Pete Hines has been interviewed in a podcast by the official XBox blog Major Nelson. Highlights:
Tell us about Fallout  from where you're sitting, tell us what it's all about
Fallout 3 is a big post-nuclear role-playing game. It's our attempt at
bringing back this beloved franchise that hasn't done anything in 10
years and our chance to do a very different type of role-playing game
that we will hope folks will like.
As a gamer, what should I expect? Is it a shooter? We talked about it being a role playing game, how do you explain it?
First and foremost it is a roleplaying game. We make no bones about
that. Yes it has guns, yes you shoot things rather than running up to
them and hitting them with a sword (...)
On character creation and leveling up:
Unlike in Oblivion or any ES game (...) where
you can really modify your base attributes a lot as the game goes
along, Fallout 3 is much more about making some pretty tough choices
early in the game that really don't get changed as you go along. So
you're not going to be bumping up your strength skill every time you
level up. As you go through, you're going to have to make some pretty
tough choices about which attributes are important to you and they're
going to affect the rest of the game. It's experience points based,
it's not skillbased.
Right. We certainly have a lot of the weapons from the original Fallout
games in and we also added in a bunch of new ones. So you have a whole
range of stuff from the BB gun in the vault when you're 10 and first
learn how to shoot, then there's hunting rifles and Chinese assault
rifles and this really cool weapon called the Fatman, which is a
portable mini nuclear bomb watcher. It's really insane when you see it
One of the things that we found out with guns (...), which is much
more difficult to do than with swords, is that when you don't have
bullets or little mini-nukes to shoot then that weapon is essentially
useless. So it's much easier to balance how much you're allowed to use
a particular weapon or by not only degrading its condition over time
but also how much ammo is available over time (...) You can have a
great weapon like the Fatman, but if you're only going to have one
nuke, you're not going to go running around nuking people.
On console development:
For our desk, the 360 is just a good base
platform for us to work off, in terms of ease of design, the
architecture and the hardware. We basically find that's a good one to
use as a base platform, but we can technically show it on the PC or PS3
if we wanted. But the 360 is, y'know, you have to pick on the show a
demo on. (...) We've got pretty good at modeling our system to run well
on that (Xbox) and run well on everything.
Listen to the whole thing here. Pete's interview is at 39:07 to 59.20.