Meet the Iron Man!

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So Monday morning when I got to the office, I immediately went into the blog’s mailbox to see who would become the winner of our contest. When I left on Friday, we had a couple guys with game times around 600 hours, but it turned out our winner would best these impressive efforts. There were also a few folks sending in multiple screen shots showing total game time across different players, but as the rules noted, this contest was for one game save.

Without further ado, I’d like to congratulate Krisztián Kovács of Hungary as becoming the “Oblivion Iron Man.” With a gameplay time of 700:48:55, he was the official winner by nearly 50 hours. If you think about that, that’s like playing for the entire month of February — even if it’s leap year! To quote Pete on the accomplishment, “Da-yum!”

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‘Martigen’s Monster Mod’ Interview

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This week I’m pleased to share a Q&A I gave with modder Ashton Mills, better known to some as Martigen. He recently released the utterly massive Martigen’s Monster Mod 3.0, which we’ve already discussed here at Bethblog. Being an active modder, Mills has already released version 3.1 of the mod.

Before jumping into the interview, remember you can always shoot us an e-mail if you have a mod project that you think the world should know more about.

What makes the newest iteration of your Monster Mod stand out from your earlier mods?

MMM 3.1 includes a new Wounding and Wounding Effects system. The former allows NPCs and creatures to get weaker the more wounded they become, while the latter displays this visually through blood textures, bleeding, and staggering effects that appear the more wounded an enemy becomes. It’s a lot of fun to play with as it adds a new dynamic to combat.

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It’s a Dance Off!


Late last week, I exchanged a few PMs with one of our active Elder Scrolls modders, princess_stomper, and she let me know that she was working on a video showing a “dance off” featuring our games, Morrowind and Oblivion, as well as some fancy moves from NCsoft’s MMO, Guild Wars.Well, I got to the office this AM and sure enough, Stomper had already sent me the video, and it’s definitely a winner. Featuring mods from more than dozen community members, the videos’ choreography goes great with the selected tune — Gwen Stefani’s “Wind It Up.”

Derek Zoolander and Hansel AM CRY!!

Deadlines Looming

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We have not one, but two deadlines looming on Bethblog. As I announced in the forums yesterday, after this afternoon, we won’t be taking questions for the Fan Q&A for Fallout 3. We’ve gotten plenty of entries. I appointed Blinzler from our forums as the man in charge of compiling the final 20 questions for us to answer. Given that he resides in Jamaica, where Hurricane Dean hit, I’m willing to give him and his cohorts a little extra time to deliver the questions to us, and then we’ll probably take around a week to answer them. Anyhow, send your last minute questions to us via the blog.

In other deadline news, our Oblivion Iron Man Contest will conclude when the clock strikes 12 on Sunday. I’m assuming folks have been trying to pad their game times, because we haven’t gotten that many submissions over the past few days. Just remember, the winner is determined by the single game save with the most gameplay time recorded.

Inside the Vault: Megan Sawyer

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Today’s Inside the Vault is with Megan Sawyer. She spends much of her time on creating the “living” spaces of the world – cities, towns, and landscapes. If our team were to have super powers, one of them would be the ability to create large, beautiful environments for exploration. Megan helps make that happen. For those who might recognize Megan, she had a feature in the documentary included with the Collector’s Edition of Oblivion.
What’s your job at Bethesda?

I’m an environment artist. I work on everything from houses tolandscape textures. In Oblivion, I made the houses of Cheydinhal, sculpted the landscape around the whole city, created the bridges and cattails, and made the Dark Brotherhood entry door. I also created the landscape textures and overall feel of the Blackwood swamp region. Currently on Fallout I’ve worked on a few buildings, an area for the main quest, a lot of clutter, and am now working on landscape.

At night I fight crime!

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Hall of Famers and Elegant Mods

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This week, Planet Elder Scrolls has announced its latest mods that have become “Hall of Fame” members. Leading the pack is Saiden Storm’s Akatosh Mount mod that we discussed earlier this month. A round of applause should also go to Neoptolemus’ Morrwind Comes Alive mod, Jerros and LHammonds’ Lost Paladins of the Divine mod, and last but not least, AlienSlof’s Oblivion Goth Shop II mod.

Congrats to you guys for all your hard work!

In other Elder Scrolls modding news, thought I’d point Princess Stomper’s Silorn Manor mod, which caught my eye. Soon to be the envy of Robin Leach, this mod adds a marvelous six-bedroom estate featuring, a private lounge, a training facility, top quality wines, and even a oven to let you live out your Easy Bake dreams. Champagne wishes!

Of course, if you’re living in luxury, you’re likely deserving of a fantastic vacation. May I suggest Unique Landscapes’ latest project, Beaches of Cyrodiil. This mod, found over at the Oblivion Files, “is the first in a series of UL mods designed to be a total conversion of the beaches of beloved Cyrodiil.”

The Real World: Oblivion


This has nothing to do with the MTV Show (you won’t find a Cuhutta here), but it’s fun nonetheless. Posted by VBFilms, these guys do a really good job spoofing gameplay from Oblivion, but obviously, they’re using real people.

My favorite parts are when they dub in voices from the game.They also nail the chair sitting animation.

If you like it, they’ve done a few Morrowind videos, including this one.

Happy Birthday, Howard Phillips Lovecraft!

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Today marks Lovecraft’s 117th birthday! So who exactly is this guy? Well, he’s the writer of “The Call of Cthulhu,” as well as the “Cthulhu Mythos” — books that inspired our 2005 release, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.

With a knack for doing pretty creepy stuff, Lovecraft has been considered an inspiration in the horror genre across comics, books, films, and videogames. According to Wikipedia, the concept of the now infamous Arkham Asylum (of Batman fame) originally came from Lovecraft’s ideas. The king of modern-age horror stories, Stephen King, cites Lovecraft as a major influence to his writings. On the GameCube, Nintendo fans might recall that the cult-hit, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, has his influence written all over it (with a good chunk of the game taking place in his hometown of Providence, RI).

Even Oblivion takes a page from Lovecraft’s work. The “Shadow Over Hackdirt” side quest in the game serves as an homage to his short story “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.”

If you have a chance, you should read up on the guy…some pretty fascinating stuff. If you like what you see, feel free to check out our game too.

Inside the Vault: Brendan Anthony

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Today’s Inside the Vault is with programmer, Brendan Anthony. He’s not responsible for any specific area or systems, per se – its more like we give him a list of cool stuff we want in the game and he makes it happen.

What’s your job at Bethesda?

The standard job description is “I make things blow up.” I’m a programmer and I work with physics, magic, special effects, and lots of general gameplay code. I’m very lucky in that I’ve been able to implement some pretty sweet features over the years — some days, if you were to hang around outside my cube, you would just hear bursts of laughter erupting over and over as I “test” explosions or crazy physics effects.

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New Community Content for The Elder Scrolls

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So far this week, I’ve seen several cool mod additions over at Planet Elder Scrolls. Here’s are a few of my favorites for the week…

The Nazarian Library: Repeal19 has created a mod that builds a library just south of Arcane University. So what makes this library so special? Well, it actually houses EVERY book that can be found within the original quest of Oblivion. So if you’re spending too much time playing the game in the coming weeks when school starts back up, you can at least tell your parents that you’re studying at the library :).

Chargen Diseases: When generating your character, Marbred’s disease mod allows you to make your character suffer from Werewolf disease, Vampire clan disease, or simply no disease at all. Perfect for folks who can’t get enough of Teen Wolf.

Mostly-Mini Todd Howard: Last but not least, and destined to be a favorite around our office, this new Morrowind mod from Fliggerty & Friends adds a “Mini Me” Todd Howard to the game. I’m sure Todd is honored to have his likeness in the game. Now can we just get a new weapon called the “Gstaff” (I’m imagining some sort of staff that has a “G” at the top of it).