Nuclear Roundup

Quick roundup time, starting with the Fallout 3 trailer, theme and pictures being released on the Xbox360 Live service. In the words of the Fallout fan veteran, Xbox aficionado, enfant terrible and tatoo guru Killzig at DAC:

the theme is pretty weak.

turns your guide background to the default silver/grey metallic drab look.

the following backgrounds for the following blades:

xbox live blade
capitol building concept art

games blade
first concept art, wasteland

media blade
slaver camp concept art

system blade
the carrier concept art

no screens, nothing new.

http://www.majornelson.com/default.aspx

Major Nelson has some more info as well as the price points.

the gamer pics are:

4 variations of vault boy. the thumbs up Major Nelson is using

just his head (this is also the icon that is displayed for the game on the marketplace),

head and shoulders,

and then:

there’s also the power armor helmet (game informer cover),

and the bethesda vault door logo.

yes, people pay for this. MS Points are like disney dollars but less useful. Non transferable. Non refundable.

—X—

panelistswg3.jpg

Former Fallout3/Van Buren lead technical designer J.E. Sawyer, now working at Obsidian Entertainment, disagrees with the view that Fallout 3 will be just Oblivion with Guns:

Well, as we all know, there weren’t talking heads in Fallout. Also, Oblivion had that exact same body part targeting system. And let’s not forget that Oblivion also had an offset-from-center third person camera.

He also likes the idea of minigames on Fallout 3, but leaves a friendly advice to the Bethesda devs:

I think minigames are great, mostly because I think most CRPG mechanics like lockpicking are absolutely boring and terrible in every way. The minigames should definitely be good (and I think the Oblivion ones had some major problems), but the ol’ “roll a die to see if you’ve spent enough points over the last 20 hours of gameplay” mechanic is incredibly dull to me. At least combat has enough instances of those checks and other variables that it’s a robust game, but lockpicking (as an example) on its own is brainless and uninteresting. I think the lockpicking minigame in Oblivion was “okay” and I think the persuasion minigame had a lot of flaws. But I’m also pretty confident that the Bethesda folks know this too.

He says some more stuff on this, check this topic for it.

—X—

Remember the thank you note from the fans to Ron Perlman? Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff is going to send it to the man, well sort off:

Kaos passed this on to me, and we can try to pass it on to Ron’s agent and let it go from there.
I went through and spell checked the introductory letter, added a few commas where they were necessary, etc. As for the comments, I left them as is, because they were the actual posts.

He didn’t pass the request for a small interview to this blog though, oh well.

—X—

f3shock.jpg

And yeah everybody is talking about the Eurogamer interview with Gavin “kathode” Carter and Emil “Rohan/Emil” Pagliarulo. If for some reason you haven’t read it by now go on and check it, it’s the most interesting and important interview about Fallout 3 so far:

Emil Pagliarulo: Me personally, I really feel like we’re making a game in the legacy of the Fallout games. It’s so different than working with the Elder Scrolls stuff. It’s first-person, and that’s it. Actually it’s interesting for me – it harkens back for me to some of the most enjoyable first-person games I’ve ever played, the Terminator games Bethesda made. Fallout 3 is Bethesda’s triumphant return to gunplay games, after swords and sorcery for so long. For me it’s about bringing back /that/ legacy.

Gavin Carter: I feel like when people see it’s first-person they’re going to say, “Oh, there’s Oblivion. It’s Oblivion with guns.” But honestly there’s not a single thing we didn’t look at and think, how are we going to do this for Fallout? We stripped out our entire character system. It’s all Fallout now, with specials and experience, it’s not skill based. The whole questing system is Fallout. There are different paths to all the quests, you can lock yourself out of quests. It’s not like Oblivion where you can say, “I’ve just started in the Fighter’s Guild, but I’m the Grey Fox.” There’s nothing in the game that we haven’t looked at as its own thing.

Eurogamer: Do you feel like you owe Interplay anything?

Emil Pagliarulo: You can’t. You can’t proceed feeling that way. It’s like, you also can’t proceed feeling like you owe the fans of Fallout anything, you can’t feel bad that you’re not making a turn-based isometric game. When I first started I think did feel like that, and there was a period of coming to terms with it, and just saying, “I’m going to make the best game I can make, it is what it is, and we have the skills to make an excellent game, so that’s what we’re going to do.”

emilandhoward2.jpg

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19 thoughts on “Nuclear Roundup

  1. Fuck minigames and fuck Sawyer.

    Uhm, I mean…minigames might work in Fallout, just like some level scaling might work, but neither will really add anything to the gaming experience. So, y’know…why?

  2. This really isn’t related to this post, but I wanted to respond to some of your views on the V.A.T.S. system, specifically that people think that, in real time, if you shoot them, it will hit. In an interview with Todd Howard on GameInformer.com, he stated, in essence, that whether you’re in V.A.T.S. or real time, whether you hit or not is percentage based. He said something along the lines of “sure, you could stay in real time, and eventually get a feel for how often you’re gonna hit an area…” but essentially said V.A.T.S. would be better. Briosafreak, if you have an email address, I can try to send you the video if you haven’t seen it. Mine is cjthefish@gmail.com, you can send an address there.

  3. I don’t really think minigames add that much to any game. I agree the lockpicking minigame was OK in ES4, and I enjoyed playing Kazak in KotOR but for the most part they can only detract from a game. It’s a rare minigame that makes people say “wow that is so cool, I think it makes game X so much better”.
    I’d rather have ‘in-game’ puzzles like how do you fix the reactor in Gecko in FO2. The most intagrated the minigame is (the less is feels like a seperate game) the better I think it is. The metro pod minigame, from the FO3 demo, sounds OK and feels like it’s in character with FO.
    On VATS, I think we need a clear answer from Bethesda, is non-VATS combat stats or reflex driven? I think I’ve been hearing stats driven (which I think is the right choice for an RPG) but I can’t be totally sure.

  4. I agree with your thoughts gilfander. I don’t mind “mini-games” but I just think that they should not be designed to be a something separate from the actual game. I think they should be carefully integrated into the game world, and don’t make them “generic”.
    To take the example of the lockpicking mini-game of the Oblivion. Not only does it feel consolish, but it kinda took some of the immersion factor of Oblivion out for me. I mean there are so many different locks out there, and not all of them can be picked in the same way. And what if I want to just bash the darn thing open?

    Now, I seem to recall (from one of the numerous previews) of a mention of the hacking “mini-game” of FO3. It was mentioned that the system uses your science skill (I may have misremembered the details sorry) to determine how likely the next set of randomly generated passwords that you can use. That is actually a step in the right direction. I definitely don’t feel such mini-game is taking the player out of the FO world. Now if they can add more variations depending on the type of the system that you are hacking into, that would be awesome…

  5. I must be a total asshole. I like mini-games, usually, and agree with JE that it can make skill checks more interesting. I definitely prefer thief’s lock picking mini-game to Oblivion’s (prefer isn’t strong enough a word as I really hated TES4’s). I hate to say it but Splinter Cell has some really excellent mini-games that feel very organic within the game for the most part , they would still need to be translated to RPG and balanced/tweaked for skill checking.

    I don’t think in-game puzzles or Kazak are the sort of thing JE was really talking about. In game puzzles are probably a must. Hopefully they’re better executed in FO’s world than they were in the dungeons of oblivion where puzzles stuck out like sore thumbs and felt like completely foreign objects in the game world. Half the fun for me is figuring out that the situation confronting me is indeed a puzzle.

  6. lol, you are not a total asshole. The kind of “organic” mini-game is what I think any of us could accept and like.

  7. One of Bethesda’s problems with minigames in Oblivion is that they were far too easy. The lockpicking game was ludicrously balanced, no matter what your character’s skill level, you could aways beat the minigame without much trouble. Of course, when inside the five-tumbler locked chest, which is located in the room with the four-tumbler door, you find two carrots and some yarn, you give up on casual lockpicking quickly enough.

    Really, I have very little faith in Bethesda as developers, I don’t think they have the skill level to implement such things successfully.

  8. it was so easy there was almost no point to it. you might as well have just placed a button for “PRESS X TO MAKE THIS NPC LIKE YOU MORE”

    oh wait, that was a spell.

  9. I am going to be the unwelcome optimist here and say that I do think bethsoft has learned from their mistakes from Oblivion, and will take greater care when it comes to inserting mini-games in FO3 🙂 *runs into my fallout shelter*

  10. actually I live in a apartment building that is apparently built in the cold war years, and we got a fallout shelter with maximum capacity of 150 people! 🙂

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