Fallout 3 wins two AIAS awards

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Last night at the 2009 D.I.C.E. Summit, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences handed out their awards for the top games of 2008. Fallout 3 received awards in two categories — winning Best Role Playing Game and Outstanding Achievement in Story — Original. On hand to accept the awards were Todd, Istvan, and Emil. If you’d like to watch a replay of the show, IGN has a stream of it, and IFC will be airing it later this year.

In other D.I.C.E news, Todd lectured today at the event. His talk, titled “Great Games are Played, Not Made” finished earlier today and you can find recaps at several sites — including IGN, MTV Multiplayer, and Gamasutra. Wish I could have seen it — I hear the LOLcats were legendary.

A double dose of Emil

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Looks like I get a chance to to use my “Emil Card” image again, as there’s two news items to share on Fallout 3’s Lead Writer.

First, at Gamasutra, there’s a new feature titled The Gamasutra 20: Top Game Writerswith Emil making the list. Congrats to Emil and all the other amazing writers that made the list.

In other Emil news, it was announced this week that he’ll be keynoting an upcoming Game Career Seminar at GDC. The seminar will take place during the conference on Friday, March 27.For more details, check out the news story at Game Daily.

More coverage on The Pitt

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Yesterday we put up new screenshots for The Pitt. Today, here’s two new previews for the content based on impressions from this year’s D.I.C.E Summit.

Up first, Erik Brudvig took a trip to The Pitt for IGN. Here’s a snippet:

“Your goal in The Pitt is to infiltrate the slave camp, find Ashur, and get a cure he holds that can cure the mutations afflicting everyone in the local populace. Getting into The Pitt slave camp is easier said than done and you won’t find it as easy to access as Paradise Falls. In fact, to get in you’ll have to submit to slavery yourself and temporarily give up all of the great items and weapons you’ve been collecting.”

Meanwhile, RicardoT from Gamespot wrote:

“Unsurprisingly the Pitt has a pretty bleak and oppressive feel to it, which comes through clearly from a visual perspective. The slaves look pretty messed up, the raiders are spooky, and the environment has got that very special “exploded yet lived-in” you’ve probably come to expect from Fallout. Overall the Pitt’s looking cool, and we’re really anxious to download it when it gets released this March; so we probably won’t feel too bad about forking over the 800 points for the Xbox 360 version. There’s a fair chunk of content such as new weapons, plus achievements and perks, so there’s a lot to like.”

Update: Over at MTV Multiplayer, Pete answered questions from Stephen Totilo, as well as some community questions. Here’s a sample:

Is it as combat focused as Anchorage? Because that’s not what I want.

Hines: No. It is much more in line with some of the other stuff in “Fallout.” There are these two factions. There’s a story: the slavers vs. the slaves. And you have to figure out who you want to believe and who you want to help. Clearly, there’s combat involved, but there are multiple ways to go about doing things. You have to decide ultimately what you think is right, because there is no real right or wrong.

As more details/news emerge on The Pitt, we’ll keep you posted.

New podcast highlights Cthulhu

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If you’re a podcast listener and you haven’t listened to Rebel FM, it comes highly recommend by several guys here at the office (including myself). In addition to their weekly podcast that hits every Wednesday, the Rebel FM team have kicked off a new podcast series called Rebel FM Game Club. For this show, they pick a game and discuss it at length each week as they’re playing through it. For their first featured game, they selected one of our titles, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, which we released a few years back on Xbox and PC.

If you’re interested in hearing about Cthulhu, give the podcast a listen. To get the game, check your local game store or download it at Direct2Drive.

Around the web

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Here’s the latest online coverage for Fallout 3.

As we mentioned a few weeks back, PC Gamer named Fallout 3 as their 2008 Game of the Year. If you weren’t able to pick up the issue, you can now read the remarks written by Todd Howard and Emil Pagliarulo over at GamesRadar.

This week, Fallout 3 was nominated for two Game Audio Network Guild’s awards. The game was nominated for Best Use of Multi-Channel Surround in a Game, as well as Best Use of Licensed Music.

In DLC news, there’s a couple things you can check out. If you’re a Game Informer subscriber, you can read a new interview with Jeff Gardiner on their Game Informer Unlimted page. In the interview, Jeff discusses both The Pitt and Broken Steel. Elsewhere, Area 5 share their thoughts on Fallout 3’s first DLC, Operation: Anchorage, in a new video podcast.

Finally, here’s some new modding news from Planet Fallout. This week Blinzler has two new State of Modding Interviews this week — this time with Mr.SlackPants and Joefoxx.

While you’re there, check out some of Planet Fallout’s featured mods. If you’re seeking new apparel, check out Moira’s New Shipment by CrowBennett08 and Camo Uniforms Remix by rebel5555. Need a new place to stay? Check out Yevic1994’s Big Town Junk House or one of Princess Stomper’s homes located in Rivet City and atop the Washington Monument.

About Game Development: On Creativity

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About Game Development are short essays exploring the world of game development at Bethesda Game Studios. Today’s post is about creativity.

Here’s a useless party trick: what’s the fastest way to clear a room of single women? Say you make video games for a living. Because at every party, there is that guy. The one with the killer idea, the sure thing. He’s done all the work already, he’s practically giving it away. Once that guy latches onto you, forget about talking to anybody else.

If only making a game could be reduced to a singular, perfect idea — a romanticized act, full of mystery, that one performs alone like Michelangelo, dimly lit by candlelight, on his back painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

It’s a lie, of course. The painting of the Sistine Chapel was the work of an army of assistants, carpenters building scaffolding, laborers mining limestone, Craft food services, one Pope, and lots of other people who I couldn’t even begin to imagine.

With projects as complex as our games, creativity involves a large number of people working together. A game like Oblivion or Fallout 3 consists of literally tens of thousands of ideas. Everyone here at the studio contributes to this vast matrix of features, code, sound, art and words. It is both beautiful and frightening. I don’t think we would be doing our projects justice if we weren’t, at least, a little terrified.

We are at our most creative — that is, we create our best work — when we are working together. Some of the best parts of our games can be traced to groups of individuals iterating — a programmer and an artist pushing to improve our particle system to get the right visual effect; a designer, level designer and world artist creating a city full of buildings, dungeons, characters and quests; a hit squad of programmers, level designers, artists and animators cranking away until a giant anti-communist propaganda spouting robot is able to walk and blow **** up.

-Ashley Cheng, Production Director

What we’re playing: Flower(s) for Valentine’s Edition

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It’s Valentine’s weekend, so several guys at the office are giving some love to Flower — a new downloadable game out on PlayStation 3 this week. if you’re looking for something different, I highly recommend it.

Here’s the rest of what we’re playing. Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend.

Mike Dulany, Programmer: Flower, House of the Dead: Overkill.

Aaron Mitschelen, QA: LotRO, WoW, Persona 4, Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad (wait, what?).

Gary Noonan, Animator: Working on a top secret MW mod project. ;)

Liz Beetem, Tortured Artiste: House of the Dead Overkill while blasting the psychobilly outta my ITunes in loving memory of Lux Interior.

Continue reading full article ›

In Print: New details on The Pitt

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Fallout 3’s second DLC, The Pitt, will be arriving next month on Games for Windows LIVE and Xbox LIVE, but if you want a sneak peek at the content, there’s a couple magazines out there with new information on the game.

The most recent issue of Game Informer (now hitting subscribers) and the UK edition of OXM (now on newsstands) feature new details and screenshots.

Elsewhere, in the upcoming issue of OXM (April), there’s a feature on “The State of DLC Today,” which will feature an interview with Todd Howard, their Operation: Anchorage Review, and a screen from The Pitt.

As more information comes out on The Pitt, we’ll keep you updated.