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.
Elsewhere on GameTrailers site, you can check out Geoff Keighley’s interview with Todd Howard from this year’s D.I.C.E. Summit. You won’t have to do too much searching, Geoff’s interview with Todd starts within the first minute of the video.
“Where most designers tend to think in terms of simplicity and economy, Howard’s games have been defined by a staggering sense of scale and immersion that few others can match.”
The list is still ongoing, but there’s some of names worth mentioning. Morrowind/Oblivion composer Jeremy Soule cracked the list at #86. Meanwhile, Fallout fans might recognize a few other names on the list, including Feargus Urquhart (#89), Tim Cain (#85), and Chris Avellone (#80).
Sticking with developer news, if you haven’t seen it already, Todd answered questions for G4 while at this year’s D.I.C.E. Summit. In the ten minute interview, he discusses The Pitt, answers reader questions, and more.
Emil is in the news in a few places, too. At Edge, he was honored in their Hot 100 Games Developers list (#17). Meanwhile, a new feature on storytelling in games features him as well. You can read that here.