inXile has posted a pair of portrait pics on their Facebook page.
- Fallout 2
- Fallout 3
- New Vegas
- Hosted Sites
Posted by Brother None - at 5:03 - Thursday, June 20, 2013
inXile has posted a pair of portrait pics on their Facebook page.
Posted by Brother None - at 5:01 - Thursday, June 20, 2013
7. Gears of War (series)
The original post-apocalyptic game, first released in 1988, Wasteland is a turn based roleplaying game where you take command of a squad of Desert Rangers who police the Wasteland, solving problems and bringing about justice. Set after a nuclear war punch up between the US and the Soviet Union. Survival is paramount in this world and the game itself is pretty difficult too. It was also one of the first games to feature a persistent world where it would save the changes you as the player enacted upon it. It also allowed multiple solutions to challenges that would arise. Due to technical limitations, instead of having all the dialogue and descriptions on the disk it came with a printed book and would tell you what paragraphs to read at a given point in the game. It allowed for a lot of detail and information and at the same time enough blanks space for one’s imagination to fill in the gaps.
2. Last of Us
1. Fallout (series)
This is the big enchilada of all post-apocalyptic games. With six titles to its credit, and 5 of them actually good, it shows us the future as the 1950s imagined it and that we all did in fact drop the bomb. The role-playing game series is not just about survival, but being able to move forward as a society. To rebuild in the aftermath of total annihilation, in the face of power hungry group, in the face of the repercussion of an unconscionable corporation, in the face of being lied to, in the face of running out of supplies. In the face of all this, you choose who you will be.
Posted by Brother None - at 4:56 - Thursday, June 20, 2013
Polygon has some quotes from Pete Hines again talking about the game's production schedule.
Hines said that even though Todd Howard's Bethesda Game Studios — the studio responsible for developing the Fallout series — revealed that it is already moving on to its next project, it's not going to "say or hint" at all at what they are doing and that "making assumptions" about the unannounced title is a "bad idea."
"I mean [fans] have been clammering for a Fallout game for a long time now. What people need to understand — whether it is Bethesda Game Studios, Arkane or anybody — expecting information like that in any short period of time after they moved off one project to the other is really unrealistic," Hines said. "We are not into annual franchises — just trying to spin out a version of our game year, after year, after year — like, we have never done that, I don't see that it is something that we are doing anytime soon. But that doesn't mean that we are going to take our time and wait six or seven years in between a game that a studio puts out. But these are big games that take a long time and folks need to understand that we have a very certain way of going about things."
"So whether it was working on new IP or working with developers — Fallout: New Vegas was maybe something we have never really tried before, which was to do something in a franchise that is a bit of an offshoot with a different studio and see how that works," he said, saying its ultimate goal continues to be the same, which is it wants to work on stuff that excites its developers, with people "who have been in this industry for a while and are known for doing cool innovative things."
Posted by Sander - at 3:16 - Tuesday, June 18, 2013
A couple of days ago, Bethesda's Pete Hines hinted in a talk with OXM that they were working on a new title, but that they were not yet ready to announce it. At the time it seemed likely that Hines was talking about Fallout 4, because Bethesda loves to hint and tease when they're two years in development of a game and everyone knows they're already making it.
Rumors were bound to start surfacing with E3 just around the corner, and that's exactly what happened. A member of Bubblenews.com posted an article which claims that Bethesda showed a 37 second teaser for Fallout 4 behind closed doors. The site then offered a list of information on the game, with the most notable bulletpoint being the location: Boston. Also, it has Vaults for those of you who thought Fallout 4 was going to be set in Pink Ponyland.
Please note that Bubblenews.com is a website where users are paid for the articles they post, basing on the amount of page views their articles get. In conjunction with dubious claims of co-op play, this article should be regarded as, at best, unverified rumours, and, at worst, an attempt to cash in on traffic generated by Fallout fans starved for news.
> Fallout 4 has been in development since January 2011 by a small team, as the majority were working on Skyrim.
> As of February 2013, the team working on Fallout 4 is the size of the team which was working on Skyrim. This is due to Skyrim development ending.
> As it stands now, Fallout 4 will release on Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. However, this is still subject to change.
> The actual announcement for Fallout 4 will come BEFORE E3 2014, but will NOT launch in 2014.
> The expected launch is in October 2015.
> The game is (as of June 2013) 55% complete, consequently, voice actors will be hired towards the end of 2014.
> There is no planned multi-player, but there is a possibility of Co-Op locally.
> The game will take place in Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington (and surrounding areas). The main setting is in a Post-Apocalyptic Boston. However, this area will not be immediately accessible.
> The story is not clear, however, Vaults exist.
> The 37 second trailor starts starts with a half-broken phone sparking. The scene pulls out slowly with the stereotypical music you would hear. Slowly you work out the scene is pulling out of a belltower. As it pulls further out, you see a destroyed town around. This is Boston. Suddenly, you hear the bell chime loudly, and the screen changes black instantly. The words of Ron Pearlman are heard "War... War never changes...". The logo for Fallout 4 appears with the 5 platforms above listed.
Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 9:44 - Monday, June 17, 2013
We've just received a tip from a source with a reliable track record regarding some cut material from Fallout: New Vegas. Given we have very good reasons to believe this is all true, we figured we might as well share it, especially given it includes a few juicy bits.
* We already know that Freeside and the Strip were meant to be single worldspaces rather than broken up in little pieces, and that they were changed to make the game run on consoles and lower end PCs, but apparently a few other areas were affected: originally the Crimson Caravan Company area, North Vegas, Westside, the Aerotech Park and the Fiend territory were all part of the main worldspace rather than separated by a loading screen. After trying to get the game to run on consoles like that and not getting good results, they made each of those areas its separate worldspace.
* When Ulysses was still a companion in the game, he was indeed meant to be recruitable at the location that became Wolfhorn Ranch, as some people have guessed from the fact that the location was called "Ulysess' camp" in some localized versions of the game. This version of Ulysses would actually not be open about his allegiance with the Legion, but rather try to gently steer the character to more pro-Legion views while offering commentary of the various locations and events of the game. Ulysses would only openly admit his pro-Legion beliefs when dealing with a Legion-affiliated PC.
* You might remember that the Fallout wikis used to note that NPCs will cheer at the death of the NCR Drill Sergeant. That doesn't actually happen in the game, and has been removed from Nukapedia's page since then (there's no older version on the Vault, likely because this change predates the split). We can confirm that the idea floated around the dev team at one point, and was possibly even implemented just to be scrapped later on.
* The Black Mountain location was meant to play a larger role in the NCR/Legion conflict at one point, with factions interested in controlling it due to its satellite system (the NCR to expand their broadcast range and the Legion to use as a jamming system). Digging through the files of the game one can still find some references to a quest that involved blowing up the satellite dishes that was tied to that older design of the area.
* The Securitron Marylin, a flirtier counterpart to Jane at the service of Mr. House, was cut due to unconditionalized/missing dialogue that couldn't be re-recorded at that point in development. Some NPCs had similar problems which is why you see so many "..." goodbye lines in the final title.
* There are references to an "Underpass" area in the game. This cut area was never really meant to be particularly relevant and was based around Brahmin farmers. You could find it on the north end of the map, north of New Vegas Clinic.
* A lot of work had to be scrapped after the post-Hoover Dam gameplay was cut, including the option to help the Omertas take over the Strip as a consequence of a successful execution of Operation Racket.
* At one point during development you'd be able to actually work with the Fiends, which explains the cut dialogue for the Three-Card Bounty quest. You could allow the Fiends to break into Camp McCarren (referenced in some of the ending slides) and you'd be able to witness the consequences of that action in post-Hoover Dam gameplay.
* The dead Powder Ganger in Quarry Junction, Hawkins, was actually meant to be up one of the rock processing machines rather than the location he is in in the final game, alive. He had an attached quest to save him from the deathclaw infested location (the reward being simply some money) and in terms of dialogue he'd feign ignorance about the activities of the Powder Ganger. Speaking with Chomps Lewis would let you unlock a dialogue option to call him out on that. This cut was likely done because as development went on the area became more obviously geared for high-level players, so such a minor quest would have been pretty much inconsequential.
* In the original design Freeside was meant to lose power between 11pm till dawn or so, making the choice to route power to the location more relevant, as it'd mean that the Followers would be able to continue operating during the night too.
* At one point the game included a trader named Felicia who would give you items such as stealth boys, mini nukes and energy cells for Sunset Sarsaparilla bottle star caps.
Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 21:06 - Friday, June 14, 2013
Naughty Dog's PS3 exclusive The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic story-driven action game, has been released today.
The game has received excellent reviews judging from its 95 metascore, with plenty of 10/10 even from more critical publications such as EDGE:
The Last Of Us strips away the geek-centric fan service so commonplace in contemporary games. For every highbrow idea explored, developers seem compelled to throw in a lowbrow one to counterbalance it. The Last Of Us resists such compromises, and does so without disappearing up its own backside. Naughty Dog has delivered the most riveting, emotionally resonant story-driven epic of this console generation. At times it’s easy to feel like big-budget development has too much on the line to allow stubbornly artful ideas to flourish, but then a game like The Last Of Us emerges through the crumbled blacktop like a climbing vine, green as a burnished emerald.That doesn't mean, of course, that absolutely everyone thinks it's an excellent game, as this review from Tom Chick proves:
“Did I do good back there?” she asks after she’s stabbed a guy in the leg while you grappled with him or she called out a target that was flanking you. These things don’t always happen, so they’re all the more important when they do. Yes, sweetheart, you did. You did real good. And I couldn’t be happier to be talking to you now instead of playing that turgid stealth shooter.It's worth noting that, if you're thinking of buying the title right now, the game appears to be plagued by some nasty savegame bugs. IGN has the skinny on it and is also reporting that it *should* be fixed, but it's still best to be aware of the details so that you can spot it if it's happening to you.
Posted by Dude101 - at 21:28 - Wednesday, June 12, 2013
For those of you not acquainted with FOnline 2238 it is a classic Fallout style MMO. Unfortunately the world is ending and there is little time to prepare for this apocalypse.
On Sunday, June 23rd 2013, the FOnline: 2238 server will be shut down. The details are trivial and pointless, the reasons, as always, purely human ones. The interest in the current state of the game is steadily declining, while, at the same time, expectations about further development of the project can't be matched. With a decimated player base and, in turn, low number of donations we can't afford us any further server lease.If you are a member of the Followers of the Apocalypse or any other religious organisation, you should take this opportunity to log in and save as many blue suit souls as you can. Enjoy the end times.
For you, the players, this means that there are over two weeks to play and discuss FOnline: 2238 on the current forum. This moment occurs important to many of us and we would like to use this opportunity to invite all the people who have been sharing so many memories from the last four years to login on June 23rd (evening time CET) for a big shutdown party. We definitely would love to have as many people as possible during these very moments and, of course, during the last days of 2238.
We would like to thank the players who supported us with their suggestions, bug reports, patches and content. Special thanks to all wiki editors, moderators and game masters. Last but not least, we would like to thank all our donors, who helped us to keep the 2238 server running for so long! Without you, the last 4 years wouldn't have been the same.
However, this is not the end, merely a new beginning for us - and we hope for some of you as well.
Fonline 2238 Blog.
Fonline 2238 Discussion Thread.
FO1/2 Mod Database
Drobovik has created a Google drive database of Fallout 1 and 2 mods as well as modding resources. This is extremely noteworthy for those who missed out on mods lost to time, as well as modders for the vast amount of FRM art to be found.
Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 23:56 - Saturday, June 1, 2013
In case you're tired of just doing the same quests over and over while tinkering with the systems and graphics of Fallout: New Vegas over and over, or you simply want an excuse to redownload the game on Steam, you might want to check out the beta release of the first installment of Project Brazil.
The mod, which will have three installments in total, is a total conversion of Fallout: New Vegas with a new storyline taking place around Los Angeles and Vault 18, in 2260. The mod, at least going by the summary on ModDB, seems to make heavy use of elements of the Fallout canon and older factions, with NCR, super mutants and the Enclave all making appearances. Given I haven't even downloaded the mod yet, it's difficult to say whether the writing makes good use of these elements or if it's bad fanfiction material.
In case you check the mod out, let us know what you think about it!
Posted by AtomBomb - at 3:11 - Friday, May 31, 2013
The newest Kickstarter update for Wasteland 2 gives us the inventory screen and a number of other tidbits:
Link: Update 29: How many squeezins can I fit in my bag?
Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 12:18 - Tuesday, May 28, 2013
PC Gamer has a retrospective feature for Fallout's sequel, which uses New Reno as an example of all that is good, bad and divisive in the title. Not a bad choice, though they might be focusing on the sex a tad too much in my opinion:
Fallout 2 remains a divisive RPG, even among the series’ notoriously rabid fans. It’s much sillier than its predecessor, with references to everything from Monty Python to StarThanks, GameBanshee for bringing this to my attention.
Trek largely dropped at random. Its handling of things like sex is either more mature or more “mature,” depending on your sense of humor. If you’re a female character for instance, your first encounter with one potential party member—a kid named Myron—involves him trying to slip you a mickey. And then, most likely, you kicking his scabby balls up through his mouth.
The part most people remember though (if only because there can’t be a single player who didn’t try it) is the sleazy porn studio in bad old New Reno—the place where you can temporarily put aside your quest and (cough)make your star rise. You don’t get to see any low-resolution hanky-panky, but you do get a special Reputation bonus, as well as a porn name that will haunt you for the rest of your quest. Dick Mountenjoy? Rodd Rokks? How about Ebineezer Screws or Arnold Swollenmember? All are actual choices that people in the street will start shouting at you—as are Lucy Loose, Pokeahotass, and Dominatrish for less-than-ladylike ladies.
It’s actually a relatively small area, but that doesn’t matter. Not only is there a lot to do and see, it’s an incredibly reactive little piece of design. As a female character for instance, expect to take lots of “sugar boobs” and “hey baby” crap. Do a porn movie and most guys love you, but the hookers sniff and spit—as opposed to salivating over a male stud. Become a Made Man as either gender, though, and the guards who previously gave you trouble suddenly can’t wait to suck up. Little, dynamic details like these do more for making a world feel “real” than a thousand carefully coded AI routines.
Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 14:44 - Friday, May 17, 2013
As you might know, 4A's post-apocalyptic shooter sequel Metro: Last Light, has been released today. You can find it on Steam, GamersGate, GreenManGaming or retail for $49.99/€49.99 tho' it should be noted that the game is still a Steamworks title so, no matter where you get it, you'll have to use Steam to play it.
Reviews, for what it's worth, are generally good if not enthusiastic or on par with the biggest, most critically acclaimed titles, with an 82 metascore on PC, an 80 on Xbox 360 and an 82 on PS3.
According to ex-THQ president Jason Rubin (who joined the company as a last ditch attempt to save it but didn't manage to turn the tide fast enough), 4A had to work in pretty terrible conditions:
When 4A needed another dev kit, or high-end PC, or whatever, someone from 4A had to fly to the States and sneak it back to the Ukraine in a backpack lest it be "seized" at the border by thieving customs officials. After visiting the team I wanted to buy them Aeron office chairs, considered a fundamental human right in the west. There were no outlets in the Ukraine, and our only option was to pack a truck in Poland and try to find an "expediter" to help bribe its way down to Kiev. We gave up not because this tripled the cost, but because we realized that the wider Aeron chairs would require spreading out people and computers, which would lead to extra desks, and that ultimately would have required bigger offices. Yes, really.There's also a comment from the game's creative director in the article's comments section, which I'm going to quote:
I truly enjoyed Far Cry 3, which deserved its great reviews. But how many times did Ubisoft Montreal lose power for hours or days during development? Power outages are the norm for 4A. All developers have deadlines, but I know of few that had to bring in construction generators to be able to work the weekend before final submission because an extra day meant missing shelf dates by weeks. Montreal is cold, but when it gets cold in Kiev it's different. That's because the government provides all of the heating through a central coal burning facility that pipes hot water to homes and offices. Unfortunately, it breaks down reliably a few times a year for a week at a time. Then 4A works in their parkas and struggles to keep their fingers warm in temperatures well below freezing. That is unless it snows and they get stuck home for a few days at a time because snow clearing isn't up to Western standards.
The only thing for which 4A is getting more credit than I think they deserve is the creativity behind the ever frightening, dark, post apocalyptic environment of the game. I've been in Kiev to visit the team, so I know they just stepped outside for reference.
Hello everyone,Finally, for those of you who have a beefy PC or have to choose between the 2 console versions, Eurogamer has one of their Digital Foundry face-offs. I'm not going to take a quote as the newspost is already long as it is, but in layman's terms the game looks stunning on PC and not half-bad on consoles (who both run 30 fps with dips during chaotic scenes, with a small lead on PS3).
We've worked with THQ for 10 years (as we are the guys who made Stalker, too), and Jason is the only THQ President who visited us in Ukraine. And he did this on his second week in THQ. Keep in mind that he only had few months to somehow fix the situation. Alas, that didn't work out.
It is a fact that our work conditions are worse than those of other developers outside Ukraine. I don't think anyone can doubt that - yes, it's true that American and most of European developers operate in a country far more comfortable than Ukraine. And yes, the publishers pay them more. This is clear: the more "reasonable" the country the less the rrisks. And we don't want to be all dramatic about that - after all, better conditions are earned, and we strive to do this as soon as possible ...
And we are thankful to Jason for his article.
Jason, please don't blame Deep Silver for not having our logo on the game site... just like us, they ended up in a harsh situation and had to do a lot of things in two months, which was definitely a very hard task. I don't blame them for letting the logo thing slip. They are trying hard.
After all, it's our game that matters and not our logo.
Also. We did want to make a multiplayer. Though if it was excluded from the start, a lot of precious time wouldn't be wasted and we'd make an even better single.
What else& We deserve the ratings we get. After all, the final consumer doesn't care about our conditions. And this is RIGHT. We need no indulgence.
PROF and all Ukrainian bobsled team:)
Edit: As dONALD42 reminds us, it should be noted that Ranger Mode isn't available in the game vanilla, but only as DLC (which was included with some pre-orders). Some people consider it the right way to play the game so, yeah, it's very unfortunate that Deep Silver decided to go this way.
Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 12:57 - Friday, May 17, 2013
Given there's not a lot going on these days and that Underrail looks like a really promising turn-based indie RPG, I thought some of our readers might enjoy this recent preview from RPGFan. Here's a snip:
The game uses an "action point" style of turn based combat, for example. Everything costs action points, and you have a certain number of them you can use before the baddies get a chance to do their thing. Firing a gun, moving around, using an ability — everything takes away from the pool of action points that replenish the next round.It's also worth noting that you can buy alpha access to the game right now from services such as Desura and GamersGate.
But there's more going on here than just a new Fallout game for more modern times. Dejan is doing things to not just differentiate Underrail from Fallout 1 and 2, but also pay homage to other games that he enjoyed growing up. For example, I asked him about a sequence in the game where you are sneaking through a ventilation shaft and a picture-in-picture view is employed.
"For one, I'm trying to improve on the subterfuge aspects of the game. So in the Underrail, you have security cameras that you can access, patrolling enemies, traps, and vents that you can crawl through and peek out of. Here I drew inspiration from another one of my favorite games — System Shock 2. Like in System Shock 2, Underrail is a game where you will often find yourself going through hostile areas where, in addition to the unfriendly humans, you will also be threatened by automated security systems, dangerous creatures, and biohazards.
"On the combat side of things, I attempted to implement a more complex combat system with special attacks, abilities, utility, and psi powers. This is in contrast to Fallout, which was pretty simple (not in a bad way!). I also want to make the creatures in Underrail more diverse, so most creatures you encounter in the game will have at least one special trait or ability that will change the dynamics of the encounter and force you to adapt and think of ways to deal with it."
Posted by AtomBomb - at 20:26 - Monday, May 13, 2013
inXile Entertainment has recently posted on Facebook, regarding cutscenes and Wasteland 2:
One thing we haven't talked about so far is cutscenes. We want you playing the game rather than staring at cutscenes, but we'd also like to do an opening cutscene that sets up the history of the rangers including the events of Wasteland, a scene as part of our closing sequences and perhaps one mid-game cutscene. We have these written out , and we have some great footage taken from the Wasteland Weekend to use in them. We are not going to do expensive cinematics, nor we will want to, but we'd like to get creative in the execution, find a way of doing them that is not too expensive but still aesthetically pleasing.
And what's the best source of crazy creativity? We've seen some very cleverly done small films done on Youtube, and we're looking for that kind of independent but creative director who could bring a style we want. Maybe you're familiar with a specific artist or director who has impressed you with their work - maybe even though Kickstarter.
Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 13:48 - Monday, May 13, 2013
EDGE is offering a retrospective on the original Fallout on their website, and while it's likely that there's nothing new in there if you're reading this website in the first place, it's still a pretty interesting article. Snippet ahead:
Fallout’s best stories feel incidental – things that you simply come across one day in the wasteland, or uncover by accident in one of its cities, and that you wouldn’t know existed unless you’d happened upon them. Wasteland encounters like a crashed UFO or a band of ghouls may provide a valuable item or hint, but they point the player in interesting directions, leaving room for the imagination. It works because it’s not explicit, leaving you to draw inferences from the world, to make up and investigate your own quest lines. You might think that Junktown’s sinister Doc Morbid’s extreme rudeness is borne out of caution, just like everyone else in the wasteland – unless you happen to be scavenging his house for ammo at night and find the manhole leading to his secret butcher’s shop, where he and his dwarf assistant prepare their patients for sale as snacks in a neighbouring town. If Doc Morbid’s tongue-in-cheek name isn’t Fallout’s only flash of black humour, then nor is Vault Boy, the cheerfully grinning face of nuclear disaster. Fallout flashes its gallows humour like a wicked grin, elevating the mood without undermining the tone.Also in terms of retrospectives, Ars Technica calls Fallout 3 a "reboot that rocked their world". It wasn't a reboot, and I suppose whether it rocked your world depends on your tastes. (Thanks hopw roewur ne, assuming that is actually your nickname and not some coded insult.)
The game owes much of its intrigue to the level of detail. Fallout realises with words and situations a rich, detailed, tortured and desolate landscape that it can’t show with a limited colour palette and isometric sprites. Scrolling text descriptions at the bottom-left of the interface embellish what’s onscreen with incidental detail; where you see a brown clump of pixels oozing red, the text describes how a mutated mole-rat, fatally wounded from a crippling injury to the right leg, crumples and dies. Character descriptions, dialogue, even the manual all feature a descriptive verbosity that greatly enriches the game’s fiction.
As well as finding stories, Fallout excels at letting you create them. Generally, videogame moral decisions amount to either giving a begging tramp 20 credits in the hope that he’ll turn up again later with a nice item or shooting him in the kneecaps for the experience points. Either way, there’s a reward, and the Right Thing To Do is often patronisingly obvious. Fallout screws with this primary-school perception of good and evil. The harsh reality is that there are usually two bad choices, and at best you’re forced into the least morally reprehensible course of action. Fallout is aware that being a good person can mean doing a terrible thing, and the game never attempts to moralise. It’s a far cry from “nuke the village for money, or save it for a house”.
Indeed, one of Fallout’s key quest lines – determining the fate of Junktown – was so distressingly morally ambiguous that Interplay demanded that the outcomes be altered. When the Vault Dweller first stumbles across it, the settlement is locked in a power struggle between mayor Killian and gambling mogul Gizmo, whose criminal activities bring both financial prosperity and problems to the town. Originally, siding with Killian against Gizmo turned the town into an authoritarian nightmare, led by Killian’s own personal version of frontier justice; siding with Gizmo turned it into a filthy rich but morally bankrupt den of sin. In the final release, though, the outcomes had been forcibly changed to provide a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ ending, wherein Killian enforces just law and increases prosperity or Gizmo simply increases his own wealth before choking to death on a chunk of Iguana-on-a-stick.
Posted by Brother None - at 2:35 - Friday, May 10, 2013
In other news, they have a logo poll up on their forums. Go vote.
Other tidbits come from twitter. Chris Keenan.
We are kicking the inventory screens ass right now! Will hopefully be ready to show in the next update. Usability is increasing greatly.Brian Fargo.
Today is all about music design with the brilliant @Kotowst [Mark Morgan - NMA], as we nail down the mood for the remaining areas of Wasteland 2.
We are having a great production day on Wasteland today! Lots going on...
Posted by Sander - at 2:30 - Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Nukapedia has been off the radar for quite some time, but they've managed to do a few cool things. Most notably, they've managed to get Chris Avellone to talk to them about post-apocalyptic settings, designing Dead Money and a few other topics in a Google Hangout. Unfortunately they managed to not put it up on YouTube, which means we can't embed it here for you. Sorry about that.
The other significantly less cool thing they did was get Erik Dellums to talk to them about his role in Fallout 3. He doesn't sound familiar, you say? He played Three Dog. Yeah. So, give that a whirl if you want.
Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 20:06 - Saturday, April 27, 2013
InXile CEO Brian Fargo has been doing some kind of PR tour recently, giving out interviews for various websites, focusing mostly on Wasteland 2 and Kickstarter in general. Nothing new, but I'm sure they'll still be worth a read for some.
Games have the potential to address serious issues. BioShock addressed libertarianism and Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, while Spec Ops: The Line painted video game violence in a completely different light from normal, run-of-the-mill first person shooters. Is Wasteland 2 going to approach any difficult, or even political, topics?GamesIndustry:
The main purpose of Wasteland 2 is not to tackle the big questions. It’s primarily a game about having wild and dangerous adventures in a post-apocalyptic world, and, in the tradition of the first game, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Having said that, post-apocalyptic worlds have always been great venues for satire of the contemporary world, and we can’t resist taking broad potshots at our society’s obsessions and foibles as we create the various towns and people our rangers meet along the way.
The residents of the wasteland are rebuilding society from scratch, and because they don’t know much about the past, they’re pretty much making it up as they go along. Just about every form of society is being tried out, from theocracy to meritocracy to dictatorship to democracy to the-one-with-the-biggest-gun wins. What could be more fun than poking every one of those systems with a sharp stick?
The Kickstarter method is preferable, according to Fargo. "Our game certainly has less risk because it's being pre-ordered," Fargo notes. "I specifically make the game for that audience, and then I let the chips fall where they may. I think people that like roleplaying games are going to love it. Some people say, 'How do you make it for the younger generation,' and I don't think about that. I'm just going to make something that's smart and intelligent, nuanced, and the audience will figure it out."EDGE:
The ideal situation for Fargo, assuming Wasteland II and Torment do well, is to continue to do RPGs that are interesting. "I don't want to be in a situation where we finish Wasteland II and I have to hurry up and get Wasteland III out the door. I don't ever want to be in that situation," Fargo said. "You do a sequel when you have the right idea." In other words, do a sequel because you want to, not because you have to.
And so finally, on March 13, 2012, Fargo cut out the middlemen and went directly to the thousands of fans who’d spent more than two decades asking for a game that publishers didn’t seem interested in. Turning to the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, Fargo and his team at inXile gambled that they could source the million dollars needed to fund Wasteland 2 by appealing to the players rather than the suits – with Fargo even offering up $100,000 of his own cash if the pool only made it to $900,000. In the end, the Kickstarter closed at three times that amount, raking in $2,933,252 in 30 days. “Ironically, I am fortunate that no publisher picked the game up,” he says, “since [it’s now] being created with the right sensibilities in mind.”GamesRadar:
Those sensibilities will look pleasantly familiar to gamers au fait with Interplay’s back catalogue, because Wasteland 2 shares the same key ingredients as its RPG cousins from the ’90s, namely a rich universe and a deep script. And although he makes a point of playing most new games on release, Fargo regrets that this style of game-making appears to have fallen out of fashion in many current-generation RPGs.
“One sees less of this style of game [because] the newer RPGs use large cinematic pieces or spoken dialogue at every turn,” he says. “In our case, we craft these games up to the last minute… [That’s not easy] if you already have 20 million dollars’ [worth] of prerendered cutscenes.”
Delivering on promises is important to Fargo. With crowd-funding schemes like Kickstarter, players fund projects based on what they expect them to deliver. Deviate from that, and you risk angering the people who are bankrolling you. But what happens when you get into a Mass Effect 3 situation, where players expectations aren't met because the team wants to deliver choice - a vital component of RPGs. "Part of the problem there, as I understand it, is that they promoted the fact that your decisions could effect the ending," he says.PC Games N (focuses on Torment):
"So, you’re if you’re making a strong claim like that then you have to follow through with it. The general feeling is that they didn’t follow through with it other than you being able to choose a few different colours. I think that if you’ve committed to a principle then you need to deliver on that. However, if you as an author decided that you wanted to have an ending that goes one way or the other then that’s your prerogative. It all comes down to how you’ve communicated about what you’re going to do. So if I say that I’m going to do multiplayer, and it isn’t in the final game, then I don’t get to just say “Hey, I’m an artist. I don’t believe in multiplayer” because people might have bought your game on the understanding that there would be multiplayer."
PCGN: When you reboot these old IPs, fans often have diametrically opposed ideas about what they want the game to be. Is it a problem making sure most of your backers are satisified?
BF: Ahh, no problem at all. None! Well yeah, I mean, it’s sort of a yes and a no. You’re right, not only are you trying to build a product, you’re trying to build a product that’s often based upon their memory of what it was, and not even what it actually was. We all get fonder of things as time passes, so I recognise that we are competing with people’s memories of those games also. Not what they actually were.
The reason I have confidence is because our communication is much tighter than it’s ever been before. Back in the days when we worked on Wasteland or Fallout of Planescape: Torment, we would work on these games in a vaccum and then hope we nailed it. We’d realease it and keep our fingers crossed. Kickstarter is anything but that, we’re in this constant communication, showing them things and reacting and modifying and dialling it in. We have our own sensibilities too, we know what pillars we’re going to hit and those aren’t going to change, but they know what those are and we know what those are. It allows us a greater confidence that we’re delivering against a vision.
The other part of it is that we have an amazing writing staff on this team. It’s unbelievable, you know, we’ve got Colin McComb, Pat Rothfuss, Chris Avellone. It’s an amazing team of writers, so if anybody can do it it’s these guys.
PCGN: Chris Avellone is a sort of strange, human stretch goal for this campaign. What happens if you don't hit the target to hire him? Does he just go away? [At the time of the interview, the $3.5 million stretch goal target to hire Avellone had not yet been reached]
BF: Well look, if we come up a dollar short am I not gonna do it? Of course not. We have to put the stretch goals down. There is an increased cost of bringing him aboard though, we have to take his time from Obsidian, that costs a lot, and then we have to create whatever it is that he builds. It’s fine that it comes from his mind, but now we’ve got to possibly do more work and art and so on, so it’s not just pure writing. But yeah, if obviously we’re right there, we’re not going to get ridiculous about it.
Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 19:50 - Tuesday, April 23, 2013
It's been a while since we got an update on Wasteland 2's development, but luckily for us, the inXile team served us with one just recently. Aside from a brief report on the state of development, it offers a fairly in-depth look at the weapon progression system they've planned, and how it'll differ from the original's title:
What sort of weapons are at my disposal?
Hello everyone my name is Devin Morrow and I am a combat designer here at inXile Entertainment. I have been asked by the powers that be (read: Chris Keenan, our production director) to introduce myself as well as provide to you, our generous fans and backers, a little insight into our current weapons design progress and philosophy.
This is my first time, so please be gentle.
In the original Wasteland and many other RPG’s, there is a clear weapon progression. As you worked your way through the game, weapons like the handgun became less effective in favor of the larger weapons. While this makes some sense it does limit the ability of a player to choose their favorite weapon type for thematic or role playing purposes. It’s hard to play the part of a wasteland gunslinger when you had to ditch your trusty M1911A1 pistol for an AK-97 because the damage just wasn’t cutting it anymore. In Wasteland 2, we want to give back a little more control to the player over how their characters are built and how they progress. This is something we have heard the community echo many times in conversation and on the forums, so it’s nice to know we are on the right track.
With that in mind, Wasteland 2’s weapons are divided into a number of classes, each with their own progression. We’ve created a system where if you invest into pistols, you can use them from start to finish and be effective throughout. The same thing goes for sniper rifles, sub machine guns, blunt weapons, bladed weapons, brawling weapons, anti-tank, demolitions, energy weapons, and rifles (list subject to change™). We even took this a step further and allowed more specific, thematic progression within the classes. For instance, we have a range of revolvers from starting equipment up to end-game death dealers that are all part of the handgun class/skill. The same is true for semi-automatic pistols if they are more to your taste. Do you like bolt-action or semi-automatic sniper rifles? One-handed or two-handed melee weapons? How about rockets or grenade launchers? Not to worry, we have something for all of you!
That’s not to say that each of these weapons will be as effective as the others in every combat situation. A core design tenet that spans all systems we’re creating has been one of “the trade-off”. We applied this to the weapons system by creating a defined role for each class. Most of these roles you will pick up on quickly. SMGs aren’t as accurate as rifles, don’t shoot as far, and don’t hit as hard or penetrate armor as easily. They do however put out a respectable amount of lead, have the advantage of using pistol rounds which are in greater supply, and require less Action Points to move with. A fast character can be devastating with a SMG, quickly closing in and unloading on an enemy where the accuracy penalty is drastically reduced. On a lightly armored enemy, the damage per action point will be much higher with a SMG versus a rifle (of the same approximate level). Anti-Tank weapons fire and reload slowly, will reduce your character’s speed in combat and are expensive to use, but will do massive damage to a large area. Just make sure you don’t have rangers standing behind your rocket-propelled grenade or the back blast might take them out too.
To keep things fun and allow a little flexibility to the system, we have incorporated weapons within each category that blur the lines between different roles. The perfect example of this is the D18 (totally not the Glock 18) automatic pistol. While not as effective at being a SMG as an SMG, it does allow the player heavily invested in handgun skills a little more flexibility in roles. Some other examples are the shotgun shell firing revolver and the .55 caliber WW2 anti-tank rifle.
Before I go I want to thank the community at Ranger Center. The “Weapons you would like to see in Wasteland 2” thread is one of the largest threads in our forums. You have been a great resource of creativity. I also think you’ll all be pretty happy with the weapon lists we have compiled. We have done our best to incorporate as many of the serious, real world fire arms as we could while still leaving room for some of the crazier suggestions as well (I’m looking at you, welded-together double SMGs). I will hopefully be back soon with an update on our weapon and ammo crafting/upgrade/mod systems and other assorted goodies. Until then please keep the flood of ideas and feedback coming, I assure you we are listening.
Posted by Tagaziel - at 13:33 - Sunday, April 21, 2013
As The Vault reports, Joel Burgess (lead world designer) has recently published a transcript of his Game Developers' Conference presentation focusing on the level design philosophy of Bethesta Game Studios.
Co-written and co-presented with Nathan Purkeypile (world artist), it provides insight into how Bethesda develops their environments and the principles lying at the foundation of their work:
There are two points to make here. The first and most obvious: this approach allows a small number of artists to support a much larger team of designers, who can in turn generate a lot more content than those two artists otherwise could. The example provided by Skyrim shows just how effective this approach can be, when only two artists were required to provide the core art behind so much content.Link: Skyrim's Modular Level Design on Joel Burgess' blog.
The second, less-obvious point is the more important one, however. Think of the other 80 people in that team photograph. Because such a relatively small group was able to handle the dungeon component of the game, it allowed the rest to focus on the myriad other needs of the game, whether it was landscaping the massive world, writing and scripting the many quests, contributing to character art and animation, working in the guts of our game code.
Of course, there’s another reason that Skyrim had only two full-time kit artists; kits are really complicated things to work on. Kits require not only the artistic ability to produce high quality visuals, but also a technical competency in their art tool, a deep understanding of the editor and design workflow, and so on. This unique blend of left and right brain is somewhat at odds with what many art professionals value. I've worked with great artists who make excellent kits but hate working on them - so they don't.
So when you’re trying to identify somebody with the the aptitude and interest to be a great kit artist, you’re basically looking for a unicorn. They're rare.
Thanks, The Vault.
Posted by Brother None - at 17:52 - Sunday, April 14, 2013
Kotaku has a pretty interesting piece up about how the games industry uses Metacritic, and why it's not a good thing. This New Vegas example shouldn't be news to people though the amount cited is.
Perhaps you've heard the story: publisher Bethesda was due to give developer Obsidian a bonus if their post-apocalyptic RPG averaged an 85 on Metacritic, the review aggregation site. It got an 84 on PC and Xbox 360, and an 82 on PS3.
“If only it was a stable product and didn't ship with so many bugs, I would've given New Vegas a higher score,” wrote a reviewer for the website 1up, which gave New Vegas a B, or 75 on Metacritic's scale.
“It's disappointing to see such an otherwise brilliant and polished game suffer from years-old bugs, and unfortunately our review score for the game has to reflect that,” said The Escapist's review, which gave the game an 80.
If New Vegas had hit an 85, Obsidian would have gotten their bonus. And according to one person familiar with the situation who asked not to be named while speaking to Kotaku, that bonus was worth $1 million. For a team of 70 or so, that averages out to around $14,000 a person. Enough for a cheap car. Maybe a few mortgage payments.
-Wasteland 2 portrait art
-Gameranx ranks top 10 post-apocalyptic games of all time
-Bethesda on Fallout 4's E3 absence
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
-Fallout 4 Rumors: Trailer shown at E3?
Monday, June 17, 2013
-New Vegas cut material info
Friday, June 14, 2013
-The Last of Us released to great reviews and bugs
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
-FOnline 2238 - "The end is nigh" and Mod Database
Saturday, June 1, 2013
-Project Brazil mod for New Vegas released
Friday, May 31, 2013
-Newest Wasteland 2 update includes a look at the inventory
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
-Reinstall: Fallout 2
-AMA Q&A with Brian Fargo and Chris Avellone
-Wasteland 2 Interview with Chris Avellone and Brian Fargo
-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 v4.0.2
-Fallout1 Hi-Res Patch v4.0.2
-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
-Fallout Script Editor 1.5a
-Mission Mojave Fixpack
-Garden Of Eden Creation Kit
-The Weapon Mod Menu
-The Mod Configuration Menu
-Interior Lighting Overhaul
-Weapon Mods Expanded
-Dog City Denver
Older news articles can be found over here.
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