I'm going to try to clarify some points. We really are using different terminology and I'm only going to supplement MinerMan's reply in the parts where I think further elaboration is necessary. Otherwise he's pretty much right.
For terminology example, "content developer" is not a term we could or do use, it's way too unspecific. We divide by asset developer (further: modeler, texturer, sound guy) and exterior/interior/quest developer.
First, what about "Asset": Is that your name for a record? Race, Activator, Cell and so on?
(the things we keep in Tamriel_Data) are globally(1) defined and used Objects (as the CS uses the term) except for NPCs, plus Sounds, Scripts, Races, Classes, Regions, and Factions.(2)
Assets generally follow a top-to-bottom workflow: a developer posts them on our website, they are evaluated, categorized and included for use or rejected. They are merged into project-specific Data Addons over time and eventually merged into Tamriel_Data whenever a new release of whatever project is due or the backlog has become too big to manage.
(1) "Globally" defines the cooperative Tamriel that is being developed by Tamriel Rebuilt and the Project Tamriel mods (Skyrim: Home of the Nords, Province: Cyrodiil, and to a lesser extent High Rock 427 and Elsweyr Paradise of Sugar).
(2)There are also local assets, which are simply location- or NPC-bound scripts or Objects (etc.) edited for use in a cell or quest. These do use a different CS ID but never have icons, meshes, textures, bookart, or sound which isn't already part of Tamriel_Data.
Do I read that correctly? You take your main content file, delete everything but 3x3 cells (or larger) and hand that out to the content developer?
No. To start with, Claims (unlike Assets) are a top-down workflow.
There is no main content file per se.
is a heightmap file, it's a big blob in the shape of Morrowind (3) containing only worldspace cell edits (exteriors) - usually only a heightmap. It only exists to be cut into pieces - no development takes place here, it's literally the "rest" of the landmass.
From RestExterior, after planning has progressed to a sufficient state (we know where the cities, biggest landmarks, and dungeons go and have an overview of the character of the region), a Section Files
is cut out of RestExterior so that actual development can happen. For example, here is an image
of the Lake Andaram section. Everything south, west, and east is RestExterior, while other section files exist to the north.
The section file is then further cut into Exterior Claims
, the 3x3 cell chunks.
This is where the actual TR developers come into play - up until now, it has all been part of the Lead Developer workflow. "Claims" get their name from how this workflow operates - a lead developer posts a claim on our website and an accredited developer can claim it and work on it exclusively until they deem it ready to be merged back into the section file after a review.
For example, see how the Lake Andaram section was divided
and one resulting exterior claim
are created when an exterior has either been merged back into the section file or is judged to be sufficiently far along by the Lead Developers. These are the interiors for individual
houses, grottos, temples.
For example, the Lake Andaram 1&5 claim contains the settlement of Idathren. A claim map
for that settlement was generated when it was in a fairly rough state and interior claims were made from this, like this one
When the exteriors/interiors have been merged back into the section file, NPC Claims
are made. This is usually one claim per settlement or cave/grotto/temple and consists of a list of NPCs (derived from the planning that went into the interior claims) and their generic/personal dialogue, ownership, etc. For an example, the NPC claim for Menaan (a settlement in the Roryn-Bluff section file) is here
After the settlement essentially exists, Quest Claims
are opened for faction and miscellaneous quests. Since these always edit preexisting characters, dialogue, cells, and objects, and might need to insert their own, quest-specific, NPCs, they are implemented last (planning, of course, has happened before). For an example, see Where has the horse gone?
a quest for Old Ebonheart, which includes new Ashlanders, scripts, and
While this process is ongoing, for releases the section file is going to be merged with the other section files and whatever remains of RestExterior into TR_Preview.esp.
When the section is actually finished (exteriors, interiors, npcs, quests, and cowbell are all done and merged), it is merged into TR_Mainland.esm, which is - as far as I understand the term - our main content file alongside the Tamriel_Data asset repository.
(3) Or Cyrodiil, Skyrim, High Rock, depending on the project, the idea is pretty universal.
Can't comment on this, dialogue is a mystery to me
As Rot was quoted, the problem with Morrowind's dialogue is that it isn't strictly a database, it's a chain. Every reply contains not only an ID, but also a Previous ID and a Next ID. When these can no longer be resolved, the dialogue drops to the bottom of the reply list.
This will probably become more clear once I understand the initial paragraphs. Right now I don't understand what exactly conflicting cell names would be. Conflicts between which files?
Morrowind has no cell id, just worldspace coordinates and the <interior> demarcation. The cell name ("Seyda Neen, Arille's Tradehouse") is the cell's unique identifier (also used for dialogue filtering), which means that if two esps add things to the "Seyda Neen, Arille's Tradehouse" interior, both will coexist if they are merged into one file.
This is not desirable for us without a warning prompt. No cell (name) we are editing should exist prior to the NPC claim stage and the projects are so big that it's a very real danger that two ancestral tombs or shipwreck interiors halfway across Morrowind will end up with the same name.