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.

Around the Web and on newsstands: New lists edition

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Today at the office, we received the 1,000th issue of Entertainment Weekly (since it’s a double issue, it’s actually issue #999-1,000). To celebrate the occasion, EW has a lengthy feature about the “New Classics” — where they list off the top 1,000 films, books, and albums of the last 25 years. While not as robust as some of the other lists, there’s also a list of the top 50 videogames from the past 25 years, with Oblivion making the list at #47.

For more news, hit the jump below…

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Around the web: Todd takes the Hot Seat

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Interviews with Todd continue to roll in. Here’s two more for you to check out.

At IGN, Todd sat in their “Hot Seat” to answer burning questions — both gaming and non-gaming related. Here’s a sample:

IGN: Does your work say anything about you?

Todd Howard: That I’ve never really grown out of my love of the 100 hour adventures of my Apple 2 days. The ones I would go to bed dreaming about solving. I crave moments of discovery in games, the moments of “can I do this?” and the sense that I have found something no other player has. I want my games to have that. I want length and depth and hint books that can kill a child if dropped on them.

More stuff after the jump…

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Memorable Moments in Gaming: Erik gets Punk’d

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This week I asked the devs if they would be interested in sharing their favorite gaming moments here on the blog — whether it be from a game developed here at Bethesda or a game they played during their leisure. Cheers to Lead Interface Programmer Erik Deitrick for leading off…

Hit the jump to read his tale from Oblivion…

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July magazines on newsstands

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After being out of the office for a good part of last week (travels and a bad back), I found a stack of magazines on my desk this morning, so I started sifting through them to find any coverage on Fallout/Oblivion/etc.

Here’s what I came up with. In the July issue of PlayStation The Official Magazine (US), there’s a 3-page preview for Fallout 3. Here’s a snippet:

Vault 101’s denizens are infamous for never venturing out into the world, so you can imagine the stir that ensues when your father suddenly vanishes. The Overseer naturally assumes you, now 19 years old, had something to do with his disappearance.

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Around the web: Be like Pete edition

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Happy Monday! Here’s a few that you might want to check out.

After sharing a handful of updates on Fallout 3 a few weeks back, TGR has a new interview with Pete Hines up on their site. You’re not going to find any new insight on Fallout 3, but if you’re curious about the ins and outs of Pete’s job, you might want to give it a read. Here’s an excerpt:

THE GAME REVIEWS: Those are very rare talents. What would you suggest to somebody who is looking to get into the industry either in PR or marketing?

PETE: I think the biggest thing is to know how the system works, and get games. When I am looking through resumes or applications, I look at where they went to school and job experience. I interview many folks who are interested in doing this, and they don’t seem to know much about games. If you really want to do this for a living, then it better be something that you enjoy and take seriously on some level so that you can participate, have knowledge and make an effort at it. If you are going to talk to me, you better know what we publish, what we make and have made an effort to play those or have an understanding of them.

If you’re dying for more insight on getting a career in gaming related to marketing/PR, check out this blog post from Pete.

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