New Team Diary, Pitt screens

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The Pitt is less than two weeks away from release (March 24th), and we’ve got three new screenshots to share on the Fallout 3 Official Site. The shot above shows your character going after the Trogs with the AutoAxe — a new weapon you’ll come across.

In addition, there’s a new team diary from Jeff Gardiner, who serves as the lead producer for Fallout 3 DLC (and Oblivion’s as well). Jeff’s diary provides some insights into the process of creating DLC for our games. Here’s an excerpt:

Towards the end of the development of a game, there are three pretty well known, but very loosely defined phases, known as Alpha, Beta and finally Gold. Prior to that there are two major phases, Pre-Production and then of course Production itself which is where the bulk of the game goes from documents on paper (or in someone’s gray matter) to the screen where we can all enjoy them. It was right before we went Beta that the decision was made to start thinking about our DLC. Now, before you think we just cut existing content from the game in order to milk our fans, let me explain in more detail how we view these various stages.

To get the full story, and see a couple new concept art pieces from the DLC, read the full diary.

New at Planet Fallout

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Just a few things you might be interested in at Planet Fallout.

The staff have a new interview with DLC Producer Jeff Gardiner. Here’s a quick look:

We heard there will be an Arena, Mad Max style. Can you tell us more about that part of the DLC?

Jeff : At a certain point in the quest the player will have to prove their worth and fight a series of battles in the Pitt, a fighting area situated underneath the Steel Mill. Raiders climb the fence above the pitt as the player is challenged variety of foes. Each fight starts with barrels of toxic radiation being dropped down, which adds an additional element of tension. Depending on the player’s previous choices and allegiances, they’ll have different weaponry and other unique items at their disposal.

Blinzler continues his State of Modding interviews. The most recent interviews are with Antistar, who created Weapon Mod Kits and the Project Valhalla Team. Here’s an excerpt from the latter:

What is “Project Valhalla” about?

The premise of the story ties in very closely with the original Fallout lore but tries to expand upon a significant part of what is currently left unanswered. That mainly being what has happened to the state and people of Europe since the war of 2077. This mod tries to explore that idea with a story driven mod about Europeans who come to America on a quest to recover and research PreWar technology.

Moving along, J3X put up a new trailer for Enclave Commander — coinciding with the release of version 0.8. You can watch it after the break…

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Around the web — more news on The Pitt

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Plenty of links to share today.

We begin with news on The Pitt. On Friday, you’ll have your first chance to see The Pitt trailer on Gametrailers TV. The show airs Friday night at 1am (or technically, 1am Saturday morning) on Spike. I hope that’s not too confusing — especially with Daylight Savings last week.

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.

More news after the break…

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Splash Damage lands Killzone 2 Lead Level Designer

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In this week’s Splash Damage update, we’ve got some hiring news. Our friends in London today announced the addition of Neil Alphonso, who worked as the Lead Level Designer on Killzone 2.

Now a member of the Splash Damage team, Neil’s already done a developer Q&A on their site. Here’s a quick look…

What do you do at Splash Damage?

Neil: As Lead Level Designer, I maintain a high level overview of all the different levels in the game, and make sure they fit in with the game’s vision and work together to create something stronger than the sum of the parts. I am of course responsible for the quality of the work our department delivers, but with the talent of the team I’ve inherited, I don’t have to give guidance as much as clear obstacles out of their paths so they can get on with doing their jobs. It’s also my duty to help prioritize different assets and features from other departments that will effect the work of our team, and then chase people around to make sure they get done!

We’re excited about Neil joining the Splash Damage team. When we have new details on the project he’ll be working on, we’ll let you know.

Zenimax Online Studios Hiring Annoucement

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Today our sister studio in Hunt Valley, Zenimax Online Studios, put out a press release announcing that they’ve begun their second wave of hiring. Among recent hires, they’ve brought on Steve Escalante as their new Marketing Director and Rich Barham as Customer Service Director. We welcome both to the Zenimax family and wish them the best of luck.

To read the full release, head here. Meanwhile, you can check out the open positions at Zenimax Online (for that matter, check out the openings here at Bethesda).

New Fan Art Uploaded

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Wanted to let you guys know we added new Fan Art to Bethesda Blog this week — including contributions from Raven Hall, Maya Brisa, Berit Jurda, Emma, Chimer Warrior and Anku Greedo. The image above is one of many new submissions from Anku Greedo — both for Fallout and The Elder Scrolls.

If you’ve got a fan art and you’d like to submit it to Bethesda Blog, send us an email. And a reminder, we continue to welcome submissions for our Community Scrapbook of characters resembling/modelled after celebrities.

New ORE Newsletter

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The most recent newsletter for ORE (that’s Oblivion Real Estate) has been released and there’s plenty of great information. There’s a feature on TES Alliance (a group that works to strengthen the Elder Scrolls modding community) written by DarkRider, an interview with Korana (who was interviewed here on the blog awhile back), and the announcement of a new site, Fallout Real Estate (or FORE). Above are two screens from one of the first featured homes on Fallout Real Estate, Princess Megaton Home Expansion by Princess Stomper.

To read about these and more, check out the ORE newsletter here.

Weekend Update: Fallout 3 named top 360 game at GameSpy

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Hope everyone is having a great weekend. If you’re looking for some news to read, here’s a couple updates we thought you might be interested in.

All this week GameSpy has been counting down their list of the The Top 25 Xbox 360 Games of All Time (So Far!). Earlier in the week, Oblivion hit the list at #13, and last night the list concluded with Fallout 3 being named their #1 Xbox 360 game (so far).

Looking for something to listen to? Last night the latest AVault podcast (#22) went live — featuring an interview with Pete and Emil. Additonally, they’ve got a written interview with Pete here.

Curious about the image at the top of this blog post? You’ll get it if you check out Todd’s presentation from this year’s D.I.C.E. Summit. You can watch it over at IGN.

Wrapping things up, Castle Karstaag from Morrowind has been named one of the most expensive videogame castles over at College OTR. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

What we’re watching: We’re watching Watchmen

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This week we’re talking about the TV shows/movies that we’re currently looking forward to (or already watching). Tonight, many of us are going to see the film adaptation of Watchmen. Should be fun.

Let us know what you’re watching these days, as well as if you’re going to go see the movie (see poll question). Have a great weekend!

Megan Sawyer, Artist: Watchmen, whatever I get on Netflix tomorrow, Battlestar Galactica, Dollhouse, Ghost Whisperer, CSI, Eleventh Hour, Lost, Heroes, CSI: Miami, and possibly watching Repo! The Genetic Opera again.

Chris Esko, Gameplay Programmer: Watchmen, BSG, Lost, Important Things with Demetri Martin, In Bruges.

Sam Bernstein, QA: Battlestar Galactica, Clone High, and always Futurama.

Aaron Mitschelen, QA: Wait, TVs can show things other than games?

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