LEGO: BFG Edition Interview

Whether you’re searching Reddit or checking out news on numerous gaming sites, it would be hard to miss this amazing, spot-on LEGO tribute to DOOM. After sharing this Flickr page and YouTube video shown above, there have been plenty of “that’s [expletive] awesome” said this week.

This week we had a chance to catch up with the creator, Iain Heath — a.k.a. Ochre Jelly. Originally from the UK, Iain’s lived in Seattle the past 17 years, where he’s worked as a software engineer, aspired to be a wannabe stand-up comedian, and become a full-time LEGO artist and blogger for The Brother’s Brick. This weekend Iain will be proudly displaying his DOOM homage and other works at BrickCon — a celebration of all things LEGO taking place in Seattle.

Check out our interview below…

You’ve worked on a numerous LEGO projects, what led you to DOOM?

I played DOOM and DOOM II way back when they first came out, and was a huge fan, played loads of mod levels, and still play it to this day. And since my LEGO art generally focuses on popular culture, it was a natural fit. Since I usually build stuff that is in the public consciousness, I thought I’d built something just for myself for a change, for purely nostalgic reasons. To be honest, I had no idea anyone else really remembered the game, so the popularity of my DOOM layout came as something of a surprise!

You’ve been posting about the project for some time on Facebook, how long did the project take?

I started it at the very start of the summer, and it’s basically consumed all my free time. By my reckoning it required about 15,000 bricks to construct – most of which had to be special ordered, as my existing LEGO collection is relatively small (as are most of my previous models, compared to this one). I also ran out of time to add everything I wanted to, and had to scale it back a bit in order to be done in time for BrickCon. For example, I wanted to include an Arachnotron and Hell Baron.

What was the most challenging aspect of the project?

The scale of the background, definitely. I normally just build small characters. But with DOOM, the environment is a big part of the experience, so I decided to just bite the bullet and attempt a diorama at the same scale as the characters. I haven’t done much architecture before, so that was hard to figure out. With characters, I’m trying to emulate a very specific image. But for these backgrounds, there wasn’t a template to work from, I had to design the layout from scratch, which required greater imagination and planning on my part.

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The Evil Within – Every Last Bullet

Making your way through The Evil Within is no walk in the park. In order to survive, it’s important to learn how the game’s systems can play in your favor. Taking advantage of resources, managing ammo, and simply knowing when it’s time to run away can help stave off death for a moment longer.

Get a 101 lesson on survival in the video above, and then delve into our spoiler-free article feature below from guest Bethesda Blog editor Fran Reyes. In the article, Reyes outlines some of the survival strategies that helped her play through the full game. Study up to be prepared for October 14th.

Take it away, Fran!

How you’ll defend yourself from The Evil Within’s nightmare creatures

Poor Sebastian Castellanos. As a detective in the Krimson City Police Department, he’s never encountered anything as horrific or gruesome as the case he’s working on in The Evil Within. After an emergency call from a dispatcher asks him and his small team to check out a multiple homicide at the city’s mental hospital, things quickly go from strange to terrifying, with little explanation as to the hows or whys. Thankfully, Sebastian’s never left completely defenseless.

How you weather the storm that The Evil Within conjures — first rule: don’t count on much downtime — depends on how you’ll use the cache of weapons and items at your disposal. From the standard-issue handgun Sebastian has holstered during his initial investigation to the more advanced weaponry he stumbles across, as well as the skills and abilities you’ll slowly upgrade and master — there’s a lot of stuff to juggle if you’re going to survive The Evil Within.

Matches, Torches, and Brains in Jars

Combat isn’t simply a run-’n-gun affair; instead, you’ll often have to multi-task after dispatching a creature by setting it on fire with a match to keep it, well, dead. The game cleverly reminds you that a single match can go a long way if you’re able to down multiple enemies and simply set the pile aflame in one go. It’s wise advice, as well, since matches — along with the rest of the items in The Evil Within — are always in short supply.

In other encounters with otherworldly threats, you’ll be able to snag one-use items off corpses that’ll aid you in combat — as an example, axes and torches guarantee insta-kills if wielded correctly, but they don’t last beyond that one instance and can’t be upgraded or shuffled to an inventory slot for later use. But what a difference they can make in a fight when you’re facing off against more enemies than you have bullets for.

Be it with a torch, a lit puddle of gasoline, or a match from your inventory, setting enemies on fire means they won’t be getting back up after you’ve laid waste to them. Granted, you won’t always need to use a match to make enemies stay dead, but until you can tell the difference, best to just make sure.

Matches and other one-use items can only take you so far against the dangers in The Evil Within, though; firearms are, of course, the most practical defense and offense, but how you fight the terrors in the game relies heavily on how you fortify each. This includes upgrades and managing the “Green Gel” — gathered throughout your play in varying amounts from rather macabre-seeming jars containing human brains swimming in green-colored fluid. This sinister in-game currency comes into play when you take trips to the “other side of the mirror,” a hub that you’ll revisit throughout your journey that looks a lot like an asylum reception area attended by a nurse who knows more than she’s letting on. Here is where you’ll perform self-experiments in order to upgrade everything from your personal skills — such as stamina, which allows you sprint to evade danger, and your health meter — to managing your weapon cache.

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If you hear the pleasant strains of “Claire de Lune” playing, you know one of these mirrors is nearby. Once activated, they’ll lead you to the relative safety of the game’s hub world.

Arm Yourself

Guns like your revolver and shotgun — Sebastian’s most trusty pair of firearms, among other weapons that range from standard to super-secret — can be honed into increasingly more lethal death-dealers. Throughout each of the game’s tough stages, you may be tempted to throw upgrade points into your more powerful weapons in order to craft ridiculously surefire solutions to progressively more demanding combat scenarios. But gauging from the amount of ammo available, it’s wise to do so with caution. In most cases, concentrating on your handgun and shotgun’s capabilities — ammo capacity, damage dealt, and accuracy, among an almost overwhelming amount of other tweak-able stats — isn’t just practical, but it’s also smart. After all, when you’re facing down seemingly endless waves of non-boss enemies (which The Evil Within dubs “The Haunted,” of which there are literally dozens of different types), the last thing you want to do is use up all the ammo for your more advanced weapons, when a nicely powered-up handgun can do the headshot-dealing trick. Trust us, save as many of the Agony Crossbow’s bolts for the bosses and nastier threats — you’ll thank us later.

Sebastian’s multi-purpose bolt-slinging Agony Crossbow stands as one of the game’s most flexible weapons and introduces a neat wrinkle in how you’ll manage your time and ammo. Throughout The Evil Within, armed traps play a huge role in how you’ll approach each new area you encounter. Everything from bear traps to landmines to timed wall-bombs — and this doesn’t even touch on the hugely lethal shock- and acid-traps — can change the course of nearly every fight you find yourself in, for different reasons. Employing a tense risk-vs.-reward opportunity, every bolt is made up of various parts, which can be collected from dismantled traps, but doing so takes time. So, with a group of growling, bloodthirsty creatures lurking in a darkened room, do you dare take the time to creep toward a landmine in order to harvest much-needed parts to craft an explosive bolt? Or do you risk storming into a new space on the off-chance that it isn’t littered with expertly placed wall-bombs that you may or may not be able to disarm in time before they detonate? How important is gathering parts for bolts in the face of simply surviving to reach the next area?

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Using an Explosive Bolt from your Agony Crossbow can deal devastating damage…or, when not fired at an enemy, can lay an equally lethal motion-triggered trap. Though, be careful not to let an enemy with an Explosive Bolt stuck to them get to near to you, you might just end up in pieces…

The reward side of crafting bolts is simply having more ways to protect yourself from the ever-encroaching waves of nightmares that populate The Evil Within. The Agony Crossbow is important in that it can hold several different types of bolts, as well — the explosive bolts can serve a very different purpose than, say, the flash or shock bolts, in a given battle. Like they say, the more the merrier, at least when it comes to having enough parts to create bolts; your own strategy for how to rationalize whether to dismantle a trap for parts or simply shoot it to detonate it and move on will vary depending on the given situation.

Crafty Solutions

It’s wise to note, as well, that making your own ammo is only an option for the Agony Crossbow; all other firearms require bullets that are collected in the environment. That’s right; you won’t find a single store or wandering merchant anywhere in the shifting realities of The Evil Within. As daunting as that sounds — and it’s downright daunting in actual practice, as well — more meticulous players can find other ways to boost their ammo counts, with a little help from Goddess Statues.

Eagle-eyed sharpshooters may spot these small white figurines positioned around new areas. Do yourself a favor and destroy them by melee or — though it’s tough to recommend wasting even a single bullet on them —gunshot in order to reap a special Locker Key hidden inside. That key then gives you access to a finite stash of ammo or Green Gel in a specific spot within the hospital “mirror-world” hub. In other words, sometimes the difference between success and “game over” is keeping an eye out for those slyly placed Goddess Statues.

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Goddess Statues are sometimes out in the open, but often they’re squirreled away in increasingly tough-to-spot hidey-holes. They’re worth hunting down for the perks, though.

Still, there are also other mysteries afoot among the many in-game collectible items and special rewards, but perhaps those are best left for the souls brave enough to find them all. There’s a lot going on in The Evil Within, from the way you’ll manage your ammo to what you’ll choose to upgrade or spend your Green Gel on. While there’s room for experimentation in refining your personal strategy, it’s essential to go in with both eyes open, and a weapon always at the ready. After all, you never really know what lurks just around the corner.

PAX Aus: Putting some BATTLECRY on the Barbie

G’day everyone, we have exciting news for Bethesda fans Down Under! This year we will be participating in PAX Aus for the first time — bringing BATTLECRY, our Austin-flavored multiplayer action game from the dev team at BattleCry Studios.

Alongside being able to play the game on the show floor, members of team — Executive Producer Rich Vogel, Design Director Lucas Davis, Senior Systems Designer Mark Tucker, and Community Manager Shahin Kanafchian — will take the stage for a panel entitled ‘BATTLECRY: Welcome to the WarZone’ on Saturday, November 1st at 2 pm local time. They’ll be on stage to discuss the ins and outs of their new game and look forward to debating the world’s best BBQ. And with tech/gaming guru Rae Johnston presiding over the panel as moderator, it’s sure to be entertaining.

In addition to BATTLECRY’s presence, you won’t want to miss Pete Hines’ “storytime keynote” address opening the show. Pete, Rich Vogel, and Lucas Davis will also be sitting on other PAX Aus panels throughout the weekend. More details to come!

PAX AUS runs from October 31st thru November 2nd.  For more information on PAX Aus, visit the event website and be on the lookout for new updates on Bethesda Blog, as well as our BATTLECRY Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Friday Fanart: Looking from the Outsider In

Silence by DeviantArtist, GreenDelle

As the weather gets cooler and the convention season dies down, we look to those with crafty hands to create works of art during the colder months. This week we’re showing off artwork we’ve seen from Fallout New Vegas, The Evil Within, and Dishonored.

If you’ve got anything, anything at all you’d like us to share on the Bethesda Blog, send our way! You can send us an email at bethblog@bethsoft.com or use #BethesdArt on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and we’ll find you.

Have a great weekend!

The System Requirements Within

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On the heels of our Gone Gold announcement, we’ve put the final touches on the recommended PC requirements for The Evil Within. These specifications are listed as “recommended” as they are the settings we’ve determined ensure that your gameplay experience plays as intended by the development team.

Note: We do not have a list of minimum requirements for the game. If you’re trying to play with a rig with settings below these requirements (you should plan to have 4 GBs of VRAM regardless), we cannot guarantee optimal performance.

Recommended PC System Specifications

  • 64-bit Windows 7/Windows 8
    i7 with four plus cores
  • 4 GBs RAM
  • 50 GB of hard drive space*
  • GeForce GTX 670 or equivalent with 4GBs of VRAM
  • High Speed Internet Connection
    Steam account and activation

*It’s worth noting that the 50 GB of space required is for the PC install. When the installation is complete, the game will take up ~41 GB of HDD space.

Speaking of space (and by your request), here are the install sizes for the console versions of the game.

  • Xbox One — 40 GB HDD Space
  • PlayStation 4 — 40 GB HDD Space
  • PlayStation 3 — 7 GB HDD Space
  • Xbox 360 — 7 GB
    • Note: The Evil Within requires a mandatory install to the Xbox 360’s HDD or a USB 2.0 (or higher) flash drive.

QuakeCon Turns 20: July 23 – July 26

Believe it or not, QuakeCon is turning 20 this year. While you won’t be able to legally get QuakeCon into your favorite watering hole , the occasion is momentous nonetheless, and will take place July 23-26 once again at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, TX.

In its landmark year, QuakeCon 2015 continues its non-stop celebration of games and the people who play them with North America’s largest BYOC (Bring-Your-Own-Computer) LAN party. And after 20 years, QuakeCon is much more than just a BYOC — the event and the hotel itself offer activities for the whole family.

As always, QuakeCon offers lots of excitement for those who don’t bring their own computer. QuakeCon has long been recognized for its panels and presentations given by top industry luminaries and exhibits showcasing previews of Bethesda’s highly anticipated unreleased games. Just ask anyone that got to check out DOOM this past August! Additionally, the world’s leading technology companies will be on site to demonstrate their latest hardware and accessories. Each day of QuakeCon is packed with tournaments, game presentations, contests, entertainment, announcements, panel discussions, parties and more!

You can make room reservations at the Hilton Anatole Hotel by calling 1-800-Hiltons or 1-800-445-8667 or going online here . Special room rate of $164 per night when you reference QuakeCon 2015!

As new updates on QuakeCon become available, you’ll be able to find them here, as well as on our official Twitter and Facebook pages. More to come!

Gone Gold!

Putting out a game on five platforms (PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4) across multiple regions is no easy feat, but we’re excited to announce The Evil Within has officially “Gone Gold”!

Congrats to everyone at Tango Gameworks and everyone else that was involved in the process of making the game — your hard work has helped create a survival horror game that we believe people will be talking about for a long time.

If you’ve been cowering under your covers up until now, The Evil Within arrives on Tuesday, October 14th in Europe and North America, October 16th for New Zealand and Australia, and October 23rd for Japan.

Stay tuned for more updates on The Evil Within.

‘Bethesda Behind the Scenes’ presents… The Evil Within

How does the creator of Survival Horror define the genre? What films have had the most influence for Tango Gameworks? What scares Shinji Mikami and his team at Tango Gameworks?

These questions, and many more, are answered in a new Bethesda Behind-the-Scenes web series we worked on with Adam Sessler. During a recent trip to Tango Gameworks’ studio in Tokyo, Japan, Game Director Shinji Mikami and other members of the Tango team opened up to Sessler about The Evil Within and their studio culture like never before. Just wait until you see Mikami-san break out into laughter!

To kick off the web series, we’re starting with three videos today. The first (embedded above) is Sessler’s introduction to the series — setting the stage for what you can expect between now and next month.

For a closer look at gameplay, the series’ next video, ‘The Art of Survival’ features Mikami-san and Producer Masato Kimura as they delve into the gameplay mechanics of “pure survival horror” – discussing traps, enemies, and other terrors that await you when playing The Evil Within.

From there, we go “Inside The Mind of Shinji Mikami” — an intimate journey through The Evil Within’s inception as Shinji Mikami discusses the paths he took in creating his newest survival horror game, his philosophies on game design, and how we works with the team at Tango for coming up with ideas.

Next week and throughout October, be on the lookout for more videos explaining the game’s making, monsters, and of course, plenty more Mikami.

Game Informer dissects The Evil Within’s Survival Horror

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Chomping at the bit for more info on The Evil Within? We’ve got plenty coming this week, and it starts with the latest feature from Game Informer’s month-long look at horror games. Head here to watch a 6-plus minute video as Andrew Reiner and Tim Turi discuss the flavor of horror the game offers. In short, they sum it up as Mikami at his best.

Stay tuned for more on The Evil Within throughout the remainder of the week.

Wolfenstein: The New Order – Gibraltar Bridge Developer Commentary

Last week we introduced our newest developer commentary for Wolfenstein: The New Order on our Twitch stream. Now, for your viewing pleasure, see the exciting in depth footage of the Gibraltar Bridge in high definition with narration from MachineGames’ senior gameplay designer, Andreas Öjerfors.

If you missed our first commentary video, you can catch it in episode 2 of our Bethesda Twitchworks variety show.