One Day Left! Time is Running Out! Act Now!

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The Fallout 10th Anniversary contest is coming to a close. Tomorrow, just before the stroke of midnight, we will close the contest and then figure out which of the gazillion entries is the big weiner winner. There have been quite a few terrific entries, and numerous noble efforts. We’ll get into our favorites and all of that once it’s all said and done, but thanks to everyone that entered.

If you’ve been brainstorming for that one brilliant idea, I’d go ahead and put fingers to keys and submit your entry before it’s too late.

On the Road…again

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So I’m back out on the road for the first of two trips over the next three weeks following up with folks who didn’t get a chance to see Fallout 3 at E3 or Leipzig. We really aren’t doing it for more coverage, but to make sure folks at different sites and publications have had a chance to see it. Often times a given publication may only have one or two folks come by to see the demo during a trade show like E3, which is fine for the purpose of a particular preview or article. However, as you go forward you work with a variety of folks on feature articles, stories, and so forth, and it’s important for them to have seen the game for themselves. So this week I’m in San Fran to see a number of folks.

James Mielke over at 1Up put up a post on his blog talking about seeing the Fallout demo for the first time. Here’s an excerpt from his post:

Being the busy bee that I am, I don’t usually get to play too many games at E3, and that being the case, I definitely didn’t get to see Bethesda‘s stunning Fallout 3 in action. Well, today Bethesda’s VP of PR came through the offices and gave us a very articulate walkthrough of the new game’s features and mechanics. I asked a lot of questions and got a lot of answers, and as someone who has had a hard time getting into Oblivion, I have to say, Fallout 3 really blew me away.

Read the rest of James’ thoughts at his blog at 1Up. In addition, I did a podcast session with the boys at IGN this afternoon that is now available should you have any desire to listen to that sort of thing. You can find it here.

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.

Conquest Screens for Wii, PS2

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On Friday we released our latest Bethesda Softworks Newsletter. Along with touching on the Fighter’s Stronghold download and the Fallout 1oth Anniversary Contest, we also revealed some new screens for the PS2 and Wii versions of Star Trek: Conquest.

Today, the new screens are available on our Star Trek site. Three of the screens are from the PS2 release of the game. We’ve also got two new Wii screenshots up, including the one shown above, which offers a glimpse at how you can simulate combat within the game.

In other Conquest news, check out new interviews regarding the game on Armchair General and Star Trek Gamers.

Inside the Vault: Clara Struthers

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Today’s Inside the Vault features artist, Clara Struthers. She is married to Inside the Vault veteran, Grant Struthers. Clara is a world artist, who creates cities and other large game spaces. Currently, she’s hard at work building some amazing areas in Fallout 3. Clara created Anvil, my personal favorite city in Oblivion (where my characters liked to vacation when they needed a break from looking AWE–wait for it

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Pete talks Fallout 3 with PlayStation Universe

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Justin at PlayStation Universe just let us know that he posted his interview with Pete on their site. Among other things, Pete answers Fallout 3 questions relating to VATS, how the game stands apart from Oblivion, and course, there’s some PS3-specific questions too (it is a PlayStation news site afterall).

Here’s a sample of what he had to say:

Q: How does the melee system in Fallout 3 exactly work? How will the VATS system focus its efforts with the melee system?

A: The goal is to balance the game so that you never have to fire a gun if that’s not the kind of character you are role-playing. So you can use different types of melee weapons in close range and use VATS to target body parts just like you can with a gun. How “exactly” it works is one of many things we are working on at the moment and it continues to get changed and refined until we feel like we have it “just right.”

To read the rest of Justin’s interview with Pete, just click here.

Happy Birthday Fallout! Who Wants Cake? Fallout Perk Contest Announced

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10 years ago Fallout was finished and began making its journey into the hands and hearts of RPG fans everywhere. Seems more like a birthday than an anniversary. Perhaps it’s both. I do actually remember the release of Fallout in part because at the time I was working (part-time) at The Adrenaline Vault and Interplay was one of “my companies.”

In other words, I was our main point of contact for them, reviewed and previewed most of their games, etc. (along with 3DO, Interactive Magic, MGM Interactive, 7th Level…I sense a trend here). I don’t think I reviewed it because we had someone at AVault who was focusing on RPGs at the time and I let them review it, since they had primarily played every other RPG that was out at the time. But I did play it and I kept my copy, which sits proudly…somewhere in my office, I think. Sorry, off on a tangent here…where were we?

Fallout. 10 years. We bounced around a lot of ideas on how we could best honor Fallout and its 10th Anniversary/Birthday. We decided that we should do something we’ve never done before for any of our games (that I’m aware of anyway): give fans a chance to create something we’ll use in the game. We talked about it and we thought perhaps the best option was to do something where folks could be creative in a way that is very much Fallout, and not have it be overly complex. We also didn’t want it to be trivial (e.g., “name this person, creature, thing”).

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Gavin talks Fallout 3 with Gameshark

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With most of the big gaming events (TGS, Leipzig, E3) behind us, the trickle of coverage for Fallout 3 has subsided a little bit. That said, this week Gameshark was able to sit down with Lead Producer Gavin Carter to discuss a few items about the game. Here’s a sample of what he had to say:

Gameshark: The SPECIAL character development system from the first two Fallout games is back. How will it be different (if at all)?

Gavin: We’re using the SPECIAL character system and making few changes to it. The stats all play nicely with our gameplay design. For instance, Perception still feeds into seeing enemies and Agility still affects your action points, which are used for VATS mode. Any of the SPECIAL stats (as well as skills) can be polled in dialog and give you access to different options. Some perks also require a minimum score in a SPECIAL stat for you to use them, as well.

Head over to Gameshark to read the rest of the interview

Inside the Vault: Mark Lampert

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Today’s Inside the Vault is with Mark Lampert, our sound engineer. Mark actually wrote a team diary on Elderscrolls.com about the sound effects and voice recordings for Oblivion – a great read. Another fun fact: Mark was our first mocap stunt man – in early Fallout builds, it was Mark’s walk and crouch that were in the game.

What’s your job at Bethesda?

I’m the sound engineer, and I handle all aspects of the sound design for Bethesda Game Studios. In addition I do the voice casting, recording and editing, plus any post processing such as voice effects, and I share in directing, typically with the lead designer of a project. There’s also a little bit of music work in terms of mastering our chosen composer’s tracks for the game, and sometimes I end up writing little bits and pieces of things here and there as needed.
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Going GameCrazy in Vegas

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You may have noticed that I hadn’t posted anything new on the blog for a few days. I was out in Las Vegas for a GameCrazy retail event. The event pulls together folks from their stores around the country, and gives them an opportunity to take a look at what game companies have coming out.

Above is our booth from the event. There was some initial panic on my end because it took awhile for our monitors to arrive, and when they did, I realized they didn’t have any speakers. Thankfully, everything came together before the show started.

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