Inside the Vault: Craig Lafferty

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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.)

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Kvatch Reborn

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.

Mod interview: Kivan and Quarn

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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:

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Now Shipping: Oblivion GotY PS3 and Shivering Isles 360 retail disc

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Throughout North America both of these games will start showing up on store shelves as early as today. The Oblivion GotY Edition for PS3 includes the original game, plus the Shivering Isles expansion, plus Knights of the Nine (which was included in the original version of Oblivion PS3 as well).

The Shivering Isles disc for Xbox 360 comes with the Shivering Isles expansion plus Knights of the Nine for $29.99, so given that Shivering Isles is $30 on Xbox Live and Knights is $10, you get them both for less on the disc. I know folks have said they’d like all the other DLC on one disc, be it the Shivering Isles disc or the GotY disc, but in this case we wanted to provide the two most popular and requested items on a disc and do it for a reasonable price.

We didn’t want folks having to pay for all this extra stuff when all they really wanted was to play the big expansion, and we didn’t just want to give everything else away for nothing, so we felt like this was the best option for people who don’t have Live or didn’t want to download it. Reminder, you do need a hard drive to play Shivering Isles and Knights…a mem card won’t cut it.

For everyone in Europe, I’ve been told the news will be out tomorrow morning about Oblivion GotY PS3 and when it’s coming, and it looks like early next week for an announcement on the Shivering Isles 360 disc coming out over there as well. No update yet regarding my post last week about Shivering Isles coming as a standalone for PS3 in some from (disc, PSN, whatever). Progress is still be made, we still hope to have good news very soon.

Fighter’s Stronghold credits

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If you haven’t downloaded Fighter’s Stronghold yet, what are you waiting for? It’s FREE. Who cares if you’re done playing Oblivion or don’t own it yet – if Santa gets you a copy of Oblivion Game of the Year and you missed out on your chance to get Fighter’s free, well, that, my friends, would be a sad tale I wouldn’t want to wish on anyone.

As always, lots of blood, sweat and tears go into everything we do, and I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the hard working and amazing team we have here, notably the ones made Fighter’s Stronghold happen.

Designers
Kurt Kuhlmann
Alan Nanes

Level Designer
Jeff Browne

Artists
Tony Greco
Jonah Lobe
Juan Sanchez

Producer
Jeff Gardiner

QA
Kevin Kauffman
Chris Krietz
Ryan Ashford
James Costantino
Jon DeVriendt
Dan Geske
Mike McGinn
Aaron Mitschelen
Jennifer Noland
Matt Ouzounian
John Pisano
Ryan Salvatore
Chris Steidel
Alexander Tran
Jesse Tucker
Matt Weil
Fred Zeleny

Conquest Screens for Wii, PS2

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On Friday we released our latest Bethesda Softworks Newsletter. Along with touching on the Fighter’s Stronghold download and the Fallout 1oth Anniversary Contest, we also revealed some new screens for the PS2 and Wii versions of Star Trek: Conquest.

Today, the new screens are available on our Star Trek site. Three of the screens are from the PS2 release of the game. We’ve also got two new Wii screenshots up, including the one shown above, which offers a glimpse at how you can simulate combat within the game.

In other Conquest news, check out new interviews regarding the game on Armchair General and Star Trek Gamers.

What we’re playing this weekend: Devs eating up the Orange Box

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I thought our guys at the office had it bad for Bioshock when it came out, but I think the frenzy over the Orange Box might have eclipsed it. It’s not too surprising, it’s got Half-Life 2 and the episodic content, Team Fortress 2 for frenzied multiplayer, and that’s without mentioning the ingenious madness of Portal.

Still, there’s plenty of other games being played. Folks are digging pointing and tapping action of The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglas, and playing recent favorites like Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, Halo 3 and Bioshock.

Here’s the rundown:

Joel “Dixie” Burgess, LD: Wrapping up Halo 3 campaign, TF2, Portal, Portal (flash!), Brain Age 2, Fallout 3

Phil ”Finger Puppets” Nelson, Aspiring Superhero Sidekick: Orange Box

Jonah Lobe, Character Artist: Team Fortress 2, Half Life 2: Episode 2, Red Orchestra

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New Mods for the The Elder Scrolls

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Here’s an update on some mods I saw this week on other sites that caught my eye.

At the Oblivion Files, their highlighted file of the week, “The Lost Spires” by Leo Gura, is a massive addition that advertises 15+ hours of new gameplay. The mod adds an Archeology Guild that you must join to explore “new, exotic locales to unravel a plot of sinister deceit, betrayal, and doom.” Download it here.

At Planet Elder Scrolls, Lingwei has added an interesting mod that expand’s on Oblivion’s The Siren’s Deception quest line again. By downloading the mod, your are granted new options of how to complete the quest without having to kill them. If it sounds like an interesting idea to you, Lingwei is open to folks expanding on the mod. Sounds like someone else is playing the role of a siren and drawing in others. :)

For Morrowind, Darknut has released a new texture replacement mod, Darknut’s Creature Textures Morrowind (see above for an example of the improvement). If you download this, just keep in mind that they replace the existing textures in the game. For more information on the mod, head over here.

Creating Screenshots

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Within our forums and elsewhere, I’ve seen where fans have posted some pretty amazing screenshots from Oblivion, including some of their modwork. I’ve found some pretty amazing ones (like the one above from FileFront’s forums).

If you haven’t learned how to create screen grabs, it’s actually pretty easy, but I still see it asked an awful lot. Below are some directions on how to capture your favorite moments from the game, which you can also find here.

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Inside the Vault: Clara Struthers

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Today’s Inside the Vault features artist, Clara Struthers. She is married to Inside the Vault veteran, Grant Struthers. Clara is a world artist, who creates cities and other large game spaces. Currently, she’s hard at work building some amazing areas in Fallout 3. Clara created Anvil, my personal favorite city in Oblivion (where my characters liked to vacation when they needed a break from looking AWE–wait for it

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