A week later, folks at the office continue to battle through Halo 3 on both campaign and multiplayer modes. Earlier this week, I completed the game on Heroic, and now I look forward to some campaign co-op and some multiplayer with guys here at the office. I also got NBA2K8 and Zelda: Phantom Hourglass to check out before cheering on the Lions against the Redskins.
Outside of Halo 3, the buzz around the office seems to be Team Fortress 2, which is part of Half-Life 2′s uber pack, The Orange Box. A lot of guys are playing the beta and counting down the days until The Orange Box is released next week. I imagine the folks at Valve are pretty pumped about its release so they can go out and start playing Bioshock…poor guys.
Anyhow, here’s what the rest of the folks at the office are playing:
Gavin Carter, Producer: Halo 3, PGR4, On DosBox: Rise of the Dragon, Star Trek 25th Anniversary.
While I was in Tokyo for TGS I had a chance to finally experience the craze known as Pocky. Previously I only knew of it through others, but it’s the real deal. Very addictive. I mentioned to Myung Suk, from our Japanese publisher Spike, that I thought it was really good and maybe when she sent me some copies of the Japanese version of Oblivion PS3 maybe she could throw in some Pocky.
Throw she did, my friends, as my office is now resplendent with the stuff. I’m gonna have to start passing it out for fear of eating it all myself. I think I spotted Matt drooling at it earlier and I’ll dump some on Ashley for sure, as I believe I recall him professing an affection for the confection.
I noticed on Kotaku some unbelievable photos from a Blizzard employee’s wedding. That Super Mario cake really takes the cake…sorry, couldn’t resist. Seeing the photos from this wedding reminded me of an EGM Live* podcast I listened to about two weeks ago. The “reader/listener mailbag” session was side-splittingly funny, and during it, they commented that would be pretty cool to attend an Oblivion-themed wedding.
This got me to thinking, has anyone out their put a touch of Tamriel into their big day? I asked Pete about it, and he mentioned that in the past couples have emailed him to request music from Morrowind and Oblivion for their wedding, or asked him if it was ok to play it during their wedding, so it sounds like it’s a possibility. If so, send us an e-mail. (Bonus points for pics of the bride emerging from a Gate in her black dress.)
This week is a special Q&A for Inside the Vault in honor of the 10th anniversary of Fallout. One question. Lots of answers. We asked the team: What did you like best about the original Fallout games? This was a fun one to put together, a terrific read. Even a couple of developers from our sister studio, Zenimax Online Studios, chimed in.
For this week’s mod interview, I decided to ask folks within our Elder Scrolls modding forums who they’d want to see interviewed for the blog. It didn’t take long to get suggestions, and now I’ve got plenty of choices for future posts. Having noticed several requests to learn more about Sarkandar’s popular Oblivion mod, NPCs with Jobs, I figured he’d be a good one to start with.
Sarkandar, whose real name is Wouter Danckaert, lives in Hasselt, Belgium and is an application manager for a hospital lab. This November, he and his wife are expecting their first child, who they plan to name Martin Septim Danckaert (ok, I made that last part up).
How did you get started with this project?
I’m a MA in Computer Science, and did some specialization during my last year in the AI domain, as I was always interested in the matter. NPC with Jobs was already sketched out during my studies, it was codenamed “the mayor” back then. But as I couldn’t develop any graphics, the project never got further than a few c++ classes interacting a bit. Until I discovered modding last year. I didn’t even play the game that long.
In searching through YouTube for some amusing videos, I came across this mix video entitled, “The Imperial Guard Song.” Since watching it, I’ve got, “You..you…you’ve violated the law” caught in my head…pretty funny.
The video kind of reminds me of this Wilford Brimley that cracked me up.
10 years ago Fallout was finished and began making its journey into the hands and hearts of RPG fans everywhere. Seems more like a birthday than an anniversary. Perhaps it’s both. I do actually remember the release of Fallout in part because at the time I was working (part-time) at The Adrenaline Vault and Interplay was one of “my companies.”
In other words, I was our main point of contact for them, reviewed and previewed most of their games, etc. (along with 3DO, Interactive Magic, MGM Interactive, 7th Level…I sense a trend here). I don’t think I reviewed it because we had someone at AVault who was focusing on RPGs at the time and I let them review it, since they had primarily played every other RPG that was out at the time. But I did play it and I kept my copy, which sits proudly…somewhere in my office, I think. Sorry, off on a tangent here…where were we?
Fallout. 10 years. We bounced around a lot of ideas on how we could best honor Fallout and its 10th Anniversary/Birthday. We decided that we should do something we’ve never done before for any of our games (that I’m aware of anyway): give fans a chance to create something we’ll use in the game. We talked about it and we thought perhaps the best option was to do something where folks could be creative in a way that is very much Fallout, and not have it be overly complex. We also didn’t want it to be trivial (e.g., “name this person, creature, thing”).
Yesterday the site honored their September Hall of Fame inductees. From Morrowind, the Tamriel Rebuilt Team’s TR Morrowind Map1: Telvannis was the lone addition to the Hall. This massive mod adds over tons of new exterior and interior cells, over 2000 new dialogue responses, as well as new NPCs, creatures and equipment. Above is a screen of of Tel Ouada, the home of Mistress Rathra that is included within the mod.
With most of the big gaming events (TGS, Leipzig, E3) behind us, the trickle of coverage for Fallout 3 has subsided a little bit. That said, this week Gameshark was able to sit down with Lead Producer Gavin Carter to discuss a few items about the game. Here’s a sample of what he had to say:
Gameshark: The SPECIAL character development system from the first two Fallout games is back. How will it be different (if at all)?
Gavin: We’re using the SPECIAL character system and making few changes to it. The stats all play nicely with our gameplay design. For instance, Perception still feeds into seeing enemies and Agility still affects your action points, which are used for VATS mode. Any of the SPECIAL stats (as well as skills) can be polled in dialog and give you access to different options. Some perks also require a minimum score in a SPECIAL stat for you to use them, as well.
Head over to Gameshark to read the rest of the interview…