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August 2002

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Wednesday, August 28

Static update by Odin - 14:47 - Comment Me (2) - News Source: William Fox
I emailed William Fox about Static, I was wondering how things are going and when the forums would be back up and here's the info I got:
Servers are back up online- we're setting up the redirects (tomorrow) and the forums will open once again. The move was tough, and has taken a long while to get everything unpacked.

As for Static itself, no updates. After some conversation with a few of the team members, it sounds like a "cap" to our focus on it might happen. Im not sure what we're doin from here. There are two publishers still looking at our work, but its doubtful anything will surface. Its a shame, but its also been a long time of winding down.
What this all means I'm not to sure about, hopefully I'll get some more answers from him soon...

FOT SP Campaign List by Odin - 10:14 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: DAC Forums
Flamescreen has put together a list of the various Fallout Tactics Single Player Campaigns in the works, here's the complete list:
  • In Our Own Image (Full version aprox. Late October, Demo shortly, by OTB)

  • Fallout 2 1/2 (by DTeam)

  • Forging Steel (by Talion)

  • Gromch Adventures (by Ouragan-French to English translator:Red )

  • Scourge of Wastes (by Daleth)

  • Rebellion/Jailbreak/Revenge (by Max-Violence)

  • New Genesis Assasins (by NGA team)

  • Total Chaos (by Chaos)

  • Faces of Oblivion (by Flamescreen)
  • All those campaigns coming!! Sounds sweet !

    New Fallout 2 mod by Odin - 7:16 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: DAC
    There's a new mod for Fallout 2 which changes alot of things in Fallout 2, read here:
    Mack_The_Knife has sent me a new MOD for FO2. This mod includes changes to almost all of the items you can carry -
    Combat is now faster and more dangerous, alcohol is now useful, almost every description has been altered, and a host of other changes! Grab it now and give it a try:

    Non-DAT Version (111K) (Multiple files, smaller zip size)
    DAT Version(2.77M) (Larger zip size, single file)

    Installation instructions are in the readme.txt inside the zip.
    And some info from the author of this mod:
    If anyone should actually download this mod... I must tell you... bear with it... Remember how Fallout 2 seemed quaint and boring in the beggining but then it got better... well, this mod is faithful to the fallout spirit in that it's like that too... The Temple of Trials, Arroyo and Klamath benefit greatly from this mod and I don't think you'll be disappointed - just not as satisfied as you can be with this mod... JUST GET TO THE DEN... and from there on in... all the way to the Enclave main base... this mod is going to be worth it! Trust me!
    And there's also been an update on the patch:
    New patch available here (40.1k) that fixes a couple of problems (This is only needed if you downloaded the MOD before Aug 23, 2002).

    - Sling and fireaxe enabled
    - RadAway radiation effect fixed
    - Cue club and Desert Plant Roots tweaked.
    - Descriptions and pics on several items altered.
    Oh Snazzy...

    Polish Fallout patch by Odin - 7:10 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: DAC
    I noticed that there's a new polish patch for Fallout out, evidently it fixes a range of problems, like a sounding ammo-stealing bug and it won't corrupt your savegame either.
    Download Links: Sierra Army Depot, CD Projekt or DAC

    Tuesday, August 20

    New FOT Mod by Odin - 20:29 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
    There is a new Fallout Tactics mod in the works, this one is called New Genesis Assassins. Here's the story:
    The new mayor of "Genesis" has started to re-build the city (New Genesis) and he want's to get rid of the scum. (This is were you come in...) You are an ex-assassin and you are in prison. You get a letter that explaines the terms: "for cleaning the two gangs out of the city, you can walk as a free man" ...This is an offer you cannot refuse.
    Link: New Genesis Assassins

    FOT Modding by Odin - 20:14 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: JJ86 FOT tutorial page
    For those of you who want to start modding/making maps for Fallout Tactics, Jimmyjay86 have made a webpage containing many tutorials for all you modders/mapmakers out there...
    Link: JJ86's Fallout Tactics Editor Tutorial Page

    Special by Odin - 14:40 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: DAC
    I noticed over at DAC that JE Sawyer posted some comments about the SPECIAL system in this thread on the Something Awful forums:
    * 1) instead of having wildly varying formulae for determining the initial starting values of skills, add four specific stats together. small arms might be PER + PER + AGL + AGL. doctor might be PER + INT + INT + AGL. this results in a starting range of 4-40 for all stats, though scores will tend to hover around 20ish for many. TAG skills are doubled after the initial calculation.

    WHY: because the formulae used in fallout and fallout theoretically reflect the inherent difficulty of certain skills in comparison to other skills -- but this isn't reflected elsewhere in the system. also, it makes it difficult for designers (or GMs) to assign difficulty, since each skill has its own difficulty scale.

    e.g.: doctor starts using some ridiculously low formula that will almost assuredly result in a very, very low starting score. melee starts using a formula that will quite often put you over 50 at the start of gameplay. but wait -- if you start spending skill points on your 15 doctor skill, you can quickly raise it at a 1:1 cost until 50. your 65 melee, on the other hand, takes 2 points per point of increase up to 100. in effect, the "hard to learn" skill is actually easier to learn in game than the "easy to learn" skill. whoops.

    e.g. part duh: my doctor skill is at 15 and my first aid skill is at 60. the difficulty to mend a broken limb with doctor is 20 (made up), 5 above my starting value. the difficulty to heal 3 points of damage with first aid is 65 (made up). based on this, what should the difficulty for repairing light damage to a broken computer be? the fact is, individual difficulty scales have no real bearing on the difficulty of tasks for other skills. despite this, all skills advance according to the same mathematical formula: from 1-50, one point. from 51-100, two points. 101+, four points. any uniformity in the system is lost because there isn't a universal scale for measuring difficulty and generating scores.

    the benefits of changing the system in this manner would be: a universal scale for skill progression that is much clearer to the player, a scale that is consistent in all of its elements (generation, progression, checking), and a scale that is easy for a GM to set difficulties for.

    * 2) collapse first aid into doctor and make basic healing simply a low difficulty task for the doctor skill. these do not need to be two separate skills. at low levels, doctor is often useless and at high levels, first aid is often useless.

    * 3) instead of small guns, energy weapons, and big guns, use pistols, rifles (includes shotguns), autofire, and heavy weapons. it more accurately divides the weapon skills by type. nothing kills the hard-on you have for your sniper character like picking up a laser rifle and finding that you're completely incompetent with it.

    * 4) remove percentile damage reduction and replace it with a damage threshhold. percentile damage reduction is a pain in the ass to calculate, and it results in some downright stupid situations. a leather jacket that protects against 20% of damage would actually help you more against a 100 point rifle shot to the chest than a 10 point handgun shot to the chest. what. on the other hand, if it were a damage threshhold, the leather jacket might help a reasonable amount against the pistol shot, but it will barely protect at all against the rifle shot.

    * 5) armor class should be solely derived from things that make you hard to hit, not from things that should absorb damage. the division between damage reduction and... i guess i'd call it "dodging" should be pretty heavily emphasized. hell, include a dodge skill that players can jack up (though it may be limited or penalized for heavy armor/high encumbrance). not everyone wants to make 2-ton juggernauts trudging across the desert in power armor. some people like to make stealthy mcdodgealot in desert camo hopping out of the darkness to snap necks and swerve around dozens of bullets.
    Poof, long post...

    Why all the Fallout questions ? by Odin - 14:35 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Bis Forums
    DJS was wondering why Chris Avellone, have posted some questions about Fallout lately. Is it because they're planning Fallout 3 or just something else?
    Chris A: I'm just trying to trim down the perks and traits (maybe revise some of them) for the Fallout PNP game.
    Well, there you have it kids.. no conspiracy there...

    The Wastes by Odin - 14:10 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Gage@The Wastes
    I just got word from Gage@The Wastes that The Wastes is still in development, here's what he said:
    We are still in development, the lack of news simply means that we havent had much of a chance to get some new screenshots and stuff out to the people yet, but overall things are going great(i just finished recoding the melee weapons, and working on akimbo weapons now). Lets put it this way: if the mod project were to ever be cancelled for any reason, The website viewers would be among the first to know. Right now we're just trying to get ready for more beta testing etc, so no new screenshots are available.

    Monday, August 19

    Fallout gets MAC'ed by Odin - 13:25 - Comment Me (3) - News Source: DAC
    As reported earlier Macplay was working on getting Fallout on for the MAC, and now it's finally come.
    Product Description:

    The world has been blown into a permanent nuclear winter following World War III. Survivors live in underground concrete vaults - safe from the radiation which still infects the planet. The HІO system, however, is in danger of contamination and now someone needs to venture out from Vault 13. That someone is you!

    System Requirements

    Mac OS X 10.1.4 or later
    128MB RAM
    600MB Disk Space
    Oh, to bad I don't have a MAC...

    Kruddman has left The Wastes by Odin - 10:42 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: The Wastes
    I've noticed that the guys over at The Wastes have been very quiet lately, so I decided to search through their forums and see what was going on. I found a thread were Kruddman says he has left the team and it seems under not so good terms either.. I'll follow up on this story and what's going on with The Wastes..

    Perks and traits by Odin - 10:39 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Bis Forums
    Good Old Chris Avellone posted a thread on the Bis forums, asking what Perks/traits you liked/disliked in Fallout 1,2 and Fallout Tactics, here's what he said:
    What Perks in Fallout 1, 2, and FOT do you like?

    What Perks do you hate?

    What Perks do you think are underpowered, overrated, or utterly useless?

    Same thing for Traits, if you feel the need.
    Go here to voice your opinion..

    Friday, August 16

    New Post-Apocalyptic game by Odin - 20:55 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: DAC
    Red! found this little baby, when surfing around. Apparently it's a new Post-Apocalyptic game called "Revenge", some features:
    Special features of the game:

    - its own innovative role system;
    - nonlinear subject, the complete freedom of actions;
    - completely three-dimensional cursor;
    - gripping step-by-step combat;
    - powerful/thick combat and noncombat AI:now play peace/world will live its life;
    - the unique post nuclear atmosphere of game, similar to that that it was into Fallout.
    Oh, sounds sweet..

    Interplay by Odin - 20:52 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
    Well for those of you that's interessted in the money part of Interplay, here's the second quarter report:
    For the second quarter ended June 30, 2002, the Company reported net income of $20.9 million, or $.22 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $12.4 million, or ($.34) per share, in the same period last year. The net income reported in the second quarter of 2002 was primarily the result of the recording of a $28.8 million gain on the sale of Shiny Entertainment. Net revenues for the second quarter 2002 were $11.8 million versus $14.8 million in the same period a year ago, a decrease of 20 percent. Gross profit margin for the second quarter 2002 was 10 percent, compared to 26 percent in the second quarter of 2001. Finally, operating losses decreased 38 percent from prior year to $7.1 million from $11.4 million reported in the second quarter 2002 and 2001, respectively.
    And also on a similar note, Interplay faces delisting from Nasdaq:
    Ill news in regard to Interplay's listing on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market. According to a Nasdaq Staff Determination letter, the publisher failed to regain compliance with the minimum $1.00 bid price per share requirement for continued listing and is not eligible for an additional 180 calendar day grace period, since the company does not meet the initial inclusion requirements. Interplay's securities will be delisted from the Nasdaq SmallCap Market at the opening of business on August 22, 2002, unless the company appeals the Staff's determination before August 21, 2002. A hearing before a Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel has been requested to review the Staff's decision on the delisting. Interplay can, however, not assure that the Panel will grant its request for continued listing.
    Spotted at Gamespy and DAC.

    Wednesday, August 14

    Fallout mod for Morrowind by Odin - 21:47 - Comment Me (8) - News Source: DAC
    I noticed over at DAC that there is a Fallout inspired mod for Morrowind, read here:
    I don't know if you guys have heard about this one, but some British fans of the Fallout series have decided to make a total conversion for Morrowind (The Elder Scrolls Three, you know that RPG that is said to be "The most innovative and immersive to date") that is based on THE FALLOUT UNIVERSE!!! here is there web site: Apocalypse - A Post Nuclear Mod for Morrowind

    It's still in the early stages of development, maybe you can pass the word along that they need some 3D artists (not to mention plenty of ideas). They're also looking for some scanned pictures of landmark cities and buildings to help get the setting as accurate as possible. So put this up in the news section.
    Oh, could be sweet...

    Tuesday, August 13

    Fallout editors now/later? by Odin - 13:36 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: Bis Forums
    Chris Avellone posted a poll on the Bis forums asking if BIS should release the editors for Fallout 1 & 2 now with no documentation or later with documentation:
    I'm posing this poll as a hypothetical question. No action may come from it, but I am curious what you guys would think about BIS releasing the Fallout editors.

    But before you cast your vote, some disclaimers.

    One, these editors are not the holy grail. You will not suddenly have a light shine down on you from above and allow you to instantly create any Fallout scenario you require - especially since scripting and dialogue are a different beast altogether. Furthermore, after playing around with the editors for five minutes, you may discover that your eyes are bleeding and a strange rash is forming on your fingers - and whatever you do, don't scratch.

    Two, BIS could not offer on-line support at this time or even provide the support documentation required anytime soon. The few people (maybe 2) who even remember how to use it are currently very busy with in-house projects. Given a few months, we might be able to put some documentation together, but our ability to support it on-line is unlikely.

    Three, this wouldn't include the source code.

    So, my poll concerns this:

    1. Would you rather have the editors as soon as possible without waiting a few months for documentation (which could be provided later) just so you could play around with them? Or...

    2. Would you rather wait until all the documentation is in place and then get it at some point later down the road? I don't know when this would happen, or the extent of documentation that would be avaliable (again, I don't know how much the editor folks remember about it, and we don't have a programmer avaliable to dissect it), so it may not help out in the end.

    In any event, this poll is purely hypothetical, and again, no action may come from it. But we're curious to hear your opinions.

    You may thank Mr. Sawyer for pushing the idea, Feargus for listening, and Darren Monahan for permission to post this question.
    Thanks guys !!!! Now gitt on over and vote!

    Saturday, August 10

    PC Gamer UK posts their top 100 games: by Rosh - 8:18 - Comment Me (14) - News Source: DAC
    Fallout 2 comes in at #90, a bit under Tempest 2000, an arcade-style game from 1994. The original Fallout is not even on the list.

    The Fallout Universe was rendered in beautiful isometric detail. This is a dirty, grimy, dangerous, toxin ridden role-playing world. Whilst it runs apace a few yards behind the mighty Baldur's Gate II, this strong sequel improved on the original in all manner of ways. The actual universe remains much the same, with you going out on a complex quest across the radiation ravaged northern California to find yourself a garden of Eden kit (no, really). There were a few frustrating, stumbling block puzzles that upset, but put some spine into it and you, like many others, will gain immeasurable pleasures from this post-apocalyptic challenge.

    Odd, since Fallout seemed to capture the feeling of the setting much better.

    This is brought to you by the same people that rated Planescape: Tournament at #26. There is no logic to their rating system, other than the "hat" system, where they drew the names out of a hat. System Shock 2 comes in just barely above Micro Machines at #33, and Tie-Fighter was just above that. The Sims was way down on the list, too, at #38. Dungeon Keeper (#98) was beaten by some chintzy game from Japan called "Mr. Driller" (#94) that looks like it was written in Flash 4. Both were under the appropriate spot of #69 - Star Wars Episode I Racer, which sucks doubly against the likes of Wipeout and it's sequels.

    Side note: Fallout was rated at #4 by PC Gamer US. As much as I've despised PC Gamer US in the past, it's good to see that someone proves they are not the worst around. Thank you, PC Gamer UK.

    Thursday, August 8

    New BIS project ? by Odin - 15:22 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
    For those of you who heard about the IceWind Dale:Ark of Warrior "game". Have no fear it turned out to be a bundlepack made out of Icewind Dale, Heart of Winter and Trials of the Luremaster...

    Wasteland Revival move by Odin - 15:19 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: DAC
    Sorry for the lack of updates guys and gals, but I've been quite busy lately with moving to a new flat, my new motorcycle etc...etc... There haven't been that much Fallout news either, so... But it seems the Wasteland Revival has moved to beeing hosted at DAC, they've also posted some more news about the project:
    Now some stuff about the project: It's been long since the last update and many of you might be interested in the progress. Sourcecode development didn't proceed very much because I have been working on all the other aspects of the project the last two weeks.

    Yesterday I've played Wasteland on CCS64 (an emulator for the Commodore 64) and I've come to the point that this should definitely be the inspiration for the project more than any other version of the game. I've also received some interface examples, lots of other artwork and some title suggestions. This just makes the decision harder which style to use.

    Some people already offered their help on developing the storyline. Thanks folks. I guess by friday I'll have some kind of main storyline finished.

    That's it for now.
    Sounds great, keep it up !!

    Thursday, August 1

    Fallout Bible 7 by Odin - 8:47 - Comment Me (0) - News Source: DAC
    I noticed that the guys at DAC had posted a web-based version of the Fallout Bible update 7, I was meaning to do this myself and also have a Fallout Bible section. But since I still haven't gotten my DSL line, I can't do much...sorry guys..will update alot more when I move..

    More about Jefferson by Odin - 8:35 - Comment Me (6) - News Source: Bis Forums
    JE Saywer was kind enough to answer some of mine and others questions about the Jefferson project. Here's what he said about how far they had gotten on the project:
    We are creating game assets right now. It's been in pre-production for over a year with a skeleton crew working on it. Only for the past sixth months have we had a larger development staff. Some of those resources also went towards finishing up IWD2. It initially started with just Chris Parker, Brian Hendley, Vance Kovacs, John Watson, and me.

    The team currently has about ten programmers, ten artists, and five designers (me, Kihan Pak, John Deiley, Scott Everts, and Damien Foletto). We are at the stage where we are making core game assets and preparing a demo (demo for launch, not demo for general consumption).

    And no, it's not Fallout 3.
    Well, I knew that! But I'm still curious about what it is..
    And a question about what game assets are:
    Game assets are the pieces of data that the game actually uses. Not just vague design ideas sitting in a document somewhere. Creature files, weapon files, maps, scripts, etc.
    This is like a school isn't it?!
    Last, but not least, hints to what Jefferson is:
    Unfortunately, what I can tell you is limited.

    * The game is not Fallout 3.
    * The game will be role-playing oriented.
    * My design focus has been somewhere between high concept and practical fun. I've never been a big fan of ethereal notions of game design. That said, I've taken a very long look at the way we've done things in the past, and I believe that we are trying to do some very ambitious things that are a step above and beyond what we have done in the past.

    I hate the word "revolutionary". Things aren't revolutionary until a community sees how those things impact the rest of the community. We're doing evolutionary things in Jefferson, but I believe they are significant steps forward.
    ..ooh...I wonder what this is..