Here's a new batch of interviews with Fallout: New Vegas developers.
AG: With the changed dialogue system, when you say "complex” do you mean more choices, or more dynamic?
Tess: I would say both - more choices and more dynamic. The way that their GECK game editor works, I guess it just makes dialogue clunky and hard to manage, and I guess Fallout 3's dialogue didn't get that complicated, but for us there are dialogue strings that just go on and on, and things you say will affect things that happen later on - there's just so much stuff going on that we built our own (dialogue system).
AG: So will there be changing, dynamic reactions from NPCs over time? I always hated going back to Megaton and having the sheriff always say "Are you lookin' for the mayor, or the sheriff?"
Tess: Oh yeah, in ours... well for one they'll respond to your faction reputation, sometimes factions will comment on your reputation with other factions, and also major events. People will comment on not just things you've done, but things that are happening in the world. You know, like, if the NCR loses an outpost or something, people will comment on that, and that might be the way you find out about it. That kind of stuff will happen all the time.”
Strategy Informer: When Bethesda took over the franchise, they obviously had their own 'take' on things. Have you now brought it back to being closer to what it used to be? Or have you stuck more towards Bethesda's image?
Josh Sawyer: One thing that we really tried to bring back was that sense of moral ambiguity with all of the different organisations... there was moral ambiguity in Fallout 3 but we've really emphasised it now. The New Californian Republic are the quote "good" guys, but the more you get to know about them the more you're like "well, actually they're kind of corrupt and incompetent...", some of their high level commanders are terrible people and do terrible things as well. Coming to Caesar's Legion as well, yeah they're a slaving organisation, but there's also some things about them that, whilst are not necessarily 'redeeming', but there are things that are appealing and that make sense.
So we tried to bring that back, and also the reputation system is very important for us. What you do with different groups impacts your standing with them, and gives you a way to understand your position in the overall world, affects how quests open up, how people react to you, in even with minor things. For example, in my latest play through, I started off with a good reputation with the NCR, then I got a bad rep so I was hunted by NCR Rangers who were sent to kill me, and then I got back into their good graces again, and I was walking around one of their camps and one of their soldiers said "at least Caesar's Legion know what side they want to take". And it's this kind of little reactivity to my character that's kind of cool, I have a mixed reputation with this group and they're responding to it. We really tried to emphasise that stuff in the game and we hope people enjoy it.
Strategy Informer: How far along is New Vegas?
Josh Sawyer: Oh it's done. We're actually getting ready to submit. The only thing we've been doing recently is fixing bugs, stabilising frame rates, certification at Sony and Microsoft and that's it! We're getting ready.”