Welcome to the Nukapedia News Digest, brought to you by The Maltese Falcon. You didn't see nuthin', you hear me?
In your digest this week:
From the Administrative Enclave
- Cc99910 has passed the vote to become a Chat Mod. Stop by on his talkpage for congratulations!
- Stars and Stripes Forever has become a Patroller.
- There may be a change to the Talk Page policy in the works. Currently talk pages are not allowed to be blanked (but can be archived) to ensure there is a permenent record of admin communications with each user that can be referenced. The Administrative Enclave will be trialling a system soon that will mean that this policy could be removed. Have a look at what we're thinking here.
New Vegas... Restored
Fans of the Classic Fallout games are well aware of Killap's restoration and bugfix mods... Well New Vegas its your turn. Outside Bets adds a heck of a lot of stuff back in the game that was cut for one reason or another (The version list, up to 1.3 as I write this) is quite impressive.
- There were supposed to be lots more Kings around. There are unused patrol routes for the Kings all over the area, and lots of unused King NPCs. In particular, at some stage there would be large groups of patrolling kings, the NPCs VFSKingsPatrol01Follower (etc) are set to follow the NPC VFSKingsPatrolLeader, but in the final game the leader is the only NPC used.
- Interestingly there are lots of kings set up with the name "external", (e.g.VFSExteriorKing01). These are next to the NPC VFSExteriorGateKing which is used for the Kings outside the gate. Were these NPCs going to be Kings found OUTSIDE Freeside? The old enable/disable scripts also show there were originally several Kings members guarding the water pump, not just one.
- There are three interesting disabled NPCs in Freeside and the surrounding area linked to a cut quest/follower. These are Betsy the Brahmin, Tom Dooley, and Kevin Hargrove. They are all part of an unnamed quest that would eventually net the player Betsy as a permanent follower. There is no dialogue for any of these characters (save a few lines for the player to say to Betsy), but script notes paint a reasonably clear picture of what would go on (if not the character's motivations). BetsyTheBrahminScript is pretty much the sole source of what would happen in this quest, but it's clear a) Betsy was located in a pen outside of Freeside's North gate (the wire "gate" on one side is named as such) b) the player could buy Betsy from Kevin Hargrove (who therefore must be nearby, almost certainly sitting at the nearby floor idle marker), and the player could also barter for a better price. Once this happened the player would own Betsy and she would presumably act like a normal companion. However, once the player slept anywhere, a check would run, and if the player had put more than 50 items in Betsy's inventory, she would run away back to Kevin. At this stage the items would be put in the shop inventory of another character called Tom Dooley (this name is clearly a reference to the folk song of the same name about a soldier who killed his lover) who would hang out near the North gate bodyguards in Freeside (I speculate therefore he would possibly be hawking his wares to the passing (cut) tourists. Once this happened Betsy's name would also be set to a generic "brahmin" name, which suggests this was all kept secret from the player. It's unknown what would happen next (save the player getting their stuff back), but there are variables for Betsy to "Hired for real, won't run away", so she presumably would have been a true follower character like Rex etc.
- The whole sheriff quest ('My Kind of Town') has had huge amounts of stuff cut out. Originally the player had two objectives they had to fulfill to get the NCR to help out - firstly they had to eliminate Eddie at the NCRCF, and secondly they had to petition all the citizens of Primm to get them to agree to be occupied by the NCR. Vestiges of this remain in the final game dialogue - Hayes warns the player that people must pay the new NCR taxes, and says the NCR cannot protect the town due to the powder gangers to the north. Originally these concerns would be the major obstacles for the player to overcome in this area, but this was changed in the final to easily be solved by simply talking to Major Knight. Possibly this was due to the NCR branch being much longer and more complex than the other two (indeed the way the cut content works I doubt the other outcomes had even been thought of at this point, I speculate when it was decided to have other outcomes for the town the NCR branch was drastically cut short to match up with the new ones). There are still full quest objectives, huge amounts of scripting (in PrimmResidentScript for example), and the actual petition notes (PrimmSheriffPetition0 - 5) for all this, but only Johnson Nash has a line to say about it. Bizarrely the topic for this is 188ClayThoughtsHow, a topic intended for the weird kid at the 188 trading post!
- There is a conversation between Hayes and McGee regarding taking over the town that is cut (and appears to be missing the first line in the game - a variable is not set that would presumably set by this line, the first line present has a "link from" set which only works if there is a line before it, and McGee's first line seems to be in answer to Hayes calling his name). Once McGee is installed for the NCR, 4 'Deputy' NCR troopers are supposed to be enabled, who then start patrolling the area. This is all set up in the game's scripts, but oddly is deliberately commented out.
News from the wastes
Brian Fargo speaks to Gameindustry.biz
- Development on Wasteland 2 is moving rapidly, with multiple writers (including Chris Avellone, Michael Stackpole and Liz Danforth) creating scenarios. "The story now is 900 pages long," said Fargo. How does that compare to the original Wasteland? "It's much bigger," Fargo noted. "I'm doing one of the smaller maps, and I'm at 40 pages so far, and I'm not verbose. It's a lot of content. What if I rescue the kid? What if I don't rescue the kid? That's what everybody wants."
- The project is large in scope, with many moving parts. Fargo is pleased with the team that's assembled, but is the schedule on track? "It's still too early to tell," Fargo admitted. "I'm very happy with the team; we have three or four ace programmers and the designers are having trouble keeping up with them. The design is the biggest short-term concern. We've just signed up three other writers."
- Wasteland 2 is an order of magnitude less expensive than some RPGs, yet in some ways it may be a deeper experience. Will Wasteland 2 get publishers thinking that you don't need to do RPGs on the scale that they're used to? "You'd think yes, if we sold a million copies they might re-look at the category and try to do something differently," said Fargo. "On the other hand, they get locked into 'Can it be a billion-dollar franchise?' You'll find with these Kickstarter projects, our definition of success is their failure. I might sell a half a million units and go, 'This is fantastic! We just made a bunch of money and we get to make RPGs for another decade! High-five!' For them, a half million units... not so much."
- "The ironic part is that all of these publishers, almost without exception, all of their billion-dollar franchises weren't forecasted as such. Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto, Tony Hawk, Call of Duty... they didn't start off that way. Probably Skylanders is the only one that was expected to be a billion dollar franchise."
Colin McComb meets the press, and writes a blog
As we announced last week, Planescape:Torment and Fallout 2 Veteran Colin McComb is on the Wasteland 2 team... Heres some quotes from an interview with Eurogamer:
- "It took me at least five minutes before I wrote an email to Chris to let him know that if inXile was looking for another writer I would be happy to clear my schedule. With the writing team Brian had already assembled, I didn't think there was actually a shot at it happening, but I had to go on the record.
- "At any rate: Brian wrote and asked if I'd be interested last week. He sent over some of the materials and the background on the area they'd like me to cover. He didn't really have to do much more convincing than that. He called a little later, though, and we talked about the state of the RPG portion of the industry, where the rest of the industry is going, and what he intends to do.
- "If I hadn't been sold before," he added, "that would have done it, because it accorded perfectly with our comments in the chat the other night."
Apparently Eurogamer will be talking more about "that chat" next week, I'll quote it next edition.
- "What Wasteland 2 means to me?" McComb went on. "It means a re-examination of the foundation of the genre, a reminder that role-playing games are actually about making choices and seeing those choices culminate in a dramatically satisfying and logical ending. The original Wasteland was visionary; there's a good reason why people remember it so well so many years later. Seeing player choice honoured and validated, rewarding replay, and full character personalisation is a reminder of how exciting and immersive RPGs can be.
- "Getting to work with the original creators and so many of my Interplay pals... I don't think I can do justice to my feelings without slipping into purely joyful profanity. What I will say is that after my call with Brian, I ran downstairs and jumped around in a circle with my kids. (I refrained from swearing there, too, I need to add)
- "Now that I've got even more documentation and information to look through, I'm suddenly realising what I've signed up for. Man, this is going to be a hell of a challenge, and I mean that entirely in a good way. The best way, in fact."
Moving away from Eurogamer, this is from Colin's blog, written after the Eurogamer interview:
- To keep my ego from swelling too much, I quickly scanned a couple of comments sections and managed to remind myself that not everyone shares an optimistic view of my talents. I find that this keeps me from being too overconfident, and likewise keeps me from taking myself too seriously. I should mention that of the positive comments, my favorite was the one that said the Wasteland 2 team is like the Avengers of RPG design; I call dibs on Nick Fury, because he and I have the same hairstyle.
- Obviously, we need to keep the hype in check. There’s no point in jacking up expectations to the point where it’s impossible to meet them. So let’s get this put out front and center: This is a game. Granted, it’s a game written by a lot of people with a long history in the industry, and that means we have definite ideas about should go into games. The flip side of this is that we have definite ideas about what should go into games, and those ideas might not always accord with expectations other people have. You might like what we’re going to do. You might hate it. But remember: it’s just a game. We’re going to work very hard on it, and you might find it really fun. You might not. *I* think it’ll be great.
Patrick E McLean talks about joining the Wasteland team
This is from Patrick's blog.
- Games, especially RPG’s, feel stalled. Worse, some genres seem to be moving backwards. You can argue that there is less role-playing in RPG’s now. They may look better, but the core mechanic and the core beats of the story haven’t evolved. (Seriously, you another resource-gathering quest?)
- In television writing there is a term called taking the curse off. There are certain scenes and set pieces that have been used so much that they are “cursed”” (clichéd beyond repair). So if you get to one of those moments, you have to do something fresh and new, otherwise it winds up being horribly boring. Joss Whedon is a master of this.
Mark Morgan is the man who's responsible for the music of Wasteland 2 - You might remember him from Fallout 1 and 2's soundtrack (available free here). You can sample his Wasteland 2 Music here:
This just some of the sound you'll be hearing as you visit LA... Damn, that almost makes me want to visit the Boneyard again.
Open Call - we need you to report for us!
If you are in the Netherlands, and can afford the (rather pricey) ticket, Brian Fargo will be speaking at the Unity 3D Confrence. You can find more details here.
For those of you near Hollywood, Josh Sawyer will be visiting Storyworld, prices for this are even higher, but there are a lot of impressive people (other than Josh) giving talks.
If you were given a chance to expand the legion through a dlc, would you do it?
(Rather short and sweet Josh)
Were the wall paintings in HH based on The Enigma of the Amigara Fault by Junji Ito?
Don't you think the disconnect between real life and in game can be immersion breaking? I.E the moment I shoot a Legionary in the face with a hunting rifle and he trogs on.
- If that were true, your immersion would be broken long before such a circumstance occurred. Simply opening your Pip-Boy and noticing your default carrying capacity is in excess of 100 lbs. would shatter the illusion almost immediately.
There are varying degrees of disbelief. 100 lb weight, easily ignored - it's a game. Insane face bullet sponges, hard to forget and creepy tbh.
- It's interesting that the thing that makes the game easier is easily ignored and the thing that makes the game more difficult is hard to forget.
I'm going to assume you would agree that just because certain unrealistic things are easy to accept doesn't mean that EVERY unrealistic thing is easy to accept. Weight limits are mere numbers. Giants ants are part of a fantasy world. Face shots feel wrong
- I have no idea what the original poster finds easy to accept (other than shooting someone in the head and having them survive). The original poster framed his or her objection in the context of immersion being broken. If the issue is immersion, either the poster has arbitrarily strong boundaries for what does or does not break the illusion (in which case, how am I supposed to know where those lines are drawn?) or the poster is disingenuously framing a desire to one-shot enemies as a problem with immersion.
- If it's the latter, it's enough to simply say, "If I shoot a healthy human enemy in the head with a gun, I want the enemy to die immediately." That's far more helpful to me than doing an end run around the issue by talking about personal boundaries of immersion.
Why include the alternate currencies in NV? It might have been interesting if you had to deal with different types of economies in different parts of the Mojave, but as it stands they all have a constant exchange rate and everyone accepts everything.
- Their presence and relative values inform the player about the respective societies they come from.
- I've noticed what I believe is a strange tendency to question the presence of a feature if it isn't implemented to its maximum potential. We can always do more with a feature, but if there's value to a minimal implementation, doing a minimal implementation is preferable to no implementation.
Why can't you craft some stuff from F3 in NV?
- I tried to avoid having crafting recipes that focused on a) non-consumables and b) items that seemed like a strange fit in the Mojave. Non-consumable items, once crafted, don't really need to be crafted again. They're sort of dead-end recipes if you have access to any decent repair. Items like the Railway Rifle seem out of place in a region with high access to conventional weaponry.
Why wasn't the Scout Handbook from classic Fallout games included in NV/changed to Wasteland Survival guide?
- There are very few links between F3 and F:NV. Including the WSG shows the wider impact and influence of the Lone Wanderer from F3 on the world.
Relic of the war that wasn't
No Relic this week, however I want to hear from you if you can help us. I'm looking to expand the Relic section from rather than just reporting what other people have reported, to some first hand reporting.
I've got a lead on some documents in the UK's national Archives which I'm going to pull next month; These documents talk about the UK's estimations of what might have happened in a Nuclear attack, and apparently propose a public shelter construction programme. Assuming its as exciting as it seems, I'm going to be running this as our first "Relic Special" next month.
But I'm also looking for help from you - If you're located near the equivalent of the National Archives in your country I want to hear from you. Pulling these documents if you can get physical access to the archives is usually free, but due to their size can often be expensive to copy and send for those that live away. I can cover reasonable expenses to look at, and copy/scan anything we find that's interesting - and presuming its in English I can write the article of you don't feel able to (If its not, it may be better if you're able to write it).