Modding Interview: ElminsterEU

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This week’s modding interview is with ElminsterEU. Originally from Germany, he now lives in Australia, and indicates he has no plans of leaving. When he’s not modding, he works as a Lead Architect for a relationship database management system. His hobbies include reading science fiction and fantasy novels, pen-and-paper RPGs, swimming, and scuba diving. I guess the scuba diving wasn’t that great in Germany.

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Around the web: Another Broken Steel review roundup

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With more than a dozen new reviews for Broken Steel, I thought I’d share some of the latest links. At Gamer 2.0, Joshua Schwartzmann wrote the following:

With a solid new campaign, an improved level cap, dozens of new perks and tons of powerful weapons at your disposal, Broken Steel is hands down some of the best content Fallout 3 has to offer. With two previous add-ons already giving fans plenty to explore, Broken Steel really pushes the boundaries of what you can come to expect from future downloadable additions. This is the most complete and well-rounded addition to Fallout 3 yet, and anyone can expect to spend hours relishing in what it has to offer.

Additional reviews can be found at the following sites:

To read more reviews, head to our reviews page on the Fallout 3 Official Site.

In other news, there’s a new Fallout 3 interview with Pete Hines at OXM (UK). Here’s a snippet where Pete discusses the upcoming novels for The Elder Scrolls:

Bethesda is also doing Oblivion books. Will this be a continuation of the Oblivion story, or will it lead into another game or product?

Pete: It’s not a continuation of Oblivion but it does fit into… so it’s not like “well, Martin sacrificed himself and Tamriel was saved and next day what happened…” It takes place years or some period of time after that.

As we’ve got more news to share, we’ll let you know.

Community Scrapbook – Favorite Homes

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In my last post for Community Scrapbook update, we asked you guys to grab screenshots of the homes you’ve created (or at least touched up). I received plenty of great submissions, and I thought I’d share some of our favorites. Above is Burger Boy by eldiabs.

Great work by everyone. If you’ve got ideas for what the next Community Scrapbook should be, post in the comments section, or hit us up at bethblog@bethsoft.com

Hit the jump below to see more submissions.

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Planet Elder Scrolls Hall of Fame

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At Planet Elder Scrolls they’ve announced their April Hall of Fame mods for Oblivion and Morrowind. Here’s a look:

For Morrowind:

For Oblivion:

  • Silverware Weapons by Jellie _beenz: This mod replaces all stock Oblivion and Shivering Isles forks, knives, rakes, and hoes with usable versions. It also replaces all hand scythes, shovels, small brooms, farm brooms, pickaxes, dirty pickaxes, large bones(ones that look like thigh bones), calipers, and shears in leveled lists. No word if there will be sporks in an update.
  • Chingari and Ismelda Demon Race _ EC – UFF -Bab support by Chingari and Ismelda: Adds a demon race and 5 new eye sets to the game. Get all the details here.
  • RealSwords – Orc by waalx: The Orc module features an assortment of sabers, cleavers and swords that can be wielded by any races — with special incentives for Orcs.

Congrats to these modders on their hard work.

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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