Fallout: New Vegas Developer Interview

By Shamus
on Jun 16, 2010
Filed under:
Video Games

Twenty Sided is proud to bring you two amazing E3 exclusives for Fallout: New Vegas. First off, we have this exclusive* trailer:

* The trailer is actually available everywhere, but we’re the only ones to bring you the trailer on THIS SITE!


Link (YouTube)

The second item is this exclusive interview with Nigel Droolbucket, one of the developers at Obsidian currently working on Fallout: New Vegas.

Twenty Sided: Nigel, thanks so much for granting the interview. First off, I’d like to know how New Vegas plans to court fans of the franchise who thought that Fallout 3 was lacking in story?

Nigel Droolbucket: Did you see the new GRENADE GUN? BOOM BOOM BOOM! Blow up your foes!

TS: Yes, the weapons do look exciting. What about the skill point system? Any plans to restore the number-crunchy complexity of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system that made the earlier titles so deep?

ND: Vegas, baby! VEGAS! Huge robots to explode! KABOOM! Blow it up! Blow it ALL UP!

TS: Hm. What about the dialog? Will you be putting in meaningful conversations that reveal the world as well as give players a way to solve problems in non-violent means?

ND: Speaking of violence, this time you’ll have companions to follow you around and blow up more guys… EVEN MORE!

TS: Amazing. What about multiple ways to solve quests? Will the players have a lot of freedom, and an incentive to replay the game again and again?

ND: Orbital cannon! Blow up tons of dudes at once! Mushroom cloud! PSssshkkkrrrrrrwwwwwooooooom!

TS: (Wiping spittle off face.) Interesting. What about the visuals? Is the game still going to be pervasively, monotonously brown, so brown that the player will wish to be struck blind?

ND: Yes.

TS: Thanks so much for your time.

ND: BOOM! POW POW POW! BLAMO!

TS: Please let go. You’re making me uncomfortable.

(EDIT: Counterpoint: The trailer maybe a hundred pounds of big, loud, and dumb, but this is very, very encouraging.)

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A Hundred!20202019Many comments. 179, if you're a stickler

From the Archives:

  1. BeamSplashX says:

    Now I see why people go with grey-and-brown color schemes; that was his most professional response. The industry is convinced that a colorful world is the mark of an amateur!

    “THIS AIN’T DISNEY, BABY! Except for that girl that looks like Cinderella… WITH A GAT!”

  2. (LK) says:

    Isn’t it funny how the trailer for an RPG shows nothing but combat?

    • MrWhales says:

      And better yet, combat you will NEVER, EVER be able to pull off like that. Because the way i envision it, if the eyebots can be hostile to you, agro is just short of draw distance, thats how it seemd for some of the enemies in F3. So, being generous agro distance is about draw distance. So you’d be blindly firing and hitting everytime. Not to mention if they considered bullet drop in hardcore mode.

  3. radio_babylon says:

    different strokes, i guess. personally, im really looking forward to this game. good thing the gaming police arent going to twist your arm to buy it, huh?

    • Shamus says:

      Just calling ’em like I see ’em.

      They can turn Fallout into a Michael Bay-style circus of explosions and idiocy, but I’m not going to applaud while they do it.

    • Nihil says:

      Yep, that’s exactly what Shamus complained about. So nice of you to address the precise issue at stake.

    • LafinJack says:

      If it weren’t for the people who played Fallout 1 and 2 back in the day, there wouldn’t be a Fallout 3 for you to mindlessly defend.

      • Hugo Sanchez says:

        Because enjoying something that isn’t a carbon copy of the original makes you mindless.

        I played Fallout 1 and 2, and loved them. I played Fallout 3 and like it very much. It’s not the same, get over it. It was a good game with a lot of potential. If New Vegas can help it reach some of that (Which it already seems it will) then it will also be a very good game.

        I’m sorry that disagreeing with you makes me stupid, but to me it seems like it makes you a jerk.

      • radio_babylon says:

        sigh. i played fallout 1 and 2. when they were released. multiple times. loved them both. i played wasteland well before them. loved it too. (of course back then, you didnt find raving hoards of people screaming that fallout ruined wasteland and wasnt a fit successor. they just played it and enjoyed it or not. things sure have changed.)

        i also loved fallout 3. its not the same game as fallout 1 and 2. hence… the 3. they could have called it “post apocalyptic shooty game” and id have enjoyed it just the same. see… im not hung up on a particular permutation of letters. i enjoy (or not) a thing for what it is, not what its called.

        and if acknowledging that different people like different things, saying im looking forward to something, and pointing out that no one makes you buy or play things you dont like qualifies as “mindlessly defending” a thing… well. i just dont know what to say to that.

        • krellen says:

          I wish they had called it “post apocalyptic shooty game”. I’d have saved $60.

          • radio_babylon says:

            which is exactly what i said. different strokes. although i suppose youd have me believe that you never heard a word about fallout 3 prior to buying it… you just wandered into a store after waking up from a 5 year slumber and, without so much as glancing at the box, said “hey, fallout! im going to buy this!”

            youre acting as if bethesda twisted your arm to spend money on a game you didnt like. no doubt, youll do it again with new vegas, then complain some more about wasting your money.

            as difficult as this may be to believe, not every game is made with you specifically in mind, and it isnt a sin to make a game that targets a different audience. its a great big gaming world out there, with lots of games to play. so by all means… play another game, ideally something you WILL like. life is too short to waste on games you hate.

            • Nathan Piazza says:

              Fallout 3 is not Fallout 1 or 2 because the storytelling is lackluster, the avenues for problem-solving are one-dimensional, having been dissolved in the same shooter mechanics common to 20 (or 100) other titles out this year, and the atmosphere and intrigue are non-existent. Why not just call Fallout 3 by its proper name: “Space Marines vs Aliens: Retro Steampunk EXTREME”.

              You’re right about one thing: Fallout 3 is not Fallout 1 or 2. But the point is that the way it is not those games reveals that Bethesda is pandering to the same dumbed-down tastes as everyone else, and if you don’t get that, it does indeed make you “mindless”.

              I would have loved for Fallout 3 to NOT be Fallout 1 or 2, by deepening and extending the mechanics, or adding new mechanics we’ve never seen before.

              You say you’ve played Fallout 1 and 2 and Wasteland, but you talk like someone who actually just read about them in the same blogs and “reviews” as everyone else, tried to play them, but then decided that because the polygon counts weren’t high enough and the explosions not big enough that they weren’t worth your time.

              If you really did play them, and you still don’t understand why Fallout 3 is a disappointment, that’s actually an even bigger indictment of your tastes and understanding as a gamer. It shows that you don’t appreciate the whole reason the franchise is beloved in the first place.

              So let me remind you of something, junior. You don’t speak for “gamers”. You’re not even one yourself. You have no authority. You don’t get to accuse people of being “complainers” when they crap on your PR-flack implanted “opinions”.

              You’re not hardcore. You’re just a dumb punk who swallows what the game industry tells you to think about their latest lovingly-textured BFG circle jerk hook line and sinker.

              • ps238principal says:

                “And get these thrice-damned illustrations and pictures outta my D&D books! They’re takin’ up space that could be used for more charts an’ tables! An’ we’re playin’ with THAC0, or you ain’t a real gamer, ya pipsqueak! An’ I forbid you from playin’ a psionic character anywhere ever or I’m gonna see to it you lose your RPGA membership!”

              • radio_babylon says:

                wow. just… wow. this reminds me so much of how some of the SFB (star fleet battles, a tabletop game) players just flipped the hell out when SFC (starfleet command) came out. if you had the nerve to like SFB *and* SFC… well, you were just a crazy person.

                its really inconceivable to you that someone could like one thing… and also like another. you cant even come close to wrapping your head around that idea, can you? in fact, not only can you not understand it, but the very possibility of it *offends* you. it *enrages* you that someone can like something you dont, or god forbid, actually make a game that doesnt cater solely and specifically to what *you* deem to be the right way to do things. i find this amazing.

                ill tell you what else i find amazing: that someone old enough to have played these games in their era (im 37, i have to assume youre probably somewhere in the same ballpark) hasnt reached a point in their life where they can accept that someone might be different from them, and would think that the best way to respond to a differing preference or opinion is with angry rhetoric and name-calling. i find it amazing that someone can be so personally invested in a GAME that it can spark such a response.

                as difficult as it may be for you to believe, it *is* possible to have played and enjoyed the first two fallout games and *also* have enjoyed fallout 3. just as its totally possible to have played wasteland (played the *hell* out of wasteland) and still enjoy fallout 1. fallout was billed as a spiritual successor to wasteland, yet the games were wildly different, sharing little more than basic setting elements… yet i cant think of seeing even one person flip out about it. granted, it was a smaller pool of people i was exposed to (bbses/fidonet vs the whole of internet connected humanity today)… but still.

                just… step back for a minute. clearly fallout 3 wasnt the game you wanted it to be. thats fine. i dont like every game ive ever played either. take a moment to try to accept that just because you didnt like it, because you were disappointed with it, doesnt mean that no one SHOULD like it… that anyone who did like it is an idiot… the crazy idea that someone can be a “gamer” without your seal of approval.

                the single most common human deception is an unshakable believe that everyone else is *just like they are*… it just isnt so. it doesnt make them wrong, it just makes them different.

                • Smirker says:

                  I have to agree with radio_babylon on this. I’m in the same age bracket (turning 38 in a couple of months it seems) and I loved Wasteland and the first couple of Fallout titles. That didn’t subtract from me being able to enjoy Fallout: Tactics nor Fallout 3 for what they were.

                  Particularly FO3 was a watered down version of the franchise; but I had played Oblivion and wasn’t surprised by this. I enjoy the game very much, but not nearly to the extent that I did the FO1 and 2. This is evident by the number of playthroughs I’ve done on it (~3 as oppossed to 10+ on the earlier titles).

                  Sadly, the ease and sheer numbers of people who can post to the internet just allow people to make ignorant polarizing comments like ‘U R st00pid’. Generally, I ignore users who exhibit such polarized comments, just like I do political party ‘classifications’ like ‘Democrats are for the People while Republicans are for Big Business’. Anyone showing such thinking is also showing they are not looking at the bigger picture and keeping things in perspective.

                  Just as I can decide a favorite color, or favorite movie; I can also choose a favorite genre of game (and subclasses of course). Wasteland is still my favorite game of all time (BG2 is actually a close second), but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the other games for their qualities. The more the games branch off and get back to some of the core elements I loved (like Turn based tactics, hilarious tongue-in-cheek dialogue and multiple options to quest resolution) the better. But as it has been frequently pointed out – the focus on bigger, better graphics, animation and voice acting mean more time and resources devoted to those eye-candy elements as oppossed to storylines and quest pathing. Its the nature of the current beast in the gaming industry, something to lament a little; but it doesn’t mean you can’t try and encourage the industry back in the way you want it; just vote with your wallet. Will it take a long time? Certainly. But, barring your a developer yourself, there’s not a lot else you can do. And vapid rants on the Internet is about as effective as pissing into the wind – sure, you’ll get a release and vent a bit; but it’s most likely just going to backfire on you and make people who notice you wince and consider you the ‘special’ kid. ;)

                  I will likely buy New Vegas; but I doubt it’ll be off the bat unless someone just gifts it to me. With the current developer love of DLCs I’ll likely just wait for the GOTY edition or something.

              • Shamus says:

                Do not make heated discussions personal. Thank you.

                • Nathan Piazza says:

                  ” that anyone who did like it is an idiot… the crazy idea that someone can be a “gamer” without your seal of approval”

                  Yes, there are no substantive concerns driving my opinions.

                  What a load of rot this whole “people can disagree” thing is. Of course they can disagree. And of course people can like garbage. Not only is this not surprising. It’s the NORM. If I got offended at everyone who liked garbage, I would be really really busy being offended.

                  However, I DO care about games, and what gets my dander up about Fallout 3 in particular is not even that I was devoted to that franchise more than any other. There are many other games that I would be much more disappointed to see reprised by today’s game industry as bland shooters (Star Control II, Planescape: Torment, X-Com: UFO, etc).

                  But Fallout 3 does not stand alone. It represents a broader calculus by the game industry that they can turn every game into the same game, throw in some pretty graphics, and not only will fanboys buy the game, but as is in ample evidence here, they will defend their games in blogs and forums and reviewers will slaver all over them with 9s and 10s.

                  And everyone will be generally happy.

                  No doubt I do look like the “special kid”, just like Chris Crawford did in those years back in the GDC when he lamented the fact that the game industry was going down a deep dark hole of cynicism and sameness.

                  For me, Fallout 3 represents these trends better than almost any other game. It is a neat encapsulation of everything that has gone wrong in the game industry since the “great consolidation” of the late 1990s.

                  Fallout 3 was indeed one of the best games of 2009, and that’s really really sad. If it weren’t for the indie devs and games like Dwarf Fortress, Spelunky, and Braid, there wouldn’t be much “game design” going on at all these days.

                  But you keep telling yourself that I’m out of my mind, that I’m the “special kid”. You keep telling yourself that Fallout 3 is “just different” from Fallout 1 and 2, and not a devolution to the lowest common denominator.

                  Gamers get the game industry they deserve.

            • krellen says:

              I won’t be buying or playing New Vegas. Steam is the line I don’t cross.

              As for what I knew before buying Fallout 3: I knew it was by Bethesda and thus 3D and first person, I know that I hated Morrowind but people whose opinions I respected said Daggerfall was by far the best Elder Scroll and thus Morrowind wasn’t an instant fail.

              And that’s about it. What the hell was I supposed to know? Was I supposed to know it had the stupidest story possible? Was I supposed to know it had horribly stilted dialogue and many railroad plot items where I could only do one of talk, sneak or fight (usually fight)? Was I supposed to know that it would only be “Fallout” in that there would be Nuka-Cola and Vault-Tec plastered all over?

              How was I supposed to know that before buying it? Why shouldn’t I have assumed that “Fallout 3” would bear some passing resemblance to “Fallout 1” and “Fallout 2”?

              • Valaqil says:

                I’m not sure what you did, but, if you didn’t buy the game immediately, reviews could help you decide. I get some of the story spoiled for me, and am never on the cutting edge of gaming anymore, but I (almost) never play a game I don’t like these days. I found reviewers with whom I agree, wait for a review, and do a little reading on the game. It’s easy to want to buy a game because it’s the next in the series, and totally understandable. However, I’m a bit jaded and don’t expect any series to continue doing what I like. It’s just not the state of the industry. So… I guess the answer to your question is like most purchases: If you want to enjoy your purchase the most, know what you’re getting before you buy it.

                • krellen says:

                  What reviewer can I believe? All reviews gave the game an “ohmygodawesome” rating, and very few of them give any actual critical review of the game itself. Shamus is one of the few, but his tastes and mine aren’t quite the same (he’s too fond of shooters for me to use him as a great measure for my own tastes; sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t.)

                • acronix says:

                  Reviews can only work for you so far. Besides that the reviewer and reader may have discrepancies in what they like, the review may be centred about other stuff. For the case at hand, almost none said “the plot, gameworld, characters and dialogue is not only incoherent or inconsistent, but is also terribly, terribly stupid.” They just said how amazing it was… and that the Graphicz! were aged.

                  And NONE implied the franchise was watered down until dissolution.

  4. David V.S. says:

    Was it just my headphones, or did all those explosions use only two sounds?

  5. Rutskarn says:

    I considered pre-ordering this game, but just bought Fallout 2 instead. So far, no regrets.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Make sure you get the latest patch from NMA, helps with a lot of the bugs.

      Killap’s unnoficial fallout 2 patch

      http://www.nma-fallout.com/forum/dload.php?action=category&cat_id=16

    • Audacity says:

      Excellent choice, Rutskarn. I second the recommendation of Killap’s Restoration Project. A new version (2.something) just came out, and it’s awesome!

    • Smirker says:

      You are a wise man indeed!

      I’m just waiting until my son is older before allowing him to get into a bunch of my older games. I use my games as an incentive for him to reach certain milestones in reading/math and other things. ‘Sorry; you can’t play that game yet. It’s a great game; but you have to be able to read everything to know where to go and what to do’. :)

      I have a vacation coming up and I’m planning on doing more DA:O but I have a deep itch to replay FO1 again (I tend to play my favorites every year or two) and that will likely impact my plans.

      p.s. Your ‘Lets Play Morrowind’ is tempting me to do that sometime as well. But, since I’m in Europe atm availability is .. limited. Internet bandwidth is not commonly unlimited here and I have to share bandwidth with the kids. ;)

  6. matt says:

    Amazing how you got all that from the trailer.

    Come on man, this is a tad harsh based just on a trailer. Those tend to focus on the shinier parts of games anyway. Don’t judge the game before you play it, or at least see more of it than this.

    • Shamus says:

      If I had said, “This game looks like it will be AWESOME!!!”, would you have told me not to judge the game before I play it?

      Not trying to be a smartass, I just don’t understand this resistance to mockery before a game comes out. Obsidian put out this trailer to get attention and start a conversation, and this is what I have to say in response.

      • Raygereio says:

        I can’t answer for matt, but I personally would have told you to withhold judgment untill you see some actual gameplay.

        You can mock all you like – and on a sidenote I’m fine with you mocking stuff I personally like. But honestly, there’s nothing to mock here. It’s a meh trailer that doesn’t tell you anything about the game, much like every trailer out there.
        Heck, the mentions of a hardcore mode and that of the reintroduction of a reputation system on the wiki page of New Vegas has me more interested in then this undoubtedly expensive trailer.

        If anything this wasn’t a dig against New Vegas, but one against trailers in general.

        • Ragnar says:

          The best action is of course to ignore all trailers, screenshots and never do previews since we must withold judgment until we can actually play the game.

          • Raygereio says:

            I didn’t say that.

            The fast majority of trailers out there – especially amongst the ‘teaser’-trailer (or whatever they are called, the ones that first come out and are intended to draw your attention to the game) are nothing more then ‘look at the pretty pictures our engine can produce’ or ‘wee, explosions’ and tell you nothing of the actual game.
            Now you obviously can’t describe the entire story in your trailer. But closer to the release they generally release trailers that contain actual gameplay footage, these tell me a lot more then generic trailer #1234 filled with pretty, meaningless pictures with no context.

          • krellen says:

            I think it’s a really stupid idea to withhold judging whether something is worth paying money for until after we’ve paid money for it.

            Maybe I’m just old-fashioned.

            • Audacity says:

              I must shamelessly agree. I’ve never understood the idea of “Just wait and see what it’s like after you’ve bought it before deciding if it’s good or bad.” to me that sounds just as dumb as saying “Just wait and see what the candidate is like after being elected before you decide to vote against him.” How does that make any sense?

              • Tizzy says:

                Game or candidate, you can always try to make an educated guess, but there’s always the very real possibility that what you get turns out to be different from what you expected.

                My pet peeve in that regard is movie trailers: take any movie that tries to be a bit different from the usual Hollywood schlock; more often than not, you can watch a trailer which is a desperate attempt to sell you a much more mainstream product than what the movie is.

                Notable exception: Clerks, where the trailer was just an uninterrupted single scene from the movie. You watched that, I can guarantee you that you knew what the movie would be like.

              • Valaqil says:

                I’m torn. You and krellen both make a good point. However, it does lack a little something.

                On the one hand, yes, they should give you a _reason_ to want to spend your money on FO:NV. Especially after F3 disappointed so many FO fans. This trailer doesn’t do that, and so you have a legitimate concern about whether FO:NV would be worth your time/money. No argument about any of that.

                On the other hand, this isn’t an election. You can return a game, unlike a candidate. You can delay/avoid purchase of a game and not be affected by it, while an election happens and affects you at a predetermined point. More importantly, parallels aside, you can be close and personal with a game. You can read reviews. Play a demo (in some cases). Watch someone else play it, perhaps a friend. You can get a decent amount of knowledge about it before you buy it.

                I was always told “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Do I? Yep. Most (all?) of us do. First impressions matter. Again, I do agree with you somewhat. However, I’ve been surprised by various media. A trailer, preview, or even review, may give you an indication of whether it’s worth spending money to try it. But, in my opinion, _only_ playing the game (reading the book, etc.) can tell you whether it was worth the money you spent.

                • krellen says:

                  I don’t know where you live, but I suspect it isn’t the US. Around here, you can’t return a game.

                • Valaqil says:

                  Replying to myself since we hit the limit on replies:

                  Krellen, I _can_ return a game, and do live in the US. And if you can’t, then you still have the other avenues of finding information about a game.

                • krellen says:

                  Store return policies tend to be “you can return this game for another copy of the same game”, not for store credit, not for money back – just for the same thing.

                  Console games you can return a bit easier. I’m talking PC, though. I always forget this game came out on console too, even though it’s a large part of why it sucks so much.

            • Ragnar says:

              I actually tried to be sarcastic. With that said, the information contained in trailers is minimal at best. And mockery of the trailer is the proper response to them.

            • Smirker says:

              I miss the old college days. It was so easy to just watch a friend who payed for it play for a bit and see if it would interest you!

        • Volatar says:

          Shut up and let Shamus write funny stuff.

          • Ramsus says:

            But…I thought the whole point of this is that we DO respond. It seems only fair that people can respond to him the way he responded to the trailer. It doesn’t even cost him anything (monetarily at least) when people don’t like what he has to say.

            I personally never read anything at all into action based explosion trailers like this as all they tell me is that there is combat and explosions in the game. Later on there will always be trailers that have more to do with….well anything at all about the game. I’m not even sure these types of trailers are aimed at doing anything other than trying to make the game stick in your memory long enough for them to release information about the game you’ll actually care about.

            I don’t think there was anything wrong with Shamus’ reaction to the trailer but imagine if he did this for every trailer that was similar. He would have no time to ever do anything but mock trailers.

            So I guess I don’t agree with either the judging games by their trailers crowd or the reserving judgment till I’ve potentially wasted money people either. I think judging should come when you have an actual list of facts in front of you (note: not highly suspect opinions of game reviewers). Though I suppose if you were the patient sort you could always reserve judgment until you could pirate the game to see how it is for yourself. Then again some people’s morals forbid them from doing this (and I suspect most people just don’t have the patience).

      • Blake says:

        And it made me lol. Thank you.

    • (LK) says:

      I dunno, the “shinier” parts of an RPG could include some footage of some of the more distinct and amusing characters. It’s not hard to showcase characters and settings instead of explosions… and honestly, those aren’t very impressive explosions. If that’s all the dazzle the game can muster I hope to god they aren’t leaning on said dazzle, that stuff is pretty tepid. (not to mention that the camera work and editing on display aren’t terribly impressive).

      • Tizzy says:

        No-one so far seems to have pointed out that there is a long sequence somewhere in the middle of the trailer that does not involve any gunplay. I rather liked that bit, I thought it was conveying a certain (Vegas) atmosphere very efficiently.

    • JB says:

      As far as I can understand Shamus was making fun of the trailer, not the final game. Since all he has seen is the trailer, and not the final game.

      There’s no reason to make more out of this than what it is.

    • Fists says:

      I would say he isn’t judging the game, he’s judging the trailer and by extension mocking Obsidian/Bethsoft’s PR guys. Shamus was obviously hoping that E3 was going to bring news about the awesome depth of character development and story but instead they produced two minutes of blowing stuff up.

      This style has exactly the same pitfalls as Anchorage and, from what I hear, mothership zeta, it focuses on the shooter elements of the game which by themselves can’t be held as anything but terrible. When combined with a story and a nice open world these shooter mechanics aren’t as important and can make a good game, I put quite a bit of time into FO3 and Shamus seems to have done the same.

      This style of advertising could be equated to a less insulting version of Evony’s tactics, the trailer/ads look good but aren’t actually related to why you might enjoy the game. If all New Vegas has to offer me over FO3 is slightly better textures and some pretty explosions its more of a graphical mod than a new full game, we want to get excited about our epic journey not a two minute rehash of Call of Duty: Apocalypse Warfare (I like call of duty and I think they do a better job of shiny ‘splode time than Bethesda did, hence why this trailer is bad).

      umm, [/rant] sorry.

    • evileeyore says:

      “Come on man, this is a tad harsh based just on a trailer. Those tend to focus on the shinier parts of games anyway.”

      So, the shinniest part of this game is the HAVOK engine?

      Yeah…

  7. Vegedus says:

    I’m not sure what part of the number-crunchy complexity of the SPECIAL system you think was taken out. I always thought the SPECIAL system was one of the ways in which Fallout 3 was the most true to the originals. There was a bit less skills, but only the redundant ones were taken out, more or less.

    I do also they they are at least attempting to make the game less brown, being in an undemolished Vegas.

    The gag about the explosions though… Looking at the trailer, that I fully get. It’s pretty much a transcription of the video.

    • Vipermagi says:

      Special-stats made pretty much no difference in FO3 at all (other than Luck, they are trivial to compensate), which contrasts what I’ve heard about FO1/2.

      • Spectralist says:

        Not really. The biggest difference is the skill cap. In FO2 it was 300 rather than 100 in FO3. But with diminishing returns after 100. The tag system also gave you double points when spending in a tagged skill making which skill you tag a much more important and interesting choice.

        But as far as the special stats having an effect… It depends on the build in the first two just like in the third.

        Int is and has always been the most important but other than that the only one to be significantly less important in 3 than the first two is Agility. And then only if you don’t use VATS much. And Perception was made much more important in 3 as it shows enemies(and points of interest in the wilderness, I think) on your radar from a further distance away if you have a higher Perception. As where in the first two all it did is (rarely) gave you an extra dialogue choice(which also happens in the third) and made you a bit more accurate at long ranges, though that could be compensated for with a higher gun skill. So it rather balances out. One less important, one more.

        And getting perks every level in 3 as opposed to every third level in the first two is a huge improvement. It allows you to get some of the flavour perks that you wouldn’t be able to spare a perk on in the first two. Unfortunately there were less interesting flavour perks and a huge amount of the perk choices were VATS only. Sadly it looks like they’re taking it to once every 2 levels in New Vegas.

    • eri says:

      Did you actually play Fallout 1 and 2, or are you just talking out of your ass?

      Regarding SPECIAL, in Fallout 1 and 2:

      – you need high strength to use some weapons, and it affects your accuracy
      – you need high agility to attack more than once per turn in combat
      – you need decent intelligence to open up dialogue options with NPCs, which can actually lead to unique outcomes and even quests, rather than alternate “HURHUR U SO SMRT” lines
      – charisma has a huge effect on things like your speech skill, being able to interact with members of the opposite sex, selling items, etc.
      – perception is necessary for being able to spot small details in the game world
      – endurance is actually useful since you can and will come across enemies that will destroy you, even early in the game
      – min/maxing is often necessary to do well during the game, and it is impossible to max out your SPECIAL stats

      You might want to argue that the systems in general are similar to each other, because the attributes are named the same things, and because they affect more or less the same parts of your character. However, it’s really an issue of degrees: simply put, in Fallout 3, your game is going to play quite similarly to everyone else’s, no matter how you build your character. Conversely, in Fallout 1 and 2, it has a drastic impact on everything from your interactions with NPCs, to what quests and opportunities are available to you, to learning about the game universe, to in what order you complete the game’s main objectives. The early game in Fallout 3 features the most drastic of differences between characters, which aren’t really even close to what you get in Fallout 1 and 2, and those tend to dry up once you get to level 9 or 10 anyway. Fallout 3’s idea of “building your character” is to let you choose which hat you wear.

      • Vegedus says:

        Yup, I did. Let me elaborate on how I saw the SPECIAL system and see how it compares to yours:

        – Agility is the most important stat in the game, unless you’re doing a “no fighting” run through the game, since it gives you extra actions, that are especially valueable with the fixed damage point of ranged weapons.
        – Int was good if you wanted to do many things, as opposed to just dumping everything in your tag skills, which was perfectly live-able as well.
        – Charisma’s main draw was unique dialogue options and more party members, if you care for neither, you could easily dump it down a bit, since the Speech skill is much more important in conversation anyways, and the bonus to the skill a stat gives is negligible in the long run.
        – Strength you need at some specific point, depending on what kinda weapons you go after, if you’re ranged, and if you’re melee, you need it as high as you can afford without detracting from something else. Kinda like Fallout 3, really, where you need it for carry capacity if you’re ranged or extra damage if you’re melee.
        – Endurance’s importance depends on how fast you’re counting on taking down your enemies, where “fast!” of course the correct answer, so it’s better to take something that helps with that, though it does give some nice survivability in the early game. After that, though, you have too many stimpacks to particularly care about health.
        – Perception I don’t really remember well… It was a requirement for many good traits, I think and gave a special bonus while shooting and also some circumstantial advantages every once in a while, but the stat wasn’t really useful in and out of itself.
        – Luck affects crit chance, so if you’re going for a build around that, you need luck. It also dictated something around random events, but that’s very circumstantial, and thus rubbish. Luck = crit.

        So, there emerges a pattern over what choices you have. You can go melee or ranged, which will affect your distribution of points a good deal, with minor variations within those groups. Or you can go with some kind of thematic build, which isn’t really a practical decision, though getting 10 in charisma is certainly more do-able than in Fallout 3, if you love watching your henchmen fight for you.

        The game would change quite a bit if you dumped your int stat down low, but other than that, the SPECIAL stats mainly affected your overall effectiveness, not so much how the entire game resolved.

  8. Josh R says:

    That interview makes me EXCITED.
    But then people like me are the reason games are dumbing down.

    I’ve tried FO1 and Deus Ex and neither interested me at all, yet when it comes to titles like this, I am anticipating good things.

    In a decade where the really strong titles only come along once in a blue moon, I don’t care what license they rip apart to give me one.

    Also – sounds like the enclave radio station has improved

  9. Factoid says:

    At least in Vegas it makes a little more sense that everything is brown…the area was already a desert. The cities should at least be a little more colorful, though. Seems like they might be based on this…but the wasteland will probably be a whole lot of brown.

    Isn’t part of the mythos of New Vegas, though, that this area DIDN’T get nuked as bad as everywhere else? The mob bosses cut a deal to save their own asses? Something like that?

    • Marlowe says:

      They had a nuclear war.

      No one in Nevada noticed.

    • Jon Ericson says:

      Having recently visited, I can honestly say Vegas is the most colorful city I’ve ever seen. Even if the electricity were taken away (and there’s no reason someone couldn’t turn it on again if Hoover Dam is intact), there’s just a lot of glittery buildings in that town.

      In addition, the desert around Vegas is full of life and color. What you see from the air or going 80 down the freeway is not representative of what you see if you get out and look around. The pre-rendered bits of the trailer don’t look that far off. It’s the actual gameplay bits that look like someone forgot to turn on the sun that are dull and brown. I much prefer the Borderlands art style.

      • Factoid says:

        To be fair it’s not the same vegas. It’s vegas stuck in 1950. It wasn’t nearly so glittery back then…just a lot of light bulbs and neon.

        The paint and chrome finish will fade after a couple hundred years of no upkeep. I do want to see the cities be colorful, though. And the wasteland be LESS brown…but I’m less bothered by the pervasive brownness in this setting than around the washington DC area, which is quite green.

        Radiation doesn’t really affect plant life all that much. They are too simple to really be harmed by it. Just look at some pictures of the Chernobyl area…it’s gorgeous and green, even though if you step off the concrete in some spots you can take a lethal dose of radiation in a matter of hours.

  10. rayen015 says:

    yeah the trailer is all shooting but if spoiler warning has taught me anything, we both know that we both will sink 50 hours into the game… unless it really is halo with a fallout makeover.

  11. Mari says:

    This makes me glad that I’ve been shunning all news and speculation about F:NV. Alas, you have shattered my self-designed bubble of ignorance, Shamus. For that you shall pay. BOOM! POW! KERPLOOEY!

  12. Sagretti says:

    I can understand not having much hope based just on the trailer, but reading about a lot of the features planned does seem to show they’re addressing some of the major complaints about Fallout 3. Off the top of my head, they’re adding weapon customization, more control of companions, a survival mode built-in, and decreasing the effects of karma and emphasizing faction influence. Sad that the trailer has to focus on the ‘splosions.

  13. UtopiaV1 says:

    Give me an isometric top-down view with a good storyline, turn-based combat and awkward voice acting on key characters, with only text for other NPC’s…

    I do miss the old Fallout games (especially Tactics, because it was real-time combat!!!), but this New Vegas seems alright. Just more of the same Fallout 3. More of an addon really.

    • Shamus says:

      Thanks so much for sharing that. That was a great read. It actually does sound like the designers have a handle on the major problems with FO3.

      Original post edited.

    • acronix says:

      They added a Dialogue Editor to the GECK. This alone makes me excited about this game. I hope it´s a simple enough to make basic conversations in a few minutes, instead of the stupid Bethesda way of having to specify who told that specific line with a bunch of conditios. It wasn´t difficult, understand me, but it was tedious to the untrained (like me).

      They just forgot to ask “Are you going to release this in a Bug-Beta-State?”

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      Yeah, I thought it was weird how the limited dialogue system, SPECIAL, etc. was criticized in the fake interview when they’re actually trying to put the stuff from the good old games back in.

      Blog needs less generic trailer-induced knee-jerk rage.

      • Shamus says:

        I could say the blog needs less knee-jerk defense of games which are not out yet.

        Seriously, what is with you people? What do you care if I hurt the feelings of a GAME? I even made up a fictional developer instead of picking on a real, actual person. There’s no rage here at all. The trailer is big, dumb, loud, and I said as much in a way that might strike you as humorous if you weren’t taking it so personally. If they made some other trailer that showed off the other parts of the game, then I’d be talking about that instead.

        After reading several of the posts I have hopes that this game will be a lot of fun, but I’ll make fun of it again in a heartbeat if the fancy strikes me. I’ve said worse about games I loved.

        • Irridium says:

          Its the internet. Someone always has to complain about something so trivial.

        • David V.S. says:

          Ah, but never underestimate the potency of boredom!

          If everyone who commented here was instead busy with two jobs, two kids, and four sharks with lasers then the number of naggy replies would plummet.

          May I humbly suggest, as an experiment, some day writing a blog post totally devoid of actual opinion or fact, lacking anything at all to give a commenter something to write about, but poised as if it analyzed a game many people cared about. I’m quite curious what discussions and arguments we blog readers would create from thin air.

        • pkt-zer0 says:

          I even made up a fictional developer instead of picking on a real, actual person.

          Implying that the developers in general are a bunch of drooling morons isn’t a whole lot better than calling one of them specifically an idiot.

          If they made some other trailer that showed off the other parts of the game, then I’d be talking about that instead.

          Interviews work better for the more interesting stuff, I’d say. Which is why ignoring those and focusing on just one trailer seems a bit silly to me.

          • acronix says:

            Oh, don´t be pedantic. This was made for laughs. I don´t see how he is implying that the developers in general are a bunch of drooling morons. I mean, he used a fictional one, Keyword, one. The jump from one to every developer was made by you, not by Shamus.

      • ehlijen says:

        They did one of two things:

        -They made the same mistake Bethesda did in turning a decent RPG into a splosionfest
        -They made a decent RPG but failed to do it justice with their marketing by selling it as a shooter

        Either way, they should be mocked for it and Shamous is good at mocking, so the conclusion is obvious.

  14. kikito says:

    Well, at least they show some gameplay (looks at Star Wars TFU2 and TOR)

    • ps238principal says:

      This is so nice I’m posting it twice. Gameplay footage.

      No protected NPCs (aside from kids), gambling (with consequences if you break the bank), custom weapons/ammo, etc.

      • Jan says:

        Really? I was seriously underwhelmed by that trailer. First, I have no need for a gambling simulator. I mean, simulating a slots machine? WoW at least makes you feel you play a game while generating a random number to determine whether the boss drops the loot…
        2nd: Maybe it’s the console, or the video quality, but the graphics (especially in the casino) looked like some sprite 2.5D shooter from the 90’s (Duke Nukem 3D or something like that, but without the coolness). And the assault on the Cesar’s Legion base looked to me like Operation Anchorage but then in Vegas. I get seriously bored when I have to take out a bunch of similar looking grunts in a generic setting. At least vary the scenery, or make them more unique. Both Bethesda (mostly the scenery, unfortunately not that often in FO3) and Bioware (both) do this. But I feel FO1 already had this too often (Raiders in Raider camp, security bots in the Glow, and some more). FO2 did this much better IMO. I just dread the: “Go in and kill everyone” type of missions.

  15. Zombie Pete says:

    Well, Shamus, you should at least be happy that it has a hardcore mode built in where you can die from thirst and ammunition has weight. At least that’s what I read.

  16. NeilD says:

    Of course, all of this may well be moot depending on the answer to this question:
    What kind of DRM is it going to have?

  17. Felblood says:

    Ah, trailers!

    They’re the stupid TV commercials that we have to deal with, because we play video games, instead of watching TV.

    Probably, still less stupid than the average 30 second spot.

  18. krellen says:

    Huh. This trailer plus Steam required just meant another developer lost a sale. Even if it’s Obsidian.

    Why is this industry working so hard to make me hate them?

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      It’s Steam that killed it for me really.

      They aren’t the digital distributor I want to support.

      I was actually quite hopeful that Obsidian might make a decent Fallout 3, even if they had to use the same engine.

      • Audacity says:

        This is the biggest concern I have about the game. The copyright information page at the end of the trailers lists Games for Windows Live as one of the platforms. Does that mean we’ll get stuck using both GfWL AND Steam? I hate both of them with a passion, bordering on fanaticism, and cannot imagine the cluster@#$% that having to use both of the damn things at once would cause.

        • Andy_Panthro says:

          I imagine GTA IV may be the appropriate example.

          Didn’t that require both Steam, GfWL and the Rockstar social club?

          • Josh R says:

            They have since made Rockstar social club something other then a seperate program, but it still requires a log in to load the game, then GFWL to sign in, and of course steam has to be running to even click on the icon.

            Yet it got perfect reviews? I still haven’t reached the first mission.

  19. Zak McKracken says:

    “Thus video contains content of Sony Music Entertainment. It is not available in your country”

    I hate the record industry. I hate it. And they shouldn’t be allowed to do that, yet they are, because all internet users are pirates, and they’re the queen’s fleet.

  20. Avilan says:

    I read the full 5 page spread in Swedish PC gamer about this about 3 months ago (including a test play (by the journalist, not me) and some spoilers for early game), and was already very excited about it (I like FO3, although I would never consider playing it without Broken Steel and unmodded) but this looks like a very good game, period. The linked interview has only strengthened my resolve to pre-order this game.

  21. acronix says:

    Is it just me, or did they improve the walking animation?

  22. Agiel7 says:

    As much as I agree with you about Fallout 3 Shamus, I think it’s a bit unfair of you to knock on this trailer for only portraying shooting and explosions.

    Look at it this way: If you were making a trailer of Starcraft II’s gameplay, would you pick footage of peons going to and fro mineral fields and gas deposits and the occasional commando team harassing them (which mind you, is the most important part of Starcraft II’s meta-game), or giant clusterf*** of Battlecruisers, Siege Tanks, Protoss Carriers, and endless waves of Zerglings?

  23. Vipermagi says:

    I can’t stand the missiles shown at ~1:30. Perhaps they remind me too much of Warcraft III, which I’m really not expecting to find there. Perhaps I’m too much of a physics pseudonerd.

    • Xodion says:

      I wondered if anyone else was going to find them as annoying as I did – missiles don’t work like that! The lack of anything but explosions and guns was irritating, but I was already expecting that. Still, it does look like they are trying to improve on F3, even if they are trying to appeal more to the FPS market at the same time.

  24. Audacity says:

    Come on, Shamus, be fair, even the old Fallout 2 trailer was nothing but combat. There’s actually a lot of encouraging new information released over the past two days that’s managed to alter my view on the game from “Completely Uninterested” to “Mildly Intrigued.”

    If any of you want some far more detailed preview information, you can head on over to No Mutants Allowed. They have a great news team (one or two of the forum members can get into E3) that have collected all the latest information. The two things that you should look at are the first part of that fan interview and the 1Up.com first look/interview with Sawyer.

  25. eri says:

    The trailer looks awful, except for some of the environment and weapon designs, but that’s to be expected considering the new Fallout target audience… urg.

    However, as you noted, if you actually see what’s being changed… things are very encouraging. Obsidian seem to basically be taking every single bad decision Bethesda made, and are doing the exact opposite. 1Up recently posted a preview video and even from one minor character the writing and voice acting is better than everything in Fallout 3 combined.

    • Someone says:

      Yeah, that trailer seems to try pathetically hard to impress the FPS crowd. Then again, the format prevents it from showing anything deep without breaking flow and taking too much time.

  26. AHA! Outsourced animation a 1:20, it look too natural to be a Bethesda animation!

  27. This trailer was probably aimed at the Xbox360 chunk of FO:3’s fanbase that consist of CoD:4, CoD:WaW & CoD:MW2 players. (i have Xbox but and aspiring to become something better (A.K.A a pc gamer)

  28. Josh R says:

    Oh god reading the interviews makes it sound like they made the game very complicated… I wonder if their metacritic will fall from this. When number crunchy RPG games get judged by people who were looking for an immersive open world shooter, they may not come to the same conclusions.

    But most promisingly, it sounds like they’ve already sorted out the ending.

  29. pulse says:

    Is Mr. Droolbucket related to the guy who upgrades weapons in Fallout 2? He seems to have a similar vocabulary…

  30. H.M says:

    As one of the breed of “mindless” people who enjoyed FO3 over the first two, I’m really looking forward to this.

  31. Rosseloh says:

    From the link:

    Will we be able to keep playing once we beat the game with this one?
    From Sean via Facebook

    JS: This is something we really wanted to do, but ultimately we realized that supporting post-endgame content would jeopardize the quality of the ending, which we wanted to tell the definitive stories for all of our major factions, locations and characters. Instead, after the credits roll the game will prompt you to reload a save created just before the endgame sequence, allowing players to go back and complete any quests they may have missed. Additionally, we make it very clear when you’re about to reach the end of the main plot, so it shouldn’t come across as a surprise.

    Huh, so basically the writers are gonna kill off the player. Again.

    OK so that doesn’t HAVE to be the case, but that’s sure what it sounds like. Maybe I’m just being pessimistic, and we’ll get a satisfying ending that wraps up all the loose ends. At least they “learned” from the original build of F3 and are making sure you know ahead of time you’re not coming back from that.

    I also agree that there was a bit too much “explode” and not enough “RPG” in that trailer…

    My fingers are crossed…….

    • Tizzy says:

      It makes them sound like they resent players who enjoy the world so much that they want to spend more time there. As usual, it also gives rise to this really weird situation where your character will procrastinate and avoid following the main storyline to delay reaching the endgame.

      Sad.

      • Ross Bearman says:

        Alternatively it could just be that the ending causes large changes the the gameworld, which would require a massive amount of development time for something that takes place after the main game has ended?

        It may just make more sense to them to allow the players who do want to continue explorer to load a save from before the end, rather than expend large amounts of development time on something that a minority of players will see. (Assuming the Fallout: NV hits a mainstream audience that won’t play beyond the ending.)

        • Zukhramm says:

          Considering what type of open-world game this is I’d hope they thought of that before writing the story.

          Having to load a save from before the ending feels strange to me. My character will fight its way though the story, just to before the conclusion say “nah, I’ll just go explore the world for a while first”?. That could be ok depending on what type of ending the game has.

        • Rosseloh says:

          That’s what I’m crossing my fingers for.

          Eh, I’m generally an optimistic fellow. But I have learned not to get myself too excited or I’ll get disappointed.

        • Tizzy says:

          Sure, I agree. I’m just saying this is what their answer makes them sound like.

          To me, a sane ending would change maybe one location, but even if your actions have a tremendous impact in the future, you would expect the changes to take some time to propagate (especially in a post-apocalyptic world), so that you could leave most locations essentially unchanged.

          • Rosseloh says:

            Exactly. They’ve already proven they can take a city off the map easily enough in F3, and changes that AREN’T landscape-based can be mostly handled through dialogue. If a change is sufficiently complex, it will take a while for everyone to know about it, and even then, what are the people of Town A, on the eastern edge of the map, even going to do when Town B turns into a pristine paradise? Have a few extra lines of dialogue from the regulars mentioning the new developments.
            aside:(they’d probably try to move there, but the engine already has pathing NPCs and code that tells an NPC “you live HERE now”. In-character it might be a dilemma, but I’d bet they’d leave it out simply because it could turn in to another huge quest chain)

            I don’t really know, I’m not a game designer nor more than a hobbyist programmer. But that response from the dev grates on me for the simple reason that in an open world game, I expect it to stay pretty well open afterward (F3 and Oblivion trained me in that). Unless you have a really, REALLY good narrative closer to make up for the set ending, I’m not going to like it.

    • Someone says:

      Im okay even with killing off the player if we get the classic Fallout ending sequence. Ending in FO3 was a disapointing bunch of pictures with one choice that didnt matter, I dont understand why they didnt add the fate of major communities and factions, it would have massively improved the game, even the setup was already there!

      As for open world stuff, I think if you can affect what happens with the world in a suitably big way, you can sacrifice after the end game.
      After all, they probably didnt have the assets to implement all the changes into the world, they are still free to pull Broken Steel and add them along with some after-the-endgame storyline.

      • Smirker says:

        I too deeply missed the level of resolution in terms of the communities you interacted with at the end of the non-DLC FO3. I always loved that on the earlier FO titles and it was a disappointment to have such a cursory recap. IMO 80+ endings |= 80+ pictures that might be displayed at the recap.

        • Someone says:

          Yeah, the ending was a massive disapointment for me, especially the first time around. I dont understand why they didnt go with classic ending. It massively improved original Fallouts, arguably made the sidequests as important as the main storyline, perhaps even more so. And it was very cheap, I mean all it takes is to write a few pages of text, make a few dramatic screenshots and record a few minutes of voiceover. Its baffling to think why they did what they did. What, they ran out of bananas?

          • acronix says:

            That´s possible. I´ll paraphrase Pete Hines again. In the interview I so much like to quote him from, he was asked:

            Game Journaist:”In old fallout games, after the end, the player so a series of captioned pictures that described the fate of the different places he visited. Will this be in Fallout 3 too?”

            PH: “Yes! That´s something we really liked in the old games. Fallout 3 will continue this trend and have 300 possible ending sequences…!”

            And it turned out to be a bunch of photos (not even 300 if you ask me). Damn monkeys…

            • Someone says:

              Three hundred? Seriously? I call blatant asspull. Even STALKER only had like 30 and half of them were “fake”. Freaking PR talk, its just so bluntly and obviously untrue its not even funny.

              • acronix says:

                I wish I could find the link to quote him correctly, but yes, the 300 number got imprinted in my head, along the “monkeys with typewriters”. However, I found the “confirmation” about the Fallout 3 endings. The number was crunched to 12. It´s still an asspull.
                “One of the things about Fallout 3 is you cannot do everything in this game. It’s not like Oblivion where it’s just – basically, anybody could do anything. Fallout isn’t like that. Fallout basically is fewer number of quests with lots of ways to complete them and things are opened up to you or locked off to you as you go through the game.

                There will be somewhere between nine to 12 different endings to the game based on what you’ve done in the game. So it’s something that is inherently a diverging path. It may be some of the same things but doing them in very different ways, and ultimately that will define your gameplay experience.”

                I can´t put the link, but you can get to the full interview by typing “Pete Hines Interview Fallout Endings” in google.

  32. Marlowe says:

    We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold.

  33. Someone says:

    Brown visuals? Come on Shamus, thats not even bashing the trailer. It just seems petty. I think that video shows plenty of flora, flashing neon and other colorful scenery.

    All in all I believe in Obsidian, they seem to have a distinct lack of monkeys in their writing staff, theyve probably got actual game designers and stuff and overall you could do a lot worse than…wait a minute, is that an Enclave Eyebot?! FUUUUUUUUUUUUU

    Seriously though, just look at this stuff.

    …caravan houses conspired to re-introduce the currency when traders lost faith in NCR money. This loss of faith was the result of the NCR moving from a gold-backed currency to fiat currency due to repeated attacks on NCR gold reserves by the Brotherhood of Steel. Though the transition helped stabilize NCR’s economy, NCR dollars are devalued compared to bottlecaps…

    I mean seriously, its like they actually want to create an internally consistent gameworld with politics and interconnections and shit, instead of a themepark. Can you believe this?

    • Tizzy says:

      I agree that the trailer visuals seem to offer more contrast and general zazz than what I’ve seen of FO3 (i.e. the Spoiler Warning series).

    • Jep jep says:

      Concerning the writing when it comes to dialogue, I thought this blog post by J.E. Sawyer might be of interest:

      http://forums.obsidian.net/index.php?automodule=blog&blogid=3&showentry=128

      I was almost literally blown away at this part:

      * Don’t put words in the player’s mouth. With the exception of conditional replies (gender, skills, stats, etc.), phrase things in a straightforward manner that does not mix a request for information with an emotionally loaded bias (“I’d like to know what’s going on here, jackass.”).

      • Shamus says:

        That entire list had me nodding my head.

        The “Don’t put words in the player’s mouth” is an important point, and FO3 is rife with this sort of problem. For the most part it’s gone unnoticed because everyone is focused on the larger, more important issues of missing dialog options and massive plot holes. Obsidian isn’t just trying to patch up the player areas people complained about, they’re bringing a totally different design philosophy to the project.

        We’ll see how well they pull it off.

        The “no false options” one is interesting to me. Bioware is horribly guilty of this, although they get away with it for the most part. And sometimes their choice is just part of roleplaying:

        NPC: They usually serve apple pie after dinner, but sometimes it’s ice cream.

        (The player can then say if they like love apple pie or ice cream or don’t like dessert.)

        NPC: Unfortunately, we can’t choose. The cook makes that call, and he never listens to us.

        That’s not a horrible technique, when used in moderation. (And provided it’s used in interesting conversations where you’re talking philosophy or history, as opposed to dessert.)

  34. Kelly Fowler says:

    Yeah I’m going to have to generally agree with the sentiment that you’re just picking at it for the sake of it. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this trailer, it’s just a standard trailer. They want to show off the scenery and create a generally exciting mood to convince people to buy it. Of COURSE they aren’t going to just make a trailer of several minutes of stat adjustment and inventory management.

    Overall this just reads like something you’d see from your average, whiny, No Mutants Allowed user rather than someone of your intelligence Shamus.

    • Factoid says:

      Yeah I kind of feel the same way….the trailer is pretty much what is required by the industry as a trailer for an FPS game these days. Show off the scenery. Show off the guns. Show off the explosions.

      You’re basically required to do this stuff. It’s absolutely fair game to mock them for it, though.

      A rundown of interesting characters and stat systems is really better suited to a gameplay video or a demo.

  35. Zaghadka says:

    **BOOM**

    I have nothing else to add to this thread.

  36. PurePareidolia says:

    OK. I see your point. Now try imagining that trailer except every combat scene is replaced by Bethesda’s stiff, awkward, robotic dialogue system. No matter how good the dialogue is the conversation system is not the kind of thing you show off.

    Now, an exploration based trailer they could do – one showing the factions at work, a few interesting places etc, but of all the elements you can really show off in a trailer, you’re going to want the ones that excite people, not the kind of ones that story-oriented fans want to see.

    A gameplay demo showing a montage of all the ways you can complete a certain mission might work, but the other constraint here is time – you have about a minute to show something and a dialogue tree or a crafting system or something is a bit more involved than you can reasonably deliver in a trailer’s time frame.

  37. Silemess says:

    Ah yes, the joys when RPG meets RPG. Rocket Propelled Gaming? Role Playing Grenade? Wait for when they decide to call it a First Person Speaker game for what we used to call RPGs. The complaint isn’t that it has explosions or guns, but that it seems to consist solely of that. Why not flash a few quests in text form? Or give a bit of backstory to let us associate with the character beyond “Gee, I’d like to wield that weapon”

  38. Aulayan says:

    …I was laughing at this post, then I read the link, and then the later blog-post as well.

    The trailer made me roll my eyes quite frequently…and now I want to play it.

  39. thebigJ_A says:

    I’ve only ever played fallout 3, and I’m thinking of playing at least one of the original two. Is Fallout 2 a direct sequel to the 1st? Or can I just play Fallout 2 w/o feeling like I’m missing half the plot?

    Also, i don’t want to mod the game much, at first anyway, as i want the pure, vanilla experience, but is there anything i simply must add?

    • Spectralist says:

      It’s not exactly a direct sequel. You play as the ancestor of the character from the first one and there are allusions to the events of the first but you could play the second one first without really missing anything.

      You should probably find the unofficial patch and maybe the high resolution patch.

    • Tizzy says:

      It probably won’t break the bank to get both…

      The second one takes place much later, it is longer, and some significant design/interface flaw were fixed. On the other hand, there are many shout outs to the original, and overall it is played a lot more tongue-in-cheek than the original, something I found a bit grating, especially the pop culture references (I don’t mind the Dr Who and Godzilla allusions of the original, especially since you’re unlikely to run across them, but I draw the line at Tom Cruise and Mike Tyson).

      • Irridium says:

        Couldn’t you find the TARDIS in the second one? Or was it the first one…

        Either way, I laughed.

        • General Karthos says:

          In all RPGs in my experience, all buildings are clearly TARDISes, as all buildings are larger on the inside than the outside. Even if you discount the tunnels leading into the underworld (or into a Bandit Lair with a bandit population larger than the civilian population of the town in which they are hidden) in the back of half the houses in modern fantasy games.

      • thebigJ_A says:

        Its not that I dont want to play both, it’s just I really haven’t got the time to play them both, so I figured the second would be the one to go with. I’d heard it was the better of the two. Am I misinformed?

        • Tizzy says:

          Time’s always an issue. I haven’t replayed either since they came out, but I as far as my memory can be trusted, the first one delivered a more immersive experience (very effective but understated humor, no breaking of the fourth wall), but the second one had a more polished gameplay (e.g., in the first one, there is very little you can do to control the combat behavior of your followers).

          So it depends on what you think will matter most to you. I intend to replay both, eventually.

  40. B.J. says:

    To be fair Shamus, the old Fallout games were full of gratuitous, over-the-top violence. It was in the original design documents.

  41. Irridium says:

    Can’t get interested for this game.

    Mainly because its being made by Obsidian. Which is both a blessing and a curse. Blessing because I know the first 2/3 or so of the story will be pure awesome.

    Curse because the game will be very buggy and the final 1/3 of the story will be absolutely horrid.

  42. FutureHero says:

    It’s gonna suck……. It’s made by Obsidian, the people that made the horrid KOTOR sequel, and Alpha Protocol, a game so buggy it makes Hellgate London look perfect. Besides that, it’s the same game. How come there aren’t more people commenting on that? I mean, everyone bitched about Bioshock 2 being a copy/pasted sequel, but not this? Come on!

    Also…. why is there an orbital laser in the Fallout universe? What were alien death rays not enough?

    • PurePareidolia says:

      To be fair, Fallout 3 was a buggy mess anyway with many parts that feel incomplete. That’s what Broken Steel was for, as well as all the unofficial patches.

  43. Scourge says:

    “This video contains content from Sony Music Entertainment. It is no longer available in your country.”

    Up yours Sony! *grumble*

  44. MisteR says:

    With all that said and done, does anyone here believe that this game will be any different than Shamus has made it look like? Because it’s my experience that game makers don’t usually stray from the path they set out (FO3).

    Obviously the interview was a bit of a hyperbole, but when it comes down to it, you won’t be playing the game for its carefully set-up story, the ingenious puzzles, or the wide and absorbing world that’s there to explore. On the whole, Fall Out 3 wasn’t much more than a shooter (in my humble opinion), and there is no reason to believe that the makers of the game will suddenly decide to try a different angle.

    That sounds more like wishful thinking to me :P

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Really? The shooting was the LAST thing I played FO3 for. Ok, you’re right about the story and puzzles (puzzles? you mean multiple ways to solve situations, right?), but dead wrong on the world. I’d say exploring the world was the one thing FO3 had going for it. I dropped more than 100hrs into it, as did many other people. It certainly wasn’t for the shooting…. It was exploring this amazing open world and seeing what cool stuff you could find.

  45. X2-Eliah says:

    On another note, it may be that Obsidian’s vision of Fallout 3 will turn out to be lacking in something that we took for granted from Bethesda. Fo example, all the minor, localized ‘stories’ & details – like the Pulowski preservation chambers, or well-placed notes etc., maybe even most of the sidequests. What if NV has so much of an emphasis on the main quest(s) that the quest progression itself (which comes after what, not waht you do in them) will feel linear?

  46. H_kill3r says:

    Holy crap! Why do you care about story and dialogue when you can blow up people with an Ion Cannon! And a machine-gun that fires GRENADES!
    Seriously, RPG’s are getting less and less popular nowadays, just look how Mass Effect 2 has shed most of its rpg elements in favor of shooter combat. RPG’s are boring to play, and most people don’t have the patience to sit through the story. Hell, even Dragon Age: Origins, one of the most exciting and entertaining RPG’s I’ve ever played got old after 6-7 hours. Good thing you could hurl exploding missile fireballs at enemies, or the combat would’ve been boring as hell..

    Also, Operation Anchorage failed because Fallout 3’s FPS combat was horrible. Have that not been the case, it would’ve been more awesome than anything the core game had to offer.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      You like one style of games. People like me like another. I never got bored in DA.
      People have different tastes, please don’t disrespect ours.

      Oh, and “most people don’t have the patience to sit through the story”??

      That’s the most untrue statement I’ve ever heard. Just because you have a short attention span, and are satisfied with shiny things and explosions (with no depth or purpose behind them; shinies are great, but they need substance) does not mean “most” other people are just like you.
      Thankfully.

      • H_kill3r says:

        You got me all wrong.
        It’s not that I have a short attention span or have ADD, but rather lack of time to spend on games, and thus prefer instant gratification over a deep story that i have to spend time to properly understand. I don’t DEMAND that games serve my interest, but certainly appreciate that more and more of them are starting to head towards this direction.

        And “most” people do, in fact, prefer instant gratification in games, as opposed to a more complex, but hard to figure out game. Not all of them from the same reason as me, mind you (lack of time). Games are meant to be fun, and having a stray shot from your plasma rifle kill a civilian, then spend the whole duration of a game running from an entire city is NOT fun.

        • eri says:

          I can’t tell if you’re a troll or not, but you sound like one.

          In any case, I’ll merely answer your question with: different strokes. I like shooting things in the face too, but I don’t play RPGs to satisfy that urge, just as how I don’t look for deep racing simulation gameplay in an action-adventure. I don’t mind games that give me instant gratification; what I do mind is when developers (especially come sequel time) see the need to reduce a game’s depth, complexity and intrigue for the sake of appealing to people who weren’t the target market anyway.

          There’s a reason why most classic Fallout fans almost universally hate Fallout 3. Do you know why? It’s because the game makes a mockery of the canon, the gameplay is too easy, the role-playing elements have been almost totally destroyed, it has awful writing, and it assumes that its players are stupid. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of games that insult my intelligence.

          Now, to clarify, I don’t think all RPGs need to be slow, grindy, ponderous, etc., but I would like to think that they can provide quick gratification while still retaining their depth. The problem is that Bethesda are simply too incompetent to actually do this.

        • acronix says:

          “I don’t DEMAND that games serve my interest, but certainly appreciate that more and more of them are starting to head towards this direction. “
          So you are glad all of us, that don´t share your tastes, are getting drifted apart from our hobby. Nice to know!

          “And “most” people do, in fact, prefer instant gratification in games, as opposed to a more complex, but hard to figure out game.”

          Well armed story doesn´t equal “hard to figure out”, unless you are precisely stupid. Most of us aren´t asking for a complex, multilayered story in our games, we are asking story, quests and setting to be coherent and consistent with theirselves. Fallout 3 is not coherent nor consistent in any way. Heck, probably most actual RPGs aren´t, but the old (ando not so old) ones in which they are based were. Mass Effect was consistent. Fallout 1 was consistent. ETC.

          “(…)spend the whole duration of a game running from an entire city is NOT fun.”
          It´s an exageration and I see your point. However, I disagree that´s not fun. Your idea of fun is, I guess, shooting people in the face for the heck of it without repercution, letting you shoot more people in the face for the heck of it. That´s fine. Wanting a more dept in the in-game interactios is fine too, however.

          Also, why do you need to kill the R in RPGs because “most people don´t like it”? Why are you guys playing this games if you don´t like their gameplay? It´s not like you hadn´t any other HUNDRED CHOICES that can let you shoot people with amples arrays of weaponry and be “Faceless Hero with Macho Personality Number 804”. Why are they coming to ruin our little RPG room? Jerkz!

      • Josh R says:

        You only need to look at sales figures to realise that most people are indeed like him.
        It’s sad for those who have the niche interests, but there’s reasons why the game was loved for everything you hate about it.
        In the advent of the Action RPG, most of the old games are being left behind

  47. Simulated Knave says:

    Planescape Torment
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXJrgAmHBHg&feature=related

    Icewind Dale
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyxVXwu-v2o

    Baldur’s Gate
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCBTRIsAhGE

    Baldur’s Gate 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMhQxW_WQwA

    People don’t seem to know how to market story-heavy RPGs. New Vegas would not be the first.

    • eri says:

      I think that’s due to inherent biases in the way that people perceive games. Those on the marketing side are trying to hit a broad audience with the most digestible of a game’s content, and additionally, are operating under the assumption that most gamers are only concerned with violence and sex.

      This is, unfortunately, quite often the case; I’ve overheard more conversations about Mass Effect regarding its “dude totally hot aliens” than I have about the themes the game explores, for example, and this is supposed to be an RPG, here. Read or watch almost any single mainstream press interview concerning Fallout: New Vegas, and you can literally see the parts where the “journalists” lose interest – usually right around where Sawyer starts talking about characters, the environment, writing, skills and stats, etc. The parts where they’re more interested? When he’s discussing shooting things in the face.

      Gamers aren’t universally shallow, but they have been trained to accept shallow content as the norm. Marketing is merely pandering to that.

      • Simulated Knave says:

        On top of that, a minute of out of context dialogue is both spoilertastic and massively unhelpful.

        There’s another Planescape Torment trailer which, while still rather heavy on the explosions, does more “look at all the weird and interesting stuff” than “look at the SPLOSIONS!”.

  48. GuiguiBob says:

    I found it even funnier because on the same day I saw an interview for red faction that was all about how you could destroy everything (granted that’s their selling point) And he sounded like that mock interview… espescially the part about the gun “We have a gun that can send mountains on people”

    That focus on explosions and special effects is starting to make me ashamed of my hobby. I like games that make me think and those are becoming rarer in the AAA side of gaming.

    I’m finding I become more cynic about the industry around the time of the E3.

    • eri says:

      No kidding. Personally I feel like this is the E3 that the industry truly died; I’d say that was actually the case if it wasn’t for games like New Vegas, Deus Ex, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and a number of indie titles on the horizon. For all the insistence that games are “art”, we sure do a pretty fucking awful job of backing that up, even with our “artiest” of games. It’s even more depressing when you realise that the people making most of our games are no better about it than the average frat boy. Games these days are pornography: there’s no build-up, no growth; it’s all about front-loading as much cool stuff as possible, but as a result, games that would normally stay interesting instead get old fast as you realise you’ve seen all their tricks after the first hour.

      I wonder if some sort of Hollywood-style, auter-based system would work well for the games industry, with development teams being more like film crews, and a small group of dedicated individuals handling the more creative side. They’re already expensive enough for it, and I wonder if we would have more artistically-legitimate games as a result. Too many cooks in the kitchen and all that.

  49. Lalaland says:

    Wow, glad I wore asbestos to this party. There is a whole generation of gamers for whom FO3/Oblivion is the whole sum of what RPGs are. Having never seen or played old school games they find themselves unable to engage with the material in the way that black & white movies or subtitles are a deal breaker for some in film.

    Maybe Obsidian can save this game but frankly I doubt it, the consensus is that pissing off people that like plot is a lot more profitable than pissing off those that like ‘teh grafix’ (not that Gamebryo should count, that engine is Pinto grade stuff whose animations make Lego Star Wars look naturalistic)

  50. Jack says:

    They have said they’ve made it possible to complete the game by either killing nothing, or killing everyone you meet, so hopefully there isn’t quite so much railroading as far as choices are concerned.

  51. […] hoping that Fallout: New Vegas will be awesome but getting worried: Fallout: New Vegas Developer Interview – Twenty Sided Twenty Sided: Nigel, thanks so much for granting the interview. First off, I’d like to know how […]

  52. Kestrel says:

    The trailer is actually not available everywhere. Blocked in Germany due to Sony Music Content (no joke).

One Trackback

  1. By MMORPG Info » E3 news roundup on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 7:47 am

    […] hoping that Fallout: New Vegas will be awesome but getting worried: Fallout: New Vegas Developer Interview – Twenty Sided Twenty Sided: Nigel, thanks so much for granting the interview. First off, I’d like to know how […]

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