Skyrim game guide co-author David Hodgson returns to discuss mapping Skyrim’s world.
Take it away, David…
One of the most impressive aspects of Skyrim is its three-dimensional world map. Access it in the game, and you’re transported to the heavens, peering down at the landscape you’re still standing on. From here, you can view locations you’ve found or cleared, as well as hold capitals. But early on in the creation of the guide, I realized we’d have to create an entire world map completely from scratch. This was the point when terror set in.
Fortunately, our map makers (the good folks at 99 Lives studio, with over 20 years of map-making experience) decided they didn’t need much of a summer, and stitched together every single section of the game world from about 20 feet off the ground; resulting in a messy, but workable tapestry of landscapes. While I spent my evenings checking, plotting, and referencing all the topography and locations, our cartographers painstakingly transformed the map into a gigantic, useable, and highly accurate representation of the Province of Skyrim itself. This is a map you’ll find exclusively in the guide, online map tool, and iPad app. But just how much detail is there?
Learn about some of the things you’ll find while exploring Skyrim’s massive landscape, and see how Bethesda artists upped their game in over three years of dedicated work. Head over there now to check it out.
You can also listen to the third developer podcast separately in the regular places:
Alongside Skyrim’s release, you’ll also be able to purchase the mammoth-sized, 656-page (in full color) game guide from Prima. To learn about the guide’s contents, here’s the guide’s co-author, David Hodgson…
Overview. The Sky’s the Limit
Work began on the official guide in early May, when I commenced an overwhelming trek into every frigid corner of Skyrim. Initially, I was thinking this would be a similar experience to my work on the Fallout 3 guide. But then phrases like “even more epic” and “five times the size” were whispered to me. More than five months, close to 2,000 man-hours of work (between myself and co-author Steve Stratton), several thousand cups of tea and packets of Monster Munch later, and with a massive support structure from both Bethesda and Prima, the guide is complete.
With less than five days until Skyrim’s launch, here’s some good stuff from around the web to occupy .01% of the remaining wait time. In the video above, watch Dan Bull’s Epic Skyrim Rap. If the name sounds familiar, Dan also did an Oblivion rap late last year.
Live in the UK? Below are details on special midnight launch events at GAME London on Oxford Street and gamestation Birmingham on New Street.
The first 250 people to join the queue at each store will receive a Skyrim goody bag, whilst the first 100 people in the queue will also receive a Skyrim strategy guide and Skyrim music CD.
Adding further excitement on the night, fans who turn up dressed in Skyrim cosplay will have the chance to win five special prizes! The Best Cosplay winner will receive an Xbox 360, free upgrade to the Skyrim Collector’s Edition, Skyrim t-shirts, Skyrim strategy guide, Skyrim music CD, and Skyrim goody bag. The first four runners up will also receive a free upgrade to the Skyrim Collector’s Edition, Skyrim t-shirts, Skyrim strategy guide, Skyrim music CD, and Skyrim goody bag.
In addition the goodies and costume contest, folks that visit GAME London on Oxford Street will have a chance to get a photo with a real-life Elder Scroll!
We’re pleased to announce that after more than three years of hard work, the team at Bethesda Game Studios has completed over 20 versions of Skyrim — across multiple platforms, languages, and countries. That’s right, Skyrim is officially gold!
The team celebrated last night with sweet golden mead brewed by Kurt Kuhlmann, Ryan Jenkins, and Shane Liesegang.