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News for Sunday, August 31, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 13:32

Toleot has made a new and quite interesting Fallout Tactics mod, called Realistic Gun mod. In his words:

- Changed 1st PreFab Character to Neo (you know who).
WARNING: This character will make the game TOO EASY, even in the most difficult settings. Like the movie, this character is SUPER in everything.
- Changed some weapons characteristics for more realistic feel (maybe... maybe not).
- Fix Farsight picture (Surprise!!!!). If you don't like it and want the original one back,
just delete the file named "CORE_rec_hf03.zar". It's in your "Fallout Tactics\Core\Gui\Char".
- Fix PIPboy character (Special Encounter).
- Changed the Oil Dump encounter, added some missing weapons (I haven't found them yet in normal means).
- Added some pics I've got from several other portrait packs.
- Added Barrett M82A1 sniper rifle.
- Some minor changes I forgot to note.

Seems snazzy, you can download it here

News for Saturday, August 30, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 16:25

Nothing exciting is happening on the BIS feedback forum, so i`ll leave just a quote by Chad "Briareus" Nicholas on the existence of weak characters that will lead to many reloads or the player to quit them (gimp characters):

I strongly feel that the character creation and skill selection and (more importantly) the implementation of the skills will make it a lot more difficult to build a gimp character in VB than in previous games. That said, if you try hard enough, you can make a gimp if you really want to.

Link: thread@Interplay forums

Posted by Briosafreak - at 16:13

Gene Emery, chief audio engineer Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel was invited to do an interview by Gamespy.
This litle quote says it all:

And you're going to have detractors, who are the real Fallout fans, but I think there's a lot of people out there across America who perhaps don't know about Fallout and will pick this game up and be very satisfied with it, because it is ... an action game.

I couldn`t say it better myself!!
Thanks to Mesc. A. Lyn for pointing me out to this gem Very Happy

News for Thursday, August 28, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 16:08

Celestial has made a new update on his Fallout2 Patch 1.05. On his own words:

It fixes a bug with leaving the reactor room on the Enclave and adds the Rangers Map missing in the 1.05. I don't know when the 1.06 version will be out so I decided to fix these two bugs now.

Great job, you can all get this small fix here or here.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 0:55

On the BIS feedback boards aVENGER had a question about the Protagonist on Fallout3 having a voice or not, J.E. Sawyer had this to say:

Even more than with "inappropriate" portraits, many people cannot stand hearing their character talk in a way contrary to how they would like their character to talk. I think the PC should be silent outside of ordinary "ouch" sounds.

And Chad "Briareus" Nicholas had this to say on the question of cutscenes:
The previous Fallouts had FMV as well as in-game cutscenes and Van Buren will be no different. How many FMV scenes we'll have will depend on their importance and how complicated the scene is.[...] We should have cutscenes if they are important in conveying information to the player. Not to achieve some sort of arbitrary ying-yang balance between types of cutscenes.

News for Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 1:50

Happy birthday Tim Cain!

And good luck in the future.
Thanks Ausir, spotted on DAC.

News for Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Posted by Dan - at 22:30

Mr. Teatime asked a question about cinematics in Van Buren:

Will the cutscenes in VB be in-engine, like Warcraft III, or FMV like previous Fallouts?
Chad "Briareus" Nicholas gave this reply:
The previous Fallouts had FMV as well as in-game cutscenes and Van Buren will be no different. How many FMV scenes we'll have will depend on their importance and how complicated the scene is.

Link: Thread@Iply

News for Monday, August 25, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 17:59

A request to those that have registered on NMA forums in the last weeks, if you haven`t received the confirmation e-mail, and that`s what happened for the majority of you guys and girls, since we`re having a problem with the mails send by the Forum system, please send me a mail at with your nick so i can activate your accounts. Please DO NOT send your passwords.

This problem together with the Topic Reply notifications not beeing send and error messages showing up while you`re posting or sending PMs, although they get posted/sent, is something we`re working to try to get fixed , we`re very sorry about those problems.

News for Sunday, August 24, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 17:56

J.E. Sawyer replied to doubts about the time and budget BIS has to do Fallout3:

I think we have enough time to get a very good game done. I'm often the first person on the team to cry, "This feature is not worth the time it takes to implement." Right now, I'm just focusing on the nuts and bolts, the basics, and working up from there.

Also Chad "Briareus" Nicholas clarified what he meant on this post:
The state machine for every NPC in the game is already setup for time cycles. Which NPCs actually end up getting timed cycles and how complex those cycles are will depend on the amount of dev/qa time we get.

We should remember he`s talking about NPC`s in general and not companions.
I hope they can make a world that really feels alive, what do you guys and girls think?
Links: J.E. Sawyer post and Briareus post

News for Friday, August 22, 2003

Posted by Dan - at 23:03

In this thread at the Interplay message boards, Leop said he would like the NPC's in Van Buren to be more interesting and have real personalities.

Chad "Briareus" Nicholas replied:

While it's technically possible to do that in Van Buren, whether or not it gets done will depend on how much time we have.
This isn't the first time we hear about Van Buren/Jefferson's engine abillty to support NPC behavior, it can really add depth to the world.

Posted by Dan - at 22:51

Richard "Akari" Taylor, BIS Programmer, made a little comment about unarmed weapons in Van Buren:

The engine supports 'weapons' that would augment your kicks just as it supports weapons that augment your punches. Not sure what the actual kick-augmenting stuff would be as of yet, but the code is in place to handle it.
Link: thread

Posted by Dan - at 15:24

Damien "Puuk" Foletto answered a bunch of questions about project Van Buren over in this thread at the interplay boards.

King of Crooks asked five question, and got five answers:

1. What do you guys think about enviro-armor?

Environmental suits = good. Will they have actual armor capabilities? Not sure.
2. JE made this comment about powerfists: "Yes. I believe they should not replace the unarmed attacks, but augment them.", won't this make kick attacks useless?
It depends on the kick, I suppose. I know there will be a flurry type of kick that is similar to burst for a gun (the flurry type of kick would hit multiple, close targets like a burst). I don't think you can do a flurry type of punch with a power fist, but I could be wrong. WOW! That was helpful, huh?
3. Radiation and poison: are they going to be as laughable as before or are you going to make them more serious?
Not sure what you mean by "laughable," but the way I understand how they will be in Van Buren, radiation will eventually kill you if not treated (it did in FO 1 & 2), and poison will depend on the type of poison - some kill, some paralyze, etc.
4. Are the XP rewards going to be the same for good and evil paths, or are you going to force us to play good? (like Bioware does)
It should be the same for both good and evil. We're not going to tell you or guide you one way or another. If you want to go through the main quest being Captain Evil, there's nothing to stop you. The main quest is not driven by good or evil. It's up to the player to make that distinction.
5. Animations for crippled limbs? Any mutilations possible?
Not sure, to be honest. I do remember a limp animation for Jefferson, and since we're using the same engine, I'd imagine the limp animation is still there. You can count on the trademark gore-fest, though. Wouldn't be Van Buren without it.

News for Thursday, August 21, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 19:22

Bitterman sends word of an update on the Wasteland2042 site, here`s what he has to show:

As we draw closer to a potental release, we've decided to lift the lid on some of our more exotic creations, on the weapons front.
So today brings us the Hush Puppy. What's a Hush Puppy, you ask? It's cornmeal, meat, and seasoning rolled into a delicious ball form, of course. But seriously, inquire within the weapons page, for more info.
And then when you're done there, hit the new forums. As we struggle to rebuild our community to what it once was, before the server mishap, we urge you to do your part by heading to the forums, register, and join in discussion brainstorming, or just general moral support for the mod. Remember, if you don't speak Swedish, there's a handy drop box at the very bottom of the page, to switch to English so that you may register.

Sounds good, thanks for the heads up Bitterman.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 19:14

Locke Taelos has finnaly posted the rules, prizes and everything you need to know about the Nurk fiction contest:

Alright it's now time to officially announce the first annual Nurk fiction contest. I'm not sure what this means really as I just developed it and the adjectives "first" and "annual" make it sound a whole lot better than what it is; however, first and foremost this is all in good fun.
Some of you may come in here wanting to get your greedy little paws on the prizes. Well in case you are wondering what the prizes are before you get your greedy little paws on them I'll tell you.
Grand Prize: The Omega Man - One of the more popular post apocalyptic movies which stars Charlton Heston.
1st Runner up: One pack of anti-radiation (iodide pills) to keep you from getting thyroid cancer in case of nuclear attack.
2nd Runner up: The first Deathlands novel: Pilgrimage to Hell by Jack Adrian

You can see the rest on this thread on the Nurk forums, thanks Bitterman for the heads up.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 14:28

Our regular news poster Dan has joined another project, now in the realms of The Temple of Elemental Evil , Tim Cain new game set to be released soon, beeing made by Troika.
The site is called Circle of Eight and it has a Polish and an English version.
So good luck for the Circle of Eight team, that has a number of familiar nicks:

-The Co8 Team
Ausir (site owner and general admin guy), Dan (news and content -- English side), Freud (PHP coding), PrzeSkod (news and content -- Polish side), Rex Exitium (HTML coding and graphics), Sammael (news and content -- English side), Spazmo (news and content -- English side), Zed (GamesNet channel), Spider (IrcNet channel). lofdnes (graphics - Polish side)

Posted by Briosafreak - at 14:00

Nothing like waking up in the morning, and getting tips by sebmesc, Dhruin and Miroslav on one of the sillyest interviews of the year.
Gamezone has made an interview with Chuck Cuevas, the man leading the FOBOS team. They placed Fallout:Tactics pics all over the interview, nice going there Very Happy
Just a zip:

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of creating this game? What do you think will draw players to it and impress them the most?

Chuck: 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 shit more then others gamers.

Yeah, it really blows, the game...
Also spotted on the snazzy DAC and great RPGDot .

News for Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 23:29

Here`s a request by Bitterman from the wonderfull creative group that goes to the Nurk site:

Hi, I'm Bitterman. You may remember me from such sites as Desolation, or Nurk. Or the upcoming Battlefield 1942 modifiction: Wasteland 2042. So my man Locke of Nurk, is trying to follow Skeller's lead and start up a Nurk Fiction Contest. So I'm doing my piece, to help my dear friend out. I urge all of you, head to Nurk, sign up on the forum, and let Locke know you'll throw your name in the hat for this here fiction contest. I know for a fact, he's got a great little prize in store for First Place. It's one thing to not be able to draw, but we're all literate. Otherwise you couldn't have read this far in the post. And if you can read, you can surely write. Nurk needs you. Don't let us down.

Say hello to Locke for me Bitterman, we miss his writing talents here on NMA.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 23:04

I just spoted this at the snazzy DAC, Max Violence’s Map Hub has a few new goodies for Fallout Tactics mappers:

* new tiles made by Senor Deluxe
* an SMG sprite pack by seraglio
* a rifle sprite pack, also by seraglio
* a rather large sprite pack by macbeth. VERY large sprite pack

So go on and check Max Violence’s Map Hub

Posted by Briosafreak - at 22:56

Slow days on the Iplay forums, but still we have a couple of quotes for you guys and girls. We start with Damien "Puuk" Foletto talking about Power Armour:

Let's not forget that the feel of the Fallout environment is a 1950's interpretation of the future and it's technology. Modern PA, like the one exampled in this thread, looks, imo, too contemporary. That does not mean we can't have "light" PA, but it should not look like something out of a Vin Diesel (or insert your own action star to get the point across) action flick.

And J.E. Sawyer had this to say on stances:
Stances make animators cry.
Crouch, prone, and standing stances. When you add in crouching and prone positions, you effectively multiply the number of combat animations by three.
Let's say you have sixty combat animations. Firing weapons, walking with weapons, reloading weapons -- all that jazz. If you want the characters to be able to do that while crouching and prone, you now need one hundred and twenty additional animations per skeleton.
Two PCs at 200 animations (400 total) go to two PCs at 320 animations (640). That's a pretty big jump. You've effectively killed off about half a dozen creatures from your game just to accommodate PC combat stances.
And if you want all creatures in the game to be able to crouch and go prone, you need to multiply all of their combat animations by three.

Link: BIS feedback forum

Posted by Briosafreak - at 1:04

A new version of the Fallout3 FAQ is now online, version 0.4.9 updates a few things, but it mainly serves as a basis for version 0.9, where you boys and girls will be able to comment and request info in a more interactive way.
Anyway here is a zip on some new info from the FAQ:

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.

Power armor should look almost identical to the PA in the original game.

And thanks go to DJSlamák for joining the FAQ team, starting in the next version.

News for Monday, August 18, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 23:47

A warning by Kharn about a few problems we`re having with the forum:

We hope this is a temporary problem and if it isn't, we'll look into fixing it. In the mean-time, here's a heads-up:
When posting or sending pms, you might get the following error message:

Failed sending email ::


Line : 225
File : /usr/local/etc/httpd/
This error message does not mean your post has not been sent. If you get this message, your post will have been posted. If you want to be sure, you can use the back button to save your message (with CTRL-C) and then you can reload the thread to check if your message was posted. DO NOT just repost your message, this will lead to double posts.

This has happened to people that were registering in our boards too, if you don`t receive the confirmation e-mail contact us at the usual mails or through, and we`ll see what we can do.
Again sorry, this is temporary and we`re working on it.
Edit: there are still a few problems but things are much better now. The same can`t be said of the Interplay message boards who lost an entire month of posts... they are trying to get them back, we`ll see...

Posted by Briosafreak - at 19:34

Just spotted in the great Polish post-apoc site Wastelands Rangers that a trailer of an amateur Czech film based on the Fallout world was released. If you know Czech this might be fun.
And remember to check the Fallout3 Polish FAQ at the Fallout Almanach, and enjoy the great layout.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 17:12

Here`s the transcript of a Q&A session between Gangor and J.E. Sawyer on the BIS feedback forum about hand-to-hand combat in Fallout3:

Would you say that a HtH character would be equally able to defeat any given group of enemies as a marksman character?

It depends on the combatants and the environment. There should be cases where the marksman excels and cases where the HTH specialist excels.

How do you change from one stance to another? Does it take extra action points?

I imagined it would be yet another option listed among attacks (like reloading). I figured it would cost a low number of AP.

How do you plan to reconcile your large number of options for HtH characters with the necessity of having a clean, simple interface?

Right-click on the weapon to cycle through weapon options. Right-click and hold to get an exploded, stacked list of weapon options that expand up and out. Release to select the prefered option (but not use it).

Do you still plan to include power fists et al? How will they work?

Yes. I believe they should not replace the unarmed attacks, but augment them.

Thumbs up to Gangor for the interesting questions.

News for Saturday, August 16, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 18:35

The ideas behind Power Armour and Advanced Power Armour caused quite a coontroversy on the BIS feedback forum. There`s too much information for me to put here, so i advise you guys and girls to go there and check the thread, but here are some highlights from posts made by J.E. Sawyer:

What is so hard to understand about the idea that power armor isn't for stealth operations and light recon? The people wearing power armor are capable of withstanding heavy machinegun fire, grenades exploding at their feet, and anti-tank weapons shot into their torsos. Wherever they go, they clang, clang, clang around and draw fire from everything. Exactly why the person wearing PA would need improved sensors -- or better yet, why its designers would justify putting improved sensors on an object that's going to be the focus of sensory overload -- I don't see it.
What "our soldiers" use isn't relevant, because our soldiers can't withstand firepower like PA soldiers can.

You can continue to make ridiculous hyperboles out of the things I post and I can pay less and less attention to them. Or you can actually accept that I suggested the possibility of a decrease in PE while wearing power armor, and not act like I said that it should drop the wearer's PE by 5. A reasonably skilled person in PA with their PE lowered by 1 would still be massively deadly at range against a host of enemies not in power armor. It's really that simple.

The "philosophy" of the person who made those random encounters was, and this is a quote from several members of the F2 dev team: "It's my job to kill the player."
Yep, that's it. Just kill 'em. That was his philosophy.
I like to believe this philosophy will not be carried in our future titles.

Again these bits can`t be taken out of context, so go on and check the whole deal here.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 18:06

Fallout has been featured on GameSpot in their Greatest Games of All Time series, here`s a zip:

If you consider yourself a fan of role-playing games, but you've never played Fallout, then you should be completely ashamed of yourself, you horrible person. Go sit in the corner! But seriously, although this first role-playing game from Black Isle Studios showed up quietly on PC store shelves back in 1997, it's now remembered reverently by most anyone who had the pleasure of playing it. Set in a postapocalyptic future, Fallout features not only a unique setting, but also one of the most successful implementations of open-ended gameplay to date.

Snazzy, spotted this at the great RPGCodex.

Posted by Odin - at 0:43

I'm finally leaving for a little holiday, going to Naxos for two weeks. Hopefully Briosafreak, Kharn, Dan and Miro will fill you in on the news while I'm gone. Briosafreak is doing such a great job, so I know NMA is in good hands while I'm gone!

I know I'll drink quite alot for you guys while I'm down there and get my white body a nice tan, watch out girls..Here I come!! 8)

News for Friday, August 15, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 19:36

Bitterman from the Wasteland 2042 mod has some news for you guys and girls:

Firstly, the site has moved to a new host:
Update your bookmarks.
Secondly, we're getting back into the swing with the weekly updates in a big way, with the posting of the .44 Magnum Revolver
Also, be sure to hit the new forum, at
If you can't read Swedish, don't worry, there is a drop box at the very bottom of the page where you can change it to English.

Be sure to change your bookmark to the new url, and keep up the good work Bitterman.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 15:14

Fallout Bible wizard and former BIS member Chris Avellone, now working in Obsidian studios, has been featured in the AD Personam series of interviews on RPGDot. Here`s a zip:

My job is apparently to grow older, but at least I'm not as old as Tim Cain, who, according to reports, breathes out a cloud of mummy dust every time he talks. I wanted to do computer RPGs ever since I saw one of my friends playing Bard's Tale 2 on his Commodore. I went to college at William and Mary where I got a piece of paper that said I have a bachelor's degree in English. I started writing a bunch of short stories and RPG material after that, some of which got published. Most of it didn't. It was enough to get me hired at Interplay, and I've been here ever since. I think it's been six or seven years. Maybe it's eight. I've worked on Starfleet Academy, Die by the Sword, Conquest of the New World, Red Asphalt, Planescape: Torment, Fallout 2, Icewind Dale 1, Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter, Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster, Icewind Dale 2, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (with Snowblind Studios), and Lionheart (with Reflexive Entertainment). There's been other projects, too, I'm sure, but they never saw the light of day. My Mom still isn't exactly clear on what I do on a day-to-day basis, and neither am I.

Remember to keep in touch MCA!

Posted by Briosafreak - at 15:05

In the BIS feedback forum triCritical has made an interesting question:

So did anyone like the idea of an APA that was less like normal PA and more suited for other characters like sniper's, and guerrila commando's rather then straightfoward brute force combat. In other words, little to no addition in strength, and some addition to perception and agility. This way we do not have FO2 linearization of the combat character.

J.E. Sawyer replied:
I do not. However, I do like the idea of power armor not being "the best armor". I think power armor should be "the best heavy armor", which means that there are alternate armors in the same tier as power armor. I also think there should be some significant drawbacks to power armor. Very difficult to sneak, lower AG, possibly lower PE (there's nothing on the power armor helmet that looks like it would actually enhance perception). But, it should definitely be the best armor for actually protecting the wearer from damage.
Combat armor, should, I think, be the compromise between protection and agility. And I've previously suggested an ultra-lightweight high-end armor that has some cool advantages other than standard protection.
Now, what should the tier above that tier be? That's a good question. America developed power armor, so the Enclave's APA is as good as the world is going to get (barring the intervention of something currently outside what "we" know about the Fallout universe) within spitting distance of Fallout 2's timeline. However, the look of APA in whatever form could certainly be somewhat different from the Fallout 2 APA. Really, after looking at a lot of renders from Fallout 1, the exact details of standard power armor vary slightly in different places. Examine the power armor in the opening movies, then compare it to power armor on your character, then compare it to the shoulders of Rhombus' and Cabbots' talking heads. Small differences, but changing the details can have a huge effect on the overall appearance.

Now there`s some interesting points worth of your comments.

News for Thursday, August 14, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 2:53

Damien "Puuk" Foletto from BIS has made a clarification on a subject many fans have spoken, right here on NMA:

I'm seeing a lot of requests for more than a handful of different human skins (and I agree), so let me clear something up - hopefully. Since we are using a new engine for "Van Buren," the same rules that apply for PC visual customizations applies to the human NPC's. Different clothes, skin colors, hair, height, fat, skinny, muscular, etc., all apply. The only time you would really see any clothing repeats are for humans in uniform. Hope this helps.

Diversity is always cool.
Link: NMA Fallout 3 Suggestions and Ideas forum

News for Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 21:56

Oh golly, have interviewed Chuckie about FBos. The downside to this video-interview is that it's for subscribers only, so I can't view it or listen to the ideas of Chuckie (bummer!). If anyone has access to this and can give me a lowdown on the questions and answers, do email me about it.
Link: IGN interviews Chuckie

Posted by Briosafreak - at 18:43

Mr. Teatime has brought to our attention the fact that the Van Buren/Fallout3 FAQ had honours of a link in the September issue of PCGamer UK. Here is how it looks:

It`s inside a feature on RPGs, where they talk about Neverwinter Nights and the rumours on Fallout3:

Thanks Mr. Teatime and axelgreese for the heads up, now go on and buy the mag if you`re interested, i know i will 8)
Check the 640*480 versions of the first and second pic

News for Monday, August 11, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 19:51

RatPoiZon posted a thread in our forums that the mod for Unreal Tournament 2003 called Shattered Oasis is out (it's inspired by Fallout), so get on over and download it now. Here's a little from the story:

Thousands of years of battle over good and evil have brought Earth and its inhabitants to this time and place. Scattered Compounds filled with people seeking to live in secluded harmony, apart from others. It was the others that people never trusted. So, like minded people found shelter and set up their compounds to live a life they believed to be best suited for man. The Compounders never wanted to impose their limited viewpoint on others and wished the same towards them. Throughout the world, in different climates, groups gathered to form their own societies. Occasionally trading goods and services and even trading daughters of age, these Compounders lived and functioned as they had intended.
Thanks RatPoison!

Posted by Odin - at 19:44

Well in a discussion about playing Fallout 3 evil, Damien 'Puuk' Foletto answered some questions (I've put together the answers):

Will we be able to play the game evil?

Even more so than the previous titles.

We're trying to make the evil options more sophistcated than mere murder, stealing and lying. I believe true evil is subtle, not in your face, and a lot of the evil quests being designed in Van Buren have subtle evil options. But or course there's the in-your-face ones, too - those also can be fun.

No one said you couldn't end the game evil. I think the evil ending will be very satisfying; very, very satisfying.
So there you have it guys and gals, we can go truly postal in Fallout 3.
Link: Thread@IPLY Forums

Posted by Odin - at 19:37

There is a new Fallout 2 mod in the progress, this one is called: Fallout: Wastes United (Yeah, I know sounds more like a soccer team) and here's what I was told about it:

I have a new Fallout mod we're making, its called Fallout: Wastes United.
So far there isn't much done yet but its moving along nicely and I think its looking pretty good so far. Here's the link below.

but that doesn't always work so if not:

Here's The Story:

Shortly after the destruction of the Enclave, the villagers of Arroyo and the citizens of Vault 13 formed a small colony called Arroyo13 using one of the G.E.C.K.s acquired by the Chosen One. The city prospered, but the citizens could not help but won-der... Whatever happened to Arroyo? And so the Chosen One, John Cassidy, and some others set out, leaving the relative safety of Arroyo13 in search of their homeland. When they arrived, they were shock-ed to find the bridge rebuilt, but the village in disre-pare, the explanation being that the Brotherhood of Steel was now using the Temple of Trials as a base. Why? They would not say. The colonists were allowed to rebuild the village and all was well for a long time.
Now, roughly twenty years after the destruction of the Enclave, you, the Chosen One's child, are sent to Klamath to buy supplies for John Cassidy's tavern. While at the Golden Gecko, you overhear some raiders discussing revenge on your family. After getting the supplies, you rush back to tell your dad. You are sent into the wastes to deal with this new threat, but you cannot do it alone. You must unite the wastes against this new threat.
Damn there's alot of green in this mod, just check out the screenshots..

Posted by Briosafreak - at 16:13

Shigor has send word on an update:

At last some news, I am sorry for being so late. Although I promised you something more than just few new pictures in the gallery, I am extremely busy with other things, but wait just a couple more days. Yurop is moving forward slowly, but steadily. We have few more new team members, first chapter is near the finish and some of team members are already working on some towns from the Yurop

They do have a few new pics, go and check them at the Fallout Yurop site

News for Sunday, August 10, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 23:30

J. E. Sawyer also talked about specific guns in Fallout3:

I would definitely like it if flamethrowers looked more like flamethrowers. I've thought about rocket launcher backblast. I think it's a possibility, but I wouldn't consider it under the old Small Guns / Big Guns / Energy Weapons breakdown. Rocket launchers were pretty crummy, overall, in the last two games.

I would like to see a long-range electrical weapon based off of that neato "phaser" weapon some company is developing.
By the way, the weapon I was referring to is this little dweel:

Good to know he`s not asking for a Vash the Stampead's Gun in Fallout3 like some guy did...
Spotted at DAC
Link: BIS feedback forum

Posted by Briosafreak - at 23:06

In the follow up of this previous news bit J.E. Sawyer has talked a bit more on the inventory for Fallout3, in here he responds to doubts made by Sammael:

Please read the contents of my previous posts where weight was mentioned as a restriction for encumbrance. Fifteen miniguns or anything close to it would completely halt even a 10 ST character.
Would you like a realistic volumetric and weight-based inventory? Okay, you can carry a minigun in your hands, two small sidearms, a backpack full of nothing but ammunition, and maybe a small pouch for keycards. You have no room anywhere for anything larger than a pocket bible. If you're wearing any armor, this assumes that you have a 10 ST, and you are still slowed down.

And afterwards he replies to Morcalavin, which had commented "If it ain't broke, don't fix it":
Okay, this phrase is seriously starting to bug me. It's not a good policy for review and revision. There are a lot of steps above "ain't broke", including "sucks but works, i guess", "awful but functional", and "pretty decent, but still kind of messed up". Modern technology shows us that there's a lot of stuff that can technically work, but still suck.
2nd Ed.'s saving throw subsystem technically worked even though it was completely nonsensical. 2nd Ed.'s dual-classing and multi-classing subsystems technically worked even though they were overly complicated and had loads of arbitrary restrictions. Unless you're Karzak, would you really want to continue using those because they "ain't broke"?
If something works well, on the other hand, there typically isn't any good reason to change it. I think the inventory restrictions in the Fallout games, based on weight, work well. I think that volumetric restrictions could add another element of realism. However, if you're just going to add that layer for realism but you're not really going to put realistic limitations on that volume... I'm not sure what the player is really gaining from that. Weight-based without volume avoids inventory Tetris, which is tedious and un-fun for most people from whom I've received feedback.
"If it works well, don't fix it. If it doesn't work well, fix it."

So what do you guys and girls think of this sentence "If it works well, don't fix it. If it doesn't work well, fix it", and what do you think this means for the development of Fallout3?

News for Saturday, August 9, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 2:54

Well in a thread about what other games you would like to see the Fallout setting, JE answered this thread with this little quote:

I've mentioned this before, but I'd like to see a game set in the Fallout world's Europe during the resource wars that took place there around the 2060s. Focused on team-based multiplayer, I think the gameplay could be a blend of Motocross Madness pacing, Battlefield: 1942 foot and vehicle combat, and slightly longer-than-CS duration rounds. Add in a salvaging elements so you can either repair or strip down damaged vehicles/weapons and use them in the next round. Could be a lot of fun, but not necessarily for Fallout RPG fans.
Actually I'd like to see a Fallout Civilization game, which is why I'm working on one. So if there are any guys who would like to do art/graphics in this TC for Civilization 3, do email me!

Also JE said this about the Power Armour:
I believe it should have its own weight since you get a ST bonus while wearing it. It should be very hard to Sneak in power armor. More and more, I like the slightly more detailed armor breakdown of body/head. That would allow a separate power armor helmet. However, if a character is wearing power armor without a helmet, I think it should still show the blue arming-cap style headwear.
I like the idea of breaking down the armour, acutally I'd like to see more armour in Fallout ie leg armour etc..

Posted by Briosafreak - at 2:07

Asked by Mr. Teatime if the devs are having a good time developing Van Buren/Fallout3 Damien "Puuk" Foletto from BIS had this to say:

I can't think of any other project I'd rather work on. So yes, I'm enjoying it immensely. And yes, we are allowed to be very creative - as long as it's Van Buren-y. Being a big fan of of the setting helps a lot, so it's not hard, at all, to stay within the setting.
That`s the spirit, good show Puuk.

Odin Update: Damien 'Puuk' also told what he actually does on Van Buren:
I'm a content designer on the project. I have three areas that I am responsible for, ranging from small to huge. Content = area design, quest design, dialogues, map creation, critter creation, story implementation, etc. There are currently 5 content designers on VB.

JE is our overlord on VB. He's the one making sure everything is done in a timely manner, done well, and just plain DONE. He's doing a couple of areas, but his main focus is on the technical side - rules, animations, etc. There's probably more - he can answer more about his stuff than I.
I'm still waiting for that naked dance, Puuk! Shake it baby!

Link: BIS feedback boards

News for Friday, August 8, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 21:44

On the BIS feedback forum Leop had this question:

One hoplessly unrealistic thing that seems to be common practise in CRPG's is the inventory.Will this be the same in Fallout 3?

J.E. Sawyer replied this way:
Probably. To be honest, I think RPGs would be incredibly annoying if the PCs were restricted to carrying realistic amounts of equipment.

Then Laslo Laslo asked about inventory mmanagement in Planscape:Torment, ICEWIND DALE and Baldur's Gate. Sawyer replied:
Inventory management was among the lamest aspects of those games. I've never had much of a problem with weight-based inventory, because it's directly related to a character stat specified by the player (ST). The player has control over it, and it's one of the many tradeoffs that they have to consider when setting their ST vs. other primary attributes.
But volume-based, "realistic" inventory? Think about how much even a strong character could "realistically" carry when volume is considered. Now think about how easy it would be to access any of your inventory from inside a backpack. Pretty slow. Tippy Joe with his 80 lb. backpack throwing him off is certainly realistic, but if it costs 15 AP to get a keycard out of your backpack, I don't think anyone's really going to appreciate that.

Mr. Wible then asked what if it was a sort of "Survival" RPG, to wich Sawyer had this to say:
But Fallout really isn't. It isn't Das Schwarze Auge. The setting is post-apocalyptic, but very little emphasis is given to the PC's realistic struggle against the environment (short of radiation).

Thanks go to OutOfArgument for the heads up.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 20:56

Some misc stuff for you guys and girls.
First Chad "Briareus" Nicholas replied to a few doubts from atoga on the DAC boards:

Whatever happened to level requirements for perks?

I prefer just straight skill reqs to level reqs. Having a level req instead of a skill req implies that being level N gives you knowledge of how to disrupt someone's shooting skills when in melee range, rather than actually having melee/unarmed skills. I think it makes the game even more skill based than it already is.

So you're saying level should never come into play? Also, that means much higher skill requirements for perks, which means 'jack of all trades' characters who specialize in nothing in particular aren't going to have much selection in the ways of perks. Furthermore, how do you plan to handle non-skill perks (ie. Mysterious Stranger, which requires a high LK and level 6?) Can people just take them so long as they have the stat?

Why would it mean higher reqs? What level would you have to be as a dedicated melee'er to get 75 points into melee or unarmed?
Jack of all trades get a wider selection, but they do not get the higher power perks until they have a high enough rank in a skill. Jack of all trades = wide distribution of skills, no focus. Jack of all trades = wide distribution of perks, no focus. Makes sense to me.
As for your Mysterious Stranger question, I'd assume that it'd still have a level req. J.E. isn't doing away with level reqs. But really, why should there only be a level req on Bonus HTH Attacks? A player that selects the perk but doesn't have any points in melee or unarmed isn't going to get anything out of the perk anyway.

Next there`s this somewhat old but not reported yet interview on the n00bn00z site where J.E. Sawyer speaks a bit of himself and games, here`s a zip:
Batwingedloony: Nice job. Walk us through a typical day in the life of a lead designer at Black Isle Studios.

JE Sawyer: Well, the typical day of a lead designer usually involves a lot less design than you might think. Black Isle has relatively large design teams, so I have to manage between five and ten people on any given day. This includes people doing area design, dialogue, map layout, and asset creation. Though a lead usually defines the foundation of the game in terms of story, goals, etc., his or her main job is the management of the design team as the team implements the details.

And finnaly DarkUnderlord from Fan Made Fallout has this message regarding this earliear news bit here on NMA:
The php pages can time-out, meaning not all the info loads. To fix this, Temaperacl made .html versions, which are available here:
The problem with that is we're on a case-sensitive server and some of the item names are all capital, while others are lowercase. So some of the red x's you see will actually have images, it's just that the case is different. We'll fix that some time soon.
We'll also have a .zip download of the complete list available soon too, so everyone can download it and use it off-line.
Also, if you thought that item list was neat, check this one out:
That's all the critter details from Fallout 2, including images

Posted by Briosafreak - at 3:36

Obsidian Entertainment is a new company founded by Feargus Urquhart, Chris Parker, Darren Monahan, Chris Avellone and Chris Jones, names that ring a bell to Fallout fans. They have a request to all the professionals that are looking for a new challenge:

Obsidian Entertainment is currently accepting resumes for artists and designers interested in working on next generation role-playing games. For more information, please check out our job board here.

I wish good luck for Obsidian Entertainement on their new ventures.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 0:31

Some thoughts by J.E. Sawyer on Armour in Fallout3:

I believe it should have its own weight since you get a ST bonus while wearing it. It should be very hard to Sneak in power armor. More and more, I like the slightly more detailed armor breakdown of body/head. That would allow a separate power armor helmet. However, if a character is wearing power armor without a helmet, I think it should still show the blue arming-cap style headwear.

Then Spider asked this about the "ayyyyyyy" (working title) Perk:
Doesn't this basically translate to a Skill++ perk that adds somewhere between 10-20 points to your Lockpick, depending on your luck? Or am I missing something (okey, so it has SOME added bonus in the fact that it won't make the skill more expensive when raising it with skill points)? That makes the skill requirement quite high. I think this perk would be WAY more useful at Lockpick 75 or maybe even 50 (but that could be taking it too far).

Sawyer replied:
It requires you to actually punch or kick the object, which makes noise. Fallout characters have a set hearing range, and it's relatively easy to assign sound levels to each action. If the radii of the sound level and the hearing range overlap, the action is heard by the character. If you're trying to be stealthy, this could be problematic. It also automatically opens the door/container (if successful), which could set off traps on them or put you face to face with some bad guy.
E.g.: Frank is sneaking through Vault 82 which is overrun by super mutants. He comes to a locked door, takes out his trusty lockpicks, and goes to work. The difficulty of the door's lock is 85. Frank's skill is 78. He can't open the door. Since this is a pass/fail system, no amount of reloading is going to solve the problem. However, he has Ayyyyyy!, so he targets the door with a punch. BAM! His Luck, 6, is multiplied by two and added to 78. His modified Lockpick skill of 90 opens the door. Ed the Super Mutant is six hexes away and hears the door being punched. He turns around to see a dopey looking human with his fist in the air.
But hey, at least the door is open.

And a more debatable proposition again from Sawyer:
I've suggested merging Throwing with Melee. Melee gets a variety of powered and un-powered weapons that can be used close or at range. Damage is the result of the weapon's inherent deadliness + wielder ST or the result of powered damage (explosions, electric shocks, etc.).

Melee is, not coincidentally, intended to be a middle ground between the "no-ammo", low damage, no maintenance, ultra flexible unarmed attacks and the ammo-driven, high damage, high maintenance, inflexible firearms.

Busy day at the BIS feedback forum

News for Thursday, August 7, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 23:55

First there was this question made by Leop on the BIS feedback boards:

I suppose that by now the story and setting for Van Buren are pretty much ironed out, are they?

Chad "Briareus" Nicholas from BIS replied this way:
Story stuff is usually revealed via designer interviews with a game mag so that the mag can use the word "exclusive" in the story title.

Game mags are you listening? Smile

Next gameart3d posted this on the NMA Fallout3 forum:
Testing games (especially RPGs) takes a very long time and the company cracks the whip to make sure that things are done as quickly as possible. Especially as the dev cycle gets closer to "the end", the testers are going through the game faster and faster.
The testers HAVE TO do everything they can to speed up their play through the game. The obvious conclusion is that more testers are going to have to be spending more time in Real Time mode to speed up the testing process.
Yes, a good test team will make sure to hit all areas, including turned based. But if they need a lot of people really hammering at different areas of the game, I would imagine most will be running RT to get through faster. Therefore, more RT problems will get noticed, and more RT problems will get addressed...

This is what Briareus replied:
All it takes is a simple plan to coordinate which testers are testing what. Assign two testers to each area, one goes through it in RT, the other in TB. Then swap every week or two weeks to keep things fresh.

Problem solved then.
And by the way welcome to NMA Briareus.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 23:16

Here is a message from DarkUnderlord from the Fan Made Fallout project, announcing they now have online a new Fallout 2 Items and Armor comprehensive list:

Thanks to Temaperacl who saved me carpel-tunnel syndrome by making a program that simply sucked all the raw data out of the .pro files, and put it in web format.
The images that aren't there (red x's), simply aren't there. We haven't extracted them from the game yet. That may or may not change depending on our needs for FMF. Also, the lists are in order of ID number, NOT power or damage or anything else. Essentially, you can load up the FO2 Mapper and everything would be in the same order as these lists.
If you run your own Fallout web-site (DaC, NMA, Scotty the Great, The Hub) you are more than welcome to copy/save/upload/whatever you wish ALL the info here to your own site. In fact, it'd be good if you did, just in case our server ever goes down, the other sites will have the complete list.
All you need do is open up the lists choose "file --> save as" and you'll have what you need. In the event that you want the actual PHP pages themselves rather than HTML versions there-of, give us a yell (post a reply in this thread would do it) and we *might* be able to work something out.
Once again, a very big thank you to Temaperacl.

And a very big thank you to you too DarkUnderlord
Link: Fallout2 Items and armour list

Posted by Odin - at 9:01

Good news everyone! Feargus Urquhart (former president of BIS) have set up his own studio called Obsidian Entertainment, this with a little help from BioWare. Here are some more info:

"BioWare is currently in the fortunate position of having more attractive looking opportunities on the table than we're capable of implementing while staying true to our fans' expectations of a quality gaming experience. We think several of these opportunities have the potential for critical and commercial success and are interested in exploring ways in which BioWare can expand its capacity to bring these projects to market," said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, Joint CEO, BioWare Corp.

"BioWare is interested in establishing relationships with credible development studios that have the desire and capability to implement projects consistent with our quality expectations. Obsidian represents a perfect example of this strategy. We're very pleased to have the chance to work with teams which have a demonstrated track record of developing world class titles," commented Dr. Ray Muzyka, Joint CEO, BioWare Corp.

"A collaboration with BioWare gives Obsidian the opportunity to explore development projects on established game franchises with proven technology and brand loyalty from the fan community. This is an excellent opportunity for a new studio looking to make an immediate impact in the market," said Feargus Urquhart, CEO, Obsidian Entertainment, Inc.
Good to see that there is life after Black Isle/Interplay, /me wonders where MCA is...
Spotted at VoodooExtreme

Update: Here's the whole info at Yahoo..

Posted by Odin - at 8:05

For those of you who remember a title called Shadow Vault (a new post-apocalyptic RPG in the progress) that we reported about earlier, the makers of the game recently gave an interview with SP at RPGCodex. Here's a snibblet:

Can you give us a little background on Shadow Vault? How long it's been in the works? What influenced the title? What made you decide to make the game?

Only a small team started working on Shadow Vault two years ago, and it spread over time. Above all we liked the concept. There are plenty of games showing nice over-technicized future but only a handful of those showing sad, devastated land after a nuclear war. And only a small step was missing during the times of the Cold War for this vision to become reality. Shadow Vault was not designed for hard-core strategy players. It's aim is to provide enjoyable relaxing experience without the need of studying heavy manuals. In contrary to other games, we simplified the rules but on the other hand, we added a lot of actions and strategic possibilities.
Link: Shadow Vault interview@RPGCodex

Posted by Brother None - at 0:54

J.E. Sawyer once again made a number of slightly interesting posts (though nothing to blow your hat off). Here're some tidbits.

J.E. on character appearance:

I am a firm believer that male characters should have a "greaser" hairstyle option and females should have a "beehive" hairstyle option.

J.E. about some skills:

That's the skill breakdown I wanted from the beginning: Mechanics, Medic, Outdoorsman, Science. I was previously overruled on that decision, but, unlike war, some things do change.

And in response to Morcalavin asking if Mechanics = Repair:

Yes, but not limited to just repairing things.

And last, J.E. about balancing skills in a thread NMA news poster Dan posted about earlier:

Whether you have one gun skill, eight gun skills, or something in-between, the skill is only, at BEST, as powerful as the best tool useable by that skill. System balance with skills can be difficult to frame properly if that skill requires the use of a tool. People often forget that the extent to which people can use the skill is limited by their available tools. Big Guns with no big guns is worthless. Big Guns with a big gun and no ammo? Also worthless.

I've stated previously that the great abundance of ammunition (especially of the high end types) in the previous two Fallout games both 1) made the firearm skills have all the benefits with no drawbacks and 2) detracted from the wasteland feel of the world. You can throw a punch or a kick anytime. You can use one baseball bat to kill eighteen radscorpions. There shouldn't be sources of endlessly replenishing .50 and 2mm EC ammo so characters can burst with machineguns and fire supersonic slugs whenever they want, without any concern for what they're doing.

EDIT: Have you tried playing Fallout 2 with an unarmed character? For a good portion of the game, it's extremely useful. And once you get the Mega-Power fist, that can take you through the rest of the game. It's the intermediate phase where it becomes difficult. Fallout 2 goes from NO firearm and NO ammo in the beginning to a glut of it by the halfway point.

News for Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 20:56

Well the moment you all have been waiting for (at least one of them) has come, Locutus/Celestial have finished his next patch for Fallout 2. Here are some of the changes:


- Fixed a bug that caused errors with some maps (Den, San Fran, NCR, Broken Hills)
- Changed Mrs. Bishop's dialogue
- Some more small changes
Great stuff!! Grab this sucker at once and start playing Fallout 2 again!
Download Link: Fo2 unofficial patch v1.05 (ENG) 5.1MB and Fo2 unofficial patch v1.05 (PL) 1.8MB

Posted by Dan - at 20:35

In a thread about a completly different subject JE made a rather interesting comment about random encounters in the game:

there should not be endlessly replenishing streams of bad guys in random encounters. If you have ten encounters with Enclave troopers in four squares of the map, you should be able to call it a day and never worry about those guys again.

It's not a major issue, but still is interesting.

Posted by Dan - at 19:50

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the outstanding effort JE Sawyer is putting in order to make the game more balanced.

In a thread about that issue, JE shared a few words:

The skill balance in FO and FO2 sucked. I'd rather leave Gifted as it was and chuck in another horribly unbalanced Trait before I'd leave Outdoorsman and Science to the ravages of suxitude.

Seriously, those skills (and several others) are so woefully underused that they need to be beefed up. It's not like it's insanely difficult to think of uses for them.
He later added this:

There are no game critical skills. "OOPS, YOU DON'T HAVE 125 OUTDOORSMAN, PLZ RESTART GAEM." But a person with Outdoorsman should be able to do enough with Outdoorsman over the course of the game that the player feels it is as worthwhile to tag and improve as a combat skill or a diplomacy skill.

I don't understand why any kind of charecter should be able to finish the game. No matter how the game is developed there would always be wierd combinations that no one takes, that makes sure you can't finish the game. If I make a very weak charecter with a lot of intellegence and spend all of the skill points on gambling and outdoorsman, I don't see how I'll be able to save the world.

Link: thread

Posted by Odin - at 10:15

Je talked a little more about game design and what to do when making a title like Fallout 3 (I'm assuming of course):

Adding stuff" or "taking stuff away" isn't the issue. Sometimes adding things into a game causes problems. Sometimes taking things away makes the game better. A few months ago, someone on the team suggested splitting up the science-related skills into six total skills: Medic, Science, Computer Ops, Electronics, Outdoorsman, and Mechanics. Yes, that would have added more science skills into the game. But since the previous two Fallout RPGs didn't do much of anything with the science skills provided, it's probably better to come up with a list of skills that each designer could use adequately through their areas. Mechanics, Medic, Outdoorsman, Science. Simple, straightforward, and broad enough that the designers can make good use of them throughout their areas.

Someone who tags Mechanics, Outdoorsman, and Sneak shouldn't only be able to win the game, they should be able to win the game and feel that their choice to tag Mechanics, Outdoorsman, and Sneak really helped them succeed in their own way.

But, in general, just dumping a list of new stuff to implement without examining what's already there is kind of silly. There's certainly a lot of stuff about SPECIAL that doesn't need to be changed at all. But I think there's a lot of stuff that needs to at least be reviewed. If, at the end of the day, it isn't changed, that's fine. But if it needs to be, it should be.
mhmm...But also some, wait...he covered that....
Link: Thread on IPLY boards

Posted by Odin - at 10:04

The discussion continues on the IPLY Boards and JE talks even more about the traits/Gifted:

I have stated that I believe poor traits should be improved and not thrown out. ALSO, Gifted, which is too powerful, should be toned down to be in line with the improved traits.

These are really simple goals. It might not be easy to reach these goal, or to agree that they have been reached, but it's really easy to identify them:
  • The penalty of a trait should be equal to the benefit.
  • Traits should be equal to each other in overall value.
hat's it. Really simple. If a trait sucks, make it better. If a trait is too powerful, tone it down. When all is said and done, a player should be able to pick the traits or he or she wants based on the type of character they want to play instead of rolling their eyes at 14 crummy traits and taking the 2 that are clearly superior.
And he also answered a follow up question by KIA to this statement, the question was: "If that's true, then why did you put multiple difficulty levels in the game?":
Because it is a slider that can be changed at any time, not something that is or is not selected at character creation, unable to be changed for the rest of that game. If the player chooses "hard" difficulty and gets pounded, he or she can tone it down. If the player picks poorly balanced traits or tags skills that are underused, he or she may not realize the problem until he or she is halfway through the game. And at that point, the player is stuck.
Sorry for not posting about this last night, I was a little busy with some other things..
Link: Thread

Posted by Brother None - at 0:51

First off, J.E. Sawyer. posted this in a thread about perks in Fo3 on the BiS forum:

A few perk ideas:

Eye on the Prize
Prerequisites: PE 7, Steal 125
Ranks: 1
Benefit: You can case a joint or a mark from across the room. Whenever you examine a container (even locked) or character, you can see its inventory.

In Your Face!
Prerequisites: Melee 75 or Unarmed 75
Ranks: 1
Benefit: Opponents can't make called shots with thrown weapons or firearms when you are within 1 hex and are only holding melee weapons or are unarmed. They also suffer a -10% penalty to hit with those weapons against all targets.

Prerequisites: LK 5, Lockpick 125
Ranks: 1
Benefit: If you fail to pick a lock, you can punch or kick the object and add your Luck x2 to the pass/fail check. However, this automatically opens the object if the check is successful, and may be noisy enough to alert nearby enemies.

Suicide King
Prerequisites: Persuasion 150 and CH 8
Ranks: 1
Benefit: When standing within your area of influence, CNPC allies always ignore how wounded they are when following orders. When the going gets tough, this makes them far more likely to follow the combat parameters you have set for them.

Also, for those of you still interested in the Gifted discussion, though it doesn't look like the debate is going anywhere, you can stroll over to this thread.

News for Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Posted by Brother None - at 23:06

NMA regular Gameshark informed me that he had opened a new site/forum community, called The Enclave. They're on the prowl for new users, so feel free to roll on over there.

News for Monday, August 4, 2003

Posted by Dan - at 22:41

For those of you who were wondering if Fallout 3 is going to have a multiplayer option or not, here's a straight forward answer by BIS developer Puuk, aka Damien Foletto:

Cooperative Multi-play = Yes
MMO = No
Link: Thread

Posted by Odin - at 19:19

JE answered a thread where someone asked why it seemed like he has an obsession to tamper with the Fallout rules/game design and here's JE's respons:

I am concerned with all aspects of game design. Most of the questions on this board have revolved around the SPECIAL rule system. If you ask me to look at an equation that reads "2 + 2 = 7" and have me validate it, I'm not going to do it. When my mind works out the math and the practical game effects of something and the common feedback on that subject reinforces my conclusion, it's hard to avoid it and feel like I'm actually doing my job.

Gifted is a really poorly balanced trait. It doesn't compare with any of the other traits in Fallout or Fallout 2. A large number of people have stated that they barely even consider taking any trait other than Gifted, and that they usually play through the game with Gifted unless they "feel bad" about it. That seems like something that should be addressed.

It's my job to insure that people other than ultra power gamers can have a reasonable chance of success when playing our games.

It's interesting when I read commentary about the difficulty of IWD2 vs. IWD, BG, BG2, et al -- because the grouping of responses is far more uniform for IWD2 than the others. The people who complained the most about IWD2 were the powergamers -- not so much because it was hard, but beause it wasn't as easy. The original IWD was easy if you powergamed, and very difficult if you did not.

I had an IWD tester swear up and down that the battle with the Idol in Lower Dorn's Deep was, and I quote, "Impossible." This word was used specifically to describe a battle that K-Pak and I rolled through with little effort. Why? Because we abused 2nd Ed.'s rules to make monstrously powerful, ultra-buffed characters that annihilated everything. The tester in question did not know all of the secret tricks and tips to victory that we did. As a result, he was frustrated out of his mind and loathed that entire section of the game.

Though 2nd Ed. supporters will dispute it, 3E is generally less difficult to abuse than 2nd Ed. This is not to say that 3E cannot be abused -- it certainly can be -- but it generally takes a lot more work and produces a smaller margin of advantage over a "standard" character. Haste doesn't double your attacks, it just adds one. All ability score bonuses don't stack. Secondary and tertiary attacks don't have the same chance to hit as a primary attack. Ability score bonuses advance at a regular rate, every two points. Altogether, this produces a range of benefits and drawbacks that is more predictable and yes, more balanced. Not all players are ultra-keen system analysts. In fact, most of them are not. Unbalanced systems punish the inexperienced heavily and favor powergamers and system analysts to the point where the powergamers breeze on through.

When people say, "focus on the fun", sometimes they seem to forget that they aren't the only people playing this game. Have you ever watched someone who is unfamiliar with AD&D/D&D play an Infinity Engine game other than Torment? It is a sad, sad experience. It's like watching a chess novice play against a brutal opponent who repeatedly crushes them in four to twelve moves, never explains how they were beaten, and jumps up on the table, kicking all the pieces off when checkmate is inevitably reached. Do you think that person is having fun? That's the person who tags Doctor, Gambling, and Outdoorsman with Skilled and Jinxed as traits. Is it their fault that they chose those skills and traits, or is it my fault as a designer for making them suck so badly compared to other skills and traits?

EDIT: Tell you what: you and slowtrain and another person of your choosing can make a party of six 10th level AD&D/D&D characters to go against a party of six AD&D/D&D characters created by me, Sammael, and Karzack. I have a feeling that your definition of "fun" may quickly move away from the necessary inclusion of easily abused rules.
It's a long post, but some good points here..
Link: Thread

Posted by Odin - at 19:07

After a little debate about the weapons in Fallout vs Fallout Tactics, JE Sawyer posted this little statement where he explains why the use of certain technologies:

I think you're assuming that. Despite what a FO developer may have stated previously, the way in which robots in the Glow and elsewhere respond to Pulse Grenades indicates that they have integrated circuits in them (EMPs don't have much of an effect on vacuum tubes).

However, there are a lot of reasons to use vacuum tubes even if you have developed IC technology. One of the major ones has already been stated: EMPs don't have much of an effect on vacuum tubes. If you're living in a world that's threatened by nuclear holocaust, a lot of people are going to favor making electronic devices with VTs with the slogan, "IT'LL SURVIVE THE BLAST!"
That's one way of explaining it, another one is simply: The Fallout world isn't real, it's another world based on the 1950ies. So common sence doesn't really apply...or does it ?
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Posted by Dan - at 12:12

The Deadcities, a post apocalyptic mod for the popular game Battlefield 1942, site has been updated with some news and a few nice screen shots.

Here's a snippet:

Our community of scavengers, sleazebags, punks, and wenches is growing quite rapidly as well. Our forums are booming with insight, rantings, weapons discussion, and the occasional mindless absurdity. The forums are where YOU decide how we make this game. After all, it's not just for the developers. Our alpha testers are coming from the forum whores. Drop in, get to know the gang, and you can help us break some heads in the pre-releases.
So, if you have any ideas be sure to drop by the forums.

News for Saturday, August 2, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 1:31

Gangor asked the question why there isn't many NPCs in former Fallout games, one would see more NPCs in a city like the NCR but you only see a handfull. And he also wanted to know if there would be more NPCs in future titles from BIS, Chad 'Briareus' Nicholas dared to answer:

This is due for a variety of reasons, not just due to having NPCs being scripted. It's technically possible to script citizens such that you'd have something on par with GTA:Vice City with our current scripting language. However, that is not the focus of VB or (and more importantly) the engine that it is built upon.
Guess it all comes down to what needs to be cut down upon for Van Buren to come out quickly enough.
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