Some tidbits from the latest PC Gamer

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This morning I read through the August issue of PC Gamer (US) and thought I’d share a few things that you might be interested in looking at.

  • In Desslock’s monthly column (page 96), he discusses how he’d like to see improvements within open world games and cites Oblivion as an example. In one example, he mentions he’d love to see the skeleton heads from Oblivion being used as bowling balls and rib cages used as xylophones. Yeah, I can’t argue that.
  • For you modders out there, Brett Todd’s featured column “Homebrew” focuses on rules modders should abide by. Check out his “Five Commandments” on page 98.
  • On the final page of the magazine, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw discusses his experience playing Oblivion, and how he struggles sometimes with the concept of open-world games. If you haven’t seen it already, you can watch Yahtzee’s Zero Punctuation review of Oblivion here.
  • On the same page, there’s a blurb teasing that the next issue of PC Gamer (September 2008) will feature hands-on impressions of Fallout 3. A few weeks back, Senior Associate Editor Dan Stapleton came by the office to play the game. Here at the office, we’ll be just as interested as you guys to see what he thought.

If you’re a PC Gamer subscriber, the August issue of PC Gamer should be in your mailbox any day now.

TF2 Studio Rumble begins tonight

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Since it’s a been a few months since we last talked about Team Fortress 2 on the blog, you might have thought these guys had moved on to playing something else. Wrong! They’ve actually been going through rigorous training for a new developer league that begins tonight: The TF 2 Studio Rumble.

If you take a look here, you can see there are six divisions in the league, each featuring six different developer teams. In Team Bethesda’s first match up in the East Division, they’ll be squaring off against Beenox Studios. If you’re interested in following the action, Purkey let me know that you can watch the match on SourceTV at 6PM tonight. It looks like the IP for the SourceTV server is: 8.9.8.42:27020.

For more details on the Studio Rumble (teams, rules, schedule, etc.), head here.

Papercraft Vault Boy now online

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Back in April, we shared information about a papercraft cutout of Vault Boy available in the “How To” issue of PC Gamer. If you weren’t able to get your hands on a copy of the magazine, now’s your chance to get it online. The folks at GamesRadar have made it available on their website.

If you want to check out some of the other papercraft cutouts (Bioshock’s Big Daddy, the Weighted Companion Cube from Portal, and Half-Life’s Gordon Freeman), head here.

Fallout 3 homepage adds screenshots

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Over on the official Fallout 3 site, we’ve added 3 more screenshots for your viewing pleasure. The screen above shows a glimpse of your character moving through the wasteland with your canine companion, Dogmeat. The second image features a Super Mutant firing a minigun on the National Mall (you’ll notice the Capitol Building in the background). Lastly there’s a screen showing the Charisma pages from the children’s book, “You’re SPECIAL,” a book that helps you understand the core stats of your character (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck) early in the game.

To get a better look at these screenshots, head over to the official site.

Mod interview: Gez

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This week’s mod interview is with Gez — who recently was named the Head of Concept Art for the mod project Tamriel Rebuilt. His nickname, which he uses on several sites, is a simple nickname from his initials (Gaël Zimmermann). Gez lives in France where he studies English. He’s looking to head out to the University of Birmingham next year.

On with the interview…

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The Elder Scrolls: Baltimore

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Last week while I was downstairs, I found one of these flyers advertising Play!: A Video Game Symphony, which will be making its way to Baltimore this summer. About an hour from our office, the concert will be on July 18th at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

As you might recall from this blog post, in the past, Play! has performed music from both Morrowind and Oblivion during their sets. I’m told by the show’s producer, Jason Paul, that this year’s program only features the Oblivion Suite (sorry Morrowind fans!).

If you’re interested in attending the Baltimore show, you might want to order tickets, or better yet, send us an email to be entered in a random draw to win a pair of tickets to the show of your choice (travel/accomodation not included). In addition to the Baltimore show, PLAY! has shows already planned for San Francisco (August 23rd) and Copenhagen (October 25th). If you enter, just be sure to put “Play!” in the subject line, and provide us with your name, email, and postal address. Thanks to Jason for donating these!

Who knows, if you end up going to the Baltimore show, you might run into some of the devs from the office.

Around the Web and on newsstands: New lists edition

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Today at the office, we received the 1,000th issue of Entertainment Weekly (since it’s a double issue, it’s actually issue #999-1,000). To celebrate the occasion, EW has a lengthy feature about the “New Classics” — where they list off the top 1,000 films, books, and albums of the last 25 years. While not as robust as some of the other lists, there’s also a list of the top 50 videogames from the past 25 years, with Oblivion making the list at #47.

For more news, hit the jump below…

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What we’re playing: War has changed edition

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In last week’s edition of “What We’re Playing,” OrganicShadow commented, “Wow. ONE PERSON playing MGS4?”

Well, actually, there were two of us — both Craig Lafferty and myself, as I ended up getting a copy that night. And if you ask me, it’s definitely a must-play game. Looking through the run down of what the devs are playing this weekend, it looks like at least three of us are now playing it.

On the topic of MGS 4, my Google Alerts picked up an interesting blog post that notes the contrasting messages presented in Fallout and MGS 4’s introductions. I’m glad someone brought it up, as my friends and I were blown away when we heard Snake begin with “War has changed.” Personally, I think both introductions make compelling arguments supporting their claim.

Anyways, here’s this week’s rundown. Let us know what you’re playing.

Phil Glaser, QA: Playing Fallout 3, Battlefield BC Demo, MGS4 (In all honesty, I’m mostly watching this one. Best movie evar!!)

Matt Grandstaff, Community Manager: Metal Gear Solid 4, Ninja Gaiden II, NCAA Football 09 demo

Craig Lafferty, Producer: Fallout 3, Space Invaders Extreme, Metal Gear Solid 4.

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