A few more quotes from the Meet he Devs topic, starting with Mark “Wolfric Tugmutton” Lampert:
I handle all of the voice recording, editing and post production. Direction of the voice is usually done by myself and a lead designer with occasional exceptions. Recording has taken place at a studio in the area for past projects, though at this point we bring the voice actors here and recording everything under our own roof. As far as the tone of the voice and the language used, the designers will write whatever is appropriate for the situation and characters.
I put together the non-human creature type sounds in really any way possible that sounds good in the end. Like most sound designers, I like to start with animal recordings whether it’s from a library or something I can go record myself, then heavily edit and manipulate those recordings in order to create something new. I also like using my own or someone else’s vocal recordings as part of creature sounds, too, not to mention pure sound effects and field recordings. The trickiest thing is to make the creature sound memorable in some way, or at least readily identifiable to the player once they’re familiar with the game. It can be difficult when there are a large number of fantastical creatures for which to create sound, so I just have to spend time looking for good source material that’s unique.
And now for Ricardo “socrates200x” Gonzalez:
What do you think of the nuclear catapult idea
Ah, that’s better. I have the same concerns most do about it being an uber-weapon, but I’m fairly sure the designers won’t be decorating the wastes with nuke ammo or keeping the rad count dialed down to debug levels. I definitely want my character to turn to ash within a certain distance, and catch a baaad case of radiation poisoning at anything farther. Concerning its lack of “realism”, I play the fiction card. Concerning its lack of “verisimilitude”, I think it fits just fine, although that opinion comes from the personal benefit of seeing it in context as opposed to in a screenshot.
1) movie, 2) book, 3) comic, 4) game reminds you of Fallout the most?
1) Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Not so much the actual setting of Fallout, but I think it gives a good vibe of the retro-future era before the bombs fell.
2) The Road ( My copy has a large Oprah’s Book Club ‘O’ on the cover. Very apropos. )
3) The Dark Knight Returns. It has the same themes of a dying society echoing the ideals of a past one, albeit the 80s rather than the 50s.
And finally Dan Ross:
You seem to have the gist of it already. We have access to the design docs and checklists etc. so we know how the game is “supposed” to work and can tell when things aren’t right. When we “play” a (hypothetical) Oblivion build, for example, I might be assigned to a specific quest line. I play through that specific set of quests looking for problems with those quests, along with anything else I happen to come across that hasn’t been reported yet. When I find something I check to see how repeatable it is, try to find the cause, document it, and pass it along to the devs downstairs. When a new build comes out I (or one of my cohorts) go back and regress the bug to be sure it’s fixed and move on to the next task. Sometimes for an especially potent or elusive bug we will have a small team assigned to track down the cause, but that kind of thing has been pretty rare for as long as I have been here. We do talk to each other a lot about various issues though since it helps when we all know the general state of the game, and we often collaborate when other people have information to share about a bug.
It’s not much like Grandma’s Boy really; it’s orderly, organized, and purposeful (and we never get to test from home). It’s important not to mistake what we do with simply playing the game. I’m not trying to level my character, or get phat loots, pwn n00bs or anything like that, I’m looking to make sure the game works as intended every time I play through it. We have very specific lists of things that we need to check in every single build, some of which can seem downright tedious at times. Try doing the pilgrimage and checking all the altars in each temple before and after each wayshrine, with and without infamy and make sure the right message pops up and the right blessing effects your character for each one; or use psb in the console and check to make sure every single spell effect has appropriate sound, animation and hit effects in Oblivion sometime if you want to see what it is like.
I don’t know what people are saying is wrong with my job; we get to see games as they are being made which is a lot of fun. Maybe it’s because we aren’t really “developers” and have little to do with actual design decisions but as FZ! can attest, QA is a good way to get your foot in the door if you have greater aspirations.