Here’s some news that’s popped up since the weekend.
To begin, Develop 100 has ranked the Top 100 developers in the game industry and placed Bethesda Softworks #10 on their list. Check out the full list here. Elsewhere in the world of rankings, VG Chartz has begun their countdown of the Top 100 Best Games of All Time. The list isn’t complete, but they’ve ranked Morrowind #92. Here’s a snippet:
“The third entry in the Elder Scrolls saga has established itself firmly as the preeminent open world sandbox role-playing game, wherein you may go anywhere and do anything. It’s true that there is a primary quest to be undertaken, and the beginning and end for many adventurers will ring alike, but the entire point of this game is in how you can establish the path by which you traverse the world.”
To celebrate GamePro’s 20th Anniversary (congrats guys!), they’re putting together a list of their top 20 most influential people in gaming from 1989 to 2009. Making the list at #18 was our very own Todd Howard. For the occasion, GamePro has a video chat with him where he talks about what made him get into the industry, his favorite games, and more.
Was it difficult to make the decision to completely change the game’s original ending? And why did you choose that path?
Alan: This was the decision that we spent the longest time pondering when we all sat down to work out the details. We had to decide how much we were going to alter the ending and at the same time, make sure we didn’t invalidate the decisions that the player had made previously. It was a challenge to present everything to the player in a seamless manner, so the new content wouldn’t feel simply tacked on.
Finally, there’s a new interview with yours truly up at Gamasutra. Thinking back now… I’m pretty sure Todd said I was one of the guys holding a shield in Counter Strike — not a “meat shield.” It’s been abbreviated to Meat Shield since — easier to say.
Here’s a few interesting links from around the web.
Voting for the Golden Joystick Awards 2009 has begun. Fallout 3 is nominated in five categories: Ultimate Game of the Year, PC Game of the Year, PlayStation Game of the Year, Xbox Game of the Year, and Soundtrack of the Year. Additionally, Bethesda is nominated for Publisher of the Year, and Rogue Warrior is nominated in the The One to Watch category.
Speaking of Rogue Warrior, Inc Gamers has a video interview with Senior Producer Sean Griffiths. Elsewhere, Ron Burke at Gaming Trend has new previews up for both Rogue Warrior and WET.
At SPOnG, there’s a new interview with Pete. Here’s an excerpt of Pete discussing Fallout 3’s new level cap — hitting tomorrow with Broken Steel:
SPOnG: Will there be enough quest experience to be had in Broken Steel for players to level up to 30 without having to grind on pre-DLC quests/enemies?
Pete Hines: No, probably not, and that wasn’t the intention. The intention was to remove the level cap so that if you have Broken Steel, regardless of whether you want to play that quest or not, or you want to start a new game from scratch, you can continue playing beyond level 20. Again, fans wanted to be able to take their characters to higher levels, so we included it. But it is not specific to the length of Broken Steel, at all. It is a very long climb to get from 20 to 30 and you’ll need to do a LOT to get there.
Finally, Pittsburgh City Paper talked about The Pitt with Emil. Read it here.
The weekend is almost here, but here’s some news and more from around the web.
DarkOne, the site administrator for TES Nexus and Fallout 3 Nexus, let me know about Nexus’ Millionth Member Modding Competition. The contest is in honor of, you guessed, the combined communities soon having their one millionth member, and to celebrate the occasion (congrats!), they’re having a modding competition. Head here for details, rules, and more.
“One of the first things I noticed about Broken Steel is the fact that it will feature a bunch of new enemies, provided your character is above level 18. The Feral Ghoul Reavers are similar to their creepy cousins, but they pack quite a bit more punch, tossing grenades with reckless abandon, safe in the knowledge that they’re covered with heavy body armor. Speaking of armor, the new Enclave Hellfire Troopers that you’ll encounter in the military base are wearing some stylish new gear, as well as sporting a badass new weapon that we’ll talk about later. Finally there are the new Supermutant Overlords, which I unfortunately didn’t get to see. I only pray they’re tougher than the Supermutant Behemoths that I was taking out with ease by the end of the main game. Those guys were wusses.”
Today Planet Fallout put up a new update on mods to their site, so I figured now’s as good a time as ever to update you on some other happenings at their site.
Let’s start with mods. Currently, the most popular mod on the site is eaglechunks01’s Dogmeat Leather Armor. At double its normal cost this week, you can download it free here. Elsewhere, if you’re looking for some ridiculous firepower, generalveggieman has unveiled his Super Fatman – which unleashes 255 mini-nukes with one shot. Finally, if you’re looking to move through the Capital Wasteland a little quicker, check out Clorf’s Sprint Mod — which cleverly uses up AP if you choose to sprint.
What is the process for determining art direction on any of the games you produce?
The art direction comes from our concept artists, our lead artists on the project (Matt Carofano for Elder Scrolls; Istvan Pely for Fallout 3), and our game director/exec producer, Todd Howard. We go through months and months of concepts, looking for the right tone and look. We tend to create concepts of overall scenes to help dictate the direction before getting into lots of detail.
Here’s a look at some online coverage from the past week…
Up on GamaSutra today, there’s a three-page interview with Pete Hines. Among other things, Pete discusses our partnership with Splash Damage and our DLC philosophy. Here’s a snippet of the latter:
As a developer of open-world games, I imagine there is some degree of creative restriction on what Bethesda can do with DLC, in that discrete content has to be integrated in some logical way. You can’t just add another racetrack to the menu, or whatever. How do you approach that?
Pete Hines: It is a constraint from one standpoint, which is that if you’re going to plug it into the existing world then it has to be adaptable for anybody at any level that we discern, at least for the first two [in Fallout 3]. We don’t discern whether you’re level 1, level 10, level 15, or level 20, so we have to allow for all of that.
But in general, no. We like building our games that way. Having the DLC exist within that world allows us to, once we’re done making all the content for the game and we’ve finished the game from that standpoint and then spent lot of time playing it, look for areas that we’d like to do more of — to do something different than when you’re looking at the whole spectrum of content you’ve provided.
Happy Friday everyone! Here’s some stuff from around the web you can check.
We start with an X-Play interview from last week’s GDC, where Todd and Emil look back at Fallout 3 , discuss the game’s strategy guide, and briefly mention design goals for future projects. Check out the embedded video above.
The Pitt’s been out for more than a week, and there are plenty of new reviews. Wesley Yin-Poole recently put up his review at Videogamer.com. Here’s a snippet:
Eventually the five or six hour experience evolves into a more traditional Fallout 3 quest than Operation Anchorage ever was. There are plenty of NPCs to interact with, one or two funny moments, some intense action, vibrant and atmospheric environments and plenty of interesting choices to make. At one point you’re forced to battle for your freedom in an irradiated arena Gladiator style. The big decision at the end is, unlike many in Fallout 3, a choice between two disturbing outcomes. Throughout much of the game the right and wrong answers are obviously distinct. Here it’s the same, but at least you’re made to feel a little uncomfortable by both choices.
Lastly, with the release of The Pitt, Fallout 3 has jumped back into the Top Ten most played Xbox titles. Check out the list over at Major Nelson’s blog. Speaking of his blog, I’ve noticed he’s given out a few DLC codes for The Pitt on his Twitter page. Keep an eye there, as well as on our Twitter page.