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News for Saturday, November 25, 2006

Posted by deadr4tz - at 21:46

In preparation for his S.T.A.L.K.E.R. preview in the upcoming January 2007 issue of PC Gamer, Chuck Osborn journeyed the radioactive region around Chernobyl. Among the cool things he encountered there are crazed mutant cats and giant mutant catfish of doom:

Geiger the Radioactive Cat (my nickname) was the first animal we’d seen inside the exclusion zone, and its deep, guttural yowl was creepy enough to convince us that it just might be a mutant…if we squinted. mutant expectations were finally fulfilled when the guide told us that the stream underneath is home to some unusually large catfish, some ranging in size up to a whopping 10 meters. And yes, I saw one of these monsters myself—it wasn’t 10 meters, but it was about the size of a dolphin. It was easily the largest catfish I’d ever seen.
You can read the rest of his chronicles (as well as view some photos) here.

Thanks, Ztirom.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:01

Craig Petersen has revealed some of the drawings that'll be included in the Fallout d20 manual on his website:

In October 2006, I completed artwork that will appear in the first Interplay approved Fallout Pen and Paper d20 Guide by Glutton Creeper Games. The role-playing game manual is based on the Fallout video game series and is planned to be released in early 2007 in the United States.

Fallout Armor

I was asked to create some armor (or "armour" as we spell here in NZ) illustrations for the Fallout d20 Guide. I saw this as a great opportunity to add in a 1950's feel to my illustrations by creating some tongue-in-cheek advertisements that would have been published before the Great War in 2077 (in the Fallout timeline). The fonts used are the same as those used in the introduction sequences of the Fallout 2 video game.
And he calls Vault Boy "Vault Boy" rather than something retarded like "Pipboy".

Link: Fallout d20 illustrations on Mechazoic Era

Thanks E.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:26

In a pretty neat project, Sirren67 has been working on some new Fallout 2 critters that future modders can put into Fallout 2 mods. While not yet implemented anywhere, they're cool enough to post about anyway. The first one is Freewheeling Andy:

The second, that he did with Wild_qwerty, is Hammering Richard, screenshot here.

News for Thursday, November 23, 2006

Posted by Brother None - at 22:13

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is doing its best to quell any rumours of its vaporware status. In fact, GameSpot UK goes as far as to say "GSC Game World's long-awaited PC shooter is nearing completion." Some of their impressions:

As well as implementing brand-new technology in S.T.A.L.K.E.R., the developers have had time to implement a branching storyline that has seven different endings. The team talks about five of these being "false," while two of them are "true." Predictably, you'll have to put in the work to see one of the better endings, as S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s open-ended, do-anything structure lets you choose how involved you want to be in the game. If you decide to take part in the secondary goals and help those in need, you'll earn one of the better finales, which the makers claim will take 40 to 60 hours to achieve. Other considerations, such as how much you trade and who you decide to kill, will also affect the game's conclusion. While you won't be able to continue the game after completion, the team expects that you will want to go back through a number of times.


Although S.T.A.L.K.E.R. appears to be a traditional first-person shooter, there's a role-playing element to managing your inventory. You're limited in the amount of equipment you can carry by weight, so you have to balance the guns and ammo you take with you. You can swap weapons with those from fallen enemies, and we soon found weapons that suited our individual playing style based on their ranges and firing spread. Likewise, although carrying stronger armor will prove useful against enemy attacks, it's heavier and takes up more room in your inventory. As you travel around the zone, there's plenty to scavenge, as well as buy from traders, so you'll be able to experiment with a variety of combinations as you play.
That's not sounding too good on RPG elements there. GameSpot also notes that "[w]hile S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is big on ideas, it currently looks a little dated when compared to its next-generation contemporaries."

Link: Hands-on impressions of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. on GameSpot

Spotted on DaC

News for Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Posted by deadr4tz - at 15:54

Yet another member of the Fallout 3 core design team has been revealed. This time, it's Joel Burgess, the Lead Level Designer on FO3. Here is a brief factsheet for those unfamiliar with him:

· In addition to working as a level designer on Oblivion, Joel's impressive resume also includes Bloodrayne 2, Aeon Flux and... ehrm, not much else.

· He was in a band named Roller Chair Derby. They had a song named "Wasteland".

· He appears to be a proponent of randomized content: Post #1, Post #2

· He's a fan of targeted shots in FO1: Post #3

Look at Fallout 1 as an example. In that game, a headshot could blind your enemy, or you could go with my favorite and blow out kneecaps, slowing movement speed. So for that game it was about a lot more than damage returns; it also affected enemy behavior. Also - that was totally based on character skill. No amount of reflex with the mouse could help a spear-chucking troglodyte steady a sniper rifle.
Furthermore, Joel has announced that BethSoft is hiring additional level designers to work on Fallout 3. For some reason, the announcement was made on The Elder Scrolls Forums, a popular hangout of Fallout modders and developers:
Some of you folks may know of me from previous posts, as a level designer on Oblivion. I'm honored to be lead level designer for Fallout 3, and I'm looking for a few good lackeys. Those of you who have seen me around probably are also aware of my love for the mod community, so I'm very excited at the prospect of hiring modders.

So here's the deal - we're looking for people who can make great dungeons. Did you play Mehrunes Razor and say "I can do that"? Maybe you've played a quest mod that had some spectacular gameplay areas built into it? Those are the kinds of people I'm interested in. Post your name or the name of somebody who you'd reccomend, and any links to their work. Bonus points for resumes.

Please keep this thread on-topic, btw. Feel free to open additional threads for discussion, and even link to them within this thread, but this thread should be reserved for potential candidates, their info, and why they're the right person for the job.

Here are the qualifications.

LEVEL DESIGNER -- Rockville, Maryland

Design, build, and script levels for future Elder Scrolls and Fallout products. Includes working in our proprietary toolset to design, build, light, and script game areas.

Candidate should have:
· Excellent sense of 3D game space and gameflow.
· Experience with designing, building, and populating game levels.
· Experience scripting or programming complex interactivity.
· Excellent communication, documentation, and interpersonal skills.
· Experience with The Elder Scrolls Construction Set a plus.
· Game industry experience a plus.
· Experience using modular kits a plus
· Excellent, proven creative writing skills a plus

Candidate must supply an example of their work in document form complete with images and descriptions of the gameplay space, events, and implementation.
Essential links:

Bethesda hiring level designers
Joel Burgess' website.
Joel Burgess' Mobygames entry

Thanks, Briosafreak and Sander.

Addendum: posting later in the thread, Joel Burgess had a few additionata:
+ If you have done work in other games, or have a great WIP you haven't released, still feel free to apply, but folks with released stuff for Oblivion and Morrowind are obviously in the best position to share work.

+ I swung by NMA last night and saw the post. Thanks!
Maybe some of our top modders would fit the bill too?

News for Saturday, November 18, 2006

Posted by Silencer - at 3:02

The Fallout NPC Mod by TeamX was updated to v.3.0, and then 3.1 recently:

Changes in v3.0:

- Fixed bugs, which caused game crash.
- Fixed various minor bugs, removed debug messages.
- "Best armour" option replaced with the "Change armour" option (current armour
changes to best armour from inventory).
- NPC will not use weapon type unusual to them.

Note! This version IS NOT COMPATIBLE with the previous versions!

(...) "Fallout NPC Mod" was updated to v.3.1. This bug was fixed.
If you've ever wanted to play Fallout with Fallout 2-like expanded NPC control options, now is the time.

Link: Fallout NPC Mod, TeamX website

News for Monday, November 13, 2006

Posted by Brother None - at 23:21

Interplay has managed to produce yet another SEC filing, which seems to be the only thing they're doing, as fears of a Fallout MMORPG to which they would still hold the license are allayed by the following statement:

The Company has suspended all product development during 2006 due to the Companies current financial conditions and therefore no expenses were incurred.
However, hidden in the 10-Q is this mind-boggling statement:

During the quarter, the Company has reversed certain accruals and accounts payables of approximately $1,823,000. It is the company's policy to reverse outstanding accruals and accounts payables that have been outstanding for over 3 years and no effort has been made by the vendor or claimant for that period of time to collect the outstanding balances.
This means that according to Herve and co, they've just acquitted themselves of 1.8 million dollars in debts by simply declaring them non-existent by logic that nobody has come looking for them for 3 years. Now I'm no expert, but huh?

Link: Interplay 10-Q filing on

News for Sunday, November 12, 2006

Posted by Brother None - at 5:21

MIB88 wisely decided that the trees were getting in the way of the forest and moved his MIB Megamod project from version 1 to 2.0. This means you can now download and install this (29 megs) file and be done with it, with at least 1% less hassle guaranteed!

Link: MIB88 megamod 2.0 on NMA

News for Saturday, November 11, 2006

Posted by Silencer - at 2:54

The Gone with the Blastwave comic has been updated with three new strips, featuring this time some teamwork, a tank, and possibly other items beginning with 't'.

Also, Morr's got a few words to the readers in addition to the pictures:

There is gonna be a biiiiig hiatus in a month or two... because the law of finland says that I have to serve the finnish defence forces for 6 to 12 months. I will most likely not be using whatever freetime I have during that time on this comic. Unless someone pays me for it, of course. I will be updating 3 or 4 times before this hiatus.

Third. There is gonna be a fancy printed magazine version of blastwave. It will be avaiable sometime early next year. More info on that later.
Well, at least he's going to have a full jornal of anecdotes to illustrate when he's back.

In other ink-stained news, Alec posted a new panel here on NMA today, which is my favourite, BTW.

Links: Gone with the Blastwave, Comic relief from the Wasteland

News for Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Posted by Brother None - at 1:34

Fallout, aka "The Game That Refuses To Be Forgotten", is once again popping up in random places in the gaming media world. First is a sociogaming article by the Escapist analysing settings and zeitgeist:

Games, as they continue to evolve in terms of technology and audience, progress toward a threshold of societal relevance. We, too, pull from the leaf-mould, and looking back on landmark successes in the game industry invites inspection: In Fallout and Deus Ex: Invisible War, we see a recurring post-apocalyptic theme (...)
Fallout as a social comment game? Might be missing the '50's perspective in that short commentary. zioburosky13 pointed out a podcast on PC Gamer (#55) that mentions Fallout at 33:58:
"Turn based...that doesn't seem to sell game this day" (...)

"Well Kotor was turn-based"
Both these statements, surprisingly, are untrue. More interesting is Fallout again popping up on a Gamasutra list (having made "RPGs that advance the genre" earlier), this time as a honourable mention on the Leap Forward: Storytelling list (Deus Ex makes 1):
Black Isle's 'Fallout' was one of the first games with a cinema caliber story, sharp dialogue, and true story-driven objectives. You had a reason to act that was intensely personal. The whole world may have been in danger, but your first priority was always your own friends and family. That you are then rejected and cast out into the wastes, even as their savior, remains one of the most poignant moments in gaming history. Even when you "beat" the game, your character loses that which is most dear to him.

News for Monday, November 6, 2006

Posted by Tannhauser - at 20:55

Wild_Qwerty has informed us that work has ceased on the ambitious Fallout 2 mod Mutants Rising. In his announcement, Wild_Qwerty offers some thoughts and his thanks to those that helped the project.

Hi NMA & The Fallout Community

Well since no progress has been made in a long time and no one is posting on the forums and the team leader disappeared MR is basically dead, well actually everyone who is left agrees that’s it dead, so you could say that it's officially dead.

SNorth did write up a rather nice news announcement that MR is dead, but we couldn’t even agree on what to say in that, so here's my take on it.

Anyway, thanks to all the members of MR who contributed over the last few years (you know who you are!). Even though we didn’t finish the mod (we had a buggy demo completed) we had a bloody good time of it, we made a lot of good friends and learnt a lot about game development, art, scripting, writing, other peoples countries etc... Though it is disappointing we never completed MR it was worth all the hard-yaka just for the good mates we made.

In short, we were far to ambitious and the scripting hamstrung us.

Thanks also to NMA for hosting us in the early days (leaving NMA was probably the beginning of the end for MR as it cut us off from the FO community)

Thanks to the developers out there who made the software tools to let us give modding FO2 a crack (Team-X springs to mind, those guys are bloody legends!).

A lot of the team is currently hanging out if you want to stop by and spam us (or say hi). A lot of the boys are still very passionate about game dev, and have a few separate projects on the cooker.

Finally to anyone else out there thinking of getting into the modding scene, go for it! It's great fun and you dont need to be a total computer geck (err geek).

Cheers Mate

It is sad to see one of the handful of bold mod projects falter, especially after the team has worked long and hard. Good luck to the members of the Mutants Rising in their future endeavors.

News for Friday, November 3, 2006

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 7:38

Recently Playstation Magazine a popular console magazine ran an article entitled "East Vs West" in which is described the gradual differentiation between American and Japanese RPG's. Surprisingly for a console magazine they not only mention Fallout, but even the author has amazing knowledge about just how much Fallout represents the American flavor of RPG...

Take Interplay's Fallout, one of the most highly regarded Western RPG's of the past decade. It allows players to create and customize a character, form allegiances, take on jobs and bounties-all of which are tangential to the main story, which involves a hero's quest to save his "hometown" from imminent drought. But the path to completing the task is left to players to determine.
I would like to point out to you the reader also that the article makes constant note of the differences between American and Japanese RPGs.
It's hardly news that American and Japan are like night and day when it comes to tastes in videogames, but the differences are even more pronounced when it comes to RPG's. Aside from a shared fascination with the primping pretty boys of Final Fantasy, our two nations define "roleplaying" as two very different creatures. Here, they're enormous, open-ended adventures in which the story is loosely presented and players are free to progress as they see fit-just like in the old days of tabletop RPG's when the dungeon master determined the plot and outcomes were settled with a roll of the dice.

In Japan, though, an RPG is something completely different . You have your character stats and your experience points. You may have familiar character classes and even beasts to battle straight from TSR's Monstrous Compendium. There could be dungeons to spelunk and townsfolk to assist, too. But those elements ultimately serve as a mere window dressing for the linear adventures in which plot, not the player, determines the game's outcomes, direction, and pacing.
I'm fairly certain that if your experience is like mine that you have many RPG friends who play console (JRPG), but wont touch a PC (American RPG) and this article could a good introduction to proving to them that the difference is one of style and not quality. Who knows? You may even make a believer of them.

Be sure to pick up the November 2006 copy of the Official U.S. Playstation Magazine Issue 110 and show it to a friend.

The Vault Dweller

News for Thursday, November 2, 2006

Posted by Wooz - at 18:03


Well, to some, at least. I've got a hold of a few Polish Civil Defense positive films from the fifties. After hours of painfully scanning, editing, optimizing for web, fighting with the upload function and *translating* every bit, they're finally available for viewing.

I didn't remove any scratches nor stains, the instruction tapes are in all their gritty glory and priceless quotes available to view HERE. It starts with the first picture of the 2-part film, use the next/prev function to navigate through them, as they're uploaded in a logical order.

Here's a sample of the Polski Duck and Cover:


Posted by Brother None - at 1:28

In other news, here's a small roundup on the buzz surrounding the news of Emil Pagliarulo's status as lead designer. First off a note that he apparently did the "Life of the Party" bit of Thief 2, which is a great part of a pretty great game. Anyway, recently at DaC:

You know what you're getting into when you take this job, so it's not like I'm surprised. Fallout fans are... Fallout fans. There are those of you who will despise me and the game we're making based on general principle. "If it's not Van Buren, it's not Fallout 3." Some of you hate Oblivion. Nothing I can say or do will change that. And that's fine by me; it's your right. I'm not going to waste anyone's time trying to convince you otherwise. But the reality is that Bethesda has been granted the rare opportunity to preserve the Fallout license, and it's a responsibility we take very seriously.
We must've really made him run the gauntlet in the past year, because some 20 months ago at NMA he said:
Seriously, though, you guys are awesome. In the few months I've been visiting these forums I've seen more spirited, passionate, intelligent game design discussion than I have on a lot of other game forums in the past few years.


The Thief fans, like you guys, were left for a long time to reminisce about the "good old days" while wondering if they'd ever get a new title in the series worth a damn. Some were very happy with Thief: Deadly Shadows. Others...not so happy. But hey, at least the Thief fans didn't get a watered down, "Thief: Brotherhood of Hammers" that was only vaguely even set in the same universe...
More mocking of our relationship with Interplay's gem Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel can be found here. On fan suggestions and Fallout 3:
Well, simplest answer I can give is this: If I didn't care what the community thought, I wouldn't be here. That said, when you make any game, you have to take all the fan suggestions and determine what's important, what's not, what's doable, what's not. We have a vision of the game we want to make, and that's the one we're making; staying true to the "essence" of Fallout (which can be defined a thousand ways, I know) is incredibly important to us.
So what is the essence of Fallout, then?

On another note, J.E. Sawyer apparently still can't get enough of being featured in NMA newsposts, and thus made a comment to sneak back into our limelights:
I enjoyed the Dark Brotherhood stuff in Oblivion, though I hope Fallout 3 has more branching plotlines and important player chioces.
There, I posted it. Happy now, Josh?

News for Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Posted by Silencer - at 13:24

The iconic VaultBoy has been making a number of apperances in art lately.

For instance, the hotshot webcomic VG Cats highlighted the hallmark in their Halloween humoresque:

Azrael-Arkangel animated the protagonist strolling about some secluded street.

MrBumble carved the effigy of the rascal into the side of a holy mountain in Photoshop.

Arachnivore made a design for everyone's favourite T-shirt (creatively developing an idea by Schuljunge)

Links: VG Cats Halloween Strip @ VG Cats, Vaut Boy Walking, Mount Nukemore, VaultChé @ NMA Fan Art Forum