New Screens from Vault 101

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I guess that was a trick rather than a treat :) . Anyways, I was downstairs this afternoon, and I was told I needed to check out Ricky Gonzalez’s “Vault 101″ costume. It doesn’t look like he needed to go overboard to create a proper costume (that Pip-Boy 3000 seems even more primitive than what Istvan talking about), but nevertheless, he did a great job capturing the look of a Vault 101 inhabitant.

After the break, check out more Halloween screenshots, um, I mean photos.

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Darknut: Modder of Morrowind

This week’s mod interview is with Morrowind modder, Mike Niccum (aka Darknut). Residing in Fayetteville, AR, Mike spends his days working as the boss of his graphic design company, Graphics By Mike, Inc. In his sparetime, Mike spends his time playing music (he played professionally for 14 years) and of course, working on projects for Morrowind. Above you’ll find the trailer to Mike’s latest project, Darknut’s Greater Dwemer Ruins, which will be available to modders this November.

You’re done quite a bit for the Morrowind community. What got you hooked on modding the game?

I really can’t pinpoint any one thing. Morrowind is one of my all-time favorite games & the open nature of it really lends itself to modding. The tools Bethesda & others have made available makes it pretty easy to boot.

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A preview and a podcast

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This week there’s some more coverage out there on Fallout 3 you can read/listen to at your leisure. The 1Up Yours podcast, which goes up on every Friday, includes a segment early on where Shane Bettenhausen and James Mielke share their impressions upon watching the “E3 Demo” last week. The podcast is a long one at over two and a half hours, so if you’re just looking for the Fallout discussion, join in on the podcast about twenty minutes in. Download it here, or subscribe via iTunes.

In other coverage, Gwynne Dixon of TVG shares impressions after watching Pete preview the game previously. Here’s an excerpt:

“We’ve also been promised a wide variety of possible endings to Fallout 3 and a quest system that focuses more on player choice, rather than sheer volume. ‘The quest system is actually very different. Rather than having lots and lots of quests where you can do any of them that you want without being locked out, Fallout has a much smaller number of quests and how you do one may lock you out of doing other stuff,’ Pete told us.”

Click here to check out the rest of the preview.

Best of Luck, Leo!

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It was brought to my attention that one of our community members within the BGS forums, Leo Gura (aka Liquidgraph), has submitted his Oblivion mod, The Lost Spires, for the 10th Annual Independent Games Festival Student Showcase competition. For those that haven’t heard of the The Lost Spires, we talked about it a couple of weeks ago on the blog. You can also check out the mod’s official website here.

Anyhow, lets wish Leo (representing Cal-Irvine) good luck in the festival! Check out information on his submission and others over at IGF’s site.

Spooktacular Work!

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We’re two days away from Halloween, and I’ve noticed on a few blogs people that gaming enthusiasts are carving their favorite videogame characters onto their pumpkins (check out some of the examples from Kotaku). I’ve seen plenty of good ones across the internets, with the Weighed Companion Cube one over on Joystiq being my favorite…until now.

Over the weekend, Cameron Swartzell e-mailed me the Vault Boy pumpkin you see above. Definitely gets the “thumbs up!”Here’s another shot of it in the light. Continue reading full article ›

What we’re playing: OK, Now it’s raining

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Looks like my admission that last weekend’s weather was going to be nice (and it was!) brought a curse to the area this weekend. Yeah, that’s it…a Halloween Curse. Anyhow, it’s been raining non-stop for about three days and signs indicate that it won’t be getting better over the weekend. So now everyone has an excuse to play plenty of games, as if we wouldn’t anyways!

Have a good weekend everyone…rain or shine!

Ricardo Gonzalez, PipBoy Polisher: Fallout 2, Puzzle Quest, and Psychonauts ( finally! Best B-Day present ever! )

Ryan Lea QA: Z-Dub and Phantom Hourglass

Orin Tresnjak, Graphics Programmer: Quake Wars—which, by the way, is a phenomenal game that is not getting the attention it deserves! Go play it! Also Warhammer Fantasy vs. my roommate, my orcs against his dwarves.

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MMO Gamer interviews Matt Firor

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Steve Crews from MMO Gamer informed us his interview with our pal Matt Firor of ZeniMax Online is live on their site. No, you’re not going to find out the details of what game Matt is scheming up over in Hunt Valley, but it’s still a pretty interesting read. In the interview, you’ll learn a little more about Matt’s background, his thoughts on current trends within the MMO genre, as well as addressing some of the goals he’s setting for the studio.

Here’s a sample of interview, where Matt discusses the challenge of creating an MMO that offers something unique to the genre:

The MMO Gamer: Alright, no hypotheticals, let’s stick to the real basics: Will ZeniMax Online be up to the challenge of producing something gamers have never experienced before?

Matt Firor: Sure. I wouldn’t be in this position if I wasn’t ready to give something new to gamers. But our philosophy is to incrementally build on what gamers expect – to ease them into the game, make it feel comfortable, etc. before introducing too many new concepts to them. Introducing too many new concepts too quickly is a great way to drive your user base away before they get accustomed to the game.

See Conquest in Action

GameVideos.com has uploaded two videos for our upcoming PS2/Wii release, Star Trek: Conquest. The trailer above, entitled “Empire,” gives fans their first chance to see how the game’s arcade-style space combat and turn-based strategy play out. The site is also also hosting a 15-second clip that focuses soley on the game’s arcade combat.

Expect to see Conquest hitting shelves next month on both PS2 and Wii. For more of our coverage on the game, click here.

New Diary on Fallout site: Meet the Pip-Boy 3000

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Over at the official Fallout site, we’ve just added the second in our series of Fallout Diaries. In the latest edition, Lead Artist Istvan Pely reveals how we went about creating a new Pip-Boy Interface for Fallout 3. Within the diary, he discusses the early stages, inspirations, and progress made on the latest iteration of this iconic Fallout device.

Below is a sample of Istvan’s Pip-Boy diary.

Technology in the world of Fallout 3 is somewhat paradoxical in that it’s incredibly advanced in some ways, and downright primitive in others. Certain technological advancements that we take for granted in our own history either did not occur, or developed along a very different path. Miniaturization is one example; yes, the fact that a device with the capabilities of the Pip-Boy could be made at all is amazing, but it’s still a rather bulky and heavy lump of hardware. It uses a monochrome cathode ray tube, there are no flat LCD/Plasma/OLED screens. Its housing is cast out of a metal alloy, not plastic. And it’s an ergonomic nightmare. But all these qualities give it character, and this was an important aspect of the design, as the Pip-Boy is almost a character itself.

We’ll have more diaries from folks working on Fallout 3 as we get closer to its release next fall. To read the first diary from Todd, visit here. Also worthy of mention that the Fallout site now has localized versions in French, Italian, German, and Spanish, including today’s diary. You’ll have the option of choosing your language when you visit for the first time, or can change it at any time using the icons at the bottom of the site.