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July 2002

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Tuesday, July 30

The Burrows: by Rosh - 19:53 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: DAC
After the Fallout Bible update, Tim Cain (and you should know who that is - if not, go jump into a vat of FEV) posted a rather interesting thread about the dropped location that was going to be in Fallout 1.

Here's what he started off with:

Now that you have read the Burrows design document, do you think it should have been left in FO? Removing this area was a bit controversial at the time, and not everyone thought it should be removed. I felt it was well-written, better even than some of the areas that eventually made it into the game, but that its style wasn't right for the game.

What do you think?


In some says, I think this would have worked. Talking? No. Basic capabilities of higher intelligence through gesticulation? Perhaps. A lot of it should have been re-tooled into something a bit more fitting, as what it was tended to appear to be a bit Tolkein-esque in appearance, right down to the elvish names. I say it should have been left in for a bit more involvement with The Glow, as The Glow was a crucial location in the Fallout games in not only gameplay, but also the history of the setting.

Fallout Bible update 7 by Odin - 9:20 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Black Isle
Chris Avellone released the next update for the Fallout Bible (like I posted yesterday), this time it's:
More fun from the world of Fallout, commemorating the seventh fabulous update with the seven deadly secrets of Fallout, including the original concept art for deathclaws, Dogmeat's first name, the mysterious Fallout-area-that-never-was: the Burrows, the name of the man responsible for that exploding head animation you can call up in the Credits movie in Fallout 1, and more! So click on the link below, pull up a chair by the fire, sip your tea, and enjoy.
Link: Fallout Bible update 7

Monday, July 29

SPECIAL "Unrevealed" by Miroslav - 15:46 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Extreme Voodoo
For people interested in Lionhart, and SPECIAL system, here's a link for some info on it.

Fallout forum bits.. by Odin - 10:07 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: BIS Forums
Chris Avellone on the Fallout Bible:
Fallout Bible Seven should be up in a few days. It's not as big as the last one, but it has some interesting stuff.

It contains the seven deadly secrets of Fallout, including the original concept art for deathclaws, the real origin of the deathclaws you see in Fallout today, Dogmeat's first name, the Fallout-location-that-never-was: The Burrows, and the name of the man who put the exploding Tim Cain head in the Credits movie in F1.
ah, more and more Fallout...don't we all love it...

Chris Avellone:
There's been a lot of discussion on why people didn't like Fallout: Tactics. I was just wondering if there was anything people liked about Fallout: Tactics, either mechanics-wise, critter-wise, look-wise, item-wise or whatever.

For example, and this may sound dumb, but I like the fact they included giant FLAMFLAMFLAMFLAMroaches. I like the way their rats look. I like the fact they took some of the goofiness out of Geckoes. I like some of their Perks. I like the fact there are racial-specific perks and traits. I like the difficulty gauges for various skills when attempting a task. I like some of the traps mechanics. Afterburner gum is cool. I like the fact they give you the option to play as a brahmin/dog/robot/deathclaw in the MP game. The MP option and some of the editor options seem cool.

Anyway, stuff like that. Just curious if anyone had anything else.
Go here to post your reply, and join the discussion..

Friday, July 26

Should Static include fatigue by Odin - 14:23 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Static Forum
Bill posted another poll on the Static Forums asking if they should include fatigue in Static, read here:
Many games will require you to sleep and eat to ward off fatigue, endurance penalties, or to replenish health (and mana in some cases). Currenlty Static has no such system. The bad thing about that is if you run out of "supplies" to keep you healthy, youre in a pickle. The environment might also lack a "sense of time". Sure you can put the NPCs to sleep and have them stand around and gobble food, but with regard to gameplay, are those actions necessary?

AND- are they fun? Or is there a better way around it? Perhaps developing some innate ways of staving off the negative effects of sleep and food deprivation. (ie, medbots, or recharging juices, etc)

Does sleeping and eating slow the game down, and get muttered in details not worth the effort? OR is sleeping and eating a vital part to what makes a believable world in RPGs?

What do you think?
So get on over and vote here...

Thursday, July 25

Interplay Sold Out.. by Odin - 17:50 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: DAC
I noticed over at DAC that Interplay has extended it's partnership with Sold Out, read here:
Budget software company Sold Out extended its four-year partnership with Interplay and Virgin, thus adding over thirty more titles to its release schedule. Games such as Kingpin, Descent 3, Sacrifice, Baldur's Gate 2, MDK 2, Jimmy White's Cueball World, F/A-18E Super Hornet, Messiah, the Fallout series and Icewind Dale will retail at �4.99 next year. Gary Williams, Sold Out Managing Director commented: "With games from Titus, Virgin and Interplay we are adding some of the strongest PC titles released over the past year or so, add this to our existing titles and easy to see how we will continue to retain our position as the No1 Super Budget publisher.
Well, now that's cheap Fallout for you... Grab them while you can !!

Happy Birthday Killian! by Odin - 17:35 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
The Fallout's community's own Killian has his birthday today, so on behalf of the crew at NMA: Happy Birthday Kill !

Monday, July 22

Static: 3D or not ? by Odin - 15:03 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Static Forums
William Fox (Game developer/Art director on Static) wanted to know what the Fallout community would like to see in Static, regards to 3D or not 3D. Here's what Bill wrote on the Static Forums:
Ive got another question for you all. We have been developing Static with a prerendered bkgd. Now, though its a beautiful render, there have been some real technical problems with using it and 3D characters. Though the 3D characters are easier to make, and look better all around in the long run (easier to manage and update), the bkgd looks good as a prerender too.

Recently there have been a few games (Dungeon Siege, Never Winter Nights) that have made 3d environments look just as beautiful.

Also- opening it up to a 3D environment will allow the game to more easily modifiable, though it may not stand out as much against the DS, NWN, and Darkstone type games out there. I had hoped to compete against the upcoming Lionheart title, which also uses 3D characters, and 2D prerendered bkgds.
Go here to cast your vote !

Wednesday, July 17

Sega seeks publisher by Odin - 15:34 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: DAC
I also spotted that Sega is looking for publishers in the United States and guess who's one of the companies they are looking at:
The most "interesting opportunities" for potential acquisitions were among the smaller, listed publishers that might provide development teams and intellectual property, such as rights to game franchises, Bellfield said.

But, he added, "(I) can't confirm or deny any particular talks with any particular company at this point."

The smaller U.S. listed game publishers, include notable names like Acclaim Entertainment Inc.(NasdaqSC:AKLM - News), Midway Games Inc.(NYSE:MWY - News), Interplay Entertainment Corp.(NasdaqSC:IPLY - News) and 3DO Co. (NasdaqNM:THDO - News)

As of the close of trading on Tuesday, Acclaim had a market capitalization of $270.8 million, Midway had a capitalization of $196.7 million, Interplay had a market value of $29.8 million and 3DO's capitalization was $24.1 million.
Link: Sega Article

Another Red!Viewer! by Odin - 15:31 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: DAC
I spotted over at DAC that Red had posted another version of his Red!Viewer, the new features are:
  • Optimized Software ZAR rendering

  • ZAR TIL SPR Added DirectX8 support

  • Fixed Open and ZAR Clipboard windows so that the offset is saved if you close the application and the windows are still open

  • (Software) Fixed shadows still being rendered even when toggled off

  • ZAR (Software) Changed alpha rendering to match the hardware rendering closer

  • (DirectX8) Added zoom function, use up/down keys to increase the zoom by 10%

  • Fixed bug which made the app crash when you selected an animation with less directions then the next one, and you selected the last direction

  • Added option to save the Quick Open window path

  • Added some infor about DirectX problems
  • Grab this version here, I'll post a local mirror here later today..

    Update on Bis projects by Odin - 8:50 - Comment Me (1) - News Source: Bis Forums
    JE Saywer answered the hords of people asking about info on the different project going on or in planning at Bis and here's his respons:
    Icewind Dale II -- Just about all wrapped up. SHIP IT!
    Jefferson -- Full production
    Jackson -- Pre-production
    Van Buren -- Not in production
    And Could Fallout 3 be in pre-production, since BIS said it's not in production:
    Nope. Pre-production counts as production in my book, even if it isn't full production.
    Well, that just took the wind out of me...*sobb*

    What will happen with Static? by Odin - 8:37 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Static Forums
    Well for those of you who's following the game Static, here's a little update:
    An update to the status of the game:
    As you all know- the project began about a year ago, and grew from there. We had a great run, and got to show it off at the IGF. After our bout, we had many conversations between publishers and interested parties, alike. Some of them have been good, and others could have been better.
    In the end our list of possible publishers dwindle.

    During these past few months, little has been done to push the game forward besides a new plan of attack, a more comprehensive story, and completed design document. All steps we shouldve taken in the first place, but as the saying goes, we put the "cart before the horse". Otherwise, all art, design, audio and code has been halted.

    For that, I apologize to you fans. Truthfully, I/we were weary of spending 100+ hours a week on a game I know we could get funding for (I now wear glasses i didnt need before last christmas ). At this time, that route looks unlikely, and the show must go on.


    The Static team is contemplating a few different approaches to make sure Static sees the light of day. Any other probable routes mentioned are welcome. Currently we are thinking of making portions of the project open source. The engine certainly needs to be "rebuilt" if its to survive more features, and level of gameplay. The storyline, the characters, the entire game itself is planned out.

    We have able bodies to work on the game, with regards to art/design, audio and writing (and many people waiting, who have written in willing to help). But our programmers cant spend the plethora of time it will take to develop the new engine. The rate at which we worked before is being reexamined.

    To sum up- we have decided to shake the dust from our previous work from which we were burnt out on. In the next coming weeks, we will begin the process of breathing new life into Static, and these forums. I have much to talk to everyone about, and as always, we welcome everyone's opinions. Be patient with us, as we pull ourselves together, and begin the process of building a game that will not only shake the house up a bit, but advance the industry in single player RPGs.
    And there's also a poll, where you can vote on what you'd like Static to become...

    Monday, July 15

    Holy Grenade Encounter Fix by Odin - 10:32 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: TeamX
    The guys over at TeamX posted a new fix for Fallout 2, which...well.. read here
    There was a bug in a file \\master.dat\data\worldmap.txt that prevented us from even a hope to encounter that glorious special encounter in Fallout2. Now it's been fixed.
    Grab this fix here and check it out..

    Dac Fallout Comic by Odin - 10:18 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
    I noticed that DAC has gotten itself a Fallout Community Comic, and they also posted information on where to download Wasteland.

    Wastes stuff by Odin - 9:49 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: The Wastes
    The guys working on The Wastes have posted some new playtest images and they are also looking for help, lookie here:
    The already talented Wasteland Productions artist squad is looking for some fresh new faces.
    Job Requirements:
  • Must be skilled with the use of mainstream artist programs such as Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro

  • Have experience with the from-scratch creation of weapon skins (No photoskins)

  • Be willing to work with a dedicated and talented team of artists, modellers, animators, programmers, and testers

  • Able to take constructive critism about their work, and a willingness to learn from already established team artists

  • No prior game work required

  • Any and all interested please email your resume here, or if prefered fax to 972-390-2990.
    Go check out The Wastes for the playtest images..

    Thursday, July 11

    The Revival updated by Odin - 10:58 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: DAC
    I spotted over at DAC that the guys working on the Wasteland Revival had updated their site with some new images and some more info:
    Finally I have found the time to work on the homepage. The last days of the summer semester have drawn much more of my attention and time than I thought.
    Sorry for the lack of updates - the project is NOT cancelled or anything like that - but I hope that this update provides all the information I have promised to many of you.
    You should find more detailed information about creating artwork and stuff. There is also a textfile with story ideas for download.
    Damn I'm looking forward to this...

    Wednesday, July 10

    Fallout Bible 6 by Odin - 8:56 - Comment Me (1) - News Source: Black Isle
    Chris Avellone released the next Fallout Bible (nr.6), and it's growing quite alot in size (about 50 pages now). Here's a snibblet about one of the missing locations in Fallout 2, the EPA:
    The Environmental Protection Agency is a bonus location for Fallout 2. It�s full of an odd assortment of puzzles, fighting, and various weird adventure �seeds� (literally), including, but not limited to:
  • 1A. A parking lot jungle replete with several varieties of spore plants.

  • 2A. A bizarre petting zoo. Filled with humans. Hungry humans.

  • 3A. Sub-levels filled with exciting varieties of poisonous gases and virus-laden mutant fruit flies.

  • 4A. A small government museum complete with dioramas! The exhibits on post-holocaust America are especially amusing.

  • 5A. A storage room full of new seeds for Arroyo. Some seeds grow into bad things.

  • 6A. An entourage of custodial peevish holograms that provide tours and bursts of incidental binary strangeness.

  • 7A. Various NPCs on �ice� (in hibernation).

  • 8A. Computers filled with information on crop rotation and the F.E.V. virus.

  • 9A. A clinically depressed Mr. Handee and a hyperactive drug-making appliance for Science characters.
  • Well now, there's quite alot of more info like that in the new Bible..

    Saturday, July 6

    RANT: If you have Klez and no antivirus software, I hate you: by Rosh - 4:57 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
    Taking a page from CJayC's book from GameFAQs on this one. Seriously, if you have it or an akin virus, you are scum. You can't be bothered to run a decent virus scanner or you live under a bloody rock to the point where you still don't understand that Micro$haft has the patent on poor security out of the box and exploits galore and also haven't heard of this virus. If you have an e-mail with an attachment from either myself, Odin, or Miroslav, I would lay good odds that it's not really from us.

    I'd suggest Popcorn if you use Windows to check e-mail for suspicious attachments and then download your e-mail if you need to via Outlook (if you really must use it).

    We've had a bit of bouncing through the mail system here and might have lost any correspondence for the last couple of days. Yes, it's been going on that long, in regular spurts.

    If you're visiting from this point: Telstra ( [])
    - (Austrailia), chances are you're the culprit. Even if you don't think so, please check and make sure. About 50 e-mails were crapped onto the server (possibly on all accounts) along with attachments, all originating from that addy and quoting that addy as the server. The "error" messages from the "Mail Delivery System" also had X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.50.4133.2400 in them. No legit SMTP/POP3 server uses Outlook Express as a mailer.

    There's a free tool and virus information from Norton here.

    Remember, it's only the ones with Klez that I hate... ;D

    Friday, July 5

    Other Bis-Forum snibblets by Odin - 8:52 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Bis Forums
    Here are some other bits and pieces that JE answered:
    Q:In an interview I read some time ago there were hint towards the fact that BIS might try to get hold of the auroa engine(NWN)?
    A:I don't think that was an interview. I think those were completely fabricated rumors. The Aurora editors are pretty easy to use, but I don't think we have any intention of licensing the NWN engine.

    Q:About D&D vs SPECIAL etc:
    A:Fresh and fun, certainly, but I don't think SPECIAL was ingenious. It's GURPS light (not GURPS Lite, which is a thing wholly of its own). I think SPECIAL has its own problems. I try to discuss on these boards occasionally, with limited success.

    I think D&D 3E is a big step up from AD&D 2nd Ed. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but then again, neither is Fallout.

    Q:What would you like to see the next generation of game engines be capable of?
    A:I can't say what I'd like the next generation of game engines, as a whole, to accomplish. I have, however, come to the conclusion that FPS engines translate pretty poorly into RPG engines.

    That said, I can tell you what I'd like to see in the next engine I work on:

    * Good, flexible tools with flexible file formats. We waste weeks of time in development adapting file formats to accept new data and modifying our tools to accept and modify that data. WASTE.

    * Internal mechanics, external arrays of information. Anything in the IE that we could define through a 2DA saved us a lot of time and hassle. It also allows end users to have greater access to the rules that govern their games. Game equations should be in the engine, with all of the data for those equations pulled from 2DAs or memory.

    * A tile-based mapping foundation with the ability to insert meta-tiles and detail objects for fancy locations. Designers like to make levels. We don't like waiting for artists to make our levels. If we can put together the tiled foundation for a level, then add the cool-looking Temple of the Apocalypse with a bunch of barrels outside, everyone wins. Yay.

    * Game logic that can be sheared away to accept the rules of another system without destroying the whole damned thing.

    * Art formats and an art pipeline that allow for greater and more varied character customization.

    * A powerful scripting system.

    * Artificial intelligence that makes RPGs look smart and reactive for once.

    Those are the basics.
    Now that engine sounds good, well remember kids do join the discussions in the Bis Forums.

    Why no FO3 yet? by Odin - 8:35 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Bis Forums
    JE Saywer took some time and answered why Bis hasn't started making Fallout 3 and why it seems they are ignoring the Fallout community, well I'll just let you read the thing:
    Fallout 3 can't be rushed, and it certainly can't be made without money. Interplay has been in a lousy situation for several years. Everything that Black Isle has made since Planescape: Torment has had a development cycle of one year or less. TORN was the sole exception to this. Instead of using more resources to finish TORN, a title that was behind schedule and -- well, this is all public record, no need to re-hash it -- it was cancelled. Often, cancelling a project saves more money than actually publishing it.

    Like giddy children, as each project approaches its final stages, we whisper about making Fallout 3. This giddy hopefulness has given way to sober pragmatism. We made Icewind Dale, and it helped us survive. We made Heart of Winter, and it helped us survive. We made Icewind Dale 2, and hopefully, it will allow us a margin of prosperity. We're digging our way out of a hole that's about seven years deep.

    Reverse our roles. A select group of dedicated Fallout fans are given the rights to make Fallout 3 -- but there's a catch. Before they can make Fallout 3, they have to make Vault Dweller Teaches Typing, Super Kung Fu Death Master, and D&D Adventure No. 34. You can either say, "SCREW THE MAN! I'M NOT TAKING YOUR GREEDY OFFER, GREEDY MCGREEDS!" and NEVER make Fallout 3, or you could say, "Hmmm..." look around with a shifty-eyed look, and continue, "okaaaaaaaaay."

    We need to stop working on Infinity Engine games, that's for sure. The IE has provided us with the basis for four in-house titles, but man -- it's 2002. I've said before that the Jefferson project is not Fallout 3. Will we start working on Fallout 3 in the next year, two years? Possibly. And if it does, there are going to be some damned passionate people working on it. We're not moving away from Fallout. We're moving away from losing our jobs. Even with project cancellations, Black Isle has continued to make money for Interplay. We talk about Fallout all the time. We write down ideas, play through scenarios, and yes, we really do read what people post on random websites.

    I would ask one thing of our impatient Fallout fans. Please do not beat on us when our next title is announced and it is not Fallout 3. Please do not verbally abuse members of BIS who show up in a chatroom or on a message board to talk with you or argue with you about ideas. I have relatively thick skin, but not everyone at Black Isle does. Nobody likes to be called incompetent or incapable. Nobody likes to be thought of as uncaring or greedy. Many of the developers in Black Isle could have left six to nine months ago. In fact, many did. A lot of us received phone calls and e-mails asking us to leave. I can't speak for everyone, but I stayed because I look forward to the time WHEN Fallout 3 will be made. I may not work on it, but I want to be here to see it come together. Many of the developers in Black Isle love Fallout as much as you do. When we have enough time and money to do it right, it will be done.

    I know not everyone believes this, but I do.
    That should clear things up a little, even though we should know this all it doesn't seem like everyone does.

    Thursday, July 4

    Fallout goes to the MAC by Odin - 12:10 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
    I forgot to post this the other day, evidently MacPlay is releasing Fallout 2 for the Mac OS X platform, here's the info:
    Dallas, Texas – July 1, 2002 – MacPlay, a subsidiary of United Developers, announced today that it has added the highly popular hit title, Fallout� 2 to its 2002 line-up. Currently in final testing, Fallout 2 will make its worldwide debut in the MacPlay Booth at Macworld New York....
    Read the whole story here.

    Tuesday, July 2

    Status on Static by Odin - 10:12 - Comment Me (1) - News Source: Static Forums
    William Fox (Game developer/Art Director on Static) posted this about the status of Static
    We have held on moving forward with the game while we "LURE" publishers into funding us and the project. There are a few looking at the demo, and all the responses have been spectacular. Timing, in this case, is the key.

    In the meantime, things like the storyline, and specific game mechanics are being developed and honed.
    Well now, hopefully they'll get signed soon..

    Monday, July 1

    Misc by Odin - 20:36 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
    I just wanted to say that I don't have my DSL line just yet, so that's why I haven't uploaded any new files you guys might have sent me...Hopefully I'll get around doing it soon.... sorry for the delay guys and gals..

    New FOT maps by Odin - 20:13 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
    I've added 5 new Fallout Tactics maps, you can see them all on the top of this page under "lates Binaries"... =)