Post Nuclear Living in Fallout 3
From the creators of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion comes what may be one of the best post-apocalyptic role-playing games ever - Fallout 3. Due to hit stores next year, Fallout 3 will breathe life back into the once amazing franchise about a post nuclear world where humans must not only fight monstrous creatures but toxic infections and radiation as well.
PSU.com brings you an inside look into the world of Fallout 3 through our interview with Pete Hines. Enjoy!
PSU: Unlike Oblivion where gamers jump into a first time story, Fallout 3 is a game with a storyline that reaches back to two other games. How will the experience be for a gamer that’s never played any previous Fallout game vs. a gamer that’s played them all? Will there be any benefits or disadvantages?
Actually, Fallout and The Elder Scrolls are very similar in that respect. Both have a deep storyline and backstory that runs through the series, but each game sort of stands on its own. Our approach is always that we want you to be able to play and enjoy the game without having played the originals, but if you have played the original there are lots of references to characters, lore, and things that may have taken place in previous games that veterans of the series will recognize. This is true for both The Elder Scrolls and the Fallout series, with Fallout 3.
PSU: Bethesda has been known in the past with games such as Morrowind and Oblivion to feature a nice smooth musical score that highlights the atmosphere of the game. How is Bethesda handling that with Fallout 3?
I would say that our intent is to have Fallout 3’s soundtrack do that again with music that reflects the gameplay and surroundings, while also staying true to the type of music the rest of the series has used. In addition to the original soundtrack, we also have the licensed music we’re using, which features music from the period before the war. So lot’s of 40’s and 50’s music featuring groups like The Ink Spots, who were featured in the first two Fallout games.
PSU: The art direction in Fallout 3 definitely succeeds in capturing the visual spirit of its predecessors. How did Bethesda initially capture these visuals and place them into a next-gen 3D world? Were there any compromises made in terms of what to add or how expansive the world could be? In addition, was there anything Bethesda thinks it did differently than any previous titles in terms of the current world's visual layout?
Obviously we spent a lot of time looking at the games themselves, but also the concept art for those games. We have a lot of the original materials from the first two games so we can look at not only how they looked in the original games, but also what the developers were going for when they came up with the idea. We spent a ton of time churning out a lot of concept art and going through multiple iterations to get the look and feel of things right. That includes all of the iconic elements from the series – the PipBoy, Vault Suit, and so on – to little things like the chairs and computers that appeared in the Vault in the first game.
PSU: Apparently, Fallout 3 will definitely have much fewer NPC's than Oblivion (1,500+ NPC's). Was there any sort of a sacrifice with this approach? If so, does Bethesda feel this sacrifice made the gameplay more revolutionary in terms of its complexity, or much simpler?
Well, logically it makes sense that a game set in the capital province of an empire at the height of its rule (Cyrodiil in Oblivion) is going to be much more populated than a post-nuclear wasteland (Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3). So part of it is just going with what feels right. How many people would there be in this world, where would they be located, what would they be doing? However many NPCs we need to do that right, that’s how many we’ll include. At the ... (continued on next page)