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December 2001

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Tuesday, December 25

Wishing you a Merry Christmas: by Rosh - 2:28 - Comment Me (1) - News Source:
Chanukah, Yule, etc.

*walks off humming parts of Christmas at Ground Zero*

"...what a crazy fluke, we're gonna get nuked, on this jolly holiday..."

Friday, December 21

More Feargus stuff.. by Odin - 10:41 - Comment Me (6) - News Source:
Feargus is holding his promise to stay active on the BIS Forum around these times, so he came, he saw and he posted this:
First of all, although I might have missed it, Fallout did a couple more things to simulate things realistically. Armor had an Armor Class (AC), Damage Resistance (DR) and Damage Threshold (DT). AC helped determine if something was hit by reducing the attacker's to hit roll by the amount of the defender's AC, while DT and DR affected damage. DT subtracted from the damage of each hit, and the DR took away its amount from the remaining damage.

As for making things extremely realistic - that is a very tough question and it really depends on game player's. In the BG series and IWD there were a number of factors to do with armor and weapons that modified things more than just AC and to Hit. The engine treated slashing, crushing, and thrusting damage differently as each armor and monster could have different resistances to each of those items. It is possible, that this was not super obvious all of the time, but those factors were being used.

Now as an opinion, I think it can get very confusing if there are thirty different factors that define a weapon. At some point, someone needs to be able to tell if a certain weapon is better than another. If there are too many factors then that can be difficult. If we make certain weapons and armor much better in relation to certain damage or attack types then we have to give the player notice when they are going to be useful. If we don't, then people usually don't want to take the time to switch weapons and armor in the middle of a battle.

Anyway, in general, I think a certain amount of realism is a good thing, but it needs to be tempered by efficient gameplay and clear item power levels.
Link: Thread

Thursday, December 20

Rant.... by Odin - 16:10 - Comment Me (1) - News Source:
Well I just wanted to let you all know that I'm going away for two weeks as of this friday, I'll probably pop in a couple of times but I'll be away most of the time.Rosh will still be here and post as much as he can, and who knows, maybe Miro also comes popping in.

I also thought that I would let you all know what I'm doing with NMA these days, so here goes. First off I'm working on a new maps section for Fallout Tactics with ratings,the missions/maps section is also under works, so is the download section and we are also working on a new design that I hope we have real soon. I hope that you guys and gals are happy with the new server, cause I haven't seen a single error message, except some on the download section (my bad!).

Now I want to urge everyone that has a fallout related file, map, picture with easter egg and suggestions/opinions to mail them to me.

Well if I don't post anything tomorrow, Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and let's all keep our fingeres cross and hope that Fallout 3 gets announced soon (hopefully just after the New Year, heh Feargus?).

Wednesday, December 19

Darwins World by Odin - 9:22 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
A guy called Crakkie posted a message on the Vault13 forum about a Pen and Paper RPG set in a post apocalyptic wasteland, the game is called Darwins World and here's the story:
All sorts of strange life forms have arisen in the aftermath of the great apocalypse nonetheless. The drastic mutative effects of gamma and ultraviolet radiations, as well as mutated bioagents, have created vast aberrancies in man and animal. Mental diminishing and physical mutation seem most common, especially as survival has come to rely mostly on strength and the ability to thrive in the hostile clime of desert and ruin. The population of the world (the very size of which brought about their own downfall) is now drastically reduced - war, plague, and poisoned environs reduced the world population to 1/100 of its former size. The sterility caused by radiation has further helped to ensure all life is dwindling, and dwindling fast. Although every generation at least one "breeder" is born, their ability to reproduce and restock the populace is unable to cope with the threats and hazards of the world climate. It is truly a dying planet.
Link: Darwins World
Spotted at Vault13.

Fallout Concept Art by Odin - 9:15 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
JC from Vault13 managed to obtain two (well actually three since I didn't write about the worldmap) concept art images from Fallout 1, Chris Avellone managed to dig them up. Lookie here:
Images hosted at Vault13.

Tuesday, December 18

More from Feargus Urquhart.. by Odin - 10:51 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
I actually forgot to post this last night, so I'll just post it now. In the former post I did about Fallout 3 (What FU said about it), he also said quite alot more, but not much about Fallout. But for those interessted you can all go here and read for yourself.

And J.E.Sawyer has posted quite a lot on this thread.

Ask Avellone updated by Odin - 10:24 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
I also spotted at RPGDot that the "Ask Chris Avellone" page had been updated at Vault13 .And this time it's quite a treat, Aaron Polk had fooled around in Fallout 2's programming and found 3 towns that didn't exsist in the game.So he asked about them, and here's what Chris said:
When Matt Norton, Jason Suinn, Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky, and Jason Anderson were laying out the locations for Fallout 2 in the first month or two of the design process, there were a whole bunch of locations in the design document. As the project went on, we didn't have time to do all the locations, so we had to shelve three of the bonus locations: the Abbey, the EPA, and the Primitive Tribe. I was slated to do the EPA, but I only got two or three dialogues into it before the cancellation happened (no big loss, New Reno had already swelled beyond all reason)....
There's more here, so go read..

Updated: JC had actually emailed me about this, thanks man!

New Poll by Odin - 10:20 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Well this just gets funnier and funnier, this time around RPGDot have posted a poll where they ask what's the best RPG of 2001 and guess what..Fallout Tactics is one of them. So go and vote for it.
Spotted at RPGDot.

Fallout 3 rumor.. by Odin - 10:15 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Well this had to happen didn't it, actually I was waiting for an email about this. Gadro from Frenchvault sent me an email well here's the deal:
A well informed and well placed (video games industry) source from me send me word that a Fallout game and an other BIS RPG will be release in 2002. i dont think it will be FOT2... (cf. Vault13 news about sideline project) so, Fallout3 seems to be a good option.
Need I say more? Well actually I do, remember that this is only a rumor.
Thanks to Gadro for informing me!

Netscape and the Download Engine: by Rosh - 1:43 - Comment Me (8) - News Source:
Well, it seems like Netscape has a problem formatting HTML. Namely when it comes to something around <html><head> at the beginning of the document. Hopefully, by adding in a meta tag telling it should be HTML despite the tags telling it already, it should work. It originally linked to a stylesheet along text/css, not as some thought of text/plain, and I'm not about to go into how Netscape works with CSS... If it does/does not work for our Netscape users, please comment on this article.

Monday, December 17

Info About FO3 by Odin - 13:41 - Comment Me (3) - News Source:
No it's not announced yet, but this was stated on the BIS forum:
Fallout 3 - You guys don't have to convince us to make it. It is what we want to do. I will hopefully have more to say on this early in the new year - and this is not just to put you all off.
Don't know if this is an old post or what, but I spotted this at RPGVault

WHL not dead by Odin - 10:38 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Since Gaist haven't updated Wasteland Half-Life web page in quite awhile, we were wondering if they had already started their X-Mas holliday, but Kreegle spotted something on their WHL Forum.Well there's not much to say but, puh! and it's great to see that you guys are still working on it.


Spotted at DAC.

X-Mas Gift? by Odin - 10:33 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Kreegle also got word from Darwin that Fallout Tactics is on sale, lookie here:
Just thought I'd let you know (in the spirit of a certain over-commercialized holiday that shall remain nameless), that Comp USA is now selling Fallout:Tactics for $4.99 (about 10x less than I paid for it). Happy Shopping.
Great gift! Even as a backup CD!
Spotted at DAC.

More on BIS by Odin - 10:30 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Kreegle also spotted some "news" about these two unannounced new projects that BIS is working on, read here:
Remember the two projects that Feargus mentioned a while ago? They're closer to being done.

I'll expand a little bit on the previous statement.

We are not being excessively rushed to finish the projects we are working on. I know that was a fear among some fans. I think Feargus, the producers, and all of the leads believe that we are working on reasonable schedules.

The circumstances that prevent us from announcing our projects are currently completely out of our control. We are just developers. We are working at a brisk pace and, while we are watching the sky, I believe that most of us do not expect it to fall.

I know that, given Interplay's current situation, a lot of people expect the company to fold and/or for BIS employees to break and run. I think most of us would rather lock on bayonets and keep marching forward.
Now J.E. steps in and elaborates:
BIS is a part of Interplay, as everyone knows; our fate is tied to theirs. Black Isle has had a series of profitable titles and two canceled projects. We know that we have the ability to make good games. We also know that we are fallible. Our two current projects were originally on a tighter (some might say unreasonable) schedule. Now they are on a more reasonable schedule, thanks in part to Feargus.

Objective consumers can view the situation however they want to. When we come out with a new game, they can sniff it, poke it, prod it, look at reviews, and decide whether or not they want to buy it. You exercised this caution with TotLM because you were unhappy with HoW. Other consumers have the same opportunities. Their fate isn't tied to BIS. Though they may miss our games, there are plenty of other titles out there that can occupy their time.

I was intentionally vague with my initial statement. We are, indeed, closer to being done with our two projects. How close? I won't even dare to make any estimates on another title's production schedule unless I go insane. I'm done playing fortune teller. Leave it to meteorologists and political scientists.
So there you have it guys, they'll take their time and I can understand why.
Spotted at DAC.

New FOT Maps by Odin - 10:26 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Kreegle at DAC have received a bucket load (erm..well almost) of new FOT maps, I'll also post many of these maps here on NMA soon.As soon as I can get some freetime and do the maps section, which I have to slip in between work and other work on NMA. You've guys probably also spotted that I've updated the binaries section quite alot, and will continue to do so later today.
So remember to send in those files and maps to me if you've got some, and I'll post them.

Link: DAC FOT Maps section

Friday, December 14

Quiz: by Rosh - 3:06 - Comment Me (7) - News Source:
I thought we had enough news tests, I thought I'd try a quiz, instead.

Thursday, December 13

More Notes by Rosh - 5:28 - Comment Me (4) - News Source:
Well, as you might notice, I tweaked the downloads near the headlines so they now go through the download engine. This way, you can have a brief intro, and a bit more. Also counts them, too. I moved the comments so that they are in the title of the news item.

On another note, thanks to those who commented on the article about the Fo/Fo2 deal from Interplay (Ether, briosafreak, True_Raven, blinky). It looks like unfortunately it does not include the manuals. A shame, too, since they were a couple of the best manuals I've seen in a long time.

Wednesday, December 12

Static Interview nr. 2 by Odin - 23:48 - Comment Me (1) - News Source:
This is great to see, the Fallout community has been refreshed by the "discovery" of the game Static.Good old JC from Vault13 have interviewed Bill Fox, who's the lead game developer/artist for the Static game. Here's a snibblet from it:
JC: Static seems to be influenced very much by Fallout. What would you say the key similarities and differences are between the two games?

BF: Fallout had an enormous influence when developing this. But, if you can believe it, Deus Ex, Half Life (Counter Strike) and Metal Gear had just as strong an influence. Each one had elements or things that I wanted to see compiled into a single game. But as for Fallout, the similarities are fair. It's set in a post-apocalyptic time that has many old and decrepit elements. We use a similar layout of skills and menu access on the in-game GUI. We also split up the character stats into attributes and skills (but ours are military based, as the object you're interacting with is a military product. So instead of stealing or thievery, we have "Acquisition"). We danced around with using "expertise" instead of perks (your character claims to be an expert in a field), but haven't made a final decision. We will also have companions. A few things that we do differently are things like "suggestions" which is a story element found in STATIC. These are the messages sent to the player by an unknown source. We also have something currently called a "Quick Item bar". In your inventory you can "tag" items to be put into this bar (not unlike belt items). We don't limit the number of items in it. Kind of like playing from your inventory. There are a number of other things in STATIC that differ that are still being worked out.
Really worth a read, so go and check it out here.
Thanks to Saint Proverbius for msg me about it!

Things look in order, now by Rosh - 16:53 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Well, first of all, I have to give a hand to Odin for moving the massive amount of files we have here. I couldn't do it with my current connection. Secondly, you might notice that the scripts on this site actually WORK regularly now.

Yes, it got tiresome when every script execution, albeit correctly configured, targeted the groin of Gamestats' CGI/Perl/Whatever with a 95% probability, 300% Small Guns skill, and about 3,000 points into the More Criticals Perk. In other words, during the daytime, if you got a successful script execution - you were bloody lucky.

I have a backlog of easter egg submissions, and I will be working on those soon, as well as the quests section. I might toss together a staff page sometime, just as a 'who is who' thing. This move took a higher priority over much else, I'm sure you would agree. The frequent and inexplicable errors killed off a lot of the traffic to this site, as well as a good bit of our message board community. I can just hope that it comes back soon. On a brighter, if minor note, our newsletter submission can be put back onto the front page. Now we just need to make one now and then from the news articles. Volunteers?

A Late Holiday Note by Rosh - 15:14 - Comment Me (4) - News Source:
Well, the dual-jewel of Fallout is available at Interplay's store for a very low $9.99. With shipping, it comes to about $14.98. Not a bad price for giving a friend one of the best CRPG experiences to date. Unfortunately, I don't know whether they do or do not come with the really nice manuals the originals did. Can someone who has one of these versions verify for me if they are the wire-wound manuals?

Check it out!

Interplay's site also says that Fallout Tactics has been reduced in price to...$39.49? Hrm. Tell you what, ol' Rosh has gone looking and has found a better price than that. Instead, check out this place for some significant savings. price is $24.90, and it's the retail box (original) version. That's about a 37% savings from Interplay's price.

Even if not for a friend or family, you can get both games for a really sweet price, that of around $44.87 US (incl. US shipping, and not tax). Not a bad deal, eh?

Static Interview by Rosh - 15:13 - Comment Me (2) - News Source:
Spotted over at V13, there is an interview with the lead developer of Static, Bill Fox.
[A] How combat-oriented will STATIC be? Can you win the game without killing anyone?
[B] Combat is a tricky thing in STATIC. We have been trying to keep it less about endurance (trading "whack for whack") and focused on stealth and reasoning. You won't be able to finish the game without fighting, as that is a fun element for the player. Were still working out the details. OH, and for you Fallout fans, I'm sure we might lose you on this, but we have decided to forego any visible "action point" system for the real-time (pausable) mode found in the Baldur's Gate series.

New Interview at Fallout PNP by Odin - 14:46 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Jason Mical from Fallout PNP emailed me that they had interviewed Sci-Fi author Michael Reisig, lookie here:
Fallout PnP is proud to bring the Fallout community more exclusive content: this time, an interview with up-and-coming sci-fi author Michael Reisig, who wrote the post-apocalyptic tale "The New Madrid Run." He talks about the advantages of self-publishing in an increasingly market-driven world, and the scientific principles behind his unique vision of the end of the world. Check it out here

Also, the response to the call for artists has been fantastic. Anyone else who is interested should email me, and I'm hoping to have a page specifically for artists on the website in the near future.

Finally, I'm finalizing an outline of content for version 3.0 - the so-called "final version" of Fallout PnP. And yes, the rumors are true, I'm in the process of locating a publisher. I may have to go the self-publishing route myself and start my own game company to do it, but hey, what's free time for? :)
So go and check it out..

Another test: by Rosh - 14:43 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:

Tuesday, December 11

Fallout's Successor? by Rosh - 3:38 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Spotted over at V13, there is news of another post-apocalyptic game in the works. I looked at the screenshots, and I was amazed at some of the style and potential depth. Already from the screenshots, I get a feel of the same kind of 'tech in decay' that made up much of Fallout, particularly with the style of the BioBuddy. Functionality and design look pretty nice, considering the inventory screen. The in-game roam looks great, with an isometric engine with what looks like more variety and detail than Fallout, while keeping it to a tried and true 2d iso. The transition from playing Fallout to this game, it looks like it might very well feel comfortable to those who have wandered the wastes before. Particularly with what looks like speech trees!

I'll be keeping an eye on this title, Static, and see how it develops out, and report back with more info as it comes. Thank you ApTyp for passing this on to us, as with the current financial trouble Interplay is in, it looks like this may very well be the next post-apocalyptic CRPG of note.


Monday, December 10

Fallout Tactics 2 Petition by Odin - 10:40 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
After Paul Fowler read the news about Fallout Tactics 2 (was in progress, but was canned), he decided that he wanted to start a petition to make Interplay aware that people really wanted Fallout Tactics 2. So if you agree, go and sign the petition and possibly make Fallout Tactics 2 happen.
Link: Fallout Tactics 2 Petition

New Fallout Fansite by Odin - 10:37 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
13thGhost from Brotherhood 13 emailed me that he had made a new fansite for Fallout, so go ver and check it out.
Link: Brotherhood 13

Friday, December 7

Sprite Editor Updated by Odin - 9:57 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Ausir from Fallout PL mailed me about the update on the Sprite Editor (Spray), it's now gone to version 1.1. Here's what's been changed:
- Now its possible to change order of Sequences
- Fixed info on some values
- More detailed instructions on making a raw file for Spray included in readme (this file)
- Export image option
Thanks to Ausir for emailing me!
Link: Spray v1.1,Fallout PL

Thursday, December 6

Interview with MicroFort� by Odin - 10:59 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Good old John De Margheriti (CEO Microfort�) have recently given an interview with the australian version of G-Spot and he gave out some little treats, read her:
GS: Let me understand this: you're saying that Fallout Tactics, Brotherhood of Steel was a sideline project for Microfort�?

JD: Yes. It was.
GS: Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel was a very well received game, in light of that, can you explain the colon separating the game's name? Is that allowing for sequels of Tactics?

JD: Put it this way. We were working, here's a bit of a scoop, we were working on Fallout Tactics 2. We'd started on it and signed the contract. But that project got cancelled by Interplay.
Want to read more?
Spotted at Blue's News.

Monday, December 3

Fallout PNP Updated part II by Odin - 14:34 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Yes, Jason has again updated Fallout PNP with an interview with David Brin (quote:"Hugo-winning sci-fi author and all around great guy."), you can read the interview here.
Thanks again to Jason for informing me!

Graphics Artist wanted!! by Odin - 10:42 - Comment Me (8) - News Source:
As we are updating NMA quite alot soon, I'm in desperate need of an skilled artist, who can do some ad banners, buttons, logo etc. So if you're interessed in helping NMA out, send me an email right away!!

Fallout PNP updated by Odin - 10:23 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
I got an email into my little mailbox from Jason Mical from Fallout PNP , and here's the info:
Site update today. We have a new adventure by Sniggy - A Vatful of FEV. It's the adventure that the crew at FallCon 2001 played this year. Also, there's an awesome Random Encounters sourcebook that has all the Encounters from the discussion group as well as the encounters from FO1, FO2, and FO3.

The biggest news right now is that David Brin, Hugo-winning sci-fi writer and author of "The Postman", "Earth," and "Startide Rising," granted the Fallout PnP community an exclusive interview. We rapped about sci-fi in general, post-apocalyptic sci-fi in particular, stereotypes in the genre, writing RPGs, and, of course, movies. Look for that in a couple of days. I'm also in the process of getting another exclusive interview with a major post-apocalyptic fiction writer in the near future.

Keep on writing, everyone. I can assure you that the Great Wastes sourcebook is progressing. I won't say how fast, but it's lumbering towards completion like a gigantic four-legged dinosaur.
Thanks for emailing me, Jason!

More on Fallout 2 1/2 by Odin - 10:19 - Comment Me (0) - News Source:
Dolo from DTeam 3D Design Goop got a question about the campaign he's doing for Fallout Tactics, read about it here:
FireT: Since it is supposed to become a Fallout 2 1/2, I was wondering where the story should take place. Also what are the graphical and technical limits?

DTeam: Thanks for writing us FireT! We are planning on a lot of variety. Certain technology will be introduced to change the game dynamics extensively. For example, the character will have stealth technology early on that will make them hard to encounter in the world, reducing encounters in the world map. We don't plan on relying on the world map as much as other developers have, in that we are planning on introducing a new technology that will transport characters to locations quickly. Our campaign will be primarily an East coast one; from DC to Florida.

Technically the only limitation is the lack of speech clicking by the player. Instead of answering to NPCs, we must introduce more action based gameplay to determine the events. While this is a challenge I think it is a good one and one that is worthwhile. We are going to consider ALL submitted material and we will try to adopt it to our campaign if it's of good quality. Finally, we encourage users to submit character, quest and plot ideas to us -- only the very best will be used. :)
Sounds great, anyone who can help Dolo and his crew do so!!