Don’t forget…

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If you’re interesting in hearing the Oblivion Suite (and other famous videogame tunes) live in concert, tickets for Play! – A Video Game Symphony are still available for this Friday at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore. If that’s too far for you, keep in mind that Play! will tour to San Francisco as well next month.

Also, congrats to Andrew Scharf, who won the tickets donated by Play! for the show this week.

How Fallout 3 will kick Oblivion’s ass

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Craig Lafferty just sent me this preview from Games Radar’s Mikel Reparaz, titled 11 ways Fallout 3 will kick Oblivion’s ass. With a title like that, I think this preview deserves its own post.

Great article, Mikel, and by the way, my favorite way to start the game is to kill Megaton’s sheriff by sneaking up him while he is alone in his house, so I can get his outfit, including that awesome hat.

Mod interview: Conan Scarface

This week’s mod interview is with Conan Scarface from the BGS forums. He’s actually a man of many names. His Chinese name is Yen-Jen Wang and his Japanese name is Heiji Hatsutoli (he goes by Hatsutoli on TES Nexus and Planet Elder Scrolls). Currently he lives in Tainan, a municipality of Taiwan.

The video above is a trailer for his Tiefling Races mod.

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June HOF Mods

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Planet Elder Scrolls had announced last month’s Hall of Fame mods for both Oblivion and Morrowind. Per usual, for mods to reach this prestigious status they must be downloaded at least 5,000 times, have been available for at least three months, and receive a minimum of 25 votes with a score of 8 or higher. Here are the six mods that made the cut in the month of June:

For Morrowind

  • Darknut’s Creature Textures Morrowind by Darknut: A new texture update that covers most of the creatures in Morrowind
  • Blasphemous Revenants by Fliggerty and Friends: Companion mod that puts you as an apprentice to to an aging necromancer. Here your character will learn the art of gathering corpses, preparing them for arcane rituals, and summoning and commanding vast armies of the dead.
  • Oblivion-Style Spellcasting by Fliggerty: This mod enables you to cast spells while your weapon is drawn. The mod requires that you have both the Bloodmoon and Tribunal expansions.

For Oblivion

  • Nascosto Isles 3 by janb: Landmass mod full of unique houses, caves, dungeons, and ruins to explore. Here you’ll learn about the Aylmer, who were the first inhabitants of the Nascosto Isles, and save the island from an impending attack, while battling in Pirate Cove.
  • Oblivion Mod Makers Manual V1.4 by Lord_Gannondorf: Helpful manual for modding Oblivion. Requires MS Word or a PDF viewer.
  • Let the People Drink! by Qazaaq and Khornate: This mod adds new fountains and a aqueduct system to Imperial City.

Congrats to all the new inductees!

New DRM tool for 360

Given that we’ve released several downloads for Oblivion on Xbox Live, I thought you guys might find this information useful. Yesterday, Microsoft released their Content License Transfer Tool (aka the DRM Tool) on Xbox.com. If you’re asking, “huh, what’s that?” — let me explain how it might help you.

Let’s say you downloaded the Shivering Isles from Xbox Live. When you downloaded it, a license to play the content is then associated with your 360 console. If for any reason you replaced your 360, the license would not exist on the new box, and as a result, the content would only be playable when your 360 is connected to Xbox Live. This new tool will remedy this problem, as you can now transfer the license of your Shivering Isles purchase, or any other DLC for Oblivion, to your newer 360.

Still confused? Check out Major Nelson’s video above for more details.

Some tidbits from the latest PC Gamer

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This morning I read through the August issue of PC Gamer (US) and thought I’d share a few things that you might be interested in looking at.

  • In Desslock’s monthly column (page 96), he discusses how he’d like to see improvements within open world games and cites Oblivion as an example. In one example, he mentions he’d love to see the skeleton heads from Oblivion being used as bowling balls and rib cages used as xylophones. Yeah, I can’t argue that.
  • For you modders out there, Brett Todd’s featured column “Homebrew” focuses on rules modders should abide by. Check out his “Five Commandments” on page 98.
  • On the final page of the magazine, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw discusses his experience playing Oblivion, and how he struggles sometimes with the concept of open-world games. If you haven’t seen it already, you can watch Yahtzee’s Zero Punctuation review of Oblivion here.
  • On the same page, there’s a blurb teasing that the next issue of PC Gamer (September 2008) will feature hands-on impressions of Fallout 3. A few weeks back, Senior Associate Editor Dan Stapleton came by the office to play the game. Here at the office, we’ll be just as interested as you guys to see what he thought.

If you’re a PC Gamer subscriber, the August issue of PC Gamer should be in your mailbox any day now.

Mod interview: Gez

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This week’s mod interview is with Gez — who recently was named the Head of Concept Art for the mod project Tamriel Rebuilt. His nickname, which he uses on several sites, is a simple nickname from his initials (Gaël Zimmermann). Gez lives in France where he studies English. He’s looking to head out to the University of Birmingham next year.

On with the interview…

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The Elder Scrolls: Baltimore

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Last week while I was downstairs, I found one of these flyers advertising Play!: A Video Game Symphony, which will be making its way to Baltimore this summer. About an hour from our office, the concert will be on July 18th at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

As you might recall from this blog post, in the past, Play! has performed music from both Morrowind and Oblivion during their sets. I’m told by the show’s producer, Jason Paul, that this year’s program only features the Oblivion Suite (sorry Morrowind fans!).

If you’re interested in attending the Baltimore show, you might want to order tickets, or better yet, send us an email to be entered in a random draw to win a pair of tickets to the show of your choice (travel/accomodation not included). In addition to the Baltimore show, PLAY! has shows already planned for San Francisco (August 23rd) and Copenhagen (October 25th). If you enter, just be sure to put “Play!” in the subject line, and provide us with your name, email, and postal address. Thanks to Jason for donating these!

Who knows, if you end up going to the Baltimore show, you might run into some of the devs from the office.