This week we’re talking with Dev_Akm, whose modding days started with PnP projects like Dungeons and Dragons and GURPS more than 20 years ago. Now a systems developer and analyst in Austin, he spends a fair amount of his free time modding Morrowind and Oblivion (though he also is a fan of hiking, camping and listening to punk rock). Of course, that free time is in jeopardy. In addition to raising one daughter, he’s got another on the way.
Yesterday was the two year anniversary of Oblivion’s “Gone Gold” announcement. Personally, those two years feel more like a decade to me. The team is insanely busy right now, but a few developers did e-mail me some thoughts on the anniversary. I’ve worked on Oblivion longer than most people here, and I continue to be amazed at how successful it was and is and how many people still play it today.
Visiting the Oblivion Files, I noticed they’ve updated the “featured mods” on their main page.
In the “featured armour” department, AlexScorpion’s Adamantium Battlesuit is pretty sweet. After reading about it, it took me several mintues to figure out what famous character used armor like this. I asked my friend at Bungie if it had anything to do with Halo…no dice. Then looking at the armor pics, I started thinking maybe it was the body suit Raiden used in Metal Gear Solid 2. Wrong again. Finally, I came across a Wikipedia link that revealed Wolverine’s skeletal makeup and claws were adamantium. I knew I knew it from somewhere.
Thought I’d share a cool video that was pointed out to me. As you can see (and hear), it’s a live performance of Oblivion’s theme music. The footage comes from a fan that attended Play! A Video Game Symphony in Stockholm last summer.
For those that are unfamiliar with Play! — it’s a touring symphony (with choir) that performs music from popular games like Super Mario Bros., Castlevania, and Halo. In addition to Oblivion, the program also includes music from Morrowind. Play! is conducted and directed by Grammy-award winner Arnie Roth. In his career, Roth has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted concerts dedicated to music from the Final Fantasy series, and even worked with 80s yacht rocker Peter Cetera. Talk about eclectic!
Two years ago, Play! was in the DC area and I regretted missing it. Here’s hoping that there’s another tour on the horizon.
This week’s Elder Scrolls mod interview comes from two members of the Nehrim project — a total conversion mod using The Elder Scrolls CS. As a total conversion, its story takes place in a world unrelated to anything in the Elder Scrolls universe, so players can enjoy a new fan-made game from their Oblivion disc. It’s still up in the air as to when the project will be complete, but SureAI’s Arandor and Lord Dagon stopped by to give us an update …
You probably figured out already that we’re not doing a lot of talking at GDC this week — it’s been pretty busy around here with everyone cracking on Fallout 3. Still, if you need a break from all the GDC news, here are a few newsworthy mentions I thought I’d share.
I noticed Destructoid has shared the results of their “which one game has eaten up more hours of your life than any other game ever has” debate, and both Morrowind (#6) and Oblivion (#2) made the top ten. Even combining votes, these games would still end up trailing World of WarCRACK craft. No surprise there.
Now that you know a little more about The Imperial Library, it’s pop quiz time. Over on the site GoToQuiz, I found a new 20 question quiz for Oblivion. The questions are actually pretty good, and I only managed a 60% — I suppose I should have grabbed the strategy guide from my shelf before taking the quiz.
Anyhow, check out the quiz here, and feel free to post your score.
Welcome to another update on the Oblivion modding scene. Here’s a few community happenings and projects that caught my eye in the past couple weeks.
DarkOne from TES Nexus has put up a Files of the Month section similar to what TESSource previously had. Currently, Apachii Goddess Store ranks as the site’s most popular mod. This mod, from Apachii, adds a shop with Goddess Merchants that sell weapons, armors, clothes and more. If you’re not looking to buy new items, you can also visit the shop for training purposes.
At the Oblivion Files, this week’s honoree for ES IV File of the Week is Moving Paintings by Kevin P. Cook. Still in beta, this mods adds animated textures to paintings. Hmm, is this Cyrodiil or Hogwarts?
Because everyone loves unicorns, I thought I’d share Turamarth’s Umarithial the Unicorn Mount (version 2), which I spotted over at Planet Elder Scrolls. This mod adds the ability to ride a self-healing, armored unicorn. Oh, and you can summon your trusty unicorn anywhere that horses can normally go.
Finally, we’d like to wish a belated happy birthday to The Elder Scrolls Fan Union (TESFU). Last month, the site celebrated their one-year anniversary. The site is a nice place to discuss lore, fan-fiction, and of course, mods. Take a look here to see some of their projects.
This week’s Elder Scrolls mod interview is with Trollf — a humble modder whose projects I discovered a couple of weeks ago. Trollf lives on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea and thinks he’s around 32 years old, but he’s not sure since he doesn’t remember being born. While Morrowind and Oblivion might not be his favorite games, he’s definitely a fan of modding them.
Fighter’s Stronghold stays #1, surpassing #2, Vile Lair, by almost twice as much. We did notice a sizeable increase in the number of players on Xbox Live, playing Oblivion, after the holidays. Thanks to everyone to purchased/gifted Oblivion to someone.
Top Five Oblivion Xbox Live downloads for January 2008*
1. The Fighter’s Stronghold
2. Vile Lair
3. The Wizard’s Tower
4. Spell Tomes
5. Mehrunes Razor