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Interview with Chris Taylor of Interplay
First I'd like to thank you, Chris, for making time in your schedule to answer these questions. And also thank you for making such great games..

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Q. Please State your name, and your role in the making of Fallout Tactics - Brotherhood of Steel ?
A. Chris Taylor, Senior Game Designer. I work with Ed Ormin, Lead Designer at Micro-Forté, and Dan Levin, Designer here at Interplay, to help make Fallout Tactics a Fallout-y game.

Q. What projects have you worked on before?
A. Stonekeep, Fallout 1, MAX2, Star Trek: Starfleet Command and a bunch of others.

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Q. What got you started making computer games?
A. Playing them, of course. I played all sorts of computer and non-computer games, plus worked on my own designs for paper and pencil games. I was a gaming geek, working for Egghead software as a salesgrunt, when I ran into Jim Gardner, who helped get me a job at Interplay.

Q. What's the current situation for the completion of FT-BOS ? Are you on track for a Quarter 1 release?
A. We trying to get the demo finished up. Lots of work left to do on that. Then we need to concentrate on finishing the full game. We're still on track for a Q1 release.

Q. There has been some talk about the AI, you talked about it on the Gamespot video. How's the AI coming along ? Will the AI be able to work as a team ?
A. The AI is steadly getting better from the very early versions. There is still a lot of work left to do on it. We want to make a fun and enjoyable game, which requires the AI to work in a particular manner (we're not looking to make the best AI, but instead make a challenging and enjoyable AI to combat). No specific team AI.

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Q. Since this is Fallout's first multiplayer appearance, explain why people should play this game and not any other multiplayer game? What is it about FT - BOS that would make people wanna play it?
A. Well, I don't think they should stop playing other multiplayer games. That'd be a bummer. I'm not going to give up on UT, myself. It is a different multiplayer experience than traditional multiplayer games (which are usually FPS or RTS games). The whole squad-based game play adds a lot of multiplayer play. And it's pretty nifty seeing Brahmin charge you, which you could only have in a Fallout multiplayer game.

Q. What are the different multiplayer modes?
A. Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and others. Probably some sort of Tag variant.

Q. There has been a lot of talk about playing FT-BOS over the Internet, which system will you use and why?
A. Mplayer is the official matching service. You will be able to play Internet games without using Mplayer, of course.

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Q. The much awaited demo has been announced, November 15th. Can you tell us something about the missions you will have to complete in the demo? (just a little teaser perhaps)
A. The demo missions are separate from the main game missions. They do give an example of some of the mission types the full game supports. The mission themselves are classic Fallout adventures.

Q. Did you already have the BOS story ready long before it was even thought of? Or do you just make up the story as you go? (Since this story now spans three games)
A. There is a lot of backstory for Fallout, but the individual games themselves get to create their own storylines. We try to keep them as compatible as possible, but each game represents one possibility of the Fallout universe (especially since the individual games have different possibilities for different player actions within each game).

Q. Is there any special project that you want to do after FT-BOS? Or do you already have one waiting ?
A. I'm looking on another title, something we haven't announced at this time.

Q. I've always wanted to see a Civ-Fallout game, where you can build bases, cities etc. you also talked about that this was one of the projects that you would like to see. Have Interplay talked about this any further?
A. It would be nifty to do, but we haven't started anything like that.

Q. How did you (Interplay) actually hook up with Microforté ?
A. The usual way for these type of connections in this industry, some of their people knew some of our people. I'm not sure of how it exactly happened, but when Micro-Forté brought their initial concept design work to us for that first week-long meeting, I got the feeling they really understood Fallout. It's been fun working with them, and I hope the relationship between our two companies continues past Fallout Tactics.

Q. What games are you currently playing?
A. Everquest, Unreal Tournament, Hearts, Vampire, Combat Mission... Looking forward to Arcanum.

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Q. The recent FTC report, which stated that game companies targets children (below 17) with their "mature" games, how will this affect FT or other games Interplay are planning to release? (Marketing-vise and content-vise)
A. Fallout has always been marketed towards the adult gamer. We've never advertised any of the Fallout games in magazines or any other location that is primarily directed towards children. And we certainly haven't shied away from telling everyone and their parents that Fallout is intended for a mature audience. So, I don't see much of change. Fallout Tactics content will lie somewhere between FO1 and FO2.

Q. There have been many buy-ups in the gaming industry lately, any particular reasons for this?
A. Consolidation is a pretty natural occurrence in any maturing industry. I get personally bummed out when I see places like Looking Glass go out of business. At the same time, I don't mind many of the buy-outs, or more specifically, I don't see much of a difference in the day to day affair of these companies. Different name, same game.

Sincerely
Atle 'Odin' Wilson
Webmaster@NMA