Misc.: The Bunker Edition

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Image Deutsche Welle 

Some quick notes now, starting with Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff confirming what we already expected about new info coming out soon:

The OXM cover story will be an opportunity to see several new screens. In regards to these, I’m looking into the terms of their exclusivity — how long it lasts, etc.

When the exclusivity ends expect a barrage of new screens and info popping out everywhere.

—X—

The folks at NMA showed me this article with a cold war nuclear bunker in Germany being opened to the public. If you happen to pass through

On the Bethblog there’s a new blogpost with the games Bethsoft devs will play this weekend, these two highlights seem the most interesting replies to me:

Matt Grandstaff, Community Manager: Burnout Paradise, N+, Poker Smash, Fallout, Fallout 3

Ashley Cheng, Producer: Lost Odyssey, Scrabulous, watching Gstaff play Fallout 3.

Hey I would just jump right into the action instead of watching Gstaff being fragged over and over again…

—X—

Those that understand a bit of Fallout history know that the idea that the classic Fallout RPGs were 2d, top down view and with turn based combat were voluntary choices from the devs at the time, and not because of technology constraints. Still almost everyday someone shows up on the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum claiming the opposite, now even Steve “MrSmileyFaceDude” Meister from Bethsoft had to remind everyone of the following:

Arena (1994) and Daggerfall (1996) were both first person 3D games where you could go anywhere. Fallout (1) was released in 1997

Yep, but the ideas on the contrary are already urban legends and will never go away.

—X—

The folks at NMA showed me this article about a cold war nuclear bunker being opened to the public. if you happen to pass near Ahrweiler in Germany do take a look, it’s really Falloutish.

The PA Is A Lie

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So you’ve read about the controversy on the PA on the Official XBox Magazine cover, and saw that Brother None already said that didn’t look the PA he saw on the Fallout 3 demo. Now Todd Howard, through a post of Community Manager Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff finally confirmed that it isn’t in fact the in game PA. Here’s what Gstaff posted:

Gstaff: I shared some of the feedback you guys have been giving with Todd yesterday. He explained to me the following, which I thought you might find interesting:

Todd Howard: I agree, and I don’t think the cover shows him well. It all has to do with the FOV of the character when he got rendered for the cover image (it’s not in-game), it makes his head look huge and his torso look skinny. I assure you in-game, the armor looks much bulkier. See the other screenshots we released. Also, this power armor is specifically not the T-51b.

Thanks for the heads up Grobindonk.

Checklist of Trust

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PcZone Will Porter

Since a while the complaints about the excessive laudatory tone and lack of knowledge about the Fallout world of gaming reporters have been piling up on the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum. Now for those Fallout fans Bethsoft Community manager Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff has some surprising (and quite sound) advice:

I guess I don’t have the checklist of who you trust and who don’t trust. From what I’ve seen, there have been previews written for Fallout 3 from journalists that have never played a Fallout game before (I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that…it gives a different perspective), but I also know that self-proclaimed Fallout fans, like Desslock from PC Gamer and Will Porter from CVG, have had favorable things to say about the game. For Fallout fans, it certainly makes sense for these previews, as well as what Brother None and SuAside said in their previews, to carry more weight than some of the other previews out there — since it’s coming from folks that love Fallout.

You might also check out the “Tale of Two Cities” feature on NMA, where Brother None and Desslock share differing opinions regarding Fallout 3 — having both seen the game.

I hope that helps.

Sure does. A bit surprising, still some good advice.

Fallout 3: Better To Be Honest

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Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff (photo Bethblog

Busy day at the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum, let’s start with this topic, with aftrburn stating this:

[...]it’s not going to be the same game you played 10 years ago. If people are only hoping for that and nothing else, they’ll probably be disappointed.”
These statements are divisive and potentially alienating. If I were trying to bolster confidence and move a fan base these are not things I would be saying.

Community Manager Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff replied:

Well, I figure it’s better to be honest than to sugar-coat my response with a guarantee that it’s a game every Fallout fan will love. I merely stated that if a fan is expecting the exact same gameplay experience that Fallout 1 and 2 offered, they’d be disappointed. I’d venture to guess there will be plenty of Fallout fans that end up enjoying Fallout 3.[...]

ll I can say is that the devs do read the forums — so they can take any input/suggestions/ideas into consideration — that’s no different than how we’d approach any other title we’re working on. Given that the devs aren’t allowed to discuss game specifics within the forums, there’s not too much that we can deliver in terms of responding to fan input. That said, I’ve done my best to pass along feedback on gameplay.

Then the discussion continued:

grayx: what part, section, slice of fallout fans will like this new Beth’s game? 90%, 55%, 21%, 5% of total old fan base [all sequels included]?

Gstaff: Aren’t I at HQ too? Sorry, I don’t have a mathematical formula for getting a percentage.

grayx: What does it means “some fans will not like this game”? In what sense?

Gstaff: As I phrased it, if there’s a fan that wants the same gameplay experience that was delivered 10 years, they’d probably be disappointed. You’ve already seen screenshots of the game and read the previews, so I assume you realize it’s a different game (real time combat, camera perspective, and so on). If the information released already has you in an uproar…well, there’s a chance you’re not going to like it.

HeyYou: Some interaction between the devs, and the fans, could only be a good thing? One of the major complaints on the forum is a lack of information.

Gstaff: We did run a fan interview (and will probably do another one) where fans got to ask 20+ questions about the game, so I don’t think it’s fair to say we haven’t shared information with the fans.
As far as talking about specifics of Fallout 3 in the forums, the policy is what it is. We’re not getting into that at this time…sorry.

Ralod: To be fair, most of the “questions” were softball ones we already knew the answers to. And the ones that were not were not really answered, or were answered as “Not ready to answer that yet”. Not really a Fan interview[...]

Gstaff: The policy is the same as it’s been with any of our games. We’re simply getting into detailed discussions about the ins and outs of the game right now. I understand you’re anxious to have more information, but it’s just not something that’s going to be happen in the forums right now.

Ralod: Hmm, thats not quite true. I seem to remember quite a bit of interaction with Devs while Morrowind was in production.

Gstaff: I stand corrected. It’s the company policy that had been in place for several years then.

I had to edit quite a lot, so take a look for yourselves and tell me what do you think.

Misc. Fallout 3 Stuff For The Day

This is the movie with GameTrailers 10 most Anticipated Games of 2008. Fallout 3 is number three on the list, spotted at the BethBlog.

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In other news if you are Portuguese you can find Fallout 3 featured on BGamers list of Games for 2008, on page 65.

—X—

Finally a remark from Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff about what motivates the Bethesda devs:

Making money is certainly part of it. Who doesn’t want money??

Having said that, whether I’m sitting in on team meetings or just talking with guys at the office, I’ve never once got the impression that the guys working on this game were working for a paycheck. These guys love making games for a living, and rest assured, they want to make a great game. Sounds cheesy or cliche, but it’s true.

Gstaff kind of missed the point here, since the complaints about greed as a prime motivator from fans are mostly directed towards the suits in the company, and not to the devs.

OXM Doesn’t Believe

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From the BethBlog, about the March issue from the Official XBox Magazine USA:

In their “2008 Preview” feature, Fallout 3 is among 50 titles they think should be on your radar. Also, on page 21, if you look waaay down at the bottom, you’ll see that they wouldn’t be surprised if Fallout 3 gets pushed to next year. To that, I’ll reference what Pete said here.

I’m still betting the game will be released this year.

Fallout 3: Post Apoc Teasing

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Some teasing from the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum, when asked about what’s behind the Chinese rifles Gstaff had this to say:

As mentioned before, at some point we’ll be doing another Fan Interview. I’ve seen this come up a few times, so maybe that’s one you could ask.

And this:

When the time arises, we’ll figure out a format…might be the same…might be different. When I have more news on this, I’ll give you guys notice.

More importantly:

There will be more information between now and E3…yes. That’s as much as I’m going to say.

So it can’t be easy for you knowing things and not being able to tell them:

Yeah, it’s not easy.

Bah, it’s harder not to know.

Let’s Have New Screenshots

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Can we make a judgment on Fallout 3 based on the screenshots we have? Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff replies:

I’d say it’s pretty tough. If you have ideas of what types of screenshots would help show RPG elements, send them my way. I can always make a suggestion.

So if you think of some particular shots of the game to show dialog, character creation, exploring and so forth that you would like to see, send the suggestions to Gstaff. In the meanwhile take a look on the new CVG Fallout 3 demo pics.

SuperMutants Vs. Batman!

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What is perceived as the new look of SuperMutants continues to create a lot of heated discussions everywhere. This time on the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum Mazinger Z posted this sarcastic remark:

The original Super Mutants aren’t a product of Bethesda’s creativity, and ergo, are flawed.

Community Manager Gstaff replied with this:

Or it could simply be the fact that a different group of folks aren’t going to do things exactly the same. I’ve seen a lot of Batman in my life, and the only Batmobiles that ended up looking similar were the two that were in Tim Burton films — everyone else that’s done Batman (TV Show, Nolan, Schumacher) had a different take.

Ultimately it’s up to you to decide if you like the new models or not, but I don’t think it’s surprising that our power armor, mutants, etc. aren’t exact replicas of what’s been done in the past. It’s a different game with different folks working on it.[...]

Oy…I should stay away from those pesky analogies, especially since Batman Forever and Batman & Robin were crappy movies. Still, I’d argue that they were in fact sequels — whether they decided to tack on 1, 2, 3, and 4 at the end or not. (Michael Gough always being Alfred, Gordon being played by the same guy, the Bat Signal that was originally introduced didn’t need to be reintroduced…it was just there).

Getting away from Batman, in regards to Fallout 3, its got the “3” because we consider it a sequel…that’s the logic. It’s continuing the story (albeit in a different place), but it’s by no means a reboot. As for why the mutants look different, well, my point was supposed to be that when different people take on a project, you can’t expect everything to be exactly the same.

Well some things should be almost the same though, saves everyone time and resources spent on endless discussions, I guess.

And Matt you’ll get in serious trouble with many TeS fans if you close the General Discussion forum, mark my words.

Fallout 3: To Know Or Not To Know

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Do we need more info about the game or not? For the minority that is afraid of “knowing too much” about the game before they buy it Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff had this to say:

[At tmo] Well I assume you’re okay with what we’ve put out because so far we’ve only released a few screens, diaries, and a teaser.

Without a doubt, we will be releasing more information about the game as the game gets closer to release — information that should be enough for most gamers to make a decision if it’s a game they’ll be interested in purchasing it. At the same time, we’re cognizant of the fact that folks don’t want us to spoil the game.

Of course, I also don’t think Bioshock went “too far” with what they revealed. Especially with a new IP like that, they definitely want to make sure folks know some of the features that make the game unique. Had they spoiled some of the game’s bigger secrets and twists…I might have a different opinion on the matter.

Afterwards Crni Vuk asked for “[...] some video that shows us CLEARLY combat and some random conversation”, to which Gstaff replied:

I hear ya loud and clear. I’ve let folks here know numerous times that you guys want to see those things.

You can see the rest of the discussion here.

Contest For A Contest

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A message from Fallout fan Blinzer:

Simple question: Should Bethesda decide to hold another contest – what would you like the subject to be?

Yesterday Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff had this to say on the topic:

If you guys ever have ideas for contests, you can always PM me with your thoughts. I don’t know that we’d do another contest to get in-game content for Fallout 3 — but I suppose it can’t hurt to ask.
They don’t just have to be ideas for pre-release either….I think together we can think of cool stuff to do once the game is released as well.

Now it’s not all that much to go by – but at least they are open to suggestions. So let’s find some?

You can make your suggestions here.

The Bullets And The Bees

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Painting by Shengarty/DeviantArt

Well is it true that “There was never any intention to maintain fidelity to the design concepts Fallout stood for. Never. Didn’t even try”?

Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff: Of course you’re welcome to your opinion, but the guys hard at work on the game are certainly striving to make a great Fallout game. Is it a different Fallout game, well yeah…we’re not original creator of the series. Still, we are hopeful that fans of the original Fallout games will enjoy the game. In the end, I guess we’ll see what you and others think when the game hits shelves.

By the way Gstaff “think it’s time for another community FAQ”?

Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff: We’re certainly planning on having another Fan interview at some point. I definitely let folks know when we can put together thread(s) for suggestions. For now, I’d suggest opening up a notebook and jotting down ideas you have. That way, when the time comes, you’ll be ready to fire away.

Socratic Construction

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We still don’t know if there will be a construction set for Fallout 3, but in the event of that happening than you won’t be able to create a pure Oblivion with guns, according to Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff:

I checked with our folks in legal. You’re not supposed to be able to take content from Morrowind and put it into an Oblivion mod, so it wouldn’t work to take stuff from Oblivion and put it into Fallout 3, or vice versa.

Still on the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 Forum here are some thoughts of Ricardo “socrates200x” Gonzalez on the original Fallout:

1. What do you think of child killing in fallout past games and what porpose it had (in you opinion) in those games?

To be honest, I never tried it out. Slaver-killing, check. Mutie-killing, check. Never crossed-off child-killing with any of my characters; even my bad-ass ones just ignored them, or at worst, stole back whatever those urchins in The Den stole from me. What do I think the purpose of killing a child was? Hmm..depends on why you did it, I guess.

2. What differences do you see between super mutants from fallout 1 and from fallout 3? Or what do you see (what makes them look original, color, eyes or so) that makes them look as they do in Fallout 1?

From the screenshots we’ve seen, I’d say the two big differences I spot are the lack of the endearing lip-holster and less bulky shoulders. Overall, I guess the new mutants are more anthropomorphically toned. Maybe they found some old Pilates holotapes?

3. Which is your favorite settlement or organization of past fallout games (fallout 1 & 2)?

Any of the BoS centers, those bastions of sweet tech and swishing doors. I especially dug talking to the half-sentient ZAX in San Francisco that was starting to lose it a little and just beginning to figure out was “it” was.

Those questions came from KTTDestroyer.

Want To Be a Tester On Fallout 3?

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Want to be a tester on Fallout 3? This might be your chance! From the Bethesda Blog:

We’re hiring for testers in our Quality Assurance department! We tend to favor candidates with programming experience but most importantly, we want people who are fans of our games.Why would you want to work in our QA dept? I’ll give you two reasons.1. We use our QA testers as interns throughout the year. These interns are typically among our top testers, and they sit with the development team, attend meetings, and work on our games directly. So if you kick major ass as a tester here, there is a good chance you’ll be a candidate for one of those intern slots.

2. When we have a job opening on the development team, we look internally first to fill them, so our QA dept gets an inside advantage.

Check out our jobs page for more information on how to apply. For more information about life as a tester at Bethesda Softworks, check out the Inside the Vault interviews with current/former QA testers including Will Noble, Chris Krietz, Alan Nanes, and Nathan McDyer.

Remember to check the jobs page first, thanks Gstaff for the heads up.

Fake Gstaff Interview, Answers Not Fake

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So Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff when will the game be released?

Not sure when a final date will be revealed, but we’ll keep folks updated. To my understanding, all is still on track for a Fall release.

Lots of testing going on I suppose?

I know that we seem to be getting more testers, so I’m sure that will help with the final product.

Well they are testing a game mostly set on a city right?

As it’s been mentioned in the past, DC is only 25% of the world. So yeah, you’ll have your wastelands.

Good, good. So you will release some gameplay movies soon?

Nothing outside of the trailer at this time.

Oh rats. More here.

No big news for a while?

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It would seem we’re still gonna have to wait for more info about Fallout 3. From a Gstaff’s post:

One good thing, with tomorrow being the first day of the new year, I can’t get away with the “Fallout 3 isn’t even coming out until next year” comment anymore. Don’t be surprised if I start a using, “We’ll share more details in the coming months” instead.

Oh well… Patiently waiting then.

Fallout 3 T-Shirts Winners

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News are pilling up so I’ll have to end my brake a little sooner.

Let’s start with two winners of the Vault Boy Fallout 3 T-Shirts Contest. The first is a rather scary looking (but probably delicious) cake from Andy Barnes, and the second is a Stimpack ad from Devin Clark, someone with a great portfolio that you should check.

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