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.

Todd Time at GameInformer.com

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Pull up a chair and listen to Bethesda Games Studios’ Todd Howard in three video interviews now up on GameInformer.com. Across three separate videos, Todd discusses how he got into the industry, the evolution The Elder Scrolls from Arena to Skyrim, and his take on the gaming industry today.

Fun fact about Todd: In the third video, he talks about his interest in sports games, and he specifically discusses NCAA Football. At the office, we have an online dynasty going, and I can tell you Todd’s insanely good at the game. In the next week or so, I have to play against him (Notre Dame vs. Michigan). First person to correctly guess the score of the game wins a small prize.*

*You only get one guess.  Multiple entries coming from the same profile/IP address/email address will result in disqualification.

Take the Todd Tour

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Game Informer continues their month long coverage on Skyrim with a video tour led by Todd Howard. See where the developers work, eat, play… and even battle. Keen observers will  notice Skyrim concept art and much more. And if you’re really paying attention, you’ll even get a glimpse at where Nick and I record the Bethesda Podcast — woohoo!!

Start your tour by heading to Game Informer. But remember, there’s no basement in the Alamo.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim announced at the VGAs

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“You should have acted. They’re already here. The Elder Scrolls told of their return.”

And returned it has! The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was announced to the world by game director Todd Howard at tonight’s VGAs. Along with Todd’s appearance, viewers were able to to get the first look at the game’s announcement trailer. If you missed it, it’s now up on our teaser site. And while you’re there, if you click on the background of the page, you can pan around and explore the backdrop.

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Skyrim releases on Friday, November 11, 2011… that’s less than a year away!! In the coming weeks and months, stay tuned for more details on Bethesda Game Studios’ latest game.

Welcome to the Family

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With the news of Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks joining our company, Todd sent over this image of the two hanging out at our office. Hypothetically, if Todd and Shinji’s teams worked together on a project (they’re not BTW), what type of game would they make?  The burning question for me is whether or not inventory would be weighted or using a grid system (a la Resident Evil 4).

Share your ideas in the comments section.

QuakeCon: Panel Coverage at Gamespot

Didn’t have a chance to see the panels and presentations at QuakeCon 2010? No worries — the fine folks at Gamespot have recaps (and some video) for you to catch up on.

One of my personal highlights of the show was attending Rocket Talk — featuring legends Richard “Lord British” Garriott and John Carmack talking about their passion for space exploration. For a summary of the talk, head here. Be sure to watch Garriott’s presentation on his journey to the International Space Station (embedded above) — it’s really amazing stuff.

Gamespot also has a sample of John Carmack’s presentation on Armadillo Aerospace. Check the highlights below….

Hit the jump for links to Gamespot’s coverage of QuakeCon’s panels…

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QuakeCon 2010 Panels and Special Presentations Schedule

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Before we head out for the weekend, we wanted to share some exciting news about the panels we have planned for QuakeCon 2010. In addition to folks you know and love from Bethesda Game Studios and id Software (including the likes of Todd Howard and John Carmack), some of our favorite people in the industry will be attending.  Below is the schedule of events…

Thursday

‘The World of Design’ Panel

12.30pm in the Cortez Room

  • Joel Burgess, Bethesda Game Studios
  • Matt Hooper, id Software
  • Neil Alphonso, Splash Damage
  • Todd Alderman, Respawn Entertainment

QuakeCon Kick Off — 2:30pm in the Grand Ballroom

  • Todd Hollenshead will welcome attendees to QuakeCon 2010

Keynote — 2:30pm in the Grand Ballroom

  • John Carmack’s Annual Keynote address to QuakeCon attendees

“Rocket Talk” — 5:30pm in the Grand Ballroom

  • John Carmack and Richard Garriott share their passion for Rockets and space travel in this special QuakeCon presentation

Check out the rest of the schedule after the break…

Continue reading full article ›

Todd Howard gives an Irrational Interview

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Irrational Games’ new interview series “Irrational Interviews” launched this morning, and seeing as Irrational’s Ken Levine and Bethesda’s Todd Howard have known each other for years, it’s fitting that the pilot episode features the two chatting for a good 45 minutes.

Levine and Howard were joined by podcast host/associate producer Shawn Elliott, the trio touching on in-depth topics that ranged from in-game flashback sequences to slot machine design. Give the episode a listen over on the Irrational Games site.

Around the web (and in print, too)

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Here’s a quick look at news I found on our games online (and some in print as well)..

Can you believe it’s been over four years since Oblivion was released? Last week The Koalition’s Gary A. Swaby posted a new article discussing how the RPG holds up today. Here’s an excerpt where he discusses quests within the game.

“Elder Scrolls: Oblivion is damn near unbeatable. Sure the main storyline quest is beatable within a couple hours, but the main quest is nothing. There are literally hundreds of quests in this game, and given the world which Bethesda has created for you, you will definitely attempt to complete as many as you can. The fact that there are two huge expansion packs doesn’t make it any easier either.”

Oblivion also gets mentioned in BitMob’s Top 5 Video Game Sequences written by Omar Yusef, where they included the Dagon Shrine questline

“It was this specific mission that appropriately demonstrated Oblivion’s breadth. The game allowed players to brazenly hack and slash their way through difficult scenarios or sneak past them. Each problem players were faced with could be approached from a number of angles. In essence, the Dagon Shrine proved that Oblivion catered to almost every type of role player, which is why it’s worthy of commemoration.”

One final bit on Oblivion. The latest (June) issue of OXM has a small feature titled, “The Developer’s Cut,” where developers discuss content from their games that didn’t make the final release. On page 87, Todd Howard discusses content cut from Oblivion. Head to your local newsstand (or your mailbox) to read it, as well as a new preview for Hunted: The Demon’s Forge.

Putting a bow around this roundup, author Grant Tavinor recently released a new book, The Art of Videogames, featuring Fallout 3 on the cover. Throughout the text, you can find references to DOOM, Oblivion, and Fallout 3 (I’m particularly interested in reading the chapter “The Morality of Videogames”). For more on the subject, Tavinor recently wrote a column for Kotaku in response to comments from film critic Roger Ebert.

Updated: GameSetWatch’s Emily Short has an in-depth look back at her play experience with Fallout 3. Read the article here.