New Oblivion mod turns heads at the office

Thought I’d share this YouTube video for DUNE, an Oblivion mod project started by Stefano Tonello (aka Prometheus). For those wondering, upon reading about the mod in the project’s official forums, it’s made clear that this DUNE is in no way related to Frank Herbert’s Dune universe — it’s a completely new and unique storyline. Here’s a brief introduction to the world of DUNE:

“The DUNE World, known as Dusaar, is a huge desert world where the brutality of people and nature is an everyday part of life. Water has long since ceased to flow on the surface and can only be found in the last sea, some oases, and tiny lakes and streams are the only source of life for the Ancient Forest, a Tropical Jungle surrounded by Canyons and covered from the everpresent winds of the open Desert, protecting this small Last Paradise.

The desert covers the majority of the land, almost 90% of it is surrounded by the Great Wall Cliffs of the east and the Sea of Silt to the west. Some of the mountains are nearly impassable, but ancient canyons throughout them hide the last spots where life can still continue….There are many diverse cultures living in the few safe places on this world.”

From what I’ve seen, it looks mighty impressive. Having shared this video with a few folks at the office, the response has been a resounding “WOW!” For more information on Dune, and to learn how you can work on the project, check out the forums Prometheus put up for the project.

Gamepro.com interviews Todd

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Last night on Gamepro’s website, a new interview went up with Fallout 3 Executive Producer Todd Howard. It’s a short interview, but provides some new insight on the game. Here’s a sample:

GamePro: What’s one particular detail of the game that Bethesda is particularly proud of?

Howard: Right now we’ve got a lot of the world built and we’re excited by how fun it is to explore. I admit we were worried about such a grand world that is completely destroyed and it feeling morbidly depressing and empty. We have a ways to go yet, but it’s looking good and there’s a lot of sandbox gameplay to discover.

Head over to GamePro’s site to check out the rest of the interview.

Conquest shipping in Europe beginning this week

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Since releasing Star Trek: Conquest in North America last fall, I’ve received plenty of emails from fans wondering when the game would be released in Europe. Well, I’ve got some good news. Beginning this week, the game will start shipping in the following European territories:

  • UK/Ireland March 14th (PS2/Wii)
  • Italy: Out Now (PS2) & March 14th (Wii)
  • Spain: March 19th (PS2/Wii)
  • Portugal: March 14th (PS2) & March 21 (Wii)
  • Australia: March 20th (PS2/Wii)
  • Germany/Switzerland/Austria: March 20th (Wii). PS2: TBA
  • France: March 21st (PS2/Wii)
  • Benelux: March 21st (PS2/Wii)
  • Sweden/Norway/Denmark/Finland: TBA

You’ll see there are a few TBAs in the list…when we have more information on the release dates in these territories, we’ll let you know. For more details on Conquest, head to our Star Trek website.

Elder Scrolls Mod Interview: CorePC

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This week’s Elder Scrolls mod interview is with Jimmy Maxwell, or as he’s known in the BGS forums, CorePC. Among other things, Jimmy is known for his help on Martigen’s Monster Mod and FCOM, as well as his Tamriel Travellers Travelling Merchants mod. Hailing from “the middle of Texas” in Abilene, Jimmy is currently works in computers (self-employed), and mods Oblivion when he’s bored.

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What we’re playing: Getting ready to Brawl!

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For those Wii owners out there, you’re probably well aware that on Saturday night at midnight, the much anticipated Super Smash Bros. Brawl goes on sale at thousands of stores across the country. Like others at the office (I’m looking at you, Mike Dulany), I’m definitely looking for forward to picking it up as soon as possible. Not sure that I’ll brave the midnight crowds though, especially since I’m already going to lose an hour of sleep because of daylight savings.

Whether you’re playing Brawl or something else, feel free to share what you’re playing this weekend as well.

Mike Lattanzia, QA: Hellgate: London (always!), Patapon, Rock Band (spending way too much money on DLC), and Super Smash Brothers Brawl finally!

Mike Dulany, Programmer: Smash Brothers Brawl

Jabarie “Pokemon Trainer” Brown, Quality Assurance: Rock Band (I challenge you to a rock off!), World of Warcraft (I wish I could quite you…no, seriously I do.), Halo 3, and SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL (this is going to be amazing)!!!!!!

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Around the Web — Monsoon Edition

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As we head out for the really, really rainy weekend, I thought I’d share some news coverage from the week.

This afternoon we received some exciting news that Shivering Isles won RPG of the Year over at Gameindustry.com. Pretty cool for a couple reasons. First, in the site’s ten years of doing annual awards, Shivering Isles is the first expansion to win this category. Even better is the fact that the voting came from Gameindustry.com readers. We’re truly honored that our fans came out in large numbers to vote, particularly since it was up against some really great games. Many thanks!

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Grab Downloads for Oblivion on Live, win a trip to Comic-Con???

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Wanted to make sure everyone was aware of a new community contest over at Xbox.com that involves Oblivion. With the “Best RPGs Play & Win” contest, 360 owners have a chance to win some great prizes, including a trip to this year’s Comic-Con event in San Diego. To enter, all you need to do is download the Best RPGs Gamer Picture from the Xbox Live Marketplace.

So how’s this deal with Oblivion? Well, it’s an RPG on the 360 for starters, but you can increase your odds of winning (up to four more entries) if you happen to download any of the following Oblivion DLC between March 7-11:

  • Shivering Isles
  • Knights of the Nine
  • Spell Tomes
  • The Thieves’ Den
  • The Wizards’ Tower
  • The Vile Lair
  • Horse Armor Pack
  • Mehrunes Razor

Already downloaded these? It appears you can also enter by downloading additional content from Blue Dragon, as well as the new upcoming content for Mass Effect. For more details on the contest, head here.

Good luck!

Top Xbox Downloads: February 2008

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Last month’s increase in people playing Oblivion (while logged onto Live) stayed with us through February. Also, Fighter’s Stronghold and Vile Lair are now available in Europe. (Similar to other smaller DLC, they are still in English but can be played with the FIGS languages).

Top Five Oblivion Xbox Live downloads for February 2008*

1. The Fighter’s Stronghold
2. The Wizard’s Tower
3. Spell Tomes
4. Vile Lair
5. Thieves Den

*ranked by number of times downloaded

February Hall of Famers at Planet Elder Scrolls

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Last week Planet Elder Scrolls honored its latest group of Hall of Fame mods. Per usual, for a mod to make their HOF, it must be available for three months, receive at least 25 votes with a score of 8 or better, and it must be downloaded at least 5000 times. This month, one Morrowind mod and three Oblivion mods met the criteria.

From Morrowind:

  • Widow Maker crossbow by Phijama: Adds a new crossbow, two crossbow pistols and a new bow to the game. According ot Phijama, the crossbows have “regenerating bolts added via scripted amulets in the shape of the bolts and the bow regenerates its own arrows.” Sounds cool.

From Oblivion:

Congrats to the new inductees. See you again for the March HOF entries.