Around the web and on newsstands

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Here’s a few things to be on the lookout for — both online and in print.

Voodoo Extreme has a new interview with Fallout 3 Production Director Ashley Cheng. In the interview, Ash discusses his role with the company dating back to his work on The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Here’s a snippet from the interview:

What is the process for determining art direction on any of the games you produce?

The art direction comes from our concept artists, our lead artists on the project (Matt Carofano for Elder Scrolls; Istvan Pely for Fallout 3), and our game director/exec producer, Todd Howard. We go through months and months of concepts, looking for the right tone and look. We tend to create concepts of overall scenes to help dictate the direction before getting into lots of detail.

Hit the link below for more news….

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What we’re playing: Belated edition

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Somewhere between feasting on Cadbury Creme Eggs and watching golf, “What We’re Playing” didn’t get posted over the weekend. Better late than never, here’s the games we’re playing. Highlights from this week include Killzone 2, The Dishwasher, and little game called World of Warcraft.

Have a great weekend week!

Daryl Brigner, Level Designer: Valkyria Chronicles (Check it out!), Killzone 2, Age of Conan, and LoTRO.

Orin Tresnjak, Graphics Programmer: Dragon Quest V, GTA Chinatown Wars, Killzone 2, Midnight Club Los Angeles.

Nate Purkeypile, Ho Down Coordinator: Resident Evil 5, Little Big Planet, Killzone 2, Dawn of War 2 and World of Goo.

Craig Lafferty, Senior Producer: Penny Arcade Episode 2, Killzone 2, Battleforge.

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What we’re playing…

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Very few trends this week in what people are playing. Hmmm. I’ll bet dollars to donuts (it is Donut Friday) that a bunch of these guys are going to end up playing countless hours of  Peggle on Xbox LIVE.

Brent Krische, QA Tester: Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures, The Darkness, and watching my girlfriend play Cooking Mama: Cook off and Order Up!.

Cody Shumway: Gears of War 2, Devil May Cry 4, Resident Evil 5, and Lost Planet

Sean Palomino, QA Tester: Street Fighter IV (360) and Prince of Persia (360).

Fred Zeleny, Back in the (Raptor) Saddle Again: Looks like I’ve resubscribed to World of Warcraft again. One of these days, I swear I’ll keep playing long enough to get a character to top level…

Dan Ross, QA: Empire: Total War and painting Warhammer minis.

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What we’re listening to…

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This week we’re looking at the music our developers are listening to, which is fun for me, because it gives me new bands to research. Given I rarely listen to the radio anymore (outside of Pandora), I’ll be sure to read up on some of the artists mentioned (looking up Ratatat as we speak). Oddly enough, most of my music purchases these days are based on reading about a band — not listening to them..

Speaking of bands I’ve read about, I had heard good things about The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. I took a chance on it, and ended up really liking it. If you’re a fan of The Stone Roses, you might like it too.

Here’s what everyone else is rocking out to…

Nathan X, Associate Producer: Red Fang, Kyuss, Mastodon, Knights of the Abyss, Within the Ruins, Darkest Hour, The Hives, Spinnerette, Koffin Kats, Black Star, The Who, The Subways, The Go! Team, and Bad Brains.

Marisa Lyon, QA Tester: Eels, Gogol Bordello, The Indelicates, and the new Decemberists album.

Cory Dornbusch, QA: Carbon Leaf, Neal Mccoy, Brooks and Dunn, Hollywood Undead, Tool, A Perfect Circle… I don’t know I hit random.

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Weekend Update

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In case you missed these, here’s plenty of stories you can read up on…

At last week’s GDC, Emil participated in two events. On Wednesday, he joined Shadow of the Colossus/Ico creator Fumito Ueda (Team Ico) and No More Heroes creator Goichi Suda (Grasshopper Manufacture) for the developer panel “Evolving Game Design: Today and Tomorrow, East and West Game Design.” You can check out some of their discussion at Shacknews. Additionally, on Friday, Emil had the keynote for GDC’s Game Career Seminar. There’s a pretty good recap of the address here at Gamespot.

In case you didn’t already know it, The Pitt takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of the Steel City. With the news of a game taking place in their town, Pittsburgh Station KDKA talked with Jeff Gardiner about the game’s take on the city.

Last week IGN Australia held their awards for the best games of 2008 — where Fallout 3 captured the IGN Select Award for Game of the Year, as well as Best PC Game. The game also received Runner Up honors in several categories — including the all-important Best Widow Maker category.

In our final update on the March Mayhem Developers Showdown, we bowed out of the competition after losing a very close matchup (51% to 49% ) to Turbine. You may recall that Turbine ousted us in the Final Four of last year’s showdown.

Fallout 3 wins GOTY, Best Writing at Game Developers Choice Awards

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GDC is currently going on in San Francisco, and at last night’s Game Developers Choice Awards, Fallout 3 came away with two awards — Best Writing and Game of the Year.

If you’d like to watch the awards, check out the video on Gamespot. At the 18:30 mark, Emil accepts the Best Writing award, and several members from the team accept the Game of the Year award at the 47:20 mark.

Inside the Vault: Fred Zeleny

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Today’s Inside the Vault = Fred Zeleny, designer.

What’s your job at Bethesda?
I’m a Quest Designer, which means I spend most of my time writing quests, dialogue for characters, and occasionally get to have a hand in systems and mechanics designs. “Designer” is a very vague term, and every company defines it differently. The only part of the job description that every company seems to agree on is that designers have two vital tasks:

  1. Making sure the player has an enjoyable experience while playing the game.
  2. Disagreeing with other designers about how to do #1.

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What we’re playing: Sending Galactica off in style edition

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This week many of us will be saying farewell to a good friend, as the final episode of Battlestar Galactica airs tonight. If you’ve noticed over the past few weeks, a number of devs have been playing the Battlestar Galactica Board Game for Thursday Night Game Night. As a Galactica fan myself, I checked out Jeff Lundin, Chris Esko, Ryan Salvatore, Jay Woodward, Nate Ellis and Jon Paul Duvall playing the game. In the pic above, these Final Five Six were in denial about their Cylon heritage and trying to accuse our Brotherhood of Steel of being a Centurion model.

Outside of the BSG board game, here’s what everyone else is playing…

Chris Esko, Gameplay Programmer: Dawn of War II, Madworld, King’s Bounty, the Battlestar Galactica boardgame.

Jay Woodward, AI Programmer: Some sort of improvisational Battlestar-finale drinking game (drink when something explodes! Drink when someone dies! Drink six times when a Six dies or Adama says “roll the hard six!” Drink one thousand nine hundred seventy-eight times for the colonial anthem!), the Battlestar board game (of course!), tabletop 4th ed. Dungeons & Dragons, and GTA IV.

Mark Teare, FX Artist: NHL 09, Prince of Persia, V-smile Baby.

Jon Paul Duvall, Designer: BsG boardgame, Dominion, Tribune, D&D 4th Edition; video games: WoW (yeah, damn that black hole, I thought I had escaped…)

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