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.

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.

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.

X-Play Fallout 3 Special

If you’re like me, you probably can’t even find G4TV on your television dial and luckily for us the good people at G4 know this.  They’ve posted up their Fallout 3 X-Play special on the internets for all to see.  Included is some great footage of Rivet City and commentary from Todd, Pete, Istvan and my personal favorite Emil (do moar interviews, plz).

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.

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 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:

Continue reading

First Review Hits

From our friends at NMA comes news that Fallout 3’s first review has been unleashed on the wild. This coming from French magazine PC JEUX:

Thus, the fear that Fallout 3 could be a post-apocalyptic Oblivion is totally gone. A few hours with the game will be enough for Fallout veterans to get their habits back and be able to walk with confidence through the game. New players will not feel totally lost either because references to the previous games are rather scarce and discrete. If most changes brought to the series are technical, the spirit is still there, sort of. Indeed, it’s a shame that this episode is so serious. It has lost, it seems, a good deal of the humour and even irony that was part of the series. Cinematographic references or completely twisted conversations with NPCs are gone. Aside from this, Fallout 3 is an excellent RPG and a good Fallout. The score is rather different but the music stays the same.

They’ve given the game a score of 93%, noting a good variety of quest types and also multiple resolutions for said quests while complaining about a few technical hang ups.  Maybe they should have conferred with the game’s recommended specs before reviewing…  oh wait.

The DRM Interview

Lincoln takes a ride.

Lincoln takes a ride.

From the you’ve-probably-already-read-this file, Shack News conducted an interview with BethSoft PR Gorilla Pete Hines. The big take away from this interview seems to be the confirmation of minimal DRM for Fallout 3’s PC version:

Shack: Similar question in the sense that it’s an issue that can be overblown. What kind of copy protection will be included on the PC version of Fallout 3?

Pete Hines: Pretty similar to what we did for Oblivion, which was–we basically don’t do any–we do the mildest form possible. I actually don’t know if I even want to get into what it is that we exactly do, but we try to be really noninvasive when it comes to that stuff. [ed- Oblivion employed a simple DVD check.]

The rest of the interview is over yonder.

Fallout 3 at IGN Week

Fallout 3 Power Fist

From Planet Fallout:

What could be better than a whole day of Fallout 3? Think a whole week of Fallout 3. And that is exactly what IGN is offering. Kick starting their week-long Fallout 3 coverage, IGN has published an in-depth look at the various weapons right here. The article touches upon VATS, the ability to get awesome weapons early in the game, the Powerfist, and more.

Win A Puppet at Joystiq

Photo Joystiq

Photo Joystiq

Want to win Vault Boy puppets or Survival Guides? Joystiq has a giveaway contest just for you:

All we want to know is what perk you would want in real life, whether it’s an actual Fallout perk or something you just made up.[…]

  • Leave a comment telling us what perk you would want to have in real life. Be creative and descriptive!
  • You must be 18 years or older and a (non-zombie) resident of the US or Canada (excluding Quebec and Megaton).
  • Limit 1 entry per person per calendar day (comment more than once and the Brotherhood will pay you a visit).
  • This entry period ends at 10:00pm ET on Friday, September 26th. We’ll randomly select three winners at that time to each receive a Vault Boy puppet (valued at approximately $15); two of those will also receive the Vault Dweller’s Survival Guide (approx. $0.15). Please check your e-mail!

For a list of complete rules click here.

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.

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.