Emil Thinks We’re All Crack Addicts

Bigguns is looking for the groin shot.

Bigguns is looking for the groin shot.

Emil made an appearance at the BGS forums to defend his baby.  Some interesting comments in there about the inspiration for V.A.T.S. and the implementation.  Here’s one quote that tickled my funny bone:

It certainly wasn’t the case that we came up with a concept, put it into the game, and said, “There it is! It’s perfect” The road from paper design to implementation was loooonngg…. So regardless of what the paper design was, for us, that’s always just the beginning. The one thing you have to realize is that anything can look good on paper. Anything. In a written doc, you can justify your arguments, tighten any logic errors, dot your i’s and cross your t’s… but if you get it into the game, and it sucks (and it often does!) you have to change it. Most of the “bad’ games I’ve played are bad not because they’ve been crappy ideas, but because they haven’t been properly executed. It’s as if the developers were so blinded by the the awesomeness of their ideas on paper, they couldn’t accept that those same ideas just did not translate into fun gameplay. It’s an easy trap to fall into, and every developer has at one point or another, myself included.

Laughing with me yet?  Maybe sometime soon.  He also goes on to say that V.A.T.S. will please everyone, really!

We designed the combat balance with V.A.T.S. use in mind. Trust me, those who say they won’t use it will. If there’s one thing we learned throughout development it’s that people use V.A.T.S. It just feels natural, and the camera playbacks are a kind of visual crack. So V.A.T.S. is one part tactical, one part pure visceral entertainment. Chances are at least one of those elements will appeal to you, and you’ll end up using V.A.T.S.

And of course, later in the conversation, the sore subject of groin shots reared its ugly head.

Quick answers — no groin shots because it took long enough for us to get the other body parts balanced. And we were afraid the groin shots would instantly change the tone to “goofy” — so they didn’t make the cut.

Yes, it seems groin shots were the tipping point on the goof-o-meter.  Truly a fine line between the comedic and the dramatic that the designers had to walk.  Steel be with them in that endeavor.

Chime in over here.


3 thoughts on “Emil Thinks We’re All Crack Addicts

  1. That is due to a specific perk being used, whose effect is to insta-gib every opponent on a deathblow, no matter what. It’s entirely optional, and no one loses illogical bodyparts during combat unless you’re using the Bloody Mess perk.

    And if you’ve actually seen the gameplay in action outside of those ridiculous trailers (which ALL have Bloody Mess on,) you’d likely agree that called VATS groin shots would be fucking gnarly and disgusting and kind of unsettling. Have you SEEN a ripper in action? Just seeing a guy use one on the groin area of an opponent made me cringe so bad I was REALLY glad that I couldn’t target the groin.

    And cycling between eyeballs->head->etc in VATS would suck, it’s extremely intuitive the way it is now, but any more body parts (especially smaller and harder to target ones,) would make VATS more tedious than it is in its current iteration.

    Personally, I’m more concerned about where to find that killer leopard-print suit, than whether or not I have another two body parts to cycle through every time I want to kill something with VATS.

  2. The # of things you can target varies from enemies anyways, I don’t really see how removing two options streamlines it more. Also not having specific targeting for HTH/Melee but then having it for Big Guns seems a bit odd. Called shots with a mini gun? It seems like there are a lot of interesting ideas in Fallout 3 that are unevenly applied. Hopefully the sum is greater than the parts.

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