Skyrim Xbox 360 Contest for the United Kingdom

To celebrate the release of Dawnguard, our UK office is giving folks a chance to win a custom Skyrim Xbox 360 with Kinect. For full details on how to participate, be sure to check out the contest rules after the break.

Not in the UK? Visit our German, French, and Spanish Bethesda Blog pages for contest rules in those countries.

Contest rules after the break…

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1.7 Beta Update Available on Steam

Today on Steam you can grab the Beta version of the 1.7 title update. In addition to Steam, the update is planned for release on Xbox 360 and PS3 — we’ll provide more details as soon as possible. Specific to PS3 players, features included in the 1.6 title update, including Mounted Combat, will be rolled into 1.7.

Release notes below:

Update 1.7 (all platforms unless specified)

BUG FIXES

  • General memory and stability optimizations
  • Fixed crash related to new water shaders
  • Fixed rare crash related to dragon landings
  • Fixed logic error with loading screens from add-ons (Xbox 360)
  • Using vampiric grip and swimming no longer prevents swimming animation from playing afterwards
  • Improved recognition with Kinect voice commands (Xbox 360)
  • Kinect-enabled dragon language shouts for French, German, Italian and Spanish work properly (Xbox 360)
  • Fixed issue with Dawnguard Kinect-enabled dragon shouts for French, German, Italian and Spanish (Xbox 360)

To provide feedback on the beta update, use our beta forum.

After the break, get details on how to participate in the Steam Beta.

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Gorgeous Skyrim Shots from Dead End Thrills

If you haven’t bookmarked Duncan Harris’ uber-awesome screenshot site, Dead End Thrills, we recommend you do so now. One of my personal favorites is the one above, titled Castle Rock, which he created uses the following method:

Tools and tricks: official HD texture patch, customised Cinematic Lighting ENB wrapper, antialiasing (injected FXAA w/ texture pre-sharpening), mods (Realistic Water Textures, Better Dynamic Snow, Vurts Flora Overhaul, Lush Trees, Lush Grass, customised RAN’s Type-A HeadMesh, Better Females by Bella, Director’s Tools, Xenius Character Enhancement, miscellaneous mesh work), free camera, time stop, time and weather control, custom FOV.

Not all of Duncan’s screens use tricks. Earlier in the year, Duncan captured Dishonored screenshots for us. He recounts the experience here on his site.

Skyrim Podcast #5: Dawnguard

The latest episode of the Bethesda Podcast goes behind the scenes with the team at Bethesda Game Studios to learn more about the latest DLC for Skyrim, Dawnguard.

Warning: minor story beats are discussed, so if you haven’t played Dawnguard and like to remain 100% fresh, bookmark for later listening.

Grab this episode via any of the following methods:

Subscribe on iTunes
Direct Download
Streaming
RSS

Download Dawnguard today on Xbox LIVE

Bloodthirsty for new Skyrim content? Dawnguard, Skyrim’s first game add-on, is now available (!!) on Xbox LIVE in English for 1600 Microsoft Points.

Ready to discuss the new content? Visit our newly-opened Dawnguard forum.

Want to learn more on the game? Check out reviews at these sites:

Dawnguard Available Tomorrow

The release of Dawnguard is almost upon us, would-be Vamp Lords. But when are you, specifically, getting your taste of the new bloody Skyrim content? Here’s a quick summary of dates you should know.

If you own a FIGS copy of Skyrim — French, Italian, German or Spanish — you’ll be happy to note that your version of the 1.6 update, featuring mounted combat and Kinect support, is rolling out today on Xbox 360.

Tomorrow, June 26, the English language version of Dawnguard will be unleashed on Xbox 360, and our plan is to launch French, Italian, German, and Spanish versions in mid-July. If you haven’t already, make sure you grab the required 1.6 title update off Xbox LIVE.

So get ready to head back into Skyrim muy pronto. And as always, stay hooked to your Bethblog feed-drip for new Skyrim news.

Creation Kit Hot Loading

The latest update to Skyrim’s Creation Kit now allows for Hot Plugin Loading. So what does that mean? Here’s BGS level designer Joel Burgess to explain…

As you know, we recently released version 1.6.89 of the Creation Kit. As previously mentioned, the CK is the same toolset the developers use – and that means that the latest version comes with an experimental new dev feature – Hot Plugin Loading.

Simply put, hot loading allows you to save and update your plugin from the Creation Kit, and immediately view those results in-game. No need to restart the game to see your changes! This has had a huge impact on iteration time around Bethesda Game Studios, and we hope modders will find it just as beneficial.

Note: As mentioned, this is an experimental feature. Not everything will work as expected, and there may be crashes or other hiccups. Many thanks to programmer Jay Woodward (aka RadHamster) for his work on this awesome new feature!

  • Load the Creation Kit as normal.  Load your plugin (or create a new one)
  • In this example, we’ll pretend our active plugin is “nifty.esp”
  • Launch Skyrim as normal.
  • Make some changes in the Creation Kit, such as moving or adding a static.
  • In-game, open the console (~) and enter the command: “FCF”
    • This step only applies if you loaded nifty.esp in the Data files section of the launcher
    • This only has to be done once per boot of the game.
    • FCF is shorthand for “force close files”, and allows the Creation Kit to save a loaded plugin
  • Return to the creation kit and save nifty.esp
  • Return to the game.  If possible, position yourself where you’ll notice your changes.
  • Open the console and enter: “HLP nifty” (or the name of your .esp file)
    • HLP is shorthand for “Hotload plugin”
  • The scene will re-load.  Your changes show now be visible in-game!

For more on the Creation Kit, visit our official Wiki and forums.

E3 Wrap: BGS showcases Dawnguard and more

Encore! BGS’ Todd Howard, Matt Carofano, and Ashley Cheng returned to E3 last week to showcase Skyrim’s first game add-on, Dawnguard.

Before getting to Dawnguard, I encourage you to watch Todd’s interview with Wil Wheaton. In it, he discusses games that inspired him, Skyrim’s amazing mod community, and plenty more. Speaking of the mod community, you’ll want to read Todd’s interview with Kotaku, too.

As for Dawnguard, learn about Dragonbone weapons, Vampire Lords, and much more in the highlights below…

For more on Dawnguard, read previews at OXMUSA TodayJust Push Start, and Eurogamer.

Finally, hit the jump below to watch Todd Howard’s GameTrailers.com interview with Geoff Keighley.

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