Fallout 3 writing editorial

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by WorstUsernameEver, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. sea

    sea Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 5, 2009
    Megaton is a shanty town built around an unexploded nuclear bomb. Nobody before seemed to realize "holy shit that is a terrible idea you guys, we should run away!", nope, let's just build our town around a source of deadly radiation that could go off at any moment and kill everyone.

    Tenpenny Tower is a gigantic hotel suite in the middle of fucking nowhere. It services "rich" people. Why are they rich? Considering that nobody in the wasteland produces anything, including food, clothing, any sort of manufactured goods, and indeed, does not even seem to have a real functioning economy, it makes absolutely no sense for there to be any "rich" people at all. Who maintains this hotel? How do they get supplies out in the middle of nowhere?

    Rivet City makes the most sense because as an abandoned aircraft carrier it's an easily defensible location. Even so, there is absolutely nothing interesting that happens there - it's full of boring NPCs and the quests there involve trying to stop an old man from committing suicide, and helping a young woman rape a man and then guilt trip him into marrying her. Brilliant.

    No, it's a bad idea period. Why is purifying the water of the wasteland so important when everyone seems to be able to get along just fine? Has anyone tried using rainwater instead of toilet water? There seems to be tons of 200-year-old food everywhere to eat so why would anyone bother with agriculture, which is the only reason one can really justify the need for purified water? If you wanted to purify the water of the entire wasteland then why in the name of fuck would you build your purifier in a river basin? Wouldn't building portable personal-sized purifiers be more convenient than shipping water out throughout the entire wasteland? Didn't daddy Neeson just say that he got the purification technology working on a small scale, so he could already do this if he wasn't a fucking moron?

    Do you see now how this shit is stupid beyond belief and completely contradicts the core details of the setting and universe that Bethesda themselves established?
  2. woo1108

    woo1108 Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 27, 2012
    Plus sacrifice from TES 4.

    Use ship as a city was used at Fallout2 in san francisco, though it was poorly used.
    So I don't think rivet city was cool.
    I hate it because it confuse me.
  3. Kwiatmen666

    Kwiatmen666 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Aug 28, 2006
    I just wish Todd Howards read this...

    But again from what I can deduce from interviews and other Youtube films with him, I think he would just say something like "oh-kayyyy... did you read reviews of Falliut 3? did you see the scores? people buy it - means they like it!"

    Sad, really.
  4. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    It seems that a lot of locations have a neat core idea, but instead of fleshing them out and thinking about consequences the design team just went for the next location.
    Megaton is based on a "cool" but stupid idea. Scrap the bomb and you have Junktown, which is a cool thing. Add some farms and Megaton would have been fine. Ok, the name would have made no sense without the bomb.
    Rivet City, again, desperately need a whole lot of shanty towns around it with farms. How the hell can Rivet City be the only supplier of edible food if they don't produce anything anywhere? Put greenhouses on the top, at least. Have a food source that is easily defensible.
    Tenpenny Tower is just bullshit. Well, maybe again as some sort of caste-society with the rich living in the tower and the poor in slums around it. But that trope would quickly be overused.
  5. sea

    sea Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 5, 2009
    Congratulations, you are now officially too smart to work at Bethesda.
  6. Sobboth

    Sobboth It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Aug 29, 2010
    @woo1108, of course it's "just" my opinion, what a stupid and much too common internet comment.
    @sea unable to read ?
    Of course Megatown is stupid as it is, easy to make it somewhat more logic : they discover the bomb much later once the town is built.
    Same thing with Tempeny Tower : just say it was an hotel builded by a paranoid billionaire and destined to be self-sufficient, add an underground level with hydro phonic culture and common goods machinery (and make it not "visitable"if you don't want to add new graphics like the Vault).
    As for Rivet City you say exactly the same things as me, good location/idea awful implementation.
    And for the rest i just say the same... gamebreacking stupid thing, learn to read damnit instead of reacting like....
    But almost nothing hard to correct.
    And the GECK thing is a so fucking brillant idea to begin with...
  7. warsaw

    warsaw Still Mildly Glowing

    Dec 1, 2008
    I can see Megaton working if the town actually used the bomb for something other than worshiping. Maybe as a power resource, maybe the radiation produces some form of edible plant life or fungus, or if a majority of the population was mutant (the radiation being a healing factor). Disabling it would be a gray area as the inhabitants would no longer have that resource.

    Tenpenny Tower could work if the mutants trying to get in to it actually lived in Megaton, giving reason for Tenpenny wanting it gone. The rich lifestyle could be played off as a facade to reinforce Tenpenny's blind arrogance, the true resource simply being protection from the outside world. Hell, maybe he secretly enslaves mutants to make the lavish clothing he and the other inhabitants wear.
  8. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    A town of radiation mutants living around an irradiated bomb. That's fucking genius. Bethesda has just now transformed from the game developer of missed opportunities into the evil god of vengeful idea destroying.
  9. warsaw

    warsaw Still Mildly Glowing

    Dec 1, 2008
    That's okay. I'm sure they'll reuse it for Fallout 4, and include a quest where some smooth skins wanna genocide them (it being a good thing, because hey, that radiation is polluting our downstream water supply).
  10. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Even if you, or others "can" enjoy it, doesnt mean it has not some very serious flaws, or that it could not be done a lot better. Even as far as Morrowind goes which was one of the better Beth games out there.

    Because of this
    Thing is, Bethesda CAN even do it, they are capable of doing it, they have somewhere the skill - as seen in Skyrim with a few characters. Sure they have not be super deep like in Planescape or what ever. But thats not even needed. But Paarthurnax was a character with decent writings and motivations. I would say "good" even.

    Not to mention there are even ways how to clean watter from radiation I think since water for it self can not emit radiation but rather the particles inside the water (might be wrong with that though!).

    Instead they should have either made an story completely about the GECK or something. Oh wait ... we had that one as well already ...
  11. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    Wasteland had an atomic cult living in a power plant and turning into "radangels".
  12. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Fallout Tactics had also the cult around an nuclear bomb, ghuls which worhiped it calling it plutonius

    The idea for it selt though, if I remember right was also part of the old Planet of the Apes movie, with mutated and iratediated humans that worshiped some kind of doom-device. A single bomb that could destroy the whole world.
  13. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    So another Fallout 2 quest rehash?
    Maybe we should do a big NMA-community-effort to make some kind of Megamod for Fallout 3. "NMA's big shit-fixing shitfixer for Fallout 3. Now fixes more shit!"
    Ok, that would basically be a major overhaul of every location, a complete remake of the mainquest and more bugfixing than humanly possible.
    But hey, the Bethboys would finally stop crying about how we at NMA do nothing but complain :D
  14. Muff

    Muff Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    May 5, 2006
    I toyed with the idea of a mod making use of that bomb and Burke, that would go something like this:

    Burke approaches you and says something like "Hey, Mr Resourceful, come over here I have a well paying job!"
    He needs a group of men to relocated the bomb, so you find a gang of people willing to move the bomb for money any place you ask. This also involves talking the nutter worshipping it into allowing you to move it to a new "Place of worship".
    So after a few more fetch an carrys (this is FO3 after all), your able to move the bomb now you have a choice stay with Burke and see what he wants to do with the bomb, or take the money an be on your way.

    Path 1 would involve you travelling to Little Lamplight, and giving the kids a BIG present!, then walking away to a safe distance and have the choice of pressing the button and having the satisfaction of nuking that place off the map.

    Path 2 would involve you walking round the little lamplight area some point later in the game, seeing a bright flash and a smouldering bunch of toys land around you.
  15. Gnarles Bronson

    Gnarles Bronson regular mutant

    Oct 30, 2011
    I hate the whole "but what do they eat?" argument. It's boring. Only the nittiest 1% of gamers are really going to be offended that their aren't any farms.

    It also detracts the focus away from what's really important, story and gameplay.

    If fallout three had an engrossing story and sweet gameplay adventures (which it didn't) then who cares if there are no farms?
  16. BonusWaffle

    BonusWaffle Still Mildly Glowing

    Mar 6, 2013
    I agree with you to a point. Games like borderlands can be good without making any sense whatsoever, A games purpose above all is to entertain you. My only problem with fallout three is that its part of a genre that should have internal consistency and make some sense. To me its like playing a tactical shooter and suddenly having a magical dragon come down and breath fire all over you. Its stupid and annoying.
  17. Zumbs

    Zumbs Lurking Swamp Thing

    Oct 11, 2008
    Because an engrossing story and a well thought out setting go hand in hand.

    Considering how the creatures inhabiting your world gets their basic needs (food, clothes, shelter) covered will often give some good ideas for the dynamics and conflicts of your world. This, in turn, gives a number of interesting stories where the player will have to navigate between the different groups in the world. It does not have to be food alone. Between the powers of the real world, the battle for access to resources, e.g. oil or gold, has been a constant dynamo powering conflict and alliance upon conflict and alliance.
  18. Muff

    Muff Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    May 5, 2006
    In a first person shooter, I will agree that where they get the food from is not a concern as the only consumables you have are Ammunition and Med kits, but in a Roll playing game it matters but on a sliding scale of importance, farms or how people live is part of the world your supposed to be part of that world while playing so it matters where your getting your food from. It adds to the sense of immersion in the world you are playing in and to the depth of that world.
  19. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    I always thought that this is where the idea originates from. Mutant humans worshiping the Alpha-Omega bomb in the second Planet of the Apes movie.
  20. sea

    sea Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 5, 2009
    You are not going to tempt me into writing another essay right now, but I'll give you the short version.

    The engagement of the audience in a work of fiction (or in fact, just about any literary work) is the result of a contract between the audience and the author. This contract is effectively an agreement wherein the author establishes the rules of the world, the tone of the work and the themes at hand. The audience enters into the contract in the assumption that the work will adhere to its fundamental rules, themes and tone throughout, with reasonable amounts of deviation if justified.

    The reason why a question like "what do they eat" is important isn't because I care about what people eat in the Fallout universe. The reason it matters is because the authors of the work are trying to present a realistic, credible and logically consistent world which has parallels with our own and deviations mostly in the form of technology, not in the form of basic things like human physiology, elementary physics and so on.

    By ignoring this question, and many other questions, and not substituting plausible answers, Bethesda have violated the very contract they established with the audience. Furthermore they are working with an existing intellectual property so that too brings with it certain expectations that the audience expects the new work in that series to adhere to.

    When people pose the question about "what do they eat" they're not necessarily poking holes in this specific issue - rather they are highlighting the lack of basic plausibility of the work. Because the work does not take pains to logically answer questions which arise from the particularities of its authorial contract, the audience cannot take that contract seriously anymore. The audience loses faith in the work.

    To draw an analogue, there is something in writing known as "sympathy." Most writers consider sympathetic writing to be bad writing, because it is writing that does not actually get the audience to feel emotions through creating plausible, interesting characters they care about. Rather it draws parallels to stock emotions and effectively says "well, it's sad when a child gets hurt, so if my story has children getting hurt, people will care about it and feel sad." This obviously misses the fundamental point of why this is sad to begin with - and the answer is, the audience cares because the author has made an effort to create characters which we can believe in.

    The same is true of consistency of setting. Creating settings where the rules make no sense and are violated or changed simply to tell the story makes it impossible to care about anything that is happening in that setting. Since the contract can be altered by the author at any time, the audience has no way of forming expectations and anticipation about how the story or setting works and will proceed - therefore we can't believe in what we are being told.

    Let's put it another way. You're playing a board game, Scrabble, with a friend. Your friend carefully explains how to play the game to you, and you understand the rules. You begin playing, and your friend plays by the rules sometimes - but other times, she puts the letters where she's not supposed to, makes up words that don't exist, takes extra turns and ignores the turn timer, etc. You wouldn't say "oh well, nobody cares about the rules in Scrabble anyway." You'd say "hey, you're cheating, stop that!" and after a certain threshold you'd likely stop playing the game altogether, because you no longer hold faith in your friend to follow her own rules.

    Remember when I mentioned above that deviation can be allowed if justified? That's important. For everyone, there will be a degree to which the author can bend his or her own rules - this is different from person to person. For example, maybe you're playing Scrabble and your friend lets you take another turn or pick out the exact letter you need because you're losing. This doesn't violate the contract you've created because you both agree that it is fair in the context of the situation; you make an exception to the rule, but you don't overthrow the rules. For some players, this particular exception is totally fine if it maintains the integrity and fun of the game; for others, it is inexcusable and ruins the entire point of the game.

    Plot holes themselves don't make a bad story. What makes a bad story is when the problems in it cause the audience to abandon the authorial contract. Plot holes can be overlooked, justified or ignored if the consistency of the work overall is not affected, because the audience wants the story to work. By failing to adhere to the logic of its own world, characters and story, Fallout 3 becomes a pathetic farce and its sympathetic attempts at provoking emotion (i.e. you care about dad because he's your dad; when he dies you are sad because he is your dad) fall flat at best, and at worst are even comical because the audience cannot take them seriously anymore.