Penny Arcade series concludes…celebrate with schwag!

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It’s Wednesday – so here comes another Penny Arcade Fallout comic. It’s not just any comic though…it’s the final one. Head over to the Fallout 3 Official Site to see how the saga of the Vault 77 Dweller ends.

While you might be sad to see the comic go away, I’ll try to turn that frown upside down. At my desk, I’ve got some leftover goodies from PAX to giveaway. From amongst the schwag, five lucky winners will win a Vault Dweller’s Survival Guide. Additionally, three very lucky winners will win Survival Guide, a signed Fallout 3 poster, and one of the coveted Fallout 3 puppets.

Here’s the basic rules:

  • Send an email to bethblog@bethsoft.com. In it, let us know which of the 12 comics was your favorite.
  • All e-mails must be received by midnight (U.S. EST), Sunday, October 12th. Winners will be randomly selected and contacted shortly there after. Any foul play detected will result in automatic disqualification.
  • All participants must be 18 or older to enter and verification may be required before the winner is announced.

Good luck!

Around the Web

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Here’s the latest Fallout 3 coverage from around the internet.

Since our last update, Gus Mastrapa of Crispy Gamer has completed his hands-on preview trilogy. Click here for the cliffhanger, and here for his celebration with the Ewoks.

Also coming out of Pete’s trip out to San Fran — there’s a new preview from GamesRadar, as well as a new interview at GameRevolution. Here’s a snippet from the latter:

GameRevolution: Can you talk a little about the work and prep that went into rendering believable post-apocalyptic environs based in and near Washington, D.C?

Pete Hines: A lot of research went into figuring out what buildings in DC would have existed in the Fallout universe, since that world splits off from the world we know after WWII. So you’ll see landmarks you may recognize, and a number of things you won’t because they’re unique to the Fallout world. Our artists spent a lot of time figuring out how to incorporate the design influences of that period with the buildings they created so that it feels both familiar and slightly “off” at the same time.

To read the rest of Pete’s interview at GameRevolution, head here.

The guy behind the guide

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Now that you’ve had a chance to get a little more background on the Fallout 3 Strategy Guide, check out the interview below I conducted with David Hodgson.

Fallout 3 is the 67th Strategy guide you’ve authored. How did you get into this business?
Bear in mind that my body of work includes everything from The Official Strategy Guide to Gex: Enter the Gecko, Akuji the Heartless, and Star Wars: Demolition to Half-Life 2 and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I started off in the UK, working for some defunct video-game magazines that no one has heard of (Maximum, for example). I then fled the UK and landed a job at the part-fraternity, part-sanitarium known as GameFan magazine in 1996. During that time, I helped out with GameFan Books, wrote a guide for Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, then helped start up a magazine called Gamers’ Republic, and also wrote a well-received guide for Metal Gear Solid shortly before that venture imploded. In 2000, I decided to go freelance, and work for a “proper” strategy guide publisher, and I’ve been working on Prima guides ever since.

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Fallout 3 Strategy Guide Overview

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A few weeks back, we introduced you to David Hodgson, the author of our Fallout 3 Strategy Guide. Over at the Prima Games Author Blog, David has posted a new entry (this time minus the spoiler tags) detailing the different sections of the strategy guide and providing background on the amount of work that went into making it.

For your reading pleasure, you can check it out below. In the coming days/weeks, you can expect more details about the guide…

Fallout, then Fall Over: Guide Creation Blog

Part 02: Meanderings and Overview

I initially received my first build of the game on May 25th, which is when all major social activity (never a major concern for a strategy guide author) was curtailed, and my trip into the Capital Wasteland began. After booting up the PC and 360 versions, I began an intensive, week-long “cursory” play-session, and spoke at length with Pete Hines and Jeff Gardiner at Bethesda about what they wanted the reader to gain from the guide. They deluged me with pile after pile of internal wiki information, and allowed me to bombard the team with a variety of questions, most of which were variations on the “yes, I just discovered this, and it’s freakin’ awesome” theme.

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What we’re playing: Going retro edition

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The Blue Bomber is back! Several guys at the office are gaming like it’s 1989 with Mega Man 9 — a retrofied awesomefest for the ages. Are those real words? Doesn’t matter..it’s just that good.

Here’s a list of what what we’re playing. Have a great weekend!

Dan Ross, QA: WipeOut HD, Megaman 9, Warhammer Online.

Tim “Visor” Lamb, Producer: CoD4, Mega Man 9, trying to find a fairway.

Matt Grandstaff: LittleBigPlanet Beta, Metal Gear Solid 4, Mega Man 9.

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More previews trickle in…

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Following Pete’s west coast trip, a few more previews have surfaced.

Gus Mastrapa at Crispy Gamer put up part 1 one of his feature “I Survived Four Hours of Fallout 3.” Below is a snippet of his experience in the Capital Wastleland:

“I’m under the shadow of a wrecked freeway overpass propped up by tilting concrete pylons. The road, maybe two stories up, comes to an abrupt halt. The husk of a ruined bus teeters on the edge. There’s got to be something good up there, I think. Picking my way across the landscape, I eventually come to the spot where the ramp meets the earth. My suspicions were correct: The elevated stretch of freeway has been claimed by survivors. Barricades have been propped up along its length, transforming the interrupted roadway into a defensible position. There are a ton of obstacles between me and my goal, where imaginary treasure awaits.”

Stayed tuned to Crispy Gamer for parts 2 and 3.

In other hands-on news, Gamepro.com’s Sid Shuman has a two-page preview of the game. Elsewhere, Locke Webster blogs about his play experience for UGO, noting that there might be some spoilers for folks that don’t want to know too much.

Meanwhile, it sounds like Game Revolution will have a new preview soon. Keep an eye here for new coverage.

Around the web: Tales from San Francisco

Pete spent Monday and Tuesday letting press folks go hands-on with Fallout 3 for a few hours. Today there’s a slew of new previews and interviews to read. Here’s the rundown…

We’ll start at Gamespot, who have a video interview with Pete (shown above). I could help but laugh at the backdrop for the interview. With that fireplace, it looks like Pete is on Masterpiece Theater. When you’re done watching that, Shaun McInnis shares his latest impressions after playing for four hours. Here’s a snippet:

“Back inside the corrugated metal walls of Megaton, I walked down to the atomic bomb sitting in the middle of town. For the second time, I rolled right up next to it and gave it a good inspection. This time, I was able to disarm the thing and rescue the local citizens from the precarious position of living in a city with a live atom bomb acting as a town plaza. Lucas Simms was so grateful that he gave me the keys and deed to a local house. I was pretty excited about that, considering that I’d spent the previous night sleeping on a mattress I’d found in the Super-Duper Mart bathroom.”

More coverage after the break…

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On newsstands

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Thought I’d point out a few articles I came across while going through a stack of magazines at my desk.

The September issue of Play Magazine has an interview with Fallout 3 Lead Producer Gavin Carter. In the interview, the Gav discusses topics ranging from the Gamebryo engine, game performance and Fallout 3 gameplay. Here’s a sample:

play: What gameplay situations in Fallout 3 really demonstrate the engine’s new ballistics and physics system?

Gavin: The best situations to see this in are during VATS sequences. VATS allows you to pause time, target specific areas of an enemy, and queue up moves that are then executed in a cinematic fashion.

For more magazine coverage, hit the jump:

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Inside the Vault: Rashad Redic

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Rashad Redic is the latest Inside the Vault participant.

What’s your job at Bethesda?
I’m an environment artist — not so much the landscaping but more of the physical structures and props, and textures you’ll see throughout your travels in the wasteland. I’ve also done a large amount of our dungeon lighting.
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