Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Interview Todd Howard in PC Gamer

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Sol Invictus, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. Sol Invictusgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 3

    The <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/">November issue</a> of PC Gamer has a small interview with Todd Howard of Bethesda/Fallout 3 infamy that raises some hopes as to the direction of the game. Special thanks to a regular at <a href="http://www.duckandcover.cx">Duck and Cover</a> by the name of <b>brillo</b> for typing out the following interview:
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    While Bethesda is still evaluating different designs and features, Fallout 3 will undoubtedly introduce some changes to the series. Executive Producer Todd Howard wouldn’t confirm whether the franchise’s traditional isometric view and turn-based combat will be abandoned, but <b>he did point out that the strategy spin-off Fallout Tactics retained those elements and still didn’t resonate with series fans</b>. In Howard’s view: “There was so much more to Fallout than the angle you viewed it at, or how combat was resolved. You need to look at what Fallout did for RPG’s when it came out in 1997, and create a game that has the same effect for the next generation.”
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    Howard thinks the vital, mandatory elements that define Fallout games are “the overall tone and character choices. You could play Fallout in many different ways with different results. And the first game did a brilliant job of putting you in a harsh, unknown wasteland that was full of people who [hoped] humanity would survive. At it’s core, it’s a survival game.” That’s already a fitting characterization for Fallout 3 given that it’s survived considerable adversity and now the follow-up’s back in experienced RPG-making hands.</blockquote>
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    It's good to hear that Bethesda has got the right priorities in order by placing a strong focus on the game's role-playing aspects, and it should be highlighted that this interview is definitely a lot clearer than the "<i>gritty drug-and-prostitute-speckled</i>" one at <b>Computer Games</b>. I also like what he said about <b>Fallout Tactics</b>, which is definitely the main complaint most of us had during that game's development.
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    Like <b>Mr. Teatime</b>, who kindly pointed out this article to me, I also share his opinion that I don't read the article as saying <i>"there will be no turn based combat or isometric viewpoint"</i>, and I also agree that the combination of the turn-based combat and isometric viewpoint (at least in combat) are almost as much important as the game's strong role-playing aspects, setting and characterization to Fallout as a whole.
     
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  2. Whipporowillgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Whipporowill
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    Geez. He's basically saying "While we might like TB. Look guys, remember - you didn't like FoT although it actually retained some of the things you claimed are important. So that means we can rip that out as long as we give you the important stuff like choices and roleplaying - right, right? Guys?" Not that he says that there won't be any TB, but I can't start to imagine how anyone could take that as something making Beth going TB more likely.
     
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  3. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    The whole point of these interviews is to slowly prepare people for the inevitable: RT and FP view. A hint here, some justification there, etc. I'm really surprised that there are people who still think that FO3 could be TB and isometric. NO FUCKING WAY.
     
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  4. Saint_Proverbiusgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
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    The reason we didn't like Fallout Tactics was because it was just a subpar game compared to what we were promised, which was "Jagged Alliance 2 in the Fallout setting." The setting was botched and the gameplay was very, very shallow compared to Jagged Alliance 2.

    However, many Fallout fans did like the engine itself and the tileset art, which were isometric. SPECIAL was in the game, but since the game didn't really use many of the skills of SPECIAL and Charisma was pretty pointless, it's kind of hard to make the claim that Fallout fans don't really want what they're asking. If SPECIAL had been used to allow for tactics other than running and gunning, that would have given the game a lot more depth and made it a better game. Instead, it played like a very weak Fallout dungeon crawler.
     
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  5. Sevengender: ⚧ Erudite

    Seven
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    Yeah it's noted, but it doesn't change anything, the fact remains that the comment is there, and that it was OKed, so to speak. How do you know that they're placing a strong focus on the game's role playing aspects, they said the same thing about morrowind. I don't want to start a second flame thread, but...
     
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  6. Sol Invictusgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    Fallout Tactics really sucked in plenty of ways

    Graphics: Some of the graphics were too god damn colorful (look at the shoulderpads of your squad). It didn't look post-apocalyptic either. I didn't understand why Native Americans and robots were in the game for that matter, either. Hardly fit the setting at all.

    Bugs: The Miles Sound System drivers that came with the game caused it to crash on any system with a Live! soundcard because it was a beta/debug version. This bug was never remedied and people had to come up with ways to fix it manually by copying over Miles files from other games over.

    Combat: Flat out crap. Real time wouldn't have been bad at all if there were actual tactics involved (See: Crusader: No Remorse). It was just run and gun with your Pancor Jackhammer or Sniper Rifle for the most part with Aggressive settings enabled. Even Syndicate and Syndicate Wars which featured Adreneline/Testosterone/Dopamine stimulus settings had their drawbacks and side-effects to using them. Turn-based was far too easy, and even if it was done in the same vein as Fallout without the Real Time combat, it would have still sucked. There was no macro-strategy like JA2 either, for that matter. Your base of operations was nothing more than a briefing room.

    The setting was completely ruined with the implementation of Vault Zero, Talking Hairy Deathclaws, Native Americans, Anime Mechas, over-the-top Potty Humor, stupid Easter Eggs.

    On top of that, it had a complete lack of role-playing options. JA2 featured 200% more.
     
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  7. Sol Invictusgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    That is low. How much further can you go? You are dropping into fucking semantics now. I don't suppose you work at that magazine, do you?
     
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  8. jiujitsugender: ⚧ Cipher

    jiujitsu
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    At least this article was a little better sounding than the other one. They will probably make a fun game. It just won't be Fallout fun.
     
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  9. Sol Invictusgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    Well I'm hoping that it'll be a good RPG. There's been a shortage of those lately. It might not be what Fallout fans want, but it could satisfy our RPG needs, if anything.

    Anyway, I'm *hoping*. I'm not saying it will be but I'm willing to give them the benefit.
     
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  10. Sevengender: ⚧ Erudite

    Seven
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    I'll concede that at first glance it might come off as low (I can't see how, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt). But lets takes a look at what Beth has done with the Elder Scrolls series; for the most part they dumbed it down and put in a lot of empty space to *explore*, right? Yeah, the game looked pretty, but there wasn't as much there as there were in the previous games (most of those fine details weren't apparent in the game). I won't make conclusions for you, but I think they're obvious.

    As for semantics, well it goes both ways so don't cry the hooker with the heart of gold.
     
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  11. Section8gender: ⚧ Erudite

    Section8
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    Must be that huge 11% majority. Fuck the next generation. This isn't the Star Wars prequels being made 20 years on. How about a game for the fans that might also appeal to the "next generation"? I realise this comment is not intended to be dramatic in any way, but when an industry considers the generations of it's consumer base to cycle every few years or so then they're really not paying enough attention toward keeping their fans and supporters.

    "Fallout? That was back in 1997. People who bought that will no doubt have grandkids by now. We should pitch our games at them instead. The 11% that they represent is worth targetting."

    But on the whole, it sounds like he already has a better grasp of the Fallout world than the ex-Digital Mungin* crew.

    This is a damn good point. There's a big difference between asking for something and receiving a pale imitation of it and realising you don't actually want what you asked for. It's like the POR2 argument you see from Bioware fanboys.

    "Hey, you got a turn-based D&D game, and you didn't like it! Why ask for more? WTF?!?"

    Generally followed by the usual crap about how it destroys your OS, which happened to about 3 unlucky people, rather than the "every single person that bought the game" guff that gets spouted all across the internet.

    The reason behind the colorful shoulderpads (aptly named "clowning") was the original multiplayer focus of the game. Likewise the "continuous turn-based" which was intended to eliminate the frustration of waiting periods in multiplayer turn-based gaming, an argument I've always found to be flawed to the core.

    When you consider multiplayer gaming, and the multiplayer games that garner the largest fanbases, you can typically find large periods of downtime in every single one. In any MMOG you have downtime for travel, medding, tradeskilling, etc. In most FPS games you have downtime between respawns, either waiting for a "reinforcement timer" a la Enemy Territory, or waiting for the conclusion of the round, a la Counter-strike. I really don't see how waiting a minute for somebody else to complete their turn in a multiplayer strategy game is any different.

    Ahem. I digress. The overuse of generic "Tribals" is a throwback to Fallout 2, and definitely agreed, does not fit the setting. Robots however, do fit in the setting, although not in the quantities of FOT and definitely not in the designs that FOT exhibited. [romero]FOT2's major enemy would have made you it's bitch though :twisted:[/romero]

    These are all fair criticisms that arise from bastard hybridising. If FOT's real time was designed from the ground up as a real-time only system, then it would have featured tactics and interaction purpose built to suit that system. One of the drawbacks to implementation that tries to allow a turn based system and a real time system to co-exist is the constant compromising between the two required to even make them work, let alone work well.


    Given time constraints, we were only really able to test and "balance" a single mode of combat, which meant turn-based suffered greatly, although third party missions (big shout out to the editing/modding crew over on the old DAC) took better advantage of challenging turn baed scenarios.

    The JA2 comparisons I don't think were ever intended to be critically compared. I have a feeling that it was just pre-release hype being bandied around willy-nilly. Macro strategy was never part of the design, as were many other strong points of JA2's design.

    Don't even get me started. :P

    The focus was never on including RPing options. Unfortunately the tactics element kind of went by the wayside too.

    * Mungin is the act of eating out few month old corpses for the purpose of extracting nutrients.
     
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  12. Sol Invictusgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    1997 is more than half a decade ago, and plenty of us who enjoyed Fallout were a mere 12-15 at the time. I'm certain that Todd wasn't referring to the "huge 11% majority" that some British developer referred to a few days ago but rather the new generation of teenagers who will most likely be as impacted in the same way we were back then by a brand new Fallout game (if properly done) today.

    There hasn't been any talk of dumbing down or streamlining the game at all, not that Fallout even needs that. The game was as simplified and mainstream as it could get even back then without being 'stupid' in the way games like Red Storm's Shadow Watch was in 2000, which was an even dumber game than Fallout Tactics.

    It's also likely that Fallout 3 won't even be released until 2007, which is a good decade from when the original game was released.

    Holy shit. It's been that long.
     
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  13. Starkgender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Stark
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    Yeah. I fully expect them to release it with XBox 2, so 2007 seems reasonable.

    I kinda like how BethSoft people are handling all the attention from FO fans, which is, just work on it quietly. They strike me as people who'll let final result speak for themselves.
     
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  14. Sol Invictusgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    They're definitely not a bunch of loudmouthed assholes like Chuck Cuevas. That's a good thing.
     
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  15. Starkgender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Stark
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    and they're definately not a certain Mr Peter M, who publicly mused over AI features that he's not even sure would be in the final certain game. :)
     
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  16. Sol Invictusgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    Molyneux is a hasbeen. Like Spector.
     
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  17. Starkgender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Stark
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    haha, he's hardly a hasbeen. he's probably swimming in cash right now, given how many people will still buy the "greatest rpg evar!!!".
     
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  18. Surlentgender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Surlent
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    But Exiitium, this is already the second negative comment I see you've made about Warren.
    Is something wrong ?
    Don't you like Warren anymore ?

    Was it Deus Ex Invisible War that turned you off ?
    You know he wasn't involved in that project except as IonstormAustin studio director.
    Harvey Smith was project lead instead.
    In first DX Harvey was lead designer and Warren project leader.

    Just remember all the good he has made like Deus Ex and Thief Deadly Shadows.
    Thief:DS is a great sequel, one thought never to be seen after Looking Glass went down. The website (www.thief3.com) has listed "made by Warren Spector" in its feature section and I think the man deserves to put his name on his products.

    I bet he's going to make Deus Ex 3 one day, ya know. He's a good man.
     
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  19. Sol Invictusgender: ⚧ Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    Eh, I hope so. Thief 3 redeemed him somewhat but DXIW was a huge blunder, made worse by the fact that he kept referring to it as if they did everything right whenever he was interviewed.
     
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  20. Surlentgender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Surlent
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    I just translated one of Warren's Interviews with Babelfish (yep, :P ). It was originally Spanish and in the end he admits, everything didn't go perfect.

    http://forums.ionstorm.com/index.php?showtopic=212497

    This is one is a good quote. :lol:
     
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  21. Elwrogender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Elwro
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    Divinity: Original Sin Wasteland 2
    The PC Gamer interview is the second one in a row in which the journalist does not seem to distinguish between "it's" and "its". Geez...
    Anyway, the game's in so early stage of pre-development, that it might even change to a big commercial roguelike.
     
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  22. Volourngender: ⚧ Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    FO3 is being developed by Bethesda so no matter what they promise; I *know* it will suck like the rest of their crappy games.

    Next. :twisted:
     
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  23. Sevengender: ⚧ Erudite

    Seven
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    Wow, this is a first: Volourn finally said something that was half-intelligent.
     
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  24. Volourngender: ⚧ Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    "Wow, this is a first: Volourn finally said something that was half-intelligent."

    Wow, this is a first: Seven finally said something that was plainly stupid.
     
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  25. Make America Great Again DarkUnderlordgender: ⚧ Bringing that old Raptor magic. Dumbfuck

    DarkUnderlord
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    Wow, this is a first: Volourn quoted someone and said the exact opposite.

    Oh wait, that's not a first. My bad.

    Soerry, got caught in the whole theme for a while there.
     
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