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News for Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Posted by Sander - at 19:27

Chris Avellone tweeted about how quickly disguises will be seen through in New Vegas and offered some clarification:

In FNV? Depends solely on what units spot you (dogs and lieutenants) - rank and file won't notice anything wrong.[..]Sneak only affects if the "sniffers" (dogs and lieutenants) can spot you if you're sneaking, no passive impacts on disguise.

And J.E. Sawyer posted about the slow-motion killcam:
It isn't seen after every kill and it's optional.
I believe it is only triggered when you kill the last hostile within range. So if you're in an extended firefight, it's not going to go off until the last target drops.

News for Monday, June 28, 2010

Posted by Nonagon - at 5:39

Matt Barton of Matt Chat just posted an interview on his channel with Tim Cain, in the interview he talks about all the games Tim Cain has worked on over the years, including Fallout.

Part 1:


Stay tuned for part 2, and possibly 3.

News for Friday, June 25, 2010

Posted by Per - at 13:44

Ausir at The Vault blogged some. A new piece of boggy FOOL concept art has been released and there have also been various forum goings-on.

For instance, asked one forum member:
Will there be children in Fallout Online? And if so will they be indestructible?
Answered Chris Taylor:
Children will not be targets.
But will they be able to dodge highly accidental flamethrower discharges as readily as you dodged those questions?

Chris also wrote regarding the beta:
There is no confirmation email. If you get the Thank You, you're in the database.

The first mail to the list will be Coming Soon. We'll announce that here. If you don't get it, check your spam folder settings. If that's not there, your registration isn't in the database or your email is wrong. ^_^


Just signing up does not guarantee a beta slot. There will be follow-up questions and forms to help determine if/when people are added to the beta. The checkbox is to see if you are interested in the beta program. Not everyone has checked it, but the vast majority have.

To be very honest, we've gotten way more people signing up much faster than we anticipated. That's causing us to rethink a few things regarding the beta.
Among the forum goings-on is an interview with Eric Caen.
Which area of game development do you feel is most important? (For example, plot, character development, graphics, etc)

This is a tough one. It is like what is the most important in a cake? The quality of ingredients? The respect of the recipe? The precision of the oven temperature? Or everything? Maybe the most important is to create something that will entertain, will make people enjoying their time using it, and not only pretty graphics but dull story or bad controls!
Haha! What?

News for Thursday, June 24, 2010

Posted by Per - at 13:16

Eurogamer posted a "hands-on" preview. It is extremely light on actual gameplay analysis.

There wasn't enough time to fully explore the interplay between factions during this short demo, so I settled for mucking about with some of the new weapons being introduced in New Vegas.

In short, New Vegas looks set to be more of an evolution of the Fallout series than a revolution. Not that fans of the previous game will be complaining, of course, and not to discount these changes and new features. Judging by what we've seen so far, they've been conscientiously thought through, and sit comfortably within the framework which made Fallout 3 such a success.
Front Towards Gamer did a podcast in the beginning of June featuring senior designer Larry Liberty. Reconite sums it up:
-One of the followers references Fallout 3
-The wasteland is as big as or bigger than Fallout 3's
-More stuff about damage threshold and different ammo types
-Some radio DJ called "Mr. New Vegas"
-It's possible to obtain a "blinged out Pip-Boy model" called the Pip-Boy 3 Billion
-They're "not ready to talk about DLC" for New Vegas
-Still no multiplayer
-The interviewer mentions to Larry that some players felt overwhelmed by Fallout 3 and want the game to be more accessible
As mentioned in the podcast and later on "exclusively" by DasReviews, Las Vegas entertainer Wayne "Mr. Las Vegas" Newton will do the voice for entertainer Mr. New Vegas in the game New Vegas.
We had always suspected it but now its official: Wayne Newton aka Mr Vegas will now be called Mr. New Vegas. Yes, that’s right! Wayne Newton is an official voice actor in Fallout New Vegas and he plays Mr. New Vegas.
Thanks also to anonymous and Acra.

News for Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 0:53

A few more previews. There's a ScrewAttack video ("Some of you may know I am a huge Fallout fan, I have every achievement in Fallout 3!"), but it's not very interesting. RandomNPC seems positive about the engine:

In spite of a bullet from an anti-material rifle bouncing harmlessly off a tree branch – a VATS glitch familiar to Fallout 3 veterans – New Vegas boasted noticeable improvements on the Fallout 3 engine. In particular, animation appeared smoother and crisper, and the game appeared to handle large numbers of NPCs more easily; the NCR-Legion battle featured a good eight or so NCR rangers assaulting multiple Legion defenders. Whether this is a one-off scripted event or more common throughout the game is not clear, though the Vegas strip was also well populated.
Gamer Limit hated the experience because - I shit you not - he wasn't being directed where to go. And it has a typo in its title ("iteslf").
That’s the thing, without someone talking you up, guiding you, showcasing the high points of the game, etc. Fallout: New Vegas is way too vast to experience through a demonstration. It’s not a game where you can just pick-up and play. There are options about how you talk to people that determine the path you follow. For example, upon meeting a hotel lobbyist, all I wanted to do was fight him, so I picked all the confrontational dialogue boxes.

After I killed the guy, my character was permanently banned from the hotel and I was forced to restart the demonstration because I broke it. Someone whispering in my area that I need to be nice to the lobbyist, so that I can see all the casino games and witness how luck plays a larger role would have piqued my interest. Instead, I felt like a wandering child walking into the middle of the street.

To no surprise, I broke the demo a few more times, and eventually I just gave up to go play Brink. With no direction and a limited time to play, it’s impossible to get the full spectrum of New Vegas. In all honesty, this is a game that would have greatly benefited from a hands-off demonstration – showcasing all the new and improved characteristics.
And people wonder why I don't like referring to what I do as "game journalism". Anything to keep from being associated with people like the author of the above.

News for Monday, June 21, 2010

Posted by Per - at 20:34

Duck and Cover and NMA poster Cimmerian Nights has written an editorial on the V.A.T.S. combat system called "VATS: How Bethesda Set their Sights on the Lowest Common Denominator and Hit a Bullseye". The title will probably tell you whether you want to read the piece in its entirety, but here's a summary anyway:

While from a role-playing standpoint VATS must be looked at as a failure to capitalize on basic RPG concepts, it certainly doesn’t spell the end for it. It’s showcasing of over-the-top violence and gore certainly holds the attention of the wider market that Bethesda intended to reach. It should be interesting to see what modifications if any Obsidian can incorporate with their upcoming spin-off based on the same engine. Ultimately, it is Bethesda and it design philosophy (mass market appeal at the expense of RPG foundation) that will dictate the inclusion of this gimmick in future titles, or it’s relegation to the scrap heap with other “innovative” cul-de-sacs.
Hey, I remember using a much different combat system when visiting Scrapheap.

News for Sunday, June 20, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 20:46

Still plenty of sites who had some hands-on time with the game. Let's start with our esteemed host, Atomic Gamer.

I was dropped out into the Nevada desert with a companion named Boone at my side, and we made our way to a small campsite with some paramilitary types sending me on an errand to retrieve supplies. I got the chance to use some of New Vegas' many new weapons, including an impressively powerful grenade launcher and a new type of plasma rifle, on some entirely new mutated enemies. Boone had warned me that he'd kill members of a group called the Legion on sight, and when they showed up in their Roman-style regalia, he made good on his promise. Because I helped him kill them, I took a hit against their faction, but also gained karma. I suppose that means that the Legion are inherently evil, but apparently not all encounters with factions are so aligned with good or bad, so you won't always be pushing karma in one direction or another when choosing who to shoot.
Gaming Shogun.
The Bethsoft rep began explaining how they were striving for a greater sense of immersion in this one by having just about any person you meet along they way have something to say to you. He did mention that some of this dialogue may be copied from another random citizen, but they would never be silent. Maybe it is my curious nature, but I immediately darted for the first civilian I could find and, sure enough, she did speak to me. She also happened to be a merchant so I opened up her inventory to see what kind of new tech I would be able to buy in New Vegas. I was very pleased to see not only plasma-based weaponry but also light machine guns a la the United States M60 machine gun were all available for purchase.
Gamer Gourmet.
Here I learned more about the objective. Every faction in the Mojave desert is vowing for resources. Although the landscape looks like a nuclear bomb went off in the big war, the banter of the NCR troops made clear that the desert was a wasteland before and after the war, without any bombs going off whatsoever. This was an interesting parallel to what Fallout 3 featured, in that the radiation hadn’t been such a problem for these desert-dwellers as it was in the whole of Washington D.C. and the surrounding cities. I was freely able to take a rad-free drink from a creek running through the camp, which made me appreciate the subtlety that Obsidian was putting in to make the game seem that much different.
Gamer Tell's take is really short.
As the name suggests, the game takes place in Vegas. You can visit casinos, shows, and other Vegasy things. I started the game and almost immediately ran into a hooker. She asked me if I was looking for a good time, so i responded by punching her in the face.

I guess the robot security guard didn't like that and he responded by shooting at me with his bullet arms. This caused everyone to run screaming away and me to ultimately get killed.

Posted by 13pm - at 12:44

As many of us have supposed, Interplay seems to had launched Fallout Online website without agreement with Bethesda. Firstly, the footer on the website has been changed. Originally it stated:

Fallout® is a registered trademark of Bethesda Softworks LLC, a ZeniMax Media company, in the U.S. and/or other countries, and is used by Interplay under license from Bethesda Softworks LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Then it was changed to this one:
Fallout® is a registered trademark of Bethesda Softworks LLC, a ZeniMax Media company, in the U.S. and/or other countries. All Rights Reserved.
As you can see the sentence about license has been removed.

And today the topic about Fallout Online at Bethesda forum board has been locked by Bethesda community manager Matt Grandstaff with the following note:
As this relates to an ongoing legal matter for our company, discussion on this topic will remain closed.
So now we can make even more guesses on what's happened. Have Bethesda and Interplay reached an initial agreement? Or it's just a huge Interplay gamble? Now we have to wait for the official statement or for some news on this legal case. At the moment it looks like Interplay is going for the vole.

News for Saturday, June 19, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 5:31

Fallout 3 took E3 by storm, but Fallout: New Vegas kind of didn't, in the first few best of lists at least. We'll do a round-up of these later because honestly who cares, but for now Fallout: New Vegas is nowhere to be seen in GameSpot's user poll (but you have the power to change that!). It's not mentioned by GamePro, while it wins runner-up at best RPG over at 1up. It did win best RPG from IGN.

Posted by Brother None - at 3:35

J.E. Sawyer's Formspring has been fairly active of late, but quite a few updates are him replying to trolls, or engaged in one of those useless "how do you define RPGs" debates that never goes anywhere. Skipping over most of that (but feel free to dig through his account if you love seeing people nitpick and harp on terminology), here's a few of the updates worth a read:

Where are the isometric party RPGs with tactical combat? There's a starving market for them and they are (by my guess) cheaper to make than most modern games?

It is hard for me to penetrate the inscrutable minds of publishers, but I'll give it a shot. Many publishers are publicly traded. They are primarily interested in two categories of games, both of which generate a large return on investment (ROI): big budget/big sellers and shovelware. ROI is what matters, because ultimately they answer to a sea of faceless, uncaring investors who want their $4/share investment to turn into $100/share in two quarters. Absolutely everything else is subordinate to that. Everything.

The "lovingly-crafted mid-budget niche game" doesn't fit into most publisher strategies. For the same reasons that they are considered niche games, they must be marketed in a different way, pitched to retailers in a different way, and most publishers don't want to deal with it.

The exceptions to this trend may include digital distribution only, since retailers/cost of goods are out of the picture, and platforms where the hardware is relatively low tech (cell phones/Nintendo DS/Sony PSP, etc.).

Most skill-based rpgs I've played put every ability on the same scale of importance when it comes to leveling, yet it's pretty clear that combat is the core gameplay mechanics and that a character without a combat skill is simply 'wrong'.

There isn't a question here, but I think I understand where you're going with this.

It can be hard for designers to consistently support non-combat paths for game play -- whether that's an actual path through a level/quest or simply a level of support in an area. Once combat mechanics are in place, it's relatively easy to throw hostiles in an area as obstacles and call it a day. If, to that, you have to look at lighting for stealth, conversation options for speech-y characters, etc., well, eventually all designers run out of time. In the best of all possible worlds, designers allocate their time well and dedicate equal time to all potential ways of approaching a level.

In cases where the content does not support the system, a designer can do one of two things: change the content or change the system. Changing the content means that you go back to all of those "run out of time" levels and put more effort into the non-combat routes. On projects with a lot of content, I like to keep people moving relatively briskly from area to area, establishing an alpha level of quality early and returning to it later (in a dedicated alpha stage) for revisions. Working in this fashion allows the designer to survey all of his or her work over the course of a project and bolster the things that really need help -- as opposed to carrying an area's work from milestone to milestone and pushing the schedule out.

Some character advancement systems deal with the combat vs. non-combat problem by having a separate point pool for combat skills. I.e., all characters gain a certain number of points (or ranks, or whatever you want to call it) per level that can only be spent in combat skills. This ensures that all characters have some combat capability of one type or another. This really only makes sense in games where characters are guaranteed to be in combat regularly.

What's your opinion on full voice-over for games, especially, you know, role playing games? Do you think they're a necessity? Do they hinder development in your opinion (you know, like 'I can't write a dialogue so long because the budget doesn't let us!')

It's expensive and can be hard to coordinate. It doesn't really have much of any impact on how we write, though.

In eleven years of making CRPGs, full voice over/lack of full voice over has honestly never factored into how I have written dialogue, structured a quest, etc. I have also never had someone come to me with a writing problem involving full voice over or lack thereof.

You always talk a lot about role playing video games, which is normal, really, working on them it's your job, but what about tabletop? Do you like them? Any favorite ruleset? Some memorable moments you'd like to share?

I'm currently in a 4th Edition D&D campaign. I've been playing D&D in one form or another since about 5th grade, starting with the red book Basic Set. Of the D&D editions, I like 4th the best so far, but I haven't done any high level play.

Generally speaking, I think most tabletop RPG systems are crummy. It's very telling that the latest edition of D&D in many ways resembles an MMO rule set more than a traditional tabletop RPG rule set. By their very nature, games on a computer can be systemically tested much more quickly than they could be by hand (or on tabletop). This process tends to separate the wheat from the chaff at a rapid pace.

When I play in a tabletop game, it's usually because I like the setting/GM/players. When I GM, I adapt or modify the existing rule set or create my own. Setting-wise, my favorite is probably Delta Green. I also really like Al Amarja (Over the Edge), Mythic Europe (Ars Magica), Dark Sun, and Cadwallon.

How come so many RPGs lately have minigames in place of simple skill checks? Do they really add anything worthwhile to the game?

They add player challenge. Whether or not you consider that to be worthwhile depends on your point of view (and probably the quality of the mini game). Simple skill checks only reward (or punish) your strategic choices. Outside of manipulating the character's skill rating, there is nothing the player can do to influence the outcome.

Alpha Protocol has mouse smoothing on PC even though PC gamers hate mouse smoothing. Games still use escort missions even though people hate escort missions. Can you comment on why developers use things they know most gamers dislike?

Sometimes they think that games don't really (in any significant volume) dislike that thing. Other times they believe that gamers only dislike that thing because it hasn't been done "right".

On occasion, they are correct. Usually they are dead wrong.

How do you feel about gamers' tendency to give all credit for a game's success to one designer instead of the whole design team (e.g. MCA for Planescape: Torment, Warren Spector for Deus Ex, etc)?

It's bad/almost assuredly factually incorrect. In some cases the game being lauded may have turned out well in spite of the worst efforts of the most high-profile person associated with it.

Any idea why game companies seem to dislike hiring writers?

Many professional writers approach games as though they are films. The limitations that apply to films do not apply to games and vice versa. Writing for games requires a level of vocational knowledge that many professional writers (in my experience) are not willing to develop. There are exceptions, of course (e.g. Rhianna Pratchett).
And the funny thing is Rhianna Pratchett isn't a very good writer, for instance producing the horribly tepid Mirror's Edge plot, she's still head and shoulders above the game industry standards. We have a ways to go, Johnny.

Oh and look, Fallout-related questions! Sort of!
Where can I get the NCR T-shirt you wore at E3?

Putting this on FB and Twitter since so many people are asking me: unfortunately, I don't know. The shirts were provided by Bethesda.

You once said you were interested in a Fallout spin-off based during the resource wars. Does this idea still interest you? Because it sounds like it would be awesome.

Yeah, I think it could be really cool, especially if the focus was on the European/Middle Eastern conflicts. Maybe that's just me, though.

How come you and the guys at Obsidian never bother to correct all these journalists who keep crediting Obsidian designers as the "creators of Fallout". None of the creators work there, you guys shouldn't steal their credit.

They usually don't say "the creators of Fallout" but something like "some of the creators of the original games", which is true for Feargus, Avellone, Menze, ScottE, Aaron Brown, and Chris Jones.

News for Friday, June 18, 2010

Posted by Huntman - at 22:03

A few people will have caught it live, but now it's available on Youtube. IGN's "Larry Liberty with sunglasses" demo. A lot of time is spent in thise one just screwing around.


Posted by Brother None - at 21:47

Scraping the bottom of the barrel a bit as some sites I never heard of get their hands on Fallout: New Vegas and play the same demo as everyone else did. I4U.

Fallout III: New Vegas is just more of the same. Thankfully, “the same” is pretty damn incredible. New Vegas is a glowing neon wonderland of casinos, strippers, giant buildings and battered statues. It falls under the purview of the New California Republic, the first organized government we've encountered in Fallout that isn't outright evil.
Yes, it’s quite the environment, and fans of Fallout 3 should feel right at home in the post-apocalyptic atmosphere. But this time around, that atmosphere has a definite attitude; a flash and panache most decidedly lacking in the previous series entry. And although Obsidian’s last effort (Alpha Protocol) turned out badly, we have faith that Bethesda isn’t about to release a sub-par Fallout and besides, the upgrades and enhancements are intriguing. Remember the melee combat mechanic in Fallout 3? Wasn’t much to it, was there? Well, maybe that’s why the’re implementing a special melee attack in New Vegas; every weapon has at least one such attack, and this infuses more strategy into up-close-and-personal combat. For instance, if you check the screenshots, you’ll see a golf club and what appear to be futuristic boxing gloves; with the former, there’s a “Fore” option and with the latter, there’s an effective spike gauntlet. Oh…the pain.
Gaming Excellence.
Wanted a larger variety of weapons? Well now you have grenade launchers, the plasma rifle from the first two games and even a heavy machine gun. Thought that the aiming felt a bit too loose? That's what the updated iron sights are for. Now when you aim with the gun you look straight down the top of the gun, trying to take your shots while dealing with the wavering of the gun. They've even added more enemies; some that will be familiar to those who played the previous games (damn those geckos!).
The two main differences that I saw in the game from Fallout 3 was the control you have over your companions and new melee moves depending on your melee skill. If you have a high enough melee skill you can do customized moves in VATS based on the weapon. The one that they mentioned was a move called Fore! using the golf club— you basically line up like a normal golf shot and swing your club at them. If it hits it pops the enemy into the air and they fall down on the ground and are stunned for a short time.

Posted by Brother None - at 20:20

GameTrailers also got a chance to sit down with Bethesda producer Jason Bergman for a demo of Fallout: New Vegas. It's shorter at about eight minutes, same areas, same stuff.

Link: E3 2010: Developer Walkthrough Part I.
Link: E3 2010: Developer Walkthrough Part II.

Thanks OakTable.

Posted by 13pm - at 14:53

Some of you have seen it live yesterday. Some of you haven't. Nevertheless, E3 Fallout: New Vegas demo by Gamespot is available for watching and downloading.
Here it is:

It's nearly the same walkthrough that has been shown by J.E.Sawyer in 1UP's demo, but some new things are there. Bethesda's Jason Berman does the demo. More of the Strip is shown before entering the casino. You can see a couple of new weapons: some plasma gun which is called Multiplas rifle, a new sniper rifle called Antimaterial rifle, a bladed gauntlet and C4 with detonator. Also, you can take a look at the new third person view with over-the-shoulder camera.

More information on crafting too: you can make not only weapons, but health potions and poisons too.
Some "Mojave Express" will be available in the Mojave Wasteland.

Posted by Brother None - at 2:02

Interplay's new Fallout Online website quickly got flooded and broken by incoming traffic, which means you have to exercise some patience to sign up. Meanwhile, lead designer Chris Taylor has clarified some things on the official forums. About being hired as an in-house beta tester.

We aren't hiring beta testers for PV13 at the moment (it's still a little too early), but when we do, we'll usually hire local testers for internal playtesting to start, then do a closed beta (Friends and Family, first), then do an open beta.
About age requirements of the public beta.
Yes, it will be restricted to a certain age.
Spotted on The Vault.

News for Thursday, June 17, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 23:58

A handful more previews have surfaced. GayGamer has a brief take that can be first-hand or second-hand, dunno.

My favorite new feature however, is the hardcore mode. If you find the game a bit to easy for a seasoned campaigner like yourself, simply turn on this mode and things will be made much harder for you. Ammo will now add to the weight you carry. Food and drink are required to stay alive and you must be sure to get enough sleep every night. This lends the gameplay a much more realistic feel.
Our time in New Vegas also allowed us to meet some of the seedy characters that call it their home. You can't take normal weapons into casinos, but Mister Holdout wanders around on the streets, trying to sell concealed weapons that can help you avoid detection. Chairman Greeter is the man that introduces you to the Tops Hotel and Casino--the place that you're going to be staying during this section of the game. We were told that this bit was from around 20-30 percent through the main story.
G4 TV.
Leaving the neon confines of Vegas provides a much more hardcore experience. Out in the Nevada countryside, life isn’t about card games and show girls. There’s a grim war in progress. Two factions are fighting over the Hoover Dam and the control of the power it provides. I don't know for sure, but I imagine you're going to be in the middle of that conflict. If that wasn't enough, there's a whole slew of radiation mutations onhand to ruin your day. The demo featured fearsome fire geckos -- gigantic lizards who will char you to cinders if you're not careful -- and super-mutants, ghouls and raiders will be around to fill you full of lead.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:13

Just a couple'a'more.'s Inside Gaming Feature interviews lead producer Larry Liberty (thanks Huntman). They talk mostly generalities, but this comment on the FPS-action in the game, while remaining vague, is of some interest.

What we've completely overhauled - real-time combat. The way you actually calculate damage, the way you aim, the way input works on the controller. We found - in Fallout 3 - that there were actually times where you could miss inputs and overall it could feel unresponsive. So we've tried to make it still an RPG, but through weapon tiering to make it feel appropriate. So if you get a tier 1 gun at the beginning of the game it's not going to feel nerfed and weird and you're not going to aim at something and have bullets fly all over the place if it's a rifle. If you were to somehow magically get a tier 5 weapon at the beginning of the game, you would actually feel a little bit of that weird RPG feel, where "Hmmm, I'm not high-level, I'm missing and it feels weird." We wanted to get rid of that and overall make it feel more responsive and a more compelling first-person shooter.
The New Zealand site Gameplanet interviews senior designer Chris Avellone. Worth a read as it has some solid questions and answers.
Gameplanet: What did you identify as New Vegas’ key areas for growth over Fallout 3?

Chris Avellone: That’s an interesting question because with Fallout 3 there were a lot of things we didn’t want to touch because we liked them so much – so the question we asked ourselves is “what do we want to tweak or modify in order to make the experience better?”

So the first thing we looked at was the mod community – what were the things people were changing most about the title that we really like? One of them was weapon mods. We were like, you know what? We can implement those in New Vegas and make the weapons a lot cooler and make dealing with merchants a lot cooler, why don’t we implement that system and put it in?

Obviously we also have the usual stuff like an extended list of perks and an extended (base) arsenal and custom animations for those weapons, too. We also looked through the various weapon skills and then through the (Fallout 3) forums to see people’s reactions to them in order to find out why people found each one satisfying.

So we looked at things like melee combat, for example, and it seemed like melee players don’t have enough to do in combat. So we said to ourselves, why don’t we have the melee skill unlock special combat moves for each individual melee weapon you can get in the game?

We looked for things like that – not to overwrite the Fallout 3 experience, but to tweak in ways so that players can enjoy it even more.
Gameplanet: So we’ll have a confrontation with this purse-snatcher endgame?

Chris Avellone: One element that we’re not going to have is one Big Bad Guy in Fallout: New Vegas. We’re going to dump the player into a situation then allow him to examine the faction politics: Where they’re coming from, where they’re succeeding, where they’re failing and letting the player decide where his loyalties lie as a result of that. It’s based on player-choice: he can say “I want to support those guys.”

Or he can support none of them at all, (saying) “I have a better vision for the wasteland than any of these people.” That’s totally the Fallout way.

Gameplanet: You mentioned a Mafia-style execution in the desert, what are your other influences?

Chris Avellone: Oh yeah, the Rat Pack, 1950’s Vegas – redesigning it (with that aesthetic) for the future and then dropping bombs on it, that was a lot of fun for our artists to do!
Gameplanet: Can we expect to see any characters or references to Fallout and Fallout 2?

Chris Avellone: If you have never played Fallout or Fallout 2 you won’t be missing anything (knowledge) in Fallout: New Vegas. However, if you’ve played Fallout or Fallout 2, you’ll understand much more of the backstory of certain groups you encounter. Possibly you’ll also meet descendents of people you know from Fallout and Fallout 2, and of course creatures you’ve seen in those games in the New Vegas world.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:05

Frith, don't you just love E3? The 8th Circuit (thanks Ausir).

The environment is probably the biggest difference between New Vegas and 3 though, and it is a very noticable difference. While 3 was certainly big, it didn't quite have the feel of vast openness that the desert setting in Vegas has. There seems to be a greater focus on natural landmarks in the desert, as opposed to man-mande landmarks in 3. Overall, the map is purported to be the same size, if not a little bit bigger; which means that this vast openness is fitting, and players will certainly be doing a lot of exploring.

Last, but most certainly not least, V.A.T.S. is, of course, back. Remember those sweet kill-cam shots you used to get in V.A.T.S. though? Well they're still there, but you'll also get them even if your awesome kill happens outside of V.A.T.S.
Digital Chumps.
Thankfully there was much more to the demo, as I was then transported to a different section of the game that focused more on combat. Currently allied with the New California Republic, I was tasked with infiltrating a stronghold of Caesar’s Legion and executing their leader. I was also presented with the option of a companion, Boone, who arrived with far more options this time around. Use of the command wheel, which offered moderate degrees of control over Boone’s behavior, was put to the task. We were supposed to be doing a sniper/rifle assault, but he failed to object when I suggest he go completely melee. It didn’t make any sense, but my very ability to actually do that was what mattered.
Ryan Scott: So is this game gonna be more in line with what the previous ones were? I know some folks were up-in-arms about how drastically Fallout 3 was changed from the first two games, in terms of its presentation. Is this game going to make those people happier, you think?

Will Tuttle: Yes and no. Fallout: New Vegas is still a first-person role-playing game like Fallout 3, and many of the game mechanics are nearly identical to those found in Fallout 3. You still bring up and peruse your Pip-Boy page by page to change your weapon or set waypoints on the map, and the VATS system seems to be just about the same. The developers even said that they improved the first-person controls, so that players would have more fun playing it as a straight-up first-person shooter (that is, not using VATS).

However, if you're a longtime fan that hated the direction Bethesda went with Fallout 3, you'll be happy to hear that Obsidian hasn't turned its back on you. The development team is actually looking at New Vegas as the spiritual successor to the beloved Fallout 2, so old school fans can expect to see a ton of in-jokes and possibly even some old friends.
Having the ability to bring along two companions on missions (one robotic and the other humanoid), players are able to give their new found friends commands to go initiate combat, attack from afar, get the jump on enemies up close and much more. If they are unsatisfied with the player’s decision, they’ll provide negative feedback and showcase their opinion.
The first - for the New California Republic - was a simple fetch and carry mission. A military camp is short of supplies, there are some supplies inconvieniently located near a load of tough enemies, and you volunteer to go and get them. The mission was really run of the mill stuff, but it dod show off New Vegas' new companion control wheel. With the wheel (activated by talking to a companion) you are able to issue more varied commands quickly and easily. It should avoid those annoying moments in Fallout 3 where a companion dies becasue of bad AI and not your tactics.

Posted by Brother None - at 4:03

There's a pair of video interviews out there from E3. First, a tiny interviewer from interviews lead producer and giant superhero Larry Liberty. They talk about the tweaks from Fallout 3, the companion dialog wheel, changes to the setting and more.

Over at Gamespot, their giant of a reporter interviews a tiny-looking senior designer Chris Avellone, talking about general details, what's new about Vegas including real Vegas landmarks, tweaks and more.

Posted by Brother None - at 3:57

Just checkin' in with two more.

The demo showed off Tops, a "Rat Pack" themed casino across the street from a monorail station. Just before entering, though, I was confronted by a bearded ginger going by the name of Mister Holdout. He offered a deal- small, easily concealed weapons for a few measly bottlecaps. Apparently, each casino will, upon entry, seize players' entire arsenal of weapons. With a high sneak skill, larger and more powerful weapons can be smuggled inside, though at low levels players must rely on weak, cheap weapons purchased from shady gingers like Mister Holdout. Since I never trust a ginger, I declined, watching my back as I entered the casino.

Like most of Fallout's environments, the inside was severely dim (electricity is hard to come by in post-nuclear America, though there's apparently enough left to run the slot machines). After handing over my weapons (sigh), I proceeded to sample Blackjack, Roulette and the slots, winning at the first, losing the second and cheating at the third. Though this won't, as of right now, be one of the game's final features, for the purpose of the demo, the slot machine hit the jackpot immediately, and I was promptly asked to leave the casino and never come back.
Digital Trends.
The playable demo offered a look at a few aspects of the game. The first was the combat, which is similar in gameplay to its predecessor, but there is a much greater emphasis on factions. While there is an overall plot to the game, the choice of factions is entirely up to you, and it will affect, but not hamper, your progress through the game regardless of who you side with. There is no good or bad side in New Vegas, just different groups. When you side with one, you alienate another, and vice-versa. Each rival faction has its own branching storylines, and your decisions will affect the ending you receive when you beat the game- and there are apparently a LOT of endings, based on your karma, your actions, your affiliations, etc.

News for Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 19:26

G4 TV has been a bit slow on the updates, possibly due to the traffic, but their demonstration of Fallout: New Vegas with J.E. Sawyer from last night is up now. Only 5 minutes long and not all of that dedicated to play, it is much shorter and less interesting than the GameVideos demo.

Posted by Brother None - at 4:18

The most interesting of the initial tide of E3 previews is a video preview on 1up, a 12 minute preview in which we see J.E. Sawyer show the Strip and the Mojave wasteland (thanks Incognito).

IGN provides a first take on the game (thanks MKSaibot).

Melee combat never looked that hot in Fallout 3 unless you used the unappealing third-person view. Fortunately, Obsidian has fixed the camera so that playing in third-person isn't just possible, it's preferable. The camera is now tight on the hip of the character instead of showing their poorly animated legs. This is a more traditional camera for a third-person action game and it makes a big difference in terms of playability. Obsidian is throwing in tons of wild and crazy looks and outfits that you will want to see in the third-person view.

One of my favorite new weapons is the throwing spear. This rare ranged weapon factors in your strength score, so it's actually a perfect long-range tool for someone who is normally a brawler. Target an enemy's head in VATS and give the spear a toss. With enough strength (and a bit of luck) you can decapitate an enemy and pin their head to a nearby wall. I tried pinning a rabid dog's tail with a spear, but lady luck wasn't with me on this one.
As does Joystiq.
I was forced to check my weapons in at the door, but of course, that was a choice -- it was possible, through the dialogue tree, for me to keep a concealed weapon, or even fight the bouncer, but I decided to try my luck at the table rather than in combat. Inside, I found three games to play in the form of blackjack, roulette, and the slot machines. It's all done as you'd expect -- that same retro font from the last game lets you place bets, and you try to hit it big along with all of the other poor schlubs with more money than sense.

You can't hit it too big, however -- the dev showed me a demo build cheat to win the slot machine jackpot every time, and as soon as I did, the casino's goons showed up to end my gambling career. I was also told that there was one more game, created for Fallout, that they weren't showing at this demo, and as I left the casino, I noticed there was also a show to see, as well as the usual gathering of sidequest-worthy locals hanging around.
The Vault points to two more previews, one on Destructoid.
Obsidian also points out its efforts to give skills more meaning in New Vegas than they had in Fallout 3. I'm shown how skill checks are built into the dialogue system as well. In one conversation, a doctor looking for assistance asks me if I can help him tend to injured soldiers. The response options in this situation are affected by the medical skill; the option I choose indicates the skill required for the task, and I'm able to offer assistance. (I'm told it's possible to lie, but you'll end up further injuring the soldiers and the doctor wouldn't be… pleased.)

On the subject of skills, the skill book system of Fallout 3 has been replaced by "Skill Magazines." After accepting the task to treat the wounded soldiers, I found that one required assistance that was just out of my medical skill range. Instead of working on his anyhow (and causing more damage), I pulled a copy of "Today's Physician" from my inventory, which gave me a temporary skill boost necessary to perform a successful operation.
And one on 1up.
"The design team is working with the basic idea that, the player is going to kill every NPC the moment they end dialogue," Sawyer explains. "You can go through Fallout New Vegas as a whirlwind of death. It'll be tough -- you'll constantly have bounty hunters harass you wherever you go, but you can finish the storyline that way."

Additionally, I hear that while New Vegas won't have the full "Intelligence of one equals Neanderthal dialogue" effect of previous Fallout games, knocking your intelligence all the way down does make you an exceptionally dim person. Sure, you won't be a monosyllabic buffoon, but you'll go through most conversations asking people to either repeat themselves or to explain just what they mean. It's upon hearing these two facts that I have absolutely decided how I will play Fallout New Vegas this fall: as a dimwit/imbecile/ who kills everyone he sees in front of him.
Add in TeamXbox to the fray.
While roleplaying and storytelling are central staples of the Fallout universe and will be prevalent in New Vegas the combat system also got a lot of attention as well. Melee combats integration in to the VATS aiming system has been greatly improved. Now when using VATS players have the option to select specialized attacks designed specifically for the weapon they are wielding. For example if you are using a golf club you can select “FORE” and get to see a special animation.

Tradditional and improvised weapons have not been forgotten by Osidian either. New weapons like the incendiary grenade and throwing spear make sure that you obliterate your opponents regardless of taste. When using the incendiary grenade you can lob your enemies in the air and then hit them with a second explosion for the killing blow!

Posted by 13pm - at 0:43

And once again Ausir has provided us with the latest Fallout: New Vegas goodies. Now four new screenshots. Actually only two of them are totally new, others were seen already in lower resolution. Here you go:

Link: 4 New Fallout: New Vegas Screenshots at The Vault

Posted by 13pm - at 0:28

Breaking news: the official website for Fallout Online (Project V13) being developed by Interplay and Masthead Studios has been launched.

Check it out at

It features the song "Slave to the Blues" by Ma Rainey and animation of armored hands throwing some pictures with concept art on the table. The last one is the postcard with the inscription "Wishin' U were here". After that you can apply for beta-test in a form that appears.
A random screenshot for you:

Many thanks, Ausir!

News for Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Posted by 13pm - at 18:47

Another portion of community questions about Fallout New Vegas has been answered over at Bethsoft forums. Most things that can interest you are here:

How many new perks are there planned to be included in Fallout: New Vegas?
Project Director Josh Sawyer: A lot. We've removed some old perks, modified some existing perks, and added a bunch of new ones. We believe that New Vegas' selection of perks will make the selection process difficult but rewarding for the player.

Will there be character "traits" as in the classic Fallout games?
JS: Yes. During character creation, you will have the option to select one or two traits. Traits include some of the classics, like Small Frame (in F:NV it gives a bonus to AG but you break limbs more easily), and new ones, like Four Eyes (bonus to PE while wearing glasses, penalty while not).

What kinds of Companions will we see this time round.
JS: We have a varied cast of companions ranging from Raul the ghoul mechanic to Boone the ex-NCR sniper to some more unusual fellows. Each of the companions has their own personal conflict the player can help resolve. These conflicts can be relatively simple to address or they can involve major quests that span the Mojave Wasteland.

Will there be anything like Fallout 3's bobbleheads in New Vegas to collect?
JS: Yes, there will be something similar to bobbleheads in the game, and you'll receive an in-game reward for finding them. That said, they do not give you SPECIAL or skill bonuses when found.
Ah, that sounds much better.
Are Bottlecaps the source of currency or will it be poker chips?
JS: Bottlecaps are the main currency in the Mojave Wasteland. Bottlecaps are a water-backed currency controlled and regulated by NCR merchant caravans. The caravan houses conspired to re-introduce the currency when traders lost faith in NCR money. This loss of faith was the result of the NCR moving from a gold-backed currency to fiat currency due to repeated attacks on NCR gold reserves by the Brotherhood of Steel. Though the transition helped stabilize NCR's economy, NCR dollars are devalued compared to bottlecaps and even more devauled when compared with the third form of currency: Legion coins. Caesar's Legion mints silver and gold coins from captured pre-war material. Despite the NCR's running conflict with the Legion, merchants and citizens throughout the Mojave Wasteland accept all three forms of currency.

Poker chips are used by all functional casinos. Each casino has its own chips that must be used for gambling. Players can exchange any form of currency for chips and can receive their payout in any form of currency. Mr. House doesn't let the ongoing war get in the way of potential profits.

Will we be able to keep playing once we beat the game with this one?
JS: This is something we really wanted to do, but ultimately we realized that supporting post-endgame content would jeopardize the quality of the ending, which we wanted to tell the definitive stories for all of our major factions, locations and characters. Instead, after the credits roll the game will prompt you to reload a save created just before the endgame sequence, allowing players to go back and complete any quests they may have missed. Additionally, we make it very clear when you're about to reach the end of the main plot, so it shouldn't come across as a surprise.

Will I be able to play, and complete, F:NV without killing anyone or anything, except perhaps in self-defense?
JS: Yes. There are ways to win the main plot by killing no one and by killing everyone. It was one of our initial design tenets. You will find it difficult to get by as a pacifist, and you will miss a great deal of content by killing everyone you meet, but it can be done.
We trust you on that one, Obsidian.

For some more answers head over to the thread at Bethesda forum board.

Link: Fallout New Vegas Fan Interview Part 2.

Thank you, PSDaniel and VRaptor117.

Posted by Brother None - at 12:15

G4 TV's E3 coverage will contain a live stream of the Fallout: New Vegas demo at 5 pm EST (11 pm UTC), as per the Beth Blog.

The best E3 events are the ones that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own television seat. That makes this week pretty fantastic, as all of our games will be getting live-streamed across two separate networks at some point.

G4 streamed their demo of Hunted yesterday, and today they take a live look at Fallout: New Vegas, planned for airtime around 5pm. They’ll be back again on Wednesday for a taste of id’s stunning shooter RAGE at 2:30pm.

GameTrailers TV takes its tour on Thursday, with live demos of RAGE, Fallout: New Vegas and Brink airing consecutively around 3pm.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:38

We posted on he Fallout 2 total conversion mod Fallhope before. They've been hard at work converting Van Buren assets, as seen in the previous post. Allout has been posting to show off the goodies. Looking pretty good:

News for Monday, June 14, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 23:33

A HD version of the E3 trailer for New Vegas was tossed to the press. We've uploaded it to our Youtube channel in HD:

Also, enjoy some screenshots taken from the HD trailer:

I don't see the non-Transcode HD version anywhere on Bethesda's site but you can get it from NMA.
Link: Fallout: New Vegas E3 Trailer on NMA (HD, MP4, 51 MB)
Link: Fallout: New Vegas E3 trailer on Bethesda site (SD, WMV/MP4, 36 MB)
Link: Fallout: New Vegas E3 trailer on Bethesda site (HD, Transcode, 336 MB) (thanks Ausir)

Posted by Brother None - at 16:39

Several sites like TheSixthAxes and Eurogamer list to release dates for Fallout: New Vegas. October 19 for the US and October 22 for Europe. No specifications for the rest of the world.

Thanks Mark Honeyborne and Sergeant Owl.

Posted by Brother None - at 2:45

Not of huge interest, but it's nice to know Bethesda is making a good showing of promoting New Vegas as well as it did Fallout 3, as evinced by a giant dinosaur in their E3 booth (courtesy BethBlog) and a prominent place amongst E3's giant poster promotions (courtesy Kotaku).

Also, Expresate points out a forum post from funcroc with different sites' New Vegas schedule at E3, which isn't very relevant to anyone not there, but still. Note the hands-on preview, though that was already known.
F:NV @E3

1UP E3 schedule (Note that all times are PST.)
Tuesday, June 15th

Fallout: New Vegas Hands-on Preview
Scooter gets some seriously-extensive playtime.

Fallout: New Vegas Live Demo
Scott Sharkey gets a walkthrough of the new Fallout game.

IGN E3 Live (Schedule subject to change. All times PDT.)
5:20 pm Fallout: New Vegas

Gamespot E3 Live Show Schedule (All times are PDT.)
Thursday (Day 3)
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Fallout: New Vegas, Test Drive Unlimited 2, Hunted: The Demon's Forge, ...

News for Saturday, June 12, 2010

Posted by randir14 - at 6:39

Here it is.

Check out some stills over at FalloutNow!

News for Thursday, June 10, 2010

Posted by Dude101 - at 23:23

So... it's almost the end of quarter two and we haven't finished making our precious baby. (shocked?) We could release the game as is, but we understand that the Fallout community has high standards, and we do not wish to disappoint you all. Ardent who is famed for his excellent mod (at least among us modders) joined us earlier in the year and has been systematically ripping apart our work and putting it back together in a shinier form for your pleasure. A different perspective on things has been refreshing, and considering the core team has consisted of a handful of people over the years, it was much needed. Chris Parks, our resident ubber modder unfortunately has a life (plus the problems that go with it), and as much as we would like to chain him up in a basement (fed on fish heads exclusively, of course), we can't do that.

We are working very hard to finish the scripting, and in the mean time our artists - Sharae, .Pixote. and Equilerex (who is safely back from the army) have produced some new artwork, most of which we prefer to keep under the blankets to have some surprises for you when the final build is released. Also, our writers, Jinx and Ghouly89, are working on new content for the expansion pack. We have been collaborating as a team to write a dialogue tutorial for FO modders and we hope that you will find this a positive reflection of the mod to come (Read it here). The modding community can expect more tutorials when we release the game and have the time to spend on them. We hope that new tutorials and the assets we will be releasing will encourage more modders to come out of hiding, as we have seen with the latest release of Killap's excellent project.

And we have some eye candy for you:

Link: Mutants Rising website.

Posted by Brother None - at 18:56

GameTrailers announced that - amongst other things - it'll be revealing the Fallout: New Vegas E3 trailer on Friday. Check out the promo and a Jason Bergman tweet over on the Vault.

Posted by Lexx - at 18:12

The Bethesda Blog reveals there are four different digital in-game item "pre-order packs" available for Fallout: New Vegas, depending on where you preorder.

The Classic Pack, available when you pre-order through GameStop, contains:

* Armored Vault 13 Suit – Extensively patched up and dotted with piecemeal armor, this outfit is an homage to the classic ending of the original Fallout.
* Vault 13 Canteen – This handy device is useful for staving off dehydration and providing a small amount of healing in the Mojave Wasteland.
* Weathered 10mm Pistol – A well-worn 10mm pistol that packs an extra punch despite its modest size.
* 5 Stimpaks – Food and water are good for long-term healing, but when the fighting is fierce, Stimpaks help keep Wastelanders upright.

The Tribal Pack, available when you pre-order through Amazon, contains:

* Tribal Raiding Armor – Pieced together from scraps of armor, this outfit provides protection without impacting mobility.
* Broad Machete – This heavy-bladed melee weapon does high damage against limbs and can quickly deal out a flurry of attacks.
* 5 Bleak Venom doses – Useful on any Melee Weapon, Bleak Venom makes short of work of most living targets.
* 10 Throwing Spears – If you would like to silently pin an enemy’s head to a wall, Throwing Spears are the way to do it.

The Caravan Pack, available when you pre-order through Steam and Walmart, contains:

* Lightweight Leather Armor – This hand-modified suit of leather armor reduces its overall weight without impacting its ability to protect.
* Sturdy Caravan Shotgun – Despite its rough appearance, this Caravan Shotgun will reliably fire 20 gauge shells until the Brahmin come home.
* 4 Repair Kits – Useful for repairing any outfit or weapon, Repair Kits are a valuable tool for any caravaner.
* Binoculars – The Mojave Wasteland is a dangerous place, but with these trusty Binoculars you’ll be able to spot trouble coming.

The Mercenary Pack, available when you pre-order through Best Buy, contains:

* Lightweight Metal Armor – Modified for long-range travel, this Metal Armor sacrifices some protection for mobility and overall weight.
* Mercenary’s Grenade Rifle – Though similar to other 40mm Grenade Rifles in the Mojave Wasteland, this model has a faster reload cycle.
* 3 Super Stimpaks – When you absolutely, positively, need to keep your blood inside your body, Super Stimpaks fix you up in no time.
* 3 Doctors Bags – Mercenaries and broken limbs go together like Iguana-on-a-Stick and Nuka Cola. Thankfully, these Doctors Bags take a bit of sting out of the inevitable crushed skull.
Some screenshots showing off the packs ingame:

Additionally, Steam is currently running several sales for Bethesda's products, including Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition for 24.99 EUR/USD.

News for Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 23:08

Obsidian audio director Scott Lawlor Inside the Vault.

Can you give us a broad sense of what goes into the design of a New Vegas sound effect? How much original recording have you done?

We have done a ton of original recording for New Vegas. Some sounds end up being relatively easy to replicate. For example, the sounds of boxes and bottles bouncing on the ground are somewhat simple. We just search for an object that sounds like we want and throw it around in our recording studio for a while. Those recordings get edited into usable sound effects and pretty much go straight into the game.

On the other hand, some sounds are significantly more complex to recreate. Even something as simple as a footstep can be quite a process. We really wanted the footsteps on wood to have a very particular quality to them. They needed to be solid and strong, yet gritty and decayed at the same time. In order to achieve this we went to some pretty ridiculous lengths. We have brought in multiple types of wood and boards into the studio but it still felt like something was missing.

The final sound effect is actually a mix of a number of different wood footsteps. One is from a broken down wooden trailer from trip we all took to Paramount Ranch, an old movie set were they used to film westerns. Another layer of the sound comes from a ghost town called Panamint City on the edge of Death Valley National Park. After a six mile climb up waterfalls and rocky paths we came to the city and found a number of old cabins with decaying wood floors that had the perfect sound quality that we were looking for.

It may seem like a lot of work for a footstep but it all pays off when it is for a sound you hear thousands and thousands of times as you play the game.
Which Fallout effect do you think is the most iconic?

There is no doubt about it, VATS. That sound has been with the series since the beginning. In FNV we want to remain true to that sound but at the same time we want to “kick it up a notch.”
My favourite is the pigrat skull exploding.

News for Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 21:32

The questions from the Twitter/Facebook/Blog fan interview are being answered.

Will perks be available every level, every other level, every third level, etc.?
From OakTable via Bethesda Blog

Josh Sawyer: We have shifted the perk rate to a game setting within the GECK. We currently have it set to one perk every two levels. Internal feedback to it has been mixed, so it's too early to say if we will keep it at this setting.

Are the Super Mutants in the screen shots graphical stand ins? Will they eventually have the unique appearance of the Mariposa Super Mutants from FO1 & FO2 (as seen in talking head dialogues), or will they appear as they do in the screen shots, almost identical to FO3 Vault 87 mutants?
From Chadious Maximus via Bethesda Blog

JS: Our early Super Mutant and Nightkin models were placeholders. All of them have been re-textured, slightly remodeled, and re-animated to more closely resemble the Mariposa Super Mutants.

What other creatures are in New Vegas, and is it possible to see concept art of a new creature?
From Richard via Facebook

JS: One of my favorites is the Cazador. Cazadores are mutated tarantula hawk wasps that have found their way north from the Sonoran Desert. They aren't very durable, but their poison is deadly and they are very creepy looking.

Thanks Expresate.

EDIT: Jason Bergman adds in that thread:
What does Steamworks mean to you? Senior producer Jason Bergman explains:

"Fallout: New Vegas uses Steamworks for achievements and other features (such as friends lists, cloud storage of user preferences and so on). Use of Steam will be mandatory at retail. So what does that mean? We’ve implemented Steamworks in as light and unobtrusive a way as possible. Yes, you will have to install Steam when you install Fallout: New Vegas if you don’t already have it. And yes, you will have to be online at the time of that initial install. However you can install the game on as many systems as you want (with no restrictions!), and you do not have to be online to play the game after your initial activation. Not only that, but once the game has activated on Steam, you can throw out the game DVD entirely and just download the game over Steam. If you don’t even have a DVD drive, you can just take the CD-Key from the box, enter it into Steam, and download it without ever using the disc at all.

For those concerned, this will have no affect on mod development whatsoever. Modders will still be able to create and distribute their plugins the same way they have in the past.

We made the decision to use Steam after looking at all the various options out there and decided that it provided the best, least intrusive experience for PC gamers. We think you’ll agree."

Posted by Brother None - at 21:29

The very first developer diary for Fallout: New Vegas is now up on the official Bethesda site. From the hand of producer Feargus Urquhart, it is of an introductory nature.

As some of you might know, I had the privilege of working on the original Fallout 1 and as one of the Lead Designers on Fallout 2 when I was the head of Black Isle Studios. While I didn't get that chance to work on Fallout 3, us getting to make Fallout: New Vegas here at Obsidian right now is like coming home. Well, if your home was a burned out bomb shelter with radioactive goop and a Deathclaw staring down at you wondering what your liver is going to taste like.

Now when it comes to making Fallout games, I've always found it easy to work on them. I guess my twisted view of the post-apocalyptic world just fits with what Fallout became during the original development of Fallout 1. But, what wasn't easy was actually getting Fallout 1 finished, since we were still figuring out how to make big RPGs back in the mid 1990's. To help, I ended up polishing up one of the larger areas of the game, the Hub, and also finished up a couple of the later areas - the Boneyard and Adytum. I made some good decisions and some bad ones. My addition of a quest in the Hub to get a special gun turned out to be a fun quest that people liked, while my addition of the Turbo Plasma Rifle unbalanced the game. It was near the end of the game, but it's still one of those things where I look back and go "Feargus.....".

Thanks Expresate.

News for Friday, June 4, 2010

Posted by Tagaziel - at 20:35

IGN has the first Fallout: New Vegas gameplay video online.

Link: Fallout: New Vegas Xbox 360 Preview - Video Preview on IGN.

cunningvalor posted it first, but Mistrz also gets a cookie, for effort.

Posted by 13pm - at 11:28

The site with a long name has an interview with J.E. Sawyer on New Vegas. Some interesting bits there:

Are there any nods to Fallout 3 in New Vegas, crossovers maybe where fans will go “holy crap, I remember that from Fallout 3!?”

There are a few small references here and there, but New Vegas is its own story.

The weapon customisation system is new as well we assume, can you tell us a little about that and what sort of advantages players will be able to take from this? Can we expect to be making a number of wacky contraptions?

We've tried to avoid wacky contraptions for the most part. In the Fallout universe, the western portion of the United States is a lot more industrialized and generally "with it" than the east. As a result, most of the mods are of the traditional variety.

We have a large number of traditional firearms in the game and there are a lot of mods for those weapons: extended magazines for pistols, larger ammunition drums for submachine guns, custom high-speed actions for lever action rifles, silencers, suppressors, and so on. We also have mods for energy weapons and explosives, like focus optics for the laser rifle (increases damage), and the "Little Boy" kit for the Fat Man, which drastically reduces its weight.
Nice to see our old good friend Fatman back. Oh, wait...
You’ve also spiced up the melee system with the alternate attacks, an example of which is the “Fore!” move for the golf club. Can we expect to see some artistic license taken with these? If you had to pick one, what would be your favourite?

The special melee attacks are all meant to be a bit exaggerated and fantastic in nature to set them apart from the standard moves. My favorite move is probably Mauler, used by sledges and super sledges. It's a really tremendous swing and does a lot of damage.

What else have you added to New Vegas gameplay wise that will add to the experience, other than the reputation system and the weapon customisation?

A ton of stuff, honestly. We've changed the SPECIAL system so the ability scores have more impact on your character. As an example, weapons now have Strength requirements. If you don't meet the weapon's requirements, your aim will suffer (for firearms) or it will attack more slowly (if a melee or unarmed weapon). Strength also affects how far you can throw weapons like grenades. On the more "cerebral" side of things, Charisma affects a statistic called Nerve that is applied to companions as a combat bonus.

We created a new crafting interface for the game that is quite extensive. Initially it was only going to apply to the Survival skill, but we expanded it to use a variety of skills at different locations. Crafting ranges from cooking raw meat into steak at a campfire to hand loading custom ammunition from spent shell casings at a reloading bench. I think people will really enjoy it.

We understand that a few of the guys at the studio also worked on Van Buren – the could have been Fallout 3 game – what came of that in the end? Have you taken anything across from that development in to this one?

Like most cancelled projects, the assets and documents went on a drive somewhere and collected dust in the "could have been" vault. We have carried some of the ideas from Van Buren into New Vegas. Primarily, the use of Caesar's Legion as a looming threat in the region, though it is much more present in New Vegas than it was in Van Buren. Most of the other similarities lie in bringing back regional power players from previous games: the New California Republic, Gun Runners, Crimson Caravan, Followers of the Apocalypse, and so on.
Link: Interview with J.E. Sawyer at XBox360Achievements

Thanks to incognito.

News for Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 9:50

ResumePlay brings us one more preview to add to the list (thanks GameBanshee).

Almost immediately after you start your journey -- after Doc Mitchell sets you off-- you meet your new best friend, Sunny Smiles. After meeting up with Sunny over at the Prospector Saloon she begins to show you around town giving you the chance to interact with the many residents and local wildlife in Goodsprings. Obsidian has confirmed that there will be gambling related mini-games implemented in New Vegas. So don’t be surprised to find gamblers and loan sharks congregating in the local saloon. Upon your exploration of the town you notice that the people range from friendly to just down right mean, and you find the mean ones pretty fast. The combat system in the game is very similar to that of Fallout 3, but now players have the choice to attach add-ons to their weapons and customize all of your guns to your heart’s content. You can also implement specialized bullets into your weapons; such as the pierce rounds that are effective against armor, and heavy slugs for your shotguns.
Additionally, Bethesda announced, to no one's surprise, that Fallout: New Vegas will be on display at E3, "hands-on" according to a company spokesman's comments to CVG.
We're excited to announce that in addition to offering hands-on time with Brink, a ground breaking shooter being developed at Splash Damage, Fallout: New Vegas, the next chapter in the blockbuster Fallout franchise being developed at Obsidian Entertainment, and Hunted, a third-person co-op fantasy action game being developed at inXile Entertainment, we'll also be showing off a new presentation of RAGE, the new first-person shooter being developed by id Software!