“The Feel-Good Hit of the Summer”

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In post-apocalyptic news, Emil dropped me a note that over on Dark Horizons there’s a post referencing an Entertainment Weekly story that Viggo Mortensen is in talks about playing the role of the father in a movie adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” a book that has been very popular around the office. I borrowed a copy from Josh Jones and finally got around to reading it during my trip to Leipzig.

Anyway, Viggo would be fracking awesome. He’s perfect. Hope they get him, and can’t wait to see who they get for his kid. Not familiar with the work of the guys they have doing the adaptation (Joe Penhall) or directing (John Hillcoat), but I’d love to see this movie happen. As bleak a picture as has ever been painted of a post-nuclear world.

If you haven’t read it already, you need to. It’s that good.

Inside the Vault: Mike Lipari

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Today’s Q&A is with programmer, Mike Lipari. How important is Mike? Whenever we have a day that Mike has to leave early, we all get nervous that something will go horribly wrong while he is away. Nothing we ship leaves this building without going through Mike’s hands.

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Raise a Glass for These New Mods

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Thought I’d share some interesting mods for Morrowind and Oblivion while surfing Planet Elder Scrolls today.

Above is an image from Rougetet’s Lore Friendly Libations mod. This mod is intended to help modders looking to fill up “shelves, bars, etc. within the tavern/bar mods that have been created by other modders with some more colorful and lore-friendly beverages.” S0unds like a great mod to come home to after a tough day at the office.

Also new, here’s a couple cool “cosmetic mods” to check out. Oblivion brings dark times to Cyrodiil, so it makes sense that characters should look like they’ve had a hellish day. Using Djangos Unique Features mod, you can add details like, “scars, stubble, tattoos – even acne” to the NPCs in the game. If scars and acne aren’t bleak enough for you, maybe PrinceofNothing’s Amputations Mod for Morrowind will be. With this mod, you’ll easily be able to “equip” amputations to your character. Let’s start seeing some reenactments of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Last but not least, here’s a shout out to Galuf’s Imperial Texture replacer for Morrowind. With this mod, you can make Imperial structures look a little more homely by giving the textures a more wooden look. Check out the screens here…pretty cool!

‘Daggerfall Memories’ Interview

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Back in 1996, we released Daggerfall, the second game in The Elder Scrolls series. In just a few months of working here at Bethesda, I’ve come to learn that it is a beloved title for many fans because of its depth and ambitious gameplay.

As a result, I often hear suggestions that the game should be remade. While that’s not something we’re really looking into (we’d rather focus on making new games), last week I had a chance to ask a few questions to Deathless Aphrodite (Daniele Brunengo) about his Oblivion mod, Daggerfall Memories: The Liberation of Cybiades — a mod that adds plenty of new content inspired by Daggerfall. Here’s what the Brunengo, a 36-year-old math and physics teacher from Albenga, Italy had to say:

When did you first get into the Elder Scrolls, and when did you first get involved with modding the games?

I’ve played all Elder Scrolls games except for Arena. Daggerfall got me involved as no other game before it. I’ve been hooked ever since. As far as modding goes, I took my first steps with the Morrowind Construction Set and released a couple of mods, but I didn’t really get into it before Oblivion.

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Oblivion: Game of the Year ships (on PC/360!)

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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year (GOTY) edition ships today for PC and Xbox 360. In GOTY, you’ll find the entire original, award-winning game, Oblivion, plus Knights of the Nine and the official expansion pack, Shivering Isles. We also include the title update so all the latest fixes and optimizations are included.

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Continued Leipzig Coverage

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Thought I’d share a few links to some Leipzig coverage of Fallout 3 from the past week.

Spanish gaming site HardGame2.com seems to have enjoyed their screening of the demo at GC. The game walked away with their award for “Best RPG” on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. The game also captured their “Best Xbox” game award, as well as the “2nd Absolute Best Game in the Show” behind Mafia II. If you’re fluent in Spanish, you can also read Roberto Hidalgo Burgos’ preview that’s on their site. We’ve got a bit of it translated below:

“Even if at E3 it was barely shown, at GC we enjoyed an in-game demo of more than an hour, where Bethesda left us completely stunned in the same way they do about a year ago with Oblivion. Fallout 3 unites again in a title a wide and diverse gaming experience, with top-notch graphics, all wrapped with a rich and highly immersive background, promising dozens of gaming hours.”

In other international coverage, Scandinavian game site Game Reactor is hosting an interview up with Emil Pagliarulo in which Emil talks about his favorite elements of Fallout, some of the creatures that will appear in the game, and more.

Finally, back here in the states, GamePro writer Vicious Sid has put up his preview that covers some of the basics about the game:

“Just before the war, many sought refuge is massive underground bunkers called Vaults. Once sealed, the Vaults are sealed permanently — nobody enters, nobody leaves. This is the dark world of Fallout, a cult hit on the PC in the late 90′s and now an upcoming action-RPG from Bethesda Softworks, creator of The Elder Scrolls series.”

Update: Looks like there’s another Spanish preview up on Meristation. Time to head over to Babelfish.

The Imperial Library Interviews Dyus, Haskill

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Always ones to go searching for more info on Elder Scrolls lore, the guys at TIL skipped talking to the devs and went straight to the source (so to speak) in an interview with two of the more memorable characters in Shivering Isles. Here’s an excerpt:

TIL: Each of you, gentlemen, has resided in the Mad God’s realm for a long time. Haskill, as right hand of the Lord himself at New Sheoth; Dyus as keeper of… what is left of the library of Jyggalag. However, has either of you ever been to the Mortal plane? What is your opinion on a world full of personal choice?

Dyus: Personal choice is an illusion. I chose not to delude myself with it. However, I must admit that the quaint mortals of Tamriel have a distressing habit of interfering with the plans and plots of Daedric Princes. And quite successfully, I might add. It has given me a new respect for Lorkhan’s choice.

I have studied Mundus extensively, but have never set foot in it. My lord Jyggalag led me to believe that I would not find the experience…what was the word he used…oh, yes. Healthy.

Haskill: What need do I have to visit Tamriel? I have more than enough irritating mortals to deal with here. Excepting your delightful self, of course.

You can read the full interview here.

A Dry Heat: Austin

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Hi from Austin, Texas. I’ve been down here for most of the week at the Austin Game Developer Conference. AGDC is mostly about massively multiplayer games (MMO), but they do have an interesting track focused on writing in games. Having worked on Elder Scrolls games — which are often described as single player MMOs — I always find sessions of interest. Gamasutra has some great coverage of the conference.

Personally, I am a fan of postmortem themed talks. I love hearing about day to day development details and how other developers grapple with the issues that inevitably come up.

Matt Firor and other folks from our sister studio – Zenimax Online Studios – are also here. I’m actually writing this while listening to a panel discussion that is being moderated by Matt.

If you are someone who wants to break into the industry, you should definitely be attending the game developers conferences here in Austin and the larger one in San Francisco. I can think of no better way to get direct access to developers, HR managers, and industry recruiters.

Melon Madness!

Todd sent me this hilarious video that he found over on Destructoid that I figured I’d share on the blog. The video, created by Elgiggidy, shows him dropping 10,000 watermelons at high-res quality upon a unfortunate “Adoring Fan.” Hilarious.

It should be noted that this isn’t the first “watermelon glitch” video to hit the internets. Previously, other videos have been uploaded showing the wrath of 5,000 watermelons. You can take a look at some of the other fan-made videos over at YouTube.

Conquest “Question of the Week”

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Yep, it’s that time to answer another reader question from our Star Trek forums about our upcoming release, Star Trek: Conquest. Today Lead Designer Frank Arnot tackles a question pertaining to differences between the PS2 and Wii versions of the game. Community member TheWon asks:

Q: When designing the Wii version. What steps have been taken to make the game a quality title? It seems like it is a PS2 game that is ported to the Wii. Besides the control what other things have been used to make the Wii version a superior version?

A: On the surface you’ll notice that the Wii version has shaper visuals and faster load times, but the difference really is in the controls. The game was built specifically with the Wii controller in mind. On the galactic map, you can use the Wii Remote like a virtual mouse, allowing for a true point and click interface. This makes things like selecting planets, building fleets, constructing starbases and issuing combat orders to your admirals both intuitive and simple. If you’ve ever tried to play a strategy game on a console using a dpad to hop from item to item, you will love how this feels.

It gets even better in arcade combat. Here you use the nunchuck to control all of the ship’s movement and speed, while the Wii Remote controls all of the ship’s weapons. Because of this you can quickly aim and fire anywhere in a 360 degree arc around your ship. Combined, the two controls make each ship feel like a true weapons platform, able to move in one direction while simultaneously firing in another.

It’s also worth noting that you can issue orders to the rest of your fleet and switch command to any ship you choose.

Want to ask a question about Conquest? Visit our forums or shoot us an e-mail.