- Welcome to the Nukapedia News Digest.
In your edition this week.
From the Administrative Enclave
TwoBearsHigh-Fiving has created a bot to handle long repetitive or maintenance edits. If you need to do a lot of bulk edits, have a chat with the bear to see if he can save you a lot of time.
- The vote for the Portal Beautification project has passed. I'll have word on the canceled games portal soon.
- And we're voting this week on the future of the Moderator position, and tweaks to other ranks too.
- Bleep wants to put Ryan's bot to good use putting pages with bugs into a completed category.
- Who are "you"? GarouxBloodline really wants to know why we don't just use the official name of the player character instead.
- We're still talking about Notable Loot in Quest Pages.
News Update - we are now tracking your achievements!
I've found a way to track what achievements have been awarded as they're awarded, so from now on I'll be including major achievements in the news.
At the moment, I've only achievements in the last few hours or so, but
- Richie9999 now has over 25 edits on Fallout Tactics characters.
- TwoBearsHigh-Fiving has added over 250 images to articles.
Good work guys.
Wikia released two mobile apps this week. Here's a round up of what you need to know.
Wikia Game Guides for iPhone
The Wikia games app lets you access gaming wikis through your iPhone. The access given is read only access, but it does display rather pretty. Nukapedia is already active on the app.
You can see some images of how Nukapedia appears in this slideshow:
The Categories displayed are accessed through special:GameGuidesContent, and can be changed here. Unfortunately the page is limited to admin-only access (this isnt controlled by us I'm afraid) so anyone wanting to suggest changes or improvements should contact your local friendly admin.
(As an aside, I know not all games are there currently, I'm sure this will be fixed in time).
However, this should make it easier to game, and get info from the wiki at the same time.
My Wikia for iPad
You can also now catch up on your favourite wikis in the My Wikia for iPad app. This one seems to just feed off the regular pages, without any control here.
But here's some screenshots from my iPad so you know what you're missing.
It seems currently our portals don't work in this fully however.
MCA's other opus - Torment
Good news for Old-school Interplay fans. Torment: The tides of Numenera has completed its kickstarter campaign after raising $US4.2 Million. This puts it as the largest crowdsourced video game, and second largest funded video game project (Oyua is first at over $8 million)
Raising this much has also triggered a whole lot of stretch goals - not least the inclusion of Fallout fan-favourite Mr Chris Avellone in the writing team.
The Torment guys are still taking donations through PayPal for the rest of the month, as they try to hit their last stretch goal of $US4.5 Million.
Unfortunately however, all this extra stuff does come at some cost. The game is now officially going to be delayed.
Zenimax to iD - You're DOOMed
Kotaku reports all is not happy in Maryland or Texas as Zenimax executives have started cracking the whip at their fairly-recently purchased icon of PC FPS gaming.
After a poor showing for RAGE, Zenimax executives have reportedly been hands on at the studio - Cancelling Rage 2 (and Rages DLCs) after determining the Studio can't concentrate on two things at once.
Morale is reportedly low with many staff leaving, and infighting between Doom and former RAGE managers.
Doom 4, a reboot of Doom 2, is now apparently being retooled for the next console generation.
Because of these issues, ID's days of game releases could be numbered with rumours flying that Zenimax threatened to shut down the studio completely, or pair it back to become just an engine development house.
More on the rumours flying about the new X-Box "Durango", Kotaku recon it can only tolerate the most brief Internet disconnections.
- "If there isn't a connection, no games or apps can be started," the source continued. "If the connection is interrupted then after a period of time--currently three minutes, if I remember correctly--the game/app is suspended and the network troubleshooter started."
- That said, a caution and a caveat: other sources familiar with the codenamed Durango console have told us that they are still unaware of any Microsoft plans regarding an online requirement. No one has been able to say it's not true and some have speculated that this is required at the operating system level and therefore isn't something Microsoft has to tell all developers or retail partners. Microsoft also has the ability to change this type of requirement seemingly at a moment's notice through changes in firmware or networking infrastructure.
Microsoft officially aren't saying anything about the claims themselves, but with Tweets like this from Microsoft Studios "Creative Director" Adam Orth
I think we can presume that this is no mere rumour. Speaking for myself here, I've got plenty of devices that retain all, or almost all, of their functionality should my Internet be out for more than 3 minutes. My TV doesnt refuse to show programmes, my computer still plays games, and my toaster... still makes toast all without the Internet being on.
Microsoft later told Venturebeat:
- "We apologise for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday," said Microsoft in a statement issued to VentureBeat.
- "This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer-centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers.
- "We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter."
Note that this isn't a denial of the claims. Just a "we're sorry our employee put his foot in his mouth".
Over on the other side of the Pacfic at Kotaku say this for Sony
- Stemming fears of the always-online requirement still rumored strongly for the next Xbox, a Sony PR rep confirmed to Kotaku that: "PS4 games will be playable without an Internet connection."
- UPDATE: More relief... At a roundtable this morning, Sony's game studios chief, Shuhei Yoshida, told reporters that any requirement for users to register a game online in order to play it would be left to game publishers. Sony won't require that.
Want to earn some achievements? This wiki needs another 114 images (will get you about half way to Two-Bear's achievement). In the Fallout 3 and New Vegas Character creation project we're going to show you every way you can customise your character... But only if you help us. Sign up today!
Joshvision this week includes the last report from JES's Formspring, and follows his new home on Tumblr.
- There are a lot of hints saying that Christine is Veronica's lost love. Is this true? - Denis517
- It is a mystery.
- Hi Joshua, Recently I played through IW2 and Fallout NV. I noticed in these games that there were many options for creating lots of strange character combinations via perks or items. Will this continue in Project Eternity ? - thomaswalpole
- Yes, hopefully. If people want to play very traditional fantasy RPG characters, we have a lot options for that, but I think a lot of players want to make something that is unique or at least unusual. We will try to support that as much as possible.
- Hi hello. people make fun of gamebryo a lot, but you and your team made New Vegas (which was huge) in two years. What can you say about designing w/ gamebryo?? - protodildo
- Making content in Bethesda’s engine was not hard compared to most of the engines I’ve worked with. When we started on F:NV, no one on the team had experience with the engine. While every engine and toolset has its own particular quirks, the F3 engine and GECK made content creation relatively easy.
- The one element of the toolset we chose to sidestep was the dialogue editor. We built our own editor within GECK to facilitate writing dialogue in the collapsing tree structure we were accustomed to at Obsidian.
- What is your opinion on R. Garriot's "why most game designers suck"? is there some truth to his words, do you think? - sp0ckr0ck
- I don’t know what his experiences are, but it’s true that there are a lot of bad designers. There are also a lot of bad programmers. Both of these disciplines are integral to the creation of games but it’s hard for companies to see the process their candidates used to create the things they’re credited with. A good game can obfuscate some underlying bad design choices and it definitely can mask a lot of poor engineering. Art, animation, and audio are the three disciplines where it’s usually very clear very quickly if someone is not pulling his or her weight.
- An artist with good technical skills and poor critical thinking skills can skill make some great art. A programmer with good technical skills and poor critical thinking skills may often produce poorly-engineered code, but at least they can make things “work”. A designer with poor critical thinking skills is just a bad designer.
- Critical thinking skills are the primary tools of a designer. Without them, a designer is reduced to doing rote work — which anyone could do. And Garriott is right that there are plenty of programmers, artists, animators, audio folks, etc. who have great design ideas, usually because they have good critical thinking skills in addition to their technical knowledge.
- Now, I’m preparing to heal the various injuries I sustained during my escape. I’ve got a couple bullet wounds from guards, a few roach bites from saving Butch’s Corpse’s mother, and my shoulders are probably a little sore from frenziedly beating the Overseer to death with a baseball bat in front of his daughter. :Injecting myself with a stimpak, I get to see one of the changes of Simple Realism: my health slowly increases for a few seconds before the injection wears off. There will be no more bringing up my Pip-Boy, injecting myself while the game is paused, and instantaneously recovering health. Health is now recovered slowly, and in real-time, and each stimpack only lasts a few seconds.
- I head to Megaton, taking a brief moment to stand ankle-deep in the puddle formed by the town’s giant unexploded atom bomb. In just a few seconds I’ve gotten radiation poisoning, which is another feature of the mod: irradiated water is immediately and incredibly hazardous. Why the noisy lunatic praying to the bomb hasn’t dropped dead yet, I don’t know. I guess he hasn’t installed the mod. After selling Moira my collection of Vault jumpsuits, I head back out into the wastes to start some trouble. The Springvale School is nearby and full of raiders, a good place to see how combat has been tweaked.
- Weapon damage has been increased, and shooting someone in the head tends to kill them pretty darn quickly. This definitely smacks of realism, but after creeping through the building and popping raiders in their domes, it seems like it might actually be making the game easier instead of harder. Most of them never even manage to get a shot off at me.
- Then I step outside and ow ow OW. A raider on a ledge spots me, opens fire, and immediately almost all of my health is gone. Not only do my weapons do more damage to NPCs, but their weapons do more damage to me, which sounds perfectly fair but doesn’t really feel fair at this particular moment. I hunch behind some cover, inject a stimpak, and anxiously wait, bullets zinging by my head, as my health slowly creeps back up to tolerable levels. Crouching there as I slowly heal, wondering if the raider will charge me in the meantime, is pretty tense. I actually like this stimpak change a lot.
- After I finish off the remaining raiders, I head to a nearby overpass and find a few more. I take several of them down, then spot another in the distance. He notices me as well. I also notice he has a sniper rifle. Then I notice I’m dead. Hey man, nice shot. I reload the game, and this time he misses me with his shot but hits the ruined car I’m hiding behind. It explodes. So do I. I’m dead again.
- On my third or fourth try, I finally manage to drop him with a lucky, long distance pistol shot. I kill the remaining raiders, and I’m excited to find one of them was carrying a flame-thrower. Excellent! I might get to try another feature of this mod shortly: when NPCs are set on fire, they panic and run away, which sounds like some pretty darn realistic behavior.
- Since I’m out of stimpaks (the mod makes the chances of finding them in stashes quite unlikely) and low on health, I slowly limp back to Megaton (the effects of crippled limbs has been enhanced) and head to the clinic. With stimpaks appearing less frequently in the world, they’re more valuable, and thus more expensive, costing 200 caps each. Oddly, the doctor offers to heal me completely for just 100, which should probably be increased. Even more oddly, he doesn’t notice as I rob the clinic of every stimpack I can find. You’d think a ragged maniac with a giant fuel tank strapped to his back crouch-walking around the office might make the doctor a little suspicious. I guess the mod doesn’t do anything to make stealth more realistic.
A few weeks back we brought you a conspiracy tale of a possible defection of an Australian Prime Minister… This week we’re going the other way, reporting on a defection that definitely did happen – a Russian husband and wife defecting to Australia.
Vladamir Petrov, and his wife Evdokia Petrova were both long time members of the USSR’s espionage and counter-espionage process; Vladamir was a colonel in the KGB, whereas Evdokia as a member of the MVD – the Ministry for the Interior which included the secret police, leading Joseph Stalin to appoint the pair to the Soviet Union’s embassy in Canberra, Australia. Following the death of Stalin, and the arrest and execution of soviet security chief Beria, Vladamir began to fear for his life – believing his links to Beria may lead him to become the target of a purge.
Without consulting his wife, Vladamir contacted the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), responsible for counterespionage and internal intelligence (analogous to MI5) and arranged to defect in exchange for 5000 Australian Pounds (Australia has since abandoned the pound for the Australian dollar) and asylum. This was negotiated with a part time ASIO polish agent who had previously joined trips with Vladamir to Sydney’s famous Kings Cross red light district. The defection had completed on the 3rd of April 1954
Receiving news of Vladamir’s defection, the MVD moved to return Evdokia home, alleging that he had been kidnapped by Australian authorities, and had couriers sent to escort her home on the 19th of April. This move lead to anti-communist protestors invading the airport at Sydney who claimed to hear her say “I do not want to go. Save me”; Believing that she may be being forced into returning to the USSR, the Australian prime minster at the time (Robert Menzies) arranged through Air Traffic Control for a stewardess to ask Evdokia if she was happy returning to the USSR; she gave an ambigious answer indicating some indecision weight by possible retribution to her family if she followed her husband.The Australian government decided this was good enough cause for them to act. The plane carrying Evdokia started its journey from Sydney, but was required to refuel at Darwin before continuing to the USSR. Citing Australian laws preventing the carrying of arms on aircraft, ASIO officers boarded the plane at Darwin and after arranging for a phone call between the pair, arranged for Evdokia to rejoin her husband.
Although dramatic enough, Vladamir brought his new found home a grand prize as a part of his defection – evidence of a massive soviet spy ring operating within Australia, including senior staff members of one of Australia’s largest political parties. The USSR embassy was expelled as a result, and normal relations would not return until 1959.
The Petrovs lived in obscurity for the remainder of their lives (Vladamir passing in 1991, Evdokia in 2002), their new identities (Sven and Maria Allyson) for the most part kept secret through a voluntary arrangement between the government and the media.
- Next week - What is "Trident"?