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Default Fallout 3 - Exploring A Devasted World @ Gamasutra

April 26th, 2009, 01:04
I don't think it's a matter of not being able to understand, but more what a large audience is willing to put up with. I'm sure they'll be able to figure out how to manually save a game or figure out the six-axis controller, but will a majority find this fun? I guess the kinds of game you (and I, to some extent) like are for people that are a minority.
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April 26th, 2009, 05:15
Sad? Thaurin's reply is pertinent; I doubt that they can't understand but that they couldn't be bothered or don't find it fun.

My partner plays games - quite a lot - and she's probably smarter than me. She often RPGs. But she hates not knowing where to go or what to do. She absolutely loved Avernum 4 (a bit linear for me) and hates Geneforge (perfect for me).

It doesn't speak to her intelligence; just her preference to use her leisure time to relax rather than be challenged. The reality is we are a tiny subset of the gaming market and that won't change.

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April 26th, 2009, 07:40
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
I agree with you. Tutorials can only explain so much and discovery (as well as well thought out complexity) is something I like immensely as well. I hope I did not offend you by (accidentally) implying anything and if I did I sincerely apologize.

I was gonna write a thorough answer, but my girlfriend is nagging me about coming to bed. I guess it beats writing answers on a forum
I'm very, very hard to offend.

Furthermore, when you're reasonable and polite - as you clearly demonstrate here, i'd say it's almost impossible to offend me

Yeah, the girlfriend thing sounds infinitely more productive
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April 26th, 2009, 07:46
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
It doesn't speak to her intelligence; just her preference to use her leisure time to relax rather than be challenged. The reality is we are a tiny subset of the gaming market and that won't change.
Yes, and I think we've established that time and time again.

The irritation, in this case, comes because we have developers denying this to us - and to themselves.

They cater to the mass market because they're a business before they're artists. Just accept it already and stop trying to fool anyone.

Fallout 3 might be more "PC" than Sonic the Hedgehog - but it doesn't cut it in terms of being "PC" when you look at its legacy. In that respect, it's actually a very good example of what happens to a deep and complex CRPG when it moves to the consoles, and the mass market in particular.
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April 26th, 2009, 10:12
please Thoth, take a cup of coffee or two before you post, or better yet, a game of "Flowers", that really calms one down?

Originally Posted by Thoth View Post
How about that typical 50's black and white flashback whatever it is? OMG the Chinese come and kill them all! If America is going to produce shit like this then I wish they really would invade.
I hope you are joking! The point of Fallout (all of them) was to take the 50's lore, and twist it, in a dark cynic way! That's the base core of the fallout game universe, it's really sad that it went over your head.
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April 26th, 2009, 15:59
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
You guys are defining things too narrowly. Spend a little time around console developers - some of them will talk about things like the six-axis controller being too complex for broad audiences, hence the success of the Wii, save-anywhere systems being too complex for new users, requiring players to only remember one or two game "rules" and so on.

On the entire gaming spectrum, FO3 definitely represents a more PC-like experience. That it isn't as hardcore as we'd like, or that it doesn't compare to the best cRPG ever made, are different arguments.
-ehm-

I don't see why a save-anywhere is too hardcore or too confusing for new gamers on the console; I loathe personally that the game saves for you or that you only can save and ext, not just save. In Far Cry, this is especially annoying since the automatic saves are very few (as I recall it). The Six-axis controller being too difficult for new gamers I maybe can understand a bit, but then again, I was able to adapt to a controller like this when I played FIFA games a few years back. And I'm for mainstreaming the controls and letting the players only remember one or two game rules - especially since brain research have shown that we humans can only remember 7 or 8 items at the same time - and this is a max for how many objects or items we can remember at the same time.

If we look at Fallout 3, I would guess that many (new) players would be very confused; there are a ton of perks to choose from, and some of them don't do anything much; by that I mean don't add to the game experience much. On the other hand, I hardly can stand playing BG2 anymore because of the over-abundance of traits, feats, from which I have to choose. The golden rule is this: Keep it simple, smart-ass, in gaming as well as in teaching.

And yes, I agree that on the gaming spectrum, FO3, still represents a more PC-like experience to the player, meaning a more complex playing experience than say a console game like Gears of War or maybe Halo where you just points your rifle and shoot. Not so in Fallout 3…

To an extent Fallout 3 on the surface looks certainly like a console versions of the earlier Fallouts; you can, however, if you dig deeper and talk to people say in Megaton, learn a lot about the history of Megaton. And some people, like I, would do this while others just want to go guns a-blazing shooting everything (or nearly everything) in sight. And I quite enjoyed the streamlined interface; this is actually a good thing, at least to me, since I don't think that an more not streamlined interface would have helped the player a lot. It would just have gotten her or him to quit playing the game…

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April 26th, 2009, 22:55
Ok, first, I haven't read all of the responses in this thread…so if someone else mentioned it sorry. I don't plan on joining the argument, I just felt like sharing a thought.

On the one hand yes, very definitely obviously yes, Fallout 3 (and Oblivion,etc) have "dumbed down" the PC rpg. But there's another way of looking at it. What Bethesda is doing is ALSO bringing the level of gameplay and complexity UP for console games.

It can't be an instant thing though, if they (or anybody) had just made Fallout 1 on a console with modern graphics and the exact same everything else (which WE all agree would be fantastic) it would NOT have sold to the majority of console gamers. And face it this is a business. But with dumb people you have to take baby steps to introduce new things (and yes I'm talking about console gamers even though I own a Wii & a 360).

Fallout 3 is actually a step in the RIGHT direction if you look at it this way. I mean sure for us it SUCKS because compared to older crpg's it's a step in the WRONG direction. But if it leads to more complexity in future console rpg's then it's a very good thing.

I also think(ok, hope) giving Obsidian a chance to make a Fallout game using this same engine will be another huge step in this direction. Of course that's assuming they can/will add more depth and complexity to the game. Dragon Age has the potential to do the same thing (add some complexity and depth not seen in console rpgs before) and if it sells well we can expect to see even more in this direction.

Sure it'd be wonderful if Bethesda, and other major companies, made RPG's that were as complicated and deep as we want them to be (at least as much as older crpg's) but if they made those types of games they would quickly go out of business. Those games just don't sell anymore, but what they're doing *might* be heading us in the direction to a place where those games DO sell well on a console.

I'm done, you may resume your bitching now.
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April 26th, 2009, 22:55
@Aries100 - That's because you're a "hardcore" player. An example of a supporting source. From Chris Bateman, a gaming academic and design consultant:

[…]the least game-literate Casual players do not wish to save at all, they just want to play the game. They may accept the necessity of saving files in productivity software like a word processor, but they don't want to be playing games that are anything like productivity software. Sheri Grainer Ray reports that women are often turned off by games precisely because they seem to resemble productivity software rather than entertainment products.
It's an extreme example - I accept that. My point is that because the visitors to this board may not accept FO3 as being an example of PC design, doesn't mean the rest of the world sees it that way.

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April 27th, 2009, 11:42
It's an extreme example - I accept that. My point is that because the visitors to this board may not accept FO3 as being an example of PC design, doesn't mean the rest of the world sees it that way.
It's not really relevant how anyone without an idea of the history sees it.

It's more about what it ACTUALLY is. I think we can look at Fallout 3 pretty objectively and compare it with similar CRPG titles. The most obvious comparison would be the prequels - because that's the legacy any sane person would look at first when determining Fallout 3's adherence to its PC tradition.

Naturally, if we compare Fallout 3 with a typical action game - not an RPG - then it would be favorable in terms of added complexity. But there's really no sense in doing that.

What I think makes sense, and i'd even claim being objective here, is to compare it to the typical PC rpg, and see where it falls in terms of complexity.

The whole thing is of course silly and maybe even pedantic, but in my mind - Fallout 3 is a clear-cut example of the mass market mindset. But let's not go all out on Bethesda, because it's a common trend. The same things can be said for most modern developers of big titles, and Bioware and others are equally set on streamlining and catering to casuals.

Again, the only thing I find irritating (and that's all it is to me) - is the denial of it being what it is. It's NOT being sensitive to hardcore gamers or that kind of complexity. It doesn't mean it's bad or that it doesn't "evolve" PC games in some way, being more complex than action games or whatever the casual ignorant gamer would compare it to. I don't mean ignorant as a derogative, it's simply what it is - they have no idea of the history of the games they're playing. I'm ignorant in a ton of ways myself, but I happen to know A LOT about the history of gaming and the CRPG genre in particular.

Is Fallout 3 simple and "dumb" from the casual gamer's point of view? No, of course not. In that way, it's probably pretty deep and complex.

But is it simple and "dumb" when compared to the classics of CRPG history, and in particular those games it claims to follow? Yeah - it most definitely is. That might sound harsh - and that's just my way of putting it. I'm sure there are hardcore gamers - or enthusiasts as I like to call us - who think it's plenty deep and complex, but I would simply have to disagree. It's a matter of what the individual requires for those terms to apply. But if anyone claims it's of the same depth and complexity as Fallout 2 - then I'd have to claim they're objectively wrong. But I doubt it's something I could prove - as anyone can call anything deep or complex if they feel like it.

In essence, this debate is probably not going to change anyone's view of Fallout 3.
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April 27th, 2009, 12:37
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The same things can be said for most modern developers of big titles, and Bioware and others are equally set on streamlining and catering to casuals.
All this trash talk about Bioware and others is getting ridiculous. Look our little niche has always grown. Sometimes in a good way and sometimes not so good, but one thing always stays constant. Our little hobby has very few titles that we would consider good. This has not changed at all and for everyone to be coming down on the few companies that actually do try to both make quality rpgs and, god forbid, try to make a popular game is getting a little sad.

Guys if we don't want all of the good developers to go down like Troika, then there has to be a compromise somewhere. Either by developing games that will be hits and then doing some that won't be. Kinda reminds me of how actors will do major blockbuster movies and then will do a few indies. You tell me how a developer or publisher can survive if they only cater to a small niche? If Troika is any indication then they just can't.

Even Fallout 3 wasn't that bad if you ignored the plot totally. Beth hopefully has taken the right steps with handing part of the world over to Obsidian.

As for your point that ALL THE GAMES ARE STUPID and ALL TEH WANTZ IZ THE MONYZ, Then I refer you to what for me has been the single shining light within our genre: http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2009/…onsole-gamers/

I love that little article. Anytime a consoler gets flabergasted with one of our games a little nerd fairy gets her wings.

So we can naysay and scream the sky is falling to the cows come home or we can actually try to get behind some of these games. There, of course, is a third option. We can just say screw it and change hobbies from RPGs to knitting.

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April 27th, 2009, 14:07
It's always refreshing when people miss the point entirely simply because they see what they want to see

Just for the sake of clarity, I'll repeat myself once again:

I don't think it's BAD what they're doing - and I think they're being WISE business men. I have no rights to DEMAND anything whatsoever - nor am I doing so.

The ONLY thing that ANNOYS me, is that they're not simply honest about it. No one is surprised or shocked that they want to earn money. As we're all pretty much OK with it, why not just let it be.

No need for this "we're being sensitive to hardcore gamers" - because THAT is a little bit insulting.

No biggie, really - but reality remains reality and since there's no harm in being honest - that's the route I recommend. But it's not up to me, now is it.
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April 27th, 2009, 14:20
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
@Aries100 - That's because you're a "hardcore" player. An example of a supporting source.

From Chris Bateman, a gaming academic and design consultant:

[…]the least game-literate Casual players do not wish to save at all, they just want to play the game. They may accept the necessity of saving files in productivity software like a word processor, but they don't want to be playing games that are anything like productivity software. Sheri Grainer Ray reports that women are often turned off by games precisely because they seem to resemble productivity software rather than entertainment products.

It's an extreme example - I accept that. My point is that because the visitors to this board may not accept FO3 as being an example of PC design, doesn't mean the rest of the world sees it that way.
I have actually no problem with FO3 being an example of PC design; I do agree, though, that some of the design could have been better, especially VATS, which to me, at least feels like some kind of 'hey, let me hit the enemy hard and fast while the enemy's not able to hit me very hard and fast'. Not fun…

As for saving what is so difficult about hitting the Q or the F5 key for quick-saving; you have to save regularly as well, but with the quick-save function you can keep the regular saves down to a minimum, I find.

I frequent gameboomers, a site for adventure games. And many gamers there are women who play adventure games; they don't seem to have any problems with saving in (adventure) games. What's interesting about this is that many adventure game developers now use (full) 3D to tell the story that used to be to told in slides or screens, and that only a minority in the adventure game community is against this move. A fine example of these games are Frogware's latest games like Dracula: Origin or Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper.

I remember when (full) 3D where to be implemented in rpgs; people were dead-set against it, at least the majority were, as I recall it at least. It just seems to me that the adveneture game genre has had a much smoother transition from 2D to
3D, maybe because adventure game developers still make games in 2D or 2.5D?

As for the argument about making consoles games more difficult and with more depth, I can agree with this - in part. Many console games today will have a attempt at story binding the missions together, however a game like GRAW has a very highly complex user interface. And yes, many console games that plays traditional shooter games probaby don't understand why they just can't fire their weapons and shoot at things. Some of them realize this - and do come around on the Fallout boards on Bethesda Game forums and ask for help; help is given a-plenty when and if some-one aks for it.

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April 27th, 2009, 19:42
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's always refreshing when people miss the point entirely simply because they see what they want to see

Just for the sake of clarity, I'll repeat myself once again:

I don't think it's BAD what they're doing - and I think they're being WISE business men. I have no rights to DEMAND anything whatsoever - nor am I doing so.

The ONLY thing that ANNOYS me, is that they're not simply honest about it. No one is surprised or shocked that they want to earn money. As we're all pretty much OK with it, why not just let it be.

No need for this "we're being sensitive to hardcore gamers" - because THAT is a little bit insulting.

No biggie, really - but reality remains reality and since there's no harm in being honest - that's the route I recommend. But it's not up to me, now is it.
Ohhh that's your point. Your mad because they're not being honest with you. Ok glad you cleared that up. But I have this knawing feeling that your thinking is just a little off. Since when is ANY business completely honest with it's customers. I would say that CD Projekt Red is one of the most open and honest ones out there, but it's new to the other devs. Let them get adjusted to it first and see if it pans out for CD.

However, do you want to know where I got that little idea with the movie star doing the blockbusters and then doing some indies. Well it was from a Bioware writer that posted here a few times Patrick Weekes. He convinced me a skeptical at first, that Dragon Age maybe might be what I've been hoping for a return of.

So maybe you'll never have your corporate honesty to your satisfaction but then you have guys like Patrick who do tell you a lot of the process and a lot of how things need to be done.

If you interested the links I'm refering to are here: Oh btw you are a prominant membor in this conversation as well:http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showt…?t=6342&page=4
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showt…post1060934139
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showt…post1060934217

Those are just the highlights of the conversation. You should reread the whole thread if your feeling a little confused. After that I defianlty saw a method to their madness where before I only saw maddness. Take it for what you will. I prefer to take it at face value, that EA is actually trying to make this one popular and just a good ol game.

So like I said, maybe you ….Scratch that….YOU WILL never have any corporation that is completely honest with you and if they were they're idiots. But you do have insiders who tells what is actually going on and that it is a process.

So you can live in your "If wishes and buts were candy and nuts. We all would have a wonderful time" or come back down to reality and see reality for what it is.

Of course he could be lying his butt off, but I don't think so, he made some reasonable arguements to why they delayed the product and how this one game may stand out as a great one in our little circle over here.

Did you catch all that? Or do I have to clarify it for you too?

Don't worry too much about the big bad corp telling lies. In the end it's to sell more and hopefully we'll find out a little bit about what is truth and what isn't in our own way. Isn't that how any normal business is run? Or hell what's up with all the checks and balances in our government

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April 27th, 2009, 20:40
Did you catch all that? Or do I have to clarify it for you too?
Do you think it makes you appear more or less objective when you go out of your way to be condescending?

It's this kind of emotional confusion that won't help to convince me, because it only underlines your inability to look at this from another perspective than your own.

In any case, I think I already clarified that it's not about anger - but irritation.

I will most likely remain irritated that certain developers can't be honest, and I don't really think your acceptance of their actions is helping. But I leave that to you and all the others so embracing of the corporate world and its methods.

I was present in the threads in which Patrick participated, and I'm well aware of his position. Since you're so busy ignoring what I write, I guess you missed my "contributions" to the threads linked, but IIRC my position should be clear from reading them.

He (Patrick) strikes me as a nice guy with the heart in the right place, but unfortunately there's nothing about his stance or explanation about his vision of what Bioware is doing, that changes my opinion about dishonesty. I also have no idea WHATSOEVER why people tend to automatically trust that inside people are objective. Maybe the obviousness of the bias is such that people just forget about it, I don't know.

But I don't think I'm the one being naive in that case.
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April 27th, 2009, 22:29
Bioware, to me, at least is one of the more open and honest game developers out there, trying to build a sense of unity with their community; CD RED Project is doing the same thing. And it is a good thing, I find.

Bioware seems to listen (a lot or a little) to what the community wants. Rumour is that we, the community, gets more content on the uncharted worlds in Mass Effect.
And that's a good thing, imo…

As for Fallout 3, I don't know why Bethesda just did'nt say that they were making a console version of Fallout 3, not a game to please the old Fallout fans. I'm fine with the open-ended-ness of the world, the first person perspective, and the general idea bind the story in the main quest in Fallout 3. It's the implentation, I'm against.

Also according to a newsbit (or forum thread) over at NMA, the main quest came about because Emil and Todd both have toddlers or 5 or 6 year children; maybe not the greatest way to get inspired to make a main quest in Fallout 3.

There's another thing with Fallout 3 that annoys me as much as it did in Oblivion; main quests for both games do not tie in or have anything to do with the other aspects of the game, say the sidequests or the stories or setting in the game in general. It feels as if someone (maybe Todd and Emil) were working on the main quest while others were working on other aspects of the game e.g. the sidequests.
And then no-one actually sat down and played the game (or so it seems) in its entirety before the game got released.

Morrowind felt as least to me like a setting where the world was believable; not so in Oblivion….and maybe not so in Fallout 3 either…

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