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Fallout tidbits 2011-03

Ausir April 24, 2011 User blog:Ausir
Fallout tidbits
Fallout tidbits
The Fallout tidbits are a summary of various minor articles and newsbits concerning Fallout games.
If you want to propose a link to be included in the next tidbit post, simply post it in a comment under this one.

While we all eagerly await more news about the upcoming Fallout: New Vegas add-ons Honest Hearts, Old World Blues and Lonesome Road, as well as tomorrow's patch (at least for the PC), here's a collection various other Fallout-related bits.

My Fallout: New Vegas Tour is a blog run by Chris Worth, documenting his trip around the Mojave, in search of places featured in Fallout: New Vegas. It features some great comparisons of in-game locations with their real-world equivalents, with lots of pictures!

The site's now complete. In less than a week it's approached 100,000 pageviews and over 5000 people have watched the videos. But doing a tour based on a videogame remains a fundamentally silly thing to do. So a few people have asked: why did I do it?

Here's my answer: because life itself is fundamentally silly. We're born. We eat, sleep, reproduce. And then we die. We're each an eyeblink even in human history, let alone the history of the universe. There's not a lot of point to any of it; life has no innate meaning or purpose, save that which we impose upon it. So the worst thing you can do is take it too seriously.

Besides, the American West is among my favourite places on earth. The vast distances, the extremes of climate, the hardscrabble characters eking a living from motels and dime stores. There are millions of stories scratched into the sands of the Mojave, with millions more left to be written. In its own tiny way, this trip was one of them.

The only thing left to do is thank my special friend Melissa, source of the idea. (Herself a midwesterner, she once did a tour of Rome based on the much-panned film "Hudson Hawk".) I haven't seen the movie yet, Melissa: it's waiting for us when I see you again.

So there you have it: my Fallout New Vegas Tour, a real-world journey around 34 locations that appear in the game. If you've just arrived at this blog, here's where you start.

Destructoid has an article titled "Who wants to be the bad guy?" about how playing an evil character is handled in various games. Here's a snippet:

Even taking the mission where you kidnap a four year old girl and sell her off to the slavers, in my opinion probably the darkest and most morally condemnable mission in the game (which is saying something for a game that lets you nuke a entire city) only gives the player a useless hat. There is no reason to do those Paradise Falls missions other than to be an evil git. The slavers don't offer you any bonuses, their shops are stocked with crummy items, and being their friend doesn't open up access to any unique gear or missions or story content or anything. Being the badguy here is just scummy and nasty with no real motivation to do it outside of role playing a scummy and nasty git. And lets not even get into how every sin in Fallout 3 can be washed clean by repeatedly handing a hobo a bottle of water.

Bethesda's Pete Hines talks to Gamesindustry.biz about Bethesda in general:

Q: Does it make it more challenging to convey that from a marketing perspective?

Pete Hines: Well, look at Oblivion. Everybody said 'there's no chance you're going to sell Oblivion into a console audience; it's too big, it's too complicated, it's too much of a PC thing. They won't get it. Console gamers don't like that kind of stuff.' And then they bought it by truckloads, and it was like 'well, there goes that theory. What other theories do you have?' And then they're 'you can't take an old-school PC isometric turn-based role-playing game and turn it into something that's relevant on next-generation consoles.'

So we did Fallout 3, and that won game of the year and sold a gazillion copies. It turns out that people just like good stuff, and if you market it well and you get people into what the game is about people like it. People want to play good stuff, they want to get value for they're paying for these games. So I think we do a pretty good job of delivering on that, making sure that when you buy a game from us that it's gonna be fun and different and unique from what you played last week, last month, last year.

Q: It must pretty heavily affect the budgets though...

Pete Hines: It does. But what affects the budget more than anything is just the nature of making a game on a 360 or a PS3 - you can't afford to have the same number of artists that you had eight years ago when you were making it for the Xbox, because it takes a lot more work, a lot more effort, a lot more time to put that level of detail in. It's more a function of that than how great do you want the game to be, if that makes any sense.

No Mutants Allowed reviews Dead Money.

While Dead Money in general plays the same as the main Fallout New Vegas game the focus on the player skills are somewhat different than the main game. Dead Money is still an action role playing game, but an important aspect of the game is survival which is implemented in the game through the various hazards and the strong enemies as well as the severe lack of resources such as stimpaks, weapons, and ammunition the player could take for granted in New Vegas. These are very rare and precious now and sometimes it is better to avoid a conflict or try to use a trap against an enemy rather than trying to approach the situation Action Boy style. There are vendors, or vendor holograms in this case, and the unique vending machines which can manufacture a lot of items the player needs, but the vendors do not accept caps and usually have a limited selection of items for sale, and the player needs to get holodiscs containing manufacturing recipes in order to get access to the normally common stimpaks, RadAway or other drugs and items that can make a difference between life and death, and until those discs have been found the player needs to carefully manage their resources. The vending machines require the special Sierra Madre gambling chips which the player can find in various places, but even the basic of items require a certain quantity and the player will probably have to be careful with spending them until they have built up a reliable supply. Other than finding the discs the player can also recycle junk items or at some point learn from Christine how to make them from scrap metal and other parts, somewhat relieving the limited supply of chips.

NMA also reviews the fan-made online game based on Fallout and Fallout 2 - FOnline 2238, and brings news of a press release from the team making Mutants Rising, an ambitious Fallout 2 mod.

Fallout: New Vegas is now available on the Xbox 360 Games on Demand service.

And finally, here's a little poll:

Which upcoming add-on are you excited about the most?

  • 34% 70 votes
  • 28% 57 votes
  • 37% 76 votes
203 people voted
Thanks!
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