Fallout 3 Atomic Ninjas part 5

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In late August I reported that No Mutants Allowed got inside the Fallout 3 demo presentations and got a few Q&A sessions with Pete Hines. They went to the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum and replied to questions about their viewing of the Fallout 3 demo. This is the fifth of a series of blogposts with an edited version of those sessions. You can find part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here.

I’m always against heavy focus on graphics, but I have to say that from Hines explanation (and a bit of reading up since I was unfamiliar with the technology), the parallax occlusion mapping helps *a lot* on designed a wrecked, ruined world, and it works extremely well on a number of ruins.
The “realistic bullet holes in ground!” thing I can take or leave. But it works well for environmentals, too

Why, oh why is behemoth a colector of corpses which he apparently enjoys carying around on his back?

The Behemoth kind of strikes me as a irrational monster type. A kind of bad version of Frankenstein (Frankenstein’s monster was actually a highly rational though evil being, read the book), a horrible result of an experiment.
Little wrong with the Behemoth itself. Its introduction is stupid and unfitting and its description as an endboss just physically hurts.

The only fallout part of all of this is the vault. Once they go out everything basically falls apart.

Looses much of its consistency. Not really ‘falling apart’.

Hey guys, I got a question regarding the dialogue. When you start to talk to someone and the dialogue options come up, how was that handled, visually? I mean, on the original games, there came up a little HUD thing, you know?

Same as Oblivion.

Well…at least you can still shoot people in the eyes..or there is a chance that when you shoot someone in the head, it may blind them.

You can’t target eyes. Headcrits can blind.

All that said, Brother None, you say that one of the ants got stuck in a tree. What did this tree look like, and how often were trees seen as part of the landscape?

Didn’t see much trees. They all looked dead.

Were the NPC voices very different from one another? Was the voice acting believable?

BN: Very different? No. But different. But I’ve only heard key NPCs talk.
Voice acting was somewhat bland. I hate to rag on Liam since I kinda like him as an actor, but voice acting just isn’t his thing, and it shows here.
Sua: We didn’t have many dialogs, but from random sounds it seemed just fine. Of course hard to tell from such a short and scripted demonstration…
Those that did have longer dialogs, they didnt seem very ‘special’. In FO1, each person had his own character and it was easy to see and hear in the talking heads. From fatass Gizmo’s slobbering, to Aradesh’s “Yes Yes Yes”, to Sulik’s “what can we and I do you for?”, etc. the npcs didn’t have such extremely distinctive characteristics.
And Liam Neeson came over as rather bland. Especially for the price they probably paid him…

How did the interface look and did you like it?

Interface is ok, though I’m not sure if the whole compass thing is a good idea…
I liked the pipboy interface (though too ‘console-y’) it looked nice. The scanlines etc were well done.

One of the questions I do have for you, Brother None, is: Do the crazy death animations *only* occur in VATS? Or can you blow somebody’s head off and watch brains splatter even while in realtime combat?

VATS shows slowmotion death stuff, but in real time I think the same stuff happens, but just in real time, obviously.
Also, in terms of atmosphere, did you feel that Fallout 3 is going to try to have, for lack of a better term, “scary” moments in it?

Sua: Scary? Not in the least as far as we’ve seen.

BN: Creepy, perhaps. Scary, no.

As far as Megaton goes, does it really look like a nuclear explosion really went off in this crater? As in, does the whole idea of a crater town make absolutely no sense as it’s presented? How big is the crater? Also, is the bomb a missile or an actual bomb that would be dropped from a plane? A missile crashing into the ground with enough speed might be able to make a sizable crater, but a bomb just wouldn’t (though it probably could do some significant damage). Is the bomb at the center of the crater?

The bomb looks like Fat Man with other fins on the tail http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_man
As for the ‘crater’, it is big enough to build a small junktown on its slopes

Did the NPC faces look too much alike? Facegen working? Or did you see too few to tell?

Sua: Didn’t see a lot of them up close, but it looked varied overall. And nowhere near the Oblivion uglyness fiasco.

BN: Saw too little. But summary would be “better than Oblivion, not as good as Mass Effect.”

Did the NPC’s have any type of repetitive movements that you noticed? Like hand moving the same exact way over and over?

No, but we didnt spend a lot of time around NPCs. Nearly none of the time was spent observing NPCs.

Was there ever a point when you got a chill during the showing. You know like the hairs standing up on your arms? Or are you two not so emotional about games.

Sua: Ron Perlman’s intro. While slower (I think) and slightly less emotionally chilling than the original, I did get goosebumps watching it. Though it might also have been a good deal of pumped up anticipation.

BN: Possibly the intro, and the ending looked cool enough, but didn’t give me chills because I was scribbling furiously.
I’m not very emotional about games, tho’, unless they really drag me in by the hairs.

Just as an addendum to this, did you notice any different body types in the demo? Different heights/builds?

Humans? In size, just average male / female sizes, i think. but i’m sure they’ll implement heights to a greater extend.
Being a fatass, that I don’t know if they’ll put in.

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