What’s new at Splash Damage?

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Since we’re busy working with London-based studio Splash Damage on an unannounced title (no, we can’t say what they’re working on…yet), here’s an update on some news out of their office.

The 2008 Mobius Awards for advertising have been revealed, and the Enemy Territory: Quake Wars’ site, Stroyent.com, was honored as this year’s winner in the New Media category. Stroyent is just what you need if you’re suffering from…ummm, projectile dysfunction. Be sure to check out the hilarious video.

Modders and aspiring game developers might be interested in reading the March issue of 3D World magazine, where Splash Damage artist Paul ‘MoP’ Greveson gives step by step instruction on how to skin and export a zombie model. Additionally, on 3D World’s site, Paul has video tutorials on skinning a zombie in 3D Max. Also featured in the magazine, animator Chris ‘Hauser’ Bull covers working with MotionBuilder to create animations based on motion capture data.

Finally, in their first edition of “Currently Hurling Controllers / Mice At” for 2009, members of the Splash Damage team discuss their favorite games of 2008. Hey, there’s even a few mentions for Fallout 3.

That’s it for now. In the coming weeks/months, we’ll continue to keep you up to speed on what’s going on at Splash Damage.

What we’re listening to: Podcast edition

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This week we’re discussing the podcasts we listen to keep us entertained during down time. With a 60-70 minutes commute each day, podcasts like 1Up Yours (R.I.P.), Pardon the Interruption, and now Rebel FM have become life savers for me.

Speaking of podcasts, OXM is celebrating their 150th podcast today…congrats guys! You’ll want to give this one a listen, as there’s a new interview with Todd Howard.

From the folks here at Bethesda, we hope you all have a great weekend. We leave you with our favorite podcasts to listen to…

Matt Grandstaff, Community Manager: Rebel FM, 1Up Yours (RIP), A Life Well Wasted, Full Moon Podcast, Bungie Podcast, PTI.

Jay Woodward, AI Programmer: Rebel FM, the Geekbox, the Gamers With Jobs Conference Call, the Joystiq Podcast, the Rachel Maddow Show, the Non-Prophets, the Official Lost Podcast, the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, Real Time with Bill Maher, misc. gaming sessions from RPGMP3.com, Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, This American Life.

Michael Lattanzia, QA: Check Your Hud.

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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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