Tag Archives: new


Not since playing the original Wizardry, the seminal adventure game for the Apple II back in the early 80s have I found an adventure-type game to be so engrossing – The Elder Scrolls Oblivion on the Xbox 360. Seriously, this game has everything – amazing graphics, an intriguing script, and superb gameplay. It’s so open-ended, I’ve been playing for a total of some 60+ hours and haven’t gone beyond 20% game completion. Oh – and Sam loves to watch me riding the horse through the forests! I keep trying to convince Amy that watching the gameplay is at least as good as most of what’s on tv these days, but she’s not buying it, sadly.
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I’m playing a sneaky-magic-thieving character, and it’s tons of fun to lurk about, trying to save the land – while making a nice income as well. Also fascinating about this game is the approach of offering downloadable ‘extras’ for the game. After a mistart with a lame piece of horse armor (yawn), I’ve been jazzed about their add-ons for mages (the Wizard’s Tower) and now, just released, the Thieves Den. Obviously for your sneaky types, this add-on offers a Captain Jack-style cave/ghost pirate ship hideaway, and allows you to hire a band of thieves, fences and other experts to support your Dark Brotherhood/Thieves Guild lifestyle.

It’s an interesting model where an already massive game with hundreds of individual missions can sell small add-ons like this for $2 a pop to extend the life and playability of a game just a few weeks after release. It’s likely the shape of things to come where big ‘point’ releases may come around, but the games themselves become more of a structure for future add-ons. It’s certainly all the rage in Korea where some cartoon-esque racing games have huge sales around car customizations, as well as for the burgeoning e-economy of Second Life. Micro-payments are in some areas already changing the nature of gaming. Let’s just hope companies don’t publish cripple-ware, hoping that users will be suckered into buying content that should have shipped with the title in the first place.

The game has gone so far as to spawn a fascinating podcast about the game, the Rough Guide to Cyrodill. Recorded by two amusing Brits, the ‘cast takes users through the nooks and crannies of the game. It was a helpful ‘fix’ last week when I was on a road trip and couldn’t get my daily dose. Sigh. The intervention for myself and poolagah can’t be far off….

Eppys All Around

Editor and Publisher has released the 2006 EPpy Awards (full list here), an annual competition in some 32 categories chiefly focused on new media in the print industry, and several buddies of mine can claim a part in some of the larger awards. My old friend from his AOL Sports days Jim Brady led Washingtonpost.com to Best Overall Newspaper-Affiliated Internet Service (>1M uniques) as their executive editor and vp. Former Augusta Chronicle photographer Natalee Waters current newspaper The Roanoke Times took home the same award in the under 1-million unique visitors category (one of her audio/picture stories can be seen here). In the Best Internet News Service under 1 million category, The Naples Daily News took the honor where my old boss John Fish and his director of new media Rob Curley won that award. Last but not least my old buds at SI.com took home the award for Best Internet Sports Service over 1 million.