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Thread: Emil is back

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    Administrator Brother None's Avatar
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    Emil is back

    Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog offers a summary of Emil Pagliarulo's continued Q&A session with Fallout fans on the official Bethesda forum. A few of the most interesting of these:
    I think I would have preferred to see you address the point I raised in my original post about producing something unique rather than what the rest of the industry is creating.

    Emil: You’ll really have to play the game to judge its uniqueness. Sure, we’re using an existing IP, but as someone who plays just about everything, I’d consider Fallout 3 pretty damned unique (if nothing else!). It’s a first/third-person RPG, but it’s got a different vibe than Oblivion, by a long shot, and a lot of other gameplay elements/sensibilities I don’t really think I’ve seen in other games. Okay, I’m biased. But I still feel that’s very true.

    Wouldn’t you, as an artist, rather create something completely different to what the rest of the industry is creating?
    Now you can come back and claim that this really is something that you’re doing with Fallout 3, but if you did, I think you’d be lying to yourself as well as us.


    Emil: Well, I very much feel that Fallout 3 is different from what the rest of the industry is doing, whether we’re using an existing IP or not. That was one of the prime reasons I wanted to work on the project. Is a game “just a shooter” because it has guns in first person? Or is a game “definitely an RPG” because it has character dialogue and choice? Those are just two examples– I think, in Fallout 3, there’s a mixing of genres there that’s pretty rare in a lot of other games.

    Now, if you’re asking if, as a creative person, I’d prefer to create a completely new IP from scratch, the answer is — it depends. If I had what I thought was a great idea, and were given the opportunity to create a new IP, would I want to do that? Sure. But if I were offered the Batman or Blade Runner licenses and asked if I could a make a game based on those IPs, I would kill for that chance as well. It depends on the strength of the IP, and what I thought I could bring to it. The latter is exactly what happened with Fallout 3.

    There are still plenty of opportunities to be very unique within existing IPs, and I very much enjoy doing that. That’s basically what happened with the Dark Brotherhood stuff in Oblivion. The IP was there, the lore was there… I took it, was inspired by it, but in the end I sort of did my own thing (for better or worse). And I loved every second of it.
    Emil, I think you missed the point of the question there, buddy. I'm pretty sure he's asking why you're changing Fallout 3 into the popular commercial model, not why you're using an existing IP. Gender-blending does not originality make.
    While I enjoyed it [Dark Brotherhood Questline for Oblivion], I found it was not really revolutionary, and as with almost all of the quest lines in Oblivion, it was completely linear.

    Emil: True, it was linear, but that was by design. Quests with multiple paths were never planned for Oblivion… with the amount of content we had, we simply didn’t have the time or resources to design them that way. So they had a different, more straightforward structure, and we were totally fine with that.

    In Fallout, we have fewer quests, and they tend to have a level of complexity far beyond those in Oblivion. Multiple paths, multiple choices, etc. In the Dark Brotherhood, even if you learned who the traitor was, you couldn’t really affect the outcome. In Fallout 3, a quest like that would certainly have allowed the player more options.

    Very different games.

    Doesn’t the fact that you’re making a sequel to someone else’s intellectual property obligate you to maintain continuity with the design goals and principles (pen and paper RPGs) of the series you’ve taken upon yourselves to do.

    Emil: I think we have a responsibility to make a good game, true to the source material, and I think we’re doing that.

    Do I feel we need to maintain continuity with the design goals and principles (pen and paper RPGs) of the series? It depends on how you define those design goals and principles. Do we feel like we have to do exactly what the creators of Fallout 1 and 2 did? Clearly not. I don’t think it’s at all my responsibility to make a game that was just like the previous ones. I think it’s my responsibility to make the best game I can, one that’s true to the Fallout universe, spirit and style of gameplay (though this last bit is the most subjective of all).

    How is the pen and paper basis of Fallout manifested in the gameplay of Fallout3?

    Emil: Pen and paper gameplay is all about freedom of expression and choice, the way I see it. Those values are obviously evident in Fallout and Fallout 2. So that was one of our big design goals going in… give the player choices. Give the player the freedom to go where they want, and do what they want.

    But you also have to be careful, because playing a video/computer game is much different than playing a paper and pencil game. Your DM or game master is there to prevent you from “breaking” the game and ruining the experience. So that’s our job as well — we have to handle stuff to prevent you from completely breaking your game. Games are an imperfect technology. Something can always go wrong. So you provide the player with a lot of freedom… but within a framework. You can give the player the freedom to, say, kill someone who gave them a quest… so long as that doesn’t put the player in a weird state where other quests break, etc. That’s just sloppy, so we have to take the time to cover those bases. But in an open-world game, there are only so many bases you can realistically handle. So it’s a judgment call.
    Now that's odd. I might be misreading here, but is Emil actually arguing that the gameplay, which is basically the same in both Fallout 1 and 2 and the philosophy of which is well documented is "the most subjective"? Compared to a setting/atmosphere that is approached completely differently in both titles and in which even the most basic setting points are points of contention? 'scuse me, Mr Pagliarulo, that looks to me to be a rather illogical viewpoint to take.

    Keep up the fan interaction, though!

    Link: Another return of Emil on Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog.

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    I've been around First time out of the vault

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    So here Emil says:

    Emil: You’ll really have to play the game to judge its uniqueness. Sure, we’re using an existing IP, but as someone who plays just about everything, I’d consider Fallout 3 pretty damned unique (if nothing else!). It’s a first/third-person RPG, but it’s got a different vibe than Oblivion, by a long shot, and a lot of other gameplay elements/sensibilities I don’t really think I’ve seen in other games. Okay, I’m biased. But I still feel that’s very true.
    But here Todd says:

    Todd Howard: The overall game flow feels like Oblivion, in that you make your own character and then explore a huge open world and do whatever you want. The basic gameplay of Fallout 3 is similar, which is one of the reasons we really wanted to do Fallout in the first place. I'd say the amount of action is similar to Oblivion, not more, not less.
    One says it is completely different from Oblivion, while the other compares it directly to Oblivion. Which one am I supposed to believe there Beth? Do I smell a bit of hypocrisy?
    "Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul, you've got to run like an antelope out of control."

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    Still kind of new First time out of the vault

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    Re: Emil is back

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother None
    Now that's odd. Is Emil actually arguing that the gameplay, which is basically the same in both Fallout 1 and 2 and the philosophy of which is well documented is "the most subjective"? Compared to a setting/atmosphere that is approached completely differently in both titles and in which even the most basic setting points are points of contention? 'scuse me, Mr Pagliarulo, that looks to me to be a rather illogical viewpoint to take.
    I don't think that's what he meant, it seems more like he said that the way how you approached the gameplay and use/modified it was subjective. That while some aspects cannot be changed at all (or too much) without everybody thinking it will break the atmosphere, some others can changed with some people seeing it as good, some seeing it as "as long as it's done right..." and others going "THAT'S A SACRILEGE, CLEAN THE INFIDELS".
    And that the gameplay was one of those things.

    Quote Originally Posted by UmbrellaMaster
    One says it is completely different from Oblivion, while the other compares it directly to Oblivion. Which one am I supposed to believe there Beth? Do I smell a bit of hypocrisy?
    Not really, he said the "flow" and "amount of action". Not how the action goes, how it works, ect.
    Only the amount of action. Big difference.

    You can have the same amount of action in two games, and as such have the same flow (in various aspects), without the two games being similar in other aspects.

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    Administrator Brother None's Avatar
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    Basically Emil would be saying "everyone approves of it, so obviously what we're doing is right"?

    In other words, he doesn't bother to justify his sequel in the actual context of the franchise, but in the context of popular opinion?

    Wow.

    I didn't think of it that negatively. That's even worse than my interpretation.

    PS: also, again, the setting was changed wildly to Fallout 2 from Fallout 1. How many consider Fallout 2 "not Fallout" because of it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother None
    Basically Emil would be saying "everyone approves of it, so obviously what we're doing is right"?

    In other words, he doesn't bother to justify his sequel in the actual context of the franchise, but in the context of popular opinion?

    Wow.

    I didn't think of it that negatively. That's even worse than my interpretation.
    Not at all x_x why must everybody always choose the worst outcome when thinking of what these guys say? :p He just said that the importance of using a entirely similar gameplay is subjective, he didn't say anything about justifying his choice.

    He's just saying that the importance of gameplay in creating the same atmosphere for the game is subjective, and that other things are more important in creating that atmosphere (like the spirit of the game) then gameplay.

    It doesn't mean that the gameplay isn't important, simply that it's subjective how much they need to copy from past games gameplay to stay true to the atmosphere.
    (example : the spirit of the game can be felt in dialogs, combats, everywhere, so it's very important to stay very close to the originals. But combat isn't felt when you simply explore or talk with people, so they feel that they have a little more freedom in modifying it. That's what he meant by how it's subjective. We can't really judge about the spirit entirely until we play the game, unfortunately.)
    (I do think Emil doesn't understand exactly what people ask him half of the time, he usually seems to be thinking of something else and get a different meaning from the questions, he would probably benefit from someone else making sure he got the real meaning from the question)

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    I should set a custom title Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
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    You can give the player the freedom to, say, kill someone who gave them a quest… so long as that doesn’t put the player in a weird state where other quests break, etc. That’s just sloppy, so we have to take the time to cover those bases. But in an open-world game, there are only so many bases you can realistically handle. So it’s a judgment call.
    The only game where it was an issue for me was Morrowind. It never bothered me as much as their solution of making NPC's unkillable though.

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    I should set a custom title A Smooth-Skin

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    I think it’s my responsibility to make the best game I can, one that’s true to the Fallout universe, spirit and style of gameplay (though this last bit is the most subjective of all).
    Here's the way I understood this:

    he says that he feels responsible to make a game that is fairly true to the SETTING, and that he thinks other people's opinions about the gameplay shouldn't get anywhere near as much consideration as his opinions about the game being true to the canon and setting, because he's fallen into the logical fallacies of Bethesdas PR dept and thinks that the gameplay aspects (or mechanics) HAVE TO BE changed in order to make a game that will sell enough copies to the xbox crowd and as such he cannot feel responsible to both the company that pays him to think such idiotic things, and the fans of the franchise who liked the tb-iso gameplay and are willing to pay for more of it.

    making MORE money than we are worth to them gets the priority, and our opinions about the well documented style and mechanics of the gameplay we loved get thrown aside so the xbox kiddies wont cramp their little fingers trying to manage a slightly complicated interface by using a cursor with a directional stick.

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    Administrator Brother None's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanakir
    He just said that the importance of using a entirely similar gameplay is subjective/
    No he didn't.

    He said it was more subjective than using the exact same setting and gameplay.

    Historically speaking, that is nonsense. When I make a Sonic sequel, first thing people expect is that it's about Sonic running around and bonking Robotnik on the head. That's a direct mix of setting (it must feature Sonic) and gameplay (he must run around and bonk robots on the head), if he doesn't do the running and bonking, it's not a Sonic game, it's a spin-off.
    BioWare is currently making a spin-off called Sonic: The Dark Emo (or something). It's not about running around and bonking Robotnik on the head, but it is in the same setting as Sonic.

    Why?

    Because that's what people expect. If a game claims to be a sequel, they expect basically the same gameplay. If a game is claiming to be a spin-off, then it becomes exempt from these basic gameplay expectations.

    There are exceptions to this rule (Metroid), but that doesn't mean it's not the rule.

    Now, why would Fallout 3 be an exception? According to your claim, it is because of mass rule, because most people are fine with Fallout being turned into RT and FP. That's the mob rule argument. That's fine, but you can't claim it's anything other than the mob rule argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanakir
    He's just saying that the importance of gameplay in creating the same atmosphere for the game is subjective, and that other things are more important in creating that atmosphere (like the spirit of the game) then gameplay.
    That's not what he said. Read more carefully. He's not talking about atmosphere, he's talking about "continuity with the design goals and principles" of the originals.

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    Deader oTO Carbon Dated and Proud
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    I think we have a responsibility to make a good game, true to the source material,
    Right !
    and I think we’re doing that.
    Wrong !



    In Fallout, we have fewer quests, and they tend to have a level of complexity far beyond those in Oblivion. Multiple paths, multiple choices, etc.
    This is the only thing that is interesting ,can they really make the game like Fallout 1 & 2 ?!
    will one be able to solve a problem if he has a high speech level instead of fighting ?!
    the dialogues i have seen in the screenshots (and from nma's fallout preview) so far aren't really much different from Oblivion.

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    I should set a custom title Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

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    Goddamnit, following Emil's logic, one can say that if pen&paper is about freedom of choice, then Call of Duty 4 is a pen and paper game because you are free to shoot anywhere you wish (it may be a bit exaggerated example, but still, I think it fits here).


    Second thing - I don't understand why the FO3 developers despise so much how Interplay did Fallout. I get a feeling like they think their game is actually better, more true to the setting than the original...

    Third - STOP COMPARING FALLOUT TO OBLIVION - THESE GAMES ARE NOWHERE NEAR IN BOTH SETTING AND GAMEPLAY!!!!

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    Administrator Brother None's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravager69
    Second thing - I don't understand why the FO3 developers despise so much how Interplay did Fallout. I get a feeling like they think their game is actually better, more true to the setting than the original...
    I wouldn't be surprised if they think that. Nor would I be surprised if the media ends up agreeing. I'll be more surprised if it actually is better.

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    I should set a custom title Mildly Dipped

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    Woah Ravager, chill pill man, we should all be expecting this rubbish from Emil by now, I was infuriated too, but then I got to the point where it was more fun to pick at it rather than get cheesed by it because it's no fun being pissed all the time...
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a wicker chair!

    Quote Originally Posted by xdarkyrex
    I do not care about the tastews of either group, only the end result. They are both equally negligible imho.

    Yes, it is my opinion. Its a pretty common opinion though.

    Why the hell SHOULD anyone care about more than that? what is the practical purpose of giving a shit about why it was made?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother None
    Now, why would Fallout 3 be an exception? According to your claim, it is because of mass rule, because most people are fine with Fallout being turned into RT and FP. That's the mob rule argument. That's fine, but you can't claim it's anything other than the mob rule argument.
    I wasn't talking about mob rule argument, if that's the impression I gave I wasn't clear. (wouldn't be strange, I badly need to sleep atm)
    He's modifying it because he (not the mob, but most likely the team too) think that they can have more freedom with it than some other things in the serie. But this is all subjective, which means that not everyone will think the same way.
    He doesn't say he's doing this because of the mass, everybody has their opinions and so will think differently on the subject, but he only talks about what he think and how he see it (since the question ask what he thinks about it, he doesn't say he's doing it because of others, he just say that it's subjective (so that different people see it differently) but he doesn't say he do it because of peer (or mob) pressure.

    Just that while he feels that some things cannot be touched, gameplay can be modified. (but that this opinion differ from who you ask)
    He doesn't say he's doing it to please anyone tho. That's just me using bad wording.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother None
    Quote Originally Posted by Thanakir
    He's just saying that the importance of gameplay in creating the same atmosphere for the game is subjective, and that other things are more important in creating that atmosphere (like the spirit of the game) then gameplay.
    That's not what he said. Read more carefully. He's not talking about atmosphere, he's talking about "continuity with the design goals and principles" of the originals.
    What I was referencing was that :
    That he think some things (like spirit) aren't as subjective (so maybe less modifiable) than gameplay.
    (but that's his opinion tho)
    I was linking atmosphere and spirit (since one affect the other). That could have been wrong on my part.

    Edit : I was only talking about my interpretation of what he said, since I thought he didn't say things the way yu interpreted it, so obviously I only give my interpretation. I'm not claiming I know exactly what he meant, I'm only trying to see if the way you interpreted is really the right one. (since Emil has a strange way to answer things/doesnt always the right thing, it could be possible to misunderstand his point)
    And about the "mass/mob" thing I'm not saying you said that, I'm saying how you thought I said that while it wasn't what I meant.

    But yes, I'll stop.

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    Administrator Brother None's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanakir
    He's modifying it because he (not the mob, but most likely the team too) think that they can have more freedom with it than some other things in the serie. But this is all subjective, which means that not everyone will think the same way.
    Please stop.

    You're representing what you think. Not what he says. Interesting as that may be, I was replying to what he said. You're interpreting what he's saying too freely, to the point where it's not relevant any more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanakir
    He doesn't say he's doing this because of the mass
    I never said he did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanakir
    he just say that it's subjective
    For the last time: from my reading, he is saying that being true to gameplay is more subjective than being true to the universe or spirit of the game. That's what I was replying too. You're talking about something else.

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    I should set a custom title It Wandered In From the Wastes

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    Is it just me, or is Emil's thought process hard to follow logically?

    Also, this bit is troubling:
    You can give the player the freedom to, say, kill someone who gave them a quest… so long as that doesn’t put the player in a weird state where other quests break, etc.
    And also. I agree. I don't get how gameplay can be a subjective thing. I think Bethesda takes the attitude of "We're doing it FP, and RT, because that's better." Plus, even if he feels the lore is more established, they're still fucking that up too.

    I have read quite a bit of Emil's, and he doesn't strike me as that bright of a person.

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    I should set a custom title First time out of the vault

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    This article pretty much explains why I couldn't get into Oblivion. I just never realized that they openly decided to make linear quests in order to make their "huge" gameworld "manageable."

    The reality of Oblivion, though, was just a mess. If you can't make decisions about quests, there's no immersion, no matter how realistic your erosion effects happen to be. Is there any other understanding of what an RPG is other than a world that you can interact with and change? There's your stat building action-rpgs, but since the gameworld leveled with you, there was no stat building, loot whoring, character optimization in Oblivion. One character could do pretty much everything in game. It was senseless action in a world that may be big, but had what, four repeating themes?

    Well so what we know about Fallout 3 should be enough to make it different from Oblivion. Quests that give you options, a world that doesn't level with you, killable NPCs, combat with pause, and stats that make enough of a difference that you may need more than one character to see the whole game. And yet article after article, interview after interview, they insist on comparing Fallout 3 to Oblivion.

    The real tragedy is that they are calling it a sequel. This is Fallout:Tactics, this is Fallout:BOS. Their game may be fun, but when the dust settles, we will still be waiting for a new Fallout RPG.

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    I should set a custom title Vault Senior Citizen

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    I don’t think it’s at all my responsibility to make a game that was just like the previous ones. I think it’s my responsibility to make the best game I can, one that’s true to the Fallout universe, spirit and style of gameplay (though this last bit is the most subjective of all)
    I was going to comment on this before I reached BN's comments under the original post. "Most subjective of all" = Bethesda party line. He puts it out casually but its their most important claim that they must hold on to no matter what.

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    I should set a custom title Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mord_Sith
    Woah Ravager, chill pill man, we should all be expecting this rubbish from Emil by now, I was infuriated too, but then I got to the point where it was more fun to pick at it rather than get cheesed by it because it's no fun being pissed all the time...
    I know I may sound pissed, but I'm not, because Fallout is just a game after all - I am merely disappointed with Bethesda's staff trying to make a fool out of me, this isn't fair.

    Anyway - I think I'll just wait with further comments until something *really* interesting comes up, like a demo or something.

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    I should set a custom title First time out of the vault

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    Weeee, my questions made the front page

    Edit: Sorry, got a little carried away there.

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    I should set a custom title Vault Senior Citizen

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    Give the player the freedom to go where they want, and do what they want.
    Like killing kids.
    Whoops!
    What a crappy P&P game would Emil make :/
    True, fusion cells shouldn't just explode, but then again, I don't really care. Exploding cars are fun.
    FO3 target audience is FUN!

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