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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Fallout Community Q&A Arrives

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As many of you know, we announced a community Q&A for Fallout 3 a couple of weeks ago. Since Blinzler was so eager to see a community Q&A, I put him in charge of compiling questions that YOU wanted to know about. Not an easy task, considering he (with the help of some folks he selected) had to filter through pages of suggestions in the forums, as well as look at stuff I forwarded from our inbox, and of course, this blog. Did I mention he did all of this while living through a hurricane? Big props to Blinzler!

So head on over to our Fallout forums and take a look at the answers that Todd came up with. Here’s a sample:

14. You have talked a lot about choices and consequences in the quest design. Are you aiming for immediate feedback, or long term (and possibly unforeseeable) consequences? In addition to moral choices, will different characters be able to tackle tasks using their different skill sets? [GhanBuriG]

It’s a bit of both, overall I think the player needs something immediate, or they don’t know if they actually accomplished anything, or felt what they just did had any meaning whatsoever. The longer term stuff is great to surprise the player with, whether it’s positive or negative, but if it’s a surprise, you need to be careful, because that can be frustrating, so you give the player another route, or simply treat the consequence as a flavor thing, and not a game-changing thing.

In regards to using different skills, most definitely, yes. We’re really pushing on that, and I think that’s the crux of the game – what skills you use, so each quest or goal of the player’s can be accomplished in different ways using different skills. Even in dialogue we’re using a lot of different skills, depending on who you’re talking to So if you’re talking to a scientist, your Science skill may give you an extra dialogue option.

“The Feel-Good Hit of the Summer”

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In post-apocalyptic news, Emil dropped me a note that over on Dark Horizons there’s a post referencing an Entertainment Weekly story that Viggo Mortensen is in talks about playing the role of the father in a movie adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” a book that has been very popular around the office. I borrowed a copy from Josh Jones and finally got around to reading it during my trip to Leipzig.

Anyway, Viggo would be fracking awesome. He’s perfect. Hope they get him, and can’t wait to see who they get for his kid. Not familiar with the work of the guys they have doing the adaptation (Joe Penhall) or directing (John Hillcoat), but I’d love to see this movie happen. As bleak a picture as has ever been painted of a post-nuclear world.

If you haven’t read it already, you need to. It’s that good.

Continued Leipzig Coverage

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Thought I’d share a few links to some Leipzig coverage of Fallout 3 from the past week.

Spanish gaming site HardGame2.com seems to have enjoyed their screening of the demo at GC. The game walked away with their award for “Best RPG” on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. The game also captured their “Best Xbox” game award, as well as the “2nd Absolute Best Game in the Show” behind Mafia II. If you’re fluent in Spanish, you can also read Roberto Hidalgo Burgos’ preview that’s on their site. We’ve got a bit of it translated below:

“Even if at E3 it was barely shown, at GC we enjoyed an in-game demo of more than an hour, where Bethesda left us completely stunned in the same way they do about a year ago with Oblivion. Fallout 3 unites again in a title a wide and diverse gaming experience, with top-notch graphics, all wrapped with a rich and highly immersive background, promising dozens of gaming hours.”

In other international coverage, Scandinavian game site Game Reactor is hosting an interview up with Emil Pagliarulo in which Emil talks about his favorite elements of Fallout, some of the creatures that will appear in the game, and more.

Finally, back here in the states, GamePro writer Vicious Sid has put up his preview that covers some of the basics about the game:

“Just before the war, many sought refuge is massive underground bunkers called Vaults. Once sealed, the Vaults are sealed permanently — nobody enters, nobody leaves. This is the dark world of Fallout, a cult hit on the PC in the late 90’s and now an upcoming action-RPG from Bethesda Softworks, creator of The Elder Scrolls series.”

Update: Looks like there’s another Spanish preview up on Meristation. Time to head over to Babelfish.