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.

Around the web: Dreaming about Fallout edition

Here’s the latest briefing on Fallout 3 news found around the web.

As 2008 wraps up, we’re starting to see sites pulling together their GOTY lists. Fallout 3 is included in preliminary lists at The New York Times, Gamespot, and CNBC.

Having trouble surviving in the wasteland? IGN has a new video highlighting three of the most powerful weapons in Fallout 3 — with tips on how to find them.

Wanna know Todd’s ritual on release day?  Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft got answers from Todd, as well as other notable developers for a post titled “What Game Developers Do When Their Games Launch.” You can check it out here.

Just as the sun rises in the east, we’ve got Fallout 3 reviews featured in “around the web.” New reviews can be found at ABC News, Just Press Play, GameZone, Quiet Earth, Neotaku, PALGN, Exclaim!, Gaming Trend, Game Freaks 365, and GameGirl. While I haven’t seen the review, nor would I be able to read it, 1Up reports that Japanese magazine Famitsu awarded Fallout 3 a score of 38/40. According to this report, the score would tie Oblivion for the highest non-Japanese RPG score ever in the magazine.

Finally, of all the Fallout 3 coverage I’ve sifted through, this has got to be the weirdest. At GameGrep, I found this clip where a guy is discussing his dreams on a radio station. Give it a listen, and within a few seconds, you’ll realize he’s pulling the DJ’s leg. I bet Three Dog is having a good laugh about this somewhere.

Modding Interview: Timeslip

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With this week’s Elder Scrolls Modding Interview, we’re checking in with UK talent Timeslip…

How did you get involved with the Elder Scrolls modding community?
I have my uncle to blame for that, for leaving his copy out on his desk when I was visiting. I borrowed it for the evening, and a few lost hours later I’d already decided I was going to buy my own copy the next day. As it turned out, I was lucky enough to get the very last copy that my local games store had in stock. On installing it, I spotted the data files option in the launcher, visited the Elder Scrolls website to try and find out what it was for, spotted the modding forums, and things went downhill from there.

Until then I would often pick apart the data files from a game to see what I could change, but this was the first time I’d heard the term ‘modding’, or put any serious effort into it. I have to say that I’ve never regretted it for a second. Modding Bethesda games has become as much a part of the fun as playing them, if not more, and I specifically bought Oblivion and Fallout 3 with modding in mind.

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Around the web: Comics, maps, and more

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Plenty of Fallout-related news popping up across the web. Let’s get started.

If you’re missing the weekly Penny Arcade Fallout comics, there’s plenty of other comics filling the void. At Spookingtons, there’s a new Fallout 3-themed comic from Jeremy “Norm” Scott (creator of the popular EGM comics “Hsu & Chan.” I’ve got it posted above, but head here to see the full-sized comic.

The creators of the Oblivion comics Philip of Oblivion, which will soon celebrate its 99th comic, have begun a similar series based off Fallout 3 — appropriately titled Philip of Fallout.

Wrapping up the comic coverage, Ctrl-Alt-Delete has a Fallout 3 comic of their own.

In other news, the guys at Planet Fallout have some new features on their site. This week they unveiled their Interactive Capital Wasteland Map, as well as new game databases. Both are extremely useful, and contributions from the community are welcome.

Reviews are still making their way online — including the LA Times, Yahoo! Games, GameTactics, Games for Windows, and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Finally, at Game Design as Cultural Practice,

Elder Scrolls Modding Interview: Nicoroshi

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Welcome back to another edition of “Getting to Know Your Favorite Elder Scrolls Modder (that GTKYFESM for short). This week we’ve got an interview with Nicoroshi that I conducted about a month ago. Nicoroshi loves building and creating — whether it’s at his job as a metal worker, doing woodwork and welding, or working on mods for The Elder Scrolls.

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Around the web

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Here’s some interesting Fallout 3 coverage you can read up on over the weekend.

Reviews continue to hit the web. Today I spotted a new review at the New York post, where they gave the game an “A.” Here’s a snippet:

“The story is of course kind of tragic. But this is Fallout. And Fallout does not mess around. It tries very hard, and I think succeeds, in presenting you with a world where there is NO hope. Your job, depending on how you play the game, is to restore that hope. You can either be a beacon of humanity or a scourge.”

Elsewhere, you can read new reviews at Electric Playground, 360, Gay Gamer, Lazy Gamer, RPGamer, and the The Onion’s AV Club.

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Planet Elder Scrolls Hall of Fame

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Planet Elder Scrolls has announced their October Hall of Fame modding entries. Let’s give a round of applause to these nine modders for their excellent work.

Morrowind mods

  • Darknut’s Little Weapons Mod Complete by Darknut: Mod replaces all the Weapon Textures in Morrowind, Tribunal & Bloodmoon. The mod requires that you have Morrowind and BOTH expansions.
  • At Home Alchemy by Syclonix: This simplifies and makes alchemy projects more efficient in the game.
  • The Underground 2 by Qarl: A new vampire quest full of romance, humor, and vampire bars. Sounds like an episode of True Blood.

Oblivion mods

  • Enchanted Druid Treehome by AtomicDryad: In his first mod release, AtomicDryad adds a large Redwood tree just southwest of Imperial City. This “treehouse” is full intriguing stuff.
  • Tabaxi Race by Luchaire: Adds a new race to the game…the Tabaxi!
  • Nicos Scimitars by Nicoroshi: Adds some pretty wicked blades that pay homage to Morrowind.
  • Smarter Mercantile Leveling by wavion: This mod changes how the leveling system for the Merchantile skill.
  • Unique Landscapes: Entius Gorge by Phitt: A beautiful mod that adds a deep gorge to the Nibenay Basin Region.
  • Realistic Flora by Quarn: According to Quarn, this mod will make all flora behave more realistically by changing their appearance when you harvest them (whether you are successful or not). Cool idea!

That’s all for this month. Hats off to these modders!

Elder Scrolls Modding Interview: Sage_Rime

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This week we’re talking with Sage_Rime. His mod project, Mountain Tower, has over 100,000 downloads to date…impressive!

How were you introduced to the modding community for the Elder Scrolls?
It was the time of Morrowind Game of the Year edition, and I found my way to the forums as I was looking for mods for the game. Originally I heard about Morrowind mods back at the Infinity Engine modding community Spellhold Studios, then called Forgotten Wars.

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On newsstands

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Thought I’d point out a few articles I came across while going through a stack of magazines at my desk.

The September issue of Play Magazine has an interview with Fallout 3 Lead Producer Gavin Carter. In the interview, the Gav discusses topics ranging from the Gamebryo engine, game performance and Fallout 3 gameplay. Here’s a sample:

play: What gameplay situations in Fallout 3 really demonstrate the engine’s new ballistics and physics system?

Gavin: The best situations to see this in are during VATS sequences. VATS allows you to pause time, target specific areas of an enemy, and queue up moves that are then executed in a cinematic fashion.

For more magazine coverage, hit the jump:

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