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.
As you get ready for the weekend, here’s some of the latest Fallout 3 coverage you can read as you head out for the weekend.
Clint McCredie of Australian gaming site Gameplayer has a five-page piece based on an an interview he did with Pete. After reading it, I realized that I probably need to take some time and refresh myself on the works of Charles Dickens. All I could think of when I read Clint’s intro is, “Where’s the mentions of Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Christmas Past?” Dickens references aside, here’s a snippet from the interview:
“We wander further and come across the settlement of Megaton, one of the larger piles of junk that are called towns in this world, and are allowed in by a security droid. Inside, the city’s grim and dirty, like living inside a drainpipe. We’re a bit perturbed that there’s so many people left alive in the town, especially as we can’t work out what they’re doing to survive. Where do they get their food from? ‘Emil Pagliarulo, the lead designer, had me read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road,’ explains Hines. ‘If you read his take on the post-apocalyptic world, then yes, everything should be absolutely dead, and there’d be nothing left to eat except canned stuff. If you take that view, then in 200 years nobody should still be around.'”
The March 2008 issue of OXM made its way onto my desk today and thought I’d share some interesting mentions of our games….
In their “2008 Preview” feature, Fallout 3 is among 50 titles they think should be on your radar. Also, on page 21, if you look waaay down at the bottom, you’ll see that they wouldn’t be surprised if Fallout 3 gets pushed to next year. To that, I’ll reference what Pete said here.
The issue also looks back at 2007 with their “Game of the Year Awards,” and we were happy to see Shivering Isles came away with the award for Downloadable Content of the Year, making it the second year in a row we’ve won that award. I’m also happy to learn that Avatar and TMNT are great titles to boost my Xbox Gamerscore. Time to check those ones out. Like some other folks at the office, I’m a sucker for achievement points.
To check out the rest of the previewed games for 2008 and see who the big winners and losers were in 2007, check out the March issue on a newstand near you.
As if Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade weren’t everywhere already (if you’ve been under a rock, they even have their own game coming out), modder HidekiShashu put on YouTube a video that shows how he’s brought their likeness into Morrowind. This first video shows Gabe interacting with Tycho. There’s also another short video with Gabe showing off his cardboard tube weapon.
What’s next? Maybe someone can make an Oblivion level with Zero Punctuation-esque animation.
Kevin Kauffman. Laid back. Handsome. Stylish dresser. QA Lead. While Kevin’s title may be QA Lead, he is just as important — if not more — to the success of Fallout 3 than most producers on the team (including me). He works his tail off and we’re fortunate to have him.
Happy Mardi Gras to everyone! We hope that anyone celebrating today has a great time, but also remembers to stay safe. If you’re like me, and don’t really have the time to parade in the streets, here’s some new Fallout coverage we spotted that you can read up on while working, studying, or doing anything else that doesn’t involve drinking, wearing beads, or dressing up in ridiculous costumes…
Destructoid’s Reverend Anthony put together a list of “The ten most meaningful videogame quotes of all-time” that includes Ron Perlman’s famous first words, “War. War Never Changes.” It’s a pretty good list with a mix of older (Zork, Super Mario Bros.) and newer (Portal, Bioshock) memorable quotes. Discussing Fallout, he writes:
“Fallout may be one of the most cynical, nihilistic game franchises in existence, which also makes it one of my personal favorites. Rather than half-assedly cultivating a world-weary tone through a sepia color scheme and needlessly gruff-sounding protagonists (I’m looking at you, Gears of War), the Fallout series tells the tale of some people who try to act with common decency in a world utterly lacking in it, and who are subsequently tortured and killed and exiled for their troubles. Cormac McCarthy would be proud.”
Working at Bethesda, it probably wouldn’t shock anyone if I said Fallout 3 is my most anticipated post-apocalyptic RPG game of the year. That was the case…until this morning. Over on Kotaku, I spotted the trailer for Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden. The highly anticipated sequel to the Sega Genesis cult hit, Barkley: Shut Up and Jam, BSUJ:G takes our hero, former NBA superstar Charles Barkley (aka the Sir Charles…aka the Chuck Wagon…aka The Round Mound of Rebound), on an adventure through post-apocalyptic New York in the year 2041.
Charles might not be a role model, but after watching this trailer and seeing his turn-based skillz against monsters made of basketballs, he can be in My Five anyday. For more details on this instant classic, head over here.
It’s been awhile since the last time we highlighted some new fan art on the blog, so I thought I’d give some shout outs to a few of our regular contributors.
Above you’ll find one of two Brotherhood of Steel 3D models that Rob Overall recently contributed to our Fan Art page. Having spoke to Rob, it sounds like he’s recently had a lot of free time, and it shows in his work. To see his work in motion, you can check out some videos he’s made using these models over on YouTube.
Ali TunÃ§ sent us another one of his fantastic Fallout-inspired concept drawings. This one, called “The Reactor’s Defender,” is probably one of my favorite submissions to date. As always, you can find Ali’s work on his website.
Lastly, not too long ago, we got several Elder Scrolls-inspired artwork from Maya. All of the art is impressive, but this one, entitled Demented, I find particularly hypnotizing. For more of Maya’s work, check out her page here.
As always, if you’re interested in having your art up on the blog, send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s Inside the Vault features Gary Noonan, one of our character artists. He does mostly animation, anything from creatures to weapons. However, he’s been here so long he’s done other work including creating character art, building levels, and cranking out sound effects.
Thought I’d share some interesting mentions that I came across today and over the weekend.
Next Generation has put up a retrospective piece on Morrowind that was recently in Edge. It’s crazy to think the game’s been on shelves for nearly six years. Here’s a sampling of the feature:
“The island of Morrowind that exists on the disc can be threadbare and tenuous, but be undeniable and persistent in your mind. Also, even on Xbox, it’s a game that throws up snapshots of austere, worldly beauty, where sunrise and landscape conspire against any shortcomings to provide a memorable montage; again, these moments feel personal in a way few other adventures can match.”