The Penny Arcade Fallout Comic Begins

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Today we posted the first Penny Arcade Fallout comic that begins an original series/story that Tycho and Gabe did for us. When we first approached the guys about doing this, years ago at this point, we really wanted to do something where they just kind of ran with it. Let them come up with their own ideas, whether it was a bunch of standalone strips, or one that worked all together, or whatever. We really didn’t care whether it had anything to do with Fallout 3, or its locations or characters, we just wanted to see what would happen when Penny Arcade did Fallout.

So we went back and forth with them providing what info and assets we could, and Tycho and Emil would trade emails about different ideas of things they had come up with. They picked at some different ideas, but it wasn’t until I had a chance to go show them the game many months ago that it really clicked for them, I think. And they came up with this idea of telling their only story of one of the other Vaults. And it was one of those great things where we started getting strips over in bunches and it went from start to finish in a hurry.

We’ll be releasing a new strip every Wednesday for the next couple of months. We hope you enjoy them!

Around the web and in print

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Here’s some more stuff for you to check out before E3 next week.

Subscribers of PC Gamer (US) should be on the lookout for the August issue in their mailbox in the next few days. The Fallout 3 cover story spans seven pages and includes hands-on impressions from Fallout fan Dan Stapleton, new screenshots, and more.

In other print coverage, the latest issue of the Polish mag CD-Action has a new hands-on preview of the game.

Moving over to the world wide web, at Game Trailers, there’s a new countdown of their Top Ten Most Anticipated Games of E3 2008. Plenty of great-looking games made the list, and Fallout 3 came in at #2.

Finally, there’s a good read about creating game worlds, appropriately titled, “The Age of the World-Builders.” Within the piece, both Todd and Emil discuss keys to creating an immersive environment. Here’s a sample:

When you play an MMOG, a game like Oblivion or Bethesda’s current big project, Fallout 3, “you’re not controlling that character, you are that character,” Pagliarulo says. “You get a sense of control over the world that you can’t find anywhere else.”

To read the rest, head over to The Escapist.

Inside the Vault: Emil Pagliarulo (Redux)

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This week’s Inside the Vault revisits Fallout 3 Lead Designer, Emil Pagliarulo. I thought it would be fun to do a Q&A that was a bit different. So, before heading down past the break, gentle readers, let me know if this slight change of pace is a good one or not. We have lots more Q&A’s with developers on the team coming up, too.

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Around the Web: Pags Edition

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Just a brief note for today. Emil sat down yesterday with Kris Graft from Next-Gen and some of his colleagues for a discussion on all things gaming. You can hear the results of that session in a podcast over on Game Theory where Emil chimes in a variety of topics.

In addition, Kris posted a short interview with Emil over at Next-Gen that covers some of the discussion from the podcast, such as:

Next-Gen: Because it’s different for every game designer, give us your idea of what storytelling is in games.

Pagliarulo: I think it changes all the time. I think even with the release of GTA IV it has even changed again. Who knew that GTA IV would progress narrative in videogames. I don’t think anyone saw that coming. But for me story in videogames is about writing for the medium. It’s getting people who understand videogames and how to craft a story for videogames, so that you have a mix of a solid narrative that the player can understand and be involved with, while using the medium of a videogame to let the player craft his own narrative. I think there’s a mix of both, and you need to have people who understand the medium in order to do that, or to give the player what they want in that regard.

Emil writes for Game Informer

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Thumbing through the April issue of Game Informer (be on the lookout for the Alpha Protocol cover), I was pleasantly surprised to see Emil’s Op/Ed piece entitled, “A Question of Character.” I suppose I should have known it was in there, but it’s hard to be thinking about April when you’re still in March. Anyhow, within the editorial, Emil explains the challenges and importance of creating believable characters in RPGs. Here’s a quick sample:

“If we accept that all video game characters fall under one of three literary classifications — prototype, archetype, and stereotype — it’s easy to see the appeal of the archetype. This is the established, easily-understandable character model. The badass space marine or seductive sorceress. The prototype, while imaginative and interesting, is too easily viewed as ‘weird,’ and that means inaccessible. The stereotype? Overused, oversimplified, and more often than naught, offensive.”

Want more? Keep an eye out for the April issue of Game Informer.

Emil on Next Gen

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Following up on naming him as one of the Top 25 Developers of 2008, Kris Graft over at Next Gen has put up an article based on an interview he did with Emil recently. The article covers a variety of topics with Emil such as his sources of inspiration, feedback from fans, and a couple other things. Here’s a snippet:

“Life itself is pretty fascinating if you look at it. There’s a lot of inspiration to be drawn out there. I think that people sometimes make a mistake when they limit their inspiration. It’s easy to say, ‘Oh my god, I loved Star Wars and I want to be the next George Lucas,’ and copy what George Lucas did. Why not look at George Lucas’ inspiration? Look at the things that inspired him; look at the Kurosawa films that inspired him and what inspired Kurosawa. There’s a chain there and the further back you go, generally the better the source I think.”

For the full piece, head over to Next Gen.

Emil on Next-Gen

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Emil was named one of Next-Gen’s Top 25 Developers for 2008, coming in at #24. Here’s a snippet:

“Before coming to Bethesda, Pagliarulo hung with the greats at the sadly defunct Looking Glass Studios, lending design work to well-respected classics like Thief II: The Metal Age.”

For the rest, head over to Next-Gen and check out the other 99 folks on the list. Also keep your eyes open for an interview Emil did in conjunction with this list that may be popping up one day this week during GDC.

Emil’s Diary on the Brotherhood of Steel

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So to kick off the new year Emil took some time to dive into the question of what, exactly, are the Brotherhood of Steel doing in DC, and what are they up to? Well head over to the Vault on the official site to read his recap of what the Brotherhood of Steel are about, and the answer those questions, or at least as much of an answer as he’s willing to divulge at this time. Here’s an excerpt:

In Fallout 3, the Brotherhood of Steel is one of the most important and influential factions you’ll encounter. And while it’s true they are a military organization, the Brotherhood’s values and command structure are actually more representative of a medieval knightly order. Like the Templars of old, in their own eyes, the members of the Brotherhood of Steel are pure, they are just – they are truly human in a world filled with both physical and moral corruption.

The diary also includes a number of new concept art pieces, including the one pictured above.

Around the Web (and Print)

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A variety of things going on that I thought I would mention.

Matt did an interview with the folks at Games Radar for an article they were doing on “Are Developers Even Listening?” Matt’s responses are included along with folks from Lionhead, Rare, Epic, and Bungie. Head over to read the full article.

Primotech did their Game of the Year awards and voted Shivering Isles the Best Expansion. From the article:

Bethesda’s last expansion pack does more than throw open the door to a land suffering from a split personality. It adds nearly twenty to thirty hours of new quests, complete with plenty of gear to acquire and the opportunity to find out just how insane a Mad God can really be.

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