Skyrim gets HD texture pack, Portal 2 Space Sphere

Canny Steam users had spotted records indicating an official high-resolution texture pack might be the surprise teased for the launch of Skyrim's PC mod Creation Kit, and it did indeed arrive today, but there's something else too--Portal 2's adorable Spac

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Bethesda had promised a surprise alongside the launch of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's PC mod Creation Kit, and it did indeed arrive today. The PC release now supports an official high-resolution texture pack. But there's something else too--a new friend in the form of Portal 2's adorable Space Sphere. On top of that, Skyrim's on sale on Steam, down to $40.

Fall of the Space Core, Vol. 1 is the very first Skyrim mod on the Skyrim Steam Workshop. The joint effort from Bethesda and Valve sees Portal 2's friendly little orb following you around, doubtless dispensing space-y nuggets of joy.

In future, the Workshop will house the mods of anyone who fancies putting them there, where they can be viewed, rated, and easily downloaded. For now, though, it's just that lonely little space-ball.

The high-resolution texture pack is actually released as free downloadable content, so you'll need to head this-a-way to get it. The patch jazzes up Skyrim's textures with bigger, prettier versions and as it's official, you won't have to worry about textures looking different, or resembly lumpy, over-sharp lava, as several community-made mods do. You'll want a better PC than Skyrim's recommended specs to use it, though, with Bethesda recommending at least 4GB of system RAM and a graphics card with 1GB of RAM.

If you don't have Skyrim at all, you can snap it up for $39.99 (33% off) in the Steam mid-week sale.

To start making your own mods, grab the Creation Kit from the Tools section of your Steam library. Bethesda's also kicking off a new video tutorial series to ease you into it, which you can see below.

From The Chatty

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    February 7, 2012 11:30 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Skyrim gets HD texture pack, Portal 2 Space Sphere.

    Canny Steam users had spotted records indicating an official high-resolution texture pack might be the surprise teased for the launch of Skyrim's PC mod Creation Kit, and it did indeed arrive today, but there's something else too--Portal 2's adorable Spac

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      February 7, 2012 11:39 AM

      Yessssssssssssssssssssss.

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      February 7, 2012 11:47 AM

      Ok this is too funny!

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      February 7, 2012 11:52 AM

      Pure awesome.

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      February 7, 2012 11:59 AM

      I need screenshot comparisons!

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      February 7, 2012 12:02 PM

      A quick comparison shot I just took:
      Standard:
      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/170505/STD_textures.jpg
      HD:
      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/170505/HD_textures.jpg

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        February 7, 2012 12:02 PM

        that is super nice

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        February 7, 2012 12:05 PM

        Can you grab an up close shot? Thats where high-res textures really begin to show their quality.

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        February 7, 2012 12:05 PM

        whoa nice. at first i was only looking at the fruit to compare and i thought you had jokingly posted the same image twice.

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          February 7, 2012 12:08 PM

          I was just clicking watching the tomatos move back and forth on the table.

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        February 7, 2012 12:06 PM

        How are you already done dling? It's 3 gigs and I'm getting 150KB/s after trying like 20 times just to get it started. Valve servers getting hammered.

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          February 7, 2012 12:12 PM

          7.4MB/s from Frankfurt Steam server.

          Guess the Germans haven't heard about it yet.

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            February 7, 2012 12:16 PM

            Ahh good call, after switching to Toronto I'm getting over a MB a second.

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        February 7, 2012 12:07 PM

        How do you get two shots like that from exactly the same viewpoint?

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          February 7, 2012 12:08 PM

          Quicksave?

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          February 7, 2012 12:08 PM

          Load from save point, don't touch the mouse, grab screenshot.

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          February 7, 2012 12:09 PM

          Quick save > quit > enable > reload without touching the mouse

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            February 7, 2012 12:21 PM

            Hmm, I guess I didn't realize it saved where you were looking. Easy enough.

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        February 7, 2012 12:07 PM

        Strange that the tomatoes remain untouched.

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          February 7, 2012 1:12 PM

          Check Nexus for HD Tomato mod. trollface

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        February 7, 2012 12:08 PM

        great stuff, cool for Bethesda to do this. I wonder if these were held back originally and just tweaked for post release or if someone actually went back and literally redid them all

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          February 7, 2012 12:14 PM

          Everything was probably done at high resolution originally, then downsampled for release.

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            February 7, 2012 12:16 PM

            ^^^^^^^

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            February 7, 2012 12:18 PM

            I'm guessing this is the answer. What kind of artist would intentionally create a low-res texture for a modern game?

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          February 7, 2012 12:15 PM

          they waited for the community did it, then repacked them

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            February 7, 2012 12:16 PM

            Most of the community texture packes are even higher res than this official pack

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              February 7, 2012 12:20 PM

              Yup, but a LOT of them are pretty horrible. Some of them add soo much noise it just ruins the textures.

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              February 7, 2012 12:24 PM

              yep, but they also often don't know what they're doing in terms of going crazy with data usage. you want *some* tradeoff to keep the game running smoothly unless you're running a computer with stacks of videocards in it.

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                February 7, 2012 12:27 PM

                And like 3 motherboards.

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                  February 7, 2012 12:33 PM

                  I heat my apartment with video cards.

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                  February 7, 2012 12:35 PM

                  In addition to the LOL tag, there should be a rimshot one.

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                    February 8, 2012 3:02 PM

                    And a RIMJOB one too! (this would be a perfect place for a rimshot)

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                February 7, 2012 12:55 PM

                That and the community ones often don't follow the same artistic style used in the original textures, often times making things look worse, albeit higher resolution.

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          February 7, 2012 12:16 PM

          To me it looks like the originals were higher res to begin with and they scaled them down for release and consistency across platforms. I don't think they would spend the time and redo them all just for this. Compared to other texture packs they look identical to the originals but a bit sharper.

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        February 7, 2012 12:14 PM

        That's hot.

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        February 7, 2012 12:15 PM

        damn nice

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        February 7, 2012 12:18 PM

        Ohh... nice!

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        February 7, 2012 12:19 PM

        Wow very nice

        id Software should take note that this is how you support your community and do a proper high-res texture pack and not their "adaptive sharpening".

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        February 7, 2012 12:22 PM

        i'm not really that impressed :(

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        February 7, 2012 12:26 PM

        Standard: http://i.imgur.com/JRC8E.jpg
        HD: http://i.imgur.com/Fyak3.jpg

        Clothing and general NPC textures seem to be better, too.

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          February 7, 2012 12:28 PM

          the detail in that dude's sleeve is a huge improvement

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          February 7, 2012 1:49 PM

          Oh, wow. Anyone got a comparison to that Skyrim HD mod that was popular?

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          February 7, 2012 2:46 PM

          plus all the NPCs look like that guy now

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        February 7, 2012 12:47 PM

        Two more shots from whiterun:
        SD:
        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/170505/SD_09.jpg
        HD:
        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/170505/HD_08.jpg

        I didn't notice much difference when I took a close up shot of a dragon.

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        February 7, 2012 1:53 PM

        I difference is barely noticeable. I guess it has to do with Bethesda's muddy texture style. When I think HD textures I was expecting Crysis ultra type of detail.

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      February 7, 2012 12:04 PM

      Oh. My. God.

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      February 7, 2012 12:12 PM

      the space core link is broken - did they take it down?

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      February 7, 2012 12:20 PM

      I hope every pc game in the future offers this.

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      February 7, 2012 12:32 PM

      FYI, coupons stack with deals.
      So, if you have a coupon for so much off Bethesda titles, it takes whatever the percentage is off the sale price, ie:

      $40 normally with the deal, $30 with a 25% off coupon.

      Just in case anybody here didn't know before :)

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        February 7, 2012 12:33 PM

        I like that I have a coupon for % off a pack that doesn't exist anymore.

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          February 7, 2012 12:35 PM

          Ooops, never mind, it's back up. Last time I checked the FEAR Collection no longer existed.

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        February 7, 2012 3:10 PM

        Wow that's awesome Skyrim for 30$, too bad I already own it.

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          February 7, 2012 10:31 PM

          Yeah, I finally went and bought it this time. I played a bit of it with a friend's account back before any of the patches, but I refuse to buy a game for $60, never have never will. Just a personal decision.

          Anyway, the new patches have made performance so much better. Solid 60s while roaming, no lower than 30 in-town, everything maxed 1920x1080 with a 6870. So much nicer.

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      February 7, 2012 2:17 PM

      Wonder if this is going to kill off the Nexus. I actually really like their mod manager, it's pretty sharp and works well.

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        February 7, 2012 2:37 PM

        Nexus still has the upper hand because right now you can only browse and filter the mods by type on the steam workshop, there's no search function.

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        February 7, 2012 5:05 PM

        It is very likely Steam will not allow porn mods so Nexus will still be around.

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          February 7, 2012 5:18 PM

          Very good point: Valve can selectively remove Workshop content if it fails AUP terms or the like.

          A good question is: does the Workshop at least recognize mods you've gotten and installed through Nexus but not Workshop? (Much how Steam recognizes full-conversion mods as long as they are installed in the right place within the Steam folder)

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          February 7, 2012 9:59 PM

          You can get child killer mods though. So why not porn mods

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      February 7, 2012 5:07 PM

      Very very nice of them to do this. I'd love to see this kind of stuff take off on the PC. If this does flow some money back to mod makers then it could be the start of a whole new business model. It's wonderful that Valve and Bethesda are willing to collaborate on this. Gay for Gabe and all that but I just love what Valve continues to do for the gaming industry. I don't think you would ever see something like this from the larger traditional outfits.

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      February 7, 2012 5:16 PM

      Does this fix the main problem with the game in that the install size is less than 6 gigs?

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      February 8, 2012 4:05 AM

      Ok, now I have to by Skyrim. grrrrr...

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      February 9, 2012 6:00 AM

      This is really the version I wish I played - apparently I played the beta version :(