Exploring the new Elder Scrolls website

In case you’ve been staring at the trailer for the last 24 hours (we’ve been doing that too), wanted to remind you to explore our new Elder Scrolls website. Front and center on the site is Skyrim, for which you can find the latest media, news coverage, wallpapers, and more.

The site also has plenty of cool stuff from previous games in the series. You can watch game introductions and trailers, read archived team diaries for Morrowind and Oblivion, and yes, you can once again download Arena and Daggerfall for FREE.

In the community section, be sure to check out the first team diary for Skyrim, Welcome Back Elder Scrolls, written by Todd Howard. Todd discusses the excitement of returning to Tamriel after creating Fallout 3, and how both the series and team have evolved. Here’s an excerpt…

“To do that this time, we knew, like before, we had to start over. We needed to reinvent large parts of the game and its technology. We started with the graphics renderer, and how we would bring the scale of snow covered mountains, dynamic weather systems, and massive dragons to life along with the small details of how people lived; from the forks they used, to the fish they caught, and the meat they cooked. We then rewrote all the major graphics and gameplay systems including lighting, shadows, level of detail, animation, interface, scripting, dialogue, quest systems, melee, magic, and more. All of those changes made it into our internal editor as well. So much had changed that we decided to call the engine and editor by a new name, the Creation Engine and the Creation Kit. We can’t wait to see what all the brilliant mod makers do with these tools.”

Read the rest here. The diary is accomodated by our newest team photo, which I had the privilege to snap last week. If you’re wondering why they’re smiling, there’s plenty of good reasons: 1) It was Friday, 2) our happy hour was about to begin, and 3) Like you, they’re fans of the series and can’t wait for you guys to have a chance to play it.

Between now and 11.11.11, stay tuned for new updates on the site.

First In-game Skyrim Trailer Released!

Following a tense 24-hour countdown, the official in-game trailer for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been released!

In addition to the new trailer, elderscrolls.com has seen a major update, including new Skyrim features and fancy legacy pages for all the games in the Elder Scrolls series. Need the TES Construction kit? Want to watch the Arena intro — or download the full game? You can do this now.

We hope you enjoy — and keep checking back for more updates as we approach Skyrim Day, 11/11/11!

Prepare for Skyrim’s trailer

Today on The Elder Council, we provided a link to an all-new Dragonborn wallpaper. In addition to the wallpaper, we included a link to a mysterious countdown timer — mysterious only to those that immediately started doing a dragon dance around their house. Those of you that were able to keep your wits noticed the countdown is leading up to the “first, in-game look at The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim!!”

So in less than 19 hours (10 AM EST), the world will see Skyrim in action. How will you prepare for tomorrow’s trailer? We suggest the following: 1) Join The Elder Council, 2) Gaze upon your new wallpaper, and 3) join the folks doing the dragon dance… and maybe let them know what the countdown is all about.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Creation Engines

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Update: If anyone is seriously considering this, we’ve got a few ideas in mind for a collection of quest rewards. How’s this for a shower gift: a Steam key that will grant you, and presumably Dovahkiin him/herself, every ZeniMax/Bethesda game — past, present and future — for life. Once your child eventually achieves cognition — and grows old enough to play intense video games — we think it will agree that this key blows away a pink pleated onesie. As for the rest of the loot, we’ll leave it as a surprise.

Original story: Our man Pete Hines sends word that today, February 18, is the ideal time to conceive if you’re looking to roll a new character/child on Skyrim Day — 11/11/11. Just how exactly he learned this is worth pondering, but we’ll take him at his word for the sake of amusing science.

So, think you have the stat points in you to produce the perfect eight pound dragon-slayer? Like the wizened wizard he is, Pete is throwing down with a casual quest, offering up an unknown reward to any couple adventurous enough to name their 11/11/11-born child “Dovahkiin.” While it may be difficult to play Skyrim from the hospital, just think of how many late nights you’ll have to lull your little Dragonborn with Jeremy Soule’s soothing music.

And with that, we have possibly doomed a child. I’d say this calls for a hefty disclaimer.

Disclaimer: Any reward for completing this quest will not ultimately justify the potential teasing your child could — and probably will — endure over its lifespan. Bethesda Softworks is not responsible for your parenting. You may gain experience points for completing this quest, but you will not care at 3am on a work night. Completion of this quest may also result in decreased desire to play video games and/or function as a human being. Consult with your friends before embarking on this quest; while it may not start in prison, it probably ends there.

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Around the web and on newsstands

Welcome to another round of Around the Web… step right up and read the news!

But first, with RAGE’s new trailer unveiled, we thought we share some archived coverage for those of you catching up on the title. Above is a GameTrailers’ interview (featuring gameplay) from QuakeCon last year with creative director Tim Willits. For more of RAGE (and Tim), check out the videos embedded here.

Moving along, one of my favorite stories of the year so far is this one I spotted a week back on Kotaku. It’s about a Fallout fan named Gareth. Unlike most of us, Gareth can’t play games with his hands, but he’s put together a setup that allows him to play games using his chin. Watch a video of him playing New Vegas here… cool, inspiring stuff.

Staying in the Mojave, last month we blogged about an ambitious mod project for New Vegas called Project Nevada. Those interested in checking out the mod can download it now at New Vegas Nexus.

Check out more on New Vegas at these sites…

  • British Academy of Film and Television Arts (that’s BAFTA) has announced their GAME British Academy Video Games Awards’ nominees with New Vegas receiving nominations for Best Strategy Game and Best Story
  • Game Industry News has nominated the game for Best RPG
  • GamePro includes New Vegas (and Oblivion) in a feature on the 10 Best RPGs you should be playing

Skyrim news (and more) after the break…

Continue reading full article ›

OXM UK teases Skyrim cover story

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Today on OXM UK’s Facebook page, they’ve teased the Skyrim cover story that hits newsstands this Thursday. If you’re in the UK, be sure to check it out.

If you’re somewhere else in Europe/Australia, keep an eye out for these features on the game

United Kingdom

Official Xbox Magazine — on shelves February 10th

Official PlayStation Magazine — on shelves February 16th

France

PlayStation Le Magazine Officiel — available now

Germany

Computer Bild Spiele — available now

Benelux

Power Unlimited — available now

Spain

Micromania — available now

Italy

Giochi per Il Mio Computer — available now

Nordic

Gamereactor — available now

Australia

Game Informer — available now