Skyrim came out in 2011 but earlier this month, a modder released Holds: The City Overhaul, an expansion that renovates every village and town in the game. Even among a mod community that refuses to let the game die, this addition was a Herculean task, taking the modder an average two hours a day over three years to finish. That's a labor of love.
At 4GB, Holds is a big chunk of content — none of which adds to the game's storyline. It's just more stuff, like new architecture, outfits and named characters to enrich the walking-through-town experience. Holds' creator even wrote completely new in-game books, adding to Skyrim lore.
There's a modelmaker's precision in Holds: there are new villages, but they are carefully placed far apart to preserve the original Skyrim's sparse wilderness. This respect for "The Skyrim Experience" shows why its vibrant community of tinkerers has kept creating more than four years after the game was released, even without getting paid to do it.