Update from E3 (it turns out it isn’t dead)

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Well, Ash is right that E3 as we know it is dead, or, as we knew it anyway. No giant convention center with huge, loud booths. No 80K people trying to cram in to see everything. It’s no spectacle, that’s for sure.

But, it is still here. And so far, I love it. It definitely feels smaller and more under control. Some thoughts and highlights so far:

  • Really nice hotel in Santa Monica and the beach is just…right there. Emil’s first time seeing the Pacific Ocean.
  • Our booth is downstairs from the rooms we’re in, so instead of 45 minutes in a van in LA traffic at some ridiculous hour, we take an elevator two floors to get to our booth. Takes 2 minutes. This, alone, makes this the greatest E3 ever.
  • It’s mostly about the press, which is good, because that in and of itself is a huge chore to try to handle. Lot of folks from all over are here and getting them into our limited number of demo slots is no small task without also having to worry about sales folks and so on.
  • Weather in Santa Monica in July vs. DC — 75 degrees and sunny with a breeze off the ocean vs. 98 degrees with unbearable humidity….hmmm, tough call there.
  • Brilliant cupcake place around the corner from our hotel. Apparently this is the new thing in California, or at least, in LA. Somebody needs to start this in DC. Like, now.
  • The poster I wanted to do for our little party tomorrow is pretty brilliant. Will post an image of it sometime later this week.
  • Todd was looking for new sunglasses while he, Emil, and I took a walk down the the pier/boardwalk. Unfortunately, we were not able to convince him to buy the glasses in the photo. At least we’ll always have the photo.

Smothered, Scattered, and Covered

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So PC Gamer UK has unveiled their cover story on Fallout 3, which should be out now pretty much everywhere you would normally find it. Editor-in-chief Ross Atherton himself came out to see the game and write the article, and I think you’ll find it’s a pretty informative look at what we’re doing. Clearly Ross liked the game…a lot…so it’s hard for us not to be enthusiastic about the story.

And if you’re not able to get your hands on the Game Informer story, nor the PC Gamer UK issue, fear not, for there are plenty of other features coming out in the weeks in countries around the world. A short list of mags we’re allowed to talk about includes:

  • Level – Czech Republic
  • Pelaaja – Finland
  • PC Jeux – France
  • PC Action – Germany
  • PC Guru – Hungary
  • Giochi per il mio computer- Italy
  • 360 Gamer – UK

I’ll update the list with all of the other countries as soon as I get the ok from the various magazines.

Eurogamer Interviews Fallout 3 Team Members

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Coverage from our Fallout 3 media event continues to roll out this month. A day or two ago I noticed that the guys over at Eurogamer posted their interview with lead producer, Gavin Carter, and lead designer, Emil Pagliarulo, about working on the development of Fallout 3. Within the interview, the guys sound off on inspirations for creating Fallout 3, past experiences in working on games, and the moral issues that arise in playing Fallout 3.

Here’s a sample of the interview…

Eurogamer: With a background developing the Elder Scrolls games, but taking on an Interplay title, which legacy do you think Fallout 3 follows?

Emil Pagliarulo: Me personally, I really feel like we’re making a game in the legacy of the Fallout games. It’s so different than working with the Elder Scrolls stuff. It’s first-person, and that’s it. Actually it’s interesting for me – it harkens back for me to some of the most enjoyable first-person games I’ve ever played, the Terminator games Bethesda made. Fallout 3 is Bethesda’s triumphant return to gunplay games, after swords and sorcery for so long. For me it’s about bringing back /that/ legacy.

Gavin Carter: I feel like when people see it’s first-person they’re going to say, “Oh, there’s Oblivion. It’s Oblivion with guns.” But honestly there’s not a single thing we didn’t look at and think, how are we going to do this for Fallout? We stripped out our entire character system. It’s all Fallout now, with specials and experience, it’s not skill based. The whole questing system is Fallout. There are different paths to all the quests, you can lock yourself out of quests. It’s not like Oblivion where you can say, “I’ve just started in the Fighter’s Guild, but I’m the Grey Fox.” There’s nothing in the game that we haven’t looked at as its own thing.

MMMMMmmmm…..Caaaaaake

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So, folks have talked about the Bloody Mess cake we did, and a number of people asked about it and how we did it and so forth, so I figured I’d go ahead and explain how it came to be.

My wife occasionally watches this show ‘Ace of Cakes’ about a company in Baltimore, Charm City Cakes, that makes really cool cakes. (The show largely centers on Duff, who owns the place and is the head chef and so forth.) So one day I’m watching the show with her and Duff is making a cake for his dad’s birthday and it’s this surprise cake he made him that was a rocket, or a plane, or something…it’s not important.

What is important is he had some kind of fireworks in part of it, which he lit at one point to make it look like it was flying, and that’s when I got the idea to do a Bloody Mess cake. Bloody Mess is one of my favorite things about Fallout. It’s just so meaningless; no gameplay purpose whatsoever. Just more bloody deaths than normal, represented by this icon of a smiling Vault Boy casually blowing another guy away…and it’s captured a fraction of a second after he’s pulled the trigger. It’s just genius on every level.

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Fallout 3 Pic Pack/Theme/Trailer on Live

Many of us here have been waiting and wanting Fallout stuff to use for a gamer pics and themes since…forever. Finally today the wait is over as you can now grab a pack of Fallout 3 gamer pics. The pic pack (100 points) features several variations of Vault Boy plus a Brotherhood of Steel image, as well as a theme (150 points) for your Live blades featuring the Craig Mullins concept art you’ve undoubtably seen already.

Finally, a pic to match my motto. And, if you want to see the teaser trailer in full 720p glory, you can download that off of Live as well.

Major Nelson to Ground Control

Podcasting fans should know that our very own Pete Hines sat down with Major Nelson to discuss Fallout 3 in his most recent podcast. In addition to Fallout discussion, the Major talks chats with Peter Zyniewicz and Duane Colbert about Vampire Rain and Project Sylpheed, as well as Lead Designer of The Darkness, Jens Andersson. Pete might be my boss, but I’m also downloading now for The Darkness Coverage. I played the game for a few hours of the weekend, and it’s definitely got the same charm Riddick had a few years back.

Speaking of Major Nelson, Pete and I were talking this morning and he pointed out to me Major Nelson’s site is reporting that Oblivion ranked #6 last week for Xbox Live Activity. A pretty amazing stat considering this game has been out since March 2006. Gears of War, which was released last November, still reigns supreme on LIVE and is the next oldest title in the top 10. Check out the rest of the list here.

More News on Fallout 3

Kotaku has posted a list of facts that Michael Fahey gleaned from the Q&A session and from the demo that weren’t included in his original writeup. And if you missed any of his other posts about the Fallout event, Kotaku has summed them all up here.

RPG Vault’s Richard Aihoshi shares his positive reactions after seeing the game at our event.

“Scooter” Nguyen has a four page preview for Gamespy that touches on most of the areas shown within the demonstration for the game.

Our German readers may be interested to know there’s a brief teaser article up at PC Action related to their upcoming cover story.

After a brief false start, Game Revolution has posted their thoughts on the Fallout 3 demo.

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Fallout 3 First Looks

Happy Sunday everyone. Since more of these will probably continue to pop-up I’m just going to add new ones to the bottom of the list as they come in.

Rainier over at Worthplaying dropped me a note to let me know their preview of Fallout 3 is up, which includes five screens and some thoughts on their first look at Fallout 3.

Joystiq also has up their first look, as well as additional details in handy bullet point form, suitable for framing.

Gamespot has a hefty two-page preview up over on their site.

Wenn Sie Deutschen lesen können, hat buffed.de ihre Vorbetrachtung des radioaktiven Niederschlags 3 oben. PC Action will have a cover story on Fallout 3 in their next issue, which is out July 20. Wundervoll!

Kris Graft over at Next-Gen.biz has a lengthy preview up that talks about the game, my alleged sprinkler dance, and a shot of the Bloody Mess cake I had made (I’ll put a separate entry together about that tomorrow).

Hit the jump to see the rest of today’s coverage.

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Sports Talk Radio Discusses Fallout?!?

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On KFAN Sports Radio‘s weekly gaming podcast, Video Games Weekly, the hosts discuss Fallout 3 with Game Informer’s Matt Miller (who as you know, wrote the Fallout 3 feature in GI). The podcast also addresses new releases (The Bigs, The Darkness, and my new favorite Pac Man: Championship Ediditon), as well as other topics about the gaming industry. As the podcast comes from their radio broadcast, the hosts also address questions from the audience.

My favorite moment is their sound bite of one of my favorite (and most hilarious) lines of dialogue from any game ever. Also, it sounds like Matt Miller would have been pretty envious of me, since I got to screen Transformers last night.

Pretty cool show with enjoyable hosts to listen to. Check out the podcast here