“The Road” ahead

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If you’ve read up on Fallout 3 in the past few months, you probably already know that Cormac McCarthy’s bestseller, The Road, is a favorite amongst developers at the office and a source of inspiration for the game.

Way back in September, Pete shared news on the blog that Viggo (“For Frodo!!!”) Mortensen would be playing the role of the father in the movie. Since then, I hadn’t heard too much about the film’s production (which recently wrapped) until today when I noticed Ash posted about a New York Times article on his blog (which Mark Lampert posted about in our internal forums). Here’s a sample of the article, written by Charles McGrath:

“The Road” began filming in late February, mostly in and around Pittsburgh, with a later stop in New Orleans and a postproduction visit planned to Mount St. Helens. The producers chose Pennsylvania, one of them, Nick Wechsler, explained, because it’s one of the many states that give tax breaks and rebates to film companies and, not incidentally, because it offered such a pleasing array of post-apocalyptic scenery: deserted coalfields, run-down parts of Pittsburgh, windswept dunes. Chris Kennedy, the production designer, even discovered a burned-down amusement park in Lake Conneaut and an eight-mile stretch of abandoned freeway, complete with tunnel, ideal for filming the scene where the father and son who are the story’s main characters are stalked by a cannibalistic gang traveling by truck.

For those who can’t wait to see the film adaptation, there’s not much waiting left to do. The film is planned for a November release.

Mod interview: Conan Scarface

This week’s mod interview is with Conan Scarface from the BGS forums. He’s actually a man of many names. His Chinese name is Yen-Jen Wang and his Japanese name is Heiji Hatsutoli (he goes by Hatsutoli on TES Nexus and Planet Elder Scrolls). Currently he lives in Tainan, a municipality of Taiwan.

The video above is a trailer for his Tiefling Races mod.

Continue reading full article ›

June HOF Mods

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Planet Elder Scrolls had announced last month’s Hall of Fame mods for both Oblivion and Morrowind. Per usual, for mods to reach this prestigious status they must be downloaded at least 5,000 times, have been available for at least three months, and receive a minimum of 25 votes with a score of 8 or higher. Here are the six mods that made the cut in the month of June:

For Morrowind

  • Darknut’s Creature Textures Morrowind by Darknut: A new texture update that covers most of the creatures in Morrowind
  • Blasphemous Revenants by Fliggerty and Friends: Companion mod that puts you as an apprentice to to an aging necromancer. Here your character will learn the art of gathering corpses, preparing them for arcane rituals, and summoning and commanding vast armies of the dead.
  • Oblivion-Style Spellcasting by Fliggerty: This mod enables you to cast spells while your weapon is drawn. The mod requires that you have both the Bloodmoon and Tribunal expansions.

For Oblivion

  • Nascosto Isles 3 by janb: Landmass mod full of unique houses, caves, dungeons, and ruins to explore. Here you’ll learn about the Aylmer, who were the first inhabitants of the Nascosto Isles, and save the island from an impending attack, while battling in Pirate Cove.
  • Oblivion Mod Makers Manual V1.4 by Lord_Gannondorf: Helpful manual for modding Oblivion. Requires MS Word or a PDF viewer.
  • Let the People Drink! by Qazaaq and Khornate: This mod adds new fountains and a aqueduct system to Imperial City.

Congrats to all the new inductees!

From the land down under

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Today on Gameplayer, Chris Stead has an 8-page preview with new impressions of Fallout 3 based on a recent meet up with Pete. Here’s a snippet of the preview:

The theme of Fallout 3 is Sacrifice and Survival. Or more to the point, what will you sacrifice to survive? The whole diverging paths and user-defined narratives that we have been experiencing in RPGs over recent years has become less of a gimmick and more of something truly emotional this generation. Who did you kill in Mass Effect, for example? Fallout 3 takes this feature and powers it with atomic energy. There is a full moral see-saw to ride in the game, referred to as karma. Various decisions you make in regards to completed and uncompleted quests, in combat and in conversation act to split your experience into multiple parallel universes.

Meanwhile, over at Gamespot’s Australian site, you can check out new impressions of the game, as well as an interview with Pete on their show Crosshairs. If you want to skip ahead to the Fallout 3 stuff, fast-forward to around the 11-minute mark of the video.

Update: Here’s two more Australian preview to check out — one from PALGN and another over at The Age.

One year and counting…

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Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of our first post here on Bethesda Blog (or BethBlog…whichever you prefer). Speaking for Pete, Ashley, and everyone else who has contributed to the blog, we’ve really enjoyed working on the blog and hope you’ve had as much fun reading it.

If you ever have any suggestions for how we could make the blog even better, feel free to shoot us an email. Thanks again for reading!

Preparing for the future…

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While reading through the forums today, I came across an interesting post from LateWhiteRabbit. While reading Paleo-Future, he came across a blog post discussing an old newspaper article titled, “Will War Drive Civilization Underground?” The article, as well as the illustration shown above, dates back to December of 1943 — where it was featured in the Montana Standard. As the title indicates, the article suggests the possibility of humans moving underground to avoid the perils of war. Hmm, sound familiar?

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Deep underground, vast chambers will have to be excavated. Families can keep together in cubicles designed for the purpose. Single men will sleep in tiers in bunks 15 or 20 high; single women will sleep in similar accommodations.

No mention of blue vault suits, but it’s still an interesting read. If you’d like to further your retro-future reading, be sure to check out some of the other stuff on Paleo-Future.

What we’re playing: You’re gettin’ a Dell edition

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In the past few weeks, a bunch of guys (Joel, Purkey, Claff, Emil…to name a few) decided to upgrade to new PCs so they can enjoy some of the newest releases (Age of Conan, Crysis, etc.) in all their glory. If you’re interested in ordering a similar rig, Joel sent me the link to the deal these guys took advantage of (dude!).

Here’s this week’s rundown…

Nate Purkeypile: Practicing more TF2 for the Studio Rumble on my fancy new computer, maybe some Crysis also now that I can actually run it.

“Joltok, late of Cimmeria” Burgess: Running around Hyboria, refusing to wear anything that isn’t a circlet, loincloth, or armband, regardless of stats.

Terry Dunn, Jr: Age of Conan, Rockband, WC3: DOTA mod, and MAYBE some D&D 4th Ed. if I’m feeling nerdy enough.

Continue reading full article ›

New DRM tool for 360

Given that we’ve released several downloads for Oblivion on Xbox Live, I thought you guys might find this information useful. Yesterday, Microsoft released their Content License Transfer Tool (aka the DRM Tool) on Xbox.com. If you’re asking, “huh, what’s that?” — let me explain how it might help you.

Let’s say you downloaded the Shivering Isles from Xbox Live. When you downloaded it, a license to play the content is then associated with your 360 console. If for any reason you replaced your 360, the license would not exist on the new box, and as a result, the content would only be playable when your 360 is connected to Xbox Live. This new tool will remedy this problem, as you can now transfer the license of your Shivering Isles purchase, or any other DLC for Oblivion, to your newer 360.

Still confused? Check out Major Nelson’s video above for more details.

Some tidbits from the latest PC Gamer

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This morning I read through the August issue of PC Gamer (US) and thought I’d share a few things that you might be interested in looking at.

  • In Desslock’s monthly column (page 96), he discusses how he’d like to see improvements within open world games and cites Oblivion as an example. In one example, he mentions he’d love to see the skeleton heads from Oblivion being used as bowling balls and rib cages used as xylophones. Yeah, I can’t argue that.
  • For you modders out there, Brett Todd’s featured column “Homebrew” focuses on rules modders should abide by. Check out his “Five Commandments” on page 98.
  • On the final page of the magazine, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw discusses his experience playing Oblivion, and how he struggles sometimes with the concept of open-world games. If you haven’t seen it already, you can watch Yahtzee’s Zero Punctuation review of Oblivion here.
  • On the same page, there’s a blurb teasing that the next issue of PC Gamer (September 2008) will feature hands-on impressions of Fallout 3. A few weeks back, Senior Associate Editor Dan Stapleton came by the office to play the game. Here at the office, we’ll be just as interested as you guys to see what he thought.

If you’re a PC Gamer subscriber, the August issue of PC Gamer should be in your mailbox any day now.