Mod interview: Kivan and Quarn

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For this week’s mod interview, by request of folks within our forums, I decided to talk with popular Oblivion modders Kivan and Quarn (real names Kevin and David). While they live about as far apart as one could imagine (Quarn’s in Australia, Kivan hails from Canada), they managed to put out some great work, particularly their Unofficial Oblivion Patch, which cleans up and polishes several elements of the game.

I asked the guys about the projects they’ve worked on, how they like to work, and more. Here’s what they had to say:

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New Mods for the The Elder Scrolls

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Here’s an update on some mods I saw this week on other sites that caught my eye.

At the Oblivion Files, their highlighted file of the week, “The Lost Spires” by Leo Gura, is a massive addition that advertises 15+ hours of new gameplay. The mod adds an Archeology Guild that you must join to explore “new, exotic locales to unravel a plot of sinister deceit, betrayal, and doom.” Download it here.

At Planet Elder Scrolls, Lingwei has added an interesting mod that expand’s on Oblivion’s The Siren’s Deception quest line again. By downloading the mod, your are granted new options of how to complete the quest without having to kill them. If it sounds like an interesting idea to you, Lingwei is open to folks expanding on the mod. Sounds like someone else is playing the role of a siren and drawing in others. :)

For Morrowind, Darknut has released a new texture replacement mod, Darknut’s Creature Textures Morrowind (see above for an example of the improvement). If you download this, just keep in mind that they replace the existing textures in the game. For more information on the mod, head over here.

Morrowind Modding Legend: Fliggerty

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When I initially asked for suggestions for future mod interviews within our forums, it was brought to my attention that I should open up a similar thread within the Morrowind boards. Within a a few days, it became clear to me that we should probably do an interview with Fliggerty (real name Cody Erekson) for all of his contributions to the community — including the hilarious “Mostly-Mini Todd Howard” mod (which Todd actually found quite amusing).

A resident of Logan, Utah, Fliggerty works for a phone company. As he put it, his job is to “tell people that they do, in fact, have to pay their phone bill even though they don’t remember placing that long distance call.” If you don’t see him coming up with new content for Morrowind this month, you can probably attribute that to the fact that he’s a self-professed “Halloween Nut.” Last year, he actually ran a haunted forest. If you want to see more of his mods, you can always check out his site Fliggerty’s Morrowind Mods.

Anyhow…on to the interview.

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Elder Scrolls Modding Update

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Here’s a couple new mods I wanted to share that are over at Planet Elder Scrolls.

Yesterday the site honored their September Hall of Fame inductees. From Morrowind, the Tamriel Rebuilt Team’s TR Morrowind Map1: Telvannis was the lone addition to the Hall. This massive mod adds over tons of new exterior and interior cells, over 2000 new dialogue responses, as well as new NPCs, creatures and equipment. Above is a screen of of Tel Ouada, the home of Mistress Rathra that is included within the mod.

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Tamriel NPCs Revamped Mod Interview

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A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from Stephane Wuttunee (aka Veritas_Secreto) regarding his mod project, Tamriel NPCs Revamped. For this mod, the 39-year-old Canadian recreated nearly every NPC within Oblivion (leaving only guards in the game untouched). I had a chance to ask Stephane a few questions and here’s what he had to say.

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Now I Know My Daedric ABCs

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This blog post is sponsored by the Daedric letter for “O.”

In my inbox, I received a question not too long ago about learning the Daedric Alphabet. When I spoke with Pete, I was pleasantly surprised to see that The Imperial Library is sharing the alphabet on their site. If you’re dying to write your buddies, Unofficial Elder Scrolls Wiki has a great guide for studying the language.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: speaking with Todd, he wanted to emphasize that officially there is no X or Y in the Daedric Alpabet, although a a few may have accidentally shown up in Morrowind. Now if I could only get a Cracker Jack-like decoder ring so I could start deciphering Todd’s e-mails.

Morrowind Maestro

On YouTube today, I noticed that a there’s several videos that help instruct folks with playing the music from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. I found the above video by user fabiandevries particularly impressive, because of his skills of taping with one hand and filming with the other.

Looks like I’ll have another song to play when I come across a piano. You should see my rendition of the Jurassic Park theme…it’s glorious.

Inside the Vault: Mike Lipari

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Today’s Q&A is with programmer, Mike Lipari. How important is Mike? Whenever we have a day that Mike has to leave early, we all get nervous that something will go horribly wrong while he is away. Nothing we ship leaves this building without going through Mike’s hands.

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Raise a Glass for These New Mods

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Thought I’d share some interesting mods for Morrowind and Oblivion while surfing Planet Elder Scrolls today.

Above is an image from Rougetet’s Lore Friendly Libations mod. This mod is intended to help modders looking to fill up “shelves, bars, etc. within the tavern/bar mods that have been created by other modders with some more colorful and lore-friendly beverages.” S0unds like a great mod to come home to after a tough day at the office.

Also new, here’s a couple cool “cosmetic mods” to check out. Oblivion brings dark times to Cyrodiil, so it makes sense that characters should look like they’ve had a hellish day. Using Djangos Unique Features mod, you can add details like, “scars, stubble, tattoos – even acne” to the NPCs in the game. If scars and acne aren’t bleak enough for you, maybe PrinceofNothing’s Amputations Mod for Morrowind will be. With this mod, you’ll easily be able to “equip” amputations to your character. Let’s start seeing some reenactments of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Last but not least, here’s a shout out to Galuf’s Imperial Texture replacer for Morrowind. With this mod, you can make Imperial structures look a little more homely by giving the textures a more wooden look. Check out the screens here…pretty cool!

‘Daggerfall Memories’ Interview

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Back in 1996, we released Daggerfall, the second game in The Elder Scrolls series. In just a few months of working here at Bethesda, I’ve come to learn that it is a beloved title for many fans because of its depth and ambitious gameplay.

As a result, I often hear suggestions that the game should be remade. While that’s not something we’re really looking into (we’d rather focus on making new games), last week I had a chance to ask a few questions to Deathless Aphrodite (Daniele Brunengo) about his Oblivion mod, Daggerfall Memories: The Liberation of Cybiades — a mod that adds plenty of new content inspired by Daggerfall. Here’s what the Brunengo, a 36-year-old math and physics teacher from Albenga, Italy had to say:

When did you first get into the Elder Scrolls, and when did you first get involved with modding the games?

I’ve played all Elder Scrolls games except for Arena. Daggerfall got me involved as no other game before it. I’ve been hooked ever since. As far as modding goes, I took my first steps with the Morrowind Construction Set and released a couple of mods, but I didn’t really get into it before Oblivion.

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