Planet Fallout caught up with Obsidian Entertainment's Chris Avellone at PAX Prime for a Q&A that briefly covers his development history and memorable gaming moments before diving in Fallout: New Vegas.
The dialog system, something that you've known a lot of success in games like Planescape: Torment, changed a bit from Fallout 3, can you explain us more on what changed and what remains untouched?
We added more skill checks for various skills (Barter, Explosives, Sneak, Guns), displayed the success values for skill checks, added some stupid-speak at points for low INT characters, and changed the text of the line if your skill isn't high enough (as an example: adding [Crappy Speech] "uh... maybe... you'd be making a mistake?" vs. [Good Speech skill] "You pull that trigger on someone that's got NCR's full support, you'll be making a mistake.")
Torment's dialogue system is a scaled-down version of what was in Fallout 1, without the empathy perk and expanded alignment reactivity to compensate for D+D's alignment axis. There's not many other comparisons between Torment and Fallout aside from possibly companion depth in New Vegas and the quest solutions for different character builds, so I don't want to misrepresent either title by drawing any other comparisons between them. Torment owes a lot to Fallout, and not the other way around.