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February 2000



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Monday, February 28

Image Gallery by Miroslav - 14:25 -
I've took some time to compile an image gallery. It's not finished yet but there are some cool looking graphics over there which I received during last year. I was thinking to shut down the wallpapers page and move all graphics in this new image gallery. Ok, enough of this rant, here's the link: Image Gallery.
If you have your own art, and wish to submit it to me, please do that. Include your name. Note: I haven't placed any credits to these pages yet but I'll do that. As I said, it's not finished yet.


Sunday, February 27

Arcanum... by Miroslav - 1:45 -
...is a game being developed by Troika Games. Tim Cain, Jason Anderson, Leonard Boyarsky, Chris Jones, Jesse L. Reynolds, Mark Harrison and Sharon Shellman all worked on Fallout 1, and are now working on Arcanum, RPG very similar to Fallout. This game is certainly worth to buy (click here to preorder). Here's a word from Mike McCarthy, employee at Troika:
There is no doubt in my mind that Fallout was an incredible CRPG. There is also no doubt that it is always a culmination of many people that create the total package of a game. Alot of the team here and certainly other people were responsible for making Fallout what it was.
While alot of the Fallout team is here, there are also other members that bring their spin into the mix. We are working our hardest to make this game a great RPG. Many of us have played RPG's our whole lives, and Arcanum is a culmination of everything we've always wanted to see in an CRPG.
Link: Arcanum Official Web Site, Preorder


Tuesday, February 22

Fallout 3 Section Updated by Miroslav - 20:58 -
All news regarding Fallout 3 are now in available in corresponding section Fallout 3.

Wasteland-HalfLife Mod News by Miroslav - 20:47 -
Guys from Planet Halflife informed me of some interesting update from WHL team:
The end of february is nearing, and thus so is the first release of Wasteland. More has been completed then originally anticipated for the initial public version, and a great deal of work has been put into mashing out bugs, polishing up models, and generally making things top notch. Throughout the time prior to the initial release, there will be various goodies made available to the public so that they can begin to try their own hand at customization and mapping in preparation for the mod. Needless to say, we're cranking out a massive amount of progress, and things are definately looking good. Stay tuned!
Thanx to Arcum and Planet HalfLife


Thursday, February 17

Gore Patch Update by Miroslav - 12:31 -
It appears that you can after all find a Gore Patch for download. Just to make it clear for the last time: if you don't have death scenes in your Fallout 2, download this. If you don't have the kids in your game, download the kids patch from the files section. That's it.
Link: Fallout 2 Gore Patch.Thanx to NeuRomancer for this link.
You must not hold me responsible for any damage, as I haven't downloaded this file. Just to prevent some mailings. If you're still lazy to download these 35 MBs of data, you may order your US copy of Fallout 2 using the link above. They're shipping everywhere in the world so grab your chance and get Fallout at this great price. Hey, if you're buying anything else, you may also use my links above, you'll support this site. Thanx.


Wednesday, February 9

J.E.Sawyer on Real-Time vs. Turn Based by Miroslav - 21:31 -
There is an interesting tread (started by Decado, visitor) on the Fallout 2 Message board. There is a possibility that Fallout 3 could have real time combat as well as turn based, so he states his view on this:
There really are a number of things you can do in real-time (especially involving firearms) that you CAN'T do using Fallout's sequential combat system.
* Suppressing Fire - In real-time, suppressing fire accomplishes the goal of pinning down targets to prevent them from exiting a building or running from cover to cover because a hail of bullets is essentially always "attacking" the area. Move through an area in real-time that is being suppressed and you will get "attacked" by the area. In sequence, accomplishing that goal is difficult... to put it lightly.
* Reaction Arc -- Similar to suppressing fire, a reaction arc enables someone to essentially guard a field of vision, firing into that arc with a snapshot as soon as an enemy is sighted. This would be especially useful for snipers. I can think of ways to implement it in sequence, but not as easily as real-time.
* Queued Coordinated Actions -- The ability to link multiple actions for one or a number of characters based on completion states in real time. Action One: Jim throws a grenade into a room of baddies. Action Two: Everyone guards with a reaction arc for five seconds. Action Three: Fred and Jack open fire on the two other exits from the room while Jim pulls out his submachinegun to pick off stragglers. Once again -- there are ways you may be able to simulate it in sequence, but they are "sketchy", IMO.
Your response to the possibility seems very violent and negative. I've already been through the whole real-time vs. turn-based debate for Neverwinter Nights. Everyone has preferences for different styles of play. While the turn-based combat in Fallout and Fallout 2 was obviously very popular among most of its fans, there were a lot of other people who were turned off to the game because of it -- people who either didn't buy the game or who bought the game and didn't like it. Would real-time combat be different from turn-based combat? Certainly. If they weren't different, there'd be no distinction.
However, just because it's different, that doesn't mean that it would be be bad or even inferior.
If the idea of Fallout 3 being real-time really does kill the feel of the series for you -- I'm sorry you feel that way. I see a lot of really cool possibilities for it and in a way, for many people who used to be turned off to Fallout, making the game in real-time will make it appealing to a lot more people.
Later on, FalloutBoy (visitor) said something like "If people don't like turn based combat they can buy any other game that does not have it", and our Sawyer made this comment (which, btw, I think it's very open minded and I support it with all of my heart... and this web site :)
I'm sorry if you didn't know this, but BioWare's NWN is *not* the first NWN. Neverwinter Nights was originally a game using SSI's Gold Box game engine for one of the first graphical MMORPGs. The fact that BioWare's NWN is 3D *and* real-time caused flame wars that make anything I've seen on this board pale in comparison. The old NWN community was, as a rule, less-than-pleased with where BioWare was going with the name and the game.
"Must all of your games be the same?" Uh, no. In fact, that's exactly what you seem to be arguing *against*. I don't understand the simultaneously anti- *and* pro-conservative sentiment. Fallout and Fallout 2 were by and large the same. Must they all be? Fallout and Fallout 2 proved successful, but were by *no* means tremendous sellers. If I were to take your opening adage to heart, the past we'd be forgetting is the huge group of people who didn't like Fallout's turn-based combat. If we are to move forward, we have to find a medium between real-time and sequence. In addition, I think it's pretty unfair to examine one element of a game (in this case a combat environment) and judge that its change makes the game completely incongruent with previous games in the series. Fallout 3 isn't going to be Fallout 2 or Fallout 1 anymore than any other progressive sequel. Storylines change, systems change, weapons change -- none of that is going to go completely untouched. That's part of building on a sequel.
In closing, I'd like to say that most of the comments I've seen on this are seem to be, well, close-minded. If you want to be close-minded, that's fine with me. However, you are ignoring the fact that we *are* putting a lot of thought into the concepting of the game and we *do* want to hear your ideas on how to make the game better. However, you have to remember that we're not only trying to make this game better for you, but for anyone who may want to play it.
Contrary to what some people might believe, the concept of RPGs in real-time with pausing existed LONG before Baldur's Gate. There was a great game which came out in 1992 called Darklands that featured the exact same system. Long before I ever thought I'd even be working at a gaming company, I thought that was a terrific idea. I still think it's a terrific idea. If I didn't honestly believe that it could help make Fallout 3 a really cool game, I wouldn't be arguing about it.

Now, you basically have two choices in this matter:
1) You can say, "Screw you dummies. You don't know anything and are totally naive." and take off.
2) You can say, "You know, the things I really like about sequential combat that I think will be lacking in a real-time environment are..." The latter option is not only not insulting, but it's constructive. Games that try to accomodate veteran players without getting their input rarely succeed at accommodating those players. We've listened to players both new and old -- a lot of them like real-time and a lot of them like sequential combat. The general consensus around here is that it's a hell of a lot easier to accommodate turn-based fans from a real-time foundation than the other way around. So, if you have suggestions or comments on the subject that can help us move forward, please make them.
Decado, who started this mess :) continued stating that this point of view may bring Fallout closer to strategy games like Jagged Alliance 2, and move it away from game that mostly depends on characters statistics. Here's what Mr.Sawyer answered:
I think it will work very well. When people hear "real-time" I think the implication in a game with firearms is that it uses target acquisition like Quake. It's actually very easy to implement the things I was talking about if you simply modify damage, chance to hit, and other stuf based on the nature of the action. You'd simply be clicking on a type of attack (Wide Burst, Narrow Burst) and painting a target area. Unpause and the character begins firing into the area, attacking anyone in the area
at a reduced chance to hit and less damage (for instance). In short, I'm confident that it still can be based on your character's skill -- even though the cleverness of your tactics will still be left up to you as a player.
As you said on the IWD board, time will tell what sorts of things we can do with the game.
I honestly can't imagine it being any more difficult to master than Fallout's combat. You're still choosing attack modes and actions in the same essential way, but the actions take place simultaneously. You're still clicking on your weapon until you find the attack mode you want (simply more options -- instead of Single Shot, Burst, and Reload, a SMG could have Single
Shot, Wide Burst, Narrow Burst, Reload) and selecting the target creature or area. Unpause, and it starts doing it. The only
thing that's different is that you can change your dudes' actions whenever you want. It doesn't mean that they take place whenever you want -- just that you can respond to stuff going on when you want and allow them to change their actions at the next available opportunity. As I've said before, I honestly think that time will tell how well it works.
This reminds me of combat system similar to Baldur's Gate. You can pause the game when ever you want, even in options set up for auto pause after every turn. Which may be good in this case. Huh, we have a long way to go. And one more this Mr.Sawyer said, it's simply a reminder to those who thinks that Fallout 3 is ginna be a First Person view game:
1) It would not be first person. It would be a third person isometric view, like Fallout. Unlike Fallout, however, you would have the ability to zoom in and out and rotate the camera wherever you wanted to.
2) It would be real-time with pause (in addition to other things).3) Target acquisition would be *exactly* the same as it is in Fallout and most other CRPGs. You select your action and your target. Your skill and various other in-game factors determine whether or not you hit, do damage, and so on.
Thanx to Gerko for pointing me towards this tread.


Tuesday, February 8

More Fallout 3 Speculations by Miroslav - 11:32 -
Again, some Fallout 3 speculations on the Icewind Dale message board. J.E. Sawyer from Black Isle Studios posted the following (reply to post "I hate you, why wont you do Fallout 3" :)
Given that Steve and I were just talking about variable firing modes (like Wide Burst, Narrow Burst, and Continuous Fire for belt-fed weapons), you can bet that we weren't thinking of ideas for Icewind Dale.
In addition to that post, here's another:
We were talking about ideas for a game that is not Icewind Dale, not the next North Shore (Torment Team) project, and not a fantasy RPG. Sorry I can't be more concrete than that. That's all I can say for now.
Now, let's guess about that secret game that is RPG but not fantasy... Yeah, right, I know, they can't say more about this. My god, we must ask for Fox Mulder to find out the truth. And I'll give you a tip: Trust no one but Black Isle :)


Fearus Urquhart Interview by Miroslav - 10:18 -
InciteGames posted it's interview with Feargus Urquhart, allmighty leader of Black Isle Studios, and guy who brought us Fallout games. What is interesting is that he speaks of Fallout 3. Here's a quote:
We aren't working on Fallout 3 currently, however if we were to start it then we are going to make it using a 3D engine. When I say that, I generally get about 100 email from people freaking out that we are going to make it a first-person shooter. So everyone knows, we are going to keep the gameplay and isometric nature the same as in the first two Fallouts. We will probably put in a real-time combat mode, but we will not abandon the players who want to take their time in combat.
Link: InciteGames Interview


Sunday, February 6

Gore Patch by Miroslav - 18:44 -
I'm sorry to inform you that I cannot post this gore patch. Why? I spent seven hours uploading the damn file, and it uploaded 3 MBs! I'm sorry but my connection is not so good at these months, just like the past several months, which you may guessed as there are no new wallpapers. However I have a list of files that are missing, so if someone else want to do it, be my guest. Just email me.

Saturday, February 5

WHL Update by Miroslav - 1:47 -
Wasteland HalfLife Mod official site once again updated. They have also added a new voting box. Go there and vote. I voted for my fav - AK-47! Here's a link.

Friday, February 4

Some Ideas by Miroslav - 23:32 -
I have never done this before but I found an interesting tread in NMA's Fallout 3 Forum. Hell Patrol posted some nice ideas which you can read over here.

Wednesday, February 2

More Info on Fallout 3 by Miroslav - 20:45 -
Here's something that David Ray, Software Engineer busy making Icewind Dale, posted on Interplay's Icewind Dale Message Board:
The only thing I can tell you about Fallout 3 is that it is not currently in development. That does not mean it will never be in development, but at the moment it is not.
Later down the tread, David also commented info that can be found in Fallout 3 section of this site:
Everything said in that interview was true at the time it was said. I can even tell you that I transfered into Black Isle specifically to work on that project. It was put on extended hold due to reasons I can not explain. Since then, some things have changed. For one, we may not be using the Stonekeep II engine, although we may still, but there are other choices that have been kicked around as well. So, since I was one of the programmers slated to work on that project, and am still
interested in doing so, I can tell you that the project is not currently going on. Whether it will happen or not, I simply do not
know for certain, I certainly hope it does. And because of the new engine options available to us (also information I can't disclose), I don't believe we currently have a decision for which engine it will use, as I have stated before. I have never knowingly posted any false information to this board, and will continue in that tradition. So what I am telling you here is true to the best of my knowledge, and since it is something I'm keeping tabs on, I believe it is accurate.


Black Isle Licensed LithTech Engine by Miroslav - 13:35 -
Black Isle, developers of our beloved Fallout 1 and 2, licensed Monolith's "LithTech" 3D engine. I won't talk much now, here's a press release:
The LithTech Engine Aids Black Isle Studios In Their Quest To Create The Next Generation Of Role Playing Games.
(Kirkland, Wa February 1, 2000) LithTech Inc. today announced they will license the powerful LithTech Engine to Black Isle Studios, the role playing game (RPG) division of Interplay Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: IPLY). The LithTech Engine functions as a complete 3D game operating system that allows game developers to quickly and easily design, develop and focus on content without reinventing technology from scratch each time a new project begins.
"The Black Isle name is synonymous with quality RPG games," comments Jason Hall, CEO of LithTech Inc. "The versatility of the LithTech Engine will allow the team to create the most dynamic, graphically beautiful game possible. We can't wait to see the end results."
The LithTech Engine, the technology behind Shogo: M.A.D. and upcoming Monolith games Sanity and No One Lives Forever, allows for a full range of cutting edge graphic effects, from spectacular lighting to highly detailed character models. The engine also allows designers to create breath-taking outdoor areas from magnificent mountain ranges to sprawling cities.
"In researching all the available 3D Engine technology out there, we were very impressed with both the support and advanced feature set of the LithTech engine. It is an engine that will definitely help Black Isle create the incredible worlds we are known for," said Feargus Urquhart, Division director for Black Isle Studios.
Thanx to Joey Joe Joe, Ragg, THS and Joakim Nygren for notifying me on this.
You might want to check Monolith's CEO Jason Hall plan file.Thanx to kerbuffel for this link..