First it was Morroblivion, now it's Skywind.
The group that was behind the project to port Morrowind over to the Oblivion engine has done it again, this time using the Skyrim engine.
From the Morroblivion forums:QUOTEQ: What IS Skywind exactly?
A: It is a non-commercial, fan made modification for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that seeks to merge the amazing world of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind with the enhanced graphics and capabilities of Skyrim's engine.
While ownership of both games is required to play, the player only actually plays Skywind using the Skyrim game, and not the older Morrowind game. This means that the user interface, combat, graphics, and system requirements for the Skywind mod are all those of Skyrim, and NOT Morrowind.
Q: What do I need to run Skywind?
A: You will need a copy of TES III: Morrowind, including the Bloodmoon and Tribunal expansions installed correctly on your system. Plus TES V: Skyrim of course. The exact files that you will need to run, as well as the instructions you should follow to install can be located on The Official Installation Instruction Thread.
Q:. Will Skywind be complete with quests, or will it only feature the Morrowind landscape?
A: As of now, Skywind mostly just consists of landscape and static meshes, but we are currently working on getting all of the quests, npcs, weapons, creatures, etc. working correctly, and they should all be available by the final release. Remember though that we have a limited team, and if you want to see a particular feature faster then join and help work on it.
The Morroblivion forums have a thread showing large number of screenshots of mushrooms, Dwemer ruins, Imperial forts, Telvanni and Hlaalu cities etc. The file is available for download at the Morroblivion forums.
The Morroblivion mod was eventually banned by Bethesda on Tesnexus, although their website still currently lists installation instructions etc. It remains to be seen how they will react to Skywind.
Coming in the future - Morro Marsh and Hammerrowind.
Head over to GAMEOLOGICAL to vote on the best treasure in a video game ever!
Of course, there is no question, the Wabbajack is THE treasure!
To quote Steve Heisler,QUOTEThe Tanooki Suit offers two possibilities: flight and stone-cold stillness. The Wabbajack offers infinite possibilities. I think you’ll make the right choice.
We can't let Mario take this one home, can we?
IGN has created a new list of the greatest 100 computer RPGs.
A number of Nexus website games made the list:
Fallout 3 #10
Dark Souls #18
Neverwinter Nights #31
The Witcher 2 #78
Fallout New Vegas #89
Related games for comparison:
Fallout 2 #28
The Witcher and Dragon Age didn't make it.
Planescape Torment and Baldur's Gate 2 were the highest ranking "old school" RPGs at #13 and #3 respectively.
Read the full list at IGN. Spotted at NMA.
Harrison Krix of Volpin Props (a prop maker) has uploaded a video to Youtube demonstrating the process he performs to create a real world version of the Helm of Yngol.
More pictures and explanation are available at Harrison's blog. Some of the steps:QUOTEAfter completing the hammered texture, I attached the horn bases. These started out as vacuum formed styrene discs with acrylic rings glued to the helmet sides. After securing them in place, they got the same apoxie sculpt and hammered texture as the rest of the helmet.
The face plate section came next. Styrene eye markers were trimmed out and glued to the helmet base as markers for where the sculpted elements needed to be positioned.
I don't recommend the white apoxie sculpt to anyone looking to have clean, crisp details. I happened to purchase the wrong kind when shopping for sculpting supplies and my distributor is an hour from my house, so I was kind of stuck with it. The white apoxie has a more "fluffy" quality to it and won't take an edge or very sharp detail well. In my opinion, the "natural" color is much better. After a lot of shaping with clay tools and a bunch of water, the faceplate was textured and left to cure overnight.
See more of his work at his Youtube channel 'volpin', and his blog 'volpin props'.
Hot on the tails of our new Grimrock Nexus site we’ve got another special treat for you. It’s my pleasure to announce the launch of Dark Souls Nexus for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die edition.
For those living under a rock for the past few months I’ll break it down a little. Dark Souls was (originally) a dark-fantasy console-only RPG that is well known for being quite difficult but particularly rewarding for players. It was so popular that the PC gaming community petitioned for a PC version of the game. In the end the petition received over 90,000 signatures, so the developers got on board with the idea and released Dark Souls: Prepare to Die edition for the PC. Some players have been quick to criticise the direct port of the game lacking certain PC comforts, but developers FromSoftware were always very candid in mentioning that the Prepare to Die edition would be an almost direct port, so if you’re one of those complaining; stop! I think the best way to put it would be “perhaps the worst port going, but still the best game this year”.
While the game hasn’t been without its fair share of issues, the PC gaming community has been quick to take on the task of getting it up to scratch (one of the many beauties of the PC as a gaming platform, I’m sure you’ll agree) and many programmers and modders have been working away at the game to see what they can do to make things better. And boy have they worked hard.
While several great utilities have been released to make PC gamer’s lives easier within Dark Souls, the cream of the crop has got to be Durante’s DSfix tools. DSfix provides many customisable options, including changing the game’s internal rendering resolution past the embarrassingly tiny 1024x720 defaults, depth of field changes, HUD customisations, save game backups, but most importantly for modders, texture over-rides.
Using DSfix with texture overriding enabled allows users to find, modify and change pretty much any of the textures used within the game. It also allows users to share these modifications with others. And that’s what Dark Souls Nexus is here to help with. While texture overriding isn’t like having a full SDK or editor to play with, it’s a great start, and heck, even if that’s the only modable thing the clever-clog programmers like Durante can get out of the game then it’s much better than nothing. Durante has kindly agreed to keep us posted on his work on DSfix as a news writer here at Dark Souls Nexus, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to be getting an initial piece up about what DSfix currently can and can’t do in regards to modding some point soon. So keep your eyes peeled for that.
Thanks to the great Reddit community and the quick action of some of the users on the site there’s already a flourish of modding activity going on for Dark Souls over in the DarkSoulsMods section, all pretty much revolving around DSfix. Some have come to the Nexus forums to see if a Dark Souls Nexus might be possible, and I’ve been monitoring the situation for a little while now. What I’ve seen being done and worked on with what little resources have been provided from the developers has really made me want to help out in any way I can. The Dark Souls modders deserve a decent modding community to get behind them, and I’m here to try and kick it up a gear.
With that in mind I’ve tried to contact as many mod authors as I could find on Reddit to see if they’d be interested in getting their work up on Dark Souls Nexus before I launched the site. Their response has been fantastic and I’m really pleased to say there are already a good handful of mods available for the game. If you’ve created some new textures or utilities for the game then please come and share them with the rest of us, and sorry if I didn’t catch you on Reddit.
Because DSfix is required to enable modding in Dark Souls it does present a small barrier to entry for newcomers to modding. Having said that, we are currently working on getting Dark Souls supported in our Nexus Mod Manager that will enable the easy one-click installing of mods. It will still require DSfix to work, but we’re going to build some checks in to NMM to ensure you’re all set to go. If you haven’t got DSfix, or you haven’t setup your ini properly for modding, NMM will tell you. So that should hopefully help out a few people. In the mean-time, if you want to get in to modding your Dark Souls game then head on over to the DSfix page here on the Nexus, download and install it and then check out willypiggy’s tutorial video on how to get your DSfix setup and ready for modding. You’ll need to do this for mods to work in your game.
If you’re reading this news and you’re an RPG fanatic but haven’t looked in to Dark Souls: Prepare to Die then get on it. If you can get around the slightly disappointing obvious console port feel to the game you will honestly find it one of the deepest, darkest and challenging RPGs you’ve ever played. Just a word of warning however, it’s not called “Prepare to Die” for nothing.
A video focusing mostly on mods that make the world of Skyrim and the player feel a little more alive.
Thumbnail image for this video is 'Death from above' courtesy of Valtyr989.
skyBirds - Airborne Perching Birds
Birds of Skyrim
Birds and Flocks
Brawl Bugs Patch - Plugins - Modder Resource
Skill Interface Retexture
The California Literary Review has an analysis on the use of camera angles in video games and how they affect how you play. It examines the differences in first person and third person camera angles in Skyrim and Dark Souls respectively. It assesses how the camera angle affects how you play, with a particular emphasis on combat between the two games.QUOTEThe interesting thing about the first person perspective though, is that as it was used over and over (again primarily by Western developers in the FPS) is that it developed a . . . shorthand of sorts. Certain things that might be a concern when viewed from a 3rd Person perspective are left out of a game.
Mostly, these are little things. For instance in most FPSs when your character interacts with an object on a wall, say a light switch, you won’t see the character’s hand pop into view to physically touch the switch. The switch will just flip from one state to another as if you HAD done such a thing, even though the game never showed such an action occurring.
Bethesda, the folks who made Skyrim followed in the traditions of the previous entries in the Elder Scrolls franchise: they designed the entire game with the 1st Person Perspective as the primary view of the player, even though the game can be freely switched to a 3rd Person view at any time. This means that ranged combat, most likely found when playing as a wizard, works pretty darn well.
However, Skyrim is a game that relies on FPS Shorthand heavily. When you open doors or pick up a book these actions work as if you were using invisible magic, well before you learn the telekinesis spell that is the actual equivalent of it in game. It also means that when you swing your sword, it acts less like an actual blade, and more like a gun in any other FPS: you are shooting an invisible damage line at the spot you’re swinging at, and the animation of the swing is an illusion to sell the effect. The sword itself does not take up real space (unless you drop it).
This is very easily seen if you fight multiple enemies who group close together and swing a blade. You can actually see it go through both of them at times, yet it will only do damage to one of them; the one you’re aiming at. You can also see it when you’re next to a wall: the sword will slice through the wall during the swing to hit the enemy regardless of the fact that it just passed through brick and mortar like Kitty Pryde desperately in need of a bathroom break. Heck, unless you aim directly at a wall, your weapon won’t even produce a little hit “spark” or produce a reaction of any kind! Even when you do this, the reaction is simply graphical, and has no effect on the combat flow, like a bouncing back that causes your character to attempt to regain their footing.
When you look at Dark Souls however, you can notice the EXACT OPPOSITE REACTION. Differing weapons in Dark Souls have different types of strikes, and if you try fighting an enemy in a narrow corridor with a weapon that uses a lot of horizontal swings (say a scimitar), you’ll quickly find that your blade will bounce off the walls and leave you open to counterattacks by enemies, because when you swing your sword in this game it actually, you know, takes up real space. When you miss a strike your character takes a moment to get their balance back, and this sells the idea that your weapons have some weight to them.
Read the entire article at the California Literature Review. It's a detailed article that makes some good points.
It is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of the newest Nexus website, Legends of Grimrock Nexus, through my proxy, Axel.
Legends of Grimrock is a great throwback to the era of Dungeon Master style games, where you control a party of up to four characters and delve into the mysteries and puzzles of dungeons. For those of you who aren’t aware of Legends of Grimrock, here’s some of the blurb from the official site:
“Legend of Grimrock is a dungeon crawling role playing game with an oldschool heart but a modern execution. A group of prisoners are sentenced to certain death by exiling them to the secluded Mount Grimrock for vile crimes they may or may not have committed. Unbeknownst to their captors, the mountain is riddled with ancient tunnels, dungeons and tombs built by crumbled civilizations long perished now. If they ever wish to see daylight again and reclaim their freedom the ragtag group of prisoners must form a team and descend through the mountain, level by level.”
Legends of Grimrock is available for $14.99 right now from multiple different digital distributers, including Steam, GOG.com and Gamers Gate.
The developers, Almost Human, are due to launch their modding tools that allows users to easily create their own dungeons and items for the game and share them with others very soon. Almost Human have also kindly given us access to the closed beta and versions of the game so that we could quickly set up a Nexus site and integrate the game in to our Nexus Mod Manager (NMM). If you’re new to the Nexus, NMM is our very simple to use mod management software that allows you to one-click install mods directly from the site and on to your computer, with no need to fuss about with zip files and folder placements. The latest version of NMM, available now, is fully compatible with Legends of Grimrock.
At the moment the Grimrock Nexus site is quite bare as we’ve only just launched, and the open beta for the modding kit has only just started. I will be working closely with the Grimrock modding community to get the site up to scratch as soon as possible and ensure we can provide the very best and most feature rich service for all the mod authors out there. If there’s anything you think the site needs, just let me know.
PS. sorry I couldn’t do this in person, I’m currently travelling until the end of the week so have sporadic internet. I’m around all week for Nexus work, though :)
Kotaku has the story about a possible bug/feature in the Hearthfire.QUOTEAfter you’ve built an entryway and a main hall for your manor, you can start selecting optional rooms like a library or kitchen. Each set of rooms is attached to a wing of the house — you can only build bedrooms in the west wing, for example — but you can only start planning out one room per wing at a time.
This is where the problems start. If you pick a plan from the west wing, start building parts of it over at the workbench, and then select another plan from the west wing at the drafting table, everything goes wonky. You can lose progress and even deny yourself access to entire rooms. (One of my blueprints disappeared entirely, and I can’t get it back.)
So what’s the solution? Build one thing at a time. Don’t pick multiple blueprints from the drafting table at once: just select one, finish all of its pieces at the workbench, and then move on to the next plan. Don’t get cute and experiment with drafting, or you might lock yourself out of some of the game’s content.
Let us know if you understand what on earth this means. Read it and more at Kotaku.
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