Around the web and on newsstands

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Here’s a few interesting mentions that I thought I’d share.

Starting on the print side, there’s a special issue of PC Gamer out now called “How To: The Ultimate Guide to DIY Gaming” that provides some cool stuff for Oblivion and Fallout 3. For Oblivion, they have a walkthrough called “Create your own zombie massacre,” that offers a 12-step process for creating your own zombie-fest with the PC version of the game. As for Fallout 3, there’s a section at the back of the magazine called “Gaming Papercraft!” that includes a cut out version of our Vault Boy bobblehead. I’m not the best with arts and crafts, so I haven’t yet assembled one, but the final product as it’s shown on the cover of the magazine looks like it’s worth the effort.

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Todd discusses PlayStation 3 development

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Today I received the April 2008 issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine and noticed that Todd wrote up this month’s POV (that’s Point of View) about developing games for the PS3. If you’re a PS3 owner, you might find what he has to say encouraging. Within the column, he discusses some of the advantages of the PS3 hardware, as well as how new tools have improved the development process for Fallout 3. Here’s a snippet:

“you can use the Blu-ray’s massive storage capacity to place multiple instances of your game’s assets on the disk. Having multiple copies on the disc greatly reduces seek times off the drive, and your load times shrink even more. Small things like this can make a huge difference over the course of a game. That kind of learning has helped us move from Oblivion to Fallout 3.”

To find out more on Todd’s thoughts about developing games on PS3, be on the lookout for the April issue.

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.

Gamepro.com interviews Todd

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Last night on Gamepro’s website, a new interview went up with Fallout 3 Executive Producer Todd Howard. It’s a short interview, but provides some new insight on the game. Here’s a sample:

GamePro: What’s one particular detail of the game that Bethesda is particularly proud of?

Howard: Right now we’ve got a lot of the world built and we’re excited by how fun it is to explore. I admit we were worried about such a grand world that is completely destroyed and it feeling morbidly depressing and empty. We have a ways to go yet, but it’s looking good and there’s a lot of sandbox gameplay to discover.

Head over to GamePro’s site to check out the rest of the interview.

Around the Web — Monsoon Edition

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As we head out for the really, really rainy weekend, I thought I’d share some news coverage from the week.

This afternoon we received some exciting news that Shivering Isles won RPG of the Year over at Gameindustry.com. Pretty cool for a couple reasons. First, in the site’s ten years of doing annual awards, Shivering Isles is the first expansion to win this category. Even better is the fact that the voting came from Gameindustry.com readers. We’re truly honored that our fans came out in large numbers to vote, particularly since it was up against some really great games. Many thanks!

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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.

More Fallout 3 Details in OXM (US) Cover Story

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The April issue of OXM is now making its way to subscribers in the US as we speak. The cover story features a number of new areas and also features a host of new screens from different parts of the game, including new areas, new creatures/NPCs, weapons, etc. We don’t want to give away too much info on what’s in there, except to say it has the best ending line of any Fallout 3 preview thus far, thanks to a quote from Emil.

Look for the issue to be on newsstands the week of March 10 and keep your eyes open for new content coming from those folks in the form of a podcast or something else around that date.

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.

Todd talks Fallout 3

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A new interview with our very own Todd Howard has gone up at videogaming247. Among other things, Todd discusses Fallout 3’s cross-platform launch, how decisions you make will help determine the game’s ending, and how Cormac McCarthy’s book, “The Road,” has been an influence on the game’s development. Here’s a sample of what he had to say:

Q: The “post-disaster” genre isn’t particularly well visited in games, certainly not as well as in movies and books. Do you look outside games for inspiration? We’re thinking along the lines of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”, and so on.

A: You picked one of the big ones, yes. “The Road” is fantastic and came out in the middle of our design phase, so it became required reading for many of us. We looked at many post nuclear movies, some very disturbing, things that deal with Hiroshima and such, and it gave us a good look at that type of nuclear destruction. Other general ones we looked at were things dealing with survival or how people deal with the effects of any war or rebuilding.

To read the rest of the interview, click here.