Help:Tutorial for NPC pages

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Tutorial for Creating an NPC page[edit]

Preface[edit]

This tutorial is taught from the perspective of Morrowind.
It frequently uses the NPC Odral Helvi as an example.
Why? Covering every possibility for all games clutters up the flow with exceptions.
If you follow along, when you finish you should be able to tackle pages like:
Places in Oblivion, Quests in Skyrim using the Creation Kit, or NPC's from mods.
Moreover, writing an actual working page fulfills a need while learning.

Gathering Tools[edit]

To create an NPC page you will need some resources.

1. Download Morrowind first. Most downloads include the TES Construction Kit. It's free here.
2. Check to see if the TES Construction Kit is missing, if so download it here. Or you could "google" them.
5. Find a simple text editing app, and a simple graphics editor for cropping and converting file formats. In Windows, Notepad and MSPaint are both available in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

Preview[edit]

Here is a list of general tasks explained in detail in the sections below.

  1. Do a one time set up of the Morrowind.ini file.
  2. Load up the TES Construction Set at the beginning of each work session.

Repeatedly, using a Notepad document

  1. Get information about NPC in the game and from the TES Construction Set,
  2. Use Notepad to fill out the NPC Summary.
  3. Write a paragraph underneath that summary and save them.
  4. Take a screen shot picture.
  5. Edit and upload the picture.
  6. Create a blank page or ideally co-opt a re-direct page.
  7. Paste your saved document.
  8. Repeatedly Preview and edit, and only Save Page when nearly perfect.

Go back to step 1. "Get information ..." for the next NPC.

The Morrowind.ini file[edit]

Open the .ini file in Notepad.
To allow screenshots find the following and change it to:

Screen Shot Enable=1

To designate a path from the Morrowind.ini's folder to the save folder for screenshots, find the following and change it to:

Screen Shot Base Name="MyPages\ScreenShot"
(MyPages\ is the path in this example, ScreenShot is the file-name's first part)

To set the number to include within the screenshot's file name, find the following and change it to:

Screen Shot Index=1
so the first saved screen shot file is called: ScreenShot01.bmp. It will be in the MyPages folder and the number for the next screen shot will be increased by one.

Now Save these three changes to the Morrowind.ini file, so you need never do this again.

The Construction Set[edit]

You will need access to the TES Construction Set (CS) for every work session. Here is a beginner's recipe.

1. Find & Run - TES Construction Set.exe

2. In the menu bar of the main window (with the gray display area) Click - File
3. From drop down menu select - Files... (equals Open in other programs)
4. From pop up window Double Click to check the box for

[X] Morrowind.esm and do so for whatever other files are of interest such as any mod
and do so for whatever other files are of interest such as any mods like
[X] TR_Travels.esp

5. At bottom Click - [Set as Active File]
6. Click - [OK]

7. Wait for message bar at the bottom of the main window to say "Loading Files...Done!" Good, you have pre-heated the oven!

The Cycle of Steps[edit]

Generally you will:

  1. Locate the target, an undocumented NPC, within the game.
  2. Take notes using a Notepad document.
  3. Fill in an NPC Summary at the top of a Notepad document.
  4. Write a paragraph under the NPC Summary.
  5. Take screen shot pictures.
  6. Use MSPaint to crop and save the best one as a .jpg .
  7. Upload the picture to the UESP,
  8. Paste the document with the Summary and paragraph
over a re-direct page, or
onto a new blank page.

 9. Repeatedly [Preview] and edit it, until it works, then [Save Page].

If you have a problem, save your progress back into the Notepad document.
Leave the page by selecting cancel, until you solve whatever problem there may be.

Locating the Target[edit]

Make certain that the NPC does not already have a page, by attempting to navigate to it on the UESP site. Even if the page already exists it is still worthwhile to read it and ask what is missing and can it be improved. If the page is perfect choose another NPC.
You are trying to answer the visitor's questions about where the NPC is located and how to get there. It is actually better to explore in the game to find the target NPC using the Construction Set's location description, and take notes on your travel route which can, for example, prove helpful in describing where a wilderness NPC is located, like the Mudcrab merchant.

You can save time by noting the Construction Set's cell location co-ordinates and then in the console:

CenterOnExterior, xpos, ypos
FixMe (If you materialize inside an NPC or object.)

but at least note where the target is in relation to a large city or landmark. You could also travel from the character back to the city or landmark.

Taking Notes[edit]

Using Notepad take notes for each data item below using these three possible sources:

  1. In-Game: Directly from your experience playing the game.
  2. Console: By hitting the tilda key while playing and using the commands e.g. gethealth
  3. Construction Set: By accessing the NPC list from the Object window and clicking their entry.
The little numbers, after data item, each refer back to these three sources.

All of these data items can be found in the Construction Set's NPC main page, AI page, and Dialogue page.

NPC ID 2,3
Name 1,2,3
Race 1,2,3
Gender 1,2,3
class 1,2,3
level 2,3
health 2,3
magicka 2,3
highest two or three skills if relevant. 3,2 tediously by get<skillName>
the location 1,3
factions and rank within each. 3
alarm 3 AI
fight 3 AI
items in inventory: weapons, armor, money, clothing, potions, torch, etc. 3
unusual conversation 1,3 Dialogue

All of these data items can be found only In-Game.

the visible clothing 1
getting to the location 1
any nearby treasures or items of interest 1
cautions dealing with this NPC 1

The console largely serves as a back up source. You cannot find alarm, fight, inventory, factions and ranks within it.

Filling out the Summary[edit]

Paste this blank summary at the beginning of the Notepad page. Use your notes to fill it in.

{{NPC Summary
|id=
|mod=
|race=
|gender=
|level=
|alarm=
|health=
|magicka=
|town=
|loc=
|faction=
|image=
|imagdesc=
}}

Writing up the notes[edit]

Using Notepad write your notes up in paragraph form after the NPC Summary:
A complete guide for this paragraph is here.
The first sentence should be in this format:
' ' '<NPC Name>' ' 'is a [[<race>]] [[<class>]],
who can be found at [[<house/building>]] in [[<city/town/place>]].
If applicable, subsequent sentences in the first paragraph should:

  1. summarize the main reasons why players are likely to interact with this NPC.
  2. mention any services they provide (merchant, training, spell merchant, recharging, etc.)
  3. offer a "teaser" that names and links to any major quest in which they're involved.
  4. describe what they are wearing and carrying.
  5. name any nearby treasures or items of interest.
  6. describe how to get to their location within or from a prominent city.
  7. quote any unusual dialog.
  8. note any peculiarities or talents.
  9. mention any relatives.
  10. outline their schedule or travel pattern.

===Related Quests===
Every related quest should be listed in this format:
* {{Quest Link|<QuestName>}} immediately followed by a short explanation.
If there are no Related Quests omit this section.

===Notes===
For things that should be mentioned but do not fit elsewhere. If there are none omit this section.

===Bugs===
Every repeatable bug should be listed in this format:
{{bug|<circumstances and what happens, e.g. "falls off a bridge and dies" |<status>}}
If there are no bugs omit this section.
Now would be a good time to see how this is done for our example, Odral Helvi.

Taking Their Picture (optional)[edit]

Pictures are somewhat complicated. If you are overwhelmed just skip it, so that the picture link remains red. Someone else will see the red link and finish this task. After all that's what makes this a Wiki. You can skip taking pictures by clicking here. If you decide to plunge ahead, here is how to swim.

Changing the Weather[edit]

For exterior shots you want a clear sunny day, so in the console:

changeWeather "<region name>+" Region" 0
e.g. changeweather "Azura's Coast Region" 0
note: the inclusion of the word "Region" at the end to get changeWeather to work.

Then use the game's Wait key, if needed, for sun light.
For interior shots, you can try increasing brightness or gamma of the monitor. The in-game gamma control does not render an accurate view for the screen shot. The shot is always much darker.

Clearing Obstructions[edit]

In the game options menu (Esc):

subtitles: off
crosshair: off
Lining up the Shot[edit]

Access the Morrowind console with (~) key:

tcl <to move yourself anywhere> (stands for "toggle clipping")
tai <to make target stand still> (stands for "toggle artificial intelligence")
tm <to turn menus off> (stands for "toggle menus")

when everything is perfect, take the picture. Press [Shift] + [Prt Scr] several (maybe 8) times.
It is easier to delete bad shots and just use the best one, than to do all of these steps over.

Processing the Shot[edit]

In MSPaint, paste and trim/crop the shot to either 16:9 ratio for scenes

e.g. 750 x 422
or 1:1 ration for NPCs
e.g. 500 x 500
Use the file naming convention: MW-npc-Odral Helvi.jpg
and "Save as" from MSPaint to convert from .bmp to .jpg
Do not squeeze, stretch, or change hues. Less is better here.
Uploading the Shot[edit]
Go to UESP upload page (open in a new window or tab).
Browse to your saved picture file from above.
Click on the picture <not on Open>
Enter the name for the wiki using the file name convention: <NameSpace>-<use>-<CharName>.jpg
e.g. MW-npc-Odral Helvi.jpg
(MW is the name space, npc is the use, Odral Helvi is the character)
The NPC Summary template calls the picture onto the page using this naming convention.
Choose a "Use Convention", typically select "From a screen shot by a user not published elsewhere."
Finally, Click Upload (at the very bottom of the page.)

Creating the Page[edit]

Use your saved Notepad page for this character. Try to go to the NPC's page on the site,

e.g. Morrowind:Odral Helvi.

If there is already a page, try to improve it by correcting errors and adding information.
If the response says there is no such page, select: create one. Now paste your document into the empty new page.
If you are re-directed to another page, which often includes the NPC name somewhere within it, click on the re-directed NPC name at the top of that page (in small letters.) This will move you to the re-direct page itself, paste your document over the re-direct language on this re-direct page.
No matter which of these cases is true, repeatedly [Preview] and edit it, until it works, then [Save Page]. Now start the next one.

Final Word[edit]

Yes, it seems complicated. If you are frustrated insert {{WIP}} (work in progress) at the top of the document. Save and come back to it later. Or save the work to a Notepad document and select cancel. You can also go for help at the mentors page. Pick one of the mentors and leave a message with your name and question. You should also include the page name (or a URL) where your work can be read by the mentor.
Often times an explanation from a different viewpoint can be helpful.

If you make it to the end of an NPC page, you can create most pages with a similar style: creatures, places, quests, etc. They all follow the same familiar rhythm of the NPC page. Get the .ini and CS set up. Find the information. Place it in a template. Write a paragraph. Take and upload pictures. Save it.