Wow. Certainly lots of interesting opinions here -- which, of course, is what being a Fallout fan is all about.
ttsec -- Honestly, naivety had nothing to do with it. I knew quite well
how some of the hardcore fallout fans would ultimately view Bethesda's
take on Fallout 3. And, as lead designer, I knew I would be the subject
of much of that criticism. It comes with the territory. I wouldn't have
accepted this position if I weren't prepared to deal with that.
And you're right, I did think "Oooh Fallout! I liked Fallout. It'd be
fun to make a Fallout 3. Let's mingle with the fans!" I still think
that, every day I walk into the office, and it's the reason I'm
responding to this forum right now. I love interacting with the fans,
and I love being a part of the community. That said, I also refuse to
be villified or accept that I -- or any other member of the Fallout
team -- is somehow doing something wrong simply because we're making
the game we want to make. Sorry, that's just now how I roll.
I do admit that I, personally, have done a pretty crappy job of
interacting with the fans on a regular basis. The reason is actually
pretty simple -- being lead designer of Fallout 3 keeps a guy crazy
busy. I also have a family, and 4 kids, so in the end something's got
to give... and the thing has been me interacting with the fans. But
reasons are only reasons to the person giving them -- to everyone else
they're excuses. So, I'm really going to try to get better at that.
Anyway, if you're wondering if we're actually reading the forums,
seeing what you guys are discussing... I think you've got your answer.
So maybe you can explain if "we're
making the game we want to make" why did you have to use someone else's
IP and then not retain the basis for the series gameplay?
Caligula -- I mean, that's really pretty simple. We love Fallout, and
had talked about acquiring the license, and dreamed about creating a
Fallout game "Bethesda-style" -- immersive 3rd/1st person. You know, we
don't make the type of games we do simply because they're the type of
game the studio makes -- we make them because we love them. We love
feeling like we're a part of a world. For us, making Fallout 3 was a
chance for us to become a part of that world.
Then why no "Have you played Fallout?"
question on the Bethesda blog after the first couple of people answered
no and we all roasted them for it?
Lingwei -- Do I know for sure that every designer has played Fallout?
Well, I haven't stood over them with a whip and a can of mace and
forced them to play, but yeah, they've all played Fallout to some
degree. Are they all ardant fans? No... some of them love the game,
some of them like the game, some are anywhere in between. Some weren't
very familiar with Fallout before we started Fallout 3, but they're
damn familiar now. Some of them were (and are) walking Fallout
It's a pretty well-balanced team, and the designers all have their
specialties. Actually, it's a great team, and one that makes my job
that much easier.
You love the games, but don't want another...
You love the original games, but hated the foundation that made them
great. Therefore, ypu intend to "oblivionize it" as much as possible in
order to please the Halo fans.
All I can do is give you an honest answer, Caligula. I can't make you like it.
As for shades of gray, and the Brotherhood of Steel depicted in my team
diary -- Very fair point, and yeah, I think those shades of gray are
incredibly important. There are quite a few quests in Fallout where the
truth isn't quite what it seems, and it's up to the player to determine
what is right and what is wrong; and that's certainly a there that
pervades the entire game.
That's not to say there can't be characters who strive for something
more noble. Elder Lyons wanted to help the people of the Capital
Wasteland. Was he right? He certainly thought so. Did those around him
agree? Not all of 'em.
Question: Dungeonkeeper was a 2d sprite game with a 3d backdrop; but it let you play FPP as well.
DK2 was full 3d, but kept the original vantage, and kept the FPP mode.
[both modes were called for in both games at different times, and the FPP combat worked well with the Isometric]
Was this approach ever considered for Fallout 3? Clearly the engine can
support Isometric 'like' game play. So why abandon outright, what could
have been blended together if intended?
Gizmo -- Honestly, no, we never really considered making the game like
that. And man, I loved me some Dungeon Keeper! But we really saw the
game as third/first-person. Me, I prefer first-person by a longshot.
It's my preferred perspective for any game. I'm a sucker for immersion,
and for me, first-person is the way to achieve that; it just so happens
I work with a bunch of people who largely feel the same way, and want
to make the same kinds of games.
Was it a surprise that migrating fans would expect the game to feature similar mechanics?
No, no surprise at all. We fully expected that. We knew from step one
that some fans would accept what we were doing, some fans wouldn't. But
in the end, it was our job to come up with the vision of the project,
and that's what we did.
I mean seriously if someone bought
Oblivion or Morrowind and changed it to TB ISO you guys would be a
little "volitile" too. You know not all fallout fans are rabid
You know, that's the thing... that's the really tough thing. I CAN
understand why some Fallout fans would be bitter. I CAN understand why
some Fallout fans would feel like someone took their world and flipped
it upside down (or, erm, pulled their camera in...). You know, I try to
think of one of my favorite, "old school" games. Let's use Sid Meier's
Covert Action as an example. If I found out someone had acquired that
license and was turning it into, I dunno... an XBox Live Arcade puzzle
game... I'd be pretty miffed too. So I totally get why some fans would
be put off by what we're doing.
At the same time, we're not making an Xbox Live puzzle game. We're
making an RPG, and I think a damned good one, and I think a lot of
people are going to be really psyched to finally be able to enter into
the Fallout universe in a more immersive manner.
Is it feasible to implement a script
that would run when zoomed way out, that enables a mouse cursor, and
"auto-centers" the player attack on the entity clicked (by ID#), just
the aiming, the rest as normal. Could this make that mode viable in
You know, it's hard to say right now... but I will say how surprised
even I was when I saw how far back the camera could be pulled. And,
when and if we do release the Fallout construction tools, it wouldn't
surprise me in the least if something like this were possible. I mean,
just look at what Oblivion fans have been able to do with Oblivion --
it's freaking crazy.
Do you beleive that aftermarket mods
are going to be one of the strengths of Fallout 3, like Oblivion (I'm
assuming) or the Neverwinter Nights games?
Whenever tools are released, that certainly seems to be the case --
whether for Oblivion, NWN, or even Quake for that matter. Give players
the tools, and they're use em to incredible effectiveness.
[I didn't like your version of the BoS, here's some better ideas]
You outline one possible fiction; I've outlined another. Really just
two takes on the same situation. I will say that what readers got in
the team diary was the very black and white, simple version. In order
to get the other sides of the story, you'll need to talk to people in
Last September I sent a tracked PM outlining an idea for fullblown TB combat without an engine overhaul. Did you receive it?
Gizmo PM -- I read all my PMs, certainly, and that one does come to
mind specifically. The thing is, anything is possible. We could have
made any game we wanted; we could have made Fallout 3 any way we
wanted. But we went the way we did because we felt like it was the best
perspective/best gameplay for the Fallout 3 we wanted to make.
system shock became a legend though. that won't happen with bioshock, i think.
See, I don't know if I entirely agree with that statement. System Shock
2 is a legend amongst certain old school PC gamers, sure, but there are
plenty of people who've never even played it. There are plenty of
gamers -- sure call it a new generation, whatever -- that played played
Bioshock and will be saying the same thing about that game 10 years
from now. And I'm biased -- I love Shock 2. I was at Looking Glass
during the its development.
Then why not just come up with "THEIR OWN" post-apoc FPS ( w/pause ) game ?
That's a really fair question, and one that's obviously come up a lot.
The answer for us is pretty simple -- no other post-apocalyptic world
would have been nearly as awesome as Fallout. No Vault Boy, no
S.P.E.C.I.A.L., no futuristic 1950s vibe. We specifically wanted to
make Fallout 3 for all those reasons and more; if the license weren't
important to us, we could have made a post-apocalyptic game a long time
Do you think that turn-based,
isometric RPGs are outdated or inferior and a thing of the past that
should not be in furture games?
Oh, hell no. Just because that's not what Fallout 3 is, and not the
type of game I prefer to make, doesn't mean I don't love a good
turn-based, isometric RPG. I played the hell out of Silent Storm (not
an RPG per se, but similar enough), and I'm a big fan of Jeff Vogel's
games. I love good games, regardless of genre or perspective, honestly.
That said, if you look a video and computer game trends in general,
console games have become a lot more popular -- and are a lot more
profitable -- and that has certainly affected game publishers'
willingness to finance those types of games. Look at the NPD numbers of
the best selling PC games of 2007 vs. the best selling console games.
We're talking a difference of, in some cases, a million+ copies.
Thankfully, console developers are learning how to make these types of
games for consoles, learning how to overcome the obvious interface
issues. Hell, the Penny Arcade Adventures game for Xbox Live Arcade is,
for all intents and purposes, exactly the type of game you're talking
about. Personally, I can't wait to get my hands on that.
Ever play Myth [1 or 2]?
Oh man, I played the death out of both Myth and Myth 2. In fact, back
in the day when I was editor at AVault, I had to grudgingly let Jordan
Thomas (who is now a developer himself -- he did the Cradle quest in
Thief: Deadly Shadows, and worked on Bioshock) do the review, because I
wanted to do it so badly. Man, I even played Green Berets, the Vietnam
game that used the Myth engine. Ah, good times...
If Mr. Perlman need come back for
touchup work... Would you consider asking him to record the last two
lines of the F1 junktown ending, and put it on the F3 CD? Modders could
fix the intended Fallout quests (to a point), so that it ends with
Gimzo causing the town to thrive.
Ha! I can definitely understand why you'd want that, but it's pretty unlikely. Hellboy's a busy man.