Elder Scrolls Community Contest at Chorrol.com

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Just wanted to give you a heads up that over at Chorrol.com, they’ve kicked off a fan fiction contest that will run through to the end of the month. The contest will be comprised of three categories: short stories, medium-sized stories, and longer stories. It’s kind of like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, except you get to decide which category is “just right” for you.

In terms of prizing, I was able to get some Oblivion stuff signed for the winners of each category. Two of the winners will receive a PC copy of Oblivion: Collector’s Edition — signed by Todd Howard. The other winner will receive the Shivering Isles map shown above — signed by the team.

Good luck. If you have any questions about the rules and regulations, head over to the forums at Chorrol.

OXM Interview with Todd and Istvan on Xbox Live today


When the folks from Official Xbox Magazine (OXM) came to our office to cover Fallout 3 for their April cover story, they also shot some footage with Executive Producer Todd Howard, as well as Lead Artist, Istvan Pely. Originally, these interviews were planned to be included on the disc that comes with OXM. Instead, they were able to work something out with the guys over at Microsoft to put it up on Xbox Live.

So today, if you’re logged into Live, head to the Xbox Live blade, then select Inside Xbox to watch the footage. There’s some interesting stuff — plus it gives you a chance to see some of the OXM screenshots in HD.

Elder Scrolls Mod Interview: StarX


This week we’re talking with StarX (real name Dimitri), who has been hard at work on his new mod project for Oblivion, StarX Vanilla Vampires Revised. Born and raised in Amsterdam, Dimitri also enjoys spending his free time drawing and painting. Just recently, he moved into a new home with his long-time girlfriend.

On with the questions…

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Monthly Favorites for March


With today being the last day of March, I thought I’d point out a new feature that’s located on the left-hand column of the blog, where we highlight the most popular posts of each month. We really burned the midnight oil trying to come up with a good name for the feature, and in the end, we thought Monthly Favorites really captured the essence of what we were going for.

Before Monthly Favorites resets tomorrow, you might want to check out some of the posts you might have missed in the last 31 days. It looks like Stefano Tonello’s DUNE trailer pulled in the most views this month. I guess it wasn’t just the devs that were impressed. Nevertheless, I’m shocked that Adam’s picture above didn’t put his Inside the Vault interview at the top spot.

Hit the jump to see the top ten most viewed posts for March.

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Around the web and on newsstands


Here’s a few interesting mentions that I thought I’d share.

Starting on the print side, there’s a special issue of PC Gamer out now called “How To: The Ultimate Guide to DIY Gaming” that provides some cool stuff for Oblivion and Fallout 3. For Oblivion, they have a walkthrough called “Create your own zombie massacre,” that offers a 12-step process for creating your own zombie-fest with the PC version of the game. As for Fallout 3, there’s a section at the back of the magazine called “Gaming Papercraft!” that includes a cut out version of our Vault Boy bobblehead. I’m not the best with arts and crafts, so I haven’t yet assembled one, but the final product as it’s shown on the cover of the magazine looks like it’s worth the effort.

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What we’re playing: From the home office edition


Today’s “What we’re playing” is live from Washington, DC — where I’m sitting on my couch after a trip to the vet’s office. My cat, Chauncey Billups (named after the guy you see above), is feeling a bit under the weather. He’ll be kicking off his weekend with a sleepover with some other cats, and hopefully he’ll start feeling better tomorrow.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to get my weekend started with a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Here’s what everyone else will be playing….feel free to let us know what you’re up to.

Chris Esko, System Programmer: Fallout 3, finally finishing Mass Effect, playing some board and card games like Race for the Galaxy.

Mike Dulany, Programmer: Smash Brothers Brawl, Professor Layton and the Curious Village.

Emil Pagliarulo: Playing this awesome educational game called “Where in the World is Emil’s Immune System?”

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And The Answer is…


Here are the answers to our latest Name That Sound:

1. Which Bethesda Softworks game is it from?
The Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire. Released in 1997, Battlespire was, I believe, the first Elder Scrolls title that supported multiplayer. Check out UESP’s Battlespire page for more about the game.

2. What is the sound of?
It’s the Scamp!

3. Extra 1,000,000 points if you can name the developer who created the “source” of the sound in the game. (Not the actual sound itself — though if you know the answer to that, kudos).
Mark Jones is the artist who created the Scamp. Elder Scrolls aficionados will recognize his name. Mark has worked on most of the Elder Scrolls games.

Here is the full audio asset for the Scamp.

The mayhem resumes


As the Sweet 16 kicks off in the NCAA Tournament today, voting for the 3rd round of The Escapist’s March Mayhem Developers’ Showdown resumes as well. If you’re registered on the site, you can vote for us (or if you prefer, Crytek) in the West Bracket semifinal. Semifinal voting runs through tomorrow. To keep up on the results, check out the discussion board for the matchup.

Update: We’re on to the Great 8 vs. Firaxis (makers of Civilization). Voting is expected to commence tomorrow.

Inside the Vault: Jeff Gardiner

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This week’s Inside the Vault is with producer, Jeff Gardiner. If you are a fan of Oblivion’s downloadable content, Jeff is one of the folks you can thank. Besides being the producer for our designers and level designers, Jeff is instrumental in a lot of game system tweaking and prototyping. On Thursday nights (game night here at the studio), you can find Jeff getting his tabletop wargaming on.
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