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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Radio Gaming Sanctuary - Dual Interview with Elinor Bass and I

The excellent European gaming radio station, Radio Gaming Sanctuary, did a an awesome dual interview with Elinor Bass and yours truly. It's very detailed, interesting, and complex. The differing answers might interest you. Thank you Finnick McCarthy.


RG: What was the inspiration for an Online Fallout game?

Alec (me): The idea came from the fact that good RPG creators were able to spawn similarly good MMORPGs. There's been some serious discussions about that, but considering how much of a juggernaut online play is becoming..
Elinor: They basically decided to join the bandwagon. So they made the decision.

RG: About Fallout 4: Will the range of weaponry vary more, or will it still stick to the primary weapons that 3 and New Vegas kept?

A: Well, that all depends. We have no right to reveal anything: but they will vary. Energy weapons, assault rifles, pistols, old hunting rifles, you know, the usual Fallout weapons, but we're thinking about adding different properties and varieties.
E: It's still going to be an apocalypse, it's still going to be a barren wasteland, just some new tweaks to it. V.A.T.S. will be turning as well, that's a given.

RG: So, will quests still have a variety in either upcoming game?

A: There's still an infinite possibility that you'll do differently. Fallout is all about choice: you can do what you want, when you want. The quests, no matter how small or how game-changing, will still affect everything else you do in the game. Factions will continue to play an important part in both games, but the quests will be more massive. It seems that's what the fans enjoy, and it's the infinite angles of play they have that helps improve an otherwise excellent experience.
E: And we want to continue to improve on the sense of freedom, you know? These two are going to be some of the most ambitious Fallout games of all time. When you try and compare the upcoming Four to the majorly successful Fallout Three, you wonder 'oh my god, is it going to be better?' Online is going to be a massive change of pace from the lonely journey you take in the Wastelands, because there will be others to be forced to share it with, or help share with it.

RG: What's your plans for level cap?

E: In the last Fallout, which was New Vegas, the cap was at thirty. That's a huge debate at the Bethesda and Interplay studios, respectively for Fallout 4 and Online. We're wondering, "should we just keep it at 30, or do we max it up and just make the player go from a weakling to the next Jesus?"
A: Precisely. Fallout 3 was a level cap of 20 because you wanted to keep a focused balance between all-powerful and strong. We were kind of questionable about being Level 30 in New Vegas, where you go from wasting magazine after magazine on NCR troopers, to the point where you can just look at them and they die on the spot. But New Vegas was more difficult.

RG: What would be an inspiration for the idea of choosing different factions in New Vegas?

A: Different scripts and story progression.
E: Exactly. You have four different choices in New Vegas' plotline, which increases replay value after you've finished the first faction's playthrough.
A: Right on the spot. Another inspiration was, believe it or not, guilds from MMOs. We did some of that stuff in other games we were involved in, and fans seemed to really enjoy the choices, so when the idea of having factions sent through, we instantly wanted a part in it. I mean, we didn't want players to go through the NCR story and then put the controller down saying, "Who cares?"
RG: There's been a lot of people I've talked to who just stop playing single player because they finished the storyline.
E: They don't know what they're missing out on. Possible achievements and game rewards, you name it.
A: Achievements were just made to give more replay value to a game.
RG: You should post that on your gaming blog, Alec.
E: Don't rub it in.

RG: What's your personal favorite Fallout games?
E: The first two. You always have to credit the original for making awesome sequels.
A: I'm hoping Fallout 4 will be the greatest, but my money's on three right now. So many memories...

RG: What's the best feature in the Fallout games?
A: Three things. One is the side quests, obviously. The variety and different storylines for each of the quests gives them variety and reason to play, not to mention being rewarding. Take the Blood Ties quest with the family, and the various Paradise Falls quests you have with the slaves. Second, the story progression. Fallout 3's script was quite an awesome adventure. From getting the G.E.C.K. to fighting with the Brotherhood of Steel against the Enclave, to the epic scene of escaping Raven Rock, your journey for a cure in the mutation-littered Pittsburgh, or even fighting aliens in Mothership Zeta, they were all very unique in Fallout 3, and New Vegas didn't disappoint either, with the fight from Hoover Dam to deciding on who you want to take sides with. And lastly, the radio. Listening to Galaxy News Radio and Radio New Vegas were really soothing throughout the Wastelands.

E: Oh yeah, I highly agree with Alec's opinion on quests. They are quite diverse. But another thing I enjoyed about the Fallout games was interactions with perks, traits, and customization, giving you a sense of survival. Like weight of weapons, armor, and need for water, need for medical health, constant need to repair weapons, and the state your armor protection is in. Survival is more unique in Fallout.
RG: Did Alec ever write a review of Fallout 3 on his blog?
A: I just put up my blog this year, but I reviewed New Vegas. I'm going to review Fallout Three in an extended review sometime in April.

RG: One last thing: any tips for those new to the Wasteland?
A: Stay alive.
B: Don't do drugs.

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