Interview with Pete Hines, with a bit more info than usual, at Bit-Tech:
We got a chance to go see Fallout 3 in action recently, and obviously we couldn’t turn it down. Though the event itself was the usual blur of excitement and curiously small burgers on cocktail sticks, we bemusedly came to the next day to find that not only had we done a hands-on preview of Fallout 3, but we’d also done an interview with Bethesda’s Pete Hines.
How had this come about? Had we managed to make it through the interview without making utter tits of ourselves or fainting like 18th century bodiced ladyfolk?
The only way to find out was to listen to the interview, which we’ve helpfully transcribed for you below – covering all manner of Fallout 3 topics from downloadable content and launch platforms, to quest design and voice actor recruitment…[…]
BT: And what sort of reaction have you been getting from the really hardcore fans?
Pete: Um, I don’t think that reaction has changed much since 2004. Y’know, I think that gets overblown a bit too much. Those guys get very excited and very passionate about Fallout, but what really defines a hardcore fan? It’s up to everyone to make up their own mind.
Everyone can decide for themselves, but if it’s not the game that you like then I’d suspect that you’re not going to play it, so…[…]
BT: What about the differences in how people play? Do you see differences there between seasoned gamers and newcomers?
Pete: Uh, yeah actually. The people who are more hardcore, they tend to pick up the core elements a bit quicker and then they usually start delving right into the stats a lot more. They start with the numbers and powergaming.
The casual guys though, they just play. They grab a gun and shoot stuff. It becomes a story driven shooter for them and they find big guns, put points in big guns and just do the whole big-gun, energy-weapon thing. It’s about roleplaying though, so there’s nothing that says some aren’t supposed to play like that.
If you’re into the stealth and the dialogue and so on though then you totally can, but we see that the people who do that tend to be the hardcore gamers. They tend to look for which perks line up perfectly with their play style.
BT: Is that why you’ve moved the game to a first person perspective? To make it more accessible to players?
Pete: Uh, no, I think we moved it because we thought that would make the best game. Like, what we’re able to do from a first and third person point of view that we can’t do from an isometric view is put the player in the world so that you aren’t always looking down and detached from the world. You’re really experiencing all this destruction around you.
First person just gives you a much bigger sense of space. When you leave the vault for the first time and you have that really cool effect where you come outside for the first time and you’re blinded by the light. The whole world is slowly revealed to you. It’s hard to give the player that same level of ‘this is all free for you to play in’ from the isometric point of view.
It’s about immersion, so honestly it’s about keeping true to the franchise. Just look at the first Fallout – that was pushing the graphics for its day. It did full lip syncing and animated faces. It did everything! It didn’t just do one thing. If it was just great dialogue then it’d be Zork. It had violence, graphics, dialogue and everything else on top.[…]
BT: Do you have a firm release date?
Pete: Yes, I have one. No, I can’t tell you. We’re still this autumn, but we can’t comment further. But it will be the same for all platforms.
Spotted at NMA.