What I'm Doing Right Now

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Alec gets an interview, world shocked

Another interview from Underground Gamers rolls in to us, this time a little interesting. Thanks to the staff.

Could you explain your jump from Bethesda's New Vegas to Masthead's Online?

While TF141 Media was doing work for Fallout as our main project, and also doing side-projects for games like Red Faction: Armageddon, Crysis 2, and Black Ops, due to TF141 Media being an independent studio. The notorious argument of Bethesda vs. Interplay got far too extended to the point of insanity, so our supervising editors, Elinor and Gregg, made a call to Masthead hard at work. After that, we got to work with some character models, weapon design, scripts, animations, and multiplayer function. Since Masthead is all in Europe, there was no need for overseas shipping. Here and there, we'll need to send in some boards or audio sound effects to Interplay, and maybe some weapon designs, but other than that, it's nice to have a studio in the same continent, compared to us constantly sending items over to Bethesda.

How is it working with Pete, Emil, Todd, and everybody at Bethesda?

Oh, they're all great. Obsidian and Bethesda can definitely multi-task, not to mention be very creative in their mechanics. Even people at the studio who hate their games love the studio. An interesting look at it. When you play Fallout 3 and go through events like the Radio missions or escaping Raven Rock, or even going out into the wasteland out of the Vault for the first time, you know it's going to be one of the best games ever, that is, when Fallout 4 inevitably comes out in the not-too-far future.

Two things in particular stood out in the Fallout games for me: one, the ability for endless freedom, and two, the story progression in every game, from One to Tactics to New Vegas. Were there any kind of boundaries you guys thought three would break?

Well of course. Fallout was and is supposed to be a game where you have complete freedom, compared to other games where you're stuck in one spot until you complete this objective. Granted, you're forced to go through a few missions, but other than that, Fallout's got almost unlimited freedom in the Capital and Western Coast Wastelands. The stories throughout the games were also supposed to have.

And the combat was also supposed to be different, a balance between real-time and first-person perspectives in the games were supposed to make a difference, like the additions of V.A.T.S. or the amounts of survival you are forced to put in the game, like the need for stimpacks, layers of body armor, and weapon maintenance. Unlike other games, where you just grab a gun and you've already finished 70% of the game, Fallout requires to be extra-cautious, no matter what level.

Do you consider Online will be more ambitious than any other Fallout game?

Yes. In fact, I think it's the most ambitious Fallout moments of all time since FALLOUT 3 was announced several years ago. Fans will be expecting something major different, more in part due to the brand new concept of multiplayer in the Fallout games, and it's not aiming for a bandwagon. It's also an MMO instead of the RPG concept that made the series so popular. It's really hard to tell if it will meet the high expectations, but it's certainly setting some ambitions.

Similarly, multiplayer for a game that's been single-player for 11+ years sound more like an experiment in the genre rather than an actual addition to the game. It's not about raising more popularity, it's about the gameplay. Unless there's some kind of cooperative addition, this seems completely like an attempt a game. You have to give credit for adding an inventive idea, an ambitious one at that, and make sure it goes through, but after 6 plus years, let's hope it beats Modern Warfare 2, which is right now the fastest-selling game in the UK.

So you don't agree with the war between Bethesda and Interplay, and that the whole project might very well be ditched?

Right now, Masthead's working HARD on this website, but they've so far updated nothing about Fallout on their website, and the production has been delayed more times than Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Making a good game is about getting lost in the gameplay and adding mechanics that everybody can like, make an atmosphere that everybody gets hooked into. That's why MMOs rarely work: they focus solely on the other players. You couldn't cross the streets without being asked for a fight or spammed, and entirely based on, as the genre's name explains, the massive multiplayer.

Thanks a lot!

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