Greetings from Tokyo

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Here’s a message from an old co-worker of ours living in Japan, Jason Ruddy:

This is Jason, the guy who did SFX for Morrowind and brought in the doughnuts way back in the day. Well, I went out for lunch with a friend today and met him at Bic Camera (think Best Buy x 100) in Kawasaki – in Southern Tokyo. As we walked through the game section I noticed an Oblivion cap display they had in place. The video constantly looped the JP Oblivion trailer (which was actually pretty loud) and managed to get quite a few people to stop and check it out.

Ironically, the games on display in front of the TV didn’t include Oblivion! The left side was recent best-selling action games, while the right side had lots of Trusty Bell and Blue Dragon. I took the liberty of removing the copies of Blue Dragon and pulling the floor copies of Oblivion right up in front. Seeing as how that is the only Xbox360 display (which makes up about 50% of Microsoft’s gaming presence in the store), I’d say you’re getting some good exposure.

Anyway, I just thought you guys would like to see your game out in the wild in Japan. I’ve seen a few other TESIV:O displays from time to time, but this is the first one I’ve run across looping a trailer. Unfortunately I could not get the top of the display because the shopkeepers were eyeballing me and I had to keep the ketai camera low. (Pictures in-store = clerks no likey.)

And yes, both the aisles to the left and right of the teeny tiny 360 section are dedicated to the DS – plus a couple more. ^___^

Interview with Akatosh Mount mod creator – Saiden Storm

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The modding community is an important part of The Elder Scrolls, especially for Morrowind and Oblivion. I am in awe of modders who are able to build amazing things on their own. Some of the talent out there is just phenomenal, and the members of the team who we’ve hired from the fan community continually exceed our expectations.

One of our designers emailed around this incredible video of the Akatosh Mount mod that lets you summon a dragon that falls from the sky. And, as if that wasn’t cool enough, it lets you get on the dragon and fly around. Very impressive. The creator of this amazing mod – Saiden Storm (AKA Kevin Tolbert) – agreed to answer some questions for us so we could find out a bit more about the mod and the modder. The way he created this mod illustrates how strong and collaborative the Elder Scrolls modding community is. You can see videos of all his mods on YouTube.

UPDATE: Updated post with a picture of Saiden. Cheers!

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Morrowind Now Compatible with Xbox 360

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Last night I saw on Major Nelson’s blog that The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is now (finally) backwards compatible with the Xbox 360. I’m not only excited for the many fans that have contacted me about this (Pete figures he’s gotten about 5,000 e-mails on this in the last two years), but now finally I get a chance to get back into the game myself.

I just did a test on a retail 360 at the office (which was more of a scavenger hunt then I expected), and I confirm that after an Xbox Live update, you can play Morrowind, whether it’s the original release, Platinum Hits, or the Game of the Year Edition. For those without Xbox Live, there’s still ways to get the necessary update. Check here for more details.

For information on other games that are now compatible with the 360, check here.

Gators Aided by Morrowind

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About a month ago, I got an e-mail from University of Florida instructor Dave Small regarding a “Game Design” class the university is offering this summer. For the class, Small is using the Game of the Year edition of Morrowind for its construction set (as well as other games) to help implement their game ideas. For those considering looking for a school with game design classes, check out the syllabus for the class. There’s also a discussion about the course within our forums, including participation from one of Small’s students.

Despite being jaded towards UF for making the BCS title game over my beloved Wolverines (even though they deserved it), this sounds like a cool opportunity those looking to get into game design. I’m a bit jealous, though I did get to take a blow off class that dealt with films of the 1990’s and gaming my senior year. It was the easiest class this side of Volcanoes and Earthquakes.

Via e-mail, I asked Dave for a little more information about the class. Click below for more details…

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