Back to Fallout 3 part 3

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Meet the Vault 101 team, aka the Fallout 3 team! Yeah, on the third of August everyone that receives the Bethesda Softworks newsletter got the surprise announcement of the grand opening of the official Fallout 3 site. There was much rejoicing on the Bethesda blog, on the Bethesda Games forum the reception was mixed but more positive than negative, on the fansites there was a bit of mumbling, and the gaming sites had these reactions:

Kotaku:

You work on a fancy new game, you need a fancy new site. Like Fallout 3‘s new digs. Not much there at the moment aside from your usual wallpapers, positive-press roundups and a glimpse of the dev team’s working conditions (above), but there is a heart-warmingly humble diary post from Bethesda‘s Todd Howard for you to read. Dude nearly bends back over himself in reverence to the original Fallout, which is always nice. He even posts highlights from Interplay’s original “Fallout Vision Statement”, which they’ve been consulting throughout development of Fallout 3. Good reading.

Gaming Today:

Fallout 3 is looking to be one of those games that blows the doors off anything that has come before. The hype machine has slowly been building for this title, with press releases and new screens appearing all the time. It’s either brilliant marketing or over saturation, but I’m not sure which.

Regardless, the new Fallout 3 site is online. It is about what you would expect, with crazy “Fallout Boy” guides and post nuclear-war zaniness. There are some new screenshots there as well, along with a much better interface than seen in previous renditions of the site.So poke around, see what you can find. If you look hard enough, you can find the screenshot of a dude’s head exploding. I’m not sure what he did to deserve it, but those blood stains will never clean off of that shirt

102.1 the egde:

Bethesda has just launched a more feature rich Fallout website today. The new website has a retro 1950’s come nuclear family look to it and is filled with all kinds of goodies like game info, screenshots, wallpapers and a team diary from executive producer Todd Howard.
Fallout 3 is set in 2277, 200 years after the bombs fell and 30 years after Fallout 2 took place. It is a role playing game that uses real-time combat with an active pause system. The game can be played in first person perspective or in an over-the-shoulder view that can be zoomed in/out on your character.
You are one of the surviving residents of Washington DC, now known as the Capital Wasteland. As one of the inhabitans of Vault 101 – Jewel of the Wastes, you awake to find that your father, played by Liam Nesson, has left the comfort and security afforded by Vault 101 for reasons unknown. Leaving the only home you’ve ever known, you emerge from the Vault into the harsh Wasteland sun to search for your father, and the truth.

GayGamer:

If that kind of talk gets you as hot as it gets me, waste no time in going to the official website and reading loads of info and backstory about your future adventures as the lone figure to leave Vault 101…

Wired gamelife:

There’s finally something to see at the Fallout 3 web site: the first entry in producer Todd Howard’s diary. Todd wearily laments how many Fallout 3 preview articles either misquote or misunderstand him completely, reminding us of just what the key points of the demo were: player choice, consequence, sacrifice, and survival.The most interesting bit of the diary is, perhaps, an excerpt from Interplay’s original “Fallout Vision Statement,” which provided 14 bullet points on just how the first Fallout should be fashioned:

  1. Mega levels of violence. “When people die, they don’t just die – they get cut in half, they melt into a pile of goo, explode like a blood sausage, or several different ways – depending on the weapon you use.”
  2. There is often no right solution. “Like it or not, the player will not be able to make everyone live happily.
  3. There will always be multiple solutions. “No one style of play will be perfect.”

All in all, it’s a good read. Here’s hoping subsequent entries are as illuminating.

Xboxer:

With Fallout 3 and System Shock 2’s spiritual sequel BioShock on the way, the Xbox 360’s games lineup will be appealing to a lot of hardcore PC gamers. Oddly enough, I think that these games stand a far greater chance of critical success because of the long gaps in production. With the original titles so old, developers are forced to re-imagine the gameplay more radically. Nonetheless, given the fan following of the series, keeping true to the original game concepts, if not the exact gameplay, is sure to please fans of the series.

On the site you’ll find a nice retro layout, not much info, a small FAQ (for now stick with NMAs Fallout 3 FAQ or TheVault Fallout 3 FAQ, some videos, wallpapers and avatars, links to awards, previews and interviews. How come a game that is still a year or more from being released gets so many prizes, you may ask? Well the gaming world has these oddities…

The most interesting part is the Developers Diary section (Killzig finds the term diary funny, I needed to point that out) that starts with a text by Todd Howard himself:

I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this, you’ve probably read between 1 and 50 previews of Fallout 3 already (they’re linked on this site). There’s already too much info out there, in different forms and in conflicting ways, for me to cover or correct it all here. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that the information never gets out 100% correctly, and you will certainly never be quoted correctly. For the record, I never compared the violence in Fallout to Jackass, I compared it to Kill Bill…big difference. I also never said “fantasy is riding a horse and killing things,” but oh well. Ultimately the game speaks for itself (certainly better than I do). The other thing to keep in mind is that preview comments often circle around the small-footprint sensational elements (Fat Man, toilet drinking, bobbleheads, etc), while sometimes missing the key points of the hour-long demo we give, which are: player choice, consequence, sacrifice, and survival.

Well Pete Hines noted this during the launch:

So after, oh, 4 1/2 months of work, we finally got the official Fallout 3 site done and out the door. Todd, Lindsay, Istvan, and I have been working on this thing since March, and finally got it just the way we wanted.

I think it’s a really cool site, probably the best one we’ve ever done. Many thanks to Lindsay for the 10,000 revisions she had to do until everyone was happy, to Istvan for making sure the look and feel was just right, and Natalia for pulling together all the Vault Boy images we needed.

I don’t know who Natalia is but she’s cool on my book, someone tell her that she can send art in my direction any time.

So good luck to them, I’ll leave you with a picture of Erin Losi, since she makes any blog look better:

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Tomorrow the last recap, than things will get to normality.

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12 Responses

  1. You forgot to mention Todd’s little bullet point list covered some extensive selective quoting, as per Chris Taylor’s post on NMA.

    I still think that’s pretty funny. Todd quoted it to go “see, it’s what the series was supposed to be,” while the truth is that bullet point was half about the mechanics of combat and half about using violence as an emphasis on wastelandishness.

    Ah Todd…you missed it.

  2. That will be for another post, I’ll quote that ChrisT mail you showed at the Bethsoft forum. later, I’m sick, something I ate

  3. The hype machine has slowly been building for this title, with press releases and new screens appearing all the time

    what fucking universe is gamingtoday living in?

  4. Dead Sea Scrolls

    @ Brother None: It was an interesting release of original FO design documents.

    Wonderful that C Taylor was out and about to cloth a stripped down historical document with his first person drama of ‘being there’.
    Real historical context.
    Not that one would confuse a Dan Quayle with a any Kennedy, or a Todd Howard with any ….

    It’s good that Todd H. had the time to share the history, and to share his opinions and some of his design decisions with us all.
    Don’t see it as waving the Dead Sea Scrolls about to justify a rewriting of The King James Bible,
    Not quite the post modern deconstruction of Emil’s real time RPG- turn based conflict simulation ….

    No canon burning in NMA’s front yard,
    or Toilet Papering (T-P-ing) DAC’s shrubbery,

    Todd may be seeking fig leaf’s of agreement,
    more like a personal revelation or affirmation that he’s directing traffic,
    or rather riding the horse,
    in the direction it is going.

    Will come a time when FO3 will have to quit the tease and fan dance.

    Drop this pretense of being draped by or hidden behind Saga of FO1 + 2. Bethesda has chosen to make the game they want to play and that’s the game that will be in the box.

    Let the advertisement copywriters that pontificate in game journalism preach the second coming of sliced bread,
    and horror-survivalist freeze dried wine.

    ///////////////

    A Farewell To Arms

    @ Killzig: “”what fucking universe is gamingtoday living in?””

    Based on Briosa’a above quote …

    Perhaps with the ‘understated’ prose and the obsession with splattering head shots, they seek to emulate the ego centric journalism of Papa Hemingway.

    4too

  5. Natalia is Natalia Smirnova, Bethsoft’s interface artist. She did all the interface, including the map, for Oblivion. There’s an interview with her at elderscrolls.net :)

  6. That means they have two Russians working there, both artists, that’s interesting.

    Again I like her work, I’ll follow her accomplishments in the Fallout world with great interest, and thanks TheReaver, I’ll make a blogpost about it in a few days :)

  7. No, Natalia’s the only Russian in the company right now A while ago the second one was me :) I worked in the QA during the summers of ’05 and ’06, then had to go back to finish the university here in Russia.

  8. Brios,

    Presidential logs, e-mail, send.

    Please & thanks.

  9. There are a couple of mails missing Killzig,I can’t find them. I’ll look them up again.

    Thanks for the info Reaver, but I thought there was another Russian guy, very young, fan of techno, working there a few months ago. Are you sure there isn’t anyone else from your country?

  10. Brios, yeah I”m pretty sure, where the info about a young Russian guy coming from? Fan of techno? That’d be me :D Though I’m more fond of trance and progresive :)

  11. Oh that’s it then ok :)

  12. Where can I get one of those shirts?

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