image ©Maxim Nikolaev
Interview with Foal 2024-03-04 - jvoisin

Who are you, and for how long have you been a horsie?

I am and have always been a little horse. Neigh.

When did you join the project and why?

2020. I was dabbling in VR at the time and thought it would be cool to play Morrowind in VR. I was aware of the OpenMW project since a couple years prior and decided to implement it myself. For a while I was hardly a member of the project, just working on my VR fork occasionally asking questions in the Discord. I don’t remember exactly when I ended up being an actual team member though.

What have you been working on recently?

Dehardcoding combat. Recently my Lua API for animations and skill progression were merged which were a big roadblock to dehardcoding combat. The goal is to dehardcode combat entirely, so that the entirety of combat can be modded in any way. For example, to allow implementing Oblivion/Skyrim style combat, or VR “realistic” combat, as mods rather than as engine hacks.

So you’re part of the OpenMW Lua cabal ‽

I don’t know about any cabal. I am just dehardcoding the things I need to be dehardcoded to meet my ultimate goal, which is to do VR as a mod instead of as a fork full of engine hacks.

Keep your secrets, it’s ok. Any cool things you plan to implement that you haven’t already started working on?

Once dehardcoding spellcasting is in review/merged I’ll begin to dehardcode weapon combat. After that I don’t have anything non-VR planned, so I’ll be off to bring the VR fork up to date with .49 and port as much of it as I can to Lua.

Has OpenMW lived up to what you expected when you first discovered the project so far?

I’m not sure I had much in the way of expectations. When I first found the project I was stunned that someone had gone so far in writing an open-source engine able to play Morrowind, it wasn’t something I would have expected to ever see! So at the time I was simply happy to find a way to play Morrowind that didn’t crash at every turn. I’ve never been the kind of purist who needs every detail to be exactly like the original game, I considered its current state as fully playable at the time, probably in 2018.

What’s the current or next big thing you’re hyped about?

The Lua API for RTT viewports. This will hopefully allow me to move some of the VR-related RTT to Lua mods, and as this API will include scene graph manipulation it might let me do VR-related manipulations of the scene graph too. Especially, pointer geometries and body tracking. Although this might still need some additions/tweaks to allow same-frame modifications, which is required for VR.

What’s your favourite OpenMW mods?

Tamriel Rebuilt is an easy favorite, and I always play with a leveling mod like NCGD.

If you could change one thing about OpenMW, what would it be?

Assuming I could just wave a wand and have it: porting OpenMW from OpenGL to Vulkan of course!

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