Weekend Update

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In case you missed these, here’s plenty of stories you can read up on…

At last week’s GDC, Emil participated in two events. On Wednesday, he joined Shadow of the Colossus/Ico creator Fumito Ueda (Team Ico) and No More Heroes creator Goichi Suda (Grasshopper Manufacture) for the developer panel “Evolving Game Design: Today and Tomorrow, East and West Game Design.” You can check out some of their discussion at Shacknews. Additionally, on Friday, Emil had the keynote for GDC’s Game Career Seminar. There’s a pretty good recap of the address here at Gamespot.

In case you didn’t already know it, The Pitt takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of the Steel City. With the news of a game taking place in their town, Pittsburgh Station KDKA talked with Jeff Gardiner about the game’s take on the city.

Last week IGN Australia held their awards for the best games of 2008 — where Fallout 3 captured the IGN Select Award for Game of the Year, as well as Best PC Game. The game also received Runner Up honors in several categories — including the all-important Best Widow Maker category.

In our final update on the March Mayhem Developers Showdown, we bowed out of the competition after losing a very close matchup (51% to 49% ) to Turbine. You may recall that Turbine ousted us in the Final Four of last year’s showdown.

What we’re playing: Pre-Pitt release edition

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Before The Pitt hits tomorrow, here’s a few bits of coverage you’ll want to check out.

At Major Nelson’s blog, be sure to give his latest podcast a listen, as Todd Howard makes his first ever appearance. Starting 23:02 into the podcast, they discuss Fallout 3 DLC, game demos, and even the games that Todd is currently playing.

Jeff continues to tackle questions on The Pitt. You can find his answers for the XCN here, as well as a new interview at Talking About Games. Here’s a look at the latter:

Can players revisit Pittsburgh once the quests are finished, or will their excursion be a one-time trip?

JG: The players can revisit The Pitt and there are a handful of repeatable quests, unique vendors, and the city will be affected by the decisions the player made to solve the quest.

In non-DLC news, GameBanshee has completed their walkthrough guide for Fallout 3. If you’re finding yourself stuck in the game, be sure to give it a look.

Finally, while the Bethesda Blog editors no longer have a team to root for in the NCAA Tourament, the dev team advanced in The Escapists’ March Mayhem bracket. In the latest matchup, we’re paired against Treasure.

Inside the Vault: Matt Killmon

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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.

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Around the Web: Erik talks about maturing

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.”

Elsewhere, be sure to also read CG Society’s new interview with Fallout 3 Environment Artist Rashad Redic — previously featured here for Inside the Vault. Given that the interview comes post-release, you’ll get a chance to learn a little more about Rashad’s role and what he worked on for Fallout 3. Here’s an excerpt:

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.

I guess I missed it when I put up Pete’s Gametrailers interview from D.I.C.E., but there’s also a new one with Todd. Watch it above.

More news after the break…

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Around the web: Updates on The Pitt

Here’s another round of web updates.

While at D.I.C.E., Pete took time to do an interview with Game Trailers. You can watch it above.

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.

Weekend Update: The Pitt trailer at Gametrailers

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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.

At PSDTUTS, both Fallout 3 and Oblivion were included in a list of the Top 40 Video Game Covers of All Time.

Finally, Canadian site Game Focus has a new interview with Pete that went up today. Here’s a snippet:

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.

New at Planet Fallout

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Just a few things you might be interested in at Planet Fallout.

The staff have a new interview with DLC Producer Jeff Gardiner. Here’s a quick look:

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.

Blinzler continues his State of Modding interviews. The most recent interviews are with Antistar, who created Weapon Mod Kits and the Project Valhalla Team. Here’s an excerpt from the latter:

What is “Project Valhalla” about?

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.

Moving along, J3X put up a new trailer for Enclave Commander — coinciding with the release of version 0.8. You can watch it after the break…

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Splash Damage lands Killzone 2 Lead Level Designer

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In this week’s Splash Damage update, we’ve got some hiring news. Our friends in London today announced the addition of Neil Alphonso, who worked as the Lead Level Designer on Killzone 2.

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.

Weekend Update: Fallout 3 named top 360 game at GameSpy

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Hope everyone is having a great weekend. If you’re looking for some news to read, here’s a couple updates we thought you might be interested in.

All this week GameSpy has been counting down their list of the The Top 25 Xbox 360 Games of All Time (So Far!). Earlier in the week, Oblivion hit the list at #13, and last night the list concluded with Fallout 3 being named their #1 Xbox 360 game (so far).

Looking for something to listen to? Last night the latest AVault podcast (#22) went live — featuring an interview with Pete and Emil. Additonally, they’ve got a written interview with Pete here.

Curious about the image at the top of this blog post? You’ll get it if you check out Todd’s presentation from this year’s D.I.C.E. Summit. You can watch it over at IGN.

Wrapping things up, Castle Karstaag from Morrowind has been named one of the most expensive videogame castles over at College OTR. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!