Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel Interview

Eschalon: Book II

Publisher:Interplay Entertainment
Developer:Interplay Entertainment
Release Date:2004-01-13
  • Action,Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Top-Down
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay
GB: As we understand it, there will be "bonus" areas that require both players to activate. Any other details you can provide? Other than two-player "bonus" areas and unlockable characters, what other secrets and easter eggs might players uncover?

Dan: Yes, there are indeed some areas of the game world that the player will only be able to access with the help of another player (essentially, these are locked doors that require two switches to be thrown simultaneously, leading the player to bonus locations).

As for other secrets and easter eggs... well, we have a number of in-game references to the previous games, with some characters and descriptions that will mean more to those with a good background knowledge of the Fallout universe. We also have a few hidden items and weapons that the player will only be able to find by either exploring zealously or performing key actions in certain locations. Of course, we're not going to tell you about those just yet ;)

Some easier things to find are the bonus movies that you can unlock by completing the game on different difficulty levels. These include concept art for people, places and weapons, as well as a music video for one of the tracks featured in the game.

GB: Were any members of the Black Isle team involved with Fallout: BoS, perhaps to help flesh out the storyline and keep it in line with the previous titles? Has the departure of the BIS personnel detracted from the game's development in any way?

Dan: Luckily for us, the BIS guys were very interested in what we were doing with F:BOS, and from the very beginning we had a lot of contact with them regarding storyline, setting and characters. They also provided us with a mountain of information to help out with all the tiny details that litter such a landscape, from timelines to bibles.

The actual design elements were wrapped up quite a while back, with the in-between time left to actually implementing them, and we finished production of the game a little before Christmas and the recent events in BIS.

GB: Can you explain how ranged combat (aiming) will work in Fallout: BoS? Also, did called shots make it into the game, or will targeting be random?

Dan: After looking at the combat system that was in the original Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, we thought that it would be relatively easy to adapt it to a 'Target Aiming' system. It actually turned out to be one the harder functions we had to build into the redesigned engine, and it took many months of fine-tuning to come up with a system that was easy to use for the player, but also allowed for a moments of error as they leveled up their characters ranged abilities.

The system we have in now allows you to lock on to an enemy target (depicted by the classic 'red outline') by holding down a shoulder button. With this active, the player's character will always face and move around the target, allowing the player to concentrate solely on that point. Firing your weapon whilst locked will always guarantee a shot in that direction, but the skill level your character is currently at will determine whether or not you actually hit it, and how much damage that shot will do.

A good example of this would be firing an SMG at a locked target with a character whose ranged combat skills are rather low. The spray of bullets from the SMG would all snake towards that target, but because of the spray, not all of them would strike. Now, with a character that has had their ranged weapon skills increased, that spray becomes tighter, resulting in more hits. A fully-leveled up character would have practically no spray whatsoever, guaranteeing an accurate and lethal volley of bullets.

GB: What do you feel are the most prominent aspects of the game that will set it apart and make it a unique experience compared to previous Fallout titles and other action RPGs like BG:DA?

Dan: Unlike the previous Fallout titles, this incredibly action-orientated, designed for an arcade style of game play. Of course, we want you to play longer than just fifteen minutes, so we also have the character development system, and a three chapter storyline to keep you coming back for more. Whereas the Fallout series has in the past been built around a turn-based structure, the action in F:BOS is real-time and creates a much more galvanized atmosphere.

If you enjoyed playing BG:DA and want something similar, then F:BOS retains enough elements to make you feel at home. If you wanted something a little more hands-on, then the gunplay and increased melee combat should satisfy that need as well.

GB: What does the future hold for the Fallout license? Where would you personally like to see the Fallout world make its way within the next several years?

Dan: I think if anything, F:BOS has shown us that there are a lot of potential stories still to be told in the Fallout universe. I personally would like the console games to become their own 'pocket universe', telling tales that we might not otherwise have seen in the PC games. The wasteland is a pretty big place after all, who knows what else is out there? ;)

GB: Any final comments before the game hits store shelves?

Dan: It's comforting to know that we can sit back and play the game after quite a while developing it, and still have fun and enjoy playing it. We hope you do too.

Thanks Dan!