Going GameCrazy in Vegas

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You may have noticed that I hadn’t posted anything new on the blog for a few days. I was out in Las Vegas for a GameCrazy retail event. The event pulls together folks from their stores around the country, and gives them an opportunity to take a look at what game companies have coming out.

Above is our booth from the event. There was some initial panic on my end because it took awhile for our monitors to arrive, and when they did, I realized they didn’t have any speakers. Thankfully, everything came together before the show started.

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Elder Scrolls Fansites Return

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For die-hard Elder Scrolls fans, some may have noticed that The Elder Scrolls Source (TESSource) and The Imperial Library sites had been down for around a week.

Well good news! Earlier this week I spoke with Xanathar at the Imperial Library and they informed me that they have new servers and you can continue to keep up with their fantastic work with Elder Scrolls lore. Bookmark their new site here.

As for the popular site TESSource, which I’ve used to find new modding content in the past, the site returns as The Elder Scrolls Nexus. From what I’ve seen on the site, I like the new format. Looks like it’s still being updated, the site will be back up at 100%.

“The Adoring Fan” Really Annoys You

Looking through some stuff on Digg this morning, I stumbled upon a funny post on the site Offer of the Day. One of their writers declares “The Adoring Fan” from Oblivion to be “The Most Annoying Video Game Character Ever.”

Aside from the video we shared a few weeks back showing the him being pummeled by 10,000 watermelons, the Adoring Fan has taken plenty of abuse from other fans. Above is a video of him being used as bowling pins. For a few more examples, take a look here, as well as here.

I’m sure somewhere, Tingle from the Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, is writing the Adoring Fan a letter to let him know how to cope with his “celebrity status.”

Oblivion is #8 most played on Xbox Live to date

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According to data released by Microsoft today, Oblivion is the 8th most played game on Xbox Live since November 2006 [edit:  this should be 2005. Most likely typo on Next Gen], when the Xbox 360 launched. Fairly remarkable when you consider Oblivion is a single player only game.

Here is the rest of the list:

01. Halo 2
02. Gears of War
03. Hexic HD
04. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas
05. Call of Duty 3
06. Call of Duty 2
07. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 3
08. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion
09. Crackdown
10. PGR3

Job Fair Tommorrow

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Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow ZeniMax Online Studios will be having their job fair in Hunt Valley, MD. You can take a look at the job listings here. As Pete mentioned before, there are some opportunities at our office as well, including the World Art intern posting that Ash alluded to yesterday.

So if you’re interested, drag a comb through your hair and head on over to the Baltimore Marriott. And no, dressing in Elder Scrolls cosplay isn’t recommended…this isn’t Balticon.

Here’s a map of where the fair is being held…good luck to all that apply.

Midas Magic Spells of Aurum

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At the end of last month, in a modding update post, I mentioned the popularity of the Midas Magic Spells of Aurum mod from Xilver. Recently, I had a chance to send over some questions for Xilver (whose real name is Brian Rivers) about the mod. Rivers, whose been writing and modding videogames for the last 17 years is a 33-year-old living in Winston-Salem, NC (home of Pete’s alma mater, Wake Forest) and works as an IT manager for a Fortune 500 company in the area. Among the other games he’s modded are Doom, Unreal Tournament & UT2004.

For those that haven’t tried Midas Magic Spells of Aurum, can you briefly explain the mod?

Midas Magic is a completely new set of spells and effects for Oblivion. It’s designed to add depth to the mage experience, with over 100 diverse spells from earth, water, holy, and force spells to tornados, meteors, hail storms, death rays, and freeze rays just to name a few. The mod boasts a host of summonable creatures; slimes, beholders, balrogs, battle cats, and a flying carpet. Midas Magic has a unique alchemical process for learning the spells which requires gold and other various items from the game. This makes learning each spell a bit of a quest. I’ve put quite a bit of energy into the look of the spells as well as in balancing them with gameplay.

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Michigan Loses in our “Big House”

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So as some of you may know, I’m a huge Michigan Wolverines fan. I grew up cheering for them, went to school there, and have suffered as Lloyd Carr would say, “tremendously” following the upset loss to Appalachian State as well as last week’s blowout loss against Oregon.

Cheering for another crummy team this year, Todd Howard is a Notre Dame Fighting Irish fan. The Irish have been outscored 64-13 in losses against Georgia Tech and Penn State. Even worse, the Irish’s offense hasn’t found the end zone yet.

Given that our teams, who are #1 and #2 in all-time win percentage square off tomorrow (for the first time both with 0-2 records), we decided to have a grudge match of NCAA ’08…in our theater, on our 121″ x 215″ HD-formatted theater screen (see below for more pics and details).

Now I’ve been playing this game since NCAA ’96 on the PS1, but apparently Todd takes it a little more seriously. The game started off with a few people watching, and for almost two quarters my defense came to play. But around halftime, Todd began to dominate, and eventually won the game 28-0.

Todd was pretty excited because he said I’d have to sing the ND fight song at our next team meeting, but I reminded him that the bet is actually for the real game tomorrow. So I might get to see him sing Hail to the Victors…but I’m not holding my breath.

Check below for some more details about our theater.

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What we’re playing: TGIF Edition

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TGIF…another week goes by, and our developers can get back to doing what they love best…playing games. It’s funny when I send out an e-mail to these guys because 5 minutes after I hit send, I can look in my inbox and see that 50 people have already submitted something.

Anyhow…

Jay Woodward, AI Programmer: the UNN Nightwalker campaign for System Shock 2, Carcassonne, Fallout, some eurogames with friends (probably two of Notre Dame, Amun Re, Princes of Florence, or Puerto Rico).

Cory Edwards, World Artist: Beat Metroid Prime 3, now playing Bioshock.

Jeff Browne, Level Designer: Red Orchestra, FO3, maybe Bioshock, but most of the weekend will be spent fishing and getting outdoors.

Pete Hines, VP of PR and Marketing: NCAA Football 2008 (Go Wake!) and Bioshock

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