Category: Elder Scrolls

17 Nov

The Magic of The Elder Scrolls [Skyrim]

I’m sure most of you by now have dug yourselves in with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The open-world RPG has been the talk of the town for the past few days with ZeniMax Media capping it off by announcing that the game has garnered roughly $3.5M in sales over a period of 48 hours. My experience with Skyrim has been stellar so far.

It’s the moments that make it magical

For me it’s all about the world and its many quests and tasks. There is so much to do in Skyrim that I don’t have that feeling of being rushed and okay to be distracted. Everything will eventually be completed right!? Even with all the content they packed into the game, each little slice tells a story. Even stopping to read a book containing a short story is food for the soul.

I recall roaming around near the beginner area and stumbling upon a beat-up shack. I investigate only to find a letter by the homeowner describing his eyewitness account of a dragon flying overhead. Reading on, his wife tried to convince them to leave but the man refused stating that it was okay to stay as long as we don’t bother the dragon it won’t bother us. Oh how he was wrong! My heart broke when I stepped outside and off to the side near a fire camp laid two charred bodies. I shed a single tear, although not before I pilfered some gold off the bodies.

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14 Aug

Gorgeous Character Screenshots [Skyrim]

Elder Scrolls, Games, RPG by Tramell

Reading all the previews and looking at all the videos, it is easy to tell how gorgeous Skyrim is but this week it really hit home for me as I’ve seen some of the new images being pushed out by various media outlets, detailing one of my favorite mechanics in a RPG, character creation. At QuakeCon, game journalists had the chance to tinker around with character creation before being be dropped head first into the world of Skyrim.

They created very distinct characters including a Bosmer, an Orc, and a Nord. The amount of detail has me itching to give it a go as well. I want to see a Redguard at some point since I always played them in previous Elder Scrolls games; hopefully I can create one that actually looks like me this time around.

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10 Jun

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – An E3 2011 Update

E3 has come and gone and I got the chance to watch a few demos of one of the most anticipated games this year, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. With its new Creation Engine, Radiant Story and artificial intelligence Bethesda has created a very immersive open world. I got a glimpse of the smooth sleek menu system, combat, shouts and dragons. Follow along as I detail what makes me want to move time forward as a RPG fan.

Attention to detail

Opening the demo you notice right away the rich environment of Skyrim. The area I saw was a lush forest with evergreens, mountains in the back and animals¬†scurrying about.¬†Here Todd Howard explained that they are paying a lot of attention to detail. He states “In an open world the player can go anywhere they want and we can’t hide anything.” Everything from flowers, rocks, to mountains are all handcrafted and every nook and cranny gets some TLC. As the dev traveled through the area I saw a fox run across the screen chasing a rabbit from the dirt path and into the bushes. Come to find out that even the animals have scripts that allow them to hunt for food or passively travel to their next breeding grounds: it’s all about the details. The animation system has received a rework so the player’s character runs differently and more realistic. Horses are in the game and they move like real horses with smooth transitions from trotting to sprinting. As you navigate the world with these fluid animations there is a lot to discover. Going downhill we were introduced to Guardian stones which functions similarly to altars in Oblivion as these stones bestow a buff on you that increase the rate you level up certain skills. When you’re in a town the townsfolk all have their own unique duties and when you speak to them it doesn’t zoom in like it did in previous Bethesda games and it provided a genuine feel and it kept you immersed in the world. In town you can take part in the crafts they do such as blacksmithing. They really want to suck you into the world no matter what you choose to do.

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19 Apr

Cross Platform Modding

Elder Scrolls, News, RPG by Tramell

Reported by Edge the developers at Bethesda have developed their creation kit(modding tools) to work on all platforms. So even though you can only use the toolset on the PC the mods you design will work on the console versions of the game. The issue now is dealing with Microsoft and Sony to iron a way to get those modifications to cross over. At the moment it all looks hopefully but they doubt anything will be ready by launch.

As a player I’m all for sharing across platforms especially on games that benefit greatly from a fantastic modding community. I’ve literally put a lot more time into playing a game because of the extra assets that can be acquired from mods. From new levels, to tweaks to game mechanics to an all out visual redesign of the game. Not only do I have the ability to play a game I enjoy in multiple ways it also helps give insight into how games are designed. Such as understanding why a move functions the way it does, how to make it better, is it over powered if it functions this way. I’ve also played games such as Dragon Age: Origins where a few modders redesigned all the NPCs(improvements and cleanups) and scripted animations and events in the game that gave the game more life. Children running around more NPCs in the markets and so on and I played that game a few more times just with those two mods because they gave a entirely unique feel apart from Vanilla. I also love mods because as we all know games are released with bugs, its unavoidable and talented people put out tempary fixes until the developers themselves can do a full sweep and get that patch out. I would really love to have this translate over to consoles to get a better understanding how things are different on another platform besides control scheme, UI or the technical efficiently.

Valve had the right idea somewhat with Portal 2. They were able to hammer out a agreement with Sony to allow Steamworks to work on PS3 version of the game allowing people on the PC to design maps and have to transfer over to a bigger audience and the audience given the capability of extending their gaming experience. I’m all for it so hopefully these deals get worked out faster and more games adopt cross-platform creation.

Source: Edge