Another Fallout 3 Bethsoft DevWatch


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?


Beth Watch


Image Gizmo

On the BethWatch for today we’ll start with Steve “MrSmileyFaceDude” Meister remembering us that:

There are children in the game.

Also Gameplayer Australia has a State of the RPG feature with several quotes from Todd Howard:

Todd Howard, executive producer of the proudly Western Fallout 3 at Bethesda, puts it more simply. “We stay away from all the big cut-scene/story-telling stuff, to be honest,” he says. “We’re more fans of the ‘make your own story’ idea.”

Todd Howard feels the same. “Player expectations move with the technology,” he says. “Gamers are sophisticated enough to know what the all the new hardware can do and they certainly aren’t going to let something off just because it’s an RPG.”
Howard emphasises the importance of getting off to a good start: “You always want the first few hours of the game to be nice to any player, “ he says . “No matter how good they are at games, they haven’t played this particular one yet, so you need to ease whoever it is into it.”

Here at least, the RPG has an advantage: it’s fundamentally designed to train you up from nothing, as Howard points out. “It’s often easy in an RPG to keep layering on the complexity with new abilities. It actually makes the game more fun and addictive then if you gave all that stuff out at the beginning.”

After that, it’s all about the grind – specifically, disguising it so you don’t notice that it’s there. Howard again: “Mostly it’s about plenty of player progression and making repetitive actions, such as combat, interesting. If the basic monster-killing is fun and exciting, I will do it over and over for hours on end – especially if it unlocks new abilities.”

This was spotted at No Mutants Allowed.

Misc.: The Bunker Edition


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.


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…


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.


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.

YAY! Another Dev Profile!

How did this photo not get her that role in The Breakfast Club?

I don’t know where Brios is but I’m having way too much clicking category boxes. What was I posting? Oh yeah, there’s a new dev profile at the BethBlog. This week’s lucky victim? Christiane Meister.

What is the best part about working as an artist? The worst part?

My favorite part is designing how characters will look and work, down to the hairstyles, armor, and clothing. I generally liked to maintain a feel of culture — the objects that these people wore came from somewhere and were made by people of that particular place. I hope to carry that even further in the future. The worst part of the job is not quite succeeding at what you had envisioned, whether it is time, technology, or design constraints. But then art is never really finished — only abandoned.

Well that was exciting. Really.

[Edit by Briosafreak]Thanks Killzig. I already had some Q&A with Maverique before, since then she played Fallout. No more tomatoes in her direction.

The Vault: Brotherhood Update


Ausir sends word of an update to the Fallout Wikia:

By the way, I’ve just expanded the Brotherhood of Steel entry in the Vault wiki substantially, both with the new information and some old information that wasn’t in the article before:
Here are some interesting bits for those less familiar with the faction:

The ranks of the BOS is generally recognized as being composed of the best and the brightest, which means the BOS is a relatively small organization, at least compared to the New California Republic. They make up for this with their frightening arsenal of pre-war and post-war technology: They have laser weapons, Power Armors, surgical enhancements, combat implants, and the Brotherhood Paladins who have the ability to erase an entire town from a map without a scratch. The vast majority of BOS members are born in the Brotherhood – they very rarely accept outsiders into their ranks. Those born in the Brotherhood that want to be neither Scribes, Knights nor Paladins are free to leave[1].

While they’re generally not hostile to others without a good reason, unlike the chivalrous knights of old, members of the Brotherhood are not interested in justice for the obviously weaker and less fortunate around them. They largely focus on keeping their secrecy and preserving and developing technology, which, in many cases, they put above human life. Their motives are often unclear, and Brotherhood members are not people to be trifled with. It is safe to say, however, that if a group of Brotherhood knights appears to be helping some less fortunate people, their motives are not altruistic.

The Brotherhood doesn’t like to share their choicest technological bits, despite the obvious benefits their technology could bring to the wasteland. It’s commonly accepted within the Brotherhood that the people of the wasteland are not responsible enough to use (and maintain) all of the technology the BOS has at their disposal. They are known for trading some of their technologies with frontier communities and NCR states in exchange for food and other resources, but they keep the more sensitive technologies to themselves.

While they have great reverence for technology, most of the Brotherhood members have little regard for non-technical fields of knowldege. Even most of the Scribes don’t care about history, and some Initiates don’t even know who Roger Maxson, the founder of the Brotherhood, was[2].

The Brotherhood’s attitude towards mutants ranges from dislike (e.g. in the case of ghouls) to outright hostility (in case of super mutants). Early contact with the Master‘s super mutants was mostly hostile, and the BOS helped drive the majority of the mutant armies away from California. While after the Master’s defeat many super mutants settled peacefully among humans, the hostility between the two groups didn’t disappear. BOS contact with ghouls has been limited, but negative – it’s difficult for the BOS to respect a stumbling crew of emaciated scavengers that tend to dismantle or FUBAR old world technology. BOS’ anger grew even further when various salvaging operations began in the Glow, a location which the BOS came to regard highly both for their fallen comrades and the Pre-War technology there, with Dayglow ghouls at the forefront. Most BOS members see ghouls as filthy scavengers.

Speaking of the Brotherhood of Steel there has been some controversy about what is written on Emil Pagliarullo’s Fallout 3 BOS Developer Diary, so Steve “MrSmileyFaceDude” Meister went to the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum to say this:

Big plot holes in an 1800-word summary. Gotcha.

And this:

I thought it would be obvious, but apparently not.

It’s a short essay, not a novel. I don’t think any more specificity is necessary.

This is reasonable, and quite true. Of course if nothing more specific comes out than Bethsoft shouldn’t complain about people speculating out of insufficient data, people have to work with what they got.