The End

Image made by Fred Zelleny

Image made by Fred Zelleny

This is the last post, today the game was released in Europe, it’s time for me to stop updating the blog.

I wanted to thank Killzig, Ausir, Morbus, 4too, blinzla, brothernone, docconrad, droveri,lithal, Role Player, osiris1975, rilom, s001, Desslock, Gstaff, Mr. Happy, Mr. Teatime, Gimli, Cameron Sorden, zippydsmilee, Defonten, Amasius, Tigranes, all the people that gave me good tips for the changes of templates, the flamers on Meebo for giving me a few good laughs, all the nice people I met from around the world on Meebo, the few Bethsoft people that gave me some words of encouragement or pointed out mistakes on the blogposts.

Well thank you too, this was a fun ride. I’ll keep checking Meebo to talk with you folks, and the email account, from now on you can find me on Planet Fallout.

Have fun in the Wasteland.

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Interview with Desslock

I did an interview with Desslock, the PC Gamer columnist, for Planet Fallout, talking about the past, present and future of Fallout 3, here’s a snippet:

PF:You went there and came up with a column in PC Gamer, the famous “Memo to Bethesda”. In it you gave five tips for Bethsoft not to screw up Fallout 3. Now that you’ve played the game let’s get back to those tips. Did they got the combat right?

Desslock: Yes, the combat is great, in my opinion – it’s repetitive, and over-the-top violent (necks are apparently very brittle after the apocalypse), but it’s consistently rewarding. I’m very pleased with VATS.

PF:But no kicking rats in the groin now, though…

Desslock: One of the bigger disappointments is that there’s no targeting of body parts in melee combat at all, apparently for balance reasons. Melee combat definitely gets short shrift in general, and there’s far too much ammo lying around compared to the other Fallouts, although the change in locale somewhat justifies that.

PF:“Don’t use Oblivion’s difficulty scaling”. Did they hear you out? Are you pleased with the solutions they found?

Desslock: It’s much better. MUCH better. But not perfect. The important thing is that it feels much more natural now, and very much like what you’d encounter in other RPGs. You still encounter stronger creatures/opponents later in the game, but by that point you’re exploring further out in the wilderness or encountering enemies like the Enclave, so that makes more sense. I also like that, regardless of when you travel to certain areas, you’ll run into the types of creatures you expect, which may be higher/lower level than you (e.g. Super Mutants in D.C., ghouls in the underground).

It’s always a pleasure to talk to an old CRPGs fan like him.

Fallout 180

Excellent exercise at the Brainy Gamer:

Some ardent defenders of the Fallout series – let’s call them Fallout traditionalists – have a beef with Fallout 3 and the RPG they fear it will be: non-isometric, non-turn-based, sans dialogue trees, simplified (i.e. dumbed down) SPECIAL system, and a distinct lack of the offbeat, self-referential Fallout vibe. Such a game, say the traditionalists, may be perfectly suitable for gamers who prefer 3-D action RPGs like Oblivion. But it’s just not Fallout. So don’t call it Fallout.

My students have been playing Fallout 1 and 2 for a couple of weeks, preparing for the release of Fallout 3. They are an unexpected mix of gamers: a small handful of RPG veterans, a large majority of relatively casual gamers (mostly sports games and shooters), and a few with almost no experience playing video games at all. Quite a challenge for a teacher who expected to be met by a small legion of hardcore D&Ders with a possible cosplayer or LARPer thrown in. Fortunately, they’re all terrific guys willing to try anything I throw at them.

So when I handed them Fallout (half played the original, half the sequel) with no instructions or special preparation, they struggled. A lot.

What goes on next is really worth a read.

Blinzler Special

Bethsoft forum regular and Planet Fallout editor Blinzler brings us two articles in preparation for the release of the game, first Things You Should Know Before You Head Out:

Fallout 3 is filled with a host of creatures, most of them severely mutated, and plenty of which see humans as a welcome addition to their daily nutritional intake. Below you will find a small list and some information I could collect so far. Maybe it will help you on your travels into the wasteland.

And later he brought us People,Places,Groups:

Fallout 3 is a Sandbox game, throwing the player (character) out into a large, open world with quite a bit of freedom to explore and do as he pleases. Using everyone and their mother’s favorite comparison, it might even be better then Oblivion’s freedom, as Fallout 3 actually allows for different and more finely-tuned approaches to solving a given problem.
To give you some guidance on this path, here’s a few details we’ve glimpsed so far, put together for ease of reading.I’ve tried to keep the spoilers themselves to a minimum, but if you want to experience the game with the innocence of a Vault Dweller freshly emerging from the underground, you should in all honesty skip the read. For the rest, this is meant to serve as a quick introduction to what is to come.

And now I’ll publish here on the blog a new piece he wrote, Reviews and Nationality:

Recently, while doing my regular round of reading various Fallout 3 related forums searching for news, bit’s of trivia and just for fun, I’ve come across some posts calling the first foreign reviews (and previews a bit earlier) unfair due to their tendency of not pointing out some things they considered “lacking” or “bad”.

Which in all fairness surprised me now – me being a foreign guy myself (as in not an American citizen) I don’t see that at all.
What’s the big deal here, if a game reviewer actually takes the time and writes down the things he or she considers wrong with the game and put’s their personal judgement to it? That’s their job after all, that is what they are supposed to do.

Good work Blinzler.

Sweepstake!

From Planet Fallout:

Attention wasteland inhabitants and please holster your weapons. Are you looking to spruce up your room in the Vault? This is your chance to win some world-stopping prizes that include a 42″ Plasma TV, Gaming PC, Xbox360, t-shirts and so much more! All you have to do is submit your entry to be automatically entered into this amazing random drawing sweepstakes. Anyone can enter and anyone can win! Just click the fancy graphic below to be on your way!

The only limitation is that you need to live in the States to participate.

Amazon.co.uk Missteps

From Planet Fallout:

Amazon.co.uk has been sending e-mails for the people that pre-ordered the Fallout 3 Special Edition with some bad news:

Dear Customer,

We wanted to give you an update on the status of your order #XXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXXXX. We are sorry to report that the release of the following item has been cancelled:

“Fallout 3 UK Collectors Edition (PC)”

This item has now been cancelled from your order and we can confirm that you have not been charged for it. Please accept our apologies for any disappointment or inconvenience caused.

If you took advantage of a promotional offer when placing this order, this cancellation may affect your order’s eligibility for that offer. If you discover this to be the case, please contact customer service so that we may investigate. You can send an e-mail to customer service from the following URL:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/502564/ref=cs_hd_cus_1

You can still pre order the game in all the stores in the UK that have the Collectors Edition. Bad Amazon.

Gamasutra Interviews Todd

Gamasutra has posted an interview with Todd Howard.  While light on Fallout 3 details the interview does go into some of Todd’s view on game design:

As a game director — and it’s not like this is the first time you’ve done this — how do you even approach something like this? It seems like such a fairly monumental task, on two fronts: one, it’s just the issue of making a game this big, but you guys have done that before. But then there’s also the issue of inheriting that IP. Not that you’re doing it alone, but it seems like a pretty substantial undertaking. How do you approach that?

TH: The good thing with Fallout is that…  from a workflow standpoint — I mean how we go about what we do — it’s similar to what we do with Elder Scrolls, where it’s very big, and it’s an established world — whether or not  we’ve established it, or somebody else. The Elder Scrolls [world] is so big that no one person can remember it all, so when we think up stuff, we have to go research it. Like, “What did it say in this book in Daggerfall?” It’s so much stuff. So we go through the same work with Fallout.

And frankly, it was a very nice change of pace for us. We were really excited to do the project. So, I think we’re kind of used to doing it; I don’t know that there’s something specific I could point to, and go, “Here’s how we go about it.”

The one thing we do is we lay out the world. One of the first things we do is draw the map, and come up with the people and places. And the rest of it comes out of that. I mean, in Fallout, we knew we wanted to have vaults.

I usually come up with — this is bizarre — the first thing I always come up with is the beginning of the game, and the interface. I don’t know why. Like, how does it start, and what’s the interface. There’s no reason for that; it’s just what goes on.

And we knew we wanted to start in the vault, and play through. I’ve always been interested in games that just start, and you play them; the character generation is part of the game. An early influence is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.

Check out the full interview over yonder.

This newsbit pilfered mercilessly from Kharn.

GTTV Footage

A Planetarium in Fallout 3

As Briosa mentioned earlier, GTTV had an episode dedicated mostly to Fallout earlier this morning.  You can watch the episode over at Gametrailers.com,  There’s some new footage interspersed with lots of old footage and short Q&A sessions with various developers from the game.  There’s also some coverage on other games and an exclusive Red Alert trailer.  But hey look, a planetarium, I love planetariums!

I Give an Interview, World Taken By Surprise

That guy Briosafreak gave an interview to the excellent blog Alley of Infinite Angles. It’s not so bad as you might think, since he barely speaks of him, and instead brings ahead some point for discussion about the Fallout community and Fallout history. One example:

The way they followed the original is still available in the old newsgroups, but much of the FO2 data seems to have been lost forever.

The Interplay message boards during the Tactics days was a great loud party, with the AtheistsforChrisT (as in Chris Taylor) like Killzig or JC causing all sorts of trouble, Saint_Proverbius making some great posts, and the Baldurs Gate and Fallout fans always picking at each other.

The devs interacted with the fans there, and lobbying was made in the fansites. There was a bit of a lack of informal channels though, that caused many misunderstandings, a lesson I learned it should be avoided in the future.

Later, and after two cancellations of the development of Fallout 3,that were kept in secret, the fans were tired of waiting…

I still don’t trust that guy, still thanks for your patience Tigranes.

Tonight on Spike TV

A message from Rohan at Gametrailers TV:

Hi! I’m Rohan from GameTrailers TV

I wanted to let you know that this Friday, tomorrow night at 1am on Spike TV, we’ve got a whole show on Fallout 3!

We went to Bethesda to talk about the game with the developers, received over 15 minutes of brand new, never-before-seen footage, and ask the questions that true Fallout fans want to hear. Trust me, I’m one of them. We unveil a new quest that takes you to the Washington Monument and get up close and personal with the Super Mutant Behemoth.

Not only that, but we’ve got other exclusives in the show – everything from an interview with Tony Parker about NBA Live 09 to a brand new Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 trailer that features the remixed Hell March theme. It focuses on the Empire of the Rising Sun, and has to be seen to believe!

Check out the promo for the show here:

http://www.gametrailers.com/player/40937.html

Fallout 3 Gold! It’s Official Now

Fallout 3 Special Edition, coming in October

Almost here

From the Official Site:

October 9, 2008 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company,  announced today that its highly anticipated title, Fallout® 3, has gone gold and will be available on store shelves and online in North America on October 28, in Europe and Australia on October 30, and in the UK on October 31. Developed at Bethesda Game Studios – creators of the 2006 Game of the Year,  The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®Fallout 3 is slated for release on the Xbox 360®video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows.

Fallout 3 has been the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken,” said Todd Howard, game director for Fallout 3. “It’s been a long journey and we’re really happy with how it turned out. We can’t wait for everyone to get a chance to play it.”

Fallout 3 features one of the most realized game worlds ever created. Set more than 200 years following a nuclear war, you can create any kind of character you want and explore the open wastes of Washington, D.C however you choose. Every minute is a fight for survival as you encounter Super Mutants, Ghouls, Raiders, and other dangers of the Wasteland.

Fallout 3’s first review is featured as this month’s cover story in Official Xbox Magazine, hitting subscribers now and on newsstands October 21. Hailed as one of the most anticipated games for 2008, Fallout 3 has already won numerous awards including Best of Show from the official Game Critics Awards at E3 2008, a selection voted on by an independent group of journalists from 36 leading North American media outlets that cover the videogame industry.

Fallout® 3 has been rated Mature by the ESRB.

Fallout 3 Review From Sweden

Swedish PCGamer reviews Fallout 3, gives a 81% score, and Dupa got us some bits and pieces in English:

I just got the October issue of  swedish PC gamer and they have a review of the PC version of fallout 3.
In short:
score: 81%
Pros:
VATS
SPECIAL
Megaton at night
Cons:
A feeling of lifeless backdrops
Lifeless/stale Characters
To much on a too small area

Its Written by Joakim Bennet, who has proclaimed love for Fallout many times over the years he has been at PC gamer sweden.

Other short stuff(not quotes):
Vats is great, realtime combat isnt. The realtime combat (damage/hits etc) doesnt seem to be in sync with whats happening on the screen.
HtH combat in 3rd person is just as bad as in oblivion
Bennet misses the world map, random encunters, the empty wastes.
AI isn’t great. Enemies running in circles and no reaction from NPC that gets hot from a long distance is quite common.
You can pick up anything that isn’t bolted to the floor.
The SPECIAL system and Perks works great

He also writes about four important points and compare them to the originals:

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