We would like to welcome to the Bethesda Blog Mike Hancho — commonly known by the forum community as Balok, creator of Helgen Reborn for Skyrim. When he’s not too busy rebuilding Helgen, Mike is an Operations Manager for a construction company in Clemmons, NC.
Recently we caught up with him to discuss Skyrim modding…
How did you get involved with modding?
It all started with a radio! I loved the “Built for the Future” mod for Fallout 3 and wanted a radio near all the lockers I used to store my gear. Getting started, I was completely overwhelmed and not a little bit lost, so I went through the basic tutorials and figured it out from there. Since Fallout 3 was my first Bethesda game it eventually led me to the official Bethesda forums where I learned about Oblivion. I bought it and spent the next year playing it.
I made a couple of unreleased mods that I used for my personal enjoyment and then Fallout: New Vegas came out. After playing it for a while, I decided to write and build my New Bison Steve Hotel and Afterschool Special mods. Then I joined the Boulder Dome team and built all the interiors for Inner Boulder including the Haunted Toy Store as well as Harcort Positronics and the Android Manufacturing levels. That led to Skyrim and here we are!
When I think of Helgen Reborn, the first thing that comes to mind is Oblivion’s popular mod, Kvatch Rebuilt. Do you view this mod as a spiritual successor?
In all honesty, no, not really. Although I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the name alone drew some attention to my project because of the popularity of Kvatch Rebuilt. In the beginning Helgen Rebuilt was a sort of working title, but I discovered someone had already uploaded a mod by that name. However, by this time I was well into development and into my closed beta test, and several of my testers liked my suggestion of using Helgen Reborn as they felt it was truly Reborn when it was finished, so I stuck with that. If anything, I see Helgen Reborn as the successor of my New Bison Steve Hotel and Afterschool Special mods for Fallout: New Vegas. I learned enough techniques building those mods that I felt confident enough to try something a little more ambitious. And since I like taking things you guys leave destroyed and turning them into places that are once again useable, Helgen was the obvious choice for my next project.
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Tokyo Game Show is this week, and to celebrate the affair, we’ve released a new trailer for The Evil Within. As you all know by now, the game is being developed by Tango Gameworks — led by the father of survival horror, Shinji Mikami.
Stay tuned to the blog, as well as Facebook.com/TheEvilWithin and @TheEvilWithin, for more on the game. And don’t forget to check the game’s first livestream next week during the Eurogamer Expo.
Today on the official ESO website, check out a new art showcasing heavy armor concept for the Wood Elves, Dark Elves, and Redguard.
As we head into the weekend, here’s the latest from our online merchandise store.
Check back next week for new updates on the store.
id Software has a well-storied past, and now you can be part of their future. Like Arkane, the Dallas-based studios is ramping up with more than a dozen positions — including Environment Concept Artist, Physics & Simulation Programmer, and Design Director. Applications for the team can be submitted at jobs.zenimax.com.
And speaking of the id team, if you haven’t watched it already, check out our interview and PAX panel (embedded above) featuring id’s art director, Hugo Martin.
Beginning today on GameStop.com (and EB Games Canada), folks that pre-order Dishonored Game of the Year Edition will receive our special edition ‘Game of the Year’ Tarot cards.
Like a traditional Tarot deck, the package includes 78 cards, as well as instructions to play one of Dunwall’s most popular card games, The Game of Nancy. If you already have the Tarot Deck released with the original release of the game, the new Tarot deck features 13 all-new cards. New cards include memorable characters from Dishonored’s add-ons — including Delilah, Billie Lurk, and Lizzy Stride.
Update: We’re thrilled to see your votes helped The Elder Scrolls win Greatest Game Series of the Decade!
The final round of Gamespot’s “Greatest Game Series of the Decade” has reached the finals and it’s down to The Elder Scrolls and Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto. Incidentally, The Elder Scrolls had to advance past Fallout in the final four to reach the final.
Make your choice here.
With Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition ready for release in October, Arkane Studios is ramping up on what comes next — next-gen development. While we can’t talk about what’s on the horizon, we wanted to let prospective game developers know that they’re already building up their team for the next project.
Two key new positions opened up for Arkane’s Austin-based studio, a Lead Tech Programmer and a Tools Programmer. In addition to these new positions, the Austin office is hiring a wide range of additional art and engineering positions. Get a full rundown here.
Over in the Eastern Hemisphere, Arkane Studios France is hiring for their Lyon office. Positions include Level Architect, Level Designer, Systems Designer, and Senior AI Programmer.
For a look at all job openings across our studios, visit jobs.zenimax.com.
If you missed Dishonored or any of its amazing content, we’re happy to announce that we will release Dishonored Game of the Year Edition in North America on Tuesday, October 8th.
Developed by Arkane Studios, Edge Online’s 2012 Studio of the Year, Dishonored is an immersive first-person action game that casts you as a supernatural assassin driven by revenge. With Dishonored’s flexible combat system, creatively eliminate your targets as you combine the supernatural abilities, weapons and unusual gadgets at your disposal. Pursue your enemies under the cover of darkness or ruthlessly attack them head on with weapons drawn. The outcome of each mission plays out based on the choices you make.
CONTENT INCLUDED (IN ADDITION TO THE ORIGINAL GAME)
The Knife of Dunwall – In The Knife of Dunwall, take on the role of Daud, the legendary assassin who killed the Empress. After assassinating the Empress, and forever changing the fate of Dunwall, you embark on a search for redemption. Gain access to Daud’s new weapons, gadgets and supernatural abilities as you traverse through parts of Dunwall yet unseen, including the city’s whaling center, Rothwild Slaughterhouse, and the heavily guarded Legal District.
The Brigmore Witches – Continue your journey as the legendary assassin, Daud, in The Brigmore Witches. This conclusion to Daud’s story will put you at odds with warring gang factions and the dangerous Brigmore witch coven. Journey through undiscovered locales within Dunwall, including Drapers Ward and the Brigmore Manor, where you will be met with supernatural forces that test the limits of your new weapons and abilities.
Dunwall City Trials – In Dunwall City Trials, experience Dishonored’s flexible combat system, stealth gameplay, and distinct settings in a whole new way as you make your way through 10 distinct maps that feature a variety of challenges. Put your stealth, combat and mobility skills to the test as you clear demanding objectives, unlock new achievements and secrets, and climb up the global online leaderboards.
Void Walker’s Arsenal – With the Void Walker’s Arsenal add-on pack, gain access to four content bundles previously available only through pre-ordering Dishonored. These bundles offer unique character bonuses, additional bone charm slots and more.
Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition will be available on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for $39.99 / 39.99 € / £ 29.99 /$69.95 AUD, and will be priced at $39.99 / 29.99 € / £24.99 / $49.95 AUD on PC.
Wolfenstein: The New Order doesn’t release until next year, but there’s plenty of new coverage worth checking out courtesy of Gamescom and PAX Prime.
Starting with VG247, watch a new Gamescom interview with creative director Jens Matthies.
GamesRadar — “Based on today’s playthrough, The New Order could be the most genuine, most satisfying follow-up the original games have ever had. It looks, sounds and feels completely modern, but the staunch dedication to creating fast, smooth, brutal fun on a moment-to-moment basis resurrects Wolfenstein’s spirit as efficiently as its occult Nazis resurrect their own dead.”
Xbox 360 Achievements – “A barnstorming demo, MachineGames has left us in no doubt that Wolfenstein: The New Order is a hot prospect, controlling like a dream and boasting a number of memorable story beats…”
The Gamers Hub — ” Not only was this my game of Gamescom 2013, I honestly cannot wait to hear, see and play more of this promising title.”
AusGamers — “… The New Order is definitely hitting all the right notes.”
IGN — Greg Miller joins PAX attendee Gavin Brown to share impressions from playing early sections of the game. Find out what they think.
The Sixth Axis — “This is a game which knowingly calls back to the old school of thinking, and it’s something which is just rammed home as soon as you discover that you can dual wield machine guns. It’s ridiculous, and absolutely fantastic.”
Destructoid — Jim Sterling & Jordan Devore explain why they’re taken by the gameplay.
As announced this summer, Wolfenstein: The New Order releases next year. Stay tuned for updates