Around the web: The latest on Brink

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Before we get all festive at our holiday party this weekend, I thought I’d share some compelling coverage for our games.

Recently, there’s been some really great coverage for Brink. If you haven’t already, be sure to read CG Society’s feature on the game’s art direction — complete with never-before-seen concept art for the game (like the image below)

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Additionally, in the past week, Time.com’s Techland has had a couple features on the game. Head there to read Evan Narcisse’s quick-look preview, as well as an interview with Richard Ham and Paul Wedgwood.

For more on Brink, check new previews at Mana Pool and Atomic PC

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Around the web: New Vegas and RAGE coverage

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Around the web returns with a mix of news for Fallout: New Vegas and RAGE mobile.

We start with the former. Earlier this week we put the word out that the latest game update for New Vegas has been submitted. The update will be available on each platform (PS3, PC, and Xbox 360) soon, and you can find the latest updates in our forums here.

In other news for the game, today X-Play announced their Best of 2010 award nominees — with Fallout: New Vegas receiving nominations for Best Writing and Best RPG. New Vegas has also picked up Best RPG nominations at 1uP, Just Push Start, and already won at PS3 Gamerzines!

There’s plenty more to read on New Vegas this week, including…

More news after the break…

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A cornucopia of coverage

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Here’s another web roundup to fill up your web browsers before digging into turkey and mashed potatoes.

In last week’s In the ‘Works, we shared new details on Fallout: New Vegas’ upcoming DLC, Dead Money, which hits Xbox LIVE on December 21st. You can also check out the content’s fact sheet, and above we’ve got the first screenshot.

More news, including coverage on the iPhone release of RAGE, after the jump.

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Brian Wood Memorial Trust Auction ends tomorrow

Just a quick reminder that our eBay auctions — with all proceeds going towards the Brian Wood Memorial Trust — end tomorrow. If you’re looking for some holiday gifts, here’s the items you can bid on:

Good luck to all the bidders.

RAGE now available on iTunes in HD & SD flavors

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Big week on iTunes. First the Beatles show up, and now RAGE for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad is available! In the game, you’ll get a taste of RAGE’s world and story as you compete in Mutant Bash TV, a post-apocalyptic game show where you’ll be stalked by hungry mutants while you scour pulse-pounding levels for ammo and cash pick-ups.

It should be noted that the game is available as two separate releases: RAGE HD ($1.99) and RAGE (SD version, $.99). Before you download, you should make sure you pick the version best suited for your Apple device. Below is information on the game’s compatibility with specific iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches.

RAGE (SD app)

  • File Size – 831MB (537MB compressed)
  • Price – $0.99
  • Platforms – (Universal App) – iPad / iPod Touch 2, 3 & 4 (2nd – 4th gen) / iPhone 3G, 3GS & 4 (2nd – 4th gen)

RAGE HD (high definition version)

  • Price –$1.99
  • File Size – 1.26GB (743MB compressed)
  • Platforms – (Universal App) – iPad / iPod Touch 3 & 4 (3rd – 4th gen) / iPhone 3GS & 4 (3rd – 4th gen)

For more on the game, check out our official page for the game.

RAGE hits iTunes tomorrow

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Put down the angry birds and stop cutting those ropes: RAGE Mobile brings beautiful hardcore shooting action to the iPhone and iPad starting tomorrow.

John Carmack himself tweeted the news earlier today, saying: “RAGE mobile has been approved, it should be on the app store tomorrow morning!” And the best news is, it’s a bargain; pricing starts at $.99 for the SD app or $1.99 for the HD version.

We’ll have a full interview with John on the next episode of the Bethesda Podcast, also slated to hit iTunes tomorrow. In the meantime, you can check out his developer diary right here on Bethblog.

Cool stuff for a great cause

One of the most commonly asked questions Nick and I receive is, “Where can I get some of the cool swag you give out at events?” While we don’t always have leftovers to use for giveaways, we were recently able to secure some pretty cool items for our games… and it’s all for a good cause.

As many of you already know, over Labor Day weekend, Company of Heroes Online lead designer Brian Wood was tragically killed in a car accident while saving the lives of his wife and unborn child. Since then, we’ve seen tons of support for Brian’s family from within game development community, and we decided that we’d like to help out, too. Over the past couple months, we’ve started working on collecting items to auction off on eBay — with all proceeds of the auctions going to The Brian Wood Memorial Trust.

Beginning today, these are the items we’re auctioning off:

All auctions are running now and will end in seven days. This is your chance to get some cool, limited stuff in time for the holidays. To those that win, we thank you for helping contribute to Brian’s family.

Update: Despite what the listing says, we will ship to winners outside of the US.

Weekend Update: See the iPhone release of RAGE in action

This weekend we’ve got exciting new preview coverage for the upcoming iPhone release of RAGE. IGN’s Levi Buchanan has the scoop, and above you can check out their exclusive video footage on the game.

And as previewed in last week’s episode of The Jace Hall Show, Jace recently had to a chance to check out RAGE on iPhone with id Software’s Matt Hooper and Jason Kim. The fun starts about 3o seconds into the show. Also on the show, you can see more of Jace going ballistic on Veronica (played by Felicia Day) in New Vegas.

More news after the break…

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Around the web: Touch Arcade gets a first look at RAGE on iPhone

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Happy Monday! We’re back to share the latest news from around the web.

While RAGE won’t be hitting PCs and consoles until September of next year, you’ll get a first chance to check out the game’s world and story with an iPhone release later this year. Today Touch Arcade has the first hands-on preview for RAGE on iPhone. Here’s a snippet…

“The graphics of Mutant Bash TV are amazing, and really make me look forward to the future of iOS gaming. The demo we were given was on a 4th generation iPod touch, which consistently ran at a high framerate throughout all parts of the game we had access to regardless of how much was going on at once. Mutant Bash TVlooks so good in motion that the screenshots barely do it justice, especially when you add the pixel density of the Retina Display into the mix.”

If you’ve got questions about RAGE on iPhone, be sure to send them to our RAGE Twitter and Facebook accounts. This week Nick and I will be interviewing John Carmack for an upcoming episode of The Bethesda Podcast.

Elsewhere, don’t miss a chance to see the game in action on The Jace Hall Show. At the end of last week’s episode, there’s a quick shot of Jace previewing the game with id Software’s Jason Kim and Matt Hooper.

We’ll have more details on RAGE on iPhone very soon. And for more on the full release of RAGE, you can read OXM UK’s latest preview — complete with references to Lindsay Lohan.

Annnd after the break, we cover the latest interviews and reviews for Fallout: New Vegas.

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John Carmack discusses RAGE on iPhone/iPad/iPod

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This month we’re privileged to share a special diary from the legendary John Carmack, technical director and co-founder of id Software. In addition to his current work on RAGE — coming to Xbox 360, Games for Windows, and PlayStation 3 on September 13, 2011 — and id Tech 5 technology, John has been working on an iPhone/iPad/iPod touch version of RAGE that will introduce gamers to the game’s story and world.

Round of applause for John Carmack…

RAGE for iPhone

Our mobile development efforts at id took some twists and turns in the last year. The plan was always to do something RAGE-related on the iPhone/iPad/iPod touch next, but with all the big things going on at id, the mobile efforts weren’t front and center on the priority list. There had been a bit of background work going on, but it was only towards the end of July that I was able to sit down and write the core engine code that would drive the project.

I was excited about how well it turned out, and since this was right before QuakeCon, I broke with tradition and did a live technology demo during my keynote. In hindsight, I probably introduced it poorly. I said something like “Its RAGE. On the iPhone. At 60 frames a second.”  Some people took that to mean that the entire PC/console game experience was going to be on the iPhone, which is definitely not the case.

What I showed was a technology demo, written from scratch, but using the RAGE content creation pipeline and media. We do not have the full RAGE game running on iOS, and we do not plan to try. While it would (amazingly!) actually be possible to compile the full-blown PC/console RAGE game for an iPhone4 with some effort, it would be a hopelessly bad idea. Even the latest and greatest mobile devices are still a fraction of the power of a 360 or PS3, let alone a high end gaming PC, so none of the carefully made performance tradeoffs would be appropriate for the platform, to say nothing of the vast differences in controls.

What we do have is something unlike anything ever seen on the iOS platforms. It is glorious, and a lot of fun. Development has been proceeding at high intensity since QuakeCon, and we hope to have the app out by the end of November.

The technical decision to use our megatexture content creation pipeline for the game levels had consequences for its scope. The data required for the game is big. Really, really big. Seeing Myst do well on the iPhone with a 700 meg download gave me some confidence that users would still download huge apps, and that became the target size for our standard definition version, but the high definition version for iPad / iPhone 4 will be around twice that size. This is more like getting a movie than an app, so be prepared for a long download. Still, for perspective, the full scale RAGE game is around 20 gigs of data with JPEG-XR compression, so 0.7 gigs of non-transcoded data is obviously a tiny slice of it.

Since we weren’t going to be able to have lots of hugely expansive levels, we knew that there would be some disappointment if we went out at a high price point, no matter how good it looked. We have experimented with a range of price points on the iPhone titles so far, but we had avoided the very low end. We decided that this would be a good opportunity to try a  $0.99 SD / $1.99 HD price point.  We need to stay focused on not letting the project creep out of control, but I think people will be very happy with the value.

The little slice of RAGE that we decided to build the iPhone product around is “Mutant Bash TV”, a post apocalyptic combat game show in the RAGE wasteland. This is the perfect setup for a quintessential first person shooter game play experience — you pick your targets, aim your shots, time your reloads, dodge the bad guys, and try and make it through to the end of the level with a better score than last time. Beyond basic survival, there are pickups, head shots, and hit streak multipliers to add more options to the gameplay, and there is a broad range of skill levels available from keep-hitting-fire-and-you-should-make-it to almost-impossible.

A large goal of the project has been to make sure that the levels can be replayed many times. The key is making the gamplay itself the rewarding aspect, rather than story progression, character development, or any kind of surprises. Many of the elements that made Doom Resurrection good the first time you played it hurt the replayability, for instance. RAGE iOS is all action, all the time. I have played the game dozens of times, and testing it is still fun instead of a chore.

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