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News for Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 0:29

Excellent concept art studio Massive Black has been publishing a stack of exquisite New Vegas/Mothership Zeta concept art by way of its blog. Check out some art of Caesar's Legion from New Vegas and tech from Mothership Zeta.

News for Saturday, March 19, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 16:38

Our friends at GameBanshee took a look at New Vegas and come back impressed.

Also, Obsidian did a nice job in the DLC of telling a story and of connecting the events in the casino with the rest of the Mojave Wasteland (among other things, you learn why there's a headless corpse in Veronica's quest). During your time at the casino, you meet three new companions, and they're acted and motivated pretty well. They don't just join you because you're there; they have their own motivations and agendas, and they want to use you as much as you want to use them. By the end of the DLC, you might even care what happens to them (since they can't return with you to the Mojave Wasteland, it's not guaranteed that they'll even survive). Plus, the DLC previews some things to come, so it's good to see that Obsidian isn't just plopping down new locations for players to visit. It looks like they have an actual plan for their content, and a larger story to tell.

Posted by Brother None - at 15:50

As he said he would, Ausir dug up facts on the old Interplay Fallout movie project.

Hero at prestigious job -- or so he’s told -- as Assistant Vault Supervisor, working on Supply Inventory. He inspects the G.E.C.K. -- The Garden of Eden Creation Kit. As part of his daily ritual as resident dreamer, he watches an old promo tape, which explains the G.E.C.K. is a miraculous, one-shot terra forming device to be used by the Vault Dwellers upon eventual emergence onto the surface. Our Hero can’t wait. Then he discovers some anomaly in the vault’s water supply. Makes presentation to Vault Supervisor (his father), who is pleased at how sharp our Hero is... but also knows how bored he is. Father’s already seen video tape of the tram incident – this is not the first time Hero has disturbed the peace. Establish internal strife between those who believe salvation/damnation is above. It’s become a generational thing, like the 60’s. Hero points out that all his generation’s complaints with pre-fab Vault life are irrelevant without water…

Posted by Brother None - at 2:16

If you're into Podcasts, Pete Hines is interviewed in the latest OXM Podcast. On top of the regular horse armor still sells remark that always makes me wonder why when it's widely recognized as a mistake, it was never pulled. But people buy it, "inexplicably" in Hines' words.

Also, if you claim you don't care about graphics, you're lying.

"When you boil a game down, somebody flips through a magazine, like OXM for example, and you may or may not get them to read page five of Mike [Channell]'s 16 page coverage of Skyrim - page five is awesome by the way, so don't skip it.

"But they will look at a screenshot and make a snap decision: 'that looks awesome', or 'I'm not interested'. So if you can make something look amazing just at first glance, it's so much easier to get them."

Hines revealed that Fallout 3 marketing used images of action sequences because these showed off the upgraded Gamebryo engine best.

"People were like 'they're not focussing on the RPG stuff, all their demos are all about action and not about quests'. Well, we tend to show what shows well," Hines explained.

"It's very difficult to convey to somebody in a period of time - here's a character that you didn't create, but somehow I'm going to get you to care about this quest and the context of it, right now."
Thanks GameBanshee.

News for Friday, March 18, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 23:46

This won't be news to many of our forumites, but Jason Anderson's LinkedIn profile confirms he left InXile, where he spent less than two years as creative director working on what is widely assumed though not confirmed to be Wasteland 2 or a Wasteland spinoff. He is now working at Turtle Rock. As "the help".

News for Friday, March 11, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 17:10

It's a quiet period surrounding Fallout, and in periods like that we always like to keep our audience busy by pointing to other post-apocalyptic titles of interest. And in comes the announcement for Grimlands, a post-apocalyptic FPS/MMORPG from Gamigo. The trailer, via GameBanshee:

And the press release (again via GameBanshee).
The apocalypse was just the beginning – gamigo announces Grimlands

Hamburg, March 10, 2010 – Just in time for today's European press event "next-g" gamigo announced the post-apocalyptic MMORPG shooter Grimlands. In the dark and hostile world of Grimlands, players have one goal: survival. Those brave enough to accept this challenge will find themselves facing psychopaths, terrifying mutants and roving bands of outlaws.

In order to get along in such a hostile world, the player will have to rely on their alter ego's skills. These are not determined by the character's class or improved by adding skill points: In Grimlands the motto is "Learning by doing". Skills are improved by being used – practice makes perfect, after all. "Use it or lose it" holds true here as well, with skills that are not used regularly being forgotten after a while. Thus each player develops their character through their own personal playing style.

These skills are developed in a dynamic world where the players' actions will leave their mark. A comprehensive and flexible crafting system means that there are almost no limits when it comes to building one's own equipment. Another highlight of this feature are the various vehicles that can be custom-modified and can even be driven by a group people as well as the cities that can be founded and expanded.

Patrick Streppel, Executive Board Member at gamigo, said this: "Grimlands combines the action of a shooter game with role-playing game elements and the open world of an MMORPG for the first time. The graphics and the approach to free skill development are truly remarkable. Just as players leave their mark on the post-apocalyptic world, Grimlands will leave its mark on the world of MMOGs. "

Closed beta testing of Grimlands is planned to begin in the fourth quarter of 2011. More information can be found soon on the game's official website.

A selection of images and a teaser trailer are now available for download. The trailer can also be viewed on YouTube.

Features at a glance:
• Innovative combination of third-person shooter and MMORPG in an open and continually-developing world
• Dynamic game world influenced by the actions of the players
• Flexible skill system - skills that are used often are improved while skills that are not used are forgotten
• Comprehensive crafting system with almost endless possibilities
• Quests for single players, groups and area quest that are set in a specific place
• Intelligent opponents that will run for cover, flee, hide or lead players into traps
• Cities that can be controlled and expanded by players
• Modifiable vehicles
• Clan system with ranks, levels, an event calendar and a base
• Comprehensive PvP features with duels, arenas and battlegrounds

About gamigo AG
gamigo AG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Axel Springer AG, was founded in 2001 and has grown to become one of the leading publishers of free-to-play MMOGs in Europe. Since 2010, gamigo also publishes its games globally. A team of 100 employees works in the company headquarters in Hamburg and its branch office in New York City. The key to success is the emphasis on publishing high-quality games supervised by first-rate community management. The portfolio includes games from all ends of the gaming spectrum - from Facebook games and browser-based games to elaborate MMORPGs.

News for Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 19:59

Bitmob editorializes on the politics of Fallout.

There might not be Democrats or Republicans, but the Fallout universe still has a diverse political landscape -- even discounting blood-thirsty raiders and Jet addicts. Given that survival is rough in the wasteland, the residents of the former United States usually live under martial law despite whatever faction they might look to for protection. Without a standardized law or economy to stabilize society, shows of force are the only way to keep the peace. The methods and belief systems of these factions, however, still vary greatly.

The Brotherhood of Steel, with their signature power armor and energy weapons, is probably the most recognizable faction. The Brotherhood seems to be the most pragmatic of all the parties that player characters encounter. Their primary motivation is not the mere restoration of society; they stamp out all forms of chaos and disorder, such as rival factions or super mutants. However, their willingness to collect and restore old technology suggests that a return to the status quo might be just underneath the surface.

The New California Republic is similar to the BoS. They patrol the Mojave Wasteland and try to protect their citizens from raiders and slavers alike. Though they may be overzealous in their territorial desires, their motivations are not entirely ignoble.

The Enclave, seen most recently in Fallout 3, is perhaps the most relatable faction in the series. Much like contemporary politicians, they rely on fear mongering and willful ignorance to stay in power and often don’t appear to have the best interests of their constituents in mind. The Enclave, if you trust its radio broadcasts, believes that a return to America’s former glory is just right around the corner. According to them, we just need to purify the human race by killing all of the super mutants and “infected” citizens of the wasteland.
Thanks GameBanshee.