rss rss Like this on facebook Twitter this +1 this Steam group

Go back to the archive

News for Sunday, December 30, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 19:09

Some dude called Mr. Wolna entered our forums to show his project to us, a project to expand the talking heads in Fallout 2.

Some neat stuff in there...


Link: Fallout Portrait Pack thread on NMA.

News for Saturday, December 29, 2007

Posted by Wasteland Stories - at 17:29

Another year has passed and RPG Codex sums up the results in an "A year in Review" article. A significant part of it is devoted to Fallout 3.

It seems Bethesda likes all things nuclear. By shooting at abandoned cars, you'll be able to provoke small nuclear explosions. One of your weapons (called "Fatman") will use nuclear bombs as ammunition. The game also has its own Fargoth, but this time it's a whole city! Creatively named "Megaton", it was built in (or around, if you prefer trusting Desslock to believing Pete Hines) the crater of an unexploded bomb. And you can bet your vintage Ink Spots collection that the magnificent example of choice given to the player (you can explode the bomb, or NOT!) will be mentioned a hundred times in the game's previews to come. The screenshots we've seen contain almost exclusively bloom; the teaser we've watched was uninspired at best. (The magnificent concept art we were shown turned out not to have anything to do with the game.)

All in all, it seems that Bethesda vaguely know which direction they should take to stay true to the original game, but unfortunately it also looks like they're failing at doing so. For example, perhaps they heard someone somewhere praising Fallout for exploring the „shades of grey” approach to morality, so... (if you trust a recent interview with Hines) Fallout 3 will have Good Folks and Bad Folks, but the player will be able to stay neutral!
2007 - A Year in Review.

Posted by 13pm - at 13:24

Playstation the Official Magazine posted their top 10 PS3 games for 2008. Fallout 3 is #5 and there's a short Q&A with Emil Pagliarulo on it. Some tidbits are transcribed and posted at GameFAQs board:

PTOM (Playstation the Official Magazine): For a Playstation audience whose only contact with the "Fallout" franchise might be BoS, what is Fallout, in a nutshell?

EP(Emil): "Fallout," as a franchise, is all about finding your way in an open-ended, post-apocalyptic world. There's good, there's evil, and there's everything in between. So for the player, it's all about doing what you want, how you want. There's always a greater good, a sense of nobility and selfless purpose that you can champion... if you want. If you wander through the rubble and be a complete ass, well, you can do that, too!

"Fallout" is also different from other post-apocalyptic settings in that the America that got destroyed wasn't our America, not as we know it today. It was the year 2077, and the country had developed into a much more of a 50's version of the future. You know, the "World of Tomorrow" ideal. Women with the beehive haircuts were driving around with their robots in nuclear-powered cars- and then they all blew up.

PTOM: Your resume includes the "Thief" series and "Oblivion" (particularly Dark Brotherhood quests,) so you like the sneak-and-stab style of gameplay?

EP: I love the subtlety of that type of gameplay, taking a break from the frenetic action to approach a scenario more methodically. So yeah, playing the sneaking, back-stabbing type of character is very possible in "Fallout 3." In fact, there's a particular stealth tactic made infamous in the previous "Fallout" games, and we're really psyched to have that in "Fallout 3." I'll give you a hint- it involves pockets and explosives.

Ah, and there are a couple of new Perks (special abilities you choose when leveling up) I think stealth-loving players are going to really enjoy...

PTOM
: Given your experience with open-world game designs, what is the extra firepower of next-gen technology allowing you to do for gameplay, above and beyond the obvious graphical enhancements?

EP: Great question. I'll admit I've become much more of a graphics whore than I used to be, but I still take rich gameplay experiences and immersion over anisotropic filtering and specular mapping any day. So for me, it's all about using the tech to make the worlds more believable. Shiny graphics help with that, but so does full audio for every character, our Radiant AI system for a full range of character behaviors with full 24/7 schedules, and the ability to make worlds as large as they want. With today's tech, the little sandbox becomes an entire playground. For a game designer, that's a dream come true.

PTOM: How many creature designs did you produce for the bestiary? Any particularly dumb ideas that are worth recounting for comedic value?

EP: You know, honestly, it really wasn't like that. We had such a great roster of baddies to draw from already; the selection process was actually pretty smooth. So we've got lots of existing "Fallout" creatures, from the vicious Deathclaws to the brutish Supermutants. For those classics, our job is making sure we do them justice, making sure we bring them to life on next-gen platforms in ways that are consistent and respectful to the source material. And any time we've created a new character, we've been bound by the same principles. Does this fit into "Fallout?" Does this match the vibe of our unique world?
Link: Fallout 3 Q&A transcription at Gamefaqs board.

Thanks scabble.

News for Friday, December 28, 2007

Posted by Morbus - at 14:27

Fallout: Between Good and Evil website was updated some days ago. There are some new images in their gallery. Here’s some of the artwork (be sure to check on the rest if you’re interested, screenshots too):


In addition, they are still looking for new team members:
To hasten the development, we still seek scripters and people skilled (!) in converting art for Fallout (we have art, but not enough people to convert it to frm). If you feel you can help, contact us using forum or email. We also appreciate freelancers, who contribute with single assignments (art, sound, music, video,...)

In longer term, we are looking forward to welcoming English proofreader(s) in our team, artist with passion for video and several Polish, Russian or other translators - depends on number of Fallout fan(atics) in each country.
Link: Optimistic Christmas update @ Official Site
Link: Fallout: Between Good & Evil Gallery

News for Thursday, December 27, 2007

Posted by Jesterka - at 21:39

Our Czech brethren bring us...

TPGC: Did you consult any of the original Fallout developers?
PH: No...I mean, we've spoken with some of them, but at the end of the day the people making the game have to buy into it. Obviously there was a lot of stuff there to look at in terms of reference material, so what those chairs look like, if you go back and play the original Fallout, that's exactly what they look like in the original vault. A lot of it was just our folks taking a look at what that game or those games had done and then did their best to bring that into a first or third-person 3D environment.
There's also 'October 2008' as a shipping date, not Fall. Might be the magazine's interpretation or a new confirmed date, this is unknown.

Spotted on Vault of Mad Brahmin, where you can find other scanned pages (6 pages + 1 cover). Thanks JaW.

News for Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Posted by Morbus - at 11:41

The new gameplay demo vídeo for Age of Decadence has been finally released. You can download it here. Here’s a post from Vince D. Weller:

(...) The mechanics aren't perfect, but now they are much, much closer to what we want them to be. Nothing more tweaking won't fix. And just for the record, the "say hello to my little friend" thing at the end was a joke and is not in the game.
Download: Age of Decadence combat video
Link: Youtube version

Thanks Yellow for the Youtube link.

News for Saturday, December 22, 2007

Posted by 13pm - at 0:22

The last newsletter from Bethesda Softworks includes links to the exclusive holiday wallpapers. You can take a look at them in our gallery:


There are different sizes available including ones for widescreen displays. If you need one, you can find a link for a suitable wallpaper by subscribing to Bethesda's newsletter.

Link: Bethesda Softworks newsletter

News for Friday, December 21, 2007

Posted by Morbus - at 17:53

New Dawn official site has just been updated with four new render. Here’s from their newspost:

It's been quite a while since our last update so to assure you we're still alive and kicking we want to show you some brand new stuff from the New Dawn demo version. In the Gallery you will find the main character of the episode plus a player-controlled party member. The hero, whose name is Morh, sports three types clothing and you can find more information about this persona in the Characters section. We hope those renderings will make the waiting time for the demo more bearable.


Link: New Dawn website

Thanks Sethergal.

Posted by 13pm - at 11:44

Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog has put up an interview with Brother None and SuAside, NMA members that went to Leipzig to see the Fallout 3 demo and then wrote a detailed Fallout 3 preview based on what they've seen.

How did the idea of going to watch the Fallout 3 demo come about? Was there really a need of some secrecy and why?

SuAside: I simply heard that NMA was thinking of sending people to Leipzig. I figured I might as well chip in and go see FO3 for myself. I’m sure you would’ve done the same if you were given the same opportunity. Since I was available and had the right background, I decided to volunteer.<...>
As for the secrecy part? I never hid the fact that I was an NMA regular. My nickname on the Madshrimps.com site is the same as the one I use on NMA. I never actually lied about my motivation either, I was there to write a review for [M] but at the same time I didn’t see much harm in cooperating with NMA and answering a series of questions from the fanbase. And to cap it all off, I also told Pete that I visited NMA when it was my turn to ask some questions, though that was after the demonstration…

Brother None: Well, after the press showing Bethesda did where they invited a few journalists to show the demo, and after not going to E3 to see the demo there, NMA kind of realized it had to take matters into its own hands. It was originally just a luftballon putting it out there idea, but after a while we figured it was actually realistic thanks to help from friendly media (GamerNode, our host AtomicGamer and SuAside’s boss at Madshrimps really helped us out) and financial support from the fanbase. A typical independent move, really.
<...>
The only secrecy was not applying in the name of NMA and yes, that was necessary. NMA’s head, Silencer, applied for NMA just after I got in with my application for GamerNode, and was turned down because there was “no room”. In Leipzig, SuAside and I could see journalists getting in by signing up on the spot. So the “full” thing doesn’t seem that likely the reason NMA didn’t get in. Matt Grandstaff later confirmed that it just wasn’t the intention to show it to fansites (despite showing it to smaller and less professional sites than NMA, but it’s the fan-stigma, I guess), so we wouldn’t have got in without some secrecy, yes.

You’ve talked a lot about what you saw in the demo, so let’s just go through your memories once more Smile .
Is Vault 101 well made, in terms of Fallout canon and level design
?

Brother None: Yes. It looks more or less like a 1:1 conversion of the vaults from Fallout into 3D, except for the odd steampunk door and the changed vault suits.

SuAside: Quite a few elements were skillfully transformed into 3D and Beth obviously did try to incorporate the FO look & feel of the vault. We raced through a few parts of the vault, only stopping at some scripted events, so it’s pretty difficult to offer a real opinion on the global design. There was only one room where Pete took the time to really look around, and I’ll admit that that one felt rather well made.

But don’t expect a copy! They naturally tried to incorporate their personal vision into it as well. Overall, the parts of the vault that we saw did look rather good, with a few minor exceptions. Personal downers for instance were the way the vault door opens, the vault jumpsuits and the tool belts. It should also be noted that the vault had a distinctively darker feel to it, and appeared less well maintained (compared to Fallout’s isometric view of the vault, not as much some of the talking heads, which sometimes had pretty dark backgrounds in the vault).

But then again, it might as well be a wrong impression from my part…
That's just a small bit of it, go read it fully at Fallout 3: APNB.

Thanks Briosafreak for an interview and Brother None and SuAside for their answers.

Link: Community Corner: Atomic Ninjas Interview

News for Thursday, December 20, 2007

Posted by Morbus - at 17:21

After a long, long wait, "Gone with the Blastwave" has a new page. However, there are sad news for those of us who've been patiently waiting for the comic to pick its usual pace again:

So next comic will be coming in... 2009.

If you need a reason why it took so long to update, I have about 5 of them. But the shortest answer is "lack of interest".

I've said it alot of times:
This comic is not my job nor a real passion. It's fun, but not THAT fun. Frequent 'periods of inactivity' are just how it all works out. (...)
Fair enough, I think.

Link: Gone with the Blastwave

Thanks Specialist.

Posted by 13pm - at 0:51

Today's "Inside the Vault" is the last in 2007 and it features Gavin Carter, lead producer on Fallout 3. Okay, he played Fallout, though they didn't ask him about it.

What’s your job at Bethesda?
I’m the lead producer on Fallout 3. The easiest way to describe it is to think of it as more or less “Head of Communications” for Fallout as far as the development team goes. My job involves working with our department producers and leads to communicate task requirements, schedules, and ongoing status updates to the team, along with making sure everyone has everything they need to do their job efficiently.

What other games have you worked on?
I worked on Morrowind and Tribunal as an intern, then came on full-time shortly after Oblivion got off the ground. I’ve been working on Fallout 3 since day one of the project, and it became my sole concern pretty much the day Oblivion went gold.

What would you say is your personal favorite game of all time?
Karnov! I poured some serious hours into that fire-breathing Russian. Seriously though, this is a tough question because there are so many games that I enjoyed tremendously over the years. The ones that I remember playing the life out of are games like Final Fantasy 2 and 3 (the American numbers), Cybernator, the Might and Magic Xeen and Heroes games, Master of Orion 2, the first two Quest for Glory games, and Pool of Radiance. The games that influenced how I think about making games run more along the lines of Ultima 4-7, Wing Commander 1 and 2, Baldur’s Gate 2, X-Com, Blade Runner, and a couple little-known cultish games called Fallout and Wasteland.

What games are you looking forward to?
There’s a whole slate of post-apocalyptic games coming up that I’m looking forward to. Gearbox’s Borderlands sounds very ambitious and I like the focus on co-op. I’m excited to see what id does with their game, Rage, as well. The tech looks great, and the words “post-apocalyptic racing game” get my nerd engine firing on all cylinders. Mostly I like surprises – the Katamaris, the Witchers, the Bioshocks. The games that just kind of come from nowhere and catch fire. I am also keeping my fingers crossed for more Peggle. Lots and lots more Peggle, please!
Link: Inside the Vault - Gavin Carter

News for Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Posted by Morbus - at 16:22

The latest issue of the free online magazine PCGZine has a two pages interview with Pete Hines. You can download the issue here. The interview is on pages 15 and 16.

Oblivion and Fallout have enormous reputations and a vociferous following. Surely you’re going to really annoy some of the fans... Does that make free-thinking development virtually impossible?
If you were to spend a lot of time worrying about who you’re going to please, and how much, absolutely. But one think we’ve learned over the years is if we work really hard on pleasing ourselves and making a game that we really enjoy playing, we can find some other folks who will enjoy playing it too. (...)

Players can expect different outcomes if they thread a neutral path in Fallout 3. Will you be tripping conservative players up with disproportionately good/evil outcomes if they try to mind their own business?
Yes, whether your karma is good, evil, or neutral, you’ll experience different things. At one point in the game, if you’re evil, the good guys try to kill you, or if you’re good the evil guys try to kill you. If you’re neutral, everybody leaves you alone. So there are drawbacks and advantages for neutral just as there are for good and evil players, and we’ve spend a lot of time working on the gameplay options and outcomes for that “grey” area in between as sometimes the most interesting choices can be found there.
That’s a good thing. I always loved how, in Fallout 2, none of the big cities (New Reno, NCR and Vault City) was clearly good or clearly evil…
Are you getting the community involved in the development?
We continue to interact a lot with the fan community at large (...)

Describe moments when you just thought - "this is really cool”…
(...) the first time I shot a Fat Man…

Finally, I don’t want to leave The Vault - it looks scary out there... Have you put some mah-jong mini games in Fallout 3 for people like me who are too terrified to step outside?
You can definitely avoid combat in many situations depending on the character you’re playing. But, it’s definitely a dangerous world out there and, unfortunately, you’re going out there whether you like it or not.
All in all, the mag asks some interesting questions, though it doesn’t really get interesting answers. There are some witty notes around the screenshots, though.

Link: PCGZine
Download: PCGZine Issue 13

News for Monday, December 17, 2007

Posted by Morbus - at 21:11

It’s not dead. The mod, I mean. “Fallout 1.5: Ressurection” is a Czech Fallout 2 mod currently under development by Resurrection Team. Its website has just been updated, specifically its English section, with screenshots, a “Game Sample” page and some other stuff. There’s also a FAQ:

Where and when will it take place?
Time-wise it will be between Fallout 1 and 2. Geographically it will take place in New Mexico, therefore east of the future NCR, thus east of the Fallout 1 map.

How big will the game be?
Number and size of locations will be similar to Fallout 1, however the number of quests, and especially number of ways to solve them, will be much greater than in Fallout 1.
Interesting stuff. Here’s their last words on today’s newspost:
Since March the work definitely didn’t slow down, and in fact was going full throttle. As you’re probably more interested in the current state of development, we’ll try to be specific: All maps are done. Most of the texts are done with the last location being worked at right now. About 75% of all scripting is done. The graphics are mostly done, what remains are a few minor things as well as the ending screens. We’ll inform you about the progress of the development. We plan to post updates much more frequently than until now on the previous webpage.

So keep your fingers crossed… oh and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Link: Fallout 1.5: Resurrection Website

Thanks Ratman and Mr. Lizard.

Posted by Morbus - at 11:15

Over the last few days, Vince & Co. have been showing us some more stuff about their game over in their forums. Firstly, we’ve got concept art. Here’s my favorite, but there’s more where it came from:



There’s also a big discussion about how the map should look like here. Here’s what Oscar’s turning it into:



Also worthy of notice, there are two new screenshots of the Barracks District in Teron, released here:



Last but not the least (this sounds extremely cheesy...) we’ve been shown a little bit of what Age of Decadence’s combat trailer will look like, here. It’s a very short “combat video draft”, but that’s because they were “having some issues with PC doing a great job dying quickly”. There’s also a lot more stuff going on on their forums, such as discussions about combat mechanics, about lore, about a new fake bump map effect... Just be sure to drop by if you’re interested.

Link: Iron Tower Studio Forum
Download: Age of Decadence combat video draft

News for Sunday, December 16, 2007

Posted by 13pm - at 21:14

Some news about Black Rain project (former "True Sequel"):

NEW CHARACTERS - We have loads of new characters in Outpost 13, the Main Character's home town. From barmen to guards, the city is gaining new citizens fast!

NEW QUESTS - With new characters come new quests, and we haven't been just idling about with silly fetch-it plots. Our quests and future quest ideas reach far into the future of the game!

NEW CITY - We are just starting our development of a new town. It revolves around a mosque and a church that have been rebuilt since the bombings and have sparked a violent struggle between the communities of the two faiths. Much of the town is in planning stage, but the quest and character ideas we are bouncing around the discussion table are very promising!

NEW POTENTIAL - While Black Rain tries very hard to preserve the spirit of the original Fallout games, we are quickly moving away from the constraints of their world. Our project is paving its own path in its own style, giving us more freedom to implement new ideas.

NEW TOOLS - Our dialogue editor is currently in the works and will make dialogue writing much easier! Stay tuned.

NEW POSITIONS:

* WRITERS - We are, as always, in need of writers. We welcome those wanting to try out the position, as well as those who are highly motivated and willing to put in a lot of work into the project. We are particularly interested in finding FEMALE WRITERS, as we want to create a game that appeals to both genders and steps away from the nearly 100% male-populated fan base of the Fallout series.
* ARTISTS - We have created some great character and armor concepts, but we need a more dedicated artist group that would provide a constant interpretation of the content that our writing team produces.

browse our wiki at http://blackrain.fifengine.de/wiki (don't forget to check out the "Index for Writers" link for the bulk of our content)
browse our forums at http://blackrain.fifengine.de/smf
You can also take a look at the thread, where two concepts of armor are shown.

Link: Black Rain project update thread
Link: Black Rain project website

News for Friday, December 14, 2007

Posted by 13pm - at 22:06

Games Radar posted an interview with Bethesda's community manager Matt Grandstaff. They talk about fans' feedback and, of course, there are some bits about feedback on Fallout 3.

GR: Do developers really listen to gamers? Or should gamers stick to gaming and leave developing to developers?

Matt: The folks at our office definitely listen to what the fans have to say. On any given day, you'll even see devs actively participating in discussion within our own forums or commenting on our blog. Additionally, I spend a lot of my time informing guys of any feedback, good and bad, that I feel the developers should be aware of.

GR: Have ideas generated within the community - on your own forums, for example - ever made it into your games?

Matt: Definitely. With Fallout 3, we ran a community contest allowing one fan's 'perk' to be included in the game. In another instance, this past summer I saw a huge demand for modding tools for Star Trek: Legacy and talked to some of our producers on that game about it. We had guys here volunteer to put together scripting tools during their free time so we could release them for the community to use. Beyond that we obviously get an awful lot from people on the forums when they actually get to play our games and provide feedback on that experience. That’s always important for us as we look to what we want to do in our future games.

GR: Does community feedback genuinely help to make better games? Has the industry as a whole benefited from the rise of communities?

Matt: I believe it does. With online gaming communities being as vocal as they are, developers can't help but be cognisant of what people think they're doing right vs. what they're doing wrong. I think our team learned quite a bit from feedback we've received from Oblivion, and folks will see how we've responded in Fallout 3 and in future games. The feedback we get in all its forms from the community only furthers our ability to understand what worked and what didn’t work so that we can do better next time.

GR: How are ideas/suggestions offered within the community relayed to the rest of the team for consideration? Do you have dedicated meetings for that kind of thing?

Matt: Generally I pass on these ideas either face to face with individuals at the office, or simply send an email over to the appropriate person. For instance, we've had some recent discussions about the Pip-boy 3000 diary Istvan Pely wrote for our Fallout 3 website. When I see interesting feedback about the Pip-boy, I try to loop in Istvan so he knows what folks are thinking.
Link: Games Radar: Are Developers Ever Listening?.

News for Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Posted by 13pm - at 19:05

Another 'Does it matter if we played Fallout?' feature.

Today's 'Inside the Vault' is quite short. And it's Ahn Hopgood who's answering the questions. She's responsible for programming, especially AI programming.

What’s your job at Bethesda?
I am a Senior Programmer in the area of Artificial Intelligence.

What other games have you worked on?
My first game was Morrowind on which I did interface and gameplay. I then did some minor AI, interface and gameplay work on Tribunal and Bloodmoon. On Oblivion I did most of the AI and I did some work on Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles.

What games are you looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to Fallout 3 for obvious reasons.
Link: Inside the Vault - Ahn Hopgood.

News for Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 23:22

Shacknews has a fun little article up looking at the 2008 PC releases, including some titles we'll be following.

Fallout 3
Bethesda Softworks
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Fall


Will it be the Phantom Menace that taints the franchise, or the Empire Strikes Back that only enhances it? Either way, Fallout fans will be on the edge of their seats for Bethesda's effort to create a new post-apocalyptic experience using a first person perspective.

Borderlands
Gearbox Software
PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Fall


Inspired by Mad Max and Diablo, this first person science-fiction post-apocalyptic shooter with RPG elements is set to offer a mouthful of concepts. Fully randomized weapon arsenals and four player co-op stand out on the feature list so far.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
GSC Game World
PC, Xbox 360
TBA


A prequel to this year's ambitious but flawed S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Clear Sky promises to refine the systems of its predecessor and deliver brand new dessicated lands to S.T.A.L.K.

Rage
id Software
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
TBA

Okay, so we don't actually know when id's post-apocalyptic and mutant-filled open-world shooter will arrive. That said, we can always keep the hope alive, right?
As said before, it's the age of the post-apocalyptic bandwagon.

Link: The Year Ahead: PC Gaming in 2008.

Posted by Brother None - at 23:20

Bethesda is running another contest through their blog, a holiday contest in which they give away free T-Shirts. Different T-Shirts than they gave out to the press earlier.

Before heading out for our annual Holiday Party last Friday, folks around the office were surprised by a special gift…one of these new Vault Boy Fallout 3 T-shirts. Since we’re already in the holiday spirit, we thought it might be nice to give you guys the opportunity to get one.

So here’s the deal. Send us a picture of your best Fallout-related holiday “thing.” That should give you plenty of options — maybe a nuked gingerbread house, an ornament, or any holiday decoration of your choice. If we pick your submission, you’ll win your very own Vault Boy shirt.
Link: Show us some post-nuclear holiday spirit…win a Vault Boy shirt.

News for Monday, December 10, 2007

Posted by Morbus - at 21:23

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has put up a few months old S.T.A.L.K.E.R. I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W. that has never seen the light of day because it was originally conducted "as research for a feature on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. commissioned by PC Gamer UK" and little of it was actually used. Still, it’s a very good and interesting read for those who (like me) enjoyed the game.

RPS: How important was the book ‘Roadside Picnic’ and the film ‘Stalker’ to the development of your game?

Bolshakov: As important as an inspiration can be. We are old fans of Strugatsky brothers’ creations, however the game in no way repeats the book or the movie. We created our own game world, story, characters and so on, so considering S.T.A.L.K.E.R. an adaptation of the “Roadside Picnic” and “Stalker” movie would be wrong. (...)

RPS: Do you think that the existence of the Chernobyl has helped to create a more authentic game than you might otherwise have produced?

I think Chernobyl was very important to create the kind of environment, architecture and other details S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is particularly known-for. Ruins of old Soviet industrial complexes, blocks of flats, military and civil facilities, vehicles and so on are still plentiful around ex-USSR. However, those traces of old empire can hardly be felt as keen and striking as in the Chernobyl zone. To me it’s living history, as life has been still there for over twenty years now, ending back in USSR times. It was only after visiting Chernobyl that we were able to render the atmosphere of true post-apocalyptic Soviet world which we intended to deliver.
Link: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.

Posted by Brother None - at 19:22

We haven't really been following the post-apoc title and we probably won't, but for the interested, Shacknews is providing a teaser trailer for the upcoming post-apocalyptic shooter/racer from the Spike TV awards.

Also a tidbit from the Spike TV Awards; BioShock picked up the Game of the Year award there.

Link: Borderlands teaser.

News for Saturday, December 8, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 1:08

Xulm's fantastic comic Vault 12 has been hosted for NMA for 11 weeks now, with an update each week. Just to give it some extra exposure I remind everyone to read this fantastic comic, where the story of Vault 12 is hitting a dramatic climax as of right now:



You can always catch the updates to this comic on the sidebar on our frontpage under Latest Comic.

Keep up the good work, xulm.

News for Friday, December 7, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 1:52

Seems a bit early...VE3D presents a Fallout 3 Christmas card they got from Bethesda, and include what I think is a stab at us but I'm not sure (it's pretty badly aimed).

To quote Andy: "OMG, THEY REDESIGNED THE CHRISTMAS CARD AND NOW IT ISN'T AUTHENTIC AND TRUE TO FALLOUT!!111 BETHESDA HAVE RUINED CHRISTMAS!!!" Happy Holidays from Bethesda!

Merry Christmas to you guys too!

Link: Fallout 3: The Christmas Card.

News for Thursday, December 6, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 4:42

Bethesda provided yet another set of scans to a magazine that listed Fallout 3 as one of the most anticipated games of 2008, this time it's PC Gamer.


The architecture is pretty good. The second one shows a lot of what is wrong with Fallout 3 (in our opinion).

The magazine also features an article in which Todd Howard explains his particular preference towards blending genres and how you can do anything with RPGs.
That's what is so energizing about RPGs; they can be anything. RPGs are the ultimate genre blender; there is no feature you can not at least consider.
(...)
The second [rule; after "great games are played, not made" - ed.] is "Keep it Simple." Polishing up a feature and tucking in all its corners takes more time than your brain thinks it will. The more elegant and simple a system is, the better all the systems will play with each other, yielding heightened player expectations.
The last rule is "Define the Experience." Do not define your games by a list of features; define it by what the player experiences. This allows you to weed out superfluous interactions from the essential ones as you play your game.
It's that last one that creates the genre blending effect. Each part is defined by its interaction and how it makes the player feel. From exploring the world as a whole to talking to NPCs to combat - all these are seperate forms of interaction. For Fallout 3, the list grows to picking locks, laying mines, hacking computers, performing surgery, repairing items, ordering companions, finding radio stations, and more.
Fallout 3 is indeed in capable hands. Buy the magazine to read the rest.

Thanks Stag.

Posted by Brother None - at 4:35

Gamepro ranked its 48 most anticipated games of 2008. Right after Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid 4.

Why you should care: Post-apocalyptic wastelands have never seemed so inviting. Players create their own character, customize him, and set him out into the world, killing and exploring in either the first- or third-person perspective. Stars such as Ron Perlman and Liam Neeson have already signed up to do voice acting in the game, and the genuine hope is that this role-playing game lives up to its heritage: Fallout and Fallout 2 were classics.

Why you shouldn't: This is Bethesda's first crack at a Fallout game...then again, they made Oblivion, which was stupendous.
Interesting reasoning for why you shouldn't.

Link: Gamepro 48 best games (2-4).

Posted by Morbus - at 1:15

And still no "have you played Fallout" questions. Yes, there's a new dev profile at Bethesda Blog, this time from Kurt Kuhlmann.

What would you say is your personal favorite game of all time?
That’s a tough one. I’m going to confine my answer to video games (board games it would probably be Titan). And basing “favorite” on “number of hours spent”, I’d have to go with Civilization in all its forms, closely followed by Company of Heroes (my current favorite) and maybe the various Ultimas (which sucked up many of my teenage hours).
Link: Inside the Vault: Kurt Kuhlmann

News for Monday, December 3, 2007

Posted by Morbus - at 10:54

As you may know if you visit their forums, Iron Tower Studio has been showing off quite a few appetizers of Age of Decadence. Besides the Armors and Clothes, the Town Districts and the New Weapons threads, all created by Oscar, Vince D. Weller (aka VDweller) has also recently said something about their team:

Nick is our programmer. He's 21 and when he isn't working on AoD, he's studying some computer related crap in a university. He is a brilliant programmer, even if I do say so myself, and before I snatched him he was writing some software and tinkering with databases for different companies. He was under the impression that chicks dig successful and rich programmers, but after I explained [massive persuasion check] that poor, indie RPG (nerd alert!) developer is what every girl wants, he was happy to join my elite crack team.

Oscar is the visual guy. He's also very talented (just look at what the guy does) and passionate about games and RPGs in particular. He's 25, got a Masters Degree in some unrelated-to-RPGs crap, a boring daytime job, and a his ex-girlfriend's cat. It's a long story. Before we lured Oscar with fake promises, he was tinkering with games and mods, improving visuals of Oblivion, Rome: Total War, and Civ 4. Oscar's efforts were noted and his units made it into Civ 4: Beyond the Sword, which is kinda awesome.

Rami creates models out of pictures I show him, and Ivan animates them. Ivan's 26 and he is a tech support guy who hates his customers. Rami is 23 and he is in a construction business, working for his uncle. [Italian accent] It's a family thing. [/accent]

As for me, I'm the designer (i.e. if you don't like the story, quests, dialogues, characters, game systems, game flow, you send me an angry letter). I'm 37, married, two kids. I run sales - Vice-President, Sales & Marketing - for an advertising company. I tell you what cars to buy and what shoes to wear. If it sounds like fun, it's not. I'm responsible for 2 mil/month revenues and I'm sick and tired of that. If AoD sells enough, I'll start making games full time.
We’re all hoping it does. And since nothing’s ever enough, Vice also posted a snippet pic of AoD’s upcoming trailer:

News for Sunday, December 2, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 19:17

GameBanshee got the chance to catch up with Jason D. Anderson on the Interplay MMO project (the Fallout MMO). They can't officially discuss the project, but a few questions are of interest to us:

GB: Just to clarify as there is some confusion - are you working on an unannounced MMO that isn't Fallout Online?

Jason: Interplay is working on one MMO. It has not been "formally" announced, so I am not able to talk about it yet.
(...)
GB: If you could name one or two things you want to improve when it comes to MMO standards, what would they be?

Jason: The 2 big things that I always think about improving upon are the storytelling and the character development, because I personally have not been happy with it in any of the MMOs I've played.

I think the core storytelling methods used in current MMOs could be improved on. A lot of the concepts of the worlds I've visited feel very convoluted to me. When you have a couple thousand quests that are given out sporadically, it is very hard to keep the story together. The story can easily get lost in the noise produced by the designers attempting to be creative with their quests. And this can make the world lack cohesion.

True character development is another thing I would like to see improved. It seems like most MMOs have reduced characters to a grouping of stats and a configuration of skills. I don't want to go into details about my ideas at the moment, but I will say that I believe there needs to be a feeling that you are making choices in the world and at the very least I believe these choices should affect your character personally.
(...)
GB: Can we ever expect to see you back in the single-player RPG business?

Jason: Well of course. As I've stated in other interviews, I love games. All types of games. Heck, I'd love to work on a tactical turn-based strategy game too. As I stated earlier, something like that will come along, just give it some time.

I will be occupied with this project for a few years, so it might not be me that rebirths the genre, but it will definitely happen. I have no doubt of that. And when it does I'll be right there with the rest of you guys - ready to play!
Link: Interplay MMORPG Interview.

News for Saturday, December 1, 2007

Posted by Brother None - at 2:38

RPGVault has joined the party to celebrate Fallout's tenth birthday. For this purpose, they've asked Chris Taylor, Scott Everts, John W. Deiley, Christopher Avellone, Dan Spitzley and Scott Bennie to look back on their experience.

Christopher Taylor
Current company: Papaya Studio
Current project: Unannounced Wii title
Current position: Senior Game Designer
Fallout background: Lead Designer and manual on Fallout, manual on Fallout 2, Senior Game Designer on Fallout Tactics

Fallout wasn't the first choice for the title. I'd guess most hardcore fans would know it was originally was going to be Vault-13. Unfortunately, as nifty keen as V13 is, it had to be changed since it didn't communicate the genre very well; in full, it was Vault-13: A GURPS Post-Nuclear Role-Playing Game, which was rather unwieldy for everyday conversation.

The team proposed a bunch of names. We settled on Armageddon for a brief time, but found out another Interplay project was going to use that, so had to switch again. Fallout was team's favorite among the remainder. The other Armageddon was canceled shortly thereafter, but since we had already announced Fallout, it was too late to change back.

During Fallout's development, there were a couple of bugs I found very amusing. One was when Tim Cain showed new door code. He clicked on a door and it opened. Another click and it closed, but a couple of pixels from its original position. Then, it kept opening and closing, always moving just a bit to the right. The door eventually marched off the screen by itself until it ran through random memory and crashed the game.

The second was the first time the rocket launcher was demonstrated. The object ID number for the rocket shell was entered incorrectly. Instead of a rocket crossing the screen, a dog popped out, ran to the target and blew up. We came *this* close to keeping Puppy Ammo, but eventually decided that Vince DeNardo, a colleague and dog lover, probably wouldn't be too happy with us.

Speaking of Vince, we liked him so much we placed his dog Sasha in the game. We tried to put her somewhere players could see but not get to, because we were afraid they'd try to kill it. We picked the Military Base... which gets nuked. Oops!

A third bug, a design one, wasn't as amusing. In the demo, I designed a manhole cover that could give a character critically failing the strength check to open it a hernia and a few points of damage. Unfortunately, the first time Brian Fargo tried was with a damaged character that died from a fatal hernia. Ouch.
Link: Fallout Memories on RPGVault.

Thanks Ausir.