After a long hiatus, we’re back. We’re here to talk with Matt Killmon, video producer. His most recent work, the trailer for The Pitt, can be found here.
What’s your job at Bethesda?
I’m the video producer at ZeniMax Media, which means I do all the video work for Bethesda’s internal and external projects, as well as other games published by ZeniMax’s mobile gaming division, Vir2L. Trailers, promo footage, b-roll for news organizations, even in-game video… anything that’s video is my responsibility.
No, this isn’t like that episode of the Brady Bunch where Peter sings “Time to Change.” Designer Erik J. Caponi is talking about “mature games” in a new Kotaku feature “Growing Up Games: When Will Mature, Mature?” Here’s a snippet of him discussing different definitions of what a mature game is:
“The word really has two meanings when we apply it to media. One is ‘not appropriate for children’ and the other is ‘exploring subject matter in a sophisticated fashion,'” Caponi explains. “Ironically, the word mature when applied to games tends to have a very childish connotation.”
In what ways did you take Fallout3’s day/night cycle into consideration, so that your work looked consistently good in all the various light models and times of day?
Rashad: We use these full screen image processes similar to how film is tinted to color grade our environments, and we actually spent a lot of time tweaking the day and night cycles along with these image processes to give us the look we wanted. In our editor you can scrub through the different times of day and see how the color shifts affect the art, and we were very mindful of our color palette and art style throughout that process.
Additionally, both VG247 and Totally 360 spoke with Jeff about the DLC. Here’s a look at the latter interview:
The effect of entering Oasis or Operation: Anchorage was quite powerful given what a radical change it was from the Capital Wasteland, can we expect something similar here?
Jeff: The Pitt itself is the vision of several developers who grew up in Pittsburgh. It’s full of unique architecture that has a different color pallet and feel from downtown D.C. The buildings are decrepit, but still intact. The Raider area is filled with their usual displays of disemboweled corpses and spray paint. Perhaps the most striking part of the Pitt is the bridge that leads into it and the ominous black smog that erupts from the still working Steel Mill.
Finally, Pete was interviewed on Sports Byline, a national sports radio station, to discuss Fallout 3 on their Video Game Review segment. You can listen below.
As previously mentioned, the trailer for The Pitt debuted on Gametrailers TV late on Friday night. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s now up on their site.
Moving on to other news, nominees for the ELAN Awards have been announced with Fallout 3 receiving nods in the following categories: Videogame of the Year, Best Console Game, Best PC Game, Best Sound in a Videogame Production, Best Art Direction, Best Game Design, and Outstanding Technical Direction.
What mistakes and triumphs did Bethesda learned from Oblivion that helped you with Fallout 3?
A lot of it was learning about the big, open-ended experience. What kinds of things did people like or not like? How do we do that better, and different, in the Fallout universe. Technically we learned a lot about how to make the game run better on all these platforms, but much of it comes from the player experience and what they can do, and see, from moment to moment. I’m sure we’ll learn a lot from Fallout 3 we can put into our next project.
That’s all for now. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend.
We heard there will be an Arena, Mad Max style. Can you tell us more about that part of the DLC?
Jeff : At a certain point in the quest the player will have to prove their worth and fight a series of battles in the Pitt, a fighting area situated underneath the Steel Mill. Raiders climb the fence above the pitt as the player is challenged variety of foes. Each fight starts with barrels of toxic radiation being dropped down, which adds an additional element of tension. Depending on the player’s previous choices and allegiances, they’ll have different weaponry and other unique items at their disposal.
The premise of the story ties in very closely with the original Fallout lore but tries to expand upon a significant part of what is currently left unanswered. That mainly being what has happened to the state and people of Europe since the war of 2077. This mod tries to explore that idea with a story driven mod about Europeans who come to America on a quest to recover and research PreWar technology.
Now a member of the Splash Damage team, Neil’s already done a developer Q&A on their site. Here’s a quick look…
What do you do at Splash Damage?
Neil: As Lead Level Designer, I maintain a high level overview of all the different levels in the game, and make sure they fit in with the game’s vision and work together to create something stronger than the sum of the parts. I am of course responsible for the quality of the work our department delivers, but with the talent of the team I’ve inherited, I don’t have to give guidance as much as clear obstacles out of their paths so they can get on with doing their jobs. It’s also my duty to help prioritize different assets and features from other departments that will effect the work of our team, and then chase people around to make sure they get done!
We’re excited about Neil joining the Splash Damage team. When we have new details on the project he’ll be working on, we’ll let you know.
For awhile now, I’ve been interviewing folks from our Fallout/Elder Scrolls mod community. After talking with some guys at the office, we decided it might be fun to interview a different kind of mod — our forum moderators.
We kick of “Meet the Moderators” this week with Rebecca Mueller, otherwise known in the forums as Summer. Summer is a Retired CCRN BSN MS (that’s fancy for being a nurse) and lives in the great state of Alaska.
“Where most designers tend to think in terms of simplicity and economy, Howard’s games have been defined by a staggering sense of scale and immersion that few others can match.”
The list is still ongoing, but there’s some of names worth mentioning. Morrowind/Oblivion composer Jeremy Soule cracked the list at #86. Meanwhile, Fallout fans might recognize a few other names on the list, including Feargus Urquhart (#89), Tim Cain (#85), and Chris Avellone (#80).
Sticking with developer news, if you haven’t seen it already, Todd answered questions for G4 while at this year’s D.I.C.E. Summit. In the ten minute interview, he discusses The Pitt, answers reader questions, and more.
Emil is in the news in a few places, too. At Edge, he was honored in their Hot 100 Games Developers list (#17). Meanwhile, a new feature on storytelling in games features him as well. You can read that here.
This week we’ve got a modding interview with LizTail — a programmer from North Carolina. LizTail is an active modder of Morrowind and his hobbies include gaming, programming, anime, movies, 2D and 3D art, reading, and writing.