Back in November, we posted about a Portal Map, Ren_Test2, that our very own Daryl Brigner designed. Daryl, and the rest of us at the office, were surprised and excited to see the response it received. In addition to becoming the most popular post on Bethesda Blog, buzz about the map spread to numerous gaming blogs and it was even featured in a recent issue of PC Zone.
Well, Daryl’s done it again. This morning he let me know that a new level, appropriately titled_Ren Test3, is now available for download. In addition to the new map, Daryl has included Ren_Test 1&2 in the same download. The download also offers Step, Portal, and Time challenges for you Portal fanatics that are looking for a real challenge.
According to Daryl, here is how you can install them to your PC:
Simply extract the Ren_Tests.bmz anywhere, then load up Portal, click ‘Bonus Maps,’ click “Import Bonus Maps”, then just navigate to where the Ren_Tests.bmz file is, select it, and click ‘Open.’ Then, the Ren_Test Mappack will be in your Bonus Maps window.
Sounds simple enough. If you check it out, let us know if you think it’s as devious as Ren_Test2.
After a week off, we’re back with a new Elder Scrolls modding update. This week we’re talking with Jane Dee — better known to many of you as Brash. Brash hails from the beautiful state of Oregon where she work as a gamer-mom (cool!) and does some website work “stuff.” As you’ll see below, on top of having some pretty cool mod projects, she also has some interesting family stories that relate to gaming.
Happy Mardi Gras to everyone! We hope that anyone celebrating today has a great time, but also remembers to stay safe. If you’re like me, and don’t really have the time to parade in the streets, here’s some new Fallout coverage we spotted that you can read up on while working, studying, or doing anything else that doesn’t involve drinking, wearing beads, or dressing up in ridiculous costumes…
Destructoid’s Reverend Anthony put together a list of “The ten most meaningful videogame quotes of all-time” that includes Ron Perlman’s famous first words, “War. War Never Changes.” It’s a pretty good list with a mix of older (Zork, Super Mario Bros.) and newer (Portal, Bioshock) memorable quotes. Discussing Fallout, he writes:
“Fallout may be one of the most cynical, nihilistic game franchises in existence, which also makes it one of my personal favorites. Rather than half-assedly cultivating a world-weary tone through a sepia color scheme and needlessly gruff-sounding protagonists (I’m looking at you, Gears of War), the Fallout series tells the tale of some people who try to act with common decency in a world utterly lacking in it, and who are subsequently tortured and killed and exiled for their troubles. Cormac McCarthy would be proud.”
I’ve had a casual game golf fetish lately. Two actually. World Golf Tour is an online closest-to-hole golf game that you play via your browser. Only in beta at this point, so it is free. I can see this expanding to lots of different golf courses and allowing multiplayer play by email functionality. Imagine following the PGA season by playing the same courses along the way. I created a team called Vault101. Shoot me a note if you’d like an invite.
The other one is courtesy of Bill Harris’ excellent Dubious Quality blog — Big Fish Games’ Fairway Solitaire . Similar to Puzzle Quest’s genius melding of Bejeweled and RPGs, Fairway Solitaire merges solitaire and golfing into a fun little game. You can download it and play locally, but I actually play the browser-based version so I can play on multiple computers.
This week, instead of talking about the games we’re playing, we sharing what music, podcasts, etc. we’re listening to. Looking through the list, we’ve definitely got an eclectic mix of stuff. In the end though, I think I like Steve Fraden’s answer the best…classic!
So here’s what we’re listening to at our desks, on our iPods, and everywhere in between…
Liz Beetem, Artist: Throbbing Gristle, Foetus, The Legendary Pink Dots, Current 93, Imminent Starvation, Terrorfakt (although someone needs to hold an intervention between him and vocal samples), and fellow snooty-games-are-art-Silent Hill fan Yahtzee and his Zero Punctuation reviews
Ricardo Gonzalez, Not Hip Enough to be Square: Daft Punk – Discovery, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones, Metric – Live It Out
“Coach” Dan Geske, QA: Metallica – … And Justice For All, Chris LeDoux – Horsepower, Les Miserables 10-year reunion show, 97.9 FM “Mickey and Amelia in the Morning”, The Silly Soundtracks to Awkward Super Bowl commercials, the screams and shouts of wrestling spectators and coaches at a match on Saturday.
With the Super Bowl XLII just days away, we decided that playing out this year’s Super Bowl in our theater with Madden 2008 would be a good way to waste some time. For the game’s match up between the Patriots and the Giants, I asked senior producer Craig Lafferty if we’d be willing to take on EA football genius, Todd Howard. He reluctantly accepted, fearing that it would turn out to be a humiliating loss.
Working at Bethesda, it probably wouldn’t shock anyone if I said Fallout 3 is my most anticipated post-apocalyptic RPG game of the year. That was the case…until this morning. Over on Kotaku, I spotted the trailer for Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden. The highly anticipated sequel to the Sega Genesis cult hit, Barkley: Shut Up and Jam, BSUJ:G takes our hero, former NBA superstar Charles Barkley (aka the Sir Charles…aka the Chuck Wagon…aka The Round Mound of Rebound), on an adventure through post-apocalyptic New York in the year 2041.
Charles might not be a role model, but after watching this trailer and seeing his turn-based skillz against monsters made of basketballs, he can be in My Five anyday. For more details on this instant classic, head over here.
Today on Planet Elder Scrolls, the site named its monthly Hall of Fame entries. For a mod to make the Hall, it must receive at least 25 votes with a score of 8 or better, while being downloaded at least 5000 times. This month, the following Oblivion mods made the cut:
Beaming Sunglare By Sonic Ether: Using Photoshop CS3, Sonic Ether replaced the sunglare textures with new ones that enhance the glow/glare effect of the sun.
Kafei’s Armored Circlets by Kafei: A “vanity mod” that adds various circlets that can be purchased in Skingrad at Colovian Traders. The image above displays a few examples of Kafei’s work.
Seph’s New Animations by Keter Sephiroth: This mod released back in August works similarly to Actors in Charge, and it adds a number of new animations — including 15 kick animations, seven new acrobatic animations, and 12 new dancing animations.
Cool stuff! Congrats to Sonic Ether, Kafei, and Keter Sephiroth….keep up the good work.
It’s been awhile since the last time we highlighted some new fan art on the blog, so I thought I’d give some shout outs to a few of our regular contributors.
Above you’ll find one of two Brotherhood of Steel 3D models that Rob Overall recently contributed to our Fan Art page. Having spoke to Rob, it sounds like he’s recently had a lot of free time, and it shows in his work. To see his work in motion, you can check out some videos he’s made using these models over on YouTube.
Ali TunÃ§ sent us another one of his fantastic Fallout-inspired concept drawings. This one, called “The Reactor’s Defender,” is probably one of my favorite submissions to date. As always, you can find Ali’s work on his website.
Lastly, not too long ago, we got several Elder Scrolls-inspired artwork from Maya. All of the art is impressive, but this one, entitled Demented, I find particularly hypnotizing. For more of Maya’s work, check out her page here.
As always, if you’re interested in having your art up on the blog, send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.