What we’re playing: From the home office edition


Today’s “What we’re playing” is live from Washington, DC — where I’m sitting on my couch after a trip to the vet’s office. My cat, Chauncey Billups (named after the guy you see above), is feeling a bit under the weather. He’ll be kicking off his weekend with a sleepover with some other cats, and hopefully he’ll start feeling better tomorrow.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to get my weekend started with a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Here’s what everyone else will be playing….feel free to let us know what you’re up to.

Chris Esko, System Programmer: Fallout 3, finally finishing Mass Effect, playing some board and card games like Race for the Galaxy.

Mike Dulany, Programmer: Smash Brothers Brawl, Professor Layton and the Curious Village.

Emil Pagliarulo: Playing this awesome educational game called “Where in the World is Emil’s Immune System?”

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And The Answer is…


Here are the answers to our latest Name That Sound:

1. Which Bethesda Softworks game is it from?
The Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire. Released in 1997, Battlespire was, I believe, the first Elder Scrolls title that supported multiplayer. Check out UESP’s Battlespire page for more about the game.

2. What is the sound of?
It’s the Scamp!

3. Extra 1,000,000 points if you can name the developer who created the “source” of the sound in the game. (Not the actual sound itself — though if you know the answer to that, kudos).
Mark Jones is the artist who created the Scamp. Elder Scrolls aficionados will recognize his name. Mark has worked on most of the Elder Scrolls games.

Here is the full audio asset for the Scamp.

The mayhem resumes


As the Sweet 16 kicks off in the NCAA Tournament today, voting for the 3rd round of The Escapist’s March Mayhem Developers’ Showdown resumes as well. If you’re registered on the site, you can vote for us (or if you prefer, Crytek) in the West Bracket semifinal. Semifinal voting runs through tomorrow. To keep up on the results, check out the discussion board for the matchup.

Update: We’re on to the Great 8 vs. Firaxis (makers of Civilization). Voting is expected to commence tomorrow.

Inside the Vault: Jeff Gardiner

jeff g. 001.jpg

This week’s Inside the Vault is with producer, Jeff Gardiner. If you are a fan of Oblivion’s downloadable content, Jeff is one of the folks you can thank. Besides being the producer for our designers and level designers, Jeff is instrumental in a lot of game system tweaking and prototyping. On Thursday nights (game night here at the studio), you can find Jeff getting his tabletop wargaming on.
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Todd discusses PlayStation 3 development


Today I received the April 2008 issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine and noticed that Todd wrote up this month’s POV (that’s Point of View) about developing games for the PS3. If you’re a PS3 owner, you might find what he has to say encouraging. Within the column, he discusses some of the advantages of the PS3 hardware, as well as how new tools have improved the development process for Fallout 3. Here’s a snippet:

“you can use the Blu-ray’s massive storage capacity to place multiple instances of your game’s assets on the disk. Having multiple copies on the disc greatly reduces seek times off the drive, and your load times shrink even more. Small things like this can make a huge difference over the course of a game. That kind of learning has helped us move from Oblivion to Fallout 3.”

To find out more on Todd’s thoughts about developing games on PS3, be on the lookout for the April issue.

Elder Scrolls Mod Interview: Reneer


This week’s interview is with Oblivion modder Reneer. Currently studying psychology at the University of Michigan, Reneer enjoys modding Oblivion when his schedule permits. I thought I’d ask him if he was in the running to become the next quarterback for the Wolverines, but when he explained to me that he’s blind in his right eye, I figured he’s better off modding in his spare time.

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Around the Web: Podcasts and Opinions


Here’s a few interesting reads I thought I’d share that I’ve come across in the past few days.

The latest 1Up Yours podcast brings up Fallout 3, as well as practically every Elder Scrolls game ever made during their community segment of the show. During the segment, which starts about 53 minutes into the show, the 1Up crew uses these games as examples in a few of their debates. Fallout 3 and Oblivion are brought up several times in a discussion about the “no name characters” and the choices your characters make in games. Later on in the segment, they also bring up the Elder Scrolls and Fallout in a discussion of how Japanese RPGs compare with western-developed RPGs like Oblivion. To download the podcast, head over to 1Up’s podcast site.

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March-ing on to the Sweet 16


As the NCAA men’s basketball tournament moves on to the Sweet 16, so does Bethesda in The Escapist’s March Mayhem Developers’ Showdown. In our second round matchup against TimeGate, we took 74.1% of the votes. Up next is 7th seeded Crytek — makers of last year’s hit shooter for the PC, Crysis. The winner of the match will take on the winner of the Blizzard/Firaxis in the West Regional Final.

Sweet 16 voting hasn’t commenced yet, but if you’re a registered user over at The Escapist, you’ll eventually be able to vote here.