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May 1, 2007 10:39 PM   Subscribe

The Fallout 3 that never will be. As far as western RPGs go, the Fallout series was one of the crown jewels. A spiritual successor to EA's Wasteland, the games combined tragedy, black humor and all the cool of the retrofuture apocalypse. Although much of the creative team left to form Troika Games, and two (barely related) follow-up games were made, Black Isle Studios (who were also responsible for the Dungeons and Dragons-based Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate series, along with the epic Planescape: Torment) was planning a third sequel, but now Bethesda picked up the IP and plans to make an MMORPG. That little tech demo is all that's left of one of the most demanded video game sequels in western RPG history.
posted by griphus (107 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Uh, I guess I should've asked before making the post, but is linking to abandonware sites (the link above to wasteland is for one) okay?
posted by griphus at 10:43 PM on May 1, 2007


I really am terrible at keeping all the damn links straight. here is the NMA post that Kotaku cites in their article. It'll save you a click, I guess.
posted by griphus at 10:45 PM on May 1, 2007


As long as you aren't linking to your own abandonware site or something I can't see how anyone here would care.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:58 PM on May 1, 2007


this infuriates me. i have been following the demise of fallout3 for a long long time. i had known all about everything in this post until the MMORPG part. I had been so happy to hear that bethesda had picked it up, thinking that this was a company who could make another phenomenal fallout game (of course, i'd though the same when i'd heard that black isle was working on it. if fucking adore planescape.) but an MMORPG?!

fuck you! there's only room for one mmo in any individual's life! make a great single player pc game, you motherfuckers! bring back the once glorious platform i grew up loving!

bastards
posted by shmegegge at 10:59 PM on May 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Finally a sentiment we can stand united behind, shmegegge; fuck you, bethesda!
posted by Justinian at 11:01 PM on May 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Bethesda will most certainly make a single player game out of the IP. The defunct Interplay now licenses the right for the development of a MMO from Bethesda. They'd still need to find a development company to make it and there's a deadline attached. This is good news for Fall Out fans.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:06 PM on May 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


I avoid playing MMOs, simply because MUDding was way, way too big a part of my life in high school, the the exclusion of being social and so on. God knows I spend too much time on the internet as it is. This is pretty much like that guy in hades with the grapes he can't eat. Except I can eat the grapes, but then I know all I'll end up doing is eating the fucking grapes all day instead of going to concerts and hanging out with my friends. So, yes, fuck you Bethesda.
posted by griphus at 11:06 PM on May 1, 2007


People who dig Fallout are encouraged (by me, anyway) to pick up Troika's first game, Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. It's buggy as all hell in places, but the amazing "Tolkein plus Steampunk" style is really amazing, and the interface is basically an upgraded version of the Fallout engine.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:09 PM on May 1, 2007


fuck you! there's only room for one mmo in any individual's life!

And a lot of us don't even have room for even one.

I never played Everquest, I didn't bother with World of Warcraft, and I resisted the siren songs of Guild Wars and EVE Online. Honestly, it was never even that tough a decision. I wasn't tempted. I was perfectly content playing decade-old strategy games from the bargain bins at Circuit City and Best Buy. I didn't want to be one of those people that could have meaningful conversations about "gold farming" and "rolling alts" and "endgame raids." I'd been happy devoting an hour or so every few days to old classics like Sacrifice and Disciples and Dungeon Keeper. It was fun, and it left plenty of time for other things, like freelance writing, going to the gym, seeing local bands, spending time with my significant other...

But I digress. What I'm trying to say is that even though I'm opposed to the idea on principle, when this Fallout MMORPG comes out I think I'm going to have to quit my job.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:10 PM on May 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Did we read the same Kotaku article? Bethesda is not developing the property into a MMO and has explicitly licensed that right to Interplay, a bankrupt publisher, not a development studio.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:10 PM on May 1, 2007


I had understood that the Fallout MMORPG rumour had been debunked.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:10 PM on May 1, 2007


this infuriates me. i have been following the demise of fallout3 for a long long time. i had known all about everything in this post until the MMORPG part.

Oh whatever. At least your Interplay franchise gets a second lease on life. Us Descent and Freespace junkies are still totally screwed.
posted by chrominance at 11:11 PM on May 1, 2007


God knows I spend too much time on the internet as it is. This is pretty much like that guy in hades with the grapes he can't eat. Except I can eat the grapes, but then I know all I'll end up doing is eating the fucking grapes all day instead of going to concerts and hanging out with my friends.

I know what you mean, Griphus. This is why I don't own a record player. My CD addiction is more or less under control, but if I start buying vinyl I know it'll only be a matter of weeks or days before I'm out on some street corner, sucking dick for Coil 12-inches.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:14 PM on May 1, 2007 [4 favorites]


You've got your facts screwed up.

There are two separate Fallout games: Fallout 3 which is definitely in active development by Bethesda, and an MMORPG which is in the planning stage by Interplay. So Interplay is licensing an IP it used to own in order to make the Fallout MMORPG game happen. Part of the agreement is that the Interplay game has to launch commercially within 4 years, and must pay Bethesda 12% of the games sales and subscription revenue.
posted by tracert at 11:14 PM on May 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Never played Fallout, unfortunately, but I loved Fallout 2. Simply a fantastic game. It's truly a shame that Fallout 3 won't be the game I hoped it would be.

Wow, I can't believe how sad I actually am about that.

I'm playing through Baldur's Gate 2 and Throne of Baal again these days and I've come to the realization that BG2 was truly the last of a series of games that really was amazing. In terms of scope and story one would be hard pressed to find a recent game that compares to the likes of Fallout 2, Planescape and the Baldur's Gate series (for the PC of course - BG for the consoles was a POS). So many hours of gameplay, so much to do and such fantastic stories and characters. The replay value was fantastic! Different characters with different stats meant an almost entirely different game and story. Unfortunately, all these things seem to be lacking in an industry that seems obsessed and subsequently dominated by the flashiest graphics and the (dare I say it) young gamer's obsession with controlling a swiss-army knife of a character. There seems to be a trend in the broad scoped RPGs released today (Oblivion, for example) to cut out the party aspect and to try and create characters that can do everything. Party based tactics appear to be reserved for MMORPGs these days and in a form so very far removed from the classics of the past.

I suppose I harbored some faint hope that one day Fallout 3 would come along, dust off all those great aspects of those games of yesteryear and maybe - just maybe - create a new trend, fire up an old sub-genre of western rpgs, and show this new generation of gamers how we used to roll and just how much fun it was. And now we've just got another WOW.

Get off my lawn, you crazy kids.
posted by dazed_one at 11:16 PM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've got one of the nifty colored vinyl presses of "Black Light District", infinitywaltz. No dick sucking involved, but my wallet felt raped.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:17 PM on May 1, 2007


Us Descent and Freespace junkies are still totally screwed.

You know about the Freespace SCP, right? Thanks to the EULA of Freespace 2, you can download it legally, install the SCP and the game looks fantastic on modern systems.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:17 PM on May 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


rhizome23 - as far as I can understand from the (April 2007) SEC document in the NMA article linked in the Kotaku post, Bethesda bought the IP from Interplay and are now licensing back to Interplay, who have two years to fund/start developing it and six years to launch it.
posted by griphus at 11:17 PM on May 1, 2007


I was never able to get into Fallout, and I love me some PC RPG action. Played and loved Baldurs Gate 1 & 2 and all their expansion packs, Icewind Dale 1 & 2, Neverwinter Nights 1 (and working my way through 2) and Planescape Torment and loved it all but the Fallout series just didn't do it for me.

I fully agree it was probably the fact that it wasn't Dungeons & Dragons that contributed a great deal to that fact. But it wasn't the only thing. It just lacked a certain 'x' factor that I couldn't put my finger on.

Mind you, one thing I did like was the introduction and artwork which expertly satarised the Duck & Cover-style propoganda films.
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:18 PM on May 1, 2007


Waitasec... you mean there will be a Fallout 3 like I've hoped for? There is a light at the end of the tunnel?
posted by dazed_one at 11:19 PM on May 1, 2007


yes, griphus...but that doesn't mean that Interplay can necessarily pull off the development since they're technically bankrupt and not a development studio. Also, Bethesda gets a hefty chunk (%10) of the potential net, which makes it seem rather unlikely to get off the ground to me, MMO wise. Bethesda definitely has the resources to crank out an excellent single player game. It's their forte and they have a great track record on that front. So fret not! All is well!
posted by rhizome23 at 11:20 PM on May 1, 2007


tracert- okay, thanks. I think I understand it now (and should've researched it a bit better before I posted, I admit). But the Fallout 3 in the trailer is still a dead project, right?
posted by griphus at 11:22 PM on May 1, 2007


I have to second Pope Guilty on Arcanum. I play it every so often and I still wibble with joy at the console panel.

:wibbles again:
posted by ntartifex at 11:22 PM on May 1, 2007


Interplay would be more likely to try to turn around and flip the MMORPG rights for some kind of cut to a development studio. But MMOs are a crowded field these days and they'd be a secondary licensee.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:23 PM on May 1, 2007


rhizome23 - What's going to happen the $5.75 mil Bethesda tossed at Interplay, then? (Not being snarky, genuinely curious/ignorant to corporate bankruptcy [also, apparently gaming industry] procedures.)
posted by griphus at 11:24 PM on May 1, 2007


Troika was working on a kind of "spiritual successor" to Fallout when they folded -- a few screens leaked.
posted by undule at 11:24 PM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


It was a good post, griphus. No worries, man. It brought out a lot of geek nostalgia in me, at least.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:25 PM on May 1, 2007


They out and out "bought" the intellectual property rights from Interplay. They "own" Fallout now. Which is good.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:26 PM on May 1, 2007


tracert summed it up succinctly. Bethesda will make a single player game and Interplay has a few years to try scam an MMO together.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:27 PM on May 1, 2007


Okay, let's see if I've got this straight: Interplay is no longer bankrupt as they've got the $5.75m from Bethesda. But they're not a development studio, so they have two years to use that money to hire a development studio to start work on the MMO and get it out within six years. And if that is successful, they start paying Bethesda royalties. So Bethesda bailed them out by buying the property and left them with the money and the option to start the MMO.
posted by griphus at 11:31 PM on May 1, 2007


But the Fallout 3 in the trailer is still a dead project, right?

Yeah, that Fallout 3 was the one half developed by Black Isle. There are forums (and a cool splash screen) up at the Bethesda site if you want to see what they're up to on the upcoming version.

Personally, the thing I most loved about Fallout 1 and 2 was the clever writing and dialog. Those games had a certain feel to them that was special, and I'm not sure any studio (however talented or not) can duplicate that effect. This is the same reason why the Star Wars prequels couldn't hack it, why Clerks 2 just wasn't the same, and why the new Indiana Jones movie is going to make me feel old and sad. But maybe I'm just too hard to please.
posted by tracert at 11:33 PM on May 1, 2007


Bethesda probably bought the property because they figured Interplay couldn't go shit with the MMO clause and want a valuable property at a fire sale price. Interplay is bankrupt...they're looking to cash in on the remainder of their IP assets....that's why the probably sold it.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:35 PM on May 1, 2007


tracert - yeah, I know how you feel. It's like your favorite writer /artist duo leaving your favorite comic book. Sure someone can write kinda like the writer, or differently enough to make up for it, and someone else can draw sorta like the artist or differently enough to make up for it, and it's the same characters and setting, but it's just not the same at all. The problem with the Fallout games is the very fact that the old dev team so clearly made the game a personal project, no one else's will feel the same at all. I guess it'll be nice if it just isn't crap.
posted by griphus at 11:36 PM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


rhizome - Okay, that's what I thought was going on. But can Interplay do anything with the money outside of attempting to get games out? The heads can't just split it and walk away, I assume.
posted by griphus at 11:38 PM on May 1, 2007


I think Fallout is largely an aesthetic that was so well established by the first two games that it can be faithfully reproduced by other than the original designers/authors. I mean, isn't that why there are legions of fans to this day?
posted by rhizome23 at 11:40 PM on May 1, 2007


Well, the visual aesthetic was reproduced just fine (Fallout Tactics) and even improved upon, kinda (Brotherhood of Steel), but the writing and the humor will suffer IMHO.
posted by griphus at 11:41 PM on May 1, 2007


It's worked before.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:43 PM on May 1, 2007


oh man, now i'm happy again! anyone know if arcanum will play on vista? i was always tempted to get it, but after trying that horribly (as in, unplayably) buggy greyhawk game they attempted i decided no to. but if it'll work on vista this might be the time in my life where i can give it a shot.

if I start buying vinyl I know it'll only be a matter of weeks or days before I'm out on some street corner, sucking dick for Coil 12-inches.

You know, I heard that up until John Balans died, that was the easiest way to get 12 inches of coil. Although I also hear that Sleazy still makes those kinds of deals on occasion.

Us Descent and Freespace junkies are still totally screwed.

Oh here, let me fix that for you:

Us Descent and Freespace space sim junkies are still totally screwed.

you know what, we had freelancer, and then the whole fucking genre fell apart. and freelancer didn't even have HOTAS support. (I made a post about it once when i heard that someone had re-released a modern day 3d engine version of privateer) There needs to be a joystick revolution! We'll call ourselves the Freespace Addict Gamers!

wait... someone else should name our revolution.
posted by shmegegge at 11:45 PM on May 1, 2007


Personally, the thing I most loved about Fallout 1 and 2 was the clever writing and dialog.

certainly a fine quality of the games. what i loved was that in fallout 1, you could massacre the entire opening town you started in, steal all their supplies and gear and be well stocked for the next town. you know, instead of following the "plot."

of course, in fallout 2, they tried to make that kind of nonlinear play harder, but since those kings of developers were devoted to the idea of nonlinear play, they still left room for that kind of madness anyway. i love them for that, for devotion to an aesthetic and philosophical purity that is all too rare in today's games, even in the face of rampant player abuse. god damn the market for not rewarding them equal to their merit.
posted by shmegegge at 11:48 PM on May 1, 2007


oh god, stavros! that open freespace project doesn't seem to be hosting their files anymore! where can we get it? i got all excited and everything!
posted by shmegegge at 11:51 PM on May 1, 2007


"Morrowind", by Bethesda, is the definition of a non linear game. So cheers, shmegegge. I can't think of a better developer to own the IP right now, even Obsidian, which is the bastion of the Black Isle collective. I was thoroughly underwhelmed by Neverwinter Nights 2, the the lead writer was the same man responsible for Baldur's Gate 2, which I have unabashed geek love for.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:52 PM on May 1, 2007


rhizome - I never played the Sam and Max games, but from what I've heard about the revival, you're right. That gives me hope indeed.
posted by griphus at 11:53 PM on May 1, 2007


My inner geek bubbleth over and I indulge in a YouTube post of the "Greatest Adventure Game Ever".
posted by rhizome23 at 11:56 PM on May 1, 2007


shmegegge - I absolutely loved just how much space they managed to give you in F2: the fact that you could be a slaver, or a scientologist, or bring god's wrath down upon the sinners of New Reno (doing which had it's own special ending sequence, I believe) while still feeling like you were progressing a story line was an amazing feeling.
posted by griphus at 11:56 PM on May 1, 2007


but... Fallout isn't a western...

*ducking*
posted by ZachsMind at 11:56 PM on May 1, 2007


oh god, stavros! that open freespace project doesn't seem to be hosting their files anymore! where can we get it? i got all excited and everything!

SCP is very very cool once you get it all set up -- but it can be a hassle. Try here, maybe... I did it about a year back -- once I got all the texture packs and everything downloaded, it didn't take all that much to tweak it into shape. It looks, like I said, amazing -- if you loved Freespace, it's well worth the time.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:57 PM on May 1, 2007


If you never played the Fallout games, here're the intro movies you missed:

Fallout 1
Fallout 2

Wonderful games. Unfortunately (though I haven't played any of Bethesda's games myself), the talk I've heard about problems in Oblivion, both in terms of flawed game-design decisions and plain old bugs, doesn't give me a lot of hope for Fallout 3.
posted by rifflesby at 11:57 PM on May 1, 2007


Rhizome- I was going to mention the fact that I never played Sam and Max simply because I am absolutely awful at point-and-click games, and the Lucas Arts ones are no different. I did play through a fair bit of Grim Fandango, though, and the sheer amount of style in it made me tear up a bit. One day I might go back to it with a walkthrough for that parts that I got stuck on.

(Christ, I'm posting a lot in this thread)
posted by griphus at 11:58 PM on May 1, 2007


Sergio Leoni could so totally make a bad ass "Fall Out" movie, ZachsMind.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:58 PM on May 1, 2007


shmegegge wrote "I had been so happy to hear that bethesda had picked it up, thinking that this was a company who could make another phenomenal fallout game ... but an MMORPG?!

fuck you! ... make a great single player pc game, you motherfuckers!"


What he said.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:02 AM on May 2, 2007


Oh wait, now I've read the thread, looks like there will be a F3. Huzzah!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:05 AM on May 2, 2007


You know about the Freespace SCP, right?

Yeah, and I'm glad it exists—without it there'd be no Battlestar Galactica fan game. But it's still not the same as a true Freespace 3. What happened to Bosch's crew? Why did the Shivans make Capella go supernova? What happens to the GTVA and do they ever rebuild the link to Earth? Do the Shivans ever return? Freespace 2 really raised the bar for space-sim narratives, especially with the unorthodox choice of not only making the protagonist anonymous, but also relatively insignificant—it was truly a game where you were just one of many people, as much an observer as a participant. Plus it was a damned good space-sim, and no one makes those any more.
posted by chrominance at 12:06 AM on May 2, 2007


Unfortunately (though I haven't played any of Bethesda's games myself), the talk I've heard about problems in Oblivion, both in terms of flawed game-design decisions and plain old bugs, doesn't give me a lot of hope for Fallout 3.

Oblivion was/is spectacular, but they did make some very odd decisions in terms of game design (with regard to character and NPC levelling and a number of other things) -- the good news is that, as with Morrowind, all of the questionable stuff can be altered with mods. And there are a lot of mods.

If Bethesda does a Fallout game using the same sort of totally-moddable engine (resource-pigs as they invariably tend to be notwithstanding) that they've used in the last few Elder Scrolls games, it's pretty much going to be the Best (Game) Thing Ever, I reckon.

Like has been said about Sam and Max -- if the new one is done by people that love and grew up with the originals and understand what was great about them, the prognosis is good.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:08 AM on May 2, 2007


Yeah, and I'm glad it exists—without it there'd be no Battlestar Galactica fan game.

Yep, there are a few total conversions out there that are playable now, including that one (I've downloaded but not tried it yet). Check the Hard Light wiki I mentioned upthread for the others.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:10 AM on May 2, 2007


Well, that cheers me up a little, Stavros. Here's hoping.
posted by rifflesby at 12:15 AM on May 2, 2007


How odd - am playing Fallout 2 again right now and am only on the internet at al because I'm sneaking a quick 30 mins more playing time before work! Excellent post...
posted by prentiz at 1:10 AM on May 2, 2007


griphus,
I would sacrifice dignity and organs (both my own and any others that are needed) to see a Grim Fandango 2 come about one day...That game really did have such a great style to it. LucasArts was brilliant back in the day.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:46 AM on May 2, 2007


I completed both Fallout and Fallout 2 a few years ago after a few years of not playing either of them. They have aged extremely well. Lots of silly bugs still present from the original but all is forgiven thanks to the atmosphere oozing out from every single second of the game.

I mostly attribute this to Mark Morgan's absolutely sublime soundtrack. (Available to download on the official website and other, less official sites).

Needless to say, Fallout 3 (MMO or not) tickles me in ways I can't quite describe.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:09 AM on May 2, 2007


Only click this if you've played "Grim Fandango". Spoilers otherwise.
posted by rhizome23 at 2:09 AM on May 2, 2007


The Sam and Max games are quite a hoot, and I do know Sam and Max well. So far my only issue with Season One is buggy software, not the interface, writing, or graphics. Be prepared for some seriously nonsensical puzzles though (which would normally piss me off, but it fits the subject matter...)
posted by Samizdata at 2:21 AM on May 2, 2007


Oh... Not interested in the MMO, I am afraid.

Interplay sucks.

They have for a long time, and I'm not expecting to see a change in my lifetime.
posted by Samizdata at 2:22 AM on May 2, 2007


Grim Fandango is the greatest game I have ever had the pleasure to play.
posted by dirigibleman at 3:08 AM on May 2, 2007


I have high hopes in Fallout 3 (I'm hoping in a good FPS RPG S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-like - but hey, playable, because STALKER is really a piece of junk).

In my opinion there's another spiritual successor of Fallout and is called Bioshock (even if it's made by the creators of System Shock), it's full of retrodesign and steampunkish things. There mutants and stuff. And, technically, it's just plain awesome. Go have a look.
posted by darkripper at 3:36 AM on May 2, 2007


Some people obsess way, way too much over electronic games. Go outside and play.
posted by caddis at 5:32 AM on May 2, 2007


As long as they bring over the next Mother/Earthbound game, I'll survive.
posted by danb at 5:47 AM on May 2, 2007


Complaining about a companies propensity for bugs as a reason that Fallout 3 of suck means that you're looking at Fallout and 2 through rose coloured glasses. Fallout and Fallout 2 are the only games I've ever replayed or even had enough interest in to finish but they were both riddled with bugs that were eventually mostly patched. Don't even get me started on Wasteland...

I'm jonesing for some Fallout action right now but I haven't been able to play it for a couple years. My old tube monitor started on fire the last time I had started playing Fallout 2 and I replaced it with a 24" wide screen monitor. The control interface during bartering and dialog doesn't work correctly on wide screens

I've been trying to find my CDs but now that my main computer is now a widescreen laptop... running MacOS X... on Intel I'm anticipating dissapointment.
posted by substrate at 5:50 AM on May 2, 2007


Wonderful games. Unfortunately (though I haven't played any of Bethesda's games myself), the talk I've heard about problems in Oblivion, both in terms of flawed game-design decisions and plain old bugs, doesn't give me a lot of hope for Fallout 3.

I don't know, it would be hard for them to put out an engine that was buggier than the one for Fallout and (especially) Fallout 2. Don't get me wrong; Fallout 2 is probably my favorite game of all time, because it's so quirky and offbeat and I can replay it as different character types and it's like it isn't even the game, but DAMN, was that ever a bug-ridden ride. I've never really investigated, but in retrospect, the only explanation I can muster is that the scripting language they used for plot events must have been originally conceived as being user-editable, and then abandoned partway through. I worked ever-so-briefly on the Sourceforge project that was going to make their own Fallout 3, licensing be damned (suffice to say, Bethesda disapproved and it 404'd overnight), and there was much talk of how awesomely amazing it would have been if the damn thing had worked the way it was supposed to: it was this really cool, modular, portable scripting language that would have rivaled the abilities of, say, Neverwinter Nights in the ability to interject user-made content. (Note that this predated this model of content generation by at least six years) Unfortunately, huge chunks of it were disabled or useless, and it felt for all the world like they had hit a deadline and just never finished that last 10% that would have taken them from "awesome game" to "best game ever made".

At any rate, since it was so flexible, and development was aborted in process, it's probably the second-buggiest game I've ever come across. (Anyone else remember Outpost? ::shudder::) I'm surprised that I only came across one game-ending (i.e., the entirety of the time I've put into this character is wasted because a trigger necessary to progress the plot refuses to fire) bug in all the times I played through it. I can't imagine Bethesda shipping a game this highly anticipated with similar problems.

Hell, I'll QA it for free. Just send the discs my way, guys!
posted by Mayor West at 5:53 AM on May 2, 2007


Jesus, caddis, did a game developer drive over you dog or something? What's with the hate of videogames?
posted by slimepuppy at 6:43 AM on May 2, 2007


I don't know, it would be hard for them to put out an engine that was buggier than the one for Fallout and (especially) Fallout 2.

Someone never played the Troika games. They weren't as bad as the new Pool of Radiance (i.e. you weren't risking your Windows install by uninstalling them), but they were pretty bad.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:01 AM on May 2, 2007


I was so taken by the Ink Spots who sing "Maybe" at the beginning of Fallout 1. Looks like their music fits that genre of futuristic apocalypto, as my other favorite song of theirs, "If I Didn't Care," was used in Blade Runner (also a really fun game).
posted by ikahime at 8:06 AM on May 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ahh Bethesda. So this will pretty much crash whatever box you try to run it on?
posted by Mister_A at 8:12 AM on May 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


The fallout series is like that first love to me. Try as I may I just can't seem to move on...

Things were so good between us!

sigh.
posted by French Fry at 8:43 AM on May 2, 2007


Some people obsess way, way too much over electronic games. Go outside and play.
posted by caddis at 8:32 AM on May 2 [+] [!]


some people get way way too much enjoyment out of telling other people their favorite pastime sucks. go away.
posted by shmegegge at 8:47 AM on May 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


There is another story lurking around the edges here.

Fallout fans are one of the most vocal and, in some people's opinion, deranged fans on the planet, probably only eclipsed by MMORPG fans. NMA is one example of this. They pretty much believe Troika was the only company that could ever have made a "proper" Fallout 3, given that Tim Cain worked there. Even though the games they put out were over budget, incomplete, and seldom patched.

Witness this thread, in which the Bethesda announced Fallout 3. In it, we have Fallout fans insulting every other large scale developer of RPGs. Especially funny when members of those companies are posting in the same thread.
posted by zabuni at 9:01 AM on May 2, 2007


The setting, background and character development of Arcanum are some of the best I've ever seen in any medium. I could live in that universe for years. Pity the game mechanics sucked swollen green orc testicles.

I'm deadly serious when I ask this: Why hasn't someone taken the Arcanum universe and adapted it to D20 tabletop rules? It could be the greatest campaign setting ever.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:04 AM on May 2, 2007


Ahh Bethesda. So this will pretty much crash whatever box you try to run it on?
posted by Mister_A


Well, I'll assume you understand the intracacies of releasing a complex, sandbox videogame (e.g. Oblivion) on the PC platform with its spectrum of third party parts and customizable settings.

Then again, I may be jaded since my rig runs Oblivion without a single crash. And believe me, I've loaded it with all sorts of addons and mods...I'm basically begging it to crash.

I'm not giving PC developers carte blanche since many release buggy software due to inflexible schedules imposed by distributors. But c'mon...many complaints on the PC platform are due to your own configuration. Build a stable rig and you'll enjoy all types of crash-free gaming.
posted by NationalKato at 9:16 AM on May 2, 2007


Fallout isn't a western or it is?
posted by mesmerx at 9:34 AM on May 2, 2007


A western? not really. think more along the lines of Road Warrior.
posted by shmegegge at 9:40 AM on May 2, 2007


Fallout is a post-apocalyptic western.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:44 AM on May 2, 2007


one other thing i'd like to add to the fallout3 discussion is the idea that fallout3 was almost done by the original fallout team before it got canned. part of why everyone gets upset about other companies picking it up is that the actual game that the original team would have made will almost never see the light of day, despite being near completion. it's way too hard for a whole new group of guys to sit down with another teams volumes of code and graphics and finish it up, polish it and release it.

of course, the people who get upset about this fail to recognize that the only other option would be no more fallout games at all.
posted by shmegegge at 9:46 AM on May 2, 2007


Folks looking for space sims should check out Vegastrike. It's quite good, albeit a little slow, and it has lots of different conversions.
posted by jiawen at 10:16 AM on May 2, 2007


Oh, and: I'd love to see a Fallout3 single-player game. I'm generally sour on MMORPGs -- they tend to become infested with spam and script-kiddies screaming "ghey!", which reduces my sense of immersion a lot. But then, with Fallout, that might almost be appropriate...
posted by jiawen at 10:18 AM on May 2, 2007


They pretty much believe Troika was the only company that could ever have made a "proper" Fallout 3, given that Tim Cain worked there. Even though the games they put out were over budget, incomplete, and seldom patched.

Maybe, but for many it was the writing that made Fallout a standup game, and Troika's Arcanum was comparably well-written if buggy. I think it boils down to a crucial difference in Interplay's interpretation of "Role Playing" - in Torment, Fallout, and Arcanum, the universe reacts to metaphysical character; in most RPGS, the universe reacts to physical action. I'd suggest that this is the role-playing experience that Interplay boxed: that you can apprehend the Fallout universe through the eyes of a subliterate con-man, or of a sex-crazed trauma surgeon, or of any number of unlikely permutations of character, and still encounter dialogue and prose that was situationally appropriate.

In contrast, Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series are sparely written and dialogued, and stand primarily on the strength of open gameplay, graphical immersion, and (lately) modding communities. What's more, Bethesda is aiming for a simultaneous XBox and PC release, and on-screen reading is usually minimized for a 320x200 television audience. So, while I'm excited by the possibility of a moddable, visually compelling Fallout, I do wonder if they're creating the perfect body but forgetting the soul.
posted by kid ichorous at 10:29 AM on May 2, 2007


Fallout was great.

You space-sim junkies, look for HardWar on an abandonware site, I thought it was the best of the genre in some ways.

Anyone know where I can pick up Arcanum for less than $80?
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:46 AM on May 2, 2007


Did anyone else hear the rumor that Stardock (of Galactic Civilizations fame) was considering producing sequels to Star Control II and Master of Magic? The news was ballyhooed over the web a bit last year, but I can't seem to find any details.
posted by Iridic at 10:56 AM on May 2, 2007


I'm so NOT sad that I will never play that particular version of Fallout. What I saw was a severely outdated game engine, from both a graphical and gameplay point of view. 100k (I'm guesstimating) screaming fan boys do not make a game profitable. And RPGs are the most expensive type of game to make so... they would probably have been lucky to recoup 30% of their costs. Most modern gamers would stay away from what I saw in that demo. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure whoever the publisher was had the same idea and that's exactly why we're not playing that Fallout 3...
posted by keep_evolving at 11:05 AM on May 2, 2007


The whole concept of the Fallout series was brilliant, and they are some of my favorite games of all time.

Arcanum was reall good, too.

And a Fallout MMORPG would require me to quit my job, too.
posted by tadellin at 11:47 AM on May 2, 2007


Yeah, well, when are they coming out with a sequel to M.U.L.E.? I've been waiting twenty freaking years!
posted by jtron at 12:11 PM on May 2, 2007


I replayed Fallout, Fallout 2, and Arcanum last year. I still have the original media, as I bought them when they came out. They're all fabulous games with a strong sense of style and tone. The writing and humor are top notch, and of course, non-linear play is quite compelling.

As far as MMORPGs go, I've played: Everquest, Anarchy Online, Dark Age of Camelot, City of Heroes, and World of Warcraft. Though I enjoy those games, I invariably only play them for a year 18 months, as I get tired of the grind. For me, the joy of them (and frankly, any game) is the discovery of new stories, or features, or play styles.

That all being said, I noticed that nobody has posted a link to Fallen Earth yet.

This looks to be quite delicious and I intend to play the hell out of it, at least for a year...
posted by digibri at 1:04 PM on May 2, 2007


Chicken Dance.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:14 PM on May 2, 2007


Played wasteland on the c64, loved that game, was one of my first RPG's that I really liked. Didnt care for Fallout due to its angle of view, didnt play Diablo much for the same reason.
posted by IronWolve at 1:33 PM on May 2, 2007


You are not allowed mention Wasteland without mourning for mean time.
posted by absalom at 2:08 PM on May 2, 2007


"Morrowind", by Bethesda, is the definition of a non-linear game.

I'd say this is even more true for its predecessor, Daggerfall, though the random generated content did get a little repetitive. And if you thought Morrowind and Oblivion were buggy, you'd wet your pants playing Daggerfall. Constant crashes, glitchy quests, and the occasional unfixable save game corruption were the order of the day.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:23 PM on May 2, 2007


Ah, fallout 2. I played it and played it, but it was buggy. Anyone else have the mysterious car trunk that followed you around, even when your car was stopped, out of gas, somewhere in the desert? Handy for storage, but very mysterious. I also at one point ended up with infinite money. Buying a box of ammo? Thanks for the 20 rounds of ammo, shopkeep. Change for a million? No? Ah well, keep it.
posted by tomble at 3:13 PM on May 2, 2007


Cheers, absalom.

Wasteland was probably my favorite computer game when I was growing up. I loved so many aspects of that game: How all the really interesting stuff was never mentioned in the manual, the party-building, the firefights, the forces set against the player, the writing. It all came together in that game.

The aspect of Wasteland, Fallout, and Fallout 2 that fascinated me most was their treatment of their lost, pre-apocalyptic worlds. The player could never assemble a full picture of what it had been like in the heavenly pre-apocalyptic days -- just tantalizing hints slowly cooking to ash in the desert air.

I think Wasteland and Fallout were the most successful games in terms of story. Fallout 2 had so much more to do, but without the creative direction of Tim Cain (or the writing of Michael A. Stackpole which so richly dressed Wasteland) it seemed to lose its way. I loved them all, though.
posted by Kikkoman at 4:23 PM on May 2, 2007


Fallout and Wasteland were definitely great story-drive RPGs, Kikkoman, but I don't think they (or any other RPG) hold a candle to Planescape: Torment in that regard. That doesn't make them any less great, it just means Torment was a once in a lifetime achievement.
posted by Justinian at 4:31 PM on May 2, 2007


Apologies, I meant to say:

Of the three, I think Wasteland and Fallout were the most successful games in terms of story.

I didn't mean to imply those two were the most successful games ever in terms of story. Plenty of room in that category.
posted by Kikkoman at 4:44 PM on May 2, 2007


Plenty of room in that category.

Allow me to show my age and mention Trinity.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:11 PM on May 2, 2007


While we're at it, I should mention Darklands, one of the first open-ended CRPGs, and still one of the best. It oozes medieval German flavor and is very, very true to its setting, plus it's just darned fun to play.
posted by jiawen at 5:46 PM on May 2, 2007


apparently you can play the Van Buren demo now!
posted by griphus at 9:06 PM on May 2, 2007


Oddly enough I was just thinking about Trinity when I mentioned the word gnomon the other day.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:42 PM on May 2, 2007


GameSpot news bit up today stating Fallout 3 teaser trailer will go live June 5th. They also confirm it will use Oblivion's GameBryo engine. Oblivion with mutants?? Sign me up.

Although I will admit the YouTube Fallout 3 footage has me a bit teary-eyed.
posted by NationalKato at 6:54 AM on May 3, 2007


Oh, and I will say this: do yourself a favor and click on the screenshot. Whether that's concept art or the actual screenie, it bodes well for Fallout 3.
posted by NationalKato at 6:56 AM on May 3, 2007


Wait... how do you make Fallout 3 with the Oblivion engine? A first-person fallout? NO.
posted by Justinian at 12:30 PM on May 3, 2007


I think Oblivion is playable in third-person.
posted by concrete at 11:08 PM on May 3, 2007


I think Oblivion is playable in third-person.

Yep, just roll your scroll-wheel. But Fallout was topdown isometric, yeah? Whole different cup of radioactive sludge.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:13 PM on May 3, 2007


(Me, I hate top-down isometric. Gimme first-person all the way.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:13 PM on May 3, 2007


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