Welcome to the Nukapedia News Digest, brought to you by Salvatore's Bar - Service at the speed of light.
In your digest this week.
Attention Nukapedia Shoppers
A deal, and a warning from Gog.com. Fallout, and the rest of the back Interplay catalogue are currently on special, at potentially never to be repeated prices. Gog warn us that their new deal with Interplay means that although 4 more Interplay titles will be available soon (and others ported to Mac soon like Fallout was), there is a price rise in the works.
So guys, if you haven't purchased Fallout 1/2/Tactics or even Lionheart until now, this is the time.
From the Administrative Enclave
Please tell us what you think about the look and feel of Nukapedia. If you don't speak up, we can't accept your views.
Oh, and yes, I did pass the Administrative vote. Thanks again for your support those who voted, and I have a more detailed "speech" on the forum page.
Josh follows the Apocalypse
In the Fallout series, would you say there is anything the Followers of the Apocalypse did that you disagree with? As much as I can tell, they're about as blameless and noble as it gets, but maybe I missed something.
- At least in Fallout: New Vegas, I think it's easier to find fault in what they don't do than in what they do. They tend so much toward anti-authoritarianism that they have weak internal hierarchies and a lack of clear or unified direction.
- In The White Wash, Anderson's activities may or may not have been noted by other Followers, but even if they were, he doesn't have a "boss" and the Followers don't have any commonly accepted methods for dealing with rogue agents.
- Similarly, when Edward Sallow became Caesar, he essentially just sent Bill Calhoun away and there wasn't anything he or the other Followers were prepared to do about it.
- In the F:NV endings where the Followers wind up with a lot of responsibility, their tendency to over-commit and their lack of efficient organization result in a lot of problems. Even though they heavily distrust NCR, they are only able to provide adequate services in Freeside in an ending where NCR maintains control of the Mojave.
News from the Wastes
Ars Technica (One of those grown up technology sites), talked to Sebastian Alvarado from Twacke and Brian Fargo (from InXile) about Twacke.... Seems like some good things coming out of the collaboration.
- "Each one of the writers on Wasteland 2 has benefited from their work in either being inspired or finding some real world facts to help them put their ideas into a stronger basis," Fargo told Ars. "Colin McComb garnered quite a bit of information on poisons, explosives, and water issues to help shape his map for example. ... I gravitated towards the idea of working with them when I read about the kinds of creatures that would thrive in nuclear fallout or about dust storms and the use of ethical dilemmas in situations and how the brain looks at risk and reward."
- To help shape Wasteland 2's radiation-soaked, er, wasteland, the team at Thwacke reviewed research on everything from Hiroshima to the nuclear tests on Bikini Atoll to determine how survivors and the environment would be affected. For example, Alvarado points out that nuclear blasts often create trinitite, a shiny green glass formed when sand gets super-heated incredibly quickly. Thwacke passes that background on to InXile and lets them decide how or whether to use it in the game.
- One of the best examples of how Wasteland 2 will be intertwining real world science and imaginative fantasy probably comes through in enemy design. Alvarado recalls that the InXile team needed some believable enemies for a waterlogged area that had been ruined by a natural disaster. "We wanted to explore what kind of animals would survive in water and out of water, what animals do we know that live in a tidal zone and that could survive, things like that," he said.
- The scientists found the humble hermit crab was a likely candidate for post-nuclear survival, thanks to its ability to absorb radiation in its shell and then discard it during a molting cycle. That's the academically valid, scientific part. But since this is still a video game, they wanted to make sure it was a little "off the wall" as Alvarado put it.
- "We used radiation as a very simple gaming mechanism to argue that it makes animals super large, because everyone knows radiation makes things super-large... we'll just take that one as a granted," he said, laughing. "So let's let these hermit crabs get [so big] they can't find housing in their conventional shell and they'll actually seek housing in a bus or a telephone booth or something like that."
- "So the whole idea is that they'll hide in parts of the environment and they'd actually have this stealth ability, in the fact that they wouldn't actually be seen by the player," Alvarado continued. "It kind of works with a bit of biology, it works a bit with what Wasteland is after ... it fits into this world that Wasteland has with bizarre and fun off-the-wall type humor and everything."
- While Fargo says most players probably wouldn't mind if Wasteland 2 had no connection to modern science, he thinks having some grounding in reality can only be a good thing. "I find that being inspired by nature and science is always helpful when fleshing out a world," he said. "Nobody really cared how the forests of Avatar were inspired by Cameron's exploration of the ocean yet it gave it a wonderful look. Much of our work with Thwacke helped inspire some big ideas that we might not have come across otherwise. Sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction."
- It's important that a focus on realism doesn't impinge on making a fun and imaginative games, though. Fargo says players definitely shouldn't worry on that score. "We would never let the realism trump the fun factor of the gameplay as our goal is to make a game a not a simulator or learning game," he said. "We are focused on the experience over the realism and the two can work hand in hand. The sensibilities of our Wasteland world are well documented in the vision document that we posted so the input of Thwacke does not affect the world feel in a negative way."
- Alvarado agrees wholeheartedly. "I know some people are saying, 'Oh, I don't want Wasteland 2 to be scientifically accurate or realistic, because that would ruin such an off the wall game,' we're not doing that at all. ... We know that the game would be pretty boring if it had to be 100 percent realistic. We're trying to add some science facts on to their fiction just to give it a bit more grounding in reality. If you happen to identify with some of the actual science, you enjoy it that much more. If you don't, that's fine, you're still going to enjoy the game."
Yes folks, RadCrabs wearing phone booths and busses. Is this, or is this not going to be awesome?
The New User Network is happy to announce two graduates this week, Dwellersims and Dead Gunner. Congratulations to you both. If you, or someone you know needs help editing or getting used to the way we do things around here, please get in touch!
Just a short update this week. Thanks to those of you who responded on the FanZone and Relic threads. I promise the Relic will be back next week with a very special, Aniversary edition. If you have any fan projects you'd like me to promote, please get in touch My talk page.
I'm interested in hearing from anyone who spends time on Duck and Cover, No Mutants Allowed, the Bethesda Forums, or any other major Fallout Website. Please hit me up if you do.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young. Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted, They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.
-Ode of Rememberence / For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon, 1914.