A new interview with our very own Todd Howard has gone up at videogaming247. Among other things, Todd discusses Fallout 3’s cross-platform launch, how decisions you make will help determine the game’s ending, and how Cormac McCarthy’s book, “The Road,” has been an influence on the game’s development. Here’s a sample of what he had to say:
Q: The “post-disaster” genre isn’t particularly well visited in games, certainly not as well as in movies and books. Do you look outside games for inspiration? We’re thinking along the lines of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”, and so on.
A: You picked one of the big ones, yes. “The Road” is fantastic and came out in the middle of our design phase, so it became required reading for many of us. We looked at many post nuclear movies, some very disturbing, things that deal with Hiroshima and such, and it gave us a good look at that type of nuclear destruction. Other general ones we looked at were things dealing with survival or how people deal with the effects of any war or rebuilding.
Welcome to another update on the Oblivion modding scene. Here’s a few community happenings and projects that caught my eye in the past couple weeks.
DarkOne from TES Nexus has put up a Files of the Month section similar to what TESSource previously had. Currently, Apachii Goddess Store ranks as the site’s most popular mod. This mod, from Apachii, adds a shop with Goddess Merchants that sell weapons, armors, clothes and more. If you’re not looking to buy new items, you can also visit the shop for training purposes.
At the Oblivion Files, this week’s honoree for ES IV File of the Week is Moving Paintings by Kevin P. Cook. Still in beta, this mods adds animated textures to paintings. Hmm, is this Cyrodiil or Hogwarts?
Because everyone loves unicorns, I thought I’d share Turamarth’s Umarithial the Unicorn Mount (version 2), which I spotted over at Planet Elder Scrolls. This mod adds the ability to ride a self-healing, armored unicorn. Oh, and you can summon your trusty unicorn anywhere that horses can normally go.
Finally, we’d like to wish a belated happy birthday to The Elder Scrolls Fan Union (TESFU). Last month, the site celebrated their one-year anniversary. The site is a nice place to discuss lore, fan-fiction, and of course, mods. Take a look here to see some of their projects.
As you get ready for the weekend, here’s some of the latest Fallout 3 coverage you can read as you head out for the weekend.
Clint McCredie of Australian gaming site Gameplayer has a five-page piece based on an an interview he did with Pete. After reading it, I realized that I probably need to take some time and refresh myself on the works of Charles Dickens. All I could think of when I read Clint’s intro is, “Where’s the mentions of Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Christmas Past?” Dickens references aside, here’s a snippet from the interview:
“We wander further and come across the settlement of Megaton, one of the larger piles of junk that are called towns in this world, and are allowed in by a security droid. Inside, the city’s grim and dirty, like living inside a drainpipe. We’re a bit perturbed that there’s so many people left alive in the town, especially as we can’t work out what they’re doing to survive. Where do they get their food from? ‘Emil Pagliarulo, the lead designer, had me read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road,’ explains Hines. ‘If you read his take on the post-apocalyptic world, then yes, everything should be absolutely dead, and there’d be nothing left to eat except canned stuff. If you take that view, then in 200 years nobody should still be around.'”
Starting on Monday, the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) kicks off in San Francisco. The week-long event is a chance for game development industry to get together and attend meetings, panels and keynote speeches. Since a lot of guys in the biz know each other, it’s also an opportunity for catching up and having fun. Thus far, I know two of our Ryans, Ashford and Salvatore, will be attending the event…as you’ll see they’re already planning the DS games they’ll be packing. For more info on GDC, take a look at the official website.
On with the list…
Ryan Ashford, QA Engineer: Playing Phantom Hourglass on my flight to San Fran for GDC!
Ryan Salvatore, GDC-bound: Advance Wars DS, LoZ Phantom Hourglass, New Super Mario Bros.
This morning Fred sent me an email with this Fallout-themed Valentine he made last year — just in case we were planning a Valentine’s Day blog post. I didn’t really have one planned, but it DOES seem appropriate for today.
I hope you’re all having a lovely Valentine’s Day. If you’re not, check our blog poll (wink wink).
Ever since Pete started Bright Shiny Things a few weeks back, I’ve been searching for the perfect game to write about. While thumbing through the February issue of GFW, I found inspiration in a feature titled “52 Free Games: A Year’s Worth of Gratis Gaming.” I’ve downloaded a few of the suggested games (Bossinabox, Crayon Physics, and Gunlimb), but when I came across Teh Forum Game, I knew it was match made in heaven, considering I spend a good amount of time each day in our our forums.
This week’s Elder Scrolls mod interview is with Trollf — a humble modder whose projects I discovered a couple of weeks ago. Trollf lives on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea and thinks he’s around 32 years old, but he’s not sure since he doesn’t remember being born. While Morrowind and Oblivion might not be his favorite games, he’s definitely a fan of modding them.
I realized the other day that we hadn’t really talked with any of our level designers so here is Jeff Browne. Jeff did some great work on our Oblivion DLC, including Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles. He is now hard at work, putting together some pretty amazing levels for Fallout 3.
Fighter’s Stronghold stays #1, surpassing #2, Vile Lair, by almost twice as much. We did notice a sizeable increase in the number of players on Xbox Live, playing Oblivion, after the holidays. Thanks to everyone to purchased/gifted Oblivion to someone.
Top Five Oblivion Xbox Live downloads for January 2008*
1. The Fighter’s Stronghold
2. Vile Lair
3. The Wizard’s Tower
4. Spell Tomes
5. Mehrunes Razor
The March 2008 issue of OXM made its way onto my desk today and thought I’d share some interesting mentions of our games….
In their “2008 Preview” feature, Fallout 3 is among 50 titles they think should be on your radar. Also, on page 21, if you look waaay down at the bottom, you’ll see that they wouldn’t be surprised if Fallout 3 gets pushed to next year. To that, I’ll reference what Pete said here.
The issue also looks back at 2007 with their “Game of the Year Awards,” and we were happy to see Shivering Isles came away with the award for Downloadable Content of the Year, making it the second year in a row we’ve won that award. I’m also happy to learn that Avatar and TMNT are great titles to boost my Xbox Gamerscore. Time to check those ones out. Like some other folks at the office, I’m a sucker for achievement points.
To check out the rest of the previewed games for 2008 and see who the big winners and losers were in 2007, check out the March issue on a newstand near you.