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News for Saturday, October 31, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 18:00

You can't get much Game of the Yearerer than that. Press release.

Gaming innovation celebrated at record breaking Golden Joystick Awards

Boom for event as gamers cast 1.2m votes and name Fallout 3 their ultimate game

1500 HRS October 30th 2009 – The video games industry was recognized as the fastest-growing entertainment medium and the UK was acknowledged as a centre of creative excellence today as the winners of the world’s most popular video game awards show, the 27th annual Golden Joystick Awards were announced in London.

Fallout 3 was crowned “Ultimate Game of the Year”, whilst Call of Duty continued its annual winning streak with a hat-trick of accolades.

With UK consumers spending £2.7billion on gaming over the last year, the industry remains resilient through the current downturn. As games continue to increase in popularity, organisers of the Golden Joystick Awards reported a 47% surge in voting, with over 1.2m votes in another record breaking year.

The popular Call of Duty series from Activision Blizzard once again proved it was a fan favourite, scooping a trio of awards in 2009. Call of Duty: World at War won “Multiplayer Game of the Year” and “Nintendo Game of the Year.” The forthcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 looks set to rule Christmas 2009, bagging the “One to Watch” award.

The haul of awards for Activision Blizzard continued with Guitar Hero: World Tour winning “Soundtrack of the Year”, while the gaming giant rounded-off its haul with “Publisher of the Year”.

There was strong showing for UK-developed titles, as “Family Game of the Year” was taken by Guildford-based Media Molecule for LittleBigPlanet on PlayStation 3 - an innovative platform game voiced by Stephen Fry. “Handheld Game of the Year” was won by Rockstar Leeds' Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for Nintendo DS. The “UK Developer of the Year” category saw Cambridge company Jagex smash all-comers as the makers of Runescape – the biggest free massively multiplayer online role-playing game in the world - outflanked rivals in the category by an overwhelming margin.

The full list of winners in the 2009 Golden Joystick Awards is;

Family Game of the Year: LittleBigPlanet
Bliss Handheld Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Retailer of the Year: GAME
Mobile Game of the Year: Metal Gear Solid Touch
Nintendo Game of the Year: Call of Duty: World at War
MSN Multiplayer Game of the Year: Call Of Duty: World At War
The Rampage Soundtrack of the Year: Guitar Hero World Tour
Xbox Game of the Year: Gears of War 2
PC Game of the Year: Fallout 3
Amiqus Games UK Developer of the Year: Jagex
PlayStation Game of the Year: Killzone 2
Publisher of the Year: Activision Blizzard
Online Game of the Year: Left4Dead
ShortList One to Watch: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Ultimate Game of the Year, together with Fallout 3

Rounding off the afternoon in style, the Golden Joystick Awards themselves were officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the “World’s Most Popular Video Game Awards.” The Golden Joysticks polled 1,223,646 votes in its 27th year.

Emma Parkinson is Organiser of the Golden Joystick Awards:

“The games industry remains innovative and vibrant despite economic pressures. Many of the winners at the Golden Joystick’s demonstrate that UK talent remains crucial to the success of this industry across the globe and must be nurtured at all cost.

I’m delighted by the record number of votes – gamers deserve to have their say about their favourite games, having spent £2.7billion of their hard-earned cash in the toughest year the industry has experienced.”

News for Friday, October 30, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 14:21

Correction on earlier post, Interplay's lawyer states.

You will not often hear from me, but as Interplay's in-house lawyer I feel the need to set the record straight here...

The Court has not ruled on Bethesda's Motion for Prelminary Injunction. A proposed order was filed with our Opposition to the Motion, but that is not the same as an Order of the Court. The hearing is weeks away. Interplay will issue an official statement if there is a material development that needs to be addressed. Please do not rely on rumor or speculation.

In the meantime, we all appreciate your enthusiasm and support.
NMA apologizes for the error. As stated, the news on Interplay winning the hearing came from Interplay investor frymuchan, who had apparently misinterpreted the court filings posted on earlier.

Thanks King of Creation and Ausir.

Posted by Brother None - at 2:31

This seemingly rhetorical question is the subject of an editorial on the Examiner.

Fallout 3 is Bethesda's most recent--and best selling--title. Released on the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, the game has received universal acclaim from critics and rightfully so. This may be the third in the Fallout franchise, but it is the first time Bethesda has taken over the reigns of this fan favorite PC series and brought it to console gamers to boot. The post-apocalyptic role playing game has been widely enjoyed in Europe, North America and recently, has stunned aficionados of the RPG genre by actually cracking a recent Japanese poll of best RPGs of all time, an unheard of feat for a western RPG. It is also, sadly, a game that is riddled with glitches, bugs and other defects across all platforms. The fan/knowledge-base site wikia has a Fallout 3 section with numerous documented bugs and glitches for every version of the game. Everything from the game slowing down, freezing, crashing and missions not correctly playing out despite required objectives being completed have been noted by gamers since the game went on sale. In some cases, these errors and bugs have been fixed by the numerous patches that have gone on-line subsequent to the game's release. In other cases, these errors remain within the game to this very day.
But in all fairness, a lot of what has occurred with Bethesda games are understandable to a degree. Expansive games such as Fallout 3 are some of the most technically complex games available on the market with numerous variables to consider. Between free roaming NPCs, conflicts between multiple objectives and numerous conditions and factors built into environments, missions and even equipment, it's a daunting task to go over such a massive work with a fine toothed comb and take every consideration into account. Other games such as Bioware's Mass Effect have had the occasional hiccup that was eventually addressed. Recently the multi-platform Gearbox title Borderlands had a bug that affected the multi-player component on the PS3, though the error was rapidly corrected in less than 24 hours. It is unrealistic to expect that with games as large and complex as those we enjoy today, they will be perfect, bug free experiences. What gamers should be concerned about is whether this is a trend that will worsen in the future, particularly in terms of response from the creators of these games. Right now Bethesda is in a comfortable position; they make brilliant games that are enormously fun to play and gamers have few, if any alternatives for similar experiences. However if they continue to release games riddled with bugs that either take weeks to address or remain ignored entirely when developers such as Gearbox issue fixes within a day, it does not reflect well on the company and may possibly affect how willing gamers are to forgive their gaffs in the games to come.

If the future of gaming is one where gamers must accept the reality of fixes to games after release, then it will be the developers and publishers that get their fixes out in a timely manner who will win the favor of consumers. The good will Bethesda has among fans who love the games they provide may not last if a competitor arrives that offers a similar experience with fewer issues, or more timely fixes.
Spotted on GameBanshee.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:50

Another day dawns, and Serge.S's Survivor trudges over the horizon.

Link: Survivor Concept Art thread on Interplay forum

News for Thursday, October 29, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 1:26

More from Project V13's lead concept artist, Serge.S:

News for Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Posted by Morbus - at 21:37

Parts 3, 4 and 5 of the independent post-apoc movie "Mad Nation" are available on YouTube. Ethan "InTheOnlineAsbestosSuit" Taranto-Kent did it, so blame him for any damage your old black and white photos might receive... Here's the third part, the other two are linked to at the end of the post.

Link: Mad Nation Part 3 @ YouTube
Link: Mad Nation Part 4 @ YouTube
Link: Mad Nation Part 5 @ YouTube
Link: Mad Nation Movie Thread @ NMA

Posted by Brother None - at 16:52

For the uninitiated in law a preliminary injunction is when one party (Bethesda) asks the courts to restrain another party (Interplay) of going forward with their activities (publishing Fallout, working on FOOL) until such time as the case has been decided. Bethesda was denied its request for a preliminary injunction according to Interplay investor frymuchan, and this would seem to be the case as Interplay has started publishing V13 concept art. NMA has a copy of Interplay's proposed order denying the preliminary injunction (though not the ruling) and - of more interest - Interplay's opposition to said motion, including its arguments.

Interplay had to argue on four points (the traditional four for preliminary injunctions). The one of the most interest to us is that "Bethesda cannot show a clear likelihood of success on the merits of its claims". The case is about the Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) - by which Interplay sold Fallout but retained the right to publish the older titles - and the Trademark License Agreement (TLA) - by which Interplay licensed back the limited rights to produce FOOL.

While it does not contain convincing instances of what frymuchan would no doubt call "sleazy interference" from Bethesda, it does cite a few instances of how Interplay and Bethesda would interact on the use of the Fallout license. The biggest example is Interplay's website: Interplay had initially submitted for approval a website that prominently featured Fallout Online, but no permission for this was given by Bethesda. They then switched from FOOL to Project V13 and resubmitted for approval, Bethesda noting that the art "relates to a possible MMOG based on Fallout". Interplay removed said art, but never got a response from Bethesda on further approval requests.

When it comes to Fallout Online itself, Interplay notes it has "more than 600 pages of extensive game design documents detaling, without limitation: characters, character abilities, equipment and in game items, weapons, concept art, story outlines, and environment descriptions, among other game information." Interplay claims to have entered full production with Masthead prior to the deadline set by the TLA and to have created a demo that "included a playable portion of the 3-D game environment, which was based upon the game design documents and showcased the art style selected by the team." Interplay sent notice on April 2 to Bethesda that they had satisfied the TLA conditions. Bethesda unilaterally revoked Interplay's rights under the TLA on April 7, claiming Interplay was not allowed to use independent contractors and rejecting Interplay's financial arrangements. Bethesda also claimed Interplay was not allowed to use digital distribution channels under the APA.

Interplay argues:

  1. Interplay's distribution methods do not breach the APA, as the APA does not limit bundling of the games or sublicensing to publishers and digital distribution channels.
  2. Interplay did not violate the Merchandising Rights approval provision, as said provision was only to give Bethesda the rights to see if Interplay's packaging did not "use, refer to, trade upon, reflect the look and feel of or otherwise exploit any of the Fallout games or products...developed by or for Bethesda or its licensees."
    And here's an interesting point I've tried to make clear before: Interplay's packaging predates Bethesa's approval right. Interplay was using the packaging "Fallout Trilogy" and "Saga Fallout" for Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics bundles before the APA was signed, and thus said packaging is not bound to Bethesda's approval. Furthermore the package clearly shows it does not contain Fallout Interplay further claims that while it acted in good faith, Bethesda's refusal to let Interplay announce and promote its MMOG using the Fallout mark has a direct negative impact on the functioning of the company and is done in bad faith by Bethesda.
  3. The APA is an "entire contract". This is a bit of legalise that basically states that given certain terms a contract can only be wholly undone, not partially. The opening language of the APA almost exactly follows that of an earlier contract that was declare to be entire by the courts, giving Interplay a strong case to argue the same is true here. If such is the case, then the rights of Interplay to distribute the pre-existing Fallout games can not be undone without the entire APA being undone and Bethesda and Interplay reverting to the earlier Exclusive Licensing Agreement.
  4. Interplay can not be in violation of trademark as the APA is not yet invalidated.
  5. Interplay satisfied the terms of the TLA. Now this is a somewhat hilarious read, as Interplay takes the imprecise language of the TLA and just stretches it every which way.
    Interplay argues that "full production" is an undefined term taken to just mean the "production stage" of development, which Interplay has entered with Masthead technology.
    Then Interplay argues the 30 million USD in the TLA is not defined as having to be held in Interplay's account, or that "the entirity of the funding must be received in a single installment or a single line of credit", and that "no provision of the TLA requires Interplay to spend US$30,000,000, or any other amount, to create the game. Thus, the funding requirement serves no material purpose." Hence Interplay claims the funding requirement served only a quality control function, and Interplay's arrangement with Masthead satisfied the financial conditions.
    You don't need to be a legal wizz to see that this is a nebulous, nonsensical argument that stands and falls only on inexact language of the contract.
The remaining arguments, dealing with balance of harm and public interest, are of no extensive interest to us as readers. The countersuit by Interplay is not discussed in this document as it is not a part of the preliminary injunction hearing. There are no doubt rows of court documents NMA has not laid eyes on, but going from this, Interplay's arguments regarding the APA and their right to publish pre-existing Fallout games in perpetuity is strong, but I can't really take their arguments regarding the TLA and the funding for FOOL seriously. Regardless, they won the claim based on the above arguments.

Posted by Brother None - at 15:46

Interplay has opened a forum dedicated to posting Project V13 concept art, presumably mostly by their lead concept artist Serge.S. Chris Taylor notes:

Some of the concept art for the game has been released due to the lawsuit. This forum will be a place where we can post high quality versions of the same art and you can give us some feedback on it at the same time.

Keep in mind that this is concept art. It's not finalized art, but it will give you a feel for what we are aiming for with V13.

(And I'll keep bugging the lawyers to release more art when we can... I'm pretty excited that we're finally able to show you some of the work that we've been doing up until now.)
The first piece can be found here.

Thanks troybilt.

News for Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 20:10

Mad Max: Fury Road is now in the early stages of pre-production. This will be the fourth installment in the series that began with Mad Max and was continued by Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome. To maintain setting it too will be filmed in Australia:

Aussie film director George Miller says pre-production work will start next week on the latest Mad Max film, which is to be produced in New South Wales.

Thirty years after the release of the original Mad Max, Miller is preparing to head out west for Fury Road - the fourth installment of the popular franchise.

Filming on Fury Road will begin in NSW in August 2010.

Casting for the lead role is already underway, but the big question is whether Mel Gibson is set to return as the star.

Miller is staying tight-lipped about who he would like to take the lead.

Special thanks to Dutch of
Duck and Cover for this news.

News for Thursday, October 22, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 16:11

Interplay has filed an 8-K summing up its court dealings with Bethesda, which tells us nothing new but is easier on the eyes than frymuchan's rather biased take.

On October 16, 2009, Interplay Entertainment Corp. (“Interplay”) answered the lawsuit filed by Bethesda Softworks LLC (“Bethesda”) in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland on September 8, 2009. In conjunction with its Answer, Interplay asserted Counter-Claims against Bethesda seeking affirmative relief, including for Breach of Contract, Declaratory Judgment, and other relief. Interplay alleges Bethesda breached the terms of Asset Purchase Agreement related to the sale of the FALLOUT® intellectual property to Bethesda.

Interplay’s counter-suit alleges that Bethesda interfered with Interplay’s business, including distribution of the previously released FALLOUT ®, FALLOUT® 2, and FALLOUT® Tactics games, by attempting to terminate Interplay’s distribution rights, among other acts. Interplay asks the Court to decide whether Bethesda’s attempt to terminate Interplay’s rights under the Asset Purchase Agreement results in nullification of the entire contract such that the Parties should be returned to the status quo under their former Exclusive Licensing Agreement. If the Exclusive Licensing Agreement is restored, Bethesda may owe royalties based upon sales of its FALLOUT ® 3 title. Interplay also seeks a declaration from the Court that it has not infringed upon the FALLOUT® mark and that it has satisfied the terms of a Trademark Licensing Agreement it signed with Bethesda related to Interplay’s production of a massively-multiplayer online game.

For its part, Bethesda seeks to cancel the Trademark License Agreement, which conditionally allows Interplay to use the FALLOUT ® brand in conjunction with its currently-in-production massively multiplayer online game. Bethesda claims that Interplay breached the trademark license agreement because it allegedly failed to commence full scale development and satisfy a funding requirement within a specified time frame. Bethesda also seeks to terminate Interplay’s rights with respect to Interplay’s distribution of the FALLOUT® back catalog of games. Interplay disputes these allegations. Although the potential damages are currently unknown, if Bethesda ultimately prevails, Bethesda could obtain a damages award and cancel the trademark license agreement. Interplay could lose its license to use the FALLOUT® brand with respect to its massively multiplayer online game, and also its right to distribute the pre-existing FALLOUT® titles.
Link: Interplay 8-K Filing with SEC.

Posted by Brother None - at 16:05

Ukranian post-apocalyptic FPS Metro 2033 has been re-unveiled, with a nice little announcement trailer (re-announcement trailer really).

Set in the shattered subway of a post apocalyptic Moscow, Metro 2033 is a story of intensive underground survival where the fate of mankind rests in your hands.

In 2013 the world was devastated by an apocalyptic event, annihilating almost all mankind and turning the earth’s surface into a poisonous wasteland. A handful of survivors took refuge in the depths of the Moscow underground, and human civilization entered a new Dark Age.

The year is 2033. An entire generation has been born and raised underground, and their besieged Metro Station-Cities struggle for survival, with each other, and the mutant horrors that await outside.

You are Artyom, born in the last days before the fire, but raised Underground. Having never ventured beyond your Metro Station-City limits, one fateful event sparks a desperate mission to the heart of the Metro system, to warn the remnants of mankind of a terrible impending threat. Your journey takes you from the forgotten catacombs beneath the subway to the desolate wastelands above, where your actions will determine the fate of mankind.

News for Monday, October 19, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 20:39

Resolution Magazine's The End Is Nigh column discusses narrative in Fallout 3.

This goes against the grain of naturalistic gamer tendencies. I initially worried far too much about doing things wrong, investing the wrong points into the wrong stats or fretting over whether my preferred choice of weapon was the most suitable. Areas had to be discovered via exploration, and the game effectively dumps you into the massive expanse with nothing more than flimsy directions towards the starter hub. It’s easy to get lost, and it’s easier to get killed. Items are far too expensive, and there’s the continual niggling feeling that if you stray from the track you’ll probably get your chops lopped off by a mutated bear. It’s a lot to take in.

Mirroring the in-game character’s inexperience to the surface world, the biggest challenge in the game for players is to overcome the formidable early stages. At the end of the experience the player has adapted to the hostilities of the environment, they’ve got about a billion bullets and the resulting heaps of experience points have given them the skills to land a perfect headshot from a mile away. It’s like Robinson Crusoe, only with mutants and dismembering.

The realisation eventually dawns: there’s no wrong way to play. Apart from specialising in melee, that is, because melee is terrible. Provided the player’s equipment is up to scratch, and that doesn’t take long, the world becomes their oyster. Most areas, despite their visual repetition, even have their own touch of aesthetic uniqueness to make an expedition worthwhile. It’s at this point I realised that a traditional design would have stymied the entire game.
Spotted on GameBanshee.

Posted by Brother None - at 20:37

Post-apocalyptic MMO Fallen Earth has been getting a mixed reception. Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Wrapping and moulding Fallen Earth to fit three words would be easy; it’s just a matter of conjuring a certain picture in your head and pointing at it and saying ‘That! That’s basically it!’. Of course, that’d be incredibly unfair to the developers, and all but dismiss their game as a fan service. So it would be entirely wrong to call Fallen Earth Fallout: the MMO. But it’s the thought on your mind when you begin to play, and the niggle that stays with you throughout you playing, slowly fading to a dull impression, until it’s gone entirely.

Fallen Earth has all the staples that would make a Fallout MMO: it’s a post apocalyptic setting where you’re an outsider who has to learn the ways of the wasteland, and establish yourself a life there. It’s hardly fair though, and is just as useful as claiming that World of Warcraft is Lord of the Rings: The MMO. Beyond a casual reference it doesn’t hold any water.
Games Radar 6/10.
Yet, despite its glaring errors, Fallen Earth remains oddly compelling. It hasn’t achieved its hugely ambitious aims, lacking the polish of the Fallout games, but there’s a kernel of underlying excitement beneath the engine and interface problems. Ever-evolving MMORPGs are tough to judge in their opening weeks. If Fallen Earth manages to sort its issues quickly, the interesting setting and sense of reward afforded by making your own way in its wasteland could draw in a dedicated player base. Until then, it’s an opportunity missed.
GamesNation (Eyetalian) 8.2.
Fallen Earth is truly a nice MMORPG. In spite of its mix of well-known and overused gameplay formulas and storyline ideas, some of which are very close to Fallout 3, the end product is really various and immersive, and its 5000 square kilometres map is simply astonishing.

News for Sunday, October 18, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 1:18

Fallout Encyclopaedia user senpay has created a script that allows exporting of Van Buren G3D files into 3D Studio Max. Our own Continuum is currently working overtime to see what's usable with or without some tweaking to import straight into Fallout 2. These could potentially be used in Fallout 3 modding as well. How many assets can be taken from Van Buren is unclear, but Dude101 puts it at "potentially 500 + with some work". Some samples:

Link: Original script post on Fallout Encyclopaedia.
Link: Thread on NMA.

News for Saturday, October 17, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 14:25

Interplay stockholder frymuchan sums up Interplay's court filings (second post here), revealing both Interplay's arguments to Bethesda's suit and a countersuit from Interplay.

Interplay argued that they purposefully retained the rights to the original Fallout games when selling the Fallout license to Bethesda knowing full well (as did Bethesda) that Interplay was going to exploit the original Fallout games upon release of Fallout 3. Why would Interplay keep the original Fallout rights and sell Fallout for so cheap unless this was built in as part of the package deal? The original Fallout games are only worth something in relation to sales generated from the release of FAllout 3. Therefore, Interplay did not harm Bethesda in any way by selling the original Fallout games. Interplay has a right per this deal to exploit the original Fallout games and to not see this as unfair competition with Bethesda. Also, Bethesda under their initial agreement did not have any rights to determine how Interplay chose to exploit selling their Fallout games. Bethesda had the right to inspect promotional material/marketing that Interplay used with their original games ONLY to make sure that Interplay wasn't unfairly trying to confuse their game with Interplay's. However, a key component of that provision was that Bethesda could not UNREASONABLY WITHOLD their approval, which Bethesda seems to be doing in this case. Most importantly, however, Interplay did not produce any promotional material or marketing for their Fallout games, which is the only statement that is made in the original agreement (the original agreement regarding the original Fallout games only covered marketing and promotional material, of which Interplay had none. None of the other complaints that Bethesda made against Interplay were a part of the original contract, and are thus null and void). Interplay sold the original Fallout games with very little in the way of packaging materials (a very basic instruction manual), and Interplay did not spend any money on marketing, which can be verified in their 10-K. I remember saying how odd it was that Interplay suddenly had a statement on their website that they were selling Fallout games at Best Buy and that there was no promotional material or marketing for this. Interplay was simply complying with the contract. It all makes perfect sense now in hindsight.

Also, VERY, VERY interesting is that Interplay is COUNTERSUING Bethesda. Interplay said that they did disclose the Glutton Creeper deal with Bethesda and Bethesda suddenly terminated the deal with Glutton, which resulted in Glutton suing Interplay. Interplay wants that money back that they had to pay Glutton and legal fees from this. Interplay also claimed that Bethesda materially damaged their name and business by falsely telling Gametap and other companies that Interplay was not allowed to sell Fallout games on their site, per the original agreement. This is clearly a very dirty underhanded strategy by Bethesda to stop Interplay from exploiting Fallout and trying to take it away from Interplay. Bethesda is going to get very, very bad press about this one if this goes to court. Fallout fans are going to be ticked off to hear that Bethesda has been trying to mess with Interplay every step of the way and not allow Interplay to exploit the previous Fallout games, despite this being part of the original agreement. Interplay is seeking damages for this irreperable harm that was done to them (all you have to do is check out every magazine and website that posted that Interplay is being sued to see how Bethesda hurt Interplay's name with all this. Also, as I pointed out earlier, Bethesda representatives have been making cocky commments for quite some time about how they really feel like Fallout is theirs and that Interplay will very soon no longer have the rights to make it(almost implicitly taking credit for creating the franchise), and totally discounting Interplay's rights to make the MMORPG and back catalog games. Interplay also stated that Bethesda sent other companies statements trying to blacklist Interplay from being able to make deals with other 3rd parties.

In regards to the Fallout MMORPG, Interplay is stating that they fulfilled all rights of the agreement and told Bethesda such in a letter that posted prior to the agreement date in April of 2009, but Bethesda suddenly told Interplay, for no good reason, that they can no longer develop Fallout MMORPG. (Thus, Interplay is implicityly acknolwedging that they raised the requisite 35 million, which is very, very good news). Interplay was not allowed to sublicense the Fallout MMORPG out, as part of the original agreement, but Interplay craftily avoided this by not assigning any rights to Masthead Studios. Masthead studios is simply a technology and finance raising venture. Masthead does not get any rights to Fallout and was not sold Fallout MMORPG (sublicensing).

So, overall, Interplay's case seems pretty strong to me. It seems pretty clear that Bethesda was getting way too GREEDY. Bethesda tried to mess with Interplay and tried to stop Interplay from selling their old games on Gametap and other sites by sending unlawful and untrue letters that Interplay did not have the right to sell the back catalog Fallout games. Interplay had every right to sell their old games (that's the whole point of the original deal. The basic deal breaks down as such: I give you (Bethesda) Fallout to make new games for. You get a proven brand name. We (Interplay) get to keep the old Fallout games, which allows us to exploit this deal some in the future too by rereleasing the old games, and we get to make a Fallout MMORPG of which YOU MAY NOT UNREASONABLY MESS WITH US. THIS WAS WRITTEN INTO THE CONTRACT IN NUMEROUS PLACE) and there was no agreement that Interplay had to check with their daddy (Bethesda) about deals that they entered into that were not covered in the original agreement.
What really blew me away was that Interplay argued in their court documents that Bethesda breached the contract and messed with Interplay every step of the way (such as sending letters to everyone that Interplay tried to sell the original Fallout games to) to such an extent that the contract is now null and void and therefore the former contract is in effect which states that Interplay owns the Fallout license and Bethesda sublicenses it and only has rights to Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 and Fallout 5. Instead of Interplay oweing Bethesda royalties from Fallout MMORPG, Bethesda should pay Interplay royalties from Fallout 3, in excess of 15-20 million (estimated) as well as damages to Interplay's name, etc. What an amazing, brilliant legal stroke that would be if Interplay pulled this off and REGAINED the Fallout license (AMAZING LEGAL SWITCHAROO) and to boot got a huge, huge settlement from Bethesda to use toward remaking their old games and/or toward Fallout MMORPG.
Interplay was granted a 10 day extension to further figure out all the things Bethesda is accusing them of.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:17

A project worth keeping an eye on for Crysis owners, as modders create a Fallout-based total conversion for Crysis.

Postworld is a total conversion mod based on the unique cyberpunk universe of Fallout.

The game will take place during the events of Fallout 1, where players will get a chance to explore the wastes, bash super mutants, abuse ghouls, get high, use an obscene amount of Stimpacks, sleep around, skin raiders, glow in the dark, eat iguanas, read Dean's Electronics books, experiment with explosives, grow mutated appendages, donate reproductive fluids for the benefit of humanity, wear Power Armour suits with in-build urine and excrement disposal system, modify plasma powered weapons, drink questionable liquids and eat even more questionable solids, and generally wreck all kinds of havoc.

Oh, and they will also die from time to time, in rather gruesome animations we might add, but that is just a formality.


Here is brief list of features that we are planing to incorporate into the mod:

* SPECIAL Charcter Creation System
* Inventory System
* Quest System complete with reputation and character statistics effects
* Looting System with randomised item drop tables
* Character Skills and Perks System
* Full Turn-Based Combat System
* Fallout style 3rd Person Camera

In addition to the above features we are planning to bring in all of the original content of the game including quests, items, locations, models, talking heads and everything else that made the game great. Although we have tons of ideas for the main quest line we will stick with the original and introduce some of the new ones in side quests.

There are also a number of tools that are currently being developed in-house. These tools are designed to streamline management of existing game content and simplify adding of new content, assets etc. We plan to release these tools together with the mod to allow players to create their own quests, items, tilesets and even whole areas and then seamlessly integrate it all into the main story line of the mod.
Thanks Hellion.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:15

Apparently the Prima Game Guide for Fallout 3 GotY is not just expanded for the DLCs, but also partially revamped, the author writes.

From the very start, we’ve revamped the guide to make it user-friendly, giving brief descriptions of what each chapter contains. This begins with the Training, which runs through all the statistics you need during character creation, along with general character development and Perks all the way to Level 30. Chapter 2 is the Factions and Bestiary, charting the machinations of every Wasteland clan and association from the Bandits to the Brotherhood of Steel, the Aliens to the wig-wearing Ghoul Guard. Then comes statistics for every single enemy in the game.

I’m particularly happy with Chapters 3 and 4: brand-new Wasteland Census and Gear information. The Census showcases every single person with a name that appears in Fallout 3. And I mean EVERYONE, along with where to find them, their biography, and their related Quests. Each Wasteland dweller has their own portrait too; a screen-taking process that took 72 hours alone to accomplish. But you will be able to look up information on anyone you meet, whether it’s Split Jack the Bandit or Leaf Mother Laurel. The Gear features every available weapon (along with a render of it), and all the wearable equipment you can find, with statistics and advice on how (and where) to find each type. Naturally, this includes associated Quests, unique weapons, custom weapons, and every other possible piece of information you need.
Thanks Planet Fallout.

News for Friday, October 16, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 1:30

Belated but there you go.

Some of you might have seen the fansite set up by some fans at, which, while understandably lacking in content, had mostly the #1 spot in Google searches for Fallout: New Vegas. However, as of October 5, the site has been shut down. According to registration data, the domain is now registered with CSC Corporate Domains, Inc. As it turns out, so is, and other domains owned by Bethesda Softworks/ZeniMax Media.

Honestly, I was surprised that Bethesda had not registered the domain on the very day they announced the game, and them taking the domain over from the fansite now is simply them protecting their trademark. The fansite will likely be free to continue at some new address.

News for Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 19:44

A project our forum dwellers may have stumbled upon already is now ready for more public viewing.


PARPG - short form for Post-Apocalyptic RPG - is an isometric 2D roleplaying game inspired by classics of the golden age of the genre such as Fallout, Arcanum and Planescape: Torment, while being set in the harsh winter of post-nuclear Scandinavia.

It is the undertaking of an independent development team to create an old school RPG in the spirit of the aforementioned games while offering the game itself and all tools created as free downloads. The complete source code of the game and tools as well as of all assets (maps, graphics, text, music, etc.) are released under open source licenses. PARPG is entirely written in Python and powered by the open source game engine FIFE.

Project and team philosophy

The work on PARPG began in early February 2009 and over the course of the last months a team has assembled to create a single player roleplaying experience. We have decided to use isometric 2d graphics instead of trying to tackle the complexity of an 3d engine. The undertaking is ambitious enough so the team would rather focus on the game play of PARPG than to compete with commercial projects in a battle for the best next gen graphics glitz that you can't win as an indie developer anyway.

PARPG is meant to feature meaninful choices and consequences throughout the course of the game. There will be multiple paths to complete quests including non-violent ways. Combat will be fought in a turnbased manner, inspired by the combat mechanics of the first two Fallout games. Furthermore we are aiming for well-written detailed branching tree dialogs.

What sets PARPG apart from other independent RPGs is both the non-profit nature of the project as well as the open development philosophy behind it. The entire development wiki as well as the forums are public; the same goes for the SVN repository where the sourcecode and all assets are stored. This way interested community members can always grab the latest version of the game and test it themselves.

A first release

While there is still a long way to go before we will see a full featured release of PARPG, we would like to release a tech demo of PARPG as soon as possible. This first release is planned for the end of 2009 and will hopefully already feature a simple inventory / object / looting model, basic branching tree dialog, a first customized version of the FIFE map editor to create PARPG maps as well as load and save functionality.

Looking for additional contributors

Creating a complex roleplaying game is an ambitious undertaking so the team appreciates every helping hand. While there are open positions in all development departments (programming, graphics, audio, game mechanics, writing) we would like to emphasize the we are currently in severe need of additional 3d graphic artists. You can use your modeling tool of choice and while we can offer no monetary compensation due the non-profit nature of the project, getting your models into a release surely makes a good portfolio piece.

If you would like to lend us a hand, don't hesitate and get in contact with us by introducing yourself at our forums. If you want to talk to the developers you can join the IRC channel of the project as well.

Additional information

Now you are curious and would like to know more about the project? Check out the development blog, the project wiki or head over to the gallery for all the eye candy.

Posted by Morbus - at 13:41

InTheOnlineAsbestosSuit, also known as Ethan Taranto-Kent, has uploaded the second few minutes of his "Mad Nation" production. Here's the YouTube clip:

More to come, we should guess, based on the promise at the end of the video.

Link: Mad Nation Part 1 @ No Mutants Allowed
Link: YouTube Channel, PerniciousParadise
Link: Mad Nation Stories @

Posted by Brother None - at 1:35

Run to the stores, everyone! BethBlog details.

Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition is available today in North America, and will be available in Europe on Friday, October 16th. The game includes Fallout 3, winner of over 80 Game of the Year awards, plus all five game add-ons — Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta. You can purchase Fallout 3 GOTY on Games for Windows LIVE for $49.99 and on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for $59.99

Fallout 3 GOTY was a great team effort. Thanks to Jeff Gardiner, for tracking all the moving parts, including the GOTY versions and the DLC on Games for Windows LIVE/Xbox LIVE/PlayStation Network; Chris Krietz, our QA Lead, for testing, testing, testing; Paul Graber, for tackling the PlayStation 3 version; Jason Hammett, for keeping the builds coming; and extra thanks to Mike Lipari, Istvan Pely, Guy Carver and Dave DiAngelo. Thanks also to the following testers, who tirelessly tested and re-tested the game and DLC repeatedly across all its different iterations: Michael Lattanzia, Larry Waldman, Jason Little, Dan Ross, Hal Jenkins, Nick Brothers, Michael McGinn, Tom Smilack, Chris Hayes, Max Cameron, Cory Dornbusch, Michael Christensen, Nate Ellis, Tihana Tresnjak-Smith, Steve Fraden, Aaron Mitschelen, and Mike Mazzuca.

Special thanks to our friends at Microsoft and Sony: Vik Long, Chenelle Bremont, Chris East, Nick Bodenham, Tad Fleshman, Cliff Garrett, Neil Soane, Eddie Ramirez and Chris Clarke.

I'll wait for the Best Game Ever version myself.

News for Monday, October 12, 2009

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 22:19

XBox 360 magazine has done an interview with Gearbox that involves a comparison between it and Fallout 3. It definitely showcases the game to be more action oriented:

He was talking about Borderlands' action focus, which he thinks will attract an audience who don't have the patience for Bethesda's opus.

"I understand why we do those games [like Fallout 3] but I don't know - do we want that? I think that game could have been much better if it didn't have a single dialogue tree. Honestly. And if it was more action-orientated, and if the shooting was better."

Read a short section of the magazine article here.

As a note to all PS3 owners the final DLC's for Fallout 3 are available in the PSN store. Now you can have Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta to complete your collection. Spotted at The Vault wiki and reported by Ausir.

Finally did you know that Micro Fusion cells could now be a real life product? You might want to grab some if you plan on keeping that turbo plasma rifle operational.

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 21:59

Chris Avellone who worked on Fallout 2 and now works for Obsidian has updated his blog with a question and answer session all related to game design. Most of it mentions things about RPG character design. Of note:

4. a) Who has been your favorite character (of all the characters you have worked on) to develop and why?

Morte and Fall-From-Grace in Torment, Myron in Fallout 2 (he was the first full companion I'd ever done) followed by Cassidy (the second), then Kreia in Knights of the Old Republic II.

Just about every character I've worked on, though, has "moments" that I've really enjoyed scripting for them (writing HK-47's definition of love, or the Handmaiden's Echani philosophy of combat, how Atton obsesses over Pazaak to prevent his thoughts from being picked up by Jedi, or Visas Marr's feelings for your character).

You can read it all here at Chris Avellone's blog.

News for Thursday, October 8, 2009

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 1:30

The entertainment critique website Media Consumes Me has showcased a long and detailed review of the Fallout series. Not content to cover just the games under the title the author Ethan Quin included Wasteland to start and explained how things went from there. The article is very concise and contains information on most of the aspects of each game. A surprisingly good read.

The History and Review of the Fallout Series.

News for Thursday, October 1, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 20:32

Ausir dropped us a note that Operation Anchorage and The Pitt PS3 DLC are now available in the US PSN store for purchase at $9.99/£7.99/€7.99 each, following the earlier Europe release of Broken Steel. At some point all nations in the world will have all DLCs, but who knows when this will be.

Posted by Tagaziel - at 12:18

Ethan Taranto-Kent, known as InTheOnlineAsbestosSuit to NMA regulars, has just uploaded, for our viewing pleasure, the first part of Mad Nation to YouTube:


More to come soon, in the meantime, check out his thread about Mad Nation on our forums.

Link: Mad Nation Part 1 on UTb