Gamepro.com interviews Todd

fallout-3-20080122013051315.jpg

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.

Head over to GamePro’s site to check out the rest of the interview.

Around the Web — Monsoon Edition

si_18B.jpg

As we head out for the really, really rainy weekend, I thought I’d share some news coverage from the week.

This afternoon we received some exciting news that Shivering Isles won RPG of the Year over at Gameindustry.com. Pretty cool for a couple reasons. First, in the site’s ten years of doing annual awards, Shivering Isles is the first expansion to win this category. Even better is the fact that the voting came from Gameindustry.com readers. We’re truly honored that our fans came out in large numbers to vote, particularly since it was up against some really great games. Many thanks!

Continue reading full article ›

Todd talks Fallout 3

fallout-3-20080122013051315.jpg

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.

To read the rest of the interview, click here.

Bethblog Bowl I: Giants power past undefeated Patriots

sp0831_PAT_5_GO_08-31-07_4U6V0KV.jpg

With the Super Bowl XLII just days away, we decided that playing out this year’s Super Bowl in our theater with Madden 2008 would be a good way to waste some time. For the game’s match up between the Patriots and the Giants, I asked senior producer Craig Lafferty if we’d be willing to take on EA football genius, Todd Howard. He reluctantly accepted, fearing that it would turn out to be a humiliating loss.

Continue reading full article ›

For you iPhone addicts…

new vault.jpg

…yeah you, the one that caresses your fancy Apple gadget as if it’s the cure for all the world’s problems, we’ve got another reason for you to keep your head rubbernecked in the direction of your beloved iPhone. Last week, Ash, a member of your obsessive tribe, put together something to feed your never-ending addiction to the iPhone.

Continue reading full article ›

Around the Web (and Print)

web2_logos.jpg

A variety of things going on that I thought I would mention.

Matt did an interview with the folks at Games Radar for an article they were doing on “Are Developers Even Listening?” Matt’s responses are included along with folks from Lionhead, Rare, Epic, and Bungie. Head over to read the full article.

Primotech did their Game of the Year awards and voted Shivering Isles the Best Expansion. From the article:

Bethesda’s last expansion pack does more than throw open the door to a land suffering from a split personality. It adds nearly twenty to thirty hours of new quests, complete with plenty of gear to acquire and the opportunity to find out just how insane a Mad God can really be.

Continue reading full article ›

Now I Know My Daedric ABCs

oblivion_11050606.jpg

This blog post is sponsored by the Daedric letter for “O.”

In my inbox, I received a question not too long ago about learning the Daedric Alphabet. When I spoke with Pete, I was pleasantly surprised to see that The Imperial Library is sharing the alphabet on their site. If you’re dying to write your buddies, Unofficial Elder Scrolls Wiki has a great guide for studying the language.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: speaking with Todd, he wanted to emphasize that officially there is no X or Y in the Daedric Alpabet, although a a few may have accidentally shown up in Morrowind. Now if I could only get a Cracker Jack-like decoder ring so I could start deciphering Todd’s e-mails.

Fallout Community Q&A Arrives

thoward-08.01.07.jpg

As many of you know, we announced a community Q&A for Fallout 3 a couple of weeks ago. Since Blinzler was so eager to see a community Q&A, I put him in charge of compiling questions that YOU wanted to know about. Not an easy task, considering he (with the help of some folks he selected) had to filter through pages of suggestions in the forums, as well as look at stuff I forwarded from our inbox, and of course, this blog. Did I mention he did all of this while living through a hurricane? Big props to Blinzler!

So head on over to our Fallout forums and take a look at the answers that Todd came up with. Here’s a sample:

14. You have talked a lot about choices and consequences in the quest design. Are you aiming for immediate feedback, or long term (and possibly unforeseeable) consequences? In addition to moral choices, will different characters be able to tackle tasks using their different skill sets? [GhanBuriG]

It’s a bit of both, overall I think the player needs something immediate, or they don’t know if they actually accomplished anything, or felt what they just did had any meaning whatsoever. The longer term stuff is great to surprise the player with, whether it’s positive or negative, but if it’s a surprise, you need to be careful, because that can be frustrating, so you give the player another route, or simply treat the consequence as a flavor thing, and not a game-changing thing.

In regards to using different skills, most definitely, yes. We’re really pushing on that, and I think that’s the crux of the game – what skills you use, so each quest or goal of the player’s can be accomplished in different ways using different skills. Even in dialogue we’re using a lot of different skills, depending on who you’re talking to So if you’re talking to a scientist, your Science skill may give you an extra dialogue option.

Interviews Piling Up…

gavin.jpg

If you haven’t been looking around, there’s some interesting coverage for Fallout 3 this week…

Apparently there will be an interview with Emil on GameTap this weekend (I’ll update the blog when it surfaces). This morning, ActionTrip posted an interview with Lead Producer, Gavin Carter. Here’s a quick look at it:

ActionTrip: As we understand, the team is also keeping itself busy with balancing combat in the game. If you can, please tell us about the advantages of V.A.T.S. Do you think hardcore RPG fans will enjoy the cinematic aspect of it?

Gavin: A big advantage is that during VATS mode, time is paused and you’re given a wealth of information about your situation. Every targetable enemy and object is highlighted and you can pan around and get a sense for where things are coming from. For each individual target, you can see their overall health, and the condition and the likelihood of landing a shot for each body part. This is the part that I feel separates VATS from standard “real-time with pause” systems in that it gives you information to base a tactical choice on. You may find that you have a high chance to hit a mutant’s torso, but then you notice that landing one more risky shot to the arm will cripple him, severely reducing his ability to aim. Recently I’ve been replaying Oblivion and find myself hammering the VATS button unconsciously whenever I get jumped by an enemy.

Elsewhere this week, Eurogamer has followed up their E3 preview with an interview with Pete from last week’s GC in Leipzig:

Continue reading full article ›

New Community Content for The Elder Scrolls

mini.jpg

So far this week, I’ve seen several cool mod additions over at Planet Elder Scrolls. Here’s are a few of my favorites for the week…

The Nazarian Library: Repeal19 has created a mod that builds a library just south of Arcane University. So what makes this library so special? Well, it actually houses EVERY book that can be found within the original quest of Oblivion. So if you’re spending too much time playing the game in the coming weeks when school starts back up, you can at least tell your parents that you’re studying at the library :) .

Chargen Diseases: When generating your character, Marbred’s disease mod allows you to make your character suffer from Werewolf disease, Vampire clan disease, or simply no disease at all. Perfect for folks who can’t get enough of Teen Wolf.

Mostly-Mini Todd Howard: Last but not least, and destined to be a favorite around our office, this new Morrowind mod from Fliggerty & Friends adds a “Mini Me” Todd Howard to the game. I’m sure Todd is honored to have his likeness in the game. Now can we just get a new weapon called the “Gstaff” (I’m imagining some sort of staff that has a “G” at the top of it).