Brink Developer Diary #1 – Paul Wedgwood

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In a few hours, Paul Wedgwood, the CEO of Splash Damage and Game Director on Brink, will be taking the Main Stage at QuakeC0n 2009 to deliver the first public demonstration of the game. With that happening, we thought now was a good time to release our first dev diary for Brink.

Take it away Paul….

Back in June I was on a flight to London returning home from E3 2009. We had just completed three days of non-stop, behind-closed-doors demos of Brink, to standing-room-only crowds of journalists and industry veterans. The response at the show was phenomenal and very humbling; at one point I had to ask someone not to sit between my legs while I was presenting! What really struck me more than anything was simple: “People get it, they want to play this way too, and we’re not completely mad!” Since the show, the interest in the game has continued to grow. All these ideas we’ve brought together into one game are resonating with audiences.

It’s been a fun road to get to this point.

Continue reading full article ›

Mothership Zeta Trailer and Team Diary (Updated)

Before Mothership Zeta launches on Monday, we’ve uploaded a new trailer. Check it out on our site or through our Bethesda Softworks YouTube Channel. Special thanks to Matt Killmon for all his awesome work on all our DLC trailers.

We’ve also got a new Team Diary from Fallout 3 Lead Artist Istvan Pely, who spearheaded Mothershp Zeta. In the diary, Ist discusses what went into making this “far out” DLC — detailing the hard work and countless hours put in by members of the team. Here’s an excerpt:

“And with that begins the Vault Dweller’s final and most fantastical adventure in the Capital Wasteland, or rather several hundred miles far above it. The concept of the UFO visit emerged early in the idea-toss sessions we had for DLC, in fact it was the very first thing to pop into my mind; it just seemed a natural fit. But we saved it for last, as a fitting conclusion to the Vault Dweller’s story.”

You can read the rest here — complete with new screenshots.

Updated: Polish site Polygamia.pl has a Mothership Zeta interview with Brian Chapin. It’s in both Polish and English. For consistency’s sake, I’ll post the snippet in English…

We know that the main quest in this add-on will be to escape from the spaceship. How many side-quests and achievements can we expect from it?

BC: There aren’t any explicit side quests, but Mothership Zeta is a pretty big place. While you’ll be receiving three of the four achievements from completing the main quest line, you’ll have to do some searching off the beaten path to get the last achievement. And it’s worth exploring just to see everything that the aliens are up to — they’ve been doing some pretty strange things.

For those keeping track, we’re less than two days away from Mothership Zeta!

The Morrowind Diaries

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Over the past two weeks, Rock, Paper, Shotgun Editor Alec Meer has provided readers with a journal of his day-by-day exploits in the world of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. His diaries begin with a two-part précis (part 1 and part 2), which set the stage and let folks know what user-created mods he’s using.

Since then, Alec has written six diary entries. You can find them below:

Won’t you join us in following his adventures?

Point Lookout Diary, Screens (Updated)

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Hello from London. Just wanted to let you know on the Fallout 3 Official Site, we’ve got a new Team Diary for Point Lookout. The diary was written by Joel Burgess and Nate Purkeypile, Lead Designer and Lead Artist for Point Lookout, respectively. In the diary, they discuss how DLC #4 came to be, and even share early images from the project’s development.

In addition to the diary, we’ve uploaded six new screenshots — including the image above. Head here to see the rest.

Point Lookout will be available for download on Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows LIVE this coming Tuesday, June 23.

Update: In related news, The Hachiko interviewed Joel Burgess and Jeff Gardiner to discuss Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta. Read the interview here. Jeff was also interviewed for Platform Nation.

Broken Steel Diary

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At the Fallout 3 Official Site, we’ve got a new developer diary. This time around we enlisted Broken Steel’s Lead Designer Alan Nanes and Lead Level Designer Jeff Browne to discuss the new features and changes implemented in the game with the third DLC. Here’s a snippet:

“If we were to increase the level cap to 30, we first needed to figure out which factions we wanted to support the new cap.  Super Mutants were one creature we knew we had to support.  The decision was made to keep the Super Mutant Behemoth at the top, so we needed to fill the gap between the Behemoth and the Super Mutant Master.  Thus was born the Super Mutant Overlord – a creature much stronger than a Super Mutant Master and one that is beginning to take on the shape and form of a Behemoth.  Its posture is beginning to show signs of the Behemoth with its large, thick neck and slightly forward head.  Given enough time, the Overlord would eventually grow to become a Behemoth.”

In addition to the diary, you’ll be able to check out three new screenshots. Broken Steel arrives on Games for Windows LIVE and Xbox LIVE on May 5th.

New Team Diary, Pitt screens

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The Pitt is less than two weeks away from release (March 24th), and we’ve got three new screenshots to share on the Fallout 3 Official Site. The shot above shows your character going after the Trogs with the AutoAxe — a new weapon you’ll come across.

In addition, there’s a new team diary from Jeff Gardiner, who serves as the lead producer for Fallout 3 DLC (and Oblivion’s as well). Jeff’s diary provides some insights into the process of creating DLC for our games. Here’s an excerpt:

Towards the end of the development of a game, there are three pretty well known, but very loosely defined phases, known as Alpha, Beta and finally Gold. Prior to that there are two major phases, Pre-Production and then of course Production itself which is where the bulk of the game goes from documents on paper (or in someone’s gray matter) to the screen where we can all enjoy them. It was right before we went Beta that the decision was made to start thinking about our DLC. Now, before you think we just cut existing content from the game in order to milk our fans, let me explain in more detail how we view these various stages.

To get the full story, and see a couple new concept art pieces from the DLC, read the full diary.

Developer Diary: Purkey’s Playthroughs

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World Artist Nate Purkeypile has a new Developer Diary up on the Fallout 3 Official Site. For this diary, he recounts his varying playthrough experiences in Fallout 3 with a cast of very unique characters. Here’s a preview of the first character he used, Edward the Cannibal.

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“Edward was always very talented with small guns and how to repair them, when he was growing up in the Vault he always dreamed of being a hero and making his father proud. Initially, he was just a good guy who was wandering the wastelands checking out all the wonderful things to see. Since he was mostly just roaming around and not doing specific quests for people, a couple of times, things went wrong. Sometimes, a grenade would be thrown, and someone who was not supposed to be there, died accidentally. Eventually he started to get a reputation as an “evil-doer”. This made him very sad, because he thought he was being a hero of the wastes. A clean-shaven one at that, beards were for evil people as far as he was concerned.”

To learn more about Edward, and four other characters created by Purkey, read his diary here.

Level Design Diary on Official Site

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We’ve put up the latest in a series of Developer Diaries on the Fallout 3 Official Site. Titled “Notes on Pulling the Sky Down: The Level Design of Fallout 3,” it’s an inside look on how our LD’s helped create Fallout 3. Here’s a sample of the diary, which was written by Lead Level Designer, Joel Burgess:

“For all her grandeur, D.C. also presented us with some design quandaries that we had never encountered before. Early prototypes showed us that simply building a city layout in the open world was not only a performance nightmare, but also prevented us from creating the kinds of gameplay scenarios we were eager to attempt. We also looked at other open world games, like GTA and Crackdown, with expansive, open cities, and those games allow the player to move around the world in a much different way than we felt fit Fallout 3. Players don’t have access to fast cars or superhuman jumping abilities. Rather, explorers visiting the Capital Ruins do so in a thorough and deliberate manner, and we wanted to turn our attention to a density of destruction suitable to a devastated city. To this end, we focused on combining the visual focus of level design in other first-person titles like Doom 3 or Call of Duty 2 with the exploration aspect of games like Beyond Good and Evil or any Zelda title. These influences, as well as our own ambitions for the game, helped guide the level design of Fallout 3’s D.C.”

You can read the whole piece here, as well as check out the previous diaries.

Fallout 3 Survival Edition — Own Your Own Pip-Boy

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Update: I’ve added two photos of the prototype below. You can see that it does open up. This one doesn’t show a clasp, but it will have one on the bottom to close it shut. This doesn’t have any decaling or any anything and obviously the whole thing won’t be black, but it does give you and idea of the size and form vs. the rendered image we showed previously.

We just put out a press release announcing the Fallout 3 Survival Edition, available only through Amazon.com, and only in very limited quantities. The Survival Edition of the game will come with all the content found in the Fallout 3 Collector’s Edition (you order whichever platform you want), PLUS a life-size replica of the Pip-Boy 3000 that functions as a watch/clock/whatever (the screen above is just a placeholder image as we’re still finalizing the screen as we speak).

In addition, it’s sort of become a tradition that I get asked to write a diary about whatever Collector’s Edition we’ve created for the game we’re doing. With today’s announcement it seemed like the right time for that, so over on the official site you’ll find a new Diary in the Vault that talks about the different components of both the Collector’s and Survival Editions, and how they came to be.

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Keep in mind this Survival Edition is only through Amazon.com, and won’t be listed for any localized versions. The console versions will be NTSC only, not PAL. If you can get to Amazon.com from where you are and order the PC version, I suppose that should still work and they’d still ship it to you.

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I have to say the Pip-Boy is turning out really cool. So far we only have an unpainted mold, but it’s still pretty awesome. I’ll try to get a picture of it up shortly. It’s just very cool to see it go from a random idea I had one day to something sitting on my desk. And I need to give props to Losi for the 10,000 emails and phone calls she’s put in to make sure this thing happened, and to our sales VP Ron for all his work on this too.