Welcome to the Nukapedia News Digest, brought to you by the New Reno Chop Shop. We're the last gas station for over 1,000 miles.
In your edition this week.
From the Administrative Enclave
News for Audiophiles
With the kind consent of Bethesda Softworks we've uploaded the contents of Mark Morgan's Vault Archives compilation of Fallout 1 and 2 Ambient tracks. We've also added these onto the location pages where you'd hear the track in game, and created track for each track itself (my favourite is A Trader's Life). Make sure you check them out if you haven't already.
But there's some debate as to if it should be autoplay or not, and other aspects of a media policy. Join in the discussion here.
Nukapedian of the year
3 of the Top 5 for Nukapedian of the year will be decided by your vote Make sure you have your say here.
Additionally, the Academy Awards have the Oscars, but what can we call the tropy for the Nukapedian of the Year? My suggestion is Golden Bobblehead, do you have something better? Hit us up in the comments.
Don't they know its Christmas time at all?
Its time to deck the halls. Get out your Christmas Avatar, and join the Christmas Decorating committee here.
Congratulations to Jspoel, Gunny and Two-Bears-High-Fiving who will be joining myself in Wikia's Community Council. Other than having the uncanny ability to sense danger whilst standing on the deck of the Enterprise, Councilors will have a voice in helping shape the future of the wikia network.
From his formspring, and the Sawyer Broadcasting Network.... Here's our favourite cyclist come Developer.
- What are some of the ways you come up with and flesh out some of the locations or characters in FO: NV?
- The Enclave : SHADOW GOVERNMENT. Don't you think the éminence grise aspect of the organization could've been explored more thoroughly?
- I think it could have, but I'm not sure where the appropriate place for it would have been. It's really back story in the Fallout universe and (IMO) less relevant than what's going on "today". The Fallout games don't focus a ton of attention on Pre-War events, but maybe a simulation-style episode like Operation Anchorage that focused on Enclave mustache-twirling would be a good place to explore it.
- There has been some debacle over the "invisible walls" in the New Vegas terrain that prevent the player from using certain "paths" over the land. Were they applied due to AI pathfinding issues, or do I misrecall and they are there for some other reason?
- We put them up for four reasons: 1) to mark the boundary of the playable space (i.e. the outer edge of the game map) 2) to prevent the player from reaching a vantage point where the world looked "extra bad" 3) to prevent the player from being lodged in world geometry (this happened in Zion a lot) and 4) to prevent the player from standing in an unassailable (to AI) location.
- We never used collision volumes to intentionally block paths. Of the four reasons, 1) and 2) were by far the impetus for the vast majority of collision volumes we created. In retrospect, I think we should have ignored most of the 2) situations and just let the player see some extra-ugly terrain every once in a while.
- Chris Avellone mentioned that John Gonzales' take on the Legion was slightly different from your take for Van Buren. Assuming you can talk about it, what are the differences?
- I don't know exactly what differences Chris was thinking of, but in Van Buren, the Legion was not an immediate threat. You encountered some of their dudes and heard rumors about them from the east, but they were a background faction for the most part. I can't remember any of the other details off the top of my head.
- Hello, Joshua. When asked if the Divide blocked all of NCR's northern land routes, Graham says "As if Death Valley weren't enough, they had the Divide and Big Empty to deal with". It means that Big MT is between Death Valley and Mojave, doesn't it?
- Not necessarily, but it does mean that the Divide and Big Empty are also between NCR and their northern destinations.
- Would you like to make a sequel to New Vegas?
News from the wastes
Attributes and Skills
From Wasteland 2 Update 20, Chris Keenan talks Attributes and Skills.
One of our favorite elements from the original Wasteland was the vast number of skills available to your party. By carefully selecting your skill breakdown for each character, you could create a bad-ass party of Rangers who were able to solve puzzles or challenges in multiple ways. We knew this was going to be a focal point for Wasteland 2. The following is an overview of our current thoughts on the attributes and skills system in Wasteland 2.
First, here is the list of attributes you can expect to find in Wasteland 2. Attributes are the starting values for your character traits. These are established when you create your character and can be different for each member of your party. Attributes are all passive, meaning that they won't be actively used in the world to solve issues.
You might immediately spot a few differences between this list and the original Wasteland. Perception has been turned into an attribute. We felt that perception tied into many other skills and played such an important role that it earned its position as an attribute. Also, there is this weird skill called Expertise on the list. Where the hell did that come from? Expertise is essentially agility and dexterity combined together into one package. We have defined it as the level of mastery of motions with your body and hands.
When we began designing the skills, we started with the systems in Wasteland 1. We immediately removed any skills that we didn't feel were going to be represented well in the level designs. Each skill had to be something that was going to be used throughout the game. All skills that remained would need to be designed into multiple areas to make the cut. This in no way implies that all skills are used equally. Some skills are used in rare circumstances in Wasteland 2 and finding these uses brings an appropriate reward.
Each starting skill has a formula that is derived from up to 3 attributes based on what would be necessary to be proficient in that skill. So initially, where you place your attribute points will determine the starting value of that skill. A character’s skills can be increased by leveling up, using that skill, and through specific items equipped on the character. For example, our current formula for Pick Lock is [10 + (1*Perception) + (2*Expertise)]. Depending on your starting attributes, your initial skill in Pick Lock can vary greatly.
In order to make something happen in the world, you will need to use the proper skill. Wasteland 1 allowed players to use strength and perception. We wanted to keep this functionality so we created skills for these; Brute Force and Examine. In future updates, we will go into more detail on many of these skills.
You will need to make tough decisions on where to spend your precious skill points as you trek through the Wasteland. There is no single "best" strategy as it depends on your play style. Some skills you might want only one character to focus on, while other skills might be better to have on multiple characters. We are committed to making a heavily replayable game so you can be sure that experimentation with different strategies will yield interesting results.
And to close out the update, here is a sweet little portrait to whet your appetite. I'd like to introduce you to one of the Wasteland raiders, a nasty resident of Los Angeles.
Arty folk - is this your big break?
Here's the contest in a nutshell
- Download and read our Art Style Guide to get a sense of the Wasteland 2 visual style. (link here)
- Check this site weekly for the gallery of art assets we are currently looking for. Pick one (or more if you’re quick!) that you’d like to work on.
- Spend the week creating the asset and try it out in our Unity test scene available for download (link here).
- This test scene will give you a sense of how it looks under our lighting and from our approximate camera view.
- If you don't already have the free version of Unity, grab it here.
- Submit it to the Unity Asset Store as you would normally, but make sure to clearly put "hold for inXile entertainment" in the description.
- Unity will send us all accepted assets and we will select the best ones for our game.
- If yours is selected, we will pay you for the asset and you will receive a special "As seen is Wasteland 2" badge to place on your icon in the Unity Asset Store.
- You will also be credited in the Wasteland 2 game for your contribution (not to mention the satisfaction of showing this off to all your friends!).
- Please keep pricing in line with the normally accepted range in the Asset Store. Entries will be rejected if the price is too high.
- Whether or not your asset is selected by the Wasteland 2 team, it will be available for purchase in the Unity Asset Store by any other developers using Unity.
In Related News....
Just on the back of last weeks poll, there seems to be a bit of a split in the community, but there seems to be some interest in related games. So the plan is I'm going to cover major announcements from Beth, Obsidian and InXile. It wont be the in depth coverage wasteland gets, but major major announcements... I'll be separating them out so those of you who aren't interested know what to skip.
Well, lets get this show on the road
Black Isle's other Magnum Opus to return
Big news from InXile, home of Wasteland 2. They're working on a sequel to Planescape: Torment. The AD&D based RPG that has you play a rather forgetful, yet immortal being. A game where even death itself is no barrier to winning the game.
- The first step in designing a new Torment story is to ask the primary question," he wrote. "I’m older than I was when I worked on Torment, and my questions now are different than they were. I have children now, and I look at the world through their eyes and through mine, and that’s changed me—in fact, the intervening years have changed me so much that I have new answers for the central story in the original Torment. So now that I know what can change the nature of a man, I ask: What does one life matter?... and does it matter at all?"
Ars goes on:
- All this thinking about a sequel led McComb to reach out to Torment lead designer Chris Avellone, and the pair discussed how a sequel would be possible without the interference of rights-holder Wizards of the Coast. "We both agreed that Planescape was not the best route for us to take anyway, due to the mechanical issues and editorial oversight WotC would want," McComb told Eurogamer. In other words, the new title will be a Torment game, but without the Planescape setting controlled by WotC. McComb said he then asked for and received Avellone's explicit blessing to work on the Torment sequel he has been envisioning, while Avellone continues to focus on the highly anticipated Project Eternity.
- Meanwhile, a trademark application for the name "Torment" has popped up on the USPTO website in reference to "providing online downloadable computer and video game programs" and "providing temporary use of online non-downloadable computer and video games." The trademark was filed back in May by Roxy Friday, a company controlled by Black Isle Studios' Brian Fargo, who has used it to register other game-related trademarks in the past.
- "There are many other pieces to the pie on this project that I can't speak to yet which prevents me from much comment," Fargo told Eurogamer. "I need to get the other elements in order so you can fully understand the detail, team, approach and reasoning first. There will lots of pleasant surprises but I had not planned on talking about it yet."
You can also see more of his thoughts about revisiting Torment on his blog
(Shut up and take my
Bottlecaps Gold Pieces).
brown, awesome and sticky?
For the VGA's, Obsidian have released this trailer for South Park: Stick of Truth
No word on if Kingclyde is the Clyde from South Park though.
Just a short update on Fallout: Lanius; its indigo go is done. With $19,221 raised, they've met all of their stretch goals... So now all we have to do is wait for the premiere.
Please let us know of any outstanding Fallout Fan Projects you become aware of.
We're preparing our test broadcast for JunkRadio, and you can be involved! Our Apprentice, Crimson Frankie, has penned part one in an Audio Drama, "Fading Bonds", and we need a cast. We have a particular need for Female voices, but we'll like to hear from males as well
If you can record yourself saying the following:
- “This is a voice recording intended to be used in tryouts for voice roles in the radio drama Fading Bonds. My name is (nickname here), and I wish to participate in the project, contributing to the JunkRadio Wiki and the programmes thereof.”
And link it to my talk page, we'll get back to you!
Relic of the War that Wasn't
Okay, this one might be a rerun, but its the last in our Inspiration series. Kids, here's Bert the Turtle to teach you all why you need to Duck, and Cover!.
Before you all laugh at the advice, here's what Wikipedia says in its analysis:
- Within a considerable radius 0–3 km—largely depending on the explosion's height and yield—ducking and covering would offer negligible protection against the intense heat, shock wave, and radiation following a nuclear explosion. Beyond that range however many lives would be saved by following the simple advice, especially since at that range the main danger is from sustaining burns to unprotected skin.
- Furthermore as the explosion's blast wave would take 9 to 10 seconds to reach a person standing 3 km from an explosion, the exact time of arrival being dependent on the speed of sound in air in their area, there would be more than ample amounts of time to take the prompt countermeasure of 'duck and cover' against the blast's direct effects and flying debris.