Fallout Three in a Row

Image Kotaku

Image Kotaku

Let’s start with Gamersglobal interviewing Pete Hines:

GamersGlobal: Pete, at E3, Fallout 3 seemed to be rather easy to play by due to the V.A.T.S. mode. By queuing up all those headshots or shots into the legs, I could win nearly all fights very easily. I was playing in normal difficulty, by the way. Is this something you’re going to tweak? Or do you want to have it so easy in the beginning?

Pete Hines: For the most part the stuff that you find in the beginning should be fairly easy for you to deal with. We certainly don’t want it to be like you come out of the vault and start fighting and keep dying. So the enemies you face in that part of the world, will not be that difficult to deal with for someone who just turned level 2. As you go out in the world, you definitely find tougher enemies, folks that are bigger and a tougher challenge.

GamersGlobal: Was the E3 version “simplified”, e.g. by making the hero’s character more powerful than he would be in the finished game at that early stage? Or was every V.A.T.S. hit in the E3 version a critical hit?

Pete Hines: It was simplified in terms of giving you the highest stats for the weapons you start off with. Every V.A.T.S. hit in the E3 version was not a critical hit. Far from it. It’s random, so some folks may see more or less of it when they play for any period of time.

GamersGlobal: Will V.A.T.S. head shots be always fatal, if they hit?

Pete Hines: No. There is an amount of damage it will do to the limb, and an amount it does to the enemy’s overall health. In the easier creatures you would have faced early on, they don’t have much health so they die easier. As you explore out and fight tougher creatures, you find that you can cripple one or more body parts before you can kill the enemy.

Now for the IGN impressions:

The raider encounter was interesting because it showed how it’s possible to stumble into an area of the game that you are simply not quite ready to tackle yet. That’s a departure from Bethesda’s fantasy RPGs; those games scaled the difficulty to your experience level, so the game always feels “just right” and you can never get into too much trouble. These raiders were armed with sniper rifles and worse, and while I managed to kill three or four, they still managed to cut me down.

This is my second or third time to play around with the turn-based VATS combat system, and I’m now really feeling comfortable with it. It also helps that they’ve done a lot to polish the system. You have an action point meter that’s usually full when you enter combat; hitting the right bumper pauses the game and kicks you into the turn-based targeting system. Since this was a demo and I was never going to see this character ever again, I dumped all my points into small guns skills, which made me especially lethal with pistols, hunting rifles, and assault rifles. This let me target the heads of my opponents with a decent chance of hitting. If you have a full meter, you can queue about four pistol shots or three rifle shots up. Then hit the execute button and watch how the combat unfolds.

I’m an old school fan of the Fallout series, and the one thing I will always remember is the over-the-top level of violence in those games. I’m glad to say that Fallout 3 made me chortle and laugh and gasp as I saw gunfire blow heads apart or even saw heads off of bodies. Blood doesn’t just squirt; it fountains out of severed arteries. It’s graphic, and gratuitous, and thoroughly awesome.

This one I saw at Kotaku, Bethesda is donating the Fallout 3 Airstream to Child’s Play:

Now you should be getting enthused about the Nuclear Airstream too. Turns out that Bethesda plans to donate the amazing piece of schwag to Child’s Play following the launch of the game. Can you imagine winning this bad boy and parking it in your front yard for late night gaming sessions. The whole thing, I’m told, even runs on electricity.

Spotted the rest at the excelent NMA PAX coverage.

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New Fallout 3 Interviews and Gameplay Footage

Click the image to go to GameTrailers

Uploaded by Bleenk-2ICE, from a Bravo report. Really new gameplay material, you have to take a look. The embeded video is broken, so just head to GameTrailers to watch it.

There’s also a very big and quite thorough video interview with Pete Hines on Gamers Universe, highly recomended.

Finally yesterday I saw a Fallout 3 preview and interview with Todd Howard at BBCWorld, and now you can check it in their site. They’ve added a few thoughts now:

The action takes place in an enormous radioactive wasteland which was formally Washington DC. Encounters with what look like extras from the Mad Max movies are common here.

Combat with these foes can include the use of a limited number of action points which freeze time allowing the player to take out enemies with ease.

The game’s developers, Bethesda Softworks, claim there is up to a 100 hours of gameplay. But all of this detail takes a long time to bring to the screen.

“Our sort of design and development philosophy is great games are played and not made.

We play the game a lot and then say what we think is working, what do we want do more of, what do we want to do less of and what we want to take out. It’s part of the reason our games take three or four years to make,” said game director of Fallout 3, Todd Howard.

Fallout 3: E3 Awards and Opinions

IGN gave Fallout 3 his Best of E3 Award:

While I knew that Bethesda could deliver in terms of story and convincing world creation, the big unknown for me has always been the actual gameplay. Fortunately, I got to play through a good bit of the game at the show and I was really impressed with the overall feel of the game. I was particularly happy to see how well the turn-based VATS combat worked. I was worried that the pause and play nature of the system would interrupt the flow of the game, but it really only served to make the game feel more tactical and heighten its cinematic appeal.

— Steve Butts, Executive Editor, IGN PC Team

It’s either pause and play or TB, Steve. You can’t have it both ways. And it’s actually “a glorified aimed-shot mode”.

Fallout 3 continues to impress with an engrossing story, great visuals, and a compelling mix of gameplay styles. It is predominantly a Western role-playing game similar to Oblivion (with guns). But you could choose to play it like a run-and-gun first-person shooter, if that’s more your style. V.A.T.S., the Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System, adds turn-based strategy elements. However you slice it, Fallout 3 looks like it will deliver one of the largest adventures in gaming this year. The post-apocalyptic world Bethesda has created is an intriguing dystopia we can’t wait to explore. There were several standout games at this year’s show. But none of them seem to offer the freedom and unique vision of Fallout 3.

— Daemon Hatfield, Associate Editor, IGN Nintendo Team

Nintendo? Anyway that Oblivion with Guns talk isn’t good news, but for Bethsoft the fact that they also won Best RPG, Best XBox Game and Best PS3 game and a few other runner up citations is good news.

Still at E3 the Bethblog brings us some other awards:

In other online coverage, Fallout 3 has pulled down a few more E3 awards. Here’s a rundown:

  • GameSpy honored Fallout 3 as the Xbox 360 and PS3 Game of Show. The game was also was named the Game of Show Overall Runner-Up.
  • GamePro has their awards up, where they awarded the game with a E3 2008 Silver Award.
  • Planet Xbox 360 awarded the game their Best of Show honor.
  • GameDaily listed the game among their Best of Xbox 360 here.
  • At Gamezone, there’s a Top Ten Games of E3 list where Fallout 3 makes the list at the #2 spot.
  • Scrawlfx declares Fallout 3 their Game of Show.

Also Fallout 3 is referred in this article about the problems of the event itself at Gamezone:

There was no enthusiasm, no energy that should be associated with the vibrant industry that brings imagination to life. This year’s show was dull to the point of boring. Yes, there were still good games to see, but altering the format, visiting their studios on media tours would have accomplished the same thing, only with deeper experiences with the games. The studio visits are more advantageous because instead of getting 25-30 minutes with a superb title like Fallout 3 in the Bethesda booth, a visit to the studios would likely mean more hands-on time, access to developers … in short, the kind of visit that means robust coverage, giving players and consumers not only a sense of the game itself, but also allowing for interview time with key developers.

All through E3 was happening I was at the beach relaxing. I’m still trying to catch up on things.

More Fallout 3 At E3

Some more previews, most of them spotted at NMA:

Tom’s Games:

If you don’t have enough Action Points to attack using VATS you can still fight as if it were a standard first or third-person shooter. After a couple VATS fights with wild dogs we tried approaching it as a straight-forward shooter and found that it was faster and easier to take out the enemies that way.

So why use VATS when you can just run-and-gun your way through? As Executive Producer Todd Howard told us VATS ensures more critical hits and allows some strategic choices like deciding whether to destroy an enemy’s leg to hinder movement or their arm to make them drop their weapon. Frankly the low-level monsters we were fighting – wild dogs and fire ant warriors – didn’t pose a big enough threat or much opportunity to engage in strategy.

I loved Fallout 2 as much as the next PC gamer but some of the early fights, like when you’re beating rats to death with a stick, get a tad tedious using turn-based combat. Tedious? Actually I found them to be soul-destroyingly boring. Thankfully, this won’t be a problem with Fallout 3.

GameShark:

While we’d like to see the accuracy of real-time fire increased a bit, it’s clear that the reduced precision comes as a way of balancing use of V.A.T.S. Still, combat is full of visceral thrills. One particularly cool scene during our time with the game took place when blasting a raider at point blank range, first with a pistol and then with a baseball bat. The action slows down and shows you’re kill shot in all of its bloody glory. This is without a doubt an eye popping game and is certainly M rated. The combat looks wonderfully brutal.

Fallout 3 distinguishes itself with this inventive combat system and we’re pleasantly surprised at how well it works. Longtime adherents to the franchise shouldn’t worry that their beloved universe has been torn to shreds in some shooter, as Bethesda looks to succeed in revitalizing it with a sequel that retains the spirit of the series while introducing interesting new element. The game should be ready to roll this fall.

GamingShogun:

I was one of the purists who believed that a Fallout FPS would not be nearly as effective as the isometric games we are used to. Well, I am man enough to admit when I am wrong and I tell you now: I was wrong. During that half hour, not only did the first or third-person perspective increase immersion into the Fallout universe, it also gave the new combat system a much more approachable interface.

GayGamer:

Fruit Brute and I got a few tightly-scheduled moments with Fallout 3 last week, and the experience managed to be all I’d hoped and familiar at the same time. What’s familiar is the lore and world of Fallout, which Bethesda has managed to reproduce and elaborate upon in a way that only a company that focuses on complete world building can do. Fallout purists may still resent Bethesda’s position, but as a die-hard Fallout fan myself, I was more than satisfied.

What’s also familiar is the control scheme and general gameplay environment – if you’ve played Oblivion, you’ll find a lot of familiar elements here. That’s no surprise, of course, as we’ve known this would be both a Fallout game and a Bethesda game, but the menu system, camera, and basic control layout are all more or less the same.

PS3 Fanboy:

This will all be familiar to Fallout fans, but seeing this combat system integrated so well into a next-gen 3D game has us very excited. We came away from the game thinking that Bethesda was the perfect choice for the game. They know how to make incredible, living worlds on a huge scale and clearly know and understand the Fallout franchise inside out.

As you play Fallout 3 you’ll constantly be reminded of Oblivion, but you’ll also be experiencing something unique and new. For fans of the series, this will be set in a universe you know and love. We’re very interested in seeing more of this title — particularly the narrative and character development. The thirty minutes of hands-on we had went by far too quickly.

The Shazzam! Roundup

So let’s have a small roundup of miscellaneous stuff, starting with news of the pre-E3 Judges Tour, a gathering of gaming journalists that moves around looking for what’s going to appear in the decadent convention.

N´Gai Croal went to see Fallout 3 and had this to say:

Only one word can describe Fallout 3’s visuals: hawt!

Stephen Totilo just states that he watched the game. Now that’s not very productive.

—X—

At Wired we have a gallery with the best 10 Apocalyptic Vehicles. Cool, thanks Killzig.

—X—

IGN placed Todd Howard on the Hot Seat, talking about the man behind the developer:

IGN: What are the last five songs you listened to?

Todd Howard: “Maybe”, “I Don’t Want to Set the World of Fire”, both from the Ink Spots, “Anything Goes” – Cole Porter, “Butcher Pete” – Roy Brown. All from Fallout 3. The 5th, I don’t know the name of, it’s from my 5-year-old’s summer camp CD, but the refrain is “Wam! Bam! Jesus Loves me – Shazam!” I couldn’t make that up if I tried.

Funny.

—X—

Action Trip talks to Kevin Saunders about Obsidian’s latest NWN2 expansion:

AT: Mask of the Betrayer introduced a cool gameplay element (balancing dark powers and so forth). In terms of gameplay, what’s the biggest innovation in SoZ?

KS: Mask of the Betrayer colored within the lines set by Neverwinter Nights 2. Storm of Zehir does not. The Overland Map is one of the game’s most defining features. It provides a sense of exploration that makes it feel more like a Fallout game than a Neverwinter Nights game. The Overland Map also makes Skills (Survival, Spot, etc.) more important and useful.

Cool!

—X—

An interesting opinion piece at Space Odity, talking about political issues in games like MGS4 and FO3:

“War. War has changed.” – Metal Gear Solid 4

“War. War never changes.” – Fallout 2/Fallout 3

The recently released Metal Gear Solid 4 purports to have a lot to say about the nature of war, which can be summarized by the first line in the game, uttered by an aging and grey Solid Snake. “War has changed,” he claims, referring to the game’s constant reminder that wars are a business, perpetuated by private military contractors and the forces behind them. On the other hand, the upcoming Fallout 3 (lifting a line from the previous game in the series) takes the opposite opinion: “War. War never changes.”

Despite a post-apocalyptic settting filled with nuclear mutants and savage survivors, the Fallout series makes the claim that at its heart, war is always basically the same. What should politically aware gamers make of the fact that two two ultra-high-profile games releasing in the same year are taking diametrically opposing positions on the nature of war?

—X—

Finally a look into Leon Boyarsky’s thoughts on the Iron Tower Roundtable (spotted at NMA):

My first experience in world creation, Fallout, started from an art standpoint. I was heavily immersed in retro 40’s and 50’s art with a twisted edge at the time (including but not limited to things like the original Batman movie, the City of Lost Children, Brazil, the Hard Boiled comic book) and I became intrigued with the thought of basing our look on the aesthetics of the world of the future as envisioned by the culture of the 1940’s and 50’s. Once that initial vision was agreed upon, we knew it needed to bleed through the entire feel of the world.

❤ Leon!

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.

Fallout 3 Is For Grownups

Car explodes with a nuclear mushroom, Supermutants close by

Pete Hines talks to CVG about extreme violence in Fallout 3:

When questioned over the extreme violence seen in screenshots so far, Hines responded: “We don’t want it to be the focal point of the game, but it is what it is. It’s a violent world, and so the combat should be violent as a result.

“I think we’ve done it to the extent that it’s not realistic. It’s a bit more tongue-in-cheek. It’s Quentin Tarantino. So it’s not storming the beaches of Normandy in Saving Private Ryan, where it looks like it’s actually happening. It’s more Kill Bill. It’s violence that’s a bit more over the top so it’s more comical than disturbing.”

Also Shacknews is reporting that the Fallout 3 Collectors Edition will be made available worldwide and with no exclusives to any retail chain.

Thanks Incognito.

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: Previews Galore

Starting with Gamespot:

Our updated tour of the game started with the very beginning–how you create your character by being born to your mother, Katherine, and your scientist father, James (voiced by actor Liam Neeson). Through a hazy first-person cinematic sequence from the perspective of the operating table, you can choose your character’s gender and name, as well as preview your character’s adult appearance by way of the vault’s computer system…then become dimly aware that something has gone terribly wrong with your mother during the childbirth.

You then jump forward a year later to the age of a toddler, where you use a basic movement tutorial to crawl out of your playpen and access the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. book–a book that lets you choose your character’s abilities by way of the classic attribute system from the Fallout games (strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility, and luck). You then jump ahead nine years to your 10th birthday, at which point you gain the ability to speak with other characters (such as the other children at your birthday party) and use the PipBoy 3000 portable wrist computer, which is given to you by the vault’s “overseer,” or head administrator. The PipBoy acts as a journal, status indicator, and quest log that will help you keep track of any tasks you need to perform. You’ll even get to take on a few rudimentary quests at your party or just watch the many-armed robot of the future, Mr. Handy, mangle your birthday cake with one of its buzz saw-arm extensions. Later, you’ll be whisked away to additional tutorial areas, such as a target range, where you can practice the game’s real-time first-person shooter combat.[…]

We then jumped ahead to a different sequence where we were explored a ruined tenement infested by feral ghouls. Those familiar with Fallout lore will remember that “ghoul” is just a term used to describe any human that has been exposed to such severe amounts of radiation as to become severely deformed physically, but feral ghouls have actually lost their minds and have become aggressive animals. Their deadlier brethren, “glowing feral ghouls,” have an unhealthy fluorescent green glow that sets off your PipBoy’s Geiger counter and eventually make your character extremely ill if you let them zap you with their radiation-based attacks.[…]

In fact, the Xbox 360 version of the game (and the PC version of the game, which is being planned to include Games for Windows Live Functionality) will have achievement points that will require you to play through more than once. Like in the previous games, you’ll have a karma statistic that goes up when you perform good deeds and goes down when you perform evil ones. Achievements will be given for completing the game with both a high karma and a low karma.

And now for GameShark:

Morality plays an important role in the game, influencing the missions that become available to you in your journeys across the wastelands. Whether you aspire to benevolence, remain neutral, or descend into deviance, unique avenues open up specific to your behavior. A roving gang leader may not talk to you if your karma classifies you as a goodie-two-shoes; acquire a bad reputation as a murderer and thief, however, and perhaps that ruffian may hit you up for a shady mission or two. What quests you complete and the decisions you make come together to determine the game’s ending, of which Bethesda claims there are hundreds.

Finally IGN XBox 360:

It’s during your toddler phase where dad also introduces you to a quote that will apparently play an important role in the game (We won’t print it here for spoiler reasons, but if you’re curious and don’t mind a spoiler, it’s taken from the Book of Revelation in the Bible. Look for Chapter 21, Verse 6). And, keeping up with the fun, jamming the A button when you’re a toddler makes you utter the word “Daddah.”

Once this is done, you’ll jump ahead in time again, to your 10th birthday party. This is a coming of age of sorts in Vault 101, as the administrator himself gives you your Pip-Boy 3000, a wrist computer that handles everything from inventory system to quest log to character management and more. You’ll finally get a chance to talk to people instead of making gurgling noises, and this is your introduction to the conversation system. You’ll also get a BB gun for your birthday, which is your first encounter with the combat system in the game, but we’ll cover that a bit later.

That was our taste of the character development system, and we didn’t get to see what happens when you get older and take the GOAT (Generalized Occupational Aptitude Test), basically an SAT for post-nuclear war survivors. But next up was something that all Fallout fans can get giddy about: Dogmeat.

More to come.

Getting Back, Misc. Edition

Jeff Green

After these images were posted 117.308 people visited this blog. Wow.

Games For Windows is no more. All the best for Jeff Green and the crew in their new endeavor and all the luck for the artists that were laid off.

Word in the street is that the embargo on pics and info about Fallout 3 is almost over, a lot of stuff will show up online soon.

Interplay teases about their new site coming really soon. Ok then.

Both my computers were infected, I lost gigs of data. Some things I’ve been able to recover, others seem to be lost forever. My e-mail contacts seem to be in this last category, so if you know me send a mail so I can create a new list, please.

Misc. Stuff For The Day

urquhartprotocolsm8.jpg

Altered image from Andir at the Obsidian Forum

Let’s go through some miscellaneous stuff I got on the weekend, starting with the announcement of a new Obsidian game on Game Informer:

If you love RPGs but are tired of swinging swords or slogging around in spacesuits, you’re in luck. Obsidian Entertainment is drawing on its Fallout and Planescape: Torment roots with its new espionage-based game Alpha Protocol. Drawing on the three J.B.s for inspiration—Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne and James Bond—the developers are giving players plenty of different ways to tackle problems. You can rely on brute force, stealth or gadgets to accomplish missions, and also navigate through a nuanced conversation system.

Sounds nice, all the best wishes to them

—X—

farcry2.jpg

Curious comparison at Destructoid from FarCry2 designer Peter Redding:

Apparently, the game will not be “better” on PC than on consoles, as Redding promises the games will be pretty much equal across the board. He also promised a near seamless experience, unlike Oblivion, which Redding said has a several times smaller game world than Far Cry 2‘s.

Time for Bethsoft to update their engine?

—X—

skytug.jpg

Rocket Ship Empires 1936 is a cool retro-futuristic RPG with a few books out already. Do check it if you’re into non-digital entertainment. Image from Story Art.

—X—

And finally RobOverall released two new fan made movies, with highlights from the discussions at the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum. I’ll leave you now with the pieces, thanks RobOverall.

Where Would you Aim?

Any Issues?

So Much More Than That

thisisfalloutdf8.jpg

Just saw on RPGWatch that Bit-tech.net has posted an editorial column by Joe Martin on the perils of fanboyism that mentions the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum:

This portrayal is mostly true of console fanboys and, as I mentioned before, I’ve run into a few of them since I started here at bit-tech. It isn’t just the console fans who are guilty though. Hardcore games fans may also end up damaging the games they love, even if only to themselves. The Fallout 3 forums are already bristling with rivalry and uberfans who, in their attempts to guide and shape the expectations of others, end up pushing their own hopes so high that they cannot help but be dashed.

Fallout fans always try to reach for the sky and try to land on their feet, it’s our nature.

Speaking of fans MMORPG and gaming blog Random Battle has a list of the top 10 games of the author life:

2. Fallout 1&2 (PC) – Fallout and its first sequel were eye opening experiences for me. I had no idea that games existed with this much freedom and complexity. I remember the friend who introduced me to the game describing it as “a PC game where you can do anything, kill anyone, take drugs, and have sex.” While that sounded pretty interesting to my 14 year-old self, what I found was so much more than that. The cheery 50’s style set in the dreary post-apocalyptic world was fantastic, the moral complexity of the game was amazing, the story was deep, and the world seemed enormous. The random encounters were meaningful and memorable, and the best part was that you could just go play the game without worrying about the story. Fallout, of all the games I’ve played, is the game which has come closest to the experience of a pen and paper gaming session, and I love it for that.

And kudos for that Cameron.

Emil Talks, People Talk About Emil

em.jpg

Discussions about Emil Pagliarulo’s interview with Next Gen and his thoughts as posted at the Bethesda Games forum continue, with NMA reporting on diferent reactions at qj.net, Destructoid and Evil Avatar.

On the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff had this to say:

Speaking with Emil this morning, it sounds like it’s something he’s willing to do more often. We’ll see.

Anyways, feel free to continue your discussions from yesterday/today here.

Jay “Radhamster” Woodward brought his idea about what Emil said on the issue of immersion in games:

My point was not the sort of point that needs sources, unless you want me to cite a book of logic. I was just saying that “FPP/RT equals immersion” is a different statement from “FPP/RT implies immersion” or even “for me, FPP/RT is typically the best way to provide immersion.”

On the other hand, quasimodo alluded to a “constant equating of FPP/RT and immersion.” That is the sort of point that needs sources: namely, examples of people saying that immersion in some sense requires FPP/RT. I highly doubt the existence of such examples, but I can’t turn over every rock in the universe to prove that they aren’t there.

The important thing to realize is that there’s actually no disagreement between Emil saying that FPP is the way to achieve immersion for Emil, and Brio saying that FPP isn’t important for immersion for Brio. Both statements are just subjective, personal statements about what’s effective for a particular person. Likewise, the statements, “for many people [FPP] isn’t even the most important way to achieve [immersion]” and “for many people FPP is a very important part of achieving immersion” can both be true. Because there are many “manys” in a “many.” wink.gif

Usermember Rabish 12 added this to what RadHamster was saying:

I think the “for me” in the quote you brought up really illustrates that. Emil’s surprisingly careful with his words a lot of the time, and seems to go out of his way to make it clear with most of his statements that he’s doing what he thinks works best or what he prefers. I think he tries to make it clear that he’s not saying “either it’s done this way or it doesn’t work”, but rather “this is the way we prefer to do it”.

It’s like what’s been repeated several times by Emil and (I think) others on the development team: they’re making the game that they think will be the most fun. I don’t think they’re ignoring the wants of the fanbase entirely, but at the end of the day it comes down to what they think is going to be the most entertaining way of doing things. That doesn’t mean that it’s going to have universal appeal, but… well, I think that designing a game based on what other people like is a huge mistake. Better that they make something that they’re passionate, and pour that passion into their work, than just make something that they’re pretty much indifferent about but that other people have a passion for, and end up releasing a soulless husk of a game.

And that got the seal of approval by Emil:

Rabish 12 — Very well said. You pretty much nailed it.

Later he added:

Damn, this thread gained some serious momentum.

Just wanted to let you guys know I’m still here. Still reading.

I know since that initial impromtu “interview,” a lot of you guys have posted questions about Fallout 3. I’m more than happy to talk about my opinions on things (well, most things). But I’m still not at liberty to share a lot of Fallout 3 information. I just wanted to make sure we’re all on the same page.

Anyway, great discussion.

That might cool things off a bit.

Misc.: The Bunker Edition

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Image Deutsche Welle 

Some quick notes now, starting with Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff confirming what we already expected about new info coming out soon:

The OXM cover story will be an opportunity to see several new screens. In regards to these, I’m looking into the terms of their exclusivity — how long it lasts, etc.

When the exclusivity ends expect a barrage of new screens and info popping out everywhere.

—X—

The folks at NMA showed me this article with a cold war nuclear bunker in Germany being opened to the public. If you happen to pass through

On the Bethblog there’s a new blogpost with the games Bethsoft devs will play this weekend, these two highlights seem the most interesting replies to me:

Matt Grandstaff, Community Manager: Burnout Paradise, N+, Poker Smash, Fallout, Fallout 3

Ashley Cheng, Producer: Lost Odyssey, Scrabulous, watching Gstaff play Fallout 3.

Hey I would just jump right into the action instead of watching Gstaff being fragged over and over again…

—X—

Those that understand a bit of Fallout history know that the idea that the classic Fallout RPGs were 2d, top down view and with turn based combat were voluntary choices from the devs at the time, and not because of technology constraints. Still almost everyday someone shows up on the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum claiming the opposite, now even Steve “MrSmileyFaceDude” Meister from Bethsoft had to remind everyone of the following:

Arena (1994) and Daggerfall (1996) were both first person 3D games where you could go anywhere. Fallout (1) was released in 1997

Yep, but the ideas on the contrary are already urban legends and will never go away.

—X—

The folks at NMA showed me this article about a cold war nuclear bunker being opened to the public. if you happen to pass near Ahrweiler in Germany do take a look, it’s really Falloutish.

Misc. Fallout 3 Stuff For The Day

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This is the movie with GameTrailers 10 most Anticipated Games of 2008. Fallout 3 is number three on the list, spotted at the BethBlog.

—X—

In other news if you are Portuguese you can find Fallout 3 featured on BGamers list of Games for 2008, on page 65.

—X—

Finally a remark from Matt “Gstaff” Grandstaff about what motivates the Bethesda devs:

Making money is certainly part of it. Who doesn’t want money??

Having said that, whether I’m sitting in on team meetings or just talking with guys at the office, I’ve never once got the impression that the guys working on this game were working for a paycheck. These guys love making games for a living, and rest assured, they want to make a great game. Sounds cheesy or cliche, but it’s true.

Gstaff kind of missed the point here, since the complaints about greed as a prime motivator from fans are mostly directed towards the suits in the company, and not to the devs.

More Fallout 3 on the Gaming Media

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More Fallout 3 tidbits from the gaming media, first on the Eight Games for 2008 feature at Gametap:

Why It Made the List: Bethesda’s smash hit The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivions proved that hardcore PC franchises can also be successful on consoles. This year the developer is looking to repeat that success with a series that they’ve inherited from now-defunct publisher Black Isle, with the third entry in the Fallout series. Fallout 3 is a sprawling action RPG set in a postapocalyptic world; the protagonist (which you’ll create yourself) is living in a bomb shelter in the Washington, D.C. area when the father disappears. As in Oblivion, choices you make will affect the arc of the entire game. For example, early on you’ll have the choice to nuke another town; however, if you decide to do that, later on in the game, you won’t be able to visit that town or do any of the quests from it, because it won’t be there.

Next a preview at RPGFan:

Fallout 3 is one of the most highly anticipated games of 2008. It aims to please veteran Fallout fans with its use of classic Fallout gameplay systems, while also looking to gain a new constituent of fans via the enhancements afforded by new generation hardware. Fallout 3 is slated for a fall 2008 US release.

*Yawn*

Monday Is a Good Day

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A few things that I saw on the weekend, first for the Brazilian Fallout fans (and Portuguese speaking world) news that Vault13, the Brazilian fansite now has a pretty detailed page about Fallout 3. Thanks for the heads up istrupador.

Also if you are interested in discussing the classic Fallout games mechanics head on to Twenty Sided, where Shamus has a very interesting article on the Fallout Character System. Thanks Jason Mical.