The final results on the VoodooExtreme Favorite RPG series Poll are out, surprisingly good results for the old series.
Second I would like to show you the Fallout Shelter Radio Ads at Dinosaur Gardens:
Radioactive fallout, that deadly by-product of a nuclear attack, will kill literally millions of unprotected families in the event of an atomic attack. Is YOUR family protected? Do YOU have a fallout shelter?
Each Civil defense approved, basement-type, Do-It-Yourself fallout shelter includes: A complete fully-stocked first aid kit! Extra strength saran and rayon bunks! A radiation meter and individual dosimeters!
Civil defense approved, FHA approved, no money down, five years to pay!
Economical… but Priceless!
Thanks to requiem_for_a_starfury.
PCGamer Podcast is out, with a discussion around Fallout 3:
On this edition of the podcast its news news and more news. Load up on Stimpacks and stay off the Jet because Fallout 3 will have how many endings and how long of gameplay? WOW 2.4 patch thoughts by ex intern WOW expert Andy Salisbury. Illinois dips into social funding to pay for failed video game law and many other topics including the second edition of Master PC Theatre. Who will get the e-props? It could be you if you listen to the PC Gamer Podcast Episode #126.
On March 21, 2008 the Chief Executive Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer, Herve Caen, received a letter providing written notice of there having been a change in control of the registrant. According to such letter, Financial Planning and Development S.A., a Luxembourg company (“FPD”), acquired the holding of approximately 58 million shares of common stock of the registrant, representing approximately 56% of the outstanding shares of capital stock of the registrant, previously held by Titus Interactive S.A. (in bankruptcy) (“Titus”) on April 30, 2007 in a private sale by the bankruptcy trustee of Titus.
The amount of the consideration paid for such holding by FPD is not known to the registrant. The source of the funds used for the acquisition is not known to the registrant. There were and are no arrangements or understandings with respect to election of directors or other matters of the registrant, known to the registrant. There are no arrangements, known to the registrant, including any pledge by any person of securities of the registrant or any parent, the operation of which may at a subsequent date result in a change in control of the registrant.
The latest issue of UK magazine 360 has a large article about Fallout 3. I bought the mag and should get it next week, more info then.
Thanks to everyone that left this info on Meebo, spotted at the Bethsoft Fallout 3 forum.
From the BethBlog:
This week’s Inside the Vault is with producer, Jeff Gardiner. If you are a fan of Oblivion’s downloadable content, Jeff is one of the folks you can thank. Besides being the producer for our designers and level designers, Jeff is instrumental in a lot of game system tweaking and prototyping. On Thursday nights (game night here at the studio), you can find Jeff getting his table top war gaming on.
What’s your job at Bethesda?
I’m a Producer. AKA, I’m the ‘cattle prod,’ the ‘snake-oil salesman,’ or ‘smiley-glad-hand.’ On Fallout 3, I’m in charge of keeping the designers busy. I also have a heavy background in design from previous projects, so I coordinate and help design various game systems; combat and VATS in particular, among other things. It’s a great job. Being able to shoot at things in a videogame all day, and then getting paid, isn’t something I take for granted.[...]
What is the best part about working as a producer? The worst part?
The best part is I get to set and achieve my own personal goals. I get the privilege of being able to help, in any way I can, on Fallout 3, and other great games. Day to day my job responsibilities change, so I’m never bored. Today I got to play with various types of weapons and make small tweaks to damage, gun spread, field of view, etc. A month ago I was helping oversee the production of some of our most important main quest events (sorry, no spoilers.) Tomorrow I’ll probably be shuffling around a schedule trying to get this game finished someday. I’m lucky I get to work with the designers, as that where my true love lies! There really is very little downside. Sometimes I’d rather not spend so much time using MS Project, but that’s about it. Game development is very much a dream job if you find the right company.
Now, we have something to sweeten the deal. Bethesda will also be giving the winner of our Paint-An-Egg-Contest a Vault Boy Fallout 3 shirt. There’s more! The back of this shirt is signed by Fallout 3 team. So big kudos for Bethesda for pitching this in and for the devs for writing their names!
Interesting interview with CD Projekt RED’s Michal Madej at Rock Paper Shotgun, with a question about Bethsoft:
Was it daunting, breaking into a genre dominated by Bioware and Bethesda, and threatened somewhat by MMORPGs?
Personally I find it more motivational than daunting. It’s really fair competition and we are not “enemies” on the market, as there are very few good RPGs for players to choose from. Still, we do struggle to get the best reviews, scores and awards. I think we did really well because the genre tycoons grew a little overconfident and stuck to the old clichés. We had to come up with an idea for a new, fresh and modern RPG experience that would still feel familiar to Baldur’s Gate or Elder Scrolls fans. I think we were also a little faster in noticing that to compete with the more and more popular MMOs, you must offer a completely different experience. Many single-player RPGs still contain too many gameplay elements that are simply more exciting in a multiplayer game, like money grinding and random drops. Instead we focused on elements that just don’t play an important role in MMOs – a captivating storyline, meaningful choices, character interactions and emotions.
Tuesday was a record breaking day here in this blog. So many people coming, so much happening, that a few blogposts were placed on hold. Now I’ll just make a miscellaneous post, starting with Javno’s take on Fallout 3 and Fallout:
Out of the blue, the executive producer of Fallout 3, Todd Howard, on March 22 ceased a cease-fire between Bethesda, nosey journalists and crazed Fallout fans, saying coldly that the creation of the third part of the trilogy has been completed.
Er not quite, and the article has an incredible amount of errors. Still this idea is rather unique:
What Hitchcock is to film, Shakespeare to literature and Rolling Stones to music, Fallout is to video games. Evergreen in nature, the post-nuclear role playing game (RPG) at one point, without restraint and compromise, broke all known criteria, ignored all limitations and bravely offered a healthy dose of madness that can affect a person’s maturing of character in the same manner as Lucas’s balancing of the Force.
Speaking of not so well thought out articles there’s this piece at Crispy Gamer:
Somehow, lost within all of this concern was a simple fact to which I should have paid more attention: Oblivion, though not without its flaws, is the single best game that I have played in nearly four years. It’s better than BioShock, better than Mass Effect, better than the Half-Life 2 episodes and certainly better than fun-but-less-inspired titles like Gears of War. It is, in fact, the best game I’ve played since the original Half-Life 2, which was in turn the best game I’d played since Deus Ex (released in 2000, and still my favorite game of all time). You may not put Oblivion on quite so high a pedestal, and that’s an individual choice I won’t begrudge you, but almost any rational gamer will admit that it’s a fine example of the craft.[...]
I believe Fallout 3 is going to rock. I’m telling you this not because a developer asked me to, or because a publisher paid me to. I can’t name a single member of the development team, nor do I have any further information than what is publicly available. I’ve never seen the game in action, and I know next to nothing about the plot. I work in the gaming industry, yes, but in this instance I am simply a gamer, analyzing what I know and what information is available to make a conclusion.
So he doesn’t know a thing about the game but already made up his mind because Oblivion rocked? Ok then, point taken, still Chris Buecheller shouldn’t talk of rationality regarding Oblivion, and then ask for leaps of faith (inherently irrational) regarding Fallout 3, that’s pretty contradictory.
Moving along there’s this interview with Jay Barnson at RPGWatch that, although it has nothing to do with Fallout, I recommend. Just because I always recommend everything from the mind behind Tales of the Rampant Coyote:
RPGWatch: So, your current indie project is Frayed Knights – what is it and what is it all about?
Jay Barnson: Frayed Knights is Rampant Games’ upcoming comedy-based fantasy RPG. It’s a blend of old-school style (first-person, turn-based, party-based adventures like Wizardry, The Bard’s Tale, Dungeon Master, and Might & Magic) with “real” 3D graphics, a healthy dose of character-based humor, and some quirky gameplay innovations. It’s part parody, part homage to both CRPGs and pen-and-paper RPGs.
It’s primarily a story about four misfit adventurers in a world that tries to justify all the weird things that happens in RPGs. The world of Frayed Knights is one with a subset of the population that were “adventurers” and acted like Player Characters tend to act. Which is to say, often amoral, ruthless, and greedy. Most of the time.
However, the adventurers are starting to die off. That in itself is not too surprising – the life of an adventurer is often short but exciting. But something is changing, and the rate of “morts” (deaths) is becoming alarmingly high. Plus, there are rumors of an “Ancient Evil™” rising out in the boonies. Things are going bad for the “adventurer community.”
But the Frayed Knights – themselves pretty much the laughingstock of adventurers everywhere – may be the only ones who can save them.
Jay is great, always.
Finally I’m adding Retro Thing to the blogroll:
Retro thing is an independent vintage gadget website run by a team of renegade elves with bases in Calgary and Chicago (I guess wanna-be job applicants should live somewhere that follows the pattern: Cardiff, Copenhagen, Calcutta…). Each month we present a never-ending stream of classic and almost-classic gizmos and books. OK, so I made up the bit about the team of elves. Everything else is true, though.
They also have an incomplete FAQ. Welcome to the club.
There’s a feeling some people aren’t getting what over 200 endings in Fallout 3 really means. When the NMA forum gets back online I’ll try to copy/paste how this compares to the other games, you’ll see it isn’t very different. Still it’s better to listen to what exactly Todd Howard said on the OXM podcast, so you’ll have a better idea.
And in the meantime here’s a partial transcript of those words, courtesy of Bethesda’s Community Manager Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff:
OXM: Have the number of endings been finalized…..how’s that coming along?
Todd Howard: Being that we are Bethesda…everything gets a bit big. So as of last week we’re over 200 endings. That is not an exaggeration, but it deserves some description. 200 endings…that’s a lot. So originally when we started, we had various iterations of the ending. The ending is kind of cinematic, that’s dynamic based on the things you’ve done.
When we started, it was kind of fuzzy, it was like “well there’s like 9 maybe 12″ and we started adding things to it. So if you had done this or not this, you’d get this other tweak to the ending. And we kept doing that. And you know even just two weeks ago someone had this idea, “Oh we should add this idea to the ending” (sorry I’m not going to spoil what that is). And I said, “oh that’s a genius idea, we have to do that.” But then it became, “oh, but there’s four versions of that.” So i was like, “okay there’s like four different versions of that part,” and that multiplies by, at the time we were at about 60 endings…so now there’s four versions of that, so now there are around 240 versions.”
The games on paper when we get started…they’re alot smaller, and then as we go they get bigger…we can’t stop ourselves. We’re have tons of people with good ideas here, and if they’re good and fit the tone, we’re going to try to jam as much into the game as possible. Fallout is probably twice the size of what we originally had on paper…it’s pretty big, so that’s what’s happened with the endings.
So some of that stuff is the big things of what you do very late in the game, some of those are things like your karma — how you’ve lived your life from the beginning of the game — you get certain scenes based on your karma. But we kind of like the ending as much as like the game itself at the beginning is you tailoring your character and then you play throughout this game, and unlike Elder Scrolls, where it’s a game where you can keep playing, Fallout 3 has a definite ending. So we wanted to go to efforts to make sure that the actual ending you get when you finish and get the ending, and make that ending reflect and make it individual to the user’s experience. We’ve definitely gone a little overboard.
Updated with new edited version by Gstaff.
From the Bethblog:
Today’s Inside the Vault is about Shannon Bailey, programmer. He works on our internal tools – designers and artists love him because he handles their feature requests. Shannon also volunteered to help get the Star Trek Legacy Mod Tool into a state where we could release it to the public. One more thing – Shannon knows how to belt out a tune in Rock Band.
What’s your job at Bethesda?
I’m a programmer in the systems group, which means that I mostly work on the ways things get into the game. Specifically, I do a lot of work on the editor and the art exporter, and I help maintain our build process.What other games have you worked on?
The only game I’ve worked on besides Fallout was Midway’s Gravity Games Bike title (though I started in their tools department, writing plug-ins and doing r&d).
I spent some time afterwards studying and working in cognitive neuroscience, ultimately in a lab that studied the effects of playing video games on the brain. But unless you count pushing a button to indicate the familiarity of a stimulus as gaming, Fallout 3 is the only other title I’ve worked on, and the first RPG.[...]
What would you say is your personal favorite game of all time?
I can’t pick only one. Wizardry VII was the weirdest game I played during my teenage years, and one of the deepest. Few games will let you be a magic-using samurai who carries a laser and plate mail and negotiates with aliens. All this weirdness is believable, though, because the world doesn’t feel dormant; things are already urgent and in motion, and your decisions effect genuine changes. Very cool for 1992. Planescape and Fallout were later favorites, the former for its surrealism and the latter for the depth of its world.
Since the second half of the Playstation era, my gaming has almost exclusively been relegated to JRPGs. I like the aesthetics – the collision of magical futurism and technophobia – enough to withstand the invariable set of clichés. Or almost invariable.
In September 27 2007 Xulm went to NMA and posted this:
After all that time I can finally start publishing my comic – I even fit in the Fallout’s 10th anniversary time – let it begin!
The Vault 12 comic will be updated every friday, since today.
It all starts with the page number 1 – the prologue, the introduction or whatever You want it to call.
Comic’s website: xulm.nma-fallout.com
The community helped with proofreading and all sorts of advices, and the series was a lot of fun to read. His characteristic visual style is really a treat, but all things have to come to an end. So check Vault 12′s site and have some fun, now that the series over.
Good work Xulm and all of his helpers, can’t wait to read more work coming from you.
Oh and if you are Polish head to the Motyw Drogi blog where you’ll find an interview with Xulm (thanks konradh)
From the OXM Podcast page:
Bethesda head honcho Todd Howard returns to the show to share the latest on Fallout 3 — not to mention the fallout of our Fallout 3 cover story among the hardcore fanbase.
Update: A few notes from the podcast, not a transcript mind you:
-”Fans sending death threats” says one of the OXM guys. Another one calls Fallout fans”rabid Right Wing kind of fans”.
-Over 200 endings, since last week. The 12 endings was surpassed sometime ago.
-The game is twice bigger than what they thought in the beginning.
-Always just one humanoid-type companion, and another NPC like Dogmeat.
-Dogmeat can die, but they are working on his health and how you maintain him.
- Dogmeat can be given assignments, and will try to follow them with his Radiant AI.
-Brotherhood of Steel doing their own thing; already in finished state on the game; they are on the verge of extinction, you’ll interact with them a lot more after a determined point in the game.
-The game is finished, but needs a lot more polishing and testing, they are doing many playthroughs; they keep adding stuff, sometimes it takes 100 hours to play, just the main quest takes about 20 hours.
-Absolutely tracking at fall 2008.
- Todd notes “Usually I’m concerned with making sure they understand what the game is and what the game isn’t. I always worry that somebody reads about it and they get excited, whether they’re old Fallout fans or a newer fans of ours. My concern is usually I want them to know as much as they can so that when they go to buy the game they know what they’re getting. (…) The people who bought Oblivion and then said “I didn’t like it, this isn’t what I thought I was getting”, that’s usually what concerns me more (…)
We have a lot more respect for them [Fallout fans] than anybody thinks in terms of they’re very very passionate and we wouldn’t have it in any other way.
I think you have to look at those comments and they’re usually not raging to rage, although that happens sometimes.”
-Todd acknowledges that some of the new screenshots at OXM got positive reactions too, some fans are beginning to understand their take on the wasteland, visually.
-Todd not going to change the game, when people say they don’t like the presentation; but on aesthetics and how things were interpreted by them they go “hey is there something we’re missing or didn’t take into consideration” and deal with it.
Well, it was a busy month for many of us and we got a pile of submissions, but after lots of reading and a short period of fisticuffs over which one was the best, we’re ready to present the results.