An interview with Pete Hines, again, on IncGamers:
We’ve seen the game, so let’s start right from the beginning. Where and how does the game start and what’s your stat status?
You actually start the game witnessing yourself being born. The whole first part of the game takes place in one of the underground vaults that were built for people to go to when the nuclear bombs starting falling. They would reserve space for their family in the vault and live happily until they were able to come back above ground. So you’re born in one of these vaults and [at the beginning of the Fallout 3game] you flash through different periods of your life, so you get to experience growing up in the vault. You flash to when you’re one, then when you’re 10, then 16 and then 19. In each stage at this part of the game you’re doing tutorials, you’re learning a little bit of how to play the game, you’re creating some of your character, building up stats and attributes of the kind of character you want to play. You wake up when you’re 19 and your father has gone. He leaves the vault and leaves you behind. Significant because in two hundred years no one has ever left or entered the vault and so that’s your jumping off point for leaving the vault as well, trying to figure out where your dad go and what’s so important for him to leave you behind. The whole main quest has to do with that, but ultimately it’s up to you how you want to play the game. It’s set in Washington D.C. and it’s a big, post apocalyptic sandbox for you to explore and play.[...]
Talk to us about ‘Karma’ and how it effects the game and whether it has a bearing on the story or the ending of the game?
What we wanted to do was let the player explore different situations and make the choice of how they want to solve quests. The game also tracks how good, evil or neutral you are and how that effects things like having a companion in the world. The kind of companion you can have is based on your karma and their karma, so if they’re different, they won’t be willing to come with you. You also have factions in the world, the good guys and the bad guys. If you’re the opposite, then they’ll send out guys to kill you. So if you are evil in the world, at some point the good guys might try to send out someone to kill you because you are causing problems for them. So really it manifests itself on what happens on an individual basis, what kind of people are willing to help you and whether or not you’ll have to suffer the consequences.[...]
You mention VATS and action points, and the fact that you can pause the game. We only could use VATS for a limited number of moves. Is there any way that you can enhance, upgrade or increase your action points during the game? This goes for health too.
Well, different weapons use different amounts of action points based on what type of weapon it is, so a Fallout 3pistol would use fewer per shot, whereas a bigger gun or a sniper rifle would use more action points. During the game you level up and you are able to increase the number of hit points you have and you can spend the time to increase the number of action points if you so choose. That’s a whole other aspect of the character system, the player deciding what they’re going to spend their points on. Do you want more action points, do you want more strength to carry more in your inventory, do you want other special abilities or do you want to focus on skills?
Finally, and this is the last question, I promise…what’s your favourite thing about the whole game?
Honestly, for me, it’s the freedom to go do whatever you want. I love coming to events like this where you’ve got seven or eight monitors set up like this and you look around the room and everyone has started off at the same point, but then they’re off in completely different directions doing completely different things. That is one of the things that people have really come to like about our games, is the aspect of really having the choice to go and play wherever you want and however you want. You can focus on quests, you can focus on free-form exploring or just going out and shooting stuff for fun, using different weapons or making your own weapons. All that stuff adds to the experience of getting to explore what kind of a person you want to be in the game. So go and have fun however you want!
They also added a preview of Fallout 3:
In short the game is massive, and Sci-Fi fans will find many references to their favorite films or Fallout 3books[sic]. Although we saw a lot, it still isn’t the half of it, and with around 500 endings, yes 500, you’re going to need to play this game more than once we’re sure. But what we can tell you is that it’s a pretty awesome game. It’s a gruesome game. It’s a dark game. It’s a game that will send you not only on a quest to find your father, but also will show you what kind of a person you really are too. And that’s not a bad thing. Because of its ability to draw you in and the way it allows you to inhabit your character in every sense of the word, you’ll find your own story and your own missions, and I’m talking from just the Alpha build. Imagine the fun you’ll have with the final release.