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News for Thursday, July 31, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 19:18

For those of you who remember mr Brian Fargo, the old CEO of Interplay, will be glad to hear that his new company called InXile have bought the rights to Wasteland. So it looks like good old Fargo will develop both Bards Tale and Wasteland, some good old games.
I noticed this in a thread on the IPLY boards.

Posted by Odin - at 19:07

JE also posted some minor posts about the people inside the vaults and items that would be most likely found in the wasteland:

Vault people:
It is important to note, however, the Vault folks were pretty naive, even before the war. If you watch a film like Atomic Cafe, it's pretty clear that people expected to go into a bunker, hang out for a little while, then pop out and clean up. "Surely the military will handle any rabble-rousers!"
Items:
  • 9mm and .45 bullets would probably be among the most commonly found and reloaded in the wasteland (after shotgun shells, of course).
  • Nitric acid and sulfuric acid are very frequently found in acid rain.
    I think nitric and sulfuric acid rain are among the elements of the now oft-dismissed idea of a nuclear winter. But I may be incorrect.

    EDIT: In any case, nitric acid is used so much in so many things that simple chemical processes could recover large amounts of it from myriad sources.
Update on ammo in the wasteland:
Azael wondered if JE didn't mean that 10 mm and .44 ammo, instead of 9mm and .45:
No, I don't. The portions of the state of California as portrayed in the previous two Fallout games do not need to represent every part of the United States, much less the entire world.

In our world, 9mm and .45 pistols are really, really common. They are also different enough from each other that people favor those ammo types for different reasons.

Civilians, especially ones living in a world where they think they might be overrun by commies, are likely to have a greater volume of firearms and bullets than law enforcement agents.

Chris Taylor picked the 10mm because it is modern. In fact, it's only really seen use in the past decade (90s) by law enforcement agents. When I (and many people, I believe), think of .45s and 9mms, they see G.I.s running through French fields with Thompsons and German officers with Lugers -- the era immediately prior to the rise of the atomic age.

And when I say "difference", I don't mean literal size difference, I mean bullet characteristics. Though it is often debated, people generally seem to use 9mm for more penetrating power and .45 for raw tissue damage.
Lazlo Lazo asked about gauss/plasma pistols compared to gauss/plasma rifle:
It might be, but if a gauss pistol uses 2mm EC and a charge from a SEC for each shot, that gets mighty expensive. You're a lot more likely to find/reload/create conventional ammunition than railgun ammo and/or SECs/MFCs.
Just some minor stuff for you guys to read about...
Link: Thread

Posted by Odin - at 18:52

JE Sawyer have suggested (haven't seen this before)a fatigue stat for future titles (I'm guessing for Fallout 3), here is a quote from the IPLY boards:

Frizzy wrote: "There is something between: healthy/wounded fully operating -> dead."

JE: Knocked out. That's one of the reasons I have suggested a Fatigue stat.

Fatigue isn't something you accrue by doing mundane things. It increases as you do things like come down from chems (and super-stims), perform extremely strenuous actions (unarmed combos), and "bash" damage that's a portion of the damage absorbed by armor.

It goes up, hit points go down. Fatigue is lowered by your Healing Rate every round. If your Fatigue passes your current hit points, momma said knock you out. When your Fatigue drops below your current hit points, you wake up again.
Actually a fatigue level sounds good, it would make combat more interesting.
Link: Thread

Posted by Odin - at 17:41

Since the city limit patch was released and also the editors, many have wanted to start making new maps/cities for Fallout 2. But it seems the first patch didn't patch the official mapper (Fallout 2 editor), so Shadowbird decided to fix that.
Link: City Limit Patch 2
Spotted at our forum

Posted by Odin - at 13:54

The guys over at Gamespot recently had a chance to try out the Fbos xbox demo and just behold the lovely skills:

In addition, characters can be equipped with different skills taken directly from previous Fallout games. For example, the sadist skill gives you health for killing enemies, while the man's best friend skill equips you with a canine friend that will attack enemies. There are dozens of skills available, and some will prove to be more useful than others, depending on your play style.
Killing gives you health?! And they've got some great quests in store for anyone who wants to play this title:
Of course, your overall quest is to locate a missing paladin from the Brotherhood of Steel, but there will be several relatively menial tasks as well, such as locating a prostitute's missing cat.
Talk about fedex quests..
Link: Gamespot preview of Fbos

Posted by Briosafreak - at 1:52

Tim Cain from the original Fallout and founder of Troika Games has given his views on Turn Based combat and D&D, explaining why Temple of Elemental Evil will be Turn-Based only and close to the 3.5 D&D rules at Etoychest.org:

I am a little confused. D&D is a turn-based system, so I didn’t take ToEE anywhere. I am more surprised that you don’t wonder why the developers of those other games felt compelled to license a game system and then rewrite many of its rules to cover a mode of play that it was never intended to support. I wanted to make a computer game based on D&D, not some hybrid system that I invented myself.
Again, I am confused. Are you suggesting that it would be better for me to invent a new system of rules, so that anyone familiar with D&D would have to learn my own new hybrid system in order to play ToEE? Now that sounds like it would bog down the player.
The whole point in using the D&D core rules and having the computer act as DM is to free the player to enjoy the game. Just because our monsters have all of their abilities and because spells cast just like the rules say they should doesn’t mean the player is bogged down. On the contrary, players are liberated from the bookkeeping so long associated with role-playing games. They are free to play the game while the computer keeps track of hit points, weapon ranges, encumbrance and all the other minutia of the game. Any knowledge of D&D will help them play ToEE, certainly. But most of the rules don’t need to be understood by the player to enjoy the game.

J.E. Sawyer decided to reply to those views on the BIS Feedback Forum:
I have met Mr. Cain only a few times. He is a very smart and cool man.
However, I will address this statement, and I'll be pretty blunt about it. The answer to his rhetorical question is: because you're putting a pen and paper game onto a computer. Isn't this obvious? This doesn't apply simply to "turn-based vs. real-time". It applies to every aspect of the game that you review for implementation.
The environment and atmosphere when you play a pen and paper game is not the same as when you are playing a CRPG, period -- especially a single player RPG. You have no DM, you have no other players. There is no soft adjudication for any given application of a combat rule or skill. There are no players chatting to each other softly and telling quiet jokes while all of the other participants in the battle play through their turns. Turn-based combat in a five or six person pen-and-paper game is not the same experience as it is in an CRPG. Even the most pedestrian turn-based battle in a pen-and-paper game can be made fun for all participants -- even if that combat takes two hours of real-world time. Your experience goes beyond the statistics of the characters involved and the mechanical choices you make to resolve that conflict.
But in a single-player CRPG, that is what you are left with. You can put every rule in the 3.5 PHB into a game to the letter, dot all is and cross all ts, but you are not going to get the same experience that you would in pen and paper. This is a different medium. You're playing all the members of your party without any soft adjudication from a DM. The manner in which you draw pleasure out of a combat is not going to be the same as it is with a group of live people sitting around you -- whether it is turn-based or real-time. D&D is a pen and paper role-playing game. By putting it on a computer, you are already trying to make it do something that it was not explicitly built for.
I'm certainly not going to slam Troika for making ToEE in the manner they are. I really want to play it. But all developers have to make implementation choices when dealing with a licensed ruleset. AFAIK, Troika isn't implementing the Jump or Climb skills in ToEE. I don't blame them for leaving that out -- those are hard to implement in a CRPG. But that does affect classes like the fighter and monk, who have those as some of their (very few) class skills.
In a pen and paper game, the player can ask the DM at any moment, "Hey, man, can I climb that tower/tree/rock/fallen giant's corpse?" and the DM can wing it. If the player wants to climb up a corpse and jump off behind some guy while making an attack, he can just ask the DM if he can do it. There's no mounted combat or mounted combat feats in ToEE, which affects the paladin. TOTALLY UNDERSTANDABLE, BECAUSE MOUNTED COMBAT SUCKS TO IMPLEMENT. Again, this is because you can't just say, "Oh, here's a pony, follow the rules." Lockpicking, picking pockets, sneaking. All those things you can't reload from in a pen and paper game -- they're different. It's a computer game, not a PnP game. How you make it, how you use it, the experience you take away from it can be completely different.

I`m sorry for the length of this quotes, but i find them very revealing on the differences of development philosophies between the original Fallout team leader and the future Fallout lead designer.
Who is closer to your ideas, guys and girls? And why? This is a great topic for discussion in my opinion, what do you all think?
Thanks go for DAC for pointing Tim Cains interview.
Edit:J.E. Sawyer saw this news bit and made an aditional comment:
It really wasn't intended to be antagonistic or confrontational towards Tim. But it's an unanswered question I had seen him pose in other interviews.
The bottom line for me is that rules are there to support and promote fun. The rules are not fun in and of themselves. It is the job of the designer to be devoted to making a fun player experience, not to be devoted to the rules.
A good example might be how ranger favored enemies are categorized in 3E. Technically speaking, a ranger can pick almost any race (though that may have changed in 3.5) as a favored enemy. You might choose to restrict that list only to races actually found in your CRPG. That makes sense, promotes fun, but isn't explicitly according to the rules.
However, rangers who pick certain favored enemies may find themselves with an exceedingly useless or exceedingly useful trait depending on how many creatures of race X are in the game. A little variation is to be expected, but if there are huge differences (150 goblins, 2 ogres), this becomes unfair. A PnP DM can tailor his or her campaign to the choices of the player. A CRPG has already made those choices before character creation takes place. Now, the designers of the CRPG could collapse ogres into a larger "goblinoid" type. That's reasonably fair, but again, not according to the rules.
On IWD2, our licensor believed that the invented feat "Fiendslayer" was too powerful, so we toned it down. The problem was that there were only a small handful of creatures in the game against which the feat was actually useful. The PnP designer balances for use in ANY game, but the CRPG designer usually has to balance for use in his or her SPECIFIC game.
Again, we all have to make choices. Trokia has made specific choices for ToEE as they have seen fit. BioWare made specific choices for NWN as they saw fit. This will continue as long as computer games are licensed from pen and paper games.

This comment was made after he read the NMA front page, so there`s no more need for people to ask me if he reads what the fans say Wink

News for Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 21:04

J.E. Sawyer replied to a very good question made by Mr. Teatime on the way the Lead Designer on Fallout3 sees the opinions stated on the Fallout fan sites:

Look, man, seriously: there are a lot of people with really useful ideas here, at NMA, and at DAC. But there are also a significant number of people that only comment on things they don't like, and to the extreeeeeeme. They will never comment on even the most beneficial changes.
See someone who will always post a complaint, but wouldn't post any sort of affirmation -- for anything, ever. Those are the people that drive me absolutely berserk. The kind of people who will remain silent if we said we were putting golden dubloons in every box -- but will complain endlessly if the fins on a car look more like early 60s than late 50s in their opinion. When a person's only function seems to be to complain, their feedback becomes kind of useless because it all seems like a vendetta.
It also becomes hard to take complaints seriously when the complaints focus on adding things for other people. I, Josh Sawyer, enjoy turn based combat. I have enjoyed turn based combat for a long time. I played all of the Gold Box games. I enjoyed it in Fallout. However, I also like some real-time RPGs like Darklands. They are different systems, each with benefits and drawbacks. Neither is inherently better than the other.

He then states how he sees Turn-Based and Real Time combat on Fallout games in the past and in the future, and how he feels both systems in the game is just another option given to the player:
Turn based combat is a fundamental aspect of Fallout, and it should remain the focus in future games. However, I do think it's important to add a real-time component for the large number of RPG fans who do like RT combat. And all the insults and sneering from TB fans is just ridiculous. Why should anyone care about how someone else plays their game as long as your game is high quality? Did you enjoy TB combat in Fallout and Fallout 2? I/we have no intention of removing anything from the TB combat component. I know that you have concerns about what could be added to TB combat, and that's certainly fair. But, if you don't like RT combat, its relative quality or suxitude shouldn't really matter, should it? Yes, I understand the argument that by working on two instead of one, we sacrifice the overall quality of both. That's true, but what is frustrating is that people refuse to accept the fact that what is true for that option is true for ALL options. It is true for evil and stupid dialogue paths. It's true for non-linear gameplay. We make that effort and that sacrifice because it gives a player more meaningful options.

Pretty hot stuff, that deserves some debate IMHO .
What do you guys and girls think on the issues raised here?

Posted by Dan - at 20:37

In this thread JE explained a little about how the unarmed combos will work in Van Buren, in reply to a post by our very own Odin.

Odin: one question comes to mind, would a character know all the combos or would he learn them from others going through the game ?
JE: The idea is the character "learns" combos simply by increasing his or her unarmed skill.
However, you can learn "stances" from different people (I made up some names previously like NCR Ranger Stance and Blackfoot Tribal Stance) that act as modifiers to your unarmed attack, like different ammo types. As a combat action you could "go into" or "go out of" that stance.
Odin: I'd actually like to see these combos that JE is proposing before making up my mind, just don't go all Mortal Kombat on us JE..
JE: Really, all you have to do is imagine a bunch of the ordinary moves stringed together against multiple targets -- llike an oddly-shaped burst. For example, Jab-Backhand-Elbow. Your character does a jab at the guy in front of him, immediately followed by a backhand to the guy next him, and an elbow smash at the dude right behind him.
The same thing applies to kicks. There are no jumping kicks in my unarmed attack list -- just regular snap kicks, side kicks, roundhouses, hook kicks -- bread and butter stuff. Kick combos just work the same way as punch combos.
Actually, these combos don't sound bad at all, it seems like it can add some deapth to the unarmed combat without making it into a "fighting game"

What do you think?

Posted by Odin - at 19:47

Briareus answered a question about the ability to mod Van Buren and without further ado:

VB = not mod friendly. There are no plans to release any of the dev tools after the game is done, either. Sorry.
Bummer, that's a negative "feature" that Fallout 3..err.. Van Buren will have..
Link: Thread

Posted by Dan - at 8:46

JE Sawyer, project Van Buren's lead designer, made an interesting comment about Van Buren's target audience in this thread about real time combat in Fallout.


The point, in case zealots want to ever accept it, is that your tastes are not the only tastes in the whole world. Really, I know this may be hard to believe, but if you like playing a turn-based game set in three counties of Utah in 2242, and you like miniguns but you don't like lasers, and you like the ratio of dialogue to combat to be about 4:1, and you like cars that look more like Buicks than Pontiacs, and you think 50s-style monsters are okay, but 50s-style aliens aren't, and you think that Max's jacket from Mad Max is okay but the football pad armor isn't, and you don't like when italics are used in dialogue but you do like it when boldface is used, and you want it to be longer than 100 hours but not longer than 120 hours, and like games to be non-linear but only to a point, and want big cities, but only two because four is too much BUT HEY NOT THAT ONE, and you like the desert but don't mind a little grass BUT HEY NOT THAT MUCH BECAUSE IT'S NOT FALLOUT... I am terribly, terribly sorry, because we are not going to make a game just for you.

We're not trying to make a game for everyone. Really, we aren't. But we're not making a game just for you and ten other angry guys with tastes that are narrower than a hallway in a camp of pygmy dwarves.

He has a point. But shouldn't a game in the Fallout series first take into consideration the fans or at least the few points that are the most important to them, and only then try and please the other potential consumers?

News for Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 19:57

While going through the IPLY Forums, I noticed that JE had posted in several threads and here's what he said:

About the night person trait (ie bring it back):

I liked Night Person because it was very easy to understand and very straightfoward in implementation. These hours = bonus. The rest of the time = penalty. Sometimes it could be very advantageous if the person planned ahead, but many times, the player can't choose to do something at a certain time. Random encounters often show up during the day. Certain people can only be found/talked to/attacked during the day.
So your opinion about this trait is what, JE ?
Link: Night Person trait thread

About skill points and weighted point buy:
A weighted skill scale allows the jack-of-all-trades to remain competitive with the specialist. The specialist, in return, gains access to better perks that have high skill ratings as their prerequisite.

EDIT: It also does a decent job approximating real-life learning curves. The margin of difference between a great violinist and a virtuoso is actually not large. However, the effort a virtuoso puts into attaining that level of skill is often double that of his or her slightly lesser comrades.
Okie, dokie..moving on...
Link: Thread

And in a thread about too much game balancing could ruin the fun of the game, Je had his hands full and replied several times. Here's a good quote:
You've convinced me. I'm going to bump up Gifted's bonus to +12 primary attribute points and make the penalty -3 skill points/level.
Anyone else notice the sarcasm here? There's more where that came from..
Link: thread

About the Van Buren engine:
DirectX, optimized for NVIDIA cards (currently GeForce 2 +) with best visuals from a GeForce 3 +. Mostly static geometry with pre-burned lightmaps altered by dynamic lights. Dynamic objects have dynamic volumetric shadows, but the user can bump that down to drop shadows if they want. Polygon counts on characters are typically in the 1,000-1,300 range. Most human-sized PCs use a single 256x256 texture that is stitched together from all of their individual skin/hair/equipment textures at runtime. Creatures that are generally more "static" use a single texture that is not stitched. Size varies.
Not much to say about this.
Link: Thread

Posted by Dan - at 10:54

This time, the discussion on the subject has shifted over to this thread on the IPLY boards.

JE made a couple of posts that strike me as a little odd:


"I think you need to start looking at the math again. First of all, you get seven stat points, not six. The points put into IN don't just offset the level-to-level skill penalty, they also boost any skills that are based off of IN. First Aid, Doctor, Science, Repair, and Outdoorsman are all affected by IN. A number of derived statistics are also based off of attributes, not skills (Throwing Range, Perception Range, AP, etc.). In addition to all of that, one of the biggest roadblocks to qualifying for perks is a high primary attribute. Getting seven free stat points sure helps with that. Unless you honestly plan on using every skill in the game, that -180 point penalty isn't worth the sum of its parts. If I put three points in IN, two points in AG, and two points in PE, tag one or two combat skills and put the rest in science skills, I'm doing really, really well, even from the very beginning of the game."

"Yes, because the benefit of Skilled, specifically, sucks when compared to the drawback. The benefit of Gifted is far greater than the benefit of Skilled. Seven attribute points vs. five skill points per level?"

I don't think looking at the math is the right thing to do here. if Gifted is acknowledged as an overpowered trait, it needs fixing. If it needs fixing then looking at the old numbers is un relevant.
It seems the choice of what do with the trait is limited to two: the old way, or the new JE way.
What about changing the numbers without changing the traits so the math will be right?

News for Monday, July 28, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 0:03

Damien 'Puuk' Foletto answered a thread about the CNPCs and their inventory, the questions was (by Ozymandias): "Will the CNPCs get a (scripted) say in their inventory choices?" and here's Puuk's respons:

That's up in the air, to be honest. We had planned for something like that in Jefferson, so I imagine it would be implemented in Van Buren. I haven't been told one way or the other for Van Buren, though.
A minor news post, but we aim to bring you guys all the news so...
Link: Thread @ IPLY Boards

News for Sunday, July 27, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 19:35

Aptyp sends word of a post-apoc game for PocketPCs called Nuclear Time. It has a demo, and seems fun , if anyone wants to try it just let us know if it`s good.
Thanks Aptyp for the heads up.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 18:14

First J.E. Sawyer has talked about the length of Van Buren/Fallout3:

I am never going to make an estimate on gameplay hours for a game ever again.
That, or I'll give the estimates I gave on IWD 2: longer than IWD, shorter than BG2/fifteen minutes.

Next a warm happy birthday to Killzig from DAC, we are still waiting on the ghOul pRon forum though Wink
And finally a warm welcome to one of our most recent registered forum members, Damien "Puuk" Foletto from Black Isle Studios, you can all send him Queen material and Hulk memorabilia (but not from the movie) as a welcome gift.

News for Saturday, July 26, 2003

Posted by Dan - at 20:53

JE saywer, aka Ropekid, has posted his thoughts on the gifted trait we all grew to love.

In this thread on the something awful forums, JE expresses his concern about the Gifted trait giving a little too much while taking a little too less:


that trait is the most easily abused one in the bunch. seven primary attribute points in exchange for -5 skill points per level and -10 skill points to each starting skill value. only the jack-of-all-trades really suffers from the exchange. the specialist can dump three points into IN (making the net skill point/level benefit +1 over what it was before), and then put the other four points into stats that affect their three to five favorite skills. those stats often bump up the skills over the -10 initial penalty, and the character has higher stats for perk prerequisites, weapon strength requirements, dialogue requirements, and so on.

shifting the penalty to perks and lowering the total attribute benefit to +5 instead of +7 actually makes the tradeoff a difficult one to consider.


I would have to say I don't see the point of this alteration.
Interesting enough, the posters at the SA forums seem to be against JE's idea... It's almost like he is talking with Fallout fans.

Spotted over at DAC.

Posted by Odin - at 9:06

Damien 'Puuk' Foletto answered a question about animations for the CNPCs/Ghouls/Mutants and why JE ealier said they didn't have time to do that many animations:

It's all about the animations. The PC will have far more animations because of all the skills and the development of the skills (fancier moves and perks that add to the skills). NPC's won't need all these extra animations, but the CNPC's will reflect change in armor, etc. That stuff is pieced together just like the PC's. So if you want your CNPC to run around in a dress (for example) and put it in their equip slot, they'll look like they're running around in a dress.
The funny thing is tho, they've ealier said that they done the RT/TB system evidently working on the rest right now so why no time to do animations ? Of course it's alot of work, but hey let's face it..this game won't come out for another year or so (seems like alot of time for me).
Linky: Thread

And in a thread about motorcycles in Fallout 3, JE appeared and said this:
Motorcycles running on SECs or MFCs are just as feasible as a Highwayman, but there is always the companion NPC problem. You could only carry three, max, even with a sidecar.
Sounds sane enough..

News for Friday, July 25, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 21:20

Yes, it's true Chuckie has yet again reared his..erm..head and spoken out to the fans, who he has so much contact with. Here's what the man said:

Developer Diary #4

Hello Vault Dwellers,

Great to see you back for another installment of the old Developer Diary. The Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel team has been busy bringing the Fallout world to life in beautiful Technicolor 3D. All three chapters with their respective locales are finally completed and getting all spruced up for your enjoyment come October.

Updates on what we are doing lately……Carbon, the town our story begins in, is just about completed and has just entered some serious testing. Everyone is happy to see the Brotherhood take in interest in their little hamlet, well not everyone.

Los, the second setting of our story is coming to life on a daily basis. The inhabitants of the ruined city are chomping at the bits to get some player flesh to gnaw on. When you get to the bridge area, be careful not to fall off, we don't want any players drowning before you complete your mission (or the locals get some dinner).

And for the final chapter, the local Vaults have opened their doors to the initiate's. The old civilian (mostly) personnel of the Vaults could not be any more tickled pink to see new faces, except some of the locals may have something to hide.

In addition to the locations being finalized, some exciting things are brewing over in the programmers' corner. New effects are going into the game daily. The Turbo Plasma Rifle and the Laser Pistol are too much fun. Watching ghouls disintegrate from a burst of focused energy is quite satisfying.

An announcement for all of you fans out there, the Lollapalooza tour is back and is being presented by Xbox this year. That means they are going to have some of this years most anticipated titles at their GameRiot facility. Make sure to hit the traveling show and play Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.

Well that is it for now. I was hoping for one of the designers to visit with you, but they have been extremely busy banging away on the game. Maybe a few more questions to the FAQ will get them out of their shells.
So this is how an dev update is..geeh..There's also a second update to the Fbos site, this one is crafted like a letter to you guys (to view it click on the restricted button and type in "vault dweller").

Posted by Briosafreak - at 0:45

I found an interesting post by Damien "Puuk" Foletto from the Black Isle Studios Van Buren Team on the Mistress Lair forum (hey Missy!):

It's not a confidence issue for Van Buren at this point. The simple fact is that it is VERY early in the development cycle to warrant an official announcement. We want to make an announcement once we have something to show. Right now all we have are Area Overview documents, tech and story docs, some engine conversion and interface stuff, and a handful of concept art. Hardly enough to show to our fans and press, at the moment. It's also a timing thing. We don't want to announce so soon into development and start building hype that by the time the game does ship, everyone's sick of hearing about it and lost interest (Jefferson was a whole different ball of wax that had to do with legal stuff. Van Buren doesn't suffer from that). Once Van Buren is officially announced, however, it will get its own forum, I'm sure of it. But until then...

Well they will eventually announce it, and we`ll be here to cover the big announcement.
Link: Mistress Lair Forums

News for Thursday, July 24, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 21:17

Azael has made an interesting question on the BIS feedback boards that got an equally interesting answer from J.E. Sawyer, here is the question:

A quick question for all the people who say that that weapons, armor and technology in general must evolve, because people are using them: How exactly do you think that nuclear holocaust affects the infrastructure and industry needed to make technological leaps?

This is what Sawyer replied:
I think it depends on whether or not the infrastructure is prepared to deal with the nuclear holocaust. The 40s, 50s and 60s were decades of huge scientific advancement. There was a pretty clear distinction between producers and consumers; it was still an era of scientific heroism, where one man or a small group of men were responsible for huge breakthroughs that the common man or woman marveled at.
Suppose that the U.S. government is, in a naive but somewhat admirable way, preparing to attempt to use the producers to protect the consumers -- the everyday, common man, woman, and child. "Duck and cover" filmreels are aired, government agencies like the CDA give public displays, and the government assists private companies like Vault-Tec with the construction of vault bunkers. That's an awful lot of effort to put into protecting the people who only advance society with their money and mundane effort -- or so might some disgruntled government employees think.
Some members of the government would certainly know the score. In a nuclear holocaust, the majority of consumers are going to die either from the initial attacks or from lingering radiation/food shortages/etc. There's not enough money, resources, or room to put everyone in a vault. Why focus on saving the consumers when it's next to impossible to save them? Why focus on saving even a small number of them if they aren't going to be able to contribute much back into what remains of society?

And he continues with his theory , if you want to check the rest just head to this thread.

Posted by Odin - at 10:23

In a thread about Fbos and how it doesn't follow the story of Fallout 1, Damien Foletto aka Puuk said this about Fallout 3:

"Hypothetically," a Fallout 3 game would stick mainly to the "universe" of Fallout 1, with some Fallout 2 for historical continuity. So, no hairy, intelligent deathclaws (Fallout 2's talking deathclaws were wiped out by the Enclave, so no more), no Humvees, etc.
Sounds good!

JE also said this about TB vs RT in a thread about the Jinxed trait:
Implement an okay translation of the TB rules without altering the core TB rules? Nope, this doesn't hurt my goals at all. RT is always going to be, at best, an analogue of TB, not the same thing. The only character that can suffer in this particular translation is the PC. If the player dawdles, he or she may lose the advantage of a higher Sequence than the opponents. But really, that's not a concern for me. If the player has chosen to play in RT, he or she is responsible for controlling his or her character efficiently. If the player doesn't like that responsibility, he or she should switch it over to TB mode.
There's more where that came from, so get on over and read.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 3:18

Mr. Teatime has expressed a few worries common to several guys and girls i`ve talked to in the last hours. Here is what he said in the BIS feedback forum:

I was wondering if you could update us on improvements or work put into the turn based system? I hope that it will remain the priority combat system,as I think that with work TB could be an excellent system leaving all forms of RT in the dust, even in terms of speed. My fear is that it will never get to that stage because of people working and thinking about the RT combat

Here`s what J.E. Sawyer replied:
Then worry no more; all of the things we're implementing here were planned for Jefferson. Jefferson was originally intended to have both RT and TB modes of play. The game system we were implementing in Jefferson is/was even more of a sequence-driven TB system than SPECIAL. We worked out all of these analogues for Jefferson over a year and a half ago. The vast majority of translation issues for converting TB SPECIAL into real-time were already addressed for Jefferson's system.

So, implementation and balancing are the two things you should worry about. The majority of design has already been handled.

So let`s keep an eye on implementation then.

News for Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 23:23

J.E. Sawyer is back on the BIS feedback forum (that place really needed it, the amount of dumb posts in the last days is trully horrific...) with an interesting idea for a known trait:

I think that Kamikaze would make more sense if it were a bonus to Sequence with a penalty to Evasion (replacement for AC). You rush in like a madman, so you get to go earlier, but you're reckless, so you're easier to hit.

And then he talks about Real Time combat and sequence :
Sequence is a "plug" that is applied before characters take their first action after entering combat. It's a delay, between zero seconds and three seconds, measured on a finite scale of possible Sequence scores. The lower your Sequence, the closer to three seconds. The higher your Sequence, the closer to zero seconds. A character with a monstrously high Sequence will act almost immediately. Since all characters act within the same frame of time for a "round", the benefits of high Sequence persist throughout the combat. The high Sequence character will always be that much ahead of the other characters.
You lose fractions of this benefit if the characters stand idle for significant periods of time (like, large portions of a round spent doing nothing), but overall, it's a pretty good analogue. High sequence characters will always have the jump on the other combatants because their delay expires more quickly.
You control one character. The computer controls everything else, and three seconds is always three seconds. If you never paused, and just took your time taking any action in combat, every other character would still be affected by Sequence -- because the computer controls them. Have you ever had a character in an IE game get stunned for a few seconds? It's more significant than you may believe.
Implement an okay translation of the TB rules without altering the core TB rules? Nope, this doesn't hurt my goals at all. RT is always going to be, at best, an analogue of TB, not the same thing. The only character that can suffer in this particular translation is the PC. If the player dawdles, he or she may lose the advantage of a higher Sequence than the opponents. But really, that's not a concern for me. If the player has chosen to play in RT, he or she is responsible for controlling his or her character efficiently. If the player doesn't like that responsibility, he or she should switch it over to TB mode.

Finnaly he has some wise words:
Perhaps you would find the turn-based mode of combat more to your liking.

Indeed i will...
Link:BIS feedback forum

Posted by Brother None - at 18:30

Here's some news from JE Sawyer on a thread about akimbo guns...First he writes:

Mini-/micro-uzis and Ingram Mac-10s are all small enough to be used one-handed "cinematically", IMO.

Then, in reply to King of Crooks:
What do you mean, Joshie? "Cinematically" as in "only in movies"? (which would also include PC games on some level, since neither of the two represent actual real life situations)

Yes, pretty much. In the same way that a person can carry a minigun with ammo around on a battlefield and take lots of flesh wounds without dying, it's possible for someone to use two handguns or two micro-uzis/mac 10s at once -- only in the movies.

Only in the movies...Of course, we all remember how it's possible to carry a minigun and take lots of fleshwounds in Fallout 1/2 as well...
Hello akimbo micro-uzis/mac 10s, welcome to the Fallout world!
Oh, happy day

Edit by Briosafreak:Welcome to the news biz mighty Kharn

Posted by Briosafreak - at 18:28

Some misc stuff on a until now quiet day. First J.E. Sawyer has talked about traits in Fallout3:

I am in favor of fixing traits before removing them. However, a "trait" like Bloody Mess would probably be better as a violence setting the Game Options interface.

Next the snazzy DAC is again online after a change in servers, and loading much faster now. Still no ghoul pRon forum though.
And finally we want to thank JJ86 for helping us out in moderating a few forums, it`s good to have the old timers helping out.

Posted by Odin - at 1:01

The official Fbos site has been updated with several new items, some new sound clips, wallpapers and concept art (in the hidden section, press the lowerleft screw). Here are some of these items:




erm..I've got no words... And don't forget to check out those sound clips too..

Posted by Odin - at 0:34

Worthplaying have posted another trailer of Fbos. This basicly shows of the game as you play it, so no nice intro with lots of errors. The good thing is that you're able to see the lightning spell in action and it's a kicker!

The only positive thing I found in this trailer was the sound/ambient effects and the weather effects, so good job on that one!
Link: Fbos trailer 2 @ Worthplaying

Posted by Briosafreak - at 0:28

J.E. Sawyer now has a new question for those following the development of Fallout3:

Does anyone like the "jinxed" trait?Seriously. I'm just curious. I get the impression that people only take it for laughs, but never for a serious character.

What do you guys and girls think?
Link: BIS feedback forum

Posted by Odin - at 0:24

Gamespot have posted some new screenshots of Fbos, nothing new to see actually.For those of you who wants to have a look, go here (xbox) and here (ps2)

Here are some of the PS2 ones:


Great explosions and some fine art there, Chuckie.. It brings back all those fond feelings from Fallout 1.. </end sarcasm>

News for Monday, July 21, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 19:01

We, here at NMA, have been informed from an Bis/IPLY source that the controllable CNPCs that JE talked about earlier will infact happen and it doesn't sound that bad either, here's what we heard:

You'll be able to control their inventory to better effect than in FO2, and we're toying with the option of giving orders to CNPC's during combat; basically right clicking on the CNPC, getting a menu of commands like attack X target, stand down, move to X, etc. We're even debating whether those commands are based on Speech skills like Persuade. But control like in an IE game, no way.
That actually sounds really good, it would make the CNPCs more useful and wait there's more, it also seems these CNPCs will have a moral level of some sort:
And yes, I do believe there will be morale for the CNPC's. Some of them will be almost impossible to give orders to just because of their moral fiber (read: stubborness). A lot of the order giving ability of the PC will be dependant on their Persuasion skill and CHA checked against the CNPC's.
Sounds good, I'm getting that X-Com Terror from the deep feeling back...

Posted by Odin - at 13:23

Well, well lookie here, Interplay have posted some new screenshots of Fbos and they look more like a AD&D game than Fallout (go figure). Behold the almighty lightning bolt spell:

Holy crap! Anyone notice the post-apocalyptic feel or like Chuckie said: "how they capture the essence of a Fallout game setting"..

Posted by Odin - at 10:24

Dac got word that Je posted a thread in the SomethingAwful forums about an Fallout 3 article in PCGamer, here's the article scanned:

Well now...wonder where they got the idea that Fallout 3 is in production..

Posted by Briosafreak - at 1:29

A Fallout3 FAQ in Polish is beeing made at the great Fallout portal Shamo. Just go to Fallout3 Almanach and enjoy the great layout.
Obsydian send us a new wallpaper as a promotion to their site, just click here and download the 1024*768 version of this:

Posted by Dan - at 0:11

JE Sawyer has shared some more info about the inventory screen in Van-Buren over in this thread.

When asked how the large avatars would be treated in regards to the bartering screen, JE gave this comment:

"With 21 item stacks displayed on screen at once and multiple select-and-drag, I'm doubtful that trading or bartering will be a chore even in the worst of all situations. BTW, when I say "larger avatar", I don't mean one the size of the IWD2 portraits. I mean one that is 1/2 the height of the inventory screen and about a 1/4 of the width."
Interesting, I don't really see why large avatars are that important, but that's just me.


On the subject of avatars generally, JE said:
"many players like to see their characters in greater detail, accurately displayed with the equipment they are wearing.

"Avatar" has nothing to do with fantasy or sci-fi. It's just a term. The model you'll see in the Van Buren interface is the same model you'll see in the game world. "


Thanks Outofarguments, for sending this our way.

News for Friday, July 18, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 1:52

Old School Roleplayer has asked more information about the inventory interface on Fallout3, here are the thoughts of J.E. Sawyer on that issue:

Three columns of item icons in standard inventory, only one additional equipment slot (head), avatar displayed larger in inventory (more detail), basic stats on armor ratings for head and torso slots, weapon stats for hand slots (always displayed in one window). Large item information window in the lower right corner. Sort button for general inventory (item type, weight, count). Drop icon for dragging multiple items onto (no need to right-click drop individual items). Shift-click to select multiple items. When singular equippable items are grabbed, the appropriate equipment slot is highlighted.

That's about it. Nothing crazy.

So does that mean you`ve giving up on the idea of a piecemeal armor system?
There were a lot of cases where it seemed like a stretch to justify items for the available slots -- and many of them were just subdivisions of other, complete armor types. However, there's plenty of stuff you can equip in a head slot other than just "helmets".

Also, when you multiply six damage type damage thresholds times six body parts (head, eyes, torso, groin, arms, legs) you get 36 different DTs that the player has to monitor and track. It's just a lot of information to process, and you don't seem to be gaining a huge amount out of it. But if the difference is just between head/eyes DTs and torso/groin/arms/legs DTs, it's a lot easier to digest, and your equipment choices become more involved. Do you want to wear the gas mask, which can protect against poisonous vapors in the abandoned mines, or do you want to wear a combat helmet just in case bad things try to claw your face off?

This one goes straight to the FAQ.
Link: BIS feedback forum

News for Thursday, July 17, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 14:05

There`s a new Fan Fiction Contest at Interplay:

Want to win some cool RPG goodies? Want to write some fun RPG fan fiction?? Well look no further! All you need to do is write some fun original work and send it to us!

You will only receive the prices if you live in the USA, but they are Baldur`s Gate stuff so it`s no biggie.
Krazikatt told us a bit more on what they want from the fics:
(We want) something that is related to say, the wastelands or forgotten realms or something. Something fantasy.

So here are the rules, good luck for those that want to participate.

News for Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 23:12

Well I want to start off my telling you guys that there is a poll at Interplay were they ask "what's your favorite game world". Currently Fallout is in the lead by 55%, The Forgotten Realms is second with 31% (actually there isn't that many choices, but who cares). So go and vote for Fallout!

Second I want you guys to welcome Dan (who's helped me out with some of the old Fallout 1 and 2 sections) as a new moderator on our boards, he will also be posting news from time to time (if me and Brios don't beat him to it). Welcome Dan!

Posted by Briosafreak - at 19:32

Well J.E. Sawyer is speaking about guns today, on the BIS feedback forum, here`s what he has to say about real-world guns on Fallout3:

"No real-world guns" doesn't mean "nothing resembling anything from the real world." There might be a 7.62mm Assault Rifle in the game that looks similar to an AK-47, but it wouldn't be called an AK-47 -- it would be called a 7.62mm Assault Rifle. There might be a .50 Anti-Materiel Rifle that sort of resembles a Barrett Light Fifty, but it would be called a .50 Anti-Materiel Rifle.

As with most of the weapons in Fallout 1, full descriptions would point towards manufacturers like Rhinemetal AG, Rockwell, Yuma, and the like (fictional manufacturers).

And he also replied on a question made by Krez on RailGuns:
Railguns should be pretty heavy and clumsy compared to most equivalent conventional weapons. While progress would certainly make railguns more lightweight than they currently are, they are pretty complicated electro-magnetic devices. They also require massive amounts of power, perhaps only slightly less than the extraordinarily powerful lasers seen in the Fallout universe.

Links: Real world guns,Railguns

Posted by Odin - at 8:22

Briosafreak emailed me the next version of the Fallout 3/Van Buren unOfficial FAQ, we're now up to version 0.4 and here's a snibblet:

This game has the code name Project Van Buren. Since the BIS devs have been talking about Fallout3 features is that enough to say that that Van Buren is really Fallout3, while you can`t announce it yet?

What, like posting concept art, rules systems, races, and the like isn't? No big mystary here. If O.J. Simpson had as much circumstantial evidence about his case as this project has had posted on this board (edit:BIS board) and fan sites, then he'd be picking up his soap with his toes right now... maybe that's a bad example, but you get the point.
And there's more where that came from...

News for Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 16:10

The Fallout Yurop (a Fallout 2 mod) site has had an update, this time they've posted some new images and some more info:

Regular news are here. You can find couple of new pictures in the gallery. In the next update you'll get some text from the Yurop. It's quite hard to choose what we can let you read without spoiling the game.
Few words about the status of the game: Lots of people (at least by to the reactions on our forum) think we just have started doing the game - it's not true. We have allready prepared complete main story line, which won't be changed. Main story is dividided into five imaginary chapters. First of is almost complete and some of team members are already working on the other chapters. As soon we have the first chapter complete, our translators will receive the first text pack. We'll probably have these language versions: czech, english, german, polish, italian, russian, serbian, portuguese, and estonian. Also our page should be in these languages soon.
And if someone hadn't noticed - Project Van Buren is Fallout 3 for sure, although the Interplay still didn't announced it officialy. So our little race starts. Will be the Yurop before the official Fallout 3?
And that's about everything for today.
Oh this is getting more and more exciting, keep up the good work guys !! Thanks goes out to Shigor (project leder) for informing me!

Posted by Briosafreak - at 13:18

Well a Fallout fan by the nick Mr. Teatime had an interesting idea on the BIS boards:

I keep saying this but I think NPC routines would really add a lot, like they do in Gothic. So the NPCs do various stuff depending on the time of day, some will go hunting, some will go to the market, etc

So this is the reaply he got from Damien "Puuk" Foletto, one of the developers working on Fallout3:
Considering we're using the Jefferson engine (for lack of a better name), this is very doable, and we're designing things like this into our areas.

I really wanted this, good show Puuk.

News for Monday, July 14, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 3:20

We know that Talking Heads like those on the previous Fallout games won`t be a part of Fallout3, but will something that resembles them show up eventually? This is what J.E. Sawyer has to say about it:

I don't think we've ever stated that we were definitely cutting talking heads. The technology that BIS had when making FO/FO2 was pretty primitive compared to what's available now. Even if the artists just worked straight through Lightwave or Max, it would be a lot easier now than it was then. That said, it's not definite that they will be in, either.

There`s still hope welsh...
Link:IP boards

News for Sunday, July 13, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 18:01

On the last poll we made here at NMA we asked you guys and girls what do you think about Fallout3 having more than one playable race,and the majority seemed to like the idea, so for you this will be bad news, the others like me will probably like what i have to say.

I got confirmation from a very, very reliable source that there will be just one playable race in Fallout3, humans.
There were many reasons that lead to this choice, that could be summed up to the ammount of work it would require to make hundreds of new animations and other technical problems ,and also the need to keep the story coherent.

It seems the devs have chosen to stay focused in creating a great story and keeping the production deadlines and i have to say kudos for them, many teams would just go with the novelty feature and then they would see themselves in a lot of trouble developing the idea, and would probably release another unfinished game, and no one wants that to happen.

Giving the obstacles this seems a very good decision, and good luck for the team at Black Isle Studios in creating the Van Buren Project.

The FAQ will be updated soon, we hope, with this and other new information.

Edit: J.E. Sawyer has already commented this piece of news, making more clear the reasons why that decision was made:

It wouldn't really "screw the story up", but it would certainly have a significant impact on the humanity-centric themes of Fallout games. One could argue that having ghouls and super mutants as protagonists in a story that explores human nature as a theme would be interesting -- it certainly could be, IMO. After all, ghouls and super mutants both started out as humans, so it's not like such themes would be totally inappropriate for them.

But the animations -- that's a lot of animations. Super mutants can't simply work as a morph of a standard human model. Their posture is completely different, and their limbs are so huge that it would cause clipping problems anyway (massively re-work every exported animation). My list of PC animations is about 180. "Monster" animation lists are normally much smaller (20 or less). So... it's not trivial.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 3:55

The Dead Cities team, wich is working on a Post-Apocalyptic Battlefield 1942 mod (with inspiration frrom Fallout, Mad Max, the Postman, etc.) send us an update:


We've got a ram truck for you, and it's looking lovely. Imagine a large truck with turbofan engine (airplane-style) and a huge iron ram attached to the front end. We're also getting some screenshots for White Line Nightmare-Ted's flagship map in production. Much fun has been had on it so far and we're working out the kinks as of late. New map models (destroyed buildings, concrete embankments and street lights to name a few) are really making it look great. Also, new motorcycles and possibly a gyrocopter have both been completed! We're working out some little bugs but soon enough we'll have some ingames of these badboys in the vehicular melee. The dunebuggy is done, ingame and ever so fun to drive around.

It looks like we'll be getting close to the time when we'll need some Alpha
testers- so stop by our forums, get to know the gang, and perhaps you'll join the chosen few!





Link:Deadcities mod

Posted by Briosafreak - at 2:50

Thanks to Deadlus we know have an interesting new pic for you guys and girls, taken from a wall on the Black Isle Studios headquarters:


So the logo for Fallout3 we saw on the Gasbot seems to be for real, and there`s new vehicles such as cars.
We`ll have to wait a bit on more information about this pics, but again thanks Deadlus

News for Saturday, July 12, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 2:16

Ok I know it's not much, but it was the only thing I hadn't posted about. JE answered a question about the loading time in Fallout 2 versus Van Buren, and here's his reply:

The octrees can be pretty large, but we are taking steps on Van Buren to keep them reasonable. Adhering more strictly to polygon limits should help a lot, as should building the levels "smarter".

It's hard to remember how long Fallout 2 levels took to load; they seem pretty fast on my 2 gig machine.
Well, I don't mind the loading time that much. As long as it doesn't take two beers and three sigarettes!
Link: Loading time thread

News for Friday, July 11, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 17:55

Well I decided to post a new poll, based on some feedback Briosafreak had gotten. The new question is: Should there be playable races in Fallout 3?
Well give us your answer and vote now!
Link: Polls

Posted by Odin - at 8:30

I noticed that SP had gotten word about an interview with Chuckie the rat-slayer, and you just have to read this:

GCM: Setting out to create a version of Fallout for the world of consoles, what were your biggest concerns?
Chuck Cuevas: The biggest concern was conveying the world of Fallout and introducing it to a new genre. The action adventure genre differs greatly from the original games that were set in the post-apocalyptic earth of the future. Action gamers tend to want to shoot and blow up stuff more then other gamers. Fans of the original games wanted to be able to talk their way out of a situation. Knowing this difference, we decided it was more fun to shoot first and ask questions later. So while the gameplay has changed greatly, the world has not. There are still plenty of rats to kill and ghouls to hammer into the dirt while looking for that next great gizmo.
Strange idea of the setting he has, but heck..we get to smash rats!! yah!
Spotted at Duck And Cover
Link: GCM interview with Chuckie

News for Thursday, July 10, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 23:09

Busy day we are having on the news departement...
This one comes from Damien "Puuk" Foletto from Black Isle Studios, one of the developers of Fallout3, er i mean Van Buren:

And no, there is no plan to ever make a Fallout MMORPG. A hardened, post-apocalyptic world would not lend itself well to a social game like an MMORPG.

Sorry Saint, i now officialy love this guy Very Happy
Link: BIS Feedback Forum

Posted by Odin - at 22:45

Well there's no stopping Bittermans persistence, this week he's bringing us some more Wasteland 2042 (a Fallout/Wasteland inspired Battlefield 1942 mod) news. Well here's what the man himself said:

I was planning on being early with today's update.. seeing as how I'm leaving town as soon as I finsh writing this. That didn't happen tho. Oh well.

Today in the weapons section, we've got the Monkey Wrench. Go check it out.

And you know, I feel bad, taking the vehicle update away from you, like I did, last week. Fear not tho, I got something new for you this week. Between Skeller, and myself, we've been drafting up backgrounds for the gangs you'll see in the first release. The first gang is up now, The Red Lizards, they're in the Factions section.

FeRdI has let me know he's going to be late with the comic again, this week. He's been a busy man as of late. We'll have that for you sometime tomorrow. Or if you're lucky, later tonight.
Does he ever stop having stuff to post about ?! hehe.. Great stuff Bitterman (and of course the rest of the team)!

Posted by Odin - at 21:57

Well does anyone remember the Fbos project ? Yeah, the Xbox/PS2 project run by good old Chuckie, well the FAQ for the game have been updated, lookie here:

From Ausir:
Why does the chick from the trailer say "I was born after the bombs fell"? That would make her over 80! I hope you'll get rid of factual errors like this one.
A:
Actually the trailer says "I was born just after the bombs fell..." and you are right, that would make Nadia over 80 years old. We made a mistake. Not in our timeline, but in the recording of the line. By the time we caught it, it was too late to fix. We will do our best to make sure these kinds of errors do not happen again. She should have said, "I was born after the bombs fell..."

Why was the BoS logo changed?
A:
Do you mean 'Why was the dual gun logo changed to the present caution sign look?' The present graphic of the caution sign was designed to foster a new look and therefore a new approach to the Fallout world for this game.
Or
Do you mean 'Why was the BoS logo changed from the sword and gears to the dual pistols?' The early version that was used when the game was announced, was conceptualize as possible logo for this version of the Brotherhood of Steel. With the desire to create an action oriented game, we experimented with changing the logo to reflect this desire. (I.E. guns vs. swords). Happily, we have decided to stay with the sword and gears for the game.
ah goodie, see they made a mistake.. DOH! This only makes me wonder which other errors they've made or will make on this project.
There's more to read in the Fbos FAQ section.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 21:15

Replying to the question "Will Van Buren have customizable charactor appearences?" this is what J.E. Sawyer said:

You will have control over the following basic attributes:
* Build (normal, wiry, strong, fat)
* Skin color/texture (a number of variants within a number of different "races")
* Hair style
* Facial hair style
* Hair color
Even before adding equipment, you should be able to get a lot of variation.

Following that he replied to the question "Will that affect stats?" by saying:
No. It's up to the player to pick a character appearance that they believe fits the character's stats and their personal preferences. If someone wanted to make an incredibly strong, clumsy person with a wiry frame, that's their choice.

Link: BIS Feedback Forum

Posted by Briosafreak - at 18:20

J.E. Sawyer has replied to someone at the Interplay boards that was claiming that no prone or crouching on F3 was caused by the game having a Real-Time mode:

I see your train of thought as once again being completely baseless. Much like theories about reducing the number of gun skills as having some relationship to real-time combat. Did you actually play Fallout: Tactics? It had crouching and prone combat positions. It also had real-time combat. I used crouching and prone constantly in that game. There was certainly enough time to react to situations that those modes were useful. Whether or not they were "good" or even necessary is up to debate.

But, of course, Fallout: Tactics had the subtitle "A Post-Nuclear Tactical Combat Game", because you have full control over a squad of up to six characters who are almost constantly engaged in combat. Fallout and Fallout 2 are RPGs, not combat simulators. I'm sure you could think of about sixty things we "could" add to make Fallout combat more in-depth, involved, complex, etc. That doesn't mean all sixty of those things should be added.

I know that in a magical imaginary dreamland, animations and AI take no time to produce, but at Black Isle, they actually do. We can't just flippantly shove a feature into the game without considering how much time it takes to implement and test.

Link: BIS Feedback forum

Posted by Odin - at 9:07

I got word from Jeremy K that Dewin Townsend is evidently working on the soundtrack to Fallout (3?), here's what's on his own website:

Video game soundtrack participation
Devin is currently working hard on the soundtrack for a video game for Interplay Entertainment called “Fallout”, the third in a series. It is stimulating his ambient side and he is finding it a nice challenge, though difficult to write with restrictions. We have no idea at this time when the game will be available on the market.
Well now, thanks Jeremy !

Updated: As I suspected this artist is working on the music for FBos, here's Puuks respons to this news:
Van Buren is currently composer free. It'll be a while before we get to the music part of the game.
Thanks to Jiles for informing me..

Posted by Briosafreak - at 0:38

Now for something completely different, here`s a project that intends to bring some of the Wasteland goodness to your browser:

This site is dedicated to the "Badland"-Project, an attempt to bring the Wastelanduniverse to the browser. The game itself should be fully playible online (not mulitplayer, yet). Since the universe of Badlands is the same as Wasteland there will be some of the same encounters.
The Beta is around 25kb and the finished game will be somewhere around 150-250kb. Plans are that it should be possible to save your characters online, so that anyone can sit and adventure at the office. Smile

Good luck for your project /Gobias.
Link: The Badlands: A Post-Apocalyptic Online Adventure

News for Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 18:58

Yes! No Temple of Trials on FO3!
J.E. Sawyer gave his thoughts about it in this thread:

I am entirely in favor of placing tutorial levels outside of the main game.
Create character > WOULD U LIKE 2 GO THRU TUTORIAL Y/N?

News for Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 20:53

Je replied to a thread that was initially about the concept arts we posted here on NMA, but it all of sudden turned out to be a discussion about the Enclave and Fallout 3 (go figure):

Why do the Enclave have to break the theme ?
Because the Enclave exists far beyond the technological level of any other pre- or post-war culture seen in the Fallout games. It would seem more jarring to me if Enclave technology looked the same as vault or even BoS tech. In the 100+ years after the bombs fell, the Enclave just kept going. There's a reason why the BoS was so alarmed by their existence in FO2.
Will there be Enclave in Fallout sequels:
The only Enclave presence I see in a Fallout sequel is purely peripheral:
  • A few pieces of broken tech that make people say, "LOL I WISH WE COULD MAKE THIS WORK WITH OUR LIMITED UNDERSTANDING."
  • A few people who say, "Hey, remember when there was that big explosion in the ocean? That was weird."
  • References to the foundations of the Enclave in pre-war documents, often in relation to Poseidon Oil.
  • One or two minor characters who actually knew something about the Enclave or had contact with it. "Yeah, I don't know what the President was trying to do. Kind of insane, really."
In short, no Enclave organization, no Enclave bases, no Enclave storyline. Just fragments of their existence scattered across the wasteland.

EDIT: Considering how goofy San Francisco's population was (apologies to MC Comb), I'm surprised no one is more concerned with their presence in Fallout sequels.
Well that's all on the Enclave, for now...Stay tuned kids!

Posted by Briosafreak - at 20:40

Well we now know the name of the next Fallout game (FOBOS doesn`t count, of course), in the words of J.E. Sawyer:

Fallout 3 should be simply Fallout 3: A Post-Nuclear Role-Playing Game.


Now this one is going staight to the FAQ, and by the way if you have read it then why not join this thread here on NMA started by Old School Role Player, where he asks what do you guys and girls like and don´t like about the ideas the developers have told us until now on Fallout3.

Posted by Odin - at 15:06

Well I went through the Fallout Yurop forums and picked out info that you guys might want to see, it's in bits and pieces but what the hell:

Locations:
"Picture sooon.... But no Scandinavia for sure... It's too far away from our AO..."
"There will be some russians in Yurop, but only just a few - like small comunity governed by children of stranded Specnaz unit etc..."
"We will have a lot of different locations. "Something like Vault city" could be there... Poland - can't say yet, maybe small part (borders with Germany and CZ)"
"Scandinavia: sorry, too far away, as I already wrote somewhere else "
Download/Gameplay size:
We plan to add some rendered animations etc, so it's going to be quite a few megs
If you are asking about gameplay size, it should be about size of the Fallout 2.
Why do it and do it for free?
Well as I myself am doing computer games for living, I like idea someone buying my games

But Yurop will be free. Unless we were able to sell it to Interplay, or do entirely our own game (both is almost impossible).

We are doing it because:
a) we love fallout
b) we want more fallout
c) we want goood computer games, not just actions slash and hack shit
d) ... and maybe for little fame among you fallouters

There are few reasons, why are we doing it the way we are doing it.
Yes, it's oing to be very huge. You can compare it with the work BIS did on the Fallout 2. They had engine, lot's of graphics, world, etc. They added new GFX, did some small changes to code and created new story and maps. What we are doing is about the same ammount of work.

BUT.
We don't have rights to use it. Although it is possible to contact Interplay, when we have let's say about half the game finished and ask them to take it as "official", I don't believe they will buy it.
So we can do it only as a MOD, downloadable for free. Very HUGE MOD, if we finish everything we want to. Quite possible one of the biggest MOD or free game ever.
It would be "easy" to start it as a commercial project. We will rename it on let's say Apocalypse: Yurop or something like that, remove all conections with actual Fallout etc. I think game Shadow Vault or how it's called is something like this.

BUT.
This would mean we have to do EVERYTHING by our own hands. We will need engine (so at least two good programmers) and GFX (which means few really good and hardworking artists. Our lead artisti Boomer is great and I hope others will show they're no lamas either, but...)
It would be much much more work and I am not sure if I could find enough good people to do all of this in some reasonable time. I could of course start my own company and do it commercially from the begining to the end - but I don't have the money.
So... Yurop will be free MOD for Fallout 2 with 99% probability
And BTW - I myseld cannot work right now on a commercial project - I am in fact forbidden to do so, as I am right now working on entirely different commercial game

And one more thing - doing game commercially is not fun if you compare it with doing something just because you think it's fun and you want to do it. When no one is pushing you to do it in "time", when no one is telling you: are you crazy, we cannot have this here, we could be sued, noone wil buy it etc... It's really more fun... Believe me, guys.
Weapons:
We plan to use as much realistic weapons as possible. We will have futurisitic weapons (it newer versions of existing guns) and some sci-fi like plasma, but only those which are at least bit "real" . So no magic sparks, chain lightings etc.
New guns will be mostly just new inventory items - different statistics, different picture, but it has to be same as original guns - ie pistol, rifle, smg, etc.
Anything really new would mean game code changes - and without BIS giving us complete source codes.... almost impossible
Weapons from Norway?
I dunno if this place where the rigth place to post this, but just move it if it where not. I migth come up whit some ides whit weapons or something from Norway later.
NPC interaction:
As I was writing NPC dialogues for almost whole weekend, I can say they will be really "live" and talkative ones.... Especially those you can get to your party of course...
Good vs Evil:
We want to give the player as much freedom as possible. Most of main quests can be finished both as "good" and as "evil".
We don't want Yurop world to be "black" and "white". Mostly it will be "gray". Almost noone entirely evil, almost noone entirely good. You'll see in time
Kids in Yurop?
Kids should be present.
Will there be multiple endings?
Many endings.... many...
Special Encounters:
It seems you might get a Futurama encounter in Yurop, a new car and an encounter with a weird norwegian
They also need some help translating Yurop into different languages, so send an email to Shigor ( shigor@volny.cz )if you want to help.
Link: Fallout Yurop

Posted by Odin - at 12:21

ColJack once again posted a new thread, this time they're showing off a new area. Behold the grassy, greeny city of Elko:

Looking good, it's great to see new areas that will be in this mod! But it's awfully green tho...
Link: Mutants Rising

Posted by Odin - at 10:11

JE once again appeared in the IPLY forums and answered some questions, here's JE's take on in-game music:

I think the ambient style of Fallout's soundtrack should be used in any future Fallout sequels. Mark Morgan would be an ideal choice.
Agreed, notice how he dodged this one (the question was actually what kind of music to put in Van Buren).

JE on the Enclave (have we seen the last of them?):
Even if you've seen the last of the Enclave, that doesn't mean every aspect of their presence is immediately erased. At the end of FO2, the oil rig is trashed and it's reasonable to assume that Navarro would fall apart over time even if you took the stealth route through the base. However, the Chosen One is like a wasteland Johnny Appleseed, at best only giving access to Enclave technology and at worst collecting and redistributing it to a variety of NorCal merchants.

Certainly more sense can be made of the Enclave (even if the organization is wholly absent from the game), but to ignore their presence in the FO2 storyline seems extreme.
Swords in Van Buren?:
No plans for any swords in Van Buren.
and he answered a followup question, if no swords at least give us an oversized lawnmower blade:
This is certainly possible.
Je on Tag bonus:
It's possible that I may make the tag bonus be 24, since that makes the bonus equally divisible into 1, 2, 3, and 4. However, even now I think that +20 is a pretty hefty bonus on top of the accelerated points : ranks ratio. +12 would certainly tone things down (and be equally divisible by 1, 2, 3, and 4), but it still doesn't solve the bonus problem when the skill rank "crosses the barrier" during the increase. Unspent fractions would probably be lost.
JE on critical hits and called shots:
Well, overall I can say I'd like to see fewer damage multipliers, more crippled limbs, more severe penalties to hit the eyes, and crits that ignore a portion of the armor, but never bypass it completely.
Well, that caps the latest topics Je's answered. What's your take on all this ?

Posted by Briosafreak - at 0:37

Well by now you all have seen the concept art we posted on the front page, showing the work of Chris Applehans , a talented artist who does some work for Black Isle Studios. J.E. Sawyer has some comments on concept art and Fallout 3:

* Some concept artists like to accentuate defining elements of a style in a style guide by exaggerating features. This is especially important if the model constructed from the concept is going to be relatively small when viewed in the game. If you took the Fallout characters in metal armor and blew them up to full-screen size, head on, their armor would also look pretty exaggerated.

* I believe there are three distinct visual styles in the Fallout series: Vault, Wasteland, and Enclave. Vault is sterile, clean, retro-50s sci-fi with lots of dorky looking doo-dads, Jacob's ladders, vacuum tubes, diodes, horn-rimmed glasses, plastic-looking hair, etc. Key ideas: optimism, naivete, bland and sterile survival. Wasteland is dirty, broken, mish-mash 50s with a few earlier and later elements. Things half-working, salvaged and pieced together. Key ideas: pessimism, immorality, brutality, survival of the fittest. Enclave is clean, futuristic, sleek, powerful, and quick. Integrated circuits, ergonomic designs, lightweight materials, advanced science. Key ideas: pragmatic realism, amorality, power and grace, winner's history.

I think Fallout generally is best represented as roughly 60% Wasteland, 30% Vault, 10% Enclave.


Very interesting , and notice how i put something in bold, then look a bit down on this page...
Link: BIS Feedback Forum thread

News for Monday, July 7, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 13:28

Well the first version of the Van Buren FAQ is online, this is only the first draft and there will be changes to it. Good Work NCR_Ranger, Briosafreak and Sammael!

News for Sunday, July 6, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 0:52

Chris Applehans is an artist that sometimes works for Black Isle Studios. He`s the man that brought us the famous Gasbot.
Now he brings us this pic called Junkyard:



And this one called pc_wasteland:

Sweet!
The idea that this may be art destined to Fallout3 doesn`t have official confirmation, so we can`t confirm it or deny it.
So until then i`ll leave a couple more pics from that talented artist:




thanks NCR_Ranger for the heads up.

News for Saturday, July 5, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 22:28

Well Slasher has an announcement:

Hello !
I'm looking for someone to retake this site. There are several reasons, one of these is that I would like to consecrate more time to my first passion : Heavy Metal music (and for my other site : www.HeavyMetalMaster.com).
If you have good skill in php and sql, and if you have enought free time to work on this site, send me an email to slasher@heavymetalmaster.com. The site is actually on my own server, so the first thing to do will be to transfer the files and the database to another server.
I think that the best thing would be to create a team for this site. Yous can use the forum to talk about it.
If you are interested, I will only ask you one favour : do not delete the Heavy Metal Master's banner. I need it to promote my other site. Thank you.

So if there are any candidates for webmasters that like Fallout Mods this is your time to have your own site.
Link: Fallout`s Mod Center

Posted by Briosafreak - at 22:21

The Fallout:Guns`n Bullets total conversion for Max Payne has some news:

I'm back from silence with 6 shots showing 5 different mutants, they can be viewed from the media section. We also got our own forum thx to MPHQ, so go there if you have something to ask about this project, I will also publish updates there.

Well they do know how to make models, and as a plus Max Payne is one of Miroslav favourite games, so good luck F:GAB.

Posted by Odin - at 15:44

ColJack posted this thread in their forums, it's a picture of one of the areas they've made. Here's Cedar City:

Looking good, looking good! I'm really anxious to play this mod!

Posted by Odin - at 15:34

JE replied to a thread about Stimpacks/medical skills in Fallout 3, and without further ado:

In general, I think that any medical supplies the player finds should be useful, but more useful when the character has a high Medic skill. Medics should be able to heal wounds (as usual), fix crippled limbs (which will be more common), detox characters, and build first aid kits, doctor bags, stimpacks, and a variety of drugs.
wasn't something new, but I do agree!

News for Friday, July 4, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 23:41

How skills are derived in the new SPECIAL according to J.E. Sawyer:

* they start at 0. tag! skills start at 20.
* they do not have a % symbol behind them, as it makes no goddamned sense.
* the cost on a per-rank basis is 1 for ranks 1-50, 2 for 51-100, 3 for 101-150, and 4 for 151-200 (maxxxx). each rank bought for a tag! skill is doubled.
* each skill has a bonus applied to all rolls that is equal to three ability score values (AG*3 or CH*2 + IN or ST + AG + PE, etc.)
* perks that require skill values only look at the rank, not the rank + bonus. e.g.: you want to take Advanced Research; the prerequisites are IN 8, PE 6, science 175. if the character's science only has 168 ranks, but it's effectively 182 because of his high IN and PE, he won't qualify.
This was spoted at the Something Awfull Forums where he got this curious reply by someone called Zap:
So, that means a tag skill will go .5 for 1-50, 1 for 51-100, 1.5 for 101-150, and 2 for 151-200? The only problem i see is a 1.5 where you will be required to spend 2 points for 3. Not a big deal, unless you post on NMA. I thougth that you wanted to nerf the above 100 in a skill?
No comments.

Posted by Odin - at 13:44

The guys over at The Wastes have yet again updated the build of The Wastes, we're now up to version 1.4, here's what Gage said:

The Wastes RC1.4 has been released. Most of the fixes are balance tweaks based on input from the team members and the community at large, so hopefully you guys will have more fun with the new weapon updates. The only major "fix" is for now 3rd person laser beams are removed, so for now network saturation problems are eliminated but mainly from feature removal. last but not least I do not intend for these releases to just be bugfixes. As I'm sure alot of you are aware this mod, while fun, cannot survive on Deathmatch alone. That is all I really want to say for now, and I hope the mod is stable and balanced enough now that I can work on adding now features and not refining old ones. Expect an important announcement very soon!
Snazzy Gage, keep us informed !

Posted by Odin - at 13:41

When you least expect it (ermm..well) the guys over at Wasteland 2042 updates their web site, here's what Bitterman said:

Way late on the update, today. I over slept. I thought, to myself, as I went to bed late last night, that I would just finish the update when I woke up. When I did wake up, I found an angry mob of people waiting for me at the forum. You guys really do look forward to this update every week.

Which is why it pains me to say, that this week is the last Vehicle update. We want to save some stuff for the upcoming release, and one less thing for us to write gives us more time to work on the mod, thus getting it out faster. Now don't worry, we'll continue updating the site with Weapons, and the weekly Comic. But this is the last Vehicle, for a while.

Enough sad news, onwards to the update.

This week brings us the Oil Tanker. Something we were going to save, but we decided since this is the last one for a while, we may as well give it to you. On the weapons side, we've got the Crow Bar.

As for the Comic. Well, I'm not the only one running late today, FeRdI had an exam today. He is, however, working on the comic as I type this, and we'll have that for you later today.
Great stuff Bitterman !!

News for Thursday, July 3, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 20:35

Well it seems JE also wants to change the NPCs and this time he's suggested the following:

I'd like to allow Persuasion to give the player the potential to control their CNPCs in combat (single selection at a time). CNPCs who are in good health, are not raving psychotics, and are not facing mortal enemies will typically be controllable within the PC's area of influence. Also, in RT, pausing is a must. I honestly can't fathom what the player gains from not being able to pause and issue new commands.
Isn't this just a fancy way of telling us the NPCs isn't actually None Player Controlled characters, but rather a blend between party controlled characters (ala Baldurs Gate) and the NPCs (ala Fallout). It could make the NPCs more useful atleast, care to comment ?
Link: Thread about CNPCs

Posted by Odin - at 20:04

Well a thread about races in Fallout 3 and should we be able to start as different races has made some answers come out, Puuk aka Damien Foletto said this:

....playing a ghoul, or super mutant, would result in a lot of prejudicial treatment by the smooth-skinned locals. It would definitely be a different playing experience. The player would have to carefully weigh how much emphasis he would put into his speech skills just to avoid getting in a lot of fights, or at least heavy emphasis on stealth skills. Also, not every human would instantly go homicidal on a ghoul or super mutant on first sight. In fact, a ghoul or super mutant might be able to use their scary appearance as an intimidation tool. Just because the PC is a ghoul or super mutant does not mean they must fight through the whole game; the player would just have to play strategically.
So would having a different race make the Fallout storyline go down in flames? Actually I like the idea of having the choice of a different race. It certainly can make the story interesting and I don't see it corrupting the Fallout storyline since you would then probably be presented with a different view. JE also said this which indicated that this Fallout game would not revolve around a big major quest to get something (ala fed-ex quest):
Maybe you don't actually start out in home sweet home. And maybe the whole primary plot doesn't revolve around a fed-ex quest to save your community.
You can all read the entire thread right here.

Posted by Odin - at 19:47

Well for those of you who actually read the interview with JE Sawyer here on NMA, you would have noticed this little bit:

So would I, but I don't get to decide that, unfortunately. It will probably be TB with a RT component, and it's likely that there will be a co-op multiplayer mode.
Well this has stirred some minds and other have embraced it, a follow-up answer from JE is here:
I've never liked multiplayer components in these sorts of RPGs. They work pretty well in games like Diablo because the whole game is set up primarily for multiplayer fun. From the way the engine loads and unloads levels to the way dialogues work, Diablo and its kin are made for that. Multiplayer components in games/engines geared towards single player seem like the single player game but with more annoyance and less fun. That's just my take on it.
Well does quite give us any answers, but heck..So what's your take on Co-op in Fallout 3? Leave your comments and state your opinion!

Posted by Odin - at 13:47

SaintP got word that Je Sawyer had posted a thread in the SomethingAwful forums, where he's asking the people there what they think about his Combat combos (you know ala beat'em up games).

I belive Saint Proverbius nailed it:

Where's the lub, JE?
Yeah, where is the lub, JE!

Posted by Briosafreak - at 2:03

J.E. Sawyer now posted his views about unarmed combat in Fallout3:

If the advantage of firearms is range and damage at the cost of ammo conservation, and the advantage of melee is in reliability and good potential damage from powered weapons at the cost of (usually) range and less overall damage than firearms, then (IMO), the advantage of unarmed should be in flexibility at the cost of range and damage.

The highly skilled unarmed character should always have at least two moves to perform for each AP level between 2 and 10. Because interface limitations can be overcome in a future Fallout title, the unarmed character should have access to half of these attacks with one click-hold-release. Each move should have its own benefits and drawbacks so that a healthy amount of the moves stay useful throughout the game.

The moves could be split into these groups: hand attacks, hand combos, foot attacks, foot combos and hand-foot combos. For example, the character could have Jab, Cross, Uppercut, Elbow Smash, Backhand, Sucker Punch, Spearhand, and Ridgehand as standard hand attacks, each with their own AP cost, bonus or penalty to hit, DT modifier, and damage. However, the character could also gain "two-in-one" combos.


He then writes much more on the subject, go and read the full thing here.

News for Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 21:27

The Part2 of the J.E. Sawyer interview starts with a couple of questions about himself:

What are your favourite computer games of all time?
Darklands, Pool of Radiance, Fallout.

What one of those games would you most like to work on given all the financing and time you want and why?
Darklands. Unlike the Fallout series, Darklands has been totally and completely abandoned, but the game was terrific. If money were no object, I'd love to make a new Darklands game set in either "Greater Germany" or another part of 15th century Europe.

Then NCR_Ranger asked J.E. Sawyer to comment on Chris Avellone (MCA) -the author of the Fallout Bible that has now left Black Isle Studios- ideas about Fallout3 and the Fallout world:
MCA: I would prefer TB combat. And no multiplayer.
Sawyer: So would I, but I don't get to decide that, unfortunately. It will probably be TB with a RT component, and it's likely that there will be a co-op multiplayer mode.

MCA: 80s Sci-Fi is bad. The point of Fallout is that the world functions much the way people of the 50s believed a sci-fi/post-holocaust world would be. And it obeys the same physics, to boot.
Sawyer: I don't know if 80s sci-fi is automatically bad, but yes, a lot of Fallout's pseudo-science is based in 50s pop culture or nuclear war beliefs among the public.

MCA: Weapons and automobiles (if any) should be rare. I do not think there should be real-world weapons.
Sawyer: Mechanized weapons should be rare, but simple ones/improvised ones should still be common. There should not be any NAMED real-world weapons.
Someone may look at a weapon and think "Huh, that looks sort of like an M-16" but it shouldn't be called an M-16
.
MCA: For continuity purposes, I would prefer that all Fallout PC RPG titles have their own continuity outside of other platforms and game genres (FOT), and that other platforms and game genres be regarded as "What if" universes, not canon.
I do not know if that is my decision, however.
Sawyer: Sure.

MCA: I think there are many things that make Fallout what it is: The SPECIAL system. The choices in solving quests. The non-linearity. The ambiance. Hard moral choices. Role-playing, including stupid dialogue and Karma-based responses. A world where locations have rational explanations and reasons for being, as well as economic reasons for how they have survived.
(...)among others. There are some things I think were done poorly in FO2, and they are:
Easter eggs.
Too many jokes, which only undermines the plot.
Lack of a satisfying finale.
Lack of choice in finale.
Not enough choice in some areas.
Real-world weapons.
Super Technology.
Too much sex. I don't think you need an excess of prostitutes to make a game serious and gritty.
The presence of aliens and the supernatural. While I can support the presence of aliens in a Fallout 50's ambiance, I think they distract from the human-centric themes in the game.
Sawyer: Sure.
MCA: There are some things I would want to bring from Planescape, however:
- A strong central theme or multiple ones, preferably sparked by your character.
- Deep NPC relationships that are not about romance.
- Richer NPCs whose lives you can affect dramatically.
- Get XP rewards for exploration, learning things, teaching things, and not just killing.
- Even more importance and focus on the central character; rather than seeking a water chip or a GECK, I'd rather the player tell me what he's looking for as a character, then have the game react accordingly.
Sawyer: I'm not so keen on having deep CNPC relationships, because I think Fallout should be focused on the PC.
That said, they could be a little more involved than they were in the first two games in terms of interaction, personality, and overall goals.The last goal is admirable, but typically leads to players getting a very vague sense of what any driving plot in the story is.
MCA: I would prefer a Fallout that takes a step back from the world in FO2, in a frontier-like area, more in keeping with FO1. I would also like to see certain civilizations' advancement reversed dramatically and violently, as well as perhaps do some general clean-up on the world.
If Black Isle did a Fallout 3, we'd definitely stick with a 50s music feel. No modern day bands.
Sawyer: Yep.


Sawyer also has some news about means of locomotion:
I would like to see another car in a Fallout sequel. The car was useful and not crazy OMG powerful or "unrealistic", even within the setting. However, there probably should be only one car or possibly two (big and slow vs. small and fast).
However, Fallout 3 will probably have other... alternate means of transportation.
Again we thank J.E. Sawyer, Lead Designer on project Van Buren for taking the time to answer this questions, and NCR_Ranger for the good work.

Word goes for your comments now, what do you boys and girls think?

Posted by Briosafreak - at 3:17

Here at No Mutants Allowed we would like to thank J.E. Sawyer for taking the time to give us an interview on Project Van Buren and the Fallout game series, past, present and future, wich will help the effort in doing an unofficial Van Buren FAQ.
The interview was conducted by the Lead FAQ Team Member NCR_Ranger, we thank him aswell for the good work.
Here is Part1 of the interview:

Van Buren Interview-part 1

What are the benefits of using a full 3D engine as opposed to using an engine like Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, which had 3D sprites on pre-rendered backgrounds?
Well, for one thing, it gives the player more ways to view and interact with the environment. 2D isometric engines can cause the player to struggle when attempting to interact with things in the enviroment due to occlusion of walkable terrain behind foreground objects and "wall backs". A fully 3D environment also allows for a more cinematic use of the camera in cutscenes.
Instead of simply having to scroll back and forth or go to a pre-rendered FMV, a 3D engine can move the in-game camera on three axes, change FOV, and other nifty tricks.

Of course, the benefits of fully 3D character models is versatility for
equipment socketing and animation. Adding a new animation onto a layered sprite character is a time-consuming process that involves rendering out each frame of the animation for each equipment combo the character can have during that animation. That problem is entirely avoided in 3D with the proper setup. A character with dozens of different equipment combinations can have an animation added with almost no difficulty.

In your opinion will the engine used in Van Buren capture the atmosphere of the universe it will entail?
Yes. I think it already does. The engine is capable of rendering very detailed scenes. In giving demos to people, I often forget to rotate the camera early one. A few people have asked, five minutes in, "So are only the characters 3D? I thought the whole engine was 3D."
2D scenes will always have pixel-perfect accuracy, of course, but if our engine is good enough to make a number of people think they're viewing a 2D scene, that's not too bad.
So, it will really come down to the style and quality of the art that our team produces. They are capable of some great stuff, so I have no doubt that we will be able to capture the appropriate atmosphere.

Is the basic story for Van Buren laid out in this early stage of development?
Yes.

Are there probable plans to release a demo in the future?
I have no idea, to be honest.

Its no secret Van Buren will be a hybrid between Turn Based and Real Time, can you clarify for all the thousands of Black Isle Studio fans reading this, the reason for making it a hybrid as opposed to one or the other?
TB is a niche that most publishers are unwilling to mine with what is supposed to be a "Triple A" title. Publishers generally cannot be convinced that it will sell well enough to justify the money put towards the project.
Publishers almost always want RT in games. If a developer tells them, "Well, we can only do one or the other," RT is the option they will pick. Given the choice between having a RT and TB component at 80-90% of their potential or RT at 100% without any TB component, we'd rather have the former.

How soon can we expect the first screenshots to be released / ”leaked” ?
I have no idea.
When will Van Buren be officially announced?
I have no idea.
Hypothetical Fallout Questions

If another Fallout game were ever made and you just happened to be the lead designer by chance, would it continue with the bloodline of the Vault Dweller / Chosen One?
Probably not.

Would the game be a sequel, prequel or neither if you had the choice and why would you make this choice?
I'd make it a sequel. I suspect most of the old time players would like to see how life in the wasteland has evolved since the destruction of most of the Enclave. A prequel could be cool but -- not right now.

Should you be able to choose different races as main characters, thus breaking away from tradition?
I think so. I honestly don't think ghouls or super mutants are so fundamentally different from humans that they can't be made into balanced, fun characters.
Are the Fallout Bibles still relevant now that Chris Avellone is no longer a BIS employee?
Sure, they're relevant. That doesn't mean we would be slavishly devoted to them.

What is the “official” ending for Fallout 2?
Oil rig goes boom. Enclave cries. Dogs and cats live together in harmony.
How many times has Fallout 3 been in pre-production but cancelled?
Twice, I think.
To sum up all the debate, make a list of a few things that, in your opinion, would need changing regarding the SPECIAL system, given the opportunity?
The number of skills and what they encompass (especially the science skills), the critical hit subsystem, the DR/DT/armor subsystems, range penalties, called shots, and the unarmed combat subsystem.
What’s the BIGGEST problem with the SPECIAL system, in your humble opinion?
The number of skills and what they encompass.
What makes Fallout a unique RPG J.E?
PLAMSA RIFLES!1!11
Stay tuned to Part 2 of this interview, and the upcoming Van Buren FAQ made by NCR_Ranger, Sammael and the NMA crew.
And lots of things to comment, don`t you guys and girls think?