Jeff Green and Fallout 3 (updated)

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Update: The GFW podcast against Fallout fans is online now.

I saw at the Bethesda Blog that Jeff Green from Games for Windows made an entry in his blog about Fallout 3:

I had no idea going into it how Bethesda was going to pull off the SPECIAL system, the PiPBoy “PDA” device, and, most importantly, the turn-based combat that was at the heart of the original games, but dang if Bethesda isn’t making a smart, thoughtful, and faithful go of it. It actually looks like, if you wanted to, you could play through parts of the game in a more real-time “shooter” way, but clearly players are going to get huge advantages by going into the “V.A.T.S” system (Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System), in which you pause the action, and, as in the original games, target specific enemy body parts, the success of which operates on percentages, and the damage of which can be extraordinary.

Most important, right now, is what others have said about this work-in-progress: that Bethesda has captured the essence of what made the originals so unique: the odd juxtaposition of apocalpytic future nightmare with retro-50s kitsch, folksy humor mixed with mutant monsters, –a creative challenge that in the wrong hands could be utterly cheeseball, but that Bethesda is so far recreating beautifully.

This lead to a discussion on the comments section with Gunslinger, someone I’ve known for some years now:

Gunslinger:

So despite the fact mutants shouldn’t exist (the F.E.V. chemical vats that created super mutants were destroyed at the end of the first game), the humor comes off as immature, and the story seems heavily scripted. Leads me to believe they’er literely doing what they do best oblivion with gun, not fallout 3.

Jeff Green:

Not sure how scripted the story is yet so I can’t comment on that, Gunslinger. We haven’t even seen much of the story yet, other than the setup for how it opens. Same thing goes for the humor being “immature”. First, we’ve seen only the tiniest snippets of dialog so far, maybe, what, .0001 percent of what will be in the final game? So why judge already? Second, there were plenty of dialog choices in the first two games that were silly, goofball answers.

Reading the Fallout fansites, it seems like a lot of the hardcore fans are practically willing this thing to fail. And, hey, if it ends up sucking, I’ll say so as loudly as anyone. But given how seriously Bethesda is taking the project, I’m personally hopeful, and willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for now, and am certainly not going to make pronouncements about what kind of game this is going to be yet given how little we all actually know so far.

Gunslinger:

I’ll hold off final judgement until its release but with comments like this “Todd Howard: Hey, violence is funny – lets all just own up to it! Violence done well is f—ing hilarious. Its like Itchy and Scratchy or Jackass now thats funny!”. I don’t know, fallout seemed smarter then that to me.

Jeff Green:

Todd Howard was just making silly off-the-cuff remarks for the purpose of keeping tired and hot E3 attendees, crammed into a stuffy room, entertained. That wasn’t some official gospel speech he was making. So there’s really no need to treat is as such. He was just goofin’. The kind of random comments he makes don’t need to be confused with the seriousness with which he takes the responsibility of making this game.

This last post is very true, many people don’t realize how these media events occur, how the devs need to keep everyone happy and joke around in order to get a positive reaction from the reporters. Still why is he saying that people shouldn’t criticize the game because there’s not enough info, when he praises the game in those terms? There’s enough info for that? This coin has two sides Jeff.

—X—

He later moved to No Mutants Allowed, where he made some new remarks:

You guys crack me up. Very Happy

You’re not gonna like our new podcast (if you care to listen, which I doubt.) We directly talk about the reaction to the new game by (certain unnamed) Fallout fansites. What’s “funny” is that we recorded it before I even saw this thread. Had I seen it, I probably would have quoted it directly, especially the line about me with “Beth$ cum”. That is podcast gold.

I wasn’t comparing anything to anything. I was simply making an analogy in terms of ART DIRECTION from one franchise to another. It was a form of shorthand–albeit an admittedly slightly awkward one. But, see, that’s the beautiful thing about some (not all!) of you guys. Every single sentence anyone writes is just used as further proof to you that 1) the new game is gonna suck 2) Bethesda sucks and 3) anyone in the gaming press who writes anything about it (especially if expressed in a positive light) is an idiot.

Which is fine with me. I saw the game running for 1 hour, in person, and l Iiked what I saw. I don’t need my opinion validated by others. I’m happy that someone is trying to make a third game, and I am not going to froth at the mouth about every perceived difference to the original games, especially given that there’s so much we haven’t even seen yet. (And, yeah, I played both original games, multiple times, when they first came out.)

But if it sucks when it comes out, it will get a shitty review, which , as those who read our mag know, we’re not afraid to do.


Anyway, I know my presence here is just like hitting a beehive with a bat, but I couldn’t help myself. I actually like this site a lot, and have lurked for forever. (I stayed quiet when you were all bashing us for our impressions of the trailer.) But now you may flame away, of course.

About attacking Fallout fans on the podcast:

It’s not a “smear campaign,” and, to lamely invoke the old “you started it” school of argument, I am only responding in kind to some pretty negative comments made towards my website, my staff, and me personally. But hey, as I said in my previous post, I actually like this site and have lurked here for years. I’m not that thin-skinned really about the personal stuff. I think what gets me more is the incredibly cynical/negative to this game already. It’s just a really interesting phenomenon. I don’t see how any developer could possibly live up to the expectations some folks have in their heads about what they think this game should be.

I agree that there is no real reason to trust the frothy gaming press articles if you haven’t yet seen in-game footage. It has definitely been very hype-y, and I know that blog posts like mine don’t really do anything except add to that. But that was just my off-the-cuff blog post– my gut reaction, not a considered analysis. And, you know, there are *plenty* of big question marks that we all have about what they are doing/not doing. A healthy amount of wariness and skepticism is probably a smart thing (especially since, despite the fact that Oblvion, at least IMHO, was pretty great, Bethesda has not always batted 1.000), as is being skeptical of an easily fooled/wowed gaming press. On the other hand, taking off my editor hat and putting on my fanboy hat, I *did* see them play it for an hour and it *did* feel right and it did, in fact, make me pull out Fallout 1 and start all over again. So right now, I’m remaining hopeful. Maybe I’m just dumb.

Well I can’t speak for anyone else’s article. My blog post, like I said, was just random–that’s not how I write in the magazine. Previews are the bane of most “game writers”, to be honest. You don’t want to just parrot what the devs say, because of course all they have to say is positive. On the other hand, it’s hard and also a bit unfair to criticize a game that’s so early on in its development. Can you imagine a movie magazine previewing, say, Spider-Man 3 when it’s still a year or two out? You want to give the devs a chance.

Desslock and Dan handled it smartly—it’s a conversation between two guys asking questions amongst themselves. That is a very clever way of expressing doubt without actually expressing it to the devs or even directly to the readers.

I think as more details of the game start coming out and we can write real articles based on actual information, then we will be able to have more intelligent conversations and debates on the state of the game. Instead, it’s a whole bunch of us not knowing a whole lot arguing over about not much at all. That’s why we love the Internet!

Entertaining stuff.

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19 thoughts on “Jeff Green and Fallout 3 (updated)

  1. I sent him a private message. Disappointed that most of these commentators are willing to come visit and engage in discussion AFTER they’ve continued to spread the “every Fallout 1/2 fan wants the same thing and wants to sodomize Todd Howard with a pool cue!” perception around a bit.

  2. Pingback: University Update - Jeff Green - Jeff Green and Fallout 3 (updated)

  3. Don’t you think Fallout fans did it to themselves? I mean, you have to look really, really, really hard to find ANY type of positive (or you could even debate fair) comment on NMA, for example, and they aren’t even the worse offenders.

    It is sad, because the good stuff gets lost in the noise. I used to read NMA pretty much everyday, but the negativity has gotten so ridiculous that I pretty much quit reading altogether and come here for my fallout information. I love debating and discussing games (anything, really) on fair and impartial merits buts its impossible on these sites.

    There are whole forums out there mocking NMA and the similar sites, and I’m sure they didn’t earn any respect at the Escapist over the last few days. Just too damn zealous.

    brios, I think you said “…Pretty contradictory stuff, but every guy on the podcast were coherent enough in laughing at us and criticizing us, while we seem not to be allowed to do the same about other people.”

    What do you mean you aren’t allowed to do the same? You guys (NMA, DaC, Codex) make fun of people EVERY.DAY. You guys ridicule Bethesda ad nauseum, and Todd gets it pretty bad. You guys ridicule the press for being on the take. You guys ridicule anyone who likes the game as not being a true fan. EVERY.DAY. Even just reporting the news is spinned with the negative comments of the poster. So whats fair is fair, right?

    I wish everyone would just chill the hell out but that’s not gonna happen. Oh well.

  4. So you’re saying that Fallout fans having a negative opinion on people mean the media can use professional outlets to mock them?

    How many times (except Fallout:BoS) has NMA used a newspost to mock or attack a person or group? Have we ever sunk to wishing a certain Gamespy editor to die after he wished the same on us? I don’t think so.

    also, maybe you should look harder; url=http://www.nma-fallout.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=37772. Or try the newsforum, the Gamernode preview, the NMA indirect Q&A, the teaser thread have plenty of positive comments. But hey, since everyone is saying we’re only negative, it must be true, right?

  5. Oh, and before I forgot, if you think “There are whole forums out there mocking NMA and the similar sites” actually reflects on NMA and not on those forums…well, that’d be odd. It’s pretty sad to dedicate your time to mocking a group of people because they disagree with you.

  6. The Gamespy comment was a little over the top, but I saw the thread that sparked that article, so yeah, I’m sure he was pissed at NMA being NMA. I don’t agree with it though.

    And “How many times (except Fallout:BoS) has NMA used a newspost to mock or attack a person or group?” On the face of the article you guys do much better than others at just reporting the news, but go into the comments of that article and we can really see the people posting the news bashing the game just as hard as everyone else, so ultimately there isn’t a single bit of impartiality to anything posted there. I guess that’s fine though, you aren’t a professional outlet so you certainly aren’t obligated to attempt to abide by a professional outlets code of ethics (whether perceived or attained).

    And hey, maybe there are some cool discussions going on at NMA, good luck finding them though, cause the negative shit just kind of hits you in the face the moment you look at a news articles comments.

    NEWS ARTICLE: Fallout 3 at E3: Gamezone

    First comment:

    “Todd Howard wrote:

    We’re trying to overwhelm the player with visual density.

    I think that’s a typo, I believe he meant to say

    Todd Howard wrote:

    We’re trying to overwhelm the player with our density.”

    NEWS ARTICLE: Fallout 3 at E3: BBPS, Bit Tech, Joystiq

    Second comment:

    “Gears of War also had Curbstomping, black Characters named Cole Train (His first line was “Yo, yo, yo”) and a final boss named General RAAM…

    None of that was funny, as a matter of fact I now wish to smash Cliffy B’s head against a brick wall…

    WHY IS BETHESDA TAKING CUES FROM A GAME THAT ENDS IN SIX HOURS AND HAS NO STORY OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT THE ENEMIES AREN’T FROM HERE!?”

    NEWS ARTICLE: Liam Neesons Role Gets Homeland Recognition

    First Comment:

    “Whoever wrote that crap didn’t have fucking clue about what he was doing. He talks about the game as it was Atari’s E.T. back on 83… Rolling Eyes

    :EDIT:
    Oh wait, it’s metro… No wonder… Fucking piece of toilet paper with letters printed on it…”

    And thats just the first 3 articles that are currently up there, and a part of the problem is that the mods are right there with ’em. I actually had more to say but I’m tired, and nothings going to change anyway.

  7. “On the face of the article you guys do much better than others at just reporting the news, but go into the comments of that article and we can really see the people posting the news bashing the game just as hard as everyone else, so ultimately there isn’t a single bit of impartiality to anything posted there.”

    …What? You’re saying that despite the fact that NMA is above using our official outlets to bash other people, it deserves to be bashed by others? GameFAQS’ Fallout 3 forum is a lot worse than NMA, do you often bash Gamespot because their forum users are unkind.

    And hey, look for problems and you can find them. As I said to Jeff Green, link in Briosa’s post:

    I know how we come off like that, because we do find talking about things we don’t like more than things we do like. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing we don’t like. The reaction to the teaser was positive. When we found out dialogue would be Fallout-like, everyone was more-or-less glad.

    It’s just that unlike other sites, we don’t revel in going “oh, man, that looks great” with a lot of “+1” posts following it. It’s just not our style.

    ——

    If you don’t like our style, don’t post on our forums. It doesn’t pervade into our newsposts (except Per’s, and he’s not blatant about it), nobody is forcing you to go on to our forums. Choosing to do so and then going on another forum to cross-site troll and mock NMA is beyond childish.

  8. Brother None, didn’t see your second comment, but it’s funny you should say that because as I mentioned, you guys mock the press a lot yourselves, and a random sampling of NMA would probably tell Bethesda to burn in hell. So how is what the other forums do different from what you do? Isn’t that hypocritical to deride another website for dedicating time to mocking a group of people?

    I often wondered why even spend so much time obsessing about something you don’t even like (the average NMA member I’m referring to) I mean, I hated that Michael Bay got a hold of the Transformers and I hated the movie, but ultimately I just decided not to go see the movie and move on. I don’t feel like I have to yell to the world that Bethesda sucks, and Fallout 3 sucks, or speak about the original Transformers like gospel to anyone else. Why exert that much energy towards something you’ve already decided you won’t like?

  9. “What do you mean you aren’t allowed to do the same?”

    It was strictly directed at Jeff, that comment. Of course he is right that Fallout fans tend to jump the gun at every chance, always see things in the most negative way (for fear of being disappointed later)and there are always people that won’t be satisfied with nothing. Very true.

    The thing is Jeff is also are overzealous in their comments(“I feel sorry for them”), the idea that “nothing will satisfy them” is a wrong generalization, the idea that someone can say the game is turning out fabulous but others can’t say the opposite giving the info available is an absurd, and shows the same one sided bias he’s attacking on others.

    Still it’s nothing new, but for me at least is clear that acting as a buzz evangelist for a game doesn’t equals complete moral superiority to judge the others that find faults. Quite the contrary, actually.

    —X—

    I always miss the good discussions, damn 🙂 , do go on, just let’s not go into flaming, I am a bit tired of all the drama in other places.

  10. Epic Drama

    Codex cliche, an intent at wit.

    We are witnessing another … “failure of the free market””.

    So this has all gone beyond a few mediocre games and the insiders – best pod forward – 13 out of 10 reviews. Did it so the needy children of game producers (and game reviewers) can afford to go to Harvard while they summer at Hilton Head? Just a Job, man.

    Recently witnessed a missionary at NMA use the term ”monoculture”.
    I think that social profile might apply to other cliches and social groupings.

    Might even apply to the professionals in the gaming press and how they speak primarily for, and preach to a like minded demographic. Country club, private domain.

    Source for sociological, or marketing dissertation.

    Then, …

    Anticipate a book tour, a triumphal Op-rah TV moment,

    and a Uwe Boll movie trilogy, The HBO TV series by Michael Bay.

    Human nature. The life spring of epic drama.

    ‘Mit’ Love and knishes,

    4too

  11. Might even apply to the professionals in the gaming press and how they speak primarily for, and preach to a like minded demographic. Country club, private domain.

    Yep,again this coin has two sides.

  12. I’m just tired of the argument that NMA and DAC are wearing short skirts, so of course they were just asking for it.

    To conflate a paid professional and the unwashed masses on teh intarwebs is equally frustrating. A lot of the people then move the goalposts to, “the mods and admins should do more to stop it.”

    Moot points all around because the mind’s are made up – NMA and DAC are nattering negative nabobs and worthy of derision. If we don’t have information to *know* it will be bad, we must assume otherwise because professionals always get it right – they’re trying so hard!

    Everyone should praise the bloom and offer their soul for a copy of the game. That’s what true fans do. That’s what being a gamer is all about.

  13. [quote]Isn’t that hypocritical to deride another website for dedicating time to mocking a group of people?[/quote]

    Yes. That’s why we don’t.

    Every thread on SA on Fallout 3 turns into an NMA slugfest. The only times SA have come up on NMA is when they’re linked to as doing something funny and during the Hayt thing and the NMA link of the day thing.

    I have never attacked a website or entire community for the opinions of a few people on the forum, nor has NMA ever been used to do so.

    Yet people do that to us, and we’re the bad guys.

  14. Lol, I thought we were going to all chill here! 🙂

    I have to admire the passion that you guys all have towards FO though.

    I too luck in NMA, Codex and DAC. Sure there are a lot of negative posts about bethsoft, or a lot of games that I actually thought were good (like NWN2). But I don’t think it is fair to judge the communities solely by cursory interpretation of those posts.

    First of all, there are a lot of extremely helpful posts that helps people out with the old RPG classics. For example, I cannot thank the folks at NMA enough for making replaying of FO1&2 possible. And for all the support that fans added to the games. Codex is great for info on Planescape, Arcanum etc.

    Secondly, while I too try to avoid the massive amount of negative posts. One has to realize that besides the negativity, these posts show that these people are really passionate about the type of game that is dying today (where games’ main concern is how pretty it looked, and how many console can run it…). It is people with this kind of passion that are capable of keeping the dying genre alive. So while I think that folks at NMA, Codex, DAC are some times too harsh on game devs, I get a glimmer of hope, from these folks, that the CRPG that I used to love is still alive and kicking.

    Finally, I think we all unconsciously make the mistake of using the loud minority to judge the whole. Sure some poster can be a bit extreme, but by no means do they represent the whole community. Sites like NMA are hubs of great information. There are a lot of folks that works behind the scene to help us gamers get the information we needed to enjoy some of the RPG classics.

    In fact, if sites like NMA disappears tomorrow, I will just gave up in gaming period.

    Remember, this is the internet, we should really treasure the fact that (for now) so many diversed opinions are freely roaming on the tubes. I may never understand why people are so passionate and opinionated about things, but I certainly enjoy seeing the different POVs. So yeah, try to keep an open mind Okay?

  15. I hope my rambling made at least some sense, it is hard to formulate coherent sentences while your boss is right behind you 😉

  16. I’d like to comment on the whole “rose colored glasses” bit, which I think is way off base. This statement could perhaps hold water if not for the fact that the vast majority of Fallout fans still play the game at least once a year, every year to this day. I think this fact alone is a testament to the quality of the game and is one of the main reasons I cannot think ill of the fan community for wanting to see the game done right after having seen it done wrong so many times. When you take this into account “jumping the gun” seems nothing short of natural. If this installment does not deliver the fan community will probably never see what we have been waiting for in excess of ten years, I think that merits concern whether you agree with the outlet or not.

  17. @doc, while what you said is true, there is always two way of looking at things right? I mean can choose to be negative, or we can choose to stay cool.

    I am a very negative person IRL, and from my experience nothing good really come out of being negative all the time. So in an attempt to stave off more grey hair, this FO fan will try to stay calm and open minded 😉

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