Okay, well, maybe that’s an overstatement. Today and today only over on Amazon, PS3 gamers can purchase the original release of Oblivion on PS3 for only $19.99. Might be a nice gift, stocking stuffer, etc. for friends you know that have been hesitant to check out the game. You can let them know they can always pick up Shivering Isles down the road (as we’ve mentioned, we’re working on a way for PS3 owners to purchase this separately).
Looking my window, the weather outside looks downright dismal. I was somewhat hoping it would hold up so I could talk about how guys here would have no reason not to lock themselves inside and play games. Turns out though, it’s supposed to be sunny and in the high 70′s, so there goes that idea. I guess it doesn’t matter, since we work at a game studio, playing games over the weekend is a regular, expected thing.
On to this week’s rundown of what we’re playing. I’ll kick it off since I want to emphasize how incredible Everyday Shooter (PS3) turned out.
Matt Grandstaff, Community Manager: Everyday Shooter, Orange Box, Halo 3, Oblivion
Dane “The Main Vein” Olds, Artist: Hellgate: London Beta, TF2, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Metroid Prime 3, Wii VC stuff.
Adam Adamowicz, Concept Artist: Shivering Isles, Adobe Photoshop CS2
If you’re not sure what to do over the weekend, here’s a few interesting mods for Morrowind and Oblivion that you can check out from Planet Elder Scrolls. To start things up, Rougetet from our forums pinged me about his new resource he worked on for Morrowind modders called the Morrowind Mod Grid Use Map. Reading about it, it looks like a useful tool for recognizing potential conflicts that different fan-made mods for the game can cause. Here’s how he explains it:
The Morrowind Mod Grid Use Map (“MMGUM”) is an ongoing attempt to capture all exterior grids changed by mods that have been released for Morrowind (“MW”). With an estimated 7,500+ mods created for MW, many of them that change the exterior cells in the game environment, conflicts (one mod places things in the same specific “real estate” used by another mod) that utilize the same game locations often occur. This often necessitates modders doing rework on their mod creations to remove these “real estate” conflicts, or, if that does not occur, mod users often make a choice to use one mod or the other (but not both together) in order to prevent awkwardness in game play or the view that is presented to them in the MW game. These conflicts often result in reduced usage or download of a mod if it is thought to have conflicts with other popular mods. This modder’s resource will assist with minimizing those conflicts and consequently stimulate use of their mods.
Switching to Oblivion, Dragonblade has created a Lord of the Rings-inspired mod that creates a Tolkan race (as in Tolkien, for those of you living under rocks). The armor definitely brings me back to Helm’s Deep, but I’m not sure the ladies will find the screenshot above as dreamy as Orlando Bloom. Still, very impressive for a first-time modder.
On the topic of creating character mods, Hatsutoli has delivered a new playable race for Oblivion, the Tieflings, which some of you might recognize from your D&D days. According ot Hatsutoli, the Tieflings are generally despised by others in Tamriel and are known for their destructive nature. With this mod, you’ll have the power to transform into a demon and even go on a quest where you deal with the issues associated with transforming. Kind of reminds me of Teen Wolf
…at least, not officially…yet. That’s the real Erin Losi, PR/Mktg Manager extraordinaire for Bethesda, on the left. The image on the right is from a photo Erin got from a journalist who sent her the image (click on the righthand image to see the full, original photo).
You gotta admit, the resemblance is pretty striking. Apparently it’s an image from a photoshoot or something for the Pussycat Dolls in Europe. At least, that’s what we were told and the best we can figure at this point. A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but it’s also worth at least a few questions:
What is our colleague doing browsing Pussycat Doll fan sites?
Is it possible that’s really Losi and she’s just not telling us?
Does she have a long lost sister her parents never told her about? (even they were freaked out by this picture)
If you are that old guy at the roulette table, are you really gonna be looking down at your chips in that moment?
Can “The Gav” get the number for any of these ladies?
Ash just dropped me a note to say we’ve gotten an update from Microsoft and Fighter’s Stronghold is now available, for free, in the following countries as well:
So, if you’re in these countries get on Live and download that puppy by Sunday. It will be a while before we can have it out in localized territories, but we’ll let you know when and will make sure you get your shot at “free” too.
With the PS3 release of Oblivion Game of the Year now in stores here in the US, we’ve been getting plenty of questions and comments as to when/if it will ship in Europe. Pete pointed out in a comment yesterday that MCV and other sites have the press release announcement that Ubisoft bringing the game to Europe this December.
I haven’t read these before, but I’m going to see about getting my hands on them. Who doesn’t want to see ladies of the Amazon battling Robots and Zombies…sounds like the feel-good comic of the year. And it’s definitely post-apocalyptic…take a look at this artwork, not to mention the image above that reminded me of our Craig Mullins concept art of the capitol.
If you guys have read the Zombies vs. Robots comics before, I’d love to hear your comments about them.
Today’s Inside the Vault is with Craig Lafferty, one of our senior producers. Craig is the producer responsible for all our artists. We use a matrix structure on the team – so in Craig’s case, he serves as both the producer for the art staff (he has two associate producers to help him manage our huge art dept), and as a lead producer for projects (Shivering Isles, Oblivion PS3). In fact, our PS3 fans out there will be happy to know Craig is also helping out with getting Shivering Isles working on the PS3 (Hopefully, Pete will be able to have more to say soon, but please know that we are working on it best we can.)
With Fighter’s Stronghold being the final piece of the downloaded content we’re providing for Oblivion, the hopes of many that we would one day rebuild the city of Kvatch can be put to rest. Wipe away those tears though, as our modding community has taken upon themselves to resurrect the popular city.
Above is one of many videos showing the Giskard’s “Kvatch Aftermath” mod, which beautifully restores the city back to how it was before the gates of Oblivion opened. Keep in mind this is an earlier version of the mod. To download the latest version to your PC, you can visit here.
For this week’s mod interview, by request of folks within our forums, I decided to talk with popular Oblivion modders Kivan and Quarn (real names Kevin and David). While they live about as far apart as one could imagine (Quarn’s in Australia, Kivan hails from Canada), they managed to put out some great work, particularly their Unofficial Oblivion Patch, which cleans up and polishes several elements of the game.
I asked the guys about the projects they’ve worked on, how they like to work, and more. Here’s what they had to say: