Inside the Vault, Fallout 10th Anniversary edition

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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.

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NPCs with Jobs Mod Interview

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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.

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Conquest interview on Gaming Nexus

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Gaming Nexus put up an interview today with Star Trek: Conquest Game Director/Producer Frank Arnot. Here’s a sample of what he had to say:

Q: How will Conquest compare to previous Star Trek strategy games, like Armada, Bridge Commander, and Legacy?

A: Conquest is closest to a hybrid of Legacy and Armada. It’s less combat simulation, like Bridge Commander, and more space action combat with a strategy wrapper.

We’ll keep you updated as new coverage of Conquest comes in.

Happy Birthday Fallout! Who Wants Cake? Fallout Perk Contest Announced

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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”).

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Elder Scrolls Modding Update

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Here’s a couple new mods I wanted to share that are over at Planet Elder Scrolls.

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.

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Gavin talks Fallout 3 with Gameshark

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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

What We’re Playing: Finish (or begin) the Fight Edition

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This one’s going to come as a shocker. There’s plenty of guys and gals from the office that are planning on playing Halo 3 this weekend. You can count me in on that as well, though I also hope to get a little NCAA 2008 action in.

As for the rest of the crowd, here’s the weekend lineup…

Jangjoon Cha: This new game called Oblivion goty, and …(cough cough)…Halo…

Angela Browder, Associate Producer: Fallout Collection, Halo 3

Jesse Tucker, Level Design: Crackdown, Guitar Hero II, UT2004, I’m taking advantage of the fact that my roommate just got a 360.

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Inside the Vault: Mark Lampert

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Today’s Inside the Vault is with Mark Lampert, our sound engineer. Mark actually wrote a team diary on Elderscrolls.com about the sound effects and voice recordings for Oblivion – a great read. Another fun fact: Mark was our first mocap stunt man – in early Fallout builds, it was Mark’s walk and crouch that were in the game.

What’s your job at Bethesda?

I’m the sound engineer, and I handle all aspects of the sound design for Bethesda Game Studios. In addition I do the voice casting, recording and editing, plus any post processing such as voice effects, and I share in directing, typically with the lead designer of a project. There’s also a little bit of music work in terms of mastering our chosen composer’s tracks for the game, and sometimes I end up writing little bits and pieces of things here and there as needed.
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