Here’s two interesting mentions Oblivion received over the long weekend…
Ash pointed me to cool list over on Team Xbox, where they picked their “Top 20 Weapons of All-Time.” Oblivion/Shivering isles made the cut with a mention of the “Dawnfang/Duskfang” blade that becomes available with the Shivering Isles expansion. The sword(s) came in at #5 on the list, and the Team Xbox editors had this to say about its powers:
If you haven’t been looking around, there’s some interesting coverage for Fallout 3 this week…
Apparently there will be an interview with Emil on GameTap this weekend (I’ll update the blog when it surfaces). This morning, ActionTrip posted an interview with Lead Producer, Gavin Carter. Here’s a quick look at it:
ActionTrip: As we understand, the team is also keeping itself busy with balancing combat in the game. If you can, please tell us about the advantages of V.A.T.S. Do you think hardcore RPG fans will enjoy the cinematic aspect of it?
Gavin: A big advantage is that during VATS mode, time is paused and you’re given a wealth of information about your situation. Every targetable enemy and object is highlighted and you can pan around and get a sense for where things are coming from. For each individual target, you can see their overall health, and the condition and the likelihood of landing a shot for each body part. This is the part that I feel separates VATS from standard “real-time with pause” systems in that it gives you information to base a tactical choice on. You may find that you have a high chance to hit a mutant’s torso, but then you notice that landing one more risky shot to the arm will cripple him, severely reducing his ability to aim. Recently I’ve been replaying Oblivion and find myself hammering the VATS button unconsciously whenever I get jumped by an enemy.
For many, Labor Day marks the end of summer, the return to school, and at least for me, it brings the dawn of another season of college football! Just as important, however, it provides us with a nice, relaxing 3-day weekend for catching up on games.
Looks like Bioshock is still the most played game around the office, with at least 30 guys planning on playing it this weekend (some for the second time through). In addition to this instant classic from the artists formerly known as Irrational Studios, there’s plenty of other games being played this weekend, including the Call of Duty 4 Beta, Two Worlds, and Metroid Prime 3. Anyhow, here’s the list:
Welter Almeida, QA Intern: Starcraft: Brood War, Lair, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, Nascar ’08 Demo
Josh Anderson, Programmer: Bioshock (Xbox 360) while I can and Marvel Trading Card Game (PSP) on my long flight to Utah this weekend…
Per usual, I thought I’d share some interesting things I found in the Elder Scrolls modding communities this week. The above video displays Richard deCosta’s “Oblivion Total Music Conversion Mod” at work. From reading his post, it doesn’t sound like he didn’t like the music in Oblivion (at least I hope not), but rather, it inspired him to make some pretty unbelievable tunes for the game. If you like what you hear, check out his music page.
Also worth noting, the guys over at The Elder Scrolls Source have updated their “Top 100 Most Popular Mods” list. Coming in at first place is Midas Magic Spells of Aurm by Xilver. This mod adds “100 new and unique spell types. It adds beam, spray and projectile attacks. Turn bodies to gold, summon your own magic carpet, or dwemer transformer, or protect yourself with a ring of fire.” Sounds like becoming the ultimate superhero.
If you’d like to see one of your mods on our site, shoot us an email and we’ll take a look.
In a very special “Question of the Week” for Conquest, you’ll see we’re also sharing with you a screenshot of the game board for the turn-based strategy part of the game. As for this week’s question, it comes from KO Gilligan from within our Star Trek forums. He asks:
Q: Is Conquest looking to provide both complex turn based strategy and simplified, straight forward game play?
A: What’s really appealing about Conquest is that itâ€˜s a grand strategy game that you can actually finish in a good week of playing and is fun enough and quick enough that you want to play it again and again. I love traditional 4X strategy games, but I find that I rarely finish my campaigns because they simply drag on for too long. After a couple of weeks of intense play, my enthusiasm wanes and I simply stop playing halfway through.
Conquest focuses on the big decisions and removes much of the minutiae. There’s not a lot of sitting around and waiting or endlessly clicking next turn to get what you want. We want people to play each of the races. We want people to try out new strategies with their favorite races. We get you into the hunt quickly and allow you to worry about important things, like planning your invasion of Cardassia.
Once again, they (meaning our recruiter folks) will be talking to anyone interested in the list of positions that we’re currently looking to fill at Bethesda Softworks (list) and our sister company, ZeniMax Online Studios (list). So if you’re in the area or are going to GDC and are looking for employment in any of those areas, do stop by.
I know that Ashley and Matt are both going to Austin, but don’t know if either will be in our meeting room during the show itself. Maybe if you’re lucky you can snag an autograph from one of them. (Usually a Benjamin will coerce Ashley into giving up his, but you didn’t hear that from me.)
For this edition of Inside the Vault, meet artist, Josh Jones. He is the Lead Character Artist on Fallout 3. Josh is also our resident motion capture specialist — he also spends much of his time fine tuning our animation system.
What’s your job at Bethesda?
Lead Character Artist. I split my time between meetings and animation work. I also work a great deal with character rigging and other technical aspects of character art production.
Apparently we’re having a job fair next month, or ZeniMax is anyway. At least, that’s what the email I just got says. I thought I’d pass it along for interested parties.
It’s going to be held from 11am – 8pm on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the Baltimore Marriott in Hunt Valley. Given the location, the focus is obviously on people interested in joining ZeniMax Online Studios up in Hunt Valley, MD, but they’ll also be accepting applications and reviewing qualified applicants for positions here at Bethesda Softworks/Bethesda Game Studios.
ZOS is currently hiring in the areas of arts, programming, design, content, production, and so on. You can see the full list of positions here. Bethesda is currently hiring for a couple of positions including several programming positions, a character artist, an animator…and you can see that full list of positions here.
Be sure to bring a copy, or copies, of your resume/portfolio/etc. Wear a clean shirt. Good luck!
So if you were to wander by the cube of Grant Struthers (one of our artists) you would notice that Grant has a sign up outside his cube that is rather, ah, unique.
You see, Grant gets involved in some pretty different sorts of projects related to art and special effects and so forth. As was covered in his Inside the Vault interview, he was one of the driving forces behind the room that disolves into butterflies for the opening sequence in Shivering Isles. He also worked on the big nuke explosion we’re doing in Fallout 3 that is featured in the demo, etc.
Well current he’s working on Fallout 3 (blood effects, stuff like that) and apparently was getting comments/complaints from devs who were innocently dropping by his desk to chat about this or that and were completely disgusted by whatever happened to be on Grant’s screen (e.g., reference photos of cadavers, body parts, etc.).
So Grant figured he’d come up with a way to warn people about the dangers of looking at whatever he was working on or looking at at that particular moment, and came up with his own system for warning the unsuspecting.
So Monday morning when I got to the office, I immediately went into the blog’s mailbox to see who would become the winner of our contest. When I left on Friday, we had a couple guys with game times around 600 hours, but it turned out our winner would best these impressive efforts. There were also a few folks sending in multiple screen shots showing total game time across different players, but as the rules noted, this contest was for one game save.
Without further ado, I’d like to congratulate KrisztiÃ¡n KovÃ¡cs of Hungary as becoming the “Oblivion Iron Man.” With a gameplay time of 700:48:55, he was the official winner by nearly 50 hours. If you think about that, that’s like playing for the entire month of February — even if it’s leap year! To quote Pete on the accomplishment, “Da-yum!”