Inside the Vault: Clara Struthers

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Today’s Inside the Vault features artist, Clara Struthers. She is married to Inside the Vault veteran, Grant Struthers. Clara is a world artist, who creates cities and other large game spaces. Currently, she’s hard at work building some amazing areas in Fallout 3. Clara created Anvil, my personal favorite city in Oblivion (where my characters liked to vacation when they needed a break from looking AWE–wait for it

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Fighter’s Stronghold DLC (for FREE!), Shivering Isles for PS3, and other Elder Scrolls happenings

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First, I wanted to let you know that we are finally releasing the last piece of downloadable content we created for Oblivion. We had mentioned it a long, long time ago but we hadn’t released it, until now. Starting Monday, October 15 it will be available to download via Xbox Live (for Xbox 360) and elderscrolls.com (for PC). And, for one week, it will be free to anybody who wants to download it and play it. So mark it on your calendars and don’t forget.

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The Imperial Library Interviews Dyus, Haskill

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Always ones to go searching for more info on Elder Scrolls lore, the guys at TIL skipped talking to the devs and went straight to the source (so to speak) in an interview with two of the more memorable characters in Shivering Isles. Here’s an excerpt:

TIL: Each of you, gentlemen, has resided in the Mad God’s realm for a long time. Haskill, as right hand of the Lord himself at New Sheoth; Dyus as keeper of… what is left of the library of Jyggalag. However, has either of you ever been to the Mortal plane? What is your opinion on a world full of personal choice?

Dyus: Personal choice is an illusion. I chose not to delude myself with it. However, I must admit that the quaint mortals of Tamriel have a distressing habit of interfering with the plans and plots of Daedric Princes. And quite successfully, I might add. It has given me a new respect for Lorkhan’s choice.

I have studied Mundus extensively, but have never set foot in it. My lord Jyggalag led me to believe that I would not find the experience…what was the word he used…oh, yes. Healthy.

Haskill: What need do I have to visit Tamriel? I have more than enough irritating mortals to deal with here. Excepting your delightful self, of course.

You can read the full interview here.

Shivering Isles for 360 Coming to a Store Near You

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We announced today that we will be shipping a Shivering Isles disc to retail stores next month. This disc will allow 360 gamers who don’t have access to Live to play the full Shivering Isles expansion as well as the content of the Knights of the Nine faction as well as .

Retail price will be $29.99. No word yet on what we might be able to do on PS3. It’s still being looked into as we speak.

Oblivion Shoutouts for Great Weapons and Hard Work

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Here’s two interesting mentions Oblivion received over the long weekend…

Ash pointed me to cool list over on Team Xbox, where they picked their “Top 20 Weapons of All-Time.” Oblivion/Shivering isles made the cut with a mention of the “Dawnfang/Duskfang” blade that becomes available with the Shivering Isles expansion. The sword(s) came in at #5 on the list, and the Team Xbox editors had this to say about its powers:

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Inside the Vault: Grant Struthers

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Today we talk with Grant Struthers, the artist responsible for my favorite location in Oblivion – Cloud Ruler Temple. And, of course, these days, he is hard at work on Fallout 3. If I could pick any cubicle to visit on the team, I would pick Grant’s. He always has the most crazy looking stuff on his monitors — his test areas are always fun to look at. (Grant and his wife, Clara – who also works here – just adopted a new kitten who had been abandoned at Craig “Claff” Lafferty’s – a producer here – doorstep. Leaving a kitten at someone’s doorstep and running away – who does that? Anyhoo…)

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Direct2Drive Arrives in UK

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Yesterday IGN announced that their download service for PC games, Direct2Drive, has expanded its reach to the UK. What does this mean? Well, if you’re not one for getting out to a local game shop, you can now download Oblivion and The Shivering Isles from the convenience of your home.

Visit here to start downloading if you’re across the pond from us. For those that are stateside, you’ll want to visit the original Direct2Drive site here.

Keep in mind that if you’re downloading Oblivion and/or Shivering Isles from Direct2Drive, there’s a patch available with each download that is specific to the D2D version.

Golden Joystick Nominations

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For those that don’t know, the Golden Joystick Awards is an award show out of the UK that honors the best games of the year — as voted by gamers. Last year Oblivion took home three Golden Joysticks: Best PC Game, Best Xbox Game, and Ultimate Game of the Year. Even though none of us were able to attend, it’s still very cool to win and we were all excited.

We got a five nominations this year. Fallout 3 received a nomination for the “Ones To Watch” category, Shivering Isles received two nominations (Best Xbox Game and Best PC Game), and the PS3 release of Oblivion received two nods as well (Best Playstation Game and Soundtrack of the Year).

Want your favorite game to take home a Golden Joystick on October 26? Visit here to vote.

Dear (Oblivion) Diary

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Got an e-mail from Brian G. from heartland of America (Des Moines, where I lived until I was 10) about how he regularly posted updates regarding his experiences playing Oblivion. I’m sure others have done this, but they Brian e-mailed me first!. I like the fact while it’s a pretty long thread, his exploits in Oblivion are all right there on one page. His updates started when he got the game on March, 22 2006 through April 18, 2007 when he wrapped up the main quest.

He didn’t post everyday, because like other fans, things always come up, such as when he posted:

“There will be no Oblivion update for tonight…or tomorrow night. the wife took the game with her to her parents’ place for the next two days so i would do homework and laundry.”

Stinky clothes and bad grades can be bad news, but you should have known to have a second copy of the game. Anyhow, thanks for sharing, Brian. Now that you’ve had an extended break from the game, you should give The Shivering Isles a chance.

Check out his chronicles here

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition coming in September

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Over the weekend, I saw several places that hinted at this, so without further ado, it’s official…The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition is coming to Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

On top of being able to play the heralded Oblivion, 360 fans not using Xbox Live will now have the opportunity to play Knights of the Nine and The Shivering Isles for the first time. TES IV: OGotYE (I’m sure this is what the kids will call it) also allows gamers to experience the insanity of The Shivering Isles on the PS3.

For more details on this announcement, check out the entire press release