Elder Scrolls Mod Interview: Conan_Lon

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This week’s interview comes from Lon Hammonds (aka Conan_Lon). Deep in the heart of Texas, Lon and his family live in a custom home, and one day they plan to use their land as a pecan farm. In the meantime, Lon works as a certified database administrator and is a computer science wiz. He is also an admin at TES Nexus in his spare time.

On to the the questions…

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March Modding Honors at Planet Elder Scrolls, TESNexus

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As we move into April, here’s a look back at some mods that were honored at Planet Elder Scrolls and TES Nexus for the month of March.

Let’s start with the March Hall of Fame at Planet Elder Scrolls:

Morrowind mods

Oblivion Mods:

Moving along, here are the Files of the Month at TES Nexus. Congrats to these modders for getting the most votes:

  • Kvatch Rebuilt by The Kvatch Rebuilt Team: The name says it all, Kvatch has returned in all its glory. This mod also adds new armor, a battle arena, and the opportunity to become Count(ess) of Kvatch.
  • Verona House Bloodlines by DTOM: This mod adds a new quest where your character is pitted against a sinister cult and their leader. Those who succeed will gain access to an updated version of the Verona House and Verona Bay.
  • The Lost Spires by Leo Gura: As you may recall, this mega mod was entered in last year’s IGF Student Competition.
  • HG EyeCandy Body by }{ellKnight: A body mod that helps you customize body types in the game.
  • Akatosh Mount by Saiden Storm: Saiden Storm’s ever-popular mod that allows you to ride a dragon within the game. If you haven’t seen it already, check out our interview with the creator.

That’s it for this month. Congrats to all the modders that were honored!

Elder Scrolls Community Contest at Chorrol.com

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Just wanted to give you a heads up that over at Chorrol.com, they’ve kicked off a fan fiction contest that will run through to the end of the month. The contest will be comprised of three categories: short stories, medium-sized stories, and longer stories. It’s kind of like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, except you get to decide which category is “just right” for you.

In terms of prizing, I was able to get some Oblivion stuff signed for the winners of each category. Two of the winners will receive a PC copy of Oblivion: Collector’s Edition — signed by Todd Howard. The other winner will receive the Shivering Isles map shown above — signed by the team.

Good luck. If you have any questions about the rules and regulations, head over to the forums at Chorrol.

Elder Scrolls Mod Interview: Reneer

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This week’s interview is with Oblivion modder Reneer. Currently studying psychology at the University of Michigan, Reneer enjoys modding Oblivion when his schedule permits. I thought I’d ask him if he was in the running to become the next quarterback for the Wolverines, but when he explained to me that he’s blind in his right eye, I figured he’s better off modding in his spare time.

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Around the Web: Podcasts and Opinions

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Here’s a few interesting reads I thought I’d share that I’ve come across in the past few days.

The latest 1Up Yours podcast brings up Fallout 3, as well as practically every Elder Scrolls game ever made during their community segment of the show. During the segment, which starts about 53 minutes into the show, the 1Up crew uses these games as examples in a few of their debates. Fallout 3 and Oblivion are brought up several times in a discussion about the “no name characters” and the choices your characters make in games. Later on in the segment, they also bring up the Elder Scrolls and Fallout in a discussion of how Japanese RPGs compare with western-developed RPGs like Oblivion. To download the podcast, head over to 1Up’s podcast site.

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Elder Scrolls Mod Interview: CorePC

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This week’s Elder Scrolls mod interview is with Jimmy Maxwell, or as he’s known in the BGS forums, CorePC. Among other things, Jimmy is known for his help on Martigen’s Monster Mod and FCOM, as well as his Tamriel Travellers Travelling Merchants mod. Hailing from “the middle of Texas” in Abilene, Jimmy is currently works in computers (self-employed), and mods Oblivion when he’s bored.

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Around the Web — Monsoon Edition

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As we head out for the really, really rainy weekend, I thought I’d share some news coverage from the week.

This afternoon we received some exciting news that Shivering Isles won RPG of the Year over at Gameindustry.com. Pretty cool for a couple reasons. First, in the site’s ten years of doing annual awards, Shivering Isles is the first expansion to win this category. Even better is the fact that the voting came from Gameindustry.com readers. We’re truly honored that our fans came out in large numbers to vote, particularly since it was up against some really great games. Many thanks!

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February Hall of Famers at Planet Elder Scrolls

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Last week Planet Elder Scrolls honored its latest group of Hall of Fame mods. Per usual, for a mod to make their HOF, it must be available for three months, receive at least 25 votes with a score of 8 or better, and it must be downloaded at least 5000 times. This month, one Morrowind mod and three Oblivion mods met the criteria.

From Morrowind:

  • Widow Maker crossbow by Phijama: Adds a new crossbow, two crossbow pistols and a new bow to the game. According ot Phijama, the crossbows have “regenerating bolts added via scripted amulets in the shape of the bolts and the bow regenerates its own arrows.” Sounds cool.

From Oblivion:

Congrats to the new inductees. See you again for the March HOF entries.

Mod Interview: Dev_Akm

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This week we’re talking with Dev_Akm, whose modding days started with PnP projects like Dungeons and Dragons and GURPS more than 20 years ago. Now a systems developer and analyst in Austin, he spends a fair amount of his free time modding Morrowind and Oblivion (though he also is a fan of hiking, camping and listening to punk rock). Of course, that free time is in jeopardy. In addition to raising one daughter, he’s got another on the way.

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Guinness reveals Elder Scrolls records

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Not too long ago, I found out that Guinness – those guys that determine the world’s tallest person, longest fingernails, and the most t-shirts ever worn at one time, were coming out with a new book that shares videogame records. While it’s not the first time Guinness has recorded videogame records, it’s their first book devoted completely to games. To help create the book, Guinness worked with Twin Galaxies, who have been recording pinball and videogame records for years.

The book, Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition, just recently went on sale (I got my copy in the mail two days ago), and it even features two pages on the Elder Scrolls series. I won’t spoil the whole book (soon to be a staple in my bathroom library), but here’s a few tidbits I thought I’d share:

  • Daggerfall has the largest land-based game area at 63,125 square miles.
  • Daggerfall is also listed as having the most NPCs (non-player characters) in any RPG with 750,000.
  • The fastest play-through of Morrowind was done by Vladimir “Knu” Semenov at 7 minutes, 30 seconds. Kudos to Freddo for pointing this out a month ago.

Who knows, maybe there’s a record out there waiting for you to break it. My new goal is to beat Brian Sulpher’s record for highest margin of victory over an AI opponent in a basketball videogame. In Tecmo Super NBA Basketball for SNES, he beat the computer by 331 points. If the Pistons could score 186 points in a real-life NBA game, maybe I can pull off my own magic with their virtual counterpart.