19-year old spends a year to create massive Skyrim mod

Behind Falskaar, a massive new Skyrim mod, and the 19-year-old who spent a year building it

A new mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Falskaar, was released over the weekend, and it is quite a doozy. Falskaar adds almost 25 hours of content, a land mass a third the size of the original game, new characters, new voices, and dozens of quests. As impressive as it is, though, it’s nowhere near as impressive as the creative force behind it: Alexander J. Velicky, a 19-year-old gunning for a job with Bethesda with his first try at modding Skyrim.

“I organized everyone involved, but the voice actors themselves recorded all the dialogue and submitted it to me,” Velicky told me. Though over 100 people contributed in some way, including composing an original soundtrack, Velicky took their contributions and plugged them into Falskaar himself. “I had some people help me out with a few models and textures, someone wrote a book or two for me… But otherwise all content was implemented, written and developed by me.”

So how does a 19-year-old take the helm of a creative project of this size? Velicky wants a job. He graduated from high school over a year ago, and instead of finding a design school, he turned Bethesda’s Creation Kit into his classroom, spending 2,000 hours over the last year building Falskaar.

“My dad was incredibly supportive and allowed me to live here, paying for living expenses and charging no rent,” Velicky says. “I was able to not go to school and not have a day job. Meaning, more or less, that Falskaar was my day job.”

The mod is fully voice-acted by 29 voice actors playing 54 characters and the quality is much higher than most community-made content. “I’m still kind of shocked at some of the talent I got on the project… and every single one of them surpassed my expectations by leaps and bounds.”

A massive dungeon, “Watervine Chasm,” may be Falskaar’s crowning achievement. It took Velicky three weeks to build and players report it takes an hour or two to complete. The community response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Falskaar isn’t perfect,” Velicky says. “I’m not an expert who’s been crafting game experiences for the last 20 years, so I certainly still have a lot to learn, and I always will. I’m always looking to learn and improve, and Falskaar was a huge chance for me to do this.”

According to Velicky, Bethesda is aware that he’s out there, and he isn’t shy about putting his goals right out on the table. “The best way to show Bethesda Game Studios that I want a job there and should be hired is to create content that meets the standards of their incredible development team.”

Falskaar is available now on Skyrim Nexus, and I encourage you to check it out.


Falskaar Gameplay Trailer

 If you ever wondered what Draugr were saying:
“Aav Dilon”: Join The Dead!
“Dir Volaan!”: Die Intruder!
“Bolog aaz,mal lir!”: Beg mercy, little worm!
“Faaz! Paak! Dinok!” : Pain! Shame! Death!
“Kren sosaal!” : Break Bleed!
“Qiilaan us dilon!”: Bow before The Dead!
“Unslaad Krosis!”: Eternal Sorrow!
“Daanik Ah Dov!”: Doomed dragonhunter!

Trying out Falskaar Mod - I’ll let you know how I like it. 

The Mod’s description really pulled me in, see below.

*An entirely new land independent of Tamriel, roughly the size of 2-3 Skyrim holds.
*20-30+ hours of gameplay.
*26 quests, including a 9 quest long main story, and 17 side quests! (Along with some unmarked content)
*New items including new books, recipes, weapons and armors. (A mix of brand new, and retextured)
*Two new spells and a new shout.
*A bard with several unique new songs.
*A soundtrack containing 14 brand new tracks composed by Adamm Khuevrr just for Falskaar, adding more than 40 minutes of new music!
*A fully voiced experience, featuring almost 30 semi-professional and professional voice actors and actresses.


Are you ready for the most epic Skyrim mod to date?

Falskaar is coming.

“The time is finally nigh. Prepare your characters, stock up on food and supplies, tell your friends and family, and get ready for an epic journey.

It’s official. The adventure begins Friday, July 12th, 2013.

Some fun info on the project:
- The mod has around 10,000 lines of dialogue, with a total length of over 7 hours!
- Estimates by me and my QA team put the main quest at round 7-10 hours in length.
- Side content should provide an additional 15-20+ hours.
- Upper estimates for VERY slow, thorough players could be anywhere as high as 40-50 hours of content.
- While I did all of the Creation Kit and production work, over the last 20 months of development nearly 100 people took part in some form or another, helping Falskaar become what it is now.
- During development I logged just over 2,200 hours in the Creation Kit, with an estimated additional 1,500 if not more outside of the creation kit working on the project.
- Falskaar has 26 marked quests, and 57 total quests under the hood controlling things from dialogue, to the bard, and more!
- Uncompressed (Not in a zip), Falskaar totals out at ~1GB in size.”

The map for the mod is about half the size of the Skyrim map itself. You aren’t likely to run into multiple character with the same voice, as there were around 40 voice actors working on this project. This amazing amount of content was created and assembled by one person - Alexander J. Velicky. He was a very pleasant person to work with, and one of the most ambitious young men I have ever spoken to.

I’m not just gushing because I was part of the team, I really do believe that this is by far the sweetest fan mod / expansion for Skyrim to date, and one of the best mods for any game I’ve played. Please share the news with your family and friends, they won’t want to miss out on this!