Late last week, I exchanged a few PMs with one of our active Elder Scrolls modders, princess_stomper, and she let me know that she was working on a video showing a “dance off” featuring our games, Morrowind and Oblivion, as well as some fancy moves from NCsoft’s MMO, Guild Wars.Well, I got to the office this AM and sure enough, Stomper had already sent me the video, and it’s definitely a winner. Featuring mods from more than dozen community members, the videos’ choreography goes great with the selected tune — Gwen Stefani’s “Wind It Up.”
We have not one, but two deadlines looming on Bethblog. As I announced in the forums yesterday, after this afternoon, we won’t be taking questions for the Fan Q&A for Fallout 3. We’ve gotten plenty of entries. I appointed Blinzler from our forums as the man in charge of compiling the final 20 questions for us to answer. Given that he resides in Jamaica, where Hurricane Dean hit, I’m willing to give him and his cohorts a little extra time to deliver the questions to us, and then we’ll probably take around a week to answer them. Anyhow, send your last minute questions to us via the blog.
In other deadline news, our Oblivion Iron Man Contest will conclude when the clock strikes 12 on Sunday. I’m assuming folks have been trying to pad their game times, because we haven’t gotten that many submissions over the past few days. Just remember, the winner is determined by the single game save with the most gameplay time recorded.
Amongst comments I’ve seen on our blog, as well as other sites, we’ve definitely let folks know about accolades and awards our games have received. You can see examples of this here, here, oh yeah, and here too. We’re not out to brag about our games, but we definitely feel honored when the gaming industry and fans show enthusiasm for our products.
So what are we going to stick our chest out for today? Well, both Todd and Pete pointed out to me a pretty funny blog post about the “Worst Game Ever” over on the blog Quad’s Corner. In his most recent post, the author bestows this title to the NES un-classic, Where’s Waldo, a game based on finding a silly man wearing stripes and a winter hat. So who released this “horrible” and “unbelievably repellent” title? That’s right, it was us!
Below is a sample of the article. You can read the rest here…
“The problem is that the art is so bland and terrible that literally any individual in the onscreen crowd can be Waldo, and you’re reduced to painstakingly poking through shoddily drawn pieces of art to find him. Each individual person in the picture has a featureless white face, tiny stick arms and legs, and the exact same matching outfit. Waldo, by contrast, has a featureless white face, tiny stick arms and legs, and the exact same matching outfit. It’d be easier (and more fun) to find a drop of fresh blood on red carpet, or a sliver of your toenail in the Pacific Ocean.”
In other Elder Scrolls modding news, thought I’d point Princess Stomper’s Silorn Manor mod, which caught my eye. Soon to be the envy of Robin Leach, this mod adds a marvelous six-bedroom estate featuring, a private lounge, a training facility, top quality wines, and even a oven to let you live out your Easy Bake dreams. Champagne wishes!
Of course, if you’re living in luxury, you’re likely deserving of a fantastic vacation. May I suggest Unique Landscapes’ latest project, Beaches of Cyrodiil. This mod, found over at the Oblivion Files, “is the first in a series of UL mods designed to be a total conversion of the beaches of beloved Cyrodiil.”
Two weeks ago, a small team from the office released scripting tools that allows modders to create their own missions for the game. After releasing the tools, I had Shannon Bailey, the project lead, sit in on a Teamspeak meeting with Legacy modders.
During the meeting, some requests and suggestions were made that Shannon thought could be added. Today, we’ve uploaded amended scripting tools for the Mission Editor as Shannon explains below:
“After talking to members of the mod community, the need for a couple of small additions became apparent. Included in the newest version of the archive is the source of the four non-campaign missions that ship with Legacy — Vanguard, Escort, Raider, and CoopWave — as well as the ability to edit their script and rule files from the front-end. Also, when creating a new mission you are no longer limited to using STL12 as your template; any existing mission (including those four, which make excellent templates) can be cloned and modified.”
Special thanks to the team for such a quick turnaround on the amended changes. To download the new Legacy Mission Editor, visit here. For those just getting started with the tools, we’ve created a Wiki to help out. You might also want to check out the following screencasts created by Chris “ChessMess” Koerner, who worked on the game. They can be found here and here.
Another week, another answer regarding gameplay in Star Trek: Conquest. Today’s question comes from DarkDragon from our Star Trek forums. He asks:
Q: “In the arcade battles will the battles be fought in full 3D (like Bridge Commander)? Or will it be more like Encounters/Tactical Assault and 2d?”
Here’s a nice lengthy answer from Frank:
A: Arcade Battles in Conquest are fought from a top down 2D view like Encounters and Tactical Assault. There are two main reasons. First, it allows for a greater situational awareness, meaning you can see more of the battlefield. Second it allows for the 360 degree aiming and firing of your weapons which is a key part of our control scheme.This mode is intended for the player who wants direct control over his ships, aiming and weapons.
There are also two other combat modes: Quick Battle and Instant. Quick Battle is like a mini RTS battle where you simply issue orders to your fleet. This mode is for the armchair admiral who wants to personally direct the battle, but is not interested in the action oriented Arcade Battle system.
Instant simply gives you immediate results. It’s for situations where you heavily outnumber your enemy and don’t care about directing the battle, like bringing a fleet of seven dreadnaughts to bear on a single wounded scout.
In practice we find that most players use a mixture of the three modes. “
This has nothing to do with the MTV Show (you won’t find a Cuhutta here), but it’s fun nonetheless. Posted by VBFilms, these guys do a really good job spoofing gameplay from Oblivion, but obviously, they’re using real people.
My favorite parts are when they dub in voices from the game.They also nail the chair sitting animation.
Today marks Lovecraft’s 117th birthday! So who exactly is this guy? Well, he’s the writer of “The Call of Cthulhu,” as well as the “Cthulhu Mythos” — books that inspired our 2005 release, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.
With a knack for doing pretty creepy stuff, Lovecraft has been considered an inspiration in the horror genre across comics, books, films, and videogames. According to Wikipedia, the concept of the now infamous Arkham Asylum (of Batman fame) originally came from Lovecraft’s ideas. The king of modern-age horror stories, Stephen King, cites Lovecraft as a major influence to his writings. On the GameCube, Nintendo fans might recall that the cult-hit, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, has his influence written all over it (with a good chunk of the game taking place in his hometown of Providence, RI).
Even Oblivion takes a page from Lovecraft’s work. The “Shadow Over Hackdirt” side quest in the game serves as an homage to his short story “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.”
If you have a chance, you should read up on the guy…some pretty fascinating stuff. If you like what you see, feel free to check out our game too.
So far this week, I’ve seen several cool mod additions over at Planet Elder Scrolls. Here’s are a few of my favorites for the week…
The Nazarian Library: Repeal19 has created a mod that builds a library just south of Arcane University. So what makes this library so special? Well, it actually houses EVERY book that can be found within the original quest of Oblivion. So if you’re spending too much time playing the game in the coming weeks when school starts back up, you can at least tell your parents that you’re studying at the library :).
Chargen Diseases: When generating your character, Marbred’s disease mod allows you to make your character suffer from Werewolf disease, Vampire clan disease, or simply no disease at all. Perfect for folks who can’t get enough of Teen Wolf.
Mostly-Mini Todd Howard: Last but not least, and destined to be a favorite around our office, this new Morrowind mod from Fliggerty & Friends adds a “Mini Me” Todd Howard to the game. I’m sure Todd is honored to have his likeness in the game. Now can we just get a new weapon called the “Gstaff” (I’m imagining some sort of staff that has a “G” at the top of it).
Two weeks ago, we introduced you to Matt Firor, who is heading up our new MMO division, ZeniMax Online. Since we had a lot of folks ping us interested in what he was up to, we thought we’d keep you up to date on what he’s doing. He’s gone out and done interviews with FiringSquad and Ten Ton Hammer.
Here’s a sample from the Ten Ton Hammer interview:
Ten Ton Hammer: MMOGs continue to rise in the gaming landscape, how do you see the industry changing over the next few years? Where does ZeniMax fit into that change?
Matt: Instead of trying to “game” the market by figuring where everything will be in a few years and develop a product that will fit in an unused niche, we’re just going to try to make the best MMOG possible.
And from Firing Squad:
FiringSquad: How did ZeniMax approach you when they said they wanted to launch a new MMO game studio?
Matt Firor: They told me that they wanted to give me all the resources I needed to make a great MMO. After meeting with the company’s management, I felt very strongly that this is the “once in a lifetime” opportunity that one shouldn’t pass up.
Edit: Shacknews has added an interview with Matt as well. http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=518