Brink pre-order bonuses announced

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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.

Full details after the jump…

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Voice cast for New Vegas announced!

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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.

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Brink Developer Diary #1 — The Last Stand

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.

For more information on Brink, visit the game’s official site.

On Inception, Part 2: Joel Burgess

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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.

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id introduces two QUAKE LIVE subscription packages

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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’ version is 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.

To create a QUAKE LIVE account and for more information please visit: http://www.quakelive.com.

UPDATE: QUAKE LIVE is back up and running. The team will continue to monitor the situation… now get back to the action!

On Inception, Part 1: Emil Pagliarulo

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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.

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QuakeCon 2010 Panels and Special Presentations Schedule

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Before we head out for the weekend, we wanted to share some exciting news about the panels we have planned for QuakeCon 2010. In addition to folks you know and love from Bethesda Game Studios and id Software (including the likes of Todd Howard and John Carmack), some of our favorite people in the industry will be attending.  Below is the schedule of events…

Thursday

‘The World of Design’ Panel

12.30pm in the Cortez Room

  • Joel Burgess, Bethesda Game Studios
  • Matt Hooper, id Software
  • Neil Alphonso, Splash Damage
  • Todd Alderman, Respawn Entertainment

QuakeCon Kick Off — 2:30pm in the Grand Ballroom

  • Todd Hollenshead will welcome attendees to QuakeCon 2010

Keynote — 2:30pm in the Grand Ballroom

  • John Carmack’s Annual Keynote address to QuakeCon attendees

“Rocket Talk” — 5:30pm in the Grand Ballroom

  • John Carmack and Richard Garriott share their passion for Rockets and space travel in this special QuakeCon presentation

Check out the rest of the schedule after the break…

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First RAGE hands-on preview gets quad-cover

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The first hands-on preview of RAGE is coming in the next issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine, complete with ten pages of in-depth coverage. To mark the occasion, four different covers have been pressed for publication, each featuring a different enemy from the game’s unfriendly wasteland.

Grab a quick look at each of the covers in the gallery below, and be on the look-out for the September issue of PTOM, coming soon to a newsstand near you.

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Sneak peek at the Fallout: New Vegas graphic novel

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The Collector’s Edition of Fallout: New Vegas will come packed with all kinds of excellent extras — not the least of which is “All Roads,” a hardcover graphic novel written by New Vegas creative director Chris Avellone that acts as a prequel to the game.

Today we’re announcing that comic icon Geof Darrow — best known for contributing art to Hard Boiled, Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot and The Matrix films — has put his considerable talents to work on a cover for “All Roads,” with Peter Doherty providing colors. The graphic novel also features art by Jean Diaz (Incorruptible) and Wellinton Alves (Marvel’s Shadowland: Blood on the Streets, Nova).

You can check out a small slice of Darrow and Doherty’s large-scale, dual-page piece above. For a closer look at the bigger picture, you’ll need to head down to Comic-Con, where Darrow and Avellone will be handing out signed “All Roads” lithographs at the Dark Horse Comics booth. Here are all the relevant details:

Both Geof Darrow and Chris Avellone will be signing special lithographs featuring the full cover art at the Dark Horse booth (Booth #2615) at Comic-Con International in San Diego on Saturday, July 24 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm.

The Fallout: New Vegas collector’s edition, which is available available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Games for Windows, can be pre-ordered now through participating retailers. Fallout: New Vegas will be released in North America on October 19, 2010 and across Europe on October 22, 2010.