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March 2002

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Friday, March 29

Mapper Beta: by Rosh - 3:25 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Vault 13/Aptyp
Scoured from V13, the beta version of Mapper is available here, and also at V13. Local mirror available hopefully soon.


1.) Must be located in C:\MAPPER
2.) Must have critter.dat and master.dat unpacked to the above directory (with TeamX's Undat Utility, preferably)
3.) Only works on Win2k or possibly XP


1. Maps preview.
2. Ability to switch on/off floor, tiles, ceiling, critters etc.
3. Ability to modify floor tiles.
4. Minimap.
5. Info on the map objects and map's global variables.

So those with Win2k or wishing to try it on XP, please do and give us your feedback, and give TeamX a good pat on the back for this new utility!

Now, when is a Win98 version coming out... :)

EDIT: Win98 version is out, and according to Deadlus, the version discussed in this news post worked on both XP and ME for them!

Tuesday, March 26

Easter Rant by Odin - 14:25 - Comment Me (1) - News Source:
Well I just wanted to let you guys and gals know that I'm leaving today on my easter vacation, so I won't be back until next week. But hopefully the good old Miro will be back soon, you never know when he might show up. Until then, have a good easter everyone and don't break any legs skiing (which is probably what I'll be doing, breaking my leg that is...)

Monday, March 25

Gromch Adventure goes english by Odin - 22:24 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Gadro
Gadro sent word that the makers of the Fallout Tactics mod called "Gromch Adventure" (Mutant campaign) have posted a english version of their website.
So remember to check that out, and thanks Gadro!

New engine for BIS by Odin - 20:57 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Vault13
Saint Proverbius icq'ed me that BIS has moved on to a new engine, called Granny, and they are working on their own mostly custom 3D engine for upcoming titles. Granny has been used to facilitate the development of other games, including Planetside, Star Wars Galaxies, and World War 2 Online.

This has also been confirmed by Feargus himself.

FOT maps galore by Odin - 19:15 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
While I was looking around for some Fallout files that I'd lost I found several Fallout Tactics maps, well...34 to be more accurate. Yes you read right 34 (!!!) "new" Fallout Tactics maps.
I've posted them all on the maps section, but alas none of them were single player.

BIS Forum bits by Odin - 15:24 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Bis Forum
Feargus posted a follow-up post to the notorious "We probably won't make anymore AD&D games" post, and here's what the man said:
I did not say that we would probably not do anymore D&D games. I said two things:

1) We would not make anymore AD&D games. I was just being silly because a 3E game is D&D and not AD&D.

2) In the future we would not just work on D&D games. Not, I repeat not, that we would stop making D&D games.
That about sums it up..I guess....

Static wins nothing by Odin - 10:27 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Avault
For those of you who've followed the news lately, you've probably heard about Static. Well this game apparently didn't win anything at the "The International Game Developers Association", which can't be good.

Fargo and Interplay kiss and make up by Odin - 10:23 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Avault
According to the Adrenaline Vault Brian Fargo and Interplay have reached an settlement, read here:
Interplay Entertainment on Friday announced a settlement has been reached with Brian Fargo concerning matters related to Fargo�s tenure as chairman and CEO of Interplay and his resignation from such positions in January 2002. The agreement effectively settles all disputes concerning Fargo�s services to and resignation from the company, some of which were disclosed in the company�s report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 28.
�We are extremely pleased that we have been able to resolve the differences that arose in the past few months,� said Herve Caen, Interplay�s new chairman and chief executive officer. �Brian Fargo is one of a handful of industry pioneers that were able to push the industry to its current status as a true entertainment art form and a significant industry worldwide.�

Fargo noted: �I feel a true sense of accomplishment that we have been able to settle these issues and I am able to move on with my life and my work. Interplay will continue to have success in the future and I wish Herve and his team all the best.�
So I guess no lawsuit is coming..

Friday, March 22

Feargus answers rumours by Odin - 10:41 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Bis Forum
Feargus popped in and posted his answer to the rumour discussion at the BIS Forums, and here it is:
A lot of the people that left Black Isle were very talented and number of them are going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to replace because of who they were. I miss seeing a lot of those people every day.

However, there are a few inaccuracies in some of the things that have been stated:

1) Black Isle has been and continues to be very competitive when it comes to the salaries that we offer.

2) We are able to hire people as we had two very talented people join Black Isle this Monday.

3) While we have had to make some business decisions as to the games that we work on - the last decision concerning which products we would go onto next was voted on by all of the Leads (Designers, Artists, Programmers) and Producers in the division. The vote was unanimous - I did not vote.

Interestingly, I have had a fairly steady stream of people coming into my office and asking why we don't use the Infinity Engine again now that we have upgraded it so much for IWD2. If people's morale was completely crushed - things like this would not be brought up.

And lastly, as I have continued to say, there are still Forty people in Black Isle that are working directly on projects. That does not include myself, our web girl, our Audio and Localization producer, our two QA guys, and the Hick - who manages all our equipment, software and desert burials.
And you've gotta read Saint's reply in the same discussion...

Thursday, March 21

BIS Rumours by Odin - 23:24 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Bis Forum
If you're on of the many people who's read the latest rumours from Fatbabies, regarding layoffs at Black Isle. You're probably wondering if all this is true, well look no furhter, JE Saywer posted this on the Bis forum:
All of those are true, with the following exceptions:

Justin Sweet still works for Black Isle, part-time. In fact, most of the new IWD2 portraits were done by Justin. He does a lot of contract work for Wizards of the Coast (the cover of Magic of Faerun, the FR DM's screen, etc.)
Rob Nessler never actually worked on a Black Isle title. He was essentially the big dev overseer guy. Although he was going to work on a BIS game, he left before any production actually took place.

All of the other people did, indeed, leave over about a nine month period. I won't explain their reasons for leaving, as they are many, varied, and, above all else, their business to explain.
Well there you have it, but does it mean that Black Isle/Interplay is going down? Well who knows, but we certainly don't hope so!!

Fallout Mapper by Odin - 12:00 - Comment Me (4) - News Source: Vault13
As many of you know TeamX has been working on a mapper to Fallout 1 and 2, I've been in contact with them but they didn't want to release pictures or any betas yet. Since they still wasn't quite there yet, but it seems vault13 has obtained some screenies of this mapper. It looks awesome, check it out:

Looks kewl, hope they are getting there soon.

No more AD&D games by Odin - 11:50 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Bis Forum
Feargus answered a question from Magicalboy, the question was: "are all future games S.P.E.C.I.A.L oriented?":
Feargus: We probably won't make anymore AD&D games.
And he posted this as a follow-up:
Sorry, I was so caught up in having fun with the AD&D thing that I didn't answer the SPECIAL comment. I am going to be vague, so I just want to warn you. Black Isle does not have plans to only make D&D games and since we have SPECIAL we would probably use that in future games (whatever their genre). It is also possible that we would consider another game system as well.
Well, sounds strange considering that Interplay recently maintained the license to develop and publish role-playing games using the Dungeons & Dragons franchises of Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale:
Interplay Entertainment will maintain the license to develop and publish role-playing games using the Dungeons & Dragons franchises of Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, licensed from Infogrames Interactive, which retains the rights to Neverwinter Nights. Dungeons & Dragons is owned by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro and licensed to Infogrames Interactive. The multi-year, multi-product license allows Black Isle Studios, the role-playing division of Interplay, to deliver PC and console games worldwide. Dungeons & Dragons games currently in development include Icewind Dale II for the PC, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance for Xbox and sequels to the multi-million unit selling Baldur's Gate franchise.
The latest quote was from AVault. But Feargus answered this also:
We have the rights to make an IWD2 expansion both with the use of the engine and through the D&D license. This is not saying we are going to do an expansion, since we are not planning on doing one at this point in time.
Well there you have it....

Wednesday, March 20

New maps and rant by Odin - 17:43 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Somehow one of the news post went bad somehow, dunno how..So I posted it again..

And I've also added a new map called "Krix" by JKrix, so go and check it out. And do remember to send in those maps to me.

BIS Forum bits by Odin - 17:42 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: BIS Forums
Feargus answered a question from Oerwinde, were he wanted to know: "How much, and what kind of information are developers allowed to release about projects before they're annouced?"
Feargus: We have to be very careful about what we say about projects that are not announced. The reason being is that as soon as a project is announced, people could make a decision about buying stock based upon projects that we have said will come out. If a large number of those projects then don't come out, people then could sue the company for misrepresentation or other things. That does not mean that we cannot cancel announced projects, it just means we can only really announce projects once we have set a date when they will release and that we have enough resources to complete them.

The problem with talking about projects before we announce them is that we are doing it publically and in essense "announcing" them. That is why we try to talk about them in general and always are very careful when we talk about things like Fallout 3 to say that it is not in production (which it isn't).

At this point, we are unfortunately not really in a position to answer much if anything about the projects that are in production. However, as I said in a previous poste a while back - we will most likely announcing Quincey at E3.
And J.E Saywed answered a discussion where some people said that he would be the lead designer on Fallout 3:
J.E: I was "promised" FO3? Since when? I've never expected to work on FO3. In fact, I probably won't work on FO3. If I did, I certainly wouldn't be the lead on it.
Well I thought everyone understood that Chris A would probably be the lead designer on Fallout 3, but evidently not. Chris Avellone is of course the Fallout community's first choice!!

Tuesday, March 19

More on announcements by Odin - 23:39 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Bis Forum
After a little debate Sarkus wanted to know how far the game had gotten in the completion before IP announced it, and also a question about Torn and how far that had gone before it was announced:
Feargus: It really isn't a completion percentage, but more a resource and timeline status that lends to our decision. It also has to do with the type of game itself. I don't mean type from the standpoint of RPG vs. FPS but whether it is a simple conversion to another platform (PC to Xbox), a game that uses an engine we've used before, or a game that uses a completely new engine. The first two are relatively easy to predict and we can almost announce them as soon as we start working on them or at least within a few months. As for the new engine games, it is much more complicated to predict and is even worse since their timelines are much longer.

We also have to take into account how the games are going to promoted. If we announce a game two years before we think it is going to be done, it makes it harder to keep people interested in it from that point until it launches. It is possible to keep people interested, but it can double the amount of money that needs to be spent on PR and Marketing.

However, if I had to take stab at when we announce new engine games - I would say that it is around nine to twelve months before we plan to ship the game and when we can show a character walking around and interacting with the world in a limited sense - some dialog, some combat. Both of those really have to be true for us to announce. And pretty much, if we don't have a character walking around with that functionality nine to twelve months before our ship date - then we probably aren't going to be making that ship date.

As for using the Lithtech engine - the choice of which version is very complicated. You almost have to consider upgrading until you are within three months of ship with some engines. The new versions of the engines often use the new video cards better and have resolved issues with them as well. So, you have to make a trade off of whether switching to the new version of the engine will hurt you more up front then it will save you down the line.
You can read it all here, and do jump in with your own thoughts..

Monday, March 18

And if any of you wondered by Odin - 12:26 - Comment Me (1) - News Source: Bis Forum
Chris A posted this about a question on Fallout 3:
F3's not in production, and I don't know what the plans are for it in the future.

Even if we did an F3, it wouldn't be contingent on the Bible. The Bible is just something I do in my spare time. I'd like to set up a pen-and-paper Fallout game, though, and put it up on the Black Isle boards (it'd be free, like the bible). Getting information for the Bible helps with that.

Hope that clears some things up - sorry if the answer wasn't what you were hoping for
So if any of you out there were wondering if Fallout 3 was in production, there you have it (even though we've said it several times...).

Fallout sociological aspects by Odin - 12:22 - Comment Me (1) - News Source: BIS Forum
Killian sent Chris A an email, where he asked some questions "concerning the sociological aspect of the fallout universe", read on:
Killian: Belief system. From the looks of FO/FO2 everything seems pretty non denom but there are still allusions to xianity. Any generally accepted idealogy in the wastes? I'm assuming it would be monotheistic? Any interesting tribal religions you'd care to elaborate more on? How about clearing up some of Hakunin's gibberish? (side question: Where's the name Hakunin from? Not any relation to Bakunin I hope though I guess Hakunin looks a bit like Bakunin post-scurvy)

Chris A: All the basic belief Pre-War systems are probably still out there, but they probably won't be addressed in any Fallout game - the Hubologists is probably the closest we ever got. As a result, there's probably not much point on speculating on them in the Bible except to say they probably survived in some fashion, and anything I would say on the subject would just be speculation.

a. No tribal religions anywhere in the documentation, so anything I added would just be speculation. I could make up some stuff for the Bible if you guys wanted to see some information about the Vipers or any other cults that sprung up after the Great War.

b. Hakunin's Gibberish: Don't know where his name comes from. What parts about his gibberish were you confused about?

Killian: What's the family structure like in the Fallout universe? From most of the examples we've seen it looks like it sticks to the typical nuclear family or in more than usual cases, single parent homes (due to mortality rate in the wastes, I'd assume.)

Chris A: Families: I imagine it varies according to region (there's no documentation for this), but it would mostly be nuclear families and possibly a commune here and there or some sort of group-rearing village.

Killian: Racism. We've seen "city dweller" vs "spear chucker" discrimination in the Fallout world but is there any sort of racism? Aside from human vs mutant I mean :] I figure a catastrophic event like the great war would bring people together.

Chris A: Racism: There's no documentation on this, but aside from the obvious mutant-ghoul-human and cultural bigotry (tribals vs. townsfolk, Vault City vs. everyone else), racism and sexism, in my opinion, would be alive and well. A person's skin color, status, and career are always good excuses for fear and hate to build upon. I imagine communities like NCR and Modoc would have less of a problem with this. Did the Great War bring people together? Well, it may have brought some communities together, but it also made isolated communities as well. Even in Fallout 1, Shady Sands hated the Hub, was suspicious of Junktown, and there was quite a few groups suspicious of the Brotherhood, etc, etc. There's lot of potential for sowing the seeds of hate in Fallout.

I always thought it was kind of cool that there were lots of female Enclave soldiers, though, and I liked that the initial design team made Lynette head of Vault City (and in a nice twist, had her in favor of slavery to give the player more to chew on). The culture of the world got shook up in interesting ways...
Puh long post, but there's more:
Chris A: Belief System Addendum:

- Father Tully in New Reno wasn't really a priest, obviously, and Jo in Modoc was a "minister" of sorts, but neither one was a representative of a real world religion. In the original documentation, Tully was supposed to be from the Abbey, but they drove him out after he accidentally set fire to one of their libraries.
That should do it for now...remeber to read the Bis Forum for more stuff like this..

Tribals.. by Odin - 10:02 - Comment Me (1) - News Source: Bis Forum
Ever wondered about the tribals in Fallout, and why the Vault Dweller became a tribal? Well look no further, Chris A posted this in a discussion about the Tribals in Fallout 1 and 2:
Mr. Frosty: I'm pretty unhappy with the angle Chris Avellone took trying to field the tribals issue. My problem with tribals is not their lack of technology -- which is vaguely plausible -- or their tribal structure -- which I don't object to at all. My problem is that the nature of their tribal cultural is ridiculous -- it makes no sense that post-Apocalyptic Americans would degenerate into pre-Columbian natives.

Chris A: Sorry, Frosty, wasn't aware that was the question that Azael was trying to ask. As I recall, Azael simply wanted to know how they became tribals in such a short time, and I posted some possible reasons. Your question relates to the fact you find the notion of the tribal culture ridiculous and implausible. You know what? You're right.

If you're looking for plausibility in Fallout 1 and 2, you're bound to find numerous holes, and there's not a concrete explanation for each one. The decision to make the Arroyo culture "tribals" was most likely a thematic one (as plot devices tend to be), and I thought it worked. There was a certain atmosphere that the F2 initial design team established with the tribal culture in Fallout 2, and I think they just wanted to play around with the fact that the player was from a primitive, non-technological, ancestor-worshipping culture. It was a way of bringing the history of the Vault Dweller from the past into the present, and provide a nice backdrop for the events in the game.

Personally, I thought it was a good direction, and it was a nice reversal from the last game. Was it plausible? I don't know, probably not. Still, while it may not be terribly likely or realistic, it's Fallout, and you have to take a lot of the events in the game with a grain of salt.

Also, one potential problem is that many of the voice-acted dialogues were done by Mark O' Green, who likes to play with language and culture with the characters. Personally, I like what he did with Set, Sulik, the Elder, Hakuinn, and the whole batch of them. Sure, they're bizarre, and they make you wonder about the culture of the world you're in, but I think that's a strength, not a drawback.

Sorry to dash any hopes - and hope this answers your question even if the answer may not have been the realistic/plausible one you were looking for.
Good enough for you ?If not, join the discussion and post your own thoughts.

Sunday, March 17

Misc changes.. by Odin - 22:43 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
WalterN sent me another Fallout Tactics editor tutorial, so I posted it in the Editors section.

I've also posted the Pipboy2000LE site again, so remember to check that out if you're into Fallout modding!

Torn and an interview with Feargus by Odin - 22:10 - Comment Me (4) - News Source: Gamespot
Gamespot posted an article about Torn, why it was cancalled, what is was about etc, etc...not much to read, but some things worth reading, like this little statement:
GS: Computer gaming is notoriously franchise driven and sequel driven. Since Black Isle already had a reasonably successful franchise going with the Fallout series (which was about to be supplemented by the spin-off strategy game, Fallout Tactics), why did you elect to develop a new series instead of another Fallout RPG?

FU: At the time, we had three development teams (we're now down to two). At the very beginning of 1999, there was a team working on Fallout 3, but the project wasn't really developing. We hadn't even really started developing the game, but we weren't making good progress on starting development and design. So that team pretty much all moved to [the original] Icewind Dale. But that team had essentially been promised that they would get to do the next Fallout game when we returned to the project, and so our other development teams needed to focus on other projects.

"We had to develop our own setting eventually because we aren't going to have the D&D license forever."
-Feargus Urquhart, Black Isle Studios

The development team that came off Planescape: Torment in late 1999 wasn't, as a whole, completely into making a Fallout game in any event. [Lead Designer] Chris Avellone was, but he was going to switch teams anyway. So when considering what the Torment's team next project should be, one of the choices we considered was to create our own fantasy setting, and those guys liked that idea. A lot of them didn't want to work with a license anymore, and Torn would allow them to come up with a design that was completely their own.
Well Feargus did mention this on the Bis board a couple of months ago, but still...Since Torn wasn't the "game all Fallout fans had been waiting for" I didn't want to post this, but what the hell...
Thanks goes out to David Michaud for emailing me about this!

A few updates: by Rosh - 12:48 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Well, frst off, looks like #5 of the polled designs is the more-preferred. Looks like I'll be putting my limited graphics ability to use and working on a set of those.

Also, got a bit of my own personal project underway. I thought I'd start off the Q&A section first, and get some questions to work on while I also develop the rest out. There's already one example question up. Currently I'm working on the genres and subgenres, etc. as well as a history intro. Updates will not be in any particular order, but updated areas will be marked with dates, and it's far from finished at this time.

So, check it out here.

Friday, March 15

New FOT Maps by Odin - 17:55 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
I finally managed to upload and post the "new" maps I found, while scouring the net for Fallout files. These maps are:
  • High-Noon (86,6KB) Skirmish
  • Delerict Land (61KB) Skirmish
  • Dangerous Territory (160KB) Skirmish
  • Hunt for Hitler (101KB) Assault
  • The Complex (281KB) Assault
  • Raid (439KB) Other (?)
  • And do send in those maps to me, if you have some that I don't have posted on NMA

    Two more Static screenies by Odin - 11:18 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: VoodooExtreme
    Pinbox Productions sent along a couple of screenies of Static to VoodooExtreme, these images show the talk/barter selecting on a character and another talk screenie.
    Link: Shot1 (Barter), Shot2 (Talk).

    Thursday, March 14

    Fallout gets mentioned by Odin - 13:18 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: RPG Vault
    RPG Vault had an interview with the team at Tilted Mill Entertainment and one of the questions was about what kind of experience these guys have had with CRPGs, and would you know it..Fallout gets mentioned:
    Jeff Fiske: For me, Fallout was one of the better CRPGs done in a long time, simply because it came closest to being a consistent and interesting world to explore, with a decent character development engine that encouraged replayability....
    Well the man has a point, read the whole thing over here.

    Wednesday, March 13

    Rant by Odin - 11:27 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
    Well, I've just installed FOT again and have to check out some of these maps I've found before I post them (since I gotta find out what kind of maps they are, etc..).
    On a different note, it looks like Single Player maps are much more popular than multiplayer maps. So for all you modders/map makers out there, start to make Single Player maps and campaigns instead.. =)

    Two new Static screenies by Odin - 10:42 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: RPG Vault
    I just noticed that RPGVault had posted two new screenshots of Static, one of the shows something that looks like a NPC configuration screen.

    Looks sweet!

    WW2 Mod for FOT by Odin - 0:31 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Duck And Cover
    I noticed over at DAC that some guys have started to make some mods for Fallout Tactics, and damn do these mods look ( you going there, eh Saint?) awsome. Good old down-under Kreegle interviewed these guys about the mods and, listen to this:
    Kreegle - OK, so what's the name of your mod, and what's it all about?
    EricCLC - ok, our mod is called FOT WW2MOD and it's a totally separate entity... it won't cause desync.
    -It is a totally redone version of Fallout Tactics with all new weapons and items for multiplayer.
    -There are at least 36 new weapons and about ten new items with new sprites, entities and gameplay.
    -We have set it up to enhance tactics and discourage rushing and cloning.
    -You can expect dynamic squad based gameplay with emphasis on individual "jobs" for squad members. i.e. medics, trappers, support gunners, snipers, etc...
    I'd recommend you guys to get on over and have a look at these guys work, and also their up and coming mod called FO: Evolution.
    Link: DAC's Interview with Cheap Labor Creations, WW2 Demo (7,64MB), Cheap Labor Creations.

    Monday, March 11

    New Static screenies by Odin - 23:27 - Comment Me (3) - News Source: Gamekult
    I noticed over at Vault13 that Gamekult had posted some new pictures of Static, showing off the inventory screen and also a screenie with some of the other 3D models. Looks snazzy!

    Fallout Bible Update by Odin - 23:22 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Black Isle
    Chris Avellone sent me word that he had posted the latest Fallout Bible, read here:
    It's time for Fallout Bible Five!
    Here's the fifth installment for the Fallout Bible, jam-packed with questions, a few answers, F2 NPCs, F1 archeology, and the magic eightball. For those of you who haven't seen these before, the Fallout Bible is just a collection of all the background material and hi-jinks from Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 compiled into one document so the fans can take a look at it. Some of it's a little rough, so if you see anything wrong or if you think of anything you'd like to see, 50s tunes you think I should hear, or reasons why pen-and-paper RPGs are still worth playing in a growing CRPG world, drop me a line at The update is a little larger than normal because of screenshots (about 1.2 megs for the PDF, about 2.2 for the Word doc), so be warned.
    Link: PDF Format (1,1MB), MS Word Format (2,3MB)

    Clash with the Titan by Odin - 11:42 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Duck And Cover
    Killian and Calis was so fortunate to meet the titan, Tim Cain, who made Fallout. And he answered a few questions, lookie here:
    Killian: Here's a silly question, if you were on the FO3 team what area would you use as your starting point for the story?

    Tim Cain: Well, Killian, I have already written a design for Fo3, but I have sworn not to talk about it. If I see any of it in the next game, I can rest assured that it is coincidence.


    Killian: Tim: who's idea was pip boy ?

    Tim Cain: Ah vault boy. All I remember is Leonard telling T Ray Isaac to draw something like Mr. Moneybags in Monopoly.
    Read the whole thing over at DAC.

    Fallout Bible update info by Odin - 11:37 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Bis Forum
    Chris Avellone first posted this little snibblet:
    Hey, guys, the Fallout Zero Bible Update is up on the main boards - it doesn't have new material (the new material will be going up Monday or Tuesday), it's just a compilation of the other three updates that were sent out to the fan sites before.
    And he then posted this, which is some info that is coming in the new update:
    Azael: I'd really like to know this. Why did they become tribals in such a short time? Religious reasons? Drugs?

    Chris A: Well, the long answer is read "Earth Abides" by George R. Stewart. The short answer is:

    - 80 years is not a short time.

    - The Vault Dweller did not take any real books with him once he left Vault 13 for the last time. Guns and Ammo wasn't very helpful without more guns, the Scout's Handbook had some good stuff about making fires and tying ropes, the First Aid Handbook had its uses - but nothing high-tech, Dean's Electronics wasn't very useful without high-tech equipment, generators, and purifying systems to practice on, and the Big Book of Science only matters if you've got students willing to read through it and if it has practical applications, which in a farming community like Arroyo, isn't much outside of crop rotation.

    - There was no formal educational system in Arroyo, despite whatever efforts the Vault Dweller may have made in this direction. Too much energy was spent trying to create the community.

    - The Vault Dweller may have wanted to make a clean break from technology after the events of Fallout 1, especially considering his experience in the Vault, at Mariposa, the Glow, the Boneyard, and even at the Brotherhood. The BOS' adherence to technology in many ways, is rather disturbing and narrow-minded and hasn't really allowed them to become better "people."

    - While a few members of Vault 13 followed the Vault Dweller, the majority of Arroyo's founders came from tribes across the wastes, and they had a large influence on Arroyo's development. The members of Vault 13 that followed the Vault Dweller would also have had their hands full adapting to life in the wastes as well as building a community from scratch to teach any higher concepts about life in general.

    - The Vault Dweller, while skilled, may not have made a good teacher or even had the time for it. In any event, students may resist attempts at learning certain concepts, especially if the concepts have little practical or entertainment value.

    - When they established Arroyo, farming and "tribal" skills and know-how proved to be far more important than being able to calibrate the magnetic-field housing in the turbo-plasma rifle.

    - As for why the player didn't have access to the Power Armor or super weapons from F1 at the start of F2, that was simply for balance reaons. Over 80 years, the items were broken (like the handgun in the elder's tent), hidden (the Vault Dweller may have tucked away the Power Armor or taken it with him when he left Arroyo), or their power or usefulness expended in constructing the Temple of Trials.

    BTW, the Temple of Trials was built on the ruins of an older Pre-War building, most likely a church. The carved head at the entrance and some of the carvings/wall decorations on the three sub-levels were done by the Arroyo inhabitants.
    Anyone's head filling up soon ?Want more ? Stay tuned...

    Fallout Bible Zero by Odin - 11:23 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Black Isle
    I got word from Chris Avellone that Black Isle was going to post a Fallout Bible Zero update, which is only a compilation of the earlier Fallout Bibles posted. But for those of you who didn't get one of the updates, here they are.
    Link: PDF Document (406KB), Word Document (268KB)

    Friday, March 8

    Static named Top Ten finalist by Odin - 16:02 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Gamespy
    Static has been named as one of the Top Ten finalist in the fourth annual Independent Games Festival, read here:
    CHICAGO, Illinois � March 7, 2002 � Pinbox Productions is proud to announce that STATIC, the company�s post-apocalyptic role playing game, has been selected as a top ten finalist in the fourth annual Independent Games Festival (, the gaming industry equivalent to the Sundance Film Festival. Winners will be announced at the Game Developers Conference to be held March 19-23, 2002 in San Jose, California.
    Well if you haven't check out this game yet, do remember to check it out.

    More about announcements and such by Odin - 15:52 - Comment Me (1) - News Source: Bis Forum
    Feargus answer a question about announcements, when do you announce and why announce at that time etc:
    Announcing games is either an art or a science, we haven't really figured out which. In a lot of ways I wish there was a thermometer or something that when it got to a certain point it was now time to announce a game, but it's not that easy. What we usually take into account is how far the game is going to be at a certain time and if there is some sort of show or event around that time. Sometimes with release dates and schedules a product is not ready to show by E3 time, but will release before the next E3. At that point, we usually decide to do our own event. For BG2, we flew a bunch of editors, Bioware, and a bunch of us up to Seattle and did a thing at Wizards of the Coast Gamecenter there. While for Dark Alliance we did it in the Metreon in SF. For Torment, we actually flew one member of the press in per day over the course of week and spent an entire day with them.

    One of the things that I do try to do is to have the game playable at least to some extent when we announce it. I think this gives the press the feeling that the game is actually going to come out and won't just be vapor ware like a lot of titles that are announced with a cool movie an not much else. We also try to announce games no more than nine to twelve months out from launch. This makes it possible for us to keep a good steady flow of information going out to the press and you guys for that entire time. If you announce a title more than twelve months out, you can run into periods of time where there is just nothing new to show. The hype on the title can really take a hit at those points in time.
    Any comments, do post them..

    News about Quincy by Odin - 15:44 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Bis Forum
    When asked about when Interplay/Bis would announce what the Quincy project is Feargus said this:
    We aren't really sure when we will be announcing our next titles. It is one of the things that we are working on to figure out. However, there is a chance that we will be announcing Quincy at E3.
    Now I have to say that I have to clue to what this project is, if you got a comment please post it..

    Rant by Odin - 15:08 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
    Well, you've probably noticed that I haven't updated in a couple of days this is due to the fact that one of my hdds crashed and left me with a loss of 30Gb of data. I also had to install the os over again, but now I'm finished fixing and will start to update some of the news I've seen the last days.

    Since I've lost alot of Fallout files when my hdd crashed, I've started to search around for them all. In the progress I also discovered some maps I didn't have, will post them after the weekend.

    Tuesday, March 5

    Post-apocalyptic Arcanum mod by Odin - 15:37 - Comment Me (1) - News Source: Deep 15 - The Aftermath
    Some guys have set out to make a post apocalyptic mod for Arcanum, called "Deep 15 - The Aftermath". Here's the story:
    In the near future, as humanity gets more and more paranoid in the face of nuclear holocaust, corporations have begun to capitalize on this fear. One such corporation is Deep Worlds, Inc, who creates giant underground habitats for humans to flee to, in the event of nuclear war. Of course, anyone who wants a seat in a Deep World has to pay the price, and so only the priveleged rich of society are ensured places in these luxurious and expensive havens.
    For more info click the news source..

    More Fallout 2 secrets by Odin - 10:49 - Comment Me (1) - News Source: Chris Avellone - BIS
    Chris A emailed me about another Fallout 2 secret, here he explains how you can obtain the Luisville Slugger:
    1. Tell Mrs. Wright her husband is a big ol' likker dealer.

    2. She gets upset. Let her look into it, then meet her by the church on the west side of town in the morning.

    3. Accept her quest. Go destroy the stills in the basement of the train station by using the Repair skill to ruin the westernmost of the stills.

    4. Go back to her, talk to her, and accept her reward (don't do a freebie on this one). She should give you the baseball bat.
    Thanks Chris!

    The CRPG Spin: by Rosh - 2:20 - Comment Me (1) - News Source:
    To put in a disclaimer, none of this is tied in with the rest of NMA even though it will use it's stylesheets, just a personal series that will be featured here so address all comments and questions to my email. I will announce new articles as they are posted or any large updates/modifications.

    Dunno what else to call it at the moment, but it's a series of articles based upon a number of my editorials I've written elsewhere (some dating back almost ten years!), giving perhaps a bit of insight, explanation, and help. It's geared in mind with the home-brew CRPGer in mind, and hopefully give a bit of help for those who wish to start into it and don't know where to start.

    First section of the articles will detail the varieties and differences between the "flavors" or sub-genres of CRPGs and how they relate from P&P roots and other influences.

    The second section will go into detail of the composition of commonly-found features in those flavors. It explains roughly some of the ideas behind how some of your favorite games do what they do, and how you can learn to do something of the same on your own. Given are examples, using something akin the commentary outlined below, and possibly working Perl scripts so you can see how it operates (given that it's not the most practical, but it's the easiest to see what's going on in constructs and can easily be modified and it's the fastest to write in for me).

    The third will be the most technical aspect, it would be preferable if you had some programming experience of your own in a language that has condition statements and variables (e.g. something other than HTML). Most of the examples will be done in a language that can be easily-understood to the novice eye (Perl), or in a "language neutral programming construct" that will be explained later but can be ported to other languages rather easily. Detailed in this section will be some practical implementations of fixing some of the most notoriously-broken and flawed implementations found in CRPGs today. Of a personal pet peeve, Save/Load exploits, and how to fix or hinder them.

    Fallout Quest story by Odin - 0:22 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Digital Geckos - Xaint
    Xaint sent me an almost accurate translation of the Fallout Quest story, here's the deal:
    You are one from the policemans (guards?) of Junktown - The Most Happy City on this side of the coast."

    As you remember, the Fallout ends by defeating of the ugly leader Master. Without his commands and control, hordes of Supermutants fleed east and on their way they destroys (to harry, to plunder, I think you understand) towns. The gabe megins in the moment, where Fallout ends. Junktown lies on the line of supermutants way, and inhabitants are concerned in matter how to prevent destruction of their home city. The solution of this problem awaits you...

    During the way you will meet a couple of characters and normal people,
    everyone with his own look, reactions and personality, random encounters in the wasteland, puzzles and much more.
    So there you have it guys, a big thanks to Xaint for translating it for me!

    Real life Enclave ? by Odin - 0:16 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Yahoo - Jake Buroker
    Jake Buroker sent me an email about a little news post that attracted his attention, these guys could sound like the Enclave read here:
    The Bush administration has activated Cold War-era plans for a "shadow government" consisting of 75 or more senior officials who live and work secretly outside Washington in case the nation's capital is crippled by terrorist attack, a senior government official said Thursday night...
    Thanks to Jake for informing me...

    New post-apocayptic tv series by Odin - 0:07 - Comment Me (6) - News Source: Jonathan Hung
    I got word from Jonathan that J.M.Straczynski (who did Babylon 5) is doing a new post-apocayptic tv series called "JEREMIAH", here's the deal:
    JEREMIAH is set in a future post-apocalyptic world where, almost a decade before, a deadly virus wiped out the world's adult population sparing only those who haven't reached puberty...
    Actually this sounds like a really crappy series, and it's also backed up by the cast (hint Beverly Hills 90...erm something...), but who knows...could be worth a looksie..
    Link: Jeremiah.

    Monday, March 4

    Sprite/Tile Editor Petition by Odin - 13:47 - Comment Me (2) - News Source: DAC forum
    Since Micro-Fort� and Interplay didn't release all the editor they said they would, some of the talented map makers have posted a petition to try and get Micro-Fort� to release them. The missing editors are of course the Sprite Editor and the tile editor. So get on over and sign you name! NOW!
    Link: FOT Editor Petition

    Fallout Warfare released by Odin - 13:06 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Black Isle
    Anyone remember the Bonus cd that came with Fallout Tactics? Well in addition to having lots of art on that cd, there were also a pen&paper rule set included. Now Black Isle have posted this for all of you who didn't get that bonus cd.
    Link: FOW Rules (458KB) and FOW Counters (23,6MB).

    New Single Player Map by Odin - 13:01 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: WalterN
    WalterN sent me his latest Single Player map, in this one you have to work your way through a tunnel, which goes under the Mexican - US border. So remember to grab that map and then later rate it!

    If you have maps I haven't posted on NMA, or just finished one, do send it to me.

    Friday, March 1

    The Story of BIS by Odin - 10:59 - Comment Me (2) - News Source: BIS Forums
    Feargus dropped by the BIS Forum and explained the history of BIS to the people, since many said that BIS wasn't formed when Fallout came out:
    Actually the division has existed for longer than I think most people know. It was originally formed in 1994 when Interplay first signed up with TSR to produce AD&D games using the Forgotten Realms and Planescape worlds. The original director of the division left in early 1996, and I was promoted to being the director of the division, called the TSR Division, in April of 1996. At that point, we were producing about seven different games internally, and a couple of games externally. I was actually still producing a couple of games, including Shattered Steel with Bioware. The other games the division was working on internally at the time were Red Asphalt, Descent to Undermountain, Dragon Dice (half internal, half external), Stonekeep 2, Planescape PC (1st person RPG), Planescape PSX (1st person RPG like King's Field) and Fallout. At that point the division was a little larger than it is now, but was trying to make more than three times the number of games.

    Over the course of the next year, I cancelled a number of the titles, which allowed us to staff Fallout up from the eight or so people it had in April of 1996. We also hired a number of new people, so that Fallout would get even more resources. So, by early 1997 there were probably around twenty people working on it. Then in the summer of 1998, we announced the division calling it Black Isle Studios.

    In early 1998, a few months after the release of Fallout, Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky and Jason Anderson left Interplay to found Troika. Over the course of the next two years, three programmers and three artists left Black Isle to join Troika. Over the course of the last year, one of the programmers that left Black Isle for Troika has returned to Black Isle, and three of Black Isle's artists have left for Troika. With all of that, the people remaining in Black Isle include a number of the original Fallout team, a fair number of the Fallout 2 team, a good portion of the Torment team and large number of the Icewind Dale team. I, myself, did quite a bit of work on the original Fallout helping to design the SPECIAL system and re-design and script two of the areas.

    The point of the history lesson is just to explain that the division has existed for a fairly long time and that we have gone through, and survived, a lot of changes. Some of the changes people are aware of, some not. Some people may see certain changes as positive and others as negative. Some of the changes have been by decision others in response to something crappy that happened. To this day though, Black Isle is staffed by a group of people that are amazingly talented and incredibly dedicated to making the next great RPG.
    Long post you say? Well, worth reading and a history lesson for you all to memorize.