Pete Hines answered a great number of questions for SPOnG, let’s see the result:
SPOnG: For those that don’t really know about the history of Fallout – can you give us a quick potted history?
Pete Hines: The original Fallout was released in 1997, developed by Black Isle Studios for Interplay. The team changed a little, some of the principals from that team left, and Fallout 2 was made by a slightly different team. F2 was put out in 1998 and then, after that, there were a couple of what you might call ‘derivative’ games: there was a Brotherhood of Steel game that was kind of like a hack‘n’slash – it was supposed to be kind of like Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance but in the Fallout universe. There was a Fallout Tactics game, which captured the turn-based strategy part – but there’s been no true Fallout game, no true role-playing game in the Fallout series since 1998. So, it’s been sitting around for a long time with nothing happening.
A lot of us here were – are – big fans of Fallout, and we finally said, “Well if nobody else is going to do another one, why don’t we do it?”. So, we went out and acquired the rights to do it and we’ve been working on it since 2004, in some way, shape or form – and now we’re finally at a point where we can start showing you guys where we’re up to.
SPOnG: Do you have any of the guys from the original Fallout or Fallout 2 teams involved?
Pete Hines: No, it’s our team. Mainly the Oblivion team.
SPOnG: What’s the whole deal with rabid Fallout fanboys desperately worried that Fallout 3 is not going to be a proper RPG?
Pete Hines: Well, at its core Fallout 3 is definitely a role-playing game. If you are of the opinion that any Fallout RPG has to be exactly like the games that came out in 1997 and 1998 down to every feature and detail, that’s definitely not the game we are making. We are trying to make a true successor in the Fallout franchise, something that is a true role-playing game that immerses you in this world, and hopefully brings out the best of what that series is about – which is great tone and setting and themes and characters and player choice… You know, it’s a really interesting, special role-playing system.
If folks are interested in a new Fallout game (as opposed to being slavishly interested in a specific list of demands relating to Fallout or Fallout2); or [they] are just interested in role-playing in general but may not have played the original games; or they are just looking for the next big RPG or the next big RPG coming from Bethesda… we certainly hope all of those folks are interested in what we are up to with Fallout 3.
Actually there was no BIS division at Interplay when the first Fallout was made. But the idea that the game is directed more to people that never played the previous games, Bethesda RPGs fans and people that don’t care about anything but the name in the box makes sense, I think.
SPOnG: Have you considered bundling versions of those earlier Fallout games with Fallout 3?
Pete Hines: No. They are still out there. Interplay still has the ability to sell and distribute those. They are also based on a completely different generation of hardware and operating systems. It can be difficult to get that stuff to run. We’re basically moving forward with where we want to take it and not re-treading stuff that came out nearly ten years ago.
Actually Fallout 2 works fine in both my Vista computers.
SPOnG: One of the features in Fallout 3 that really stands out is V.A.T.S. (Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System) – can you explain how this works?
Pete Hines: V.A.T.S. was really born out of a desire to make the game work best as a first-person game – remember that the original games were third-person with turn-based combat. We feel that first-person is the most immersive way to put a player in a world. However, at the same time we wanted something that stayed as true as possible to role-playing. We don’t want something that rewards the ‘quick-twitch’ FPS player. We’re not trying to reward players who are good at Call of Duty or Halo or whatever.
We want the skills and abilities of your character to determine success or failure. So, one of the things we’ve included is this V.A.T.S. mode allows you to stop time and queue up moves for your character to implement, in almost a compressed time mode. And then we play it out in a cinematic fashion.
We already saw that Emil Pagliarulo and Todd Howard went to Halo and CoD for inspiration regarding the combat, so this statement was odd.
SPOnG: There has been a lot of speculation about this ‘Corpses Eaten’ statistic that we can see in the game from the current demo you are showing – does this mean that you can play as a zombie in the game?
Pete Hines: We’re not talking about ‘Corpses Eaten’ right now [smiles]. There is an awful lot of stuff that we still have to tell folks about Fallout 3. Don’t forget that we are not coming out till Fall 2008 – we have a long way to go still!
SPOnG: Great stuff. Thanks for your time Pete!
Pete Hines: No worries. Now let me show you this new demo. You’ll like this.
I would probably enjoy watching it too 🙂
There’s much more in there, go and read the entire piece, it’s worth it.