Tim Cain on Fallout 3/New Vegas, Troika and more

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by WorstUsernameEver, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. WorstUsernameEver

    WorstUsernameEver But best title ever!

    May 28, 2010
    The RPG Codex has put together an excellent interview with veteran designer Timothy Cain, which I'm sure No Mutants Allowed's aficionados remember most fondly for his important contributions on the original Fallout (it actually started because he wanted to make his own engine!).

    The interview covers the range of subjects you'd expect, and I'm going to quote his thoughts on the Fallout titles he hasn't worked on:<blockquote>Given that you left Interplay midway through Fallout 2's development, how did the resulting game differ from the original design you had in mind for it?

    I don't remember the specific details of my plans for Fallout 2, but I do remember playing the game and seeing it was different from the storyline I had proposed for it. I think my biggest disappointment with the game is that each area was made in almost complete isolation from the others. There was no over-arching theme and no attempt to make sure the different areas were cohesive. It felt like a lot of Fallout-y areas, placed adjacently and connected with a storyline. Those areas were individually well-done, but they suffered from the lack of a strong central design.

    You claimed to enjoy Fallout 3, and I'm going to assume you also enjoyed Fallout: New Vegas. From a design standpoint, how would you compare Fallout 3 and New Vegas? What did New Vegas do differently from Fallout 3, in your view?

    I did enjoy both Fallout 3 and New Vegas. I know that surprised some of my fans, who wanted me to hate the games and rail against their design choices (which I have repeatedly pointed out were different than the ones I would have made), but there is no arguing that more people enjoy the modern versions of the franchise than the older ones.

    If I were to compare the two games, I would say that Fallout New Vegas felt like it captured the humor and style of the Fallout universe better than Fallout 3, but I have to hand it to the FO3 designers for developing VATS, a cool twist on called shots for a real-time game. I also loved the set decoration FO3. There was so much destruction, yet obviously everything had been meticulously hand-placed. So much story was told entirely through art. I ended up naming these little art vignettes and creating side stories in my head about what had happened. There was "The Suicide", a dead guy in a bathtub with a shotgun, and I figured he just couldn't handle life after the bombs. There was "Eternal Love", a couple of skeletons in a bed in a hotel room, forever embracing each other. There was "My Last Mistake", the corpse in the temporary one-man fallout shelter which obviously didn't do its job of keeping out the heat and radiation. My favorite was "Desperate Gamble", where I found a feral ghoul in an underground shelter filled with lab supplies and lots of drugs... except for Rad-X. I imagined that a scientist found himself irradiated and desperately tried to synthesize some Rad-X to cure himself before he succumbed, but he was too slow. I did notice that whatever was left of his mind sure did seem to enjoy toilet plungers.

    If I had to pick something I didn't like about FO3, I would pick its ending. I hated the ending. There, I said it. I didn't like the sudden problem with the purifier, and I especially didn't like the lack of real, meaningful multiple endings beyond what I chose in the final few minutes (FEV or not, me or Lyons, and that was it?). But the worst thing about the ending was there was no mention of the fate of places I had visited. In my head I had already imagined slides for Megaton, the Citadel, Rivet City, Underworld, GNR, the Enclave or the mysterious Commonwealth. But I got... pretty much nothing.

    I liked FONV's ending much better. It had a nice set of slides at the end of the game. They covered everything I was wondering about. I went with Mr. House at the end... and that seemed a worse choice after the slides, but still OK. It led to a law-abiding but somewhat impersonal Vegas. I wish I didn't have to kill the BoS, but I want House to control the future, so I had to do it. It was a great morally ambiguous choice, and the decision made me pause. That's a sign of good design, right there.</blockquote>
  2. WorstUsernameEver

    WorstUsernameEver But best title ever!

    May 28, 2010
    If you don't read the full interview you're a bad man/woman.
  3. PlanHex

    PlanHex Legislative Senator oTO Moderator Orderite

    Nov 4, 2007
    I agree, just finished it myself.
    Very interesting stuff.
    Sucks that they never got to use the ToEE engine for anything else, the combat in that game is really good.
  4. Izual

    Izual Pipe rifle & chopsticks

    Sep 18, 2009
    Fuel for Lexx's opinion on party controlling in Wasteland 2 :p

    Anyway. Cool stuff, but Tim basically is a cool stuff himself.
  5. FearMonkey

    FearMonkey Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 12, 2011
  6. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    I don't see why. My posts were about how you control your party in combat (how to move around each dude), nothing else.
  7. Dr. Combat Shotgun

    Dr. Combat Shotgun First time out of the vault

    Aug 19, 2010
    A really good interview, lots of interesting tidbits. Why is it all of the old FO guys are suddenly openly critizicing newer games? And their old ones?
  8. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
  9. Ardent

    Ardent A Smooth-Skin

    Jul 24, 2009
    Awesome stuff 8-)
  10. Wretched Flamingo

    Wretched Flamingo Sofa King

    Feb 14, 2010
    Man, it would of been so cool to have had Arcanum 2 :(
  11. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    I felt that the NCR-Vault City-New Reno struggle for domination of NorCal lended the necessary cohesion to the game. Not all that was needed, but enough to keep it from being an amusement park with attractions, rather than an actual gameworld.
  12. Surf Solar

    Surf Solar So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2009
    The over-arching theme was "omfg u are the chosen One of the tribe (that was silly from the beginning) and are free to do whatever the fuck you want"

    You tacking on the basic narrative is nice, but ultimatively the story and the locations (most of them) were crap in FO2, regardless if there is this "plot" you are speaking of.
  13. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003

    Don't you *ever* get bored of being negative?
  14. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Would surprise me. :D
  15. Surf Solar

    Surf Solar So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2009
    Yeah, because the gameplay/narrative in FO1 never allowed any fun aswelll.

    Besides, I didn't know this was a page where one can't say anything against the "holy grail" that is Fallout 2, I must have missed a note or something.

    I admire your "immersion" or whatever one might call it to feel that these issues you adressed were a major thing in the story (just like I have seen you arguing in NV plot threads), but ultimatively the game is stilll about you solving talking plants problems or kung fu fighting through the game, which is ofcourse the very definition of Fallout.
  16. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    There's nothing wrong with criticizing Fallout 2. Hammering everything and everyone endlessly... Dude.
  17. Surf Solar

    Surf Solar So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2009
    Please tell me more how I did hammer everything and everyone in this topic.

    Your "No Fun Allowed" Picture ofcourse greatly contributed as an argument, right?
  18. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    You are a negative nancy. I do not remember any recent post from you where you don't rage about something and it seems like I am not the only one who sees it like that.
  19. Sobboth

    Sobboth It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Aug 29, 2010
    Like Tagaziel i find fallout 2 locations very coherent and well integrated.
    Gecko/NCR problem.
    NCR/Vault City/New Reno over-arching plot with Redding in the middle.
    San Francisco was the only bad location.
    And only 2 quests were awfull : the talking plant/scorpion quest in Broken hills and the kung fu thing in San Francisco.
    I don't understand people saying fallout 2 was bad because of those things.
    In the end the game was excellent.
  20. Dr. Combat Shotgun

    Dr. Combat Shotgun First time out of the vault

    Aug 19, 2010
    Broken hills was kind of empty and as mentioned San Francisco was bad, clearly unfinished. Otherwise the locations were good if alittle out of place(im looking at you, New Reno).