Update on The Elder Scrolls Fan Union

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Back in June, we posted about The Elder Scrolls Fan Union, who were working on a Morrowind mod project to bring community members into the game as NPCs. I recently checked in with members from the site about their progress and received the following email (thanks Ibis), written by BGS forum member redsrock.

If you’re interested in joining the project, head here.

Take it away, Redsrock…

The TESFU Town Mod Project is going rather well. Somewhat naturally slow due to us not having a whole lot of modders on the job, but as they say…slow and steady wins the race. And for what we lack in numbers we more than make up with quality. Ibis at the helm is doing a tremendous job of keeping everything organized, as well as keeping tabs on everyone else’s duties. She is truly a wonderful Director/modder, and the mod definitely wouldn’t be alive without her.

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Around the web: New DLC interview

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Today Eurogamer put up a new interview with Fallout 3 DLC producer Jeff Gardiner. In the interview, he reveals some new details about Operation: Anchorage, the first DLC for Fallout 3, as well as new details on future DLC. Here’s an excerpt:

Eurogamer: Finally, can you tell us anything else about The Pitt and Broken Steel?

Jeff Gardiner: The Pitt is a more ‘Traditional’ Fallout 3 quest – it’s full of morally grey choices, shady NPCs, and features another city ravaged by time, neglect, nuclear waste and moral degradation.

Broken Steel not only extends the game to level 30, it alters the core ending. It allows the player to continue exploring the ashen Wasteland and see the fruits that are born, or that die, from their decisions. It will reprise several main characters, and conclude some of the story threads left dangling.

Head to Eurogamer to read the rest. More news after the break.

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Hall of Fame Mods at Planet Elder Scrolls

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Here’s one last round of Hall of Fame mod entries for the year 2008 at Planet Elder Scrolls.

For December, four mods met the criteria necessary to be honored.

Morrowind Mods:

  • Vality’s Bitter Coast Mod: Now in Version 4.0, according to Vality, this mod, “replaces all the ‘leafy’ Bitter Coast trees with my own ‘speedtree’ like trees, a similar technique to what was used in Oblivion.”

Oblivion Mods:

Nice work all!

Modder Interview: TheTalkieToaster

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This week we’re checking in with Sam Mangham, otherwise known as TheTalkieToaster within our forums. Sam is a 21-year-old student at the University of Bath in, where else, Bath, England. When he’s not modding or studying Physics and Chemistry, he spends his time walking, seeing movies, and baking cakes.

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Around the web: Interviews, awards and more

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Welcome back for another edition of Around the Web.

We’ll start today at 1Up, where they’ve got an Afterthoughts interview with Emil. In it, Emil discusses design decisions, inspirations, as well as some things you might not have known about the game.  Here’s an excerpt:

1UP: The first time you played the game all the way through, what kind of character build did you use?

Emil: I’ve played the game at the office so many times, with so many different characters, at so many different stages of development, that I honestly can’t remember the first! But I do remember one of my favorites. I’d made this guy with Tag Skills in Science, Energy Weapons, and Speech. And every time I hit a option in dialogue, I would take it. It actually took me several hours of play before I looked at my character — and his suave little moustache — and then it hit me…I’d inadvertently created Tony Stark. I’d been playing the whole game in the role of Tony Stark, and hadn’t even realized it.

In Emil’s interview, there are a few references to the upcoming DLC. For more DLC discussion, check out WonderWallWeb, where there’s a new interview with Jeff Gardiner. Here’s a quick preview:

Can you tell us a little about the experience players will have in Operation Anchorage and what situations they will find themselves in?

Jeff Gardiner: The player will be tasked with taking the main Chinese stronghold outside of Anchorage.  Along the way they’ll pick up new weaponry, and even get to command a small strike force of their choosing.  They’ll be able to pick what type of team they’d like to create, and then how to utilize them in succeeding in their objective.

Speaking of Operation: Anchorage, it appears news of the DLC has made its way to Alaska by way of the Anchorage Daily News. I have to wonder what some residents of the Land of Midnight Sun had to think when they read the introduction.

More news after the break…

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Community Scrapbook — Scenic Landscapes

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Last time around for Community Scrapbook, we requested that you send along your best scenic landscape screens you’ve taken. The shot above, taken by Ghostwise, is currently my desktop wallpaper.

Rather than coming up with criteria for the next scrapbook, how about you guys make some suggestions by commenting below. I’ll pick one of the suggestions and let you guys know.

Hit the jump below to see more scenic landscapes…

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Emil is quite the card

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Yesterday GamaSutra posted a story (originally from Game Developer magazine) entitled Game Developer’s Top Deck 2008. This “deck” highlights members of the game development community for their work in 2008. Making the list as the 10 of Diamonds is none other than Fallout 3 Lead Designer Emil Pagliarulo.

So what makes Emil a diamond? According the feature, diamonds are reserved for Progressives that “implement brand new ideas in game development, perhaps branching in unexpected yet compelling directions. Alternatively, you can simply make what already works, work a whole lot better.”

Yep, that sounds like Emil.

Tamriel Rebuilt update

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It’s been a while since we posted something about Tamriel Rebuilt — an extensive Elder Scrolls mod project that has community members rebuilding the whole continent of Tamriel one province at a time.

The TR team recently celebrated the the beta release of Map 2: The Antediluvian Secrets. According to their site, Map 2 is a continuation of the Telvannis region. The map is massive; containing over 580 exterior cells and more than 420 interior cells.

We tip our cap to the Tamriel Rebuilt team for their continued work on this project. For details on Map 2 and more, be sure to check out their blog.

Hall of Fame Mods at Planet Elder Scrolls

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Yesterday Planet Elder Scrolls announced its November Hall of Fame mods for both Oblivion and Morrowind. Congrats to all the modders — including Vality7, who was inducted for two Morrowind mods. Here’s a quick look at the newest inductees:

Morrowind Mods:

  • The Neverhalls by Vality7 and Midgetalien: A dungeon mod inspired by Oblivion’s Ayleid Ruins.
  • Vality’s Bitter Coast Mod by Vality 7: The plugin adds many more trees to the Bitter Coast to give the region a more dense atmosphere.

Oblivion Mods

  • Castle Almgard by Mr. Siika and Centurion: A new buyable castle Southwest of Anvil.
  • Elegant Vests by Kafei (shown above): Divine Elegance in the Imperial Market District gets new threads — including new vests, gloves, and leather pants (yes!).
  • RealSwords — Khajiit by waalx: RealSwords adds 100 new swords, sabers, daggers and knifes into Oblivion.

Great work all!

PLAY! concert offers a chance to meet Jeremy Soule!

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Jason Paul, producer of PLAY! A Video Game Symphony, gave me a head’s up this week about a an upcoming concert on January 9 in Edmonton. In addition to a spectacular night of listening to classic videogame themes performed by a full orchestra, he let me know Morrowind and Oblivion composer Jeremy Soule will be attending the concert. Even better, 150 lucky patrons will be randomly chosen at the concert for a chance to meet the famous composer.

While I’ve missed out on attending previous concerts, fans I’ve spoke with have said it’s a fantastic show. For ticket ordering information to the concert, head here.