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.
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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.
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.
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:
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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).
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 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.
So after, oh, 4 1/2 months of work, we finally got the official Fallout 3 site done and out the door. Todd, Lindsay, Istvan, and I have been working on this thing since March, and finally got it just the way we wanted.
I think it’s a really cool site, probably the best one we’ve ever done. Many thanks to Lindsay for the 10,000 revisions she had to do until everyone was happy, to Istvan for making sure the look and feel was just right, and Natalia for pulling together all the Vault Boy images we needed.
You’ll find lots of links to all the coverage that’s come out so far, screens you’ve probably seen, new wallpapers you probably haven’t, the teaser trailer, etc. The usual stuff, but lots more to come over the coming months.
We wanted Todd to kick off the Diary section with his thoughts on undertaking the task of making Fallout 3 and what that means to him, and us. Here’s a snippit:
The massive expectations of what this game means to everyone who loved Fallout, RPGs, and gaming-in-general is not lost on us. It’s impossible to discuss the game with anyone without them referencing Oblivion and/or the Fallout legacy. In many ways, it’s the sequel to both games. It’s our “next” RPG after Oblivion while also being the sequel to one the greatest games in the history of electronics. No pressure.
Head over to the new site to read the rest. Drop us a line when you’re done and let us know what you think.