After a long hiatus, we’re back. We’re here to talk with Matt Killmon, video producer. His most recent work, the trailer for The Pitt, can be found here.
What’s your job at Bethesda?
I’m the video producer at ZeniMax Media, which means I do all the video work for Bethesda’s internal and external projects, as well as other games published by ZeniMax’s mobile gaming division, Vir2L. Trailers, promo footage, b-roll for news organizations, even in-game video… anything that’s video is my responsibility.
Well over a year ago, I thought Twitter was a a fad that would just go away. I was one of those kids that said, “nope, I’m not joining that party.” Well, in the past few months/weeks I’ve realized — it’s kind of a big deal. This week we join the cool kids with our very own Bethesda Blog Twitter feed.
So what will you find in our tweets? For the most part, I’d expect you’ll see similar updates to what you’ll find here, perhaps a bit more immediate than waiting to pull together a post on them. Given that you can’t type much up on a Twitter, you might hear about stuff there first. And who knows, we might have some surprises in store as well. Or maybe we’ll just tell you what color socks Todd’s wearing.
No, this isn’t like that episode of the Brady Bunch where Peter sings “Time to Change.” Designer Erik J. Caponi is talking about “mature games” in a new Kotaku feature “Growing Up Games: When Will Mature, Mature?” Here’s a snippet of him discussing different definitions of what a mature game is:
“The word really has two meanings when we apply it to media. One is ‘not appropriate for children’ and the other is ‘exploring subject matter in a sophisticated fashion,'” Caponi explains. “Ironically, the word mature when applied to games tends to have a very childish connotation.”
In what ways did you take Fallout3’s day/night cycle into consideration, so that your work looked consistently good in all the various light models and times of day?
Rashad: We use these full screen image processes similar to how film is tinted to color grade our environments, and we actually spent a lot of time tweaking the day and night cycles along with these image processes to give us the look we wanted. In our editor you can scrub through the different times of day and see how the color shifts affect the art, and we were very mindful of our color palette and art style throughout that process.
While Pete, Ash and I cheer on our teams (that’s Wake Forest, Maryland, and Michigan) in this year’s 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, you can participate in The Escapist’s 2009 March Mayhem Developer’s Showdown. Registered members to the site can vote for their favorite developers each week.
The (return) Road to the Final Four for our studio begins with stiff competition: Call of Duty: World at War developer, Treyarch Studios. We’re listed as a #5 seed, and if you follow college basketball, you know that the seed mostly prone to being upset.
Voting begins tomorrow. Head to the Escapist for more details. Good luck to all the developers.
Additionally, both VG247 and Totally 360 spoke with Jeff about the DLC. Here’s a look at the latter interview:
The effect of entering Oasis or Operation: Anchorage was quite powerful given what a radical change it was from the Capital Wasteland, can we expect something similar here?
Jeff: The Pitt itself is the vision of several developers who grew up in Pittsburgh. It’s full of unique architecture that has a different color pallet and feel from downtown D.C. The buildings are decrepit, but still intact. The Raider area is filled with their usual displays of disemboweled corpses and spray paint. Perhaps the most striking part of the Pitt is the bridge that leads into it and the ominous black smog that erupts from the still working Steel Mill.
Finally, Pete was interviewed on Sports Byline, a national sports radio station, to discuss Fallout 3 on their Video Game Review segment. You can listen below.
As previously mentioned, the trailer for The Pitt debuted on Gametrailers TV late on Friday night. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s now up on their site.
Moving on to other news, nominees for the ELAN Awards have been announced with Fallout 3 receiving nods in the following categories: Videogame of the Year, Best Console Game, Best PC Game, Best Sound in a Videogame Production, Best Art Direction, Best Game Design, and Outstanding Technical Direction.
What mistakes and triumphs did Bethesda learned from Oblivion that helped you with Fallout 3?
A lot of it was learning about the big, open-ended experience. What kinds of things did people like or not like? How do we do that better, and different, in the Fallout universe. Technically we learned a lot about how to make the game run better on all these platforms, but much of it comes from the player experience and what they can do, and see, from moment to moment. I’m sure we’ll learn a lot from Fallout 3 we can put into our next project.
That’s all for now. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend.
This week’s edition of “What We’re Playing” comes late into the weekend after yours truly spent most of the weekend watching college basketball and crossing his fingers that his alma mater would make the “Big Dance.” Now that they’re in, I can relax and play Peggle.
Here’s the games we’re playing
Chris Esko, Gameplay Programmer: Mirror’s Edge, Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, Peggle.
Fred Zeleny, Agent Z: Rock Band 2, Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, and House of the Dead: Overkill, which is the best purchase I’ve ever made for my Wii, and makes me happy I can play it with one hand, so I can keep a bottle of whiskey in the other.
Pete Hines: Dawn of War II, Fire Emblem DS, something new for 360…TBD
During CES, we discovered a Pip-Boy-esque device that the the military plans to use. Looks like it’s got competition with the Zypad WR1100 (shown above). I guess big, bulky wrist mounted devices are all the rage these days. Hmm, I think I’ll stick with my iPhone.