What we’re listening to: Podcast edition

logo_760.jpg

This week we’re discussing the podcasts we listen to keep us entertained during down time. With a 60-70 minutes commute each day, podcasts like 1Up Yours (R.I.P.), Pardon the Interruption, and now Rebel FM have become life savers for me.

Speaking of podcasts, OXM is celebrating their 150th podcast today…congrats guys! You’ll want to give this one a listen, as there’s a new interview with Todd Howard.

From the folks here at Bethesda, we hope you all have a great weekend. We leave you with our favorite podcasts to listen to…

Matt Grandstaff, Community Manager: Rebel FM, 1Up Yours (RIP), A Life Well Wasted, Full Moon Podcast, Bungie Podcast, PTI.

Jay Woodward, AI Programmer: Rebel FM, the Geekbox, the Gamers With Jobs Conference Call, the Joystiq Podcast, the Rachel Maddow Show, the Non-Prophets, the Official Lost Podcast, the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, Real Time with Bill Maher, misc. gaming sessions from RPGMP3.com, Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, This American Life.

Michael Lattanzia, QA: Check Your Hud.

Continue reading full article ›

Top Oblivion DLC on Xbox Live, Lifetime

TES4-Wiztower01.jpg

Downloadable content has been a tremendous success for us and we’re excited to be offering it up for Fallout 3, beginning with Operation: Anchorage. I recently put together a presentation about downloadable content, here are the highlights.

The main thing to note is this: you guys LOVE Oblivion. To this day, 2 years later. Looking at our Xbox Live reports, every day, tens of thousands of people STILL play Oblivion and they purchase thousands and thousands of downloadable content — again, every day. Yes, even Horse Armor continues to sell daily.

So here is Oblivion’s downloadable content, ranked by Purchased Downloads on Xbox Live, since launch:

1. Wizard’s Tower

2. Thieves Den

3. Mehrunes Razor

4. Spell Tomes

5. Vile Lair

6. The Orrery

7. Knights of the Nine

8. Shivering Isles

9. Horse Armor

10. Fighter’s Stronghold*

*If we rank by pure downloads and include the free promotions we’ve had, Fighter’s Stronghold becomes #1.

Around the web: Tasty wasteland treats edition

3222139042_e72c48785011.jpg

Here’s more Fallout news/coverage we thought you’d be interested in…

We’ll start at Planet Fallout, where they’ve started State of Modding — a new interview series where they talk to modders within the community. The first two interviews, JaySuS and DarN are up, with more on the way.

Speaking of mods, if you’re looking for new stuff to experience in the game, Hellforge has a new feature on 50 Mods You Should Be Playing For Fallout 3. Topping the list is the Enclave Commander mod by that we featured earlier this year, followed by Weapon Mod Kits, which we just featured today.

There’s a couple interesting articles elsewhere worth reading. At IGN, Rus McLaughlin has put together an  eight-page History of Fallout feature — that discusses the franchise all the way back to its Wasteland roots. Meanwhile, Clive Thompson reacts to post-apocalyptic atmosphere of Fallout 3 in a column for Wired. Here’s a snippet:

“The big difference with Fallout 3 is that it depicts — with remarkable fidelity — a city that actually exists, and that I’ve often visited. When I emerged from Tenleytown Station, I knew what it was supposed to look like: a bustling city scene of briefcase-toting wonks, trucks delivering packages, people buying coffee at corner stores. When I visited the location in Fallout 3, I saw nothing but the rusting hulk of a bombed-out blue car, with smoke billowing over the buckled asphalt and buildings as brittle as fall leaves”

On a lighter note, I suggest checking out 1Up Editor Kurtis Seid’s blog on entitled, “What I eat when I play Fallout 3.” Check out the brahmin feast above. Mmmm…..brahmin!

Weapons Modification mod impresses developers

weaponsmods.jpg

In about a two minute span, I received emails from five developers about how awesome Antistar’s Weapon Mod Kits is, saying, “Whoa…you have to put this up on Bethblog!”

As the title suggests, Weapon Mod Kits allows you to trick out guns found in the wastleland with silencers, extended magazines, auto-fire mechanisms, laser sights and scopes.

Continue reading full article ›

Update on The Elder Scrolls Fan Union

TESFU-Banner3.jpg

Back in June, we posted about The Elder Scrolls Fan Union, who were working on a Morrowind mod project to bring community members into the game as NPCs. I recently checked in with members from the site about their progress and received the following email (thanks Ibis), written by BGS forum member redsrock.

If you’re interested in joining the project, head here.

Take it away, Redsrock…

The TESFU Town Mod Project is going rather well. Somewhat naturally slow due to us not having a whole lot of modders on the job, but as they say…slow and steady wins the race. And for what we lack in numbers we more than make up with quality. Ibis at the helm is doing a tremendous job of keeping everything organized, as well as keeping tabs on everyone else’s duties. She is truly a wonderful Director/modder, and the mod definitely wouldn’t be alive without her.

Continue reading full article ›

Operation: Anchorage lands on Xbox LIVE, GFW LIVE

screen10B.jpg

Fallout 3’s first DLC, Operation: Anchorage, is now available for download for Games for Windows LIVE and Xbox LIVE users. To celebrate the occasion, we’ve released a new trailer for the content.

On both GFW LIVE and Xbox LIVE, Operation: Anchorage costs 800 points. If you’re looking to purchase the content on PC, make sure you have a GFW LIVE account. For more information on this, head here. Those playing on Xbox 360 can purchase the game via Xbox LIVE, or visit the online marketplace. If you purchase from the latter, your content will be available to download the next time you boot up your Xbox 360.

Once your content has downloaded, you should be able to access Operation: Anchorage from any current save file for Fallout 3 (note: if this is your first time using Games for Windows LIVE, please refer to this blog post). Once you’ve loaded a game save, you should receive a Pip-Boy message stating:

Alert!: A new radio broadcast has been heard across the Capital Wasteland. It sounds like a distress call, but seems meant for certain ears only.

Following this, you’ll get a quest notification for “Aiding the Outcasts.” If you make this your active quest in your Pip-Boy 3000, your World Map will point you to where you need to go.

Fallout 3 nominated for 8 Interactive Achievement Awards

43e129a08d01d-68-1_thumb.jpg

The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) has announced their 2008 Interactive Achievement Award nominees. We were excited to learn that Fallout 3 was nominated in eight categories, including the following:

  • Outstanding Achievement in Gameplay Engineering
  • Outstanding Achievement in Original Story
  • Role-Playing Game of the Year
  • Computer Game of the Year
  • Outstanding Achievement in Game Design
  • Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction
  • Console Game of the Year
  • Overall Game of the Year

The AIAS award winners will be announced at this year’s D.I.C.E. Summit on February 19th.

What we’re playing: Dawn of War 2 Beta

0030_default_cam_act_1_016.jpg

The weekend’s most popular new title to play is Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II — with a number of guys at the office playing the beta. Other newer titles being played include Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, The Maw, Skate 2, and even the Quake Live beta, which I’m really anxious to play.

Here’s the rest of what we’re playing…have a great weekend.

Louis Riley: Dawn of War 2 Beta, Left 4 Dead, Saints Row 2.

Andrew Scharf, QA: Persona 4, Prince of Persia, Fallout 3, and playing the Quake Live beta (it’s browser based!).

Fred Zeleny, Game Designer: Puzzle Quest: Galactrix Demo, Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll dip my toes back into World of Warcraft.

Dan Ross, QA: 40K Weekend – Dawn of War 2 Beta between bouts of model painting.

Jesse Tucker, Level Design: TF2, L4D, Desktop Tower Defense, trying to get into Civ IV, looking forward to DoW 2 public beta.

Gary Noonan, Animation: Oblivion PC with all official expansions and DLC…. send me all your favorite mods so I can play them!!!!

Continue reading full article ›

Oblivion – What You Played

obliviondungeon.jpg

One of the interesting data points we receive from our Xbox Live reports is how many players have earned each achievement. This, in turn, helps us figure out how are most people playing the game. So now that we’ve had several million people play Oblivion (while logged onto Xbox Live), this gives us a good pool of data to look at.

What did they play? Here are the quest lines in Oblivion, ranked by percentages of players who finished them.

1. Arena

2. Dark Brotherhood

3. Main Quest

4. Mages Guild

5. Fighters Guild

6. Thieves Guild*

7. Shivering Isles

*Note – Fighters and Thieves were 1 percentage point apart, very close.

Around the web: Obama saves the wasteland edition

fallout_obama.jpg

Inauguration here in DC has come and gone, and now our new President is hard at work on making change — both in the real world and in the Capital Wasteland. I had a few community members send me messages about the painting made by Dan Lacy. Speaking for everyone here, we’re speechless.

Moving on, two interesting op/eds you might want to read. First, at NPR, writer Glenn McDonald revisits the often brought up argument of whether games can be considered art. In his piece, he argues in favor of games being art and uses Fallout 3 as apart of his argument. Here’s a snippet:

“The images of the decimated DC skyline are genuinely haunting, and console graphics have now evolved to the point where you’re having a very-near-cinematic experience. The game is scored musically, just as a film would be, and the various cut scenes and combat reenactments follow the tropes of action cinema in a knowing “wink-wink” kind of way.”

The other piece I found interesting is Duncan Fyfe’s column at GameSetWatch comparing Fallout 3 to James Joyce’s collection of short stories — called the Dubliners. Previously unfamilar with the stories, I’ll be checking them out soon.

Operation: Anchorage deploying next Tuesday on Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows LIVE, you can now find details of the achievements added to the game.

Continue reading full article ›