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This language lets you modify the Skyrim game to learn game coding plus have fun adding objects and functionality to the game.

While playing Skyrim a year or two ago, my teenage son showed me a mod someone created where a dancing bear magically appears in the middle of the game, no matter how dark and scary the scene. Later, he showed me a mod he had made to let him shoot 100 flaming arrows at a time, with the explosive devastation when the arrows landed. Turns out the PC version of Skyrim can be easily modified using a free Creation Kit and the Papyrus programming language.

I thought it would be interesting this month to highlight a programming language useful only in one narrow case, people playing Skyrim on a PC who want to add a little fun to the game and learn more about the internals of the Skyrim game. For example, using the Papyrus language and the Creation Kit, you can access data generated by the game as you play along.

And for those scratching their heads wondering what Skyrim is, the game is a mostly realistic environment set in the early middle ages with dragons, villages, quests, potions, good and bad people, and so on. It’s swords and sandals plus sorcery. While the start of the game involves executioners, most of the game is fun to run around the Skyrim world and get lost in the game for hours and days. Then again, I love dragons and the game is full of them. However, my son did have to rescue his older sister every time dragons appeared because they ate her or burnt her to a crisp.


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