What I'm Doing Right Now

Monday, March 7, 2011

Going Gold - Interview with the MARS TV President

While TF141 Media is not supportive of, nor involved with, the United Kingdom-exclusive gaming channel, MARS TV, by chance they helped support us on an excellent feature on Fallout New Vegas' "behind-the-scenes" with TF141 Media. They even have a radio channel in Japan. So, the president of Mars TV, Caesar "Going Gold" Kaspar, who directed the Behind-the-Scenes Featurette, at 9:30 Eastern Time, Pierce "The Joystick Doctor" Sanders was interviewed by Kaspar at his home studio, on a radio interview, on August 22nd of 2010.


Kaspar: So, out of all the projects for Bethesda that you've done, which one do you consider to be the most important? What's the most difficult subject you've followed through in New Vegas?
Pierce: Well, the concept art that Obsidian had asked us to copy through into the game, which we were shipped overseas to finish up, was really difficult. What I mean by that is that there's a lot of locations in the game we had to copy into it. There's a lot of work we had to put into it, a lot of revising and mixing colors. One of the hardest was an Air Force Base we had done for a faction in the game. Designing the weapons and ammunition, and bringing them with the game system, was also rather difficult.
Kaspar: Speaking of factions, that brings me to another subject: I have a poster right here, who IS that armored fellow with goggles and a pistol?
Pierce: Classified.
Kaspar: Ha ha. That's rich! Okay, so, what's your opinion on Bethesda Softworks, and how do you think they've affected the RPG genre?
Pierce: Whoa. Heh. Well, I can say in all honesty that Bethesda is one of the most strict companies we've ever worked with. Working on Fallout 3, Oblivion, and New Vegas were tasking challenges: we had to follow everything, and get blamed for everything, and get praised for everything, but in the end, the Bethesda studio is awesome. Having a part in composing the score for Oblivion was one of the most extraordinary experiences we've ever had.
Kaspar: Now, will there be NPCs you can recruit into your party on New Vegas like you did in Fallout 3?
Pierce: Yes, indeed, actually. That was anticipated. In the last game, you could recruit companions. So we're trying to recreate that again, and we've made some progress. I won't tell who will appear, though.
Kaspar: Could you give us some information on Hardcore Mode?
Pierce: Ah, Hardcore mode. Well, in Fallout 3, you had the choice of a 'Very Hard' mode. Well, Hardcore is trying to adapt realism into your adventures in the Wasteland. For example, Stimpacks, which were first aid in the last game, can't heal you instantly. You'd have to wait over time for them to actually help bring up your HP. In the last game, your backpack ran on a weight system, where if your backpack goes over the weight limit, you're overencumbered. Well, here, ammunition also has weight, unlike in the last game, but that's only in Hardcore mode. You have to go through various sleep cycles regularly, you'll have to eat fresh food that you can find from vendors, and you have to drink water, or you'll die from dehydration. Also, crippled limbs, which, normally, you can heal with just a Stimpack, have to be healed with a specific first aid kit that you can buy. Oh, and your NPCs that you recruit can die.

Kaspar: Whoa. I guess that really is for expert players. And what about the pip-boy, your ever-awesome interface from Fallout 3? Is that returning?
Pierce: The Pip-Boy 3000 will, yes, make a return. It will be the pack that will help you heal your limbs, put on some armor, change your weapons, heal yourself, take away radiation, and check your status.
Kaspar: Is there anything big and brand new coming up in New Vegas?
Pierce: For starters, there's a reputation system. You'll meet various factions throughout the game. Unlike in the last Fallout game where, if you were evil, everybody hated you, and if you were good, everybody liked you, instead you can build reputations. So you can be hated by one group if you constantly kill their members, defy their rules, and go against orders if you're following their storyline, and you can be liked by another if you complete a quest that they have you do, give some caps or weapons to them, and help defeat the enemy team. Some factions will have alliances with one another, others will have you trying to take down the other.

Kaspar: If I can interrupt, what kind of side quests can we expect?
Pierce: Well, obviously some faction side quests. We actually have something new to the game: there are various side quests that are actually related to the main quest. So you have to complete one or two side quests in order to continue on through the main. You can have scavenging missions, mercenary hiring, help someone build something, or just help with some community project, maybe give some stimpaks or bandages to a local medical vendor, or guard a building from someone else. We'll have some quests that will earn achievements.
Kaspar: Are other characters in the game affected by your karma, if you're good, neutral, or evil?
Pierce: It all depends on whom you have a reputation with. Unlike Fallout 3, where it took a long time to get your karma back up unless there was some big, massive quest, like sacrificing yourself at Project Purity in the previous game (DAMN IT, PIERCE, NO SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T PLAYED IT! - Alice Thompson), nobody really cares unless the town likes you.
Kaspar: Interesting. Are there any new weapon reports? Any weapons returning?
Pierce: I won't spoil a whole lot. But, there was an awesome weapon from a DLC in Fallout 3 that will be returning with an upgrade. The Tesla Cannon from Fallout 3 is returning. As for new weapons, we'll have a few new repeaters and energy weapons, like the Varmint Rifle. Oh, and a Grenade Machinegun. Wicked stuff.
Kaspar: Say we got into the Vegas part of New Vegas. Will there really be gambling?
Pierce: Actually, there will be. We'll be doing Blackjack and Roulette, which is pretty much all I'll reveal. There'll also be a system where you have to buy Vegas chips if you want to Gamble.

Kaspar: There's still going to be a Speech system, right?
Pierce: The Speech system was important in storyline progression, character development, karma, everything possible in Fallout 3. That's a no-brainer that it'll be returning. Towards the end of the game, expect a lot of Speech Battles, with are basically all-out frantic fights, but you have to use a Speech skill. There are some perks that you can use, like in the last Fallout.
Kaspar: Will there be a PAL import version of New Vegas? I live in The Netherlands, so...
Pierce: For those Japanese listeners out there, there's also going to be a SECAM edition. In other words, yeah, there is going to be a PAL import and a SECAM import.
Kaspar: Now, is there anything different you're trying to achieve with New Vegas?
Pierce: Achieving the kind of success in Fallout 3 would be pretty difficulty, considering the near decade-long time we had to work on it, but considering the evolution of the series, I think we'll do it. If there's anything we're trying to achieve is to make New Vegas more time-consuming, more difficult than New Vegas. You'll have to EARN what you get, like in Hardcore. We're also trying to prove to other gamers out there that 'well, it isn't Call of Duty, so it sucks!', and it's different. Elder Scrolls 4 was first-person, but the mass out there sell for games like Halo and Call of Duty, and while I think that they are excellent games, they're overrated at times. Fallout is us trying to reinvent opinions in a way.
Kaspar: How big will the exploration be? It isn't just another expansion to Fallout 3 is it?
Pierce: The Mojave will be just as diverse and large as the Capitol Wasteland. Whereas in Fallout 3, where it covered in the east near Maryland, Pittsburgh, D.C., and Virginia, New Vegas will cover the West in Nevada, California, and Arizona.
Kaspar: And any reports on DLC?
Pierce: We're working on it.
Kaspar: Well, that's all folks. Thank you very much.
Pierce: It's been a pleasure. Thank you.

I think Scott Garcia has a recording of the radio interview. It was about... oh, 5-6 minutes. I'll post up some images later.

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