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May 2000

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Sunday, May 28

Tactics Infobits by Miroslav - 20:00 -
These are tidbits from last week. As you may be aware of some problems I had lately, these weren't posted on time. So here are tidbits from Chris Taylor:

clarity of name - We want to be very sure that people don't think this game is an RPG.

Putting "Tactics" in the title does. We also really want people to get that it's a squad/team based game, and "Brotherhood of Steel" accomplishes that in addition to giving a knowledgeable Fallout fan an idea of what the game is about.

Saying that, however, we haven't finalized the name and it could change.
on moving Fallout world to another place - Certainly we can take Fallout outside the realm of the US. From a story point of view (not necessarily background), the US has the perfect "Cold War"/Post WW2/Retro-Techno look and feel that we are trying to capture. Fallout is greatly inspired by the American vision of the future at the height of the American-Soviet aggressions in the late 40's/early 50's.
At some point, I want to explore what happened to the rest of the world. We have some idea of what happened to Canada, but Europe and Asia are largely un-defined by the Fallout "bible" (beyond existing background material and the timeline). We have plenty of room to expand. We just want to do it slowly.
on covering up linearity of this game - Yes, but there is still the ability for the player to choose his direction and how he wants to approach the game. We _are_ more limited than the RPG, but that also allows us to tell a tighter story. It is a _different_ experience than an RPG, but not completely non-linear.
on game % completed - A. I don't like to assign percentage completed to a game in development. Dunno why, but I don't. We are between 1% and 99% complete. I think.
The game is currently playable. Multiplayer is currently more advanced than single-player. While most of the art is not complete, most of the art production infrastructure is. Sound effects are ripped from previous Fallout games currently. Same with music. But the sound code is in and working (but not completed).

Design continues. We have basic scenario design for all missions, plus we have been working on system design.

What is left to do? Well, stuff. Mission implementation, engine work, lots of art and audio, final in-game movies - yadda, yadda. Stuff.
on gameplay time - We are shooting for around 30-40 hours of gameplay in the single-player game. Somewhere between FO1 and FO2.
any talking heads in Tactics? - No talking heads. There is no extended dialogue mode. Depending on the final size of the dialogue script, we are going to try and record all dialogue as audio.

My boss would like you to be able to play the game without ever reading a line of text.

I told him I'm going to make a typing tutor next.
on dragging corpses - Hmm. Turn them into an inventory item. Heh. I like it, but I don't know a good way of doing it interface wise. We're thinking about it.
on using medic skill in combat - Quite possibly. We have to put some sort of restriction on it, however (like costing 30 AP, so it may take 3-4 turns to complete). Still up in the air.
on combat modes - Both modes are supported in the game. And the CTB mode is actually pretty cool -- it still feels a lot like Fallout, but it allows more people to play a faster game. I personally think more people will use TB in single-player and switch to CTB for larger multiplayer games. Just guessing.
on releasing a mapper - Mapper, by itself, cannot be used to create a Fallout game. There are still additional utilities required, plus a lot of the game is hard-coded (movement between maps, for example). The tools were never intended for the end user and they are not complete.

This only applies to the Fallout 1/2 engine. We will be releasing the FT tools in an unsupported manner. You will be able to make FT missions.
on current functionality of multiplayer maps - Matches are currently lasting 5-10 minutes or so with 2 player, 6 character squads. Sneakiness works (flanking, setting up a sniper down a long street, using a hound to flush out opponents and waste their APs then bringing the whole squad around the corner).
on critical hits - You can target individual body locations in an attempt to force critical hits, which can cause non-HP damage (like reduced movement, inability to use 2-handed weapons, yadda).
on character appearance based on weapons - There are a set number of weapon appearances for the characters. While the inventory graphic will change for each weapon (and be the proper graphic for each weapon), the little guy will only have a limited number of appearances.
on skill improvement - Level and skill based (technically correct, but a different usage from your question). You purchase skill increases with skill points, which are gained by leveling with XP.

Yes, you can raise your Small Guns skill by healing someone with Doctor. Not as realistic, but I think it gives better "fun" factor and gameplay.
on adding grenade launchers - Possibly. The game engine may not support allowing general (thrown) grenades to be used, but I don't think modern grenade launchers use standard grenades anyways.
on taunts - I don't thing we will be increasing the frequency of taunts, but we should have a goodly number of the actual taunts themselves.
on music - We plan on using some of the music from previous Fallout games plus a bunch of new stuff in the same vein.
on inventory scrollbar - Also, we talked about adding an actual scroll-bar, so you can gauge where you are in the inventory list.
on Dogmeat's role in Tactics - A Dogmeat like character will be there, but Dogmeat is long dead. In the official Fallout universe, Dogmeat died at the hands of some evil nasty super mutants.
on German cuts - One thing that did shock me is that there is still blood in the German version of Fallout 1. When someone is killed, a pool of blood appears under their corpse. There is just no super violent deaths. The reason for this was gameplay. Since people can fall to the ground (for knockdown), it was impossible to tell easily if someone was alive or dead when they were tossed on the ground. Thus the blood.

I'm a little shocked that they didn't make us change the color to green.
on a fact that has a Fallout 3 for preorder - [coughs up milk out of nose]
Chris Taylor is a lead game designer.

AVault eager for Tactics by Miroslav - 0:00 -
The Adrenaline Vault Web Site published an interesting article some few days ago named "Sequels We'd Like to See". What is quite interesting is that Fallout: Tactics are on page one. It features a little history about Fallout, as well as introduction in Tactics. Here's the final paragraph:
Although it is extremely important to note that it is not a sequel "per se," this title promises to be set firmly in the same rich environment as the previous installments in the franchise, as Micro Forte amply recognizes the need to preserve the existing legacy. "We're trying to retain as much of the original character and style of the games as we can. Graphically, our engine will be a big leap forward, but content-wise we're working very closely with Interplay and 14 Degrees East to make sure we keep the faith. We seem to have a similar sense of humor." It seems safe to assume that Micro Forte, the first to carry the Fallout torch into the new millenium, recognizes the gargantuan task at hand: to appeal to fans of the RPG with sufficient variances to produce a quality tactical action title. "It's a great licence with a huge following, so we knew we'd have to be cautious about how we would change the game, while at the same time trying to bring something new and interesting to it," Mr. Orman concludes. "There's a lot of new elements added to the gameplay, and lots of new features for us to mess around with. It's important that those features get fully utilized, and that the player gets to see them."
I'd suggest you to take a 5 minutes off your time and read it. Here's a link: Adrenalin Vault - Sequels We'd Like to See.

Saturday, May 27

WHL News by Miroslav - 14:08 -
Have you forgot about Wasteland mod for Half-Life? Well I haven't :) The official site was updated yesterday.
Good news from the wastes! We have managed to bring together a smashing new damage engine, built from scratch, and I must say that it's all looking very kickass! We're currently experimenting with a number of game scenarios to see which suites us best, from domination to assault to hold the petrol. Let us know your thoughts on the forums! In other news...

The Wasteland team is seeking talented webmasters interested in running and maintaining one of two sub-sites for the Wasteland mod. Applicants must be experienced with HTML and script procedures, and have an interest in dedicated coverage and thoroughness. Incentives include testing privileges of future releases, advanced information, and the glory that is having a much-visited site.

The Following two locales are available for application:

Barter Town (
-Skin & Model replacements
-Tutorials for the above
-Independent forums
-Large cache of pre-done graphics to work with

Wasteland Waystation (
-Comprehensive News & Information site
-Weapon & Map Strategies
-Independent Forums
-Flexible previewing, featuring, columbs, mailbag, etc.

The above two positions, once established, will receive independent domain names, and full endorsement from both the Wasteland development team and our associated partners. Only the serious need apply.
If you're interested into becoming a web master, go here. Or you can wait for a week, I'll have some job openings here ;)
Don't go away just yet, we're still in Half-Life world. posted new screenshots of Wasteland mod. Check it here. You can go now :)

Thursday, May 25

Interviews and Preview by Miroslav - 22:18 -
First ever Tactics preview... I won't speak much about this article, go over there and take a look.
Rpg Vault has a two page interview with producer Tony Oakden, lead programmer Karl Burdack, lead game designer Ed Orman and Chris Taylor, Interplay Senior Game Designer. Here's an intersting quote from Karl Burdack, on RPG elements of Fallout: Tactics:
There are plenty of RPG elements. For a start, a key one would be character development. As your characters progress through the game, they receive experience points that translate into upgraded skills and other abilities. There's also NPC dialogue and interaction, but we've opted not to go for an extended dialogue tree. There's an extended equipment system, including upgradeable weaponry and the like. All of your equipment, skills, upgrades and damage carry over between missions. There should be lots there to please most RPGers.
Link: RPG Vault Interview
Thanks to Gladiator for this head up...
Also, there is another interview concerning Fallout: Tactics. Yurg posted it on his web site, which btw, covers games like Fallout: Tactics and Jagged Alliance 2. There is even one new screenshot over there.
Thanks to Yurg and Gladiator for this link.

An Apology by Miroslav - 22:17 -
I really need to apologize. I haven't been able to update these few days, mainly because of my problems with "military police", but also because of my eye problems. So I decided to rest for a few days, I'm almost healed and can use that outdoorsman skill to post again... Welcome back... uhm... to me :)

Friday, May 19

Tidbits from Karl and Ed by Miroslav - 19:34 -
Karl Burdack is a lead prorammer at MicroForte. He answered some questions:
on 3D effects - We are still working on new effects for the game. The software version with detail right up has translucency, shadows and smoke effects (as examples). Hardware improves performance when many of these effects occur, hardware will also make it easier to run at a higher resolution. We might also use 3D Hardware to increase the number of effects.
on playing custom mp3 music in game - That's a great idea. How about this.. You specify a directory location, and it will play random .mp3's from there. Good enough?
We might also be able to put in a text file where you can list songs you want to play... Maybe.
on car having a damage limit (and it's explosion) - Absolutely. Not fun for the occupants either.
on repairing a damaged car - Maybe. This is one likely use for the repair skill.
on modem play - Let me clear up confusion:
We are NOT supporting DIRECT modem connection. Thats when you have two people and one rings the others phone line. Neither do we support null-modem cable.
We ARE supporting internet play over TCP/IP. This means that if you are connected to the internet WITH A MODEM, then you can play multiplayer.
Also, there are some web sites out there that show you how to make direct modem connection work with TCP/IP. I can't remember the addresses.
Ed Orman was also busy, giving us more than a few infobits.
on mission background - Every mission or encounter will come with an exhaustively detailed briefing [or something like that]. It's from the information in those briefings that the player will have to decide what armor, weapons and people he or she wants to take.
NPC reactions - There will definitely be in-game NPC recognition of a player's reputation, etc. Mostly expect to see team-name stuff in Multi Player.
on multiplayer bots - We'll definitely be having AI controlled opponents in the multi-player game, so that you can have a cooperative match against them with some friends, or just beat on them by yourself [or have them beat you, whatever you're into].
on including characters from FO1 and FO2 - Chris has asked us to include a few characters from both FO1 and FO2. All we have to do is find a way to do so without breaking the continuity of the Fallout universe.
So, expect to see some almost familiar faces, including everyone's favorite irradiated pooch.
on picking stuff annoyance from FO - We can and will fix the "pick-up" problem.
a little bit on positioning system (hex in Fallout 1 and 2) - When a character is unconscious [or dead] they will not block movement. Incidentally, we're using a point to point, literal distance system [meaning movement cost is governed by the actual ground covered] and not a hex based system.
Ed Orman is a lead game designer at MicroForte.

Infobits from Chris Taylor by Miroslav - 18:34 -
Chris Taylor, as usually, gone posting crazy on the official forum. Here's what he revealed this time:
on Game story - It starts with the player as a member of the BoS, sent to track down the super mutant army that went to the east after the events of FO1. The player crashes near Chicago, and that's where the story begins.
on amount of dialog options - No, less dialogue options. This is not a dialogue heavy game.
on graphics engine - The Fallout Tactics engine is brand-new. It incorporates support for 3D hardware.
on skills - Demolitions. Gambling goes bye-bye. Skills are subject to change.
on using doctor skills in combat - Tentative yes. We are looking at rebalancing some AP costs and skill usages.
on game taunts - Commentary/taunting is planned. To what extent -- well, that will come out as we continue development.
on morale - No. For various reasons, we decided not to implement morale. It was a very long discussion that lead us to that point.
on porting to Dreamcast - Not at this time.
on keeping the Pip boy in new manual - Way to early to tell. I think I've got some ideas on how to keep him in there. Maybe give him some cherub wings, or something.
on revealing new skills to us - Piloting (for vehicles, you know?)
on importance of intelligence and charisma in strategy game like this - Intelligence is still important. Charisma will have an effect on NPC responses.
on more precise critical hit animations - Not really. The problem is the number of different animations we can create. The number is very similar to what you have seen in previous Fallout games.
on playing custom mp3's as game music - Hmmm. I don't know the actual answer to this (not that that's ever stopped me before... :), but it depends on how we end up doing the audio.
If we make it play according to a map (like a desert vs. a city map) or an event (like combat), then probably not. If we make it play randomly (which I don't see us doing), then I don't see why not.
If you ask Karl _real_ nicely, he might be able to add an PLAY RANDOM MUSIC option to the Options screen. I don't think that would be a very difficult thing to do, but it's completely up to Karl (ie, it's not something they have to do for us).
The tricky part might be building a file play list. And that's not that hard.(1)
(1) Notice that I'm a designer, not a programmer. Nothing is too hard to code for me, I just tell other people to do it... :)
on (N)PC control - That's definitely part of Fallout the RPG. I hope they keep it that way for FO3 (single-character, single-player).
However, full NPC control is a request from players. Just like Two Gun Fu and Fallout Online. Not all requests are feasible, nor desired for certain games. We certainly cannot add multiplayer to the Fallout RPGs and keep them the same type of quality single-player experience without making some sacrifices. Fallout Tactics attempts to avoid that whole problem by setting the game in another genre that can more easily incorporate those player requests. I mean, doesn't it make sense for FT to be multiplayer?
on user interface seen in screenshots - That UI is a work in progress. It was intended for armor, but we felt that there was no need for it taking up that valuable space. It is currently showing other information (like ammo type equipped, damage range, yadda). Subject to change.
on vehicles in motion - Plan is to have "speed settings" or gears. Vehicles must move a distance equal to their gear * their base speed. Turning will have a minimum distance based on gear. All of this is being worked out as we speak. Er, type. As we type, I mean.
on combat _from_ vehicles - No melee attacks out of vehicles are planned, but you can run them over with your tank. Nearly as satisfying.
I'll bring you some more tidbits from MicroForte employees later. Check back!

E-shop on Internet by Miroslav - 14:49 -
I've spent an hour or two searching for internet online stores. Basically I wanted to see which sites have Fallout: Tactics for pre ordering. Interesting is that I've found only two stores with this product. CD Mag offers it for $39 plus shipping and it's the lowest price so far... out of two :) If you want to pre order it, click here. I'll be watching these stores, but I don't know would you get a lower pre order price than this one. Anyway, you can always cancel orders :)
I'll be back in a few hours with some tidbits from the official board.

Fallout 3 for Preorder?! by Miroslav - 13:32 -
GameDealer recently started taking preorders for Fallout 3. Not Fallout: Tactics but Fallout 3 the RPG. I just wanted to tell you not to spend your money on these ripp-offs as the production of Fallout 3 hasn't even started. If you are an online shopper, then I'd suggest to visit this site often as I'll do my best to search for lowest prices on Fallout products. And first one is a Tactics game. Until then...
Spotted on our Message Boards

FO: Tactics Preview by Miroslav - 12:13 -
IGN has posted a small preview. If you read tidbits I've posted from Interplay's message board, you'll find that you know a lot more than that is presented in this article. Link:
Thanks to Gladiator for informing me

Thursday, May 18

Karl's Infobits by Miroslav - 12:30 -
Karl Burdack, a Micro Forte employee, also answered some questions:
on 3D perforance - Two of the screenshots shown on the webpage demonstrate colored lighting. This is without 3D graphics cards. The main benefit for owners of 3D cards will be increased game performance.
on mission editor and it's possible bugs - The point I was trying to make was that there will be no technical support for it. Meaning that if there *were* bugs, they might get fixed. The priority would always be the game itself. On a whole the editor is mostly bug free. Its really hard to comment since its constantly under development. Patching the editor is a possibility. Right now its best to assume you will get an editor in some form, and thats all.
on cheating - Cheating is always an issue, since most players wish to play on even terms. We will do what we can to prevent cheating. If any easy exploits do appear, we would try to fix them with a patch.
on using a different pallete - After months of toil we have discovered a new color... We are going to call it GREEN! Just kidding. The new engine no longer uses palettes, instead it supports 32-bit color. Thats means there is a full range of colors available. The use of colors however is still more a design issue. We use colors that fit the terrain we are trying to simulate. So when we want a bleak looking post-nuclear desert/wasteland, only certain colors are appropriate.
on weapon mods - We are still designing this stuff. These might be possible. The original fallout has weapon modifications such as Night Scope, and Increased Clip Size.
on perks - Most of the old perks are there, plus some new ones...
on "skinning" characters - The engine allows for changing of team color, hair color, and skin color. How we utilise this in the game is something we havent decided.
on vehicles - We cannot release much information about the vehicles right now. I can tell you that you will not start with one.
Karl Burdack is a Lead Programmer at MicroForte.

More Infobits from Chris Taylor by Miroslav - 10:56 -
Chris 'the guy who can't get tired posting' Taylor provided some tidbits:
on overall amount of ammo in game - Ammo was much scarcer in FO until the very end, when we were forced to increase it. I think we went a little overboard.
on morale - Morale has been considered. It was part of the original design until we really started working on it. We did give it a lot of thought.
on RPG aspects - The story is critical to the single-player game. The RPG aspects (character development, statistics that matter, dialogue, trade/barter, consequence of actions...) will matter to single-player, and to a lesser degree, the multiplayer game.
on game linearity - The game is broken into chapters, within each chapter is a certain amount of flexibility about what mission the player can select. There are a series of "required" missions that tell the story-line, and a series of "optional" missions that may or may not affect the story-line. The finish the chapter and move on, all the required missions must be completed.
on character interaction - The character interaction is not as in-depth as the RPG, but it still exists and your stats, skills and gameplay decisions still affect the interactions and choices available.
on relationship with BlackIsle and Tactics - Well, I'm already in a long-term relationship... oh, you meant the games... We are expanding the Fallout universe, we are writing the "official" canon-esque bible of the Fallout world for the area we are playing in. Now, it's hard to say what FO3 would do with it (since FO3 doesn't exist _yet_), but we will work with BIS, in as helpful of a manner as we can, to link all the Fallout games in a consistent manner.
on release dates in Europe - Hmmm. Well, once we get the game done, that's up to Virgin -- our European publisher/distributor. Our official release date for the US/NA region is Q1, 2001.
Chris also gave a tip about new combat possibility. You could fight using your Traps/Demolition skill, not just Big guns, Energy weapons and such. Finally that someone implemented this... Oh yes, and he also had a comment for nonbelievers:
I'd like to just squash this sell out thing. We have a larger development team than Fallout 1 had, we have a clear vision in our head of an excellent game, and we are treating the source material with the proper reverence as good Brotherhood members should.
I just don't think it's enough to make them change their mind about this game.

Tactics Manual by Miroslav - 10:44 -
Chris gave us a hint about the FO:Tactics Manual! Take a look
I'm glad you liked the manuals. Yes, I will be writing the manual for FT as well. The concept I'm playing around with right now is that it is formatted like a Brotherhood Bible. The various books would be named after weapon designers, armor, vehicles and so on.

From the Book of Browning, Chapter 2, Verse 4:
1. And Browning said to the assembly of pious soldiers, "Your rifle will consume thy enemies until your ammunition runs dry. You must use the RELOAD button to prepare your rifle for future battle."
2. "If you do not have ammo, you will hear a beep and, if you are surrounded by enemies, you should compose your final thoughts and prepare thyself for your journey to the Final Battlefield."
3. "The amount of ammo remaining in your rifle is displayed to the right of the weapon button."
4. And Browning raised a picture to show the soldiers, and it was shown here: [insert screenshot here]
Chris Taylor did both Fallout 1 and 2 manuals.

Wednesday, May 17

Infobits from Chris Taylor by Miroslav - 11:24 -
Chris Taylor was the only one so far who spent 24 hours a day answering questions at the official forum. But it won't last for ever. Here's what he said:
No, but for the first week or so -- I'll be checking in a lot. The MicroFort� guys are doing an excellent job so far, too (even better when we get them set up properly). My goal is to educate a body of people here who can step in and answer questions, provide more detailed answers to questions (we try to do that with the FAQ, but it's often better to get an outsider asking things instead of us trying to guess) and try to let people in on the development process so you all can get a feeling of ownership in FT.

I will continue to monitor the forum. And when the demo is released, we'll (that is - 14� East and MicroFort�) be reading and replying as best as we can.

After the game is released - the same, for a while. Then it's off to the next game (after vacation, of course... :)
and if you ever wondered why is Chris so friendly, here's the reason :)
Not really. I like interacting with the fans, and you guys ask some nifty questions that keep me thinking. That's my personal reason. The reason I tell my boss is more straightforward: I'm trying to build the fanbase so we'll sell more darn units...
Now, let's be serious and see what he has to say about FO: Tactics...
on receiving equipment - Most in mission, some between missions. Might change.
again on importing old characters - Cannot import from FO2 (unless Ed and Company snuck one in on me) -- since we don't have all the perks, and equipment and the like.
on cybernetic enhancements - Cyborgn': Probably not going to happen on a major scale, if at all. (Due to storyline elements that I don't want to get into at this time or spoil things for ya...)
on old perks - Most of the old ones (a few will be removed) plus some new ones. We're not ready to release new perk info.
on intro song - We are looking into the rights at this time, and so we can't announce it -- but we have something in mind.
on similarity with Jagged Alliance 2 - They are both squad-based tactical combat games. Other than that, hmmm. It's hard for me to think -- I ate too much turkey at lunch time, and my body is currently shutting down all external input.
on world map navigation - You cannot go to anyplace on the map -- just the listed "locations" (which correspond to the missions). There are still random encounters, however. This info is subject to change and confirmation from Ed, since it relates to an area of the game that is still being fleshed out.
on including the Fallout community into games - Putting some of the community into my games is something I like to do. In Fallout, a few of the characters were named after some of the message board posters. In SFC, some of the captain and ship names came from the fans. I don't know if we will be able to do something like the UV special encounter, but I expect something will be done.
on relationship between Tactics and FO3 - Well, I'm already in a long-term relationship... oh, you meant the games... We are expanding the Fallout universe, we are writing the "official" canon-esque bible of the Fallout world for the area we are playing in. Now, it's hard to say what FO3 would do with it (since FO3 doesn't exist _yet_), but we will work with BIS, in as helpful of a manner as we can, to link all the Fallout games in a consistent manner.

There is one thing that is quite interesting. Chris said that it'll be possible to make multiracial teams. Ie, you'll have a ghoul or a super mutant in your party :)
As you can see Chris taylor was busy once again. I'll continue to summarize these small infobits here, so be sure to check back later for even more!

Tuesday, May 16

New Wallpapers by Miroslav - 12:53 -
Two new wallpapers are up on MicroForte's web site. Again, an outstanding piece of work. Link:

More Infobits by Miroslav - 12:32 -
Chris posted more infobits about FO: Tactics. This should cover all general questions for now.
Unwashed Villagers in Tactics - Probably not, being a different part of the country and all.
3D support - The 3D effects are limited to effects/lighting (and I think mostly lighting -- one of the programmers might have to step in here and answer in more technical detail). All critters, tiles and scenary objects are 2D.
Engine for Fallout 3 - Fallout 3 questions are best answered by BIS employees. Myself and the Micro-Fort� guys can't really speak for them.
From a technical point of view, ultimately most games will be 3D, since the hardware cards are headed that way in a serious manner. You probably will not be able to tell the difference between the quality of art on a 2D or 3D game a couple of years down the road (especially when the texture memory of these new video cards reaches the point where we can accurately texture their massive number of polygons they can generate).
on replacement for characters - You don't get everyone at the beginning -- the later characters are usually more experienced than your earlier characters were to start.
on "interaction" with the enviroment - Some things are destroyable, but you can't blow up buildings.
on beta testing - We don't have any information regarding beta testing at this time.
mission editor - The plan is to release the editor, in an unsupported mode, in order to help mods and user missions.
on map sizes - The maps can be quite large. Stuff do to.
on random scenario generator - Quite possibly, but not confirmed.
action points - Yes, it's a core component of both game modes.
on combat - There are two different modes: TB and CTB (Continious Turn-Based). CTB is not true real-time. You still have action points, but people can move at the same time and the APs regenerate slowly over time.
German version - Probably cut, due to German laws and sales practices. We can't be sure, but most versions will be uncut (ie, US/NA/ROW except Germany).
on engine - Brand new engine. From scratch. All new art, all new programming (well, except the Special system, which came from FO2 and has been tweaked). It also supports 1024x768. Please remember that the specs are subject to change, but those are what we are shooting for.
on importing characters - I'm not sure how this got started, but this is not doable. You cannot load characters from the Fallout RPGs into FT.
Mac version - There are no plans for a Macintosh version. If there is a company that wants to approach us to do a conversion, contact me and I will put them in touch with our division director. In general, we don't do Mac software since the sale numbers aren't there to support it, unfortunately.
on number of critters in battles - For multiplayer, 36 "critters" is the maximum. For single-player, well, we'll see...
realease date - We are officially scheduled for a Q1, 2001 release (ie, first three months of next year). Things can change.
on multiplayer "world" - Well, you will be able to play over the 'net, but it will not be a persistent world.
time of event - Fallout Tactics takes place in a different part of the country, so you will not see the BOS citadel from FO1. It also takes place between the events of FO1 and FO2.
on random encounters - Are planned. And there is some non-linearity in the mission selection (ie, we have chapters, but within that chapter, you are given some freedom to choose your mission).
# of cd roms - Hmmm. Many of the resources will be shared by both versions. Only a very small amount of resources will be specific to multiplayer. Single-player will have some audio and movies associated with it. We are planning on two CD-ROMs at this time. One to install from, and the other to play from.
on loading times - Yes. There is a lot more art, however, but it does load a level that is far more complex than previous Fallouts much faster.
on similarity with other games - Very similar to X-Com and Jagged Alliance and the like. It's in that genre of strategy games (ie, squad-based tactical combat).

Desslock's Editorial by Miroslav - 11:24 -
Desslock published a little article about sales reports. Here's what he says on Fallout Sales:
The sales statistics for a variety of other titles may surprise you. Fallout and Fallout 2, which are considered to be two of the best RPGs released in recent years, sold approximately 140,000 and 120,000 copies, respectively, in PC Data's tracked data. Very good sales, especially since the overall figures are likely double those amounts, but considerably below the sales volumes for true blockbuster titles.
Here's a sales chart which shows that Fallout sold more copies than "Planescape: Torment"!
Baldur's Gate (all formats) 500,000
BG expansion pack 156,000
Fallout 144,000
Fallout 2 123,000
Diablo 1,300,000
Revenant 37,000
Darkstone 75,000
Ultima IX: Ascension 73,000
Planescape: Torment 73,000
Something I haven't expected, but hey, who cares! :)Thanks to Cerial for pointing this to me

MicroForte by Miroslav - 11:17 -
I asked Chris Taylor to explain the relationship between Interplay and MicroForte:
MicroForte is the developer. 14� East is a division of Interplay that does strategy games. MicroForte is doing the programming, art and the design. I am assisting them on the design and making sure that they make a real "Fallout" game.
Chris Taylor is in charge of helping MicroForte with Fallout: Tactics. Chris was one of the designers on the original Fallout (Fallout 1 that is).

First Tactics Tidbits by Miroslav - 1:25 -
Chris Taylor posted some info on the official forum :
Demo - Yes, we plan on releasing a demo or two.
No, we don't know when exactly. Before the game ships, according to the schedule.
We need to do more in the game before we can do the demo.

on "linearity" - There is a certain amount of non-linearity within the game, but it is still mission-based and it is more linear than the RPGs. This is intentional. There are several ways to approach most missions, and your character selection will have an effect on the gameplay.
on mature rating - The game is intended for a "M" mature rating. It will have a similar amount of violence and swearing that you saw in FO1 and FO2. There will be filters to turn that stuff off, if you wish.
on Tactics taking the place of Fallout 3 - Fallout 3 - see Black Isle, but please remember that FT is in _addition_ to any Fallout RPGs, not a replacement for them.
on bugs from Fallout 1 and 2 - Fallout Tactics should be a lot more stable. It is a completely new engine, and we have a much better handle on how to script missions in FT, which was one of the major problems with the Fallout engine.
on game theme (50s in Fallout) - Not necessarily a 40s tune, but yes, classic music with the intro.
on ripping the English version with violent scenes - Not sure. ICATOATT (I Can't Answer This One At This Time).
on E3 impressions - Fallout Tactics was received very strongly at E3. Jagged Alliance, X-Com, Final Fantasy Tactics and Syndicate are all excellent examples of quality games in this genre. We found ourselves being compared to them at E3, which is quite an honor.

Some of the most requested features from Fallout fans have been for multiplayer and full control over the party. FT delivers this.

And just because we are mission-based doesn't mean that we won't have a great story. Delivering a quality story, along with the action, is a key point to this title and one that the team is working very hard on doing.

The target market is similar to the market for Fallout: People who want a quality game. FT is a strategy game, first and foremost, but we aren't forgetting our RPG roots. Character development will affect how the game is played, dialogue is important (and stats do matter for dialogue), the retro look is there, the violence and mature themes are there and it's already a very fun game to play(1)...

I'm certain that FT will not appeal to all Fallout players. I'm also certain that we will appeal to new players who were previously not interested in Fallout. That's fine. I don't want to make a game that appeals to everyone -- I want to make a game that appeals to me, and it will hopefully be cool enough for lots of other people. That is the same philosophy that we had with Fallout 1. Make a great game, and people will come(2).

Anyways, when the time comes, please be sure to try the demo out. It's the best way for anyone to get an actual impression of the game.
Chris Taylor was in Fallout 1 team, check back tommorow, I'll have some mre info about him and the project.

FO: Tactics WebSite Updated by Miroslav - 1:03 -
Fallout: Tactics Official Web Site is updated. Frequently Asked Questions section is up and running. Here's a link:
Here's something interested about Fallout 3:
Fallout: Tactics is not designed to be a sequel. It is a stand-alone title. Fallout 3 is a separate title that Interplay may develop in the future.

But that's not all. You may be aware of a Fallout: Tactics forum on No Mutants Allowed. Well, there is one more, but it's not the first one :) Interplay opened it's forum on the official web site. Link:
Thanks to Dule for notification about the message boards

Monday, May 15

1.000.000 by Miroslav - 20:22 -
Wow! More than a 1000000 visitors. I'm more than delighted. I have a screenshot of that happy moment, I'll make it available in a new section I'm preparing, which should go online soon.
Just one big thanks to all of you guys and gals! let's get that zillion number now! ;)

Mini Preview @ Daily Radar by Miroslav - 14:51 -
Daily radar posted it's mini preview of Fallout: Tactics. It's a 3 paragraph article, some new tidbits and old screenshots.
Link: Daily Radar: Fallout: Tactics preview
Thanks to Jake Badger for this link!

Sunday, May 14

Tactics Section Ready by Miroslav - 16:18 -
I've updated the Tactics: BOS section with some info and screenshots. Just use the appropriate links at the left menu bar.

More info on Tactics by Miroslav - 14:18 -
CD Mag web site have a brief E3 report about Fallout: Tactics. The most intersting thing is a word that you can import your character from Fallout 1&2! Well, read for yourself:
In conjunction with showing the game at the E3Expo today, Black Isle is showing Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel on the web as well. The new tactical roleplaying-strategy game set in the Fallout universe now has its own website located at The new website features basic information about the game and 12 new screenshots.

Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel is a departure from the previous games in the series because it lets players control a six-man squad of warriors. According to the rap sheet from BlackIsle Studios, the game will let players control a group of six warriors from a pool of over 30 characters. The main character (the person you create at the start of the game) can also be imported from previous Fallout games as well. Other features include a host of vehicles to drive, phased combat turns (improved from the previous games in the series), a variety of new environments, new skills and "powers", new weapons, a new game engine, 20 missions relevant to the plot and 18 extra missions that are not.
Fallout: Tactics is an upcoming strategy game with RPG elements. It's being developed by 14 Degrees East and Micro Forte studios.
If you haven't voted on this new poll, do that. Would you rather play Fallout 3 or Fallout: Tactics? Or maybe you just don't care as long as it is Fallout theme?

Saturday, May 13

New Layout by Miroslav - 22:12 -
After a week of work, I've finally finished the design for this new layout. Just at the time when counter is getting ready to show a 1.000.000 number! Some things need to be tweaked up a bit, this is what I'll do now... Hope you like it.
Oh yes, if you get the privilege of being visitor number 1.000.000, could you grab a screen shot and send it to me? Just use PrintScreen button on your keyboard, then paste it into any paint program. That is if you don't have a screen capture program.

Friday, May 12

12 New Screenshots of FO: Tactics by Miroslav - 22:45 -
The official web site is updated for the first time after it's launch. They have added 12 new screenshots. They're over here:
Basically, you can see 12 shots of game play. What I'm interested in is the RPG element of this game. What statistics these characters have, interaction with other NPCs and such. Guess I'll just have to wait and see :)

First Fallout: Tactics Wallpapers by Miroslav - 17:52 -
I just found these two wallpapers at the Micro Forte web site. What is their connection with Fallout: Tactics I don't know yet, I just saw a link at the Interplay's Tactics web site. So, here's a link to wallpapers:
There is a small piece of info over there about "FO: Tactics":
Fallout: Tactics is a squad-based, third person tactical combat game with RPG character development and a mission-based story line.
It takes place in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the middle of North America. The player controls the main character as the leader of a squad of Brotherhood of Steel warriors. The squad consists of a maximum of six characters, including the main character.
The Brotherhood of Steel is a technological revival group, dedicated to restoring the world to its former prosperity through science. The player engages in tactical warfare in a quest to reawaken long-dormant technological systems around the country and to aid in the defeat of a newly emerged but powerful enemy.
Fallout: Tactics will support both Turn-Based and Real-Time play through its Real-Time Actions System. The game is being built to provide both multi-player and single-player gameplay.
Like we don't know what Brotherhood of Steel is :) Speaking of BoS: Tactics, I'll put up an interesting poll later this evening... Gotta get some sleep. I haven't been so busy with news for quite some time. It feels good :)

First BOS: Tactics Screenshots by Miroslav - 15:33 -
The Reviewboard Magazine posted the first ever screenshots of Fallout BOS screenshots. From what I can see, the game is very, very similar to Fallout, with somewhat smaller characters due to the new resolution: 800x600. Check the above link for screenshots. Thanks to Mark Rauch for this one.

Chris Taylor @ Fallout BOS by Miroslav - 12:23 -
This may be interesting. Chris Taylor, the guy who worked on Fallout 1, is now an employee at 14 Degrees and is one of the project leaders responsible for Fallout BOS. Who and what exactly, I'll try to find out. I'm looking forward in hearing with him again, as he helped me a lot some few years ago when I was just starting this site. Chris, here I come! If I could only dig up your email somewhere ;)

Fallout BOS Web Site Launched by Miroslav - 3:15 -
Well, it's official. This new Fallout strategy game isn't a Fallout 3 as many of you think. Thanks to god for that. A strategy? I hope they know what they're doing. The game is being developed by 14 Degrees. I'll try to get more info about this as well as from Black Isle.
Link: Fallout BOS Official Web Site
Thanks to Steve Griffin for informing me on this

Thursday, May 11

Interplay Announces New Fallout Game by Miroslav - 12:27 -
Here's a news story from Avault:
Interplay has announced its plans to expand the Fallout universe in new directions with Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel. Fallout BOS is a single or multi-person game with both turn-based and continuous turn-based modes similar to real-time gaming. The title will be demonstrated at E3 starting tomorrow. Watch this space for additional information regarding the publisher's E3 plans.
I'm a bit confused here. I won't talk anymore but wait to see more about this.
Thanks to Carmen Alicia, Stephen, Bill Brown, NickB, David Robbins, Mr.Citrus, Zack Macfarlane, Michael Bielonko, [7FJ]Cannonfodder, Shayne Lebrun, Aldune for this.

Wednesday, May 10

The Secret Project is not Fallout 3 by Miroslav - 12:29 -
Some week ago, Dirty.Org WebSite was redesigned and new info shined there. They stated that the secret project Black Isle is doing is not either Fallout 3 or Planescape Torment 2. I waited to get some kind of confirmation, but I couldn't. Then just last night I saw this at Desslock's Site:
The team that will be using it is the Torment team, so you can probably guess what they will tend towards. I can say though, that it is not going to be Fallout 3 or Torment 2. Since, those will probably be people's first two guesses. However, we are not going to be making a 1st person shooter either. We are going to stay with making the more hardcore RPG's, but with 3D engines from now on.
These are the words of Feargus Urquhart, Black Isle Division Director.
And thanks to really a lot of people who informed me about Dirty.Org info during the last week.

Tuesday, May 9

Dogmeat featured at Gamespot by Miroslav - 12:50 -
Gamespot recently published an article "Top 10 Game Sidekicks". Dogmeat is at #7 of the most popular game characters. If you're interested in this, go here.

Sunday, May 7

David Hendee "Officially" on Fallout 3 by Miroslav - 13:41 -
David Hendee posted an interesting note on the Fallout 2 Feedback forum:
Two things... okay, 3
1. Fallout 3 is not currently under production.

2. It would take an act of God to prevent the Fallout series from continuing, that's "official". ;)

3. Because we're a public company, and other reasons, we can not release any information at this time about future Fallout products until they are officially released.

Dave Hendee
Fallout 1 and 2 designer
This was posted some days ago, sorry for the delay, I was ill last week. Take care and may You have a lot of patience waiting for the 3rd sequel.

Friday, May 5

Fallout Graphic Contest by Miroslav - 18:17 -
Dave just sent me a note that the contest is finished and the gallery images are up. Once again thanks to Dave and 3D Palette Web Site for this contest. Here are the images:
Note that the 3D Palette Web Site is currently down, but it'll be fixed later.