Here is an interview with the legendary Roshambo of the Fallout community;
1. How did you get started in the fallout community?
I originally was in contact with Tim Cain and a couple of other Interplay employees in regards to the Bard's Tale Construction Set. I received a couple of e-mails about Fallout, started following it, posted a little on the forums (more on the sequel's forums) and later went towards the fansites to help out a bit with my knowledge. First I was an admin at DAC when it was at Iplaygames.com and at the Fallout2.net domain, shortly after Jay (Paul Gallo) moved it from Turngray. I knew WebBBS and could punt off a few of the problematic users, but my first duty there was to transcribe many of the voice clips he hosted on the site. Shortly after that, Miroslav was having a similar problem and brought in myself, Xotor, and Kharn to work as forum admins and tech help. I've long missed Xotor. I was already helping Miroslav with further writing several of the PERL scripts on his site, fleshing out a bit of content as well, that it wasn't much of a hassle to cover those forums as well. After a while, I also was an admin at V13.net to help out. So yes, at one time or another I was an admin/author for almost every major Fallout fan site.
I'm glad to see that DAC has expanded into the site it is today, while at the same time congratulating NMA for restoring some of the material on the site from when Marv (their mildly retarded host/tech guy) kept breaking almost everything about the site after Miroslav left and continued to further change things on a regular basis that kept interfering with my own restoration efforts.
Well, and dealing with clannie shit on a daily basis was getting in way of my work.
2. What games have you been playing or looking forward to?
Ah, let's see.
Currently playing: Avernum series, Master of Magic, Battlefield: HEROES, Ass Effect, The Ur-Quan Masters, Sins of a Solar Empire. I have never played just CRPGs, though they are one of my favorite genres.
Looking forward to: Almost anything by Spiderweb Software and Telltale games, Age of Decadence.
3. What do you think of the RPGcodex and NMA compared to DAC?
RPGCodex has unfortunately lost a lot of its signal:noise ratio. Too many SomethingAwful and 4chan kiddies wasting bandwidth with few truly intelligent conversations remaining. You also have to consider the newer TES fanboys who don't like the truth, no matter how much it makes Todd Howard into a liar and an idiot, also contribute a fair share. After all, RPGCodex trashed the most overhyped Oblivion mod out there, Fallout 3. You can't so easily spoil the Bethesduh kiddies' long running hand fantasy of guns in Oblivion.
NMA is good at posting whatever news they can find, and that's about it. Too much concern over site-to-site drama than doing much else but reposting news (unless they have since grown up), though as of late it's good to see them rebuild what Marv broke, so it isn't merely a news/download cache. They might have changed since I left, but it was far too late by then to really matter.
DAC's always had a colorful history, and usually isn't afraid of doing irritating things to get developers to open up. Yes, Fallout Fantasy was a rumor, but it was also a working name. The fiasco around that led to some problems, but overall the move from LameSpy was a good thing, as well as forced the developers to clarify the rumors/name.
4. You say that Fallout fans are "spineless bitches" but with the lead
up to FO3 the fallout fans have been branded as some of the most angry
and hostile communities. In your eyes, what things should have the
Fallout fans done to resist Bethesda's FO3?
Well, what do you call someone, anyone, who lies down as if dead to get fucked? That's what the majority of the Fallout community really did, and they were far more dead before Fallout 3's release than F:POS or Fallout Tactics. They reposted whatever little ambiguous horseshit lie Todd/Pete came up with and the continued "Bethesda hasn't told us anything" line, kissed a bunch of developer ass, but really didn't get anywhere except for a messy jizz splat on their faces and not even a thank you.
I'd also say that rep was mainly because of me, as I was the vocal one at NMA, which got most of the bad rep. It would typically be some eternally optimistic idiot who posted that Fallout 3 would be amazing because Oblivion is "the greatest game ever!", who then usually got the basic facts pointed out to them that even Oblivion wasn't the game it was hyped to be, with the Radiant AI to be one of the biggest examples in the industry of AI and other game functions being axed down in favor of eye candy and the X-Box. Therefore the game's hype, design, and integrity were compromised in favor of shiny (and it didn't even do that well if you consider the chronic overuse of Bloom by Bethedsa). NMA became bad guys for shitting on someone's rose-tinted view of the game industry, and all I have to say is "Well, looks like it turned out EXACTLY as I said. I'm right...AGAIN!" How many times do I have to be right in order for folks to unplug their heads from their asses?
Plus there was the information that I found out myself about the game.
I was also one of the few people who actively dug around at Bethesda, much like how folks used to poke around at Interplay, for any information that could be garnered. I'm still not going to reveal who the people were at Bethesda, because they still work there, but they certainly had the intelligence and the integrity to put together that what their seniors were saying and what was being made were two completely different animals.
Kudos, you brave, honest people. A pity it didn't help the game much other than what you could use of the advice I gave you. I think that little bit helped out some, and so our efforts weren't a total waste.
As to what the Fallout community should have done, that's simple. Bethesda's PR and other folks kept playing around on various forums, acting like little dancing monkeys. As any IT professional knows, people can't resist playing with little dancing monkeys and so click-VIRUS!
Bethesda should have been told to either guts up, or stop dancing. I must note that forum descriptions like "Since Bethesda decided to make Fallout 3, I figured we might as well have a forum about it." gave me a bit of a chuckle as a thinly-veiled barb. Perhaps with more voices than my own and a few others (a few from DAC, many from RPGCodex, while the rest of NMA was still waiting for Bethesda to slop yoghurt on their faces), more Bethesda employees would have contacted us independently instead of hiding behind the PR. They might have even confronted Todd and Pete about how what they were working on wasn't quite matching the ambiguity Pete was spewing out his ass, and the public already knew it.
It is quite clear Bethesda never had any intentions of being honest about their work, didn't even care to make it on the same level as Fallout in design principles (well-written speech with speech history, barter, character design, the shades of gray ambiguity as presented in Fallout's wasteland, and one of the more notable features, the Talking Heads). Fallout 3 was mostly the same binary decisions shit found in Fable, KoTOR, and just about every other game designed primarily for the X-Box primates. They turned it into "what they do best", and an overhyped Oblivion mod is apparently what they can do best. FOUR YEARS for a goddamn Oblivion mod when a supposed AAA development house could write an engine and develop a game in about that time?
By staying ambiguous, Bethesda simply used the Fallout fan sites as an extension of their own PR department. I particularly don't care to be used like that, and neither should anyone else - unless they LOVE being an unpaid corporate toadie.
5. You said you once killed a man, is that true?
Shit happens in armed conflicts, part of military service for some people. True, every soldier is a husband/wife, brother/sister, daughter/son, father/mother. They have their own ambitions, hopes, dreams. They have a family, and you're going to take away from that family by that person never returning home, which just makes the family sad and angry.
They are also armed and quite likely looking to kill you before you kill them.
In regards to folks threatening me, which I believe is how this topic came about (and hasn't been laid to rest, haha, sorry for the pun), I stated that I have absolutely no problem with killing anyone who threatens my life, as I've had absolutely no problems with it in the past.
In a case of me vs. them as the one going home in a box, I'm going to see it be them.
Even if it's over a kilometer away.
But lately in these kinds of situations and the couple of death threats I've been e-mailed while I worked at NMA, I've been far more content with letting the FBI or other appropriate national agency handle it.
6. Do you still have contacts with the old Fallout developers?
A few, but not many anymore. Some seem to be as disenfranchised with the mainstream industry as I am.
7. What do you think of Megatron from DAC and his legendary status?
Who? Just kidding.
8. What released games have you helped develop?
A couple of Ultima titles as testing (stay away from the PonyCanyon shite, I'm embarrassed to have had anything to do with those), Ultima Online, The Fourth Coming (trust me, it could have sucked MORE), and a couple of others I can't recall at the moment. Mostly as of recent, aside from my own projects I've been involved with communities and back-seat development (a bit of advice here and there, nothing too special) with a few friends in other development houses to the point that several of my characters have cameos in a few games. Eliezer Havelock shall return.
9. What are your thoughts on the situation at DAC a few years ago when
Kreegle decided to give the keys of DAC to Odin?
I wasn't really in favor of it, and not discussing with the other authors of that content what their thoughts on the situation was a bit of an error in my eyes. But I could understand Kreegle's reasoning that if DAC was going to close shop, the content should be preserved in some form. Other than that, I really don't have much of an opinion about it.
10. Why did you prefer to post at NMA than DAC for so many years?
Ah, truth be told, it was because DAC had a good staff for quite some time though it later had its rocky moments. NMA and those hosted at NMA needed a bit of protection from those Miroslav kicked out years before and Odin invited back in because it would "add to page views".
DAC also had folks working on the content (and added a fuckton), while I had a bit of an emotional investment with trying to maintain the site I helped build through content.
I also didn't want to ruin a lot of the fun that was DAC. It was always a different style and community than others. While rowdy and with some of the folks purposefully acting out, my moderation/posting style wouldn't have allowed much of the fun read that goes on at DAC, even if some of it is bitching about me. It gives a "Rosh isn't here..." feeling, which I thought was a good thing for some folks, because they fit in more at DAC than at NMA. Yourself included.
11. You were supposedly once a part of Fan Made Fallout , what do you
think of it's official closure after so many years?
A bit, as an adviser. I was really busy at that time, mainly sending various groups at NMA to their corners because they couldn't play nice with each other. I gave them the option of playing nice with each other or play with me, which didn't go over so well with some of the kids. I can't believe I had second thoughts about nuking The Order (again) from NMA after Miroslav did it without hesitation years ago.
That, and other things I was working on at the time (as I warned I was quite busy), took too much time away to adequately help out.
12. What are your thoughts on Darkunderlord who controls RPGcodex and
used to control DAC also?
I think he tends to bite off more than he can chew, but I think that mainly comes from where he's one of the few regular, ambitious folks willing to stick with something and thus gets a lot dropped into his lap to keep maintaining.
13. Have you played any of the DLC for FO3 and if you have what do you
think of them?
This would infer that I like to have my wallet repeatedly raped for crappy Oblivion mods.
Fallout 3 was enough, thank you. At least the DLC doesn't include "Dogmeat Armor", so Bethesda learned that much. No matter how small, it's a start.
14. What do you think about Obsidian working on Fallout: Vegas? Do you
think Bethesda had any other goals for allowing Obsidian to work on a
Fallout title rather than freeing up the workload at Bethesda? Bethesda
has been notorious for controlling the Fallout license and not taking
advice from the community, don't you find them out sourcing to some
older Fallout developers as a somewhat reversal on that position?
Not at all. When, not if, Obsidian releases a half-finished title like the rest of their work, Bethesda and their fanboys can simply point at Obsidian's Feargus-style "SLAM DUNK!" and go "Hah, see? Our game was better! I guess some of the fans were wrong in wanting them to make a Fallout game! LOLZ."
15. What do you see for the future of Fallout fans or good RPGs in general?
Good RPGs are going to be around as long as folks want them and developers are willing to make them. It will take another publisher like Interplay in the mid-90s to consider bucking the trend to offer something worthwhile and imaginative in the AAA market to stand out from the rest of the FPS action clones, or it might come from a JRPG developer, as Japan and other parts of the world don't seem to believe the publisher hype that certain design concepts are outdated. Other than that, look towards the indie developers, like Age of Decadence.
As for where Fallout stands? Get used to Bethesda continuing to rape it with shitty dialog, stoned Talking Heads, a crappy barter system far inferior to the original, and anything else they care to ham in for puerile appeal. Also count on Obsidian releasing a half-finished game, and the title being name-dropped constantly in the gaming media without anyone really knowing the true impacts the originals had upon the industry or other developers. That is where Fallout stands, as an Oblivion mod, with almost no other defining characteristics brought to the recent title.
My best advice to Fallout fans: Find another game. This isn't Fallout anymore.