Inside the Vault: Josh Jones

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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.

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Want a Job? Come to the Fair.

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!

Ew, gross

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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.

I love this place.

Meet the Iron Man!

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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 Krisztián Kovács 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!”

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Emil Talks More About Fallout 3 Dialogue

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Emil dropped me a note to let me know he posted in the forums today to clarify his comments a bit further as to dialogue, and what it does (or doesn’t) influence in terms of gameplay. Here’s an excerpt from his post:

I was specifically answering the question about whether or not dialogue affects the endgame. It doesn’t — not directly. The endgame itself doesn’t change based upon things you may or may not have said in dialogue. The endgame is affected by your actions. So that’s what I meant by, “We went back and forth with the impact of dialogue on the character, and ultimately decided we didn’t want to penalize or reward the player for carrying on a conversation.” And yeah, that was a pretty bad choice of words, because it seems like the things you say in dialogue don’t matter — and nothing could be further from the truth.

Believe me or not, but here’s the reality of dialogue in Fallout 3: it does matter. It matters more than dialogue in one of our games has ever mattered. I feel really comfortable saying that, because one of my responsibilities is editing and directing all the dialogue that gets written, and one of my personal crusades is pushing the NPC interactions to be more meaningful. We approached that level in Oblivion — now I really feel like we’ve truly reached it.

You can find his full post here.

‘Martigen’s Monster Mod’ Interview

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This week I’m pleased to share a Q&A I gave with modder Ashton Mills, better known to some as Martigen. He recently released the utterly massive Martigen’s Monster Mod 3.0, which we’ve already discussed here at Bethblog. Being an active modder, Mills has already released version 3.1 of the mod.

Before jumping into the interview, remember you can always shoot us an e-mail if you have a mod project that you think the world should know more about.

What makes the newest iteration of your Monster Mod stand out from your earlier mods?

MMM 3.1 includes a new Wounding and Wounding Effects system. The former allows NPCs and creatures to get weaker the more wounded they become, while the latter displays this visually through blood textures, bleeding, and staggering effects that appear the more wounded an enemy becomes. It’s a lot of fun to play with as it adds a new dynamic to combat.

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It’s a Dance Off!


Late last week, I exchanged a few PMs with one of our active Elder Scrolls modders, princess_stomper, and she let me know that she was working on a video showing a “dance off” featuring our games, Morrowind and Oblivion, as well as some fancy moves from NCsoft’s MMO, Guild Wars.Well, I got to the office this AM and sure enough, Stomper had already sent me the video, and it’s definitely a winner. Featuring mods from more than dozen community members, the videos’ choreography goes great with the selected tune — Gwen Stefani’s “Wind It Up.”

Derek Zoolander and Hansel AM CRY!!

1Up Chats with Emil

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Joe Rybicki did a 10 question interview with Emil, which is now up 1Up. Here’s a sample…

1UP: The “Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System” allows for very methodical combat. But you’ve mentioned that you don’t need to use VATS at all. How viable an option is run-n-gun? EP: You can play the entire game in first- or third-person without ever going into VATS. We never actually force you into VATS for combat. So if you just want to point your weapon and pull the trigger, go for it. That said, the game is very much an RPG and not a straight FPS, so your effectiveness with any weapon is dictated by your skills, as well as the condition of the weapon. If you find a crappy laser pistol and you’ve completely ignored the Energy Weapons skill, don’t expect to pull a Han Solo anytime soon, in or out of VATS. Personally, I use the run-n-gun method to take care of the weaker opponents, like Radroaches, and VATS for just about everything else; mostly because I’ve become addicted to the gory cinematic playback stuff.

Guten Morgen from Leipzig

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Really hadn’t had any time to put together an update from here in Germany so I thought I’d let folks know what’s going on here at the big games convention in Leipzig.

I’ve spent the last couple days, and roughly half of today, showing the Fallout 3 demo and giving interviews over here to a lot of European press that didn’t get to go to E3 (as well as to a number of folks that came back for a second showing). There’s a video interview up over at Gamestar* I’m told, ‘though I haven’t had a chance to watch it myself. Continue reading full article ›