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Here's a roundup of some recent Fallout: New Vegas interviews.
Videogamer.com has a pretty good interview with Chris Avellone.
Q: You were working on a Fallout 3 that didn't happen, called Project Van Buren. Are there any ideas or mechanics you had in place for that game that we'll see in Fallout: New Vegas?
CA: We thought we would but actually it ended up not being the case. If you ever read any of the Van Buren documents you might recognise certain titles for groups, like Caesar's Legion. But what they actually became in New Vegas was far divorced from anything they were planned for in Van Buren. So it's actually taken kind of an interesting spin. That five year break, I think you just end up having new design ideas. You're like, well you know actually it would be more interesting if they went this way. So I mean Van Buren was a good testing ground for some of that stuff, but New Vegas is basically a brand new game.
Q: Why New Vegas? Why that part of the world?
CA: We were given the parameters for like, just do something on the Western side of the world, go off and do your own thing. We were like, okay. So then we were like, what's a signature city that's comparable to Washington DC but in the west? We asked people independently and Vegas just kept coming up all the time. We were like, okay well you know that is a cool signature city. But at the same time, it turns out people in different departments got excited about it for different reasons. An example would be the artists got really excited about it because that's one city where you can play around with the architecture within almost every city block and go, hey here's a theme for this casino and we can go fucking crazy with it because it's Vegas. Like, here's a signage we can use. Here are the different colours we can use. Here are the lighting schemes we can use. When you walk down the strip in Vegas in real life, all those signature casinos like the Luxor have these really cool themes. And the artists were like, oh this would be fun to do. And we were like, okay let's just take that energy and momentum and just make a fun location.”
Fallout 3 debuted at No.1 in the ELSPA/GfK Chart-Track All Formats charts and managed to shift 4.7m copies worldwide in its first week.
It also outsold the combined sales of all previous Fallout games in just two days.
“Based on what we’re seeing so far from the response at retail and from gamers, we expect New Vegas to do even better than Fallout 3,” said Bethesda’s global VP of PR and marketing Pete Hines.”
Joystiq talks to J.E. Sawyer:
Joystiq: What's your history with the Fallout franchise?
Josh Sawyer: I worked on what's called "Van Buren," which was the codename when Black Isle started to work on what would have been Fallout 3, and we had worked on it for maybe half a year, and then it was canceled because Interplay had a lot of financial problems.
Has it been a bizarre journey for you -- to have worked on the original iteration of Fallout 3 and now to be creating New Vegas, the sequel to the Fallout 3 you didn't work on -- or is it just "business as usual"?
I don't know if it's necessarily business as usual. You know, I've had a few high profile games be canceled, and so when I start working on a game at this point I'm kind of like, "I'm not confident that a game is going to ship until the manual is printed." Although, I have heard of examples where even then games have been canceled.
So, I mean, I'm really glad to be working on Fallout again. But like I said, until we get really close to the finish, I don't think I'm really going to have the same level of excitement that I had back in the early 2000s, because when I came to Black Isle, all I could think of was working on Fallout 3. So it has basically been 11 years coming to this, so I don't want to get ahead of myself until it's actually out the door.”
Josh Sawyer: We're trying to build on [the franchise's fictional history] a lot. One thing I do admit is kinda tricky is sometimes we take for granted [knowledge of past characters and events].
Pete Hines: That's all part of the Fallout canon, and going back there is just building on that canon but ultimately acknowledging that you are in part of the U.S. where other games did take place and there are places and things that, if you played those games, you should see and recognize. If you don't, if you don't what the NCR is, it doesn't take away from your enjoyment of the game. You still get what it's all about.
Josh Sawyer: When you go to Black Mountain, we wanted to include the chimes from the cathedral in Fallout 1. Sometimes [the references are] really overt, like, "Hey, look it's that character." Sometimes it can be as subtle as an instrument you heard in a theme that comes back.”
Is there any overarching Enclave-style enemy?
That’s kind of the big question – it depends how you want to approach the game. There’s a lot of different ways to approach the endgame – there’s a big war that’s about to take place between the NCR and Cesar’s Legion. Depending on which side you favour, by default the other side almost becomes your enemy. Even so, it’s not as clear-cut as that. For example you can strike out on your own, as one potential ending. It’s all dependent on your choices.
Does the game dialogue differ in tone to Fallout 3?
We’ve got a range [of tones] in NewVegas. There’s some characters you’ll encounter in the game, like Fantastic, that are humorous. But at the same time there will be moments and conversations in the game where you should not be smiling at all. We try to run the range, to have that contrast there.
Is Fallout: New Vegas linked in any way to Fallout 3?
No. You saw the distance between the two locations. It takes place three years after the events of the capital wasteland – you actually won’t see any repercussions from Fallout 3 in New Vegas, because of the distance ant the rather short timeframe.”
What was the deciding factor for you and the rest of the Obsidian staff in electing to create Fallout: New Vegas versus an original IP for your next game?
This is different than going off and making the Iron Man 2 game. I mean this isn't a movie game. It's taking a license that, first off, we already love -- and a lot of us actually were involved in making the original Fallout games. So this is sort of just something fun to do.
I mean literally, when I was at Interplay, a lot of the reasons why I didn't leave when I probably should have left before was so I could get to make another Fallout. And so I kind of look at New Vegas as a different kind of license.
Now, from kind of more of a business perspective ... I know it's a big surprise to everybody that the economy hasn't been what it has been. And in some ways, as a developer, it's easier to get licensed products signed up, just because it's sort of like -- usually, when a publisher is coming to you to talk to you about a game, you know, if they are saying, "Hey, we got this license we want you to use" -- you're already like 10 steps into the process.”
GamePro has a video interview with Feargus, partly about similarities to Fallout and Fallout 2.