Around the web and on newsstands: Playing catch up edition

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After a week down under (more on that later), I’ve returned to the office with plenty of coverage to catch up on. Here’s a look at some of the stuff I’ve missed…

To kick things off, the May 2008 issue of OXM (US) has a feature called House Rules: Other Ways to Play, which reveals new ways to play Oblivion. Check out the issue if you want to know how to pitch, bowl, or even play tee-ball within the Oblivion world.

Speaking of OXM, the editors have put together a special spring issue called Ultimate Xbox 360 How-To Handbook. Within the issue is another opportunity to put together the Vault Boy bobblehead papercraft cutout that was previously found in PC Gamer. Look for the magazine on newsstands now.

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Inside the Vault: Emil Pagliarulo (Redux)

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This week’s Inside the Vault revisits Fallout 3 Lead Designer, Emil Pagliarulo. I thought it would be fun to do a Q&A that was a bit different. So, before heading down past the break, gentle readers, let me know if this slight change of pace is a good one or not. We have lots more Q&A’s with developers on the team coming up, too.

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Around the Web — Interviews Edition

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Gamespot (UK) has a video interview with Pete up now. Meanwhile in reading format, we’ve got new interviews with Pete in a variety of places.

First, the folks Gamesindustry.biz cover a lot of ground in their inteview Surviving the Fallout:

Q: How far are you going with the ‘go anywhere’ sense in this game?

Pete Hines: Very. If you want to see how many of the hours you can play without seeing an hour of the main quest, give it a shot – it will be lots. You could spend 50 hours, 70 hours, just doing stuff in the world and never once make an effort to figure out what happened to your dad. We want it to be a self-directed world, for players to just see what happens.

And the idea is that the main quest is not the only cool stuff going on – there are tonnes of miscellaneous free-form things out there for you to do that will be a lot of fun, that maybe you’ve got five or six quests at any time where you can figure out what to do next.

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What we’re playing: “Isn’t it obvious?” edition

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As if there was any doubt, GTA IV has taken our office by storm. Many guys here (though not everyone) seem to be loving the new Liberty City. On the night after the game came out, I noticed 29 friends on Xbox Live playing it at one time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen 29 friends online…period! From what I’ve played of the game so far, I’m definitely impressed. Last night when I couldn’t find something to watch on TV, I just started watching some Liberty City channels.

Let us know what you think of the game, or anything else you’re playing. Here’s our rundown of what we’re playing…

Todd Howard: GTA IV.

Ashley Cheng, Producer: GTA IV

Emil Pagliarulo, Lead Designer: Fallout 3, GTA IV, LOTRO

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Inside the Vault: Jean-Sylvere Simonet

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Bonjour! Today’s Inside the Vault is with Jean-Sylvere Simonet, our resident French programmer. I took four years of French in high school, so to make him feel more at home, I often converse with Jean in his native tongue.

Ashley: Bonjour!

Jean: Bonjour!

Ashley: Je m’apelle Alain! (Alain was my “french” name in Madame Boucher’s class)

Jean: <French stuff>

Ashley: Bonjour!

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Get ready for Fan Interview #2

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Last year, once all the dust cleared from our initial unveiling of Fallout 3, we provided you guys with a chance to ask some burning questions about the game. Given we’ve just had another blitz of previews come out, we figured now was as good of a time as any to give you another opportunity.

Starting today in the Fallout 3 Discussion thread of the BGS forums, you can start suggesting questions you’d like to see answered. You can also share your questions in the comments section of this blog post, or simply by emailing us. To help make sure we’re answering the questions you guys want to know, I’ve entrusted three of our community members to help out with the process — Alexander, Briosafreak, Gizmo. If you’ve got suggestions, or think you might be able to help them out, drop them a line.

If you want your question considered, you have between now and Sunday, May 18th to post your questions through the channels listed above. Once we’ve got the final questions, we’ll work on getting answers back to you guys.

Monthly Favorites for April

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Another month is nearly in the books. In case you missed it, here’s the 10 most read blog posts for the month.

This morning I let Mike know his Inside the Vault blog was the most popular post of the month. In response to this highly prestigious honor, he commented, “I’m…kind of a big deal.”

More Fallout 3 news to chew on

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Here’s a few new places you can read up on Fallout 3 coverage — both in print and online.

As a follow up to Kieron Gillen’s preview for Fallout 3 last week, Eurogamer has a new interview with Pete up on their site. Here’s a sample of their conversation:

Eurogamer: Bar Liam Neeson, any voice actors you can talk about?

Pete Hines: Not that we’re talking about. The bulk of the voice acting will be voice people – people who are more in the voice-acting business. We’re not going for an all-name cast. So we pick out key roles for people and who we’d like for those roles and what kind of presence we thought they’d bring to it. And we always thought Liam was the perfect father figure. We have one or two other roles which we have things in mind but the bulk of it – and we have a lot of voice-acting in the game – is done by voice actors.

If you’re in Portugal, PSM3 has a second look at the game in their latest issue. Those of you looking for a new magazine to read and you’re in the UK, there’s a few new previews to check out. Issue #165 of Play (UK) has a two page spread covering the game. Likewise issue #42 of 360Gamer has a six-page preview. Finally, the latest issue of OXM (UK) has a two page second look, and the game cracks the magazine’s “Your Top Five” list at #5.