Posts Tagged ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’

Star Wars: Restitution Commando

that's what YouTube looked like back then

My 17,000 word feature on the 50 best PC first-person-shooters is 100% objectively correct, with once exception – due to a multiversal non-causal timeslip event, the existence of Star Wars: Republic Commando was removed from all reality for just a moment. Unfortunately, that moment just happened to be the moment that I otherwise would have noted it down for inclusion in the list. Imagine my horror when the multiverse reverted to normality and my memories of the last great Star Wars shooter came flooding back. I tried to make belated amends by noting in the feature’s postscript that RepCom was officially placed at position 17.5, but I felt further restitution was necessary. I’m very lucky: an opportunity has presented itself.
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Nexus Mods On Paid Mods: “This would have caused a rift in Skyrim modding no matter how it was done.”

Robin Scott started building websites to support the modding community in 2001 when he was 14-years-old. In 2007, he started a company to support his site, TES Nexus, as it became the main source for distributing Oblivion mods, and today Nexus Mods hosts “115,674 files for 173 games” and has almost 9 million registered users. If anyone knows what the modding community cares about, and exactly what mods can do for the good of games and gamers, it’s him.

In the wake of Steam’s inclusion of paid-for mods, and just a few hours before their eventual removal, I spoke to Scott about whether creators should be able to charge for mods, how he would have done things differently, and what any of this means for the future of the Nexus. Even in the wake of Valve pulling the system down (for presumed later return), his thoughts are an interesting look at the issues at hand

RPS: Firstly, what do you feel about paid mods in theory? Ignoring their current implementation, do you think there’s a way to do it that good for both developers, mod creators and mod players? Are mods something which should be free on principle?

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Valve Drop Steam Paid Mods For Now

Valve are known for their odd experiments, from Team Fortress 2 hats to – heck! – Steam itself, but they tend to roll with them no matter what the reception, polishing these oddities up with force of will and years of refinement. Their plan to support selling mods through Steam, however, has gone back to the drawing board.

They launched a pilot scheme last week with Skyrim, and had planned to start letting other devs enable paid mods for their own games if they wished. Instead, they’ve removed paid mods from Skyrim, refunded everyone who bought mods, and confessed that “it’s clear we didn’t understand exactly what we were doing.”

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Steam Charging For Mods: For And Against

Would you pay 33p for this?

It used to be that the only way to make money from a mod was a) make a standalone sequel or remake b) use it as a portfolio to get hired by a studio or c) back in the pre-broadband days, shovel it onto a dodgy CD-ROM (and even then, it almost certainly wasn’t the devs who profited). As of last night, that changed. Mod-makers can now charge for their work, via Steam.

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GTA Ousts Skyrim As Steam’s Most Played 3rd Party Game

but which mountains are best?

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. I celebrated if one of the bands I like got a single in the top 10; I took it very personally if they failed to. Because enough of my peers had also not loved whichever band of posturing men-with-guitars it was, society was in ruins. Is that, perhaps, how some Skyrim fans feel at news their beloved RPG has been toppled by GTA V as the game with most concurrent users ever on Steam, if you exclude Valve’s own games? And are GTA fans celebrating that their prized cars’n’murder game has claimed another scalp?
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The RPG Scrollbars: Spiders In The Dark

Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope!

Something has been giving me trouble ever since I started playing RPGs back in the 1980s. You can probably guess what. I mean, it’s in the title. I’ve talked before about what a blighted pox arachnophobia is for a gamer, but no genre is more guaranteed to trigger it more gratuitously or more callously. Hell, how many RPGs have started by having us face off against a giant spider in a tutorial cave, as if that’s not at least ten times more horrible than the dragon waiting at the end of the campaign? Just off the top of my head, Arx Fatalis, Lands of Lore 3, Vindictus, Skyrim.

Brrr. It’s almost enough to justify letting these fantasy worlds burn.

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Skywind 0.9.6 Video Shows New Details And Weapons

Bethesda have a press conference planned for this year’s E3 – their first ever – which means it’s likely they’ve got more to talk about than merely some new DLC for The Evil Within or a new trailer for Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. What will it be: Fallout 4? Elder Scrolls 6? Wet 2? I hope it’s Wet 2.

And not solely because I don’t want all the hard work of the Skywind mod team to go to waste. Come see their latest trailer, which shows some of the most recent modelling and environment work that’s happened in their efforts to port Morrowind to the same engine as Skyrim.

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Skywind Continues To Move Morrowind Into Skyrim

Ah, Morrowind‘s Sheogorad region, famed for its mushroom trees, its frigid waters, its, uh, rocks of Dela’thur and the brutish, erm, winds of Velopis. And elves. I bet it’s got elves in.

Look, so, Morrowind is one of those games I never really played. RPGs are my blind spot, especially anything pre-2005, so my posting this has nothing to do with residual affection for Bethesda’s weirdest world. Instead, it’s because a remake of it might prompt me to go back to it, and because whenever I post a video of Morrowind-in-the-Skyrim-engine mod Skywind, you all make such lovely cooing noises about the old game. So watch, coo, and stoke the fires of my, er, uh… Karapór?

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Skyrim Mod Enderal’s Trailer Explores The Undercity

The developers of upcoming Skyrim total conversion Enderal: The Shards of Order have released a new trailer, showing off a location dubbed the Undercity.

I’m curious: just how does one acquire a Shard of Order? First you’d need to shatter an intangible concept, which seems like a lot of hard work, even for a fantasy big boss. Ordering a Shard seems a lot easier: you can just have one custom-made by any number of Skyrim merchants. Enderal, whoever you are – you have my number. Call me.

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How Green Is My Uncanny Valley

I'm willing to admit this might be a niche issue to have

I have The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter installed on my PC and ready to go. But there’s something that’s been playing on my mind regarding that game before I’ve even booted it up. It’s been nagging at me ever since I watched a video from Andy Kelly’s Other Places series – the one which focuses on Ethan Carter’s Red Creek Valley – and it finally crystallised a problem I’ve been experiencing for years without being able to put it into words.

Just after a shot of a dam there’s a lingering shot of a churchyard. In the foreground a handless statue of Jesus marks the grave of a woman named Thusnelda. In the background the autumn trees sway in the breeze and the weed-infested grass – well, I want to say that it sways but it’s a sway which comes via a clump-by-clump waggle. That grass is why I’m proposing there exists a foliage version of the uncanny valley.

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Skyrim Survival Diary: Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

There are lots of survival games, but there are also lots of games which could be survival games with the right mods installed. Over the course of Survival Week we’ll highlight a few of those games and i)write a diary of our experience playing with it ii) explain how to do it yourself.

I found Meeko sitting by the side of the road. He is one of Skyrim’s shaggy, grey wolfhounds that look as old as they do stupid. He saw me, turned around and ran into the thicket. I followed him through the trees, where he led me to a run-down shack. I looked inside and there, lying still and grey on the shed’s single rickety bed, was Meeko’s owner. He was dead. The mongrel looked to me, blinked in the cold and seemed to whine. All right then, I thought, you can follow me. It was a decision I never came to regret. Later on, Meeko killed a lot of people for me.

But more importantly, Meeko kept me warm in Skyrim’s deadly mountain passes. One of the mods I have installed is Frostfall, which gives the player a few extra things to worry about. Exposure can leave you freezing to death, while being wet means you succumb to the cold even faster. You have to keep yourself warm at fires and fill up on hot soups to keep your ‘exposure meter’ from dropping too low. Once, I tried to swim across a small, icy river and before I could get a fire going on the opposite shore I passed out from hypothermia. I woke up in a familiar inn, penniless, frostbitten and with this note in my pocket.

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How To Make Skyrim A Survival Game

There are lots of survival games, but there are also lots of games which could be survival games with the right mods installed. Over the course of Survival Week we’ll highlight a few of those games and i) write a diary of our experience playing with it ii) explain how to do it yourself.

You may have already read my Skyrim survival diary and if not, why not? It sees me struggling to ward off frostbite with wine and adopting the game’s most lovable dog just to keep my feet warm. If you want to plod through the winter wastelands of Skyrim‘s Tamriel with the same ‘survival mode’ in mind yourself, these are the mods you’ll want to add. Most of them come from a single source, the Nexus modding community. Before you grab them, it is best to have their Nexus Mod Manager installed, as well as something called SKSE. (You will also have to register to join the Nexus community to download these files). Getting all this architecture in place is a minor frustration compared to the improvements you’ll see in the end. It will be worth it when you find yourself freezing to death under a rocky outcrop with no wood to start a fire.

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Skywind Trailer Shows New Areas, Promises Of More Soon

When I last wrote about Skywind, it was to cover the game’s ‘Slough’ trailer, which showed Morrowind’s Bitter Coast brought to life within the Skyrim engine. In the comments, what followed was an interesting conversation about the etymological root of the word “Slough”, and its geographical uses in the UK and in America.

Anyway, the latest Skywind trailer shows off the West Gash region.

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Skywind’s Slough Trailer Shows Bitter Coast, Not Slough

Skywind‘s latest trailer is titled ‘Slough’, but it does not, as every British reader just hoped, mark the inclusion of Berkshire’s much maligned city in the game. Instead it’s the first look at the remake of Morrowind‘s Bitter Coast inside the Skyrim engine, and it’s as pretty as every other chunk we’ve seen of the ambitious mod project so far.

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Tomorrowind? – Skywind Public Test ‘Coming Soon’

BUT NOT SOON ENOUGH, etc. Skywind, the total rebuild of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in Skyrim’s engine, continues to play sweet melodies on my heart strings. They’re nostalgic tunes that lull me like the most charming of snake charmers. There’s a new trailer out, and I can practically feel the Balmoran cliff racers pecking at my back, making me invent new deities just so I can use their names as curse words (There is a god named Fuckthulhu now. You’re welcome). Ahhh, happy memories. Watch below, and revel in the good news that a public test is right around the corner.

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Interview: Northern Shadow’s Plan To Rebuild RPGs

Northern Shadow has the potential to be utterly immense. The plan? Fuse a Skyrim-like open-world RPG with a Banished-like city builder. Explore, build, interact with an AI-driven sandbox, go on quests, construct cities as you please – all of it. Oh, and it’s being developed by only two people. I’d say it sounds entirely impossible if not for the fact that the fantasy I’m-not-even-sure-what-you-call-this-er’s first trailer looked rather spiffy. I wanted to know more about the game’s inner workings, though, so I got in touch with developer Arda Güneş to find out how big the world will be, whether the game will be a true sandbox ala Mount and Blade, how city building and adventuring will fit together, how combat will work, what this summer’s Early Access release will contain, and tons more. It’s all below.

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Modular Scrolls: Skyblivion Is Oblivion Remade In Skyrim

Patch notes: replaced trees and grass with marginally better trees and grass.

Speaking personally, I find The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion to be the weakest game of its storied lineage, but that doesn’t mean I think it was bad by any means. The prospect of exploring its world of idyllic countrysides, tastefully mudcrab-dappled waters, and screaming fire eyeball portals to hell remains an attractive one, and I’ll be especially keen to do so if Skyblivion sees the light of day. Like TESRenewal compatriot Skywind, Skyblivion is an attempt to remake Oblivion in Skyrim’s engine. Want to see how it’s coming along? Check out the trailer below.

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S.EXE: Hot Mods (NSFW)

This week I have been inspired in my work for this column by the magnificent website Critique My Dick Pic, which attempts to rate the erotic quality of dick pics with 100% no size shaming. I enjoy that website because for some reason dicks, especially erect dicks, are conspicuously absent from our media, including videogames, and I think a good dick pic can certainly be arousing to look at.

Probably most interesting about the site is that the curator, moscaddie, suggests that for maximum sexiness the person possessing said dick holds it or at least caresses it a little for the picture, which gives the dick a less… well, melancholy feel like it’s the loneliest snake in the world (she calls these ‘log’ pictures). Perhaps it gives the picture a sense of movement or purpose. Surely with the help of the best animators in the world, games would be the best place to give a dick a little something to do. Or at least get them to cast a cute shadow over exotic environmental art. Read the rest of this entry »

Nostalgiablivion: Morrowind’s First Quests In Skywind

i want to go to there

Oh Skywind, let me count the ways. For those not in the know, Skywind is a Skyrim mod that aims to transplant the entirety of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (aka, the best Elder Scrolls) into Skyrim’s more modern engine while maintaining the former’s gorgeously bizarre sense of style. Locations, NPCs, quests, the mudcrab merchant who essentially functioned as my best friend in middle school – everything’s going in. It’s an absurdly colossal undertaking, and yet unlike just about every other total conversion mod out there, it’s actually going places. INCREDIBLY NOSTALGIA-PROVOKING video of Morrowind’s re-envisioned first areas below.

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Apparently We Won’t Hear About Fallout 4 For ‘A While’

Guess it's time to replay Fallout 3 and New Vegas with tons of mods. Again.

It’s incredibly odd talking to a high-profile game developer when they can tell you very nearly nothing. It’s akin to squeezing lemonade from a lemon husk that’s been sitting in an open garbage bin for upwards of a year. All that comes out is dust and lemon-scented whispers of “no comment.” But Bethesda’s case is special. The complete and total lack of any sort of Fallout 4 announcement has become the thing that people are talking about. And when they’re not doing that, they’re making hyper-elaborate bogus ARGs about it and registering false trademarks. So when Bethesda game director Todd Howard approached me on the D.I.C.E. red carpet, that’s exactly what I asked him about. Here’s what he told me.

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