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Posted by Brother None

Unofficial The Fall FAQ by Tayl, edited by Kharn

Welcome to my unofficial 'The Fall' FAQ. If you have any questions, comments, death threats, love notes, etc. please PM me with them.

NOTE - When I say "Carsten said..." I am refering to Carsten Strehse, the lead designer of 'The Fall' and for Silver Style Entertainment. He is generally our source of information on the game.

Note from Kharn, about the Fall's status and release date:
The Fall has been released in Germany and is by this point fully patched.
Rumours have surfaced at different times about the English release, but no official word or even unofficial nod from the developer. By this point, an English release of the Fall is to be considered vapourware, it is no longer expected to be released in English.

-------- SSE and Game Info ----------

General Game Info

Question: What exactly is 'The Fall'?
Answer: The Fall is a CRPG being developed by Silver Style Entertainment(well, duh...their name is plastered all over these boards). More specifically, it is a non-linear, open-ended party-based cRPG set after a catastrophic environmental accident has crippled the Earth. For more information on the story, go here: http://www.the-fall.com/e/index.php?menu=story.

Question: What is the setting?
Answer: TF will take place in the Southern United States. After the disaster, the ecosystems of the world have collapsed and reformed, so expect wastelands/deserts. Also, expect totally different plant and animal life. Carsten says:
"From the world we know today isn't much there anymore in 2083. Flora and fauna have changed completly."

Question: What is the rating for 'The Fall'?
Answer: Well, right now SSE isn't totally sure. They won't know until they actually get the game completed. But Carsten has said:
"Don't think we get teen for TF..."

Addition: A little update on the level of blood and gore in TF from Carsten:
"Things have changed since the release of FO. In Europe as well as in the US violence in games is a big topic. Sadly the discussions aren't going into a positive direction for gamers. To make a long sentence short: The Fall will have less blood and gore than FO."

So it seems like we are going to get a Mature rating for TF, but it is not known for sure yet.

Question: The Fall? Is this in any way related to Fallout?
Answer: No. This game is COMPLETELY different from the Fallout universe. The only thing that makes it similar is the setting.

As for the style of TF, here is a (very) recent quote from Carsten on the subject:
"FO has its own style, no question. TF is more like Mad Max. More deserts/wasteland."


Question: Is TF linear or non-linear?
Answer: TF is a completely non-linear game. Carsten has repeatedly stated that the game will have a completely non-linear storyline, meaning that the player can explore the world in any way he or she chooses. Carsten has also stated that their will be a map that allows for a player to move to any location he chooses(much like the map in FO). There will be many subquests that the player may or may not do, many NPC's to interact with...everything that you have come to expect of a CRPG.

Question: So...when is TF being released?
Answer: The German version of TF will be released in November 2004. There is no concrete date for the english version of TF, but we know that SSE plans to release an english version. We do know that discussions with english publishers are taking place, but an official announcement has not been made.

Question: Will 'The Fall' be available worldwide?
Answer: Carsten has said that it will be a worldwide release, so yes. It should be available around the world.

Question: Will there be multiplayer?
Answer: Yes, although only in an add-on. The add-on would be made if TF is successful enough to warrant it. Carsten has stated that the multiplayer would be a cooperative team-play vs. the normal storyline. Basically, you and your friends can play through the story together.

Question: Is there a demo?
Answer: Not yet. And maybe never. Here is a quote from Carsten:
"I dunno if a demo is possible, but for sure we will release movies."

So probably no demo, but movies most definitely.

Question: Who are the publishers for TF?
Answer: This is the current information available about the publisher situation across the world:

North America: No publisher announced yet, although Carsten has said that there are offers on the table and SSE is just taking their time to choose the right one.

UK: No publisher announced yet, assumed to be in the same boat as NA.

Germany - Silver Style (Distributor Bigben)

France, Spain - Pointsoft

Russia - Russobit-M

Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia - Seven M

Poland - TBA

If you see any mistakes or outdated information, please send me a PM so I can update it.


SSE Info

Question: I heard from (insert source here) that SSE would be buying the Fallout license and finishing it! Is this true?
Answer: Unfortunately everything you hear at this point is just rumor. Yes, Carsten did state that SSE was interested in buying the license, but it is waaaaaayyyy too soon to tell if it will actually take place. And even if they get the license, it is pretty doubtful that they will pick up the old BIS code and continue to make the game.

Question: Are you sure? Maybe they would combine The Fall and Fallout...
Answer: No. Even if SSE were to get the Fallout license, The Fall would remain exactly the same as it is now. The only way that Fallout 3 would get made is after TF gets out the door, and even then it is still a longshot.

UPDATE: More info straight of Carsten:
"Combining both games is no option.

I also think that working with the code is nearly impossible. Everybody who ever worked as a programmer knows why.

I think most interesting would be the original design documents. If we could work with them, we could realize the original ideas from the former BIS staff. I think the result would be very, very close to the product the guys thought of."

Well, there you go. If SSE were to get the FO license, it most certainly would be a brand-new game, NOT a continuation of the half-finished BIS project.

Question: I heard that former Black Isle team members would be working at SSE...
Answer: One former BIS member, Damien 'Puuk' Foletto, was hired to do freelance work on 'The Fall' and has since moved to work for EA. Another ex-BISer, Jeff Husges, has been hired by SSE to work on TF. Any other hiring news at this point is just rumor.

Question: Will there be beta-testers for 'The Fall'?
Answer: Well...not yet, at least. All Carsten has said is this:
"That topic has to be discussed with our publisher when the time has come."

Question: Is there any way some of my content can get into the game?
Answer: Yes! There are two threads that Carsten has started asking for content.

NPC's - These are NPC's that YOU write up. Go to the thread for more details: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1454

Short Stories - Another thread opened by Carsten that allows you to write a short story...maybe it will show up in the game! Link: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1322

Talent Suggestions - A thread for fans to give suggestions for talents to be added to the game. Link: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1624

There are also many threads where Carsten has asked for fan input on different aspects of the game. Since these change so much, I won't try and list them all. If I missed anything, let me know.

Question: Is there a chat channel for TF?
Answer: Yes, there is an irc room on the Chatspike networks. Here is a thread on the subject: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=10




--------- Gameplay -----------

General

Question: How long will TF be?
Answer: More info straight from Carsten:
"You can expect to play 40 to 50 hours on the main story. 95 % of the people who bought the game will be pleased with this length. For the last 5 % we integrated the possibility to play endless. Fight, trade, raise your character, build items and wander through wastelands as long as you want. There's no limitation for the level of your character. "

Carsten later clarified that the gametime he specified was for the main quest, meaning that he didn't count sidequests or extra activities into that total.

Question: Is there any kind of time limit on the main quest, like from FO1?
Answer: No, there is no time limit on the main storyline, but there can be time limits on some subquests in the game.

Question: Can we continue playing after we beat the main storyline? Will there be new content unlocked after you beat it?
Answer: Yes to both questions. You can continue to play after you beat the main storyline, and you get new content to explore and new enemies to fight. Here is the quote from Carsten:
"After you're through with the main story you get:

1. New battles
2. New enemies
3. New NPCs
4. New quests
5. New hidden secrets

The difficulty of the game will increase rapidly after the main story. You will need some time to solve all quests, beat all enemies and find all secrets. Maybe nobody will find everything we hide in the wastelands."

Here is a link to the thread on it: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1625

Question: I read somewhere that you can look for water and food...will this be required to live? Will I be forced to find food or water by a certain time-limit each day or I will die?
Answer: Nope! Carsten says:
"No, it would be a pain in the ass, I think. Maybe funny for the first 3 or 4 hours of playing. After that it would start getting on your nerves."

For a thread discussing this topic, go here: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1531

Question: How is experience handled in TF?
Answer: Combat experience seems to go towards whomever makes the kill. Quest experience is spread across the party. Quote from Carsten:
"Exp. for kills is not shared, because it makes no sense. Why should character A sitting in a bar in town X get exp. when character B shoots someone in town Y?

However, exp. for quests is shared and that's the bigger piece of the pie."

There is no level cap, and combat experience is shared based on how much damage is caused by each character. The percentage of damage caused determines the percentage of the experienced gained. For the thread on experience, go here: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1481&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Qyestion: Will there be a fatigue system in the game?
Answer: Yes, your characters will need to rest and sleep, or your attributes and skills will drop. Link explaining it here: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=9078&highlight=sleep#9078

Addition: Another little tidbit that has been revealed is that you can set up camp to rest if your characters become fatigued, and you can decide to post guards to try and lessen the chances of someone(or something) attacking you while you rest. This also lessens the disadvantage if you end up being attacked anyways, because you already have alert party members to help fight.

Question: Will the Fall just have endless stretches of wasteland, or will there be ruins of old cities and new villages as well?
Answer: There will be villages. There will also be a few ruins, but nothing major, so you won't find any complete ruined cities you can walk through. Carsten Strehse said:
"Indoors: Sure. Look out for more screenshots.

Huge cities: Big cities would be great, but technically such stuff is very problematic. How big is Housten + surroundings for example? Some hundred miles? Maps of that size would be too large. How long would your party need to move through the town? Days, weeks?

We have some bigger towns, but generally everything looks more then Barter Town in Mad Max 3. (Which is quite cool I think )

And Don't get me wrong, we have cities with big buildings in the game, but not with skyscrapers. You also can visit complete destroyed cities seeing only ruins."

Question: What is travel like in TF?
Answer: Apparently similiar to BG, where you have a world-map and click to move your party to locations on that map. You cannot travel to locations that you haven't heard of from NPC's or through the story, although sometimes you are given a rough direction to travel in to get somewhere.

Also, there is a mini-map to help you navigate locally. Here is a Carsten quote:
"The "M" opens the minimap, which is updated realtime. You can see your characters, NPCs and foes on it. It doesn't stop the gameplay in any way."

There are random encounters while you travel, but they are not a focus in the game. Carsten again:
"Yes to random encounters. Even if we have no real focus on it. Too much of them get on my nerves."

Question: Are children going to be in the game? Can you kill them?
Answer: May seem like an odd question, but it has been asked enough times around here. The response? Yes, there are children in the game, and no, you cannot kill them under ANY circumstances.

Here is a thread that discusses it, if you are really interested: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1229

Question: How does time progress in the game? Can we see the day/night transition?
Answer: Here are two quotes from Carsten on the subject:
"Yes. We have day/night changes, usual 24 days. The special thing is, that ALL NPCs (it doesn't matter how unimprtant they are) have there own social life. The have work to do, they love other NPCs, they hate other NPCs or they're just freaky."

"24 hours game time are 1 hour realtime. This might change a little bit when we start with the final balancing."

Question: Are there vehicles in TF?
Answer: Yes, there are. You can get many different types of vehicles, although some may be rare and hard to find. You can also use vehicles in combat. For more details, check out this thread: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1689

Question: Are there mutants in the game?
Answer: There will be mutants, but not the typical mutants that you may be thinking about. There is a logical progression to the mutations that have taken place. More info on this will be available in the future.

Question: What kind of humor will be present in TF? Will there actually be humor, or is the game very serious?
Answer: No, there will be humor in the game. Carsten has said that he does not want to create a totally depressing game, so some form of comedic relief will be present in TF. Here is a nice thread on the topic: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1301

Question: Can players own property in TF?
Answer: Sort of. A player can take over a home or piece of property, by killing the inhabitant or by just deciding to live in an abandoned home. But property can't be legally bought. For a good thread discussing this, go here: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2791&start=0

Question: Are there drugs or narcotics in TF?
Answer: Yes, Carsten has answered that there are drugs and herbs in the game. He hasn't given out any other details yet on the effects or types or anything of that nature at this time.


Combat


Question: Is 'The Fall' Real-time or Turn-based?
Answer: The combat in TF is real-time with pause. To elaborate, the game is technically all real-time. You can pause the action at ANY time(sorta like KOTOR) and issue orders to any of your party members. There are also 'auto break' points. You can set the action to pause if triggers are activated, like if a character goes below 50% health, runs out of ammo, if an enemy dies, etc. There are 15 of them available.

Here is something else interesting on combat that Carsten said in his recent NMA interview:

"One of the Auto-Pauses is very interesting for the TB fans, since it pauses the combat after each battle-round. Every time all PCs and foes had one action, the combat gets paused and you can plan the tactic for the next round. During the pause you can change weapons, armors or prepare for using items."


Question: Is there any way to specialize with certain types of weapons?
Answer: Yes. Here is the feature that Carsten has announced on the subject:
"You can specialize your character on specific weapons. Independently from your skill. Example: The more kills you made with "Babsy" (your PSG-1) the better you shoot with her. But only with Babsy. Other weapons are not influenced and for other PSG-1s you get only a smaller bonus.
The goal was to personalize weapons and to make weapons valuable which you found early in the game."

Notice that Carsten has also said that they are considering letting a player actually name their weapons...like naming your PSG-1 'Babsy', for instance.

For the entire thread, go here:
http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1532

Question: Is there area-specific damage in TF? Like, can I target the head or the legs of my enemies?
Answer: Well...in a limited capacity. You can target the head if you have high enough skill(and possibly a 'talent' is needed, I don't know for sure). As for leg shots, they are not included. As Carsten has said, this is an RPG, not a combat simulator.

Question: Can you fire while on the move?
Answer: Yes, you can fire while moving. For example, your character can fire at an enemy while moving towards cover. It has not been announced whether or not a penalty will be incurred by doing this, but logically it can be assumed that there will be some form of penalty for trying to fire and move at the same time.

Question: Do the lighting conditions affect combat?
Answer: Yes, fighting in low-light conditions affect combat. The seeing distance of players and enemies is shorter at night, and accuracy also drops when fighting at night.



NPC's

Question: How many party members can you have? Do you have to have any?
Answer: You can have up to 6 party members(main character included) at any one time. You aren't forced to take on characters, but surviving in the new wasteland can be difficult for one person to do alone, so you might be needing all the help you can get.

Question: How will people react to crimes you commit? There won't be that annoying 'commit a crime and everyone knows' crap, will there?
Answer: No. Carsten says:
"Guards only attack if they see what you're doing. Normal citizens don't attack. They tell everybody what they saw and you have to live with the consequences. Just like in real live..."

Another quote:
"People have to see directly what you do or your actions will have no consequences."

Question: Will party NPC's interact with each other?
Answer: Yes, NPC's will interact with each other. Each NPC has his or her own personality and past, and these will sometimes conflict among one another. Quote from Carsten:
" Characters interact with each other, with the main PCs and the environment. They talk about stuff their interested in, about themself or other party members. If they have serious problems with another character they ask the main PC/the player to solve it -> he's the leader. Every character has its own past and plans for the future.

Overall: It's very easy to identify with them."

Question: What is this 'Living World Architecture' that I keep hearing about?
Answer: Simply put, it is the idea that the world around the player will be alive. NPCs will remember you, your reputation will spread through rumors, merchants will remember you, NPCs will have their own daily schedules and interact with each other, and trading and bartering is affected by what is available in the area. As a little example fpr the last bit, suppose that you find water in the desert. You will be able to trade for more goods if the town you are in is suffering a drought, while a town that has wells in every garden won't give you as much for your water. Overall, the gameworld should seem more alive than most other RPGs, since your actions affect the world and the world reacts realistically to your actions.




Character Info

Question: I noticed that there is only one skill that deals with diplomacy. Does that mean that TF is a combat-only game?
Answer: No. Far from it. All interactions will be tested using the charisma score and the newly added speech skill. You can still do everything there is to do in an RPG(talking to NPCs, convincing them to join you, haggle for prices, etc), so don't worry. Here is the post Carsten made to accounce the new speech skill:
"OK, just want to let you know that I decided that we will implement a speech skill on top of the charisma attribute.

The most important reason for this decision is that it seems like you really want it this way. If you tell me you would have more fun with the game if you have a speech skill in it, this is the strongest argument.
Second reason is that it's easier to raise your ability in talking to people with a skill as with an attribute."

NOTE - Know that you can also raise one attribute per level, so now you can put points into both speech and attributes at every level if you want to play a smooth talker. This makes it a lot easier to get stronger if you want to use that playing style.

Question: Can we pick perks as we level up?
Answer: No, you choose talents upon reaching certain skill levels.

From Carsten's NMA interview:
"If you get enough points on a single skill, you can choose a special talent. The talent relates to that skill and can be chosen when you raise a level. You can get up to 3 talents for each skill.

Examples: You have reached 75 points on “Survival”. Now you can choose between the talents cooking (you can cook meat etc. and get 50 % more healthpoints out of it), higher perception (10 % higher chance to spot foes), influence animals (animals won’t flee, aggressive ones swill not attack) Or you have 75 % on “Light Weapons”. Now choose between the talents targeted precision (+10 % on far targets), positioning shooting (shoot kneeing or lying without handicap) or headshots (+5 % chance to place headshots)

Every time one of your skill reaches 75, 85 or 95 points you can choose one talent for it."

Carsten has elaborated by saying that there will be 6 talents to choose from for each skill, and that the entire list of talents will be available at all three skill levels. At 85% and 95% the skill lists will be the same as before minus the one(s) that you have already selected. A player will be able to get a total of 3 talents during the game for each skill.

Question: If you can design your starting character, what kind of customization is there? Can you chose gender, size, hair color, any kind of visual attributes?
Answer: Once again, straight from Carsten:
"Gender: Yes, Size: You can choose typical body markings for you character (big, heavy etc.), Hair Color: No. You have to choose one portrait, male or female."

Now, the last part of that quote..."one portrait, male or female". It apparently does not mean that we only have one picture for a man and one for a woman. It means we have to choose a picture out of a group of them. Here is a Carsten quote explaining this:
"You can choose between a lot of male and female portraits. Just like in BG. Of course you are able to change your clothes (Mad Max style, jeans and shirt, sportive etc.)."

Addition: Carsten has also said that you can import your own photos or artwork and use them as your portrait and face in the game. Here is the quote:
"You can put in your own faces on the 3D modells. You just have to take a photo and make a texture out of it."

So don't worry. You can customize what your character looks like, to an extent.

Question: How many types of armor/clothes can you wear and does it change your appearance?
Answer: This is from an earlier post by Carsten, from before the game was officially given a name:
"You have armors, helmets, boots, gloves etc...All clothes are affecting your protection against attacks and are shown directly on the 3D character."(NOTE - it said 'infecting' before, so I changed it...I think he meant to say 'affecting'. Very Happy)

Question: Is there any kind of meter or gauge that keeps track of your overall alignment, Like the light/dark gauge in KOTOR?
Answer: No, there is no rating system that gauges a player's actions during the game. This quote from a recent preview sums it up nicely:
"Silver Style intentionally did not construct some type of good/evil alignment system, which means you can act as selfish or altruistic as you want without being rated. Of course, your decisions will have consequences nonetheless and might make you more or less popular in certain regions depending on the situation you're facing."


--------- Technical ----------

General

Question: Can we make mods for TF?
Answer: Yes! Preliminary information for this is available in this thread: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1357. More information as it comes out.

Addition: 3d models will be in SSE's own format. Here's what Sebastian Tusk said:
"We use an own format for 3d models. We do not have a exporter for Milkshape but it is not hard to build one."

Addition: You can also add items to the game. Thread on the subject here: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1681

Question: Can the fall be played on Linux?
Answer: Yes. While there won't be a port, TF will be tested for use on Wine. Here's what Sebastian Tusk said:
"We will not do a native linux port. Regarding Wine I will check that The Fall works with Wine. If there are minor glitches we will fix them. So there is a high probability that you can play The Fall on linux."

Question: Can you walk inside of buildings?
Answer: Yes, you can. All buildings can be entered, and no interior will appear twice. For more info on this subject, check out this thread: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1664

Question: What are the system requirements for TF?
Answer: As specified in the official FAQ:

System requirements (minimum)

Win 98, ME, 2000, XP
256 MB RAM
P800 MHz (or similar)
650 MB hard disc space
32 MB DirectX compatible graphics card
CD-ROM Drive

System requirements (recommended)

Win 98, ME, 2000, XP
512 MB RAM
P1, 2 GHz (or similar)
650 MB free hard disc space
64 MB DirectX compatible graphics card
CD-ROM Drive

Question: What kind of graphics engine does TF use?
Answer: TF uses an in-house graphics engine designed and built entirely by SSE. A cool feature to mention is different character animations based upon stats. Meaning that if a character has a low agility, his climbing animation will show him having a tough time getting over the wall. Someone with a high agility will seem smooth and graceful. This is just one of many little finishing touches the engine has. For a fantastic article on the engine, take a look at Sebastian Tusk's Dev Diary from IGN, found here: http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/516/516746p1.html

Sound

Question: Will TF use EAX?
Answer: No, Carsten has said that it won't.

Question: What kind of music will be in TF?
Answer: Carsten has described the envisioned music as being 'ethno-ambient'. It has been described as almost tribal, sort of along the same lines as the types of background music that was in FO2. Here is a thread on the subject: http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1511

Question: You are so cute, smart, and sexy! Are you single, Tayl?
Answer: ..........

Sorry. I couldn't resist.