Update on The Elder Scrolls Fan Union

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Back in June, we posted about The Elder Scrolls Fan Union, who were working on a Morrowind mod project to bring community members into the game as NPCs. I recently checked in with members from the site about their progress and received the following email (thanks Ibis), written by BGS forum member redsrock.

If you’re interested in joining the project, head here.

Take it away, Redsrock…

The TESFU Town Mod Project is going rather well. Somewhat naturally slow due to us not having a whole lot of modders on the job, but as they say…slow and steady wins the race. And for what we lack in numbers we more than make up with quality. Ibis at the helm is doing a tremendous job of keeping everything organized, as well as keeping tabs on everyone else’s duties. She is truly a wonderful Director/modder, and the mod definitely wouldn’t be alive without her.

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Operation: Anchorage lands on Xbox LIVE, GFW LIVE

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Fallout 3′s first DLC, Operation: Anchorage, is now available for download for Games for Windows LIVE and Xbox LIVE users. To celebrate the occasion, we’ve released a new trailer for the content.

On both GFW LIVE and Xbox LIVE, Operation: Anchorage costs 800 points. If you’re looking to purchase the content on PC, make sure you have a GFW LIVE account. For more information on this, head here. Those playing on Xbox 360 can purchase the game via Xbox LIVE, or visit the online marketplace. If you purchase from the latter, your content will be available to download the next time you boot up your Xbox 360.

Once your content has downloaded, you should be able to access Operation: Anchorage from any current save file for Fallout 3 (note: if this is your first time using Games for Windows LIVE, please refer to this blog post). Once you’ve loaded a game save, you should receive a Pip-Boy message stating:

Alert!: A new radio broadcast has been heard across the Capital Wasteland. It sounds like a distress call, but seems meant for certain ears only.

Following this, you’ll get a quest notification for “Aiding the Outcasts.” If you make this your active quest in your Pip-Boy 3000, your World Map will point you to where you need to go.

Fallout 3 nominated for 8 Interactive Achievement Awards

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The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) has announced their 2008 Interactive Achievement Award nominees. We were excited to learn that Fallout 3 was nominated in eight categories, including the following:

  • Outstanding Achievement in Gameplay Engineering
  • Outstanding Achievement in Original Story
  • Role-Playing Game of the Year
  • Computer Game of the Year
  • Outstanding Achievement in Game Design
  • Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction
  • Console Game of the Year
  • Overall Game of the Year

The AIAS award winners will be announced at this year’s D.I.C.E. Summit on February 19th.

What we’re playing: Dawn of War 2 Beta

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The weekend’s most popular new title to play is Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – with a number of guys at the office playing the beta. Other newer titles being played include Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, The Maw, Skate 2, and even the Quake Live beta, which I’m really anxious to play.

Here’s the rest of what we’re playing…have a great weekend.

Louis Riley: Dawn of War 2 Beta, Left 4 Dead, Saints Row 2.

Andrew Scharf, QA: Persona 4, Prince of Persia, Fallout 3, and playing the Quake Live beta (it’s browser based!).

Fred Zeleny, Game Designer: Puzzle Quest: Galactrix Demo, Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll dip my toes back into World of Warcraft.

Dan Ross, QA: 40K Weekend – Dawn of War 2 Beta between bouts of model painting.

Jesse Tucker, Level Design: TF2, L4D, Desktop Tower Defense, trying to get into Civ IV, looking forward to DoW 2 public beta.

Gary Noonan, Animation: Oblivion PC with all official expansions and DLC…. send me all your favorite mods so I can play them!!!!

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Oblivion – What You Played

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One of the interesting data points we receive from our Xbox Live reports is how many players have earned each achievement. This, in turn, helps us figure out how are most people playing the game. So now that we’ve had several million people play Oblivion (while logged onto Xbox Live), this gives us a good pool of data to look at.

What did they play? Here are the quest lines in Oblivion, ranked by percentages of players who finished them.

1. Arena

2. Dark Brotherhood

3. Main Quest

4. Mages Guild

5. Fighters Guild

6. Thieves Guild*

7. Shivering Isles

*Note – Fighters and Thieves were 1 percentage point apart, very close.

Around the web: Obama saves the wasteland edition

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Inauguration here in DC has come and gone, and now our new President is hard at work on making change — both in the real world and in the Capital Wasteland. I had a few community members send me messages about the painting made by Dan Lacy. Speaking for everyone here, we’re speechless.

Moving on, two interesting op/eds you might want to read. First, at NPR, writer Glenn McDonald revisits the often brought up argument of whether games can be considered art. In his piece, he argues in favor of games being art and uses Fallout 3 as apart of his argument. Here’s a snippet:

“The images of the decimated DC skyline are genuinely haunting, and console graphics have now evolved to the point where you’re having a very-near-cinematic experience. The game is scored musically, just as a film would be, and the various cut scenes and combat reenactments follow the tropes of action cinema in a knowing “wink-wink” kind of way.”

The other piece I found interesting is Duncan Fyfe’s column at GameSetWatch comparing Fallout 3 to James Joyce’s collection of short stories — called the Dubliners. Previously unfamilar with the stories, I’ll be checking them out soon.

Operation: Anchorage deploying next Tuesday on Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows LIVE, you can now find details of the achievements added to the game.

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Fallout 3 mods to check out

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It’s been a while since we featured some Fallout 3 PC mods. Visiting Planet Fallout, Fallout 3 Nexus, and our own modding boards, I’ve come across some pretty cool stuff.

I’ll begin with our forums, where pirate_phil has released his Vault Dwellers Survival Perk Pack. The mod features 10 new perks, complete with new Vault Boy imagery (like Old Father Time Perk shown above). To download it, head over to Fallout 3 Nexus.

Also worth checking out at Nexus is Martigen’s Mutant Mod that makes creatures and NPCs more unique throughout the wasteland. Check out some of the features below:

  • Every creature and NPC is unique with its own stats, size, confidence, health, damage and even skin (texture)
  • Creatures and NPCs suffer improved wounding effects such as visible bleedng and statistic penalties
  • Creatures and NPCs can loot the corpses of fallen enemies, after which you can find this loot if you kill them
  • Creatures and NPCs have improved behavioural AI based on class — in any given group some may be aggressive towards you, some may be ambivalent, and others may avoid you outright.
  • Configurable increased spawns allow you tailor how many creatures and NPCs spawn in the game at any given spawn point
  • Improved faction system to better reflect inter-faction relations and ensure the player isn’t the center of the universe
  • New creatures and NPCs to add variety to the wasteland — all hand-crafted with their own stats, abilities, loot, weapons, textures and in some cases scripted AI behaviour.

Martigen’s Mutant Mod is currently in beta and can be discussed here in our forums. While you’re at it, you might also want to check out his Increased Spawns mod to add a little more challenge to your game.

For more mods, hit the jump below…

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G.E.C.K. Quick Tips #2: Enclave Bunker Kit & Snap to Reference

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In our continuing series of tips for using The G.E.C.K., Fallout 3′s PC editor, Level Designer Jeff Browne put together the following video, entitled “Bunker Kit & Snap to Reference.”

Below is a quick note on the video from Jeff about the video:

Because of the scope of our games, it’s necessary for our artists to build robust, flexible kits that allow us to re-use a relatively small number of assets in a wide variety of combinations. Thanks to these kits, level designers can create unique Vaults, offices or utility areas without the need for specialized art.

Learning to work with a new kit can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process. Kits are composed of inter-locking pieces and it can take a while to get accustomed to the nuances of working with each one. The Enclave Bunker Kit is relatively small, but working with it can be as difficult as the larger kits. In this video, I explain the kit and how it’s to be used. This tutorial will also teach you how to work quickly with Reference Snapping.

A Post-Inauguration-Post-Apocalyptic Blog Post

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Yesterday our office was closed in celebration of (and to avoid a chaotic travels due to) President Obama’s Inauguration. While around 2 million people watched from the National Mall, MTV Multiplayer’s Stephen Totilo decided to visit what’s left of the Mall playing Fallout 3. A cool idea, but maybe he needed a modder to add a couple million Super Mutants.

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I wish I could find a good pic of the Mall after the two million people left. Might look closer to the image from Fallout 3.

Halloween’s just 283 days away

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One of our forum moderators, Rohugh, brought to my attention an interesting thread for all of you that get into cosplay or dressing up for Halloween. BGS forum member MightyJohn has begun work on a Brotherhood of Steel costume for Halloween this year.

If you click on the links in the thread, you’ll see he’s only posted shots of the helmet, which looks amazing. Should be interesting to see what he’s got put together come October.

If you missed it, here’s a look at a BoS costume from Halloween last year.