Modding Interview – Beyond Skyrim

We’re starting the new year with a all-new Skyrim modding interview. This time around we’re talking to Will Hillson, part of the Dark Creations team. A post-grad student in the UK, Will is an integral part of DC’s ambitious project known as “Beyond Skyrim”.

What’s the mod all about? Find out below…

Can you give a general overview of Beyond Skyrim and where the mod project currently stands?

Beyond Skyrim is a series of interlinking mods which will ultimately allow players to visit other areas of Tamriel within the Skyrim engine. Assets for each new region are being painstakingly created from scratch, including architecture, creatures, weapons, landscapes, textures and objects created by our artists and modelers. We pride ourselves on our fidelity to Elder Scrolls lore, and our ultimate aim is to create a player experience which will fit together seamlessly with Skyrim itself, allowing players to continue their existing character’s adventures in other lands, or perhaps even sidestep Skyrim’s story  entirely and experience what the rest of Tamriel has to offer.

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Measuring Levels of Awesome

What’s an oscilloscope? I had to visit Wikipedia to get more information (spoiler: it allows one to read changes in an electrical signals). What’s important to this blog post? One Pekka Väänänen has demonstrated that the device is also capable of playing Quake.

Watch the video above to see E1M1 from the original QUAKE in action, and learn more about how Väänänen made it happen in his recent blog post.

Around the Web – Bunker Down Edition

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With frigid temperatures in our nation’s capital, it’s time to get under a blanket, grab a warm bottle of mead, and check out the web’s best Bethesda fun from around the web — none more fitting than IGN’s look at the best winter levels in gaming.

While we hunker down, Fallout fans are bunkering down underground to celebrate birthdays in Vault 30 — a vault used to celebrate the birthday of Reddit user VaultoftheSix. Get more pics here.

Meanwhile down under…

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Members from BattleCry Studios have safely made their way back to Austin from Melbourne and were nice enough to bring back plenty of new previews and interviews for the game — including The Escapists’ hands-on impressions describing the game as “a deliciously in-your-face alternate reality brawler with a beautiful art style”. For more on the game, check out the stories below…

Explosion — “The new PAX video revealed a new gameplay mode for Battlecry–Land Grab. Basically, Land Grab looks like a zone control multiplayer battle. I am glad there will be alternate modes besides a basic team deathmatch mode. I expect more gameplay modes will be incorporated to the game later.”

Geek Bomb — “As a huge fan of online multiplayer games and in particular free-to-play, I was immediately drawn to the highly-stylised visuals and breakneck pace. It’s clear to see the game is aimed at the competitive market and it’s a perfect fit, with a learning curve that’s quick to understand but incredibly difficult to master, it requires skill, precision and most importantly teamwork.”

Interviews — Read and watch new interview with design director Lucas Davis at both GameCloud and KayleGames.

As a reminder to those down under, BATTLECRY’s Beta is coming first to Australia. Visit the official site to sign up.

And tonight’s update ends with a short, but amazing rendition of Skyrim’s theme from opera singer Kari Kirk, whose son, David, captured it live. Great work, mom!

Legendary Smithing Skills

Nearly three years have passed since Skyrim’s November 2011 release date, and we’re still amazed by the unbelievable fan creations that come in from around the world. This week at the office, a number of devs took notice when Matt and Kerry Stagmer of Baltimore Knife & Sword re-created Skyrim’s iconic iron helmet.

See how it was done (and be sure to stick around for the strength test at the end) in the embed above.

Jack-in-a-Boxman-O-Lantern

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In time for Halloween, our very own Lindsay Westcott put together some very evil jack-o-lantern templates. Below you can print out any of our designs. If you’d like to share your carving skills with these templates or your own Bethesda creations, tweet us with the hashtag #BethesdART or email us at bethblog@bethsoft.com.

LEGO: BFG Edition Interview

Whether you’re searching Reddit or checking out news on numerous gaming sites, it would be hard to miss this amazing, spot-on LEGO tribute to DOOM. After sharing this Flickr page and YouTube video shown above, there have been plenty of “that’s [expletive] awesome” said this week.

This week we had a chance to catch up with the creator, Iain Heath — a.k.a. Ochre Jelly. Originally from the UK, Iain’s lived in Seattle the past 17 years, where he’s worked as a software engineer, aspired to be a wannabe stand-up comedian, and become a full-time LEGO artist and blogger for The Brother’s Brick. This weekend Iain will be proudly displaying his DOOM homage and other works at BrickCon — a celebration of all things LEGO taking place in Seattle.

Check out our interview below…

You’ve worked on a numerous LEGO projects, what led you to DOOM?

I played DOOM and DOOM II way back when they first came out, and was a huge fan, played loads of mod levels, and still play it to this day. And since my LEGO art generally focuses on popular culture, it was a natural fit. Since I usually build stuff that is in the public consciousness, I thought I’d built something just for myself for a change, for purely nostalgic reasons. To be honest, I had no idea anyone else really remembered the game, so the popularity of my DOOM layout came as something of a surprise!

You’ve been posting about the project for some time on Facebook, how long did the project take?

I started it at the very start of the summer, and it’s basically consumed all my free time. By my reckoning it required about 15,000 bricks to construct – most of which had to be special ordered, as my existing LEGO collection is relatively small (as are most of my previous models, compared to this one). I also ran out of time to add everything I wanted to, and had to scale it back a bit in order to be done in time for BrickCon. For example, I wanted to include an Arachnotron and Hell Baron.

What was the most challenging aspect of the project?

The scale of the background, definitely. I normally just build small characters. But with DOOM, the environment is a big part of the experience, so I decided to just bite the bullet and attempt a diorama at the same scale as the characters. I haven’t done much architecture before, so that was hard to figure out. With characters, I’m trying to emulate a very specific image. But for these backgrounds, there wasn’t a template to work from, I had to design the layout from scratch, which required greater imagination and planning on my part.

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