It’s been a while since the last blog post — Pete and Ash were off at E3 while I was getting hitched and enjoying Costa Rica. With E3 in the rear view mirror, there’s plenty to catch up on. Shall we get started?
Last week on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, SNL vet Jason Sudeikis reported on the events taking place at E3. The clip is pretty hilarious, and actually includes Eliza Dushku and Mickey Rourke, who were on hand signing posters and meeting fans for WET and Rogue Warrior, respectively. There’s even outtakes for both Eliza and Mickey.
In other news, at the start of E3, Pete wrote a blog post for Edge discussing our plans for the show. Here’s a snippet:
“I guess key to that message is the reveal of a title we have been working on with the folks at Splash Damage for some time now, called Brink. We felt it was the right time to announce this game and start talking about some of the new and different things this game is bringing to the shooter space. I think folks will be impressed with what Paul Wedgewood and his team have come up with.”
This morning we put out a press release with some big announcements for Fallout 3.
Up first, we’re working on DLC for the PlayStation 3. We’ll be releasing Operation: Anchorage in late June, followed by the release of The Pitt and Broken Steel 4-6 weeks apart after. Later this year, PlayStation 3 users will also get…
…our next two DLCs, Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta. Coming first to Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows LIVE in June and July, respectively, here’s a brief synopis on both:
* Point Lookout â€“ Explore a massive new swampland area filled with new quests and content.
* Mothership Zeta â€“ The aliens have returned, and they’re pissed. Experience an alien abduction first hand and find out if you’re tough enough to survive.
Finally, we’ve got three more Fallout releases coming to retail this year:
Fallout 3 Game Add-on Pack #1 includes The Pitt and Operation: Anchorage on a disc and will be available for Xbox 360 and PC on May 26.
The Fallout 3 Game Add-on Pack #2 includes Broken Steel and Point Lookout on a disc and will be available for Xbox 360 and PC in August.
A Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition will be available in October. It will include the original game plus all five add-ons for $59.99 for Xbox 360 and PS3, and $49.99 for PC.
It’s worth noting that retail versions of the game add-on packs for PS3 are not possible and the DLC will only be available for download online via PlayStation Network.
To celebrate GamePro’s 20th Anniversary (congrats guys!), they’re putting together a list of their top 20 most influential people in gaming from 1989 to 2009. Making the list at #18 was our very own Todd Howard. For the occasion, GamePro has a video chat with him where he talks about what made him get into the industry, his favorite games, and more.
Was it difficult to make the decision to completely change the game’s original ending? And why did you choose that path?
Alan: This was the decision that we spent the longest time pondering when we all sat down to work out the details. We had to decide how much we were going to alter the ending and at the same time, make sure we didn’t invalidate the decisions that the player had made previously. It was a challenge to present everything to the player in a seamless manner, so the new content wouldn’t feel simply tacked on.
Finally, there’s a new interview with yours truly up at Gamasutra. Thinking back now… I’m pretty sure Todd said I was one of the guys holding a shield in Counter Strike — not a “meat shield.” It’s been abbreviated to Meat Shield since — easier to say.
Tonight on G4TV, the X-Play crew premiered the first footage of Fallout 3′s third DLC, Broken Steel. On their site, see the extended edition of Adam Sessler’s interview with Todd and Emil. Keep in mind there’s some minor spoilers, especially if you haven’t completed the main quest.
Broken Steel hits Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows LIVE May 5th.
What is the process for determining art direction on any of the games you produce?
The art direction comes from our concept artists, our lead artists on the project (Matt Carofano for Elder Scrolls; Istvan Pely for Fallout 3), and our game director/exec producer, Todd Howard. We go through months and months of concepts, looking for the right tone and look. We tend to create concepts of overall scenes to help dictate the direction before getting into lots of detail.
Happy Friday everyone! Here’s some stuff from around the web you can check.
We start with an X-Play interview from last week’s GDC, where Todd and Emil look back at Fallout 3 , discuss the game’s strategy guide, and briefly mention design goals for future projects. Check out the embedded video above.
The Pitt’s been out for more than a week, and there are plenty of new reviews. Wesley Yin-Poole recently put up his review at Videogamer.com. Here’s a snippet:
Eventually the five or six hour experience evolves into a more traditional Fallout 3 quest than Operation Anchorage ever was. There are plenty of NPCs to interact with, one or two funny moments, some intense action, vibrant and atmospheric environments and plenty of interesting choices to make. At one point you’re forced to battle for your freedom in an irradiated arena Gladiator style. The big decision at the end is, unlike many in Fallout 3, a choice between two disturbing outcomes. Throughout much of the game the right and wrong answers are obviously distinct. Here it’s the same, but at least you’re made to feel a little uncomfortable by both choices.
Lastly, with the release of The Pitt, Fallout 3 has jumped back into the Top Ten most played Xbox titles. Check out the list over at Major Nelson’s blog. Speaking of his blog, I’ve noticed he’s given out a few DLC codes for The Pitt on his Twitter page. Keep an eye there, as well as on our Twitter page.
Before The Pitt hits tomorrow, here’s a few bits of coverage you’ll want to check out.
At Major Nelson’s blog, be sure to give his latest podcast a listen, as Todd Howard makes his first ever appearance. Starting 23:02 into the podcast, they discuss Fallout 3 DLC, game demos, and even the games that Todd is currently playing.
No, this isn’t like that episode of the Brady Bunch where Peter sings “Time to Change.” Designer Erik J. Caponi is talking about “mature games” in a new Kotaku feature “Growing Up Games: When Will Mature, Mature?” Here’s a snippet of him discussing different definitions of what a mature game is:
“The word really has two meanings when we apply it to media. One is ‘not appropriate for children’ and the other is ‘exploring subject matter in a sophisticated fashion,’” Caponi explains. “Ironically, the word mature when applied to games tends to have a very childish connotation.”
In what ways did you take Fallout3′s day/night cycle into consideration, so that your work looked consistently good in all the various light models and times of day?
Rashad: We use these full screen image processes similar to how film is tinted to color grade our environments, and we actually spent a lot of time tweaking the day and night cycles along with these image processes to give us the look we wanted. In our editor you can scrub through the different times of day and see how the color shifts affect the art, and we were very mindful of our color palette and art style throughout that process.