With a blend of studio news and casual discussion, the Bethesda Podcast will offer an inside look at a wide range of subjects. Our first episode kicks off with a quick update on Fallout: New Vegas from senior producer Jason Bergman, including a sampling of the game’s unique soundtrack. Then it’s on to a lengthy talk with Bethesda’s Todd Howard and id Software’s Tim Willits on a number of topics, including QuakeCon, post-apocalyptic games, and what the two studios are working on.
Moar Brink news! We’ve also just announced Brink’s digital pre-order bonuses for North American retailers. Extend your customization options even further with the exclusive DOOM, Fallout, Psycho and Spec Ops packs. Each contains unique apparel, tattoos, weapons and weapon attachments for your in-game character. These pre-order bonuses will be offered exclusively through participating North American retailers and will be made available in Europe and Australia in the coming weeks.
The id guys were just on stage demonstrating RAGE on three platforms at once. Near the end, they announced a somewhat important detail: RAGE is now headed for store shelves on September 13, 2011 in the US and September 16 in Europe.
We’re still in the thick of QuakeCon, but we’ll be back later to put up brand new screenshots.
In both the print and online editions of USA Today, you can find information on star-studded voice over cast for Fallout: New Vegas. The article featured on the front page of today’s Life section, written by Mike Snider, can be read online here, while an additional article on Game Hunters provides additional info.
Additionally, we put out a release this morning about the cast. Read it after the break.
We’ve just released Brink’s first video developer diary, “The Last Stand,” and have made it available to watch both on our YouTube Channel. Go behind the scenes with the team at Splash Damage as they discuss the war-torn setting of the Ark and the factions vying for control of it.
Last week we tore apart Christopher Nolan’s Inception with Emil Pagliarulo. Today we continue the discussion with Fallout 3 lead architect/level designer Joel Burgess, who managed to tie in the Pisa Effect, the Rule of Right, and flying meatballs.
Inception’s dream levels are mostly grounded in reality. On the game side of things, you guys create fantasy worlds, but they have their own set of rules that aren’t too far off from reality in many ways.
There are certain expectations people have of reality. And unless you’re going very out there and fabricating an entirely different reality with its own rules, people still have very specific expectations about the heft of something, or the rules of physics.
There’s actually something we refer around here to “The Pisa Effect.” The idea behind the Pisa Effect is that something like the Tower of Pisa, when you see it in the real world, is backed up by the fact that it’s reality. So you see it, and it’s weird, and you say, “Oh that’s crazy,” but you buy it.
But if that was in a video game, and somebody had never seen the Tower of Pisa, they’d be like, “That would fall right over, that’s dumb, this game is stupid.” And as the level designer, you can point at the Tower of Pisa as much as you want and say “this happens in the real world,” but it doesn’t matter, because it’s about the player’s perception. If the player expects it to fall over, then the player is right and you do it differently.
After being down for a day, QUAKE LIVE players missing their online fragging fix can return to action later today — as the game has officially exited beta! In addition to the ‘Standard’ free-to-play version, in a press release today, we’ve announced ‘Premium’ and ‘Pro’ subscriptions — adding new maps, game modes, and plenty more. Details below…
The Premium Subscription, which can be purchased for $1.99 per month, billed annually, includes:
Access to 20 QUAKE LIVE Premium only maps at launch with more to come. Premium maps are a combination of brand new maps and frequently requested community favorites from previous QUAKE games such as Aerowalk, Theater of Pain,Japanese Castles, and Realm of Steel Rats;
An all new ‘Freeze Tag’ game mode;
Exclusive premium level awards;
Create your own clan and join up to five separate clans;
Custom QUAKE LIVE profile wallpaper; and
Match statistics stored for six months.
The Pro Subscription, which can be purchased for $3.99 per month, billed annually, includes all of the premium subscription features as well as:
The ability to start your own game server, specify a server location, determine the game mode and invite who you want to join you;
With the Pro Subscription, you can invite three friends with Standard level memberships to play with you in any Premium level map;
Exclusive pro awards;
Create your own clan and join up to ten separate clans; and
Match statistics stored for 12 months.
The QUAKE LIVE ‘Standard’ versionis still free to play and includes friend lists, access to one clan, matchmaking, and stats tracking delivered through a web browser with over 40 arenas and five game modes.
Video games have certainly inspired plenty of movies, but mainly in the area of bullet-time acrobatics and CG-laden effects sequences; it’s rare to find a film that specifically reflects the artistic creation of a game. So it was surprising when Inception not only brought the submachineguns, but also the subtext.
Plenty of Bethesda developers dug the film, so we sat down with a few to extract some of their thoughts. First up is a chat with Emil Pagliarulo, point man/lead designer on Fallout 3. Warning: some slight Inception spoilers follow.
I’ve heard people call Inception the first movie about game design. Going into it, were you conscious of any analogy to games?
No, I wasn’t conscious of any of that — it actually surprised me. And then with the Ariadne character [played by Ellen Page], they actually talk about the dreams being “levels.”
Right, “level creator,” or however they termed it.
Right, and then it was like, oh, whoa, okay. And it totally took on this other weird meaning. Up until that point, I had been thinking about the movie solely as a dream. But once they brought up the term “level,” then you can’t help but think about losing your consciousness when playing a game, and what that means. Sort of the same type of stuff that James Cameron did with Avatar, making the fantasy your reality, and where does one stop and the other begins.