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Fallout 3: Gameplay Trumps Story

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Fallout 3: Gameplay Trumps Story

Interview - posted by baby arm on Tue 30 December 2008, 07:07:40

Tags: Fallout 3

1UP had a chat with Emil Pagliarulo to get his thoughts now that Fallout 3 is finished. One question covers why the player couldn't have one of his/her followers do the deed during the endgame.

EP: That's a great question, and one that's obviously come up quite a bit in different forums. Let me try to shed some light on why the game is like that -- it's a pretty interesting look inside the development process.

All of the followers were implemented into the game fairly late in development, after the main story had already been nailed down. So, you know, we had the scene at the end of the game, with deadly radiation, and never really compensated for the fact that you could have a Supermutant, or Ghoul, or robot, who could possibly turn the purifier on for you. We'd only ever planned for you sending Sarah Lyons into the purifier, because we knew, from a story standpoint, that she'd definitely be in there with you.

What we could do -- and what we did ultimately do -- is cover that stuff in dialogue. You can ask those followers to go into the purifier, and they'll tell you why they won't. We felt that fit with their personalities, but really, they didn't "sell" that to the player in a single line of dialogue. So, in the end, the player's left with a, "Huh, why the hell can't they do it?!" sort of feeling.

So the story does kind of break down. But you know what? We knew that, and were OK with it, because the trade-off is, well, you get these cool followers to join you. You meet up with Fawkes near the end of the game, and it's true you can go right with him to the purifier. So we could've not had him there as a follower, and that would've solved the problem of him not going into the purifier -- because, at that point in development, that was the only fix we had time for. But we kept it, and players got him as a follower, and they seem to love adventuring him with. Gameplay trumped story, in that example -- as I believe it should have.

So if we'd planned better, we could've addressed that more satisfactorily. But considering how it all went down, I feel good about the decision we made there.​
By the way, spoilers above.

Spotted at: NMA

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