Weapons Modification mod impresses developers

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In about a two minute span, I received emails from five developers about how awesome Antistar’s Weapon Mod Kits is, saying, “Whoa…you have to put this up on Bethblog!”

As the title suggests, Weapon Mod Kits allows you to trick out guns found in the wastleland with silencers, extended magazines, auto-fire mechanisms, laser sights and scopes.

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Fallout 3 nominated for 8 Interactive Achievement Awards

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The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) has announced their 2008 Interactive Achievement Award nominees. We were excited to learn that Fallout 3 was nominated in eight categories, including the following:

  • Outstanding Achievement in Gameplay Engineering
  • Outstanding Achievement in Original Story
  • Role-Playing Game of the Year
  • Computer Game of the Year
  • Outstanding Achievement in Game Design
  • Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction
  • Console Game of the Year
  • Overall Game of the Year

The AIAS award winners will be announced at this year’s D.I.C.E. Summit on February 19th.

What we’re playing: Dawn of War 2 Beta

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The weekend’s most popular new title to play is Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – with a number of guys at the office playing the beta. Other newer titles being played include Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, The Maw, Skate 2, and even the Quake Live beta, which I’m really anxious to play.

Here’s the rest of what we’re playing…have a great weekend.

Louis Riley: Dawn of War 2 Beta, Left 4 Dead, Saints Row 2.

Andrew Scharf, QA: Persona 4, Prince of Persia, Fallout 3, and playing the Quake Live beta (it’s browser based!).

Fred Zeleny, Game Designer: Puzzle Quest: Galactrix Demo, Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll dip my toes back into World of Warcraft.

Dan Ross, QA: 40K Weekend – Dawn of War 2 Beta between bouts of model painting.

Jesse Tucker, Level Design: TF2, L4D, Desktop Tower Defense, trying to get into Civ IV, looking forward to DoW 2 public beta.

Gary Noonan, Animation: Oblivion PC with all official expansions and DLC…. send me all your favorite mods so I can play them!!!!

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G.E.C.K. Quick Tips #2: Enclave Bunker Kit & Snap to Reference

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In our continuing series of tips for using The G.E.C.K., Fallout 3′s PC editor, Level Designer Jeff Browne put together the following video, entitled “Bunker Kit & Snap to Reference.”

Below is a quick note on the video from Jeff about the video:

Because of the scope of our games, it’s necessary for our artists to build robust, flexible kits that allow us to re-use a relatively small number of assets in a wide variety of combinations. Thanks to these kits, level designers can create unique Vaults, offices or utility areas without the need for specialized art.

Learning to work with a new kit can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process. Kits are composed of inter-locking pieces and it can take a while to get accustomed to the nuances of working with each one. The Enclave Bunker Kit is relatively small, but working with it can be as difficult as the larger kits. In this video, I explain the kit and how it’s to be used. This tutorial will also teach you how to work quickly with Reference Snapping.

What we’re playing: Super-Cold-Football-Inauguration Weekend Edition

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Crazy times here in the Capital region. First, it’s insanely cold. Checking out  Weather Channel, right now it “feels like 1 degree.” BRRRRR! To add to the fun, we’re expecting 2-3 million visitors coming to the area for President-Elect Obama’s inauguration next week. Exciting times…but it’s going to be hectic too.

On top of all that, the stage for this year’s Super Bowl will be determined this weekend. While we’re in Redskins country, I would have expected some rooting for the Baltimore Ravens. But from the list below, it’s all about the Stillerz. Hmm, maybe we should make some downloadble content in the Pittsburgh area??? :)

Anyways, while we stay inside to avoid the cold and all the tourists, here’s the games we’ll be playing when we’re not watching football.

Have a great weekend!

Fred Zeleny, Steel City Expatriate: X-Com Interceptor, Rock Band 2 (with my new cymbal set!), and starting my second campaign in Fall From Heaven 2. I think I’ll make a black and gold Steeler empire to crush the world. Oh yes.

Megan Sawyer, Environment Artist: Animal Crossing City Folk. Also,  rooting for the Steelers. GO STILLERZ!

Chris Rodriguez, Systems Programmer: Twilight Princess, Bully.  Go Steelers!

Erik J. Steelersponi: World of Steelercraft, Steeler Quest, giving Steelers of War 2 another try.

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What we’re playing

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Because of the holidays, this was the first week back at the office for many folks, and boy, did it feel like a long week. This week’s “What we’re playing” is coming a little late, because as soon as I got home on Friday, all I wanted to do is relax and play games — finishing Dead Space and finally getting to Left 4 Dead.

Here’s this week’s rundown. Tell us what you’ve been playing this weekend.

Emil Pagliarulo, Fallout 3 Lead Designer & Writer: King’s Bounty (pictured above), Dead Space, World of Warcraft, Mount and Blade, and Tomb Raider: Underworld.

Craig Lafferty, Producer: Kings Bounty, LittleBigPlanet, Midnight Club: LA, iPhone.

Ryan Lea, Programmer: Valkaryia Chronicles!

Orin Tresnjak, Graphics Programmer: Ninja Gaiden 2, Red Alert 3, Prince of Persia.

Andrew Scharf: Fable 2, Beyond Good and Evil, and just started playing Persona 4… which will probably take up all of my time the next month or so.

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G.E.C.K. Quick Tips 1 – Hiding References & Orthographic View

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Fallout 3 Lead Level Designer Joel Burgess has put up a new video on YouTube to help folks with one of our new features in the G.E.C.K. — orthographic view. Take it away Joel….

Since releasing the G.E.C.K., we’ve seen the mod community get off to a great start on the G.E.C.K. Wiki and forums. Part of this kickoff was a series of You Tube video tutorials, aimed to help getting acclimated with the basics of the G.E.C.K.

Designers use the G.E.C.K. daily when creating content for Fallout 3 and DLC, so there are a lot of workflow tips we take for granted. For example, level designers frequently need to get specific views in the render window. I decided to create a brief video tutorial on the topic to help fledgling G.E.C.K. users as their spaces become more complicated.

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Around the web: New DLC interview

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Today Eurogamer put up a new interview with Fallout 3 DLC producer Jeff Gardiner. In the interview, he reveals some new details about Operation: Anchorage, the first DLC for Fallout 3, as well as new details on future DLC. Here’s an excerpt:

Eurogamer: Finally, can you tell us anything else about The Pitt and Broken Steel?

Jeff Gardiner: The Pitt is a more ‘Traditional’ Fallout 3 quest – it’s full of morally grey choices, shady NPCs, and features another city ravaged by time, neglect, nuclear waste and moral degradation.

Broken Steel not only extends the game to level 30, it alters the core ending. It allows the player to continue exploring the ashen Wasteland and see the fruits that are born, or that die, from their decisions. It will reprise several main characters, and conclude some of the story threads left dangling.

Head to Eurogamer to read the rest. More news after the break.

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What we played: Our 2008 favorites

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Well, we’ve reached the end of 2008, and what a great year it’s been for playing games. Like many other sites out there, we thought we’d share our favorites. Because we might have a little bit of a bias as to what our favorite game was, you’ll find no mention of Fallout 3 below.

Looking through the list, there’s definitely some differing opinions on what game was best. If you look at the #1 picks, Dead Space and Left 4 Dead appear to be amongst the favorites. I guess we’ve got a thing for games with severed hands on the cover.

After reading our list, be sure to let us know which games topped your list.

Happy New Year!

Cory Dornbusch, QA Tester: 10) Ninja Town, 9) Fable 2, 8 ) World of Goo, 7) Boom Blox, 6) Prince of Persia, 5) Far Cry 2, 4)Fracture , 3) Left 4 Dead, 2) Persona 4, 1) Dead Space.

Liz Beetem: 5) No More Heroes, 4) King’s Bounty: The Legend, 3) Fable 2, 2) Dead Space, and 1) Left 4 Dead.

Jonathan Bilodeau: 5) Fable II, 4) GTA IV, 3) Braid, 2) The Last Remnant, and 1) Tales of Vesperia.

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Around the web: Interviews, awards and more

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Welcome back for another edition of Around the Web.

We’ll start today at 1Up, where they’ve got an Afterthoughts interview with Emil. In it, Emil discusses design decisions, inspirations, as well as some things you might not have known about the game.  Here’s an excerpt:

1UP: The first time you played the game all the way through, what kind of character build did you use?

Emil: I’ve played the game at the office so many times, with so many different characters, at so many different stages of development, that I honestly can’t remember the first! But I do remember one of my favorites. I’d made this guy with Tag Skills in Science, Energy Weapons, and Speech. And every time I hit a option in dialogue, I would take it. It actually took me several hours of play before I looked at my character — and his suave little moustache — and then it hit me…I’d inadvertently created Tony Stark. I’d been playing the whole game in the role of Tony Stark, and hadn’t even realized it.

In Emil’s interview, there are a few references to the upcoming DLC. For more DLC discussion, check out WonderWallWeb, where there’s a new interview with Jeff Gardiner. Here’s a quick preview:

Can you tell us a little about the experience players will have in Operation Anchorage and what situations they will find themselves in?

Jeff Gardiner: The player will be tasked with taking the main Chinese stronghold outside of Anchorage.  Along the way they’ll pick up new weaponry, and even get to command a small strike force of their choosing.  They’ll be able to pick what type of team they’d like to create, and then how to utilize them in succeeding in their objective.

Speaking of Operation: Anchorage, it appears news of the DLC has made its way to Alaska by way of the Anchorage Daily News. I have to wonder what some residents of the Land of Midnight Sun had to think when they read the introduction.

More news after the break…

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