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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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?
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 â€˜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.
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.
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.