Fallout 3, Team Honored

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A few more year end awards have been announced for both Fallout 3 and Bethesda Game Studios over the weekend.

Up first, GameSpy concluded their year end awards — with Fallout 3 taking home the award for Overall Game of the Year and winning the Gamers’ Choice awards for Xbox 360 and PC. It’s a great honor anytime we get awards like these — especially when it comes from fans.

On Friday night IGN announced their Best of 2008 awards for Xbox 360, with Fallout 3 taking awards for Best RPG, Best Use of Sound, and Game of the Year. Here’s an excerpt from what they had to say on the game winning GOTY:

“The sense of immersion in this twisted, yet somehow believable, world is fantastic, but it’s the freedom and memorable moments that put Fallout 3 on top. The VATS combat is fantastic. The role-playing and decision making is top notch. Just about everything Fallout 3 does is special. You could (and should) play Fallout 3 for dozens and dozens of hours and still turn it on the next day and find something new and exciting.”

In other news, GamaSutra included Bethesda Game Studios in their list of the Top 5 Developers in 2008.

What we’re playing: Holiday Edition

 

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With Christmas and New Year’s (and the always important Celebration of Gstaff Day) coming up, many of us are taking time off and celebrating the holiday season. Of course, that means many of us will get to spend some extended time playing games.

Here’s a rundown of some of the games we’ll be playing.

Michael Lattanzia, QA: Warhammer Online (Woo, Keg End event!), Left 4 Dead, Gears of War 2, Persona 3 FES, Animal Crossing: Wild World, Chrono Trigger DS, Dead Rising… whew, trying to catch up on some games finally.

Chris Esko, Gameplay Programmer: Trying to finish all the games I haven’t had time for. Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead, Gears of War 2, Prince of Persia, Rock Band 2, Kings Bounty, and getting sucked back into WoW with the Lich King expansion.

Orin Tresnjak, Graphics Programmer: King’s Bounty: The Legend, World of Warcraft, Prince of Persia.

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What we’re playing: Holiday Party Edition

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Tomorrow we’ll be celebrating 2008 with our annual holiday party. Good eats, casino games, prizes, and fun times with friends — should be a blast! When we’re not partying (or recovering), we’ll be playing the following games.

Have a great weekend!

Ryan Lea, Programmer: Stubbs The Zombie: Rebel Without a Pulse, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Kid Icarus, Castle Crashers (Insane Mode).

Jay Woodward, AI Programmer: Dead Space, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia.

Sam Bernstein, Quality Assurance: Left 4 Dead and a wonderful game called Auditorium.

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Emil is quite the card

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Yesterday GamaSutra posted a story (originally from Game Developer magazine) entitled Game Developer’s Top Deck 2008. This “deck” highlights members of the game development community for their work in 2008. Making the list as the 10 of Diamonds is none other than Fallout 3 Lead Designer Emil Pagliarulo.

So what makes Emil a diamond? According the feature, diamonds are reserved for Progressives that “implement brand new ideas in game development, perhaps branching in unexpected yet compelling directions. Alternatively, you can simply make what already works, work a whole lot better.”

Yep, that sounds like Emil.

Meet Splash Damage’s New Creative Director

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Splash Damage sent out a press release this week announcing Richard “Rahdo” Ham as their new Creative Director. With 15 years in the gaming industry under his belt, Ham will lead the design team for the yet-to-be-announced title that we’re working on with the studio. Prior to his new gig, Richard worked as the creative lead for Syphon Filter, and most recently as the Lead Designer for Fable 2.

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What we’re reading….

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Maybe it’s that I spend too much time playing games, or the fact that I’m not a teenage girl — I’d never heard of the whole Twilight phenomenon until after the movie came out. I’m sure there are guys here that have read the books, but looking at the list below — it doesn’t appear anyone was lured in by the hype surrounding the film.

Here are the books, websites, and magazine WE ARE reading. Feel free to let us know what you’re reading, and if you’ve read Twilight, I’m curious to hear what you thought of it.

Kurt Kuhlmann, Designer: KJ Parker’s Engineer Trilogy, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (again), Captain Alatriste series.

Nate Ellis, QA: Forest Mage (by Robin Hobb), (re-reading) A Game Of Thrones. Also reading Kotaku and Penny Arcade.

Gary Noonan, Creature Animator: Just finished Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and getting ready to start The I.R.A. by Tim Pat Coogan. Can you tell I am a non-fiction guy?

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More updates from Splash Damage

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Here’s the latest developer news over at Splash Damage.

In their latest staff interview, Jamie “Fishbus” Manson takes center stage. A level designer from Scotland, Jamie created the hugely popular cp_steel for Team Fortress 2. a map which was ultimately chosen by Valve to be included in one of the official game updates…very cool. Here’s a snippet from the interview:

What was your first gaming experience?

I remember having an Atari 7800 when I was a young ‘un. I think my parents bought it for my older brother and themselves as purchasing an Atari was all the rage back then. Games like Frostbite, H.E.R.O and Dark Chambers still rattle vibrantly in my head, I also distinctly remember that Asteroids booted up if there was no cartridge in there! WOW!

I think my love for games, and indeed design, stemmed from when I first played SimCity. Once a fan, always a fan!

Elsewhere on SD’s site, they continue to share the games they’re playing. Community Relations Manager Steve “badman” Hessel gave me a heads up that one of their guys, Rich Jolly, became the first guy at the office to get all the achievements in Fallout 3. Nice work!

That’s all for now. We’ll keep you posted on what’s new at Splash Damage over the coming months.

Around the web: Dreaming about Fallout edition

Here’s the latest briefing on Fallout 3 news found around the web.

As 2008 wraps up, we’re starting to see sites pulling together their GOTY lists. Fallout 3 is included in preliminary lists at The New York Times, Gamespot, and CNBC.

Having trouble surviving in the wasteland? IGN has a new video highlighting three of the most powerful weapons in Fallout 3 — with tips on how to find them.

Wanna know Todd’s ritual on release day?  Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft got answers from Todd, as well as other notable developers for a post titled “What Game Developers Do When Their Games Launch.” You can check it out here.

Just as the sun rises in the east, we’ve got Fallout 3 reviews featured in “around the web.” New reviews can be found at ABC News, Just Press Play, GameZone, Quiet Earth, Neotaku, PALGN, Exclaim!, Gaming Trend, Game Freaks 365, and GameGirl. While I haven’t seen the review, nor would I be able to read it, 1Up reports that Japanese magazine Famitsu awarded Fallout 3 a score of 38/40. According to this report, the score would tie Oblivion for the highest non-Japanese RPG score ever in the magazine.

Finally, of all the Fallout 3 coverage I’ve sifted through, this has got to be the weirdest. At GameGrep, I found this clip where a guy is discussing his dreams on a radio station. Give it a listen, and within a few seconds, you’ll realize he’s pulling the DJ’s leg. I bet Three Dog is having a good laugh about this somewhere.

Giving thanks

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As we spend time with our families — stuffing our bellies with turkey and watching the Lions get trounced by the TItans, we’d like to give thanks to all of you for supporting us. THANK YOU!

Below are some additional reasons we’re thankful this holiday season.

Todd Howard: Big thanks to everyone out there who supports our games. And to all my teammates, thanks for making work a joy. We’re so lucky to be able to make games we love to play.

Pete Hines: This year I am giving thanks for the great people I get to work with,
 Chick-fil-A, the start of college basketball season, Firefly vodka, Five
 Guys’ cheeseburgers, The Foo Fighters, finally having time to actually 
play games, and for having survived the last year and getting Fallout 3
 out the door.

Matt Killmon, Video Producer: Thanks to my family, friends, and loving girlfriend for bringing me back to this coast. Thanks to Bethsoft for giving me this job (and my friends in QA who suggested I apply). Thanks to my co-workers for being severely awesome and making my first six months here an absolute blast. And of course thanks to all our fans on YouTube, GameTrailers, and around the gaming web for all the positive comments on the trailers, gameplay demos, and other videos I worked on — the encouragement is appreciated. Happy Thanksgiving!

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What we’re playing: Zombies have invaded the building

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As I expected, the release of Left 4 Dead has taken the office by storm. Our crack team of Team Fortress 2 experts are trading in their roles as Medics, Engineers, and Medics for the thrill of playing as disturbingly awesome zombies — like Boomers, Smokers, Hunters, and Tanks.

Of course not everyone is spending every possible hour playing Left 4 Dead — team members continue to play through Far Cry 2, Fable 2, Gears of War 2, and more.

Here’s our rundown of everything we’re playing. Have a great weekend!

Jesse Tucker: Left 4 Dead, TF2, Dominion (Board game, very nice).

Joel Burgess: L4D, Far Cry 2, Netflix on NXE!

Daryl Brigner: Left 4 Dead (PC) all weekend.

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