Fallout 3 Interviews

TeamXbox and VideoGamer.com have both kicked up new Fallout 3 interviews, the first of which is with Todd Howard and the other with Pete Hines. TeamXbox’s interview talks about rounding up the game and other general topics.

What are you doing right now, just tweaks and bug fixes?

Todd Howard: Yeah, bug fixes. And making sure because we have the three platforms 360, PS3 and PC that, you know, it’s going to be consistent quality across the board. Because we might tweak one thing on one of the platforms, and it has to trickle through the other ones. So that’s kind of the stage we’re in; late play bugs, things like that. Because the game is so big, and there are so many ways to play it at the end of the day, no matter how much time we put into it, you get it out there to millions of people and if somebody is gonna find something they will, and we’ve just got to keep it to something that is not that embarrassing.

While VideoGamer’s intervies asks some really interesting questions.

VideoGamer.com: How much do you feel that the game is a continuation of what existed in the Fallout series before, and to what extent do you think it’s evolved into something new?

Peter Hines: Well, my hope is that it’s 100 per cent a continuation of what was there before, that even with some new ideas injected into it, or some new ways of doing things, that it’s a sequel to the Fallout games or to the Fallout universe. That was every bit our intention. We didn’t think, “Ok, we’ll keep 60 percent of the old games and the rest can be new stuff. Everything we do, even when it’s new, needs to be in the tone and of the original games. Take VATS, for example. The violence is almost like Kill Bill , kind of silly and over-the-top – but that was how it needed to feel for Fallout. We didn’t want it to just be violent; Fallout was violent but was also funny, like when you blew a guy away and his body split in half before it toppled over. We wanted cool stuff like that, and we wanted to really immerse you in this world. We wanted to make it more daunting, so that when you are walking through the destroyed streets of DC and the blown-up buildings are looming over you, you get this claustrophobic feeling.
VideoGamer.com: Interesting moral choices have always been a big part of the Fallout series. The whole Megaton situation has been given lots of coverage, but are there a lot of similar decisions to be made in this game?

PH: There are various parts of that spectrum. It can be as simple as the fact that the first time you show up outside of Megaton, there’s a beggar asking for purified water – which is really hard to come by in the wasteland. If you want to, you can give him some and get good karma, and he’ll be like, “Wow, I can really have this?”. Or you can tell him to got to hell and screw himself. At another moment you’ll meet a ghoul bartender. Ghouls are sort of outcasts in the Fallout universe, looked down upon by human NPCs. When you talk to him you can choose to be horrified by his appearance, or you act along the lines of, “Hey, it’s alright man – you’re cool,” and you’ll get karma for being a decent guy. It’s really about how you’re going to treat people in the world. The Megaton thing is sort of the ultimate example, but there are a lot of variations along the lines of moral choice, and how they are reflected in your karma.

Gamasutra interviews Emil Pagliarulo with a bit published now and more to come later.

Part of that distinction means that “we needed some level of profanity” (which is certainly confirmed by preview sessions with the game), but Pagliarulo is wary of indiscriminate use of swearing in game writing. “I did a profanity pass, cutting out half the profanity in the game,” he says. “Unless it’s written well and voice acted well, it comes across so cheesy.”

Speaking more broadly, the writer acknowledges that video game writing is “coming from such a low place,” and still has a long way to go — but thinks it’s unrealistic that “some people want to go from where we were two years ago to Hollywood level.”

Rather, he believes it is more crucial to improve the way stories are told in games, avoiding what Bethesda calls “lore bombs” (when “you talk to an NPC, and they just drop 50 lines of dialogue on you”), and striving for storytelling through gameplay. Pagliarulo points to recent games like Mass Effect, BioShock, Call of Duty 4, and Valve’s titles as examples of what he sees as the right direction.

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