Two weeks ago, the gaming world lost one of its most influential creators in Gary Gygax — one of the co-creators of Dungeons & Dragons. Over on Newsweek’s gaming blog, Level Up, N’Gai Croal has interviewed several folks from the videogame industry to hear how D&D impacted their lives — both personally and professionally. Today, Todd Howard’s interview with N’Gai went up. Here’s a sample:
Q: What do you remember about your first experience with Dungeons & Dragons?
A: My earliest memory was going with my brother to a game store called Conflicts and my parents dropping us off on a Tuesday night to play this “D&D” game. The next three hours were a revelation. It was like a new gateway into awesomeness was opened for me. This was the summer of 1978, if I remember right, and I was eight. I can recall counting the days until each Tuesday. It’s one of my favorite memories, of real bonding time with my brother and others.
Last night on Gamepro’s website, a new interview went up with Fallout 3 Executive Producer Todd Howard. It’s a short interview, but provides some new insight on the game. Here’s a sample:
GamePro: What’s one particular detail of the game that Bethesda is particularly proud of?
Howard: Right now we’ve got a lot of the world built and we’re excited by how fun it is to explore. I admit we were worried about such a grand world that is completely destroyed and it feeling morbidly depressing and empty. We have a ways to go yet, but it’s looking good and there’s a lot of sandbox gameplay to discover.
Following up on naming him as one of the Top 25 Developers of 2008, Kris Graft over at Next Gen has put up an article based on an interview he did with Emil recently. The article covers a variety of topics with Emil such as his sources of inspiration, feedback from fans, and a couple other things. Here’s a snippet:
“Life itself is pretty fascinating if you look at it. There’s a lot of inspiration to be drawn out there. I think that people sometimes make a mistake when they limit their inspiration. It’s easy to say, ‘Oh my god, I loved Star Wars and I want to be the next George Lucas,’ and copy what George Lucas did. Why not look at George Lucas’ inspiration? Look at the things that inspired him; look at the Kurosawa films that inspired him and what inspired Kurosawa. There’s a chain there and the further back you go, generally the better the source I think.”
A couple weeks back, within a suggestions thread we have for mod interviews, it was suggested that we should also have an interview that focuses on the fans that deal with the loremasters that deal with the Elder Scrolls. I thought it was a good idea, so I contacted Xanathar over at The Imperial Library. He agreed to the interview and got some other guys from TIP to chime in. Here’s how it went…
A new interview with our very own Todd Howard has gone up at videogaming247. Among other things, Todd discusses Fallout 3’s cross-platform launch, how decisions you make will help determine the game’s ending, and how Cormac McCarthy’s book, “The Road,” has been an influence on the game’s development. Here’s a sample of what he had to say:
Q: The “post-disaster” genre isn’t particularly well visited in games, certainly not as well as in movies and books. Do you look outside games for inspiration? We’re thinking along the lines of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”, and so on.
A: You picked one of the big ones, yes. “The Road” is fantastic and came out in the middle of our design phase, so it became required reading for many of us. We looked at many post nuclear movies, some very disturbing, things that deal with Hiroshima and such, and it gave us a good look at that type of nuclear destruction. Other general ones we looked at were things dealing with survival or how people deal with the effects of any war or rebuilding.
As you get ready for the weekend, here’s some of the latest Fallout 3 coverage you can read as you head out for the weekend.
Clint McCredie of Australian gaming site Gameplayer has a five-page piece based on an an interview he did with Pete. After reading it, I realized that I probably need to take some time and refresh myself on the works of Charles Dickens. All I could think of when I read Clint’s intro is, “Where’s the mentions of Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Christmas Past?” Dickens references aside, here’s a snippet from the interview:
“We wander further and come across the settlement of Megaton, one of the larger piles of junk that are called towns in this world, and are allowed in by a security droid. Inside, the city’s grim and dirty, like living inside a drainpipe. We’re a bit perturbed that there’s so many people left alive in the town, especially as we can’t work out what they’re doing to survive. Where do they get their food from? ‘Emil Pagliarulo, the lead designer, had me read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road,’ explains Hines. ‘If you read his take on the post-apocalyptic world, then yes, everything should be absolutely dead, and there’d be nothing left to eat except canned stuff. If you take that view, then in 200 years nobody should still be around.'”
As if Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade weren’t everywhere already (if you’ve been under a rock, they even have their own game coming out), modder HidekiShashu put on YouTube a video that shows how he’s brought their likeness into Morrowind. This first video shows Gabe interacting with Tycho. There’s also another short video with Gabe showing off his cardboard tube weapon.
What’s next? Maybe someone can make an Oblivion level with Zero Punctuation-esque animation.
Our first Inside the Vault for 2008 is with someone all our Elder Scrolls fans know – Christiane Meister. She’s been the Lead Character Artist for Morrowind and Oblivion. She is currently hard at work on Fallout 3 along with the rest of the team.
The folks at Oblivion Real Estate put out their most recent newsletter highlighting some things from around the community including the winners of The MORE Homes Challenge, their official holiday mod, and the always-entertaining PrincessStomper interviewing designer Erik J. Caponi and artist Megan Sawyer.
The interview covers a number of things related to what Erik and Megan do for a living, as well as their interests and whatnot and is quite lengthy and entertaining read, particularly the part about Erik being strikingly handsome. I could get maybe “looks like he could be the lead singer in a band at any given moment,” but strikingly handsome? If you were at a party with him and told someone he was in Queens of the Stone Age, they’d totally believe you.
Head on over to check out the interview and the full newsletter.
Fallout 3 coverage continues to trickle in. The latest coverage comes from the online magazine, PCGZine, who recently spoke with Pete about the game. Here’s a sample of the interview:
Fallout 3 looks to be a very dark game. Where will the glimmers of hope come from? The plot? The gameplay? Twisted moments of black humour? How would you describe the game’s personality?
Pete: The glimmers of hope come from the people you meet. Where there’s humanity, there’s hope â€“ people have dreams and aspirations. And you can squash those dreams, or help people fulfill them. Definitely plenty of dark humor, but I don’t’ know if that’s where I’d look for glimmers of hope.
Is Fallout 3 an action game, or a strategy game? And if it’s both can you tell us about passages of play that typify each element. Actually, why not tell us anyway…
Pete: It’s a role-playing game. First. Last. Always. Any role-playing game always absorbs bits of other genres in terms of how it presents combat or what the player is doing, but it is a post nuclear role-playing game to its core.
To read the rest, download PCGZine’s latest issue (#13) here.