I honestly think there’s room for both types of games. I mean, in the Dark Brotherhood in Oblivion, you really don’t have a choice. There’s no moral dilemma. You’re evil. And that’s part of the fun–not having to compromise, not having to worry about what you’re doing is right or wrong. It’s wrong, and you’re going to do it anyway. In Fallout 3, it’s the complete opposite–a big part of the fun is deciding whether to do the right thing, the wrong thing…or not caring if it’s right or wrong, but doing it anyway.[…]
Of course, of course. The more serious you try to make your game, the more realistic the situations, the more realistic the situations, the larger the bullseye you paint on your back. I’ve always maintained that it’s a matter of context, though. Using film as an example, an obscure movie like The Basketball Diaries gets picked on because it has a school shooting sequence. Whereas Kill Bill, which is more violent by a factor of 10, doesn’t receive the same sort of criticism…because it’s so over-the-top, so comedically unrealistic, it doesn’t strike the same nerves.Fallout 3 definitely falls into that latter category.[…]
You never want the player to feel ambushed or cheated. That’s the bottom line. Everybody knows how much it sucks to have something bad unexpectedly happen in a game, and have no way to recover. With Megaton, it’s such an extreme thing; it’s pretty hard not to know what’s going to happen. I mean, if you nuke the place, it’s gone.Generally speaking, though, the world of Fallout 3 is pretty harsh. People can die. Places can become inaccessible. So throughout every part of the game, the player will make choices that matter, and will have to live with the consequences of those choices.
All of that said, we still won’t allow the player to break his or her game. Getting cut off from a quest path or location is acceptable; allowing the player to get the game into a state where he or she can’t move forward or finish the game isn’t. We worry about that stuff, and handle it, so the player doesn’t have to.[…]
Now, as far as mechanics are concerned, Fallout 3 definitely is a lot different than the previous games. In that regard, it’s much more accessible. It’s first- and third-person, and it will be pretty easy to pick up and play, whether on the console or the PC. This, in my opinion, is one of the best things about the game. I mean, if you’ve played a game in the last 10 years, playing Fallout 3 will be second nature.[…]
Melee combat is going through extensive balancing right now, so I’ll tell you what we do know–we don’t want any weapon to become useless. We don’t want any melee or unarmed skill to become useless. If I can reach my opponent while I’m armed with a combat knife, I damn well better be able to kill him with it. So yeah, we’re giving melee a lot of love. I mean, yeah, it’s such a huge part of Fallout. If I can’t whack a guy in the gut with a super sledge, or explode his head with my power fist, what’s the point?[…]
OK, let’s assume for a second that there is an end boss. And I’m a master of verbal manipulation. Will I be able to use these skills to my advantage, to maybe defeat my opponent without lifting a finger? You can count on it.
Now, that’s not to say you can talk your way through the entire game without ever engaging in combat. The Capital Wasteland’s a dangerous place, so you’re going to have to defend yourself at some point. But within the quests, and several other places, yeah–you can talk your way through, if you’ve got the skill.[…]
Why can’t I wander around as some sort of nuclear cro-magnon?
It really all comes down to the best way to balance our resources and our time, and concentrate on the things that really matter. Throughout the game, the player has so many choices, so many ways to define their character, we don’t want to get hung up on something like that.
There’s so much in there, go read it and take a close look in what he says and when does he say it, an interesting exercise.