Fallout 3 Coverage Tidbits

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Noticed that yesterday CVG put up part two of their interview with me over on their site. Here’s an excerpt:

How many hours will Fallout 3 take to finish in the first play through?

Pete Hines: That’s a play-style thing. It’s probably about 20 good hours for the main quest and all of the side quest stuff is probably at least another 20 hours. Then there’s all the miscellaneous freeform stuff, the exploring.

Head over to CVG for the rest of part two. If you missed it before, you can find part one of the interview here.

In addition, if you’re located here in the U.S. you’ll see the next issue of Games for Windows magazine (image above) features Fallout 3 on the cover as part of their cover story on the Top 10 PC Games of 2008.

New Fallout Previews

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Patrick at MSN in the UK dropped me an email to let me know his preview on Fallout 3 had gone up. It’s sort of the interview we did after the demo mixed in with info on the game from the demo/preview. In any case you can find the whole thing over at MSN.

In coverage elsewhere, Play.TM’s Luke Guttridge has put up his impressions after seeing the game in action last week.

Well, Fallout 3 is rich, ambitious and epic in scale. Whether it can blend perfectly RPG and FPS (with a splash of third-person thrown in) remains to be seen, but the lengths the developers are going to are more than apparent. We’ll certainly be following this new offering with interest as it is polished, tweaked and expanded ahead of a debut around this time next year. Until then, suffice to say that this is one wasteland we’ll be more than happy to revisit.

Check here to read the rest of his preview.

IGN talks Fallout 3 with Pete

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This week Pete’s been in London showing Fallout 3 to some press guys that haven’t had a chance to see the game in action. One of his stops was over to the IGN UK office, where he took some time to answer questions following the demo.

Here’s a sample:

IGN: Can you talk a bit more about the melee system in the game?

Pete Hines: We’re still working on and sorting out the melee system. The gist of it is that it works just like ranged combat using a gun. You can use VATs [targeting system] using a melee weapon and the idea is that when you get up close with someone with a melee weapon you do pretty significant amounts of damage, because it’s more than likely you’ll be shot at when you’re running towards the enemy. So the idea is that when you get up close you can do serious damage, providing you’re any good with that weapon. The reverse of that is true as well, that if someone with a melee weapon gets close to you then you can take a lot of damage. In fact, it’s viable to play the whole game using only a melee weapon – you can do it and be really good at it. It’s another class of weapon that has its own custom weapon that you can make and it fits into the mould of all the other weapons in terms of being a viable choice to play through the whole game with.

Head over to IGN to read the full interview.

Mod Interview: Talking with Morrowind Modder, Connary

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This week we’re chatting with David Molinero, better known in the Morrowind modding community as Connary. For a living, Molinero works as a freelance digital illustrator; work that includes doing scenery layouts for books and television spots. In the last year, he also spent time participating in some amateur videogame development. When he’s not working, he likes to “get lost, preferably in a fantasy world.”

This past week Connary took the time to answer some questions about his contributions to the Morrowind modding community. Here’s what he had to say:

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MMO Gamer interviews Matt Firor

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Steve Crews from MMO Gamer informed us his interview with our pal Matt Firor of ZeniMax Online is live on their site. No, you’re not going to find out the details of what game Matt is scheming up over in Hunt Valley, but it’s still a pretty interesting read. In the interview, you’ll learn a little more about Matt’s background, his thoughts on current trends within the MMO genre, as well as addressing some of the goals he’s setting for the studio.

Here’s a sample of interview, where Matt discusses the challenge of creating an MMO that offers something unique to the genre:

The MMO Gamer: Alright, no hypotheticals, let’s stick to the real basics: Will ZeniMax Online be up to the challenge of producing something gamers have never experienced before?

Matt Firor: Sure. I wouldn’t be in this position if I wasn’t ready to give something new to gamers. But our philosophy is to incrementally build on what gamers expect – to ease them into the game, make it feel comfortable, etc. before introducing too many new concepts to them. Introducing too many new concepts too quickly is a great way to drive your user base away before they get accustomed to the game.

On the Road…again

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So I’m back out on the road for the first of two trips over the next three weeks following up with folks who didn’t get a chance to see Fallout 3 at E3 or Leipzig. We really aren’t doing it for more coverage, but to make sure folks at different sites and publications have had a chance to see it. Often times a given publication may only have one or two folks come by to see the demo during a trade show like E3, which is fine for the purpose of a particular preview or article. However, as you go forward you work with a variety of folks on feature articles, stories, and so forth, and it’s important for them to have seen the game for themselves. So this week I’m in San Fran to see a number of folks.

James Mielke over at 1Up put up a post on his blog talking about seeing the Fallout demo for the first time. Here’s an excerpt from his post:

Being the busy bee that I am, I don’t usually get to play too many games at E3, and that being the case, I definitely didn’t get to see Bethesda‘s stunning Fallout 3 in action. Well, today Bethesda’s VP of PR came through the offices and gave us a very articulate walkthrough of the new game’s features and mechanics. I asked a lot of questions and got a lot of answers, and as someone who has had a hard time getting into Oblivion, I have to say, Fallout 3 really blew me away.

Read the rest of James’ thoughts at his blog at 1Up. In addition, I did a podcast session with the boys at IGN this afternoon that is now available should you have any desire to listen to that sort of thing. You can find it here.

Mod interview: Kivan and Quarn

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For this week’s mod interview, by request of folks within our forums, I decided to talk with popular Oblivion modders Kivan and Quarn (real names Kevin and David). While they live about as far apart as one could imagine (Quarn’s in Australia, Kivan hails from Canada), they managed to put out some great work, particularly their Unofficial Oblivion Patch, which cleans up and polishes several elements of the game.

I asked the guys about the projects they’ve worked on, how they like to work, and more. Here’s what they had to say:

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Conquest Screens for Wii, PS2

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On Friday we released our latest Bethesda Softworks Newsletter. Along with touching on the Fighter’s Stronghold download and the Fallout 1oth Anniversary Contest, we also revealed some new screens for the PS2 and Wii versions of Star Trek: Conquest.

Today, the new screens are available on our Star Trek site. Three of the screens are from the PS2 release of the game. We’ve also got two new Wii screenshots up, including the one shown above, which offers a glimpse at how you can simulate combat within the game.

In other Conquest news, check out new interviews regarding the game on Armchair General and Star Trek Gamers.

Pete talks Fallout 3 with PlayStation Universe

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Justin at PlayStation Universe just let us know that he posted his interview with Pete on their site. Among other things, Pete answers Fallout 3 questions relating to VATS, how the game stands apart from Oblivion, and course, there’s some PS3-specific questions too (it is a PlayStation news site afterall).

Here’s a sample of what he had to say:

Q: How does the melee system in Fallout 3 exactly work? How will the VATS system focus its efforts with the melee system?

A: The goal is to balance the game so that you never have to fire a gun if that’s not the kind of character you are role-playing. So you can use different types of melee weapons in close range and use VATS to target body parts just like you can with a gun. How “exactly” it works is one of many things we are working on at the moment and it continues to get changed and refined until we feel like we have it “just right.”

To read the rest of Justin’s interview with Pete, just click here.

NPCs with Jobs Mod Interview

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For this week’s mod interview, I decided to ask folks within our Elder Scrolls modding forums who they’d want to see interviewed for the blog. It didn’t take long to get suggestions, and now I’ve got plenty of choices for future posts. Having noticed several requests to learn more about Sarkandar’s popular Oblivion mod, NPCs with Jobs, I figured he’d be a good one to start with.

Sarkandar, whose real name is Wouter Danckaert, lives in Hasselt, Belgium and is an application manager for a hospital lab. This November, he and his wife are expecting their first child, who they plan to name Martin Septim Danckaert (ok, I made that last part up).

How did you get started with this project?

I’m a MA in Computer Science, and did some specialization during my last year in the AI domain, as I was always interested in the matter. NPC with Jobs was already sketched out during my studies, it was codenamed “the mayor” back then. But as I couldn’t develop any graphics, the project never got further than a few c++ classes interacting a bit. Until I discovered modding last year. I didn’t even play the game that long.

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