Fallout website up and Vision Statement revealed

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Silencer, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. FeelTheRads

    FeelTheRads Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 15, 2004
    Hey, wasn't this exactly what Chuck Cuevas used to say?
    Lies and more lies.

    Are you by any change trying to be funny? No, seriously. Because you only sound stupid. If you'd have read everything Bethesda said since they acquired the license and started working on the game, you'd see that that's exactly what they're doing and furthermore having the nerve to say they don't owe anything to the original creators.

    So keep your attempts at sarcasm away from here. They're not appreciated. And neither are you.
  2. Ctaylor

    Ctaylor First time out of the vault

    Jun 14, 2004
    Brian was involved with the vision statement by reading it. I wrote the thing after talking with Tim and the rest of the team at a team meeting. I'm pretty sure all the leads had direct input into the vision doc. We had been having problems getting an approved vision statement, IIRC, and I wrote an off-beat one that got approved. The little blurbs in the FO3 post don't quite do it justice.

    The mega-level of violence snippet is being taken slightly out of context. Here's the full text:

    1. Mega levels of violence (you had better give us that Mature rating right now)
    You can shoot everything in this game: people, animals, buildings and walls.  You can make “called shots” on people, so you can aim for their eyes or their groin.  Called shots can do more damage, knock the target unconscious or have other effects.  When people die, they don’t just die – they get cut in half, they melt into a pile of goo, explode like a blood sausage, or several different ways – depending on the weapon you use.  When I use my rocket launcher on some poor defenseless townsperson, he’ll know (and his neighbors will be cleaning up the blood for weeks!)
    *** This is the wasteland.  Life is cheap and violence is all that there is.  We are going to grab the player’s guts and remind him of this. ***
    That vision statement was written with management, marketing and sales in mind. It was never intended to be released to the public, nor was it written at the end of the project -- things changed.

    And here's another sample:

    And Finally,
    14. The team is motivated (Tim has incriminating documents on all of us)
    This is extremely important.  Team GURPS is excited to be making this game.  Everyone on the team is happy with what they are doing.  We want to do this.  We care about this game and we will make it cool.
    -Team GURPS
    The Vision Doc definitely pre-dated the SPECIALization of Fallout. There was also a US vs. THEM competition between us and the D&D projects (the Fallout dev team felt like red-headed step children after Interplay acquired the D&D license, no offense to red-headed step children.) So we wrote some docs for Interplay management with a neener-neener kind of attitude.

    Frankly, I think it's neat the FO3 team quoted it. What a blast from the past.
  3. Kan-Kerai

    Kan-Kerai Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 16, 2005
    Thanks, Chris. Heh, now that I think about it "I wrote an off-beat one that got approved" sums up Fallout pretty well.

    Oh shit, Kharn sounds a bit like Rosh there in hindsight. :mrgreen:
    Don't fall into the trap, seriously.

    And yeah, I'm surprised that Todd felt the need to quote it as well. The FO3 development team seem to care more about the thoughts of old Fallout fans than most give them credit for, and Todd's statement on the website should have confirmed that. Yes, he was taking stuff out of context, but still- it doesn't seem to have been with malicious intent.

    Unfortunately, it's seemed to fuel yet another round of ad hominem attacks. I really didn't expect anything else, though. They won't stop until the game's released. Which is, ironically, along the lines of Todd's "since 2004" statement.

    You can't convince most people. Hell, I'm not convinced. I'm just tired of the people who feel the need to scream about everything (on both sides).

    People who make their arguments intelligently instead of screeching, now they're awesome. Unfortunately a lot of it tends to get lost in the background noise.

    Maybe somebody needs to turn up the gain. (unintentional Fallout 2 reference augaugag)
  4. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Thanks for stopping by, Chris!

    So what's Fargo talking about here?
    So I had always wanted to do something in the category again. So how we started with Fallout was I did something called a vision document. The vision document was, "give me ten reasons why I’m going to want to play this game." "What are the things I’m going to do, and give me an example." So somebody might say in a vision document: “It’s going to be funny!” So I’ll say: “Give me an example of the humor." And if they can’t give an example, I know the game’s not going to be funny. So I was very heavily involved in creating this ten point vision document. So I worked with Tim and Feargus to create that, so that whether it’s mood, combat, flexibility in gameplay – I was really heavily involved in that.

    Or is he just being Fargo-ie?

    So what would you say was the exact intention of the violence? Just emphasizing the whole "this is the wastelands, bitch!" thing?
  5. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    thanks for dropping by and clearing that up, Chris.

    i did get the sneaking suspicion that Todd wasn't being fair to the original doc...
  6. El_Smacko

    El_Smacko It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jul 12, 2007
    Now now, hold on a minute. If you look at the text, you'd realize that that's a pretty big block to make one point. While it could be malicious, my gut feeling is that it was a simple matter of editing for readability.
  7. ivpiter

    ivpiter It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jun 26, 2007
    And that, as they say, is the rest of the story, thank for that gem of info Mr. Taylor. :-)
  8. Sorrow

    Sorrow So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Feb 9, 2006
    The main problem is that he took a document made to get approval of management, marketing and sales and presented it as "the document detailing what Fallout was to be".
  9. Kyuu

    Kyuu Insert Awesome Title Here

    Jul 19, 2007
    Yes, but it is oddly coincidental, is it not, that the editing of that point about violence very handily made it seem like his "violence is f***ing hilarious" BS coincides exactly with the original developers' intent, when in fact it really doesn't?
  10. God is Dog backwards

    God is Dog backwards Mildly Dipped

    Jul 25, 2003
    The number 1 item - violence - is interesting because in the doc, it talks about groin and eye shots, both of which are absent in FO3 :)
  11. Vault 69er

    Vault 69er Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    May 3, 2007
    I view the inclusion of that document as suspicious. Does Todd care about old fans? No.
    Does Todd want to appear to care about the old fans who are nothing but a bunch of rabid losers who want a clone of Fallout 2 and will never be pleased and he's really a saint for trying? The Magic 8 Ball says "Yes".

    That part was of course conveniently omitted.
  12. Ctaylor

    Ctaylor First time out of the vault

    Jun 14, 2004
    Let's see if I can pierce the hazy fog of memory...

    Fargo did reject the first two vision documents. He also suggested the use of specific examples. Tim told me about the example of the kid and the rabid dog from WL that Fargo used.

    I don't recall Feargus on the project at the time of the approved vision doc. Feargus definitely did alter the game (and probably for the better, even if I didn't think that at the time. Frex, he doubled or trebled the number of hit points gained. I wanted a more brutal HP progression.)

    I'm not sure how much management was involved in the vision doc. There was at least one layer between me and them. The words in the doc are mine, again, with direction, input and collaboration with the whole Fallout team.

    Fargo was directly responsible for the origins of Fallout. He sent a company wide email vote for a "new" RPG license. The three options were GURPS, World of Darkness and Earthdawn. We picked GURPS, of course.

    The original GURPS concepts were quite different from Fallout's post-apoc. One of them was a generation STL ship gone wild (shades of an early paper and pencil RPG). Another was actually written by John M. Ford, author of GURPS Time Travel. It was neat, but would have been too expensive. Tim wrote another multidimensional/time travel setting, also to show off the stength of the GURPS license. There were some really neat ideas in that one, but it also would have been cost prohibitive to develop. It had a different take on a fantasy world, including a bizarre dragon/knight/damsel encounter and a save game disc turned to evil. I still would like to play that game if it ever gets made.

    Exactly how GURPS turned to the post-apoc setting is beyond my knowledge. I was not the original lead designer on Fallout; that honor goes to Scott Campbell. I joined the team after he left. He wrote most of the original area descriptions (he worked with Jason Taylor and Tim) and did a ton of work on the GURPS conversion. The vision doc was written after the majority of the design was done for the GURPS version, but before we got down to editing the design, and doing the actual level design/dialogue/encounters/events.

  13. Bernard Bumner

    Bernard Bumner Still Mildly Glowing

    Feb 5, 2007
    To be fair, we don't know exactly what he thought that document was, and in what context he recieved it.

    If he recieved a document from Interplay that was simply headed Fallout Vision Statement, then it wouldn't be that much of a leap to assume that this really was the design ethos for the game. If I was looking for the thought proccess behind the design of Fallout, and I was approaching it in a slightly naive manner, then I might easily assume that this was a good place to start.

    As I say, we don't really know what he thought he'd got, and given the absence of interaction with those who actually designed the document, he wasn't necessarily in a position to find out.

    Also, when judging him on this, keep in mind that he's introduced something into the public domain that wasn't previously available, which might have been one of the reasons that it was a) interesting, and b), particularly noteworthy. I think that the simplest explanation for this is that he's genuinely excited by the document and sees it as significantly informing their own production. I'm just not buying this conspiracy theory that this part of a campaign to try to show affinity with old-guard Fallout fans, simply because these are exacylt the same people who continually mischaracterize and misrepresent us in interviews. It doesn't make sense; the two tactics are mutually exclusive, or esle the duplicity is obvious to everyone.
  14. xdarkyrex

    xdarkyrex Vault Senior Citizen

    Aug 28, 2006
    So would you say that Todds particular excerpts from the vision statement take the end product of Fallout out of context?
  15. Bernard Bumner

    Bernard Bumner Still Mildly Glowing

    Feb 5, 2007
    Yes, but for him they're just an affirmation of what he's doing. If this document has informed Bethesda's design process, then of course he's going to highlight the parts he thinks are important. Equally, if he just thinks it supports the approach they've taken to design, then he's going to concentrate on the sections that demonstrate it.

    Could he be misinterpreting the significance and original purpose of the document? Of course.

    Is he putting a spin on it? Yes.

    Is there necessarily anything particularly sinister about it? No.

    All I'm trying to say is that there are much simpler explanations for what he's doing with the document than that it is some sort of covoluted PR stunt. (It is much more likely to be a very, very simple piece of PR, coupled to a dose of missed irony.)
  16. quietfanatic

    quietfanatic Ancient One

    Dec 10, 2003
    Thanks for dropping by to clarify things Chris.

    No chance that they could provide the analysis and rigour that fan sites do.

    Todd seems quite defensive, but I appreciate his efforts, even if much of it is depressing, inaccurate, and likely massaged by the marketing department.

    What 'they're focused on' doesn't look good from the preview information. The centrepiece of blowing up Megaton is a great example of player choice, consequence, sacrifice, and survival. Oh wait.

    Not a sequel to Fallout people say, then one might as well say it is in a way also a sequel to Oblivion. Word games aren't that helpful, but they can be fun.

    Isn't that true? And Fallout may remain so after Fallout 3 if they screw it up badly enough. If they are thinking of using that as the real new line, my level of disbelief will raise even further. Hey, maybe it's part of the game. Get people to suspend disbelieve for immersion after so many inept decisions.

    His view of changing things seems to be even worse than reinventing the

  17. Radman

    Radman It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jul 12, 2007
    Does the website remind anyone of the original Fallout website?

    I got that feeling while navigating it... dont know why..
  18. Cimmerian Nights

    Cimmerian Nights So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2004
    Thanks Chris. Any chance we can see the rest of it? Todd's version is kind of ...erm... selectively abridged.
  19. MrBumble

    MrBumble Vault Fossil

    Jan 17, 2006
    I just love how Todd mentions how cool he thought it was to see Richard Gariott "reinventing" Ultima from one episode to another but fails to mention how that "reinvention" definitely killed Ultima with Ultima IX..."Shiny Graphics, Total immershun..." didn't work too well with Ascension.
  20. Jiggly McNerdington

    Jiggly McNerdington Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 14, 2007
    Your mother appreciates me.