April Honors: Files of the Month at TES Nexus

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Better late than never, here’s a look at the TES Nexus’ most popular mods for Oblivion in the month of April.

The most popular download was Ancient Towers by WilliamSea. Here’s a brief description of the mod from the author:

“One day, you find yourself traveling South on the Yellow road. After passing the bridge over the Corbolo River, you are attacked by a bandit screaming wildly at you. After dispacthing the crazy thief, you see a tent in the woods with a strange light emanating from it. You cautiously look around and slowly approach the bandits camp site. On a rock inside the tent are several glowing welkyd gems, and next to them is a scroll with the bandits diary explaining his most recent adventure in the hills to the East. He found a set of ancient towers guarded by amazing creatures of great power. Will you be able to gain control of this fabulous site? Can you defeat the tower guardians?”

For more information on WilliamSea’s mod, check out the thread he started in the Oblivion Mods board. Also, keep in mind that to run this mod, you’ll need to be sure that you’ve updated Oblivion with the most recent patch, and keep in mind this mod requires that you have The Shivering Isles as well.

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What we’re playing: Keepin’ busy edition

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As work on Fallout 3 gets more hectic here, it seems like less folks at the office have time to play games — save for Fallout 3 and required breaks to play GTA IV. Having not had a chance to sit and play games in nearly two weeks (outside of showing folks our E3 demo of Fallout 3), I’m looking forward to vegging out on the couch this weekend and getting to know Liberty City better.

Here’s what other folks are playing this weekend…

Tim “Visor” Lamb, Producer: Fallout 3, GTA IV

Nate Purkeypile, World Artist: Fist fighting bears in the great outdoors. Maybe some GTA IV and TF2 also.

Craig Lafferty, Producer: GTA IV, Fallout 3 (I think this is a record for me, 3 weeks playing the same 2 games).

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New Vault Diary on Fallout 3 site — Adam Adamowicz

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Today over on the official Fallout 3 site, there’s a chance to read the latest Vault Diary. The newest edition comes from Fallout 3 concept artist (and Inside the Vault alum) Adam Adamowicz. In his diary, Adam discusses his inspirations, as well as his process for coming up with concept art for the game. Here’s a snippet of his discussion on armor for the Super Mutants:

“Their armor is total salvage yard, car hoods and fenders resourcefully but crudely pounded into chest plates and pauldrons. Lawn mower blades welded onto helmets. I wanted recognizable elements twisted to a more violent purpose to reflect a sinister resourcefulness to surviving in a highly dangerous world. This ‘junkyard wars’ approach to their armor and weapons generated whole categories of unique and often hilarious Homemade Weapons that I’ll speak about next.”

Given that it’s a diary about concept art, we’ve also got some designs from Adam to share with you — including designs of Super Mutants, Vault Suits, and post apocalyptic fashion. Check out the diary here.

Australia’s finest – Tim Tam

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While I had a busy week of flights and meetings for Fallout 3 while Australia, I discovered a fantastic cookie (or biscuit, as they say) called Tim Tam. Available in a variety of flavors (Original, Latte, Double Chocolate to name a few), these things need to start being made in the States.

Over the next few days, I’ll be bringing in a few varieties for folks at the office to try, and so far everyone seems to like them…maybe too much. Attrebus, we might need a shipment of these soon! I’ll take these over Pocky any day.

Around the web and on newsstands: Playing catch up edition

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After a week down under (more on that later), I’ve returned to the office with plenty of coverage to catch up on. Here’s a look at some of the stuff I’ve missed…

To kick things off, the May 2008 issue of OXM (US) has a feature called House Rules: Other Ways to Play, which reveals new ways to play Oblivion. Check out the issue if you want to know how to pitch, bowl, or even play tee-ball within the Oblivion world.

Speaking of OXM, the editors have put together a special spring issue called Ultimate Xbox 360 How-To Handbook. Within the issue is another opportunity to put together the Vault Boy bobblehead papercraft cutout that was previously found in PC Gamer. Look for the magazine on newsstands now.

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Inside the Vault: Emil Pagliarulo (Redux)

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This week’s Inside the Vault revisits Fallout 3 Lead Designer, Emil Pagliarulo. I thought it would be fun to do a Q&A that was a bit different. So, before heading down past the break, gentle readers, let me know if this slight change of pace is a good one or not. We have lots more Q&A’s with developers on the team coming up, too.

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Around the Web — Interviews Edition

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Gamespot (UK) has a video interview with Pete up now. Meanwhile in reading format, we’ve got new interviews with Pete in a variety of places.

First, the folks Gamesindustry.biz cover a lot of ground in their inteview Surviving the Fallout:

Q: How far are you going with the ‘go anywhere’ sense in this game?

Pete Hines: Very. If you want to see how many of the hours you can play without seeing an hour of the main quest, give it a shot – it will be lots. You could spend 50 hours, 70 hours, just doing stuff in the world and never once make an effort to figure out what happened to your dad. We want it to be a self-directed world, for players to just see what happens.

And the idea is that the main quest is not the only cool stuff going on – there are tonnes of miscellaneous free-form things out there for you to do that will be a lot of fun, that maybe you’ve got five or six quests at any time where you can figure out what to do next.

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