### Useful Measurement Values

Posted:

**04 Aug 2017, 16:24**For ages now I have been curious about the size of things in Bethesda's games, as far as what scale they were working with, often times it gets said that they use a 70 game units per meter, but that is actually off, because someone rounded the value for simplicity sake and the rounded value kept getting passed around without qualification. Going by it leads to a lot of strange fractional measurements for things that should have nice clean integer values, like the length of a cell side. I finally found the magic number though after a lot of digging around yesterday, 64 game units is equivalent to a yard, everything is based around this! Bethesda have their roots here in the US, so it isn't completely unexpected they would go with imperial units, especially since they got started long before the industry started to settle on the 1 unit = 1 meter convention.

With that in mind we can derive much more meaningful values:

- Exterior cells are 8192 game units per side or 128 yards (this is specific to Morrowind, later games used 4096 game units per side or 64 yards).

- Exterior terrain meshes are made with 32 edges per side, so each triangulated quad in a flattened terrain is 256 game units per side or 4 yards.

- Terrain elevation changes at a rate of 8 game units per increment in heightmap value or 1/8th of a yard or 4.5 inches.

- Base adult human height is 128 game units or 2 yards or 6 feet.

I plan to dig around in the assets to measure some examples to find out what measurements they went by for things like interior tiles and furnishing props. Once I do I will update this post with my findings. Also for those who are wondering, the true length of a meter in game units is actually 69.99104, which is really close to 70, so you can see why it was rounded and how the confusion started.

If you are curious to see what the cell terrain mesh looks like, I made a version in Blender to the above mentioned scale:

https://mega.nz/#!sU1lEIrI!sWL2QpYdWcMc ... rTxxu4lcR4

With that in mind we can derive much more meaningful values:

- Exterior cells are 8192 game units per side or 128 yards (this is specific to Morrowind, later games used 4096 game units per side or 64 yards).

- Exterior terrain meshes are made with 32 edges per side, so each triangulated quad in a flattened terrain is 256 game units per side or 4 yards.

- Terrain elevation changes at a rate of 8 game units per increment in heightmap value or 1/8th of a yard or 4.5 inches.

- Base adult human height is 128 game units or 2 yards or 6 feet.

I plan to dig around in the assets to measure some examples to find out what measurements they went by for things like interior tiles and furnishing props. Once I do I will update this post with my findings. Also for those who are wondering, the true length of a meter in game units is actually 69.99104, which is really close to 70, so you can see why it was rounded and how the confusion started.

If you are curious to see what the cell terrain mesh looks like, I made a version in Blender to the above mentioned scale:

https://mega.nz/#!sU1lEIrI!sWL2QpYdWcMc ... rTxxu4lcR4