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).


Fallout 3 Interviews

Shrapnel, a resident of Rivet City

Shrapnel, a resident of Rivet City

Aside from the ShackNews interview with confirmation of no DRM in Fallout 3, there have been a few others in the recent batch of articles:

[Note from Killzig: Along with this recent avalanche of previews and interviews Bethsoft released 12 new screens that we’ve uploaded to the gallery. Enjoy.]

Hines and Trade Shows

Fallout fans at PAX2008/Photo Zacbond

Fallout fans at PAX2008/Photo Zacbond

Talking to Videogaming247:

Bethesda’s Peter Hines has admitted that showing RPGs like Fallout 3 at tradeshows like E3 and Games Convention can be a frustrating business.

“Sometimes, yeah,” he told VG247, when asked if showing such a large game to people in such a short space of time was problematic.[…]

Fallout 3 did come under some fire after E3, where journalists were allowed to play the game for 30 minutes.

“You play the game and you see what you think,” Hines said previously on the matter.

“At E3 we let people play the game for a half hour, and if in a half hour you can make up your mind one way or the other, OK. I don’t really get into judging the rightness or wrongness of it. I just give people a chance to play it and they draw their own conclusions.”

No Trophies, No Love For the PS3

Sad PS3 box

Sad PS3 box

Thanks to Incognito I saw at Kotaku that there won’t be PS3 Trophies at launch for Fallout 3:

In an interview with PlayStation Universe, the company’s dashing Vice President of Marketing Pete Hines revealed that trophies won’t be making an appearance in the game…at least not initially.

“Not at launch…It remains to be seen what we do down the road. It wasn’t something we were able to incorporate into the game for launch.”Not all that surprising, considering the company’s documented preference for the Xbox 360.

Morning Pete

Pete Hines

Pete Hines

Sidney Morning Herald talks to Pete Hines:

ALTHOUGH the studio might not be a household name, many spouses and partners around the world must curse Bethesda Softworks for robbing them of their loved ones.

As one of the world’s leading specialists in role playing games, Bethesda has been churning out engrossing adventures for more than a decade, including the magnificent Elder Scrolls chapters Morrowind and Oblivion.

But even with such a strong pedigree in producing captivating adventures, many fans of the decade-old Fallout games have been apprehensive about Bethesda’s upcoming third chapter in the series. Bethesda spokesman Pete Hines assures critics that the development team wants the new game to be as special as Fallout fans do.

“The majority of the expectation that we have to live up to is our own,” MrHines says. “This is the next game that we are doing after Oblivion, which clearly did well for us. So there’s a lot of expectations from ourselves, stepping up our game and doing a game of hopefully even better calibre.

Pete Hines Shrugs Negativity

screenshot Tanhauser/NMA

screenshot Tanhauser/NMA

Speaking to Videogaming247 Hines shrugged of a few post E3 negative comments:

“Everybody has their reasons why they do or don’t like something, so it’s not really for me to say, ‘That’s a good reason not to like it,’ or, ‘That’s not a good reason not to like it,’” said Hines when asked if some negativity surrounding the game after the show surprised him.

“You play the game and you see what you think. At E3 we let people play the game for a half hour, and if in a half hour you can make up your mind one way or the other, OK. I don’t really get into judging the rightness or wrongness of it. I just give people a chance to play it and they draw their own conclusions.”

New Interview at EuroGamer

Eurogamer interviews Pete Hines, and this one is rather interesting for a change:

Eurogamer: A lot of the humour in Fallout 3 revolves around ironic juxtaposing of cheerful utopianism and grim reality. Is there a line at which that becomes trite?

Pete Hines: If it’s overdone and it’s not in the right tone, it absolutely does. Our lead designer is Emil Pagliarulo, and one of his key functions is to go through and do the humour check. You’re trying to get gradations and you’re trying to be careful about how many times you’re presenting something to the player. I’ll use an extreme example: swearing, when used appropriately, is really funny. If it’s in every sentence you read it’s just annoying; you’re just trying to hard to be edgy. You have to ask, “How much are we using this, and is it appropriate for the person who’s saying it?”

Eurogamer: Do you think there’s a reason games avoid humour so much?

Pete Hines: A lot of times it ends up being a distraction. Done poorly, it is horribly and terribly destructive to the vibe you’re trying to set. Humour gone bad is worse than just about anything else you can try and do in a game. Even violence gone bad can still be almost comical in its execution. But humour? Nothing sucks the soul out of an experience than somebody who’s clearly trying to be funny but is not. So I hope we’ve done a great job of balancing that and not going over that line.

Eurogamer: How much of the design for Fallout 3 is a reaction to your work on Oblivion as much as your ambitions for the Fallout series?

Pete Hines: The reaction to Oblivion is very much a case of, “How do we do this better when we do it in Fallout?” opposed to, “Oh we always wanted to do this in the Elder Scrolls, but now we’re doing Fallout we’ll just put it in Fallout.” There’s none of that. Fallout’s already such a rich series, such a great playground to work in, with the vibe and the tone and the moral choices.

What we really brought from Oblivion is just stuff like feedback on levelling. People didn’t like the way the world levelled with the player, so we’re going to do this differently. It’s things like working out how to sculpt the experience for the player in terms of quests and giving you choices. We want to give you more choices in how to finish a quest rather than fewer choices and a lot more quests.[…]

Eurogamer: Were you tempted to make the Karma system a little more morally ambiguous?

Pete Hines: One of the things we really tried to avoid is surprising the player with whether they’ve been good or bad. We wanted to be clear to you that you’re making a conscious choice to be one or the other. I’ve played games where I made a choice and I thought I was being the nice guy, and then it’s, “Wait, wait, why is he upset?” We didn’t want it to be a surprise. Sometimes it’s a surprise in terms of how a person reacts if you are being a jerk, but it’s not a surprise as to whether you’re good or bad.

Thanks marusia on the Bethsoft Fallout 3 forum.

Hines on Pacifism and SPECIAL

I’ve been a bit busy in the last few days, and somehow forgot to post about Guardian games blog posting the second part of an interview with Pete Hines based on questions from fans:

Will weapons require a minimum Strength? Or only a minimum in its governing attribute? (Perception = Energy, Endurance = Big, Agility = Small).

Weapons do not check for minimum stat values, you can use any weapon you want, the skill/stat just makes you better or worse with the weapon.

How will Attributes be weighted in regards to the Skills they govern? If you want to max out your Big Guns or Speech skills, but don’t spend the SPECIAL pts bumping up Endurance and Charisma, how effective will those skills be? Would a 100% skill level in Speech be ineffective if you only had a Charisma of 4, etc?

They provide a boost or bonus to the skills they govern. I don’t think we’ll get more specific than that as far as exactly how they integrate with Skills. If you put extra points into a SPECIAL, it’ll help those Skills beyond what level they’re currently at. If you spend all your time leveling up a Skill to a very high level, it’s safe to say you’ll be very effective at using those skills outside of what the governing SPECIAL is.[…]

In Fallout 1, there were only three key locations that you needed to visit to complete the game – The Cathedral, Military Base and Necropolis (the last one being optional, actually) . These places could be done in any order, creating Fallout’s exceptional nonlinearity. Is Fallout 3’s main quest structured in similar fashion?

Hmm, parts of it are, parts of it aren’t. There are several large sections of the main quest that you can actually skip if you do things right.

Specific body parts cannot be targeted when fighting with melee weapons or in hand to hand combat. What is the reason behind this decision? Does melee/HtH fighting offer something else to compensate?

We tried many ways of doing melee with VATS, and having messed a lot with “missing” in melee, it just felt really bad. So once we changed VATS melee to “always hit”, assuming you are in range, the body part selection became a bit unbalancing, so now it’s a “whole body attack”, but you still do end up hitting a specific body part when you swing, but it’s based on what you actually contact with, as opposed to what you aim at. This avoids the “always punch in the head” problem, whereas with guns, we can balance out certain body parts with hit percentages, like the head.

Charisma influenced the speech skill, NPC’s responses and how many followers you could have. Since Fallout 3 allows only two followers, has Charisma’s role expanded to some other region?

Even though you have only one follower, having a higher Charisma definitely helps in Speech challenges and successfully using special dialog options you have when talking to folks. Also it’s very helpful in bartering with people.

Can you tag Medicine, Repair and Barter, and focusing on those skills, still be able to complete the game?

Sure. We recently had someone play through the game and finish it while only killing one thing very early in the game…a Radroach. I’m not saying I recommend everyone run out and try to play the game as a pacifist, but if you want to give it a try, it has been done.

If you want to know more about the inyards of the game, or want to understand a bit more about the changes in this game when compared to the classic fallout RPGs than this interview is mandatory reading.

Spotted at NMA.

Bit-Tech Returns To The Future Of Fallout 3

Interview with Pete Hines, with a bit more info than usual, at Bit-Tech:

We got a chance to go see Fallout 3 in action recently, and obviously we couldn’t turn it down. Though the event itself was the usual blur of excitement and curiously small burgers on cocktail sticks, we bemusedly came to the next day to find that not only had we done a hands-on preview of Fallout 3, but we’d also done an interview with Bethesda’s Pete Hines.

How had this come about? Had we managed to make it through the interview without making utter tits of ourselves or fainting like 18th century bodiced ladyfolk?

The only way to find out was to listen to the interview, which we’ve helpfully transcribed for you below – covering all manner of Fallout 3 topics from downloadable content and launch platforms, to quest design and voice actor recruitment…[…]

BT: And what sort of reaction have you been getting from the really hardcore fans?

Pete: Um, I don’t think that reaction has changed much since 2004. Y’know, I think that gets overblown a bit too much. Those guys get very excited and very passionate about Fallout, but what really defines a hardcore fan? It’s up to everyone to make up their own mind.

Everyone can decide for themselves, but if it’s not the game that you like then I’d suspect that you’re not going to play it, so…[…]

BT: What about the differences in how people play? Do you see differences there between seasoned gamers and newcomers?

Pete: Uh, yeah actually. The people who are more hardcore, they tend to pick up the core elements a bit quicker and then they usually start delving right into the stats a lot more. They start with the numbers and powergaming.

The casual guys though, they just play. They grab a gun and shoot stuff. It becomes a story driven shooter for them and they find big guns, put points in big guns and just do the whole big-gun, energy-weapon thing. It’s about roleplaying though, so there’s nothing that says some aren’t supposed to play like that.

If you’re into the stealth and the dialogue and so on though then you totally can, but we see that the people who do that tend to be the hardcore gamers. They tend to look for which perks line up perfectly with their play style.

BT: Is that why you’ve moved the game to a first person perspective? To make it more accessible to players?

Pete: Uh, no, I think we moved it because we thought that would make the best game. Like, what we’re able to do from a first and third person point of view that we can’t do from an isometric view is put the player in the world so that you aren’t always looking down and detached from the world. You’re really experiencing all this destruction around you.

First person just gives you a much bigger sense of space. When you leave the vault for the first time and you have that really cool effect where you come outside for the first time and you’re blinded by the light. The whole world is slowly revealed to you. It’s hard to give the player that same level of ‘this is all free for you to play in’ from the isometric point of view.

It’s about immersion, so honestly it’s about keeping true to the franchise. Just look at the first Fallout – that was pushing the graphics for its day. It did full lip syncing and animated faces. It did everything! It didn’t just do one thing. If it was just great dialogue then it’d be Zork. It had violence, graphics, dialogue and everything else on top.[…]

BT: Do you have a firm release date?

Pete: Yes, I have one. No, I can’t tell you. We’re still this autumn, but we can’t comment further. But it will be the same for all platforms.

Spotted at NMA.

IncGamers Fallout 3 Special

An interview with Pete Hines, again, on IncGamers:

We’ve seen the game, so let’s start right from the beginning. Where and how does the game start and what’s your stat status?

You actually start the game witnessing yourself being born. The whole first part of the game takes place in one of the underground vaults that were built for people to go to when the nuclear bombs starting falling. They would reserve space for their family in the vault and live happily until they were able to come back above ground. So you’re born in one of these vaults and [at the beginning of the Fallout 3game] you flash through different periods of your life, so you get to experience growing up in the vault. You flash to when you’re one, then when you’re 10, then 16 and then 19. In each stage at this part of the game you’re doing tutorials, you’re learning a little bit of how to play the game, you’re creating some of your character, building up stats and attributes of the kind of character you want to play. You wake up when you’re 19 and your father has gone. He leaves the vault and leaves you behind. Significant because in two hundred years no one has ever left or entered the vault and so that’s your jumping off point for leaving the vault as well, trying to figure out where your dad go and what’s so important for him to leave you behind. The whole main quest has to do with that, but ultimately it’s up to you how you want to play the game. It’s set in Washington D.C. and it’s a big, post apocalyptic sandbox for you to explore and play.[…]

Talk to us about ‘Karma’ and how it effects the game and whether it has a bearing on the story or the ending of the game?

What we wanted to do was let the player explore different situations and make the choice of how they want to solve quests. The game also tracks how good, evil or neutral you are and how that effects things like having a companion in the world. The kind of companion you can have is based on your karma and their karma, so if they’re different, they won’t be willing to come with you. You also have factions in the world, the good guys and the bad guys. If you’re the opposite, then they’ll send out guys to kill you. So if you are evil in the world, at some point the good guys might try to send out someone to kill you because you are causing problems for them. So really it manifests itself on what happens on an individual basis, what kind of people are willing to help you and whether or not you’ll have to suffer the consequences.[…]

You mention VATS and action points, and the fact that you can pause the game. We only could use VATS for a limited number of moves. Is there any way that you can enhance, upgrade or increase your action points during the game? This goes for health too.

Well, different weapons use different amounts of action points based on what type of weapon it is, so a Fallout 3pistol would use fewer per shot, whereas a bigger gun or a sniper rifle would use more action points. During the game you level up and you are able to increase the number of hit points you have and you can spend the time to increase the number of action points if you so choose. That’s a whole other aspect of the character system, the player deciding what they’re going to spend their points on. Do you want more action points, do you want more strength to carry more in your inventory, do you want other special abilities or do you want to focus on skills?

Finally, and this is the last question, I promise…what’s your favourite thing about the whole game?

Honestly, for me, it’s the freedom to go do whatever you want. I love coming to events like this where you’ve got seven or eight monitors set up like this and you look around the room and everyone has started off at the same point, but then they’re off in completely different directions doing completely different things. That is one of the things that people have really come to like about our games, is the aspect of really having the choice to go and play wherever you want and however you want. You can focus on quests, you can focus on free-form exploring or just going out and shooting stuff for fun, using different weapons or making your own weapons. All that stuff adds to the experience of getting to explore what kind of a person you want to be in the game. So go and have fun however you want!

They also added a preview of Fallout 3:

In short the game is massive, and Sci-Fi fans will find many references to their favorite films or Fallout 3books[sic]. Although we saw a lot, it still isn’t the half of it, and with around 500 endings, yes 500, you’re going to need to play this game more than once we’re sure. But what we can tell you is that it’s a pretty awesome game. It’s a gruesome game. It’s a dark game. It’s a game that will send you not only on a quest to find your father, but also will show you what kind of a person you really are too. And that’s not a bad thing. Because of its ability to draw you in and the way it allows you to inhabit your character in every sense of the word, you’ll find your own story and your own missions, and I’m talking from just the Alpha build. Imagine the fun you’ll have with the final release.

Atomic Interview

AtomicGamer interviews Pete Hines:

Pete: It’s really designed to work however you want to use it. You can play the game entirely with VATS, use it in combination with real-time combat, or fight in real-time only. It’s balanced so that when you use it in combination with real-time fighting, it doesn’t become overly powerful.

In my recent preview for the game, I talked about the balance between action and RPG in Fallout 3, and said it seems like both have been amped up over Bethesda’s past games – the RPG feels more like a hardcore RPG, while the action feels more like a shooter. Was this the intent? Oblivion was one of the most accessible RPGs ever made; do you think you’ll capture the same audience with Fallout 3?

I think it’s fair to say both of those things were a focal point. To allow the hardcore folks to tinker a lot with the numbers and focus on that, but also make it accessible to folks who just want to pick up and play, and have both of those things work well together. I would imagine the audience for Fallout 3 will skew wider than Oblivion‘s simply because of its setting and the nature of the combat. Give folks a more familiar setting with guns (vs. fantasy with orcs/elves) and a lot more folks are interested in playing it, whatever the style of game.

It seems a lot like quests and dialog are having much more thought put into them this time. We know that the world doesn’t have nearly the number of dialog-enabled NPCs in it as the Elder Scrolls games did so you could do much more dialog per character, but is the number of quests lower as well? If so, are the quests deeper than we’ve seen in past Bethesda games?

I would say they’re both deeper and wider, in terms of the number of choices and options you have in approaching a given quest and how you want to handle it, as well as what’s there to get to in a quest. How we handle all of those choices you make and have them be meaningful. Handling lots of special situations where you get special dialog options based on certain characteristics your character may or may not have. All of that stems from having a world that is smaller in scope from Oblivion and being able to spend a lot more time on fewer quests.

Spotted at NMA.


Interview with Pete Hines at TVG:

TVG: What sort of influences did you draw from to create Fallout 3’s post-apocalyptic world?

It comes from a lot of different places. If you haven’t read it yet, we’ve put up these team diaries on our website and Adam Adamowicz did one (he’s our Concept Artist) where he talks about the concepts for all of the stuff in the game – how he came up with the ideas; where he looked for sources of inspiration.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the look we were most trying to nail was the look of Fallout 1, but brought into a realistic first-person view. We spent a lot of time trying to work out how to capture that look and that feel. Beyond that, there’s a lot of different stuff. From an architectural standpoint, we’ve been looking at a lot of different architecture from the 40s/50s era; the ‘Guggy’ architecture and that kind of thing.

For the look of the creatures in the world, some of it was just taking something like a Braman [Brahmin] and bringing it into this game the best way that we could imagine that Braman not being a little thing on the screen, but being this giant two-headed cow/bull thing. All of that is innovative – it’s like, ‘Okay, well if that’s what that looks like, we’re going to have this new creature and how would that mutated thing look’, or ‘What would a Molerat look like given the other pantheon of creatures we have, both new and old.’

The number of iterations we did on the Vault suit… It was like, ‘What would it actually look like, you know? On a person, what would it practically look like? Where would it have hatches or zippers?’, every little detail to try and make sure that we’ve nailed the look of that stuff, and made it look and feel just right for the world that we’re talking about.

TVG: We had a walk through Greyditch in our hands on today and we had a look at Megaton during our First Look last year. How many other cities are there in the game world?

There are not actually that many cities. There are a couple and then there are a lot of little settlements and places where a few people have huddled together to try to survive in this world, but not big thriving cities. You go here; you find somebody who’s trading some goods; there are a couple of houses, and over here is this lady and her boy scratching out an existence. It’s more of that as opposed to, ‘Oh, here’s this big city!’ It’s post-apocalyptic DC; they have lots of issues staying alive.

Fallout 3 Crispy Gamer Special

There’s another hands on preview at Crispy Gamer, with several concerns:

So why am I so unsatisfied?

Maybe it’s that this demo did little to show how Fallout 3 is truly different from Oblivion. Ok, the lock-picking mini-game is slightly different (and better) but the dialogue trees, skill breakdowns and overall feel seem so much like Oblivion, at least in this early stage of the game, that the untrained eye could mistake it for a mod.

Combat is one place where the two games really diverge, but how can I really see that playing as a level-two noob with a couple of weak machine pistols? I had a difficult time fending off dogs and even a couple humans weakened from exposure and hunger. Not terribly appealing. Why not start the demo deeper into the story, where better weapons and skills could make the combat differences between Oblivion and Fallout 3 glaringly apparent? Or are they really as different as we’ve been told?[…]

At E3, Fallout 3 made a lot of “best of show” lists. I’m sure Bethesda is thrilled with that. Even in an E3 that felt positively anemic on the game front, being called out as one of the five or 10 most crucial is significant. But I don’t see it. I’ve been told for months that this is a dramatic step forward from Oblivion, but very little of the open-ended demo I had supported that claim.

They also added another interview with Pete Hines, this one is quite substantial and interesting:

Crispy Gamer: What about the gameplay — what new stuff have you added or changed this time around?

Hines: Much of the basic gameplay systems and character systems are still there: SPECIALs, skills, perks, XP-based leveling up, etc. We’ve spent a lot of time working on the quests, characters, and dialogue in the game to have it match up with the tone of the original games. It’s still a “go where you want, do what you want” game, which is, of course, what we like making. But the game is played in first- or third-person, rather than the isometric view of the originals. The combat is also different; it’s a mix of real-time and this new paused mode, called VATS, where you spend action points queuing up attacks and then watch it play out using a special camera system. Our goal was to capture as much of the originals as possible while still trying some new things we think will add to the experience.[…]

Crispy Gamer: In a way, the game seems like it’s going to be a first- or third-person shooter but with deep RPG elements. Am I wrong?

Hines: It is a deep RPG with shooter elements. How to handle combat doesn’t define the game. Just because you’re holding a gun and shooting at things doesn’t make it a shooter, although some people are going to see it that way, which is okay. If you decide to play the game because it looks like a fun shooter, we don’t mind. Whatever reasons you have for giving it a try, we hope there is enough compelling gameplay to make you want to keep playing. You may not buy it because of the quests or dialogue, but if you play the game and end up really enjoying the game for those things, where’s the harm in that?

Ultimately, what makes Fallout 3 somewhat unique is that the game is all about what your character can do, which is decided by you. What you want to be good at, what kinds of things you want to do. Those choices will affect your overall experience and how you decide to play the game, but there’s nothing wrong with getting in a big fight with some Super Mutants and having a great time running around blowing things up. Many really good RPGs have quite a bit of combat to them, so we might as well make that as fun as it can be.[…]

Crispy Gamer: Do these choices have any real consequences, though? Like if you play as a dick the whole time, will certain areas be closed off to you, but if you’re nice, then you get to sleep with the blue alien lady?

Hines: To some extent that may happen, but it’s mostly about what happens in each specific instance.[…]

Crispy Gamer: So what do you think Fallout 3 does better than Oblivion?

Hines: Guns. Much better in Fallout 3.

Crispy Gamer: And what, if anything, do you think Oblivion does better than Fallout 3?

Hines: They’re really very different games. We’ll let folks like you guys debate the merits of those things. We’re just trying to make the best game we can every time out.[…]

Crispy Gamer: Finally, in a 2006 interview with TheEscapistMagazine.com, Leonard Boyarsky, who worked on the original Fallout games, said that Interplay’s decision to sell the rights to Fallout “…felt as if our ex-wife had sold our children that she had legal custody of,” though he did qualify this statement by admitting to be “possessive” of the franchise. How do you think he, and other people who worked on the original games, will feel about Fallout 3?

Hines: You’ll have to ask them. I can certainly understand that the people who created Fallout would feel strongly about it. But we saw a franchise we loved sitting there not being used, not being worked on, and it was something we really wanted to work on, so we did. We hope the folks that worked on the first two will play Fallout 3 and like it and find a lot in there that stays true to what they created, just like we hope people who played and liked the first two games will like this one as well.

A lot to read there, well worth it. Spotted at NMA.

Fallout 3 Sponged

SuperMutants took over the Hill

You know the drill, new Fallout 3 hands on preview, this time at SPOnG:

The VATS method of attack is a throwback to the combat system in previous Fallout games. However, does the presentation of an FPS give a confusing message to the player expecting RPG action? Pete Hines thinks not, telling me, “We don’t believe in beating people over the head with the term ‘RPG’. It’s like you have something to prove, or you need to show your 20-sided dice to get in the door. The idea is that you pick up and play the game however you want to. And if you want to be a power gamer and a number cruncher you can, whether you play in VATS or in real-time those numbers are still meaningful.”

Just like a classic RPG, you can level up in Fallout 3, with a number of points being given to you to assign to different skills when you do. These skills are required for certain side-quests and dialogue options – a good ability in the ‘Speech’ department will allow you to wing your way through tricky situations, and even lets you barter for more cash for a quest if you want to get greedy.

“One of the things we really tried to avoid, and that we don’t like, is surprising the player with whether they’ve been good or bad. We wanted to make it clear that you’re making a conscious choice to be one or the other, as opposed to being confused about it. It may be a surprise in terms of exactly how the character reacts or what they say to you, but not the inherent good, evil or neutrality of it.

“Megaton is pretty much an extreme and most clear cut example of this – we don’t have to tell you that if you decide to blow up the nuke that the whole town and all those quests will go away, it’s kind of obvious. But it’s also pretty fun to see exactly how it happens. You can also live with the consequences because you knew what you were doing when you pressed the button.”

“No fucking way. Absolutely not. With our experience on RPGs like Elder Scrolls, things like Lore and Canon we hold very dear. We get anal about which buildings should be in Washington DC, with giant piles of books on architecture on DC and we ask what year buildings were made. 1955? It’s out – it wouldn’t have been in this universe. If we’re going to be anal about the landscape in this game, we’re certainly not going to make jokes about stuff that would not have been part of this world at all.”

Sounds like Bethesda could well be the studio that can make Fallout fans very proud, then. Fallout 3 is being released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this Autumn.

Guardian With Hines


Interview with Pete Hines at The Guardian Games blog:

How do you keep the wasteland setting interesting- both visually and from a content perspective?

It’s one of those things we have spent a long time on. We needed more variation than we had originally. It isn’t always obvious the first time you play through either. There are a lot of nice touches such as the raiders with baseball caps who attack you on a baseball pitches. We’ve got a good mix of things to find in the world. Regarding visuals, it’s much easier to do a beautiful setting with rivers and waterfalls and trees but there is a real beauty in the destruction of things. You come over a hill and in front of you is what used to be a highway and someone has set up a settlement under the bridge for protection. It’s really interesting to see how people have tried to live on in this world. We tried to vary what you find but also give you those epic vistas.

Is there still the same freedom of gameplay as in Oblivion?

There are plenty of ways to solve most quests. You can play using stealth if you put enough points in. This makes it easier to find rare loot. Science points allow you to hack machines. You can really customise your experience. And then there’s the whole good, neutral, evil aspect. This is based on how you deal with people in the game. Definitely go to talk to Gob, the bartender in Megaton. If you take his feelings into account you get a different experience and he will talk to you differently. How you resolve conflicts generally plays a big part in affecting your karma.

How influential were the original games for you?

Part of what makes Fallout great is this juxtaposition of a positive alternate 1950’s view of life pre nuclear war with the reality after. Like you’re in an elementary school with posters that say to “duck and cover” under your desk when the bomb falls. So clearly that didn’t work! Seeing the idealistic optimistic pre-war view with the bombed out reality is really powerful.

Interesting interview this time.