Portal:Fallout: New Vegas
It is set in the Sierra Madre, an opulent and extravagant resort that was supposed to be the greatest casino in the west – except that it never opened. Bombs fell before the gala opening, and the Sierra Madre froze in time, its state of the art security system locking the place up tight. Nothing could get in, and none of the guests could escape. As the years passed, the Sierra Madre faded from the history books, only occasionally being seen in posters across the wastes, until it took on mythic ghost story status... a supposed "City of Gold" in the Mojave Wasteland where all the treasures of the Old World were rumored to be held.
The game takes place in 2281, four years after the events of Fallout 3, and thirty-nine years after Fallout 2. The Courier, the player's character, is meant to deliver a package from Primm to New Vegas. However, the Courier is intercepted by the Great Khans and Benny, who leave the Courier for dead in a shallow grave.
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RPGamer's Johnathan Stringer interviews Chris Avellone about his career and what games he would love to make. Naturally, a large part of the interview on Fallout series: Van Buren (and the respective PnP game), Fallout 3, and Fallout: New Vegas.
JS: Changing gears to the Fallout series, you were working on Van Buren which was to become Fallout 3.
CA: Ah yes, good ol' Van Buren!
JS: Yes, there is not really a lot known about this game, how far along were you in development?
CA: Well, I should start off by saying Van Buren went through two stages. One was a very long pre-production period where I was basically the only one working on it for about three to three and a half years. Then Baldur's Gate III was cancelled at Interplay, and the entire Baldur's Gate III team moved on to Van Buren. A few months later, I left Interplay, and Josh Sawyer took over the second iteration of Van Buren. So, for the first part of Van Buren, I was doing area design, pen & paper testing, and checking out mechanics like trying to figure out how ghouls would work as a player character race and super mutants and such. So yeah, there were a lot of mechanics development, a lot of storyline development, and area development. But in terms of actual gameplay aspect, I believe that the vertical slice/demo done proving out some of the basic navigation mechanics were as far as it went, and there were a lot of area design documents. But Van Buren hadn't gone much beyond that and would probably be more of a question for Josh.
JS: Van Buren looked to have an isometric view and gameplay style as was in the first two Fallouts, were you bitter at all about how that plan was cancelled and eventually turned into a 1st or 3rd person shooter RPG? And, though it was well received, do you think the series should have stayed in that same isometric view style?
CA: I am not bitter at all. Actually, Fallout 3 wasn't ever the reason Van Buren was cancelled. Van Buren was cancelled because management didn't feel it was a viable title compared to console titles, and Van Buren was going along the lines of just being a PC only title. Which, you know, had been the case for quite some time before they decided to cancel it. So, I am a little upset they reached that decision somewhat late, but my disappointment is geared towards Interplay's decision and not anything related to future Fallout installments.
I do think Bethesda had a huge challenge with Fallout 3 because they had to remind people what Fallout was, and they had to reintroduce people to the world, which I thought they did a really great job with it. I think, for example, you growing up as a vault dweller, and how they handled that, was a good introduction to the world. I liked their open world mechanics as I think exploration is a big part of the Fallout universe and Fallout 3 did a really great job of doing that. So yeah, I played Fallout 3 and really enjoyed it a lot, and I played the DLCs and enjoyed those, and am really happy to see where they take Fallout in the future.
JS: Well you must have liked Fallout 3 as you worked on the follow up Fallout: New Vegas. Were there some elements of Van Buren that found their way into New Vegas?
CA: Yes! There were so many that crept in. And oddly enough, a lot of it came out of the pen & paper sessions that we were running at Interplay. A lot of the personal conflicts the player characters were having in those sessions that I was game mastering actually ended up as plot lines in New Vegas. Like, the whole idea of the Stealth Boy technology can drive super-mutants and nightkin insane was something we had running in the pen & paper campaign. The Big Empty that we had for Oldworld Blues, that was also a part of Van Buren, although it was more like a military bootcamp in that version. We had the Hoover Dam, and it was set up like this whole floating city that had been built around the dam on one side, and that was moved into New Vegas, although it evolved into a different fashion. We just had a whole bunch of stuff from Van Buren that we brought over into New Vegas, though it just ended up changing design-wise over time, and evolving into cooler and better things.”
Our friends from No Mutants Allowed have posted a very interesting piece of information about Fallout: New Vegas cut content. The information comes from an unnamed source with a reliable track record. Here are some examples:
The Black Mountain location was meant to play a larger role in the NCR/Legion conflict at one point, with factions interested in controlling it due to its satellite system (the NCR to expand their broadcast range and the Legion to use as a jamming system). Digging through the files of the game one can still find some references to a quest that involved blowing up the satellite dishes that was tied to that older design of the area.
The Securitron Marilyn, a flirtier counterpart to Jane at the service of Mr. House, was cut due to unconditionalized/missing dialogue that couldn't be re-recorded at that point in development. Some NPCs had similar problems which is why you see so many "..." goodbye lines in the final title.
At one point during development you'd be able to actually work with the Fiends, which explains the cut dialogue for the Three-Card Bounty quest. You could allow the Fiends to break into Camp McCarran (referenced in some of the ending slides) and you'd be able to witness the consequences of that action in post-Hoover Dam gameplay.
In the original design Freeside was meant to lose power between 11pm till dawn or so, making the choice to route power to the location more relevant, as it'd mean that the Followers would be able to continue operating during the night too.
You can read even more interesting stuff in full article. Great job, WorstUsernameEver.
I am much more accustomed to seeing my religion portrayed in unflattering and even disrespectful ways in entertainment media (...) than to seeing any positive or deferential representations. Hence, when I came across The Old Mormon Fort outside New Vegas it naturally piqued my curiosity as to how it would be featured. Would the game's developers at Obsidian take the well-worn road of clichéd irony by making The Old Mormon Fort some den of hypocritical debauchery or zealous extremism, or would they do something different?
I was nevertheless surprised and impressed by what I found inside The Old Mormon Fort: a struggling but hopeful sanctuary for the lost and ill-fated souls of the Mojave wasteland. I found a people whose purpose very much in harmony with the aspirations of Mormonism and Christianity generally.
Not without the help of The Vault author then further explores the topic by focusing on several Mormon and ex-Mormon characters. Bert Gunnarsson, Driver Nephi and, by all means, Joshua Graham, The Burned Man.
As a conclusion, Skip tips his hat to Obsidian Entertainment:
During the latest D.I.C.E. Summit Nathan Grayson from Rock, Paper, Shotgun had a chance to speak with Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart. Among other things they've spoken about some ideas Obsidian have for hypothetical Fallout: New Vegas 2.
Oh, we’d love to do Fallout: New Vegas 2. It would be awesome.
If I think of going from Fallout 1 to Fallout 2, we tried to associate the two areas somewhat closely. It wasn't just ‘Oh, we're gonna do this 2,000 miles from here.’ So I think if we were to do Fallout: New Vegas 2 – or just a new Fallout – we would probably separate it from what the internal team at Bethesda’s doing. We'd keep it on the West Coast, because we’re West Coast people. They’re East Coast, so it makes sense.
And we need an interesting confined area. So I mean, it could be LA. Fallout LA. That could be interesting. It’d probably be The Boneyard, which is from Fallout 1. It could be very different. It could be almost a Walking Dead meets Fallout-like thing because of all the radiation.
We talk to Bethesda all the time. And I think the challenge here doesn’t just apply to Bethesda specifically, but to a lot of publishers in general. But basically, what does all the [current] console crap mean? The challenge in this period of time has been, you have this console transition, and it’s strange that they’re still not announced. But that always creates a disruption in the industry. And now you mix in [the emergence of] mobile and F2P stuff, and it’s left a lot of people reeling.
So that’s a lot of the conversation we’ve had with publishers. ‘OK, how do we get back to normal – whatever normal is going to be.’ That’s just the process right now.”— Feargus Urquhart, Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Nathan was also able to briefly speak with Bethesda’s Todd Howard. As he said: "Nothing’s set in stone, but New Vegas was great, and having another go at it certainly makes an awful lot of sense."
Keep your fingers crossed.
As per BethBlog, the official soundtracks for seven of Bethesda's most popular games are now available for purchase on iTunes. Among other there are official soundtracks for Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, both composed by Inon Zur and priced $11.99.
You can purchase those soundtracks by following the links below:
- Fallout 3: Original Game Soundtrack - Inon Zur - $11.99
- Fallout New Vegas: Original Game Soundtrack - Inon Zur et al. - $11.99