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In its Game Jam reveal, the house-building feature was simple – a small cabin that included a forge for players to create objects that would then become part of the house. Even in a preliminary state, the concept was lauded by the team and became a clear candidate for future Skyrim content.
"Soon after the Game Jam, the [Skyrim] add-on ideas were being reviewed, and this was one that Todd definitely wanted to see put in the game somewhere," added Nesmith.
As 2011 came to a close, Nesmith's focus shifted to Dawnguard, and co-lead designer, Kurt Kuhlmann took an interest in further developing the project with Wisnewski.
"It was essentially the first thing I started working on for Skyrim after the Game Jam," recalls Kuhlmann. "I was actually working on it on my own time in December and throughout vacation. I just continued on with my own experimenting to see how elaborate we could get with this."
In the new year, Kuhlmann and Wisnewski continued to flesh out ways players could trick out the houses they were building: a greenhouse for growing new alchemy ingredients, mannequin displays to show off weapons and armor, and even the ability to add multiple porches to the home.
I'm a little surprised that the very similar "Build Your Own Home" mod that already exists for Skyrim isn't even mentioned in passing, to be honest.