Anyhow, I just chatted with Emil on the matter and he had this to say:
Emil: We don’t have full dialogue options for characters with low intelligence. That is to say, you cannot simply “Ughhh” and “Agghh” your way through dialogue. That said, there are some Intelligence-specific dialogue options in the game.
Emil Pagliarulo came back to this issue:
Yeah, what Matt said.
I know you guys haven’t seen a lot of dialogue, but I really don’t think you’ll be wanting for options in that regard. The dialogue trees are pretty detailed, and there are plenty of response options, including those that check for skills, perks, S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes, etc.
The one screenshot with dialogue that we did release — shows a guy with a couple of “do you want to come with me” type of responses — is actually an example of the smallest set of responses. The majority of NPCs have several more.
In general, what you can say depends on who the NPC is, all your combinations of stats and skills, events that have transpired, how you want to respond (different “attitudes” or “voices”), and more.
“So obviously you have to be careful about where you send him foraging for stuff,” said Hines. “If you’re attacking a Raider camp, or something, and you’re running low on ammo and you say, ‘Go find me ammo,’ and he goes running through a bunch of Raiders, they can shoot and kill him while he tries to do what you told him. So you’ve got to be smart about where you send him off.”
Luckily, our canine friend isn’t necessary to the plot.
“It’s an homage to the original game to have a memorable dog that you can have with you, and it’s a way to give you a companion.”
About downloadable content:
“Given how successful it was for us on Oblivion, certainly it’s a given that we’ll look into it and what we’d like to do,” he said, talking of extra content for the anticipated post-apocalyptic RPG.
“But I can’t tell you when, I can’t tell you what it would be, or what it would look like. Will it be bigger stuff like Knights of the Nine or smaller stuff? We’ve no idea. We’ll let folks know once we get down the road.”
Hines added: “Obviously we’ve done very well with [DLC] on Oblivion, but the big thing for us is that we’re still working on content for the game itself, and so all our designers and artists are pretty much totally engaged with that. So, until we’re done with that part of the process, we don’t ever think about whatever they’re going to be creating or whatever they’re going to be doing.
“The goal is that it’s similar to what Oblivion was for its time,” he said. “So, it’s not Crysis but it’s not solitary, and hopefully it’s as scalable as possible. So if you’ve got a shit-hot machine and you’ve got all the latest video cards, and whatnot, then it’ll look amazing, but if you’ve got a standard gaming rig then it still runs good.”
In terms of a final PC spec for the game, Hines said it was still too early in the development cycle to be able to give a definite list.
“I can’t tell you what that is yet,” he said. “We don’t really hone in on what that’s going to be until we get into optimisation. Right now we’re still messing with a lot of stuff.”
“Thirty frames a second is our goal, so it’s running at 30 frames a second and it’s nice and smooth,” he said, talking of the PC version.
“Yeah, that’s the goal,” he added, when asked if the 30FPS target was the same for Xbox 360 and PS3.
“Right now we’re doing all the optimisation stuff. We’re still in the mode where we’re adding and changing content… Once we’re done changing content, then we can go back through and say, ‘OK, this is what the game’s going to look like,’ and [look at] where we can optimise the loading, and stuff like that.’”
XBox360 as leading platform on Fallout 3:
“The 360 is our lead development platform, so we got it working on that one first,” he said. I mean, we develop them all simultaneously, but one of them’s got to be the lead, so it was 360.”