Skyrim Modding Interview – Pirates of Skyrim’s BigBizkit


Yar really going to like our newest modding interview. This week we talk to BigBizkit, responsible for the popular Pirates of Skyrim mod.

What you do for a living?


What pirate fiction would you say most influenced your project?

Well, it is not so much fiction per se but I really like to think of the golden age of exploration as a source of inspiration. The times when people would set sail not just to get to places, but to actually go out and look for places and routes that have not been discovered yet (by Europeans). The times when seafaring nations like the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain used to be world powers because of their naval prowess. Other than that, there is also this series of blockbuster movies… there are currently four and a fifth one is in the making. I will not say anything about the quality of the movies, but they surely did have an impact on how pirates are viewed. As for games, a great source of inspiration is and has always been the eternal classic “Monkey Island” especially the first and second part. Oh, and there is also this fairly recent game with “black flag” in the title… you’ve probably never heard of it.

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PC Modding Interview – SURE AI

This week we’re talking to Johannes and Nicolas of the Sure AI modding team. Serving as the project lead and creative director, respectively, the duo from Munich are currently hard at work on their Skyrim total conversion mod, Enderal — one that last year captured’s Best Upcoming Mod award.

If Sure AI ( sounds familiar — we’ve also highlighted them for their Fallout 3 project, Cube Experimental, as well as their Oblivion project, Nehrim

Read our interview with them below…

The Creation Kit toolset released back nearly three years ago (Feb 2012). How much “kicking the tires” did SureAI do before planning Enderal?

Johannes: Pretty much no kicking at all – we started planning Enderal — the scope, drafts of story and gameplay, a rough production plan, as good as it was possible without knowing the capacities of the CK — in October 2011, a month before Skyrim was released. Of course, the first results we got in the new engine weren’t that presentable and had to be reworked, but the actual development of Enderal started as soon as the Creation Kit was released.

How many folks are working on Enderal?

Nicolas: Altogether, we’re 14 people on the core team, of which around eight spend a lot of time on the development. Then, there are a lot of external contributors, mainly 3d artists, and, of course, voice actors and a German recording studio, 2day Productions, who help us with the localization.

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Getting A-Head with LastSacredBear

james-w-cain-outsiderJames Cain’s 3D digital sculpts have been around the tumblr-verse showing off his talent in capturing Dishonored’s most memorable characters.

After Samuel made a surprise appearance at Arkane Austin, we thought it would be nice to get to know James and his craft a little more.

Read on to learn about James, digital artwork, and his love for Dishonored.


First things first, how are you doing today?

I’m writing this on a really lazy Sunday evening, so I’m doing good.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Sculpting, this is my hobby. Books (I’m in the middle of Phillip K Dick’s ’The Man in the High Tower’) and swimming.

Your work is incredible! How did you get in to digital sculpting?

Thanks! I first started looking into sculpting a couple of years ago now, I have a traditional arts degree but I’d become slightly jaded with drawing and wanted to try something different. I got hold of a copy of Zbrush and haven’t look back since!

What’s the hardest part of the process in completing a sculpt to your quality?

The thing I personally struggle the most with is knowing when to stop, call it a day and move on with a particular piece. I’m quite a perfectionist and I always want to best the last thing I’ve done, although I know from past experience that this won’t happen most of the time. There is always that voice in the back of my head saying “this would be much better if you spent a few more hours on it…”. Continue reading full article ›

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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Sessler Series Continues for The Evil Within

Our behind the scenes look at The Evil Within continues this week  with three new features in this revealing web series. Adam Sessler once again sits down with Game Director Shinji Mikami along with other members of the Tango Gameworks team, offering a closer look at both The Evil Within and the people behind it.

In ‘Inspirations: The Origins of Evil’ (see video above, you can choose the subtitles for your language), Mikami-san shares how his love of old horror and sci-fi films played into the creation of the game and how they perpetuate the development of survival horror. You may even learn something new about Japanese history and folklore and learn what really frightens the legendary director.

Giving Mikami-san a break to spend some time with the audio team, Sessler chats with Shuichi Kobori and Ippei Shiraki to get a deeper understanding of how music and sound come together to further immerse the player into Sebastian’s world in ‘Audio Design: The Sounds of Evil.’

And from audio to visual, jump into ‘Visual Design: The Aesthetics of Evil’ to check out the series’ sixth installment. Join Sessler and Art Director, Naoki Katakai, as they discuss inspirations, the environments, and of course the enemies of The Evil Within.

Throughout October we’ll continue to share more insider info on The Evil Within. Keep your eyes peeled for more videos, features, and much more Mikami!

And in case you missed the first showcase of Bethesda Behind the Scenes, you can see the line up  here or on our YouTube playlist.

Weekend Update – Countdown to The Evil Within’s Kickoff

Okay, we’re not quite there yet (there’s still 5 weeks until 10.14), but like many of you, we’re excited about this weekend’s kickoff of the NFL season. As you settle down for Sunday’s last matchup of the weekend, take advantage of a second screen experience full of BATTLECRY and The Evil Within highlights.

The Evil Within countdown continues on our social media channels, as we’re upping our game with plenty of never-before-seen concept art.  Check out some of this week’s highlights, focusing on lead protagonist Sebastian, in the imgur slideshow below and look forward to more art on our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and instagram accounts. Like what you’re seeing, don’t forget that you can order Dark Horse’s “The Art of The Evil Within”.

What else is happening with The Evil Within?  Courtesy of PAX Prime and gamescom 2014, catch new hands-on impressions from, GameTrailers, and Meanwhile, both Tech Gen Mag and discuss how Shinji Mikami and The Evil Within are major contributors to the reemergence of the survival horror genre.

Finally, huge props to YouTube creator SlasherJPC for creating a comprehensive look at what you can expect from The Evil Within based upon existing gameplay and impressions. Really good stuff here.

Shifting gears, BATTLECRY had a major presence at PAX Prime — with plenty of folks joining our devs in friendly, but very competitive gameplay sessions. If you haven’t already, follow BATTLECRY’s Twitter and FB pages to see some of the amazing PAX photos, and check out these recent highlights:

Gamespot — Live from the PAX Prime showfloor, members of Gamespot discuss BATTLECRY being one of the weekend. Tune in at the 4:25 mark to hear their commentary specific to the game.

Tek Syndicate — Watch a recent interview with design director Lucas Davis.

asleepypanda — At PAX Prime, BATTLECRY devs were joined by Christopher Walken, Morgan Freeman, and President Barack Obama himself. Okay, not really — but this YouTube video with Christopher Walkenthrough is pretty great.

farfromsubtle — This video’s a little old, but it’s a pretty hilarious look back on the announce trailer for BATTLECRY.

Overtime! Not to be outdone, we’ve got some new Wolfenstein updates, too. Check new post-mortem interview at VentureBeat (w/ Jerk Gustafsson and Anders Backman) and Gamasutra (one again with Jerk).

That’s all for now. Go Lions!  

Hunted co-op interview

Chris Keenan, design director on Hunted, returns this month to answer questions about the game’s cooperative gameplay.

When playing Hunted online, can you explain how they’ll connect with other players?

Our matchmaking system is really easy to use. We tried to simplify the matchmaking interface as much as possible. It is very easy to try to find someone who meets the same criteria that you want. When you send out a request (like a dating service), it will search for people who have the same request as you. These folks will have been sending out requests to play the same areas as you. Our matchmaking system attempts to find players who have similar play styles. If you tend to do more exploration, the game tracks that and will try to match you with another player that likes exploration.

If someone playing with you drops out of the game, will you be able to add someone on the fly?

When your co-op partner leaves you have a few options.  You can choose to continue playing single player at the spot where you left off. Your partner will immediately become and AI buddy and you continue forward.  You can also choose to use the seamless matching system to find a new partner.  As soon as that partner is found, it will return you to the previous checkpoint with that partner and you get to move on as before.

For players not playing Hunted online, what options do they have when playing the game?

Over the last year, we’ve been working behind the scenes to try to get split screen into the build. While reading the early previews of the game, we noticed many of the comments from fans were talking about how important split screen is to this type of game. We’re happy to share news that split screen is now in the game!

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Listen again to “Begin Again”


Since the release of Dead Money in December, we’ve received requests to release an mp3 version of Vera Keyes’ song, “Begin Again.” The track, which you’ll hear while exploring the Sierra Madre Casino, was put together by Obsidian sound designer Justin Bell (music and text setting), creative lead Chris Avellone (lyrics), audio producer Mikey Dowling (lyrics), and art intern Stephanie DeBrule (vocals).

Give it a listen:

For background on the track, check out the short interview below…

What were some of your inspirations for the song?

Mikey Dowling: For me it was how sorrowful Justin’s music was that inspired the tone of the lyrics. I’m sure he could elaborate more on his end, but in terms of the lyrics, I knew Vera’s story and I knew that Chris had wanted the song to contain the words “begin again,” and “to let go,” somewhere within. I ended up listening to Justin’s song on repeat for a bit and came up with lyrics that I felt would not only capture what Chris had been looking for, but also capture something that could feel as though it would fit in an old Hollywood film.

Justin Bell: Easy – Chopin’s prelude in E minor. I was trying to go for an early 20th century post-romantic sound that fit the period. I didn’t want it to sound too modern, which is why I choose to write the piece on the piano as it’s a timeless instrument. When going for the vocal style, I was thinking Judy Garland — someone with clear diction.

Is this the first time your girlfriend, Stephanie, has sung in an Obsidian game?

Yes it is, actually. She just started here at Obsidian in late July of last year and we found out that she used to do musical theatre when she was younger. When it came time to temp out how the song would work in the game, we turned to Steph. We were so happy with how the song turned out that we wanted to keep it in the game and decided to do a “reverse Disney” and cast someone based on Steph’s singing voice so when the player heard Christine talk in the game, then heard Vera’s song it wouldn’t feel disjointed.

Any plans for a duet?

Ha! Depends on the demands of the product and the time available. Until then, Steph and I will continue to rock random karaoke bars.

News Roundup: New Vegas


We’re six days away from the release of Fallout: New Vegas, so here’s a look at some of the final previews, features, and interviews you’ll see before you have a chance to play the game for yourself.

At Gamespot, there’s a new feature revealing some of the new Perks for New Vegas — including comments from the team at Obsidian. Above, you’ll see the awesome image for the Cowboy Perk — not to be confused with the Commando Perk. Come on Bennett, let’s party!

Meanwhile, tomorrow at Best Buy’s video site, Live @ Best Buy, they’ll be doing a livestream of New Vegas from an LA Best Buy — where project director JE Sawyer will be playing the game and answering your questions. If you’d like to submit a questions, sign up for our forums and post here.

If Josh doesn’t answer your Q’s during the livestream, you can always ask them to Talking About Games, who will be chatting with Pete Hines on Friday. If you’d rather just read fan interviews TheGamersHub and Gamer’s Guide to Life already have community interview ups. And elsewhere, Planet Fallout’s Blinzler recently interviewed Sawyer. Here’s an excerpt…

What’s the expected playtime of New Vegas – with and without sidequests?

I generally only give my own experiences as a reference point since I don’t want people to be disappointed by a generic game length number. On my last playthrough I spent seventy hours doing the main quest and a large number (maybe thirty five) of the side quests. It’s a big game.

More New Vegas updates after the break…

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Brinking the news to you…

Keeping with Brink news, we’ve got more previews and interviews to share from this year’s Eurogamer Expo.

Above, Game Director Paul Wedgwood gives a Container City walkthrough to the fine folks at Destructoid. If you haven’t seen them already, we have HD-quality videos up on Brink’s official site.

After sharing reactions from Eurogamer Expo attendees, Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Quintin Smith brings us his hand-on impressions — discussing why the winning in Brink is cool…

“Some of it’s down to the SMART system, which in Splash Damage language means “Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain” and in English means “A sprint button that also causes your character to go hurtling up and over things automatically”. You’ll jump small gaps, vault fences, and go mantling up onto high ledges. Most importantly, tapping crouch while sprinting like this drops your character into a long slide, which is actually both evasive and aggressive. You can shoot during it (with much-reduced accuracy), and sliding into another player knocks them over.”

For more on Brink, check out the following links…


And in case you missed it, you can read more Eurogamer Expo coverage for Brink in a post we did last week.