One of Skyrim's greatest strengths is its ridiculous amount of content. But that also ties into one of its biggest weaknesses: unless you're insane, you're going to have to pass on some of what the game has to offer in order to retain a measure of focus. The in-game map functionality adds to this pain since doesn't let you jot down notes or throw up readily identifiable markers for areas you'd like to go back to.

An unofficial companion app, Dragon Shout, is looking to provide just that -- and more down the road. Dragon Shout is basically a fully interactive Skyrim map that allows for annotated markers for anything, including even alchemy components. In later updates, it'll become a social hub, of sorts, for Skyrim adventurers, as it'll add in marker sharing, party or app-wide chats, pictures, and more. It's an ambitious project.

To be clear, here's what's in the first release, which has just been submitted to Apple.

"The first version of the app contains an interactive map where you can drop annotated markers / journal entries down," the developer told us. "For example, yesterday I played Skyrim and left a bunch of dragon scales and bones on the side of a mountain because they were too heavy.

I will come back and get them some other time so I marked it on the map so I know where it's at in the future. Another example is I'm always looking for the right ingredients for potions, so when I come across an important ingredient, I mark it on the map so I know where to get it next time."

Dragon Shout should be out within the next couple of days on iPhone and iPad for $0. You can follow its progress on the app's website or this handy-dandy forum thread the creator started.

  • http://twitter.com/DotComCTO DotComCTO

    Cool idea, but I wish Bethesda had incorporated that into the game. This approach still seems imprecise...but still...at the low, low price of FREE, I can't complain.  :-)

    • http://twitter.com/rblalock Rick Blalock

      The idea is more social in nature.  Example: You can share where the best place to find a bunch of glowing mushrooms - when someone is looking for it they can search 'glowing mushrooms' and will be able to find locations based on what they need.

      • http://twitter.com/Rirath Rirath

        I'm hyped for just the note-taking aspects of it, myself.  I would consider 'social' notes almost spoilery, but would love the ability to jot things down.  Really don't know why this isn't in-game, either. 

        A journal of any sort would be great, really.  You'd think for as many books, journals, and letters as you find lying around, you could write your own.  Anyone remember StoneKeep back in the day?  Loved the ability to keep a journal and 'write' spell runes on your staff.

      • http://twitter.com/DotComCTO DotComCTO

        Nice! I didn't catch that social aspect of the note taking. Now, my question is whether they're starting with this super detailed map of Skyrim: http://www.gamebanshee.com/skyrim/mapofskyrim.php   :-D

      • http://twitter.com/rblalock Rick Blalock

        Yeh I've tried to get a hold of them to see if I could use it.  No response yet.  I actually already have it implemented in the app...just have to throw a switch :-) .  If I get permission to use it you'll be able to toggle between the two maps.

      • http://twitter.com/DotComCTO DotComCTO

        Oh man! That would be fan-freakin-tastic! Nice job, Rick!  :-D

  • Kyle Prahl

    This sounds f***ing awesome, ESPECIALLY the social features coming down the line. I can't wait for a bit of a "Dark Souls" element where people can leave cool notes - about secrets, adventures, or random thoughts - in the world. Just has to be handled properly, with good sorting/filtering features.

  • Anonymous

    I'll wait for the sale.

    • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

      The sale on Skyrim?  This app is free.

      • Anonymous

        Attempted sarcasm: failure :'(

      • http://twitter.com/JZWilliams Zach Williams

        I got it :)

      • http://profiles.google.com/rekzkarz Ari Krawitz

        We need more sarcasm online!

  • http://twitter.com/LewisRichards Lewis Richards

    Android?

    • http://twitter.com/rblalock Rick Blalock

      Yes Android is in the works.  Waiting on some backend things before Android will be ready for development.

  • Austin Riddle

    Yes! Two screens are better than one!  Now to learn how to work the controller with only 1 hand.

  • Anonymous

    So I can use this as an App, set a way point using it and have my game update the waypoint? If so... whoa.

    • http://twitter.com/rblalock Rick Blalock

      Ha.  I wish it could interface with the game.  The game developers and Xbox would have to change a few things in order for that to work.  

      • Anonymous

        I think I made a few assumptions, I figured this was for the PC only where it seemed possible considering previous game mods and I wasn't clear on the touch arcade article if interfaced with the game or not. Still, free and more expansive map, I'm for it. I imagine its only a matter of time for companion apps to make their way to gaming, seeing as Adobe has the CS5.5 Photoshop apps, and I have a controller app for Ableton Live and a mixer app for Cubase/Logic.

      • http://twitter.com/rblalock Rick Blalock

        Yeh if the console / PC gaming business would ever stop looking at mobile apps as a threat...they could start monetizing it the right way with apps that go along with their products.  That's, in part, one of the goals of this project.

        A mod for PC could be possible.  Interesting idea....

      • Anonymous

        I'd pay a few more $ for a companion app without hesitation, assuming we didn't enter the dark nexus where the companion apps were required. A dollar or two to offset the development costs are completely understandable in my book (Then again I'm coming from the perspective of a web dev). 

      • Ryan DowlingSoka

        Hey Rick- for the PC version once the construction editor comes out, and perhaps even before then we might really be able to make this a possibility. The previous game Script Extender's certainly could have done this, so I don't see a reason why it is not. If you want to talk about it more I'm into game scripting and feel free to email me about the concepts or possibly working on it. :) 

      • http://twitter.com/rblalock Rick Blalock

        Hi Ryan,
        That would be awesome.  I could open up a few API endpoints of the app over a bonjour, TCP, or socket connection.  That would work.  Just need someone to tie to it on the other end.  They could send coord. info over to the app, user / character info, etc. and the app could consume it.  Vice-versa - every time the app creates a marker, moves one, edits one, receives a chat message, etc. I could post this over one of the above mentioned connections for the game to use.  use the contact form on http://www.dragonshoutapp.com if you think this can be done.

  • Anonymous

    This, IMO, is a great idea. Especially for all of us noobs to this game series. I believe it will definetely be helpful for myself and making notes and dropping markers. There's so much inventory that it's not possible to carry it all and being able to have a way to mark where certain things are will be a great help. Looking foward to getting the app. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    So excited for this. Glad to see the fans are filling the gaps where Bethesda should be.

  • Kim Rene Mossige

    I will definately donate for this!

  • http://profiles.google.com/rekzkarz Ari Krawitz

    I'm hooked on Skyrim, psyched for a free app -- would like something inside game, but *never type on the PS3* -- not fun.

    Any news about multiplayer gameplay in Skyrim, anyone?

    • http://twitter.com/xjeegeex Gareth Ellis

      Why not type on ps3? Just use a USB keyboard... Can't wait for Android version of this, great for marking up master chests and the like. :)

      • http://rekzkarz.blogspot.com rekzkarz

        Use a USB keyboard?  Never thought of that, really -- mostly b/c my PS3 is far away by the TV.  Thanks for tip.

  • http://www.joomla-web-developer.com joomla developers

    Great update here. I have gone through your web blogs and they seems to be very informative. 

  • Tyler Wickiser

    I wonder why the developer didn't just create a mod for Skyrim with add notes.  Granted it might be hard at this point without the Toolkit being released yet.  I wonder if there will be ways to hook into social networks with the new toolkit, that would be fun.

    • Adrian Roy

      Because that would suck for us console players.

  • Benj

    Windows Phone 7 in the future? Maybe after Android version? Wishful thinking, but would definitely buy the app if it showed up in the marketplace..

    • Kieran McEwan

      Why android after windows? Android is much more popular and thus presents a bigger market. 

      • Benj

        uhm.. I didnt suggest that a window app be made before an android app... quite the reverse. I know WP7 is still a niche market and hold no illusions as to when (or IF) an app would be developed for the platform.

  • Anonymous

    This sounds awesome! Probably won't help me be less addicted to Skyrim though... D:

  • Christi Hart

    I am stoked about this now.  I've been griping since I started that you can't get a closer view of the map and I'd *love* to be able to make notes about Nirnroot locations especially!

  • http://twitter.com/rblalock Rick Blalock

    Hahaha.  Awesome.  Someone made a comic of the app: http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/

  • Sacha Galgon

    making a marker and returning later to get stuff? Won't work, the game is resetting loot after a while and even not looted bodies (like dragons) disappear after a while ... and leaving stuff out in the open isn't a good idea either, because it may be picked up by an npc or disappear after a while as well ...

    it's a good idea for notes like "door i cannot open yet" but not for "I left some dragon bones under a bush"

    • http://twitter.com/rblalock Rick Blalock

      I've gone back to get things and they were there.

      • Kieran McEwan

        It's possible and maybe even likely that they will remain there however the only guaranteed way to keep your stuff safe when not on your person is to keep it in a chest in your house. I'm not sure how they do it, but I presume there's some kind of  random selection as to whether it will remain there. 

  • Anonymous

    What would be amazing is if they had a list of every place on the map from a-z and you could flick through choose one and it would show you where it was, takes so long sometimes trying to find places on the map, had the same problem with the fallout games. Not sure why they don't incorporate that into the games

  • Anonymous

    Still waiting on Apple to approve it.  It's been in review since Friday.  Looks great on the iPad!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AR-3hgA3xQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • Anonymous

    is already on the app store downloading thanks for the app :D

    Just one thing for now i have to open the dragonshout website and click on download on the app store, searching for it in itunes wont show for now

    • Anonymous

      Yup it's up but has to be populated across the stores.  Takes a little bit.  http://itunes.apple.com/app/dragon-shout/id483488468?mt=8

  • Jenny Lee

    You know there's already another app that does a bunch of things that this Dragon Shout doesn't do...it's Skyrim Mappz: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mappz-skyrim-edition/id480785855?mt=8 Very handy to have beside me while playing and I don't have the time to waste writing down a journal entry. I would rather just play the game itself.