Another round of March Mayhem

It’s time to bust out the brackets again. No, not the hoops ones (Go Blue!) — we’re talking about The Escapists’ March Mayhem Developer Showdown. The annual affair pits popular game developers against each other — with registered members voting on which developer advances to the next round.

In addition to getting into the spirit of March Madness, they’re giving you a number of ways to win an awesome gaming laptop from Alienware. Find out the details by reading the contest rules.

In our first round matchup, BGS is paired up against Eve Online creators,CCP Games. To vote for us, register at The Escapist and head here.

Bethesda developers to lecture at USC

Education is paramount. So are video games. In recognition of these two great things, we’ve today announced that Bethesda developers will soon be lending their wisdom to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Developers from studios like Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, and Arkane Studios are set to lecture students in the school’s Interactive Media Division, giving them a taste of what it’s like to work full-time in the gaming field. These sessions will include both guest lectures and smaller seminars.

Said ZeniMax CEO Robert Altman: “As the video game industry experiences continuing worldwide growth, there is an increasing need to support the education of the brightest minds who are interested in a career in our industry. We are pleased to be a part of that effort.”

Hit the jump for the full story.

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Exploring the new Elder Scrolls website

In case you’ve been staring at the trailer for the last 24 hours (we’ve been doing that too), wanted to remind you to explore our new Elder Scrolls website. Front and center on the site is Skyrim, for which you can find the latest media, news coverage, wallpapers, and more.

The site also has plenty of cool stuff from previous games in the series. You can watch game introductions and trailers, read archived team diaries for Morrowind and Oblivion, and yes, you can once again download Arena and Daggerfall for FREE.

In the community section, be sure to check out the first team diary for Skyrim, Welcome Back Elder Scrolls, written by Todd Howard. Todd discusses the excitement of returning to Tamriel after creating Fallout 3, and how both the series and team have evolved. Here’s an excerpt…

“To do that this time, we knew, like before, we had to start over. We needed to reinvent large parts of the game and its technology. We started with the graphics renderer, and how we would bring the scale of snow covered mountains, dynamic weather systems, and massive dragons to life along with the small details of how people lived; from the forks they used, to the fish they caught, and the meat they cooked. We then rewrote all the major graphics and gameplay systems including lighting, shadows, level of detail, animation, interface, scripting, dialogue, quest systems, melee, magic, and more. All of those changes made it into our internal editor as well. So much had changed that we decided to call the engine and editor by a new name, the Creation Engine and the Creation Kit. We can’t wait to see what all the brilliant mod makers do with these tools.”

Read the rest here. The diary is accomodated by our newest team photo, which I had the privilege to snap last week. If you’re wondering why they’re smiling, there’s plenty of good reasons: 1) It was Friday, 2) our happy hour was about to begin, and 3) Like you, they’re fans of the series and can’t wait for you guys to have a chance to play it.

Between now and 11.11.11, stay tuned for new updates on the site.

That belongs in a museum!

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This… this IS history!

And by this, I’m referring to The Art of Video Games — a new exhibit coming to the American Art Museum in 2012. To prepare for it, Smithsonian is letting you vote for the games that will be on display.

It might take a second to load, but Fallout 3 can be found in Era 5’s Modern Windows category, while Oblivion is categorized under Xbox 360. Meanwhile, id’s DOOM II is listed in Era 4 under DOS/Windows.

Voting runs between now and April 7th. To get started, register here.

Take the Todd Tour

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Game Informer continues their month long coverage on Skyrim with a video tour led by Todd Howard. See where the developers work, eat, play… and even battle. Keen observers will  notice Skyrim concept art and much more. And if you’re really paying attention, you’ll even get a glimpse at where Nick and I record the Bethesda Podcast — woohoo!!

Start your tour by heading to Game Informer. But remember, there’s no basement in the Alamo.

Decrypting The Elder Scrolls at Game Informer

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Happy Boxing Day!

A day after Christmas, GameInformer.com has a special treat for Elder Scrolls’ fans — a feature looking back at the series so far. From its lore to advancements in its tech, the article features commentary from Todd Howard and other team members at Bethesda Game Studios. Below is an excerpt from the feature in which Todd discusses the game engine for Morrowind.

“Morrowind was a major rewrite of the whole system, using world building techniques we had used in Redguard, but on a massive scale. The whole engine was redone again. Everything was built by hand, and now with the advances in 3D, we could build everything from forks to pillows to giant castles. This game also marked our first foray into the console world with Xbox, whereas before we were just a PC developer.”

– Todd Howard

Read the rest here. And don’t miss Game Informer’s exclusive cover story on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim — hitting shelves in January!

Welcome to the Family

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With the news of Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks joining our company, Todd sent over this image of the two hanging out at our office. Hypothetically, if Todd and Shinji’s teams worked together on a project (they’re not BTW), what type of game would they make?  The burning question for me is whether or not inventory would be weighted or using a grid system (a la Resident Evil 4).

Share your ideas in the comments section.

Join the Team!

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Today we’re pleased to announce a new website dedicated to finding jobs within the ZeniMax family. Visit jobs.bethsoft.com to find openings at ZeniMax (Rockville, MD), ZeniMax Online Studios (Hunt Valley, MD), id Software (Dallas, TX), Bethesda Game Studios (Rockville, MD), and newly-aquired Arkane Studios (with offices in both Lyon, France and Austin, TX). For each studio, we’ve got information on the latest job openings — including details on the responsibilities and requirements for each position.

For more details on applying, head here.

IGN Top 25 Lists Honor Fallout 3 and Oblivion

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With the Xbox 360 nearly five years old, the editorial staff at IGN put together a new list of the Top 25 Xbox 360 Games. Bethesda Game Studios’ Oblivion and Fallout 3 both made the list — ranking #10 and #2, respectively.

Thanks to all of you for playing the games, and congrats to the devs that worked on these titles.

QuakeCon: Panel Coverage at Gamespot

Didn’t have a chance to see the panels and presentations at QuakeCon 2010? No worries — the fine folks at Gamespot have recaps (and some video) for you to catch up on.

One of my personal highlights of the show was attending Rocket Talk — featuring legends Richard “Lord British” Garriott and John Carmack talking about their passion for space exploration. For a summary of the talk, head here. Be sure to watch Garriott’s presentation on his journey to the International Space Station (embedded above) — it’s really amazing stuff.

Gamespot also has a sample of John Carmack’s presentation on Armadillo Aerospace. Check the highlights below….

Hit the jump for links to Gamespot’s coverage of QuakeCon’s panels…

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