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.

First Conquest Review

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This morning Losi let me know that Sam Bishop at IGN has posted the first review for Star Trek: Conquest. Reviewing the PS2 release of the game, IGN seemed pleasantly surprised by the game. The review’s standfirst states: “First sign of the apocalypse: a $15 Star Trek game ends up being the best in years.”

Here’s a sample from Bishop’s review:

Conquest does one thing, and does it well. Freed from all the TV actors and even the characters themselves, the game instead just rests comfortably in providing a tried-and-true game of strategy with enough variety and differences in play style to make every race feel like they can tackle the game differently.”

In addition to the PS2 release of the game, Conquest is also available on the Nintendo Wii ($29.99). If you’re looking for more impressions of the game, head over to our Star Trek boards, where a number of folks are sharing their impressions of the game.

‘Tis the Season for Lists…

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So lists are starting to pop up here and there in the form of Buying Guides and Wish Lists and whatnot. Noticed a few relevant things here and there I thought I’d point out.

Shivering Isles made the list at 1UP for their Xbox 360 Holiday Gift list.

Meanwhile, Oblivion PS3 made Gamespot’s Top Picks list (and at $30 bucks it’s probably the best deal on that list) while Shivering Isles 360 made their Top Picks for the Dungeon Master.

And, last but certainly not least, I noticed that Fallout came in at #33 on IGN’s list of the Top 100 Games of All Time. Here’s a snippit from the write-up:

What makes Fallout so great, though, is the character system known as SPECIAL. The acronym stands for: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck — but the system also encompasses skills such as lock-picking, weapon proficiencies, or bartering, and “perks” selectable at certain levels further boost your stats. Its resulting character balance is, even by today’s standards, remarkable.

You can read the rest of the entry here. These lists are always fun for starting arguments if nothing else, and I do have to take this opportunity to say that it’s a travesty to have X-Com only at #21.

New Elder Scrolls Mods

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Welcome back to another update about the Elder Scrolls mod universe. While I was away for Thanksgiving, I received a handful of messages regarding new mods made by you!

For Oblivion, The Priest sent me an email about an expansion mod he has been working on called “Gates to Aesgaard: Episode 1.” The project, which has been in the works for the last five months, is described as an “action/horror quest” where your character will confront “an ancient twisted evil, well hidden in the ages, through a journey in time and space and the hellish kingdom of the ‘Cursed Ones.'” Talking more about the project, The Priest claims the project doesn’t follow the norms of typical RPGs, and also that folks can probably expect a second episode in a few months. Check out the mod’s official site for more information.

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Star Trek Game Capping Contest

Over the weekend, Star Trek Gamers announced a new “game capping” contest pertaining to Star Trek titles published by us (Legacy, Tactical Assault, Encounters, and our newest Trek game, Conquest). So what is game capping? Basically, it’s just creating a video of you playing a game (above is an example I found on YouTube).

Obviously anyone can just make a video, so try to find ways to be creative (humor, unbelievable action, etc.). According to the rules, videos must only have “stock footage” from our games (read: no mods). To pick the winners, STG has turned to fansite Trek Core to judge the videos.

The winner of the contest will receive a signed Star Trek: Legacy poster, as well as “a random classic Star Trek game.” For more details on how to enter the contest, visit Star Trek Gamers.

Good luck!

Midgetalien talks about modding Morrowind

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This week we’re talking with Morrowind modder Midgetalien. Hailing from the UK, he’s a 19-year-old studying Ancient History and Archaeology. I asked him if he had anything interesting to share with the community, Simon (that’s his real name) claims he has no fingers on his right hand.

Here’s what he had to say about his modding experience.

How did you get into modding? Can you talk about the first mod you ever worked on?

Why did i get into modding? I don’t really know, I guess that i liked the idea of being able to add new content to the game. When I first joined the community I made loads of requests for, what I now see as really small details (such as adding soul gems to a merchant), then someone said “hey why not do it yourself?” It kinda grew from there.The first mod i ever worked on was a personnel Balmora Expanded mod. Theres a couple out there already but they were not what i was looking for. I never released that mod because it was so buggy and conflicted with way to many others. I may go back and change it. After that my first public release was Vampire Lair. Currently at version 4 it is unstable and instead of fixing those bugs i am working on a complete new version starting from scratch. Continue reading full article ›