Can you believe how fast January came and went? With 2008 kicking into gear, I’m seeing less Mass Effect and The Orange Box and more Rez HD, Poker Smash!, No More Heroes, and Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. Of course, not everyone has moved on. Take Associate Producer Tim Lamb — I did some checking, and it looks like you have to go back to late October to find the last time he wasn’t gung ho for Call of Duty 4.
Here’s what Tim and the rest of the gang are playing over the weekend…
Craig “I Jinxed the Patriots” Lafferty, Producer: Culdcept Saga, Devil May Cry, 4, Poker Smash!, Rez HD, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin DS â€“ yeah, for like 15 minutes each.
Jenna Noland, QA: No More Heroes.
Gavin Carter, Producer: Nursing my Advance Wars: Days of Ruin addiction. Continuing the slog towards my A-class license in Burnout. Fighting the Tax Man and trying to get the lowest score possible.
As if Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade weren’t everywhere already (if you’ve been under a rock, they even have their own game coming out), modder HidekiShashu put on YouTube a video that shows how he’s brought their likeness into Morrowind. This first video shows Gabe interacting with Tycho. There’s also another short video with Gabe showing off his cardboard tube weapon.
What’s next? Maybe someone can make an Oblivion level with Zero Punctuation-esque animation.
Kevin Kauffman. Laid back. Handsome. Stylish dresser. QA Lead. While Kevin’s title may be QA Lead, he is just as important — if not more — to the success of Fallout 3 than most producers on the team (including me). He works his tail off and we’re fortunate to have him.
This isn’t related to any of our games, but I figured it was worth sharing. Looks like this guy, Michael Hickox, used stop-motion filming and a bunch of Legos to recreate level 1-1 from Super Mario Bros. I’m not sure about what type of additional effects were implemented, but I like it. If you check his YouTube page, you’ll see he’s done a couple more levels.
If anyone’s done anything remotely like this for Star Trek, Fallout or the Elder Scrolls, I want to see it!
Back in November, we posted about a Portal Map, Ren_Test2, that our very own Daryl Brigner designed. Daryl, and the rest of us at the office, were surprised and excited to see the response it received. In addition to becoming the most popular post on Bethesda Blog, buzz about the map spread to numerous gaming blogs and it was even featured in a recent issue of PC Zone.
Well, Daryl’s done it again. This morning he let me know that a new level, appropriately titled_Ren Test3, is now available for download. In addition to the new map, Daryl has included Ren_Test 1&2 in the same download. The download also offers Step, Portal, and Time challenges for you Portal fanatics that are looking for a real challenge.
According to Daryl, here is how you can install them to your PC:
Simply extract the Ren_Tests.bmz anywhere, then load up Portal, click ‘Bonus Maps,’ click “Import Bonus Maps”, then just navigate to where the Ren_Tests.bmz file is, select it, and click ‘Open.’ Then, the Ren_Test Mappack will be in your Bonus Maps window.
Sounds simple enough. If you check it out, let us know if you think it’s as devious as Ren_Test2.
After a week off, we’re back with a new Elder Scrolls modding update. This week we’re talking with Jane Dee — better known to many of you as Brash. Brash hails from the beautiful state of Oregon where she work as a gamer-mom (cool!) and does some website work “stuff.” As you’ll see below, on top of having some pretty cool mod projects, she also has some interesting family stories that relate to gaming.
Happy Mardi Gras to everyone! We hope that anyone celebrating today has a great time, but also remembers to stay safe. If you’re like me, and don’t really have the time to parade in the streets, here’s some new Fallout coverage we spotted that you can read up on while working, studying, or doing anything else that doesn’t involve drinking, wearing beads, or dressing up in ridiculous costumes…
Destructoid’s Reverend Anthony put together a list of “The ten most meaningful videogame quotes of all-time” that includes Ron Perlman’s famous first words, “War. War Never Changes.” It’s a pretty good list with a mix of older (Zork, Super Mario Bros.) and newer (Portal, Bioshock) memorable quotes. Discussing Fallout, he writes:
“Fallout may be one of the most cynical, nihilistic game franchises in existence, which also makes it one of my personal favorites. Rather than half-assedly cultivating a world-weary tone through a sepia color scheme and needlessly gruff-sounding protagonists (I’m looking at you, Gears of War), the Fallout series tells the tale of some people who try to act with common decency in a world utterly lacking in it, and who are subsequently tortured and killed and exiled for their troubles. Cormac McCarthy would be proud.”
I’ve had a casual game golf fetish lately. Two actually. World Golf Tour is an online closest-to-hole golf game that you play via your browser. Only in beta at this point, so it is free. I can see this expanding to lots of different golf courses and allowing multiplayer play by email functionality. Imagine following the PGA season by playing the same courses along the way. I created a team called Vault101. Shoot me a note if you’d like an invite.
The other one is courtesy of Bill Harris’ excellent Dubious Quality blog — Big Fish Games’ Fairway Solitaire . Similar to Puzzle Quest’s genius melding of Bejeweled and RPGs, Fairway Solitaire merges solitaire and golfing into a fun little game. You can download it and play locally, but I actually play the browser-based version so I can play on multiple computers.
This week, instead of talking about the games we’re playing, we sharing what music, podcasts, etc. we’re listening to. Looking through the list, we’ve definitely got an eclectic mix of stuff. In the end though, I think I like Steve Fraden’s answer the best…classic!
So here’s what we’re listening to at our desks, on our iPods, and everywhere in between…
Liz Beetem, Artist: Throbbing Gristle, Foetus, The Legendary Pink Dots, Current 93, Imminent Starvation, Terrorfakt (although someone needs to hold an intervention between him and vocal samples), and fellow snooty-games-are-art-Silent Hill fan Yahtzee and his Zero Punctuation reviews
Ricardo Gonzalez, Not Hip Enough to be Square: Daft Punk – Discovery, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones, Metric – Live It Out
“Coach” Dan Geske, QA: Metallica – … And Justice For All, Chris LeDoux – Horsepower, Les Miserables 10-year reunion show, 97.9 FM “Mickey and Amelia in the Morning”, The Silly Soundtracks to Awkward Super Bowl commercials, the screams and shouts of wrestling spectators and coaches at a match on Saturday.