Bethesda Vs Black Isle/Obsidian

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Ziggy Stardust, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Space Alien

    Jul 24, 2018
    Bethesda is good at creating atmosphere, cinematic moments, and environments. Obsidian is better at creating compelling stories. Thoughts?
  2. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    Implying Obsidian can't create good enviroments and atmosphere. I much prefer the enviroments and atmosphere in New Vegas compared to anything in Fallout 3 and 4.

    What cinematic moments? Those lifeless, stiffly animated "cutscenes" because Gamebryo is a terrible engine?
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  3. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Space Alien

    Jul 24, 2018
    Cinematic Moments:
    The Brotherhood ship flying over fort hagen
    The Megaton bomb exploding
    Leaving Vault 101 for the first time

    Lets compare this to obsidian's cinematic moments. Here's the entrance to the central base for the largest faction in the area

    No music as you enter, nothing. There was another massive missed opportunity with entering Nipton for the first time and seeing all of those men crucified. It would have been so epic if we didn't already know exactly what was going to happen from the hour long intro of exposition which was totally unnecessary.
    And when it comes to atmosphere? How about the happy blues music juxtaposed with the harsh realities of the wasteland, or the skeletons lying outside of vault 101 carrying signs asking to be let in. If that isn't atmosphere I don't know what is.

    Again I love Fallout NV no offense, just trying to be constructive,
  4. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    For two of the easily worst moments in RPG history. The former for one of the stupidest quests ever made and another for remembrance of one of the worst intros ever concieved in RPG history. The Brotherhood of Steel one is alright, i guess. Still makes you wonder why is BoS in another Fallout game, again.

    Nipton worked in a fantastic way. You enter it, then you see a guy running up to you, screaming that he won the lottery. You wonder what lottery he won. Then you turn left and just see people crucified. It didn't needed any music or a cutscene, it just showed the brutality of what happened there.

    Fallout 3 didn't allowed any atmosphere for me because of the sheer stupidity of the world design. Every corner i would see something idiotic that would break my immersion. It was either terrible location placement, not showing where people even get their food but are somehow alive, rubble everywhere making everyone look like lazy assholes and other things. Can't really get into the atmosphere if it constantly shatters my suspension of disbelief.
  5. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I don't want to be that asshole ... but this is kinda the wrong forum section.
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  6. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Space Alien

    Jul 24, 2018
    I'm saying they could have made it much better if we didn't know before hand that there were going to be a bunch of cooks in costumes. In fact, I don't even know how the beginning introduction even got into the game. What happened to show not tell?

    You are very correct about that. Don't worry about being an asshole... nothing you could possibly do could compare to the last moderator I had to deal with. I am a bit of a n00b though so idk how to move it into a different forum or if I can at all.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2018
  7. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I think you can't and you havn't got the chance to get in touch with all our moderators yet :).
  8. Risewild

    Risewild Half-way Through My Half-life
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    It's not that Obsidian is bad at "cinematic", it's that Obsidian didn't know how to use the engine creation kit. They only had one guy that knew about it to come by from time to time to teach them stuff. Not to mention they also didn't have time to even finish the game.

    While we fiddle around in Fallout New Vegas engine, we see a lot of mistakes Obsidian made, stuff that was obvious they had no idea how to use properly and other stuff they actually broke. It is obvious that they were at a level of understanding the tools as an average modder, not even a good modder.

    But they did manage to also polish the engine in other areas, and I have no doubt that if Obsidian had gotten twice as much the time they had to make Fallout New Vegas, the engine would have been polished way more and stuff they broke had been instead fixed and improved.

    Remember, Obsidian had less than half the time (18 months) to make FNV as Bethesda had to make Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 (both had 4 years). They also had never used gamebryo engine or it's tools and didn't have any extra time to learn, all they got was one guy that would come by their offices or send an email from time to time to teach Obsidian how to use them.

    Now, why do I know Obsidian is not bad at "cinematic"? Because if you go through the list of games they made, most of them have awesome cinematic, so awesome that Bethesda can't really compare with them.
    Games like SW:KOTOR 2, Neverwinter Nights 2, Alpha Protocol, Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2, Tyranny and even games that use mostly 2D images to make "animations" still have good "cinematics" for what is possible using those visual genres, like South Park The Stick of Truth or Pathfinder Adventures.
    Hell, even Fallout New Vegas Intro is more "cinematic" than most stuff we see in Fallout 3 for example.

    Obsidian is one of the most "cinematic" PC game studios around, as we can see by the games I named.

    Damn, I sound like a fanboy, and I actually don't like Obsidian as a company, and don't like many of their games either... :confused:
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  9. Pwener

    Pwener Tunnelers? They Don't Sound That Tough...

    Aug 15, 2017

    Not have your character be the center of the universe by having you be an espectator to everything that happens in the Mojave with artificially crafted scenes. In New Vegas YOU ARE NOT THE PROTAGONIST and that's what I love about it. You know when you become the main character? When you disable Mr. House and install Yes Man to take over yourself. At that point you become one of the main factions and thus a main character. Until then, the conflict and factions are the main protagonists.

    People like Benny, Caesar and Mr. House are the protagonists. You're just along for the ride. But the world goes on without you. Sure, they say they need you, but the war would solve itself eventually one way or the other - with or without you. Contrast this to Fallout 1's "find the chip" and "stop the mutants." Or Fallout 2's "find the GECK" and "stop the Enclave." But in New Vegas there is no great quest or mission. There is no definitive bad guy the game points to. You got shot, find out why. From there it's all up to you to make up who the villains and heroes are.

    If the game sets you up to save the world it's also telling you who the villain is and that breaks the narrative New Vegas sets for itself. Does someone tell you to go after Benny? Does someone tell you to join a specific faction? No, it doesn't. And it shouldn't need to.

    Having "moments," which is what you're describing, would run contrary to New Vegas' idea of you being just another soul in a sea of souls. Plus, having there be especially crafted scenes just for you to look at would make the world feel, as I said above, artificial. That's my opinion.
  10. Squadcar

    Squadcar A Smooth-Skin

    Jun 1, 2018
    Well said. This is exactly what OP is talking about. I don't understand how Obsidian/Black Isle does lesser than Bethesda with atmosphere or environments. Places like Nipton and New Reno were good environments.
    Or how most of the towns either dev made had a food source visible or explained somewhere. A bunch of 200+ year old skeletons clutching items and puking in toilets doesn't tell me that much about the environment, not like a quest that starts with me experiencing crime in New Reno on my first trip there or kids pickpocketing me in the Den.
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  11. FDO

    FDO First time out of the vault

    Jul 4, 2018
    You are half right. New vegas doesn't have a 'save the world' rope, and the player character introduction is better than in Fallout 1 and 2. Two points superior when they are well done.

    You are exagerating the rest though. The game expect the player to do things in order for the world to move on, exactly like in the previous games, minus the main quest time limit of Fallout 1. It doesn't move on without you. You can always imagine it would if there was no Courrier, and be right but it's not what moving without you is meaning.
    I could quote a few games that aren't rpg but one will do.
    The last express. Ever played this? There the world really move without you, and being a adventure game, doing nothing is very bad to say the least.

    In rpg and most games, most of the time, the world is just waiting for you, making you de facto the center of the universe and it is only up to you to play coherently enough so it doesn't look like it is the case. If you don't, well you can just sit in Goodsprings for months and Vulpes will still just have destroyed Nipton right before you conveniently show up there. The Khans will just have been cornered by NCR troops at Boulder City. Benny, Caesar, mr House, Crooker and so on won't have made any further moves either. You can start side quests supposetly pressing for npcs, yet if you disappear without news for a month, well they just wait and it's like they gave you the job yesterday, they didn't try to hire someone else or found the time to think of a other approach to their problems, nothing. Everything just wait for you and only your playstyle can make it look like it's not like that.

    Even the endings showing the post end world are like that. One joe or jane, potentially helped by one other and a robot can deal with the fiends but no one else can/could?
    The NCR have a attack plan, supposetly imminent to retake the prison from the powder gangers, yet none of this plan even try to happen if the player mostly stay away from the gangers after Goodsprings?
    On note, I love how they look like they are posing for the photo in that ending slide.
    Not gonna run through all endings I saw, you get the point.

    Finally, don't get me wrong here. I am not saying they could have easily done better giving time and ressources limits, ect. It would be a entire new game to really make the world moving without you and I know that because it is what I am doing in a Fallout 2 engine mod I am working on.

    New Vegas is good, I am playing it obviously, so it can't be bad.
  12. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    He's right though. The Battle of Hoover Damn will happen REGARDLESS if you do anything. It's inevitable. The only thing you can is influence the outcome, but the battle will happen.

    There are two contexts here: gameplay wise and story wise. Gameplay wise of course nothing happens if you do nothing because then there would be no game. But story wise, it will happen regardless if you do anything. Of course the latter can't happen gameplay wise because like i said, no game would happen if it actually happened in gameplay context.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
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  13. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust Space Alien

    Jul 24, 2018
    That's definitely a valid point. Bethesda really didn't provide them with the technical help they needed, and when they are given an opportunity to work with their own tools, there are some moments that definitely shine. For example, the intro to Fallout one excellently juxtaposed the murders that the enclave committed with some campy song from the fourties, and the unveiling of the Vault 113 Jumpsuit chained up at the end of the temple of trials was absolutely amazing. I think the thing is that Bethesda operates best when they can control the circumstances of the story and leave less to the imagination, whereas Obsidian is better when the player is in complete control of their past. As much as I love Bethesda, it was kind of a dick move to leave obsidian practically clueless.
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  14. Risewild

    Risewild Half-way Through My Half-life
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Yeah, Bethesda unfortunately doesn't seem to work well with external studios in that regard.

    Another example is that testing and QA was contractually to be made by Bethesda. But they didn't do much of it. Then everyone blamed Obsidian for a very buggy game at release.

    That is why Obsidian now has a very rigorous QA clause in their contracts with publishers:
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  15. FDO

    FDO First time out of the vault

    Jul 4, 2018
    This can be said for any game, and for more events than Hoover Dam in Vegas, or the master and enclave plans in Fallout. It's not a world moving without you situation.
    Even Planescape Torment which is very main character centric would go on if the player's incarnation turned out the 'lazy one' and just decide to ignore Morte in order to remain at the morgue, and take a big nap or something.

    The world move when it really does in gameplay, not when a story show it would because any story does that. Let's take two examples from games which simulate what I mean.
    In The last express, the time really goes on without you, and so are the other characters and game events. You can miss content, and story details at best, have a game over at worst.

    In Gabriel Knight 3, it's a different approach. Time don't really go without you, but some events and characters do, so you can miss content easily without risking a game over. Plus, some player's actions eventually make a day's segment progress, until the end of each day. The difference with most games is that these actions aren't obviously the time's progressing events, you get no warning and the game don't hold your hand at all on that. The result give a other kind of world's moving without you phenomenon.

    Now, such concepts might seem impossible to apply to a rpg, especially a open world but I don't think so. Only like I said, it would be entire new games to rewrite a Fallout this way. I woudn't even try for Fallout 2 and Vegas, these games are too big. Fallout 1 might work but it's main quest time limits and overall straightness would make it not so necessary, it's already well design in it's way.
  16. Lone Cat

    Lone Cat It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Apr 8, 2012
    Bring back good ol' days! I'd say Black Isle's old gang--Obsidian

    So did the Obsidian lost any interest in Fallout universe and they didn't propose any F4-based Westcoast Fallout games?
  17. MPPlantOfficial

    MPPlantOfficial Still Mildly Glowing

    Aug 24, 2017
    You're talking putting back together a couple of people who've long moved on in life. Much as I'd like the same to happen with Team Silent (of Silent Hill 1-4) that's NOT gonna happen.
  18. Risewild

    Risewild Half-way Through My Half-life
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Obsidian expressed interest in making more Fallout games.
    But, just recently Todd Howard said that Bethesda will not let outsider studios work on Fallout again (unless something unpredictable happens in the future). His reasoning is that they are a big enough studio now to do everything "in house".
    I will keep beating the dead horse and say that they only let Obsidian work on Fallout New Vegas, so they would bankrupt Obsidian. Which they almost succeed. :falloutonline:
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  19. Lone Cat

    Lone Cat It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Apr 8, 2012
    That's a rude conclusion of westcoast story arc! Beth loves eastcoast toooooooooooooooooooo much, but why they began eastcoast arc 200 years AFTER the bombs fell and not only 5-10 years AFTER F2?
  20. TorontRayne

    TorontRayne This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    By they you really mean Zenimax. That is something they would do. Bethesda just makes games.