New hires at Splash Damage

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Back in May, we announced a new partnership with London-based developers, Splash Damage. Since the announcement, their team has continued to grow. This week they added even more talent– filling the following roles:

  • Dean Calver (Heavenly Sword, Silent Hill 2) as Lead Programmer;
  • Fabio Bonvicini (Black, Harry Potter) as Animation Technical Director;
  • Mattias Engström (World in Conflict) as Senior Technical Designer;
  • Oliver Jauncey (Mass Effect, Timesplitters 2) as Senior Programmer;
  • Mark Lack (Heavenly Sword) as Senior Environment Artist.
We wish all of these guys the best of luck. They won’t be the news guys at the office for long — as the studio continues to hire.
It’s also worth noting Splash Damage was recently named Best Independent Studio at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards 2008. Congrats guys!

Level Design Diary on Official Site

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We’ve put up the latest in a series of Developer Diaries on the Fallout 3 Official Site. Titled “Notes on Pulling the Sky Down: The Level Design of Fallout 3,” it’s an inside look on how our LD’s helped create Fallout 3. Here’s a sample of the diary, which was written by Lead Level Designer, Joel Burgess:

“For all her grandeur, D.C. also presented us with some design quandaries that we had never encountered before. Early prototypes showed us that simply building a city layout in the open world was not only a performance nightmare, but also prevented us from creating the kinds of gameplay scenarios we were eager to attempt. We also looked at other open world games, like GTA and Crackdown, with expansive, open cities, and those games allow the player to move around the world in a much different way than we felt fit Fallout 3. Players don’t have access to fast cars or superhuman jumping abilities. Rather, explorers visiting the Capital Ruins do so in a thorough and deliberate manner, and we wanted to turn our attention to a density of destruction suitable to a devastated city. To this end, we focused on combining the visual focus of level design in other first-person titles like Doom 3 or Call of Duty 2 with the exploration aspect of games like Beyond Good and Evil or any Zelda title. These influences, as well as our own ambitions for the game, helped guide the level design of Fallout 3’s D.C.”

You can read the whole piece here, as well as check out the previous diaries.

From the Metro to your Desktop

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As previously reported on Joystiq, Fallout 3 has taken over Metro Center in Washington DC. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend checking it out. When I took a visit last week, it was a trip seeing different people staring and talking about the displays. When I talked to this guy shown below, he marveled at the image and wondered if it was from another movie like 300.

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If you’re not able to see them in person, I’ve included some new photos from various locations within Metro Center. Oh yeah, and head to our Fallout 3 Official site to download three new wallpapers based on the Metro advertising.

To see more images from the metro, hit the jump below.

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Around the web

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Happy Monday to all! Found a few things I thought you’d like to check out.

Blinzler from Planet Fallout has a new feature to help prep folks for the release of Fallout 3. The series begins with Part 1: Creatures of the Wasteland.

In interview news, there’s a pair of new interviews worth reading. At GamaSutra, Todd talks about the process of creating Fallout 3, while Pete tackles questions at Big Download. Here’s a snippet from the former:

How does it feel, by the way, to have been making games for that period of time, and especially having one series that has existed for so long?

Todd: Well they take so long, so it’s not like we’ve made many games. It’s good. I mean, I think we’re lucky, in that the audience for what we do hasn’t gone away. It’s gotten bigger, if anything. It’s gotten a lot bigger. So, we’re fortunate that we can make those kinds of games that we want to play.

Finally, on GameTrailers, I found this video of the Frag Dolls interviewing Todd at PAX. Check out the embedded video below.

That’s all for now.

Watch GameTrailers TV online

Last night’s episode of GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley is now available to view on their website. The episode is split into four segments, which includes new footage of the game and interviews with Gavin, Istvan, Emil and Todd. Additionally, the episode features an interview with Fallout 3 composer, Inon Zur.

To watch the whole episode, click here.

Update: If you want to go straight to gameplay videos without the interviews, GameTrailers has four videos available in SD/HD on their site.

What we’re playing: Beta testing Sack Boy

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Last week I felt very lucky to be one of the few folks with a LittleBigPlanet beta key. While I created very little, I’ve had a blast playing the game. This week I’ve got company, as a few devs were able to track down a beta key. I can’t wait to see these guys come up with. Will Daryl create his next RenTest? He better get cracking, the beta ends this weekend.

Here’s the rundown of the other games we’re playing.

Daryl Brigner, Level Designer: Mount & Blade, Brothers in Arms: HH, and Little Big Planet Beta.

Larry Waldman, QA: LittleBigPlanet Beta (thanks Nghi), Fable 1.

Craig Lafferty: LittleBigPlanet Beta, Fallout 3.

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A Pip-Boy for your PS3

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Quick update on some new stuff on the PlayStation Store. We’ve put up two Fallout 3 themes for you to download — Brotherhood of Steel and Pip-Boy. Istvan helped put these together, and both feature unique icons from the Fallout universe. If you enter the PlayStation Store and search by title, you’ll find these free downloads under Fallout 3.

Additionally, the October episode of Qore is up and features Fallout 3. You can download it for $2.99.

Boot up your PS3 and check them out.