Strong Debut for PS3 Oblivion in Japan

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Maybe it was all the Pocky I ate over the weekend courtesy of Pete, but I was anxious to see the PlayStation 3 release of Oblivion did in Japan. Turns out folks really took to it. In its first week of sales, the game came out atop the weekly Top 5 sales list, including Minna no Golf 5, which I’ve been considering importing for a couple of weeks now.

The 360 release of the game continues to fair well in Japan as well, with only Halo 3 ahead of it (in regular and collector’s edition flavors). Looks like folks over in Japan might be opening up to Western-developed games.

Barry, Robin, and…the Adoring Fan!??

So recently, we’ve seen the ever-popular Adoring Fan smashed by watermelons and used as bowling pins, but this might be the ultimate jab…making him part of a BeeGee’s video parody. Brought to my attention within the forums and by creator Egger3rd, the following video shows that the Adoring Fan can fall, but he’s still “Stayin Alive.”

What We’re Playing: Awaiting The Orange Box

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A week later, folks at the office continue to battle through Halo 3 on both campaign and multiplayer modes. Earlier this week, I completed the game on Heroic, and now I look forward to some campaign co-op and some multiplayer with guys here at the office. I also got NBA2K8 and Zelda: Phantom Hourglass to check out before cheering on the Lions against the Redskins.

Outside of Halo 3, the buzz around the office seems to be Team Fortress 2, which is part of Half-Life 2′s uber pack, The Orange Box. A lot of guys are playing the beta and counting down the days until The Orange Box is released next week. I imagine the folks at Valve are pretty pumped about its release so they can go out and start playing Bioshock…poor guys.

Anyhow, here’s what the rest of the folks at the office are playing:

Gavin Carter, Producer: Halo 3, PGR4, On DosBox: Rise of the Dragon, Star Trek 25th Anniversary.

Dan Lee, Environment Artist: Persona 3, Picross DS, and perhaps some Pokémon Diamond to continue the “games that start with the letter ‘P’” trend.

Cory Dornbusch, Intern: Fallout 1 and 2, and Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts.

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Wed in Oblivion?

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I noticed on Kotaku some unbelievable photos from a Blizzard employee’s wedding. That Super Mario cake really takes the cake…sorry, couldn’t resist. Seeing the photos from this wedding reminded me of an EGM Live* podcast I listened to about two weeks ago. The “reader/listener mailbag” session was side-splittingly funny, and during it, they commented that would be pretty cool to attend an Oblivion-themed wedding.

This got me to thinking, has anyone out their put a touch of Tamriel into their big day? I asked Pete about it, and he mentioned that in the past couples have emailed him to request music from Morrowind and Oblivion for their wedding, or asked him if it was ok to play it during their wedding, so it sounds like it’s a possibility. If so, send us an e-mail. (Bonus points for pics of the bride emerging from a Gate in her black dress.)

Inside the Vault, Fallout 10th Anniversary edition

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This week is a special Q&A for Inside the Vault in honor of the 10th anniversary of Fallout. One question. Lots of answers. We asked the team: What did you like best about the original Fallout games? This was a fun one to put together, a terrific read. Even a couple of developers from our sister studio, Zenimax Online Studios, chimed in.

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NPCs with Jobs Mod Interview

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For this week’s mod interview, I decided to ask folks within our Elder Scrolls modding forums who they’d want to see interviewed for the blog. It didn’t take long to get suggestions, and now I’ve got plenty of choices for future posts. Having noticed several requests to learn more about Sarkandar’s popular Oblivion mod, NPCs with Jobs, I figured he’d be a good one to start with.

Sarkandar, whose real name is Wouter Danckaert, lives in Hasselt, Belgium and is an application manager for a hospital lab. This November, he and his wife are expecting their first child, who they plan to name Martin Septim Danckaert (ok, I made that last part up).

How did you get started with this project?

I’m a MA in Computer Science, and did some specialization during my last year in the AI domain, as I was always interested in the matter. NPC with Jobs was already sketched out during my studies, it was codenamed “the mayor” back then. But as I couldn’t develop any graphics, the project never got further than a few c++ classes interacting a bit. Until I discovered modding last year. I didn’t even play the game that long.

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Conquest interview on Gaming Nexus

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Gaming Nexus put up an interview today with Star Trek: Conquest Game Director/Producer Frank Arnot. Here’s a sample of what he had to say:

Q: How will Conquest compare to previous Star Trek strategy games, like Armada, Bridge Commander, and Legacy?

A: Conquest is closest to a hybrid of Legacy and Armada. It’s less combat simulation, like Bridge Commander, and more space action combat with a strategy wrapper.

We’ll keep you updated as new coverage of Conquest comes in.

Elder Scrolls Modding Update

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Here’s a couple new mods I wanted to share that are over at Planet Elder Scrolls.

Yesterday the site honored their September Hall of Fame inductees. From Morrowind, the Tamriel Rebuilt Team’s TR Morrowind Map1: Telvannis was the lone addition to the Hall. This massive mod adds over tons of new exterior and interior cells, over 2000 new dialogue responses, as well as new NPCs, creatures and equipment. Above is a screen of of Tel Ouada, the home of Mistress Rathra that is included within the mod.

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Gavin talks Fallout 3 with Gameshark

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With most of the big gaming events (TGS, Leipzig, E3) behind us, the trickle of coverage for Fallout 3 has subsided a little bit. That said, this week Gameshark was able to sit down with Lead Producer Gavin Carter to discuss a few items about the game. Here’s a sample of what he had to say:

Gameshark: The SPECIAL character development system from the first two Fallout games is back. How will it be different (if at all)?

Gavin: We’re using the SPECIAL character system and making few changes to it. The stats all play nicely with our gameplay design. For instance, Perception still feeds into seeing enemies and Agility still affects your action points, which are used for VATS mode. Any of the SPECIAL stats (as well as skills) can be polled in dialog and give you access to different options. Some perks also require a minimum score in a SPECIAL stat for you to use them, as well.

Head over to Gameshark to read the rest of the interview