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News for Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 4:19

GameBanshee have also previewed Fbos and this guy also thinks he know more than us (damn we must be wrong). Here's a snibblet:

Now, I know that youre probably upset that FBOS isnt a straight-up RPG with more perks and skills than you can shake an iguana-on-a-stick at, but look at what FBOS has to offer before you bemoan its existence.
Nope...Jesus man, try to investigate a little before making statements!
And not to forget the finishing statement in this preview:
Overall, FBOS looks like a promising game. Fans of the original Fallout RPGs may need to keep an open mind and come to grips with the high improbability of Fallout 3 to enjoy it, but most console gamers should find themselves drawn into its quirky universe.
Holy crap! We need to come to grips with the high improbability of a Fo3 to enjoy it ??
Someone throw this guy a clue will ya?
Link: Fbos Preview@Gamebanshee

EDIT: Edited due to faint hearted guys over at GameBanshee. (Odin)

News for Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Posted by Brother None - at 17:33

The Max Payne/Fallout fans waiting for the Max Payne 1 Fallout mod "Guns and Bullets" now have another mod to look forward to; Ruination. While not directly Fallout-related, this mod promises turn-based gameplay in a post-apocalyptic setting. Screenies;



Link: Catalept

Spotted at VDHP

Posted by Dan - at 17:28

Everyone that are looking forward to adding some PA goodness to BattleField 1942, would be happy to hear about these two project updates.

The Deadcities mod has a new modeller/skinner on the team, and they have finished all the vehicles needed for a beta version. They also have a few new screenshots:




Looks good... Check out their forums for some more details.



Next, we have Wasteland2042 with a small text update that gives us the feel they are aiming for:
Here is a part of a diary belonging to
Carl Hander,
Apprentice of the Verb of the Book Wyrms
...
25:th of May

I spotted something interesting in the horison this day, it looked like some kind of building or a ruin. I hope i can find some water there, my supplys are running thin, if i dont find fresh water and something more refreshing than these desert-rats in two days i will have to turn back to the pond i found six days ago. I will go there to take a closer look tomorrow.
...
It's good to know they are still alive, so head on over there to read the rest.

Posted by Odin - at 13:51

GameOver have posted a preview of Fbos and they also show a complete lack of investigative journalism, lookie here:

Further, it is coming out in the wake of the announced cancellation of Fallout 3, and as such, is getting a lot of flak from various fannish parties. Take a spin through various gaming fora; people are talking about Brotherhood of Steel like it's gone to each and every one of their houses and personally used their dog as a racquetball.

They shouldn't be. Put away your fannish distrust of the new for a moment, guys, and listen to me. Brotherhood of Steel is new, yes, and it is not a forty-hour role-playing extravaganza.
Sigh, how many times do we have to say it. We know it's new, we know it's not an RPG, we know it's not Fallout 3. The simple fact that this title was one of the reasons Fo3 and Bis got buried, is one of the main reasons for we not liking it. And not to mention all the various blatant mistakes in story/setting.

I'll leave you with another quote, to show you just how clueless this idiot is:
Perhaps it lacks subtlety, but Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel has a certain irrelevant charm to its storyline and characters, combined with gameplay that I can only compare to crack rock. It's not Fallout 3, but try not to hold that against it.
Now that's some funnah shiat!
Link: GameOver Previews Fbos

News for Monday, December 29, 2003

Posted by Dan - at 23:45

We've already posted about the Vaporware awards that Interplay might win and about the Warshaw awards they already won.

Now they took the runner up on a third award. Gamers with jobs held the 2003 Ely awards in which IPLY has taken second place on the Putz of 2003:

Runner Up Any Interplay Executive Lets put it this way. Enron seems to have been a more skillfully run corporation than Interplay. Id expect better money management from drunken frat boys at a strip club.

You know its bad when people dont even concoct rumors of Microsoft buying you out.


Heck, Interplay hadn't won so many awards since... Well, since it did anything good I guess.

Spotted over at DAC.

Posted by Dan - at 22:46

Glowbewohner from the german Fallout site, Supermutant, sends word that the Fallout 3 - Black Isle mod project has an update featuring a bunch of new screenshots which you can find here.

Thanks Glowbewohner!

EDIT: in addition, Glowbewohner posted a request on the Fan Fic forum for a logo for the project:

I want to ask if anybody here can make us a Logo for our Mod.
post it here or send me the picture by mail
webmaster@supermutant.de

Posted by Brother None - at 21:42

Another Trinity weekly summary, with a lot of detail on the progress...

Done:

Graphics
- another sketch "screenshot"
- another NPC sketch ("lubie pierogi")
- sketch - changed upper interface

Code
- replenished work plan over the code (list "15")

SaW - Script and World
- document describing shelters (first version)
- materials about the population in a specific location (for SickBastard)
- description of - how could the life look like after 15 years living in a shelter
- description of the "locked cities", a legend

Special
- adding new, sure people to the Trinity mailing list [Eltoro, SickBastard, Tomasz_CK].


To do:

Graphics
- lacking files for "MP7, Steyr AMR, AAAV"
- plotting a bottom interface with some example buttons or information on the existing "screen"
- sketch of "locked city", seen from far distance (details in the last document about the world)
- sketches of two homemade weapons
- sketches variations for two positions chosen from the "TODO Obiekty" list

Code
- graphics engine
- interface
- objects, actions, dialogues
- "Breaking" of proper point from "15"

Music
- foundations

Promotion
- script (or something else on www) for graphic artists needs

Rp system
- work resumption

SaW
- finished climate description + yearly statistics
- climate, support for Kaczor and Piotr
- objects list and actions list
- opinion about the "Q10" system - does it fulfil Trinity's foundations and requirements
- corrections in the document about the world: cannibalism, slavey, feudalism, shelters.
- english version of the website


Spotted at VDHP

News for Sunday, December 28, 2003

Posted by Dan - at 20:24

After posting about the polish made Fallout tribute movie, I got e-mailed by P.A.L telling me about another tribute movie, this time from the Russain Fallout community.

Link: 320x240 (1.8 MB), 640x480 (7.1 MB)
For more details about the author of this clip, check this out.

Thanks for the heads up, P.A.L

Posted by Brother None - at 20:01

A while back, one of the posters over at the Silver Style forums called Tayl started his own The Fall FAQ. With his permission, an edited copy now resides on NMA, which will be kept up-to-date

Link: The Fall unofficial FAQ

Posted by Odin - at 17:48

The Haen emailed me that he had updated the scripts for the Official Mapper, here's what Haen told me:

This self-extracting ACE archive contains the files necessary to update the scripts that came with the Official Fallout 2 Mapper to version 1.02D (most of them were actually version 1.0). Extract the contents to a temp directory and refer to the readme.txt file for more details.
Great stuff!!
Link: Scripts for the mapper

Posted by Odin - at 17:40

Jargo informed me that the Fallout Script Editor (FSE) Project had reached beta 2. The FSE is a tool "designed to simplify scripter's work".
Link: FSE Project

I'll upload this and more files to NMA shortly (just been busy)

Posted by Odin - at 17:37

Since it's (was) Xmas the guys over at IPLY have posted several postcards you can send around to friends and family. Some of these look really good, too bad they are assosiated with Fbos..
Link: Xmas postcards

Posted by Odin - at 17:32

Tifereth emailed me that he had finished the update4 of the Fallout bible in Italian. You can get them here
Thanks Tifereth!

Posted by kumquatq3 - at 1:01

Call it a late X-mas gift from NMA and friends. Enjoy

News for Friday, December 26, 2003

Posted by Dan - at 22:12

Sajdon of Vault 13, a Polish fan site dedicated to Fallout, has sent word that they have two new features on their site.

The first is a Fallout 2 quiz, currently available only in Polish.

The other feature is a short video called "A Tribute to Fallout", which is a... uh... Tribute to Fallout. You can download the six minute movie from the following address: http://fallout3.net/zip/Tribute%20to%20Fallouts.avi

Cheers, Sajdon.

Posted by Dan - at 22:03

The Roadkill, a post apocalyptic mod for HL2 and Unreal 2000, team has updated their site with some new screen shots.



Check out their site for more images and info about the mod.

Posted by Odin - at 15:14

Metalheart: Replicants Rampage is a Turn Based sci-fi RPG in development, which have stirred my interest. So I interviewed Alex Filatow (Chief Programmer) about this title, here's a snibblet:

Odin: Tell us about the story in Metalheart: RR
Alex: Sure. A captain and his female co-pilot survive in the emergency landing on a planet.
The planet is in the hands of the empire. The main point about this planet is taсtonium, a seldom mineral with many special functions. It is half organic and could be used in many ways. It can be a source of energy and also has some medical purposes. The population of the planet consists of different races: nomads, mutants, cyborgs and replicants. Every race has it's special abilites, own weak and strong sides.
Sounds good, go here for the full interview..

News for Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Posted by Brother None - at 20:43

Ausir from RPGCodex posted an interview with the boss of project Trinity. Some bits:

4. Where and when does the game take place? What's unique about the world of Trinity, that makes it different from other post-nuclear cRPGs?

The game world is Middle Europe, which in the year 2002 was hit with a nuclear war. The time available to the player ranges from 2017 to 2084 (the end date depends on the PC's death). The world of Trinity is a world that has survived a global nuclear war.

(...)

6. Will the game be linear or not? How much freedom will the player have in exploring the world and the plot?

The player will have only one purpose after starting the game: to survive as long as he can. We might give the PC some quest to do, which will be his goal in life. However, as in life, he won't have to reach it. All the quests, campaigns, adventures, will be only an addition to the Great History of the World. In this game, the PC won't be a hero saving the mankind. The history of the world will be created by those that inhabit it, and the PC won't be able to influence the most important events. He will be able to try to get to know its details, meet the NPCs creating the history, or run from the place of historic events - for his own good.

(...)

11. What combat system will be implemented in Trinity? Will the combat be turn-based or real-time?

Turn based combat is much easier to do. That's definitely what we'll start with.


Good job RPGCodex, looks good

Link: interview

Spotted at Vault Dweller's Home Page

Posted by Brother None - at 20:13

The Fall website had some updates. First they put up a new screenshot, a new interesting fan-art section. They also did a concept art gallery and we get to see a screenshot of the trading menu

Looks cool

Posted by Odin - at 12:43

Today there isn't much news except this: Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone gets what they wanted, still we know we can't have what we really want, at least not yet.
I especially want to wish the former developers at Black Isle and their family a merry Christmas, do remember that we're here for you guys!



Thanks goes out to GG for making this image for us!

Edit: I just had to post this image, curtesy of RPGCodex, you guys crack me up!

I think that about sums it up!

News for Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Posted by Dan - at 11:08

Interplay held the annual meeting of shareholders in which Herve Caen, CEO of Interplay, has explianed the state in which Interplay is in:

Going forward, we remain focused on a business plan driven by content, flawless execution, and profitability, as opposed to pure revenue growth at any cost. Key titles are set for release in January, and other high-profile games for consoles and PC are in various phases of planning and development


Link: Article@Yahoo Finance

News for Monday, December 22, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 4:56

Well I didn't quite know what to put in the subject of this note, so I'll just say it like it is. Briosafreak has left NMA, he left due to real life stuff which needed to be sorted out.

I personally have enjoyed having Briosafreak onboard and wish him the best of luck in his life, hope that you sort out those things you need man! Don't forget your friends here at NMA, we will surely miss you but of course we understand, there are more important stuff that this!

NMA goes on and this week I'll bring you another interview, with a new RPG in the works (which looks promising). So stay tuned !

Posted by Brother None - at 2:18

j200 of VDHP posted about a newsbit about an interesting new patch made for Fallout 1 by Corpse:

Hi guys, I finished scripting a patch to prevent the game from ending after you talk to the overseer and have completed the game. What it does is it brings a dialog screen with the option to keep playing or end the game. Also you can kill the overseer when he walks to the vault entrance; make sure you use a weapon that has burst or you won't be able to shoot him. There is a few minor bugs if you enter the vault after talking to the overseer. One is the overseer will still be in level 3 and the other is exiting the vault will trigger the endgame animations again and the overseer will be placed again at the cave entrance.


Link: patch

Good work Corpse, and cheers for the headsup, VDHP

News for Saturday, December 20, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 16:18

DAC have posted the first screenshots from from the Project Phoenix project in the works and I must say these look very impressive!
Link: Project Phoenix Screenies

Posted by Odin - at 3:29

GamesDomain has joined the rest of the gaming magazines and start this preview by saying how sad it is to loose BIS and Fo3, yet here's their final verdict:

Call us mutant heretics, but the truth is that we're ready for this new chapter in the post-nuke world. As anybody who played an earlier Fallout game knows, there were times when the emotion (or desperation) ran just high enough that one almost begged for a crack at an action-based game - by God, THEN we'd show our foes. Well, soon you'll have the chance to put your munitions where your mouth is (provided you have only one mouth, you post-apoc mutant, you).
Sure we might be ready for an action Fallout, but not one that doesn't fit the setting/story and one that ruins BIS/Fo3. Get a clue GamesDomain, Fbos was one of the major reasons for the demise of Fo3 and Bis and you're only saying that is was the right choice..
Fbos Preview@GamesDomain

Posted by Odin - at 1:22

Interplay have won an award it's called Warshaw Awards 2003, here's what award they won:

The Save Costs by Killing Off Your Best Asset Award
Winner: Interplay

Last week it was revealed that Interplay (who for reasons unknown to me is still alive and kicking), has canceled Fallout 3 and dismantled what remained of the once great Black Isle Studios. Instead, Fallout fans can look forward to Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, a game that is nearly identically named to Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, but is in fact totally different, and will be released for PS2 and Xbox. Platforms, it should be pointed out, which the earlier Fallout titles have never been released on. Meanwhile PC gamers, who are the real market for the franchise, have nothing to look forward to. Good job, Interplay. Good luck pulling out of that financial nosedive.
HAHA!!
Link: The Awards

Posted by Odin - at 0:27

Kaczor of VDHP have posted a thread where you can ask the developers questions about Trinity. Here are some questions:

SickBastard: What is your part in creating Trinity?

Kaczor: I am a scriptwriter, and I'm responsible for the Trinity promotion and the Trinity website. I will create plot, quests, NPCs and cities. Currently I'm working on the game climate.

And won't it be a changing climate? Spring, summer, autumn, winter?

It will be, but in a restricted way, because first there will be only winter, later soft spring, later little longer spring, etc. We are also preparing some climate surprises.
Go here for more info..

Posted by Odin - at 0:00

IGN have posted more on the Fo3/Bis saga, I'll just let you guys read it:

Late last night, we recieved information from another source backing up the initial claims. "To set the record straight once and for all - Fallout 3 is cancelled, and Black Isle Studios has been effectively shut down, even if the name lives on. Fallout will probably continue to exist in console form, hence the 'Fallout lives' comment."
...
Our newest source says that Interplay seems to be relying on semantic loopholes. "Technically, I suppose they are correct: Black Isle Studios isn't shut down (still got two people left!) and Fallout 3 could not be cancelled since it was never announced." According to the previous source, the two remaining employees had been working on an unannounced console title before coming to work for Black Isle.
...
Although Interplay claims the future of Fallout 3 is "under review," our new source contests that laying off all but two employees dedicated to the Fallout 3 project, which comprised the majority of the Black Isle team, indicates that "They've gone pretty far beyond simply 'reviewing' its status." At best, it would appear that the game is on indefinite hiatus.
Sigh, have IPLY hired the iraqi Information minister ?
Link: Fo3 article

News for Friday, December 19, 2003

Posted by Dan - at 12:26

Obsidian Entertainment, the new found gaming company that harbors some former BIS employees, have updated their site.
they have a job opening for a 3D artist, and have announced opening of messege boards in January.

Spotted over at RPGDot.

Posted by Dan - at 11:41

As unbelievable as it might sound, Interplay are still trying to conivnce people it's all rumors and Fallout 3 is still under review.

IGN has posted an article which quotes Interplay's investor relations department that more or less denies everything.
Here's a small snip:

"For the record," says Interplay, "Black Isle Studios remains open with projects pending, the status of Fallout 3 is under review, and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel will ship on January 13."
You can read the whole thing here.

Well, it looks like everything is ok and Fallout 3 isn't cancelled. And all those former BIS members posting in our forums are figments of your imagination.
Right.

Thanks for all those who sent us e-mails about this story.

Posted by Dan - at 9:17

Fallout 3 was cancelled, but it can still win awards, or so it seems.

The popular "Wired" Magazine has called for submissions for the 2003 vaporware awards. It's basicly an award for those games or technological gizmos that were supposed to come out, but didn't.
Here's a snip of the original news post:

But now, thanks to the magnanimity of Wired News, these products have an opportunity to earn redemption -- by winning a coveted place in our annual roundup of products promised but never delivered. Allah be praised!

So, if you think you know a game that can fit as a nomenee, check out this page.

Thanks SBartok for the heads up.

News for Thursday, December 18, 2003

Posted by Dan - at 21:24

That's right folks.

as of today Fallout:Brotherhood of steel, that game that Interplay decided to slap the Fallout name on so they can continue their pityful exsitence for a few months more, has been announced:

Interplay Entertainment Corp. and Vivendi Universal Games announced today that Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel will ship to retail on January 13, 2004. The action-adventure game will be available for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox video game system from Microsoft.

Happy holidays, Fallout fans.

Posted by Odin - at 10:09

If you guys remember my former news bit about exBis guys trying to get the Fallout license, well I've done some digging and it seems none of the former Bis guys we talk to know about this, so it seems like a hoax/rumour. Here's what Chad 'Briareus' Nicholas said about this:

I am not involved in obtaining the Fallout license, nor do I know who is.
But I guess we'll know soon enough about all of this..

Posted by Odin - at 2:25

Well Briosafreak informed me about a thread on the Quarter To Three forums which discussed the press kit for Fbos and let me put it like this, BWAAAHHAAA......Read it and laugh:

Umm, when I opened the package and unlocked the metal canister, at the bottom of the canister was two condoms. WTF! And one of them was glow in the dark! As I was throwing out the press-sheet and the video, I noticed that the press sheet said that the video is a 'sex education video about post-armagedon intimacy'.

I take a look at the video's sticker, and it indeed was. So when I'm about to throw the video in the garbage can, I see something sticking out of the window of the cassete case. What was it?

Another fucking condom. :\

On top of that, there were four latex gloves inside the package, too. :\

I'm so not sleeping at night, with the fear of some Interplay rep breaking into my room and raping me if I don't give Fallout a decent score.

I feel so dirty.
That's marketing for ya! It's really amazing that they still don't get it and remember kids this was the reason they dropped Fallout 3 and Bis, to focus on Fbos and consoles. I give them to March...at most...
Link: thread

News for Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 11:48

IGN have posted an article about the recent things going on over at IPLY and about Bis/Fallout 3. Here's a snibblet:

Two weeks later, all but two members of the Fallout team were laid off and the project was cancelled. Interplay apparently believed the game could not be finished by 2004. Interestingly, the two members of the team not laid off were those who were previously working for the head of Digital Mayhem on a separate console title prior to moving to Black Isle Studios.

The financial outlook for Interplay is still a bit grim. Millions of dollars in debt with less than a million in the bank, Interplay's decision to cancel the nearly complete (by Black Isle's estimation) Fallout 3 was followed by a green light for the console games Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2 (a sequel for a game that hasn't even shipped yet) and Exalted (which doesn't yet have an engine).
Actually not much news there, but it sums it up....somewhat..
Link: IPLY report@IGN

Posted by Brother None - at 5:29

Gamespot once again took a moment to stand still at the departure of a great gaming studio. Here's the mail they sent out:

News


Black Isle Studios Shut Down


Sometimes, you realize things in hindsight. "Wow, that really was a great game," you might think, months or even years after you played and enjoyed the game you're thinking about. That wasn't the case for me and Fallout. I played Fallout just as soon as it came out in 1997, and despite a few bugs in the retail version (which were subsequently fixed by patches), it instantly became one of my all-time favorite games. A sequel a few years later provided more of the same, but by now, Fallout is such a legendary game in my mind that I can't imagine anything surpassing it.


Actually, though, Planescape: Torment came awfully close. Arguably it's an even better game, and certainly, its storyline is at least as compelling. It's another Black Isle classic, and unlike Fallout, I had the privilege of reviewing that one myself. Reviewers rarely are able to know with any certainty when the game they're playing is an instant classic, and rarer still do they actually turn out to be right, but by the time I finished Planescape: Torment for my review, there was no doubt left in my mind that the game was destined for classic status. I still remember the game vividly, even though my review was posted four years ago.

Black Isle also published the Baldur's Gate series and produced the great Icewind Dale games. What an incredibly amazing track record. So, I, like many others, was genuinely sad to learn that Black Isle was shut down. Its closure seems to mark the end of an era in PC gaming. Who's to say whether next year's carrot-on-a-stick releases like Half-Life 2 and Doom 3 will live up to our incredibly high expectations? Truthfully, I think PC gaming is in a rut right now--but I'm confident it'll recover. Someone's going to be the next Black Isle, and I don't mean by shutting down.


Thanks to Pope_Viper for notifying us of this in this thread. And cheers, Gamespot.

News for Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 23:44

Well the speculations about the Fallout PC license is all over the net, according to a danish site called Newz.dk the old Black Isle guys are trying to rally up and obtain the license for themselves. The idea is to get the license and probably the engine, then finish the game themselves. Evidently the reporter from this site have talked to someone from the Bis team and got this info from him.
Link: Fallout 3 license article

Posted by Brother None - at 21:16

Ok, so I'm a bit late with this, so sue me:

A new post-apoc game is under development. Fallen Earth is a MMPORG taking place 150 years in the future, in a post-apocalyptic setting. Screenshots:




Thanks to DAC for spotting this

Link: FAQ

Thanks to VDHP for above images

Posted by Brother None - at 20:57

In response to the Gamespot article posted about below (which, in correction of my earlier statement, was indeed good article, though with minor flaws, apologies), former BIS dev Damien "Puuk" Folletto revealed another tidbit of the Fallout 3 plot:

Overall, I liked the article. The only glaring thing I saw wrong (and no one else would know this save the other devs) was that it wasn't the Brotherhood of Steel holding the PC prisoner. It had to do with a pre-war government quarantine protocol that was still being executed after the bombs fell. And, the PC could not start in multiple locations. However, like in the previous games, the PC was free to go wherever he wanted when he wanted from the onset. It was our goal to stick with the feel of Fallout 1 as much as possible.
Thanks, Puuk Thumbs up

Posted by Odin - at 16:26

Kaczor of VDHP have posted some concept art from Trinity, here's what Kaczor said:

As I promised, today I present you two concept arts from Trinity. Kalen is the author of this graphics and they're called "Screenshots from the game" (don't mix up this concepts with true screenshots, which be available soon).



And what, do you like it?
These look good, very well done actually! I'm hoping that this becomes a reality...

Posted by Brother None - at 1:37

Gamespot news editor Tor Thorsen posted a news article on Gamespot about the cancelling of Fallout 3 and the dispersal of BIS. His news article dealt mostly with the screenshots released here on NMA, and the uproar they caused. A snippit:

However, given the amount of bad blood recently spilled, a reconstituted BIS development team is a faint possibly at best. On his farewell post on the Interplay forums, Fallout 3 producer Tom French's bitterness was plain. Describing the laid off workers as "a very dedicated group who struggled through some of the worst conditions possible in order to keep working on the game we kept making up until the final day," French speculated on what might have been. "I think what would have happened would have been a sort of second renaissance for our games. We would have most likely proven with Van Buren that we as a division still cared a great deal about the games we made and the fans they were for."


It's a fun game to pic the flaws out of this article, just take a look at it. For instance, Tor seems to hold the belief the Fallout gaming community wasn't aware of the co-op mode to be implemented in Van Buren. Also, he was forbidden to show the images on Gamespot by none other than Herve Caen

Link: article

EDIT: in all fairness, though, I think it's great that Tor did turn the focus to this delicate subject. You have the gratitude of the Fallout gaming community, Tor

Posted by Odin - at 1:17

Yup, that's what people are getting into their mailbox these days. Fans all over the world have been emailing Interplay and complaining about their decision to close Bis and drop Fallout 3. Some guys have even gotten blacklisted by Interplay, here's the little "press release":

Thanks for your note and comments on Interplay, its games, and recent actions.

For some reason, there has been a high amount of speculation about Black Isle Studios and intellectual property surrounding the Fallout license. My only guess is that the source of these rumors must be an employee/employees who recently departed Interplay.

My response to these rumors is quite simple: Interplay management makes decisions and takes action on items relating to product, personnel, costs, revenue, and more on a day-to-day basis, none of which would be deemed material by SEC regulations, and none of which would merit a public announcement or press release.

Accordingly, if Interplay management had closed its most valuable development asset or chosen to abandon one of its most prized intellectual assets, the Company would have made an announcement.

As always, Interplay management is focused on delivering great, profitable games and maximum shareholder value.
So there you guys have it, it's all in our heads......and the heads of those that got fired, so get back to work all you Black Isle guys! </end sarcasm>

News for Monday, December 15, 2003

Posted by Brother None - at 23:15

NMA/BIS regular poster kumquatq3 made an interesting post on the BIS forum about the current monetary statys of Interplay and the way Interplay's been handling its financial business. It's quite interesting. A snippet:

The Grand Total
The grand total that Interplay would have saved had those transactions
this year between Interplay and Titus (and its subsidiaries) not taken
place asthey did...

$305,000 + $3,407,000 + $1,710,000 + $227,000 + $60,000 = $5,709,000


Link: thread

Posted by Odin - at 20:40

As many of you have seen lately we've been having some problems with our server, this is due to alot of traffic. Which has exploded lately, especially after we released the screenshots from Fallout 3 (Van Buren).

We are working on solutions as we speak, so hopefully we'll have a solution soon..

Posted by Odin - at 20:38

Carsten have been getting alot of PMs lately regarding the Fallout statements he's been putting out there, so he decided to put it all in the Fall newsletter. So remember to sign up for that one..

Posted by Dan - at 8:41

I have gotten an email from Tony V about another Fallout 3 petition. upon closer examination it looks to be the old Fallout 3 petition started a few years back.
While I do not believe this would help us, and the new VB petition might be more current, you can head on over there and sign it.


Gameshark also informes me that his Fallout site, The Enclave, is back up in these address.

News for Sunday, December 14, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 20:45

By this time you all have seen the Fallout3 pics we`ve posted earlier, one of the developers involved in making it left a few notes about it here on NMA:

To explain what everyone's looking at:
The "Main Menu" screen
This is a realtime 3D image. The two characters you see on the screen are all the in-game models. In game the largest you'd ever really see them while just moving around is about the size of the characters forearm. In the inventory and character creation, you would see the characters about this big though. The shadows as mentioned before. They looked good in game, but here but so close up, the self shadowing looked really harsh on the characters. One of the ideas here was to take the characters in your part from your last saved game and stick them there everytime you entered that screen. The skybox animated, the train animated into the scene, and the characters moved around in their idle animations. Eventually we were going to do lots of cool stuff with this screen, but it was a really nice start.

The Vault
The screen shot looks like a pre-prototype one as it's missing the lighting that gets burned in after being laid out. As for the vault suits missing numbers, i think this is just an oversight. It was real easy to change vault numbers as it was just a socket on the back of the caracter that we could change really easy. We had a bunch of vault numbers made as well as numbers made for the prison suit. There was lots of cool little stuff going on in this level; characters walked around and interacted w/ stuff, there were all kinds of cool computer noises, the doors opened w/ the old Fallout sound (we used lots of old sounds for our prototype to help keep the feel), there were some cool effects from a broken generator and a floating eye bot. It just looked like a vault.

The Exterior
This level was the most impressive to look at. All the buildings, streets, etc were built with our tile and prop sets. When you walked into the buildings or peeked through the windows, the roofs faded off super clean to reveal the interior (the interiors of buildings didn't render while you were walking around outside, thus dropping lots of polygons to draw). Outside you also got into some shoot outs which looked fantastic. We had a flamethrower, minigun, cattleprod, knive, and pistol. We had a ton more made, but we only needed a few for the demo so we really wanted to show off the more flashy ones and have a good variety as well. The glass on the windows would blow out when hit with stray bullets and the flaming barrels would blow up as well (you have to have exploding barrels in game, it's an unwritten rule). There was a car similar to the one you see in the pic on fire which looked fantastic. The most impressive thing to the Fallout fans was when you got to the end of this level, you stood at a huge vault enterance. To the right of the door was a terminal w/ a flickering lamp which you clicked and you guessed it. The vault door opened in real time. It looked so beautiful! After we did our prototype, we showed the demo to a few people around the company who were Fallout fans and I heard no less than 3 people gasp for air as it opened. It was a great moment.

Too bad they're not the best screenshots, but at least you guys got to see something from our work. We had some really cool stuff scheduled to get done over the next few months too; broken tiles for the building sets (they integrated perfectly w/ the building tiles so you could make a destroyed building in just about any shape), the PC vehicles (yes plural), more creature models and concepts, animations, game functionality (including starting work on putting in the turn-based support), etc. Anyhow, just wanted to clarify some of the speculations on what this stuff is. Smile


Thanks for the explanations, and you guys and girls can see a few more pics of the Fallout Milestone Tracker here and here.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 17:55

Glowbewohner from the German Fallout fansite Supermutant.de
sends word of a new Fallout total conversion project, let`s hear what he has to say:

The Black Isle Mod is a project of Supermutant.de. We want to continue the story of Fallout, because IPLY has canceled Fallout 3. We have called the Mod Fallout 3- Black Isle Mod in memory of THE BLACK ISLE STUDIOS. It tells a story that happens 10years after Fallout 2 putting the player into the World he has left after Fallout 2.The postnuclear world has changed though...

Thanks for the heads up Glowbewohner , and congrats for a fine Fallout3 news coverage you guys made.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 15:09

Christopher "Elissar" Burr - PFC, US ARMY aviation, one proud member of The Order and the NMA boards just ask me to congratulate the boys of the 4th ID on capturing Saddam Hussein.

So kudos to you boys, no matter what one thinks about the american intervenction in Iraq one dictator behind bars is always a good thing.


Now could you capture a few guys from Interplay too Wink

News for Saturday, December 13, 2003

Posted by Brother None - at 22:42

The BIS producer Tom French AKA BIS French made a farewell post on the BIS forums:

Hello everyone,

Earlier this week I had originally written a really long post, full of stories and emotions narrative that I was going to post, but deleted it as it was really starting to read like a voice over to a movie that really wasn't going anywhere (kinda like the last two Matrix movies Wink) and I felt I needed to simplify and just express the core of it. So I've spent most of this week just sitting back and thinking about what happened to myself and my team. I was pretty much the first "new" employee in Black Isle up until, what I perceive for all intensive purposes to be, the end of it. All I can say is it's hard to really just completely just let go of something that I put so much of myself into over the past six years.

I can say I'm very proud to have been a part of it all. I've made so many great games while part of Black Isle, how could I not be. In the end I just really want to say thanks to all the people I worked with over the years, especially the team I was working with in the end. A very dedicated group who struggled through some of the worst conditions possible in order to keep working on the game we kept making up until the final day. Most of us stayed, despite having other offers lined up on the table, for mainly two reasons: 1) Loyalty to Black Isle and what it once was and a desire to keep it alive and 2) The desire to make another great Fallout game. Over the past six months, each and every one of those people gave me a reason to stay and help try and keep pushing things forward. Would the glory days of BIS return in the future? That remains to be seen, but what I think what would have happened would have been a sort of second renaissance for our games. Things would have been different, but we would have most likely proven with Van Buren that we as a division still cared a great deal about the games we made and the fans they were for. In the end, if there's anything I will most regret, it will be not finishing this game with my team. I love them all.

So where do I go now? Currently, Im just collecting my thoughts and ideas on this subject and am not going to really make any big pushes until the new year rolls around. I have a few options on my plate, some leads to others, or a chance to figure it out and do what Ive always wanted to do in the game industry.

Since Im not sure how often Ill be back to these forums (hell, I was bad about checking on them when I was at BIS Wink), I want to thank you all for all your support, kind words, and even offering to put up funds for us (not really necessary, but thank you), THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Hopefully, in the years to come, our paths will cross again.
_________________
Ex-Producer Type Dork on Van Buren
Black Isle Studios


Best of luck to you from all us guys at NMA, Tom. Fare thee well, they say.
And to Kevin Osborne, that also says goodbye on that thread, the same wishes.
Link: thread

Posted by Odin - at 21:55

In these sad times we have to look at other titles so I took some time to talk to Carsten (lead designer on The Fall) about The Fall. He explains in detail about The Fall and of course why we should buy it. Here's a snip:

Lastly, why should we buy this title?

Your friends will laugh at you if you dont, because youll miss a great gaming experience. Very Happy
We were also privileged to be the first ones to show the main menu in The Fall, so remember to look out for this title..
Link: The Fall interview@NMA

Posted by Odin - at 20:21

Gamespot have posted a "preview" of the title that buried Fallout 3 (Fbos) and they still don't get it:

...With the closure of Black Isle came the cancellation of Fallout 3, so possibly the last game to bear the name will be Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, an action RPG similar to 2001's great Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. We just got the final PS2 and Xbox builds, which are due out a month from today, and though we're still in mourning over the passing of Black Isle, we're comforted by this new game that's playing as expected thus far.
So you're comforted by the title that got alot of good people sacked and a very promising title canned, eh... Stupid fucks!

Posted by Odin - at 20:16

The online comic called Ctrl+Alt+Del have made a strip where the writer/drawer expresses his opinion about the latest IPLY/Bis disaster.

Thanks goes out to Rob for emailing us about this!

Also, the famous online gaming comic Penny Arcade made a note of the event in their news bits, despite their current state of dissarray. Link: news post on Penny Arcade, it's the bottom post

Posted by Briosafreak - at 0:57


Click here for the 1024*768 version

In this pic the Prisoner we saw on the Fallout3 start screen and the BOS guard, that acts as a companion, giving cover, have already did some combat. This belongs to the tutorial, they are about to enter the town. Notice that the textures on the buildings are temp stuff, but it has shadows this time (static, not volumetric).
As they enter the town they find a building that gives them access to a Vault, this Vault

Click here for the 1024*768 version

In this pic there are no shadows, you would spend some time doing tipical tutorial stuff. Notice how close it looks with the 2d versions of the Vaults, although it was still far from beeing finished.

Makes you want to play it, doesn`t it?

Posted by Briosafreak - at 0:04

You have seen a comment about the Fallout3 techdemo interface we`ve showed earlier made by Huggies:

The main menu is nothing compared to the actual game. Many jaws hit the floor the first time we saw a complete level. The PC strode into a burnt-out cityscape, the ruins of tall buildings casting deep shadows on the ground, the wind kicking up dust as the PC walked along. There was even Fallouty funeral music Sawyer found somewhere.

That post was followed by another one made by Chad "Briareus" Nicholas:
If you're referring to the traincar texture, yeah. We just never got aroundt o doing a higher res texture for it. If you're talking about the two people, those are the same textures that are used in the game. Since during normal gameplay you'd never get that close, they stayed sharp and crisp at the game's max zoom level running at 1024. You didn't start seeing bluring of textures in the game 'till you bumped it up to 1600 res.

Then he added this on DAC:
[the characters] were placed on the level and animate.
As for the lack of shadows, whoever released the pic had their shadow setting set to off. There are 3 modes, off, drop shadow (circle under feet), and volumetric. Volumetric looks sweet in-game, but ass this up close.
The power armor looks MUCH better from the "isometric" view we all know and love
.

So we started to wonder how that would really be ingame, and found a couple of pics that we`ll be showing in one hour (22:35 GMT)

News for Friday, December 12, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 21:23

More Fallout3 ingame pics in about six hours, here on NMA.

Posted by Odin - at 19:49

GamingXP (german gaming magazine) have posted an article about The Fall and included three new screenshots, the article itself is in german.
Link:The Fall@GamingXP

Posted by Odin - at 19:45

BlueonBlue2307@aol.com emailed me that he and a bunch of guys are putting together a team to make a fan made Fallout mod. This team is in need of scripters, mappers and writers.
If you want to join their crew and help out, email Blueonblue at BlueonBlue2307@aol.com .

Posted by Odin - at 19:41

I've gotten several emails about a new petition that is started, I really don't see how it will help in anyway but getting enough signatures will show the world that we mean business. Here's what they ask:

We want to restore the Black Isle Studios and continue the Van Buren Project also known as Fallout 3. Don't do another poor game for PS2 or Xbox. Fallout was created for PC and we want a new part of this american, post-apocalypse history...
So get on over and sign it now!!
Link: Fo3 & Bis Petition

News for Thursday, December 11, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 20:20

The end of BlackIsleStudios and Fallout3 had a large impact everywhere, as you can see in these links:
GamePro
IGN
Gamespy
RPGDot
Blue`s News
Slashdot
and many many more.
Now for all the mails i got asking for a boycott on Interplay products, yes we are boycotting to, specially until they decide to sell or license the CRPG rights of Fallout to a third party.
To those that want to be heard by Interplay and tell them how you think about what happened please do it in a civil manner, you can contact them through these channels or through here.
I`ll leave you with the Fallout3 Milestone Tracker that everyday the BIS Fallout3 team would check:

Posted by Briosafreak - at 3:35

Here`s a small post by "someone" on the BIS feedback forum:

I wish. I did have some screenies of the opening level of the demo, but unfortunately they're all gone now. Perhaps one of the others can help out.
The main menu is nothing compared to the actual game. Many jaws hit the floor the first time we saw a complete level. The PC strode into a burnt-out cityscape, the ruins of tall buildings casting deep shadows on the ground, the wind kicking up dust as the PC walked along. There was even Fallouty funeral music Sawyer found somewhere.
Now all I have to say is "Arrrrgh!"
Mad

I`ve added this in the same thread:
Fighting fierce dogs in the outskirts of Denver, passing through the ruins with your clunky robot companions, starting not in one location but choosing several ones, in a world again on the verge of conflict, with general decay and 50s style b52 hairs on the female NPCs, that would be just...great.
The people that made this things should be proud.

News for Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 21:28

Kevin Osburn also posted a little goodbye post on the IPLY forums, here's what he had to say:

Hey Everyone,

On behalf of the recently departing members of BIS (and the remaining BIS people), we truly appreciate all the support and feedback we have received from everyone, and not just the past few months, but since the division was formed back in 1998.

Here's the part where I ramble and after reading you roll your eyes thinking "Sheesh, where's the originality? Everybody always says that......?" But let me assure you, the following is not only clich, but true

On a personal note, I have been extremely lucky to have had an opportunity to work with the people I have since joining in Black Isle Studios 4 years ago (Thanks D) and not just within BIS, but everyone at Interplay. They are truly talented (except for Chris Avellone, he was more like a mad scientist ;p) and were always extremely dedicated to both their project and the division.

Catch ya on the flipside, where ever that may be!
Good Luck Kevin, we've certainly appriciated all the BIS teams work and dedication..

Posted by Odin - at 17:29

Let's all get sentimental and listen to the Ink Spots, which did the opening song for Fallout 1. (They actually wanted the song called "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire", but ended up with "Maybe" due to the pricing)..
Cheers to Revolver for emailing me about this..

Posted by Odin - at 17:24

The official site for The Fall has been updated with several new stuff, here's what Dunja said:

Please take a look at two new sections:

Weapons and Game Mechanics.

The weapons section show you most of the weapons that will be in the game. However, the community can still make suggestions for more/new weapons. The best ones will be included in "The Fall".

In the Game Mechanics section you will find all rules regarding the attributes, skills and talents and how they work together. There is also an open discussion about it and the community can have influence on the rules:.
Snazzy!

Posted by Odin - at 17:21

Well, the world of Fallout still lives in our hearts and thoughts and do not forget the possibilities another RPG Fallout could get if another developer jumps in and buys the right to do a PC version.. And on that note our news coverage continues...

First off Sajdon of http://www.fallout3.net wanted me to mention his site on our news, so here goes:

Polish site Trzynasty Schron (Vault 13) www.fallout3.net has started working again after about 2 months break because nobody was doing anything Smile..
So remember to check that out, if you can understand Polish.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:18

Carsten Strehse of Silver Style, developers of the post-nuclear game the Fall, revealed in a thread about the canning of Fallout 3 that it is not impossible for Silver Style to purchase the rights to the Fallout 3 PC game in the near future, if Interplay is selling. Here what he had to say:

Well, we are definatly interested in hiring some of the former Balck Isle staff. I try to get in contact with them.
I also disclose no big secret if I tell you that we have found a mayor partner for The Fall and that money wouldn't be the biggest problem when we would try to get the FO licence.
My biggest concern is the reaction of the FO community. We're all huge fans of FO here and have deepest respect for the achivements of the dev team. However, we are no Black Isle, we are Silver Style. And I'm afraid that the community wouldn't be pleased with a FO3 that wasn't developed by the original team. Even if I'm very sure that we could deliver a real stunning game.


He is very interested to know the opinion of most of the Fallout community on this matter and asked me if I could organize this for him. I don't know about you, but I find that level of interest refreshing. So please, do him and us a favour and post your honest opinion in the comments to this thread. How would you feel about Silver Style doing the next Fallout game rather than BIS?

Thanks go out to Murdoch/Godd for starting that thread. Cheers, Murdoch.

News for Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 20:19

We would like to thank everyone that has showed support to NMA and the former BIS developers, with this small (869 kb) token. Thank you guys and girls.

Posted by Odin - at 14:16

I'll let the image speak for it self...

Image courtesy of DAC..

Posted by Briosafreak - at 5:33

As you now know Interplay cancelled Fallout3 and laid off, by my estimation, fourteen members of Black Isle.
The list includes the following people:


Scripters:
* Chad "Briareus" Nicholas
* Chris French
* Chris Heidari

Designers:
* John Deiley
* Damien "Puuk" Foletto
* Jeff Husges

Artists:
* Dany Martinez
* Vera Milosavich

Programmers:
* Jake Devore
* Yuki Furumi
* Mark Murakami
* Dave Vodhanel

Producers:
* Tom French
* Kevin Osburn


For all of them, a few of them members of the NMA forums, others that we know since Fallout2, and others whose work we`ve learned to enjoy in the last months, goes a heartfelt so long from NMA, we hope to cross your paths again.

The other staff members are still working on Interplay, for now.


And all the best to Damien "Puuk" Foletto on his birthday, hope that with your wife and little girl you had a nice time, even in these circunstances.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 2:32

It`s with great sorrow that i bring this news, although expected i`m still doing this newsbit with tears in my eyes.

I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but the "good" folks at Interplay have laid off everyone at BIS.BIS is no longer. Anytime you see the BIS logo on a future product, know that no one who was associated w/ BIS actually worked on it. BIS is nothing more than a sticker that IPLY slaps on their future product.

So, how about Fallout3:
Van Buren/Fallout3 has been "shelved," as the geniuses at IPLY have put it. Console only is the word of the day now. Even though Van Buren was half-way finished, the 'tards in charge have decided they want to do Exalted console and FOBOS 2. The simple fact they are making FOBOS2 even when FOBOS when hasn't shipped and is hated by the Fallout community says a lot about their intelligence. Not to mention Van Buren would be the only game they could possibly ship by X-mas next year.

Yes, Interplay decided to suspend Fallout3, lay off the staff, and make FOBOS2 instead.
This came from several sources close to BIS, all i got from the devs was silence and this:
*sigh*

You can scream your rage now, let them hear our voices.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 0:37

Carlocijs has made a new recruit for Fallout Tactics:

This mod contains:
A Scurry bot as an available recruit for Fallout tactics. If you see any errors or bugs, then report it to me. It has a hm01.ent file and a text file for discription in it's character file.
This mod is my first one for falllout tactics. I replaced a character/recruit from the 1.27 updated Fallout tactics game. So if it doesnt work, try installing the newest patch for Fallout tactics. (1.27)
Any questions, problems, or whatever, contact me at: carlovdcijs@hotmail.com

Good work Carlocijs
You can download the mod here , here or here.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 0:06

Radish has made a small mod for Fallout2 where you can use the DeSoto car from Sam&Max instead of the regular one, fun idea Radish, you can download it from here, here or here.

Here`s a pic:

News for Monday, December 8, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 20:05

Some misc news starting with another update on the Trinity site, you can see the english version of their new summary on VDHP.

Next there`s an update on the Fallout Amateur Films Czech site, i don`t understand a word but they seem to have a ball in doing small amateur films loosely based on Fallout, so you can check them here.

Finally the Mutants Rising team have posted a progress report on their forum here on NMA, seem they are on the right track again, keep up the good work guys.

News for Sunday, December 7, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 18:14

Happy birthday Ozrat from the NMA team. Here have some cheese.
Also happy birthday Luke from the Order, here`s something just for you.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 17:50

The discussion about companions in Fallout3 continues, Damien "Puuk" Foletto had a few ideas for us to discuss:

Hmmm, I think there will be a lot of debating about CNPC's leveling to keep up with the PC outside the party. I don't think the CNPC's should be equal level. I think they should be one or two levels lower than the PC at all times. However, I think it kind of kills the PC's options for CNPC's if the PC comes across a CNPC in the middle of the game who is level 5 and the PC is level 10. There is no way the player will take the CNPC at this point. I really think there should be a check to make sure that CNPC levels stay near the PC when found.

As far as using a CNPC and then leaving them somewhere, I still think they should stay within four levels of the PC throughout the game so they don't become useless. Perhaps left behind CNPC's don't level as well as ones who remain in the PC party (about 3 or 4 levels behind instead of the in-party 1 or 2). Maybe that's a solution. Also, I think the choice of the player using the CNPC's as tools should be left up to the player. If the player is happy swapping out CNPC's here and there throughout the game, so be it - it's his game. The player has the option of also "roleplaying" and not hot-swap the CNPC's, especially if they like the ones they have. I don't want to restrict game play options and potential fun factor just because it does not seem realistic.

You can see this post and more on this thread at the BIS feedback forum.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 17:29

As we reported earlier Jargo from Fallout Modding Center has created a Fallout Script Editor , a program that makes working with fallout scripts much easier. Now you can see an English version of the project description. Keep up the good work Jargo.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 16:48

Time for some Q&A where Damien "Puuk" Folletto has answered questions from The Chosen One:


I like the idea of being able to kill someone quietly and, so long as no one was in visual range of the attack, no one else would know about it. Like using a knife to cut someones throat. Would this be a possibility in VB.

Puuk:
Yes, you will be able to silent kill without alerting everyone in the area, as long as you CAN kill them in one shot, stab, etc., without them screaming like a Nancy and alerting their pals.

Also, this was mentioned somewhere before, but I will restate it. When combat is started in a town. The whole town should not try and kill you. Only the town gaurds. Not farmers and children. I can understand a few farmers brave enough to try an kill you. But not all of them, and certainly no children.

Puuk:
True. Regular townies would probably run away like fraidy-cats. Depends how the area is scripted. Maybe there's a reason Farmer Dave wields his pitchfork and tries to stab you in the eye should you go on a killing rampage.

Also, again, this has been mentioned before. As it was in fallout 1 and 2, once combat was started, it wouldn't end until either, you ran off the map or out of town (if you were in town), or, you or the person/people fighting you were dead.

Puuk:
I don't see this changing much. If you're in a fight and decide to run away, it makes sense for the attackers to pursue you. Finish the fight, or run away, pretty standard stuff. There might be a scripted sequence where someone begs for mercy, but other than that, again, I don't see much change here (unless Bri knows something I don't).

Will it be possible to talk to an enemy after combat has started.

Puuk:
I don't think there is an option for dialogue during combat, unless Bri knows something I don't. As stated earlier in this query, there should be less instances where if you get in a fight in one part of the town, the rest of the town jumps in. If townies and guards are not within eyeshot or earshot, you shouldn't have the whole town going bananas on you.

Also, I'm sure this has been covered, but how will the graphics of VB stack up against the graphics of Tactics? Will they be better? Or will they be about the same? And when will we get to see some actual screenshots? Or if they are avilable now, where can I find them?

Puuk:
Graphics are 3D and a lot better and screenshots come after we've officially announced.

Will VB have graphic language like the other Fallout instalments?

Puuk:
VB will be Mature rated, so yes. But there is a filter to "hide" the offensive language, if you so choose.


Puuk also replied to TSM that asked if Fallout3 will have intense documentation like FO and FO2 did:
Hopefully we can continue to have detailed manuals, and have them spiral bound. KOTOR has spiral bound, so it is possible to have them in the small boxes. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we actually get there.

You can find these posts in here and here at the Black Isle Feedback forum.

News for Friday, December 5, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 18:48

A true brainstorm session took place on the BIS feedback forum, with Non-Playable Characters again in the centre of the discussions. First Damien "Puuk" Foletto comments on Chad "Briareus" Nicholas post where he commented that "I think we can come up with other ways to ensure that the player is the badest bad ass of the wastes without slowing down CNPC level progression.":

One way is to make sure the CNPC's never have all their attribute points total greater than the PC's. The PC should always have the option of being the smartest, strongest, or fastest BA in the land. Now, some CNPC's might have special perks that accent their character that the PC will never have (like, for hypothetical example, a ghoul who has a bunch of bolts, screws, and tools embedded in his head so he never needs an actual toolset to perform mechanical endeavors) but the PC will always have the potential of being better at everything.

And he replied this to the post of kumquatq3 where he states that "I would HATE for npcs to wander off. Realism or no":
I agree. It may be realistic for the CNPC to say "screw you" and wander away to god knows where, but that is not fun for the player when they want to retrieve that CNPC in the future. An alternative might be that the CNPC says, "Okay, but I'm not waiting around here, I'm going back to Blah-ville. You can find me there." But, again, this would require the player to shlep to another area to retrieve the CNPC and would be a huge pain if the player just left the CNPC outside a building for a short while, hoping to get him back in a minute. This is a prime example where fun > realism and the CNPC would be better off just staying put where the player left them.

The yet again kumquatq3 has another question, this time he asks "Puuk: maybe this is bris dept, but what is the reason you wouldn't have NPCs gain XP out side of your party?", and Puuk replies:
Because the adventure is about the PC, not the CNPC's, would be my simple answer. Bri is more equiped to answer the mechanics of how we level the CNPC's, though. I do know we are setting up the advancement path of the CNPC's so when they do level, the perks, skills, etc. would advance automatically according to what the CNPC's specialize in. Also, we toyed with the idea of the CNPC's doing some kind of check against the PC's level and then they would automatically increase to the appropriate level near the PC. Another reason why we pre-select their advancement tree.
I do like how KOTOR does it, but I don't think that would fit in VB, imo. We would like to maintain some degree of autonomy for the CNPC's that was present in the previous games.
Of course this is all up in the air until we can actually see it in action.

Now it`s the time for King of Crooks to ask "Hey Damy, can we beat up and intimidate our CNPCs? ", Puuk had this to say:
Control will be based on CH and leadership perks. It won't be handled in dialogue. Basically, if you have the CH and some leadership perks, you'll get drop down commands that you can issue. You won't have direct control of you CNPC's, but you can tell them what kind of enemy to focus on, disengage, protect me, etc. Can't get into too much detail, but the short of it is you'll have the possibility of having more control of your CNPC's than what was available in F2.
Like I said, a lot of it is still up in the air. The likelihood is the CNPC checking the PC's level and automatically adjusting to be appropriate, so that is a bit like leveling outside the party (actually, more than a little bit). I was thinking that people were asking if they could do it like in KOTOR - choose how the CNPC's advance, etc. This will not be the case. CNPC's will have a set advancement path to maintain the autonomy thingy.

And the thread goes on and on, we don`t have the space to put everything, so take a look yourselves.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 17:39

In this thread here at NMA Damien "Puuk" Foletto brought a few ideas on a few Jeff Husges posts we`ve talked about earlier, about the possibility of the Player Character beeing disarmed by a Non-Player Character and the consequences in gameplay:

Another compromise might be that the PC's disarmed weapon immediatly drops back into the PC's inventory. That would eliminate the need for the player to remember to retrieve their weapon. It also gives the player the chance to go back into inventory during combat (at a higher AP cost like in the previous games), instead of having to hunt around on the ground for their fav weapon.

So i`ve asked him this:
I`m all for it, but wouldn`t people think it would go a bit too far in breaking the immersion, the slight suspension of disbelief they are experincing in combat? Others could say "that`s not very realistic" too, even if i don`t use that argument myself.

So Damien "Puuk" Foletto replied this:
I see your point. My thing is this; if we do put something like I mentioned above, it would have to be tested to see if it does not take away from the fun. If it's better and more fun to have the weapon plop onto the ground instead of back into inventory, then that's what we'll do. Personally, I prefer fun over realism. I know you don't adhere to the "realism" thing, Bri, but my argument against the realism mantra is (hypothetically if we're working on a game like this Smile ), "You play a character in a 1950's style interpretation of an apocalyptic future, your character can not only sustain multiple gunshot wounds, but also immediately mend himself with chems, and have a "magical" pocket that can hold a shit-load of different size guns and hundreds of rounds of ammo - not to mention that every creature that was exposed to radiation has become the size of an SUV, or humans exposed to just the right amount of radiation become a charismatic and entertaining ghoul.
Want realism? You die instantly after one shot to the chest or head. A wound to any other extremity causes you to die a lingering, slow death. You must eat several times per day and relieve your bladder and bowels several times per day as well. You cannot travel more than 20 miles in the hot, scorching desert before passing out from dehydration. There is a better than average chance your character will contract a flu virus of some kind and eventually drop dead because you can't get to medical aid in time. And finally, you can't save the world because you're not a super hero-chosen one guy. You're just an average guy with normal, human frailties."

Bottom line: Realism should only be used in a game if it adds to the fun factor, otherwise it's tedious.

Good fun discussion here on NMA.

Posted by Odin - at 17:24

The Cult of Personality mod has been updated to version 1.005, here's what's been changed:

If the player has the Cult of Personality perk, then:
  1. More quests from good NPCs are now available to the evil player, and a few quests originally exclusively offered to evil players are available to the good player.
  2. NPC's with talking heads no longer glare at an evil player unless (s)he says something offensive.
  3. Merchants/Caravans in random encounters will ALWAYS trade with the player.
  4. Initial reaction from most NPCs toward the player is positive. ("Everybody likes your character!")
  5. More NPCs will only say nice things to the player, even if (s)he is evil and/or stupid.
  6. The player can marry both Miria and Davin, but without Cult of Personality, the player can only marry one of them.
Snazzy! Great job Terrence!
Link: Cult of Personality

Posted by Briosafreak - at 17:13

On this thread at the BIS feedback forum Mr. Teatime posted about wishing that in Fallout3 towns won't become redundant after you've left them for plot reasons, on wich Jeff Husges replied with this:

Ideally, we'll arrange it so that you can't do everything that there is do to in town in one pass. For example, you kill the big bad bullies who were bugging the townspeople, you take off for a week or two, and when you return to town, merchant caravans who once avoided the town have shown up. Naturally, they'll bring (or cause) a whole new set of problems that you can deal with.

With Mr. Teatime asking if that would be time dependant or event related Jeff Husges added this:
It'll probably be a combination of both. The Joneses won't show up in town until: the bullies are gone, you've convinced the mayor to re-open the old industrial plant to provide more jobs, and the town has had time to spread word that it's no longer a sucky place to live.

Snazzy!

News for Thursday, December 4, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 21:44

Chad "Briareus" Nicholas shared a few ideas on how he thinks NPC levelling should be dealt in Fallout3:

Here's how I'd like to do it:

CNPCs get the same amount of XP you do. They all use the same XP level chart, and level up when they pass the same thresholds you pass.
So, when you earn 5 XP, every CNPC in your party gets 5 XP as well. When you pass NNNN in XP, you become level L. When they pass NNNN in XP, they become level L.
We could also make it that when a CNPC first joins your party, their level is equal to your level, plus or minus a certain amount. This ensures that if you passed up Sulik until you were level 20, you don't have a crappy CNPC standing around in the wastes. But, once they join your party, if they leave, they do not get to match your level in the same manner when they rejoin.

Thoughts?

So Odin posted a few thoughts:
Or you could make it so that they level up more quickly, to sort of catch up. But then again that would make it so that they don't level up like you, unless you're around the same level. Which would make their Yxlevel up "speed" flat out..to your "speed"

And Briareus replied:
This is handled by XP charts already (in any game, really). For example, take DND. The XP chart is:

1 = 0
2 = 1000
3 = 3000
4 = 6000
5 = 10000
6 = 15000

Now, if you are level 4 and your CNPC is level 2, once you've both earned 2000 XP, you'll still be level 4 and he'll have caught up to level 3. Of course, you'll hit level 5 2000 XP later, but you'll both end up the same level or one level apart eventually.

Then Sarjahurmaaja. pointed out this:
it might be just me, but I'd like the NPCs to level a bit slower than my character, say, 4/5 speed, because, well, it makes me feel less of a hero and more of a sidekick when I got these badasses that could kick my butt while asleep if they wanted to in my party.

And Briareus had this to say:
I think we can come up with other ways to ensure that the player is the badest bad ass of the wastes without slowing down CNPC level progression.

Link: Thread@BIS Feedback forum

Posted by Briosafreak - at 21:21

If you receive the newsletter you`ll find that at the official site of The Fall: Last days of Gaia there`s a new weapons section.
There are three sections available: Light weapons section, Heavy weapons,and Sniper weapons .

Posted by Odin - at 14:43

The official Fbos site has been updated with some new wallpapers, and this time they done it in an art form rather than a 3D rendered wallpapers. Lookie, lookie:



I haven't bothered uploading these to our gallery yet, will upload Fbos art later on..
Link: Fbos

Posted by Briosafreak - at 14:09

Well Chad "Briareus" Nicholas took the time to a very quick session of Q&A with Poison_Crow on the BIS feedback forum:

Poison_Crow:
Who is the Van Buren new "Project Leader"?
Mr. Tom French is still the project lead. Sean K Reynolds is the lead designer.

Poison_Crow:
Will it run on Geforce Mx Series (seeying that most of the games release today requires pixel shader)?!
We haven't finalized the system reqs. just yet.

Poison_Crow:
How amunition and items thing "has been decided" a lot of ammo and itens or just some ammo or just a little?!
Enough to make you think about ammo consumption, but not so little you regret taking the firearm skill.

Poison_Crow:
Fallout 1 and 2 has a lot of different kinds of itens, more than 200 counting on weapons and ammo... Van Buren will have a lot?!
I'm sure it will considering we're going to have some item creation stuff going on.

Poison_Crow:
Well thanks a lot Smile
You're welcome.

Link: Thread@BIS feedback forum

News for Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Posted by Briosafreak - at 22:04

A few questions and answers with Jeff Husges from Black Isle Studios on things beeing done in Fallout3:

Revolver:Another thing I wouldn't mind seeing is if the unarmed attacks were opposed by the other person's unarmed skill, so if they were horrible at hand to hand, you could really mess them up.

At the moment, the success of a few special unarmed moves also takes into account the Unarmed skill of both the PC and his opponent.

Sarjahurmaaja:Moves such as... ?

Things like going up to a guy and trying to take his super death gun out of his hand. If you're Punchy McFists and your opponent sorta knows how to throw a punch, he'll be staring at his suddenly empty hand while you snap kick him in the groin or club/shoot him with his own weapon.
Of course, if his Unarmed skill greatly surpasses your own, there's a pretty good chance he'll just laugh, counter your feeble attempt to disarm him, and then shoot you in the eye

kumquatq3: Will enemies try to disarm you? Like if a pack of ninjas attack (Yes!), will one be smart enough to go for your gun?

That's up to the scripters, but I'm sure it can be arranged. The disarming, not the ninjas. Smile

Link: Thread@BIS Feedback Forum

Posted by Briosafreak - at 20:01

Gamespy has an article on how gamers opinions should be dealt by developers, following the Deus Ex2 demo debacle.
They try to show two different points of view, with praises to the Commandos fans that tried to prevent the mistakes of Commandos3, and the usual Gamespy rants against Fallout fans that tried to do the same thing when Fallout Tactics was being made. The split personality thing was supposed to be witty and to spark the discussion, but a few sentences are so dumb that I could only laugh.

So the Darwin Award for this week goes to Allen "Delsyn" Rausch and from the many examples there are two particularly funny and dumb paragraphs:

Fallout fans pull this stuff all the time. They flamed Fallout: Tactics from the minute it was announced, feeling that only they were qualified to judge the direction of the future of the franchise. I remember a long-running whine over a Tactics screenshot that drove the Fallout fans nuts because some lizard-beast had hair! "How dare you! Don't you know these things are reptiles? They don't have hair! You're ruining the franchise!"
I reiterate - gamers are buying a game, not stock in the company. The game's creators only owe gamers their best efforts to produce a quality, bug-free product. They are not required to submit to gamers for approval if they decide to move the storyline forward or change the gameplay mechanics, nor do gamers have some divine right to a sequel to a series they enjoy. If they don't like what the developers are producing - they don't have to buy it.

So he explains why tactics didn`t sell and doesn`t even notice it...
But the best "removed from the genepool" sentence is this one:
The best games come from one person or a small team with a vision and the guts to bull through marketing weasels and lowest-common denominator thinking. That's what gets you a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic or a Legend of Zelda.

Right, those games were made by very small teams with no marketing input on the development process at all Very Happy
Thanks to kumquatq3 for the heads up.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:28

Damien "Puuk" Foletto is on a posting spree on the Interplay forums. First, responding to King of Crooks, he assured us once again that the choice between taking the good and evil path would be more balanced in Van Buren than it was in Fallout 1 or 2 in this thread

Right. I think both good and evil should be equally rewarded not only with XP and material rewards, but also with story flow and world reactivity. The player should be allowed to be the ultimate hero or the ultimate villain (or even something in between) and end the game feeling they got their money's worth in either case. It's not an easy thing to pull off, but it is possible and we're trying it in VB.


Then King of Crooks called him out again, this time asking Puuk if they were taking care to avoid the "player doesn't give a Sh**"-problem MCA talked about earlier. Puuk replied:

I hope so. At least we're trying to. In each of our areas we ask ourselves, "Why would the player give a *beep*?" If we couldn't answer it, we revamped the area. This goes for both good and evil motivations. As for the overall story, we think we came up with a VERY good reason for the player to give a *beep*, whether or not the PC is good or evil. And no, I won't tell you what it is.

News for Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Posted by Dan - at 9:00

Damien "Puuk" Foletto commented on a bunch of issues concering project Van Buren in the Interplay forums.

First, a rather interesting thought on the subject of Karma vs reputation:

I agree whole-heartedly that reputation > karma. It better illustrates a player's actions in the game world and furthers the "one man's heaven is another man's hell" world-feel. If the player slaughtered an entire village in the middle of nowhere, it should not have any affect on the towns and villages that are hundreds of miles away. Unless, said towns and villages had trade with the massacred town, investigated the crime scene, found a survivor or two, got a good description of the player, and then put out a bounty. Nothing karmic about that, just reputation based as a result of a living, active (and reactive) world.

He also shared some info over in this thread about moral decisions:
I think with games like Fallout it seems more "natural" (for lack of a better term) to hover the character in the gray area. Basically, your character will try to do almost anything to save his vault (referencing F1), and the severity of being either good or evil depends on how much work you want to do. Sometimes it's just easier to kill the dork blocking your path, other times it might be interesting to see what happens if you do the same dork's task. In the Wasteland, good and evil are really not so clearly defined - what's good for you and your people may cause major suckage for others. But does it make you evil for helping your people at the expense of others? Morality becomes very ambiguous when survival is at stake.
And about using skills to operate work stations:
Since skills are a big part of VB, the player would need the requisite skill to use an appropriate work station. Ergo, vis--vis , in order for a character to be able to use a mechanic's work station, for example, he would need a decent mechanic's skill. The more complicated the mechanical endeavor, the more skill is required.

Posted by Odin - at 3:45

Yah! We've got a new design here on NMA and also a some other fancy, smancy thingies added. Some sections haven't been updated with the new design, since I'm still working on those files (takes some time to go through all the files..)
I'd like to thank Obsidian from Shamo for the look of the new design!

Comment all you like on the design...

Oh and the date/time stamp on the news is fucked up, still working on it Smile

News for Monday, December 1, 2003

Posted by Odin - at 21:07

I'm doing some site upgrades here on NMA, so several sections will probably be somewhat unavailable. I'll hopefully have it all done by this evening, in the meantime you can visit our forum (which won't be affected by the upgrades)..

Cheers!

Posted by Brother None - at 19:38

Jargo of the Fallout modding centre informed us there's now an English site for the FSE project:

At this adress:
http://www.mody-jarga.host.sk/fse/
you find english version of FSE project site.
Translation of FSE is in progress


Keep up the good work, Jargo, and keep us informed.

Posted by Briosafreak - at 17:53

I just spoted at VDHP that there`s a new weekly summary at the Trinity project site:

As always Przemo_nie has prepared the weekly summary of Trinity:

Done:

- technical conception of dialogues [Stig],
- partial document about the world [Przemo_nie],
- sketches [Kalen],
- ideas how to obtain electricity in the post nuclear reality [Archibald],
- 3D models for pre-alpha [Raziel],
- www update [Michał K. and Kaczor],
- document about the artistic side of Trinity [Eltoro from WastalandRangers, Jaro and Przemo_nie],
- "Junkers" description [ManJak],

To do:

- code - work continuation according to foundations,
- corrections in functional specification of the world, after
discussion [Przemo_nie],
- more 3D models for pre-alpha [Raziel],
- conceptional sketches [Jaro and Kalen],
- document about objects and interactions between them [Przemo_nie],
- description of the "Fortress" organization [ManJak]

Posted by Briosafreak - at 17:43

Chad "Briareus" Nicholas has once again replied on the BIS feedback forum giving assurances that Fallout3 isn`t canned and production goes on, and he denies the idea of Interplay dumbing down the game:

Mr. Teatime:It's obvious to me that his vision of the game was severely compromised by interplay, or the game's about to be cancelled, or something BAD.

Without any inside info, how the hell is this obvious to you? What info do you have that leads you to this conclusion?
Sorry, but that's just not the case. We've said over and over the only two concessions that the team has made for Van Buren is that we're adding a RT combat mode in addition to the TB mode and we're going to support co-op multiplayer. Any other limitations are self imposed by the team.

Rex Exitium:I don't see how any of you could even have the slightest glimmer of hope that it would be anything but yet another one of IPLY's great achievements in product termination.

Consider that the team is still working on it, I'd say that's a hell of a lot more than just hope.

By the way the Interplay boards are working fine now, after the problems during the weekend.