The holidays have come and gone. Farewell egg nog, holiday parties, and wonderful time off. So what do folks have to look forward to now? Well, since the Redskins had a strong finish, plenty of folks around the office are jacked up for this weekend’s matchup against the Seahawks. Other than that, well…the weekend is always a good time to catch up with the latest games we’re playing…
Orin Tresnjak, Installshield Wrangler: Super Mario Galaxy, Geometry Wars Galaxies (Wii version), Crysis. Maybe breaking out Just Cause for 360 again (such a wonderful, underrated game).
Dan Lee, Environment Artist: Sonic Rush Adventure (DS), Crackdown (360), and Virtua Tennis 3 (360).
Gary Noonan, Character Animator: Was playing and enjoying Mass Effect, but sadly only took me 15 hours to beat. Sooooo, playing Bard’s Tale 360 for old time’s sake.
The folks at Oblivion Real Estate put out their most recent newsletter highlighting some things from around the community including the winners of The MORE Homes Challenge, their official holiday mod, and the always-entertaining PrincessStomper interviewing designer Erik J. Caponi and artist Megan Sawyer.
The interview covers a number of things related to what Erik and Megan do for a living, as well as their interests and whatnot and is quite lengthy and entertaining read, particularly the part about Erik being strikingly handsome. I could get maybe “looks like he could be the lead singer in a band at any given moment,” but strikingly handsome? If you were at a party with him and told someone he was in Queens of the Stone Age, they’d totally believe you.
Head on over to check out the interview and the full newsletter.
Oblivion and Morrowind might be getting older, but we continue to see great new mods for both titles. Here’s some highlights from within the mod community over the past few weeks.
Up first is an oldie (but a goodie) that Gary Noonan, one of our character animators, wanted me to highlight. It’s Timeslip’s Morrowind Graphics Extender mod. Here’s what Gary had to say:
“I toyed around with this earlier after finding it last night and it’s pretty amazing. Certainly prolongs the life of Morrowind (that’s right, NOT Oblivion). It’s an extremely small and easy to use use utility that makes Morrowind look like it was a recently released title.”
In more recent mod news, we’d like to give a shout out the December Hall of Fame inductees over at Planet Elder Scrolls. For those that wonder what it takes to get a Hall of Fame entry on the site, the mod must receive at least 25 votes with a score of 8 or better while being downloaded at least 5000 times. For December, the following mods met the criteria:
Finally, in some light-hearted modding news, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw theoutcrowd’s Oblivion mod that creates a character reminiscent of Xena: Warrior Princess. Check out the download here or fear the wrath of Xena!
Some of our best developers working here came from our modding community. They step into their jobs already understanding our tools, processes and pipelines.
So your first step (or one of many possible first steps!) to breaking into the game industry is to make mods. We’re not the only developers who release tools for their games, but assuming you want to make big crazy RPGs like we do, you’re best bet is making mods for our games.
If you are thinking of trying your hand at making mods for Oblivion (or Morrowind), now is a good a time as any. Why? Since Oblivion shipped over a year ago, an enormous amount of documentation, tools and mods have sprung forth along with an amazing modding community to help you learn.
Before we ring in the New Year, I thought we’d pick one more winner for our holiday t-shirt giveaway. This one comes from Ramon Alvarez. With his submission, he gave a short description of the image, so I’ll let Ramon take it from here:
This piece may require a bit of an explanation my my behalf. As you can see Santa is delivering the G.E.C.K (Garden of Eden Creation Kit) from Fallout 2 to this poor fellow but his time has passed on. Santa is wearing a special suit to fight back the radiation, almost everything in the room is burned or destroyed except for a small silhouette where a man was standing which is at the right of the picture. The silhouette is the Bad Karma perk that you can get in all the Fallout games (though maybe not Fallout 3…thats up to you guys).
If this image doesn’t sum up the holidays, I don’t know what does. Congrats on winning one of our new Vault Boy shirts!
Well, we made it into 2008, but coverage looking back at 2007 and looking ahead to this year continues to surface.
Looking back at 2007, Robert “Apache” Howarth has put up Voodoo Exteme’s “Game of the Year Awards.” In the “Best Expansion Pack” category, we’re happy to see Shivering Isles came away as the year’s best.
“I’m going to need you to deal with something: TES IV:O:THS [sic] was, hands down, the best RPG released last year. “What? What did he say?” I’ll repeat it. Thanks to its beautiful graphics, engrossing story and overall radness, The Shivering Isles was the best RPG of 2007. I feel much better now with that off of my chest.”
Moving on to Fallout 3, a few more folks are chiming in that they have high expectations for the game. Charles Husemann at Gaming Nexus put together 20 questions for 2008 that concludes with the question: “How awesome will Fallout 3 be?” You can read his thoughts on that question here.
Before taking off in celebration of the New Year, I thought I’d share a few nuggets of information that we’ve come across recently…
Various websites continue to forecast which games they’re pumped to play in 2008. The staff at CVG have put up a list titled “2008’s Essential PS3 Games,” which includes Fallout 3. It’s nice to see the game make the list with such great company (MGS 4, LittleBigPlanet, and GTA IV were among some of the other games that made the cut). Discussing Fallout 3, they wrote:
2007, we hardly knew thee. For this week’s “What we’re playing,” we’re reflecting on our personal favorite games from this past year. Looking through the list, you’ll see lots of the well-known favorites, including Mass Effect, Super Mario Galaxy, and Rock Band. If we had to lock ourselves in a room and fight over our official office pick for GOTY, I’d venture to say it would end up being between the Orange Box or Bioshock. If you’ve been following this blog, or playing games this year, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
As for the format for our rankings, there really isn’t one…I’ve let folks at the office format their lists as they please. If you’d like, feel free to share your picks in the comments section.