Welcome to the Nukapedia News Digest, brought to you by Java Jive! I like Coffee, I like Tea, I like to jibber Jabber Endlessly!
In your edition this week.
Games to pass your time until Fallout 4 comes
Dateline: A Galaxy Far Far Away
New Star Wars game pitch, was fun to get back into Star Wars.”— Chris Avellone, Twitter
It seems that the guys at Obsidian may be looking for something new to do as Stick of Truth winds down.... From Rock Paper Shotgun.
- “We pitched a between-Episode III and Episode IV game [to LucasArts]. Because we think that timeframe is super interesting. It’s the fall of the Republic, the extermination of the Jedi, it’s Obi-Wan going off and making sure Luke is OK. You have the Sith, but you have the extermination of all Force users except for very, very few. So it was an interesting time to set a game, and you know, Chris Avellone came up with a really cool story.” [Said Fergus Urquhart]
Don't rush out and place your pre-orders just yet though....
- Of course, then a certain gigantic mouse fee-fi-fo-fummed along, unhinged its gargantuan plague ridden jaw, and swallowed Star Wars whole. So what happens now? Is Obsidian back at square one? Urquhart doesn’t think so.
- “It’s something we’re still hoping for, even with the Disney/Lucas stuff going on,” he said. “It changes things a lot, but you know, we’re gonna push on it. I would say it’s within the top three pitches we’ve ever come up with. We really worked on it hard and distilled it down to these eight or ten pages that really sold the story and characters. Then we sold it off to LucasArts and got a call back later that day. They were like, ‘This seems really cool. We want to talk to you guys, like, tomorrow about it.’”
- “We haven’t [talked with Disney yet]. We’re kind of waiting for the smoke to clear. But that’s one of my next big things to do. To kind of go over there and [get the ball rolling again].”
Direct from Tamriel
News from the wastes
I'll be honest... What I hear out there scares the living shit out of me”— Unknown Ranger
InXile Entertainment have released their first gameplay video on Vimeo. Sadly as its not on Youtube I can't embed it, but you can see it for yourself here. It includes Chris Keenan playing part of the Agricultural Center.
Brian says it all better than I can....
- We are very proud to provide the first gameplay video of Wasteland 2, which will allow our backers to see how far we've come and how everything is coming together. The usual way of doing things in this industry would see us create a demo specifically for displaying to the press or at game shows, but we're very glad to have been allowed the freedom to create a demo video from an actually playable area, which ensures there's no wasted code. This is a straight video capture of Development Director Chris Keenan playing the game. The only element that is not running in code is the sound effects, as it was faster to do in post, but as you will hear, there is nothing being done audio wise that isn't easily replicated in engine. In fact, we plan to have many more sound effects in the final game than what is heard here.
- This represents not just the strong synergy of the inXile team but the effects of your continued input via the forums. The game has continued to improve thanks to this communication, and Wasteland 2 will be better for it. The benefits have ranged from changes to the combat mechanics to finalizing the name of our attribute system.
- It also represents the success of working with Unity and the asset creation experiment we did to increase the variety and density of the world look. We were pleasantly surprised at the talent that submitted art content, and we look forward to continuing to work with them.
- I’d also like to thank the military personnel who joined our Yammer group to help us develop the slang and communicate more real world experiences for us to draw on. We love to learn little things like how much they hate it when movies say “Over and out!”… There is no “out” after “over” dammit!
- This first level you will see is one of the first areas you will encounter in the game. The agricultural center was also a part of Wasteland 1. It was an area that Chris Avellone had some affinity for and he did the design for the level. Also thanks goes out to Nathan Long, who provided this area’s clever writing. We had a chance to show Chris the level last week, and when we commented that it was coming together he said “not coming together … it has COME together.”
- Our objective was to show off some of the HUD and how both the combat and skill systems work. There are many elements not represented here but to name a few:
- Minimal particle effects
- Minimal sound
- Mini-map not working
- Inventory, logbook and other character screens not shown
- Not all skills (in and out of combat) being represented
- No world map movement
- It needs more messaging in the UI
- And not a comprehensive list of all the combat variables
- Sorry if we're over communicating, but it's just a reminder: we're just past the halfway mark, so don't expect to see everything that you can expect from the final game just quite yet.
- You will get to listen to the latest track from Mark Morgan (here) that sets the haunting and often desolate tone of the Wasteland. And you will hear our first pass at the radio broadcasting which plays a vital role in communication, reactivity and mood setting. There will be a host of cults who are broadcasting their propaganda while other calls will be the locals who seek the help of our rangers. We have many interesting ideas on how to use the radio in novel ways.
- Our vision for this game remains intact and you will see a number of examples that illustrate this. The customization can be seen in the examples of bringing in your own portraits and by the ability to set the user interface in a style that works for you.
- You wanted a party and turn based RPG with tactical combat, and we are delivering that. The demo helps to show off action points, use of cover, enemy view cones, distance/height/enemy size/enemy speed affecting the chance to hit, ammo configurations, attributes changing the characters strengths and role, simultaneous party firing and more. And we are not done adding elements to make sure you are fully engaged in an interesting combat system. There is still plenty of time for you to comment on the combat system and to help us hone it in. Our goal is to build a very deep combat system, with the potential to dive in and fine-tune your damage-output and tactics, while not absolutely requiring that level of micro-management from all players.
- If you played Wasteland 1, you will enjoy the many callbacks to the original, but at the same time there is no need of that knowledge. While certainly not a comedy you will get a healthy dose of the humor that gave Wasteland its charm.
- Once again we thank you all for backing our vision…
You might remember a few weeks ago we reported on a Sony patent to block second hand games.... Edge Magazine is reporting this about the new Xbox...
- Microsoft’s next console will require an Internet connection in order to function, ruling out a second-hand game market for the platform. A new iteration of Xbox Live will be an integral part of Microsoft’s next console, while improved Kinect hardware will also ship alongside the unit.
- Sources with first-hand experience of Microsoft’s next generation console have told us that although the next Xbox will be absolutely committed to online functionality, games will still be made available to purchase in physical form. Next Xbox games will be manufactured on 50GB-capacity Blu-ray discs, Microsoft having conceded defeat to Sony following its ill-fated backing of the HD-DVD format. It is believed that games purchased on disc will ship with activation codes, and will have no value beyond the initial user.
They also went on to say this:
- Our source has also confirmed that the next Xbox’s recently rumoured specs are entirely accurate. That means an AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, a D3D11.x 800MHz graphics solution and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. As of now, the console’s hard drive capacity is said to be undecided, but Microsoft’s extended commitment to online delivery suggests that it will be the largest unit it has put inside a console to date.
- Though the architectures of the next-gen Xbox and PlayStation both resemble that of PCs, several development sources have told us that Sony’s solution is preferable when it comes to leveraging power. Studios working with the next-gen Xbox are currently being forced to work with only approved development libraries, while Sony is encouraging coders to get closer to the metal of its box. Furthermore, the operating system overhead of Microsoft’s next console is more oppressive than Sony’s equivalent, giving the PlayStation-badged unit another advantage.
Josh on.... prioritizing plot info and characterization in game dialogue
...and on when do features die?
- iPip or Pipboy Nexus anyone?
Relic of the war that wasn't
This is from a press release promoting an episode of Newsnight here in the UK (The one with Jeremy Paxman, not Will Macavoy) in November 2007.
- Ten years ago the United States decided it was too risky to allow their Trident submarine commanders to launch without a code, known as the Trident Coded Control Device, which is sent by the President via the Chiefs of Staff.
- The idea was to prevent rogue or accidental launches triggering World War Three and the Russians and French have similar systems.
- However, the Ministry of Defence has told Newsnight that such safeguards are "not relevant" to the British situation.
- They say that "Britain is unique" and British Trident commanders can still launch a nuclear attack without any command from Whitehall if the worst comes to the worst.
- Newsnight also reveals that, until they were retired in 1998, the RAF's nuclear bombs were armed by turning a bicycle lock key. There was no other security on the bomb itself.
Okay, before you laugh at us crazy Brits and unsecured nukes... Remember that in the event of a Russian Launch, the UK would have - at best - 4 minutes to decide if to respond. Over in the US, you'd have about 30 minutes to make the decision. Enough time to hold a meeting first.
Basically, there probably would not have been time to get the decision from central government, find the codes, relay them, and launch.