Monthly Favorites for March

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With today being the last day of March, I thought I’d point out a new feature that’s located on the left-hand column of the blog, where we highlight the most popular posts of each month. We really burned the midnight oil trying to come up with a good name for the feature, and in the end, we thought Monthly Favorites really captured the essence of what we were going for.

Before Monthly Favorites resets tomorrow, you might want to check out some of the posts you might have missed in the last 31 days. It looks like Stefano Tonello’s DUNE trailer pulled in the most views this month. I guess it wasn’t just the devs that were impressed. Nevertheless, I’m shocked that Adam’s picture above didn’t put his Inside the Vault interview at the top spot.

Hit the jump to see the top ten most viewed posts for March.

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Around the web and on newsstands

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Here’s a few interesting mentions that I thought I’d share.

Starting on the print side, there’s a special issue of PC Gamer out now called “How To: The Ultimate Guide to DIY Gaming” that provides some cool stuff for Oblivion and Fallout 3. For Oblivion, they have a walkthrough called “Create your own zombie massacre,” that offers a 12-step process for creating your own zombie-fest with the PC version of the game. As for Fallout 3, there’s a section at the back of the magazine called “Gaming Papercraft!” that includes a cut out version of our Vault Boy bobblehead. I’m not the best with arts and crafts, so I haven’t yet assembled one, but the final product as it’s shown on the cover of the magazine looks like it’s worth the effort.

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What we’re playing: From the home office edition

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Today’s “What we’re playing” is live from Washington, DC — where I’m sitting on my couch after a trip to the vet’s office. My cat, Chauncey Billups (named after the guy you see above), is feeling a bit under the weather. He’ll be kicking off his weekend with a sleepover with some other cats, and hopefully he’ll start feeling better tomorrow.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to get my weekend started with a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Here’s what everyone else will be playing….feel free to let us know what you’re up to.

Chris Esko, System Programmer: Fallout 3, finally finishing Mass Effect, playing some board and card games like Race for the Galaxy.

Mike Dulany, Programmer: Smash Brothers Brawl, Professor Layton and the Curious Village.

Emil Pagliarulo: Playing this awesome educational game called “Where in the World is Emil’s Immune System?”

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And The Answer is…

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Here are the answers to our latest Name That Sound:

1. Which Bethesda Softworks game is it from?
The Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire. Released in 1997, Battlespire was, I believe, the first Elder Scrolls title that supported multiplayer. Check out UESP’s Battlespire page for more about the game.

2. What is the sound of?
It’s the Scamp!

3. Extra 1,000,000 points if you can name the developer who created the “source” of the sound in the game. (Not the actual sound itself — though if you know the answer to that, kudos).
Mark Jones is the artist who created the Scamp. Elder Scrolls aficionados will recognize his name. Mark has worked on most of the Elder Scrolls games.

Here is the full audio asset for the Scamp.

The mayhem resumes

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As the Sweet 16 kicks off in the NCAA Tournament today, voting for the 3rd round of The Escapist’s March Mayhem Developers’ Showdown resumes as well. If you’re registered on the site, you can vote for us (or if you prefer, Crytek) in the West Bracket semifinal. Semifinal voting runs through tomorrow. To keep up on the results, check out the discussion board for the matchup.

Update: We’re on to the Great 8 vs. Firaxis (makers of Civilization). Voting is expected to commence tomorrow.

Inside the Vault: Jeff Gardiner

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This week’s Inside the Vault is with producer, Jeff Gardiner. If you are a fan of Oblivion’s downloadable content, Jeff is one of the folks you can thank. Besides being the producer for our designers and level designers, Jeff is instrumental in a lot of game system tweaking and prototyping. On Thursday nights (game night here at the studio), you can find Jeff getting his tabletop wargaming on.
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Todd discusses PlayStation 3 development

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Today I received the April 2008 issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine and noticed that Todd wrote up this month’s POV (that’s Point of View) about developing games for the PS3. If you’re a PS3 owner, you might find what he has to say encouraging. Within the column, he discusses some of the advantages of the PS3 hardware, as well as how new tools have improved the development process for Fallout 3. Here’s a snippet:

“you can use the Blu-ray’s massive storage capacity to place multiple instances of your game’s assets on the disk. Having multiple copies on the disc greatly reduces seek times off the drive, and your load times shrink even more. Small things like this can make a huge difference over the course of a game. That kind of learning has helped us move from Oblivion to Fallout 3.”

To find out more on Todd’s thoughts about developing games on PS3, be on the lookout for the April issue.

Name That Sound!

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Guess the following:

  1. Which Bethesda Softworks game is it from?
  2. What is the sound of?
  3. Extra 1,000,000 points if you can name the developer who created the “source” of the sound in the game. (Not the actual sound itself – though if you know the answer to that, kudos).

Gooooood luck.

Elder Scrolls Mod Interview: Reneer

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This week’s interview is with Oblivion modder Reneer. Currently studying psychology at the University of Michigan, Reneer enjoys modding Oblivion when his schedule permits. I thought I’d ask him if he was in the running to become the next quarterback for the Wolverines, but when he explained to me that he’s blind in his right eye, I figured he’s better off modding in his spare time.

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Around the Web: Podcasts and Opinions

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Here’s a few interesting reads I thought I’d share that I’ve come across in the past few days.

The latest 1Up Yours podcast brings up Fallout 3, as well as practically every Elder Scrolls game ever made during their community segment of the show. During the segment, which starts about 53 minutes into the show, the 1Up crew uses these games as examples in a few of their debates. Fallout 3 and Oblivion are brought up several times in a discussion about the “no name characters” and the choices your characters make in games. Later on in the segment, they also bring up the Elder Scrolls and Fallout in a discussion of how Japanese RPGs compare with western-developed RPGs like Oblivion. To download the podcast, head over to 1Up’s podcast site.

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