Inside the Vault: Mark Lampert

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Today’s Inside the Vault is with Mark Lampert, our sound engineer. Mark actually wrote a team diary on Elderscrolls.com about the sound effects and voice recordings for Oblivion – a great read. Another fun fact: Mark was our first mocap stunt man – in early Fallout builds, it was Mark’s walk and crouch that were in the game.

What’s your job at Bethesda?

I’m the sound engineer, and I handle all aspects of the sound design for Bethesda Game Studios. In addition I do the voice casting, recording and editing, plus any post processing such as voice effects, and I share in directing, typically with the lead designer of a project. There’s also a little bit of music work in terms of mastering our chosen composer’s tracks for the game, and sometimes I end up writing little bits and pieces of things here and there as needed.
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Oblivion Tribute to Assassin’s Creed

Not too long ago, I caught this video on YouTube and thought it was pretty interesting, however, it wasn’t until after attending the GameCrazy event that it really clicked for me. Sitting across from Ubi Soft’s booth, I probably saw the trailer it’s based on 100 times.

Anyhow, after you watch this video, check out the actual trailer for Assassin’s Creed to see the similarities. For those wondering, the song in the trailer is Lonely Souls by U.N.K.L.E featuring Richard Ashcroft (formerly of The Verve) on vocals. This was one of my favorite songs of my freshman year of college — nearly a decade ago.

Tamriel NPCs Revamped Mod Interview

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A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from Stephane Wuttunee (aka Veritas_Secreto) regarding his mod project, Tamriel NPCs Revamped. For this mod, the 39-year-old Canadian recreated nearly every NPC within Oblivion (leaving only guards in the game untouched). I had a chance to ask Stephane a few questions and here’s what he had to say.

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Now I Know My Daedric ABCs

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This blog post is sponsored by the Daedric letter for “O.”

In my inbox, I received a question not too long ago about learning the Daedric Alphabet. When I spoke with Pete, I was pleasantly surprised to see that The Imperial Library is sharing the alphabet on their site. If you’re dying to write your buddies, Unofficial Elder Scrolls Wiki has a great guide for studying the language.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: speaking with Todd, he wanted to emphasize that officially there is no X or Y in the Daedric Alpabet, although a a few may have accidentally shown up in Morrowind. Now if I could only get a Cracker Jack-like decoder ring so I could start deciphering Todd’s e-mails.

Elder Scrolls Modding Update

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If you’re looking for some of the finest textures for Oblivion, you might want to give Qarl’s Texture Pack III a download. I got head’s up from one of our regular visitors, Chemicaes, who feels the textures are “absolutely amazing,” making the 2 GB zip file worth downloading. You can see how impressive the visuals look in the image above. Visit Planet Elder Scrolls to download

Another popular mod that we haven’t mentioned here is Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul. Currently the most popular download on File Front’s Oblivion Files, this mod is described as a “very complex and extensive modification to TES IV: Oblivion. It changes thousands of variables of this excellent game and also merges into it several very popular third party modifications.”

Do you know of a mod that’s worthy of a shout out on the blog? Let us know by sending an email.

Going GameCrazy in Vegas

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You may have noticed that I hadn’t posted anything new on the blog for a few days. I was out in Las Vegas for a GameCrazy retail event. The event pulls together folks from their stores around the country, and gives them an opportunity to take a look at what game companies have coming out.

Above is our booth from the event. There was some initial panic on my end because it took awhile for our monitors to arrive, and when they did, I realized they didn’t have any speakers. Thankfully, everything came together before the show started.

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Elder Scrolls Fansites Return

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For die-hard Elder Scrolls fans, some may have noticed that The Elder Scrolls Source (TESSource) and The Imperial Library sites had been down for around a week.

Well good news! Earlier this week I spoke with Xanathar at the Imperial Library and they informed me that they have new servers and you can continue to keep up with their fantastic work with Elder Scrolls lore. Bookmark their new site here.

As for the popular site TESSource, which I’ve used to find new modding content in the past, the site returns as The Elder Scrolls Nexus. From what I’ve seen on the site, I like the new format. Looks like it’s still being updated, the site will be back up at 100%.

“The Adoring Fan” Really Annoys You

Looking through some stuff on Digg this morning, I stumbled upon a funny post on the site Offer of the Day. One of their writers declares “The Adoring Fan” from Oblivion to be “The Most Annoying Video Game Character Ever.”

Aside from the video we shared a few weeks back showing the him being pummeled by 10,000 watermelons, the Adoring Fan has taken plenty of abuse from other fans. Above is a video of him being used as bowling pins. For a few more examples, take a look here, as well as here.

I’m sure somewhere, Tingle from the Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, is writing the Adoring Fan a letter to let him know how to cope with his “celebrity status.”

Oblivion is #8 most played on Xbox Live to date

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According to data released by Microsoft today, Oblivion is the 8th most played game on Xbox Live since November 2006 [edit:  this should be 2005. Most likely typo on Next Gen], when the Xbox 360 launched. Fairly remarkable when you consider Oblivion is a single player only game.

Here is the rest of the list:

01. Halo 2
02. Gears of War
03. Hexic HD
04. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas
05. Call of Duty 3
06. Call of Duty 2
07. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 3
08. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion
09. Crackdown
10. PGR3