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March 2000

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Tuesday, March 28

Fallout 2 Gore Patch by Miroslav - 16:47 -
NeuRomancer informed me that Fallout 2 Gore Patch is now available from new location. It's here: or

Sunday, March 26

Rant by Miroslav - 17:34 -
I saw a preview of "Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannoron" on Daily Radar. What I find interesting is how multiplayer option has been implemented.
Ruins will also feature multiplayer options. "We've tailored the scalability of the combat system so that [multiplayer] is more action based. The one thing that we don't want to have players doing is sitting around waiting for other guys to make their decisions. In single-player you can have as much time as you want, but in multiplayer, you can scale [turn time] to what everybody feels comfortable with." This means that if you are playing with a bunch of veterans, you aren't strapped to waiting a predetermined amount of time for each player's move. Conversely, a group of newbies can give each other plenty of time. The host computer has control over the amount of time per turn for the party. Curiously, you can take a character from single-player to multiplayer, but not vice-versa. This is an effort to prevent "twinking" your character, and it also keeps the single-player game more balanced.
Well, just a thought. Maybe we could see something of Fallout multiplay in the following years. Who knows...

Scott Warner - Designer Notes by Miroslav - 9:00 -
If you read my previous updates thoroughly and found update about this page, then you have surely figured out that this is a small web site established by a group of employees at BIS, in a purpose to release tidbits about BIS's unannounced project. Scott Warner, Designer at Black Isle Studios, updated the designer notes page:
Fallout rejuvenated my interest in the computer role playing game. Prior to its release in 1997, there hadn’t been an RPG in quite some time that had captured my attention quite like the ones I’d enjoyed so much in the past. I, like many of you out there, was consumed in a world of multiplayer first person shooters and real time strategic simulations. After all, with the likes of Quake and Command & Conquer out there, how couldn’t you be (I’m sure many of you will offer me reasons why you wouldn’t, but you know what I mean)? These games had managed to fill the hole left by the absence of the quality personal role playing experience, and even I, with my extensive CRPG upbringing, had almost forgotten about them. Around this time I was also becoming interested in pursuing a career in computer game development, but I was at a complete loss as to how I might actually fit within that world. Most of the gaming experiences that I’d really enjoyed and spent a great deal of time thinking about weren’t about unit allocation and sniping someone from long range, but rather immersive worlds that allowed the player to wander around within engaging stories. As much fun as I had with sims and FPS games, they didn’t inspire the same sense of wonder and accomplishment that role playing games had before (translated: “it’s 3am?!?!!”) Then a friend of mine recommended that I check out Fallout.
Fallout seethed with heart and style, with an attention to the bigger picture that very few games ever had achieved before. My actions played an integral part of the story, the personal customization of my character was unparalleled, and themes explored within the game didn’t seem cheap or compromised at all for the purposes of the game. It was the real deal, and its subsequent success and gamer reaction convinced me that my interests in this field weren’t that alien… they’d just been on a collective vacation for a while. I set myself out to get involved with Black Isle Studios shortly thereafter, and a few years later I’m sitting within said offices writing this update for you now. However, these notes aren’t really about “blah blah blah, how I got into the game industry,” but rather what I’ve learned working within BIS so far, and how I’m using that to strengthen my original interests and develop new approaches to what I do.
Planescape expanded upon the role playing design that we’d used previously with the Fallout series, making it more expansive while managing to fit it into a tighter, story-intensive, and slightly more linear world. The end result was a game that, arguably, allowed the player to custom fit the experience to themselves in a way never before achieved in a computer game. Not in the sense of how much stuff they’d acquired, or what skins they were wearing, of course, but in how they treated other people, the choices they made in important (and not so important) decisions,) the companions they chose to wander around with, etc. We wanted this game to reflective of the person playing it, and I think we made very good strides in accomplishing just that. Black Isle has developed a reputation for creating detailed, complex worlds and stories, and hopefully with Planescape we’ve been able to put some more cement on that foundation.
So, where do we go from here? Some of the most widely received commentary on Planescape has become very important food for thought. A good number of gamers have offered up concerns about the amount of text used within Planescape. This is with good reason, of course, as our title boasts an impressive (if not overwhelming) one million + word count. In retrospect, a large portion of this could have been avoided if more efficient design practices were implemented early within the project, and perhaps with another month or two, all of the design team could have revisited their dialogs to truncate unnecessary and superfluous text. However, the bigger question here is how to convey a story as complicated as Torment was and not put off the average gamer with mountains of reading. Is it possible to capture the same role playing experience, and expand on it, without writing War & Peace to do so?
Another issue that some gamers have with Torment, and with computer role playing games in general, is that they’re often not the most intuitive things for the laymen to get into. Put the seasoned die-hard SSI gold box fanatic in front of most CRPGs, and it won’t be long before they’ll be getting their party traveling across the game world, regardless of what system the game might use. That’s not necessarily true of every gamer out there, and it’s disappointing to hear people giving up on your title because of the interface long before they ever derive any pleasure out of it. So, another question is, can we revisit and redesign how one interacts with the game world so that the novice can get into it without sacrificing the elements of game play and interaction that veterans have come to love and expect?
We know that the answer to both of these questions is a extremely confident “YES!!!” Our goal is to provide an extremely entertaining, highly intuitive role playing experience that will harbor the novice, challenge the veteran, and sacrifice none of what Black Isle has become well respected for (and actually expand on it!) Ambitious, definitely, but hey, we’re pretty confident right now. ;)
Why? There’s a complacent trap that people in creative fields fall into when they find their niche. They become repetitive with their vision, ultimately churn out more & more product, and their original interest in pushing the limits and exploring new methods of expression gets curtailed by their own comfortable design climate and lifestyle. As electronic artists (taking influence from a famous ad campaign back in the 80’s,) we have no interest in providing a stale, derivative, and redundant experience for you, the player. We want to challenge you, we want to excite you, and when you finish with our game, we want you to have had the most fun you’ve ever had playing one, within a system and world quite unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. I like to believe that studios like Black Isle are about providing the gamer with something more than “just a game”, and I think that for fifty dollars and a hundred hours of your time, you should expect nothing less from any game development team.
So, we’re embarking on quite a journey here. Hopefully you’ll come along with us.

An interesting story, thanks to Scott for writing it.

Wednesday, March 22

WHL Wallpapers by Miroslav - 17:33 -
Three wallpapers are available for download from the official WHL web site. I like number 2 and 3, but here are links so choose what you want.
Download Bolt-Action Rifle wallpaper: 640x480 or 800x600
Download Big Tony wallpaper: 640x480 or 800x600
Download Highway wallpaper: 640x480 or 800x600

Tuesday, March 21

Feargus Urquhart on Fallout 3 by Miroslav - 10:24 -
Feargus explained some things on the Icewind Dale message boards:
Actually what we are doing is not all that secretive. Black Isle has three internal teams. One of them is working on Icewind, another on Stonekeep 2, and the last team got off of Torment about 10 weeks ago and is working on a prototype for another game that is not Fallout 3. However, you are right that when (if) we start working on Fallout 3, we will probably not talk about it for 3-6 months. We want to have something to show and talk about before we make anything public.
Also, it is going to be 3D. However, we are going to make sure that it looks at least as good as the original Fallouts, if not a whole bunch better. And in saying it is going to be 3D, that does not mean 1st person. It means the same perspective as the other Fallouts as well.
Feargus Urquhart
Division Director
Black Isle Studios

Mr. Urquhart is the division director at Black Isle Studios.

Monday, March 20

Just a reminder by Miroslav - 20:14 -
This has absolutely nothing to do with Fallout, but hey, it can't hurt. If you want to sign up for Diablo 2 Beta test, then be sure to check this location:
Note: This test is for United States and Canada residents only.

Icewind Dale Interview by Miroslav - 13:30 -
It is certain that Icewind Dale and Fallout has only few (insignificant) things in common (they're both RPGS, and published by BLack Isle Studios). Daily Radar posted an interview with "associate producer" Darren Monahan. What I find interesting in this article is this part:
DR: How about the 3D arena -- have you ever contemplated moving an RPG into a 3D environment, as seems to be the craze with all other genres right now?
CP: Absolutely! I'd say that the way we're thinking at Black Isle is that, after this next series of games that we're creating right now, probably everything we make will be in 3D. Once we're done with the existing games that we're working on right now, we'll probably work into an entirely 3D realm and never look back. There's always more freedom in 3D environments to do everything from special effects, to a cutscene, to just everything. It's so much easier in 3D -- it requires a lot of work, but you have a lot more freedom.
DR: Talking about technology, you've had certain limitations placed on you by the undoubtedly high-quality Infinity Engine, but you're saying in the future the 3D arena is the place to go. Do you think that effectively means the end of the isometric 2D RPG era?
CP: I don't think so. I think what you'll see -- bearing in mind this is my personal opinion again -- is a mix of that. I can foresee games that take advantage of 3D environments, but you still play from an isometric point of view, taking advantage of the 3D environment by perhaps zooming in on characters for a conversation, or allowing the camera to spin around in a battle, that sort of thing. You can already see this sort of thing in some of the realtime strategy sims and first-person shooters that are coming out.
Think of it the way you want, but one thing is certain. We'll have to wait for BIS to publish a game and see what happens with Fallout afterwards. As you may be aware of, BIS has no available teams right now. Hmmm, this page could be interesting. It's about a secret BIS project. *cough cough* Who told you this?! ;)
For those of you who might be interested in reading this entire interview (which is most intersting), it's over here.

Review of NMA by Miroslav - 12:31 -
Back in 1998, one web site published a review of "Mo Mutants Allowed" web site (if you're confused, this is the web site). It scored 4 out of 5 if I remember correctly, and won the title "Web Site of the Day" (11/18/98 to be precise). I won't provide any links as it appears they removed all pages corresponding to this award.
Gaming Image web site posted it's own review of NMA! Yep, it scored 86% and here's a quote:
I think the design is great. It happens to be simple, but its useful. As i said the Info is great. I think it could use List of Review and awards fallout got though. And I think The updates are too simple, they should be more.
Quite true if you ask me. Thanx to Jay for this link.

Saturday, March 18

WHL Almost Done!!! by Miroslav - 0:16 -
All fans of Half Life, hold your breath for just a few moments 'cause Wasteland Mod is almost finished. Here's the recent update from the official site:
We're getting there!!! It's a long, hard road, and we're grateful to you guys for waiting, but trust me when I say the wait will be worth it!
By our best estimations, the code is at 90%, sprites are at 90%, models are at 85%, sounds are at 95%, and the maps are coming along at about 60%.
Oh, this is a treat for later on... Someone loves us!

Friday, March 17

Newsie@Gamestats by Miroslav - 19:13 -
If there is anyone interested in doing news stuff for Gamestats, go there and apply for your job. If you get signed up, make sure you give me a mail!

Thursday, March 16

Feargus Urquhart Interview by Miroslav - 13:38 -
Evil Avatar posted an interview with Feargus Urquhart. He speaks of that mystic new game. Among other things he mentioned:
Evil: There is a rumor going around that Black Isle will be using the LithTech engine to create a 3D version of Fallout. ie, Fallout 3. Can you / Will you comment on that rumor?
Feargus: I've heard the rumor about Fallout 3 as well. :) Since we aren't working on it yet, I can't really say if that is definitely what we are going to do. I am sure it will be on the table as to one of the possibilities when the team working on Icewind Dale finishes up. As to whether we will use the Lith Tech engine - again without us working on it yet - I can't really say for sure. At that point the Stonekeep II and/or the Neverwinter/Aurora engine might be done and we would need to choose the best engine for the game that we would want to make. It's important to point out that we don't have an agreement with Bioware to actually use their engine, so we'd still need to work that out with them if we wanted to go with the Neverwinter/Aurora engine.

Link: Evil Avatar
Thanx to John S. for this link.

Most of the stuff is adjusted for new layout. I'll have to change the Items database look in both Fallout 1 and 2 sections. Until then...

Wednesday, March 15

New Looks by Miroslav - 12:13 -
Hey, what do you say about this new layout?! I think it's kinda cool. I'll do more tweaking in the next few days, but basically, that's it. Be warned that this is optimized for 1024x768. Thanx to William for this design!

Wednesday, March 8

New Layout by Miroslav - 19:58 -
I received many suggestions for a new layout. I must say that I'm very pleased, in the next few days I'll contact these people and get this done, possibly before the end of the week. Then I can get back to regular updates, I have lot's of files to add, fan fictions and such.
Btw, I've switched my ISP, so now I have much, much better connection with server which should make me upload stuff a lot easier.

Friday, March 3

Redesign by Miroslav - 11:38 -
As you may already noticed, there's this new voting topic about layout of this site. I'm thinking to change it, so if you're intersted in helping, or have an idea, just send me a mail.

Walkthrough Updates by Miroslav - 11:21 -
Fallout 2 Walkthrough by Cristian was corrupted. I got it fixed and added one more walkthough (it's a file for Universal Hint System program).

Thursday, March 2

New Screenshots of Wasteland HalfLife Mod by Miroslav - 10:59 -
Yep, an update and five new screenshots. So here it is:
The site has undergone a lot of reconstruction, content-wise if not visually. Basically, I've gone and removed content that is not directly related to the first release. I've added a quick FAQ to the About section as well that details some common questions and their current answers. To restate more simply, what you see on this website is what you can use in the game.
Thanks go to those of you who have stuck with us, and rejoice all you just joining our ranks now, the first public release is coming...
Look for the Player ID system on these awesome screens!
THAT is a big door
A Saturday afternoon plinking...
Shotgun vs. MP-5K
This is why you don't wanna piss off Gaist
Another victim of senseless (and caseless) violence
Thanx to Arcum for this head up.