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Default Fallout 3 - Official Site Launched

August 3rd, 2007, 18:06
Originally Posted by coyote View Post
Nuclear crossbows might make some people go "wow", but most will probably just lose immersion and wonder why a good story would have to rely on unrealistic superweapons. If they really have to, they should add the mad science where it was used in previous Fallouts - at the very end. And even there it was not completely over the top like it seems to be the case in the third iteration of the series.
So I take it you hated the earlier Fallouts because of their unrealistic "superweapons"? Solar powered super ray guns, arm mounted gattling guns, gauss rifles, …
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August 3rd, 2007, 18:35
@BillSeurer: the ray guns were of alien origin, and we all know that aliens can do things like this. If you ever watched Terminator II, you will know that arm mounted gattling guns are far from impossible, and concerning the gauss rifles, they seem a lot more realistic than hand-held nuclear catapults to me, especially when those nuclear catapults cause "mini nuclear explosions" which is kind of stupid and just ridicules what at least some post apocalyptic worlds, including Fallout I and II, which I enjoyed immensely, might make us think about: the cataclysmic power of a nuclear holocaust.

But hey, it is obviously a matter of taste, and while I enjoy a modicum of realism and it is my opinion that it actually increases the fun one takes out of a story/game/whatever, this is apparently not generalisable to everyone.
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August 3rd, 2007, 18:54
Originally Posted by coyote View Post
If you ever watched Terminator II, you will know that arm mounted gattling guns are far from impossible…
That's why we elected Arnold Schwarzenegger governor here, in California! He's a man who can get things done! He could shoot one of those nuclear crossbows with deadly accuracy — trust me!

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August 3rd, 2007, 18:55
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
So I take it you hated the earlier Fallouts because of their unrealistic "superweapons"? Solar powered super ray guns, arm mounted gattling guns, gauss rifles, …
Was the solar-powered one that Alien Blaster encounter? I don't remember a weapon that was described as solar-powered.

Anyway, I think the simple point is that plasma guns, scaled-down gatling guns and gauss rifles are "plausible", sensible paths for military technicians to take. A gun is a gun is a gun. From smoothbore to rifled, to free-floating barrel, we've stuck with the gun for about 600 years; abandoning the sling, bow, catapult etc. We're very comfortable with the gun as an ingenious mechanical device.

Any sort of catapult cast as a "star weapon" could be seen as regressive, and I think illogical regression can upset people's suspension of disbelief. You can't beat explosive expansion of gas driving a lump of metal down a rifled tube, for accuracy and range. Nor can you beat the crazy rates of fire from closed/open/rotating/whatever-is-the-best-one bolts, recoil operation etc. Certainly not with a catapult.

That said, if they can write a good rationale for such a weapon in its item description, I imagine it's possible to spin it in such a way as to be plausible. "What is the benefit of catapult technology over some sort of firearm?" is the question begging to be answered.
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August 3rd, 2007, 19:40
Originally Posted by coyote View Post
@BillSeurer: the ray guns were of alien origin, and we all know that aliens can do things like this. If you ever watched Terminator II, you will know that arm mounted gattling guns are far from impossible…
So if aliens do it or it was in a Terminator movie then its OK? :-O
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August 3rd, 2007, 20:32
Originally Posted by Dyne View Post
That said, if they can write a good rationale for such a weapon in its item description, I imagine it's possible to spin it in such a way as to be plausible. "What is the benefit of catapult technology over some sort of firearm?" is the question begging to be answered.
I hope they will, since, as you say, it's not difficult to write such a rationale.

For example, suppose that one pre-holocaust weapon was a miniature variable-yield nuke that was used as a warhead on a small missile — say, shoulder-launched or air-launched. Then suppose that post-holocaust some group of enterprising and technically savvy survivors stumbled on a stockpile of these warheads. Now, since the warhead isn't designed to survive the acceleration you get from firing it out of a gun, and you don't have access to or the technology to build the rockets, what's the simplest way to launch them? A catapult, of course.
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August 3rd, 2007, 20:33
What about leg mounted gattling guns i.e. Rose Mcgowen in Planet Terror.

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August 3rd, 2007, 20:45
@BillSeurer: you got me trying to joke there. A hand-held gattling gun is not obviously unphysical to me, and even though the recoil will probably be a problem, California's Governator might well be able to wield it even at the age of 60 (with deadly accuracy). In the case of the ray gun, it is a matter of the setting. If I find a ray gun and a picture of Elvis near an UFO and a sign "Property of Area 51: please return if found." this is obviously an easter egg meant for comic relief and that is fine with me. Also, a ray gun is not unplausible given sufficiently advanced technology.

However, having mini nuclear mushrooms rising from the ground is physically impossible, and hand-held nuclear catapults, depending on how they work, seem unphysical as well (see my post above). This is not a question of "advanced technology", since you already specify how it will work. I also agree with Dyne here: firearms and missiles are much more realistic as a delivery system, although Prime Junta offers a good explanation why an alternative might be used. The recoil from a hand-held device not using missiles should shoot one out of ones shoes efficiently, but this will probably not be realized by most players.
Last edited by coyote; August 3rd, 2007 at 21:02.
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August 3rd, 2007, 22:53
I figure when what could be reasonable adults start arguing about, and defending the merits of crossbow launched min-nukes as if it isn’t the most retarded, asinine, and childish idea ever imagined, this must be the herald of some sort of cataclysmic event that will usher in the end of the world.

Fall Out also had giant ants and scorpions that are implausible/impossible. But there is a huge difference between implausible, impossible and retarded. Hit Points are implausible, getting to one hit point and drinking a mana potion and returning to full hardy health in the blink of an eye is impossible, etc, etc, but launching mini-nukes is retarded. Its like Bethesda conscripted a bunch of seven year olds and asked them to fill out a wish list of things that would be super awesome. Maybe there will also be mutant Easter Bunnies that shoot Cadbury Eggs into the protagonist’s mouth while yelling “Cowabunga Dudes!!!!!” But what can you expect from a child’s game? Just silly, mindless entertainment, like watching Pokemon.

Let us all at least admit the mini-nukes are beyond stupid. They could of taken all that childish, juvenile, and retarded creativity and put it into including weapon mods (like scopes, etc), which are not included and were a very nice feature of the real Fall Outs.

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August 3rd, 2007, 23:05
Sandy vagina much, SexyLady?
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August 3rd, 2007, 23:15
Well!!! I Never!!! You rascal!!! My vagina is not the topic of discussion!!!!

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August 3rd, 2007, 23:30
Seriously, you guys are reading WAY too much into, and focusing WAY to much on utterly trivial and minor stuff like nuclear-powered catapults, grenades, and cars. You make it sound like it's the focus of the game, when clearly it is not.

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August 3rd, 2007, 23:36
There are such things as suitcase nukes, am I right???

Professor SexyLady does have a point tho, it does have a retarded ring to it, it's literal meaning is akin to a Pocket Aircraft Carrier or something. Words have meanings, and "nuclear bomb" has a very distinct meaning. But what if it isnt meant as literal, like perhaps "mini nukes" might be a slang type thing, or a figure of speech. Like another word for "grenade" or something???
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August 4th, 2007, 00:39
Fallout 3 is still a long way off, so I thought bringing up and starting a discussion about the single feature I dislike most might change the mind of those responsible and thereby improve the game, in particular since it should be relatively easy to change an inane thing like nuclear catapults into a more reasonable weapon. I was surprised to see that many do not seem to mind, though, so I guess my attempt was less than successful even if a developer reads this board.

Anyway, there are other things to do than making comments on a computer game with over a year of development time still ahead of it which are probably not read by any of the developers and which I might not even have the time to play when it comes out

Still, for the sake of the Fallout series: do not…screw it up!
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August 4th, 2007, 01:00
Okay -

A developers' check list for the next Fallout game:

00) making choices with consequences
01) character development / many stats with an impact on the game
02) finding / buying / selling lots of different equipment (unique items, rare items)
03) a good nonlinear story - interesting, intriguing main quest
04) great challenging dungeons / locked doors / chests / traps
05) riddles / hard too find secrets, items / mysteries
06) lots of fun, humor
07) cool weapons
08) lots of conversation, conversation options to solve quests and avoid combat
09) interesting challenging combat with many options
10) interesting NPCs with a background
11) NPCs with a schedule
12) future world with conflicts to solve
13) different groups, guilds with various occupations
14) chance of winning prizes, medals, houses, ranks …
15) deadly cool arch-enemies
16) making weapons & items
17) many (not necessary) side-quests
18) much world interaction / manipulation
19) eastereggs
20) free world, setting borders with harder to beat enemies and hard to find items (keys), only.
21) good (non breakable) economy model
22) many different groups with different goals, conflicting interests -> choose your friends and enemies
23) interesting (funny) dialogs with your partners
24) surprises and twists, more than one story path

other than that:

25) no bugs
26) scantly clad vixens !

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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August 4th, 2007, 10:58
Originally Posted by coyote View Post
Fallout however is supposed to be a science fiction story in a postapocalyptic alternate future starting off from an alternate past in the 50s. It is not supposed to be completely absurd, so while a hand-held nuclear catapult will certainly get some laughs, the obvious absurdity of it would harm immersion. It could certainly be worse, but I just think it goes too far.
There are plenty things more absurd than a nuclear catapult in both FO's. The G.E.C.K. for starters.
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August 4th, 2007, 12:03
Originally Posted by coyote View Post
However, having mini nuclear mushrooms rising from the ground is physically impossible,
It's quite easy to produce a mini mushroom cloud. All you need is a fireball that then rises up as it cools and expands, which it will do because hot gas is lighter than cold gas. For example, take a pint of gasoline and blow it up with a small black-powder charge; it'll disperse into droplets and ignite. Voilà, mini mushroom cloud. You see these in low-budget action movies all the time. (Sometimes high-budget ones too, e.g. if a car's gas tank gets spectacularly blown up.)

I'm not sure what an actual nano-nuke explosion would look like, assuming you could make one. (Meaning, an explosion comparable to, say, a few kilos of TNT, only nuclear.) However, it might very well produce a mini mushroom cloud — the explosion would be extremely fast and extremely hot, which would produce a sphere of super-hot plasma; this would rise and expand as it cools, giving you your mushroom cloud.

I can't see any hard physical reason making such a munition impossible, although it's beyond our technology at this time (I think). You'd need to use a material with low critical mass, and find another material to slow down (or produce) enough neutrons to make it even smaller. Then you'd need to figure out ways to control the yield very precisely. We already have suitcase-size nukes; going from that to grenade-size isn't an inconceivable leap. Since the FO universe has plasma grenades and portable fusion packs, it must have some extremely powerful ways to contain plasma — magnets many orders of magnitude more powerful than we have. Use those magnets to implode a spherical shell of fissile material, and you've got your mini-bomb, without the need for fussy and bulky HE to drive it.

The more I think about it, the more useful such a weapon sounds. If you could make it hand-grenade size, it would be extremely versatile — you could use it as an offensive infantry weapon (dial in very low yield, throw at your target), defensive infantry weapon (dial in larger yield, throw from behind cover), demolition charge, anti-armor mine, booby trap… wowee, imagine what you could do with one as an IED.
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August 4th, 2007, 19:42
@Prime Junta: regarding the G.E.C.K. it might well be an electronic library of sorts, but I will not pretend that everything is realistic in the previous Fallouts. Regarding the mini mushroom clouds, you have a convincing argument, and apparently you can create small mushroom clouds even with conventional explosives (and without using trickery as in the case of the gasoline explosion).

As far as I could find out, nuclear bombs exist as small as 23kg (weight of the W54 warhead), with a minimal yield of 10 tons of TNT. Even with a neutron reflective casing to reduce the critical mass, the minimal amount of fissionable material should be a few kg (there are only so many (semi)stable isotopes around). Radioactive contamination would make such a warhead quite inconvenient as a close range weapon, even if the force of the explosion alone is reduced.

Since neutrons can not be diverted using electromagnetic forces, I do not see how fission based bombs could be improved using any kind of magnet - nuclear fusion is another story, but then one could always go with the "sufficiently advanced technology argument".
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August 4th, 2007, 21:58
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Okay -

A developers' check list for the next Fallout game:

00) making choices with consequences
01) character development / many stats with an impact on the game
02) finding / buying / selling lots of different equipment (unique items, rare items)
03) a good nonlinear story - interesting, intriguing main quest
04) great challenging dungeons / locked doors / chests / traps
05) riddles / hard too find secrets, items / mysteries
06) lots of fun, humor
07) cool weapons
08) lots of conversation, conversation options to solve quests and avoid combat
09) interesting challenging combat with many options
10) interesting NPCs with a background
11) NPCs with a schedule
12) future world with conflicts to solve
13) different groups, guilds with various occupations
14) chance of winning prizes, medals, houses, ranks …
15) deadly cool arch-enemies
16) making weapons & items
17) many (not necessary) side-quests
18) much world interaction / manipulation
19) eastereggs
20) free world, setting borders with harder to beat enemies and hard to find items (keys), only.
21) good (non breakable) economy model
22) many different groups with different goals, conflicting interests -> choose your friends and enemies
23) interesting (funny) dialogs with your partners
24) surprises and twists, more than one story path

other than that:

25) no bugs
26) scantly clad vixens !
27) graphic and realistic exploding heads
28) general sophomoric stupidity
29) (im)mature rating
30) no content filters
31) oh, and single player

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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August 4th, 2007, 23:25
Originally Posted by coyote View Post
Since neutrons can not be diverted using electromagnetic forces, I do not see how fission based bombs could be improved using any kind of magnet - nuclear fusion is another story, but then one could always go with the "sufficiently advanced technology argument".
You misunderstood me; I meant using magnets instead of high explosives to implode the fissile material.

Here's my design for a Sufficiently Advanced Technology Corp. Dial-A-Yield Nuclear Grenade:

The S.A.T.C.D.A.Y.N.G. consists of a series of concentric spherical shells surrounding a vacuum.

1. The innermost shell is made of a highly fissile alloy of U-235 and certain synthetic top-secret transuranic elements.
2-3. The second and third shells are spherical arrays of S.A.T.C. Ultra Electro Magnets, each with its own internal power source (also used in S.A.T.C. Micro Fusion Pack), facing each other. Shell 3 also includes a mesh of U.E.M's configured to hold together by magnetic attraction when the array is triggered.
4. The fourth shell is a lead-bismuth alloy.
5. The fifth shell is a spherical array of Nano Proton Accelerators, also each with its own internal power source.

When the device is triggered, the U.E.M. arrays in shells 2-3 energize at opposing polarities. This causes shell 1 to implode into the vacuum, forming a superhot sphere of molten fissile material. The U.E.M's forming the mesh in shell 3 prevent the outer shell from exploding as the inner one implodes. Simultaneously, the N.P.A. in shell 5 floods shell 4 with accelerated protons. This releases a flood of slow neutrons from the lead-bismuth shell (by spallation). When the flood of neutrons reaches the fissile material in the center of the sphere, it causes it to undergo fission. This also results in a phase change to plasma. The U.E.M array in shell 2 will contain the plasma for a nanosecond, allowing the chain reaction to complete, before being vaporized by the released energy.

To control the yield, the amount of protons released by the N.P.A. shell is user-controllable: fewer protons mean fewer neutrons, which means that a smaller amount of the fissile material undergoes fission.

Note that S.A.T.C.'s product catalog also includes the Dial-A-Yield fusion grenade, which, although being slightly bulkier and more expensive, has the advantage of producing less radioactive residue.
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