Not everyone remembers Daggerfall, but you’ve probably heard of Morrowind. No? Oblivion or Skyrim then? The common thread that links these titles together is Bethesda, the developer responsible for creating them. All open-world games, all wonderful in their own right. Now, thanks to an Australian by the name of Gavin Clayton, you can fire up Daggerfall in your browser or, if you’re modding-inclined, go to town on the game using the tools he’s created.
If you can’t be bothered reading, spend some of your Saturday playing one of the demos. All you need to install is the Unity webplayer, and off you go.
Alternatively, here’s a video of that demo.
Want more? Here you go.
According to the official site, Clayton has been hacking away at Daggerfall for years, ever since he picked it up back in 1996. However, Daggerfall Tools for Unity has to be his best work yet. By using Unity and reverse-engineering the guts of Bethesda’s game, he’s effectively able to emulate Daggerfall in a modern engine, using the data files of the original.
This is lovely on its own, for sure, but what else is possible with these tools? I’ll let him explain, via his Reddit post announcing the project:
Unlike later Elder Scrolls titles, The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall did not ship with any modding tools. It also suffers from multiple emulation problems that reduce enjoyment of the game and often make it unplayable.
Daggerfall Tools for Unity seeks to address this by integrating a Daggerfall API with custom Unity components. The goal is to empower the open-source community to either remake Daggerfall or create entirely new experiences in the same spirit. In this way, Unity becomes a mod-creation front-end for Daggerfall, paving the way for a microcosm of the lively mod scene enjoyed by later Elder Scrolls titles.
Everything you see in the video above is created procedurally at runtime from native Daggerfall binary data. You can also import content into editor to create static scenes. Future work will allow for more integration between custom and procedural content.
The long and short of it is, hopefully, a renaissance in Daggerfall modding. OK, I’m getting ahead of myself, but the work Clayton’s done here is amazing. As a Unity developer, I’m excited in all of my places.