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No Mod Tools for Fallout 3 Launch

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the disappointing dept.

Games 91

Rock, Paper, Shotgun interviewed Bethesda's Pete Hines about the upcoming release of Fallout 3. He talks about dealing with misunderstandings about the game prior to launch, violence in modern games, and the fact that the game won't launch with mod tools. "Folk probably took for granted that every time we make a game, there's a mod tool. We explained to folk that it takes a lot of time and effort to get that tool ready for release, and it's not on our schedule right now. We need to get the game done and out. ... Right now, we can't say definitively 'there will be mod tools, and here is when they'll be out.' We discussed some Fallout 3 gameplay videos a few weeks ago. That work remains to be done." In related news, Interplay has picked up Chris Taylor, designer of the original Fallout, to help develop their Fallout MMOG.

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Noooo (3, Funny)

zentu (584197) | about 6 years ago | (#25143575)

Fallout WITHOUT mod tools. How will i get my unofficial addon that makes it a Mad Max. I needs me some thunderdome. [and a clonedome You know, 1 will enter 2 will leave]

Re:Noooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25145993)

Don't worry, when the stock market finishes crashing us into a great depression and peak oil smacks us, you'll get to play for real.

Re:Noooo (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25146447)

Speak for yourself. Humungous is my cousin, so I'm good to go.

"Nooo!" indeed... (4, Insightful)

Rui del-Negro (531098) | about 6 years ago | (#25146743)

This is a very bad sign, that goes far beyond the absence of actual mod tools.

Some people don't know why Half-Life was such a great game and why Oblivion was so disappointing. The answer is just one word: play-testing. Okay, maybe that's two words.

Half-Life spent half its development life (ha-ha) in testing (and refining). And Half-Life 2 levels started being playtested before the textures were even ready (remember those "orange map" screenshots in the teasers?).

Oblivion's quests feels buggy and disjointed mainly because it was not playtested by anyone outside Bethesda, and some last-minute adjustments to the game probably weren't tested at all.

Now, what does all this have to do with the announcement that mod tools won't be available? Simple: mod tools and documentation are tipically readied for end users while the game is in the final testing stage which, even on a relatively linear game like Half-Life, should take several months or years, if the game is to be any good. During this stage only minor things are being tweaked, like map design, damage of each weapon, location and frequency of rewards, etc.. Basically stuff that doesn't keep the programmers too busy, so they can focus on polishing the mod tools (in fact, better mod tools will also make that final tweaking much easier).

So, when the official word is that "[mod tools are] not on our schedule right now. We need to get the game done and out", what that means is the game isn't even ready yet, but the release date is already set, so there will be little if any playtesting (probably, as with Oblivion, only internal playtesting, which is close to useless in terms of gameplay tuning, it'll just catch the most obvious bugs). And, of course, without mod tools we can't even expect a fan-made "Fallout Overhaul" any time soon.

I can't say this is unexpected, but it is disappointing. Considering the FPS-like gameplay shown in the demo videos and now this, I'm pretty sure I won't be buying Fallout 3 in the first few months after release, if ever.

Can someone please put the 1992 Origin team back together? I miss a good RPG.

Re:"Nooo!" indeed... (2, Interesting)

Sj0 (472011) | about 6 years ago | (#25149487)

Who is the publisher for Fallout 3, anyway?

For obvious reasons, I'll have to decline purchasing yet another classic if it's EA.

Re:"Nooo!" indeed... (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 6 years ago | (#25161991)

Anything Bethsada makes is not anything near a classic.

They make the worst games around after EA.

Re:"Nooo!" indeed... (1)

Pahalial (580781) | about 6 years ago | (#25152503)

This was my reaction. I'd mod you up if you weren't already at +5 - The last thing you want a dev team saying a month before launch is "We need to get the game done." It screams of becoming one of those games that needs a few months' worth of patches and/or mods before becoming truly enjoyable (see: Messiah, Oblivion, and countless others,) and gets panned by all the critics before that happens - dooming it to poor sales and no further sequels.

Mind you, that would likely result in a late-in-life cult status not unlike the first two games, and while the folks at NMA might hate Bethesda for the game's state at launch, I'm sure a lot of them would have a fantastic time tweaking everything and playing each other's better-than-the-original variations later on.

Re:"Nooo!" indeed... (1)

tieTYT (989034) | about 6 years ago | (#25153501)

Some people don't know why Half-Life was such a great game and why Oblivion was so disappointing.

I actually liked Oblivion a lot. Did it not sell well?

I'm the type of gamer that likes to play the game that was given to me. As such, I rarely use mods unless they're produced by the same company that made the game. Often, I think game companies use mods as a way to not balance a game. For example, in Morrowind, there were too many damn birds. Instead of Bestheda (sp?) creating a patch, they just let someone else create a mod.

Re:"Nooo!" indeed... (2, Insightful)

Rui del-Negro (531098) | about 6 years ago | (#25160529)

Did it not sell well?

If you're going to measure quality simply by number of units sold, McDonald's must serve the finest food in the world.

How much a game sells is mainly a product of how much hype was created around it and / or how good its prequels were. Lots of brilliant games (ex., System Shock 2) were short-term commercial failures because people simply don't hear about them.

Oblivion is fine as a "medieval combat" game with a big world to explore, lots of monsters, etc., especially after you install a mod or two to get rid of the incredibly stupid auto-levelling system. But it was not even close to the "living world" RPG that was being promised (the "groundbreaking AI" somehow morphed into repetitive, buggy scripting, etc.), and in fact had less atmosphere than any of the previous Elder Scrolls games (which, while not perfect, looked like they could be the start of something good).

So yes, to pretty much anyone expecting a "true" RPG, with an immersive, consistent game world, and gameplay that actually required people to use their brains, Oblivion was a major disappointment.

Now, I'm sure there are people who like medieval-themed FPS games designed for 8 year old console players with ADD (in fact, that seems to be a huge market these days - medieval theme optional), so future Elder Scrolls games might continue to sell. But they won't be selling to the same people who bought Oblivion because they were told it would be a good RPG.

I'm the type of gamer that likes to play the game that was given to me. As such, I rarely use mods unless they're produced by the same company that made the game.

So, if the game is crap, you still "like to play it" simply because "it was the game that was given to you", even if someone created a mod that makes the game a lot better (like OOO for Oblivion)? Oh well, I guess conformism is its own punishment.

Re:"Nooo!" indeed... (2, Informative)

Gulthek (12570) | about 6 years ago | (#25155415)

That's also why Halo 3 was such an amazing game. Bungie spent a huge part of their budget on developing and studying results from a staggeringly complete play testing environment. It was even featured in Wired [wired.com] .

Game companies should really learn these lessons.

If you want a good RPG in the style of the classic Origin games, then you can have it: Eschalon [playgreenhouse.com]

I prefer Interplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25156243)

I miss Wasteland

though Origin did make Moebius

Re:Noooo (1)

Loibisch (964797) | about 6 years ago | (#25148677)

[and a clonedome You know, 1 will enter 2 will leave]

Lol, thanks for the laugh. :)

Modtools prolong a game's life... (5, Insightful)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 6 years ago | (#25143617)

No modtools? That's a shame. Modtools really extend the life of a game- in fact, I'd say they probably extend the life of a game more than anything else (apart from being an MMO). How long did Half-Life 1 hang around because of Counterstrike?

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#25143773)

Modtools really extend the life of a game- in fact, I'd say they probably extend the life of a game more than anything else (apart from being an MMO).

Then why do console games, which rarely if ever have legit mod tools due to the platforms' closed nature, have such a long life? Nintendo seems to be doing brisk business "licensing" Virtual Console versions of its decade-old titles on Wii Money Prin^W^W Shop Channel.

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (2, Interesting)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 6 years ago | (#25143811)

Good point- but could you imagine what might happen if there were official modtools for console games? The Wii itself would be endlessly entertaining.

Actually, that's probably why they won't do it- it'd be endlessly entertaining. Gotta bring out the new console sometime...

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25151583)

And it would mean less fun for the ROMhackers.

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (2, Interesting)

Goaway (82658) | about 6 years ago | (#25144103)

Because on consoles, you actually have to make a good game from the start, and you can't just offload that work on the modders.

shovelware =/= good (1)

wilgibson (933961) | about 6 years ago | (#25144259)

So how do you explain all the shovelware being published for the Wii?

Re:shovelware =/= good (1)

morari (1080535) | about 6 years ago | (#25144829)

Stupid customers.

Going out and buying Madden 0X or Halo isn't too different than purchasing Carnival Games anyway. One is just made on the cheap and probably profits much more, while the others waste time and energy on marketing what's "cool".

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25146113)

Then why do console games, which rarely if ever have legit mod tools due to the platforms' closed nature

Because when the non-legit mods show up, they tend to be awesome [youtube.com] .

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (4, Informative)

Compholio (770966) | about 6 years ago | (#25143797)

No modtools? That's a shame

It doesn't say "no" specifically, it says "not immediately, and no guarantee on eventually".

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (1)

stevey (64018) | about 6 years ago | (#25147499)

Assume the worst and you'll rarely be disappointed ..

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | about 6 years ago | (#25146837)

No modtools? That's a shame. Modtools really extend the life of a game- in fact, I'd say they probably extend the life of a game more than anything else
.

I don't recall mod tools shipping with Fallout 1 or 2 - and the series has remained in print since 1997.

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (3, Interesting)

rts008 (812749) | about 6 years ago | (#25148481)

Same here. I have found some third party mod tools, but even on a recent Fallout DVD (has FO, FO2, and FO:BoS, all with official patches), no mod tools.

Hell, I still keep an old Dell Optiplex GX1 with Win 98SE that has all three FO games on the network...I was playing FO2 on it this past weekend!

And before one of you fellow FO+ *nix zealots sound off about FO running perfectly on WINE-I know, and have it running so on my day to day Kubuntu Hardy PC- I also have some older Win 95-98 games that I still play that are not compatible with WINE, DosBox, Or VirtualBox.

I expect some mod tools will come out sometime after FO3 is released, either from the publisher, or as in FO and FO2, third party/fanbased tools. The 'No Mutants Allowed' website would be a good place to check for this, IMHO. Who can forget 'falche.exe' and 'falche2.exe'?

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (3, Informative)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | about 6 years ago | (#25148555)

No modtools? That's a shame. Modtools really extend the life of a game- in fact, I'd say they probably extend the life of a game more than anything else .

I don't recall mod tools shipping with Fallout 1 or 2 - and the series has remained in print since 1997.

That's because they were made great from the start. The emphasis was on Gameplay and not graphics

That is the common problem with modern games, The designers are all "oohhh ahh look at my pretty gfx, look i got this rag doll to be the most realistic ever" yet the game play sucks

At the most basic level take the game breakout (i think that's what it was called for the amiga), Peggle is the most recent take on it I think. It's the game with bricks at the top, you have a paddle at the bottom and you bounce a ball. It does't matter about the gfx as the gameplay is great.

In fallout III I wanted the same top down view as fallout I & II and I just wanted the world to be better textured. I don't care about rag dolls, physics, etc. I want the storyline, the character development, the ablity to pimp my wife, the bare knuckle and boxing fights you could rig. I don't want VATS it's just a gimmick for the younger generation who are used to pretty gfx and shit gameplay.

Take Doom III, I loved the previous Doom games, but Doom III for all the work that went into the gfx the game became a flashlight simulator. It was soo dark and you couldn't have a flashlight equiped at the same time as your firearm (i think they eventually released a patch to add flashlights to weapons). To top it all off the game was nowhere near as good or replable as Doom I or II (I still play them on dos box)

Another game that suffered was the Monkey Island series, I & II where great epic games, III was a complete revamp with pretty cartoon gfx and the game sucked harder that Monica Lewinsky

Monkey Island (1)

westlake (615356) | about 6 years ago | (#25157319)

Another game that suffered was the Monkey Island series, I & II where great epic games, III was a complete revamp with pretty cartoon gfx and the game sucked harder that Monica Lewinsky
.

Monkey Island II I choose to forget.

There is something decidedly mean-spirited about the changes in Guybrush - and the game's "it was all a dream" ending.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Curse of Monkey Island and return to it every now and again.

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (1)

SMacD (1140995) | about 6 years ago | (#25156213)

Fallout 1 & 2 weren't made by the same developer. Fallout 3 is being developed by Bethesda Softworks-- which develops the Elder Scrolls series (which include Morrowind and Oblivion).

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (1)

Blibblob (868226) | about 6 years ago | (#25148719)

It's probably an absolutely terrible idea for Bethesda to not release mod tools at the same time as their game. The mods are the only things that make their games decent. Morrowind was a bad game, and then people used the excellent mod tools to make it spectacular. Oblivion was virtually unplayable until the first mod came out, the one that fixed their retarded leveled monsters. Without modding, Fallout 3's looking to turn from a bad game into the worst they've ever made. The whole "city around a bomb" was already absolutely moronic.

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (2, Insightful)

EggyToast (858951) | about 6 years ago | (#25151857)

If they extend the life, why would they need to be available at launch?

Re:Modtools prolong a game's life... (1)

scott_karana (841914) | about 6 years ago | (#25160101)

They are saying there will be no mod tools at launch; judging by Bethesda's past record of releasing excellent Elder Scrolls Toolkits, I'm banking on Fallout 3 tools being released within six months of launch.

And? (4, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 6 years ago | (#25143667)

Unless modding tools were promised, and that promise was writ mile-high in the stone of the Rockies, I don't get what the fuss is about. Your assumption is not the developer's obligation.

Re:And? (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 6 years ago | (#25144245)

Oblivion's core gameplay was so horribly flawed that the game isn't remotely enjoyable unless you alter the leveling system with mods.

Morrowind's NPCs and towns were horribly boring without mods.

Bethesda makes nearly great games. The mods make them great. I'll take a pass on FO3 unless there are mod tools.

That's for damn sure (3, Funny)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | about 6 years ago | (#25144599)

Morrowind's NPCs and towns were horribly boring without mods.

The dancing girls were a lot more interesting after applying the "Better Bodies" mod. It really improved the, uh, realism of the, uh, storytelling and, uh, stuff.

Re:That's for damn sure (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 6 years ago | (#25148423)

The dancing girls were a lot more interesting after applying the "Better Bodies" mod. It really improved the, uh, realism of the, uh, storytelling and, uh, stuff.

Laugh all you want, but that's actually a pretty important point concerning Fallout. Fallout is about a dirty, post-apocalyptic world, and that means things like porn studios, prostitutes, and so on. However, what we'll almost certainly get is nothing more than shooting some monsters - and goodness forbid that Han shoot first. In other words, it'll be a castrated game wich'll try to make up for it with lame, pointless violence, and corny "Lookie I'm eeeevil" dialogue options. Modding tools would allow us to stich those balls back on, but...

Of course, it could be that this is the whole reason not to release them. Bethesda probably doesn't want to get Hot Coffee on its lap. Especially since someone is bound to figure out the logical way those junkie women are paying their junk, with the kind assistance of their children...

And yes, I realize that I'm talking about a game which hasn't been even released yet; but can you see someone releasing a mainstream game with sex in it nowadays ? Except Sims 2... Hmm. Maybe Maxis should had made SimFallout instead; or maybe they could release it as an extension to Sims 2, set in Vault City of course ?-)

Re:That's for damn sure (1)

rts008 (812749) | about 6 years ago | (#25148661)

Oh, get a second life [secondlife.com] , dude! :-)
I kid! I kid!

I tend to agree with you in general, though.
If developers are pushing 'eye candy', then by golly, give us the means to see some serious 'eye candy'! Quit playing around!

Reminds me of the ole 'Tigger' sound clip (Winnie the Pooh?):
"The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tiggers are wonderful things.
They're bouncy,bouncy,bouncy,bouncy, fun, fun, fun!
The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is I'm the only one!"

*off topic* Scratch the '...I'm the only one!' part!
I was fortunate enough to go to high school in the earl/mid 1970's- grad'd 1976- when halter tops and mini/micro-mini skirts were the current fashion trend.

I can attest from observation (and the 'rise in my Levi's' factor) that: "bouncy, bouncy fun, fun, fun!" can make a powerful argument while hanging out in Mom's Basement(tm), or anywhere for that matter.
Maybe it's just me.....I digress...
*back on topic*

There are always the Duke Nukem series to explore. Mine has strippers, pole dancing.....excuse me, I've got to go now.

Re:And? (2, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 6 years ago | (#25145311)

I played Morrowind for months, finished and really enjoyed it. I didn't find the towns boring and actually feel there is more varitey then there is in Oblivion. I just didn't have the same experience with Oblivion. I think what killed the experience for me was the leveling system and the fact that pure magic users (which is what I started out on) felt gimped. To get decent spells you needed to spend absurd amounts of money.

Exploring wasn't as fun as it was in Morrowind too. I think it's because Morrowind was a whole island, you could go everywhere which I loved exploring but Oblivion had "magic walls" which made the experience feel limiting.

Re:And? (3, Informative)

Kagura (843695) | about 6 years ago | (#25145485)

I just restarted playing Oblivion with about 5,000 mods yesterday, and I intend on playing it until the end again.

I strongly, strongly agree with you that exploring is not nearly as fun as in Morrowind. In addition to what you mention, I think another "problem" is that you can see the entire capitol province at almost any time. It really makes it seem smaller than it is. Another problem is that the wilderness got repetitive moreso than Morrowind.

That said, Elder Scrolls 5: Coolwordhere will be an instant purchase for me when it comes out in 2020. I'm glad Morrowind and GTA games are so popular, because it is large, open-ended and exploring kind of games that I find absolutely most enjoyable.

Allow me to recommend two Oblivion mods if you decide to play again:
* Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul
* Modular Oblivion Enhanced

These two add a lot more to the game. Try reading the features/manual to them, and you just might get the itch to start playing again.

Re:And? (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about 6 years ago | (#25146021)

What I missed was not being able to enchant armor so that you could actually fly. That was fantastic in Morrowind.

Re:And? (2, Insightful)

zzottt (629458) | about 6 years ago | (#25146919)

I played all the way through Oblivion without any mods and enjoyed every moment of it so speak for yourself. Yes it was the PC version of Oblivion.

Re:And? (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | about 6 years ago | (#25149063)

Now now now what??

Oblivion may have been MORE fun with mods to the levelling system but claiming it's not 'remotely enjoyable' and 'horribly flawed' is a bit much I think.
Many games are better with mods yes but then again many are worse once mod'd.
You have to ask yourself, what do you want the game, do you want it easier, harder, longer, shorter, do you want to play it effectively forever or do you want a linear single player experience.
Do you like the actual gameplay itself or would you prefer it to actually play differently, etc?

Not releasing the mod tools initially for Fallout 3 will result in almost no loss of sales at all, infact the quicker they get it out the better, due to the US Christmas rush on games where from October to Jan they pump out game upon game upon game and not just crappy ones, avoiding being dead in the middle of this, is a smart thing.

Hmm, well Oblivion didn't ship with the tools... (4, Insightful)

Hellershanks (1315357) | about 6 years ago | (#25143689)

You had to download them, so odds are they will release a set of mod tools down the road. Like they said they got to get the game working and completed before they release the tool.

Re:Hmm, well Oblivion didn't ship with the tools.. (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 6 years ago | (#25145337)

More importantly will they get the game released before interplay goes under [yahoo.com] .

what I want to know (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25143705)

I want to know one thing: Will the girls in fallout 3 have shaved pussies? It looks like a great game, but if it turns out the girls all have untrimmed bush, I'll be disappointed.

Re:what I want to know (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25143843)

sounds like you'd also be disappointed if they didn't have dicks

Behind Schedule Much? (1)

Talennor (612270) | about 6 years ago | (#25143787)

So... removing features here at the last minute so they can still get it out the door before the deadline. It looks like the picked a too aggressive deadline and they're trying to cover for it now instead of spec things out correctly at the start.

I'll bet the game ships with bugs.

Sometimes the bugs are on purpose (2, Funny)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#25143875)

I'll bet the game ships with bugs.

Even Centipede [wikipedia.org] shipped with bugs, as did Mario Paint [youtube.com] and even Crazy Castle [mobygames.com] .

Re:Sometimes the bugs are on purpose (0, Redundant)

retchdog (1319261) | about 6 years ago | (#25144827)

Well, duh it was even called Centipede...

What?

Re:Sometimes the bugs are on purpose (0, Redundant)

retchdog (1319261) | about 6 years ago | (#25146289)

Oh wow, I totally missed your joke. How fripping embarrassing.

Re:Behind Schedule Much? (1)

Hell0W0rld (1315765) | about 6 years ago | (#25143887)

I'll bet the game ships with bugs.

No problem, dude. The Modding-Community will fix it, like they did it with Oblivion.

wait...

damn!

Re:Behind Schedule Much? (1)

afidel (530433) | about 6 years ago | (#25144127)

Yeah, the last game I bought which was shuffled out the door missing features was just getting fixed when the studio went under (Hellgate) so I don't think I'll be buying Fallout 3 until it's got the major bugs fixed and the mod kit is out. Sorry but it's just too heartbreaking as a game to have a game with great potential ruined by poor execution. I guess that's why I love Blizzard so much, they keep working on a title until it's really polished (look at Diablo 2, a patch was released just a couple months ago and the game first shipped in 2000!)

Re:Behind Schedule Much? (3, Insightful)

A.Bettik (989117) | about 6 years ago | (#25144375)

So... removing features here at the last minute so they can still get it out the door before the deadline. It looks like the picked a too aggressive deadline and they're trying to cover for it now instead of spec things out correctly at the start.

TFA doesn't indicate that it was ever in the schedule. Mod tools have always been nice from Bethesda, but never promised.

I'll bet the game ships with bugs.

Absolutely unthinkable that 50,000 people playing a game would find something a smaller team of developers didn't </sarcasm>. I don't doubt that it will ship with bugs, because bugless software is quite frankly something from textbooks and academia. As the time spent on software approaches infinity, the number of bugs approaches zero. I don't know how far along that curve Fallout 3 will ship, but I imagine it won't be so riddled with bugs that it's unplayable.

Re:Behind Schedule Much? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 6 years ago | (#25144843)

Pretty radical but I wished more developers did what introversion did and put the source code on the game CD. That doesn't mean you can redistribute the source code (it would still be their copyright). It would just be useful when the game is 10 maybe 20 years older there are some games which were made in 1997 which still have close nit communities but can not modify the game enough to fix memory leaks, etc.

Also if you look at ID, they release their engine source code and doom is still playable.

Going back on topic I think the least they could do is document their file formats which would giver modders information on how to make their own tools.

Re:Behind Schedule Much? (3, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 6 years ago | (#25144561)

I'll bet the game ships with bugs.

And I'll bet the sun will rise tomorrow. Both are equally safe bets.

Keep in mind that "bugs" can range from a very minor graphical glitch or even a gameplay issue that they don't think works as well as it could - all the way to crashing issues / data corruption, etc, the most serious sort. They're all bugs, and every modern games ships with a large number of them. Obviously, developers work very hard to fix all the highest priority issues, but they always go through a triage session and decide what's actually worth fixing and what bugs they can live with before the game ships. You're kidding yourselves if you think *any* game ships with zero bugs these days.

Re:Behind Schedule Much? (1)

gknoy (899301) | about 6 years ago | (#25144933)

I'll bet the game ships with bugs.

Well ... yes. It's a software product made within the past 20 years. ;) This is like betting that there will be cheerleaders at a football game, or that there will be drunk drivers on New Year's day. It's not necessarily GOOD that it ships with bugs, but it isnt' surprising. I seem to recall Morrowind and Oblivion having their fair share of bugs early on (as did some of the prior Fallout games, even). I'm not worried: if there are bugs, they will be patched.

Re:Behind Schedule Much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25146637)

Oblivion is still riddled with bugs several patches later.

Re:Behind Schedule Much? (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | about 6 years ago | (#25151331)

? Even with the latest fan-made patches FO1&2 still have bugs. It's a testament to how good the games were that people were still willing to play them even with the bugs.

folk eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25143859)

guess he's been watching a bit of Firefly. not that it's a bad thing.

Interplay (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 6 years ago | (#25144043)

Interplay destroyed Black Isle, ruined Jefferson and Van Buren, refused to pay employees, didn't pay their debts, was delisted, and without an office. How are they still around seriously making a Fallout MMO, and why in the world would Chris Taylor want to go back there?

Re:Interplay (1)

guaigean (867316) | about 6 years ago | (#25145105)

Well, prior to all of that they were an extremely successful company with a large list of titles and a wide variety of IP. They produced many of the best selling and best rated games of the 90's. Perhaps knowing what was once possible mixed with a nostalgia for past days could lead someone into such a venture.

Re:Interplay (1)

MaineCoon (12585) | about 6 years ago | (#25145191)

None of the people associated with Interplay today were around during the heyday. The only folks there are the people (mainly person) who ran the company into the ground in it's last couple years and looted it.

Well, them, and now Christopher Taylor.

The only link to Interplay's past is it's name and the remnants of it's IP catalog.

Re:Interplay (1)

ctaylor (160829) | about 6 years ago | (#25152985)

Well... It wasn't a decision that I made overnight. I happen to really enjoy MMOs (both playing and designing), the game that Interplay wanted me to work on is extremely important to me, and I'm not the only Interplay vet working here (Jason Anderson, who was one of the people responsible for the bits that made Fallout, well, Fallout, is also here.)

I had many conversations with both Jason and Hervé Caen before signing back up. Hervé wants to make it work and he was passionate about making this work when we spoke. Jason is a flat-out creative guy who I really enjoyed working with in the past and he is leading the team. He told me his vision for the game we're working on, and, generally, I agreed with his direction. The Fallout 1 dev team was by far the best development experience I've ever had (in 15+ years as a game developer) and we've got a small slice of it going here. The vibe is the same.

They opened the dev office about 5 minutes from my home. I get to see more of my family than any other project I've worked on. That's important to me.

Basically, I'm working on a dream project and I'm working with some good people. Hervé is giving us a lot of freedom to make the game that we want. I would have kicked myself in five years if I turned it down. It could crash and burn spectacularly, sure. I went into this with eyes wide open. I wouldn't have done it if I didn't think the chance for success was greater than the chance of it going kerboom.

So far, it's been a good experience. Very good.

Re:Interplay (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 6 years ago | (#25154297)

For what is worth, I'm a fan of your work, and I wish you well in your endeavor. I think Fallout can work well as an MMO, because Fallout to me was never the single-player story of being the special savior, but exploring the ambiance of the world. I think it should be a harsh world where survival is difficult, yet full of the black humor that we come to expect from a Fallout title.

Give me an in depth SPECIAL system with great character creation, and I'm there.

I also believe that Interplay could make some serious inroads with the rabid Fallout fans who currently hate them by offering them a bone. A lot of Van Buren documents and such were leaked, as well as a tech demo. Interplay is never going to make that game. Why not release whatever else they still have on Jefferson and Van Buren? I'm sure if you asked guys like J.E. Sawyer, they'd be fine with it.

I'd also see if you can scoop up any ex-Troika guys that may still be without work.

Oh, and I'll take a beta-invite when you've got them! ;P

Re:Interplay (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 6 years ago | (#25154351)

Oh, and it goes without saying a Linux/Mac client would be a huge plus. If not a native client, at least go the CCP route and work with Codeweavers/Wine to prepackage a working Wine version.

Re:Interplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25156761)

Well good luck to you.

Just make sure Herve stays paid up on those payroll taxes and workers comp this time...

Re:Interplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25148435)

-> Posted by Zonk on Wed Dec 13, 2006 06:36 AM -

An old article..

Re:Interplay (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about 6 years ago | (#25153401)

It all went downhill when they cancelled Secret of Vulcan Fury

You asked for it, Pete Hines (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25144269)

Your company is a travesty and you suck and you should not be making Fallout.

DRM (5, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | about 6 years ago | (#25144597)

I think Bethesda would be doing themselves a great favor by once again being forthcoming about what, if any, DRM they plan to use in Fallout 3. Before Oblivion released, some rumor about them using StarForce was going around, and they explicitly said that not only were they not going to use StarForce, but all they were putting in was a CD check when you start the game. People went out and bought the game with confidence that it wasn't going to fux0r their b0xen and that they'd still be able to play even if someone dropped a nuke on the Greater DC Metro Area the next day.

Considering how much grief EA has had over Spore, etc., they might want to preannounce their DRM plans again, as a selling point.

Chris Taylor. . . (2, Interesting)

JSBiff (87824) | about 6 years ago | (#25144717)

Is that the same Chris Taylor that was heading up Gas Powered Games (Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander), and previous created Total Annihilation?

I suppose Chris Taylor is probably a common enough name that it's likely two separate people, but thought I'd ask, in case anyone can confirm or deny?

Re:Chris Taylor. . . (4, Informative)

Wordplay (54438) | about 6 years ago | (#25145537)

Different guy.

Fallout guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Taylor_(game_designer) [wikipedia.org]

GPG/Total Annihilation guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Taylor_(game_designer) [wikipedia.org]

Thanks (N/T) (1)

JSBiff (87824) | about 6 years ago | (#25145683)

(N/T)

Re:Chris Taylor. . . (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 6 years ago | (#25147681)

Nope, different guy. The other one did the Gas Powered Games.

I worked (briefly) with this one. He is a good game designer.

Re:Chris Taylor. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25148307)

Different person.

Here's his wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] , in case you are interested.

Strange... (3, Informative)

rtechie (244489) | about 6 years ago | (#25144979)

Fallout 3 is based on the same engine as Oblivion. They even use some of the same assets, you can see the same characters and models used in Oblivion in the recent demo videos. There is already a extensive set of tools available for Oblivion, so I assume they would just have to be modified for Fallout 3.

I have this nasty feeling that the devs realize this and they just want to push the tool development effort back onto the gamer community.

Re:Strange... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25145503)

Even better: it allows them to control the market for microtransactions. Suddenly that $5 "Wizard's Guild" (or Fallout equivalent) looks a lot better when you don't have full-fledged towns created by the community.

But that would just be the conspiracy theorist talking.

Or the MBA grad...

Re:Strange... (3, Interesting)

rtechie (244489) | about 6 years ago | (#25145803)

Suddenly that $5 "Wizard's Guild" (or Fallout equivalent) looks a lot better when you don't have full-fledged towns created by the community.

Except that they're different markets. I own both a 360 and a gaming PC and I intend to get the PC version mainly because of the possibility of user-created content on that platform. Increasingly, that's a key factor for PC games.

The market is different for the 360 where everything uses a "paid content" model. There ARE no free downloads to compete with.

Does this make the PC version a better deal? Hell yes! It's $10 cheaper too. But you also had to pay $1500 for that gaming PC.

Re:Strange... (1)

Sangui (1128165) | about 6 years ago | (#25147805)

Lol.
If you spent $1500 US on a pc, you wasted about 800 dollars. Or you bought from a brick and mortar store, but then again, you wasted 800 dollars. =)

Re:Strange... (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | about 6 years ago | (#25151405)

Actually, if he went to CDW you can avoid most of the B&M surcharge.

Re:Strange... (1)

rtechie (244489) | about 6 years ago | (#25196537)

Tell me where you can get a pre-built gaming PC with a top-of-the-line video card ($500) for less than $1200-1500 INCLUDING THE MONITOR AND ALL PERIPHERALS. I've never seen one.

Re:Strange... (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | about 6 years ago | (#25145763)

Keep in mind that developers don't edit text files to make the game - they first develop internal tools to use with the game. So essentially about 80% of the work has already been done. All that they have to do it to tidy it up and perhaps add some more capability to the game to better handle mods. Being this close to release date the developers are likely to be in panic mode and are more worried about other things. After things calm down a bit, they will likely put in the effort to release mod tools (if the game doesn't spectacularly tank).

Re:Strange... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 6 years ago | (#25164795)

There is also sometimes negotiation required with other companies. For example UT2K4 is heavilly reliant on models for level structure so most modding will require modelling. The moddeling for UT is done with maya and then a custom plugin is used to export the format UT needs.

However the full version of maya is very expensive and the free version doesn't normally support plugins. So to allow modders to make UT models without spending rediculous ammounts of money epic had to do a special deal with the publishers of maya.

Re:Strange... (1)

Sibko (1036168) | about 6 years ago | (#25150391)

Actually, I think it's more than that. Bethesda's changed over the past couple years, in my opinion for the worse. The internal conflict during Morrowind's development saw some pretty hefty talent and their opinions going out the door.

Recently Bethesda shut down a mod using legal threats for essentially importing Morrowind into the Oblivion engine. Obviously if Bethesda doesn't like what kind of mod you're making they're going to try and stop you from making it.

I think deciding not to release the editing tools for Fallout has little to do with not being able to develop them, especially when you consider that Fallout 3 is using the Oblivion engine and a lot of Oblivion's assets. I get the funny feeling that Bethesda is doing this for a different reason; maybe tighter control over their IP for instance.

Re:Strange... (1)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about 6 years ago | (#25153531)

"Morroblivion was only shut down on the official forums, and hosting of it on TES Nexus was taken down at Bethesda's request, due to some apparent licensing issues with using textures from Morrowind in Oblivion. Work on the project is still going on, however."

Hehe, "no modtools" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25145777)

The community for Bethesda games has a knack for accomplishing things Bethesda never intended.

For example, the oblivion modding tools were locked down in terms of modeling and skeletons, and other misc functions.. but the community hacked together a set of tools that met and/or exceeded the tool-set of the beth developers themselves in terms of functionality.

Fallout 3 == Oblivion (0, Offtopic)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 6 years ago | (#25145971)

Maybe I'm the only one but it just feels too much like Oblivion.

I hate the quest dialogue which has crossed over from oblivion. Why can't they make it more like mass effect where your character interacts with characters rather then just sitting back in FPS mode looking at the characters.

I don't like how emotionless the characters look as they speak out their lines (another oblivion trait).

They even have some form of mud crab in there.

It feels like Bethesda did the quick job on this one trying to figure out how they could mod Oblivion into a Fallout conversion.

I'm not saying that fallout 3 is going to suck, but I don't think that it will be as good as it could be but I'll reserve judgement for when it's released.

ESRB to blame? (2, Insightful)

nobodyman (90587) | about 6 years ago | (#25146635)

Shortly after Elder Scrolls: Oblivion was released, a modder released a "topless" mod for the female characters. The ESRB, fearful of another "Hot Coffee" incident, re-evaluated the game and changed the rating from "T" to "M" [escapistmagazine.com] , forcing 2K Games to republish the game with updated box art. I remember thinking to myself, "well, there goes the mod tools".

Sure enough, the next game that Bethesda released doesn't include a mod tool. The Oblivion rating fiasco may not be the only reason but I'll wager it was a factor. And if game creators are being held responsible for the actions of modders, can you blame them?

Re:ESRB to blame? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25146805)

But the mod tools had absolutely nothing to do with that...

Re:ESRB to blame? (1)

Hellershanks (1315357) | about 6 years ago | (#25149021)

said topless mod wasn't done in the editor, was equivalent to someone finding a hack that allowed Barbie to be nude in Barbie's Dream House... One reason for the rating change was the fact of the actual game content. Mods now do not affect the rating, since they are external changes. (much like the catch all about online play) IIRC the biggest thing was further playing that showed certain themes and the amount of gore (but I think the ESRB was in a panic mode, since there are worse games rated T)

Re:ESRB to blame? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25150691)

Hi, Matt from Bethesda here...

As Pete mentioned in the interview, the focus right now is simply to get the game ready for release.

We did a fan interview (question #9) back before E3 where Todd Howard answered this question.

http://www.bethsoft.com/bgsforums/index.php?showtopic=856489

To summarize, it's something we'd still love to do. If we're able to make it happen post release, we'll let everyone know.

Re:ESRB to blame? (1)

nobodyman (90587) | about 6 years ago | (#25153477)

Thanks for setting the record straight. Of course I'm buying the game either way, but mod tools will be very cool too.

Re:ESRB to blame? (1)

illumin8 (148082) | about 6 years ago | (#25153441)

Shortly after Elder Scrolls: Oblivion was released, a modder released a "topless" mod for the female characters. The ESRB, fearful of another "Hot Coffee" incident, re-evaluated the game and changed the rating from "T" to "M", forcing 2K Games to republish the game with updated box art. I remember thinking to myself, "well, there goes the mod tools".

I don't disagree that this was part of it, but remember, Oblivion was also extremely violent. I remember killing someone in the sewer and watching as their lifeless body shot across the room with rag doll physics, leaving a trail of spattered blood across the floor until it fell in a lifeless heap and thinking "Damn! I can't believe this thing is rated T."

The real problem is that ESRB doesn't even play the games they rate, so they have no idea what a game is really all about. How many games have you watched gameplay videos for, then bought, and realized they suck? Or the opposite, how many have you watched gameplay videos of and said "meh," then after you actually tried the game at a friend's house realized it was awesome?

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