Novels for The Elder Scrolls announced (Updated)

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Along with our other press releases today, we’ve announced that we’re partnering with Del Ray books to release two novels based on The Elder Scrolls. Both books,  will be all-new, original stories written by New York Times bestselling author Greg Keyes (shown above). Star Wars fans may recognize Keyes for his work on the New Jedi Order series.

The first book, “The Infernal City,” is set to release this fall. For more details, check out the official press release.

Update: At Shacknews, Pete Hines discusses working on this project with Greg Keyes in a new interview.

Modding Interview: MentalElf

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This week’s modding interview features Barney Blankenship (known in the forums as MentalElf). Barney is a retired software engineer living out in Kauai. He’s also a big fan of Chihuahuas.

How did you first get involved in the Bethesda modding community?
I wanted to become a graphic artist, so I purchased a student license copy of 3DS Max. It occurred to me Morrowind was the best game at the time, having just earned Game of the Year award, so I began learning about modding and playing Morrowind. I soon found the Elder Scrolls forums and how indispensible the community is. I soon got involved with the Children of the Night III (CON3) Morrowind project, and learned about modding as part of a team.

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Hall of Fame mods for March at Planet Elder Scrolls

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Planet Elder Scrolls has announced the latest Hall of Fame mods for Oblivion and Morrowind. Let’s take a quick look at the latest (and greatest) mods to be honored…

For Morrowind:

  • Tamriel Rebuilt: Map 2 – Antediluvian Secrets by The Tamriel Rebuilt Team: A massive mod that “aims to recreate ‘Mainland Morrowind’ as Bethesda would have had they included it in the third Elder Scrolls game. TR uses a combination of imagination and lore to bring you new areas to explore, new secrets to discover and allowing a host of new adventures to unfold.”

For Oblivion:

Great work all!

Oblivion 360 DLC on sale (most of it, anyway)

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In celebration of the arrival of April, the wackiness of April Fool’s Day, and the upcoming 3rd anniversary of the release of Horse Armor (Friday, April 3), we are pleased to announce that for the next week all Oblivion DLC for Xbox 360 is half price, except for Horse Armor, which is twice as much as usual. So if you’ve been waiting for just the right moment to get The Vile Lair, or Knights of the Nine, or Shivering Isles, now is the time.

As always you can get your DLC on Xbox Live or through the marketplace on Xbox.com.

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Around the Web: Erik talks about maturing

No, this isn’t like that episode of the Brady Bunch where Peter sings “Time to Change.” Designer Erik J. Caponi is talking about “mature games” in a new Kotaku feature “Growing Up Games: When Will Mature, Mature?” Here’s a snippet of him discussing different definitions of what a mature game is:

“The word really has two meanings when we apply it to media. One is ‘not appropriate for children’ and the other is ‘exploring subject matter in a sophisticated fashion,’” Caponi explains. “Ironically, the word mature when applied to games tends to have a very childish connotation.”

Elsewhere, be sure to also read CG Society’s new interview with Fallout 3 Environment Artist Rashad Redic — previously featured here for Inside the Vault. Given that the interview comes post-release, you’ll get a chance to learn a little more about Rashad’s role and what he worked on for Fallout 3. Here’s an excerpt:

In what ways did you take Fallout3′s day/night cycle into consideration, so that your work looked consistently good in all the various light models and times of day?

Rashad: We use these full screen image processes similar to how film is tinted to color grade our environments, and we actually spent a lot of time tweaking the day and night cycles along with these image processes to give us the look we wanted. In our editor you can scrub through the different times of day and see how the color shifts affect the art, and we were very mindful of our color palette and art style throughout that process.

I guess I missed it when I put up Pete’s Gametrailers interview from D.I.C.E., but there’s also a new one with Todd. Watch it above.

More news after the break…

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New Fan Art Uploaded

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Wanted to let you guys know we added new Fan Art to Bethesda Blog this week — including contributions from Raven Hall, Maya Brisa, Berit Jurda, Emma, Chimer Warrior and Anku Greedo. The image above is one of many new submissions from Anku Greedo — both for Fallout and The Elder Scrolls.

If you’ve got a fan art and you’d like to submit it to Bethesda Blog, send us an email. And a reminder, we continue to welcome submissions for our Community Scrapbook of characters resembling/modelled after celebrities.

New ORE Newsletter

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The most recent newsletter for ORE (that’s Oblivion Real Estate) has been released and there’s plenty of great information. There’s a feature on TES Alliance (a group that works to strengthen the Elder Scrolls modding community) written by DarkRider, an interview with Korana (who was interviewed here on the blog awhile back), and the announcement of a new site, Fallout Real Estate (or FORE). Above are two screens from one of the first featured homes on Fallout Real Estate, Princess Megaton Home Expansion by Princess Stomper.

To read about these and more, check out the ORE newsletter here.

February Hall of Fame Mods at Planet Elder Scrolls

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The latest Elder Scrolls mods to make the Hall of Fame at Planet Elder Scrolls have been announced. Here’s the mods from Morrowind and Oblivion that were honored in February.

From Oblivion:

  • Wayshrines in the University by Rauko Ohtar: This mod adds nine Wayshrines to Arcane University’s garden.
  • FCOM: Convergence by dev_akm and TeamFCOM: One of the more popular mods out there, this mod allows you to run Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul, Martigen’s Monster Mod, Oblivion WarCry, and Francesco’s Leveled Creatures-Items together.
  • Custom Race Fix by KyneTarse: According to the author, this mod adds “catch-all” dialogue to the prisoner at the beginning of the game. This dialogue will trigger the beginning of the game for any non-default race.

From Morrowind:

Congrats to the modders honored in February. Elsewhere, congrats to Nehrim, who was recently nominated for Best Upcoming Mod at ModDB for his project, Nehrim: At Fate’s Edge.

Modding Interview: Phitt

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This week we’re talking with Elder Scrolls/Fallout 3 modder, Philipp Termeer (known in the forums as Phitt). Phitt is a resident of Wiesbaden, Germany where he works as an engineer. Phitt has been playing our games since Morrowind, and began modding with Oblivion.

Phitt is currently working on a very impressive Oblivion, Sheogorad, using thousands of meshes made from scratch. Pretty impressive homage to Morrowind!

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January HOF Mods at Planet Elder Scrolls

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February’s here, which means we can look back at the Planet Elder Scrolls latest Hall of Fame mods. Be sure to check the following mods…

From Morrowind

  • GS_Seyda Neen Complete by Gianluca: This mod gives the port town of Seyda Neen a more authentic look — adding shops, a tavern, various homes, and more.

For Oblivion

  • Cobl by Cobl Team: Abbreviated for Common Oblivion, Cobl adds a world enrichment mod that adds lots of little things that enrich your gameplay experience, as well as a shared library that serves as a resource for other mods, and an integration tool that allows different mods to “talk” to each other. Read the full details here.
  • Martigen Monster Mod 3.6.b3 by TEAM MMM- Corepc, Dev_Akm, Shadowborn: A revamped version of MMM, which we featured on Bethesda Blog waaaay back in August of 2007…ah, memories.
  • RealSwords – Bosmer by waalx: The Bosmer module features an assortment of sabers, bows and arrows that can be wielded by any race, but that grant a bonus to Bosmers.

Congrats to all the new HOF inductees!