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Default Gamasutra - Why I Abandoned New Vegas For Rome

February 22nd, 2011, 11:23
Gamasutra has a piece titled Analysis: Why I Abandoned New Vegas For Renaissance Rome in which the author gives up on Fallout: New Vegas to play Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. While it's called an "analysis", it comes down to some personal preferences in my reading. Personally, I could never understand how anyone became emotionally attached from the "gowing up" vault sequence in Fallout 3:
It occurred to me that on top of all this, I didn't care much about my character either. In Fallout 3 you start your character as a baby, you watch them grow up, and you get to define him or her as you do so. You experience your character's childhood, and you develop a relationship with his or her father, so when your dad disappears you really want to find out what happened to him.

In New Vegas, while you do get a variety of options for defining your Courier, s/he is completely undefined at the outset, s/he has no memory and thus no history. You start with zero emotional connection. I know I should appreciate the clean-slate approach, but I don't. It's hard to connect to a character that has no back-story whatsoever.
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February 22nd, 2011, 11:23
I could never understand how anyone became emotionally attached from the "gowing up" vault sequence in Fallout 3:
agreed, I couldn't care less about what happened to my Dad.
game was just boring so I didn't play it.

edit: to clarify - the whole part was just too quick and there was nothing to make me feel like I was growing up and making a connection.
In meantime I've become a dad so I might give it another shot.
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February 22nd, 2011, 14:07
I thought the beginning was pretty good, actually, but I think it completely lost what it had built pretty much right after leaving the first vault.

The story kinda dwindled into very little of actual interest - and the connection with the father and his plight was pretty much ignored by me.

NV seems to handle a story flow much better, though I have yet to play it for a serious length of time.
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February 22nd, 2011, 15:36
I couldn't care less about the story in F3. In fact, there was about a 8 month gap between the starting the final mission and completing it on my playthrough.

I didn't like the start all that much either, except for a few moments. There were too many moments of over-the-top—but-not-in-a-good-way-cheesiness.
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February 22nd, 2011, 16:44
I like the part where you can play with the ball as a baby in FP.
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February 23rd, 2011, 22:13
I too thought the start was very strong, and the momentum was completely lost once exiting the vault. Seems unavoidable given the open world design.
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February 24th, 2011, 09:29
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
I too thought the start was very strong, and the momentum was completely lost once exiting the vault. Seems unavoidable given the open world design.
I'm not sure it is unavoidable - but rather very challenging to do right.

New Vegas seems to be able to do it, but obviously the freedom and non-linearity sensation is somewhat less strong.

The happy medium should theoretically be feasible.

I still think the Gothics are closest to this elusive mix of a strong narrative drive and a strong sensation of freedom.

But which Gothic?

Hmmm… I'd have preferred 3 - if only the combat was better, and the story not quite so open and bland.

It came relatively close, though.
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February 24th, 2011, 15:43
Agree with most others… the Fallout 3 main story was embarrassing, where as the New Vegas world made me really want to effect it and decide who would rule. They're leagues apart for me.
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February 24th, 2011, 21:52
Yep, it's a trade between openness and narrative drive. I'm just saying you can't have both maxed.
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February 24th, 2011, 22:01
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Yep, it's a trade between openness and narrative drive. I'm just saying you can't have both maxed.
If the narrative drive is good then it's an acceptable route to take, I like both styles of RPG. The problem with Fallout 3 is that the narrative is crap.
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February 24th, 2011, 22:35
I'm saying that it is not feasible. As soon as you deviate from the story in open world exploration, you lose momentum from the narrative. Unless EVERYTHING you can do in the open world is part of the narrative. Good luck on that one…
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February 25th, 2011, 01:14
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
I'm saying that it is not feasible. As soon as you deviate from the story in open world exploration, you lose momentum from the narrative. Unless EVERYTHING you can do in the open world is part of the narrative. Good luck on that one…
I played a RPG quite open and using a similar trick, every single bit of events had links you could quote with the main story, perhaps some time you quoted it only a bit later but that was rare.

This sort of construction doesn't build a linear narrative but constantly build a narrative puzzle. It's definitely one of the best experience. And for the final quote, at end of a the game, once all finished, you could not quit the game yet, and travel there and there to say goodbye to all friends before to leave. And all important one had a little bit to say for this goodbye.

Too bad the guy that made it had already a full time profession and also that he mostly made alone the game certainly help keep such a mad coherency.
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February 25th, 2011, 02:22
What game was that? It sounds like way too much work for large open RPGs. It could be someone's life work, I suppose. But it wouldn't be financially viable as an enterprise, methinks.
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February 25th, 2011, 02:47
Open world RPGs' main narratives work best when they are not immediate threats. In New Vegas you're just hunting down the man who shot you, there is no immediate need to find him. Then you have to decide which faction to work for, but again there is no immediate need to make a decision.
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February 26th, 2011, 11:51
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
What game was that? It sounds like way too much work for large open RPGs. It could be someone's life work, I suppose. But it wouldn't be financially viable as an enterprise, methinks.
It's a game hardly playable today, I think it crashes a lot. Also as you are here since age you probably already quoted it when I quoted it here in past, and you probably tried it a little before to throw it in trash.

The game itself is more an engine for scenario. It's RealmZ, it is free with a free scenario joined to the game. This scenario is ok and show some interesting design points from a open world perspective, there no real main quest the point is a lot more about discovering the various bits. In no way it will figure the scenario I quoted, the Swordlands trilogy:
http://www.internet-quebec.com/~swor…/SLframes.html

Alas this one is still not free and because of that you'll perhaps gave up particularely because the guy busy with codes required is well quite a problem and the author of the scenario have no way to provide himself codes for playing his scenarios. I have the codes of all scenario and wouldn't bother to borrow some but I only have Mac codes.

Anyway as I already quoted the game doesn't work well nowadays and in fact never much in its Windows version. The crap is that various professional offered exchange the rights on ipad and iphone with a guaranty to port and support the game to nww computers OS, well I mean OSX. But well owners of the game was a problem and now the game is plain dead.
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February 26th, 2011, 12:06
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
Open world RPGs' main narratives work best when they are not immediate threats. In New Vegas you're just hunting down the man who shot you, there is no immediate need to find him. Then you have to decide which faction to work for, but again there is no immediate need to make a decision.
In fact isn't RPG as a whole that doesn't work well with immediate threat and decisions in a hurry?

About the scenario I quoted, I mean the first of the trilogy (in fact the second is better), you get hired to investigate about trading between two area that have been broken. But you quickly discover that it's far to be an isolate event but that it's vast conspiracy and manipulation that's already penetrate all the area and many sphere of influence. There's bandits attacking systematically caravans, but it's not simple bandits and discover clues about an organized plan and you get clues about the global plan. There's problem in a mining town? But you discover . There's a murder in a hostel? You investigate and discover clues about a guild assassin with links with the overall conspiracy plan. You even discover that some kings or barons that gave you some quest are in fact already manipulated. And so on, and so on. And the whole is rather funny and fascinating.

And I'd say that the last touch allowing come back in various area and say goodbye to various old friends, it's just a great touch concluding beautifully a maniacally tuned game from, story, scenario, branches, non linearity management, and fights to puzzles and exploration design. Well in the limits of the engine.
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March 1st, 2011, 23:50
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
It's a game hardly playable today, I think it crashes a lot. Also as you are here since age you probably already quoted it when I quoted it here in past, and you probably tried it a little before to throw it in trash.

The game itself is more an engine for scenario. It's RealmZ, it is free with a free scenario joined to the game. This scenario is ok and show some interesting design points from a open world perspective, there no real main quest the point is a lot more about discovering the various bits. In no way it will figure the scenario I quoted, the Swordlands trilogy:
http://www.internet-quebec.com/~swor…/SLframes.html

Alas this one is still not free and because of that you'll perhaps gave up particularely because the guy busy with codes required is well quite a problem and the author of the scenario have no way to provide himself codes for playing his scenarios. I have the codes of all scenario and wouldn't bother to borrow some but I only have Mac codes.

Anyway as I already quoted the game doesn't work well nowadays and in fact never much in its Windows version. The crap is that various professional offered exchange the rights on ipad and iphone with a guaranty to port and support the game to nww computers OS, well I mean OSX. But well owners of the game was a problem and now the game is plain dead.
Interesting! It seems you're saying it won't run on modern machines?
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March 2nd, 2011, 02:28
I agree with the writer. This was one of the several reasons I stopped playing New Vegas. Imo, Obsidian is good at writing dialog but not so good at creating a character or story I have any interest in following.

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March 2nd, 2011, 08:36
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
I agree with the writer. This was one of the several reasons I stopped playing New Vegas. Imo, Obsidian is good at writing dialog but not so good at creating a character or story I have any interest in following.
It was alright, certainly a lot better than FO3; there, I felt like I was going grid-to-grid on the map, checking off completely unrelated and (towards the middle-end of game) uninteresting items on a to-do list. At least I felt some sort of connection between the different areas in New Vegas - the game simply flowed better.

Could have used more enemies though. That's one thing I missed from Bethesda's mindless "sandbox" dross, more enemies encountered while simply roaming about.

On a completely unrelated note, I wish they'd either reboot Fallout or come out with a similar game under a new name. The timeline is all messed up as it stands. 200 year old Mac & Cheese boxes? Newspapers still somewhat readable and undecayed? Fully-funcitonal computer terminals untouched in 200 years? Radiation? Still?! Maybe I'm just being anal…
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March 2nd, 2011, 11:28
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
I agree with the writer. This was one of the several reasons I stopped playing New Vegas. Imo, Obsidian is good at writing dialog but not so good at creating a character or story I have any interest in following.
As opposed to Bethsoft??

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