Fallout 3 interview at ActionTrip


There’s a good interview with Gavin “kathode” Carter down at ActionTrip:

AT: As we understand, the team is also keeping itself busy with balancing combat in the game. If you can, please tell us about the advantages of V.A.T.S. Do you think hardcore RPG fans will enjoy the cinematic aspect of it?

GC: A big advantage is that during VATS mode, time is paused and you’re given a wealth of information about your situation. Every targetable enemy and object is highlighted and you can pan around and get a sense for where things are coming from. For each individual target, you can see their overall health, and the condition and the likelihood of landing a shot for each body part. This is the part that I feel separates VATS from standard “real-time with pause” systems in that it gives you information to base a tactical choice on. You may find that you have a high chance to hit a mutant’s torso, but then you notice that landing one more risky shot to the arm will cripple him, severely reducing his ability to aim. Recently I’ve been replaying Oblivion and find myself hammering the VATS button unconsciously whenever I get jumped by an enemy.

The other advantage to VATS is, of course, that it’s just pure unadulterated fun. Landing a shot to a mutant’s head, watching it fly apart in slow-motion, having an eyeball go spinning past the camera – there’s just some kind of visceral satisfaction that the experience brings.

Visceral is the new trees.

AT: Is it possible to know, at this point, how many quests we will see in the final version of Fallout 3?

GC: Giving you a specific number wouldn’t paint an accurate picture. Each quest has multiple paths to completion, and how you choose to complete one quest can affect what quests are available later on. In addition, we have a new category of quests that we term “freeform encounters.” As you travel, you’ll come across these encounters all over. They’re not as big as a full quest, but they will present choices, opportunities for reward, interesting sights and sounds, and more. It should be quite some time before you run out of things to do in Fallout 3, and there will always be more to hit when you play through it again.[…]

Other quests run the gamut of possibilities that a war-ravaged wasteland offers up. For each quest, we try and provide opportunities for as wide a range of playstyles as we’re able (Stealth Boy, Combat Boy, Science Boy, etc).

Replayability is always a good thing.

AT: Can you give our readers some idea of what kind of soundtrack you’re working on?

GC: The soundtrack really varies a lot in style depending on what situation you’re in. For exploring, the music is more of an ambient and slightly discordant nature similar to the music of Fallout 1 and 2. In battles, the music is more up-tempo and brings in more percussion and some orchestral elements. We also have music for places like dungeons (think old caves and abandoned vaults), and a special set of music for some of the more important locations in the game. We pushed our composer to experiment with a lot of different styles and instruments to keep the music interesting throughout the game.

Hmmm we’ll have to wait and see how this works, I guess.

AT: You’ve mentioned recently you guys are content with all the feedback that came in after the game’s E3 presentation. Are there any plans on a new public trailer or more in-game footage, to give the general public a better idea of what to expect from Fallout 3?

GC: We have lots and lots of plans. Prepare for the future!

I can’t wait for the new year.

Thanks Ure “Vader” Paul from ActionTrip.


Fallout 3 on PCGzine


PCGzine has a piece on Fallout 3:

Portable nukes need aiming like Paris Hilton needs publicity.

Bethesda are clearly desperate to create a game that does more than live up to reputation: they’re gunning for their own RPG crown, with both guns blazing…

RPGCodex strikes again


A sarcastic but humorous article on RPGCodex about Fallout 3 and the info being released so far is worth a look:

Emil:”When Todd and I first started prototyping VATS, we played other real time games like Call of Duty and Halo.”

Pete: “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.”

Read the rest here.

Inside the Vault: Josh Jones and other things


Another Inside the Vault feature on the Bethblog, this time with Josh Jones:

For this edition of Inside the Vault, meet artist, Josh Jones. He is the Lead Character Artist on Fallout 3. Josh is also our resident motion capture specialist — he also spends much of his time fine tuning our animation system.

What’s your job at Bethesda?

Lead Character Artist. I split my time between meetings and animation work. I also work a great deal with character rigging and other technical aspects of character art production.

Well a particular reply he gave created quite a stir:

Ever play the Fallout games?


Pete Hines once said on Shacknews:

Internally, we’re a bunch of Fallout geeks. There is nobody [here] who hasn’t played that game and enjoyed it.

Since that isn’t quite true, Pete had to clarify what he meant:

Sorry, I made a general comment based on all the folks on the team I talk to on a regular basis in some way, shape, or form. I had not polled every single person on the team to see if they had all, in fact, played both games, or how much, etc. Sorry if you felt misled, that was not my intention.

And answering the question by Monica21 ” Was it, at the very least, requested that each staff member play it?” Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff added this:

I don’t know the answer to that question. In my first week on the job, Pete definitely got me a copy of the game to play. I’ll admit I haven’t played more than about 5 hours to play it (I fully intend on playing it more), but the fact that I have a Mac at home has prevented me from installing it there. I’m not going to run Boot Camp on it because it takes too much of the memory on it.

Well I hope Josh tries the games, wouldn’t hurt since he has the responsability of carrying some visual continuity to the game, and he might even get some fun out of it too.

Leipzig coverage: Fallout 3 on Eurogamer


Eurogamer had a Q&A sesion with Pete Hines:

Fallout 3 is a game that many, many people have been praying for since the nineties. In Leipzig last week, we were given another chance to see the very first demo of Bethesda’s interpretation of this beloved universe (for details, see John Walker’s preview), and it was no less impressive the second time around – gorgeous, violent and extremely faithful to the series’ legacy, it was a personal game of the show by a long, long way. At the end, people clapped, and we’re talking Europeans here, not our considerably more effervescent American counterparts. Pete Hines, Bethesda’s VP of Public Relations, was kind enough to sit down for a chat afterwards about the difficulties of working with such a revered franchise, and Bethesda’s approach to the challenge.

This guy is every PR wet dream.

Pete Hines:You also get titles, so like Scourge of the Wasteland if you’re this really evil bastard and blew up Megaton [a town near the beginning of the game which you can choose to detonate, or not], and so we’ll have some stuff that will be pegged towards how you’re playing the game. You’ll actually have to replay the game if you want to unlock all the Achievements, you’ll have to take another other path where there’s other stuff to unlock. Nothing’s set in stone, of course, but that’s the general idea that we have; it’s not going to be just one playthrough to get it all.

Replayability is an achievement enough for me.

Pete Hines: You know, I think if you’re really interested in playing another Fallout game in that sort of world, then hopefully you’ll give it a chance, but there is a segment of our fanbase – I say ‘our’, I mean the Fallout fanbase – that has basically decided back in 1994 that we’re doing it all wrong and that they’re going to hate our game whatever we do. I mean if you have made up your mind and said ‘Here’s my specific list of things that my game must have’, and we’re not meeting your list, then you’re probably not going to like the game. But you know, we’re OK with it, we’re used to it by now – the Elder Scrolls fanbase is a very global and very large community that has very strong opinions about what they want, so we appreciate that folks are very passionate about certain franchises, certain series. They like what they like and that’s what they want. But for everybody else who doesn’t fall into that category, who are willing to judge with their own eyes and figure out whether or not they like what it is we’re doing, it’s been really good.

The 1994 thing can be attributed to the fact that Pete was tired and a bit sick during Leipzig. And the last sentence must mean he likes the idea that Fallout fans went to look with their own eyes before passing judgment.

But the important part comes in the end:

Fallout 3 isn’t out until next Autumn (which feels like about seventy-three years away), but we’ll apparently get something playable in the new year – although Pete informs us that this is the last we’ll see of Fallout 3 for a good few months. In the meantime you can read up on the game so far in Eurogamer’s preview, and perhaps hand-fashion a countdown clock to help pass the time.

Spotted at NMA.

Leipzig coverage: NMA reports from the inside!


Pete Hines meets Brother None 

On a surprise move No Mutants Allowed got two intrepid ninjas inside the Fallout 3 demo presentations and got a few Q&A sessions with Pete Hines:

This preview is based on the demo shown at the Game Conference in Leipzig, Germany, by Pete Hines. It is the same demo shown at the earlier press showing and E3. Pete Hines noted that the demo build is 2 months old by now.
NMA’s main previews provides a walkthrough of the entire demo, then some opinions on several topics, then a final judgement. A dozen-question Q&A conducted by NMA’s staff on the spot is also available.
NMA’s staff covering this consists of Brother None (referred to as “I” in the preview) and SuAside, both of whom applied for the demo showing in name of another media company: Brother None thanks to GamerNode, SuAside thanks to MadShrimps.be. Silencer, who applied in the name of NMA, was turned down with no reason given (though it is worth noting he applied last, a day after Brother None’s appointment was finalized). SuAside saw the demo Friday at 12:00, Brother None at 14:00, so details vary and it will be noted in the walkthrough when they do significantly. At no point in the demo or Q&A did NMA’s staff identify themselves as from NMA.

In the words of Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff “Very sneaky indeed”.

Just a few highlights:

This conversation also saw another return of something Oblivion-esque. I noted before the dialogues are built from 3-line blocks in which expressions show the same jumpy attitude as in Oblivion. Lucas shows the next step, namely that emotions are again conveyed pretty much only by the face, and that the facial expression and voice tone has the tendency to skip through different emotions during a single speech. To back up this impression, in long speeches like those of the sheriff and of dad, one gets the distinct impression the writing is a bit inconsistent, which is kind of off-putting. This did not look significantly improved from Oblivion, though at least the sheriff had only one voice. The faces themselves look better and less ridiculous than in Oblivion, but don’t expect to get blown out of the water by them, especially by their lack of expressiveness.[…]

Walking to the back of the bar the PC starts a conversation with a man sitting on a chair in an impeccably clean 3-piece suit and glasses. Introducing himself as Mr Burke, the man notes the PC could be very useful for him, being a stranger in town. Noting “I represent certain…interests,” calling Megaton a blight and asking the PC if he’s interested in helping him get rid of it. Here Hines notes that the speech skill comes into play during dialogues, and indeed two dialogue options show a percentage of success. An option to ask for 500 caps extra pay (29%), or to tell him the town is under your protection and he should get out. Stating that if he fails Mr Burke will like him less, Hines opts to ask for extra pay, and gets it.[…]

Moving down the tunnels, it isn’t long until you see a supermutant climbing over the wreckage in the distance. After taking a few potshots at each other, the PC with his hunting rifle and the mutant with a Chinese assault rifle, Pete Hines pauses the game (with Fallout 1’s “combat slider” sound) to zoom in on the mutant and explain that this is a supermutant, “the main bad guy in the game.” He points out that you can target the torso, arms, weapon, legs and head, each area having a different effect. Each area also has a percentage to hit which he notes is the same if you try aiming for an area in real time. The effects are also unique, headshots can blind, shooting someone in the leg can slow him down, etc.[…]

The PC goes out of the metro. He runs into a Brotherhood of Steel/supermutant battle, Pete Hines explaining the the supermutants have spread through the metro tunnels, but are locked in combat with the Brotherhood of Steel, “the noble knights of the wasteland” who are trying to drive out the supermutants. The part of the world the PC just entered is about 1/4th of the map, and it’s “a very dangerous place to come.” If you go here in your lower levels, still fairly weak, you can expect to die if you don’t have any help, as Oblivion’s style of level scaling is out. Looking around at the bountiful destruction, Pete Hines notes “destruction is our new trees.”[…]

Fallout 3 has that within the Vault, but it goes up and down once you’re outside. It shows flashes of brilliance in transporting Fallout’s world into 3D at some spots, like some of the skyscraper ruins and bits of Megaton. In Springvale it looks to want to try and accomplish something but fell short. Architecture follows the same rollercoaster mechanics, sometimes spot on, sometimes very nondescript.

For an awkwardly huge chunk, from the metros to the supermutants to the BoS, the game looks like a very vanilla, generic post-apocalyptic game with some 50s signs slapped on it in an easter egg format, as if they were an afterthought. That makes for some head-splitting inconsistencies, especially when you run through a lot of area fast, as in the demo.

The music falls right into this halfway-there category. Including actual 50s songs is a fun idea and will probably work fine, but the main soundtrack itself, while being very soft, was easily identified as “not like the originals.” It reminded me most of Inon Zur’s Fallout Tactics soundtrack, halfway between Fallout’s ambient music and Zur’s own tendency towards the bombastic.

I’ll get back to the Q&A sessions later, good job Brother None and SuAside, you intrepid ninjas!

A PC Perspective


PCGaming: Why I’ll never console myself with second best is a PC Perspective editorial on the strengths of PCGaming when compared to consoles. At one point the author, Jeremy Hellstrom, talks about Bethsoft, Fallout and AI:

Another likely casualty of porting to PC was Oblivion’s A.I, named Radiant AI. While Bethesda was having problems with certain Non-Player Character interactions, one can’t help but wonder if the AI was lobotomized to make it play well on the Xbox 360. If you never saw Bethesda’s pre-release demo videos they displayed at the 2005 E3, you can find them on YouTube. I would suggest the 5th video on which details the complexity of the Radiant AI specifically, as it shows the breadth the original version of the AI would display. If you never played the game, you can see the final implementation in many of the other videos on YouTube, from bizarre domestic violence to the death penalty for stealing bread. One of the most rabid fan bases for a PC game are having a collective convulsions in dread of what Bethesda will do to their favourite franchise. Fallout 3 is going to be released on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 as well as the PC, and will use the Radiant AI system. Go check out the forums at Bethesda’s Fallout 3 site, or No Mutants Allowed to see how this news is being taken. Be sure to wear sunscreen, asbestos underwear and JooJanta 200 Super Chromatic Peril-Sensitive Sunglasses.

The article is an excellent read, but I don’t think console limitations had much to do with AI problems in Oblivion, the same problems showed up during STALKER’s development, for instance. Still this is something we all are going to carefully monitor, fans and gaming reporters.

Spotted at Rock,Paper,Shotgun, picture from One Dinosaur’s Oblivion.

Fallout 3 Lead Designer explains

And yet again we get back to the Emil Pagliarulo answer on dialog and endings on the 1Up interview, because Emil himself felt it was better to clear things up a bit, here is his statement in full, taken from the Bethsoft Fallout 3 forum:

Hey all,

Wow, I didn’t realize the comments I made in that 1Up interview — you know, about dialogue — would cause such a stir! Mostly because I didn’t realize I had chosen my words so poorly. Ugh.

I was specifically answering the question about whether or not dialogue affects the endgame. It doesn’t — not directly. The endgame itself doesn’t change based upon things you may or may not have said in dialogue. The endgame is affected by your actions. So that’s what I meant by, “We went back and forth with the impact of dialogue on the character, and ultimately decided we didn’t want to penalize or reward the player for carrying on a conversation.” And yeah, that was a pretty bad choice of words, because it seems like the things you say in dialogue don’t matter — and nothing could be further from the truth.

Believe me or not, but here’s the reality of dialogue in Fallout 3: it does matter. It matters more than dialogue in one of our games has ever mattered. I feel really comfortable saying that, because one of my responsibilities is editing and directing all the dialogue that gets written, and one of my personal crusades is pushing the NPC interactions to be more meaningful. We approached that level in Oblivion — now I really feel like we’ve truly reached it.

So yes, you do get to roleplay through dialogue: sometimes, how you say something is just as important (and enjoyable) as what you say. Yes, you can ask different NPCs different things, in different ways. Yes, a lot of times your skills and attributes (besides just Speech) will open up new dialogue options. And yes, what you say in dialogue will matter. Act like a wiseguy, and an NPC may attack you, or refuse to deal with you. Treat an NPC with respect, and maybe he’ll be more willing to talk to you.

Of course, in the true spirit of Fallout — in which the NPCs themselves have personalities — it really depends on who you’re dealing with. NPCs, like people, have their own quirks and preferences. Take a bold approach with the right NPC, and she may like you even more. Play the weakling with the wrong guy, and you may just tick him off. So, indirectly, dialogue affects the ending of the game in the sense that it can open or close quest paths, which in turn can lead the player to perform good or bad actions, which in turn determines the player’s karma rating… which does factor into the endgame. I hope that clears things up a bit.

Overall, our goal with dialogue is to craft unique, meaningful interactions with the NPCs. We want the player to feel like he or she is having a conversation with a person — not clicking on an information kiosk. Our designers have fully embraced that philosophy, and the game’s dialogue reflects that. I really do think you’ll be happily surprised when you play the game.

Emil Pagliarulo
Lead Designer — Fallout 3
Bethesda Game Studios

Ok that makes more sense, what do you think?

Community Questions ready


The Community Questions have been chosen, and posted on the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 Forum, here’s the message from Blintzler:

Well, got a thumbsup from GStaff and so I post the questions here for a first impression. Just stay civil when complaining, ok? blush.gif

Community FAQ – (20 questions)

1. Is unarmed combat in? If so, is it lethal or does it knockout your opponent? [Waterchip]

2. Is combat playable in the zoomed out third person (“almost iso”) perspective and how will VATS work from it, meaning – will it zoom into FP or something else? [kaos]

3. For what else can we use AP`s while in VATS and what is the “cost” of such things in RT? Some time consuming animation perhaps? Example: if taking stimpacks or using inventory in VATS will cost AP`s – then what will it cost in RT? Beside that what else besides shooting can you pull off in VATS and how do you balance those things with their real time counterparts? [MrHappy1991]

4. Because so many of us still don’t understand, could you describe V.A.T.S. in painstaking detail? No really, please! [Waterchip]

5. And another question. Will party members be deep and interesting characters, with their own unique personalities and desires? Maybe even secret agendas? Or will they just be henchmen who do your bidding? [Calgone]

6. What skills will be in the game? And why the lower than usual stats in the Pip Boy screenshots? [Ausir]

7. Are all the old traits and perks returning? Are certain perks adapted for the new combat system and how so? [anonymous]

8. The stealing (and getting caught) system? Does it differ from Oblivions system? [kaos]

9. Will you have the written descriptions of items or just the visual? Granted, the visuals work just fine for me, but I loved the descriptions from the earlier fallouts about how nasty the bed looks or whatever. Will there be something like our beloved text box anywhere in the main HUD? [anonymous]

10. What sort of factions & faction action/interaction/conflict/reputation can we expect? [MrHappy1991]

11. What is being done to improve the AI as seen in Oblivion – wall staring, oblivious to people being killed around them, Guards knowing when a character does something unlawful half a map away etc.? [anonymous]

12. Will we see anything similar to the sexual encounters possible in both of the earlier Fallout games? The first 2 games had all of that but they kept their ratings by fading out (as did Fable). There was one quest in F2 where you could loose a bet and end up as a Super mutant’s toy for the night (you got to keep the ball gag as a gift). Can we expect that kind of adult content? [anonymous]

13. Will Fallout 3 maintain the same amount of drug content as the earlier games or will we see more or less? [thenightgaunt]

14. You have talked a lot about choices and consequences in the quest design. Are you aiming for immediate feedback, or long term (and possibly unforeseeable) consequences? In addition to moral choices, will different characters be able to tackle tasks using their different skill sets? [GhanBuriG]

14. In Fallout 1 and 2, it was entirely possible to say the wrong thing or make a mistake and have no way of fixing it. Unless you used a walkthrough, every player experienced the game differently. Will Fallout 3 be like this? Or will it be more like Oblivion where you could do almost everything in the game with one character and one play through? [El_Smacko]

16. Will the structure of the Main Quest be more like Oblivion, where you had to perform a series of tasks in the right order to progress, or more like the originals where most of the progress you’d do consisted in gathering information, which was not a pre-requisite in order to end the game? (Thomas Stehle)

17. It’s been said that the game world in Fallout 3 is smaller than that of Oblivion’s. How does it compare with the number of quests you can persue, or the amount of things you can do? [anonymous]

18. A developer (possibly Howard, Pagliarulo or Carter) has stated that they are trying to ensure that each quest has at least two ways to complete it. Does this mean that there are two different outcomes to each quest, or simply that there are two different ways to complete the quest with the same outcome either way? [Lingwei]

19. Please outline in detail and give an example of an actual or hypothetical FO3 conversation: Dialogue options, what influences them, length of PC lines and NPC replies, what is the effect on the game. [GhanBuriGhan]

20. How much do you plan to stick with the Universe of the original series from the point of view of living creatures? Will you have mutated ghouls and FEV-treated supermutants portrayed as living “persons” with needs, or will there simply be “ghoul-villain” and “Supermutant-enemy” who will only engage in combat? [anonymous]

5 extra questions: (hoping somebody has a good day)
1. Will there be NPCs that you can hire/recruit to join you in your quest? If so, how many NPCs will you be limited to at once and approx. how many joinable NPCs will be available in the game? Also, will there be more detailed behavioral settings as in Fallout 2? [Nukem354]

2. Is there going to be any character type specific quests other types of characters will not have at all or will all the quests be open to any type of character? (kaos)

3. Who has written the main story, or is it a group effort? Are you not afraid that introducing a father figure limits the freedom to imagine your avatar and imposes motivation on the player that may not be in keeping with the avatar he imagines? [GhanBuriGhan]

4. What exactly will the map travel look like – will we see ‘Indiana Jones’ style dotted line travel across a stylized map or something like Oblivion fast travel and will there be a quest compass that we can turn off and how will the random/special encounters work? [Blinzler]

5. How will the endings work out? Will the 9-12 different endings be like Fallout’s ending slides, or will it be a Daggerfall-esque, whoever gets the MacGuffin at the very end triggers what ending? (Frank Horrigan)

Thanks to Ausir for the tip, the answers will hopefully come in soon.

Dialog and Endings


So previously I asked what do you boys and girls thought Emil Pagliarulo meant when he gave this reply to 1Up:

1UP: You’ve mentioned that the game will have multiple endings, perhaps as many as a dozen. Without giving away any spoilers, can you explain the sorts of things that will affect which ending the player reaches? For example, will conversations affect the outcome of the game, or is it primarily larger-scale, world-shaking actions?

EP: We went back and forth with the impact of dialogue on the character, and ultimately decided we didn’t want to penalize or reward the player for carrying on a conversation. What you say and how you say it will certainly affect how NPCs react to you, and whether or not they’ll give you quests, but not the ending of the game. [That] really depends on some of the big decisions you make during the course of the game, as well as your karma. And your karma changes based on your actions.So [if] you destroy Megaton [a city built around a supposedly inert atomic bomb], your karma plummets, so that will certainly affect the ending. But there are other moments too, key moments during the game, that greatly determine which ending you get.

I got less answers than usual, here are the two most interesting ones, from readers of the blog:

Of course dialog alone doesn’t influence anything, but a combination of what you say, to whom and the resulting action combine to make the difference- its like that in any rpg with choices.

And this one:

What it means to me is that there will be some quests and options that will depend on your dialogue choices, but not the ‘main quest’ ones, which will always be available. They don’t want to lock anyone out of the main quest, in other words. Furthermore, depending on how you accomplish these subquests, presumably by doing either moral good or bad actions (thus the karma), the main quest will branch toward the different endings at specific points in the quest. It does mean there’s less choice and consequence in dialogue when it comes to the main quest, unfortunately…

Thanks for your help, I think the first quote is closer to what Emil meant, but the second is something we should watch out to see if it happens.

Leipzig Coverage: Will sees Fallout 3 again!


Remember Will Porter from PCZone? He went to Leipzig and saw the Fallout 3 demo yet again, here are his new impressions:

Oh, and Fallout 3 is still ace. I had to sit through the same presentation again – but I thought I ought to check. Something I missed on my first time round with Bethesda was that if you drink irradiated water out of a toilet bowl it contaminates you less than if you were to drink it from a tap. Good to know for when the apocalypse comes.


1Up goes to Emil


Sorry for the late news, but Worpress.com had some serious technical problems today.

So let’s talk about 1Up’s interview with Emil Pagliarulo, a few snippets:

1UP: In your debut presentation, you mentioned the ability to build your own weapons. Can you explain in a bit more detail how this works?

Emil Pagliarulo: Sure thing. In Fallout 3, the player will come across schematics for different custom-made weapons. These might be found in different places in the world, or obtained as quest rewards. Each set of schematics lets you build a certain, pre-determined weapon, as long as you’ve got all the components, and most of the components are junk objects you’ll find in the world.

So, one weapon might require the brake assembly from an old motorcycle, and that’s where you’ll find it, near a destroyed motorcycle. Or maybe you need some surgical tubing, located in an abandoned hospital. Once you have the schematics and all the components, you can create the weapon, and your Repair skill dictates its condition.

I like this, don’t understand why some are against it. Except shouldn’t Science and not Repair be at stake here?

1UP: You’ve mentioned that the game will have multiple endings, perhaps as many as a dozen. Without giving away any spoilers, can you explain the sorts of things that will affect which ending the player reaches? For example, will conversations affect the outcome of the game, or is it primarily larger-scale, world-shaking actions?

EP: We went back and forth with the impact of dialogue on the character, and ultimately decided we didn’t want to penalize or reward the player for carrying on a conversation. What you say and how you say it will certainly affect how NPCs react to you, and whether or not they’ll give you quests, but not the ending of the game. [That] really depends on some of the big decisions you make during the course of the game, as well as your karma. And your karma changes based on your actions. So [if] you destroy Megaton [a city built around a supposedly inert atomic bomb], your karma plummets, so that will certainly affect the ending. But there are other moments too, key moments during the game, that greatly determine which ending you get.

Ok can someone explain to me what is he talking about? That doesn’t make sense, and I’m not the only one confused by this. Use the comments, Meebo or mail me, but please someone explain me what he really means by that…

1UP: The Fallout community is very — very — vocal and defensive of the franchise. Why do you think the previous games have generated such a tenacious fanbase, especially in light of the disappointments of Fallout Tactics and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel?

EP: Yeah, I mean, it’s no secret that there’s a hardcore Fallout fanbase that can be very vocal, very defensive, and very wary of any changes to the original game. But why is that the case? Who are these people, and what is it about Fallout that awakens such passion?

In my experience, a lot of these ardent fans are old-school PC gamers who don’t like many — or any — console games. So an amazing game like Fallout will sit on a hard drive for a long, long time. A fan will play it, then play it again, and then keep on playing it until their PC dies. That fosters a really unique, almost intimate relationship with a game.

So it’s no surprise they react they way they do when a company like Bethesda obtains the license, and then makes some significant changes. They’re like “GINO” — Galactica In Name Only — those hardcore Battlestar Galactica fans who idolize the old show and despise the new one because it’s so different. Some people get really attached to something and reject change. I understand their feelings and sympathize…but I’m not one of those people.

Funny thing, I just pre-ordered the third season (PAL) Of Battlestar Galactica and my household has seven consoles, counting handholds. Funny that.

Leipzig Coverage: Fallout 3 first notes


The first notes from the Fallout 3 presentations are coming, as we can see on Australian blog The Age:

Screen Play was also hugely impressed by Fallout 3 today, demonstrated by Bethesda behind closed doors on Xbox 360 (it will also be released for PC and PS3).

The game looks outstanding, with a deep story and characters, interesting themes of sacrifice and survival, tactical combat and astonishing detail in the environments to create an incredibly immersive post-apocalyptic world. Role playing fans who lost weeks of their life to Oblivion should prepare to get seriously hooked.

GCLive.se is where you can read (in Swedish) notes from the people of Superplay, PCGamer.se and FZ.se, and they also have their first impressions, here on a translation by Dupa (thanks NMA):

. Love the environments
. Really awful animation
. Nice combat system
. The characters all looks like brothers and sisters, just like in oblivion. You can easily see its the same engine.

More to come.