Oblivion – The Musical??

I got an email this week from a dedicated Elder Scrolls’ fan named Kellen DeRuy. It seems the game made such an impact on him, that he just had to make his own musical for the game. Here’s what he wrote:

Just wanted all the people at Bethesda Games to know how amazing they are. My Brother and I made a video about how awesome Elder Scrolls IV is. Well, that and about how addictive it is.
Thank you for the game. The video we made is in complete honor of the game and is of course non-profit, Just wanted you all to see it…Kellen.

Having watched this masterpiece a few times, it seems more like a music video than a musical, but that doesn’t take anything away from it. After emailing it to Todd, his reply said it all: “Best. Video. Ever.”

April Honors: Files of the Month at TES Nexus

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Better late than never, here’s a look at the TES Nexus’ most popular mods for Oblivion in the month of April.

The most popular download was Ancient Towers by WilliamSea. Here’s a brief description of the mod from the author:

“One day, you find yourself traveling South on the Yellow road. After passing the bridge over the Corbolo River, you are attacked by a bandit screaming wildly at you. After dispacthing the crazy thief, you see a tent in the woods with a strange light emanating from it. You cautiously look around and slowly approach the bandits camp site. On a rock inside the tent are several glowing welkyd gems, and next to them is a scroll with the bandits diary explaining his most recent adventure in the hills to the East. He found a set of ancient towers guarded by amazing creatures of great power. Will you be able to gain control of this fabulous site? Can you defeat the tower guardians?”

For more information on WilliamSea’s mod, check out the thread he started in the Oblivion Mods board. Also, keep in mind that to run this mod, you’ll need to be sure that you’ve updated Oblivion with the most recent patch, and keep in mind this mod requires that you have The Shivering Isles as well.

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Around the web and on newsstands: Playing catch up edition

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After a week down under (more on that later), I’ve returned to the office with plenty of coverage to catch up on. Here’s a look at some of the stuff I’ve missed…

To kick things off, the May 2008 issue of OXM (US) has a feature called House Rules: Other Ways to Play, which reveals new ways to play Oblivion. Check out the issue if you want to know how to pitch, bowl, or even play tee-ball within the Oblivion world.

Speaking of OXM, the editors have put together a special spring issue called Ultimate Xbox 360 How-To Handbook. Within the issue is another opportunity to put together the Vault Boy bobblehead papercraft cutout that was previously found in PC Gamer. Look for the magazine on newsstands now.

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Check out the latest featured mods at The Oblivion Files

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Here’s the latest featured mods for Oblivion over at FileFront’s site, The Oblivion Files.

The Featured Home is Floating Platforms by CobraUnit42. Like it sounds, this mod creates a home that gives you a home floating thousands of feet above the ground. Sounds like a cool place to go bungie jumping from, but I wonder, “How the heck do you get up there??”

The most recent Featured Weapon mod is Angeleron by DireStorms. Shown above, there are one-handed and two-handed versions available of this fine looking blade. According to DireStorms, the sword is by no means overpowering, but rather “medium” in strength. Check out the Conan-like dude sporting this awesome blade above.

Sheogorath has the site’s featured scripting mod, Sheogorath’s Master Craft 2. This mod enhances Martigen’s Monster Mod by adding a large array of crafting options. Runes and runic metals can be found within Cyrodiil that can be used to make runes, socketed weapons, and armor, and these runes can be used with the socketed items to create very powerful enchanted items.

Finally, this week’s File of the Week is Cellars of Cyrodiil by FlyingPieofDeath. The project is still in early stages, though the author believes it’s bug free. Here’s a description of the mod:

“Cellars of Cyrodiil gives a small but handy upgrade to various houses. It adds cellar doors like the one in a certain quest. This mod is meant for players who’s characters prefer darker paths such as thievery or murdering, allowing you to enter a home through the basement rather than the front door. This may be version 0.5, but there should be no bugs, and is considered version 0.5 due to the fact there are so few cellar entrances, a grand total of eight. FlyingPieOfDeath is prepared to listen to any suggestions for homes to give cellar entrances, but know before suggesting that he is not creating basements for the houses, simply adding the entrances.”

Congrats to these modders for having their mods recognized. Keep up the good work!

Morrowind turns 6 years old; Oblivion is back on Xbox Live’s Top Ten list

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Blame it on Morrowind.

In 2001, Todd Howard came by my cube and asked if I could help him track some work on a project his team was working on. The project was, of course, Morrowind. I would guess the team was somewhere around 40 developers then, maybe less. A year later — and six years ago today — we went gold and shipped the following week. As successful as Oblivion has been for us, it could not have happened without Morrowind. The team, processes, tools, technology, lore, fan feedback — we learned so much from Morrowind and put it all into Oblivion. Open ended RPGs are not easy projects to work on and very few knock it out of the park on the first try.

If you liked Oblivion, try Morrowind. The Xbox version is backward compatible on Xbox 360, and the PC version should run easily on any computer that is out now. Make sure you get the Morrowind Game of the Year edition, which will include the two expansions, Tribunal and Bloodmoon. Let us know in comments which of the games we’ve worked on is your favorite.

Other good news today — Major Nelson released his top 10 Xbox Live titles today and Oblivion is back on the list at #10…a full two years after its initial release. It used to surprise me, but no more — Oblivion has got major legs. Major legs.

Hollywood hits Cyrodiil

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Visiting Planet Elder Scrolls today, I noticed a number of celebrity mods from Chimera. On the main page alone, I spotted 8 different famous faces making their way to Cyrodiil.

In addition to Snoop Dogg (shown above), here’s a few other celebrities making their way into Oblivion:

Hopefully, we’ll see some more celebrities make their way into Oblivion in the near future. Here’s hoping the Governator is next!