Fallout 3 goes on, so do I

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So there are still a lot of news missing, let’s recap the events in a minute, first the interviews, taken from the Fallout 3 site:

OXM
Podcast featuring Todd Howard.

SPOnG
Interview with Pete Hines.

G4TV
Video interview with Todd Howard.

IGN
Video interview with Todd Howard.

Xbox Evolved
Video interview with Emil Pagliarulo.

RPG Gamer
Interview with Emil Pagliarulo.

Gamehelper
Interview with Todd Howard.

—X—

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On the Bethsoft Blog we’ve met Grant “theGragster” Struthers:

What have you drawn on for inspiration in developing Fallout 3?

For the effects work, more than anything I think I get inspiration from observing real life. Obviously I don’t get to see very many explosions in my usual day to day, but I do find myself staring at things like camp fires or snowdrifts or the exhaust from the car in front of me. I like to try to imagine how these fluid shapes can be believably re-created using our tools.

If I had to pick a single tangible resource that I have used I think it would be the film Trinity and Beyond: the Atomic Bomb Movie. This is the definitive film for anyone who is looking for nuclear explosion reference. It’s also a disturbing look at how close we could have been to something like the world of Fallout becoming a reality.

—X—

On the “Welcome back to Fallout” diary entry by Todd Howard we can find this interesting quote:

Obviously we had the old games to look at, and Fallout 1 became our main model and inspiration. I always preferred the tone of it, and it’s the one we focused our time on dissecting. We also went through all the original source material, as well as the “Fallout Bible,” put together by Chris Avellone, whose work is always fantastic. But one of my favorite sources, when we received everything (yes, everything) from Interplay, is the original “Fallout Vision Statement”, back when it was called “Fallout: A GURPS Post Nuclear Adventure.” This is the document detailing what Fallout was to be, and is a 14-point bulleted list. Here they are, in order, with direct quotes (enjoy – I know I did):

  1. Mega levels of violence. “When people die, they don’t just die – they get cut in half, they melt into a pile of goo, explode like a blood sausage, or several different ways – depending on the weapon you use.”
  2. There is often no right solution. “Like it or not, the player will not be able to make everyone live happily ever after. “
  3. There will always be multiple solutions. “No one style of play will be perfect.”

The others are: “The players actions affect the world.”, “There is a sense of urgency,” “It’s open ended,” “The player will have a goal,” “The player has control of his actions,” “Simple Interface,” “Speech will be lip-synched with the animation,” “A wide variety of weapons and actions,” “Detailed character creation rules,” “just enough GURPS material to make the GURPSers happy. The game comes first.” That one is actually crossed out in the document, as they dropped GURPS, and lastly:

14. “The Team is Motivated” “We want to do this. We care about this game and we will make it cool.”

Ten years later and I don’t know that I would change a word of what we want to do today. Especially that last one. We have an incredibly passionate and amazing group here; I’ve been privileged to work with many of them for over a decade. Hopefully in another 10 years people will look back and say, “Nope, they didn’t screw it up.” Hopefully.

Chris “anarchy” Taylor had this reaction at NMA:

Brian [Fargo]was involved with the vision statement by reading it. I wrote the thing after talking with Tim and the rest of the team at a team meeting. I’m pretty sure all the leads had direct input into the vision doc. We had been having problems getting an approved vision statement, IIRC, and I wrote an off-beat one that got approved. The little blurbs in the FO3 post don’t quite do it justice.

The mega-level of violence snippet is being taken slightly out of context. Here’s the full text:

1. Mega levels of violence (you had better give us that Mature rating right now)
You can shoot everything in this game: people, animals, buildings and walls. You can make “called shots” on people, so you can aim for their eyes or their groin. Called shots can do more damage, knock the target unconscious or have other effects. When people die, they don’t just die – they get cut in half, they melt into a pile of goo, explode like a blood sausage, or several different ways – depending on the weapon you use. When I use my rocket launcher on some poor defenseless townsperson, he’ll know (and his neighbors will be cleaning up the blood for weeks!)*** This is the wasteland. Life is cheap and violence is all that there is. We are going to grab the player’s guts and remind him of this. ***

That vision statement was written with management, marketing and sales in mind. It was never intended to be released to the public, nor was it written at the end of the project — things changed.

And here’s another sample:

And Finally,

14. The team is motivated (Tim has incriminating documents on all of us)
This is extremely important. Team GURPS is excited to be making this game. Everyone on the team is happy with what they are doing. We want to do this. We care about this game and we will make it cool.

-Team GURPS

The Vision Doc definitely pre-dated the SPECIALization of Fallout. There was also a US vs. THEM competition between us and the D&D projects (the Fallout dev team felt like red-headed step children after Interplay acquired the D&D license, no offense to red-headed step children.) So we wrote some docs for Interplay management with a neener-neener kind of attitude.

Frankly, I think it’s neat the FO3 team quoted it. What a blast from the past.

Yep, a blast from the past indeed!

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