Posted on December 30, 2007,

What Has It Got In Its Pocketses?

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In the January ’08 edition of Playstation the Official Magazine, a top 10 list of PS3 games for 2008 was featured. Fallout 3 was ranked at #5 while a short Q&A with Bethesda’s Emil Pagiarulo was given as well. A user going by the name of §ÇåßßL€ (scabble) over at the GameFAQs message board was nice enough to transcribe that Q&A for us. Here’s a short excerpt from that Q&A:

PTOM (Playstation the Official Magazine): Your resume includes the “Thief” series and “Oblivion” (particularly Dark Brotherhood quests,) so you like the sneak-and-stab style of gameplay?

EP (Emil): I love the subtlety of that type of gameplay, taking a break from the frenetic action to approach a scenario more methodically. So yeah, playing the sneaking, back-stabbing type of character is very possible in “Fallout 3.” In fact, there’s a particular stealth tactic made infamous in the previous “Fallout” games, and we’re really psyched to have that in “Fallout 3.” I’ll give you a hint- it involves pockets and explosives.

Ah, and there are a couple of new Perks (special abilities you choose when leveling up) I think stealth-loving players are going to really enjoy…

scabble also keenly pointed out that “obviously, kids [in Fallout 3] don’t have pockets.” – Nice one.

You can read the entire(?) transcript after the break.

PTOM (Playstation the Official Magazine): For a Playstation audience whose only contact with the “Fallout” franchise might be BoS, what is Fallout, in a nutshell?

EP(Emil): “Fallout,” as a franchise, is all about finding your way in an open-ended, post-apocalyptic world. There’s good, there’s evil, and there’s everything in between. So for the player, it’s all about doing what you want, how you want. There’s always a greater good, a sense of nobility and selfless purpose that you can champion… if you want. If you wander through the rubble and be a complete ass, well, you can do that, too!

“Fallout” is also different from other post-apocalyptic settings in that the America that got destroyed wasn’t our America, not as we know it today. It was the year 2077, and the country had developed into a much more of a 50′s version of the future. You know, the “World of Tomorrow” ideal. Women with the beehive haircuts were driving around with their robots in nuclear-powered cars- and then they all blew up.

PTOM: Your resume includes the “Thief” series and “Oblivion” (particularly Dark Brotherhood quests,) so you like the sneak-and-stab style of gameplay?

EP I love the subtlety of that type of gameplay, taking a break from the frenetic action to approach a scenario more methodically. So yeah, playing the sneaking, back-stabbing type of character is very possible in “Fallout 3.” In fact, there’s a particular stealth tactic made infamous in the previous “Fallout” games, and we’re really psyched to have that in “Fallout 3.” I’ll give you a hint- it involves pockets and explosives.

Ah, and there are a couple of new Perks (special abilities you choose when leveling up) I think stealth-loving players are going to really enjoy…

PTOM: Given your experience with open-world game designs, what is the extra firepower of next-gen technology allowing you to do for gameplay, above and beyond the obvious graphical enhancements?

EP: Great question. I’ll admit I’ve become much more of a graphics whore than I used to be, but I still take rich gameplay experiences and immersion over anisotropic filtering and specular mapping any day. So for me, it’s all about using the tech to make the worlds more believable. Shiny graphics help with that, but so does full audio for every character, our Radiant AI system for a full range of character behaviors with full 24/7 schedules, and the ability to make worlds as large as they want. With today’s tech, the little sandbox becomes an entire playground. For a game designer, that’s a dream come true.

PTOM: What does radioactive mutation do to the denizens in your world?

EP: Well, a lot of the creatures you encounter in “Fallout” also adhere to that “1950′s vision of the future,” so the radiation has managed to affect even the most mundane animal and insect. Ants, cockroaches, scorpions, even mole rats have grown to giant proportions. The lucky humans that have been exposed to too much radiation drop dead- but sometimes they survive that exposure and become Ghouls. Take some zombie chocolate and dip it into the leper peanut butter and you’ve got a Ghoul. They’re hideous to look at, but human underneath. At least some of them.

But even those people and animals that haven’t been mutated by radiation (or something else) are affected by the harsh world around them. You know, there are sadistic human raiders who’ll hunt you for sport, or wild dogs looking for their next meal that will rip you to pieces. Outside of the established settlements, the Capital wasteland is a pretty inhospitable place.

PTOM: How many creature designs did you produce for the bestiary? Any particularly dumb ideas that are worth recounting for comedic value?

EP: You know, honestly, it really wasn’t like that. We had such a great roster of baddies to draw from already; the selection process was actually pretty smooth. So we’ve got lots of existing “Fallout” creatures, from the vicious Deathclaws to the brutish Supermutants. For those classics, our job is making sure we do them justice, making sure we bring them to life on next-gen platforms in ways that are consistent and respectful to the source material. And any time we’ve created a new character, we’ve been bound by the same principles. Does this fit into “Fallout?” Does this match the vibe of our unique world?

PTOM: Have you written the funniest gag or dialogue in the game yet?

EP: Wow, funny you should ask that! I just wrote some combat dialogue for a particular character, and I just love his flavor. You know, sometimes you just feel like you nail a character’s voice, and this was one of those occasions. Of course, I always think my stuff is brilliantly funny, and someone usually proves me wrong. But in this case, I’m right! I hope.

PTOM: How are you finding developement on the Playstation 3?

EP: “Oblivion” is a huge game- certainly not easy to create, but we did it. So we’ve got experience on the platform now. For us, releasing a game on the PS3 the same day as the 360 and PC versions means we get to draw even more people into our world.

Via GameFAQ’s Fallout 3 Message Board

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