G4TV Shares their Top 100. You should, too!

Last week G4TV counted down their top 100 games of all time, with both id Software and Bethesda Game Studios being well represented. Titles making the cut included Fallout 3 (#75), Wolfenstein 3D (#63), QUAKE III: Arena (#43), Skyrim (#31), and DOOM II (#12)

Check out the list and email us a list of your Top 100 games for a chance to be randomly selected to win a Jeremy Soule-signed copy of the Skyrim soundtrack!

Rules after the break…

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Creation Kit Hot Loading

The latest update to Skyrim’s Creation Kit now allows for Hot Plugin Loading. So what does that mean? Here’s BGS level designer Joel Burgess to explain…

As you know, we recently released version 1.6.89 of the Creation Kit. As previously mentioned, the CK is the same toolset the developers use – and that means that the latest version comes with an experimental new dev feature – Hot Plugin Loading.

Simply put, hot loading allows you to save and update your plugin from the Creation Kit, and immediately view those results in-game. No need to restart the game to see your changes! This has had a huge impact on iteration time around Bethesda Game Studios, and we hope modders will find it just as beneficial.

Note: As mentioned, this is an experimental feature. Not everything will work as expected, and there may be crashes or other hiccups. Many thanks to programmer Jay Woodward (aka RadHamster) for his work on this awesome new feature!

  • Load the Creation Kit as normal.  Load your plugin (or create a new one)
  • In this example, we’ll pretend our active plugin is “nifty.esp”
  • Launch Skyrim as normal.
  • Make some changes in the Creation Kit, such as moving or adding a static.
  • In-game, open the console (~) and enter the command: “FCF”
    • This step only applies if you loaded nifty.esp in the Data files section of the launcher
    • This only has to be done once per boot of the game.
    • FCF is shorthand for “force close files”, and allows the Creation Kit to save a loaded plugin
  • Return to the creation kit and save nifty.esp
  • Return to the game.  If possible, position yourself where you’ll notice your changes.
  • Open the console and enter: “HLP nifty” (or the name of your .esp file)
    • HLP is shorthand for “Hotload plugin”
  • The scene will re-load.  Your changes show now be visible in-game!

For more on the Creation Kit, visit our official Wiki and forums.

Feng Shui Dah!

This is the coolest wall decoration since Boba Fett sold Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt.

After being used for E3, PAX, and the Skyrim launch party, our 25′ x 8.5′ recreation of Alduin’s wall has made its way into the Bethesda Game Studios’ lounge. And in honor of its creator, the late Adam Adamowicz, we’ve added a plaque in his memory.

To see more pics of the wall, check out the Flickr slideshow below.

Happy 10th Anniversary, Morrowind!

Time sure flies.

10 years ago this week, we released the PC version of the The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. While I was still a senior in college at the time, I remember it being a monumental release, and I was envious of PC gamers playing it before it released on Xbox. In the five years I’ve been working at Bethesda, I’ve learned to appreciate the game even more. The game was vital our company, and allowed us to continue the series with Oblivion and Skyrim.

It never ceases to amaze me how strong Morrowind’s community remains. The modding community continues to push the game to its limits and Morrowind will always be the sentimental favorite for longtime fans.

Want to go back and play the game? Grab it on sale on Steam and GameFly.

Feel free to share your favorite memories in the comments section.

Kinect Support Coming to Skyrim

Fully knowing that you can’t get enough of your favorite dragon shouts, we’re pleased to announce that Kinect for Xbox 360  support is coming to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Available for free as a title update slated for release this month, Skyrim Kinect for Xbox 360 Support will feature more than 200 Voice Commands… including the game’s dragon shouts.

In addition to Dragon Shouts, the Kinect for Xbox 360 integration offers voice commands throughout the game including Hotkey Equipping, Follower Commands, and all Menus (Items, Magic, Map, Barter, Container, Favorites, and Skills). With Voice Commands, quickly create and load saves during gameplay and access menus and inventories. Skyrim’s Kinect for Xbox 360 Support also adds new functionality including special map functions, additional hotkey options, and the ability to sort inventory items by name, weight, and value.

To get an early look at Kinect for Xbox 360  support, watch the video above featuring programmer Ricardo Gonzalez, who put together the preliminary concept for Kinect for Xbox 360 Support during the Skyrim Game Jam.

A full list of Voice Commands will be revealed in the coming weeks, and we’ve got more Skyrim news coming. Bethesda Game Studios has been hard at work on creating the first set of game add-ons that will be exclusive to the Xbox 360. This additional content will add new quests, locations, features, and much more to the world of Skyrim. Stay tuned for more details.

Weekend update: Skyrim Workshop Collections and more

As the weekend winds down, here’s some Skyrim goodness from around the web.

Valve recent added a new feature, Collections, to the Skyrim Workshop. To learn more, read the Steam Workshop blog and give last week’s Bethesda Podcast a listen. Here’s a snippet from the former describing the new feature:

“Help expose the talent and craftsmanship found across the Steam Workshop by creating collections of mods or items that you feel work well together or to highlight content you think other people should pay attention to. Numerous artists and fans have already created quite a few collections of the incredible items submitted to the Workshop for Team Fortress 2. And PC Gamer was eager to jump in and put together a couple collections for Skyrim, highlighting their favorite Improvements and New Content.”
In other news, Gamespot continues their weekly feature highlighting Skyrim mods hosted on the Nexus and Workshop. In their 3/24 update (watch the video above), they highlight the following mods:
Finally, level designer Joel Burgess has posted his GDC 2012 talk on his personal blog. Titled Pursuing Elegance – Simplicity, Complexity, and Finding your Creative Process, the lengthy transcript is a great read for modders and prospective gamer designers. Here’s a quick sample…
“Layout is one of those things that universally is the purview of the level designer, anywhere you may go.  While the specifics of the job will vary greatly based on the studio and project, pacing and the sequence are always the concern of a level designer.  When we first approached Skyrim, we knew that there was one big layout problem we hoped to fix.”
That’s all for now. Have a great week.

BGS devs participating in TF 2 Mixup. Will you?

Through the years, it’s become no secret that we’ve got devs that take Team Fortress 2 pretty seriously. Later this Spring, producer Phil Nelson (above left) and world artist Nate Purkeypile (right), will participate in the fourth TF 2 Mixup.

The mixup includes a selection of developers from around the industry… and you could participate, too! A donation to Child’s Play from the Mixup homepage enters you for a chance to participate and win some cool prizes.

For more details, visit the TF2 Mixup website.

Skyrim Roundup

In addition to our 1.5 update on Steam, here’s some notable Skyrim news from around the web.

The Christian Science Monitor recently visited Bethesda Game Studios to learn more about why people play videogames. The feature is worth a read for any gamer, and perfect to share with that family member that doesn’t understand your favorite past time. Here’s a quick excerpt:

“I was a latchkey kid,” remembers production director Ashley Cheng, 38. “When my grandmother came home, she’d feel the TV. If it was warm, that meant I was playing games – instead of practicing piano.”

In addition to Ashley, the article includes insights from Todd Howard, Matt Carafano, and Bruce Nesmith. Read the entire eight page feature here.

More stories from around the web…

Finally, in the player above, watch wrenthereaper’s Skyrim-inspired short (no pun intended) on IGN’s YouTube channel.