Firor Chats with ActionTrip, Ten Ton Hammer

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Two weeks ago, we introduced you to Matt Firor, who is heading up our new MMO division, ZeniMax Online. Since we had a lot of folks ping us interested in what he was up to, we thought we’d keep you up to date on what he’s doing. He’s gone out and done interviews with FiringSquad and Ten Ton Hammer.

Here’s a sample from the Ten Ton Hammer interview:

Ten Ton Hammer: MMOGs continue to rise in the gaming landscape, how do you see the industry changing over the next few years? Where does ZeniMax fit into that change?

Matt: Instead of trying to “game” the market by figuring where everything will be in a few years and develop a product that will fit in an unused niche, we’re just going to try to make the best MMOG possible.

And from Firing Squad:

FiringSquad: How did ZeniMax approach you when they said they wanted to launch a new MMO game studio?

Matt Firor: They told me that they wanted to give me all the resources I needed to make a great MMO. After meeting with the company’s management, I felt very strongly that this is the “once in a lifetime” opportunity that one shouldn’t pass up.

Edit: Shacknews has added an interview with Matt as well.  http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=518

Get Your Questions Ready!

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So we’ve let the journalists do the talking through their articles, but now we’d like to field some of your questions. That’s right, Todd and Co. are going to be willing to talk about more than Batman and their favorite color. If you’ve got something you’re dying to know about Fallout 3, take your suggestion to the forums here. If you want to send them directly to us via the blog, that’s fine too.

In addition to pulling together a list of questions that covers all the things people want to know about, we’ll keep an eye on other questions that get sent to us and pull in a developer every now and then to answer a few questions. You never know when a dev may stop by to answer a question or two from the mailbag, so send in your questions about Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Star Trek Conquest, or whatever it is you want to know and we’ll get to work.

Interview with ‘Undernethe’ Modding Team

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A little more than a week ago, I was reading about Undernethe Prequel mod project in the works for Oblivion over at FileFront’s Oblivion Files site. The mod will open up a new underground quest featuring new NPCs, music, creatures, weapons and more.

The folks working on the project are currently seeking help from others, but in the meantime, I thought I’d check in to find out more about the project. I asked some questions for some of the guys working on the mod to find out more.

First, some introductions. Fire Legion is the project lead of the Undernethe mod, and works with all aspects of the mod, as well as promotion and team management. Mr.E is the loremaster, and leads the writing and quest departments. Sheogorath is the lead scripter and worldbuilder, and also works heavily in modelling and texturing.

For those unfamiliar with your mod, tell us what folks can expect with Undernethe?

Mr.E: The Undernethe is all about adding a grand scale to the land below Cyrodiil. We plan for there to be be caverns so large and intricate that you can’t help but get lost (and scared), civilizations with lore and quests so involved that you’d swear they were a part of The Elder Scrolls mythology, and items and creatures that will make dungeon delving as fun as possible.

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Interview with Star Trek: Conquest Lead Designer

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Last week I was able to chat with Frank Arnot, lead designer for Star Trek Conquest. The following Q&A should help you learn a bit more about the game and what it’s all about.

How would you best describe Conquest?

Conquest is a game of galactic domination that mixes turn-based strategy game with arcade elements.

What’s back story for the game?

Because of the nature of the game we have a very straight-forward back story:

It is a time of unrest, all the major races are at war. Age-old alliances are forgotten, diplomacy is dead. Powerful fleets prowl the galaxy establishing outposts and vanquishing indigenous and enemy fleets alike in the pursuit of the ultimate prize – the capture of all home worlds and galactic domination.

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OXM Podcast Featuring Todd Howard

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On Friday, the latest Official Xbox Magazine podcast went up featuring an interview with Todd. During the podcast Todd discusses Fallout 3, Oblivion Game of the Year and more.

To listen to the podcast, visit here or download it on iTunes…

UPDATE: In other podcasting news, PSM 3 Blog talks about Fallout 3 in their most recent podcast. You can hear what they have to say about the game about 15 minutes into the podcast. It’s a good show though, so don’t skip ahead :)

Gamespot Interview with Todd Howard

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Gamespot has posted their interview with Todd Howard, following up on the demo presentation with some lingering questions they had, such as:

It’s been said that the first Fallout, rather than Fallout 2, was the model that Fallout 3 was built on. What’s the reasoning for that?“I think the 1st one has the right tone, and the ones after it tend to drift. I liked being a Vault Dweller, searching for water; that was a theme I wanted to pick up on again. Someone who’s lived his whole life in this out-of-touch underground world, who’s thrust suddenly into a wasteland.”

For the rest, head over to Gamespot and read the whole thing.

Update: Play has put up a Q&A with Emil…take a look.

Interview with Matt Firor

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So an announcement went out today about our new sister division, ZeniMax Online Studios. I thought it might be nice to find out a little bit about the newest member of the family and ‘that guy I’ve seen in the cafeteria from time to time.’ Matt was nice enough to answer some questions, while deftly evading others (curses!).

Is it pronounced Fire-or, or Fire-er, or…?

More like Fire-roar. Or, you can just call me Matt. Much easier.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

Most of my game industry career was spent at Mythic Entertainment, where I was the Producer of Dark Age of Camelot, an MMO that launched in 2001. Prior to that I was Producer and/or a designer of 12 other online games including Aliens Online, Silent Death Online, and Magestorm. I was at Mythic from 1995-2006. Prior to that I was a founder of a multi-user BBS game development company with some friends that eventually became one of the two companies that merged to form Mythic. I go back a long way in multi-user gaming; our first project was in 1987, when I was in college.

Hit the jump for the rest of the interview….

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Inside the Vault: Christopher Krietz

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This edition of Inside the Vault features Christopher Krietz. Chris was one of our best testers on Oblivion, and is currently our QA Lead for Oblivion Game of the Year. After GOTY ships, Chris will be focusing his ninja testing powers onto Fallout 3.

Chris once won a pie for winning a three way race against Todd Howard and Jeff Browne to finish Oblivion’s main quest (during beta testing). His winning time as of the end of the final cutscene and movie: 02:12:29 (difficulty slider allowed, no console cheats).

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More Coverage Arrives

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A couple more industry sites have added some coverage for Fallout 3…

Lead Level Designer Interview

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Sliver Rose Studios, a community devoted to modding for Oblivion, put up an interview with Lead Level Designer Joel Burgess. For the interview, community members on the site compiled questions for Joel to field. In the interview, among other things, Joel discusses modding, downloadable content and Bethesda office culture. Here’s an excerpt: Continue reading full article ›