Mod interview: Kivan and Quarn

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For this week’s mod interview, by request of folks within our forums, I decided to talk with popular Oblivion modders Kivan and Quarn (real names Kevin and David). While they live about as far apart as one could imagine (Quarn’s in Australia, Kivan hails from Canada), they managed to put out some great work, particularly their Unofficial Oblivion Patch, which cleans up and polishes several elements of the game.

I asked the guys about the projects they’ve worked on, how they like to work, and more. Here’s what they had to say:

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New Mods for the The Elder Scrolls

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Here’s an update on some mods I saw this week on other sites that caught my eye.

At the Oblivion Files, their highlighted file of the week, “The Lost Spires” by Leo Gura, is a massive addition that advertises 15+ hours of new gameplay. The mod adds an Archeology Guild that you must join to explore “new, exotic locales to unravel a plot of sinister deceit, betrayal, and doom.” Download it here.

At Planet Elder Scrolls, Lingwei has added an interesting mod that expand’s on Oblivion’s The Siren’s Deception quest line again. By downloading the mod, your are granted new options of how to complete the quest without having to kill them. If it sounds like an interesting idea to you, Lingwei is open to folks expanding on the mod. Sounds like someone else is playing the role of a siren and drawing in others. :)

For Morrowind, Darknut has released a new texture replacement mod, Darknut’s Creature Textures Morrowind (see above for an example of the improvement). If you download this, just keep in mind that they replace the existing textures in the game. For more information on the mod, head over here.

Creating Screenshots

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Within our forums and elsewhere, I’ve seen where fans have posted some pretty amazing screenshots from Oblivion, including some of their modwork. I’ve found some pretty amazing ones (like the one above from FileFront’s forums).

If you haven’t learned how to create screen grabs, it’s actually pretty easy, but I still see it asked an awful lot. Below are some directions on how to capture your favorite moments from the game, which you can also find here.

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Morrowind Modding Legend: Fliggerty

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When I initially asked for suggestions for future mod interviews within our forums, it was brought to my attention that I should open up a similar thread within the Morrowind boards. Within a a few days, it became clear to me that we should probably do an interview with Fliggerty (real name Cody Erekson) for all of his contributions to the community — including the hilarious “Mostly-Mini Todd Howard” mod (which Todd actually found quite amusing).

A resident of Logan, Utah, Fliggerty works for a phone company. As he put it, his job is to “tell people that they do, in fact, have to pay their phone bill even though they don’t remember placing that long distance call.” If you don’t see him coming up with new content for Morrowind this month, you can probably attribute that to the fact that he’s a self-professed “Halloween Nut.” Last year, he actually ran a haunted forest. If you want to see more of his mods, you can always check out his site Fliggerty’s Morrowind Mods.

Anyhow…on to the interview.

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Barry, Robin, and…the Adoring Fan!??

So recently, we’ve seen the ever-popular Adoring Fan smashed by watermelons and used as bowling pins, but this might be the ultimate jab…making him part of a BeeGee’s video parody. Brought to my attention within the forums and by creator Egger3rd, the following video shows that the Adoring Fan can fall, but he’s still “Stayin Alive.”

Wed in Oblivion?

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I noticed on Kotaku some unbelievable photos from a Blizzard employee’s wedding. That Super Mario cake really takes the cake…sorry, couldn’t resist. Seeing the photos from this wedding reminded me of an EGM Live* podcast I listened to about two weeks ago. The “reader/listener mailbag” session was side-splittingly funny, and during it, they commented that would be pretty cool to attend an Oblivion-themed wedding.

This got me to thinking, has anyone out their put a touch of Tamriel into their big day? I asked Pete about it, and he mentioned that in the past couples have emailed him to request music from Morrowind and Oblivion for their wedding, or asked him if it was ok to play it during their wedding, so it sounds like it’s a possibility. If so, send us an e-mail. (Bonus points for pics of the bride emerging from a Gate in her black dress.)

NPCs with Jobs Mod Interview

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For this week’s mod interview, I decided to ask folks within our Elder Scrolls modding forums who they’d want to see interviewed for the blog. It didn’t take long to get suggestions, and now I’ve got plenty of choices for future posts. Having noticed several requests to learn more about Sarkandar’s popular Oblivion mod, NPCs with Jobs, I figured he’d be a good one to start with.

Sarkandar, whose real name is Wouter Danckaert, lives in Hasselt, Belgium and is an application manager for a hospital lab. This November, he and his wife are expecting their first child, who they plan to name Martin Septim Danckaert (ok, I made that last part up).

How did you get started with this project?

I’m a MA in Computer Science, and did some specialization during my last year in the AI domain, as I was always interested in the matter. NPC with Jobs was already sketched out during my studies, it was codenamed “the mayor” back then. But as I couldn’t develop any graphics, the project never got further than a few c++ classes interacting a bit. Until I discovered modding last year. I didn’t even play the game that long.

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Elder Scrolls Modding Update

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Here’s a couple new mods I wanted to share that are over at Planet Elder Scrolls.

Yesterday the site honored their September Hall of Fame inductees. From Morrowind, the Tamriel Rebuilt Team’s TR Morrowind Map1: Telvannis was the lone addition to the Hall. This massive mod adds over tons of new exterior and interior cells, over 2000 new dialogue responses, as well as new NPCs, creatures and equipment. Above is a screen of of Tel Ouada, the home of Mistress Rathra that is included within the mod.

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Oblivion Tribute to Assassin’s Creed

Not too long ago, I caught this video on YouTube and thought it was pretty interesting, however, it wasn’t until after attending the GameCrazy event that it really clicked for me. Sitting across from Ubi Soft’s booth, I probably saw the trailer it’s based on 100 times.

Anyhow, after you watch this video, check out the actual trailer for Assassin’s Creed to see the similarities. For those wondering, the song in the trailer is Lonely Souls by U.N.K.L.E featuring Richard Ashcroft (formerly of The Verve) on vocals. This was one of my favorite songs of my freshman year of college — nearly a decade ago.