Inside the Vault: Josh Jones

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For this edition of Inside the Vault, meet artist, Josh Jones. He is the Lead Character Artist on Fallout 3. Josh is also our resident motion capture specialist — he also spends much of his time fine tuning our animation system.

What’s your job at Bethesda?

Lead Character Artist. I split my time between meetings and animation work. I also work a great deal with character rigging and other technical aspects of character art production.

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Ew, gross

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So if you were to wander by the cube of Grant Struthers (one of our artists) you would notice that Grant has a sign up outside his cube that is rather, ah, unique.

You see, Grant gets involved in some pretty different sorts of projects related to art and special effects and so forth. As was covered in his Inside the Vault interview, he was one of the driving forces behind the room that disolves into butterflies for the opening sequence in Shivering Isles. He also worked on the big nuke explosion we’re doing in Fallout 3 that is featured in the demo, etc.

Well current he’s working on Fallout 3 (blood effects, stuff like that) and apparently was getting comments/complaints from devs who were innocently dropping by his desk to chat about this or that and were completely disgusted by whatever happened to be on Grant’s screen (e.g., reference photos of cadavers, body parts, etc.).

So Grant figured he’d come up with a way to warn people about the dangers of looking at whatever he was working on or looking at at that particular moment, and came up with his own system for warning the unsuspecting.

I love this place.

Emil Talks More About Fallout 3 Dialogue

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Emil dropped me a note to let me know he posted in the forums today to clarify his comments a bit further as to dialogue, and what it does (or doesn’t) influence in terms of gameplay. Here’s an excerpt from his post:

I was specifically answering the question about whether or not dialogue affects the endgame. It doesn’t — not directly. The endgame itself doesn’t change based upon things you may or may not have said in dialogue. The endgame is affected by your actions. So that’s what I meant by, “We went back and forth with the impact of dialogue on the character, and ultimately decided we didn’t want to penalize or reward the player for carrying on a conversation.” And yeah, that was a pretty bad choice of words, because it seems like the things you say in dialogue don’t matter — and nothing could be further from the truth.

Believe me or not, but here’s the reality of dialogue in Fallout 3: it does matter. It matters more than dialogue in one of our games has ever mattered. I feel really comfortable saying that, because one of my responsibilities is editing and directing all the dialogue that gets written, and one of my personal crusades is pushing the NPC interactions to be more meaningful. We approached that level in Oblivion — now I really feel like we’ve truly reached it.

You can find his full post here.

1Up Chats with Emil

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Joe Rybicki did a 10 question interview with Emil, which is now up 1Up. Here’s a sample…

1UP: The “Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System” allows for very methodical combat. But you’ve mentioned that you don’t need to use VATS at all. How viable an option is run-n-gun? EP: You can play the entire game in first- or third-person without ever going into VATS. We never actually force you into VATS for combat. So if you just want to point your weapon and pull the trigger, go for it. That said, the game is very much an RPG and not a straight FPS, so your effectiveness with any weapon is dictated by your skills, as well as the condition of the weapon. If you find a crappy laser pistol and you’ve completely ignored the Energy Weapons skill, don’t expect to pull a Han Solo anytime soon, in or out of VATS. Personally, I use the run-n-gun method to take care of the weaker opponents, like Radroaches, and VATS for just about everything else; mostly because I’ve become addicted to the gory cinematic playback stuff.

Guten Morgen from Leipzig

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Really hadn’t had any time to put together an update from here in Germany so I thought I’d let folks know what’s going on here at the big games convention in Leipzig.

I’ve spent the last couple days, and roughly half of today, showing the Fallout 3 demo and giving interviews over here to a lot of European press that didn’t get to go to E3 (as well as to a number of folks that came back for a second showing). There’s a video interview up over at Gamestar* I’m told, ‘though I haven’t had a chance to watch it myself. Continue reading full article ›

Deadlines Looming

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We have not one, but two deadlines looming on Bethblog. As I announced in the forums yesterday, after this afternoon, we won’t be taking questions for the Fan Q&A for Fallout 3. We’ve gotten plenty of entries. I appointed Blinzler from our forums as the man in charge of compiling the final 20 questions for us to answer. Given that he resides in Jamaica, where Hurricane Dean hit, I’m willing to give him and his cohorts a little extra time to deliver the questions to us, and then we’ll probably take around a week to answer them. Anyhow, send your last minute questions to us via the blog.

In other deadline news, our Oblivion Iron Man Contest will conclude when the clock strikes 12 on Sunday. I’m assuming folks have been trying to pad their game times, because we haven’t gotten that many submissions over the past few days. Just remember, the winner is determined by the single game save with the most gameplay time recorded.

Inside the Vault: Megan Sawyer

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Today’s Inside the Vault is with Megan Sawyer. She spends much of her time on creating the “living” spaces of the world – cities, towns, and landscapes. If our team were to have super powers, one of them would be the ability to create large, beautiful environments for exploration. Megan helps make that happen. For those who might recognize Megan, she had a feature in the documentary included with the Collector’s Edition of Oblivion.
What’s your job at Bethesda?

I’m an environment artist. I work on everything from houses tolandscape textures. In Oblivion, I made the houses of Cheydinhal, sculpted the landscape around the whole city, created the bridges and cattails, and made the Dark Brotherhood entry door. I also created the landscape textures and overall feel of the Blackwood swamp region. Currently on Fallout I’ve worked on a few buildings, an area for the main quest, a lot of clutter, and am now working on landscape.

At night I fight crime!

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Fallout Geek Previews Fallout 3

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Knowing Will Porter as I do, I don’t think he’ll take offense to being labelled as a Fallout Geek. More like praise, or some sort of a badge of honor. I mean, the picture says plenty.

He’s made it well known how much he loves the Fallout series, so I was curious to read his take on what we showed in the demo. I got to chat with him briefly at E3 after the demo and he seemed to like it, but he’s now posted his lengthy preview over at CVG to give his more complete thoughts. It’s worth a read for what he thought, what he liked, as well as his cavaets.

Plus, the first two paragraphs are hilarious. And yes, Chevy Chase is a real place Will, we promise. He posts fairly regularly over at PC Zone’s blog as well if you enjoy reading his stuff.

Next week I’ll be returning to Leipzig for the games convention, this time to show off Fallout 3 over on that side of the pond. So I’m sure more previews are going to be coming out of that. Should be an interesting show.

Inside the Vault: Brendan Anthony

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Today’s Inside the Vault is with programmer, Brendan Anthony. He’s not responsible for any specific area or systems, per se – its more like we give him a list of cool stuff we want in the game and he makes it happen.

What’s your job at Bethesda?

The standard job description is “I make things blow up.” I’m a programmer and I work with physics, magic, special effects, and lots of general gameplay code. I’m very lucky in that I’ve been able to implement some pretty sweet features over the years — some days, if you were to hang around outside my cube, you would just hear bursts of laughter erupting over and over as I “test” explosions or crazy physics effects.

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