Back to the Future

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From No Mutants Allowed:

Well isn’t this funny? Unexpectedly, the material keeps on coming. Desslock, the well-known RPG guru who used to run his own RPG news site on GameSpot and now has his RPG columns on PC Gamer, once interviewed Tim Cain in 1997, prior to the release of Fallout. And today Desslock was kind enough to provide this interview to NMA.

Great find, kudos to Desslock, it will be interesting to compare this to a Todd Howard interview made after the release of Fallout 3. Some highlights:

Desslock: Fallout’s detailed tactical combat, complete with critical hits, the ability to aim at specific locations on your target, etc. has been enthusiastically received by role-playing gamers who have previewed the Fallout demo. Do you anticipate that the combat system will be substantially similar to the one previewed in the Fallout demo?

Tim Cain: Yes, we’ve primarily just been tinkering with combat balance and AI. We have added the ability to speed up NPC turns, so you don’t have to wait as long for them to take their turns. The biggest change from the demo is the addition of critical hits and misses. These are specific to the critter you are attacking and the weapon you are using, and combat becomes even more strategic when you are trying to decide whether or not to shoot with a 20% to-hit number, since the chance of critical failure is proportional to the chance of missing. On the plus side, called shots have a better chance of scoring a critical hit (making groin shots even better), but since they are tougher shots, you may critically miss more too. It’s all a balance thing.[…]

Desslock: The graphics in Fallout look fantastic so far, and have a lot of gamers excited about playing a real, live role-playing game which looks so gooood. Great work, by the way. What resolutions and color depths do you intend to support in Fallout? Do you anticipate including any special graphical features, such as dynamic lighting, etc.?

Tim Cain: Fallout is a 640×480 256-color product. We do make use of dynamic lighting and special effects such as translucency (we have a Stealth Boy device that can turn you nearly invisible) and some gorgeous color-cycled animations (one of our artists managed to make the ocean waves lap at the shore when you go to the beach).[…]

Desslock: What are two features (perhaps among many) which you believe set Fallout apart from other role-playing games?

Tim Cain: First, different characters really are different. If you make a stupid character, he will have different responses to NPCs dialog, and therefore the game will take a different spin as certain adventure seeds are denied you. Similarly, starting with low combat skills could easily get you killed in the first adventure seed that is offered, since it involves big, dangerous monsters. Likewise, take a high Luck and you may find things in the wasteland that others cannot…

Second, how you behave in the game really matters. Be a jerk, and people won’t barter with you. Save a town and become a hero in their eyes. Join the bad guys and see a different endgame (not necessarily a lose game sequence either). In other words, this is a true role-playing game, and you are responsible for your own actions.

I love the NMA presents: Fallout’s 10th anniversary feature.

Picture from DuckandCover.

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