it in early. I'd say the Mecha Dracolyte is probably the most popular. It also happened to be the hardest mod I ever created.
Probably the Trovian Defender mod. It was my biggest challenge, because I had no idea how to do VFX. I forced myself to work on it every day for over a month in order to learn how to use Popcorn. Not only was it a 4 piece mod pack, but it also went from being a Batman mod, to being the Trovian Defender.
I like a challenge. I am always looking for something unique, creative, or different. It leads to my mods taking longer, but I think it's worth it in the end.
I started on Zoxel, which is nice for basic weapons and decorations, but I quickly moved to Qubicle to start working on dungeons. For VFX I use PopcornFX.
I generally start with an idea, then I look for something in-game that is similar enough to create what I had in mind on.
After I've found what I am looking for, I pull the files out of the Trove folders, and Import them into Qubicle/Popcorn. I usually start by taking away any type of style from the original by making the entire thing gray, and removing any noticeable features.
After that, I start to mold my design into my idea. After a basic shape has been laid out, I start to add color. Then I go through multiple tests in-game and fix any minor issues.
Once I have a first draft, I submit it onto the forums to get feedback. After that, I will continue refining the design until I am completely happy with it. Sometimes this happens multiple times over weeks (Mecha Dracolyte), other times I feel finished after 1 fix (Dragonslayer).
Saving each and every individual piece of a mod with a lot of pieces is the worst part of modding. Sometimes you end up doing it multiple times if something doesn't work out.
Future ModdingTop ^
I have some ideas floating around, as well as a few unfinished projects. Nothing specific, but I will keep modding until Trion decides to hire me. ;)
Since I started modding, I've wanted to make 2+ person mounts, as well as amphibious/flying mounts, and underwater mounts.
I already change the attachment points regularly. In order to make the Mecha Dracolyte's ult form work; I had to spend 8+ hours moving attachment points to make it work. I used a similar process to make the Bull mounts work. I had to substitute the Neck1 of the horse for the head of the bull. If we were able to attach VFX where we want them, it would open up all kinds of possibilities.
Honestly, I would just like to see more feedback in the forums. As of right now, we wait and eventually they are accepted. I'd like to hear “Hey, that's not gonna work for us” or “I like this, but not that”. It would allow us to improve on our end, and save the developers time in the long run.
Keep your VFX somewhat simple. Change colors, and do minor changes, but avoid doing anything crazy. Most of the time, the Devs have to cut back on the VFX work we do, so it takes away from your time and theirs. Obviously, if you have an outstanding idea, then go for it, and hope for the best!
Keep making amazing mods, and always strive to be as creative as possible! In the beginning a lot of mods were simple recolors, but over time the quality and creativity with mods has grown! We have an awesome community!
My wife is a fantastic woman. I've created YouTube videos and streamed over the years, but I wanted to take my focus elsewhere, so she took over my stream. She's probably a lot more entertaining than I am anyways. :P She enjoys using my mods, and it helps get them exposure too. She is always excited when I get new codes for her stream. xD