Emil Pagliarulo on Writing for Fallout 4

Discussion in 'Fallout 4' started by Mellow Mute, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    Todd's not alien, he's Burke.

    EDIT: Scratch that, Pete Hines is Burke.
  2. ThatZenoGuy

    ThatZenoGuy Residential Zealous Evolved Nano Organism

    Nov 8, 2016
    If you aren't supposed to kill the alien, why be given weapons which have been shown to kill aliens?

    Look, if the damned thing was a praetorian, i could accept that, they are armoured.

    Warriors/drones? 9mm handguns can take them out with good hits, yet alone shotguns and flamers.

    I feel as though they could have made the alien killable, but spawn more when you do, to penalise being a 'badass'.

    So you kill one, and the game spawns two...

    Or just remove guns...
  3. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Xenomorphs are pretty tough to kill though, even with weapons. For example they can stand the effects of space quite well, they can stand the heat of molten lead and they can even take a direct hit of 9mm weapons to the head, depending on the angle. For example in Aliens you see Vasquez shooting her pistol at an aproaching alien and the shots ricochet from the front dome. A scene before that she manages to shoot a xenomorph in the side of it's head, but not killing it simply wounding it very heavily which wounded her as well from the acid blood droping on her leg? The xenomorphs died on its wounds if I remember correctly, but it definelty didn't die right on the spot. A book based on the original movie scripts, does mention that xenomorphs have impressive regenerative abilities as well. And they do have an exoskeleton after all. You can kill them with weapons, but it's definetly not easy they can take a hell lot of punishment.

    I guess the game could have done better with weapoins, allowing the player to kill it, but making amunition really scarse and making it very difficult like by hiting the right spot for example, like the side of the head.

    With this kind of random system you could really say that at this point Bethesda introduced magic into the Fallout world. I mean it, seriously. They probably don't give a shit about it and don't see it that way, but items that do no clue? Freeze enemies? Like a random baseball bat? Or no clue upgrades that make your gun shoot two bullets for the same magazine or what ever crazy shit they came up with that makes absolutely zero sense. It's something that would work in a game like Diablo or something similar, hell even a game like Oblivion or Skyrim works better what that and something like Borderlands probably as well. But in a game like Fallout, it simply feels like magic.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  4. BigGuyCIA

    BigGuyCIA Mildly Dipped

    Oct 26, 2016
    That weird squid monster in Prometheus that face raped the Engineer.
  5. ThatZenoGuy

    ThatZenoGuy Residential Zealous Evolved Nano Organism

    Nov 8, 2016
    Alien Queens are hot though...
  6. Norzan

    Norzan Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Apr 7, 2017
    Not having an attention span for long dialogue in a RPG makes it sound the people at Bethesda are a bunch of hyperactive 10 year old who only care about shooting and looting with next to no context.

    Which sounds about right considering their games in the past 10 years.
  7. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    No kidding.

  8. Mellow Mute

    Mellow Mute First time out of the vault

    Apr 10, 2017
    I have missed this piece of brilliant marketing. If the face of Bethesda feels comfortable posting something of this sort, then, surely, the general agreement in the studio must be that Fallout 4 didn't need to lean on good writing and all of the changes to make walking out of a dialogue easier and skipping dialogue were made with that in mind.

    It's ridiculous to suggest that this was an improvement for the franchise, but we have to also accept that this colourful statement might have resonated with some Bethesda fans and some of the newcomers to the franchise. (after Fallout 4) It's something I mentioned in an earlier post: the reality now is that Fallout 4 brought in a lot of new players. Some of them might have no background in playing RPGs at all and for them some of these changes might be positive. In that case, Hines expressed his lack of patience/ interest in the subject, which in itself is not a problem. I am not defending the guy - I don't think he should be in charge of preserving the image of the intellectual property, because he is clearly a person who couldn't appreciate what gave value to the better games in the franchise.

    But to my knowledge, he's not really involved in any form of game design. He might have tested the game before launch and given his feedback to the designers. That's the level of influence he should have had on the design process: an opinion. I don't know how much that is worth in Bethesda. They have talked many times how used they are to working in a small team of people who really know each other. Design decisions might be made by more than one person. In any case, he couldn't have had much influence on the changes to dialogue in F4. It might have been agreed in a number of meetings early in the design stage by him and a few more people, but he's not a writer so his opinion shouldn't really hold as much weight as the one of Pagliarulo who could have disagreed with any decisions relating to his job and explained why they are don't work for the franchise. (if he was a good writer)

    Regardless, Pete Hine's job is to make even the most idiotic decisions appear advantageous. I can't blame him for doing his work. Design decisions are made by professionals and he clearly doesn't know what he's talking about. Giving the option to skip dialogue itself is not necessarily a negative change. In fact, in the case of Fallout 4's dialogue, I have found a good use for this new "function" on many occasions. Writing a dialogue worth skipping is the problem.
  9. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    We don't know how much Pete is involved in the production of the game. But since he's as far as I remember attending meetings with Todd and the other executives, I would say his voice has quite some weight. No one cares about the little programmers, level designers, concept artists etc. working on the product, because they only do what someone tells them, what matters is if Pete is one of the decision makers. And I would say, from all we know, he is. Marketing plays a huge role for Bethesda, during all of their planing phases, demographics, value of brands etc. You get it. And if someone like Pete comes rushing in explaining everyone how 'Dialog in RPGs is dead, muthafucka!', it sure caused some eyes rolling, but as long as Todd and Emil buy in to it like fat kids runing for ice cream ... it gets done ...
  10. Mellow Mute

    Mellow Mute First time out of the vault

    Apr 10, 2017
    I can imagine that meeting:

    Pete Hines: So, I watched 3 episodes of a playthrough of Fallout 3 on YouTube and that person skipped through most of the dialogue! Any suggestions?

    Todd Howard: I think the problem here is player interaction. We must make the experience of players interacting with the NPCs more dynamic. (writes down on whiteboard) Let's look at TellTale games, which people love for their interactive dialogues: What do we see? As many choices as there are buttons on the XBox controller! So intuitive! We can make it so that each of the four buttons represents a mental state of the player character. Then if you want to role play as a sracastic jerk, you can always press the A button without even thinking about it! We might even get better credit with Microsoft for providing a familiar experience to console players!

    Emil Pagliarulo: Uhhh... I like what you are thinking!
  11. naossano

    naossano Vault Fossil

    Oct 19, 2006
    • [Like] [Like] x 6
  12. 0wing

    0wing Все умрут, а я волномут

    Mar 23, 2015
    TES3's design is probably one of the most retarded things ever happened to immersive sims. (after Invisible War habbened)
    Mixing 1st person RT combat with dicerolls of TB isometric rpgs like bethesda did, and be still competent, you wot m8? Morrowind combat doesn't even have the feel of impact, FFS. If anything, combat in 1st person should at least be fast and lethal like in Deus Ex for such games, but bethesda thought otherwise. Doing only one half of the job is anything but good, honest or not. TES3 would win alot more kool kredits if it was just fucking Wizardry 8 Lone Explorefag Edition.
  13. Kohno

    Kohno Vault Dweller

    Jul 30, 2009
    What can I say? It's not a gem of design brilliance, but it plays like an RPG. If one is able to take and appreciate the abstract it demands, that is. All the combat really lacked was a visual response for hits and misses (even floating indicators for damage and *miss* would've sufficed), and possibly somekind of active targetlock mechanism to help with the doublegated (your mousehand plus the dice) targeting, nothing else.

    I managed to have fun with it despite its shortcomings because it still visibly and feelably tried, unlike Bethesda's next games.

    I don't see why that's necessary.
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  14. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    It wasn't THAT bad. I played Morrowind and I loved it, yes the combat had its issues, but it wasn't so bad that it's unplayable. I am sure it could have been done in better ways, where a critical failure wasn't just like hiting nothing, ther ecould have been a visual presentation, like the enemy avoiding your hit or something. But Fallout 3s approach was really not better in that part, even worse I would say where a low lvl raider takes 30 head shoots from a rifle because it was in poor conditions.

    The really good thing of Morrowind, was that its gameplay contained a lot of complexity and freedom for the player, so much that you could brake your game and not because of bugs or something that was wrong, no intentionaly! With potions, magic and very high skills and/or items. The trick however, was to know what works and what doesn't, the game gave you mechanics to explore. Now, everything is perfectly crafted and railroaded and when ever something crazy happens - like the potions in Skyrim - it's patched out.
  15. Mellow Mute

    Mellow Mute First time out of the vault

    Apr 10, 2017
    More importantly, Morrowind had an interesting world which looked alien but functioned in a very believable way. That was conveyed visually, something Bethesda have remained good at since then, AND through the writing, in books, in the responses that the characters had to your questions, something that Bethesda have gradually failed at more and more with every consecutive game after Morrowind. That was partly because of a design decision some time during Oblivion's development to voice every single line of dialogue and limit most of the stories the world could communicate to the player to visuals. Neatly assembling skeletons on benches and teddy bears in bathtubs is not a good way of world building. It's the cheapest way to tell a story that holds no meaning or message other than: "there were people, now they dead" in a world which seems to be filled with 95% interchangeable baddies for you to mow down and a game concept of "rebuilding the Commonwealth".

    Pagliarulo actually talks about this in the conference. Apparently they call world exposition "lore bombs", in other words, any lore that is not chewed down and digested a few times and thrown at the player in the most obvious way possible. I guess written form of lore is treated as a bad thing these days at Bethesda, since it's believed that a big portion of their player base would either ignore it or it will completely go over their heads. (and this might be true soon, since there are more and more "casual" players attracted by the company than people who can appreciate a piece of good writing)

    I have to wonder: Could design decisions like these had made a big portion of Bethesda's writers quit after Morrowind? Has anybody read/ heard anything about why those people left the company then, even when Morrowind was a success?
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  16. 0wing

    0wing Все умрут, а я волномут

    Mar 23, 2015
    I know Morrowind is popular in Russia due to it's weird and specific atmosphere and funny coincedences and correlations in lore, but what excuses 1st world does have to tolerate Bethesda being Bethesda and doing bare minimum of job when there are other good (RP)Games on the market? Reading pieces of wookiepedia during lame linear dungeon hack'n'slash was met with cold look in Oblivion and onwards.
    Literally sorts of shit cookies. Why would you remember Fallout 3 exactly?

    Would you like to to play and appreciate Goldenlands 1-2 or Lionheart, these are RPGs after all? Or there are some standarts for isometric rpgs invented?
    Among others things, such as
    -additional audio responses
    -Combos, even simpliest ones

    That just was on top of head of my penis.
    If it's shit, it's necessary.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  17. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Fast and lethal can be shit too.
  18. 0wing

    0wing Все умрут, а я волномут

    Mar 23, 2015
    At least it's fast and keeps you on your toes, Nerevarine Vuk.
  19. Kohno

    Kohno Vault Dweller

    Jul 30, 2009
    Don't know about Goldenlands, but Lionhearts problems were not how it played (my personal dislike for RtWP aside). What it did wrong was rooted more deeply in what they wanted to achieve with that game and how they managed it.

    There is blocking. The other stuff is not pivotal, just flavorful.

    Pacing and deadliness do not fix anything by themselves.
  20. 0wing

    0wing Все умрут, а я волномут

    Mar 23, 2015
    Yes, just flavour. But it's also happens that Morrowind combat is extra bad, it's in first person and requiers some player agency to win fights yet no response is given back to the player and the player can't do much shit other than swing a stick or throw projectile which is fine for isometric game but not fine if you're in full control of your character FPS-style.
    Yes, it doesn't. But being fast makes it dynamic enough not to pay attention to it that much and at least concentrate in developing better stat numbers in weapon skill of your favor to survive and prosper in popamolowind.
    No, it's because developers were so ambitious they forgot about developing a competent game and forgot about standards. Just like Bethesda.