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News for Saturday, August 28, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 20:30

Almost forgot: check out the pilot of the Bethesda podcast. It contains "a quick update on Fallout: New Vegas from senior producer Jason Bergman, including a sampling of the game’s unique soundtrack".

Posted by Brother None - at 19:52

AusGamers with producer Tess Treadwell (the interview opens with "It's no secret I'm a massive fan of Fallout, having logged more than 150 hours into Fallout 3" if you're curious what kind of journalist we're dealing with here).

AG: With the changed dialogue system, when you say "complex” do you mean more choices, or more dynamic?

Tess: I would say both - more choices and more dynamic. The way that their GECK game editor works, I guess it just makes dialogue clunky and hard to manage, and I guess Fallout 3's dialogue didn't get that complicated, but for us there are dialogue strings that just go on and on, and things you say will affect things that happen later on - there's just so much stuff going on that we built our own (dialogue system).

AG: So will there be changing, dynamic reactions from NPCs over time? I always hated going back to Megaton and having the sheriff always say "Are you lookin' for the mayor, or the sheriff?"

Tess: Oh yeah, in ours... well for one they'll respond to your faction reputation, sometimes factions will comment on your reputation with other factions, and also major events. People will comment on not just things you've done, but things that are happening in the world. You know, like, if the NCR loses an outpost or something, people will comment on that, and that might be the way you find out about it. That kind of stuff will happen all the time.
Strategy Informer with project director Josh Sawyer.
Strategy Informer: When Bethesda took over the franchise, they obviously had their own 'take' on things. Have you now brought it back to being closer to what it used to be? Or have you stuck more towards Bethesda's image?

Josh Sawyer: One thing that we really tried to bring back was that sense of moral ambiguity with all of the different organisations... there was moral ambiguity in Fallout 3 but we've really emphasised it now. The New Californian Republic are the quote "good" guys, but the more you get to know about them the more you're like "well, actually they're kind of corrupt and incompetent...", some of their high level commanders are terrible people and do terrible things as well. Coming to Caesar's Legion as well, yeah they're a slaving organisation, but there's also some things about them that, whilst are not necessarily 'redeeming', but there are things that are appealing and that make sense.

So we tried to bring that back, and also the reputation system is very important for us. What you do with different groups impacts your standing with them, and gives you a way to understand your position in the overall world, affects how quests open up, how people react to you, in even with minor things. For example, in my latest play through, I started off with a good reputation with the NCR, then I got a bad rep so I was hunted by NCR Rangers who were sent to kill me, and then I got back into their good graces again, and I was walking around one of their camps and one of their soldiers said "at least Caesar's Legion know what side they want to take". And it's this kind of little reactivity to my character that's kind of cool, I have a mixed reputation with this group and they're responding to it. We really tried to emphasise that stuff in the game and we hope people enjoy it.
(...)

Strategy Informer: How far along is New Vegas?

Josh Sawyer: Oh it's done. We're actually getting ready to submit. The only thing we've been doing recently is fixing bugs, stabilising frame rates, certification at Sony and Microsoft and that's it! We're getting ready.
GameSpot interviews composer Inon Zur about his career.

Thanks GameBanshee.

News for Friday, August 27, 2010

Posted by OakTable - at 22:15

ESRB has got its rating on, warning of the usual use of drugs and violence...and robot sex.

there is also an extended sequence suggesting (no depiction) sexual activity with a robot (e.g., "Fisto reporting for duty . . . Please assume the position," "I suppose I should test you out . . . Servos active!" and "Something wrong with someone if they got to f**k a machine.").
Also. Some shots! (thanks Lexx)

And if you're into that sort of thing, I refer you to the achievement/trophy list, over here.

News for Thursday, August 26, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 1:35

Apparently this definitive ending thing is a big deal and needs lots of explaining.

"We put a lot of effort into the ending slides -- we know those slides are really popular with people so we want to make sure there's a huge amount of variety and reactivity with that stuff. We weren't really focused on new features so much as to add a really rich sense of reactivity to the players and the choices they make."

We want to make it a definitive ending. Initially, we talked about trying to support post-game play, but because the changes that can happen at the end of the game are pretty major, this is what it basically came down to: either have the changes feel really major in the end slides and then have them not be very major after the end of the game, or make them really minor and not that impactful. And we feel it's better to say, 'you know what, we're just going to end the game, and the changes you made can be minor or really really big, but because we can't script all the changes to the Wasteland to let you keep playing, we're just going to stop it there.' But we do let the player know when that's about to happen-- a sort of, 'the end of the game is coming, so we're saving your game right now, so if you want to keep your game going, you can, otherwise, it's about to be over.'"

Posted by Brother None - at 1:23

Games Radar profiles the factions in Fallout: New Vegas. I can't vouch for its accuracy as it profiles the Enclave (sigh), NCR, Brotherhood of Steel, the Vault Dwellers (what), the Nightkin, the Followers of the Apocalypse and the Slaver's Guild (I think they mean Caesar's Legion).

The Followers of the Apocalypse
Appears in: Fallout 1

History: A “secular religion”, the FotA do not believe in any particular “god”, but still serve as missionaries to the wastes. You could say the Followers are “good guys” given that they show wasteland inhabitants how to grow their own food and teach the history of the pre-war world in the hopes that humanity’s mistakes are not repeated.

The Followers accept refugees from all over, including former Raiders, Slavers, even Enclave members. Such practices naturally inflame those who might still have a bone to pick with such characters. Even more enraging is the FotA’s policy of encouraging “oppressed” citizens to rise up against their respective governments.

However, the FotA’s own track record is not without its own curiosities. Given that its base of operations (at least as of 2061) was the mostly intact Los Angeles Library, certain followers became privy to ideas and notions that were not in line with the primary mission of the organization. It is even said that Caesar himself (of the Slaver Guild “Caesar’s Legion”) was once a member of the FotA.

Role in Fallout New Vegas: It has been confirmed that the Followers appear in FONV, but the group’s motives are still unclear. Is it attempting to correct the mistakes of the past and bring down Caesar’s Legion? Is it being hunted by the NCR for crimes of sedition? Both? We’ll just have to see.

News for Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Posted by Elhoim - at 20:23

Zombie apocalypse isn't our genre, but this game is close in gaming genre to the Fallouts, and it's still a kind of apocalypse, so here's a note for the interested: ex-Troika/Obsidian developer Brian Mitsoda revealed in an interview with RPS the name of his ZRPG project, as "Dead State" also revealing new details of the story and the first official screenshots.

News for Monday, August 23, 2010

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 21:20

Ausir has written his second part of his play of the public demo from gamescom. It says quite a lot and gives an overall opinion.

There are many references to places and characters from Van Buren throughout the game, and some even appear in the flesh, like Alice McLafferty or Arcade Gannon. However, calling it a remake of Van Buren to any extent is a mistake, says Sawyer. They did reuse things that they liked and didn’t want to go to waste, and generally things that by now, after years of working on Van Buren and of running their personal PnP campaigns set in the Fallout world, they simply personally consider to be a part of the Fallout setting no more than the returning characters and factions from Fallout 1 and 2, and included them where their appearance would make sense. However, the main story itself was never based on Van Buren in any way – probably because it would require a much larger scope than one city and its surroundings.

While I personally look forward to playing the full game, and will likely enjoy it (or am I writing this only because I got a t-shirt?), I still predict that some people will be (and in many cases already are) disappointed by it – some because it’s still too much like Fallout 3, some because it changed too many of the things they loved about Fallout 3. While I doubt it will be very attractive to people who aren't already fans of the series, especially due to its dated graphics, it will most likely appeal to most fans of Fallout 3 and to at least some of the fans of the original games who were not that fond of Fallout 3, especially those for whom the weak story and dialogues were the main turnoff in Bethesda’s game, as they seem to be among the strongest points of the new game.
You can read it all at The Vault.

News for Saturday, August 21, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 0:32

Inker Belardino Brabo seem to have put up the inks for a two-page spread that'll kick off the All Roads graphic novel on his blog (EDIT: post removed now, as you expect from Bethesda, but we still have it).


Image removed at the request of Dark Horse Comics

Pretty neat, what? Some quick googling confirmed Belardino Brabo is indeed a professional inker though I can't find much linking him to Dark Horse or All Roads. If any comic afficianados out there have something to add that'd be great.

Thanks for pointing us in this direction, Someguy353.

News for Friday, August 20, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 19:14

To heap the rest into a "this isn't too interesting" post: Destructoid reports both that New Vegas will have DLC and a definite ending. I'm not sure why either one would surprise anyone.

CyberLudus has an interview. Sound quality is too shitty for me to sit through and transcribe anything.

Posted by Brother None - at 19:11

Are we full-on in GamesCom now? I...I guess so. Previews!

Destructoid.

The story structure is one of the main differences between Fallout 3 and New Vegas. There was only one main story in Fallout 3; it could go in a few ways, depending on your Karma, but you were hitting the same story beats. New Vegas has a much more non-linear story, and you determine how it plays out. About halfway through, the game presents you with a few “very different possibilities”: you can side with one of two factions, Caesar’s Legion or the New California Republic, or with Mr. House (he’s the overseer of New Vegas; this is the independent route). You can also go against Mr. House and still be independent, “so it’s four paths, but [really] more like three and a half.” There’s some overlap between the paths, but each one has its own unique quest, and “the order in which you do everything is very different depending on which route you go down.”
IGN.
After clearing out the den, we entered the Nipton Road Service Station and ransacked the place, making off with an array of foodstuff – some old favourites, some new items – and, sadly, couldn't access the real prize – a locked gun cabinet at the far end of the room. There was a special diary in here, marked 2/2 – and it revealed a fairly lucrative sounding mission. The author? One 'Super-Mayor Joseph B. Steyn III Esq.' Impressive. We'd keep an eye out for this on our next play through. Alas, our skills simply weren't high enough at this stage. We headed back outside, knife in hand.
GameSpot.
We then made our way back to the saloon, passing by more grimy looking huts and rocks. We ran inside to find the saloon owner in an argument with a local member of a chain gang. After telling him to leave the saloon owner alone, we learnt about how the gang had taken over the area, and were chasing after someone who was held up in town. We could choose to help the gang, or instead help the person being chased. This was disrupted by the saloon owner pointing telling us about her now broken radio, which we kindly offered to fix for some karma points. Heading back out into the wasteland we set off to find the man, the sun beating down on us, curious to know what connection if any the chain gangs had to our assailant.
VG247.
“The world should feel a little bit more like a dangerous place. You can’t just go wherever you want,” says Sawyer. “I was a really fan of Fallout 1 and 2 and I do believe that exploration is a big part of the series, including 3. What I want is for people to feel like they have to be a little careful… it makes the player feel like they’re actively engaging the world, and if they take on difficult things they feel rewarded for it.”Even without Hardcore mode turned on – a super-realistic mode that requires your character to stay hydrated and pay particular attention to radiation poisoning – the game doesn’t automatically scale to your character in the way that Fallout 3 did, at least not off the quest paths. “Once you get off the beaten path you can get into a lot of trouble. If you ignore everyone saying that a place is dangerous, and ignore the signs saying keep out, very dangerous, then you’re going to die,” Sawyer asserts.
AusGamers.
The factions stuff is another layer to this, though I barely touched on that in my time. A few new pieces of information I actually pulled from my extended hands-on though, include the addition of a new Hardcore mode, which is basically designed for the not-so-feint-of-heart. Accepting to play this way means you'll be fatigued (so you need to sleep), you get hungry (so you need to eat), Stimpacks will only heal over a period of time, dehydration is a constant factor in the hot desert sun, you can't immediately fix broken bones and ammo adds weight. There's no information as to what benefits you'll get when playing through this mode other than the satisfaction of knowing that if the end of the world is nigh, you'll have the skills to handle it, but some exclusive Achievements or Trophies might be nice.
G4TV has voice-acting!

Thanks WorstUserNameEver and GameBanshee.

Posted by Brother None - at 18:51

Only not in new tracks, but in reused tracks. Per Senior Producer Jason Bergman.

All of the new music in Fallout: New Vegas is by Inon Zur, however we do use some of Mark Morgan's tracks from Fallout 1 & 2. They're mixed in with the Inon music in places (so are sound effects from Fallout 1 & 2) and the actual tracks themselves will play in specific locations. We use some of Inon's music from Fallout 3 as well. There's a ton of music in this game.

So that journalist had a remarkably good ear to catch the snippits he heard!
Thanks UnidentifiedFlyingTard and Aonaran.

News for Thursday, August 19, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 14:47

We've been mixing our QuakeCon with GamesCom recently, but should be headed into full-on GamesCom now. Lots of hands-off previews, but also public hands-on time, which the Vault's Ausir gladly used, and will use even more in the near future! The Good: it's Ausir. The Bad: you can tell he's been running the Vault for too long because the preview is basically a long string of in-game names of stuff. Fascinating if you wish to start The Vault wikia article, less so fascinating if you're interested in the actual game. Ausir's opinion is withheld for a future article.

The Vegas office of the Crimson Caravan is headed by Alice McLafferty, who was also in charge of the company's operations in Hoover Dam in the canceled Van Buren. She is normally in charge of the Hub HQ of the company, but the New Vegas branch has been underperforming lately, and she came to clean it up. She also mentions that the New Canaan Mormons (another Van Buren reference here) are in charge of most northern trade routes, while the Gun Runners control most of the gun trade in the area. She gives you a quest called You Can Depend on Me to deliver an invoice to doctor Hildern at Camp McCarran. There are also lots of brahmin in the Crimson Caravan camp, which confirms that the big horners are not the only domesticated animals in the area.

Other characters in the camp, aside from the generic caravaners, are Blake (who comes from a town in the NCR called Oak Creek), who can sell you various wares, and Don Hostetler, who doesn't really talk much (at least for now) aside from telling you to go talk to McLafferty instead.

Posted by Sam Ecorners - at 3:51

Crispy Gamer.

Until Fallout 3, the Fallout game had always contained a certain amount of mature sexual content. Fallout had brothels and a quest where you had to talk down an angry john in order to save a girl’s life. Fallout 2 let players get married (gay, lesbian or straight), pimp out their spouses, and even become a porn star. Though in Fallout Tactics and Brotherhood of Steel these themes were more story based than interactive. While a bit risqué at times, the depiction of sexual content in Fallout games was never actually pornographic. Instead sex was treated the same way it is in the Fable games. Intimate interaction was initiated and then the screen would go black for a second or 2. With Fallout 3, the team at Bethesda decided to completely avoid those themes. To quote Emil Pagliarulo at the QuakeCon “Building Immersive Worlds and Stories” panel, regarding sexual content, they “didn’t want to do it…it would be goofy, cheesy and set the wrong tone.” However, sexual themes are a major part of the post apocalyptic genre and some classic movie titles like A boy and his dog center around them entirely. With that in mind, I asked Ms. Treadwell if Fallout: New Vegas would see the return of these mature themes to the Fallout series. Her response was that so far the folks at obsidian hadn’t shown off any of that content but to a certain extent, yes that sort of content would be present in New Vegas. While Fallout: New Vegas will have more mature content than Fallout 3, it won’t be quite as much as we saw in Fallout 2.

I was never a big fan of Fallout 3, and I feel that in many ways it failed to live up to it’s predecessors. However after getting my hands on Fallout: New Vegas I can’t help but feel optimistic about this game. What the folks over at Obsidian have produced has little in common with Fallout 3 aside from the software engine it uses. Fallout: New Vegas looks and feels like the sequel Fallout 2 deserved, and i can’t wait until it finally ships this October.
Dealspwn.
There were a bunch of empty streets, a whorehouse looking for employees and a garishly lit passage of interest leading to The Strip guarded by a robot that required some kind of passport or an exorbitant 2000 caps. It was, by far and away, possibly the least remarkable demo of the convention so far.

allaboutgames.co.uk.
Once you're done with finding out who you are, you want to find out who shot you, and so begins the quests. Things here are working pretty much like Fallout 3 with the game offering flexibility over which missions to take and when. I found myself spending most of my time in the desert, crossing from town to town, but despite the lack of Vegas, I still got to enjoy some colourful neon lights, some new enemies, and a guy taking shots at me from a rollercoaster. I also had experience of some of the new gangs who took a disliking to me very quickly; though I blame the dodgy beard for that. You will find yourself spending time to gain both good and bad reputations for the various gangs, tribes and alliances in the game, but in my playthough I decided the consequences of getting in trouble were fairly minimal.

News for Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Posted by Sander - at 15:40

More video footage from QuakeCon, this time Feargus speaks on Fallout 3 and some more gameplay footage is shown. Feargus mostly speaks on the game mechanics and how the game is balanced.

What we have now is we have skill magazines which is a little different from the skill books and the skill magazines are things that actually give you a temporary bonus. So it's now a little bit harder to find the skill books in the world, but you actually get more of a bonus when you do find them. And so it also kind of gives you that thing where if there's this one thing you need like 'I really want to get in here, I really want to open this thing and I have this skill magazine that let's me get in, ups my lockpick for a little while' and gives you that temporary bonus. So there's a little bit about just managing your skills and your stats on sort of a moment-to-moment basis with the skill magazines. And then overall we did want to be careful about having people focus on things, rather than becoming the master of everything. But again, you want the game to be fun, so you still want to be able to get good at most things and that's really kind of the road we went.

Posted by Nark - at 11:15

Here is Machinima.com's preview of Fallout: New Vegas:






Link



It spends a long time talking about how long Fallout 3 is, before noting how much New Vegas improves on so many obvious flaws of Fallout 3. VATS being a necessity, no iron-sights, Rybicki-maneuver statements like the game's faces "proving for the first time that this engine can render human faces that don't look like a hideous mass of texture painting". I thought Fallout 3 had already proven that for the first time. The gameplay footage is the same as seen in the video interviews, so let's assume it's been provided by Bethesda to be used for promotion of the video game. Did I say promotion? I meant journalistic coverage.

EDIT: let's just toss some more Con previews in here. NowGamer previews and tosses up four new screenshots.

It’s very Fallout 3, as you might expect from a sequel that uses virtually the same engine and underlying technology as Bethesda’s masterful series revival, but the similarities between the radioactive Mojave and the Capital Wasteland are comparable with those of a highway ghost town and any West Coast desert. The view to the yellowish hills on the horizon is brighter, more sparsely populated and desiccated, with a sprouting desert flower or two begging to be picked and stored for use in some concoction or other that you’ll undoubtedly whip up later on.
Softpedia.
I am also happy to report that, in the demo at least, you could not steal everything that was not nailed down and even messing with an old jukebox resulted in an increase in infamy and a fight.
VideoGamer (mention of Mark Morgan in this article has been corrected, Mark is not doing New Vegas' soundtrack).
Compared to the other big-hitters on Bethesda's list of upcoming releases, New Vegas doesn't offer much in the way of eye candy. Fallout 3's sprawling vistas were pretty impressive two years ago, but now the engine is looking pretty long in the tooth. That said, the retro/ruined future mash-up vibe is appealing as ever. There's a darker, meaner tone to the intro to New Vegas; Ron Pearlman provides the gravelly narration as the scene is set, detailing the growing conflict between the New California Republic and Cesar's Legions - a bandit army that has enslaved 86 American Tribes. Western and gunslinger imagery permeates the game's look and feel, but the interface and general appearance is largely unchanged from Fallout 3.
Thanks Incognito.

Posted by Brother None - at 6:18

Whether you're looking to listen to the dulcet tones of senior (or, as G4 puts it, senoir) designer Chris Avellone's pleasant baritonemezzo-soprano (try to hate him when you see how sorry he sounds for getting the PC shot in the head, I challenge you) or to see more gameplay footage, G4 TV provides. Content-wise, it covers familiar old ground, like Wild Wasteland, hardcore mode, traits and the like.

The gameplay footage is a lot of VATS, but you get to enjoy some environs between the shots of limbs flying around, as well as getting a good look at new enemies, like coyotes and geckos. It shows some dialog from 04:00 out, as well as some walking around without shooting.

The other thing I wanted to say was, one of the things I really like about how the New Vegas storyline is set up, there's no one big bad guy present in the game. Depending on how your character feels about the fashion politics, or whether your character disagrees with faction politics entirely and believes in carving his own path, you actually determine who your bad guy is and how you want to resolve that situation. So as much as the world is open-world exploration, the storyline lends itself to that as well.

The narrative in New Vegas, we try to make sure we incorporate the actual game mechanics into the storyline. The reputations you get with the various factions in the game, that actually has an impact on how the storyline plays out, what areas are available and questlines are available. It's one of the big principles at Obsidian, we want to make sure the story is not divorced from the game mechanics or game system.
Thanks MKSaibot.

News for Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 19:10

The BethBlog provides details for available pre-order options in (parts of) Europe, Australia and South-Africa, each now having outlets that provide the Collector's Edition, as well as the four special digital pre-order packs.

Posted by Sander - at 0:29

A few interesting tidbits in this interview. First up, Todd Howard says Bethesda's characters and animation haven't been the best and that they're spending a lot to get it right:

If I had to take a step back, I think our worlds are very good, I think we're on the cutting edge as far as that goes. When it comes to the characters and the animation, I think there are other people who do it much, much better. That's something we've put a lot of time into - not just technology but people and talent, and how long we spend doing individual elements.

How other characters behave and look on the screen is the next thing people need to do better.
He also comments on making a Fallout game set outside the USA:
That's come up before and my view on Fallout is that the Americana is part of the Fallout schtick. It would be interesting to see what's going on over there, but if you were doing a full game over there, in my opinion it wouldn't have the right Fallout tone.
And finally, he notes that the level cap was a bad idea, so expect cap-less games in the future.
I think it worked out okay for that game, but going forward if we had to completely redo Fallout 3 we'd probably not have a level cap, because it just makes the game more fun to level up.

It just does. The sense of accomplishment every time you do something to get some XP. So I think we'll make efforts in the future to not have one.
Link: Eurogamer interview

News for Monday, August 16, 2010

Posted by Tagaziel - at 20:42

A minor tidbit: Jason Bergman updated his flickr account with some photos from the VO session for New Vegas. Includes Marcus in his human form and The Mach-- err, Danny Trejo.

Link: Fallout New Vegas VO session photos, courtesy of Jason Bergman

Thanks, taviow.

Posted by Brother None - at 19:55

MTV Multiplayer tours New Vegas with google maps, that is, they preview the game and add Google Maps images.

Nipton is not doing well at all in the world of New Vegas. When I happened upon the sleepy desert town, the dusty streets were lined with people tied to crucifixes. Yikes. Approaching the town hall, I was set upon by a band of Caesar's Legion soldiers.

The leader of the group was named Vulpes Inculta, and he told the dark story of Nipton. Apparently the city was overrun with gamblers, thieves and prostitutes. Vulpes came in and decided to "save" the lot of them by holding a lottery. Winners of the lottery would be strung up, the rest would become slaves. Vulpes seemed pretty proud of this, even though his men managed to turn Nipton into a ghost town. Thankfully I was able to talk them out of stringing me up (they had me seriously out-gunned), and Vulpes went on his way. Bethesda's producer on "New Vegas," Jason Bergman, said that Vulpes returns throughout the game, and offers missions similar to what we saw in the Dark Brotherhood of "Oblivion."
Shacknews has a looksie.
Crafting will play a much larger role in Fallout: New Vegas than in Fallout 3 with dozens of recipes available. Players will be crafting ammo, guns, and cook up items from those numerous body parts collected from slain wildlife. It's a nice change of pace from only being able to create the spectacularly unique weapons and should help in the game's optional "Hardcore" mode, which will certainly increase the player's reliance on getting everything they can out of the game's items.

In my brief hands-on time, there main quests I came into contact with seemed well designed and nuanced, while some of the side quests came off a little generic for my taste. In one bar, two NPC's standing next to each other both handed me functionally identical quests--go out into the surrounding area and find three specific NPCs--with different objectives and story content. Hopefully, this represents a rare occurrence as a game like this will live or die by its quest diversity. I only had about an hour and a half to play, so I'm not too worried at this point.

News for Sunday, August 15, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 0:19

Nearly forgot. Today's QuakeCon sale for Steam is Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition, 50% off for 24.99 EUR/USD. You could probably find it in retail for that price at any time but still...

News for Saturday, August 14, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 18:47

Award-winning game designer Todd Howard explains the intricacies of groundbreaking game design on their blockbuster games.

"Play our game; find a ladder that you can use. We don't have them," he said.

Howard explained the primary reason for not being able to include ladders into environments is due to their engine, saying ladders caused problems for character AI.

"One day, we tried to figure out why we wanted ladders so bad because we don't really need them. It just felt like we're game development pussies because we can't do ladders."
Thanks GB.

Posted by Brother None - at 16:50

GameTrailer has interviewed MCA. Twice! Mining the past talks about Van Buren and Fallout 2. With footage from the Van Buren demo we leaked all those years ago, with classic Mark Morgan tunes over it. Lots of new-looking New Vegas footage afterwards as MCA talks.

When I was working on it, the goals of that title were...I had always recognized that the biggest group of adversaries that you're likely to face, that have a chance to really mess up the world, that's another player adventuring party. So part of the focus for Van Buren was, I wanted the player to have a series of rivals in the game that weren't necessary a enemy. They were someone you were competing against with different goals. They weren't necessary evil, what they were...they had a different agenda than you.
(...)
There are still some references to Van Buren in terms like names and various organizations you encounter in New Vegas. Like Ceasar's Legion for example came out of one of our pen and paper gaming sessions that was done for Van Buren while I was doing that production work. All that stuff, you'll see little trademarks of that in New Vegas, but the context is much much different there than in the original conception.

My favourite thing in New Vegas, there's actually a sort of high-level thing that I like about it. One is that New Vegas has no evil bad guy. What it does is sort of put the player in a situation, then the player decides what faction they believe in based on their philosophy and their actual repercussions of their philosophy on the environment. For example NCR, very democratic, seem like the good guys, but when you go around the wasteland, you sort of see all the after-affects of what they're trying to do, and it really sort of makes you question whether they're really the right thing for the wasteland or not.
(...)
So I worked on Fallout 2 and designed a location called New Reno as one of the areas in Fallout 2. What I learned from that experience is...what you want to do when you're designing areas for the campaigns like Fallout, is you want to make sure that no matter the character build or how they've constructed their character, you want the actual environment to react to it. You also want to make sure there's plenty of quests, and ways to solve those quests to compliment the character builds. So I guess in terms of the New Reno design, we actually try to make sure those elements are present in the area design for Fallout: New Vegas.
He follows by talking about how you should adapt the dialogue mechanic style to the franchise.


New features focuses on, well, new features. MCA explains the Fallout setting, the New Vegas setting, the Strip, it being a sequel, the Strip being more thanfour Megatons, adaptive narrative, new skills, the reputation system. Nothing new for people who've been keeping up, but a good quick refresher if you haven't.
Well, if we're to draw any comparison between Planescape: Torment and Fallout: New Vegas, I guess it would compliment what we've been trying to do at Obsidian Entertainment. That is, we try to make sure that when you have characters in your title, in other words the companions in New Vegas, we try to make sure the people that travel with you have really rich, deep personalities. They have questlines, they can comment on their perspectives of the factions in the environment and basically act as more than just your gun-toting sidekicks.

In terms of easter eggs that could be showing up in New Vegas. We haven't included anything from previous titles, like Planescape, or not from Fallout 2. You will catch references to Fallout 1 and Fallout 2. I guess the Easter Eggs for the special encounters you may have encountered in Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, we actually have a trait that is solely tied to that and it's called Wild Wasteland. The Wild Wasteland trait, what it'll do is, it'll actually open brand new encounters across the wasteland. It's solely an optional thing that if you want to choose it, you can actually have these special encounters that have references to pop culture, other game references. That's something our project director Josh Sawyer felt very strongly about, so when we put it in the game, people that encountered it at the studio are pretty excited about it.

Posted by Tagaziel - at 12:55

GSC Game World, the makers of the STALKER series (that is Shadow of Chernobyl, Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat) have updated their frontpage. The news? STALKER 2 is officially in development now.

Link: GSC Game World frontpage

Posted by Per - at 1:17

MTV Multiplayer took the opportunity at the latest hands-on demonstration to record Ron Perlman's opening narration for New Vegas. The sound quality is not the best, but here's their transcript:

War. War never changes. When atomic fire consumed the earth, those who survived did so in great, underground vaults. When they opened, their inhabitants set out across ruins of the old world to build new societies, establish new villages, form new tribes. As decades passed, what had been the American southwest united beneath the flag of the New California Republic, dedicated to old world values, democracy and the rule of law.

As the Republic grew, so did its needs. Scouts spread east, seeking territory and wealth, in the dry and merciless expanse of the Mojave Desert. They returned with tales of a city untouched by the warheads that had scorched the rest of the world and a great wall spanning the Colorado River. The NCR mobilized its army and set it east to occupy the Hoover Dam and restore it to working condition. But across the Colorado, another society had arisen under a different flag. A vast army of slaves, forged in the conquest of 86 tribes: Caesar's Legion.

Four years have passed since the Republic held the Dam, just barely, against the Legion's onslaught. The Legion did not retreat. Across the River, they gathered strength. Campfires burned, training drums beat.

Through it all, the New Vegas Strip has stayed open for business under the control of its mysterious overseer, Mr. House and his army of rehabilitated Tribals and police robots.

You are a courier, hired by the Mojave Express, to deliver a package to the New Vegas Strip. What seemed like a simple delivery job has taken a turn…for the worst.
It seems a little more plot-specific than previous titles perhaps.

News for Friday, August 13, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 18:53

Joystiq.

I couldn't tell you specifically why, but VATS feels better -- it feels smoother and easier to use. In the first title, I often found myself just playing in real-time, but in New Vegas, I much more instinctively pulled up the VATS system, both for the great camera views and to help me set up my shots. I used the new VATS against a faction called the "Powder Gangers," chucking dynamite and decapitating them with laser pistols in slow motion.
G4.
Gameplay wise, New Vegas is like slipping on your favorite pair of Post-Nuclear slippers. It plays like Fallout 3, right down to the V.A.T.S system that I relied on way too much. But it feels smoother. The color pallette and scenery, however, is subtely different from Fallout 3's as well. It's obvious a lot of time and effort went into the look of the game, so it feels familliar, but different enough to not seem like an add-on or some DLC. The Western states haven't been as obliterated as DC in Fallout 3. They largely avoided full nuclear strikes, so there's less rubble and more people, but that brings the problems that come with society -- specifically, lots of different factions.
Another change in the New Vegas universe is the addition of Faction alliances. While the familliar Karma system is still in effect, it seems like the faction system is the more important mechanism -- in other words, it's easy to overlook the fact that someone is evil, if they're good to you. It's hard to tell from such an early look at the game, but it seems strange that Karma is in the game at all, given the moral relativity of a faction alliance system.
Anyway, I'm sent from the saftey of GoodSprings out into the world to the Nevada city
Eurogamer.
At this point we can choose to point out that he has just "killed" four guys with three bullets, which is a mite suspicious, but we reason that we could just let him go and then report him to King later, so we don't. Unfortunately the game isn't quite set up for this kind of thinking, and upon returning to King we're only given the option to say Orris "seems legit" - something the King, like us, very much doubts. He insists we repeat the exercise and look closer.

Cursing this apparent and very un-Fallout gap in game logic, we go back to Orris and pay another 200 caps to set off again. As we near the point where we ducked into the alley, however, he changes tack. "You didn't think you'd get away with that twice, did you?" he chides. "My guys saw you coming out of the Kings." It's a shame they didn't see our Anti-Materiel Rifle too, because it splatters Orris and his guys within a few well-placed rounds.
Kotaku.
Before leaving the house we may also choose our first Trait, an extra character-defining quality not offered in 2008's Fallout 3. Some of these have pros and cons. For example, "Four Eyes" would give us plus-one to our perception if we wear glasses, minus-one if we don't. An odder one, Weird Wasteland, would turn a lot of the game's cheekier jokes on or off. For example, you can play New Vegas with a willingness to come across a refrigerator that contains a bullwhip and hat — or you can play without worrying about seeing them. The jokes are an homage to Fallout 2, which was also full of pop-culture references to the delight of some fans and the consternation of others.

Posted by Brother None - at 18:51

You've seen 'em in previews and here they are again:

Posted by Brother None - at 16:48

More of the people playing through the same 1-hour demo, so get ready for another series of functionally identical previews. 1Up.

I continued to wander the streets looking for my targets, and in doing so became distracted by the gated entrance to the main Strip. Figuring I could find a way past this gate to explore the Strip, I approached it and noticed several Securitrons (the robots that were digging up the grave in the New Vegas teaser trailer). Nearby was a man named Old Ben; he kindly warned me that I would need to either have 2,000 caps or a passport to pass through the gates to the Strip. Nonsense. I'll just shoot my way through past the robots, looting their body for a key in the process. That was the plan, anyway, and was encouraged to do so because apparently someone tried the exact same thing earlier in the day.

I started to litter the ground in front of the locked gate with plastic explosives. As soon as one of the Securitrons rolled over it... kapow! Unfortunately, things didn't go according to plan. Before I could get to a safe distance, they opened fire, and I was killed rather quickly. I reloaded my save file and decided to go look for some hired guns -- mercenaries if you will -- to help me in my endeavor. I found some hanging out at a nearby house, and hired one of them to come help me out.
GameSpot.
We then restarted from our original position, and decided to try a less homicidal approach, maybe even talk to a few characters before shooting. We followed our compass to the New Vegas gates which were guarded by "Securitron gatekeepers"--giant police robots with a comical retro-future look that could've come out of The Jetsons. The metal monsters were basically giant steel boxes mounted on a unicycle wheel with an antenna on top and a TV monitor display in front showing an exaggerated cartoon caricature of a grumpy policeman. One police robot immediately approached us once we neared the door and demanded the right to run a "credit check" on us--which essentially meant that we had to either attain passport documents (through a series of quests), bribe it with 2,000 bottle caps (which we didn't possess at the time), or hack it using the science skill (our character's skill was insufficient).
1up has some "off-screen" footage, by which they mean shitty shakecam.

Thanks WUE.

Posted by Tagaziel - at 10:28

The IGN has recently published a preview of Fallout: New Vegas, based on an hour-long play session. The author got to explore the outskirts of New Vegas, right outside the Strip. Here's a quote:

Ahead, a series of bright lights that spelled out "Welcome to the Strip." To the left, a series of crumbling buildings, left to the elements on the outskirts of the city. All I had to do was walk forward and head through a gate and I'd be on the Strip. And that's when I ran into a problem. You can't just waltz into downtown New Vegas. You can try, but you'll end up dead.

The outskirts of New Vegas are kept in order by several competing factions. There's the Freeside Gang out on the streets, largely kept under control by the stronger Kings, who it seems are at odds with the New California Republic. And to top it all off, the Followers, who camp out in the Old Las Vegas Mormon Historic Park, are trying to get the entire population off of booze and drugs.

Link: IGN Fallout: New Vegas preview

News for Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 21:08

New Vegas senior producer Jason Bergman gives us a tour of New Vegas' voice-cast.

Matthew Perry as Benny

Matt first got on our radar because he went on talk shows — the first being Ellen — and one of his anecdotes was that he played so much Fallout 3 that he had to get surgery on his wrist. In fact, he even gave an Xbox 360 and a copy of Fallout 3 to Ellen, I believe. So we contacted him to see if he would be interested, as we had a role that we thought would be a really good fit for him.

After reaching out we had a meeting with Matt where it was me, him, a couple people from Obsidian, and people from the talent agency. The conversation basically just descended into nerdiness. He just wanted talk about Fallout 3, and gaming in general. That guy is not faking it – he is really that into Fallout 3 and games in general. It was cool; you can tell when someone is genuinely enthusiastic.

Voice-wise and attitude-wise, think of Benny as the lost Rat Pack character. He’s the head of the Chairmen, who run the Tops casino. His character has his own agenda. Matthew Perry really dove head-first into his role, and that was not easy; there’s some Rat Pack slang in there.

Michael Dorn as Marcus

We did bring back Michael Dorn, who is voicing the character Marcus, originally from Fallout 2. Michael’s voice has changed, but that’s what we had hoped for because Marcus has aged as well.

Michael Dorn has done lots of VO work, lots of cartoon work, lots of video games, lots of Klingon work. I should confess, I am a very big Star Trek fan. If it were up to me, this entire cast would be comprised of not just Star Trek, but Deep Space Nine characters. Of the actors we’ve announced, we have three, but that’s not even the whole number – if you look at the entire cast, we’re up to double digits.

Here’s the thing though, casting all those actors wasn’t intentional; I discovered through the process of casting that Star Trek is to Los Angeles what Law and Order is to New York. If you’re in New York and you go to a Broadway show and open the playbill every actor in there has appeared on Law and Order, and it’s because there’s such a need for actors on those shows. At its peak, most of those actors in LA appeared on Star Trek. The King, our Elvis impersonator in the game, was a Jem’Hadar on Deep Space Nine — James Horan, phenomenal actor.

The VATS Pack
We do have a very large cast simply because we had 65,000 lines of voiceover dialogue, which is significantly more than Fallout 3. We have a lot of alternate versions of the same lines because the player can align themselves with any one of three main factions, and their decisions completely change the storyline. If the player is male, if the player is female — there are a million variations on every line.

We did all of our voiceover recording in LA, so we had access to a pool of very experienced voiceover talent, which was great. I have nothing but respect for voiceover actors. It is hard work, and especially tough for a game like this. We had one role where we had 1800 pages of dialogue. Not lines – 1800 pages.

One person who we worked with is Yuri Lowenthal, who literally wrote the book on video game VO – he actually wrote a book on voice acting for video games. Another session I got a kick out of was Jason Spisak. He plays Vulpes Inculta, one of the members of Caesar’s Legion. Vulpes is a very dark character; a very dark character. He’s talking about horrible things he’s doing to people, like burning people alive – and inbetween takes, Jason Spisak is doing shtick, because he’s a really funny guy. But the results are just great, because he read his lines in this evil, flat tone.

We worked with the great Fred Tatasciore, who is revered among VO actors. He’s done the voice of The Hulk like ten times. In New Vegas he voices Tabitha, the cross-dressing super mutant, as well as Rhonda, Tabitha’s other personality. He’s one of those guys that you can tell to change the tone of a voice by 3%, and he can do it. It’s like a workout for this guy — he was drenched in sweat afterwards, he really got into it. He’s just amazing. Great to work with.

Another actress we worked with was Andrea Thompson. She was on Babylon 5 and NYPD Blue, but more relevant to us, she was a CNN Headline News anchor. What was great about her is that she has the ability to read anything cold, because she did headline news. I was talking with her, and she told me it’s just a skill you develop when you’re doing eight hours of live television a day. You could hand her a phonebook and she would read it, and it would sound like the most natural thing in the world. It was really fun to work with somebody who was that good.

News for Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 18:33


BETHESDA SOFTWORKS REVEALS STAR-STUDDED CAST FOR FALLOUT®: NEW VEGASTM
Celebrity Roles to Include Ron Perlman, Matthew Perry, Wayne Newton, Zach Levi and More
August 10, 2010 (London, UK) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today revealed the star-studded voice over cast for Fallout®: New VegasTM, the follow-up game to the critically acclaimed Fallout® 3. Fallout: New Vegas features Golden Globe-winner and two time Emmy nominated actor Ron Perlman (“Hellboy”, “Sons of Anarachy”), Screen Actors Guild-winner and Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor Matthew Perry (“Friends”), Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, William Sadler (“Shawshank Redemption”), Zach Levi (“Chuck”), Felicia Day (“The Guild”), Michael Dorn (“Star Trek:The Next Generation”), Kris Kristofferson (“Blade Trilogy,”), Danny Trejo (“Machete”, “From Dusk Till Dawn”), John Doman (“Mystic River”, “The Wire”) and Rene Auberjonois (“Boston Legal”, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”).

“The Fallout franchise has taken narratives in interactive entertainment to the next level, and we could not be more excited about the all-new celebrity lineup for Fallout: New Vegas,” said Pete Hines, Vice President of PR and Marketing for Bethesda Softworks. “The voice acting provided by these actors helps drive the compelling and immersive story of Fallout and further adds to the overall gameplay experience.”

Ron Perlman returns to voice the narrator in Fallout: New Vegas, a role he has played in every major Fallout game to date. Matthew Perry plays Benny, a smooth-talking, two faced gangster, and Wayne Newton takes on the role as “Mr. New Vegas,” the radio DJ of the Mojave Wasteland.

Three celebrities take on roles as playable companions in Fallout: New Vegas: Danny Trejo is Raul the Ghoul, a mechanic and former gunslinger; Zach Levi is Arcade, a member of the Followers of the Apocalypse who hides a mysterious past, and Felicia Day is Veronica, a sarcastic Brotherhood of Steel scribe.

The epic cast continues with Kris Kristofferson as Chief Hanlon, a grizzled solider at the end of his career, and Rene Auberjonois as the enigmatic and reclusive Mr. House. Michael Dorn reprises his role as Marcus, an intelligent super mutant, who was last seen in 1998’s Fallout® 2; John Doman is Caesar, the charismatic and powerful dictator at the head of Caesar’s Legion. William Sadler plays Victor, a friendly robot with the personality of an old fashioned cowboy.

In addition to this star-studded cast, players can expect to hear even more celebrity cameos throughout the world of Fallout: New Vegas.

Fallout: New Vegas, the follow-up to Fallout 3 – the 2008 Game of the Year – brings this beloved franchise to a location only Fallout could do justice: Vegas. Fallout: New Vegas takes all the action, humor and post-apocalyptic grime and grit of this legendary series, and raises the stakes. Published by Bethesda Softworks, Fallout: New Vegas is currently under development at Obsidian Entertainment. Fallout: New Vegas will be available across Europe on October 22, 2010 for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows and in North America on October 19, 2010.

For more information on Fallout: New Vegas, visit http://fallout.bethsoft.com.
Thanks UnidentifiedFlyingTard.

Posted by 13pm - at 11:25

USA Today Gamehunters have posted two articles about voice acting for New Vegas.

The first one is about Wayne Newton who will voice the "DJ programmed centuries ago".

The designers created the role for Newton "because he is Las Vegas," Bergman says. "He really brings that extra touch of Vegas class to the game. ... And whether he's reading news stories about super mutants or introducing a Dean Martin song, his personality comes through."
The second article reveals even more voice actors along with the characters they are playing:
(Matthew) Perry's character, Benny (pictured here), is the head of the Geckos family. A smooth-talking criminal but also a bit of a weasel, Benny may sound dangerous, but isn't that tough. Ultimately he's more of a ruthless pragmatist than a villain.


Zachary Levi's playable character Arcade (pictured here) is a member of the Followers of the Apocalypse who hides a mysterious past. He's described as quiet, analytical, and cautious. Highly ethical and moral, he understands the post-apocalyptic world is one in which sometimes, people just have to be shot in the head. He is more concerned with large-scale issues than the needs of individuals. He may appreciate what individual people go through, but firmly believes that it's more important to affect large-scale societal change than to fix problems little by little.


Another newcomer who will be familiar to video gamers is Felicia Day (The Guild), who voices the playable character Veronica, a sarcastic Brotherhood of Steel scribe.

Actor and singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson (The Blade Trilogy) plays Chief Hanlon, a grizzled solider at the end of his career.
And what will interest you most:
Michael Dorn (Star Trek:The Next Generation) returns as Marcus, an intelligent super-mutant, last seen in 1998's Fallout 2.
Also, Ron Perlman is the narrator again, which is not a surprise. And there are some more voice actors for the characters already revealed: Raul the Ghoul is voiced by Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn), Mr.House is played by Rene Auberjonois (Boston Legal, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), John Doman (Mystic River, The Wire) is the voice of Ceasar, the leader of the Ceasar's Legion and William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption) is Victor, "a friendly robot with the personality of an old fashioned cowboy".

Thanks to WorstUsernameEver and other nice people.

News for Sunday, August 8, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 5:20

Just thought I'd toss this together as it's both fairly minor.

MCV UK reports Fallout: New Vegas has already overtaken its predecessor in preorders. Thanks WorstUserNameEver.

Meanwhile, GameBanshee points out the Fallout 3 GotY edition is available for $24.95 on Direct2Drive. That's US (or NA region) only, EU has to settle for Fallout 3 at £10.95 (about 13 EUR).

News for Thursday, August 5, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 1:56

Two separate bits: digital download service Impulse has added Bethesda's catalog, which includes Fallout 3 for €29.99 and Fallout 3 GotY for €49.99.

Digital download service Steam now offers a Bethesda pack, made up of the Game of the Year editions of Fallout 3, Morrowind and Oblivion, at a 26% discount.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:17

The pre-order bonus for KMart is a full set of Fallout: New Vegas coasters, plus a coupon.

Kmart is pleased to announce an exciting offer for the upcoming Obsidian masterpiece, Fallout: New Vegas. With a $5 down payment for one of the Fallout coasters below, Kmart will offer a $15 Video Game Savings coupon that will be redeemable the week Fallout: New Vegas releases. This offer begins this Sunday, August 8th! Quantities will be limited and while supplies last only! Limit one per customer.

EDIT: the text has been edited to say "full set of", and the Fallout twitter points out it is indeed all four coasters you receive, not a single one.

News for Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Posted by Eternal - at 18:20

Kotaku hosts on op-ed piece about the current crop of western RPGs compared to those of yore.

I have lamented the fading of turn-based gameplay before, but I have to reiterate how galling I find its absence in Western RPGs. I play RPGs when I want a break from fast-action and twitch-reflex dependent gameplay, not to experience more of it. If I have lovingly crafted a party of characters, not being able to take advantage of their individual abilities to the fullest because I'm too busy trying to give orders to them all in the middle of being fireballed, or because my FPS reflexes aren't up to snuff, is a major disappointment.

Bethesda, at least, made some attempts to remedy this with the VATS system in Fallout 3, which was an improvement over Morrowind's pure-FPS combat. BioWare, on the other hand, incurs much of my ire for their copy-paste combat system they use in every one of their games. Yes, you can pause and issue orders, but the speed with which unexpected things happen means you can often lose a combat in one or two seconds without having a chance to try and salvage the situation. Controlling one character means you are either sitting in front of the enemies, clicking attack over and over again; waiting for the cooldown on your special moves to keep spamming them out; or sitting in the back waiting for the cooldown on your ranged attacks so you can do the same. Meanwhile, your AI-controlled party members might be doing what you told them to do through their limited scripting system, or they may be running into a wall while being peppered with arrows/lasers/fireballs. Dragon Age gives you the ability to program your compatriots to a degree, but even that is limited by the player's choices in investing points into unlocking the ability to lead them; this is absurd. Much like it was ridiculous for FFXII to force players to buy Gambits in a system that required them for party members to be useful, it is ridiculous that a player isn't automatically given the option to program their party to their own liking.

News for Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 22:02

This should all bring us some big smiles and exclaimed surprise. It seems an advertisement for Fallout: New Vegas being shown in Japan blatantly mocks JRPG cliches.


They're angry about their particular genre of choice, and they've taken up picket signs to protest some of the problems they see.

Says one, "A game where you just follow the scenario is like living life on rails."

Another: "What's the point of playing again if there's no change to the story."

The girl to the left: "When did games become something that you watch?"

The tall one in back: "I think it would be nice if the main character had a mission aside from just wiping out evil."

Suggests the one sitting in front: "The world has been prepared. After that, you're free to do as you please!"
You can see it yourself posted on an actual Japan-specific news site and The Vault where you can find Ausir who happily brought this news.

Posted by Per - at 1:00

Gamasutra invited Obsidian big shot Feargus Urquhart to spill the beans on New Vegas and things, starting off with his views on Fallout 3.

What did you personally think of Fallout 3?

FU: I don't want to just say that I really enjoyed it, because that feels like I'm just kissing ass: "It was a wonderful experience!" But I am not a guy who was caught up in the notion that Fallout had to be an isometric, turn-based experience. To me, Fallout was always just the feeling of the world.

Maybe that's the difference between someone who makes a Fallout and someone who plays a Fallout. Whenever we think about Fallout, it's about the areas you put in there. Whether those areas are isometric or in 3D first-person, you do a lot of the same stuff.

For me, Fallout was always the world. In playing Fallout 3, it just felt like being in that world. That was what was great for me. I really appreciated that. I like playing FPSes -- not so much on my console, though; I'm a PC FPS guy.

The VATS system really melded everything together for me -- I get to be in the world looking out my own eyes, and I don't have to fight every fight in an actual physical skill-based way. I can use my stats and ammo and all that kind of stuff and see people's heads getting blasted off in Technicolor, which was awesome. [laughs]

I think you take that. You take the feeling of being there. I really enjoyed it. I don't get to finish a ton of games, because -- I'm sure, like you -- there's usually a stack. I don't have to review them, so I don't finish everything. But I made a point of making sure that... No, you know what? I didn't have to make a point of it. I just finished it because I was having fun.
Are you trolling us, Feargus? You are, aren't you.


They also touched on other subjects, such as how talking spore plants come to be.
I think what some people mean is that Fallout 2 pushed the tongue-in-cheek material more.

FU: Too much, actually. [laughs] In my mind, it did. I don't want to make excuses, but we were working pretty fast.

Ultimately, we had to restart the game twice because we had started it before Fallout was done. Then, when it was done, [original Fallout leads] Tim [Cain], Leonard [Boyarsky], and Jason [Anderson] originally didn't want to go off and make Fallout 2.

But after things got a little more positive, and we weren't crunching anymore, they said, "No, we want to do Fallout 2." Then they decided, "No, let's go start our own company," and they started [now-defunct RPG studio] Troika.

Then we really had to restart it again, and so we only had about eight months to make Fallout 2, which is not a long time to make a big role playing game. We divided the work a lot -- one of our mistakes.

I was the lead designer and running [Black Isle] at the time, and I made the mistake of not looking enough at what each of the designers was deciding to do. So they each thought, "Well, I'm putting some slapstick stuff in my area, but not everybody else is." Before you know it, everybody is.

[..]
From my perspective, there's a bit of a narrative here, where you guys made the original super-hardcore Fallout games -- those were not forgiving games. Then Bethesda gets the series, and people on the hardcore fan sites like No Mutants Allowed complain about it. Then you guys get it again, and you're saying things like, "We're putting in a hardcore mode!"

FU: Right. Yes. There were discussions early on, like, "Do we make stimpacks outside of hardcore mode?" That is, even when you're just playing on normal mode, maybe that's the one big change we make: stimpacks actually do take time to apply, no matter what. No more instant stimpack. There was a lot of talk about that, but in the end -- it's funny that it comes down to this one little thing -- it would just be too different.

I think with a change like that, people would get it and think, "What's going on?" They would charge into battle and get their ass killed, going, "Wait! No! Argh!" The [separate hardcore mode] is better for those people, and it's also a great thing for someone who wants to play through the game again. They can play through the game, or a good portion of the game, and decide, "Okay. Now I want this to be a real challenge." Because it can really change how you play.
There you have it: design matters.

Thanks to WorstUsernameEver and a host of creeping gnomes.