What we’re watching

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As for this week, I asked folks at the office to share what movies, TV shows, sporting events, etc. they’re watching. No surprise, there’s plenty of variety. HBO shows (True Blood, Carnivale, Flight of the Conchords, and Six Feet Under are mentioned) seem to be quite popular for beating the summer heat. In the end, True Blood received the most votes to be featured. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s on Sundays at 9 pm on HBO.

We’ll also highlight what QA Project Lead Ruben Brown is watching. Today’s Ruben’s last day at the office, so we all wish him well.

Ruben Brown: Once upon a time in the West, Money for Nothing, The Hangover, and as always, til it’s done…The Venture Bros.

Chris Esko, Programmer: The Daily Show, Venture Bros., Mythbusters, Flight of the Conchords.

Louis Riley: Senior QA Tester: Carnivale.

Megan Sawyer: True Blood (but I like the books better ;D), lots of Star Trek: DS9 on DVD.

Ashley Cheng, Production Director: Royal Pains, In Plain Sight, Burn Notice (I’m on a USA Network kick lately)

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What we’re playing

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Between a trip to London, a DLC release, and the id announcement, I got so busy I forgot to post last week’s “What We’re Playing.” So without further ado, here’s what the guys were playing (as of last week). From the emails I got, the game that got the most votes for the “featured game” was Ghostbusters, which I plan on checking out when it’s available in our game library.

Mike Dulany, Programmer (terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought): Ghostbusters.

Chris Esko, Programmer: Ghostbusters, Red Faction: Guerilla, the acronym-tastic XBLA : MtG : DotP.

Liz Beetem, Artist: Playing a lot of Prototype because I have to hurl these pedestrians to safety away from this zombie hoard. Oh god, they hit a helicopter, oh god I’m sorry. Here I’ll catch you I just have to run through this crowd top speed with my meatshield art turning everything into a red mist. Oh oops, oh god I’m sorry again.

Matt Ponton, QA: Street Fighter IV

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Around the web

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In addition to plenty of Point Lookout coverage, we’ve got web updates for Brink, Broken Steel, and WET.

Starting with Brink, there’s lots to share. With the help of Steve ‘Badman’ Hessel, we’ve got a Facebook page up for the game. Join the group here.

In news, PlayStation Insider put together their E3 Wrapup, where they included Brink among their list of titles they wish they could’ve played. Here’s what they said:

“The first thing I said to myself when I sat down and watched the demo of Brink is this: ‘this is the only other game to look as good as Uncharted 2.’  Yes, Brink really does look sharp and it stands out.”

Moving on, GameShark interviewed Creative Director Richard Ham and Senior Game Designer Ed Stern at E3 to find more about the game. Here’s a sample:

GS (B): So my question is, for every class is there one specific action, multiple actions or is it still being worked on?

RH: First of all, it’s very much an RPG-Lite. As you’re earning levels and leveling up there’s a lot of new abilities you can unlock. You can choose to focus only one one class or spread out amongst all of them, but at any given point, right now at any given point, there are way too many things you that could be doing depending on what class you are, and right now we’re kind of limiting it to six.

You can find the rest of GameShark’s interview here. Elsewhere, don’t miss AusGamers’ double dip of coverage —  they’ve got an interview with Richard, as well as a new preview.

For additional Brink news, GamersRoute has their E3 preview up, Gamasutra recapped Splash Damage CEO Paul Wedgwood’s speech at yesterday’s Game Horizon Summit, and Gamerzines included the game in their Best of E3 list.

Moving to other games, there’s a new review for Broken Steel up at Game Industry News. Speaking of DLC #3, Game Daily’s giving away Broken Steel codes for Games for Windows LIVE and Xbox LIVE. For a chance to win, join their Facebook page.

Wrapping up this “Around the Web,” the guys at Machinima have a new interview with WET Lead Designer Ash Ismail.

Until the next time…gstaff out.

Point Lookout Roundup

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With Tuesday’s release of Point Lookout, there’s quite a few reviews now online. Here’s a rundown:

GameSpy called picking up Fallout 3’s 4th DLC a “no brainer.” Here’s a snippet from the review:

“The quest lines and exploration gameplay feel very Fallout, and you’ll want to walk through every inch of the map to make sure you don’t miss out on the many different landmarks tucked away in its farthest reaches. The battles can be quite challenging, and there’s plenty of creative, genuinely funny stuff here that’ll have as much of an impact as the greatest bits from the original game.”

More Point Lookout reviews can be found below….

If you’ve already picked up Point Lookout and need some help along the way, you can also check out IGN’s Point Lookout Walkthrough.

Welcome id!

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If you didn’t see it, today our parent company, Zenimax Media, put out a press release announcing the acquisition of id Software. Creators of world-renowned games such as DOOM, QUAKE, Wolfenstein, and its upcoming title, Rage, we’re very excited to have them join our family. Here’s a snippet from the release:

Robert Altman, the founder, Chairman & CEO of ZeniMax Media stated, “We, along with many others, consider id Software to be among the finest game studios in the world, with extraordinary design, artistic and technical capabilities. They have demonstrated, repeatedly, that rare ability to create franchise properties that are critical and commercial successes. Our intention is to make sure id Software will continue to do what they do best – make AAA games. Our role will be to provide publisher support through Bethesda Softworks and give id Software the resources it needs to grow and expand.”

To read the full press release, head here. You can also read interview with id’s founder, John Carmack, at USA Today and at Kotaku (stories here and here).

Point Lookout now available

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Point Lookout is now available to download for Xbox 360 and Games for Windows. You can buy both versions online through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and Games for Windows LIVE Marketplace (be sure to download the GFWL Client if you haven’t already) . Also be sure to check out the latest screenshots, the Point Lookout trailer, and the team diary on the creation of Point Lookout.

For the Games for Windows version of Point Lookout, make sure you have the latest game update (v 1.6). Get it here.

Update: Wanna see more on Point Lookout. Check out videos at G4TV and MSNBC Tech Watch.

Inside the Vault: Nathan Purkeypile

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Today’s Inside the Vault explores the exploding mind (see what we did there?) of Artist Nathan Purkeypile. This pic is from Purkey’s desk, where he’s got a huge poster of a bomb test.

What’s your job at Bethesda?
I am a world artist. On Fallout 3, I was tasked with doing passes on most of the major locations in the game to make sure that they were all as polished as possible. I also created some of the cities, such as Little Lamplight and Tenpenny Tower. Besides that, I also created some of the kits for dungeons, such as the cave kit and the neoclassical kit. I also lit about half of the interior cells in the game. After we shipped Fallout 3, I was heavily involved in a lot of the DLC, especially Point Lookout. I was the Lead Artist and Co-Designer on that project, it was a ton of fun to work on and you can blame all of the crazy ideas on Joel Burgess and me.

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Point Lookout Diary, Screens (Updated)

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Hello from London. Just wanted to let you know on the Fallout 3 Official Site, we’ve got a new Team Diary for Point Lookout. The diary was written by Joel Burgess and Nate Purkeypile, Lead Designer and Lead Artist for Point Lookout, respectively. In the diary, they discuss how DLC #4 came to be, and even share early images from the project’s development.

In addition to the diary, we’ve uploaded six new screenshots — including the image above. Head here to see the rest.

Point Lookout will be available for download on Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows LIVE this coming Tuesday, June 23.

Update: In related news, The Hachiko interviewed Joel Burgess and Jeff Gardiner to discuss Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta. Read the interview here. Jeff was also interviewed for Platform Nation.