Hey, Di0 here, creator of Apotheosis. Its been a while since I've written one of these updates.
Sorry for keeping you waiting.
Real life sometimes gets in the way, the irl situation in my country of Lebanon, its economic collapse, subsequent rolling blackouts with limited daily access to power and my need to work more limited the time I could contribute towards the project.
As a result, during this time I opted to limit my work on updates, trailers and renders and focus the few hours I got every day to work directly on content instead. This resulted in an overly long period without any updates, however, it meant my time went into keeping milestones on track.
That said things have lately improved, especially in terms of electricity, and moving on, our pace of updates will markedly improve.
We've been busy, and I've got a lot to talk about today, starting with our new website!
Be sure to checkout TESApotheosis.com for a centralized source of info, news and updates on Apotheosis.
But before that, please enjoy the our brand new teaser trailer for Apotheosis: When Dead Gods Dream, releasing in 2025!
Apotheosis: When Dead Gods Dream - Teaser Trailer | 4k | (~6 min)
We've made a crucial switch to the SSE engine (Skyrim Special Edition), allowing for more stability, better lighting, and improved performance letting us create richer and more immersive environments. Our original soundtrack received numerous new tracks. Level Design has focused on areas like the Dreamsleeve, various realms of Oblivion and key story related locations, receiving comprehensive overhauls and completing key milestones. Storytelling, quests and narrative design, as integral pillars of Apotheosis, focus on reactivity and player freedom, and have achieved a lot of progress. And new gameplay systems tied to narrative are in development. We've also made massive strides on character modeling, armor sets, weapons, creatures, and environment art, striving for meticulous detail and immersion. 13 out of 17 Daedric Princes are now fully modeled and implemented in game. Despite everything, we're gonna carry on and continue development at a fast pace, and I can't wait to share more as we move forward, culminating in our release, in 2025! So here's everything we've done, in excruciating detail.
A New Home
We've created a new website for Apotheosis! Our ModDB and Discord will continue to be updated, alongside news posts on our new site, and our Youtube channel. We appreciate ModDB for being essential for hosting the project, this page will continue to exist and be updated, TESApotheosis.com will serve in parallel as our new home, offering in depth information and content updates on the project as it develops.
Switching to SSE
Why We Switched Over SSE has a better engine, more stability, better lighting and shader techniques and performance allowing us to create denser, more visually striking environments, as well as more robust support in terms of community frameworks. The Creation Kit for SE is also more stable. The majority of our playerbase is on SE. Seeing as we had to port eventually, supporting both LE and SE at the same time would limit the project and expend a lot of time and effort doing double the work. As a result we made the switch. If you're still on LE, I hope you'll consider moving on to SE, as its a much more stable experience, and we hope to see you there. Switching engines wasn't entirely without its challenges.
Asset Conversion We had to convert a massive amount of assets (in the thousands), make sure to test them, and correct any misbehavior due to errors in conversion. Adapting Data to SE The SE conversion also involved correcting newly added data, such as water currents to make sure things work properly in the new engine. Large References SE introduced a new LOD feature called Large References, which allows for large objects to display at higher quality at longer distances as well as fix displaying massive objects which span several exterior cells. Adapting to SE's Shaders, Lighting and Weather We had to test and adapt our weathers and imagespaces to SE, as well as adapt new lighting features such as Godrays, making adjustments to account for how SE's shaders interact with our base weathers. Creation Kit's Removal of Support for Dialogue XML's Quest dialogues in Skyrim have a flowchart which allows you to visually organize all your branching dialogue. However, this feature was removed in SE. As a result, we had to shift workflows to use the older, Player Dialogue tab for quests. We've since adapted, relying on exterior narrative tools instead to visualize dialogue.
Denser Environments SE is a more optimized engine. This allows us to create way denser environments, display objects over longer distances (better LODs), and create visuals that can stand hold up better in a modern context. Creating our new region and city of Etheleodiil and its complex architecture would've been impossible without the switch. As a result of the port, we've also been able to go back and update all our environments with better assets and higher visual fidelity than ever before.
Music is a vital storytelling tool.
New compositions have been added to our original soundtrack, ranging from ambient mood pieces to orchestral and combat pieces, of which a few made it as uploads to our youtube channel. Music sets the tone, whether you want to trigger intrigue, awe, fear, feelings of longing or sadness, rage, anger, or the elation of overcoming epic struggles. Its integral in shaping mood and narrative context. As such, different pieces took on varied arrangements, instrument selections and melodies. While drawing from an eclectic set of influences, we aim for the Apotheosis soundtrack to have its own feel and signature, a unique blend informed by the narrative themes and setting of Apotheosis. We will continue to update our original soundtrack with new compositions on youtube, and we hope you check them out as they release!
Numerous areas received their final passes, ranging from lighting overhauls, to enemy and loot placement, layout adjustments, navmesh, and more, as well as the visual updates allowed by the switch to SSE.
Dreamsleeve: The Holy City of Ethelodiil The Dreamsleeve had a massive new area completed since the last update, rounding out to the size of 3 Skyrim holds combined. With this update, the Dreamsleeve in total is now around half the size of the Skyrim overworld. The sprawling holy city of Etheleodiil to the east, and its surrounding frosted region, its points of interest, dungeons, villages, farms and docks have been fully realized, alongside their interiors. Etheleodiil was a very complex project, with winding streets, cathedrals, workers quarters, towering walls and a very high emphasis on verticality and interconnected level design, making sure most of its walls and a fair amount of its interiors are accessible. Its by far the most complex region I've worked on yet. To get this done, a ton of new and custom assets and tilesets for both interiors and exteriors (and their LODs) were either created or integrated into the game to support the style we're going for; a snowy, gothic, fallen city and the decrepit ruins of ransacked villages and forts, roads fallen to disrepair, opulent cathedrals, the aftermath of battle, and the outgrowth of a corruption that seeps its suffocating tendrils on the world. In its current state, most of Etheleodiil can be considered finished, navmeshed, with most encounters setup and ready to go.
Final Passes for the Dreamsleeve Dreamsleeve got sweeping weather and lighting changes, as well as updates to other POIs, such as the Shaded City to the south, adding an entirely new area of the city, as well as updating various locations within the Dreamsleeve in a final level design pass. A plethora of new towns and other POIs were added in this update to several regions, fleshing out previously empty areas to ensure an even distribution of interesting locations and stories to discover.
Deadlands The Deadlands got a complete overhaul of its assets, replacing most old placeholder art with new and updated assets, as well as polishing up its landscape and layout.
From a completed interior and exterior Daedric Sigil Tower Tileset, to exterior clutter, flora and fauna, to Dagon's Legion of Dawn and its various siege weapons; the Siege Tower with functional wind up and release animation attacks, Siege Crawler with functional drilling animations, and a brand new added Siege Walker, a four legged autonomous swarm unit capable of both magic and close range attacks.
Coldharbour A brand new interior tileset for Coldharbour was completed. Coldharbour is a twisted mirror image of Nirn, and the heart of it, a mirror image of the Imperial City and its White Gold Tower mangled in the shape of Molag Bal. Alongside modeling these interior kit pieces, the interior layouts are completed and fully playable.
The Hunting Grounds Completed final passes for all POIs, sweeping lighting and weather changes, and updated assets for a number of kit pieces.
Moonshadow Moonshadow, Azura's realm of Dusk and Dawn, received massive updates. It is a realm that combines scenic nature biomes with the towering heights of Azura's Rose Palace. Ascending these towers, highly interconnected and designed around verticality, you may get a chance at reaching the core of Moonshadow itself. The realm is entirely done at this point, with all navmesh, encounters, and layout finalized.
Apocrypha Final passes on locations in Apocrypha and Hermaeus Mora's boss arena.
Other In addition to the above, a number of new unannounced levels and locations, many of which are story critical, have been completed. We will not be talking about them to avoid spoilers.
Reactivity and player freedom are primary pillars of Apotheosis, a lot of content has to respond to what the player has done in the past, and we achieve that looking at vanilla Skyrim quest data as well as their actions in Apotheosis in order to determine how things play out. This has taken a lot of work to do, and is still an ongoing process, which is why most voice acting has been pushed back till after quests are finalized. A lot of progress has been done on quest design, fleshing out narratives, backstories, and subplots within.
Quest Progress Several quests along the main quest are complete. We're doing good steady progress, but we're still a ways to go. Side quests are also an important priority for us, Every character in Apotheosis is planned out and detailed in a complex per-character information sheet detailing the character's backstory, motivations, arcs, development paths, moments and potential fates. Planning for quests starts out with a Twine style branching spider web, laying out its narrative themes, its main actors, underlying character motivations, key events, potential choices and their consequences as well as potential character development paths. Afterwards, scripting, dialogue and AI packages can begin culminating with playtesting, followed by iteration along several passes to punch up dialogue, improve pacing, tonal issues, potential choice paths and account for reactivity.
Companions Lots of work has gone into developing our companions, and accompanying roleplaying systems to support them, and bring them to life. Go alone, or seek out friends and allies- companions with deep backstories, thoughts, and desires.
Discover their stories and share in their journey as you strive to achieve your goals, but be cautious, as your actions may bring about their downfall. Strengthen your bond with them through your actions and decisions as you advance alongside them on their journey, as they aid you along yours. We look forward to you meeting them in game.
We've been secretly working on a number of new gameplay systems that will be introduced with Apotheosis, to apply during your playthrough.
An Endgame Skill Tree Harness new powers, character traits and abilities as you absorb the essence of your fallen enemies. Forge them in a brand new endgame skill tree to evolve your character's strengths along new and unique paths. Factional Reputation Appease your chosen faction and incur favor by slaying their enemies and completing important tasks along each of the faction's storylines. Your loyalty may be rewarded, or it may end in your ruin. Tread carefully, as your choices could foretell a terrible fate. Companion Disposition Improve your relationship with your party members through the choices you make, and actions you take. Stray too far from one's moral compass, and they may just leave your side, or worse. As you improve their disposition towards you, unlock traits and synergies to improve their usefuless in combat and outside of it. World State If you are inclined to violence, tread this line carefully. As the more Daedric Princes you defeat, the more unstable the world becomes creating unforeseen consequences. Temper your blade and choose your battles wisely.
Daedric Princes 13/17 Daedric Princes are game ready!
Azura, Boethiah, Hermaeus Mora, Hircine, Jyggalag, Mehrunes Dagon, Mephala, Meridia, Molag Bal, and Namira have final models or final passes done on their in game appearances. Nocturnal and Sheogorath's Skyrim depiction will remain in use for Apotheosis.
Daedric Princes start with a sculpt, or when possible, are created using Skyrim's facegen system. Then their outfits, armors and accessories are modeled, uv'd, texture and ported to skyrim to finally begin skinning these assets to allow them to be animated. Finally, they are implemented them in game. After playtests, these assets are revised iterated upon several times until issues are resolved. Most Daedric Princes went through several design iterations.
A number of Princes also have secondary models for use in boss battles, in secondary phases as well.
Clavicus Vile, Malacath, Sanguine, and Vaermina are left to go.
Alongside our Daedric Princes, there are several key characters that will be playing crucial roles in Apotheosis, some you might already know from lore, others new, many of whom we will not be sharing here due to spoilers.
Among these characters, and as you may have seen in the trailer above, Morihaus, the Sacred Bull, Breath of Kyne and the Ayleid King Umaril the Unfeathered, clad in their iconic armors.
Armors In addition, many armor sets have been either completed or had final passes done to them. Among these are the Auroran Soldier, Umaril, Frame Maker, the Grotesque Knight, the Mythic Dawn, and Knight of Akatosh Armor Sets.
Armors are demanding to make. In addition to modeling, texturing skinning, they need to be segmented to fit Skyrim's body part system (Helmet, Gloves, Cuirass, Legs). Each piece of armor requires four different versions, two male and two female, in addition to their racial morphs (used for sliders). Even more, they also require first person models as well. Companion Outfits Companions also require their own custom art, and we were able to complete a number of outfits for them, following much of the same process outlined above (for characters who's armors are playable).
Creatures Creatures are the bread and butter of the moment to moment experience, guarding their patron Daedric Princes, roaming a fallen world, often hostile and dangerous.
Numerous new creatures were added to the world of Apotheosis, from the Meridian army of Aurorans, the Siege Walkers of Mehrunes Dagon's Army of Dawn, Coldharbour's Soul Shriven, or the corrupted denizens of Dreamsleeve.
Several new artifacts have been completed as well, either as part of sets, or standalone pieces for the player to find, equipped by characters, or to be found in the world.
We aim to maintain a high degree of differentiation between levels, to distinguish the identity of each location, to limit reuse when its reasonable to do so, to properly convey a specific mood and atmosphere, tell our story, and represent our locations as faithfully as we can.
For that purpose, a massive amount of new environment assets have been modeled and implemented, or incorporated into the game! While we try to source ready made commercial asset libraries, kitbash vanilla assets or use modder's resources when possible, we had to model our own kits in many instances.
Architectural Tilesets Gothic Tileset 321 different kit pieces, walls, cathedrals pieces, doors, gates, towers and bridges.
Gothic Interior Tileset 276 interior kit pieces, modeled on a grid, designed to seamlessly snap with one another has been fully created and implemented for use in Etheleodiil's interiors.
Medieval City and Walls Tileset
227 kit pieces for medieval building architecture, from small buildings to opulent towering complexes.
Biological Sprawl Tileset 126 kit pieces for representing biological
Wooden Village Tileset 93 different models representing hobbles, modest, run down wooden villages.
Coldharbour Tileset 44 kit pieces for Coldharbour's newly added interior locations.
Deadlands Tileset Kits for the Deadlands Sigil Towers, both exteriors and interiors and Deadlands clutter objects to go with them. Animated and fully functional Siege Tower and Siege Crawler models.
Marble Ruins Tileset 22 kit pieces for the Marble Ruins set, representing the run down, decrepit husk of opulent marble townships. Environmental Clutter Kits
Oblivion Gate Kit 11 Oblivion Gate kit pieces were made (each with 3 LOD levels), with each Daedric Prince receiving their own unique gate, designed after the first letter of their name (Nymic). Each gate also has animated elements that trigger on approach, and can be seen in our trailer linked above.
The Colored Rooms Brand new assets for Colored Rooms were made, coral, crystal and assortments of sea inspired kit pieces to realize the lore accurate version of Meridia's Realm. Gothic Sidewalk Kit 34 kit pieces for exterior street sidewalks.
Roads Tileset 45 road kit pieces representing various different angles, inclines, twists, and single clutter pieces in a state of disrepair.
Trees 92 new tree models. Flowering trees, various gnarled trees, massive archtrees that dot the sky, used primarily in the 'Dreamsleeve', Moonshadow specific trees, wider leafy trees with big trunks, red flowering trees, blood trees, and corrupted trees.
Miscellaneous Miscellaneous clutter items, whether it be animated banners, gates, destroyed wagons, impaled and wheeled skeletons, corpse piles, bells, statues, volumetric VFX and more.
Thanks for checking out this update! I hope you've enjoyed our new video release, and get the time to go through our new website: www.tesapotheosis.com TESApotheosis will feature everything there is to know about Apotheosis in one spot, including key information, features, our soundtrack, trailers, FAQ, news and more. You can also follow us on ModDB, our Discord and Youtube to get all updates as they come in! We're always around ready to answer questions, so don't hesitate to post on ModDB or our Discord. Take care.