Eurogamer has posted a very nice interview with Fallout 3 Lead Designer Emil Pagliarulo and Lead Producer Gavin Carter. Highlights:
On moral ambiguity:
What about the moral dimension of Looking Glass games? Does that permeate into the Fallout development?
Emil Pagliarulo: It does. One of the
mantras of the Thief games is a big grey area. Garrett is the ultimate
anti-hero. That's really important you know. If you want to play like
that, we want to support that. As Todd [Howard, executive producer]
mentioned, we originally started supporting good, and supporting evil,
and we realised how important neutral was, and how viable of a gameplay
path it is, and how many great games like the original Thief supported
that. That's really important to me.
On differences with Oblivion:
Gavin Carter: I feel like when people
see it's first-person they're going to say, "Oh, there's Oblivion. It's
Oblivion with guns." But honestly there's not a single thing we didn't
look at and think, how are we going to do this for Fallout? We stripped
out our entire character system. It's all Fallout now, with specials
and experience, it's not skill based. The whole questing system is
Fallout. There are different paths to all the quests, you can lock
yourself out of quests. It's not like Oblivion where you can say, "I've
just started in the Fighter's Guild, but I'm the Grey Fox." There's
nothing in the game that we haven't looked at as its own thing.
On the setting:
Emil Pagliarulo: It's funny. Setting
it in DC - it meant we knew what we needed to do. Originally we had it
set on the West coast, but it just didn't work. Eventually I said,
"Write what you know." So we have a location that doesn't appear all
over the place in videogames. It's such a great place for a game. As
for the story, I really like stories that are character-based, so how
do those characters change throughout the game? So take the
relationship with "my" father. He's my moral compass, a good guy, a
noble character, so if I'm an evil bastard how does he react to me? If
I blow up a town, what does he think?
On gameplay flexibility:
There's a lot more
handling! We spend a lot of time talking about, "What if the player
doesn't go where we want them? What if they stumble on this spot that
we wanted for the end-game?" We have to handle that. We don't want to
just lock them out and say, "You have to go down this path, that's the
only way." We have to handle everything the player's going to do. We're
experienced with that because we do it in Oblivion. But it doesn't have
quite the same - well, it doesn't affect the game in the same way. A
lot of our time has been spent planning for every single contingency
that could possibly happen.
On people like Jack Thompson:
Gavin Carter: It's something I don't
really worry about that much. It's probably going to be a Mature game,
I don't see how it could possibly not be. It's not something where
we're saying, "Let's go through the requirements for Mature and make
sure we check all these boxes." It's nothing that we worry about. There
is something we worry about regarding kids [The game features children,
and it features guns, and it lets you make your choices. Whether they
let you kill children is a decision they haven't made], and we could
run into all sorts of problems there. It's something we need to think
about, and find out, what's a good balance respecting what the game's
about, and respecting the reality of the world today.
Read the whole thing here.
PS. Sorry for the lack of posts the past few days. I was on a mini vacation in NYC.