Chase Beacham, known in the Skyrim modding community as HothTrooper44, and his wife Dallas.
RALEIGH, N.C. – If you’re into modding in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC) community, you’ve probably already seen his work. It’s hard to miss outstandingly detailed, lore-friendly (and downright sexy) armor, especially when so many users recommend it.
I’m talking about the craftsmanship of the undeniably talented Chase Beacham, better known as HothTrooper44 in the Steam Workshop and elsewhere.
His most recent creation, “Dragonhide Robes,” was posted on June 6 and already has over 10,000 unique subscribers on Steam. His work also gets plenty of hits and downloads at SkyrimNexus, a popular modding site.
The dragonbone-inspired armor offers a sexy choice for the mage class as well as some new options for light and heavy armor users. The mod has gotten almost 500 ratings, making it a five-star offering and a top hit in just under two weeks.
The dragonhide armor joins seven other creations on the Steam Workshop to make up HothTrooper44’s Skyrim repertoire – all of which have five-star ratings.
So where does all this juicy goodness come from? The man behind the magic said it’s all about “passion.”
“I have a passion for creation, and consider myself somewhat of an artist,” Beacham said. “No matter what game I play, I like to leave my mark on it with my creations.”
Beacham, a four-year social sciences degree holder from Raleigh, N.C., is an aspiring game manager/producer. He’s the kind of guy to go “all-out” when it comes to expression in gaming.
“I wanted to make my own cities, my own armors, my own companions and more to enhance my gaming experience in Skyrim,” he said, “so I learned a fair amount of software in order to allow my natural tendencies to expand into this game.”
Creating an armor set – or any mod in Skyrim – takes a great degree of skill and motivation. Beacham’s work process is no exception, utilizing programs and tools such as Nifscope, Photoshop, Blender, 3ds MAX and the Gamebryo toolset made available to Skyrim modders known as the “Creation Kit.”
“Armor sets take me an average of eight to twelve hours to create, though I am not aiming for speed as the creation process itself is enjoyable for me,” he said. “My inspirations come from the game itself, the lore of the series, my personal experiences and of course my fantastic users.”
At 26 years old, Beacham has spent much of his personal time pounding out his mojo into delightful art, and it didn’t start with Skyrim.
“I have only ever modded other games on a personal level really,” Beacham said. “I have been a modder for years, but a published modder for much less. I was well known for my artwork in the game APB: Reloaded, where artwork is a large commodity since you can design armor and clothing with in-game tools. I even had one user from that game get a real life full back tattoo of the artwork I drew for him.”
When his fans aren’t busy getting their skin permanently etched with his work, they’re constantly reminding him that they appreciate his efforts. Beacham has also received a good deal of media attention for his talents.
“I have been featured on PC Gamer, Gamespot, Valve’s official news,” he said, “but the attention has always been a positive for me. My users are almost always friendly and helpful. I will say that the massive amount of armor creation requests and the sheer number of friend requests on Steam I get can both be a bit overwhelming at times.”
Being a successful and well-respected modder for an immensely popular game isn’t a cake walk. Beacham’s advice for entry-level modders?
“Do what you love. Always finish what you start. Listen to your users.”
Links: Hothtrooper44 on SkyrimNexus
A nice video of the armor: