Elder Scrolls modding interview: Darkrder

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We return this week with a new Elder Scrolls Modding Interview — this time with Nicholas “Cole” MacLean, or simply Darkrder, who manages the website TES Alliance. A writer by trade, Darkrder happens to be married to a member of the Bethesda forums, Ladyflcn, who helped him work on Temple of Five Lanterns — released last December. The couple live in St. Louis and are expecting their first child this coming Halloween.

How did you get involved with the Elder Scrolls modding community?

I joined the Elder Scrolls modding community completely by chance actually. I originally only played Oblivion on the Xbox 360 console. After some time in game, I noticed a lot of NPC chatter about dogs and owning dogs (of all things to notice) and I wondered if a canine companion was some element of the game I had just missed or overlooked. So originally, I was just looking for a walkthrough or cheat guide that might tell me if that was possible. In a Google search I came up with a download link for a mod called Cheydinhal Petshop by Proudfoot. As I skimmed the page I saw all these mods that were free and it was some pretty cool stuff. I found this community of regular jacks making game content to expand Oblivion on PC and I was fascinated.

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Modding Interview: Classic DOOM for DOOM 3

Following last week’s interview with Zombie Slayer’s Bryan Henderson, we continue our look into id Tech mods today with Classic DOOM for DOOM 3.

We have a lot of love for the original DOOM, and so does Gareth Ward. After getting his start modding on Team Fortress Classic — the Half-Life version of the original Quake mod — Ward made his name in modding by leading the Classic DOOM team, which sought to recreate the shareware levels of DOOM in the DOOM 3 engine. The result was a mod that not only nailed the look of the first DOOM, but also its distinct flavor.

In our interview, Gareth recalled the experience of crafting Classic DOOM, which involved the efforts of around a dozen modders:

Under the hood there are a lot of modifications going it that most people would probably take for granted. From the most obvious things like the new levels, the weapon models, item models and sound effects, through to simple things like how much damage each monster has, how fast they move and the amount of bullets that can be fired by each weapon at any given time.

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Modding Interview: Bryan Henderson’s Zombie Slayer

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Where would the mod community be without id Software? DOOM and Quake were some of the first games to spark what would become an entire generation of amateur game developers. And as id grew, so did the scene; some of those early mods went on to become the basis of successful retail games, and countless modders found their way into the industry by leveraging their modding experience.

But plenty of id Tech mods are still being released today. In our first id-related modding interview, we talk with Bryan Henderson, creator of “Zombie Slayer,” a mod that implements Heavy Rain/Dragon’s Lair-style quicktime events in DOOM 3. In addition to Zombie Slayer chat, the 29-year-old network administrator tells us about his first modding experiences, what he thinks the secret to a good mod team is, and what he’s working on next.

When did you first start modding?

Back in the late 90s, people started hacking apart game demos made using the game Quake to make movies. I found the entire process to be incredibly interesting since I had made movies back in the day using Red Baron’s movie editor. I never thought that taking a gameplay capture of someone playing a game and redoing the camera angles was possible. Continue reading full article ›

New Look Nexus

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Recently Robin Scott (aka DarkOne), the site admin for TES Nexus and Fallout 3 Nexus, let us know that both sites have received an overhaul. If you head over to either, you’ll notice the front page now is easier to navigate — with helpful links to image galleries, files of the month, forums, hot files, and more. While browsing Fallout 3 Nexus front page, I came across this cool mod, My Mansion Player Home (shown above), by Ez0n3.

Both sites continue to grow in popularity. Robin also informed us that TES Nexus recently added its 20,000th file, while Fallout 3 Nexus is catching up with 8,700 files.

Congrats on the milestones and the new look!

Planet Elder Scrolls Hall of Fame — March Entries

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APY at Planet Elder Scrolls has announced the latest Hall of Fame mods. Get these installed…stat!

Oblivion Mods

  • First Person Sitting Perspective Fix by Kirel: Now when you sit down in first-person mode, the camera will follow your movement.
  • Dark Green Glass Armor by Ohanzee: This mod gives a new look to glass armor — featuring a dark green tint.
  • Hoarfrost Castle by Antistar: A new castle mod (pictured above) that features an outstanding view over the Great Forest, the Heartlands, and the Nibenay basin: from Bruma, to Chorrol – to the Imperial City.

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Planet Elder Scrolls Hall of Fame — February

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The latest Hall of Fame mods (from February) have been announced at Planet Elder Scrolls. Here’s a look at the six newest inductees — including two Oblivion mods from Centurion.

Morrowind Mods

  • Animal Realism by Sal Maker: Released way back in May of 2002, Animal Realism is a simple modification that allows for more believable animal behaviour (i.e. less suicidal rats, fish, cliff racers, etc.)
  • Silverware Enhancer by GhostNull: Like my apartment after registering at Williams Sonoma, this plugin replaces the standard in-game silverware items with reflective and higher-poly versions.
  • SWG’s Skies v3 by starwarsguy9875: This mod s the day and night skies, the Dwemer observatory sky, the moons, and adds something Oblivion players have had for a while; beaming sunglare. Go ahead and stare directly into the sun in the image above…I won’t tell.

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DOOM Level Demakes BioShock’s Arcadia

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BioShock and BioShock 2 developer J.P. LeBreton is a big DOOM fan. So big, in fact, that he celebrated the recent release of BioShock 2 by remaking BioShock’s lush “Arcadia” level in DOOM II. Says he:

Typically when you ship a big game you get some time off to relax, take a step back and enjoy life. Of course, I had to do something very silly with some of this time. So I did a remake of a BioShock level for… wait for it… Doom 2.

You can read more about the interesting level, and download it, on LeBreton’s blog. Also worth reading is LeBreton’s enlightening post on some of DOOM’s less obvious qualities.

Modding Interview: A Note Easily Missed’s Dustin Jackson

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With titles like “An Evening with Mr. Manchester” and “To Sleep, perchance to dream,” Dustin Jackson’s Fallout 3 mods immediately stand out from the pack. Creating quests that take players on a story-driven ride through hand-crafted puzzles, Jackson — who goes by the handle “Puce Moose” — has gained a steady stream of followers eager to play through his next adventure.

A resident of Eastern Tennessee, the 35-year-old Jackson recently finished up his latest accomplishment — a Masters degree in Biology. We dissected his modding experience in the following interview, which also includes a number of excellent Fallout 3 mod recommendations, and a tease of his next project.

How did you get started modding? Can you talk about your first project?

Fallout and Fallout 2 are two of my favorite games; I eagerly anticipated Fallout 3, though I had my concerns that the incorporation of real-time combat would be a tragic mistake for the series. Thankfully this turned out not to be the case, and I dove into the game with relish. With any game that I enjoy I generally look around and see if any modding capabilities exist; it didn’t take me long to start sniffing around the GECK to see if I could carve out a few changes in the bleak wasteland.

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Planet Elder Scrolls names Hall of Fame mods for January

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Planet Elder Scrolls has announced the latest Hall of Fame mods for Morrowind and Oblivion. Here’s a look…

Morrowind mods

  • Leveled Magicka by hessi9: This mod increases your maximum magicka at 4% per level (at level 26 your starting magicka has been doubled. The mod requires having either the Bloodmoon or Tribunal expansion.
  • Rise of House Telvanni by Pozzo, Bhl, and Karpik777: Pictured above, this mod is an extended version of Pozzo’s Rise of House Telvanni. By a series of quests and political decisions the player can either lead House Telvanni to political predominance or expand it moderately.
  • Hilgya the Seamstress by Plangkye: A new shop in Dagon Fel selling some fancy threads for Better Bodies 2.o.

Oblivion mods

  • Benirus Manor – Necromancer’s Lair by Vypress: Vypress’ first mod, Benirus Manor adds a necromancer’s lair to the basement of Benirus Manor in Anvil.
  • Harvest [Flora] by Quarn and Dejunai: This mod changes the physical appearance of plants if you have harvested them.
  • The Heart of the Dead by BFreyermuth: A sizable new quest mod that features new characters, hours of new quests filled with new dungeons, and more.

Congrats to all these modders for their contributions to the community.

Modding Interview: Cube Experimental’s Dennis Weich

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Cube Experimental is one of the more impressive mods you’ll play for Fallout 3. Even more impressive, it was created entirely by one man: Dennis Weich, a member of acclaimed modding group SureAI.

In this week’s modding interview, we had a chance to fire some questions his way on the topic of his labyrinthine Cube, a work that took him 5 months and some 500 scripts to complete.

Can you briefly introduce yourself, Dennis?

I’m 22 years old and come from a town called Starnberg, which is situated on lake Starnberg not far from the Alps and south of lovely Munich, Germany. When I’m not staring at the mountains, I’m a commercial assistant for processing information. And for sure I’ve been a modding enthusiast for the past seven years.

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