Lockpicking the Moriarty Saloon

Remember the EuroGamer Fallout 3 Second Look? At one point it was mentioned this:

The saloon door is locked, meaning we have to tease it open with picks (instigating a simple but entertaining mini-game). This is all a little strange, as, once inside, we find that the place is actually open for business after all, and the saloon owner, who boasts a lovely silver mullet and a voice like Terry Wogan, doesn’t seem to mind – or notice – that we’ve just forced our way in.

Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff explains what might have happened:

To clarify on this, it sounds to me like he went through the back door to the saloon…which is locked.

Still no word on the lack of reactions when you shoot inside the saloon.

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Fallout 3 CE, and Maybe Some Clothes

From the Bethblog:

Last month we announced the Fallout 3 Collector’s Edition, and today we’re giving you a first look at the contents included with it. When you purchase the CE, you’ll get the following:

  • Vault Boy Bobblehead: Enjoy your very own Vault Boy with this collector’s item direct from Vault-Tec.
  • The Art of Fallout 3: This hardcover book features nearly 100 pages of never-before seen concept art and commentary from Bethesda Game Studios artists.
  • The Making of Fallout 3: Get an exclusive, inside look at Bethesda Game Studios and the team behind the game with this special DVD.
  • Vault-Tec Lunch Box: The entire package comes in a fully customized metal lunchbox.

The Fallout 3 Collector’s Edition will release the same day as the regular edition of the game and is available for pre-order now.

—–X——

Well in other news if you go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office and search for “War. War never changes” you’ll find this:

SERIAL NUMBER: 77/238147
MARK: WAR. WAR NEVER CHANGES. (STANDARD CHARACTER MARK)
OWNER: BETHESDA SOFTWORKS LLC

016 – Computer and video game user instruction manuals; magazines, books, and pamphlets concerning video games; computer and video game
strategy guide books and magazines — FIRST USE DATE: NONE; — USE IN COMMERCE DATE: NONE
025 – Clothing, namely shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, jackets; headwear — FIRST USE DATE: NONE; — USE IN COMMERCE DATE:NONE

I would buy some of that clothing for sure!

I Want To Set Your World On Fire

As No Mutants Allowed reported earlier, GameStop will give some goodies for those that pre order Fallout 3, now according to the Bethblog:

Gstaff: I’ve received several emails from fans inquiring whether or not GameStop is providing a Fallout 3 CD with pre-orders for the game. The answer? Yes, yes we are. With a pre-order of the game, fans are given a 5-track disc with “featured selections” from the soundtrack, along with a Brotherhood of Steel poster.

GameStop should have started receiving their stock of this pre-order giveaway late last week, so if your local GameStop doesn’t have them yet, they’ll probably have them in a few days. I’d venture to guess that GameStop’s website will show the offer sometime soon.

We included the front and back sleeve designs for the soundtrack — to get a better look, click on the images to enlarge them. Below is the back sleeve design for the disc. You can see it includes three songs licensed from the 1940’s, as well as two tracks from the game’s composer, Inon Zur.

It looks nice.

New Fan Interview Poll

Image NMA

Go see the questions and vote:

Alexander, Briosafreak, and Gizmo have, over the last nine days, gone through the threads collecting suggestions for questions to put on the new official Fan Interview and have compiled the list, sorted it and then condensed it. There are 40 uniques left. These represent the most popular and/or most informative questions that we recorded, and that were submitted before May 18th.

There are only 20 slots [officially], and an extra 5 set aside as alternates or bonus questions.

We have decided to post a multiple choice poll, to let the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 Forum members choose for themselves what questions they value most from our list. After three days we will assemble the final draft from the top ranked questions in this poll. These will then be the questions submitted to Bethesda for the second Official Fan Interview.

We ask that you pick only 25 so that you do not dilute your vote, and so that the ones you select have a better chance at a higher ranking.

Now go on and read the poll here, and then vote.

New Fallout 3 Fan Interview

Bethsoft

From the Bethblog:

Last year, once all the dust cleared from our initial unveiling of Fallout 3, we provided you guys with a chance to ask some burning questions about the game. Given we’ve just had another blitz of previews come out, we figured now was as good of a time as any to give you another opportunity.

Starting today in the Fallout 3 Discussion thread of the BGS forums, you can start suggesting questions you’d like to see answered. You can also share your questions in the comments section of this blog post, or simply by emailing us. To help make sure we’re answering the questions you guys want to know, I’ve entrusted three of our community members to help out with the process — Alexander, Briosafreak, Gizmo. If you’ve got suggestions, or think you might be able to help them out, drop them a line.

If you want your question considered, you have between now and Sunday, May 18th to post your questions through the channels listed above. Once we’ve got the final questions, we’ll work on getting answers back to you guys.

Leave your questions on the blogpost, or in this topic on the Bethsoft Fallout 3Forum, or just send them to me or the other guys.

Here’s the result of the first Fan Interview.

Fresh From The Fallout 3 Forum

More tidbits from the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum, with Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff talking about the upcoming E3:

Yeah, some folks were able to get their hands on the game last year. As you said, part of that criteria was that judges had to be able to see that the game was “playable.”

Talking with Pete, at this year’s E3, folks will be able to play the game. To what length they’ll be able to play it, I suppose that depends on how much time schedules permit, how many folks are checking out the game, etc. E3 can be pretty hectic.

About the user interface in the game on the PC:

As previously noted, the GUI for PC will be tweaked. This is something we learned from Oblivion feedback.

About a new fan interview:

As I mentioned yesterday in another thread, we’ll be doing a fan interview pretty soon. This will definitely be a chance for you guys to get some of your burning questions answered.

When I have more details on the fan interview, I’ll let you guys know. In the meantime, start thinking about which questions you want answered.

Yeah time to think about some new questions.

SPECIAL Fallout 3 Rumblings

A bit of controversy on the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum, this time about SPECIAL, with Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff stating that:

I think you might be jumping to conclusions, as SPECIAL in Fallout 3 is an integral part to customizing the character you’ll be taking through the game. The use of of SPECIAL in the game is actually very close to how it was used in previous Fallouts.

Forum member Ares Draxus retorted with this:

Really, you must have missed the fact that Fallout 3 is real time. SPECIAL is a complete rules system, Gstaff. It is character creation, combat rules system, the whole kit and kaboodle. Very close you say? Last I saw Fallout 3 is still real time.

Gstaff again:

Yes, it is very close. Whether it’s in real-time or not, it stays true to the way it was implemented in the original games in terms of what your character is good at, and how it affects your gameplay experience.

I can’t get into much more than that. You might want to keep your questions about SPECIAL in mind for the next time we do a fan interview (when that time comes, I’ll let you guys know).

My personal take on this is that if Gstaff is saying that in general SPECIAL is being kept in the game, with the attributes showing up, with skills and perks and traits and all of that and yeah, I understand that.

But even at this stage, with little info, if one tries to see the specifics of the system and the way they seem to be changed and adapted, then there’s no doubt that the system is quite different from the old games.

So this is definitely material for a new fan interview, in my opinion.

Fallout 3 Talk of the Town

Mr. Handy

Mr. Handy, found by Lexx

A few quotes about Fallout 3, let’s start with Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff:

Anyhow, I just chatted with Emil on the matter and he had this to say:

Emil: We don’t have full dialogue options for characters with low intelligence. That is to say, you cannot simply “Ughhh” and “Agghh” your way through dialogue. That said, there are some Intelligence-specific dialogue options in the game.

Emil Pagliarulo came back to this issue:

Yeah, what Matt said.

I know you guys haven’t seen a lot of dialogue, but I really don’t think you’ll be wanting for options in that regard. The dialogue trees are pretty detailed, and there are plenty of response options, including those that check for skills, perks, S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes, etc.

The one screenshot with dialogue that we did release — shows a guy with a couple of “do you want to come with me” type of responses — is actually an example of the smallest set of responses. The majority of NPCs have several more.

In general, what you can say depends on who the NPC is, all your combinations of stats and skills, events that have transpired, how you want to respond (different “attitudes” or “voices”), and more.

Now moving on to Pete Hines chat with Videogaming247, a few tidbits, starting on Dogmeat:

“So obviously you have to be careful about where you send him foraging for stuff,” said Hines. “If you’re attacking a Raider camp, or something, and you’re running low on ammo and you say, ‘Go find me ammo,’ and he goes running through a bunch of Raiders, they can shoot and kill him while he tries to do what you told him. So you’ve got to be smart about where you send him off.”

Luckily, our canine friend isn’t necessary to the plot.

“It’s an homage to the original game to have a memorable dog that you can have with you, and it’s a way to give you a companion.”

About downloadable content:

“Given how successful it was for us on Oblivion, certainly it’s a given that we’ll look into it and what we’d like to do,” he said, talking of extra content for the anticipated post-apocalyptic RPG.

“But I can’t tell you when, I can’t tell you what it would be, or what it would look like. Will it be bigger stuff like Knights of the Nine or smaller stuff? We’ve no idea. We’ll let folks know once we get down the road.”

Hines added: “Obviously we’ve done very well with [DLC] on Oblivion, but the big thing for us is that we’re still working on content for the game itself, and so all our designers and artists are pretty much totally engaged with that. So, until we’re done with that part of the process, we don’t ever think about whatever they’re going to be creating or whatever they’re going to be doing.

PC specs:

“The goal is that it’s similar to what Oblivion was for its time,” he said. “So, it’s not Crysis but it’s not solitary, and hopefully it’s as scalable as possible. So if you’ve got a shit-hot machine and you’ve got all the latest video cards, and whatnot, then it’ll look amazing, but if you’ve got a standard gaming rig then it still runs good.”

In terms of a final PC spec for the game, Hines said it was still too early in the development cycle to be able to give a definite list.

“I can’t tell you what that is yet,” he said. “We don’t really hone in on what that’s going to be until we get into optimisation. Right now we’re still messing with a lot of stuff.”

Game’s frames per second:

“Thirty frames a second is our goal, so it’s running at 30 frames a second and it’s nice and smooth,” he said, talking of the PC version.

“Yeah, that’s the goal,” he added, when asked if the 30FPS target was the same for Xbox 360 and PS3.

“Right now we’re doing all the optimisation stuff. We’re still in the mode where we’re adding and changing content… Once we’re done changing content, then we can go back through and say, ‘OK, this is what the game’s going to look like,’ and [look at] where we can optimise the loading, and stuff like that.’”

XBox360 as leading platform on Fallout 3:

“The 360 is our lead development platform, so we got it working on that one first,” he said. I mean, we develop them all simultaneously, but one of them’s got to be the lead, so it was 360.”

Spotted at NMA and the Bethblog.

Fallout 3: You Never Know

What’s the current state of the game, and any changes or suggestions from the fans still matter? Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff takes the stand:

A lot of the developers spend their free time reading the forums. Some, like Emil, have accounts and post when they have time. There are other members of the team that don’t necessarily have accounts, but I know many of them still read up on what you have to say.

As Todd mentioned in a recent podcast interview with OXM, the game is finished. Most of the work now is testing and polishing. Still, if I see an interesting trend (or just a great idea), I continue to let the developers know what you guys are thinking. I guess you never know what could happen.

My guess is that it’s too late for that, we’ll see.

Interview With Todd and Istvan on Xbox Live

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From the BethBlog:

When the folks from Official Xbox Magazine (OXM) came to our office to cover Fallout 3 for their April cover story, they also shot some footage with Executive Producer Todd Howard, as well as Lead Artist, Istvan Pely. Originally, these interviews were planned to be included on the disc that comes with OXM. Instead, they were able to work something out with the guys over at Microsoft to put it up on Xbox Live.

Ok that was annoying.

So today, if you’re logged into Live, head to the Xbox Live blade, then select Inside Xbox to watch the footage. There’s some interesting stuff — plus it gives you a chance to see some of the OXM screenshots in HD.

Or you can follow this idea from Gstaff and wait a bit if you don’t have an account:

From talking with some folks over at OXM, it sounds like it’ll probably go up here sometime soon.

Gaming Papercraft at PCGamer

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Image from Vladimir Fedin’s blog

From the Bethesda Blog:

Starting on the print side, there’s a special issue of PC Gamer out now called “How To: The Ultimate Guide to DIY Gaming” that provides some cool stuff for Oblivion and Fallout 3. […] As for Fallout 3, there’s a section at the back of the magazine called “Gaming Papercraft!” that includes a cut out version of our Vault Boy bobblehead. I’m not the best with arts and crafts, so I haven’t yet assembled one, but the final product as it’s shown on the cover of the magazine looks like it’s worth the effort.

Paint-An-Egg-Contest At Kotaku=Vault Boy Fallout 3 shirt

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From Kotaku:

Now, we have something to sweeten the deal. Bethesda will also be giving the winner of our Paint-An-Egg-Contest a Vault Boy Fallout 3 shirt. There’s more! The back of this shirt is signed by Fallout 3 team. So big kudos for Bethesda for pitching this in and for the devs for writing their names!

Let’s paint some eggs then. More info about the contest here.

Fallout 3 Endings – An Update

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Image Destructoid

There’s a feeling some people aren’t getting what over 200 endings in Fallout 3 really means. When the NMA forum gets back online I’ll try to copy/paste how this compares to the other games, you’ll see it isn’t very different. Still it’s better to listen to what exactly Todd Howard said on the OXM podcast, so you’ll have a better idea.

And in the meantime here’s a partial transcript of those words, courtesy of Bethesda’s Community Manager Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff:

OXM: Have the number of endings been finalized…..how’s that coming along?

Todd Howard: Being that we are Bethesda…everything gets a bit big. So as of last week we’re over 200 endings. That is not an exaggeration, but it deserves some description. 200 endings…that’s a lot. So originally when we started, we had various iterations of the ending. The ending is kind of cinematic, that’s dynamic based on the things you’ve done.

When we started, it was kind of fuzzy, it was like “well there’s like 9 maybe 12” and we started adding things to it. So if you had done this or not this, you’d get this other tweak to the ending. And we kept doing that. And you know even just two weeks ago someone had this idea, “Oh we should add this idea to the ending” (sorry I’m not going to spoil what that is). And I said, “oh that’s a genius idea, we have to do that.” But then it became, “oh, but there’s four versions of that.” So i was like, “okay there’s like four different versions of that part,” and that multiplies by, at the time we were at about 60 endings…so now there’s four versions of that, so now there are around 240 versions.”

The games on paper when we get started…they’re alot smaller, and then as we go they get bigger…we can’t stop ourselves. We’re have tons of people with good ideas here, and if they’re good and fit the tone, we’re going to try to jam as much into the game as possible. Fallout is probably twice the size of what we originally had on paper…it’s pretty big, so that’s what’s happened with the endings.

So some of that stuff is the big things of what you do very late in the game, some of those are things like your karma — how you’ve lived your life from the beginning of the game — you get certain scenes based on your karma. But we kind of like the ending as much as like the game itself at the beginning is you tailoring your character and then you play throughout this game, and unlike Elder Scrolls, where it’s a game where you can keep playing, Fallout 3 has a definite ending. So we wanted to go to efforts to make sure that the actual ending you get when you finish and get the ending, and make that ending reflect and make it individual to the user’s experience. We’ve definitely gone a little overboard.

Updated with new edited version by Gstaff.

There Are No Free Lunches

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Image JMSNews

Questions from Blinzer on the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum:

You’re working on it[a new community interview]? As in ‘pushing the powers that be to okay the next one’ or as in ‘collecting questions from the board for FAQ #2’?

And how come whenever I ask nicely for free stuff for fanpages I hear crickets?

And the reply by Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff was:

When it’s time to collect questions, that would be something I’d want the community to partake in. While I think I could compile questions that you guys want answered, I don’t want to do it alone. When I have more details, I’ll let you guys know.

If you’ve got suggestions for “free stuff,” feel free to let me know…PMs are usually best so it doesnt get lost among other messages.

I’m never going to get new stuff directly from Bethsoft, Blinzer, not going to happen. For the rest yeah, it’s time for new info, pictures and videos.

No Magic In Fallout 3

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Gamepro has a new interview with Todd Howard:

GamePro: To Oblivion players, what will Fallout 3 feel like? It’s obvious (to us at least) that combat mechanics and design play a much larger role in Fallout 3 than Oblivion.

Todd Howard: The overall game flow feels like Oblivion, in that you make your own character and then explore a huge open world and do whatever you want. The basic gameplay of Fallout 3 is similar, which is one of the reasons we really wanted to do Fallout in the first place. I’d say the amount of action is similar to Oblivion, not more, not less. The basic combat in Fallout 3 may seem more complex then Oblivion’s, but at the same time, there is no magic in Fallout 3, so we felt we needed to do as much as we could with the guns and add a nice layer of being able to shoot body parts and feel the effects of a crippled leg and such.

GP: How many Perks do you plan for the final game? Could you give us an example of a low-level one and a high-level/godly one?

Howard: The Perks are still being tweaked, so we’re not ready to talk about them just yet. Sorry.

GP: There were quite a few rifles and assault rifles in the early press preview. What other weapons are waiting to be found?

Howard: Shotguns, yes. Flamethrower, yes, Pistols, yes, Submachine guns, yes. We have a lot of weapons, even melee attacks.

Later Rostere at the Bethsoft Fallout 3 forum asked this:

Rostere: From a recent interview with Todd:

“The basic gameplay of Fallout 3 is similar [to that of Oblivion], which is one of the reasons we really wanted to do Fallout in the first place.”

Could someone with a better understanding of Bethesda and the English language explain to me exactly what this means?

Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff explained this:

I can tackle that one…I was actually a bit confused on the matter myself until I emailed Todd. To be clear, here’s the answer Todd actually wrote:

Todd Howard: The overall gameflow feels like Oblivion, in that you make your character and then explore a huge world and do whatever you want, so the basic-nut of the game is similar, which is one of the reasons we really wanted to do Fallout in the first place.

So again, Todd was comparing the gameflow of Fallout 1 with Oblivion. He never wrote, “gameplay of Fallout 3.”

One last note on something else Gstaff said:

I think you’re right. I think he’s [Briosafreak] done a heck of a job covering Fallout news in the past year.

Wow thanks! Now how about some exclusive gameplay videos and stuff?… oh ok…

Another Fallout 3 Bethsoft DevWatch

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Another day another Bethsoft Devwatch:

myn: 3rd person perspective was terrible in Oblivion.

Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff: Well, the 3rd person perspective is something that’s getting more attention with Fallout 3.

LolWoot: [About OXM article]If I wanted to compare Fallout I’d compare it to Arcanum, Jagged Alliance, etc.

Jay “RadHamster” Woodward: Imagine that you’re talking to people who haven’t played those games. ooo.gif

Lorgara: Either they are disingenuous to people who don’t understand RPGs, or they are being disingenuous to Fallout fans. Which is it?

Jay “RadHamster” Woodward: Let’s go with an analogy:

When someone asks you where you grew up, do you name the town? The closest big city?
The answer should be familiar to anyone who’s ever answered this question: you tell them as much as you can expect will be meaningful to them.
If they grew up on the other side of the planet, you might just stick to naming the country.
Conversely, if they grew up in the same town as you, you might go so far as to give them a street name, or the name of an apartment building or nearby local landmark.
Communication is about finding contextual overlap.

saxbass2: They still seemed reluctant to use the phrase [Oblivion with Guns] even with X-Box owners who’s experience with RPGs are Oblivion and Mass Effect.

Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff: I understand why some folks are up in arms about the quote, or saying “See! Told ya,” but I think saxbass and Rad Hampster have some good points…it’s all about the context of how it was said.

pdodger: When releasing dialogue screens they should release better dialogue answer screens than “yes” or “no” answers on them. We have yet to see how good the dialogue will be, so the more, the better.

Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff: It’s just one example. As Todd’s said before, the answers will be as long as they need to be. From playing through some bits last week, I’ve seen there are answers that vary in length. While not exactly dialogue, having taken my very own G.O.A.T exam, I know that answers you can choose can be quite lengthy.

Also, Todd let me know we’ll eventually be releasing full shots of dialogue, but screens full of text make for bad magazine shots. smile.gif

Emil Pagliarulo: I’m happy to be a creative person, in a creative medium, who gets to work with loads of other creative people.

Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff: A very good point, and there’s a great sense of teamwork here.

It’s actually the same thing with the film industry too. For every Spielberg and Scorsese out there, there’s always a team behind them. From what I’ve heard, these guys often use the same team (cinematographers, makeup artists, etc) from film to film.

Gizmo: I was concerned from day 1 that fights in an FPP game would be optimized for FPP; [Most FPP games I’ve played don’t put many more than four enemies on the screen at any one time]. Is this going to be an issue for future Fallouts?

Steve “MrSmileyFaceDude” Meister: Considering that wasn’t done for Oblivion or Morrowind, why would it be done for Fallout 3?