The game takes place in the year 2277 on the East Coast of what used to be the United States of America. The player character, known as the Lone Wanderer, is a young inhabitant of Vault 101, a fallout shelter in the Washington D.C. area. The vault has reportedly been sealed for 200 years, until the player's father, James, opens the only door to the outside world and disappears without any explanation.
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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.”
According to Gstaff, Global Community Lead, the Fallout 3 update removed the need to activate GfWL codes for Fallout 3 copies purchased on Steam:
Steam simply removed the need to activate GFWL codes when purchasing Fallout 3 on Steam.”
As Joystiq reports, key elements of Fallout 3's integration with Games for Windows Live were removed by a recent Steam update. These are SupportsCDKeyCopyToClipboard, ShowCDKeyOnLaunch, and entries concerning legacy key registration.
Apparently, these are enough to shoot the kneecaps off of Microsoft's dying DRM scheme. Bethesda has yet to issue a statement on the matter or remove the GfWL client from the game entirely, as it will still be installed along with the game on Steam.
To submit your vote you have to chose three pieces so don't forget to add two more good videogame soudtracks.
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
Erik has later confirmed that he been given permission to release that tease. NMA has already supposed that this could be the start of a viral campaign.