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.
In case you missed these, here’s plenty of stories you can read up on…
At last week’s GDC, Emil participated in two events. On Wednesday, he joined Shadow of the Colossus/Ico creator Fumito Ueda (Team Ico) and No More Heroes creator Goichi Suda (Grasshopper Manufacture) for the developer panel “Evolving Game Design: Today and Tomorrow, East and West Game Design.” You can check out some of their discussion at Shacknews. Additionally, on Friday, Emil had the keynote for GDC’s Game Career Seminar. There’s a pretty good recap of the address here at Gamespot.
In case you didn’t already know it, The Pitt takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of the Steel City. With the news of a game taking place in their town, Pittsburgh Station KDKA talked with Jeff Gardiner about the game’s take on the city.
Last week IGN Australia held their awards for the best games of 2008 — where Fallout 3 captured the IGN Select Award for Game of the Year, as well as Best PC Game. The game also received Runner Up honors in several categories — including the all-important Best Widow Maker category.
Voting has commenced for the third round. This round we’re paired up against the #1 seed of the North Bracket, Turbine Studios. If you’d like to vote on this matchup, or any of the other current matchups, head here.
No, this isn’t like that episode of the Brady Bunch where Peter sings “Time to Change.” Designer Erik J. Caponi is talking about “mature games” in a new Kotaku feature “Growing Up Games: When Will Mature, Mature?” Here’s a snippet of him discussing different definitions of what a mature game is:
“The word really has two meanings when we apply it to media. One is ‘not appropriate for children’ and the other is ‘exploring subject matter in a sophisticated fashion,'” Caponi explains. “Ironically, the word mature when applied to games tends to have a very childish connotation.”
In what ways did you take Fallout3’s day/night cycle into consideration, so that your work looked consistently good in all the various light models and times of day?
Rashad: We use these full screen image processes similar to how film is tinted to color grade our environments, and we actually spent a lot of time tweaking the day and night cycles along with these image processes to give us the look we wanted. In our editor you can scrub through the different times of day and see how the color shifts affect the art, and we were very mindful of our color palette and art style throughout that process.
As previously mentioned, the trailer for The Pitt debuted on Gametrailers TV late on Friday night. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s now up on their site.
Moving on to other news, nominees for the ELAN Awards have been announced with Fallout 3 receiving nods in the following categories: Videogame of the Year, Best Console Game, Best PC Game, Best Sound in a Videogame Production, Best Art Direction, Best Game Design, and Outstanding Technical Direction.
What mistakes and triumphs did Bethesda learned from Oblivion that helped you with Fallout 3?
A lot of it was learning about the big, open-ended experience. What kinds of things did people like or not like? How do we do that better, and different, in the Fallout universe. Technically we learned a lot about how to make the game run better on all these platforms, but much of it comes from the player experience and what they can do, and see, from moment to moment. I’m sure we’ll learn a lot from Fallout 3 we can put into our next project.
That’s all for now. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend.
Elsewhere on GameTrailers site, you can check out Geoff Keighley’s interview with Todd Howard from this year’s D.I.C.E. Summit. You won’t have to do too much searching, Geoff’s interview with Todd starts within the first minute of the video.
“Where most designers tend to think in terms of simplicity and economy, Howard’s games have been defined by a staggering sense of scale and immersion that few others can match.”
The list is still ongoing, but there’s some of names worth mentioning. Morrowind/Oblivion composer Jeremy Soule cracked the list at #86. Meanwhile, Fallout fans might recognize a few other names on the list, including Feargus Urquhart (#89), Tim Cain (#85), and Chris Avellone (#80).
Sticking with developer news, if you haven’t seen it already, Todd answered questions for G4 while at this year’s D.I.C.E. Summit. In the ten minute interview, he discusses The Pitt, answers reader questions, and more.
Emil is in the news in a few places, too. At Edge, he was honored in their Hot 100 Games Developers list (#17). Meanwhile, a new feature on storytelling in games features him as well. You can read that here.