Inside the Vault: Orin Tresnjak

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This edition of Inside the Vault features programmer, Orin Tresnjak. Orin is one of the awesome programmers who work on multiple systems. He’s worked on a variety of interfaces and shaders, and even made tools for creating DLC and PC installers (Orin even pitched in and made the installer for Star Trek: Legacy). In short, we drop Orin in and cool stuff results.

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My Faves: Full Throttle

Where we talk about stuff we love…

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Having just heard Tim Schafer talk at a conference, I got thinking about one of my favorite games of all time — Full Throttle, a point and click adventure game and one of Tim Schafer’s best games in my opinion. Published by LucasArts in 1995, Full Throttle represents LucasArts’ adventure game golden years – along with Day of the Tentacle, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and the Secret of Monkey Island. Let me say, however, that I LOVE all these games. I’ve loved every adventure game LucasArts released starting from 1987’s Maniac Mansion to 1998’s Grim Fandango. I was heartbroken when the sequels to Full Throttle and Sam & Max were canceled.

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What we’re playing: Duty Calls

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For a number of folks at the office, the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has been hugely anticipated. When a local GameStop got the game a little earlier than expected on Monday, I noticed plenty of guys fleeing from their desks at lunch. I hope they have plenty of time to play it this weekend, because with the holiday season in full gear, time is precious.

Here’s how we’re spending our weekend… 

Tim “Visor” Lamb, Associate Producer: Call of Duty 4

Aaron Mitschelen, QA: LotRO, Soul Nomad and the World Eaters, World in Conflict, Jean d’Arc, Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness, GrimGrimoire, Persona 3, Hellgate: London

Michael Lattanzia, QA: Way too much Hellgate: London, Team Fortress 2


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Walking the Walk

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One of our artists, Dane Olds, informed me that he and some other folks at the office (see the team photo above) played a couple of friendly matches of Team Fortress II against the developers over a Breakaway, ltd. I asked Dane to write up a little post-game wrap report. Here’s what Dane had to say:

Some of you may know that several of us here at Bethesda have been spending quite a bit of time with the Orange Box. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that a good portion of that time has been spent with Team Fortress 2. So when we received a challenge from BreakAway, ltd. (located nearby in Hunt Valley) we were more than happy to step into the ring.

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Developing in our spare time, too

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If you read our “What we’re playing” blog posts that come out on Fridays, you’ve probably caught on that people at the office are in love with playing The Orange Box. There’s plenty of value, variety of gameplay, and yes, it even promises cake…so who wouldn’t love it.

While the Orange Box is probably most associated with Half-Life, many of folks here think the darling of the box is Portal. In fact, one of our Level Designers, Daryl Brigner, has created his very own level for the PC version of Portal, entitled Ren Test2.

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New Diary on Fallout site: Meet the Pip-Boy 3000

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Over at the official Fallout site, we’ve just added the second in our series of Fallout Diaries. In the latest edition, Lead Artist Istvan Pely reveals how we went about creating a new Pip-Boy Interface for Fallout 3. Within the diary, he discusses the early stages, inspirations, and progress made on the latest iteration of this iconic Fallout device.

Below is a sample of Istvan’s Pip-Boy diary.

Technology in the world of Fallout 3 is somewhat paradoxical in that it’s incredibly advanced in some ways, and downright primitive in others. Certain technological advancements that we take for granted in our own history either did not occur, or developed along a very different path. Miniaturization is one example; yes, the fact that a device with the capabilities of the Pip-Boy could be made at all is amazing, but it’s still a rather bulky and heavy lump of hardware. It uses a monochrome cathode ray tube, there are no flat LCD/Plasma/OLED screens. Its housing is cast out of a metal alloy, not plastic. And it’s an ergonomic nightmare. But all these qualities give it character, and this was an important aspect of the design, as the Pip-Boy is almost a character itself.

We’ll have more diaries from folks working on Fallout 3 as we get closer to its release next fall. To read the first diary from Todd, visit here. Also worthy of mention that the Fallout site now has localized versions in French, Italian, German, and Spanish, including today’s diary. You’ll have the option of choosing your language when you visit for the first time, or can change it at any time using the icons at the bottom of the site.

Inside the Vault: Craig Lafferty

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Today’s Inside the Vault is with Craig Lafferty, one of our senior producers. Craig is the producer responsible for all our artists. We use a matrix structure on the team – so in Craig’s case, he serves as both the producer for the art staff (he has two associate producers to help him manage our huge art dept), and as a lead producer for projects (Shivering Isles, Oblivion PS3). In fact, our PS3 fans out there will be happy to know Craig is also helping out with getting Shivering Isles working on the PS3 (Hopefully, Pete will be able to have more to say soon, but please know that we are working on it best we can.)

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Fighter’s Stronghold credits

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If you haven’t downloaded Fighter’s Stronghold yet, what are you waiting for? It’s FREE. Who cares if you’re done playing Oblivion or don’t own it yet – if Santa gets you a copy of Oblivion Game of the Year and you missed out on your chance to get Fighter’s free, well, that, my friends, would be a sad tale I wouldn’t want to wish on anyone.

As always, lots of blood, sweat and tears go into everything we do, and I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the hard working and amazing team we have here, notably the ones made Fighter’s Stronghold happen.

Designers
Kurt Kuhlmann
Alan Nanes

Level Designer
Jeff Browne

Artists
Tony Greco
Jonah Lobe
Juan Sanchez

Producer
Jeff Gardiner

QA
Kevin Kauffman
Chris Krietz
Ryan Ashford
James Costantino
Jon DeVriendt
Dan Geske
Mike McGinn
Aaron Mitschelen
Jennifer Noland
Matt Ouzounian
John Pisano
Ryan Salvatore
Chris Steidel
Alexander Tran
Jesse Tucker
Matt Weil
Fred Zeleny