They Talk

The developers continue to speak to the fans on the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum, this time professional enfant terrible Killzig asked if “is there a big board in the office/writer’s pit keeping tabs on the general amount of [censored]ery/[censored]ery/or otherwise inappropriate language being stuffed into the dialog trees?” to which Fred “Fizzbang” Zeleny replied:

Well, as with most game companies, the lead designer reads everything we write, and makes sure things have a consistent style and generally fit the proper tone and mood, from the most uptight vault dweller to the foulest slaver. But we don’t have a big swear board counting up the tallies of our curses, or anything…

“Hey, we need fifteen more [censored]s and twelve [censored]s from this character to meet quota!”
“Oh, [censored]!”
“That’s the spirit! And don’t get lazy with ’em! We still need something special for this other character!”
“Oh, that [censored]ing, [censored]-[censored]ing, [censored] squirrel-[censored] with the [censored]-[censored]ed [censored] face?”
“Sounds like someone’s bucking for a promotion!”
“…?”
“I said ‘
bucking’!”

Besides being an hilarious reply, does that mean we are going to have Vault Dwellers and Slavers on Fallout 3?

Mark “Wolfric Tugmutton” Lampert had a very interesting reply to this, coming from a different perspective:

I don’t contribute to the writing of the dialogue myself, though I might suggest minor changes here and there during voice recording sessions. But most of the time it’s something that the lead designer and I (along with the voice actor) agree on. Sometimes you have to hear the written dialog as it’s translated through the actors to really get a feel for how it’s going to sound, because it might come across differently from what the writer heard in his or her head at the time they wrote it. It certainly applies to profanity where it makes sense in some context but not in another, and when you hear it spoken as it’s really going to sound in the game, we might feel as though it’s gratuitous and doesn’t sound natural. So the lead designer or myself might suggest an alternate line right there, or the actor might even suggest, “This would probably sound more natural if I said ______ instead.”

But this doesn’t apply just to profanity. Sometimes a line is just difficult to say because of the choice of words and needs a quick rearrangement so that it can ‘flow’. So we re-write it on the fly without changing the meaning, intent or emotion. This kind of thing happens in the film world all the time, if not more often. A classic example that you’ve all heard would be when Han Solo is about to go into the carbonite freeze and Leia tells Han, “I love you,” to which he replies, “I know.” Apparently the original reply was that he loves her, too, but Harrison Ford felt it wasn’t what Han Solo would say, being the kind of character that he is. So he suggested the change to Lucas who gave it the thumbs up, and there it is.

Anyway, to summarize all of this, the game’s dialogue goes through many stages of filtering and re-writing before it’s really considered ‘finished’. From when the designer is writing it in their cube for the first time to when it’s re-read the next day and changed, to team reviews in a meeting room, our QA department playing the game and finding a logic problem or aesthetic change that needs to be made, to the voice recording sessions and even after that. There will always be a small amount of lines that we’ll make changes to even in the final weeks of a project if it’s still feasible to do so. The material that you fans hear upon playing the finished game has been discussed, listened to, re-worked and hammered over many times before it reaches your ears! It’s all part of the process, though, because we all take a lot of pride in the games we make, so everyone wants each and every little detail to come out just right.

And Socrates200x replied to a question about if they can talk about the game more openly after the Game Informer exclusive:

Same as always, kemosabe. We can talk about what’s been talked about.

That’s a shame, oh well.

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14 thoughts on “They Talk

  1. Besides being an hilarious reply, does that mean we are going to have Vault Dwellers and Slavers on Fallout 3?

    -_- How cliche of them to oppose slavers to vault dwellers as evil and good bastions… Vault Dwellers are PEOPLE like everyone, and are probably more keen on being stupid and hypocrite than wastlanders… As for slavers, I would love to see a good guild of slavers. Morally ambiguous questions and events… But NOOOOOO! I bet there will be more than 1000 enemies to kill in fallout 3… PLUS all the others that are automatically spawn, that is.

    (…) all the time, if not more often (…)[/quote]
    Do tell: what’s the difference?! º_º

    Also, this is a clear sign, a confirmation even, that fallout 3 will have full voice overs… That means one of two things: either they have over 200h of voice records, or they don’t have enough dialog… Guess what will happen.

  2. (…) all the time, if not more often (…)

    Do tell: what’s the difference?! º_º

    Also, this is a clear sign, a confirmation even, that fallout 3 will have full voice overs… That means one of two things: either they have over 200h of voice records, or they don’t have enough dialog… Guess what will happen.

    Sorry for the mistake about. I just wanted to say one more thing: text-only dialogs are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOfuckingSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSHITFUCK!! much better than voice overs… -_-

  3. Swearing is part of humanity, is a way of expression, it is an important aspect of our own self, whether we do or don’t swear. Mostly, swearing is a means of relief, but if may serve a lot of other purposes too 😛

    Yeah, elitist pricks they are… Reminds me of Vault City 🙂

  4. i thrust ol’beth on some issues but not on that killzig, but i gota strange feeling that this is gonna be funny gay commidian show or somthing similar to old woody allen copy. simmilar to borderless stupidity and inappropriate sarcasm of gothic hero.

  5. haha, jes,jes,jes,jes,jes, …jes that wold be ubber-smuber, but not my point ( english is not my cup of rotgut, and u have to excuse mua to this one ). what i ment to say is:
    1. F3 is gonna be full voiceover, bacouse that is modern time standard, evolution of humanity laziness. i’m oke whit that and think that is not gonna shit a game.
    2. my afraids are that F3 is gonna be full of bizarre humor whit out any awareness of situation and sans of taste. thet bath’s funny gay is really fanny, clown funy, a joker. thats oke but not fallout fanny. i see not any trace of juicy bitterness which is fallout tm. we are witness of that bizzarness in FO2 ( talking deathclaws ).troika is left a building in half of production and wee have unpolished product who become of parody of self. its not survival game any more, its a chosen one in in other side of mirror. that my afraids are, fallows.

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