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News for Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Posted by Silencer - at 0:57

The address www.wasted.pl has a webpage for a postapocalyptic game that we have not hitherto reported:

The year 2043. A world ravaged by hurricanes, earthquakes and sandstorms caused by a certain celestial occurence that rapidly altered the terran magnetic field (...) You are a victim of the Jarema experiment, which aimed at the creation of a bionically enhanced human. A few years after the catastrophy, which levelled the fruits of civilization to the ground and cast the object into oblivion by all, the last remaining specimen of the failed endeavour starts to awaken. Not knowing what happened, you fail to recognize the current, changed world. Only gradually The Hollow unveils its dark secrets to you (...)
Exploring the world of The Hollow you will have an opportunity to meet its inhabitants, fight the desert beasts and survive thrilling combats


A demo is being prepared, with two locations spanning about one square kilometer area, and up to twenty quests to be completed.

Link: www.wasted.pl

Posted by Silencer - at 0:06

One MagnumOpus came here to let us know of a campaign he's been making for Tactics, the Project Dark Sky (not to be confused with Darkfall):


Project Dark Sky takes place in post nuclear america a hundred or so years after Wasteland, and the Fallout series. The inhabitants of the wasteland have begun to rebuild society. Though most areas have introduced technology into their societys, the vast expanses of wasteland between these societys prevent any form of networking between populated areas. The inhabitants of the wasteland isolate themselves in the sanctuary of their cities, and fear the desolation of the outside world.

The region is divided into sevral nations, and societies, most of which are fighting for dominion over the land.
The factions include a post-Brotherhood of Steel dictatorship, a union of Wasteland Rangers, two collectivist beast and robot societies, and of course - mutants! Elements from Fallout and Wasteland universes will be combined in the setting. The protagonist will be a gifted immigrant into the ranger United Collective, Dr. Floyd Grant.

A token-based dialogue-tree emulation system will be used for the campaign, which is depicted here.

Link: Read more on Project Dark Sky on a thread in our forum

News for Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Posted by Sander - at 17:28

And the fifth piece has been released by Bethesda, this time featuring the Jefferson Memorial.





Link: Official Fallout 3 site

News for Monday, May 28, 2007

Posted by Silencer - at 23:34

mvBarracuda wants us to highlight a FIFE graphic contest under way:



=== About FIFE ===
FIFE is an open source 2D engine that aims to become a whole framework for the creation of cross platform (Linux, Mac, Win32) roleplaying games. (...) we've moved away from our Fallout roots over the last year and FIFE is slowly becoming a general purpose 2D RPG engine, suitable for the creation of all kind of roleplaying games.

Here is an impression of our demo map that shipped with the 2007.1 release


=== About the contest ===
The demo map shown above was created with free graphics from Reiner's tilesets site. We're trying to build a community around FIFE and we're also of course trying to get them involved in the project. A first step into this direction is our upcoming graphics contest, called: '''Send them in!'''.

The contest will start at the first of June, 2007 and the end of it is scheduled for the first of August, 2007. There are basically four different categories in which you can take part: floor tiles, roof tiles, static & animated objects and animated characters. You can take part in more than one category but there are certain requirements for each category; if you want to win the prize of the contest, you'll need to fulfill them.

So what is the prize? FIFE programmer Phoku offers to code an (useful) ~10 man hours feature into FIFE for the winner. This is probably a good way if you're considering to use FIFE for an own project but one important feature is still currently missing in your opinion. Although there will be no monetary compensation as the whole team works in their free time on the project, we're hoping for a bunch of interested participants nevertheless.

We're aiming to use the contributions of all participants of the contest for a new demo map that will hopefully already ship with the upcoming 2007.2 release.
Link: Send them in! contest page, FIFE site, FIFE wiki

Posted by romain - at 13:39

A French team is currently working on a Fallout mod based on the post-apocalytic game : STALKER.

They have already posted some WIPs :






If you feel motivated to work on this project, you can ask us to join their dev team or if you just want to follow the dev you can sign up. They are looking for designer, level-design, mapper, code dev ...

Link: Stalkout

Source : Nuka Cola

News for Sunday, May 27, 2007

Posted by Silencer - at 22:17

Jarosław Szatkowski has created a new sprites editor for Tactics, available here.

Link: http://jarekfall.republika.pl

News for Friday, May 25, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 18:53

Interplay filed with SEC again and do not seem to be out of the woods:

As of March 31, 2007, we had a working capital deficit of approximately $7.9 million, and our cash balance was approximately $6,000. We currently have no cash reserves and are only able to pay current liabilities. We cannot continue in our current form without obtaining additional financing or income.

We have substantially reduced our operating expenses and have licensed certain rights to one of our Intellectual Properties, Earthworm Jim, to a third party. We have sold one of our Intellectual Properties, Fallout, to a third party while obtaining a License back to allow us to create, develop and exploit a "Fallout" Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG).

(...)

Our current cash reserves plus our expected cash from existing operations assuming full receipt of the deferred consideration from the sale of "Fallout" will only be sufficient to fund our anticipated expenditures to March 31, 2008. We will need to continue to consummate certain sales of assets and/or raise additional financing to meet our contractual obligations.
Interplay will continue to sell bits of itself. I'd like another Earthworm Jim game. Additionally, Interplay was again in court on the 24th of May for the forced bankruptcy hearing, with no results:
***VACATED*** REASON: CONT'D TO 7-26-07 AT 10:00 PM PER STIPULATION & ORDER SIGNED 5-9-07
Link: 10-Q Interplay filing at SEC

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 5:25

As some of you may have noticed in the past NMA reported on the television show "Jericho" due to it's post-apocalyptic nature and supposedly good quality.

Recently the show was canceled after only the first season. The fans angered by what they deem to be an unfair and inexplainable move by the CBS executives have mobilized and started a campaign to get the show back on air and voice their displeasure.

Many of you may be fans of the show and even if you are not, as I am, you will be fairly impressed by the level of fanaticism of such fans. They may remind you of our movement here.

If you wish to help them or are just curious you can see their site here:

Jericho Lives

I'd like to say that after seeing just how much work they've been doing I'd like to watch the show now inspite of hardly watching any television. Perhaps they are on to something.

Special thanks to one Revdrjflash for reporting this to NMA.

Sincerely,
The Vault Dweller

News for Thursday, May 24, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 23:48

NMA got in touch with Artistry Entertainment, Jeremy Soule's music company, to get a final word on whether or not Jeremy Soule did the title track of the Fallout webpage and/or will do the Falout 3 soundtrack. The reply:

Mr. Soule has not done and has no current plans to write music for Fallout 3.

Posted by Brother None - at 20:24

WFMU offers us an excellent time capsule from the 50s:

It seems hard to believe and somewhat out of character for a budget label like Tops to have a release like "If The Bomb Falls" in their catalog lineup. Talk about a time capsule! Otis Fodder and I opened this one up together and were blown away by all of this record's contents: A book on how to build a "Family Fallout Shelter" by the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, another book on "Home Protection Exercises", a pamphlet on the "Facts About Fallout Protection", and a card to remind you about "Civil Defense Preparedness" and what to do "When The Warning Sounds".
If The Bomb Falls available in mp3 format on WFMU, also on the site is scans from the cover and additional pamphlets.

Link: If The Bomb Falls, A Recorded Guide To Survival on WFMU

Posted by Brother None - at 20:04

Our friends over at Duck and Cover spotted on odd something on Ricardo "socrates200X" Gonzalez' website (currently down):


This image is from a larger image, which "looks like a book-cover, and features the text "So you've become a vampire", "Introducing you to your new un-life" and "Tenpenny Press"."

Gonzalez elucidates:
Oh, yeeeah; I remember that! That was one of my unique MS Paint masterpieces that I'm wont to spread about the office. I've misplaced the joke to which this particular image went, but suffice to say, it was pretty funny. You know, vampire funny. One of those "you had to be there" moments. You should see some of the other Photoshopped Vault Boys we have floating around here...

Posted by Brother None - at 19:12

Well, you already know Todd Howard, but still:

Who am I and what do I do?
Todd Howard, “person-in-charge” of Fallout 3’s development. I’ve worked on most of our stuff, but the one’s that I “created/was in-charge-of” would be Future Shock, SkyNET, Redguard, Morrowind, and Oblivion.

What are your inspirations…
Oh, whatever. You guys just ask these questions because you’re subversively trying to get a better understanding of who we are and what makes us tick, because that will give you insight into what Fallout 3 is and what’s going to make it tick, so I’m not going to answer the questions, since I think you guys have proven you deserve something more, straight from “the horse’s mouth”.

Obviously I can’t talk about the game itself yet, but I can give you a look into how I/we approached it. When we first got the license in 2004, I was pretty ecstatic, I pushed pretty hard for us to get it, because I really liked the first game and thought Fallout would be a great fit for us, it has all the big things I love about RPGs – player freedom, big world, go do what you want type of stuff. But once you have it – you obviously get to work on how to approach an icon like Fallout. And it’s much harder then you think, because it’s certainly a game that has grown in its legacy as time goes on, it’s hard to sift through what its “essence” or “soul” is, because it’s aged, and people often discuss it in nostalgic tones.

I obviously replayed the games, and Fallout 1 remains the truest inspiration for what we’re doing, but again, it can be hard to get at the “soul” of it, because of its aging. So I look to things like the first game’s manual. The fiction and tone of it. There is also a great, great section in the Fallout 1 hintbook, “One Woman’s Path through the Desert”, which is a journal of going through the game, as if it was real. In some ways, that section is a better look into the game then the game itself. I also read old-reviews, because they gave me a better understanding of how those games felt then. Again, removing the aging.

I obviously looked at all the PA movies – Boy and his Dog, Mad Max, Strangelove, etc. Though I find the actual PA movies end up fairly generic, and don’t capture what is special about the Fallout world, and that’s not the world that you end up with, but the world of 2077 that gets destroyed, and then built upon. I became far more interested in the “pre-war” world, then the “post-war” world.

I also looked a lot at my own reactions to other franchises that have had long gaps and were reborn/updated again in another era. Mostly movies, and such, The Lord of the Rings, Superman, Batman, etc, etc. Now, I’m a recovering comic book junkie, so I’ll probably be throwing around a lot of superhero references, and I hope they make sense. Speaking of which, I’d really like to sell a bunch of long-boxes from my basement if anyone wants them, you just can’t have my signed Frank Miller Dark Knight. Speaking of Dark Knight, Batman remains my favorite (one day I’m gonna rock the house with an open-ended gotham city Batman game, mark my words). The recent Batman and Superman movies, or even their earlier counterparts are pretty good examples of classic iconic franchises that were reborn again. I love…love…Batman Begins. Chris Nolan is a @#$*!^& genius. See the Prestige if you haven’t. Now, I have problems as a huge Batman fan with it, but the pure “soul” of Batman beats in the heart of that movie, and Nolan’s current “I believe in Harvey Dent” tease from The Dark Knight is further proof of his genius.

I also love the first Superman movie, and I think I draw many parallels from Bryan Singer doing Superman Returns, which tries to follow Superman 1 and 2 and ignore 3 and 4, to our own situation. Reg Richard Donner’s Superman, one of my mantras, and it’s a word he used for making that movie, is “verisimilitude”. Look it up if you don’t know what it means. Donner made a sign of it and put it up (maybe I’ll do the same). I want to bring that to Fallout, I want to make it real again, and come alive like it’s the first time you’ve ever seen it. Treat it with respect, and don’t cheese it up.

I wish I could give you real, true, insight into what we put into our games, and this is not me just trying to sell you, or smooth you over, because I’m Ok, really, if you don’t love what we do. We’re fans, we’re passionate about what we do. We go on a crusade to make the best game we can. We make the game we would run to the store and buy, we argue, we debate, we scream, we stay up all night, we clap and cheer the highs and curse the lows. One day we’ll find a way to make you a fly on the wall in one of our design meetings – they’re pretty damn inspiring. And I wish you knew all the faces of the 80 people busting ass to make this game great. The secret superstars you don’t know of like Istvan Pely, Mike Lipari, and Scott Franke. I could go on and on.

I’m often asked about the fans and our forums, and I think you all want to know if your opinions are heard or it you’re shouting into a black hole. And I can assure you that we have these forums so we can hear from you. And yes, we read most of it. It’s like a car crash you just have to watch sometimes, lots of violence and parts exploding, but there is something awesome in its power. Your opinions do matter, and we want them. We are influenced by what gets said about us on these forums, in the press, the letters we get and so forth. Speaking of letters, we do get a lot, and the letters are different then the forum posts. One of the popular letters we get is from someone who’s had a life-changing experience, or gone through a bad time, and had to write us to tell us how much Morrowind/Oblivion meant to them. That it became a real world to them, that they got to escape and play a stronger/different person then they are in real life, and it helped them. You have to pretty jaded to not have that affect you. And that’s why you come to these forums and that’s why people outside of RPGs and/or Fallout may think you are crazy. Because they are not just games, they are worlds, and for the time you play them they are as real as anything you have experienced in life, they become part of you and you care. That’s why you and I are both here.

To say we care about Fallout would be an epic understatement. We are excited/humbled to be the ones to bring it back. I know we don’t have all the right answers, or the one’s you would make when it comes to how it should be or look. We can only do what we think is right and what makes us the most excited, and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve left no stone unturned in trying to find Fallout’s “soul”, but those decisions are ours, not yours. I just hope you give the game a look and decide if that soul is there for you.

I think I know what it feels like to adopt kids now, because we adopted Fallout and for the last 3 years we have been doing our best to care for it, and now I love it like it had been our child forever; and soon, very soon, we can show him to the world again. I think he’s got something to say, and I think it’s important.

You may not agree, you may be too cynical to look at it objectively anymore, but I’m going to guess that you’re reading this forum because Fallout really does matter, and it does mean something far more to you then just “a game.” So for my final superhero reference, I leave you with this quote from Christopher Reeve; insert Fallout:

"I've seen first hand how Superman actually transforms people's lives. I have seen children dying of brain tumors who wanted as their last request to be able to talk to me, and have gone to their graves with a peace brought on by knowing that their belief in this kind of character is intact. I've seen that Superman really matters. They're connecting with something very basic: the ability to overcome obstacles, the ability to persevere, the ability to understand difficulty and to turn your back on it.”
Link: Meet the Devs

News for Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 23:15

There's a new addition to the Meet the Devs feature. The surprisingly verbose sound guy,
Mark "Wolfric Tugmutton" Lampert :

What's your job at Bethesda?
I handle all sound design and voice work for the studio (casting, recording, editing, etc.), as well as interacting a bit with anyone we hire to compose the music.

How long have you been playing Fallout, and how would you describe your feelings towards the franchise?
I played Fallout 1 and 2 in college over a long period of time, and I recently re-played a big chunk of the second to properly refresh my memory on the basic feel and function of things. Like most of you, it's still one of my all-time favorite games, and I'd have loved to see the franchise continue. I certainly didn't imagine at the time that I'd be part of that effort, so it's very exciting. There are lots of moments where I kind of pause to enjoy the surprise that I feel when I realize that I'm actually working on this game. I'd hate to feel jaded about it.

Do you find it more difficult to design games for certain types of games?
My experience so far is that a traditional fantasy game probably poses more challenges in terms of keeping the magic components of the game sounding fresh and not all like a synthesizer with all the keys pressed down (though if that works, great!). I tend to enjoy doing sound design for games which involve some degree of machinery or other mechanical, noisy items. There are a lot of things in our own world which serve a good raw material for those sorts of things -- recording assorted gizmos around your home or on the street, then taking them into a mutlitrack editor and having fun with all the possibilities of editing and manipulating those sounds in order to produce something unique. There's a lot of fun to be had.

One thing I really like about a fantasy game, though, is that a lot of the sounds are often very natural -- walking through the grass, sounds of the forest with wind in the trees, rain, crickets at night (assuming we're talking about an Earth-like world, I guess) and things like that. If there's a good example in our world that you can get access to, it might be something as simple as going an recording it.

Also, do you have a favourite sound/piece of music/anything from the previous Fallouts?
Some of the sounds that I like best from the first two Fallout games are simply those that you hear often which instantly remind me of the game again if I hear them now -- entering and exiting combat (the little mechanical sound of the thingy at the bottom right of the screen), the player scratching his head (for some reason that happened a lot). The music was great overall, but one of my favorite pieces was in Fallout 2 in the town of Redding. I thought that snippet of player piano that would fade in and out from time to time really set the mood, as well as made it feel ghostly.

The best sound in Fallout is when you critical hit on a pigrat's skull. I have no idea how Mr Deenen made that sound, but it actually sounds like he took a paper bag, put a raw steak in it and hit it with a sledge hammer.
Heh, I remember that. A lot of the critical hits were pretty visceral, and they somehow didn't get old. It always felt very satisfying, and you immediately knew that you'd really dealt your enemy a powerful blow. There was one time in Fallout 2 where I was having trouble with one of the slavers, and I strolled up behind him (we weren't in combat at the time) and gave him a double-barrel shotgun blast to the back of the head. I was at point blank range and scored the critical hit, wiping him out in one shot. His buddies came after me and killed me the first time through, but it was still very satisfying ... if not just for having the option at my disposal.

As far as Foley sound using meat, I've tried to avoid that so far in my career. It always seemed like really expensive way to make a sound. I do, however, want to record the sound of macaroni and cheese being stirred in a pot. Talk about ghastly. Maybe keep your ears peeled for that one.
Link: Meet the Devs

Posted by Brother None - at 22:37

As is somewhat typical of Bethesda, a fan - kxmode - took it upon himself to "fix" the teaser page, especially the music. While the original two arts were just edited fairly averagely, the current version has two new interesting fanmade images to compete with Bethesda's, and a choice of songs each of which is better than Bethesda's:




Link: kxmode's alternative Fallout site

Posted by Brother None - at 21:31

Gamasutra has an article up called The Everyman and the Action Hero: Building a Better Player Character. It a good read and uses Fallout as a good example of one method of defining player character's properly:

And yet one of my all-time favorite games is the RPG Fallout, which spins its own version of an unknown hero in unfamiliar territory. There are some key differences, however. First, there is a sense of a safe home, and second, in a sense, you know exactly who you are. Home is an underground bunker, which has been sealed away from the world ever since the nuclear holocaust. But the bunker’s water-purification chip has failed, and somebody will have to venture outside and find a replacement. And that someone is you.

The feeling of wide-eyed naiveté as you step into the hot sunlight of the radioactively transformed surface-world feels natural and earned. The game simply and gracefully has given you an everyman character to play, and a plot with the urgency and drama to make it work. You are a messenger on whom lives depend, and, as you learn more about the looming threats lurking in the wasted world above, a potential savior. (The point belongs to some other article, but the familiar Mad Max setting makes your immersion into the world that much easier.)

In other words, Fallout doesn’t avoid back-story and character definition at all. Instead, the player character is properly defined by the circumstances of the story, a perfect everyman. Situation is everything, and Fallout isn’t just a good beginning. By largely eschewing simplified morality (you don’t have to be a good guy, and most of the people in the game aren’t stamp-mold bad guys), these interactions become more real and meaningful than in almost any other game I’ve played.
Link: The Everyman and the Action Hero: Building a Better Player Character on Gamasutra.

Thanks zingar baltus.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:45

After our recent post concerning Steve Meister's note on Craig Mullins' work, Craig Mullins himself stopped by to inform us further:

Wow, I am amazed people are looking at these images so closely. At some point Bethesda may release better versions? These seem to be jpeg'd very heavily..

I would have to go back and look through what Bethesda sent me on this job, but as I remember most of the source materials on Stripmall were provided by Bethesda. I was not familiar with the Fallout universe and had trouble "getting it" at first. The capitol was painted on top of a 3-d block model.

This is commercial art, made to illustrate an idea. It is not fine art, nor is it an exposition on my abilities as delineator. Whether or not I could paint some of these objects from scratch is not relevant. What is relevant is it would take more time to do so, and that time could be spent toward the end goal of illustrating an idea or feeling.

The most difficult aspect of repainting from a different angle is the complexity of these objects and scenes. There is a LOT of stuff in there. Constructing them in perspective is very time consuming. The majority of these images are constructed, however.

I prefer not to use photos like this, but I solve the clients problem faster, easier, and cheaper this way. The current method of working in concept/digital mattes is 3-d/photo composites with varying amounts of paint. It has been trending this way for the past few years, and it is very obvious when this technique is used, for better or worse. There is no intent to deceive or misrepresent. If this lessens your respect for work done this way, I completely understand and partially agree. But if I don't use these powerful tools, I will be at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. I do ask clients if they would allow a more "painted" look and the answer is almost always no. Maybe if I was a better painter the answer would be different.

Given the purpose of concept art there is little reason to reconstruct things that already exist, other than my (or a minority of others) preference, or an artistic machismo. This makes things more expensive for all involved. The time saved can be put into areas that do have to be constructed, which is the great majority most of the time.
Note that Pete Hines has indeed promised to release higher quality versions:
I have asked this before and I will again, please give us higher res version of these arts, please!

We will definitely do that. I promise. Just not right now.
In any case, this should clear up the last bits of doubt that we can't really analyse much about the game from the images. On one positive note: the fact that Bethesda provided most materials for the stripmall before the release of Oblivion means they had a fairly good grasp of 50s googie back then. Now only for some art deco...

Posted by Brother None - at 3:39

To finally get the last bits of confusion about this cleared up, abbaon supplied us with a few quotes of Steve "MrSmileyFaceDude" Meister:

<MSFD> didn't take the Fallout fans long to find the source photo Craig Mullins used for that concept art
...
<MSFD> yeah
<MSFD> they even identified which carrier it was
<MSFD> it's funny because people are extrapolating all sorts of stuff from that identification, as though it has anything to do with the actual game...
...
<MSFD> nah, it was in Florida for a while but they sunk it in the Gulf to make an artificial reef
...
<MSFD> anyway all we did was ask "Hey Craig Mullins, make a painting of a carrier that's run aground on a river bank in a ruined city" (or something to that effect)
...
<MSFD> nah, he's freelance
...
<MSFD> he's done stuff for a ton of games
<MSFD> incl. Halo
...
<MSFD> he did some stuff for Star Trek for us, too
<MSFD> once the teaser countown is finished you will have seen the entirety of the work he did for Fallout
...
<MSFD> anyway we have an in-house concept artist who's done hundreds & hundreds of drawings & sketches & such for all the Fallout stuff
...
<MSFD> haven't shown any of that
So Craig Mullins did only 5 pieces of art (assuming we only get one more piece of art), which were done before Oblivion with their in-house artist having done a lot more by now, and which can not simply be assumed directly related to the game (except that Matt noted Capitol Hill revealed something about the location).

Posted by Brother None - at 0:45

As with the previous concept art, discriminating readers have taken a good look at the new concept art, and found the following:



All of the concept art is from the excellent googie arts online.

Thanks to Streak, Korusus and Tannhauser for spotting a lot of it and Tannhauser and FeelTheRads for doing the overlays.

In additional news, Steve "MrSmileyFaceDude" Meister cleared up something about when all these concepts were made:
Mullins made these pictures for us before Oblivion shipped.

News for Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 18:24

The Escapist has an odd piece up about Fallout's history. It is surprisingly misinformed for Escapist standards, claiming that Black Isle Studios produced Fallout (they didn't, BIS didn't exist back then) and oddly states Fallout tried to get Jackson's GURPS to run on, which is the wrong way around as Tim Cain started project GURPS and the guys invented the Fallout setting around it later.

Factual errors (feel free to write the Escapist about it) aside, it's not a bad read:

The series is a testament to a type of game we don't see much of in a console-focused, MMOG-obsessed industry. Literate, effortlessly funny, sprinkled with social commentary and very, very dark, the two Fallouts became cult classics, and a rabid fanbase demanded follow-ups, and indeed a third installment was planned - and abandoned.

(...)

A teaser video is scheduled to become available on June 5. It's likely to show, for the first time, the nuke-scarred ruins of the east coast; the concept art on the official Fallout 3 site shows the remains of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., and the remains of a D.C. area naval yard, which makes sense. Bethesda is based in ... Bethesda, and most writers (and game-makers), after all, tend to work from what they know. If you liked playing in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the American West, in other words, chances are you'll love shooting rad scorpions on the White House lawn.

(...)

Fallout not only set the trend for the post-apocalyptic gaming genre, it practically is the genre. Just last month, Game Informer interviewed Brian Fargo, the former head of Black Isle Studios. Speaking fondly all these years later, he said, "There was really nothing else like it at the time. It was something unique." Judging from the chatter on message boards, the posts on blogs and the comments on news sites, there still isn't anything else like it today. Not yet, anyway ...
Link: From Black Isle to Bethesda Fallout's Story on the Escapist

Thanks tex.

Posted by Brother None - at 18:10

And the 4th in the series is up:


Link: BethSoft Fallout 3 site

Posted by Tannhauser - at 9:05

The Australian magazine Atomic has published an article on RPGs, containing comments by Richard Garriott, Chris Avellone, Joel Billings, and Todd Howard about their history in the genre and a few thoughts on it. Fallout earns a brief mention:

Luckily, just as the future was looking exclusively online with UO’s release in ‘97, a true classic arrived to prove that assumption wrong: Fallout.

Somehow sensing that there was more to the ideas and mechanics in Wasteland than met the 1986 gamer’s eye, Interplay developed a new post-apocalyptic property, marinated it in some truly devilish humour, a compelling (and large!) world, tight dialogue and a wonderfully-realised turn-based combat system.

The result? One of the best games of the ‘90s, and an RPG that still has a frighteningly – yes, frighteningly – passionate following.
The article ends in the disputable proclamation that "Yes – role-playing games are still alive and kicking."

Link: "Confessions of an RPG Developer."

Thank you Specialist for informing us.

Posted by Brother None - at 3:09

With many thanks to Diarmada and Wooz, NMA is now able to offer you a full 100 image gallery of Astounding! sci fi paperback covers from 1939 - 1965, a veritable valhalla for retro-futuristic afficionados. A few picks:



For the truly hungry, we've also supplied a full ZIP pack with 539 Astounding! covers.

Link: Astounding! Sci-Fi cover gallery
Link: Astounding! Sci-Fi cover file

News for Monday, May 21, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 21:20

The great and awesome Gerko has redone his old Winamp skin:


Link: Download PIPBoy2000 skin for Winamp

Posted by Brother None - at 20:56

It's time to switch polls again. With the Van Buren release still fresh in many mind, we're curious about polling for some thoughts in this (fairly oddly structured) poll. The game would have been great/terrible, Realtime combat in Fallout sucks/rocks, That's (not) how Fallout should look in 3D, Sawyer's version of SPECIAL is great/stupid.

The last poll asked "Do you think a turnbased Fallout could be a market success?" The results is a fair victory for "yes" 69.75 % (9030) followed by "yes, but only as a B-List game" 12.01 % (1555). The rest is mopped up by "No" 8.61 % (1115), "Maybe" 5.83 % (755), "I don't know" 3.79 % (491).

Posted by Brother None - at 19:16

We've been getting piles of messages about this "reference to Fallout in Starcraft II promo:


I wouldn't be too sure myself, Briosafreak points out it could be a Deus Ex reference too. Who knows?

News for Sunday, May 20, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 15:01

Computer and Video Games has been running a feature to determine the top 101 PC games of all time (though it's mostly 21st century). Can't be missing:

21. Fallout
YEAR 1997: A candidate for 'brownest game ever' (along with Quake I and II), Fallout was also an intricately written jaunt through sex, violence, drug addiction and hulking green mutants in a world where the bomb has dropped. Gripping storyline, strong characters and even a few Monty Python references if you looked hard enough...
Number 1 is Deus Ex. Other notables include Morrowind (#4), Oblivion (#13) (Ooh, aren't we controversial? Yes, but constant bickering among the PCZ team has left the Vvardenfell lobby victorious. The argument runs thusly: Morrowind is a better game than Oblivion, if only for the things that Bethesda sacrificed in their pursuit of making the latter that bit more action-orientated), System Shock 2 (#7), Baldur's Gate II (#23), Diablo II (#25), V:tM Bloodlines (#28), Neverwinter Nights (#56), Planescape: Torment (#61), S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (#69).

Link: The 101 best PC games ever on CVG (part 4).

Spotted on RPGWatch.

Posted by Silencer - at 4:41

The Vault-Tec Games website was updated with news about Darkfall, which should convince us this Tactics mod is being worked on.

The game has currently assumed the following shape:
- the begginning corresponds to what we've seen in the demo.
- the following chapter is the escape from the Council prison after being captured in Forsayth city(in the demo it was the escape from the city with Hudsonem); from this moment onward you're free to roam the world (like Awaken, fo1/2 ), performing certain main quests will net you the opportunity to join one of the three key factions.

(...)

The final change is introduction of new player skills. Old combat abilities have been replaced by those: (...)



(...)

Random encounters will add to the variation, as they will be made Fallout style - small, randomly placed locations with concrete, if random parameters - (unlike Tactics' green Deathclaws or ill-skinned raiders. etc.).
Good luck to them.

Łącze: Vault-Tec Games Website

Spotted at Trzynasty Schron

News for Friday, May 18, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 15:49

Gamasutra reports:

Ukraine-based developer GSC Game World has announced that it will be unveiling "several subsequent new products" in its critically acclaimed S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise at the upcoming E3 Media & Business Summit.

The THQ-published post-apocalyptic open-ended RPG/first person shooter was a critical hit upon its release earlier this year (as previously reported), after an extremely ambitious and expensive seven year development period.

GSC's Oleg Yavorsky told Gamasutra, that he remained optimistic following the belabored release, saying, "Hopefully, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. will contribute to making it easier for Eastern European studios to gain access to Western markets," and adding that the relationship with publisher THQ was "a new and positive experience. It was very supportive of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., even when the release was postponed and things didn’t look good."
Link: GSC announces forthcoming S.T.A.L.K.E.R. titles on Gamasutra

Thanks The Commissar.

Posted by Brother None - at 15:28

It's profile Tuesday!

This week brings us the one and only Sharon Shellman. Sharon cut out a few questions, but to compensate for less questions, there's more text in this colourful read:

How was it to be a part of the Fallout team?
Even though I was just a subcontractor on Fallout, the guys really made me feel like I was part of the team, and I really appreciated that. That is one of the things that really drew me to the game industry, the chance to be part of a great group of people working so hard to create a game that (hopefully) many, many people would enjoy.

Making a game is a huge gamble, and an immense amount of work. You spend years pouring your heart and soul into it - fighting over what is great and should be added and what isn't working and should be pulled, who has the best vision for the artistic style, how people are going to perceive the features you've chosen, etc., etc. And all you can do is hope that all of your hard work comes together into what you envisioned. It is a huge undertaking and a lot of pressure is on everyone involved to give 110% day in and day out for months, often years to see a game all the way through to completion.

The Fallout Team was one of the most dedicated teams I have seen - when negotiations over the GURPS license fell apart in the middle of production, Tim Cain and Chris Taylor pulled together and came up with SPECIAL. When dialog was way behind and falling flat, Leonard and Jason got together and came up with quests and wrote dialogs. I think everyone on the team went above and beyond what was expected of them and it shows.

What were you favourite places in fallout and why?
I always liked Junktown. It was just such a cool design concept. All of the stacks of crushed cars, the debris, just the overall feel of the area. Of course, I might have a special feel for that area too because Jason and I talked so much about the walls made of junk cars and how they should look. We'd follow the big semi's on the freeway stacked with crushed cars trying to memorize how they looked and wonder where they were going. It was pretty funny really - thinking that a truck of smashed cars driving down the road was the coolest thing you had ever seen. Yeah, we're weird. :)
The sad news is that from this week onwards we can no longer promise weekly updates to the dev profiles. But expect sporadic updates nonetheless.

Link: Fallout Developers Profile - Sharon Shellman

Posted by Tannhauser - at 6:12

RPG Codex has an interesting interview all about dialogue in RPGs, with Brian Mitsode (VtM: Bloodlines - Jeanette/Therese/LaCroix), J.E. Sawyer (Icewind Dale 2 - Maralie Fiddlebender), Scott Bennie (Fallout - Dr. Wu), and David Gaider (KoTOR - Carth/HK-47/Jolee Bindo) taking part.

What is the role of dialogues in RPGs, in your opinion? What do they add (or suppose to add) to the overall gameplay experience?

Brian Mitsoda: This is a tricky question because it depends on the game. In some RPGs, it’s to prompt you to hit the “A” button really quickly so you can get back to power-leveling. In some it’s to figure out what path the designer wants you to go down to get the best reward, probably by being sycophantic to Whistlin’ Bilboo the Street Sweeper. In the few that take reactivity into account and allow the player interaction to change up the dynamics in the relationships between the characters and even affect the character’s fate and the story, these dialogues serve to enhance the roleplaying aspect and just possibly make the player a bit more interested in the plot because they can get involved. Adequate to good dialogue (and story) motivates a few players to continue playing and finish the game and hopefully makes the characters and world more real, completing the necessary illusion for a zesty bit of escapism.

J.E. Sawyer: Character dialogue helps define characters, mood, and setting. Like many aspects of design, it gives a sense of style, time, and place to what's happening. In its most blunt application, it conveys rudimentary information, but I think that's using very little of its potential.

Player-selected dialogue helps the player express and define the personality of his or her character. Again, it's often used to reveal basic information, but I think that sells it short, especially for RPGs. If that's really what it's being used for, it doesn't need to be a player-driven event.

Scott Bennie: Well, you have to give the players directions somehow. I think dialogue is as important a defining element as any in an RPG. It's also a key to mood. A game has three tools to produce mood: dialogue, sound, and art. Of those three, dialogue is the easiest to adjust in the design process.
Link: "The dialogue interview" at RPG Codex.

News for Thursday, May 17, 2007

Posted by Tannhauser - at 19:35

Maximus of Team MIB has unofficially translated this announcement from the Russian project Fallout Online.

Den Buster and his friends presents:

Good evening or night, and morning for someone. The FoDev team has a present for all the fans of the Fallout series. It sets free it's legacy for all to see Smile

Fonline is Open Source here in after FOS is the result of the 2 years work of the Fodev team. We are releasing everything, starting from design documents to the source code of the project. No, you haven't misheard the source codes are inside and they are really hot!

From this very moment any interested person can become acquainted with the last version from the 1 May and offer his help in any way or share his thoughts.

Now, the FO project is opened with GPL licences, GFDL and we merely hope that our work won't vanish, the aim of which is the creation of MMORPG, planned, for fans and gamers.

Code`s repository.
location: https://OpenSVN.csie.org/fonline/
Documentation's repository.
location: https://OpenSVN.csie.org/Fodocs/
Access to the code through ViewCVS, coding unicode UTF-8.
https://OpenSVN.csie.org/viewcvs.cgi/?root=fonline
Access to the docs through ViewCVS, coding unicode UTF-8
https://OpenSVN.csie.org/viewcvs.cgi/?root=Fodocs

I hope that you've liked our show.
As always I wish you every success and good luck. Wink
Realize Fallout Online, but not your vanity!
FoDev
Keep in mind that the documentation is in Russian.

Links:
TeamX forum thread, Russian.
Fallout.ru forum thread, Russian.
The Fallout Online website is apparently down.

Thanks Dude101.

Addendum: we received word from the Fallout Online crew that Fallout Online is still up and going strong (new clips released a few weeks back) and this release of (outdated) code was a result of an internal dispute of the FOnline crew, which resulted in a split up between the FOnline team and this group, called FOS. We shall report when there's more news.

Posted by Silencer - at 9:01

Afterfall website was updated with good news: the company has acquired support from Creative Labs corporation, as well as interest from two other subjects, which might be useful in the search for a publisher. Currently, work is under way on the design documents and a working tech-demo for the publisher.

We are told not to expect major updates - up until fall. Soon an English FAQ should be available to quench your thirst for Afterfall lore, and the last news item contains some music themes and graphic art for download.

Link: http://afterfall.pl/

Thanks Goweigus!

News for Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 19:45

UGO Gamesblog "The D-Pad" notes the following:

I went over to harass editorial and I saw VAULT BOY on Rusty’s desk… A VAULT BOY STAMP!

Update: Thanks to Brother None at the official FO3 forums for pointing out the difference between PIP boy and VAULT boy… LOL - shows I am going senile. I proclaim myself a fanboy from the beginning yet make such a mistake… Blame tactics

I ran for my camera and took pictures. While Rusty is off enjoying pre-E3 sights, I am stuck here, a Fallout fanboy looking at this envelope and desiring to tear it open… Federal crime be damned! [I don’t want to go to jail for opening his mail, so I won’t - pictures after the bump]

Anyway, as for Bethesda’s Fallout 3?

Some die hard PC gamers (I was one of you, until I learned to accept the console as a companion piece to my hobby) are fearful of what Bethesda will do with the franchise. Hell, I kinda sorta am…


Link: Fallout 3 is nigh, the letter from BethSoft on the D-Pad

Posted by Brother None - at 18:10

While we're trying to keep the Meet the Devs feature up to speed, here are a few more interesting quotes (also thanks to Briosafreak):

Which matters more to you, a game that sells a lot and makes a lot of money or a game that’s great and will be loved, maybe even worshipped by its fans?
(Carter) This is a false dichotomy. There’s infinite space for success between those two extremes. That said, if I had to choose between making a game that everyone loves but causes financial ruin to myself and my coworkers, and one that makes us rich, you better believe I’d rather eat I don’t believe success is anathema to quality, though. Far from it.

Anyway, I hope someone’ll answer my question. I already asked twice, and I think it’s a really interesting one because it’d show/say a lot about how the devs think/feel about dialog…
(Carter) What can change the nature of a man? I played Torment and thought it was fantastic. I don’t think the amount of dialog has much to do with a game reaching a mass audience. I think to reach people, all aspects of gameplay have to have something compelling about them. Also, I’ll set up my own false dichotomy and say I’d rather have better words than simply more words

On Oblivion:
(Zeleny) Personally, I thought Oblivion was a big advance in RPGs of its day. It provides freedom of direction and play-style that hadn’t been seen in any RPG since the heydays of Fallout, System Shock, and other classics in the field. Its expansive size ensured that players who enjoyed it could lose themselves in it for days, weeks, and months and still discover new things. And the inclusion of the construction set meant that players were free to easily change elements of the game they didn’t like, and to create new experiences for others.

But it’s important to point out is that nobody here thinks it’s perfect. Like any finicky creative types, we’re painfully aware of the flaws in the final piece. And, like any creative types, knowing about those flaws means we can focus on overcoming them in our next piece. That’s one of the reasons I’m always working on writing more dialogue for characters and adding options to quests.

This awareness, coupled with more resources to work with – thanks to the commercial success of Oblivion – means we’re set to make our next work better than our previous. And that’s always the goal of any creator, isn’t it?

Caps or Gold Coins? (Opinion)
(Zeleny) When I got the collector's edition of Oblivion, it came with a replica golden septim coin, like in the game. It's a nice little keepsake, and it's got a substantial feel to it. But after playing a character up to level 30-something, I realized he was running around carrying nearly twenty thousand of those coins. That's gotta take a lot of strength, especially with all of the jumping I was doing.

So, I think I'd prefer a bottle-cap based currency. They're lighter, more colorful, and as they say, "Drink a Nuka Cola - get a free cap!"

I have to ask though, who makes the most important decisions about the game? Is it the lead Designer or management (suits)? Do you guys come to such decisions together, or is it one man that calls the biggest shots? Maybe DoctorSpooky can enlighten that a little, if its not to nosy...
(Caponi) I'm obviously not going to go into very much detail here, but the talented people in our management and administration have absolutely no hand in the development of the games here. They recognize that it is our job to make games and their jobs are to sell them, manage the money, save us from the piles of paperwork that come with running a business, and make sure our lights stay on. They are very good businesspeople. There has never been and likely never will be someone from administration down here telling us to change art, change a system design, or anything like that.

So, don't worry, Fallout is safely hidden and protected from evil men and sinister women in suits.

if there was one thing you absolutely hated about the original Fallouts, what is it and why?
(Gonzalez) Whenever I start an RPG, I always make a version of myself. Who doesn't want to live vicarously in a game world? Anywho, the very first time I played Fallout, this meant low Strength and Endurance, high Intellect, tag Science. Annnnd I died horrendously over and over at the hands of Radscorpions and got really frustrated and didn't pick up the game for a day or two. Then I sucked it up, tried again, realized that the time game abounded with non-combat alternatives, and lived happily ever after.

On fan input (thanks starwars)
(Gonzalez) While there are a number of things already set in stone about the game, there are also a number of things that aren't, that is to say, things above the "Easter Egg" level. The devs do read these forums ( not all of us, but a goodly number ) and we do discuss a number of good ideas brought up right here. Some we've already implemented, some we bat around and put on the "Good Idea" pile, and some we disagree with. So, to bluntly answer your question here, yes, we are listening, your ideas are heard and talked about "behind the scenes".

That being said, the best way to get our attention and get us talking amongst ourselves to write out a reasoned post. Flames and rants, while fun to write ( and read, on occasion ), are usually low on good content and thus ignored. We also, obviously, can't say on the forums, "Yes, this is a good idea, and we'll definitely think about putting it in the game" since 1) we all have very powerful pieces of paper with our names on them in triplicate that can and will destroy us and everyone we love if we leak info, and 2) we're pretty busy developing the game, so we can't stop to reply to every thread that catches our eye. So there. To the people who hold out hope, keep writing! To those who thought we've been ignoring you, sorry to disappoint?
Link: Meet the Devs

Posted by Brother None - at 17:33

One of our attentive readers, 4too, pointed out to us that the aircraft carrier seen in the latest concept art of Fallout 3 appears to be the USS Oriskany, which was commissioned as an aircraft carrier on 25 Sep 1950 and which was sunk in 2006 after 25 years of active service. The image used is taken from the picture of the Oriskany being brought into Pensacola, Florida. radnan made this image for a closer look:


Link: thread on NMA

News for Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 19:56

Fallout's like a retired actor, keeps raking in the prizes:

1. "War. War never changes." Introduction - Fallout (PC)

Fallout had terrific writing all around.
This line is part of an unforgettable intro to an unforgettable game. The original Fallout introduced us to a dark post-apocalyptic world through a very effective opening that was both believable and disturbingly beautiful. When the narrator chimes in and says the words above, you know you're in for one hell of game. Perhaps what we like most about this quote is that it's true.
Link: Gamespy top 10 quotes list (page 5)

Thanks starwars and cremo.

Posted by Sander - at 17:53

For the third week in a row, new Fallout 3 concept art has been posted on the Fallout 3 website.

This time, the artwork features a ruined city and what appears to be a large, stranded aircraft carrier.


Link: Fallout official website

Update: sensible speculation puts this concept art in Washington D.C. again. See a map and a 1942 photo. No official word on this.

Posted by Brother None - at 12:20

Pending legal decisions:

May 14th, 2007: We have finished the print layout, and are putting on some final touches for the Fallout PnP: d20 Survivors Guide, which is 326 pages. The final edit and print layout has been sent to Interplay for review. Beyond this we wait until a resolution is found with our licensing issue. We are ready to print!
Link: Glutton Creeper Games website

Spotted on DaC.

Posted by Brother None - at 12:19

In this thread on the BGS forum, Matt Grandstaff explains a bit about Fallout 3's intended rating:

As with Oblivion, when we set out a to release a game, we're looking to put out the game we want to put out. We let the ESRB make the decisions on what it should be rated.

That said, no, we probably wouldn't be going for the AO crowd
Pete Hines has noted before that they intend to go M.

Link: thread on BGS forum.

Spotted on DaC.

Posted by Brother None - at 12:16

Here you go:

MAY PRESS RELEASE 2007:

NWS is proud to announce that after several months of hard work and dedication on all parts has really paid off and we have now made some every good progress.

The initial development of the demo was plagued with problems and setbacks. Not limited to, but including file access, missing files, lack of people and an uncertain future.

Happily, we now have access to the files, a lot of old material has been recovered and there is now some direction to the mod.

Furthermore, we announce that the demo has almost been completed and only testing really needs to be done. Consisting of over 65 scripts, new items, scenery, critters and the initial areas of the complete mod, it shows only a tiny portion of what the whole game will offer.

Expect the demo soon once testing is complete.

As with all projects, we are still looking for new applicants who woould allow the mod to progress more swiftly. In particular, we need 3D and 2D artists, but all applications will be considered. PM any of us at NMA.

In the meantime... some eye candy....
Link: Mutants Rising website

Posted by Tannhauser - at 5:16

After less than a month, Le Driver has decided to close Fallout 3 Survival Kit. In its place, she has opened the more generally focused RPG Blog, which will continue to cover Fallout 3 in addition to other RPGs.

I've started a new project in place of this one called RPG Blog. It will still cover Fallout 3 - just a lot of other stuff, too. If you've linked to this site, please change the link to RPG Blog (http://www.rpgb.blogspot.com).

Thanks,
Le Driver
The new blog is still a bit sparse at the moment, but hopefully will fill in soon.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 1:17

The official S.T.A.L.K.E.R. website has announced the release of a beta version of their multiplayer SDK, plans for a mod community, and the future release of a singleplayer SDK.

For the testing purposes, we would like to offer you try out the beta version of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. multiplayer SDK.
It includes both the map creation and editing tools, and the complete source assets of one in-game level. Later all the nine multiplayer levels will also be introduced as source.

Within a week's time the official specialized web-site dedicated to mod-building will be launched. For now, we'd like to invite everyone over to our forum in the MOD section where you can post your feedback and recommendations on working with the editors, specify the bugs and operational problems found.

This said, we announce a call for moderators who would take the responsibility of organizing the community work in this direction, edit the documentation of the MODs created to bring it to a common style, work with tutorials and more. The volunteers familiar with mod-building - feel free to send your resume to anton@gsc-game.com.

That's not all, though. Once the MP SDK gets fully mastered, we plan to release the editor for the single-player mode of the game.
Wishing you creative success and looking forward to hearing from you!

Download the MP SDK beta here.
Oblivion Lost also hosts a mirror of the SDK.

Link: Official S.T.A.L.K.E.R. website newspost.

News for Monday, May 14, 2007

Posted by Silencer - at 19:09

Dude101 brought into our attention a Van Buren Revival Project, an effort to re-create the storyline and quests of the original Van Buren game (according to the design docs) in the Fallout 2 engine.

The blog had been ran by Christopher Chadwick for over two months now, and he has been doing some progreass working on Tibbets Facility maps.



Let's hope the extracted tech-demo texts will be helpful.

Link: The Van Buren Revival Project Blog

Posted by Silencer - at 18:57

Lich is working on a new project, dubbed "Fallout: Dust & Blood". The mod will take place in the face of a mutant invasion.




Let Lich know if you'd like to help, and, as customary: good luck!

Links: Fallout: Dust and Blood Blog, Fallout: Dust and Blood thread at NMA

Posted by Brother None - at 14:05

RPGWatch has put up a review of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.. Unusual for an RPG site, but they take a good look at the game's claim to the RPG genre:

Just don't mistake it for a RPG - because once you start doing that you will become a slave to the traders, to the fetch-and-return missions that serve little purpose in terms of improving your character other than giving you money and ammo you don't need and forcing you to trek long distances in both directions. The missions are numerous and varied enough that you can take a few and ignore the rest, get plenty of extra items and gameplay and still not miss anything. The shooter elements and open world are where the game come together - you can run-and-gun to a certain extent or focus on tactics and stealth or even try to avoid combat entirely. The compelling gameplay and central story might not make up for the bugs and removed features and delays, and it doesn't live up to the hype, but on its own it is a wonderful shooter that fans of the genre really owe it to themselves to experience.
Link: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. review on RPGWatch

Posted by Silencer - at 12:47

This was posted on the official Bethesda forums by Lindsay Muller, a representative of Bethesda's marketing department in response to a topic on Linux/Mac ports of Fallout 3:

It could happen if there is a large enough demand and if we are approached by a Mac games publisher such as Macsoft or Aspyr. Bethesda Softworks would not port it. So if you want to see Fallout 3 or any of our other games ported to Mac, contact either or both Mac publisher and request it.
Link: Thread at Bethesda forum.

Thanks The Badge!

News for Friday, May 11, 2007

Posted by Tannhauser - at 22:01

GSC Game World has released their second English patch, version 1.0003, for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. The patch addresses over thirty issues and crashes in both the single and multiplayer game, but apparently does not address performance. A few examples of notable things that have been fixed:

*Fixed the bug with NPCs spawning in front of the player.
*Fixed the A-life reaction time. Now A-life spawns new NPCs more seldom. Also NPC movement speed is decreased when NPC are on different level then the player.
*Fixed aspect ratio 16/9. Now the owners of the widescreen displays will have the benefit from greater viewing radius.
The patch comes in three versions, one for the U.S. release, another for the download distribution version, and the last for all other releases. Save games from the patch 1.0001 version of the game are compatible with this patch.

The developers have also put up a fourteen track selection of music from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. on the official website.

Links:
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. US patch at FileFront.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. download distribution patch at Filefront.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. worldwide patch at Filefront.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. soundtrack on the official website.

Thanks to DirtyDreamDesigner for pointing out this release on our forums.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 20:03

For everyone who wants to get their hands dirty tinkering with the insides of the Van Buren demo, Alray and Übernoob have brought us GRP Manager and F3 Unpacker respectively. For GRP Manager, Alray notes that "You should have Microsoft .Net FrameWork 2.0 to use it."

In related news, Van Buren lead designer J.E. Sawyer posted in our forums in a thread about the recently posted dialogue files:

o i c

If it helps, I think all of our game dialogues were just compiled Small scripts with the .dmx extension instead of .amx. Fun fact: every time a dialogue compiled, the tool would play a five second clip from DMX's seminal work, "Up in Here".

Hacking our .b3d format might be a bit more difficult, but I hope you eventually figure it out, if only to see the 15mm ARTEMIS, which was truly hilarious.

EDIT: Also, I think those Jericho/Mesa Verde dialogues were written by Jeff Husges.
So with that encouragement, get to work!

Duck and Cover has created a gallery containing extracted images from Van Buren. This includes items unseen in the demo, such as the Laser Saw and the Laser Array Gun.

Links:
GRP Manager v1.1 and F3 Unpacker at 3D Downloads, no lines for either due to small file size.
Van Buren extracted graphics gallery at Duck and Cover.

Thanks to Alray, Übernoob, J.E. Sawyer, and King of Creation.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 3:50

Glutton Creeper Games recently encountered a problem with the imminent release of their Fallout d20 PnP game, when ZeniMax Media alleged that Interplay's contract with GCG was invalid. The following e-mail indicates the current plans of GCG.

If you have not been following the news on Glutton Creeper Games, ZeniMax Media (owner of Bethesda) has filed an injunction against GCG and Interplay to stop print for Fallout PnP d20, under penalties of damages to the Fallout Brand name and Fallout 3 if we promote or print said books. Interplay states that they are going to determine what step to take next, against the statements of ZeniMax that now owns the Fallout IP Brand. ZeniMax states that Interplay never had the rights to license Fallout to GCG under their contract license from 2004 for the Fallout computer series.

We area attempting to get a copy of this license to present to our own lawyer, to determine our step. If Fallout d20 does not print, we plan to change the IP of the first book which is about 30% of it and change it into "The Wasteland Survivor's Guide" in a similar PA setting. However the Overseer's Guide would have to be scrapped as it contains 90% IP and is at 50% complete.

Just wanted to keep everyone updated,

John
GCG
The reworking of GCG's setting to "The Wasteland," alongside the previously mentioned fact that Brian Fargo had shown interest in writing the foreword presents the possibility that GCG may have acquired that license, or at least is trying to. For those who may have forgotten, Brian Fargo's company inXile currently owns the rights to Wasteland.

Thank you User 4574.

News for Thursday, May 10, 2007

Posted by Tannhauser - at 20:24

Ausir, of The Vault [currently down], has extracted the text file for the recently released Van Buren tech demo. Aside from what you encounter in the demo, the file contains dialogue from the larger game. The included text seems to cover parts of the Mesa Verde, Jericho, Grand Canyon, and Blackfoot tribe areas.

A short example of the dialogue, note that this is edited, and the raw text is in a much more disorganized state:

PC: It sounds like you've got High Desert Fever. It's not contagious, but it'll eventually kill you if it isn't treated.
Radian: *cough* Can you help me?
PC: Yes, I can. The fever can be treated with common medicines available in my doctor's bag.
Radian: Thank you. *cough*

PC: [Pull out supplies from your doctor's bag and give Radian the cure.]
Radian: Wow! I feel much better already! Thanks, doctor!
PC: I'll check back in an hour to see how you're doing. Goodbye.

PC: [Use supplies from your doctor's bag to give Radian some extremely addictive painkillers instead of the cure.]
Radian: *cough* Wow... I'm feeling pretty good... and sleepy.
PC: Why don't you just take a nap now, and I'll come see you again in a few hours.
Radian: I'll do that. Thanks, doctor.

Radian: Please! I need more medicine. I have no money, but I'll do anything. Anything!

PC: Sing for me.
Radian: Uh... okay. Ahem. "Give me a kiss to build a dream on, and my imagination will thrive upon that kiss. Sweetheart, I ask no more than this: a kiss to build a dream on."
PC: Nice, very nice.

PC: Anything, huh? Would you sabotage the wind turbine?
Radian: I can't do that! We couldn't make any more water, and we'd all be doomed!
PC: Well, I guess you don't need more medicine after all, then. I'll just go sell it, or maybe throw it away, or feed it to an ill-tempered brahmin...
Radian: No, no! Wait! You bastard, what have you done to me? I'll do what you ask, just give me the medicine.
This is another fascinating glimpse into Black Isle's Fallout 3.

Links:
Van Buren text, Ausir's hosting.
3D Downloads mirror.

Thanks to Mikael Grizzly, the text has been separated into discrete sections. Download the segregated text.

Thank you Ausir, and good work.

News for Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Posted by Tannhauser - at 22:44

An interesting turn of events from Glutton Creeper Games:

May 8th, 2007: ZeniMax Media/Bethesda has threatened to file an injunction against GCG for damages, should we not cease and deist production of Fallout PnP d20 products. They are stating that Interplay never had the rights to license a Pen and Paper to GCG under their license of Fallout from 2004 before the purchase of the IP, and makes claims against GCG that it may damage the Fallout brand and forecoming Fallout 3 release by linking the two. So for now, we have removed the page, until a resolution is met. If you want to see Fallout PnP d20 releases, please let the people at ZeniMax Media/Bethesda know, but don't send them hate mail or flames.

Our first product was being sent for review this weekend to Interplay, and still will be, as we hope Interplay will get this sorted out with Bethesda.
Is this the end of the Glutton Creeper saga?

Thanks to VDweller and Tempest Stormwind for letting us know.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 19:05

Hellgate Guru reports that Flagship Studios has released details about multiplayer subscriptions for Hellgate: London:

The latest issue of Games for Windows Magazine has revealed the elite subscription pricing behind Hellgate: London, which will be free to play online should you opt out of subscribing for additional features. These features, which will be available for $9.95 (depending on location) are as follows:
  • Elite subscribers pay $9.95 a month
  • 24/7 phone- and internet-support
  • No (server) queues for elite subscribers, with preference over non-paying customers
  • 3 chars per account for non-elites, 12 for elite-customers
  • Elite subscribers can store up to 40 items (instead of 20 for non-subscribers), which can be accessed from any char in an account-wide item vault.
  • Visible distinction from other players. Elite subscribers are recognisable from their equipment and may trade subscriber-only equipment to other elite subscribers.
  • VIP-Shuttles to remote areas
  • Housing and founding of guilds are enabled for subscribers. Elite subscribers may attain officer/leader priviledges within their guild.
  • Elite subscribers have access to additional game modes, including Hardcore mode.
  • Elite subscribers and non-subscribers can play with each other.
  • Costs actually depend on where you live. Subscription fees in the Asian market will cost considerably less, in accordance to the market conditions and expectations of the players and local publishers within the region.
The subscription costs make it possible for Flagship Studios to produce additional content for Hellgate: London twice a month, or more. New content includes new items, monsters, areas, character classes and other content which are not present in the retail version of the game. It is not known as this time whether this additional content will only be available to paying subscribers.
Link: Elite Subscriptions - $9.95 a month and other details!

Spotted at RPG Watch.

Posted by Brother None - at 15:47

PC Gamer has this short bit on Fallout (my highlight):

Falling out.

You know what would be a good idea right about now? Why not track down the Fallout box - set on budget release? Go on, acquaint yourself with a classic. Just in case y'know, a certain PC games magazine were about to blow the lid on the high-tech third in the post-apocalypse RPG series. Developers Bethesda have launched forums for the game, which are sadly so far filled with Fallout fanboys telling Bethesda not to muck with their precious game world. I don't know if they are expecting elves, but they should give Bethesda a chance.

Author, Ross Atherton, PC gamer June 2007.
Thanks Muff.

Meanwhile, here's what the developers themselves had to say on our behaviour:
How do you feel about the negative comments and predictions taken by some of the Fallout community? Has it affected your opinions in anyway? What do you feel towards such pointless and nonconstructive comments?

[Gonzalez] Is there a such thing as a forum without trolling and other brands of negativity? Could such a thing even be called a forum qua forums? Doubtful. Razz What I’ll say about the FO forums is that most complaints here are paired with concrete and even reasonable solutions, with which I agree and disagree on my own terms. There are certain forum communities that’ll remain nameless ( *cough* WoW General *cough* ) that make a e-career out of flaming for flaming’s sake, which makes me greatly appreciate the constructive, albeit sometimes harsh, criticisms I find here.

[Caponi] I do read most of the forums and of course, I’m very aware of the things that people have to say. Behind a lot of the negative comments, there are some good ideas and genuine criticisms, so I try to peel away the negativity and see those for what they are. And of course, there are some people who just enjoy being negative. Having written my share of vitriolic diatribes, I certainly see the appeal. Righteous anger just feels… good. But, the best thing to do with those people is to tune it out and not take it personally.

You learn to develop a thick skin pretty quickly when you’re in game development. You have to. No matter what you do, no matter how many people praise it, and matter how many people buy it and love it, somewhere, someone thinks that it sucks and they just can’t wait to tell you all about it. And thanks to the power of the internet, they can. Frequently. But, it can serve as a not-so-gentle reminder that no matter what you do, there’s always room for improvement.

[Zeleny] Well, that last question was a bit leading, wasn’t it? But I think I get your gist.

I used to dread the idea of posting on the forum, because I had heard (and seen) so many horror stories on various fan fora - not even just on games, but on all sorts of topics across the internet. But having had the chance to talk to folks on this list, and getting to recognize some of you as individuals, it’s been a lot more pleasing and rewarding than I had expected. A lot of you have provided valuable insights and perspectives on what you most loved about the game, and I really enjoy the discussions - even if I can’t talk about anything particularly juicy, yet.

As for the “nonconstructive comments”, I can entirely understand the anticipation and anxiety that a lot of Fallout fans have about us working with the franchise they’ve loved for a decade. Hell, even I occasionally feel anxiety about being able to live up to what I consider two classics in the medium - any creator does, to some degree. And considering how badly the loyal fans have been burned in the past, I can understand the bitter distrust of anyone else with it - you can only get screwed over so much before you get mean. Add that to the long, long wait since a game worth the name came out, and you have to expect a certain degree of frustration and nastiness.

So there are a lot of negative comments that I don’t really mind - in a lot of cases, I chalk them up to worried but well-intentioned people blowing off steam and venting frustration. And that’s no problem, because I know how they feel, and I don’t begrudge anyone the occasional complaint. Especially not when they’re intelligent and reasonable. I’d much rather hear a well-reasoned, harsh critique of my work from someone who respectfully disagrees with my choices than receive vapid fawning and bootlicking from someone who only likes my work because I’ve got a fancy logo next to my name. At least the critique can lead to better work in the future.

The only thing that bothers me - and this happens on all over the internet, not just here - is when someone goes way out of their way to find something “bad” about an otherwise fine piece, and uses that smaller imperfection to tar the whole piece as being terrible. That’s the sort of thing that can be frustrating to any creative type who’s pouring their heart into their work, and that just hurts the final piece. And we all want the final piece to be the best it can be - even when we don’t all agree on exactly how it should be.
Link: Meet the Devs

News for Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Posted by Tannhauser - at 22:51

The May issue of the gaming magazine Game Informer contained a retrospective on the Fallout series, primarily focusing on the noteworthy aspects of the first two games. Brian Fargo seems to be heavily involved in this article, which quotes him numerous times and relies on him for information.

One scene in the game allowed gamers to play the local organized crime boss against the police. You could complete several assassinations for the dangerous mob leader, collect the cash, then run to the police and turn over evidence, carefully leaving out your involvement in the killings. Scenes like these were a far cry from the quests that other RPGs were offering at the time. From beginning to end, a focus remained on letting players interact with the world in the way they wanted to, whether that meant heartless violence, careful diplomacy, or artful stealth.


Thanks to Wolfblade for the scans and Wolfblade, nospaces, & Montez for the news.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:01

It's a busy Tuesday, but nonetheless it is still Profile Tuesday.

This week brings us Tim Hume, who did the Mac programming for Fallout 1 (pretty much all by himself):

I did all the programming, of course. But my job also involved proof-reading the manual, getting someone to do a desktop theme in the Fallout style, and doing a few interviews.
My main role was programming. I had to get the sound, graphics, game play, etc. to work on the Mac. This was the first game that I had that much responsibility for. It was a lot of work.
I had a lot of problems getting the performance to be good enough. All the design and development decisions were based on the PC's strengths and weaknesses. The waves and fire were done using palette switching. That was fast on the PC, but slow on the Mac. It would have been faster on the Mac to animate it using frames. The Mac wasn't limited to 8-bit color like the PC was at the time.
Other bugs showed up from using a different compiler for a different operating system on a different CPU. I was using CodeWarrior on the Mac, and they were using Microsoft Visual C on the PC. Of course, a good thing with this was that these two versions would uncover bugs that might not have been caught if there had just been the PC version. This helped the PC development go a little faster. The problem for me was that I was the only one tracking down all the ones that showed up only on the Mac, and there were a dozen to find the ones showing up on the PC.
One of the fun things I added to the Mac version that wasn't in the PC version was having the Pipboy talk. I used the Mac's Text to Speech capability. When the Pipboy came up, it would say hello. It would have different greetings on various holidays. I'm not sure if many people noticed it. When the game was ported to OS X, they dropped that. I don't know why.
Link: Fallout Developers Profile - Tim Hume

Posted by Brother None - at 16:35

We've been updating our meet the devs feature, here's something interesting quotes:

One question for the dev that I always wondered about is what are your stances on violence, mature contents in games? Do you guys have a target audience in mind?
[Gonzalez] For those ill at ease about the possible lack of mature content in FO3, the devs have a thread on the internal forums titled "Sick S%^& You'd Like To See In the Game", which contains various uncensored depraved ideas for content / gameplay / dialog, a goodly portion of which are either already implemented or in development. Yeah, I'm not too worried about FO3 being "watered down"...

Have you visited &/or toured any nuclear missile silos, nuclear powerplants, or military bases/bunkers of any sort?
[Zeleny] I've toured a power plant or two, and I've spent time on military bases, but I haven't been in silos or bunkers personally. But I've also trekked through plenty of wild landscapes, old steam tunnels, abandoned buildings, and decrepit steel mills that have slowly been overrun by squatters and animals. Y'know, the sort of sites one might find in a post-apocalyptic area.

Have you played the VanBuren Alpha? If so, what were your feelings on it?
[Caponi] I played it a while ago. Obviously, it's pre-release software and needed a lot of work so it's pretty unfair to judge it as it is, but I'dve bought it. But then again, I payed full price for Brotherhood of Steel just because it said "Fallout" on it, so my purchase might not mean much.

Do you feel the idea of a Fallout version of BG:DA was inherently bad, or just the execution for BoS?
[Caponi] A little of both. Well, a lot of both. I admit that I had not heard much about Brotherhood of Steel before is came out, but what I had heard worried me. I had apprehensions about a Gauntlet-style action game based on Fallout from the start, but even still, if the execution of the idea had turned out to be amazing, I would have never remembered the worry that I had in the beginning. As it was, the execution was less than amazing.

What are you're thoughts on being evil in games, or just not being the classic hero?
[Caponi] It depends on the game. It belongs in some, but in games where I am handed a blank slate and told to make my own choices, I absolutely want to be able to make evil ones. Or at the very least, morally ambiguous ones. I liked how morality was handled in Baldur's Gate and Planescape:Torment, where evil wasn't always presented as an obvious choice, but there were more selfish responses in the dialog that weren't always obviously evil. But, if you established a pattern of behavior, it started to affect you and push your alignment and NPC reaction in a certain direction. As far as KOTOR goes, I think that the dark/light side points worked while for the black and white morality of the Star Wars setting, but as a player, I found that having my path to evil highlighted for me wasn't as satisfying as I wanted it to be. Calling someone a jerk can add flavor and voice to my character, but it isn't evil. Calling someone a jerk, cheating them out of their life's savings and driving them to suicide is. So, if evil is a choice in a game, I prefer it to be a meaningful one.

Have you played any Troika game, for instance, Arcanum or Bloodlines, did you enjoy them?
[Caponi] I mentioned being a fan of Arcanum earlier -- I love steampunk settings. However, it seems that they almost always fail in the marketplace, which is unfortunate. It seems hard to convince the general public that magic can exist outside of medieval fantasy settings. Steampunk just may be stuck as a niche setting, I mean, even Will Smith couldn't get a big audience to buy it.

As a long time played of White Wolf games, I thought that Bloodlines was great, especially since the other games based in the World of Darkness were not go great. Unfortunately, the games tragically flawed. I think that it needed some more polish on it, but it seems that in their downward spiral, Troika just didn't have the manpower to give the game the love that it needed. But, it was good enough that I could look past the flaws. I enjoyed the dialog, character, and experience systems a lot. Combat was so-so, but it's not why I picked up the game in the first place.

It's a shame that Troika went down, I had really enjoyed the things they had done and was looking forward to what they were planning for the future. Ah well, it's a rough business, you know?
Link: Meet the devs

Posted by Brother None - at 16:12

From the press release:

Bethesda Softworks Announces Award-Winning Actor
Liam Neeson to Play Lead Role in Fallout 3
Famed Actor to Provide Voice Work in Game Developed by
Bethesda Softworks, Creators of the 2006 Game of the Year


May 8, 2007 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks® is pleased to announce that highly acclaimed international actor Liam Neeson will lead the cast providing voice work in Fallout 3. Neeson will play the role of the player’s father and will appear prominently throughout the game. Fallout 3 is currently under development at Bethesda Game Studios, creators of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, which won numerous Game of the Year and RPG of the Year awards in 2006.

“This role was written with Liam in mind, and provides the dramatic tone for the entire game,” said Todd Howard, Executive Producer of Fallout 3. “Liam is absolutely amazing to work with.”

Neeson is known for starring roles in blockbuster films such as Schindler’s List, Star Wars: Episode I, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Batman Begins. Throughout his illustrious career, Neeson has been the recipient of numerous honors for his work in film and theater, including Academy Award, Golden Globe and Tony Award nominations.

“It’s been a pleasure bringing the father to life and working with the wonderfully talented people at Bethesda on Fallout 3,” said Neeson. “I hope the fans of the franchise and the game will be excited by the results.”

No other details on Fallout 3 have yet been revealed by Bethesda. More information will be coming in the next few months.
Link: Bethesda press release

Posted by Brother None - at 16:07

As promised by Matt Grandstaff, the first weekly update is in. Matt Grandstaff notes "I guess that tells a little about the setting", so this seems to confirm the Desslock rumour that Fallout will be on the east coast:


The music is unchanged.

Link: Fallout official website

Posted by Tannhauser - at 5:14

MMOG website Ten Ton Hammer has interviewed Wes Platt, writer/content developer for Fallen Earth. Wes joined the development team in 2006, and has spent over a decade involved in the online roleplaying community. He is the creator of the OtherSpace and Necromundus MUDs, as well as a columnist for several MUD community websites, along with other projects during that time.

Micajah: Tell us a little bit about the story you’re formulating for Fallen Earth. It’s a post apocalyptic world where people are trying to rebuild, obviously. Are there any “main” characters? What kind of civilization do these people currently have? What sort of world is this, besides “post-apocalyptic”?

Wes: We do tend to have main characters among the NPCs, from town leaders to prominent members of the six factions, which the players will get to know during the course of their adventures in the Grand Canyon Province.

The civilization is one you might expect to find in such circumstances: Different groups of people with competing agendas, settling in and rebuilding amidst the ruins of the world that fell, struggling just to get enough resources to survive. Times are grim; people are desperate. But the game wouldn't be much fun to play if it was just dark and gloomy all the time. It has moments of light-hearted fun and humor. It also offers a good bit of hope, here and there.
Hopefully Fallen Earth can do well with the specifics of their world.

Link: Going From an OtherSpace to a Fallen Earth.

Spotted at Blue's News.

News for Monday, May 7, 2007

Posted by Tannhauser - at 0:47

Recently on the official Fallout 3 forum, a number of Bethesda developers have been answering non-Fallout related questions in a series of Q&A threads. No Mutants Allowed has collected their answers into a single, easy-to-browse article for anyone interested in learning a bit about the personalities behind Bethesda's Fallout 3.

Link: Meet the Devs.

News for Sunday, May 6, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 17:06

GCG notes:

We have been assured by Interplay, that they are still handling the Fallout PnP license, and that is was provided to Bethesda upon the sell of the Fallout IP. So we are back on schedule for the rough print date. Also Former CEO of Interplay, Brian Fargo has shown interest in writing the Foreword for the Fallout PnP: Survival Guide.
Link: Glutton Creeper Fallout pnp page

Spotted on DaC.

News for Saturday, May 5, 2007

Posted by Silencer - at 15:19

Starting today, NMA will also be supplying news for the Geman Fallout fans in their mother language. The German section will be ran by Deckard, please contact him if you feel you'd like to give him a hand. Access the de.nma-fallout.com by clicking the flag in the upper left corner of our site.

The Spanish banner links to the Lost Vault website, who have been working with us for over a year now, and certainly cater well to the Spanish-speaking (and reading) community.

News for Friday, May 4, 2007

Posted by Tannhauser - at 11:55

The team behind the Polish post-apocalyptic game New Dawn have informed us of a forthcoming demo:

Work on the game goes on great and we are happy to let you know you are going to see the outcome quite soon. It is demo time! At the beginning of November a playable demo will see the light of day. Although the story that the demo will present is independent from the full New Dawn game, it is set in the same surrounding and will have similar elements, for example background story and some characters.

Starting with today's piece of news, in the weeks to come, we will be presenting the content of the demo.
Only half a year to wait.

Thanks to Sethergal for the news.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 2:59

Nearly a week ago, NMA reported on the impending launch of Glutton Creeper Games d20 pen & paper Fallout game. They have once again have provided an update on the project's status, with a note that it might be delayed due to contract issues:

May 3rd, 2007: All of the chapters have been return from the editor and final print layout is underway. We may however, see a delay in printing, which all depends on Bethesda, as Interplay failed to provide them with a copy of our Fallout PnP license and contract.

More news to follow, once Bethesda re-contacts us.
The lesson here is never to count on Herve Caen.

Link: GCG's Fallout d20 P&P page.

News for Thursday, May 3, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 18:12

Kotaku covered the Fallout teaser with the following note:

Hmm, that hits just a week before I'll be flying out to D.C. to meet with the guys about, what I can only assume will be, the game.
Link: Kotaku Fallout teaser newsposts

Thanks Briosafreak.

News for Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 23:51

GamePolitics did a newsbit entitled Gay Marriage Flap Around New Lord of the Rings MMO, discussing homosexuality in games. While Fallout 2 wouldn't be the first game you think of, it did have homosexual marriage:

In setting the stage for the LOTRO controversy, Glover recounts a number of games which have allowed gay unions, including The Sims series, Fallout 2, Second Life and Fable. Game designer Timothy Cain spoke about the decision to allow gay relationships in Fallout 2:

A big part of the ‘Fallout’ series was that we wanted it to be as open-ended as possible. We had no way of knowing whether you were going to be a man or a woman, so we decided to write all the different dialogue combinations… A role-playing game, you invent your character at the beginning, so you should get to determine what they do, and if we’re going to put any romantic element in, we should cover all the bases.
Link: GamePolitics; Gay Marriage Flap Around New Lord of the Rings MMO

Thanks Stag

Posted by Brother None - at 18:38

Bethesda Softworks has updated their Fallout website with new artwork and the Fallout 3 title track, and an announcement that a teaser trailer will be up in 34 days!

Link: Fallout 3 website
Link: Gstaff post on BethSoft forum

Posted by Brother None - at 18:23

You didn't think we were done, did you?

No Mutants Allowed is proud to present Black Isle Studio's Van Buren tech demo (Van Buren is BIS' cancelled Fallout 3 project), you can download it via our fileserver.

A few very basic notes:
1. Installation is basically unpacking the RAR file and clicking .exe. There is some waiting time the first time you load it.
2. Don't forget that this is a pre-alpha tech demo from 2003: the combat is pretty much unimplemented (sucky realtime only), the graphics are really basic. Also, most people will want to change the resolution, which can be done after the first time you run it. See instructions here
3. The file is a whopping 241 MB, but don't be disappointed that it doesn't offer a full night's worth of gameplay (though in true Fallout style, it offers a lot of different paths to victory).
4. Also in true Fallout style, the demo is very, very buggy. Expect frequent crashes.

Since this is probably the last time we will be posting on Van Buren, let me take this opportunity to send out a thank-you to the Van Buren staff and everyone who ever worked for Black Isle Studios. Gentlemen (and ladies); it was an honour and a privilege to watch you work and a pleasure to play your games. We salute you.


Link: Van Buren tech demo
Link: Van Buren tech demo guide
Link: Van Buren tech demo guide in Russian

News for Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 19:07

It's been pretty quiet around the FIFE-based Fallout project Zero-Projekt, but today chewie dropped by for an update:

There have been no signs of activities on our homepage since we moved to our new server on zero-projekt.net. We want to change this and proove that we´re still working on Zero Projekt. So here are the news with some new media and information about changes in the team.

Unfortunately, our artist Xerxes left the project to concentrate on a commercial project. Shadowrunner, our project leader went inactive for a while, too. Nevertheless we´re making good progress.

Besides the work on our story and gameplay (which we can´t visualize with FIFE yet) we are creating our first tilesets, exporting our 3D modells to isometric view and designing the first maps. We compiled some screenshots which show some of our progress.

Our musician Fluxx created again one nice track, you can grab it here:
Fluxx - spoiled concrete [Ambient Version]
They also released a render of a geiger counter and four screenshots:

Link: Zero Projekt website

Posted by Brother None - at 17:22

It's profile tuesday! This week's installment of the Fallout Developers Profile brings us Scott Bennie, an honest-to-dirt designer of the original Fallout, and with some good stories to tell:

What's your favourite Fallout memory?

The first time I fought a deathclaw in the game during playtest. I was getting my butt kicked and getting frustrated when Dogmeat suddenly lunged up and knocked the creature down. I shouted out loud "Good boy, Dogmeat!" and did a called shot with my laser rifle between the deathclaw's eyes. Unfortunately. I fumbled the shot, ended up hitting Dogmeat, and incinerated the poor animal in one shot.
Link: Fallout Developers Profile - Scott Bennie