This week we’re talking with Dev_Akm, whose modding days started with PnP projects like Dungeons and Dragons and GURPS more than 20 years ago. Now a systems developer and analyst in Austin, he spends a fair amount of his free time modding Morrowind and Oblivion (though he also is a fan of hiking, camping and listening to punk rock). Of course, that free time is in jeopardy. In addition to raising one daughter, he’s got another on the way.
Visiting the Oblivion Files, I noticed they’ve updated the “featured mods” on their main page.
In the “featured armour” department, AlexScorpion’s Adamantium Battlesuit is pretty sweet. After reading about it, it took me several mintues to figure out what famous character used armor like this. I asked my friend at Bungie if it had anything to do with Halo…no dice. Then looking at the armor pics, I started thinking maybe it was the body suit Raiden used in Metal Gear Solid 2. Wrong again. Finally, I came across a Wikipedia link that revealed Wolverine’s skeletal makeup and claws were adamantium. I knew I knew it from somewhere.
This week’s Elder Scrolls mod interview comes from two members of the Nehrim project — a total conversion mod using The Elder Scrolls CS. As a total conversion, its story takes place in a world unrelated to anything in the Elder Scrolls universe, so players can enjoy a new fan-made game from their Oblivion disc. It’s still up in the air as to when the project will be complete, but SureAI’s Arandor and Lord Dagon stopped by to give us an update …
Welcome to another update on the Oblivion modding scene. Here’s a few community happenings and projects that caught my eye in the past couple weeks.
DarkOne from TES Nexus has put up a Files of the Month section similar to what TESSource previously had. Currently, Apachii Goddess Store ranks as the site’s most popular mod. This mod, from Apachii, adds a shop with Goddess Merchants that sell weapons, armors, clothes and more. If you’re not looking to buy new items, you can also visit the shop for training purposes.
At the Oblivion Files, this week’s honoree for ES IV File of the Week is Moving Paintings by Kevin P. Cook. Still in beta, this mods adds animated textures to paintings. Hmm, is this Cyrodiil or Hogwarts?
Because everyone loves unicorns, I thought I’d share Turamarth’s Umarithial the Unicorn Mount (version 2), which I spotted over at Planet Elder Scrolls. This mod adds the ability to ride a self-healing, armored unicorn. Oh, and you can summon your trusty unicorn anywhere that horses can normally go.
Finally, we’d like to wish a belated happy birthday to The Elder Scrolls Fan Union (TESFU). Last month, the site celebrated their one-year anniversary. The site is a nice place to discuss lore, fan-fiction, and of course, mods. Take a look here to see some of their projects.
This week’s Elder Scrolls mod interview is with Trollf — a humble modder whose projects I discovered a couple of weeks ago. Trollf lives on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea and thinks he’s around 32 years old, but he’s not sure since he doesn’t remember being born. While Morrowind and Oblivion might not be his favorite games, he’s definitely a fan of modding them.
As if Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade weren’t everywhere already (if you’ve been under a rock, they even have their own game coming out), modder HidekiShashu put on YouTube a video that shows how he’s brought their likeness into Morrowind. This first video shows Gabe interacting with Tycho. There’s also another short video with Gabe showing off his cardboard tube weapon.
What’s next? Maybe someone can make an Oblivion level with Zero Punctuation-esque animation.
Back in November, we posted about a Portal Map, Ren_Test2, that our very own Daryl Brigner designed. Daryl, and the rest of us at the office, were surprised and excited to see the response it received. In addition to becoming the most popular post on Bethesda Blog, buzz about the map spread to numerous gaming blogs and it was even featured in a recent issue of PC Zone.
Well, Daryl’s done it again. This morning he let me know that a new level, appropriately titled_Ren Test3, is now available for download. In addition to the new map, Daryl has included Ren_Test 1&2 in the same download. The download also offers Step, Portal, and Time challenges for you Portal fanatics that are looking for a real challenge.
According to Daryl, here is how you can install them to your PC:
Simply extract the Ren_Tests.bmz anywhere, then load up Portal, click ‘Bonus Maps,’ click “Import Bonus Maps”, then just navigate to where the Ren_Tests.bmz file is, select it, and click ‘Open.’ Then, the Ren_Test Mappack will be in your Bonus Maps window.
Sounds simple enough. If you check it out, let us know if you think it’s as devious as Ren_Test2.
After a week off, we’re back with a new Elder Scrolls modding update. This week we’re talking with Jane Dee — better known to many of you as Brash. Brash hails from the beautiful state of Oregon where she work as a gamer-mom (cool!) and does some website work “stuff.” As you’ll see below, on top of having some pretty cool mod projects, she also has some interesting family stories that relate to gaming.
Today on Planet Elder Scrolls, the site named its monthly Hall of Fame entries. For a mod to make the Hall, it must receive at least 25 votes with a score of 8 or better, while being downloaded at least 5000 times. This month, the following Oblivion mods made the cut:
Beaming Sunglare By Sonic Ether: Using Photoshop CS3, Sonic Ether replaced the sunglare textures with new ones that enhance the glow/glare effect of the sun.
Kafei’s Armored Circlets by Kafei: A “vanity mod” that adds various circlets that can be purchased in Skingrad at Colovian Traders. The image above displays a few examples of Kafei’s work.
Seph’s New Animations by Keter Sephiroth: This mod released back in August works similarly to Actors in Charge, and it adds a number of new animations — including 15 kick animations, seven new acrobatic animations, and 12 new dancing animations.
Cool stuff! Congrats to Sonic Ether, Kafei, and Keter Sephiroth….keep up the good work.
Thought I’d share some interesting mentions that I came across today and over the weekend.
Next Generation has put up a retrospective piece on Morrowind that was recently in Edge. It’s crazy to think the game’s been on shelves for nearly six years. Here’s a sampling of the feature:
“The island of Morrowind that exists on the disc can be threadbare and tenuous, but be undeniable and persistent in your mind. Also, even on Xbox, it’s a game that throws up snapshots of austere, worldly beauty, where sunrise and landscape conspire against any shortcomings to provide a memorable montage; again, these moments feel personal in a way few other adventures can match.”