Q: Will there be character titles that you gain from certain actions / quests? (Like “Destroyer of Worlds”)
A: Yes, there will be titles related to your level and your alignment on the sliding scale of Karma/Reputation.
Q: How is the AI different from Oblivion?
A: They have updated the AI a lot to make all of the characters inhabit the world more realistically, in Oblivion they quoted about 1,000-1,500 NPC’s while Fallout 3 will just have a few hundred. They focused on getting more interaction with NPC’s, and if someone was doing something they wanted to get it on screen so that it was clear to the player what the NPC was doing. The dialogue has also been created to be more believable on an NPC to NPC basis, which was very evident in the demo.
Q: What about the radio on your Pip-boy? (Pip-boy pictured below)
A: You can tune in to various of the world’s stations (such as Galactic News Radio) and either listen to it passively as you play the game and hear about events that are taking place, or even possibly pick up random signals in the wastelands that could lead to quests or give you a heads up on some raiders heading your way. Though the radio is mostly flavor stuff, they’ve licensed about 20 songs from the 40’s and there are DJ’s in game that talk about what’s going on in the game.
Q: What is there as far as Melee combat?
A: They’re not talking about this yet, but they did say they are making ammo scarce in game and so melee will be playing a large part if you don’t manage your resources carefully.
Q: Will the storyline feature any current political commentary?
A: Very little, if any, as it is all centered around the fictional world of Fallout. There is a lot of in-game propaganda about China, having invaded during WW3, and some super mutants were carrying Chinese built rifles.
Q: Will there be a lot of old stuff from the Fallout games, and/or will there be a lot of new stuff?
A: There will be a lot more old stuff than people are expecting, but new stuff as well.
Q: Will there be Mutant Powers?
A: They’re not talking about this yet.
Q: Will there be unkillable NPC’s?
A: There will be some, but they expressed sadness at this, and said they are putting as few unkillables as they possibly can.
Q: What is left to be done for the game between now and fall 2008?
A: They’ve just finished pre-production, though what they showed us looked like a very complete demo of the game, and that now they will have a year of solid production then playtesting. They repeatedly stressed their abundant confidence in the fall 2008 release date.
Q: What does Bethsoft bring to the game?
A: The idea of free-form game design, experience in developing that type of game. Todd expressed the idea in a game of, “never give the player a reason to stop”. They really wanted to use the best technology they could to create the game, and create it to a level of quality so that there is nothing which puts players off from it.
Q: How long is the main quest? How much gameplay time before the game ends?
A: The main quest they estimated at about 20 hours of gameplay, with about 20 hours more of possible miscellaneous quests and side stories. They wanted to add as much replay value as possible, and provide a lot of different choices in misc. quests each time you go through the game. Based on your decisions, various doors will close and open to the player.
Q: Are they doing a lot of things to make Fallout mainstream?
A: They’re “just doing what is cool”, they admitted that games today have a huge emphasis on graphics, but that they wanted to bring back some retro gaming features (ie – speech trees)
Q: Is this just the Oblivion engine?
A: It is a very supped up version of the same engine, with shorter load times
A few things were discussed in a more open ended discussion at this point as everyone got tired:
The game world is very different from that of Oblivion, as it takes place mostly in DC and the few suburbs around it. There will be Day/Night and weather in the game, and the game is definitely named Fallout 3. There was a lot of discussion about the balance between realism and fun, and how they are hoping to strike the perfect line of balance between the two. There are no plans to include the original game as an unlockable. It was discussed that Oblivion had a large focus on scale, whereas Fallout 3 focuses on detail and a much smaller scale. There will be collectible bobble-heads in the game, some of which teach you special abilities or something like that. There are also vaults other than 101 in the game.
There you have it, that’s pretty much verbatim how the discussion with those guys went, I’d like to thank all of the people who asked (mostly) great questions and hopefully provided a lot of good information to everyone through this.