The ABC Apologises

Tony Jones

Tony Jones

Saw this at xboxOZ360-gamer:

This has just came to my attention regarding an earlier article we published, and it shows that not all TV stations are the same, and are willing to go back on their reporting if it is proven to be wrong or misleading. Recently ABC ran a piece on the controversial Fallout 3 on its Q&A Discussion program (which we covered earlier). A member of the public, one Daniel Silk wrote a substantial letter of complaint to the program heads and actually got a response. And one he was hoping to get,  rather than the usual run-around many stations give those who complain about their programs:

[…]With regard to the background information on the game Fallout 3 provided by presenter Tony Jones, we acknowledge your point that the game was refused classification by the Classification Board because of the intravenous drug use, rather than the violence in the game. While Tony Jones mentioned the issue of drug use and violence in his précis of the game, he offered no specifics on why the game was actually refused classification. From our own understanding of the game of Fallout 3, the ABC believes that it is legitimate to mention the violence in the game. Mr Jones did not state that the main purpose of the game was to kill everyone. For your information Fallout 3 was used as it was a topical example of a game that had been refused classification by the Classification Board.

The ABC apologises for the information provided by presenter Tony Jones in the middle of the discussion on gaming and agrees that it may have been confusing and misleading. Mr Jones was aware that a rating system exists for games. He had been briefed on concerns that the current system is inadequate because it does not provide an R rating. But regrettably in the pressure of the program and in attempting to summarise and point to the lack of a comprehensive rating system, Mr Jones erred by stating that there was no ratings system for video games.

They actually apologised for the mistakes, that’s not common. You can read more at Kotaku.au.

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Prepare For The Future! Live

Screen from prepareforthefuture.com

Screen from prepareforthefuture.com

From the BethBlog:

During E3 week, we launched a new Fallout site, prepareforthefuture.com. For the past two months, content of the site has only been teased. Starting today, you can go through and explore the nooks and crannies of the site, which are divided into different channels.

The nine small films are in general great, it’s really worth spending some time there.

Todd X

Spotted at NMA, G4 X-Play has a video interview with Todd Howard:

Adam Sessler: What are you noticing in people’s reactions, in how they’re playing the game that is surprising you?

Todd Howard: I guess I’m not surprised at how much they like the violence, y’know, they go right for it. People like to see the dialogues – we haven’t showed a lot of it, so they like to go to Megaton, go around and see the different personalities. But once we tell them – y’know, they only have ten minutes – so if they go to Megaton and we tell them “hey, you only got a few minutes left” they start shooting the first person in front of them. Y’know, nice old ladies, and they just go BAM, they start going for it.

Inside Dunn

Terry Dunn

Terry Dunn

From the BethBlog:

Inside the Vault presents Terry Dunn, quality assurance tester.

What’s your job at Bethesda?
I am a quality assurance tester, which basically means I get to play games for a living. While it may sound like a glorified position to some, it actually requires persistence, conviction, and thoroughness. It’s my job to track down issues in our games, find a way to reproduce it if possible, and then write a report up for it and submit it to the developers for review. When fixes come in, I double check it to make sure the problem has been resolved.

Fallout 3 Kikizoed

Kikizo has some new impressions about the Fallout 3 demo:

So, what did I learn from my brief taste of Fallout 3? I suppose my most unexpected realization was that I am really, really eager to play the finished game. The overwhelming depth and fantasy setting of Bethesda’s previous big game, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, put me off that game, but the setting, story, and VATS system have won me over here. I wish that I could play Fallout as more of a shooter and less of an RPG but even still what I’ve played is exhilirating. The consistency of the gameworld is the biggest draw. The ambient soundtrack and omnipresent devastation combine to produce an unforgettable experience. I can’t wait to play the full game later this year.

Posted first at PlanetFallout.

Planet Fallout

After a few months of hard work we bring you Planet Fallout:

Planet Fallout is excited to announce the opening of its hatch doors to the inhabitants of the Internet Wasteland. After months of isolation deep within an undisclosed mountain located in California, the ground work for this society and its technology has been laid. Welcome Humans…
Let’s talk a little about Planet Fallout and a couple key areas. Besides the latest daily news and feature articles written by staff covering Fallout 3 one of the biggest attractions at the site is the Fallout Wiki. The Fallout Wiki is a wealth of game content information that spans the entire Fallout series. What is the best part about the wiki? If you see something missing that you know about, than feel free to add or edit it in. Your expert knowledge of Fallout can help others and enrich the community. Drop by this page for more help regarding the wiki and how you can help. It is very easy!

Let us move on to the community powered databases here at Planet Fallout. What does ‘community powered databases’ mean exactly? In a nutshell it means you, the community, can submit or edit an entry into a database. For example, if you know of a Perk not currently listed in the Perks database, you can add it yourself (or edit an existing entry). Currently we have two live databases, one for Skills and the other for Perks. However, once the game is launched on October 28, 2008 we will be opening the rest. These include: Quests, Maps, Locations, NPC, Weapons, Schematics, Armor, Drugs, Tools, Items, Creatures and Radio Stations (right now these are being handled by the wiki). So be on the lookout for those once the game is out. We should also mention there will be a battery of more community-centric databases such as user created mods, videos and screenshots that will give you the ability to add these type of files directly to the site and share them with the community. However, since these areas pretty much rely on the actual game, we will be talking about them more in the future. I just wanted everyone to know these are planned.

Both Blinzler, Incognito and myself (in the shape of my evil alter ego Briosafreak101) are all working there, give us a visit and don’t forget to say hi!

XBox Focus Does a Silly Article

Worst article on Fallout 3 I’ve ever seen, in XBox Focus:

Fallout 3 has introduced a newer, more realistic system: rather than having one, almighty health bar for the entire body, there are different, specially designed bars for your head, torso and legs. While the words “health bars” may be synonymous with “1998” these days, the mixture that Fallout 3 is expecting to put into use can be something more realistic than anything you will ever see in, Call of Duty 4, Crysis or Bioshock (I don’t care what excuses Bioshock used to guise it’s recovery system, it was still the worst part about the game.)

The rest is equally funny, involuntarilly. Spotted at NMA.

GameStar.de Previews Fallout 3

From GameStar comes a a large article on Fallout 3, in German, here are some bits from a translation by Blintzler:

Our first step into the world of the 23rd century is on a hill. It’s warm and friendly; the wind rustles silently, mosquitos fly around our ears. All around us are the ruins of a civilization. The flat land stretches ahead and is littered with the black cubes of ruined apartment blocks and office buildings. Ripped farm houses overlook parched fields, bunches of tough yellow gras is the only visible vegation around, growing between the cracks in the road asphalt and around the burned remains of trees.[…]

Skelletal remains of power line poles run along the railroads lines. Highway bridges, once running high above the ground on pillars, now suddenly end in sheer drops. Their remains now serve as camps with burned out trucks as homes; from here, high above, they shoot down at the wild dogs and the hordes of double-headed brahmin, the mutated descendents of bovine ancestry who drinks from the radiative pools.Towards the horizon the mass of ruins starts to clump together, towards what was once a town and known as Washington, DC.[…]

In Megaton and other settlements we meet survivors, among them the disfigured ghouls. Everything we see – we can reach.That’s the beauty of the impressive view. But it has an ugly side, too, and it’s name is: Xbox 360 technology. Now console graphics doesn’t automatically mean it’s a bad thing, far from the truth – some games are more beautiful on the Xbox then they are on the PC. But the Microsoft Box has the disadvantage that most games forego AA to make the game run more smoothly – as does FO3.  Because the PC Version builds up 1:1 on the console version, this means: visible stair effects especially on distant objects and mesh-structures (such as high voltage power poles). In addition – textures, especially close-up, are foggy and unsharp.

Thanks Incognito and Blinzler.

And I hope you had a happy Birthday Incognito.

Good Fallout 2 Modding

End Screen from Fallout:BG&E

Off topic now, but I love Fallout: Between Good and Evil, the FO2 total conversion, to pass this out:

So, you know the saying – better late than never. We aren’t quite happy that the last post on this page is from May, but we were sort of too interested in the mod to post any news. Let’s hope some new images will prevent you from stoning us to death.

Screenshots

Artworks

Ingame art

There’s more there, do check it out. Great work guys

XBox360 Fallout 3 Preview

It’s not a long one:

Survival in the wastes is a gruesome business. It’s a lonely one too. Under the game’s grim atomic sky you can walk for ages with only broken sections of motorway, brown desert, decaying houses and the occasional weather-beaten skeleton for company.

Sure, there are wild dogs, bloat-flies and propaganda-bleating eye-bots sent out by the power-grabbing false presidency of John Henry Eden (the leader of a faction known as the Enclave, brilliantly voiced by Malcolm McDowell), but ultimately a stroll through the wilderness is a solitary, haunting experience.

Then again, should a dash of the old ultra-violence be desired, indicators appear on your compass to inform you in which direction to head – but not how far away it is, or what it could be.

The first top-side settlement you’ll probably explore, however, is Megaton – the town that you are given the choice to either nuke or save through the medium of its central atom bomb. Us? We defused it, obtaining the deeds to a local shack and the free hair-cutting services of one Wadsworth the Robo-butler from a grateful populace.

A populace that would probably have been a lot less happy if they’d known we’d also spent the evening hacking their personal files, stealing from locked safes, buying hard drugs from the local dealer and (seriously) putting a live grenade in the pocket of a sleeping old woman and watching her frantically pat herself down searching for it, before exploding.

Inside Brigner

Daryl Brigner

Daryl Brigner

From the Bethblog:

Inside the Vault presents one of our level designers, Daryl Brigner.

What’s your job at Bethesda?
I’m a Level Designer. I design the layout for specific areas/dungeons. This usually consists of where enemies are, where and what the loot is, and what the basic flow of the dungeon is.[…]

Any other hobbies and interests? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Playing games, watching movies, and, believe it or not, making levels for other games. I’ve recently made a small map pack for Portal called Ren_Test3 It’s been featured on our site here along with my previous map. I have a lot of fun making those Portal maps because it’s less about the aesthetics and more about the puzzle design.

I’ve also done a few mapping tutorials for Half-Life 2, and will probably do some more of them in the future. They are four beginner tutorials and can be found if you just Google “Renstrike Mapping Tutorial”.

One world, One Fallout 3

Edge got the scoop, all real life names of drugs were removed from every version of the game, following the Australian problems:

Speaking to Edge, Bethesda has explained what it calls a “misconception” regarding the classification of Fallout 3 in the Australian region. Edge has also learned that due to concerns and issues raised in the process of international classification, Fallout 3 will not contain real world drug references in any territory.

Pete Hines further clarified what’s up:

Calling the idea of an Australia-specific version of the game a “misconception,” Hines told us, “We want to make sure folks understand that the Australian version of Fallout 3 is identical to both the UK and North American versions in every way, on every platform.”[…] “An issue was raised concerning references to real world, proscribed drugs in the game, and we subsequently removed those references and replaced them with fictional names. To avoid confusion among people in different territories, we decided to make those substitutions in all versions of the game, in all territories.

So chems/drugs are still in, oldies like Jet and Mentats will show up again, together with new stuff. Real names like morphine were changed in all versions of the game, in that particular case it’s now known as Med-X.

Message in a Todd Bottle

Howard during his Mars hollidays

Howard during his Mars hollidays

For only the third time in four years Bethsoft Executive Producer and Fallout 3 Lead Todd Howard leaves a message on the Bethesda Games forum:

See, I read the forums too.

Thanks to everyone here that has supported us and our games over the years. I really enjoyed meeting so many of you at PAX, and I know Pete, Emil, Istvan, and Matt did as well. It was, by far, our favorite convention ever. We really do have the best fans in the world, and we take both the praise and criticism the way it’s intended – to help us make better games.

Maybe someday we’ll be popular enough to have a “Bethfest!” and you can meet the whole team of over 100 people that work on these games. I assure you, they’re some of the most dedicated and amazing people you’d ever meet.

In other news this blog will return for the regular news service next Wednesday or Thursday. I’ll still be available on Meebo or mail.

When Emil Speaks An Angel Gets Some Wings and a Beard

Emil Pagliarulo

Emil Pagliarulo

And Emil Pagliarulo decided to reply to an impromptu interview on the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum:

Can you target cars in VATS to explode?

Emil: No, you can’t. We actually experimented with that for a while, but found that the “battlefield” got so littered with “explodable” objects that you ended up having too many targets to cycle through, or the the camera would autozoom onto a car instead of the target you wanted, etc. So, like a lot of things, we started off that way, played the game and realized it didn’t work, and changed it.

Does stealing cost less -karma then murder?

Emil: Yes, definitely. I find that’s how I maintain my “Neutral” karma level with my current character (crazy Raider-looking girl named Fahrenheit) — I’ll generally be nice to people (which earns good karma), and then rip them off blind (which earns bad karma). If I were to go around murdering people, I’d jump pretty quickly down to “Evil.”

Can an evil character make a redeeming decision and become good and vice versa? (and it makes sense)

Emil:Yes! That became one of our big goals, actually — redemption. There are ways a completely good character can turn evil, but that’s easy — just go on a killing spree. But there are also ways for a completely evil character to turn good. You can complete quests in an obviously “good” way, donate money to a church, give purified water to a better, etc. etc. So yeah, we definitely support that.

I had one character who was totally evil. I blew up Megaton, went on a killing spree… and then Dogmeat taught me how to love. Role-playing FTW!

Every time Emil speaks on the forum there is much rejoicing in the Elves community and the Brotherhood groupies. Ausir isn’t very pleased with the last answer though. Thanks Incognito for the heads up.