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News for Saturday, September 29, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 19:09

In an apparent attempt to torture my mind, Sharon Shellman sent us a dozen or so photos of promotional material from the days of Fallout 1 and 2. All very "I want", all very "I can't get". Larger photos and descriptions can be found by clicking the thumbnails:




Older users will remember the Gecko (and pen and mug, apparently) were available in this can.

Link: NMA presents: Fallout's 10th anniversary.

Posted by Brother None - at 4:03

Upcoming post-apocalyptic demonic Diablo-esque action RPG Hellgate: London really fell off our radar. And we don't really intend to follow it much now that the media machine really kicked off. Nonetheless, if you're looking to read up on the game, our host site AtomicGamer kicked up a really expansive preview, with a handful of screenshots and exclusive HD video to go along with it.

News for Friday, September 28, 2007

Posted by 13pm - at 23:51

GameShark has put up a good interview with Gavin Carter, lead producer on Fallout 3. Nothing really new there, but there're some interesting bits:

Some have criticized the PC version of Oblivion for having a UI that was too much like the console game, not taking enough advantage of higher PC resolutions for things like the inventory UI, etc. How different will the UI for the PC version of Fallout 3 be, compared to the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions?

The interfaces will be very similar in terms of art and layout. We are more sensitive to the PC side of things this time around, and as such the default font is smaller than what we had in Oblivion. We have a number of other things we’re doing to make the PC interface better.

There's been some "controversy" in various gaming forums from fans of the first two games that have reacted very negatively to the direction they perceive this game to be going, relative to the original games. Have you seen any of the negativity and what has been your reaction to it given that this game won't even be released for another year?


I read lots of message boards all over the place, even if they’re negative. I find that even the negative reactions vary quite a bit. You definitely get some people that start to get a bit maudlin or melodramatic, but you can also find a lot that are well-reasoned and very deeply passionate about the series. I think whenever you have something quality that can whip people into a frenzy, it’s a good thing. I would be much more disappointed if we were simply ignored.

Do you think many of the concerns fans of the original Fallout have voiced will be assuaged when they're able to get their hands on the final product?

That’s the hope of course. As you mentioned, there is quite some time to go before this game is actually out there, and we’ve got a lot more info to reveal in a desperately slow trickle, as we’re (in)famous for. I do believe strongly that we’re making a worthy successor to the originals, and I hope that becomes more and more evident as the Big Picture reveals itself.

Link: Fallout 3 Interview with Gavin Carter at GameShark

Posted by Brother None - at 17:28

Back in early August, I (Brother None) was approached by GFW's Julian Murdoch to discuss Bethesda and Fallout 3 in a short Q&A with him, in response to the reactions on Jeff Green's lightly controversial blogpost. It's always nice to get the chance to react publicly in a media that pretty much turned against us over the past few years. So I co-operated in the hope that we'd end up with a fairly balanced story presenting both sides of the argument. Judge for yourself if that's the case.

The story (called "My Precious" and using Gollem to represent the fans) is about interaction between fans, the industry and the media, using BioShock and Fallout 3 as test cases. It opens with "Bethesda has a crappy gig." You'll have to buy it to read it, but to facilitate, some quotes:

That's when the postnuclear turds really hit the fan.
Within days of the announcement that Bethesda would pick up where Interplay had left off, the largest and most vocal fansite of the game, No Mutants Allowed (wwww.nma-fallout.com), worked itself into a frenzy.
Thomas (known as Brother None on the forum) posted the news on July 12, 2004. A casual observer might have believed that the resurrection of a beloved world by a dedicated, respected RPG developer would be a good thing. But the relationship between Bethesda and the fan community got off to a bad start, to say that least.
"This is possibly the worst news I've heard since FOBOS [Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel]," posted forum user Spazmo, (...) "Bethesda is crap." The community divided into two distinct groups: those preaching the apocalypse of postapocalyptic gaming, and those - like forum moderator Bеекеrs- who pled for rationality. "I refuse to judge this," he later wrote. "Bethesda has done some pretty good games... It's a matter of wait and see."
(...)
While commenters on his [Jeff Green's - NMA] blog (and in Bethesda's own forums [this is actually simply untrue - NMA]) were overwhelmingly excited about the developments shown at E3, the hardcore Fallout fansites fired invective, arguing that Green (and the gaming press in general), were incapable of objective opinion, often using language not fit to print.

On No Mutants Allowed, the first response to Green's blog post was a simple one-liner from user Sorrow: "That's fucking pathetic." Again, forum moderators and many community members pled for rational discussion, but the angry few overwhelmed the conversation. "We're an abrasive community with some bad elements, which is not really unique in how the Internet works," explains Bеекеrs.
Todd Howard, the executive producer on Fallout 3 for Bethesda, has become inoculated to this kind of controversy, because he understands it. "I remind my guys that nobody works up the energy to get on the Internet and write 'Everything is fine,'" he explains. "If people aren't writing about it, what's up with that? Either they don't care, or we're playing it too safe."
(...)
"Reinvention is one of our core philosophies. Sequals aren't 'plus ones'- this old thing with a new change." So instead, his team started with what they liked best about the old games - the setting, the humor and the ink-black irony of the world - and started making a new game. A Bethesda games. "That's just how we work."
But they continue to face heavy pushback from the community. The lead developer on a competitive class-of-2008 RPG put it this way: "There's no fucking way I'd want to be in their shoes. No matter how great that game is, they're screwed. The Fallout guys are nuts." Needless to say, this person asked to remain anonymous.
(...)
As for Bethesda, they've been listening. Pete Hines, vice president of PR and marketing, lives at the bloody front of the Fallout 3 battle. From his perspective, despite the noise, the job is pretty simple. "It doesn't take all that long to figure out what it is people want or don't want," he claims. "We've known what they've wanted since 2004, and I don't think anything that they want has changed."
(...)
"If you go too easy on a game and don't approach the article with any real questions...then what the hell are you, other than a free ad for the product?" Green says. "It's a tough, tough line."
(...)
But both sides of the dialogue recognize the value of the medium, even with its opportunities for miscommunication and heartache. "It's message boards, blogs and niche run communities that are changing the dialogue," argues No Mutant Allowed's Bеекеrs. "One journalist coming over to interact with us on our forums is 1,000 times more valuable than the 50 uninformative, bland previews we have read." And Green agrees. "I like the interaction. I think it can help make us more vital and dynamic and honest," he says. "Community is a good thing."
(...)
"If you don't want us to make this game, you're going to be disappointed, because we're making it," concludes Bethesda's Hines. "And if you're willing to give it a shot - well, then we appreciate what you want, but we're going to move on."
2K Boston's Levine puts it a little more bluntly. He has no interest in making games to serve a sequel-starved fan base. "Games take three or four years. I'm almost 41 years old. I'm going to be dead soon. I don't have 4 years to toss into being a human Xerox machine."

Ever noticed how when people set out to prove NMA's bad behaviour through forum quotes, they always end up quoting the same user, namely Sorrow?

Here's two examples of bits of the Q&A Julian Murdoch did not use:
JM: What are you hoping for in Fallout 3? What's the ideal?

BN: A game that takes the core design of the originals, a darkly ironic retro-50s PnP-emulating cRPG, and moves it into the new era of gaming technology. What the series needs is evolution, as opposed to reinvention.

JM: How do you think bethesda should/shouldn't be interacting with the existing fan base?

BN: "At all" would be a great start.
Thanks Killzig.

Posted by Brother None - at 2:25

Hosted by NMA, xulm brings you the Vault 12 Comic:


Updated every Friday, be sure to keep tabs on it.

News for Thursday, September 27, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 18:54

Another day, another developer's profile, with Fallout 1 and 2 artist Eddie Rainwater, one of the men behind the talking heads:

I came onto Fallout in it's last year of development along with Scott Rodenheizer to help out with the close up 3D rendered heads. I'd just finished working on the TSR logo cinematic for the Dungeons and Dragons title, which was rendered/composited in Lightwave, and what the heads were being created with for Fallout also, so I guess that helped get me onboard. We both completed the existing character heads (scanned from sculptures) and figured out how to create rendered soft edge ray-traced shadows for the lighting with the help of my friend Mike Sherak (aka Lightwave guru). We also created a series of facial phonems as morph targets, so they could be used for lip syncing. I believe we made facial expressions for A, C, E, F, L, M, U, V, and there were 3 states, neutral, angry and happy. For the intro cinematic, I successfully tested an unused lightwave plugin called morph gizmo that worked WAY better than LWs crappy envelope system. I was pretty happy about that, because another team adopted this into their pipeline after I showed them how much better it worked. I remember acting the parts out and recording the movements for rotoscoping purposes and literally staying up all night looking at wave sound files, and writing down where to keyframe all the mouth movements at 15 frames per second. I had never done this before and was happy to have figured out a way to accomplish this with Sound Forge so the audio would sync up with my rendered video. It's SO much easier nowadays... Back then we had to shoot the scene over to our render farm and wait till the next day to see if it worked once composited with the sound. It was actually a lot of fun figuring all that stuff out.
We spruced up the profile with a few talking head images taken from Eddie Rainwater's site, where you can take a look at more of his Fallout work.

Link: Fallout Developers Profile - Eddie Rainwater.

Posted by 13pm - at 18:27

Meet the Wolfman.
Today's "Inside the Vault" at BethBlog features Mark Lampert, Bethesda's sound engineer, whom we already know pretty well from "Meet the Devs" threads.

What’s your job at Bethesda?

I’m the sound engineer, and I handle all aspects of the sound design for Bethesda Game Studios. In addition I do the voice casting, recording and editing, plus any post processing such as voice effects, and I share in directing, typically with the lead designer of a project. There’s also a little bit of music work in terms of mastering our chosen composer’s tracks for the game, and sometimes I end up writing little bits and pieces of things here and there as needed.

What other games have you worked on?

The first two games I worked on were at Ion Storm, which was my first gig. I was hired as a contractor to take care of voice recording and editing for ‘Deus Ex: Invisible War’, the sequel to ‘Deus Ex’. That job was originally slated to run about four or five months, but it was extended and then extended again as more material was being written and significant changes were still being made, so that worked out well for me. Eventually a year had gone by and there was still plenty of work to do, so I was hired on ‘officially’.
He's a verbose guy, so be patient to read it all.

Link: Inside the Vault - Mark Lampert

News for Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Posted by Morbus - at 23:44

Neuroshima Hex is a Polish tactical post-nuclear boardgame by Michał Oracz, published by Wydawnictwo Portal. It’s an adaptation of “Neuroshima”, an also Polish Fallout-inspired Pen and Paper RPG. Its first edition was only released in Poland (and Polish), but now they are releasing an international second edition, which you can preorder here.

From the official site:

We received a lot of emails from US gamer who cannot attend Essen Spiel but wish to purchase 'Neurosima Essen Pack'. We decided that all gamers who are unable to attend Essen this year can preorder 'Neuroshima HEX Essen Pack' as well and this limited edition of our game will be sent to them.

You can preorder this limited edition till 10th of October. If you are interested, drop us an email on portal@wydawnictwoportal.pl
Link: Neuroshima Hex 1st Edition (Polish)
Link: Preorder Neuroshima Hex 2nd Edition
Link: Wydawnictwo Portal official site

Thanks Ausir.

News for Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 22:18

There's been little news on Fallout 3 lately, and this isn't really news either, but nonetheless, Emil Pagiarulo posted on the official Bethesda forums to comment on quest structures & NPCs:

The fact that you know who the traitor is and can't do anything about it, well -- I think that's a totally valid criticism of the Dark Brotherhood. The factions in Oblivion are linear by nature; that was changed up a bit in Shivering Isles, but in the main game, not so much. It's really just the way the game is structured. There's so much content in Oblivion, and that content takes so long to create, we really didn't have the resources to do divergent plotlines or branching factions.

Fallout uses is a different quest structure entirely. Most quests have multiple paths, and are much less straightforward. Depending on the quest, you may be able to do one thing instead of the other, play two NPCs against each other, betray your questgiver. Etc. etc.

In Fallout 3, we're also making a much greater effort to handle the player killing NPCs, and there are very few unkillable characters. In keeping with the tone of "you do something, you have to live with the consequences," if you decide to pull a gun on a questgiver and blow his head off, well... that was clearly your decision. So we'll let you do it. And if a quest fails because of that, so be. So long as we give you feedback that you've screwed yourself, we're fine with that.
Link: thread on BGSF.

Thanks 13pm.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:56

Another two days, another drop in the Fallout pool. NMA finally managed to get in touch with Jason D. Anderson, Fallout 1's lead technical artist and one of the 6 original game designers and later co-founder of Troika. He answered our regular developer profile questions for us, with some fascinating tidbits in there:

What's your favourite Fallout memory?

I have a few favorite memories. I think one of the best is when we came to the conclusion that the player was going to have to get kicked out of the vault at the end of the game. Leon and I shared an office and he was struggling to think up an end movie for the game. Originally, it was going to be a celebration... You are the returning hero of the vault in classic rpg fashion. This was decided on early in the game's design. And while we sat there wracking our brains trying to figure out how to make the movie work, it dawned on us that the whole idea of this celebration sounded kind of ordinary and lame.

Leon made the comment that, through the whole game, the vault dwellers are completely xenophobic... I mean, why would they even *let* you in? And I responded, well, then we should just have the movie being them kicking you out.

It was so funny. Over and over again we said we can't do that! But we absolutely loved the idea - it was just so cool! So we went to tell Tim. Tim wasn't sure of the idea. He thought it would flop with the fans, nothing like that had ever been done. But he finally gave in (we could be pains in the asses when we wanted something our way.) That movie is one of my favorite parts of the whole game - the returning hero getting kicked out. Absolutely perfect!
Link: Jason D. Anderson developer profile.

News for Sunday, September 23, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 17:03

10 years ago on this date, the official site was updated with this message:

Project Update: We are starting to put together "final candidates." These are CDs that could possibly be final versions, if we experience no major bugs during the testing phase. The Quality Assurance team is staying extra late to go over the latest version. As soon as we silver, and can confirm the lack of major crash bugs or other stop shipment style bugs, we'll be posting here... -- 23 Sep 1997
A glorious date. To commemorate, NMA brings you 4 piece of Leonard Boyarsky's original concept art, with thanks to Leonard himself.

Leonard gives the following descriptions:
Fallout Tales #2: larger version of the painting I did for the Fallout Tales #2 loading screen

Fallout Tales #2 sketch: original sketch for above - interesting story behind this image. Jason and I had already done a first draft of the story for FO2, and at one point the player was to be ambushed by lobotomized creatures (lobotomites), when a renegade brotherhood soldier comes to his rescue. Get it? It's Fallout Tales # 2 and it was an illustration of a scene from FO2. Of course, the story was changed after FO1 was released, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Gretch: it's gretch, man

Skill Guy: this is the first ever drawing of the 'skill guy' as I originally called him. I did it to show everyone what I was going on about. It was then given to George Almond, who did the first few initial cards (and began the progression from what you see in this pic to the final version). Tramell Isaac (T.Ray) then took over the cards and did the rest of them, finalizing his 'look'.
No Mutants Allowed presents: Fallout's 10th anniversary.

News for Friday, September 21, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 16:32

Well, we've been dropping hints left and right, and starting some surprisingly silly speculation on our previous thread, but let's get all that out of the way with the official announcement:

In early October, 1997, thousands of discs were being churned out by a nondescript factory. The discs were not quite as nondescript, as they contained a game that is still being hailed today as one of the greatest cRPGs of all time. This...is Fallout.

Now, 10 years later, No Mutants Allowed (also around 9 years of age) and others are bringing you some stuff to reminisce over. Pictures, talks, docs. Everything short of Harold's head.
Although today is just "announcement day", we'll start off good and proper anyway.

Chris Taylor brings you the Mr Handy design doc, a small little scribble from the days of Fallout GURPS. And yes, indeed, mr Taylor is not an artist. You can download the original .doc here.

No Mutants Allowed presents: Fallout's 10th anniversary

News for Thursday, September 20, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 21:49

News about the former "True Sequel" project:

We're still here, and with a brand new working title for the project as there was some confusion about the previous one. The project is going strong, with a new forum, updated website, and a much improved wiki.

We made some huge steps with the game plot, as well. BlackRain will be set in post-apocalyptic Europe, ravaged by the nukes and internal strife, and highly influenced by the Chinese. We wrote our own history of Europe, down to almost every country! Location of the game is now known and we are currently working on the first towns, characters, and dialog! Check out our wiki for more info.

Additionally, we started to build a map-editor and have some very interesting plans for the techdemo. Great ambient music is currently on the way as well!

With the last news update we gained several new members who have been very important for the project and filled in many gaps, particularly in the game plot and isometric tiles section. We also gained our music expert and a new programmer.

However, given our recent progress, we are in need of more help. BlackRain requires concept artists to put what our writer has accomplished so far into pictures and some more writers to assist in the herculean task of creating dialog. We also are in need of people who can create isometric graphics, which will be particularly important for our techdemo.

Think you can help us with concept or isometric art, or with dialog writing? Visit our forum at www.blackrain.fifengine.de/smf/ and introduce yourself with a couple of sentences. For more information, check out our website at www.blackrain.fifengine.de (our wiki is located at www.blackrain.fifengine.de/wiki). You can also find us at irc.gamesurge.net #falloutfans.

Posted by Sigoya - at 2:12

Greetings NMA!

Stopping by to make the first announcement on your forum in particular, about a new post-apocalyptic project! (bet you've heard that before Wink )

Following the recent shutdown of Auto Assault, a group of dedicated and talented players decided to work on a new MMO inspired by AA, but with a fresh and realistic vision.

We aim to create an FPS/Vehicular hybrid with a far more involved "RPG" content than what gets usually branded these days, with realistic choices and consequences within the game world (and lots of Fallout series influence).

We've been working for the last 2 months on the storyline, concept art and all the usual conceptual elements. We have also assembled a solid crew of writers, artists, modelers and a sound engineer, but we are always looking for a few more talented volunteers. A special call goes to any programmers who can handle C++ and scripting using Torque Game Engine Advanced and more.

If any of you are interested please feel free to visit us at the official site and register at our forums: http://apokalypsos.com or contact me directly at sigoya(at]gmai[dot].com

Apokalypsos is a Role Playing Game set in a massively multiplayer online world. This title sends the player into a devastated North America as a surviving refugee, escaping the brutal winters of the north. Seeking a new shelter and a better future, the player is forced to take a side in the ongoing battle between the surviving factions that control the few remaining resources.

The player is free to explore entire zones and areas on foot, in 1st or 3rd person view, scavenging resources, fighting enemies & creatures and building a legacy.

The game systems will allow the player to acquire vehicles in which they can use to travel into far and forgotten zones, through a highway system, full of missions and challenges.

Faction Control Zones:

-Refugees: The survivors of the devastated American continent gathered under the protection of the SOS forces in Camp Zero, South Dakota.

-Rebels: Situated far west of the SOS refugee camps, covering the area surrounding mount St. Helens and parts of what formerly was known as Canada.

-Protectors: Located in the lower eastern shore zones, away from the northern ice-engulfed borders, yet close to the old centers of power in Maryland and D.C.

-Reformers: Escaping the growing persecution and cleansing efforts, the Reformers gathered their remnants in the central areas of the Midwest and southwest, where the deserts and difficult terrain kept them safe & hidden.


Welcome to Apokalypsos stranger!
Regards,

Sigoya - Project Lead
Apokalypsos.com

News for Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 18:02

There's still a lot of interest in the Fallout titles these days, and we sometimes hear complaints from people that they can't seem to find them. If you're one of those persons that hasn't played Fallout but is looking for it, Gogamer is having a 48-hour sale (40 hours left at the time of this posting) selling the Fallout Radioactive pack (Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics) for 14.90 USD. Not an incredibly low price, and you might be able to find it cheaper if you search hard, but it's a good opportunity to pick it up if you've been looking for it for a while.

Spotted on GameBanshee.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:16

NetDevil, who you'll remember from the recently halted Auto Assault post-apocalyptic vehicle MMO, is bringing us the post-apocalyptic multi-player FPS Warmonger:

Warmonger is the first step to realizing a vision. NetDevil believes the next generation of FPS games will usher in new standards both in game play as well as technology that are currently unexplored. For decades the first person shooter has remained basically the same, granted there have been major shifts in style and technology, but basic game play has lacked any profound evolution. Physics technology has come to a point that will change all that, and change it forever. New rigid body technology and procedural destruction of game environments set the stage for dynamic content creation that is truly stunning and will literally change the way people think and play.

High performance FPS action is delivered in rich and stunning detail through the Unreal Engine 3. This has allowed the NetDevil team to give Warmonger's environments and special effects a depth and feel that reflect the cutting edge of gaming visuals. More than just dark and moody, the environments in Warmonger suggest utter devastation and convey deep drama. Interiors are dark and downright frightening, while exteriors feature hideously twisted buildings and massive smoldering rubble piles.

Link: Warmonger.

Thanks Briosafreak.

News for Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 14:15

Another one, and they're looking for interns.

How many games do you own, including game systems? What was the first system you ever owned?

I own 782 games, two NES’s, a Super NES, a Genesis with Sega CD and 32X attatchments, a Sega Nomad, a GameBoy Pocket, a Sega Saturn with VCD card, two Nintendo64s, five Dreamcasts, two PlayStation 2s, two Gamecubes (both with Broadband Adapters and one with a GameBoy Player, a GameBoyAdvance Sp, a Nintendo Ds, a Nintendo DS Lite, two Xbox 360s, a Wii, and a PC. I tried to put that in chronological order based on memory, apologize if I’m wrong. My first game console was the classic Nintendo Entertainment System.
Still no more questions about the original games?

Link: Inside the Vault - Daniel Lee

News for Monday, September 17, 2007

Posted by Silencer - at 21:39

From www.newdawn-game.com:

First screenshots from the New Dawn demo made a lot of waves across the boards around the world. We're happy and grateful for your interest. This time we're updating sections of our website which have been sort of neglected for some time. There are some new treats the - portraits and concept art sketches. We'd love to hear from you any opinions and suggestions so why don't you join our board and let your voice be heard?
Thanks Sethergal!

Posted by Brother None - at 20:20

Game Informer gave Pete Hines a much-needed opportunity to address the several worries Fallout fans have:

Since announcing that it would be taking the reins of one of the revered Fallout series, Bethesda has faced a barrage of feedback. Some saw the decision to move from isometric, turn-based gameplay to a more action-oriented, third-person game as an inevitable step. Technology has changed since Fallout debuted in 1997, so it stands to reason that a newer incarnation should take advantage of those advancements. Others in the fan community likened that move to blasphemy, saying that Bethesda had abandoned core components of the game. Worse, the company didn’t seem to have any idea what made the original such a classic—the humor, freedom and environments.

At the center of this debate is Bethesda’s Pete Hines, the company’s VP of PR and Marketing. We spoke to Hines about how the team handles such criticisms and what players can expect to see when Fallout 3 launches in 2008.
Pete Hines discussed how not everyone is going to love Fallout 3, how they know of our concerns and know we won't like it because we're too specific about it, and addressing the question of humour.

Link: Game Informer video interview with Pete Hines.

Thanks to the Codex.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:36

I guess you'll just have to wait and see



(more like T-minus a couple of days until detonation, actually)

News for Friday, September 14, 2007

Posted by Tagaziel - at 23:17

Bethesda Softworks has recently released an official community FAQ, in which Todd Howard responds to selected twenty five questions from the community.

9. Will you have the written descriptions of items or just the visual? Granted, the visuals work just fine for me, but I loved the descriptions from the earlier Fallouts about how nasty the bed looks or whatever. Will there be something like our beloved text box anywhere in the main HUD? [anonymous]

We just show the object name, like “nasty bed”, but in general, I think if we’re relying on text to describe how something looks, sounds, etc, then we screwed up not having that come across naturally with what the player is seeing. It annoys me whenever we have to resort to describing something like that, even in Oblivion, with, say a journal describing how I feel or what I am seeing…it should just happen naturally.
Link: Official Fan Interview

Muchas Gracias, Ausir

Posted by welsh - at 5:31

Yes! According to X-Box

A typo? Maybe.

Vault-Tec engineers have worked around the clock on an interactive reproduction of Wasteland life for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own vault. Included in Fallout® 3 is an expansive world, unique combat, shockingly realistic visuals, tons of player choice, and an incredible cast of dynamic characters. Every minute is a fight for survival against the terrors of the outside world—radiation, super mutants, and hostile mutated creatures. Remember, it's from:

Vault-Tec®, America's First Choice in Post-Apocalyptic Simulation™



Oh Boy! Because there is nothing quite like the love of fallout, except maybe sharing that love with someone SPECIAL.

Thanks to Ausir for pointing this out. And everyone note how the background art in that header

is ripped straight from our own dear Defonten.

EDIT: both the banner and the 2 player listing have been removed now.

News for Thursday, September 13, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 18:48

Do Fallout fans dream of electric guns?

Perhaps, in any case, our resident gun academic SuAside took a flight to the only thing mightier than the gun (the pen) and wrote us some musings on the origins of one of Fallout's most popular weapons, the .223 pistol, continuing our subseries on Fallout lore.

The Venerable .223 pistol.

Posted by Brother None - at 2:29

Bethesda's blog pushed up another one. Again, the question asking if the person has played Fallout seems to have disappeared.

What would you say is your personal greatest game of all time?

Oblivion. I still find myself hooked on occasion. I start it up to look at a bug in GOTY and find myself sneak shotting bandits just to see their corpses tumble over ledges. If we let nostalgia factor in though, then its probably Contra 3 on the SNES. Back in the day I’d beat it in one man, starting on easy and working up through hard while using only the basic gun, just to kill time.
stage and all the crowd could do was jump up and down to the music.
(...)
What is your favorite type of game to play?

Open-ended RPGs. Surprising, no?
(...)
Is the master file currently up or down?

The master file is up. At least until Jon Paul checks in…
Link: Inside the Vault - Mike Lipari.

Posted by Brother None - at 2:25

In a Machiavellian move to take over even more of the internet with his nefarious network of wikis, Ausir opened a Fallout modding wiki. Which is great, because centralized and complete documentation is non-existent for Fallout mods. Go and edit it!

News for Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 3:02

If you haven't heard of indie Sci-Fi TB isometric cRPG Omega Syndrome before, well, then it's too late now:

After four years of updating and selling The Omega Syndrome online, I have finally decided to take it off sale and shut the site down. While this game was never profitable by any measure, it was fun working on it for the first few years. However over the last year I have found my motivation to work on it and subsidise it has flagged and recently it has dropped off altogether.

While I may be back with a new site and game in the future (I was never happy with the name of this one), I don't know if I will have the high motivation that is required to make another computer RPG. Why? Fan expectations are high, the potential audience is small and fractured and the amount of work that is required to create even a low quality computer RPG, far exceeds that of any other type of game. So in short I no longer believe they can be successful financially or otherwise, unless they are properly funded and have the very best people working in each area.

As a final word I want to send out a big thank you to all of the people that bought the game and gave me a lot of encouragement over the years. Smile
A sad day for indie gaming, a sad day for TB cRPGs, a sad day for isometric cRPGs. Triple sadness.

Link: Omega Syndrome website.

Posted by Brother None - at 2:47

Tomorrow will mark the two-year anniversary of the 2D game engine project FIFE. mvBarracuda forwards this invitation:

We can't really believe it either but our calendar says that it has been almost two years now since we started to work on this very project. At the 11th of September 2005 a group of naive but enthusiastic individuals agreed to found a development project to create an improved Fallout-like engine for roleplaying games. While the focus shifted to become a more general and flexible 2D engine, while new members joined and old ones left the team, we're still around and the recent progress gives us the hope that there'll be a bunch of birthday parties to celebrate in the next couple of years Smile To celebrate at least our first two years we invite every developer (active, inactive, ex or even simply interested to get involved) and of course every guest to visit our IRC channel at Tuesday, 2007/09/11.

If you always wanted to get to know these crazy FIFE people here is your chance. As the majority of the FIFE developers are set in Europe you will probably need to wait for the evening hours (GMT) to get in touch with project members though. You could even try to obtain an answer to the question when 2007.2 will be released. Though it's likely that we'll answer: ''When it's done''. Not because we're cruel but because we don't know it either Smile Anyway: we hope to see all of you at Tuesday.

Let's get this party started
Link: FIFE website.
Link: FIFE IRC channel.

Posted by Brother None - at 2:44

We bring you a bunch of images of Glutton Creeper's Exodus pen and paper RPG:



The new cover doesn't seem that big a leap from the old one.

News for Saturday, September 8, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 21:12

A bit under the "this is hardcore" section of the PC Gamer UK discusses both NMA's reaction to Fallout 3 and Iron Tower's Age of Decadence:

Some disgruntled forum inhabitants at www.nma-fallout.com have been wallowing in their own misery since finding out details of Bethesda's plans for Fallout 3. They're moaning about not being able to kill children and whether drinking from toilet bowls should be a feature. The subtext seems to be that because Fallout 3 doesn't look like the first two games then it is somehow evil. Here's an example of the posts on the forums.
"If half of the previers had any Fallout experience, we would've seen the occasional negative preview. As it stands, there isn't one. Not one from anyone that was there to witness the demo." Speaking as someone with plenty of Fallout experience, I loved what I saw. No conspiracy: a great demo of a promising RPG.
Fortunately for anyone who's determined that RPGs must not progress into first-person 3D, there are still games like Age of Decadence (pictured). It's post-apoclauptic, it eschews magic and it's indie. It's a game predicated on social interactions, cause and effect and plenty of dialogue options; it's pretty low-tech, but has plenty of features, such as the action-point based combat, that old school roleplayers will probably find comfortingly familiar. Try www.irontowerstudio.com for more.
The post referred to can be found here. Links to more info on Age of Decadence can be found here. It is unknown where "a great demo of a promising PRG" can be found.

Spotted on the RPGCodex forums.

Posted by Brother None - at 21:08

Game Reactor has a video interview up with Emil Pagiarulo. Duck and Cover provides some extractions:

*New example for choices and consequences: you meet a little kid in the wasteland, the question is what do you do with the kid?

*Everytime you fire a gun, the shots are determined by your skills.

*Emil says he`s very proud of the rad scorpions in Fallout 3.

*The game will feature old robots (Mr. Handy etc.) and a bunch of new ones.

*He says the deathclaw definitely won`t be a furry deathclaw.

*"Flaming sword" with gasoline. (EDIT: "so we have one that`s called a shishkabob, its a sort of a flaming sword, you know, using, you know, imagine(?) like a motorcycle gasoline tank.... stuff like that.")
Link: Game Reactor interview with Emil Pagiarulo.

Thanks Bloch.

News for Friday, September 7, 2007

Posted by Silencer - at 13:38

Intoxicate posted some news on the Afterfall project, which I don't really feel like translating, so here goes the gist of it:

They're still working on the project. GUI and FX are still to be polished and physics improved. The Techdemo 1 is in the works, and it will cover 1,838 square meters per underground level.

New screenshots will be released in October.

Posted by Tagaziel - at 0:15

With the implementation of the new Community feature into Steam, No Mutants Allowed expands, and has estabilished an official NMA community there, open for all Fallout fans to join.

Time to vent some Steam!

Link: No Mutants Allowed on Steam

News for Thursday, September 6, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 21:11

The next Inside the Vault on Bethesda's blog is with director of design Bruce Nesmith:

What pen and paper RPGs did you work on?

I’ve lost count of the games I made while at TSR. I did work with Marvel Superheroes, D&D, AD&D (1st and 2nd edition), Gamma World, and Buck Rogers. I’m probably best known as the author of the original Ravenloft boxed set. For quite a while I was the lead for that product line. I also did work with Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, and Mystara. I was the designer of the Dragonstrike board game, and worked heavily on the Spellfire collectible card game.

(...)

What is your favorite part about working on Fallout?

I’ve always loved the post-apocalyptic setting. I did a lot of work with Gamma World while at TSR and really loved it. It was one of my favorite non-traditional roleplaying games. In particular, the work we’re doing with multiple paths through a quest and the moral choices the player has to make are very cool.

It also doesn’t suck to empty a clip into a Supermutant and watch him dissolve into a gory mess.
The standard question of "have you played the Fallout games?" seems to have been removed from the list.

Link: Inside the Vault - Bruce Nesmith.

Posted by Brother None - at 15:32

Here we go:

Just before the war, many sought refuge is massive underground bunkers called Vaults. Once sealed, the Vaults are sealed permanently -- nobody enters, nobody leaves. This is the dark world of Fallout, a cult hit on the PC in the late 90's and now an upcoming action-RPG from Bethesda Softworks, creator of The Elder Scrolls series.
(...)
Fallout 3 is set 200 years after the bombs dropped, some 80 years following the first Fallout. You begin the game in Vault 101, a facility that lies beneath the bomb-blasted surface of Washington, D.C. -- a similar setup to past Fallout titles. But rather than start as a standard low-level character, Bethesda breaks role-playing convention by putting you in the satin-laced booties of a toddler.
(...)
Visually, the game already looks phenomenal, and is far, far more detailed than the already stunning Oblivion. Bethesda is promising virtually identical graphics and performance between the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC versions as well as simultaneous launch dates. Fall 2008 is a long ways off...but we have a hunch that Fallout 3 is one game worth waiting for.
Link: Fallout 3 preview on GamePro.

Posted by Brother None - at 2:32

From Bethesda's Blog:

On June 5th — three months ago today — fans may recall seeing the above image on our website - that is, when our servers weren’t crashing in anticipation of the teaser trailer.

Well, everyone’s seen the above trailer now, or so it seems. Today I got word that the trailer has been viewed more than 2 million times off our website (over 1.8 million downloads) and through Xbox Live (over 250K downloads). That doesn’t include YouTube views or downloads off of all the other sites that hosted the trailer.

To put it in context, in the first five months that we hosted the Oblivion teaser trailer, 800,000 views took place. So the Fallout 3 trailer has been viewed more than twice as many times in about half the time. Impressive…most impressive.
Spotted on Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog.

News for Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 21:22

As predicted, there were way too many reviews of Bioshock lately to cover them all (about a 100, in fact), but it's worth pointing out it aggregates at 96% on PC and Xbox360. Of more interest are the reviews that don't join the 90+% rank-and-file, like Killer Betties, 3/5:

If the game was nothing more than an interactive story told with some beautiful graphics and amazing sound work, Bioshock would be an amazing accomplishment. However, the game has some actual gameplay underneath it too, which ultimately hurts the game immensely. The developers piled so many options and potential options into the game, that they failed to focus on the core, tainting everything that was attached to it. The fact that there is no death is also a huge problem, because it takes away the suspense, action, and ultimate satisfaction of a fight well fought and survived. Imagine your life and if you couldn't die – sure, it would probably sound good for a while, but wouldn't you eventually tire of the nothingness of it all. The reason life is so cherished and prized as it is, is because eventually it will go away and extinguish. Without sadness you cannot truly know happiness, and without death you can never truly know what life is. Much is the same with Bioshock.
And the Escapist's Zero Punctuation piece. The Escapist seems to have been making a drive to turn from being intelligently critical to amusingly controversial, continuing here, noting Bioshock is dumbed down for the console tards, and that your only real choice is to be "Mother Teresa or a baby eater."

Link: Killer Betties Bioshock review.
Link: Escapist Zero Punctuation Bioshock review.

Posted by Brother None - at 3:38

A very worthwhile read:

GameTap: The theme of moral dilemmas seem to be playing a greater role in games these days. Do you think this is the next logical step for games as a whole as the audience grows up?

Emil Pagliarulo: Videogames are trying desperately these days to be accepted as art. The whole Roger Ebert debate has fanned those flames, but it’s been a big issue for years. Can games, like art, manipulate a person’s emotions? Can a game make you cry, can a game make you truly feel for the characters inhabiting a virtual world? Presenting the player with a moral dilemma is one of the easiest ways to do this. BioShock completely yanks at your heart strings with their Little Sisters, and it’s incredibly effective.

I honestly think there’s room for both types of games. I mean, in the Dark Brotherhood in Oblivion, you really don’t have a choice. There’s no moral dilemma. You’re evil. And that’s part of the fun--not having to compromise, not having to worry about what you’re doing is right or wrong. It’s wrong, and you’re going to do it anyway. In Fallout 3, it’s the complete opposite--a big part of the fun is deciding whether to do the right thing, the wrong thing...or not caring if it’s right or wrong, but doing it anyway.

GameTap: At the same time, does it make certain games an easier target for politicians and media that are looking for any sort of justification for their anti-videogame sentiments?

Emil Pagliarulo: Of course, of course. The more serious you try to make your game, the more realistic the situations, the more realistic the situations, the larger the bullseye you paint on your back. I’ve always maintained that it’s a matter of context, though. Using film as an example, an obscure movie like The Basketball Diaries gets picked on because it has a school shooting sequence. Whereas Kill Bill, which is more violent by a factor of 10, doesn’t receive the same sort of criticism...because it’s so over-the-top, so comedically unrealistic, it doesn’t strike the same nerves.

Fallout 3 definitely falls into that latter category.

GameTap: How does morality play into Fallout 3? Will players encounter those kinds of moments where they have to think, “hrm, do I really want to do this?” We saw during the E3 demo that you have the option to blow up the town named Megaton that you encounter early in the game.


Emil Pagliarulo: Oh, the player’s morality is called into question all over the place in Fallout 3. The Megaton bomb quest in the demo is a really black-and-white, really extreme example. It’s pretty clearly “good” or “evil,” and destroying the town pretty much bottoms out your karma.

In the game as a whole, we play around a lot with the very definitions of good and evil, right and wrong. Do personal motivations, if well intentioned, override the wishes of a community? If a person wants to die, is it OK to let that happen...or is it worth the effort to save them, even if they don’t want to be saved? If I find a kid abandoned in the Wasteland, is it okay to leave him there… even if I promise to go get help? That morally gray area is a big part of what we’re trying to accomplish.
(...)
All of that said, we still won’t allow the player to break his or her game. Getting cut off from a quest path or location is acceptable; allowing the player to get the game into a state where he or she can’t move forward or finish the game isn’t. We worry about that stuff, and handle it, so the player doesn’t have to.
(...)
That said, the Fallout world is the Fallout world; it’s non-restrictive by nature. There’s not a whole we couldn’t include, if that’s what we wanted. So really, for us, it’s always a matter of asking ourselves, “Do we really want this? Does it fit with the world, does it fit with our story. At the end of the day, does it make Fallout 3 better?” If the answer to any of those questions is “no,” it doesn’t go in the game.
(...)
OK, let’s assume for a second that there is an end boss. And I’m a master of verbal manipulation. Will I be able to use these skills to my advantage, to maybe defeat my opponent without lifting a finger? You can count on it.

Now, that’s not to say you can talk your way through the entire game without ever engaging in combat. The Capital Wasteland’s a dangerous place, so you’re going to have to defend yourself at some point. But within the quests, and several other places, yeah--you can talk your way through, if you’ve got the skill.
There's too much to quote here. This is a mandatory read.

Link: GameTap interviews Emil Pagiarulo.

Spotted on Fallout 3: A post nuclear blog.

News for Saturday, September 1, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 18:20

MMO Auto Assault has, as reported earlier, closed its doors:

With Auto Assault closing down tonight, we wanted to thank all of you for creating a tremendously cool and dedicated community of Wastelanders. We just didn’t want to give you guys a wild, crazy event tonight, but something else that may be just as fun. In the coming days those that are eligible will be receiving a “Parting Gift” message in your e-mail inboxes, with opportunities to take a part in some of our other products, including Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa and City of Heroes. It’s our way of saying “Thank You” to the diehard Auto Assault fan base and we hope to see you in are other virtual worlds.
"Thank You"s are nice, but the best efforts of the fans appeared to have resulted in naught. Don't know why NCSoft isn't releasing the server code to the community to turn AA into a free community-based game, rather than a dead one.

Link: AA news.

Spotted on Gamebanshee.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:21

The GameSanity blog has an interesting piece up, which'll do well as a counter point to the hype Bioshock has been straining under:

You might not believe this based on reviews and the general hype in the media, but Bioshock is *not* perfect. “Game of the Year” material to be sure, but not perfect. While I do not expect that Bioshock will become like Oblivion and be oft-quoted in articles using it as a whipping-boy for the latest and greatest features of upcoming games (for example, the game has level-scaling, but it isn’t idiotic like it was in Oblivion), I do envision some form of ‘backlash’. It is almost inevitable due to how high the scores are that people will begin to get overly negative about the game. Indeed, while I love the game the more I think about it the more little things bug me. I have seen articles about this sort of thing starting to crop up, but I’m going to give it a bit of a twist - rather than just bitching about things, I’m going to highlight a few things I love and give you the drop on a couple of extra special treats for Bioshock lovers. Needless to say this is chock full of the biggest sorts of spoilers. Avoid clicking until you’ve finished the game.
Link: 10 Things I Hate About Bioshock.

Spotted on RPGWatch.