Skyrim optimized for a netbook changes the look of the game to something completely strange and different. [more inside]
The title of Allen Williams' website, "I Just Draw," undersells his works. These are no idle doodles, but rather, as Guillermo del Toro wrote: "Entire worlds flow from Allen Williams' pencil and brush. Creatures and characters more twisted and full of humanity than our imagination dares to conjure. He is an incredible draughtsman and a true original mind." You can see more of Williams' works on his blog. Click on the images to enlarge them. [more inside]
Skip Cameron, a Mormon, writes for Kotaku on the respectful treatment of Mormons and Mormonism in Fallout: New Vegas.
Although the Creation Kit mod development platform for Skyrim (previously) is still a few days from being released, intrepid modders have been working with edited game files to achieve mixed results. One of those results is the "Macho Dragon Mod" (download link). [more inside]
The Metaphysics of Morrowind: an essay series that looks at the deceptively deep lore that surrounds one of the best-loved open world games ever made, and incorporates not only the plot elements of the game world, and the supplementary books scattered for the player to find, but also the meta-narrative of the gameplay itself, including the player character and the construction kit. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4.
A week ago, Markus "Notch" Persson (creator of Minecraft) received a letter from Bethesda (makers of the Elder Scrolls games) warning him that Scrolls (prev) was infringing on their trademark. Today, in a new twist on an old idea, Notch has challenged Bethesda to settle matters without lawyers: Quake 3 Team Deathmatch.
Nehrim is atotal conversion of the Oblivion engine by the German amateur team at SureAI. Four years in the making and one of the largest mod projects ever completed, it features a massive new hand-crafted world, an elaborate and compelling main quest, dozens of side-quests, over 50 professional voice actors, a reworked leveling and crafting system, new spells, new items, new enemies and an original score of over 50 songs. Those who persevere through the prologue into this open world will be rewarded with a truly brilliant classical RPG. [more inside]
iD Software has been acquired by ZeniMax media. (Reports here, here, and many other places.) John Romero, the co-founder of the company, had some initial concerns but seems to have cheered up. No doubt a wide variety of retrospectives, histories, opinions and flames will rise from this most infamously-independent of game studios joining forces/merging/being swallowed by another, younger one. (ZeniMax was founded in 1999, iD in 1991.) With iD releasing games with years-long gaps between them, younger readers might not have grown up playing this company's output, but if you've ever run down a hallway with a gun bouncing earnestly before you and looking through a heads-up display, iD has touched your life too. Masters of Doom is an excellent history of the company in book form, assuming you still read.
Epic Theft? Epic Fail. "Steve Bovis, Tim Croucher and Laurence Francis, all from Maidstone, have dreamt of seeing Limbo of the Lost played across the globe since they first started discussing the game 10 years ago."* Conceived in the 90s as an Amiga 1200 title, the three Kentish lads went with the PC for the decades-deferred realization of their creative dream. Unfortunately, the long-delayed release of Limbo of the Lost is leaving reviewers with a profound sense of deja vu, as if they've seen this game somewhere before ... [more inside]