I’ve been up since really early (courtesy of my beautiful and too energetic toddler) and everything Zenimax seems to be down, including the Fallout 3 Forum and Official Site for quite some time. So while we wait for everything to get back online let me show you this interview with Susan O’Connor, a writer that worked on Bioshock and had this to say about Fallout storytelling:
I’ve always adored the writing in the original Fallout 1 & 2 games from years ago: so many bits and pieces that there was no way to find every piece of the story in a single play through. The Lesbian Library especially stood out as a hallmark of absurdist comedic brilliance. Massive multiplayer games afford the opportunity to expand what Fallout poked its nose into. The trick is to have the means; WoW is a PC application only right now. Though massively popular, it’s still not as far-reaching as could be on a console, once consoles can handle those sorts of server loads.
Think those of us that make non-MMO RPGs need to look at what a single-player/small multiplayer RPG can do that MMOs can’t and spend our time and effort on those things”, Urquhart said.
“For example, in Mask of the Betrayer, we can make the world react more to your personal decisions than any MMO could hope to. We can let you impact your companions and the game’s NPCs – and the entire story outcome – in ways that MMOs cannot.”
Looking at the future of the RPG genre, he added that he’d “like to see RPG focus more on the world that they take place in with particular focus on making the player a real part of that world.”
“Many RPGs, including some that I’ve made, allow the player to just stomp around and not really have to worry about the world that they are playing in. I think that really limits the feeling of you being in that world, which is what I certainly want when I’m playing a great RPG.”
Interesting advice… I found these bits at RPGBlog.
I like to wake up and read a feel-good post from Bethsoft Executive Producer Ashley Cheng:
Crazy how fast time flies. Only one week left until the Fallout 3 teaser. I’m really excited about being able to show folks what we’ve been working on for the past few years. We’ve been running with the stealth drives on long enough, I think :)
I definitely agree with that, and not even the crappy news post Michael Fahey wrote at Kotaku will put me on a bad mood today.
In the 24th of may I posted a few comments made by Steve “MrSmileyFaceDude” Meister about the way fallout fans were analyzing the Fallout 3 concept art released by Bethsoft:
<MSFD> didn’t take the Fallout fans long to find the source photo Craig Mullins used for that concept art
<MSFD> they even identified which carrier it was
<MSFD> it’s funny because people are extrapolating all sorts of stuff from that identification, as though it has anything to do with the actual game…
<MSFD> nah, it was in Florida for a while but they sunk it in the Gulf to make an artificial reef
<MSFD> anyway all we did was ask “Hey Craig Mullins, make a painting of a carrier that’s run aground on a river bank in a ruined city” (or something to that effect)
<MSFD> nah, he’s freelance
<MSFD> he’s done stuff for a ton of games
<MSFD> incl. Halo
<MSFD> he did some stuff for Star Trek for us, too
<MSFD> once the teaser countown is finished you will have seen the entirety of the work he did for Fallout
<MSFD> anyway we have an in-house concept artist who’s done hundreds & hundreds of drawings & sketches & such for all the Fallout stuff
<MSFD> haven’t shown any of that
At the time I took those words as a sign that the concept art didn’t have much to do with the game, and we were chasing some wild gooses. Seems there is another interpretation to these words, as expressed by an anonimous on this blog Meebo private messenger:
meeboguest957191: You guys are deliberately misinterpreting what MSFD said — it’s pretty obvious to me that he was talking about the ship being the USS Orinasky, not about concept art in general. No wonder the mods are deleting posts about it.
You’d have to not be able to read English properly to misinterpret that. I mean he said “from that idetification, as if it” where “it” means “that identification”, not “all of the concept art. Like I said it seems pretty clear to me what he was talking about. Especially if you take the rest of the transcript into account when he talks about the specific ship.
And that idea was reinforced by summer, a moderator on the Bethsoft Forum:
I believe what he said was that the real ship that may have been used for prop in painting the concept art had nothing to do with Fallout. That is what was being talked about. At least that’s how I took it. Seems someone is taking it out of context to me. I mean concept art is called that because it assists set the representation of an idea or mood from which to work.
The idea that this blog or someone else are deliberately misrepresenting MSFD’s words is silly and ridiculous. But in order to prevent the erasing of forum posts and the spread of involuntary misrepresentations there’s no better way than to the developer in question to move forward and simply say “what you wrote it’s not true, I’ll explain later when I can talk more openly about the game”.
This had solved things right from the beginning, I don’t understand why he talks about events surrounding the game in #elderscrolls , a place that has nothing to do with Fallout, and not to us.
In conclusion if there was a misrepresentation of MSFD’ s words I’m sorry, and that has been now corrected, but a bit more openness and less drama on the forum would be dandy too.
Well every weekend is slow on the news side, even more when it’s a holiday weekend in the States. Still there are a few things left from last week, so let’s start with two new blogs, one from Le Driver, that shelved the Fallout3 Survival Kitt to start a more generalist blog about all sorts of RPGs, called RPGBlog. Good luck to her!
Also for the Portuguese speaking readers there’s a new blog, Ludonauta, from my good friend Role-Player, directed to those that like to delve into the theories surrounding gaming. Very well written blog.
One reader called 13PM called my attention to the fact that finally there’s an image from Fallout3 with a link on the Bethsoft site. About time, thanks 13PM.
-When is someone going to watch Brazil, by Terry Gilliam? It’s the one game (er, with Them and a Boy and his Dog and a bunch of others…) the old time Fallout devs talk about when they want to show where their inspiration came from.
SO: I sat through Time Bandits; does that count?
FZ:Oh, I’ve definitely seen it. In fact, I’m a big fan of all of Gilliam’s work – I’d say Baron von Munchausen is my favorite film. And, yes, I’ve also seen Them and A Boy and His Dog.
What would you change in my blog? Go to the jugular here, I don’t mind, I don’t have much time to change things anyway…
SO: Other than the low contrast between your background and your text ( although that may just be my monitor ), it looks dandy to me!
FZ: I’d get rid of the pic of that weirdo with a crazy hair-dye job on the front. Seriously, what sort of freak would go around in public looking like a cheesy Batman villain?
What’s the real name of RadHamster? He’s the only one missing from my list, so far…
SO: I believe Jay’s already come out of the name closet with this one. [yep, it's Jay "RadHamster " Thomas Woodward]
Have you seen any of these mags for inspiration?
SO: I have now!
FZ: My uncle used to collect Amazing Tales magazines, and I studied a lot of those back in school – my writing degree included a “Science Fiction and Culture” class. So I’m familiar with the styles, if not those particular comics and covers.
What is it like working with so many new people around? Bethsoft has a lot of new blood now, so what’s it like?
SO: Being part of the “new blood”, it’s great! I get a paycheck, they get a me. It’s a win-win-win situation!
FZ: As far as I’m concerned, new folks are important for any creative company, if only because they can bring in a new sense of energy and new perspectives to keep a company fresh and creatively active.
But then again, I am some of that new blood, so I may be overstating my own importance a bit. As it is, I’m excited work with some of the “more experienced blood” here, so it goes both ways.