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Thread: What journos want from Fallout 4 and tidbits

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    What journos want from Fallout 4 and tidbits

    It's been quite a while since we last did a proper tidbits round-up, but we're making up for it with a meatier one than usual, starting with a couple of interesting editorials outlining expectations for the inevitable Fallout 4. First, GameSpot's Kevin Van Ord asks Bethesda to develop a stronger identity for their take on the series, to further separate it from their Elder Scrolls titles:

    And thus what I want most of all is for Fallout 4 to be its own unique entity, with vague ties, if any, to Elder Scrolls mechanics and structure. The nostalgic Fallout fan in me longs for isometric exploration and turn-based strategic combat, but I believe that the console-driven world in which we live precludes the possibility. Therefore, Bethesda needs to do all it can to make Fallout look and feel different from its other famous series. A good place to start is with combat: Fallout 3 and New Vegas allowed for real-time shooting, but no one could accuse those games of feeling like actual shooters. There are two possibilities here, presuming Fallout 4 doesn't just copy its predecessors' combat. The first is to go full-on shooter and make gunplay (and swordplay) fluid and fun. To do so would either require the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System to be overhauled so that players couldn't just shoot their way through every encounter in real time (does anyone want Fallout to become Rage?), or require V.A.T.S. to be scrapped altogether, a prospect I don't relish. The second possibility is to remove real-time shooting and make Fallout 4's combat fully tactical.

    Such a system could take many forms, but the one I envision would flip the world seamlessly from first-person to an overhead view as soon as combat begins. This kind of gameplay, in which real-time exploration transitions into turn-based action, is hardly new, but the transformation between camera views is an uncommon approach. Done properly, such a battle system could retain all the joys of exploring a postapocalyptic landscape through your character's own eyes, while making every battle a meaningful event. Maybe we could actually get a full-on adventuring party in the mix, but given how Bethesda can't even get a single companion to work properly, I won't hold out hope.

    Meanwhile GameRanx is looking for five improvements, including better structured dialogue trees:

    2. Improved Dialogue Trees

    From Fallout 3 to Fallout: New Vegas there was a discernible shift to the increased use of unlockable dialogue options that made use of the points invested in the character’s skill tree. Skills, perks, and attributes could all potentially open new paths of conversation that would award points and sometimes start questlines. This made the strategy of your character build much more important. And it was fun having a new way to strategize. I enjoyed seeing the clear benefits of my particular playstyle validated by having the right resources at the right time. They should do more of this, as it will also emphasize additional playthroughs.

    Another area that could use some work is the flow of the dialogue trees. To get the full story and dialogue options from many of the NPCs, the player is required to backtrack and repeat certain elements of the conversation. There are times the exchange has been spliced to accommodate multiple branches of dialogue, to sometimes crude effect. This seems to have been cleaned up somewhat in Skyrim, but further improvements need to be made.

    Meanwhile, folks at ShoddyCast, in collaboration with The Vault, have been working on some interesting lore videos covering the Fallout series, both East and West Coast. Even if you already know the ins and outs of Fallout lore they're very well produced videos and worth a watch.

    Finally, there have been a few standout props and fan arts that I thought I might as well include in the round-up: a working Pip-Boy 3000 built by a team that participated in NASA's SpaceApps challenge, a Plasma Defender Glock 96 (but no, it doesn't actually fire plasma), Fallout 3 and Fallout 1 variants of the 10mm pistol from the same person, and a Sarah Lyons portrait that puts the 3d model of her to shame.
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    Since I have little-to-no faith in Bethesda making a good strategy combat system, I think I'd take the lesser of the two evils and have it just turn into a pure shooter at least as far as combat goes. If they go the pure shooter route, I'd also want them to get rid of VATS as it makes the combat way too easy. To summarize, I'd rather the game turn into STALKER or Rage than Brotherhood of Steel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WorstUsernameEver View Post
    And thus what I want most of all is for Fallout 4 to be its own unique entity, with vague ties, if any, to Elder Scrolls mechanics and structure.
    Kevin is a smart guy, I like him!

    Yes, this is also one of my biggest complaints regarding bethesdian Fallouts from the very beginning. In the good old times, the core ruleset has been created first and after that a bunch of talented programers have constructed engine fitting the concept rules from scratch, without any compromises. And now? Companies are looking for suitable and cheap engine first, they're twisting, tweaking and forging it in the most crazy and unpredictable manner just to make it at least remotely suitable for their vision of in-game mechanics. Thanks to this approach, there's a bunch of generic looking games with broken and crippled mechanics full of compromises, which looks like a fucking clones of each other instead of unique piece of art with its lovely handcrafted peculiarities.
    Last edited by valcik; 05-02-2014 at 01:02 PM.

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    I am curious though, where have those voices and concerns been BEFORE the release of F3? I dont want to attack anyone, I am aware about the fact in what shape game journalism is where they pretty much have to suck on the tits of companies. But its a rather unholy conection anyway, and it usually requires two parties. I am just curious if this is another of those "games not perfect anymore several years after release", the kind of amnisia that seems to dissapear when its clear that a new game is on the horizon.

    Otherwise its a really interesting read. But anyone who knows Fallout and Bethesda knows that F4 will be in many way similar to Skyrim. Just as how F3 was closer to Oblivion then Fallout.
    Last edited by Crni Vuk; 05-04-2014 at 07:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by valcik View Post
    Yes, this is also one of my biggest complaints regarding bethesdian Fallouts from the very beginning. In the good old times, the core ruleset has been created first and after that a bunch of talented programers have constructed engine fitting the concept rules from scratch, without any compromises.
    Funny, when creating Fallout 1, the engine was made first. For the first 6 month there was one programmer and he was working solely on the engine. Without that person the game would not exist. Then the whole concept and story was constructed gradually. The rules were actually made in the last parts of development and in a span of around two weeks, which is very short.

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    edit:
    Wait, the GURPS system was added two weeks before finishing the game? That's something completely new for me. I thought they've renamed it to SPECIAL due to legal issues during the development process, but the engine itself was builded for GURPS from start.
    Last edited by valcik; 05-02-2014 at 06:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by valcik View Post
    edit:
    Wait, the GURPS system was added two weeks before finishing the game? That's something completely new for me.
    I never said that.
    Quote Originally Posted by valcik View Post
    I thought they've renamed it to SPECIAL due to legal issues during the development process, but the engine itself was builded for GURPS from start.
    It wasn't renamed. Gurps was dropped and a new system was created and coded in just two weeks in the third year of development( ref:Tim Cain ), which I believe was the last year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ztrewq54 View Post
    I never said that.
    Ah, I see. Sorry, a little misunderstanding on my part!

    Gurps was dropped and a new system was created and coded in just two weeks in the third year of development( ref:Tim Cain ), which I believe was the last year.
    I'd call the SPECIAL system rather "modified GURPS" than "new system", but can't argue with Tim Cain if you're reffering to him. ^^

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa5IzHhAdi4

    The whole games was made while using the GURPS system.
    Near the end of devellopement, there was some issues with the creator of the games. (i think there is a mix of legal, and a uneasy feeling with the game violence)
    There weren't at each other throats, but failed to come up with an agreement that wouldn't have involved making other changes.
    They have prefered replacing the GURPS with the new SPECIAL, that was invented by Tim Cain's team.
    "My idea is to explore more of the world and more of the ethics of a post-nuclear world, not to make a better plasma gun. " Tim Cain

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    As much as I would LIKE to see Fallout 4 be more strategical with a transitioning view (from first/third to top view tactical) like Dragon Age, I don't see it happening. The Gambryo engine is a pile of shit and clunky to handle something like that. Hell the way AI followers are handled in those games is pretty bad for a tactical experience. Tactical Fallout (which would be far better) is simply not their "vision."

    Right now, Wasteland 2 for me is the actual next Fallout game, returning to the roots of tactical, turn-based combat. BethFallout's are imitators only.

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    @ztrewq54, @naossano:
    Alright, I concede. Still the Fallout is a special case, because those changes have been added to the engine by his creator - Tim Cain. It's pretty clear that the author himself is more capable of doing such a changes than a bunch of hired programmers working with licensed engine. Besides, as I had pointed out, those changes between GURPS and SPECIAL aren't that significant. They've added system of perks and skills, but the combat system, camera perspective, dialogue system and all that stuff remained the same as before, right? And exactly the same happened with Fallout 3. Authors took the Gamebryo engine from Oblivion, tweaked it a little and voila! What we've got is Oblivion with guns. And that's my point, the engine needs to be created for particular game from scratch to make it distinctive and unique. (I do understand that creating modern multiplatform engine is out of scope for non-AAA title with limited budget, also I do understand how mass-production and franchising works. That doesn't mean that I'm liking it, though.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Taskeen View Post
    Hell the way AI followers are handled in those games is pretty bad for a tactical experience.
    This reminded me of how many times Veronica (FNV) took headshot from Courier armed with scoped rifle in the middle of fight, because she crossed his line of fire while chasing enemies. At least "STAY BEHIND MY BACK FFS!" command should be added to the menu.

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    That's probably one of the reasons they came up with the SPECIAL. They could do it as the engine fully supported it.

    About building engine of scratch, it depends of the kind of game.
    If you want to make an FPS, there is no need to build an FPS engine every time.
    In the end, you keep shooting things.
    Last edited by naossano; 05-07-2014 at 08:33 PM.
    "My idea is to explore more of the world and more of the ethics of a post-nuclear world, not to make a better plasma gun. " Tim Cain

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    Unlike most, I don't really care about the strategy elements of Fallout. I'm a fan of the Fallout universe, and am fine with Fallout: FPS. The problem for me is that 3 is just not very good at the whole fps/rpg thing--at least compared to stalwarts like Deus Ex and Bioshock.

    But I guess people like the sandbox style, and maybe that just gets in the way of good narrative by its nature or something. Or maybe Beth just sucks, I don't know.

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    Improved dialogue trees for sure, but Bethesda's Fallout is never going to be a tactical RPG. Switching from 1st person to top-down for combat just would not make any sense at all. All they really need to do is improve the gameplay of what's already there (which Bethesda is not very good at doing, IMO). Obsidian made a start, as I thought gunplay improved a good bit in New Vegas. They should probably ditch VATS. Personally, I usually avoided it, as it just felt unfair to use, and not as much fun, for the most part. They should tie aiming and other mechanics to the associated skills (like Deus Ex did a decade ago). And they absolutely need to improve the companion system, with a way to give orders directly at any time, probably from a radial menu, which might help add more tactical elements. I was shocked they didn't already implement something like that for Skyrim. it seems like a really obvious and necessary improvement.

    If they can write a decent game, and improve gunplay and the companion system, they can keep going in the same direction. They just need to make something good, not ineptly fumble around trying to create some hideous hybrid to cater to certain fans. I will play Wasteland 2 when I want to play a real Fallout game. And I will also play Fallout 4 if it's any good.

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    I guess I'm alone in liking VATS. I guess it could be improved--just so the timing makes more sense when switching between vats and RT. But I really like the whole bullet-time thing, and thought it was a good nod to fallout's turn based roots.

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    I just realized that i made a mistake earlier.
    I wrote that :
    "If you want to make an RPG, there is no need to build an FPS engine every time."
    While i intended to write that :
    "If you want to make an FPS, there is no need to build an FPS engine every time."

    For instance, during the era of the build engine, Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, Shadow Warrior & Redneck Rampage used the same engine, as their kind of game was the same. But they style and "story" were different enough that you could enjoy all of them.
    Many FPS don't need a new engine, but one of the most reliable engine of the current era. (i still say multiple as i hate monopoly)

    Not saying that i applies to all games, but just saying that we don't need a new engine for each new game.

    About the bullet time, i don't like how it was forced into FoNV.
    Basically, your character had to change stance, every time your companions killed a roadroach a few meters behind.
    Last edited by naossano; 05-08-2014 at 07:18 PM.
    "My idea is to explore more of the world and more of the ethics of a post-nuclear world, not to make a better plasma gun. " Tim Cain

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    Quote Originally Posted by naossano View Post
    I just realized that i made a mistake earlier.
    I wrote that :
    "If you want to make an FPS, there is no need to build an FPS engine every time."
    While i intended to write that :
    "If you want to make an FPS, there is no need to build an FPS engine every time."
    I'm really tired today so correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that the same thing? o_O

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    Quote Originally Posted by FearMonkey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by naossano View Post
    I just realized that i made a mistake earlier.
    I wrote that :
    "If you want to make an FPS, there is no need to build an FPS engine every time."
    While i intended to write that :
    "If you want to make an FPS, there is no need to build an FPS engine every time."
    I'm really tired today so correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that the same thing? o_O
    It's exactly the same sentence, yeah.
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    I suppose I didn't dislike VATS. It was fun, occasionally, but got old kind of fast, so I didn't use it much. I probably used it more in 3, just because real-time combat wasn't particularly fun. It's probably worth keeping as long as it wouldn't detract from anything else. I know it was good for my friend who is not good at FPS games.

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    I corrected it. Sorry for the troubles.
    "My idea is to explore more of the world and more of the ethics of a post-nuclear world, not to make a better plasma gun. " Tim Cain

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