Around the Web

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Yesterday GamePro put up a feature called “The 48 Best Games of 2008,” which lists the games they’re most anticipating for next year. On the list, Fallout 3 came in as the #3 most anticipated title with Metal Gear Solid 4 and GTA IV being #’s 2 and 1, respectively. To see what they had to say about Fallout 3, jump here.

1Up announced their nominees for their 2007 awards and Shivering Isles was included on the list for Best RPG along with, uh, everything else even remotely RPG-like. Bring a snack before you start to read the list for Game of the Year. You’ll probably need some kind of intermission. I’d put Carcassone ahead of more than half of the 30 games on that list and not think twice about it, but that’s just me. Head over and cast your vote today for your favorites.

Also worthy of mention is the fact that the folks over at ShackNews have started up a blog of their own. Their news site is somewhat blog-like, but I guess this will be a place where they can inject more of their own opinions and commentary than they might normally. Plus, they can curse on the blog, and never underestimate how liberating that can be. I’m green with envy. Anyway, I’ve been reading ShackNews for as long as I can remember, so felt like it was worth pointing it out.

Update: I noticed over on Kotaku that X-Play has Shivering Isles nominated for “Best DLC”

Inside the Vault: Kurt Kuhlmann

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Today’s Inside the Vault is about senior designer, Kurt Kuhlmann. Kurt has worked on a few Elder Scrolls titles including Oblivion. Much of how we implement quests in the Construction Set, especially when we transitioned to Oblivion from Morrowind, was conceived by Kurt. He once made a web version of the board game, Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation, after we became addicted to it in the office.

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New Hall of Fame Members at Planet Elder Scrolls

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It’s coming a little late, but we thought we’d give a shout out of “congrats” to the following modders that achieved “Hall of Fame” status over at Planet Elder Scrolls for the month of December.

For more details about each of the mods, check out the links below.

For Morrowind:

Harlequin sword and bow resource by Phijama: Adds 4 katanas, 2 bows and 1 two-handed sword to the game.

Kirel’s Interior Weather by Kirel: Allows you hear the exterior weather from inside buildings.

For Oblivion

Loading Screens Themed Replacer by Trollf: Adds new, unique loading screens for the game.

Qarl’s Harvest by Qarl: Adds new harvesting options and brings apple and orange trees (see above) to Cyrodiil.

Book Placement by Erik Peter: Improves the way you can place books on a shelf.

Congrats!

Excuse the gloom…

For a great deal of Elder Scrolls fans, Morrowind (or even Oblivion) was their first foray into the world of Tamriel. Given that Daggerfall (second game in The Elder Scrolls) isn’t the easiest game to find these days, I thought I’d share the introduction video that I found over on YouTube. For newcomers to the series (like myself) it’s cool to see Uriel Septim VII played by a live actor. For more information on the background of Daggerfall, check here.

For those that are looking to pick up Daggerfall on the PC, since I get asked frequently…we’re currently not planning to reissue the game. Your best bet is to look for a used copy on sites like Amazon or eBay. Pete also suggested sites like http://gametz.com where folks will often trade used games that are otherwise hard to find.

Mod Interview: AlienSlof

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For this week’s mod interview, we’re talking with AlienSlof, who is known for her numerous contributions to the Elder Scrolls community — whether it be her Goth Shop mods or her tendancy to help other modders in the community.

A resident of Leeds, when Slof isn’t modding Morrowind or Oblivion, she works as a freelance professional artist. In her spare time (away from modding), she’s also an avid fan and collector of anything related to Giger’s Aliens (yes, those nasty creatures that battled with Sigourney Weaver). Hmm, I suppose that explains why her online name has “Alien” in it.

On to the questions…

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Top Xbox Live Downloads: November 2007

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Fighter’s Stronghold stays at #1 for November, selling more than twice as much as #2, Spell Tomes. I’m still amazed that tens of thousands of people still play Oblivion, to date.

Fun Fact: The average length of a typical Oblivion play session is around 1 1/2 hours**.

Top Five Oblivion Xbox Live downloads for November 2007*

1. The Fighter’s Stronghold
2. Spell Tomes
3. The Wizard’s Tower
4. Mehrunes’ Razor
5. Thieves Den

*ranked by number of times downloaded

**per unique user playing Oblivion while logged onto Xbox Live, worldwide

What we’re playing: Playing Catch Up with the Holiday Hits

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Week after week, folks at the office were picking up the latest “AAA” titles to play, and as a result, I’m guessing most everyone now has a pile of games to play. Luckily, most of the big releases are now out, so we can put away our wallets and focus on the games we’ve got.

Here’s what you’ll see our team playing over the weekend:

Daryl Brigner, Level Designer: Rock Band, Kane and Lynch, and Super Mario Galaxy

Megan Sawyer, Environment Artist: Rock Band, Catz 2, possibly breaking out some older DS games I haven’t played yet like Trace Memory.

Jay Woodward, Death, Shatterer of Worlds: Mass Effect, Star Trek: Conquest.

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In case you’ve missed it…

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…our Fan Art section on the blog is continuing to grow. We’re continuing to get some pretty cool contributions from folks — for both The Elder Scrolls and Fallout (c’mon Trekkies…pick it up). The image above comes from Ali Tunç, who has contributed a few of his Fallout drawings.

If you’ve got some art to share, send us an email.

Shivering Isles now available on Playstation Network

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We’re happy to announce that The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles is available as downloadable content on Playstation Network for $30. This is the English version for North America.

Please note Shivering Isles requires the Oblivion PS3 disc to play. In fact, you can even use the Oblivion Game of the Year PS3 disc too – though, if you own Oblivion Game of the Year (GOTY), you already have Shivering Isles, so don’t purchase Shivering Isles off PSN if you have GOTY. The version of Shivering Isles on PSN is exactly the same as the version in GOTY. I promise.

Getting Shivering Isles to work as downloadable content on the PS3 via PSN (and as a standalone disc!) was a challenging task. Thanks to our technical director, Guy Carver, who did the bulk of the implementation himself. Also thanks for Chris Krietz, our QA Lead, and his group of terrific testers – those guys have been playing the same game in all its iterations for close to two years now.