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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YouTube video showcases FWE mod

I found this video in our mailbag and thought I’d share it with you (and the Fallout 3 dev team). Titled Fallout 3 – Wanderers Edition (FWE), this amazing  mod trailer had producer Craig Lafferty saying, “It’s Call of Duty Fallout 3!”

Once the video wraps, stick around for the credits to see what mods were used. FWE can be downloaded at Fallout 3 Nexus.

Thanks to Kai Hohiro for sending the link. When you see cool stuff like this on the web, let us know.

Holiday Mods for Oblivion and Fallout 3

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Here’s a look at some holiday-inspired mods the community has been working on…

Up first, check out TES-Alliance, where there’s an interview with WhoGuru and InsanitySorrow, who created the Happy Holidays Mod. Here’s an excerpt from the interview…

What is your favorite element of your holiday project?

InsanitySorrow: My favorite aspect of the project is working with friends; I have WhoGuru building the mod alongside me and Nicoroshi modeling some nice little things for us. I think more important than that is it’s a festive project, something that should be enjoyable for all that play and I just love that aspect of the project.

Find out more on the project here. Meanwhile, Princess Stomper has put together a new mod for Fallout 3 called Winter Wonderland. This mod adds festive lights and decorations (from Dukov’s house) to key locations in Fallout 3. The mod also bring holiday treats, and some hidden Easter Eggs stocking stuffers (16 holotapes featuring A Christmas Carol).

Echoing what St. Nick noted earlier this week, let us know if you’ve worked on some cool stuff for the holidays — whether it’s cookies, mods, ornaments, etc.

Update: As mentioned in the comments below, be sure to check out Oblivion Real Estate’s 12 Mods of Christmas, where they’re sharing a new mod everyday. The countdown can be found here.

November Hall of Fame Entries from Planet Elder Scrolls

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Planet Elder Scrolls has the latest inductees to their modding Hall of Fame. Here’s a quick  look at November’s inductees, including encore honors for Plangkye and Dimitri Mazieres .

Morrowind mods

  • Mesh Improvements v1.6.1 by Armed_Defender: A simple mesh replacer that replaces older meshes in Morrowind.
  • Better Almalexia by Plangkye: Changes Almalexia’s creature models with updated graphical replacers.
  • Dark Brotherhood Armor Replacer – Expanded by Dimitri Mazieres: According to the author, this mod changes the Dark Brotherhood assassin’s armor to a look reminiscent of concept art released for Oblivion.

Oblivion mods

  • DarNified UI by DarN: An extended update to the game’s user interface.
  • Clocks of Cyrodiil by WillieSea (pictured above): Adds plenty of clocks to Cyrodiil — building clocks, wall clocks, clock towers and more. All clocks actually feature “accurate game time.”
  • Extra Robe Pack by tegeal: Adds 15 new robes and 10 new hoods, which are available for purchase in towns throughout the game. They make great Christmas presents!

Congrats to these modders. We’ll be back in a month or so with the final inductees of 2009!

Around the Web: GOTD Edition

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It’s that time of the century again; the time when the usual “Game of the Year” lists are supplanted by even more daunting “Game of the Decade” lists.

Crispy Gamer is taking a sporty approach to it all, throwing many of the decade’s best games into a tournament bracket and letting fans vote to decide the winners of each round. Oblivion and Fallout 3 are both in the running for round two…head here to vote.

As for more traditional lists, the always-entertaining Onion A.V. Club included Fallout 3 in its picks for the 15 best games of the decade. Paste Magazine also found a place for both Oblivion and Fallout 3 in its “20 Best Games of the Decade” article.

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Around the web

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Before heading out for vacation, I thought I’d squeeze in another “around the web.”

We’ll begin with news on Brink. Splash Damage Senior Game Designer Ed Stern recently discussed Brink in a new interview at Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Here’s a snippet…

RPS: The game is quite bright and exaggerated, however. Colourful, even. It’s going against a trend for photorealism, isn’t it?

Stern: I think we’ll see more of this stuff. Look at TF2 or Borderlands, they have unrealistic characters too. And look at all three next to each other, take a screenshot from each of them and none of them look alike.

Brink is also included in a new list of the Top 10 original video games of 2010. You’ll also find that RAGE made the list at #4. For more on RAGE, check PC Zone’s preview that’s currently up at GamesRadar.

In Fallout news, there’s new DLC reviews up. Here’s a snippet from a new review for Point Lookout at GamingBolt

“With Point Lookout, Bethesda has given a near-perfect reminder of why we love Fallout 3 so much.  This game is simply a joy to play.  A dirty, morally questionable joy – but a joy nonetheless.  If you’re looking for a chance to jump back into the world of Fallout 3, Point Lookout is a great place to start.”

More after the jump…

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Elder Scrolls Modding Interview: Sulteric Drums

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This week we have a new modding interview with Sulteric Drums from our forums.

How did you first get involved with modding for Oblivion?
It all started when I was looking for companion mods. The available companions were good but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for. There was no real interaction with the female companions other than just commands. I missed the glory days of Baldur’s Gate II — Shadows of Amn, when I could romance an NPC and even flirt with them. After reading the tutorials on the Wiki site, I thought it would be easy. I had no idea what I was in for!  I started planning a “Flirt” mod but I soon realized how difficult it would be to hook it into existing companions. I poked around, got permission to use an existing companion (thanks to Jumonji and The Priest) as my base and I took it from there.  Three companions later and here we are.

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