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Posted by Kilus - at Mon, 30 Nov 2015 22:18:18 GMT

J.E. Sawyer was the project director and lead designer on Fallout: New Vegas(he was also a lead designer of Interplay's Fallout 3/Van Buren). It has been over 5 years since that game's release and J.E. Sawyer still finds time to answer questions on his Tumblr page. Here is a selection of his answers:

On 'letting go' being a theme:


John Gonzalez (F:NV’s lead creative designer) had developed the idea of “rigging the game” as the theme of the main plot, but as we developed more of the Mojave Wasteland and its factions, I recognized that another theme was emerging that felt much more pervasive: recreating the new world in the image of the old. Once we talked about that, it became something we emphasized intentionally. Chris Avellone continued with variants on this theme in the three DLCs he directed (Dead Money, Old World Blues, and Lonesome Road).
The future of the NCR:


Characters like Chief Hanlon certainly spell out some dark times ahead for the NCR, but I don’t think any of the characters makes an airtight case that those problems will definitely lead to the collapse of the republic. It’s worth noting that the biggest doomsayers are people like Hanlon or Followers of the Apocalypse who are inclined to believe that the NCR’s mission in the Mojave Wasteland is inherently flawed, immoral, or plain ol’ bad. Confirmation bias can lead people to view the state of things through a strangely-tinted lens.
Why Caesar's Legion isn't grey:


So, the Legion is the way it is because Caesar is a warlord who maintains control through his cult of personality and the fear of his disapproval (with severe consequences). The historical Caesar was known for being unusually merciful, but he was playing to societies that were much more accepting of mercy. Caesar taught the Legion mercilessness, so that is what they expect, what they consider strong.
There’s nothing really morally grey about Liberia’s Charles Taylor, but he’s a real guy who did astoundingly terrible things for the sake of maintaining power. In the context of F:NV, I don’t think Caesar and the Legion need to be thought of as “grey” like the player’s other options. I think they can be what they are, as they are, because the lie of their fiction is intended to provoke thoughts about truth, i.e. the nature of humans who rise to power in such circumstances. When we say “war never changes”, we’re talking about things like this.
On skill consolidation and differentiation:


I did consider that, but I considered it late in the development cycle. Deciding what skills to combine or separate can be tricky for a number of reasons. A distinguished play style or use between them is a good reason to separate them, e.g. Explosives plays pretty differently from Guns, but Guns doesn’t play dramatically different from Energy Weapons. On the other hand, in a skill-based game, folding too many skills together can make characters feel overly similar. If Melee and Unarmed were to remain separate in the future, I think they should feel more distinct in play.
On New Vegas being flat:


Most of the vertical elements in F3 were found in the ruined sections of DC. When we developed the parts of New Vegas away from the strip, we tried to reflect the building style of Las Vegas itself, which is flat in overall topography and relied heavily on Usonian/ranch-style houses as it expanded. The Strip wasn’t the place to have vertically-oriented combat because those were population hub areas.
In retrospect, we should have partitioned the different neighborhoods of New Vegas into their own world spaces (data/load-wise) and found ways to emphasize more vertical elements. When we worked on the various DLCs, we did emphasize vertical elements much more in both exploration and combat.
I would just like to thank J.E. Sawyer for his time talking about Fallout minutiae with fans. Check out his blog for more New Vegas answers as well as a ton of Pillars of Eternity/general rpg answers.

Posted by Kilus - at Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:22:37 GMT

The first patch for Fallout 4 is now out as a Steam beta patch:


New Features

  • Number pad keys can now be used for remapping
  • Remapping Activate now works on Quick Container


  • General memory and stability improvements
  • Fixed issue where equipped weapons become locked after completing Reunions
  • Fixed issue with When Freedom Calls where the quest would not complete
  • During Confidence Man, fixed issue where player’s health would continuously regenerate
  • Fixed crash related to jumping into water and reloading saved games
  • Fixed issue where Launcher would not save God Rays Quality setting properly

This beta update is a work in progress so before opting into the beta, back up your saved games.

To get the beta, you need to do the following:
  1. Log into Steam
  2. Right Click on Fallout 4 in your Library
  3. Select Settings
  4. Select Betas
  5. A drop down menu will appear. Select Beta Update
  6. Select OK
  7. Wait a few minutes and Fallout 4 should update

When done, Fallout 4 should appear as Fallout 4 [beta] in your Library
If you decide you don’t want to run the Beta anymore, redo steps 1 – 4. At the drop down, select NONE – Opt out of all beta programs.

If anyone opts into the beta please share your experiences good or bad here.

Posted by Kilus - at Fri, 20 Nov 2015 04:06:04 GMT

Bethesda has thanked fans for the successful launch of Fallout 4 and has provide a few details of the upcoming game patches.

Semi acknowledgment of the seemly lack of many in hints on the various systems, although some details are buried away in the in game help menu:


For some, the freedom the game offers can be overwhelming. We know the game throws a lot on you at once, so take your time. There are many moments of “How does this work? What do I do to survive?” and that’s how your character should be feeling as well. Those that push through should be able to look back at who they were when they stepped out of the Vault and say, “I made it. I understand this world now and it’s mine.”
Patch plans:


Our process for updating the game will include releasing a beta patch on Steam, followed by full release on PC, then release on the consoles. This process has worked well for us in the past and allows us to get more fixes out faster. Expect to see more updates, that are smaller and more frequent, than a few big ones. This allows us to make sure each fix is working right, as any change can have unintentional side effects in a game this huge. We expect the first beta patch to be up next week.

Posted by Kilus - at Mon, 09 Nov 2015 22:37:43 GMT

We have known for sometime that the retail copies of Fallout 4 won't have the entire game included in the box and a steam download would be required:

But Bethesda had not been forthright with the exact details. But I have bought my copy of Fallout 4 and after the disk install I was left with a 18.8 GB download:

So if you are getting a PC retail copy of Fallout 4 prepare a 18.8 GB download.

Posted by Kilus - at Mon, 09 Nov 2015 13:04:00 GMT

Gamespot 9


Originally Posted by Peter Brown
Fallout 4 is the story of the "perfect" vs the "imperfect,” where your decisions influence the victories and tragedies of not just the two overarching groups, but all of the smaller ones that get caught in the middle. Picking sides and doing favors is, at first, about finding your son, but it becomes more complicated as time passes. It's not as simple as choosing between the right and wrong thing; you are almost always sacrificing something, and the decisions get harder over time.

Destructoid 7.5


Originally Posted by Chris Carter
Without spoiling anything further, the main narrative is generally weaker than most of the side storylines, which isn't anything particularly new with Fallout. Players will start off doing odd jobs for various wastelanders, recruiting new companions and making enemies along the way, with a few twists and turns at the tale's midpoint. Eventually, you'll come across forms of synthetic life, which serves as the crux of a core piece of the story. Again, Bethesda's writing team never fully commits to this concept, and it's kind of just there, with a few "gotcha" moments meant to elicit a response with mixed results. For those who are curious, yes, faction-divergent storylines and endings are possible.

IGN 9.5


Originally Posted by Dan Stapleton
Most of the way this huge roleplaying-shooter game works is carried over from its excellent predecessors, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. It is the Skyrim to Fallout 3’s Oblivion, if you will – it iterates on the previous game’s already amazing systems, and it’s similarly dense with locations to explore, genuinely creepy monsters to fight, and superbly engrossing post-nuclear atmosphere that blends unsettling gore and death with dark comedy.

Polygon 9.5


Originally Posted by Arthur Gies
Its user interface is often too opaque, and at times Fallout 4 has some of the same technical issues as Bethesda's previous games, from strange AI quirks to performance hitches and actual hard locks of the software. It's frequently unforgiving. And occasionally, despite a next-gen visual overhaul, its human characters still look a little terrifying. I'm not nearly as big a fan of the Diamond City radio DJ as I was of Three Dog in Fallout 3.
If the glitches that have come to exist like David Foster Wallace footnotes on every Bethesda open-world release have infuriated you beyond all reason, have ruined your ability to take any joy in its games, you may want to exercise caution. Multiple editors experienced full game freezes, though thankfully without the console locking up in turn using pre-release copies of Fallout 4. I found myself stuck on geometry a couple of times when I jumped somewhere I very clearly wasn't supposed to be. Anecdotally, the also game seemed to perform slightly worse over time, and benefited from a restart every now and again.
All of that was great, but it's not where I wanted to spend most of my time. Fallout 4 continues the series' impressively effective apocalypse tourism. My favorite times in Fallout 4 felt like an archaeological expedition through an alternate history. The Commonwealth, like the Capital Wasteland before it, is a character all on its own, full of black humor and tragedy. There are so many stories everywhere, whether in Bethesda's macabre but impeccable set dressing or in more fleshed-out incidents that feel like nothing so much as post-nuclear ghost stories. Fallout 4 feels like wandering through a giant, haunted city, and I want to know every secret it has.

PC Gamer 88


Originally Posted by Phil Savage
For me, this has been Fallout 4. It's a highly customisable RPG in a world that's packed full of things to do. Its systems are intricate, and invite you to tailor them to your liking. When you do, it can be wonderfully satisfying, but also—in the sense that you can be a huge stealth machine carrying an antique, irradiated sword—a little bit dumb. Fallout 4 wilfully trades immersion for an enjoyable, freeform sandbox of possibilities. Whether you'll enjoy it or not, I think, depends on your reaction to the description above. Does it sound like an infuriating, dissonant mess, or the cool, emergent intersection of player-driven decisions. I'm in the latter camp.

Shacknews 8


Originally Posted by Steve Watts
Fallout 4 is exactly and precisely more Fallout. Its couple of new gameplay elements are well-executed and enrich the experience, but they don't make this feel especially different than the Wasteland we were exploring almost a decade ago. If you enter looking for a heaping helping of the Fallout action you already enjoy, and an enthralling romp through a newly realized portion of the Wasteland, this certainly fits the bill. Just don't hope for another revolution, because like war, the Wasteland apparently never changes.

The Escapist 4.5/5


Originally Posted by Conrad Zimmerman
In the simplest terms, the new Perks system reduces the process of character leveling to a simple action, instead of calculating out individual point values for a range of available skills as was done in prior Fallout titles. But the choice isn't less overwhelming at the outset, seeing as the first selection comes from a list of nearly thirty options. Worse, the ability to increase attributes undermines the significance of SPECIAL as a system that defines the range and limitations of a character.

Posted by Kilus - at Mon, 09 Nov 2015 13:02:12 GMT

The clock strikes midnight Australian daylight savings time and that means Fallout has now been officially released in New Zealand(2 am New Zealand time) and Australia. For most of the world Fallout 4 will unlock at midnight your local time.

For more info see this Bethesda article:

Mon, 30 Nov 2015 22:18:18 GMT
J.E. Sawyer still talks about Fallout: New Vegas
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:22:37 GMT
Fallout 4's first beta patch is out
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 04:06:04 GMT
Bethesda: Thanks and Updates for Fallout 4
Mon, 09 Nov 2015 22:37:43 GMT
Fallout 4 PC retail has a 18.8 GB Steam download
Mon, 09 Nov 2015 13:04:00 GMT
First round of Fallout 4 Reviews
Mon, 09 Nov 2015 13:02:12 GMT
Fallout 4 is officially released on Steam in New Zealand and Australia
Sat, 07 Nov 2015 23:31:49 GMT
Fallout 4's first review
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 23:19:17 GMT
The making of Fallout 4 - Game Informer article
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 21:07:56 GMT
Fallout 4 preloading has started on Steam
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 15:35:56 GMT
Fallout 4 Launch Trailer
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 23:19:51 GMT
Pipboy companion app for Fallout 4 is out
-Opening Analysis: Fallout
-AMA Q&A with Brian Fargo and Chris Avellone
-Wasteland 2 Interview with Chris Avellone and Brian Fargo
-Circle Junction
-Wasteland Kickstarter Project Interview with Brian Fargo
-The Origins of Fallout
-Afterfall: InSanity review
-Afterfall: InSanity preview
-Lonesome Road Review
-Old World Blues review
-Fallout2 Hi-Res Patch v4.1.5
-Fallout1 Hi-Res Patch v4.1.5
-Falloup, a Fallout Comic by 'Ten'
-WayDowntown V1.1
-FO1 bos grenades quest
-Fallout FIXT
-Graphics Viewer v1.36
-RobCo Systems Beta 1.0
-S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Anarchy Cell Design Document
-Koan's Gift: Oblivion Lost Design Document Pack
-S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Oblivion Lost Design Document
-S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Oblivion Lost Story Outline
-Uptown v1.4
-Fallout Script Editor 1.5a
-Mission Mojave Fixpack
-Garden Of Eden Creation Kit
-The Weapon Mod Menu
-The Mod Configuration Menu
-Interior Lighting Overhaul