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News for Sunday, November 29, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 18:28

Vapourware cRPG Afterfall has launched a new website, announcing the start of their franchise universe "that will be bigger, better, and more interesting than any game-world ever before". And, as revealed earlier, the first game in it won't be Afterfall but a survival horror codenamed RASCAL.

Afterfall is not only games taking place in post-apocalyptic world. It is a huge project, in which we put our hearts and power. For many years we have worked on universe, that will be bigger, better, and more interesting than any game-world ever before. Now we can freely say "We made it", and we want to show you them by several different projects. The most important of them Afterfall cRPG (And RPG means Rrole-playing game, not a game with RPG-elements only) and his sequel. Apart from that, we are plan to develop many games (and maybe not only games) represents various genres. One of them is RASCAL, survival horror that introduce you in our amazing Universe. Universe, where the only limit is your imagination.

Year 1945. A modified German v2 missile, carrying a Nazi atomic bomb on board, strikes in the Soviet troops moving from the east towards Berlin. Losing many of the troops and seeing the power of a new weapon, the Soviets got tricked into the bluff and for fear of next attacks they decide to retreat beyond Vistula line. When the USA and USSR attain their own nuclear weapon, a three-sided Cold War and an armaments race begin. Over a half a century later, in the year 2012, the world is on nuclear fire of the final war. However, few people have predicted tragedy and survived in the bomb-shelters, caves and deep mines. They have escaped covers and tried to lead an ordinary life. Howewer, live after apocalypse never will be the same.
RASCAL, is a survival horror in the third-person mode, which will introduce you into our universe - the world destroyed by the nuclear war, where nuclear holocaust and the longstanding contamination forces the group of random people to spend the rest of their lives in a cramped bomb-shelter. You are a psychiatrist who has the task of helping people suffering from the confinement and loss of everything and everybody they left on the earth's surface. When, due to an accident, one of the bomb-shelter's levels is contaminated by a dangerous psychoactive substance, you are impelled to struggle for existence with close, until recently, relatives such as your family, shelter-mates possessed by madness as well as your ever-growing insanity. Soon you will experience how your ordinary life become into a mad nightmare...

The action taking place in claustrophobic, dim and hostile locations, accompanying by music creating unique climate - from the big bomb-shelter's to the deserted and dead surface. If you are expecting a huge dose of adrenaline, psychosis and nightmares – Rascal won’t disappoint you. Unigine(TM) engine guarantee a great graphics, dynamic physics and lights, and a lot of special effects that you never see before. Last, but not least our system of Quick Time Events with adaptation interface gives you full control in many different situations on your way - from short self-cutscenes and mini-games to the exciting movie-like hand-to-hand combat.

News for Thursday, November 26, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 17:04

The 6th part of Ethan Taranto-Kent's post-apocalyptic Western Mad Nation is now available.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:02

Another piece of Serg Souleiman concept art and attached discussion thread are up at the Interplay forums.

News for Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 17:50

Seemingly oblivious to the existence of Fallout: New Vegas and FOOL, Critical Gamer editorializes on the future of Fallout, discussing "yow-gui" and "salvation of parts".

Imagine a city in the Fallout world that’s dominated by people online, where you could acquire a stall to set up shop and sell your custom made weaponry or spare parts. I don’t know about you, but I’m a hoarder! My Megaton house is stuffed full of junk, and the only reason I don’t sell it for caps is because I have too many caps already! So, a place to buy and sell could be good for those just starting out, those who need quick-fix armour or a decent weapon would benefit from this as well. Veterans could off-load their ‘junk’ for caps to buy rarer weapons, items or even aesthetics for their house or armour. As PSN Home expands with different locations for people to meet and chat, you could effectively cut out the middle man and have this marketplace for socialising too. If you end up in a conversation about something you spotted in the wastelands, instead of just talking about it you could both jump into one of your rides and go there instead. A seamless, co-op game-play/socialising affair is far more palatable than going through umpteen loading screens or switching servers.

User created content could also be a good way of expanding Fallout’s already massive world. Weapons such as the Railway Rifle are a stroke of genius in my eyes, and a brilliant way of giving people reason to loot stuff from broken homes. Imagine having more custom made weaponry available to you, built and sold by other people around the world. Customisation and personalisation is the best way to set yourself apart from the crowd in an online world, and being able to take junk from the wastes and apply it to costumes or armour seems one of the better ways of doing this. Being able to sell or buy these weapons and armour would not only bring about reputation, but would also inspire competition within the community. This kind of thinking is obvious when we look at games such as LBP. So instead of getting a schematic for a whole weapon, there could be schematics for magazine-loaders, barrels, sights, hilts, handles and other little parts that make up a weapon. Depending on condition of parts and which parts used, each schematic would mean different strengths. Putting these together any way you see fit would result in a unique weapon that could then be sold in the marketplace to strangers or friends. Just imagine what we could see; weapons that fire homing ‘drills’ that lock on to specific creature’s heads (remember the Cerebral Bore from Turok 2?). Maybe a large gun that fires wine bottles only (you could call it ‘The Connoisseur Cannon’), or a high pressure, cryogenic gun that instantly freezes foes! Okay, maybe I’m being a little over enthusiastic with the ice-ray, but improving on already fantastic weaponry couldn’t be a bad thing surely?
Spotted on GameBanshee.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:45

Trying to catch up with modding news, as Lexx announced a sequel to his Shattered Destiny TC mod.

So, yeah. I thought it's about time to post some more details about my actual main-project, which gets right now the most of my fallout-modding-love.

Shattered Destiny 2 is the second chapter (out of most probably three) and the follow-up from my past Fallout 2 mod, "Shattered Destiny". Over the last 10 months, I didn't really worked on it because of FOnline: 2238. There was just not enough time to spend on both projects beside the rest of the stuff that is going on in mostly everyone's lifes (such as job for paying the bills, etc).

Anyway... like I already wrote above, I am spending most of my Fallout modding time now on SD2. With much more experience and a shitload of new and cool ideas and everything else, I started to rewrite the SD2 design documents, changed the whole story completely and added more complexity here and there. Right now, the design documents ONLY for story relevant stuff have a size of approx 50 DIN A4 pages, including the storyline, the details of each chapter of this story, NPCs, maps, quests for the locations and so on and so on. Still, there isn't everything written down yet and so it's still growing with time...

So much for the introducing. Let's go to the details.

Shattered Destiny 2 is set in the year 2176, 14 years after SD1, and will now feature 7 big locations plus various smaller ones (and not only 2 anymore). In size (sectors), the worldmap is now as big as Fallout 1 or 2. SD2 will be a story driven roleplaying game and no sandbox game. The focus is set on the main story and on the actions the player is doing while going further. While this, every players decision will have influence on the game world and how the NPCs reactions are towards the player. Good things will not always be good, bad things not always be bad and in the end... who knows what will be the outcome of this.

Since the main concept for the storyline is written down (player needs to do this and this OR this or this to get the next step done, etc.), I started to work on all maps and also started to recreate a lot of the already finished ones to make them a) looking better and b) fit with the new storyline. As soon as all maps are done in their main parts, I will start with writing the scripts and dialogues (working step-by-step. First the concept, then the maps, then the scripts,...).

As additional "features", we started working on other deeper mechanical changes of the game, like changing the players traits in the character creation screen.
Here as an example, I never really liked the "gifted" trait... which is a blatant lie, because I always used it and I am still using it. Everybody is using the gifted trait, because even though it gives a penality on every skill, the +7 SPECIAL attribut points weight a lot more. For Shattered Destiny 2, this trait has been deleted and replaced. The same goes for "Sex Appeal", which never really got much attention in my opinion.

In replacement for these two traits, there has been added the Van Buren traits "Red Scare" and "Feral Kid", with some edits:
  • "Red Scare" gives the player now +1 additional perception point, but he also gets a penality on his total hit chance, because of his "shaky nerves".
  • "Feral Kid" has influence on the throwing skill, the worldmap travel speed and additionally to this, a big influence on the dialogues
The following screenshots are out of the german version. It is planned to translate SD2 into english too, so don't worry.

The ingame screenshots are from the first bigger town, the player will most probably stumble accross. This location is called "Traderfalls" and is a part of the ruins of Phoenix / "New Phoenix". Also it is the biggest trading outpost in the area. Everything you can see on the images is still work in progress. No dialogues or scripts have been assigned yet.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:28

With a bit of a delay on our side, here's Fallout TC mod BG&E's update for the month, bringing a mix of awesomeness and bad news.

Dear readers, fans and mutants,
BGE is gradually becoming an evergreen, as it's almost certainly not going to be released in 2009. The depth, originality and the amount of dialogs, pushed ahead at the very beginning by some jerk - let us call him me - straight away made this a long track to run, and until all these things are worked out and I'm satisfied, it most certainly won't be released. And just by the way, if you're interested in financing a capable and motivated team, definitely let me know. Smile

Since you're probably disappointed we've decided to traditionally (i.e. the easy way out) compensate by presenting some of our work. This time it's not necessarily something we're working on right now, but I guess that doesn't really matter:



Since the last update two new artists have joined us externally - draftsman MICHAL a.k.a. REVIVAL (Deviant Art/Human Art portfolio), and X'IL, who is helping with editing and creating animations of various creatures. On the other hand modeler RAMSES IV has left the team (we thank him for all the new game items).

We're still eager to find more and more handy artists, particularly animators and for the future purposes also volunteers able to work with cut-scenes. However all BGE's hiccups are nothing compared to the biggest, and by now traditional, problem, which is a lack of Czech and Slovakian programmers, who we are very willing to train. We do have four programmers working busily but unless we at least double this number and all these cries for help of mine won't be answered, we'll be seing updates beginning just like this one for quite some time. And then we'll start seeing BGE being used in lame geeky jokes in the same way as Duke Nukem Forever.

Oh well, see you under the Christmas tree.

News for Monday, November 23, 2009

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 20:04

The Hidden Triforce, a fan site dedicated to the Zelda series, has written a surprising article which compares Fallout 3 to their old Nintendo series. The author attempts to argue that Zelda would be better with many new elements in the way similar to what Oblivion fans desired for Fallout 3.

Should Zelda become more like Fallout 3?

News for Friday, November 20, 2009
News for Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 19:23

A comment posted on Reddit has led to a strange and silly legal situation. Apparently a Massachusetts pizza parlor is using Vault Boy as an advertising mascot unaware of its ownership by Bethesda. Joystiq in fact relayed this to Bethesda and received a surprising response:

"Well he is a big part of our Fallout brand and is copyrighted, so, yeah, deciding on your own to use him to promote your business or product, or to sell stuff, or whatever, without getting permission from us ... not a good idea."

Ausir of The Vault wiki is to be thanked for this news.

News for Friday, November 13, 2009

Posted by Sander - at 21:45

Thanks to Ausir we now have screenshots of Project V13, Interplay's unannounced MMO. Apparently, these screenshots are going to be used as evidence in the Bethesda vs Interplay case, as they were submitted as court evidence.

In addition to that, the court documents also yielded some concept art:

These pieces had earlier today been released by Duck and Cover, but they had smeared some rather obtrusive watermarks all over them.

Link: Ausir's blog post on Project V13
Link: Ausir's blog post on Concept Art
Link: Concept Art @ Duck and Cover

News for Thursday, November 12, 2009

Posted by Dragula - at 15:00

"Brian Menze, the artist who drew all the new Vault Boy art in Fallout 2 (the original Fallout ones were drawn by Tramell Isaac), and who is now working on Fallout: New Vegas, decided to sell some of his drawings on eBay. The first ones to go are Scourge of the Wastes and Weapon Handling as well as Grave Digger and Villified."
Link: Fallout 2 artist sells his Vault Boy art on eBay

News for Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Posted by Per - at 19:52

Isn't it shocking when people just lie in the face of a judge? Who would even do that. Vigilant Ausir frequented a number of sleazy alehouses around the Caribbean to milk his spy network for information on the Bethesda/Interplay legal battle, and Bethesda's case seems to be a bit hit and miss:

In the original complaint, Bethesda not only claims that the name Fallout Trilogy for a compilation sold in the United States and containing Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics is misleading and cannibalizes on Fallout 3 sales. They also claim that around August 2009, Bethesda became aware of compilations of Fallout games distributed under the titles Fallout Collection and Saga Fallout in other countries. "Upon information and belief" Bethesda alleges that Interplay began packaging, advertising and promoting these packages after Bethesda's launch of Fallout 3.

While a lot of Bethesda's arguments in the filings are reasonable, this claim is entirely false. Saga Fallout has been sold in Poland by CD Projekt since 2004, and the White Label Fallout Collection has been available in the UK since 2006, while a previous Ultimate Fallout Collection was released in 2004.
Interplay's case on the other hand is a bit miss and hit:
Interplay does not have the necessary funds to fulfill the Trademark Licensing Agreement condition of securing 30 million dollars for the development of a Fallout MMORPG. And even if one were assume that they somehow did secure the money, by teaming up with Masthead Studios Interplay is still in breach of the provision that does not allow it to sublicense any of the development rights without Bethesda's approval.

The Merchandising Rights provision did not “grandfather” any prior packaging, advertising or promotional material, so even if they were identical to previously used materials, they would need to be approved by Bethesda before re-release, which Interplay did not do.
And that's just two items from a long list of... well, five. Maybe the court will rule against both parties and deport them to Alaska? For lying.*

Update: King of Creation of Duck and Cover also got hold of Bethesda's claims and posted some passages. Mainly stuff we already know, but now in Beth's own words.
Nearly all of Interplay’s arguments in the Opposition are based entirely on the unsupported statements, speculations and improper legal conclusions contained in the Declaration of Herve Caen, Interplay’s CEO (“Caen Declaration”).
They also claim that Interplay couldn't possibly be working with Masthead, since Masthead is already working on an MMOG and would explode if they took on a second.

Link: "Bethesda denies Trilogy pre-existence, Interplay creates an alternate universe" @ The Vault
Link: "DAC Has Secret Sources: Court Docs Obtained" @ Duck and Cover

* I'm not sure whether there's an actual courtroom involved. Maybe they're just passing papers back and forth. I'm pretty sure about the alehouses though.

News for Saturday, November 7, 2009

Posted by Tagaziel - at 14:31

Serg Souleiman has released yet another piece of concept art for the mysterious Project V13 on the Interplay Forums:

This one is from the bottom of the barrel, some of the very 1st sketches that I did on this project. We wanted to see what other directions we could push the characters and start pulling them back from there. None of these will be used, but I still wanted to show you guys what it all started with.

Link: Concept art thread on Interplay Forums

News for Friday, November 6, 2009

Posted by Per - at 5:15

We have previously posted on iPlans for an iFallout on the iPhone. Kotaku now interviews John Carmack on the subject of iQuake and such. Fallout gets mentioned at the end, although in massively inconclusive terms.

In particular Carmack is interesting in getting parent company Bethesda interested in bringing some of their games over to the iPhone.

"I spent a bit of time talking to Todd Howard about the iPhone," he said. "We want to make something happen for those products as well."

An obvious choice would be Fallout, something that Carmack says has already had internal proof of concepts made. But nothing has yet officially happened with the game.

Carmack says that Howard, a big fan of the iPhone, is very supportive of the idea and that anything made based on Bethesda's games would likely be created as a joint project between id and Bethesda.
Spotted through a site that made me wait to follow a hyperlink, so maybe I'll wait to credit them.

News for Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 3:43

The entertainment critique website Media Consumes Me which graced us with a previously well-written article about the history of Fallout has just delivered a second part by author Ethan Quin. This continues right where the first left off covering the downfall of Interplay, Bethesda's Fallout 3, and any potential future for the series. It's just as verbose and awesomely detailed as the first part was and is strongly suggested reading.

The History and Review of the Fallout Series Part 2 by Ethan Quin.

News for Sunday, November 1, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 0:47

The 4th piece of V13 concept art can be found on Interplay's forums. And here:

Chris Taylor remarks:
One of the themes we will be dealing with is regrowth and rebuilding. After X amount of time (notice that sly dodge about the timeline), there is bound to be some amount of rebirth. We've had some long (LONG) discussions about how much of that we want to present, how much is natural and how much is man-made.
Link: V13 Desert concept art thread on Interplay forums.