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An archive of Josh Sawyer's Formspring from April 2010 through March 2013 (over 1 mb of text)

Discussion in 'Obsidian Entertainment' started by Roguey, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    25,176
    I'm tired of being its sole keeper, so here it is in chronological order. Please refrain from burying this in another thread; there's seriously multiple novels worth of text here and keeping it in a thread of its own will make it easier for other people to search for it.

    2010 (open)

    JESawyer 5 Apr 10


    How do you pronounce Feargus Urquhart?


    fur-guhs urk-hart


    JESawyer 5 Apr 10



    Forums or fora?


    I usually write "fora" but say "forums".


    JESawyer 5 Apr 10



    Do you think computer roleplaying games can go back to the simpler and more focused style they had when Wizardry, Might & Magic, or Pools of Radiance were popular? Do you feel the kitchen sink approach has really stretched content and variety today?


    I think that CRPGs are now defined heavily by how they allow the player to express the personality of their character(s) in meaningful ways throughout the game. In that sense, I don't think the genre will ever move back to the Wizardry/Might and Magic era. However, I do think that games with top-down/isometric combat (like the gold box games) can still be viable in some markets.

    JESawyer 5 Apr 10



    What is your alltime favorite album?


    It's probably still Radiohead's OK Computer. I know that's a common answer, but it's the truth.


    JESawyer 6 Apr 10



    Baldur's Gate III, Van Buren, Aliens. All got canceled for various reasons. If somehow you got the chance to finish only one of them, which one would it be and why ?


    I think it would have to be Aliens. We were doing some interesting things with character interactions and game play, and I think that the setting was novel for an RPG.

    JESawyer 6 Apr 10



    Are you good at Counter-Strike? [question asked by a Fallout fan who used to play CS]


    I only played CS a few times and never really got into it. My favorite team-based multiplayer FPSs are Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Tribes (original), and Left 4 Dead.


    JESawyer 6 Apr 10



    Thief: The Dark Project came out in 1998 (!). Why d'you reckon that in the 12 years since, no RPG developer has been able to incorporate stealth mechanics to the same degree of success? Is this issue really as simple as player skill v. character skill?


    Thief was a dedicated stealth game. Unfortunately, I believe most RPG developers either don't consider stealth to be worth implementing at all or only worth implementing in a minimalist fashion. It's a shame, because I don't believe that the fundamental mechanics of Thief are tremendously difficult to implement in a lot of engines.

    JESawyer 6 Apr 10



    What do you think of the Ultima series?


    It rules, though I have a spotty playing history with it: I, III, V, VI, and that's it.

    JESawyer 6 Apr 10



    The lead designer of Deus Ex 3, Jean-Francois Dugas, stated "There weren't enough exciting, memorable moments [in the original]. It was aimed more towards a simulation rather than a game experience." What do you think of this as a game developer?


    I think the original Deus Ex was made in an era when "big moments" (sorry if I'm simplifying too much here) were hard to portray in-game. Big moments can be nice rewards for players, and they are nice press/talking points, but they aren't game play. If a game has great game play and not a lot of big moments, to me that's a lot more acceptable than a game with bad game play and a bunch of big moments.

    JESawyer 6 Apr 10



    Are you still working on The Black Hound? If not, WHY?? If you are, how's it coming along?


    No. The Black Hound project took up too much of my free time. It felt like working two full time+ jobs and I think it impacted the quality of everything I was doing.

    JESawyer 6 Apr 10



    How much humor have you found really needs to be put into a serious game to raise its quality?


    If the game is fundamentally serious, humor should be thought of as seasoning. You have to be careful about how much you apply so you don't ruin the overall experience. Humor is a great way to relieve tension among characters and in the audience. That was one of the most notable things for me when I was watching a lot of Alien/Aliens. The former is decidedly a horror film. It feels claustrophobic and oppressive. There is very little humor between the characters, even at the beginning, and it drops to dead serious after *~ sPoIlErS ~* Kane dies. Aliens is more of a horror/action hybrid, and humor is used much more regularly to break the tension or lift the mood, even after everything starts going to hell. Without Hudson, I think Aliens would feel a lot different (worse).

    JESawyer 6 Apr 10



    What kind of budget are you aiming for, though? An ISO-TB RPG with the budget of Alpha Protocol probably isn't going to happen, but could you make a smaller game with a small budget, and build on its possible success? Indies manage with no money at all.


    Ultimately I work on whatever projects the owners want me to work on. Budgets, budget limitations, and RoI aren't really part of what I do.

    JESawyer 6 Apr 10



    What do you think of Alastair MacIntyre's famous claim that postmodernism claims ownership over the objective perspective in order to deny that the objective perspective exists? (After Virtue, Whose Justice Whose Rationality_?


    I don't think postmodernism explicitly denies that the objective perspective exists, but it implicitly neuters that perspective or effectively dismisses it as being beyond understanding or beyond usefulness to individuals. I believe postmodernism poses the following challenges to the legitimacy and value of defining an objective perspective:

    * How is an objective perspective understood within a group of individuals?
    * Of what value is an objective valuation or perspective to an individual who does not recognize that valuation or perspective as valid?

    Postmodernism was not a philosophical movement that started out with the goal of denying the existence of an objective perspective, but it was, like many historical philosophical movements, a reaction to the perceived failures of the philosophies that preceded it. MacIntyre appears to be heavily influenced by Hegel and Kuhn, and clearly Nietzsche's work is extremely reactionary, so I hope he would not dispute my comments.


    JESawyer 6 Apr 10


    Following on to your academic discussions answer, is there a particular "common currency" you would recommend?


    I think that if a term already exists to describe something within the realm of game development and is understood by the public, that term should be used over developer-manufactured terms. I sometimes get the impression that developers want to create vocabulary that is unique to game development because it "legitimizes" game development and sets it apart from other forms of entertainment media. I just want that process to be organic. Vocabulary develops out of necessity. The more we rely on common terms (when appropriate, of course), the more transparent the game development process can be when discussed with non-developers.


    JESawyer 7 Apr 10



    Why are you answering all these questions? Do you think of youself as someone important? Or maybe, all-knowing?


    I think of myself as someone with vocational knowledge.

    JESawyer 7 Apr 10



    How much do you get into an RPG's world when you design it? For example, do you like thinking as the characters would so as to make them more believable? Carefully consider their actions, relations, inventory, residences, etc.? What about its economy? 1EK


    I try to consider all of the above when designing individuals and organizations. Even if the thought processes behind the decisions are not obvious to most players, putting in the time required can help establish consistent patterns in the world that, over time, have an impact on the majority of players.

    I think a world's economy is important to consider because the actions of many people and groups are often driven by very practical matters: they want jobs, they want resources, they want finished products. And while many people and groups espouse an ideology, the clash between ideological goals and economic realities can often produce interesting plot elements.

    JESawyer 7 Apr 10



    To what extent do your political or religious ideologies inform your design decisions?


    It may be because I studied history in the postmodern tradition, but I'm not particularly interested in promoting anything other than, "Understanding things from different viewpoints is cool," or "People are complicated and do things for a lot of different reasons." I guess an extension of that is the idea that the player is the person who determines "validity", not the author.

    JESawyer 7 Apr 10


    Are you going to write a book at some point? If you are, what's it going to be about?


    Let's get this "make a good game" goal out of the way first.


    JESawyer 7 Apr 10



    Which game had the best/most enjoyable combat in your opinion, ToEE or NWN2?


    ToEE by far. Once the bugs are dealt with, ToEE's combat is more tactical, the AI is more reliable, and the experience is more fun, overall.


    JESawyer 7 Apr 10



    You don't think Icewind Dale 2 was a good game?


    I think IWD2 was "pretty good", but it has a lot of significant flaws. I think I have the most satisfaction in IWD2 because it was made under duress and the developers really put a lot of cool things into it, but the experience was uneven or frustrating in a lot of places.


    JESawyer 7 Apr 10



    How do you honestly feel about games that fall under the jRPG category, such as the Final Fantasy series?


    They don't appeal to me and, unless I'm looking at a specific mechanic in one, I don't play them.

    JESawyer 7 Apr 10



    You mentioned part of your job is number crunching on spreadsheets. I'm curious what kind of math and methodology is involved. Is there any relative bibliography you'd recommend?


    The math is usually pretty simple. I use Excel and Excel formulae to see how RPG statistics scale over a given spectrum of levels, difficulty, etc. For example, if I'm creating an armor system, I might input different damage values against different armor values to see how high level damage vs. low level armor fares. I use the Excel formulae so I can change one number (variable) in one cell and see every other cell update based off of the variable.

    In general, I don't believe that RPG mathematics should be overly "fiddly" or complex. I believe that the mathematics should be exposed or, if not exposed, the user should be able to deconstruct their basic operation through observation.

    JESawyer 7 Apr 10



    Many of the games you've worked on have never seen the light of day, but do you feel that things that you learnt, or resources you found/built allow your next project to get a head start?


    Definitely. Failure is an excellent teacher.

    JESawyer 8 Apr 10



    Picking up on your comment re. the Aliens RPG: Why do you suppose that fantasy is such a dominant setting for RPGs (both PnP and CRPG)? What other settings (be it genres or even IP's) do you think would benefit from RPG "treatment," and why?


    Fantasy was the style of most early tabletop RPGs, and early CRPGs mostly just followed suit. Ultima, Bard's Tale, Phantasie, Wizardry, and Might & Magic, were the big CRPGs that defined the genre in the early- to mid-80s and they were all high fantasy. In the late 80s and early 90s, there was more high-profile experimentation with different RPG genres (Wasteland, Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday), but even today non-fantasy CRPGs are still the exception rather than the rule.

    Personally, I think that almost any type of setting could work for a CRPG. Western, transhuman future, whatever. As long as there are characters with whom the player can interact, meaningful choices to be made, and character development, it could work as a CRPG.

    JESawyer 8 Apr 10


    Do you believe that the cinema "auteur" theory applies to games?


    I think games can have auteurs if the individual has enough control over development processes for a long enough period of time. The first person who pops to mind is Koji Igarashi (IGA, Castlevania series), though probably the most obvious would be Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear).


    JESawyer responded to telryth 8 Apr 10



    Could you expand a little on why JRPGs don't appeal to you? Can you give an example of a specific mechanic from a FF game that you thought was interesting enough to warrant you playing the game?


    Generally speaking, the character personalities and designs do not appeal to me, there is an extreme emphasis on cinematic sequences, and the game play is often very linear and lacks meaningful player choice.

    I thought Final Fantasy X's Sphere Grid was an interesting mechanic because it presented character advancement in an unconventional way. Plotting a course across the Sphere Grid became a game play element on its own.

    JESawyer 8 Apr 10



    I was a North American Fall Webworm in my past life. Those were the good old days... What were you in your former life?


    An elm tree. Thanks a lot.

    JESawyer 8 Apr 10



    What's the deal with intellectual property rights and game mechanics? What can and can't be protected? How does it affect game development if at all? Would you change anything if you could?


    I'm not a lawyer, but as far as I know, mechanics are not protected outright, though design specifications done for a company (like any documentation) are covered. That is, if you can re-create/reverse-engineer a mechanic in another game, I don't think there's any precedent for a company claiming that their rights have been infringed.

    JESawyer 8 Apr 10



    Which perspective do you prefer, as a designer and as a gamer respectively: isometric, third- or first-person? Is there any source proving a common belief that FPP is more immersive?


    I doubt anyone's actually done a study on gaming perspectives and perceived levels of immersion. I think it's just that: a common belief.

    For me, it depends on what you/the designer is trying to accomplish with the camera perspective. For a lot of games with tactical combat, an "iso" perspective makes the most sense because you want the player to be able to see and process a lot of information about the environment and combatants. The same applies to strategy games that span large areas (or don't really focus on a single character).

    Close third-person cameras can work when you want the player character (often alone) to navigate the environment with climbing/platforming elements or when real-time melee combat is central to game play. I think it can also work well for some horror games (e.g. Resident Evil 4, 5, Dead Space) because it combines a limited view of the world (anxiety-inducing) with a close-up picture of the player character's vulnerability.

    First person is probably the easiest to work with, but it's not useful for all types of game play. If a designer wants to effectively remove the player character as an entity and focus more heavily on the environment, first person is the way to go. Personally, I lose all sense of character in most first person games and that's usually a big negative for me.

    JESawyer 9 Apr 10



    That's a very thorough explanation of _how_ fantasy is the dominant setting in RPGs, but you didn't really touch on why. Is it just creative inertia? In your experience, have you found that fantasy lends itself better to the CRPG features you mentioned?


    I tried to cover that in the first sentence because I thought it was self-evident: yes, it's creative inertia.

    I don't think there's anything about fantasy that makes it any more appropriate for RPGs than any other common game setting featuring an array of characters with whom you can interact.

    But this goes back to creative inertia. Audiences also have creative inertia; they don't want to move. I remember when the Aliens RPG was announced (and when its cancellation was announced), people were exasperated that anyone would make something as "dumb" as an RPG set in the Aliens universe.

    The Aliens film series is about characters under duress, and some of the most memorable moments are the character interactions. It's as much about humans fighting each other as humans fighting aliens.

    JESawyer 9 Apr 10



    Do you consider FPS games that successfully incorporate RPG elements into the design (such as Deus Ex, the System Shocks, Strife, etc) to be full fledged RPGs or just a more complex FPS with some character advancement? Why/why not?


    The ability to express the personality of your character in meaningful/influential ways throughout the course of the game is what makes a game an RPG to me. This usually happens through how you interact with characters and how the story/world updates based on the choices you've made.

    Character advancement systems have been in other "genres" for years now. Castlevania games have character advancement, Devil May Cry games have character advancement, etc. It's in so many games now that it's a pretty weak leg for RPGs to stand on. I think that a game's combat style is a poor indicator as well for the same reason.

    JESawyer 9 Apr 10



    Follow up to auteur question: Do you think an individual SHOULD be the crux of design (and therefore have the game be a reflection of his/her own personality and opinions) or is the fairly standard collectivist "design team" process preferable?


    Collectivist design processes arguably make the team feel "better"/more egalitarian, but I think the end product suffers for it. Everyone should be able to contribute, but those contributions need to work within an overarching vision.

    Most people playing the game won't know anything about who made it. They just want a cohesive and fun experience. Think of it this way: if five people argue for different designs and the result is something that they all grudgingly accept with various concessions, how compelling can that really be?

    And I don't really think the vision should be "about" the design director/lead designer/overlord. As with most stories, I think game stories work best when they are more about the audience's opinions and decisions than the author's opinions and biases. My biases certainly affect theme and subject matter, but I try to leave interpretations open to the player. Who wants to be lectured at by a game?

    JESawyer 9 Apr 10



    What are some of the unexpected pitfalls (i.e., not combat balancing issues) that you have come across when designing RPG systems from scratch as opposed to established rule sets like D&D or GURPS? Are you able to anticipate, and thus avoid, them now?


    Tabletop RPGs are viewed through the rule books. The interface is one or three or ten books with 100+ pages. The player and GM are expected to sit down and absorb all of that stuff before and during game play.

    CRPGs have manuals, but most players learn how to play the game through the GUI. How you structure and present information to the player is critical to their understanding of how the game works. It's great to have a ton of choices for the player, but presenting a large number of options in a clear fashion can be very difficult.

    Hardcore gamers will struggle through bad GUIs to "get to the fun", but people who are a) new to gaming or b) new to RPGs can find a lot of information daunting or confusing. I do not think the solution is to remove options, but to carefully engineer how those options are presented to players.

    JESawyer responded to JackofHearts 9 Apr 10



    Have you ever played a video game and noticed something that gained your attention that as a designer you would notice but as a gamer you wouldn't? And if so could you give an example ^^.


    All the time. I suspect a lot of vocations have a similar problem. I actually recently asked a friend of mine who is a massage therapist if how she looked at/understood human bodies had changed over time. After you have spent enough time looking at and working on something, it can cease to be recognizable as a singular entity. It becomes a collection of interlocked pieces. This is beneficial but also potentially dangerous.

    For example, a character becomes a series of meshes, diffuse textures, specular/normal/environment maps, skeletons, linked animations with different blend rates, layers of secondary animations (cloth, hair, etc.), animation meta-data (footstep frames, hit frames, input windows), statistics, sound files, and so on.

    Here's a specific example: in the original Xbox Ninja Gaiden, Ryu does not really turn to block attacks. Instead, he snaps. Secondary motion and particles create the illusion that he turns.

    How it works: Ryu stands in a block animation idle with his sword up. His head tracks enemies within a certain constraint range based off of his heading. When an an attack comes in, Ryu is, in one frame, re-oriented to the direction of the attack. He plays a block hit reaction (recoiling a bit), a spark and displacement visual effect appears on the sword, and the scarf on his head trails behind him as though he had actually made the turn in real time. There is no "turn" animation. It is a very well-engineered illusion that makes him look incredibly fast without obviously "popping".

    But here's the problem: ultimately, breaking down any subject matter into components can be dangerous because you can become oblivious to the thing as a whole. The whole is made up of components, but audiences care more about the whole than the pieces that comprise it.

    JESawyer 10 Apr 10



    You answered two questions about JRPG's, right? Do you cherry pick the questions?


    Yes, and I delete a bunch of them, too.

    JESawyer 11 Apr 10



    What do you think of the Dragon Age: Origins game? Is it a traditional RPG, Or is it too out there to be considered a RPG game?


    I don't think there's anything about DA:O that is "out there" by RPG standards.

    JESawyer 11 Apr 10



    What do you think of the Xbox live system?


    As with many locations in this world, virtual or otherwise, it would be a great place if it weren't for all the people.

    JESawyer 11 Apr 10



    Have you enjoyed/played any Tactical RPG's?


    Yes, though not recently. The last two I really enjoyed were Advance Wars and Front Mission 4.

    JESawyer 11 Apr 10



    How do you maintain perspective? After working on a game for months or years, how do you prevent only seeing trees instead of the forest?


    I try to play the game regularly and in a natural fashion. A lot of what I look at, day to day, is done by popping into a test level, running a batch file or script and spot testing a particular asset or feature. To counter this tunnel vision, I set aside time to load in at a (mostly) random location and just play the game normally. It helps me maintain a better perspective on what it's like to experience the game as a whole.

    JESawyer 11 Apr 10



    What do you think about Russian vodka?


    Russian vodka is the only beverage I was ever peer-pressured into drinking. I was 28 or 29 and in Moscow, so I gave it a whirl. Much like most hard alcohol, I didn't like it.


    JESawyer 14 Apr 10



    No Fallout or Bethesda questions--but any comment on G:SS? You mentioned that failure is an excellent teacher, and not to say that G:SS was a failure, but clearly things didn't work out there. What did you take from that experience?


    If you're working for someone else, don't ever forget that the game you're working on does not belong to you.

    JESawyer 14 Apr 10



    I understand not having time enough to make The Black Hound the experience it deserves to be. Have you ever considered alternative solutions, like overseeing a crew of enthusiasts willing to work on it for free?


    The underlying problem is still the same: not enough time. Managing people, especially remotely, takes a lot of effort.

    JESawyer 14 Apr 10



    If, and I say if there was a game that would allow you to play 3rd person, 1st person or the top view, which one would you choose?


    It would depend on the quality of each camera implementation and the type of activity I'm performing. There are some games that have 1st and 3rd person cameras but no one uses one of the cameras because the game becomes practically unplayable.

    JESawyer 14 Apr 10



    What was your favorite game when you was young?


    In the mid-80s, it was the original Bard's Tale on C=64. In the late 80s, Pool of Radiance. In the early 90s, Darklands. I've always really liked party-based games with tactical combat.

    JESawyer 14 Apr 10



    Do you think developers should ignore the demands of some hardcore fans to keep obsolete or inferior features in the sequel just because it was in the original?


    I think developers should try to make a good game. While this means they do have to understand the expectations established by previous titles, they have to be willing to re-evaluate mechanics if they've demonstrably failed or caused problems in the past. I think its most important that they keep the spirit of a franchise/series/world alive. If they can do that while improving a mechanic, they should go for it. If changing mechanics radically alters the feeling of the setting and series, the cost has to be weighed very carefully.

    JESawyer 14 Apr 10



    I saw another person asking whether your political or religious beliefs affect your work and now I just can't get over it - What are your political and religious beliefs?


    I do not believe in any higher power. I believe that many people living in modern republics behave in a fashion that merits being ruled by tyrants or aristocrats. I also believe that humanity will eventually scour most animal and plant life from the surface of the planet and suffocate the seas through overpopulation and the continued existence of large, consumption- and expansion-driven societies.

    JESawyer 16 Apr 10



    You've mentioned that Darklands is your favorite game. Given modern market forces, how much, if any, of that game's distinctive characteristics could make it into a commercially viable RPG? Or are we simple past that phase?


    I think that Assassin's Creed 1 and 2 (despite its modern/sci-fi wrapping) have shown that people can really enjoy serious historical settings. There's also been more of an interest in historical thrillers in books and film in the past decade or so (Da Vinci Code, Brotherhood of the Wolf).

    Personally, I think you could carry a lot of Darklands into a contemporary game. The one thing that might not fly is the presentation of cities and towns. In Darklands, communities were basically little bits of data that turned flags on and off and said what university, saints, etc. were there. It was all just text presented over generic (but nice) watercolor-style backgrounds.

    I think it would be hard to convince publishers (and some gamers) that style of presentation is acceptable. However, I do think it could work if it were on a platform like XBLA, DS, or something similar.

    JESawyer 16 Apr 10



    Some dedicated PC gamers view console/cross-platform games as less sophisticated than PC exclusives. Have you found the design considerations between PC and consoles to be significantly different? As a designer, what system(s) do you prefer and why?


    Design considerations are very different for a few key reasons:

    Resolution is lower (practically speaking) on consoles because a large percentage of players hook up to standard definition televisions (~480 @ 4:3). This heavily affects how GUIs are designed, because font size, icon size, and "safe zone" borders always have to be accounted for.*

    Most PC gamers will play games with mouse and keyboard. There are many input differences between that and a dual analog stick controller.

    Console titles have to pass certification through the console manufacturers. This ensures the observation of standards that, while occasionally annoying, ultimately make the game better/more stable.

    Each platform has its own pros and cons. PC development is easiest in many ways because you can work and test on the same machine. You can practically ignore anything approaching "standard def" resolution and you can utilize the latest and greatest PC hardware.

    On the flip side, PC development is also much more difficult to troubleshoot because of the enormous number of OS + hardware + enduser software permutations that can interfere with how the game runs. Consoles give a fixed hardware and (with the proper XDKs/SDKs) software platform for testing and (eventually) release.

    * For the record, I think it's disgraceful that some recent, very high profile console titles have gotten a pass on TCR/TRC requirements despite being completely illegible on SD displays.

    JESawyer 16 Apr 10



    What is G:SS? Didn't get the shorthand. Thank you


    Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows.

    JESawyer 21 Apr 10



    What do you think of Nikola Tesla, and his inventions ?


    I am glad that Nikola Tesla is getting a lot of recognition for his many contributions to science and technology. He was very forward thinking and contemporary societies owe a lot to him.


    JESawyer 21 Apr 10



    Recently Roger Ebert pissed off gamers by saying that video games simply cannot be art. http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/04/video_games_can_never_be_art.html What's your take on the artistic merit of video games?


    I wish people would take all the effort they spend arguing about the definition of art and apply that to making art as they see it.

    JESawyer 21 Apr 10



    Do you think the industry is now more conservative than it was in the past (say the 90s or the 80s)? If so, why?


    Yes, it is more risk-averse now than it was in the late 90s. The amounts of money being spent now are ten to twenty times as much as they were then. Additionally, there are not as many independent mid-sized studios left. Most of the major publishers are public companies, so they have to answer to stockholders (this is bad).

    JESawyer 26 Apr 10



    Do you have any particular approaches to NPC dialogue/chatter to help with immersivity and without them coming off as useless bots, taking up space, and never adding much lore or relevant information?


    I am a believer in what Obsidian calls "barkstrings". Generic, rank-and-file characters in the world typically do not have full dialogue trees. Instead, they have a large list of reactive one-off lines that they will say either in passing or when you interact with them. As long as barkstrings react to things in a meaningful fashion, it's usually more satisfying than drilling generic characters for generic information through a dialogue tree.

    Background characters should also be engaged in meaningful action. A world where people endlessly, randomly mill about feels like a world without purpose. Communities should have a focus and characters within communities should have roles that they fill.

    JESawyer 1 May 10



    A friend linked me to the concept art from Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins. In the concept art, the game has a more unique fantasy-punk aesthetic than the iconic look that Bioware ultimately went with. Would you have made the same decision?


    I have worked on enough traditional fantasy games that the "iconic" look does not appeal to me personally. If I could work with artists to find a fresh look that appealed to audiences, I would prefer to go with that approach.

    I want to make something clear, though: while I make games with a bias toward what I think is good/enjoyable, I do not make games for my own personal tastes. Few game developers working at mid- to large-sized studios have the freedom to drive a development process without catering to an idealized market.

    JESawyer 1 May 10



    What's it like working in a field where everything you put out is scrutinized by online fan groups, many of whom will trash or ooze about the game despite its faults?


    You either get used to it or you don't. Some developers never get used to it and basically shut out/write off fan feedback entirely.

    Throughout my career, I have felt that it is incredibly important to read and (when possible) respond to fan feedback. It helps professionally ground you and it forces you to defend your ideas to the enduser.

    The challenge I sometimes face is getting past my initial aggravation at a person's tone to ask what their underlying concern is. But if I can do that, I usually find that they are reasonable -- even if I don't think I can make them happy.

    JESawyer 2 May 10



    You spoke previously about how game developers are more risk-averse these days, can you see yourself breaking molds and genre-blending or would you prefer to build excellent games from tried-and-true formulae?


    I don't think developers are risk averse; I think publishers are risk averse. It's relatively easy for developers to be cavalier with publisher money, but that's why publishers don't give developers money (usually) for "wacky" game ideas.

    It's pretty rare for me to write up game proposals because most of the games I propose are wacky in some way. That isn't to say that people would enjoy them; they might be offensive/outright terrible. But I know and accept that the only way for me to really "do my own thing" would be to start my own company. I don't want to run a company (assuming I even could). I don't want to think about 401k programs or fire safety regulations in the office or deal with the anxiety of keeping 100+ people employed. I want to make games every day. I may not be good at it, but I have no other skills, no practical knowledge.

    So whether I get to work on something groundbreaking or simply fun/enjoyable, either way I'm lucky to be making games and I enjoy it a great deal.

    JESawyer 3 May 10



    you sound really dorky, I expected more of a badass voice from you:(


    Unfortunately, my voice naturally has a nasal tone to it. It's also problematic for singing.

    JESawyer 4 May 10



    How long did it take you to grow that sexy beard? How's the knee? How does working at obsidian feel vs your early start at iply? (was Fargo still the chief when you started?)


    I think that was three weeks of growth. When I go on motorcycle trips during cold weather I grow my facial hair out for about a week. It's not exactly a woolen blanket, but it helps with wind chill.

    My knee is doing better now. I've been working with a personal trainer to strengthen the muscles around the knee so the joint doesn't absorb as much impact when I run. I only run once a week, I wear a patellar tendon brace, and I only run on soft surfaces. I have a single speed with toe clips that I ride. I think it is less stressful on my knees than the tri/tt bike with Shimano clipless pedals/shoes.

    Obsidian doesn't feel at all like Interplay/BIS to me. Even though some of the people are the same, it's really a completely different environment.


    JESawyer 4 May 10


    What kind of balance do you try to strike between player-driven events and plot-driven events?


    Within the context of "Obsidian-style" RPGs, we tend to give the player a lot of options, but they are still designer-created events. These options can reward a player's investment or character choices, but ultimately it's just picking from a pre-defined menu.

    Personally, I try to push our game play in directions that allow players to create their own stories. I want people to enjoy the stories and characters Obsidian creates, but I also want our game play to be compelling and dynamic enough that player stories overshadow our meager choose-your-own-adventure plots.

    Reading through someone else's story can be entertaining and satisfying, but if you get the opportunity to create your own, that adds another layer of enjoyment.


    JESawyer 4 May 10



    Can a game tell a complex story mostly through environment and inference on the part of the player, or are exposition dumps inevitable?


    Certainly. I actually prefer this kind of storytelling, but it can be tricky to pull off. If a developer were to establish hard and fast rules for presentation in a game, I'm sure they could have a rich, complex story with minimal exposition.

    I think games like Ico show that developers are capable of presenting narrative in a lot of untraditional ways. I'd like to work on a game with no dialogue -- or dialogue that's all spoken in nonsense/indecipherable language, with intonation and facial expressions being the player's only hints at what's being discussed.

    JESawyer 4 May 10



    Do you ever dream of striking off on your own and maybe even joining Annie and Brian over at Doublebear Studios? Or at least working with them or Iron Tower Studios in your spare time? RPG nerds everywhere would rejoice at your selflessness.


    I don't want to be self-employed or run my own company. I have tried contributing time to freelance or side projects in the past and it burns me out pretty quickly.

    JESawyer 4 May 10



    Main plot, sidequests, character development, music, graphics, NPC dialogs. Chose only three for a game you would enjoy.


    An interesting omission from this list is "game play", which I would take over any of the above.

    JESawyer 5 May 10



    For IW2, has anyone complained about the difficulty of the final boss fight in comparison to the rest of the game?


    I'm sure there are, but I don't think the fight against Isair and Madae is surprisingly hard considering the difficulty of the rest of the game.

    Of course, doing things in the Severed Hand can help make that battle much easier. If players skip that content, it can be a lot more challenging.

    JESawyer 9 May 10



    What happened to your knee?


    I was training for a sprint triathlon and, in the week before the event, I started to experience a great deal of pain in my right knee. In addition to identifying a bunch of general IT band problems, various doctors told me that I had osteoarthritis in that knee. I was unable to do the triathlon and have not been able to run any serious distance since October.

    I have been doing strength training in my legs, bicycling, taking glucosamine, and running intervals on a rubber-backed track to ease back into it.

    JESawyer 9 May 10



    How many and what are the tatoos that you have?


    Twelve or so. Boring personal shit.

    JESawyer 10 May 10



    Is it true you're a gun nut- I mean, recreational shooting enthusiast?


    I have three rifles (a .22LR Henry Lever Carbine, .357 Magnum Rossi 92, and a Russian capture Mauser K98k) but I don't think that qualifies me as a gun nut. I purchased the rifles because I wanted to understand what it means to be a gun owner in the United States and because I wanted to have a more practical understanding of how firearms are operated and maintained.

    Because there are no outdoor ranges in Orange County, I can only use my Henry and Rossi (with .38 Special) at local indoor ranges. At some time in the future, I'd like to get an M1911 and a Ruger Vaquero, but that will probably require selling off a couple of the rifles I currently have.

    JESawyer 10 May 10



    Obsidian has a reputation for delivering strong plots and characters but weak or buggy gameplay. Personally I disagree and think that every Obsidian game has been a marked improvement over its predecessor, but how do you feel about that reputation?


    I think we have often improved on game play while simultaneously making it buggier. That is, we have modified existing features or added new ones, but often shipped the product in a buggy state. Obviously, this is something we do not want to repeat.

    JESawyer 10 May 10



    I spent the morning reading about Scrum development cycles versus the traditional Waterfall strategy. How important is it for Obsidian to have a fully functional game at the early stages?


    It's very important, but often difficult due to the (developer-inflicted) sprawling nature of RPG features. Though this may seem counter-intuitive, I think that the core game play features should be implemented prior to the character advancement systems. Ultimately, character advancement systems modify and reinforce the core game play. Designing and implementing features the other way around is backwards even though technically it will seem "MOAR RPG".

    JESawyer 10 May 10



    What is your connection to Germany/Bavaria?


    Most (15/16ths) of my ancestors were German. My paternal grandmother lived near Kempten as a young girl. My paternal grandfather's family were Donauschwaben farmers from Apatin (then Hungary, now Serbia) via Eningen - and before that, Vienna.

    My mother's side of the family came to the United States much earlier, so I haven't found Ellis Island records for them. Obituaries say they were from Saxony, Lower Saxony and Thuringia.

    Southern Wisconsin is heavily populated by the descendants of German immigrants. Lots of Kregers, Schornstadts, Niemeyers, and so on. As a result, there's a heavy emphasis on German-American (specifically Bavarian/Donauschwaben) culture in that area. I'm sure any actual Germans reading this will find this hilarious:

    http://www.gdays.org/page.asp?content=0.asp

    The German language is the only other language I can converse in (slowly), and in college, the focus of my history study was witch-hunting, mostly in the Holy Roman Empire/Germany. Despite all of this, I have never been to Germany. It's something I hope to remedy in the next few years.

    JESawyer 11 May 10



    Why is your website named after a man who masturbated in front of dogs?


    Diogenes owned.

    JESawyer 11 May 10



    It seems like a lot of humanities or liberal arts types wind up in game design. Is this something you've noticed? If so, why do you think it is?


    Liberal arts programs typically emphasize critical thinking, which is arguably the most important skill a game designer uses on a daily basis. Humanities courses are not focused on vocational skills, but the construction, analysis, and deconstruction of ideas. Another way to look at it would be to say that critical analysis *is* the primary vocational skill for all humanities-related fields.

    While there are job-specific proficiencies that designers develop over time, there really is not much about my job that someone off the street could not do. Judgment is ultimately what helps designers produce quality work.

    JESawyer 13 May 10



    What do you think about Bioware's comments about Final Fantasy 13 and whether or not it's an RPG? If you agree that it's not, are all jRPGs not RPGs, or do games like Persona 4 that emphasize expressing the character's personality get to be RPGs?


    I think Final Fantasy XIII is not an RPG for precisely the same reasons Daniel Erickson stated. I have not played Persona 4, but if it allows the player to define and meaningfully express their character's personality with tangible in-game consequences, then I would consider it to be an RPG.

    I never have cared about "RPG" trappings like character advancement, statistics, inventory, tactical combat, and other mechanics that tons of "not RPG" games (e.g. various Castlevanias, Resident Evils, etc.) have. Lots of games can have those things, whether people consider them to be RPGs or not. They're certainly fun aspects of game play, but they aren't unique to RPGs.

    The origins of the RPG genre are in tabletop gaming, and the allure of the tabletop RPG environment isn't in spec-ing out characters (though that is fun). If that's all you want to do, play Warhammer 40k, Confrontation, or any other war game you like. People play RPGs so they can make a unique character and play that character as they see fit. That is why I always use that specific capability as my criterion for classifying contemporary games as RPGs.

    Once you talk about games in the mid-90s or earlier, I don't think many would qualify. Character choice RPGs are really a western, late 90s+ phenomenon. There are a few earlier examples where morality/reputation came into play (Ultimas, Darklands), but often they were designed to be inherently punitive to "bad" players. That is, the game punished the player instead of the world.

    JESawyer 13 May 10



    What are you, politically? Do you belong to any kind of ideology, and if so is it something mainstream or something more exotic?


    I don't belong to a specific ideology. However, I do believe that the American people are collectively so willfully ignorant, myopic, and generally thoughtless that the republic will eventually collapse through its own dysfunction.

    JESawyer 15 May 10



    Do you watch TV? If so, what shows? Your answer to the politics question makes you sound like one of those people who doesn't watch TV and makes sure that everyone knows it.


    I watch Mad Men, Antiques Roadshow, World's Dumbest, and all flavors of Law & Order.

    JESawyer 15 May 10



    Are gameplay and the ability to express your character's personality in meaningful ways in the game world two different components for you, or is the latter a possible component of the former? I'm not quite sure what you think from reading your answers.


    The latter is part of the former. It's essentially (at its best) a form of strategic game play.

    JESawyer 15 May 10



    When designers talk about introducing less granularity, what do they mean?


    Granularity is a way of describing subdivision of units on a given scale. If something has fine granularity, the units on the game's scale are small compared to the whole. E.g. one point on a one hundred point scale. Assuming a linear scale, a one point increment would be virtually impossible to notice.

    Coarse granularity might be something like a four point scale with one point increments. Each increment is 25%, so it's easy to notice changes even if you can't see the numbers.

    Fine granularity allows for a smoother transition and it can make point investment more flexible (e.g. 100 unit skills), but it's practically impossible for players to notice changes without having the numbers right in front of them. In many cases, small changes on a fine scale do not actually impact game play in any practical way.

    JESawyer 15 May 10



    What do you think of vegetarianism and veganism?


    If people voluntarily choose to consume fewer resources and they aren't harming themselves or other living things in the process, that sounds good to me.

    JESawyer 15 May 10



    Do you think that game designers are generally liberals? I always get frustrated when the good/evil scale often turns out to be more liberal/conservative, like how the Sith were Randian in KOTOR and the Jedi were socialists.


    It's hard for me to judge game designers worldwide. I live in an urban, coastal area of SoCal so a lot of the people around me, game developer or otherwise, announce themselves as democrats or liberals of some sort.

    JESawyer 15 May 10



    You've answered a lot of questions about RPGs, but what do you think makes a game an "adventure" game? Insofar as I can tell it just seems to refer to any game that doesn't easily fit into another genre.


    Answer the following questions:

    * Does the game allow you to develop and use tactics?
    * Does the game allow you to develop and deploy a strategy?
    * Does the game allow you to resolve conflicts in multiple ways?

    If you answered "no" to all of the above, you're playing a "pure" adventure/puzzle game. If you answered "yes" to one or more of the above, it may be another sort of game, one that is still currently made.

    JESawyer 16 May 10



    How can I unsee the little :| on your face in interviews? It's really distracting and it makes me think that your skin is sad. :(


    From now on, I'll see if they'll interview me on my right side so it won't be as distracting.

    JESawyer 18 May 10



    Do you think we will be playing purely single-player RPGs in 20 years?


    I don't know what we'll be playing in one year, much less twenty.

    JESawyer responded to PaxtonW 18 May 10



    Have you ever wanted to draw/write/help with a comic or book? (If you haven't already, that is.)


    Yes, very much so, but I'm pretty cut off from people in that industry. I wouldn't know where to start.

    JESawyer 18 May 10



    How do publishers and developers interact in the world of game design? Is it usual for publishing companies to get residuals, or are they usually just funded and compensated for development?


    Publishers take the majority of profits. Developers are paid on a milestone basis with some bonuses or royalties (usually) negotiated into the contract, but said bonuses/royalties are usually contingent on some strict criteria (shipped on time, 85%+ rated, X million units sold, etc.).

    In the 11 years I've been in the industry, I've received one royalty check for one game: Icewind Dale. Some very successful companies have a lot of bonuses and royalties flying around, but they are the exception.

    JESawyer 19 May 10



    As a "hardcore" RPG developer, Obsidian could make a mint releasing budget hardcore RPGs on Steam that focus more on story than graphics and take less development time or resources. Does this interest you at all?


    Story vs. graphics isn't actually an antagonistic relationship in my opinion. I don't think I've ever had an experience during development where I've thought, "If only this game could get by with lower fidelity graphics, then I could tell the story I really want to tell."

    What lower budget titles offer to developers and publishers is lower loss potential. If a project "only" costs $1-3 million to make, even if it sells zero copies, the publisher is only out $1-3 million. Compared to the operating project budget of most publishers, that's relatively minor.

    Lower loss potential can possibly be negotiated into "wacky game idea time". So if you want to make a game that has really niche or experimental game play, a non-traditional setting/set of characters, etc., a lower budget game is probably the place you're going to do it -- if anywhere.

    As a side note, I am not primarily interested in telling stories. I am a game designer and my primary interest is in making games. I always want the stories in the games I work on to be good, but that is secondary to ensuring that the game play is enjoyable. If I were fundamentally concerned with telling stories, I would become a writer.

    JESawyer 19 May 10



    Why is it that efforts to unionize tech work, whether it's game design or computer janitors, always seem to fail miserably?


    To be honest, I am not sure. For game development I would guess it may have something to do with the following factors:

    * Game development is a competitive business that is done entirely with skilled (trained or otherwise) labor.
    * Game developers are typically motivated more by a desire to make good games than to achieve a financial goal.
    * Game developers may believe that unionization would make them less competitive in the global game market. This may be especially true with American developers, as our work force is typically very productive but inefficient.
    * Game development is not physically hazardous (though some environments are arguably psychologically hazardous).
    * Game developers make reasonably good money.

    Again, these are just guesses.

    JESawyer 20 May 10



    So you've made it pretty clear that you're more interested in developing games than writing the stories in those games, despite your company's reputation. Do you at all resent that so many people keep focusing on Obsidian's writing?


    Not at all, but I think people should have higher standards for game play. Slapping "RPG" on a game should not give it a free pass for clumsy or poorly balanced mechanics. Additionally, I believe that an RPG with a "great story" that does not mechanically work well with player choice might as well not be an RPG.

    A lot of RPG designers fixate on telling the player a story instead of giving players tools to make *their* stories unique and reactive.

    JESawyer 20 May 10



    How come your cheeks are so big?


    I don't really think they are... ???

    JESawyer 20 May 10



    When defining an RPG, what about abstracted mechanics? IMO, a greater degree of abstraction that explicitly expresses or rewards a player's choices should be part of the definition, would you agree or disagree?


    Agree, and I think it can apply to any/all aspects of game play: conversation choices, skill choices, weapon choices, etc.

    If have two weapons available to me, make them tactically different, then present me with situations where their tactical differences matter. If I make a strategic decision to invest in one skill/faction/"alignment" over another, be sure to reward me for my choice and also remind me what I am missing out on because of that same choice.

    JESawyer 20 May 10



    You seemed to dismiss the idea of working on smaller-budget titles. As a video game designer, do you view big projects with corporate backing and a marketing campaign to be more prestigious, more fun, or just more lucrative? Does it make a better game?


    The only reason I dismiss it is because I don't think publishers are interested in it. I would certainly work on a small budget title if that's what a publisher/Obsidian wanted. This has not happened as far as I know.

    JESawyer 20 May 10



    Do you ever have one of those days where you take one look at the news, see two exxon-valdez level spills, Justin Bieber winning a BET award, Israel expanding settlements, etc and just want to start screaming and never, ever stop?


    Be calm; the human race will be over soon enough.

    JESawyer 20 May 10



    Is it racist when fantasy writers or the designers of fantasy video games use ethnic stereotypes as short-hand for different 'races', or is it merely lazy?


    It's hard to gauge intent without context, but it doesn't exactly create riveting characters in my opinion.

    JESawyer 20 May 10



    You mentioned the importance of "giving players tools to make *their* stories unique and reactive". What do you think of games like The Sims that are pretty much nothing but toolsets that revolve around player-created stories?


    They are cool.

    JESawyer 20 May 10



    Brian Mitsoda says that he thinks that certain companies have undeserved reputations for good writing and even though good gameplay is more important it'd be nice if they tried to live up to them. Do you think gamers have lowered standards w/r/t writing?


    After decades of industry evolution, our subject matter and thematic delivery are still juvenile. Count the number of games that have established and reinforced a consistent theme through subtext. In the rare case when a game story has a clearly discernible theme, it is delivered with the subtlety of a claw hammer to the skull.

    I don't see many gamers noticing this, much less complaining about it.

    JESawyer 20 May 10



    Tropico 3's been called the twenty-first century version of The Landlord's Game. Do you think that videogames, or entertainment in general, should be "socially responsible", or even tied to Social Activism like The Landlord's Game was?


    It is my belief that social responsibility means discussing ideas openly and in an ethically fair environment. Games that explore themes with the objective of reinforcing the author's beliefs do not meet the afore-mentioned criteria. Players are captive to rules that have been arranged to systemically produce data/results in line with the author's expectations.

    JESawyer 23 May 10



    Every Obsidian game has some kind of Reputation or Influence system. What makes that heavily abstracted, numerical system preferable to, say, tracking specific statements or actions that can have a more concrete effect on a relationship?


    I don't think these sorts of systems need to be used for every character and group. In some cases, the number of inputs is so small, and their impact so large, that using quest variables makes more sense. Abstracted, finely granular systems make the most sense when the player has a lot of ways to influence a character's or group's opinions. If a character speaks to you often, or if you have many opportunities to perform actions that can influence the character's opinion in small ways, using a reputation/influence score is easier, more flexible, and generally less of a headache.

    JESawyer 23 May 10


    Do you think that the view of video games as low art, or not art at all, might stem from the fact that despite being mass-produced, their media value is entirely Cult as opposed to traditional art which is non-mass produced with high exhibition value?


    When a person classifies something as art (or not art) of any grade, the reasons are arbitrary. I don't find any value in speculating on the source of those reasons or attempting to argue against them.

    Ultimately, I would rather spend my time making something new that a another person may or may not consider art than argue with them about why they definitely should consider what I've made before to be art.


    JESawyer 23 May 10



    Connecting to the reputation/influence question, Obsidian's games always had a visible feedback, e.g. the '+1 reputation with XXX' pop-up in Alpha Protocol. Some would argue that this breaks immersion, what's your opinion about it?


    People have different expectations of feedback clarity/immersion. Because character/faction influence often builds over time and cannot show immediate results, letting the player know when small increments are being made is a way for the game to indicate that yes, something changed based on what you just did.

    Health bars can also break immersion, but being able to see health bars helps the player make tactical decisions. Some players would rather see the health bars and lose the immersion. Others would rather lose the health bars and retain the immersion.

    Because I believe that game play should be the primary focus of a game, I will always push for more clarity/certainty if the mechanics of the game are inscrutable to the player.


    JESawyer 23 May 10



    You lamented about the lack of serious themes in video games earlier. Why do you think the quality of writing is dependent on establishing and developing a theme? Wouldn't an entertaining plot and characters be more important for the player's enjoyment?


    A lot of RPGs are long, certainly longer than the average film. If there is not some thematic thread running through all of that time and much of the dialogue, the experience as a whole can fall flat. Taken as snapshots, characters and plot elements may stand on their own, but they are essentially reduced to one-offs with very little connective tissue binding them together.

    We already have plenty of examples of well-written characters in video gaming. Writing consistently entertaining dialogue requires skill, but I believe the best writing in any genre combines well-written characters with an interesting exploration of theme. Video games don't do that very often, overtly or subtextually.

    "Entertainment value" and "depth" are not intrinsically linked. Many people are entertained by things that have very little depth. Some of the most popular "western" RPG characters, I would argue, have very little depth and are not connected to any consistently established theme.

    So, when I'm asked if I think gamers have lowered their standards for writing, I honestly have to ask, "What standards?" From what I see and hear people discussing, those standards stop at entertaining dialogue and an interesting plot. In my opinion, that is a very low bar to reach -- and I write this fully aware that I do not write the most entertaining characters or plots. I just think that with all of the good writers in the industry, we can do much better than we have.

    JESawyer 25 May 10



    have you read this? http://www.cracked.com/article_18571_5-reasons-its-still-not-cool-to-admit-youre-gamer.html And what is your opinion on what is being said here?


    I just read it now and do not care.

    JESawyer 25 May 10



    you look like your high on shrooms on your profile picture


    Cool story bro.

    JESawyer 26 May 10



    You've probably seen the chart that shows what percentage of gamers finish games, based on steam statistics. Does the fact that video game writing lacks coherent themes and is shallow help explain why so few people feel invested enough to finish?


    I think it's more likely that the cause is run-of-the-mill boredom. If a game/film/television show doesn't quickly grab your attention, it's very easy to turn it off and do something else.

    According to some tracking statistics, a lot of players don't even get fifteen minutes, much less an hour, into a game before shutting it off and never playing it again.

    JESawyer 26 May 10



    Is dancing with the stars a sign of the decay of our society into the kind of thing that dystopian authors from the mid twentieth century wrote about?


    Probably Huxley more than Orwell, but sure.

    I think the most harmful elements of modern society are egoism and short-sightedness in equal measure: people who either do not care about or do not recognize how the confluence of individuals' myopic self-interest can produce a systemic collapse of capital-driven societies and the mechanisms/environments driving them.

    In short, the individual's head is so far up his or her ass that it is impossible for him or her to understand his or her role in the mechanisms of society and what he or she can -- much less should -- do to sustain their operation.

    To this, layer on a burning drive to be right, or to win, rather than a desire to understand truth, and you have a recipe for willful ignorance and extreme dysfunction.

    Cf. the collapse of the American housing market, our imminent energy crises, etc.

    JESawyer 27 May 10



    Have you visited some other countries? May be countries with developing economies/third-world countries? If you think that USA/western capitalist society is collapsing you really need to travel a lot.


    Please share your worldly experiences in such a fashion that they illuminate the sustainability of the United States' current domestic and foreign policies with regard to the following:

    a) Being the nation with the largest debt in the world, 66% of which is owned by foreign nations as of 2010.
    b) Continuing to export the vast majority of manufacturing jobs to countries with undervalued (in some cases, by fiat) currency and lax labor laws.
    c) Government/fed promotion of consumption culture and personal indebtedness, which leads to virtual wage slavery and feeds b).
    d) Continuously waging war in one nation while indefinitely sustaining peacekeeping efforts in another -- and funding warlords and/or favored nations (e.g., Israel) to hold our mutual enemies at bay.

    My statements were not about standards of living; they were about sustainability of function.

    JESawyer 28 May 10



    Is it even desirable for a game to have good writing or to consistently establish and reinforce themes? Isn't that straying too far into games-as-art as opposed to games-as-good-games?


    I think of it as "content-as-something-that-isn't-worthless-garbage". If you're going to bother putting something into your game, put a little effort into conceiving it.

    The best concept artists I have worked with have a *concept* behind their concept. It's goofy that I have to call this out, but a lot of artist don't. If you bother thinking about why you're making content choices -- the marks on a drawing, the words in a conversation, the choices in an advancement system -- it tends to help create the feeling of cohesion. Elements are rooted in the fictitious place and time you have created.

    If it matters for visuals (and I believe it does), it matters for dialogue.

    JESawyer 28 May 10



    Now, we all know that Obsidian has developed some pretty buggy games in the past, especially considered that they weren't developed from scratch (they were both sequels). Now, I'm pretty sure that wasn't the intention, so the question is : how it happened


    Poor planning, poorly phased implementation of content, poor scope management in general.

    JESawyer 28 May 10



    Regarding your criticism of subtext in games, what is your opinion on Bioshock's thematic delivery? I think most of it went over gamers' heads because a large portion was conveyed through subtext: Marxist imagery in Atlas posters, Bible smuggling, etc.


    I think Bioshock did a fantastic job, personally. While I think Bioshock's game play/choice mechanics weren't super compelling (this criticism is directly mostly at the late game), I think their environments and theme were executed very well.

    And while I do think there is a lot of subtext in Bioshock, there's also a lot of overt discussion of theme. It doesn't get much more overt than locking you in a bathysphere and playing a video that's a direct critique of modern American, Soviet, and Christian societies.

    I think that was the right way to do it: immediately introduce the player to the central philosophical idea behind Rapture and convey many of its various strengths and shortcomings through subtext over the course of the game.

    JESawyer 28 May 10



    What is your opinion on the various game development programs offered in colleges? Is it actually worth taking one as your major instead of something more traditional?


    It depends on the quality of the game development program. I have worked with a number of people who have degrees from various game development schools. The recurring opinion seems to be, "You get out of it what you put into it."

    Personally, for programming or art, I would recommend some training outside of a game development school as well. If a game development program is connected to a larger university system, this may be relatively painless.

    Art, programming, design, and audio all require good teamwork and critical thinking skills, but especially in the case of art, it's important to establish fundamental skills and good habits early on. I recommend an atelier or dedicated fine art program for this reason.

    JESawyer 28 May 10



    How do you feel about DLC and online content? Shouldn't a game be able to stand up on its own merits as it is sold without these things?


    1) DLC is fine as long as its presentation is not jarring or irritating to the player.

    2) Yes.

    JESawyer 28 May 10



    I'm pretty sure you won't answer this, but how do you feel about the reception Alpha Protocol received so far? I don't remember if you actually worked on it or not, though.


    I worked on the CQC/martial arts system.

    It is interesting that the response is so varied. Different reviewers obviously focus on different things, but I don't think I've seen anything that's an unreasonable critique.

    JESawyer 30 May 10



    Where are the isometric party RPGs with tactical combat? There's a starving market for them and they are (by my guess) cheaper to make than most modern games?


    It is hard for me to penetrate the inscrutable minds of publishers, but I'll give it a shot. Many publishers are publicly traded. They are primarily interested in two categories of games, both of which generate a large return on investment (ROI): big budget/big sellers and shovelware. ROI is what matters, because ultimately they answer to a sea of faceless, uncaring investors who want their $4/share investment to turn into $100/share in two quarters. Absolutely everything else is subordinate to that. Everything.

    The "lovingly-crafted mid-budget niche game" doesn't fit into most publisher strategies. For the same reasons that they are considered niche games, they must be marketed in a different way, pitched to retailers in a different way, and most publishers don't want to deal with it.

    The exceptions to this trend may include digital distribution only, since retailers/cost of goods are out of the picture, and platforms where the hardware is relatively low tech (cell phones/Nintendo DS/Sony PSP, etc.).

    JESawyer 30 May 10



    Do you believe a game such as Arkanum (or similar game we're not supposed to mention!) would have been possible to develop if you were expected to implement modern features (full voice acting, AAA level graphics, physics, dynamic lighting, etc)?


    With time and money, a lot of things are possible. Could it have been done for the same amount of money in the same amount of time with all of those features? No, but I think that's just common sense.

    JESawyer 30 May 10



    Most skill-based rpgs I've played put every ability on the same scale of importance when it comes to leveling, yet it's pretty clear that combat is the core gameplay mechanics and that a character without a combat skill is simply 'wrong'.


    There isn't a question here, but I think I understand where you're going with this.

    It can be hard for designers to consistently support non-combat paths for game play -- whether that's an actual path through a level/quest or simply a level of support in an area. Once combat mechanics are in place, it's relatively easy to throw hostiles in an area as obstacles and call it a day. If, to that, you have to look at lighting for stealth, conversation options for speech-y characters, etc., well, eventually all designers run out of time. In the best of all possible worlds, designers allocate their time well and dedicate equal time to all potential ways of approaching a level.

    In cases where the content does not support the system, a designer can do one of two things: change the content or change the system. Changing the content means that you go back to all of those "run out of time" levels and put more effort into the non-combat routes. On projects with a lot of content, I like to keep people moving relatively briskly from area to area, establishing an alpha level of quality early and returning to it later (in a dedicated alpha stage) for revisions. Working in this fashion allows the designer to survey all of his or her work over the course of a project and bolster the things that really need help -- as opposed to carrying an area's work from milestone to milestone and pushing the schedule out.

    Some character advancement systems deal with the combat vs. non-combat problem by having a separate point pool for combat skills. I.e., all characters gain a certain number of points (or ranks, or whatever you want to call it) per level that can only be spent in combat skills. This ensures that all characters have some combat capability of one type or another. This really only makes sense in games where characters are guaranteed to be in combat regularly.

    JESawyer 30 May 10



    YOU UGLY AS HELL


    oic

    JESawyer 30 May 10



    Shave Your Beer Sweetie , Looks Really Nasty And Get Lips Injection , Cause Boo Boo Your Lips Are Thin Ass FUCK!


    I don't think my lips would look better if they were larger sorry if I have shattered your male beauty standards.

    JESawyer 30 May 10



    UUUGGGGGHHHH QUIT YOUR JOB YOUR TERRIBLE AT IT!


    That may be true but I am worse at everything else!

    JESawyer 30 May 10



    nice work making your page totes irrelevant by answering dumb stuff


    *fart*

    JESawyer 31 May 10



    Bro, I hate to tell you this but if a zombie apocalypse happened MCA would be the only one I would rescue. Sorry, but I'd have to leave you behind. You're not mad, right?


    Why should I be mad? I'm the one with all the guns.

    JESawyer 31 May 10



    Apologies if this has already been asked. Who are some of your favorite writers of books (as opposed to, say, video games, television, or movies)?


    A lot of people have asked questions about my favorite media, so I'm going to turn this into a colossal "fave media" blitz in the hopes that it will answer a bunch of questions at once.

    Books: I generally do not read fiction. I read history and language books. The ones within reach at work are Jane's Guns Recognition Guide (Ian Hogg), The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco), Angurgapi (Magnús Rafnsson), The Druids (Stuart Piggot), 501 Portuguese Verbs (Nitti and Ferreira), and Wall and Piece (Banksy). My all-time favorites are The Name of the Rose, The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster), Smith of Wootton Major (Tolkien), and The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (Jonathan Spence).

    Comics: I don't like most comics. I am very slowly working my way through Preacher (just finished Salvation). I really enjoyed League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I still have a soft spot for Usagi Yojimbo.

    Films: I love many different types of movies. Brazil and Miller's Crossing are still my favorites. Other top films: The Mission, Road Warrior, The Thing, The Duellists, Escape From New York, A Very Long Engagement, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Orlando, Blade Runner, Alien, Aliens, and Dancer in the Dark.

    Music: I also enjoy many types of music, but my favorites tend to include non-mainstream American/Canadian/European female vocalists. My favorite artists include Björk, Fever Ray (Karin Dreijer Andersson), (Leslie) Feist, David Bowie, Boards of Canada, Joanna Newsom, Amon Tobin, Cat Power (Chan Marshall), Mogwai, PJ Harvey, Erykah Badu, (Alison) Goldfrapp, Bat for Lashes (Natasha Khan), Radiohead, Imogen Heap, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Aphex Twin, Dead Can Dance, Calexico, Justice, Morphine, and Phil Ochs.

    Artists: My father is a bronze sculptor and my girlfriend of six years is a painter and art teacher, so I have been around artists my whole life. My tastes in art are fairly pedestrian. My favorite traditional artists are Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Alphonse Mucha, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Tamara de Lempicka, John Everett Millais, Jean-Léon Gérôme, John Singer Sargent, John William Waterhouse, Maxfield Parrish, and J.C. Leyendecker.

    JESawyer 2 Jun 10



    Why don't you read more fiction, given the setting of most (all?) Obsidian games as fictional fantasy/scifi settings with a plethora of good reads to take inspiration from?


    Reality is more fantastic than fiction.

    JESawyer 2 Jun 10



    why would you go out with someone for 6 years and not propose?


    We have no use for the ceremonial aspects of marriage and I think the civic recognition of marriage should be abandoned.

    JESawyer 2 Jun 10



    Do you have aspergers syndrome?


    Not as far as I know.

    JESawyer 2 Jun 10



    What are your thoughts on legalizing dueling? Wouldn't the world be a better place if we were allowed to defend our women and honor as gentlemen via civilized sword or pistol duel to the death on the streets?


    Dueling was traditionally classist and, as such, was far from an egalitarian method for resolving disputes.

    However, I do think highly of Studentenverbindungen that continue the Mensur tradition. It's still classist, but at least it's voluntary.

    JESawyer 2 Jun 10



    Alpha Protocol has mouse smoothing on PC even though PC gamers hate mouse smoothing. Games still use escort missions even though people hate escort missions. Can you comment on why developers use things they know most gamers dislike?


    Sometimes they think that games don't really (in any significant volume) dislike that thing. Other times they believe that gamers only dislike that thing because it hasn't been done "right".

    On occasion, they are correct. Usually they are dead wrong.

    JESawyer 2 Jun 10



    arachronox is a game i really want to finish but i cant stand the turn based combat they used for it, yet i keep coming back, but only because of the setting and story. have you had a similar experience?


    Honestly, no. When a game has bad game play, I stop playing it. I like good stories in games, but as seasoning, not the main course.

    JESawyer 2 Jun 10



    Do you game? A lot of designers say they don't have the time. If you do, what games are you looking forward to in the next year or two?


    When I have time, I do play a lot of games. I currently have a back log of fourteen games that I can't get to until work slows down.

    I can't even think about what's coming out in the next year or two; I still have last year's games to play through.

    JESawyer 2 Jun 10



    Isn't having too much or too firm of a 'concept' in mind when approaching concept art a danger? The initial character designs for Deus Ex: Human Revolution provoked a huge backlash because the New Renaissance concept had overtaken good taste.


    It is better to be talked about than ignored. I believe the following:

    If you enter into creative endeavors cautiously and conservatively, you will create things that are cautious and conservative.

    If you enter into creative endeavors aimlessly, you will create things that feel empty and disconnected.

    I think it is best to be passionate but flexible, to consider mainstream tastes and expectations, but not to be bound by them.

    JESawyer 2 Jun 10



    You're taking a lot of abuse on this Q and A site, and I can only imagine it's far worse on forums that discuss the games you played a part in making. I'm sure it's not personal, but how do you not let it get to you?


    If you devalue pride enough, humiliation doesn't have much effect.

    JESawyer 3 Jun 10



    Do you still keep in contact from coworkers/buddies from Interplay - Black Isle (i.e. Leonard Boyarsky) ?


    Leonard had already left Black Isle by the time I arrived. I try to keep in touch with members of the old crew when I can. Not all of them are in the industry anymore, but if they are, I bump into them every few years. As large as gaming has become, the industry is still surprisingly small.

    JESawyer 3 Jun 10



    You mention that you like history books. Which period exactly, also biographical or more of memoirs (i.e. "Band of Brothers" or Alexander the Great biography)?


    I am most interested in European history from about the 11th to 18th centuries. I especially like social and religious history. I enjoy reading primary sources as well as secondary overviews of historical trends and aberrations. Most interesting of all are books that cover cross-cultural confusion and miscommunication.

    Some favorite books on these subjects include The Cheese and the Worms (Il formaggio e i vermi) by Carlo Ginzburg, The Night Battles (I benandanti, also by Ginzburg), The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (Jonathan Spence), Angurgapi by Magnús Rafnsson, and The Perfect Heresy by Stephen O'Shea.

    JESawyer 3 Jun 10



    How come so many RPGs lately have minigames in place of simple skill checks? Do they really add anything worthwhile to the game?


    They add player challenge. Whether or not you consider that to be worthwhile depends on your point of view (and probably the quality of the mini game). Simple skill checks only reward (or punish) your strategic choices. Outside of manipulating the character's skill rating, there is nothing the player can do to influence the outcome.

    JESawyer 3 Jun 10



    Out of all the games you've worked on/are working on, which would you consider the most fun to play?


    Of the games I've shipped, Icewind Dale II.

    JESawyer 4 Jun 10



    Who punches harder? Your Dad, or mine?


    I don't think I can make a reasonable guess, but my dad is in his 60s and I still would not want to be punched by him. He grew up doing a lot of punching and taking a lot of punching. His nose was broken so many times that he's had breathing problems since he was a young man.

    JESawyer 4 Jun 10



    You always talk a lot about role playing video games, which is normal, really, working on them it's your job, but what about tabletop? Do you like them? Any favorite ruleset? Some memorable moments you'd like to share?


    I'm currently in a 4th Edition D&D campaign. I've been playing D&D in one form or another since about 5th grade, starting with the red book Basic Set. Of the D&D editions, I like 4th the best so far, but I haven't done any high level play.

    Generally speaking, I think most tabletop RPG systems are crummy. It's very telling that the latest edition of D&D in many ways resembles an MMO rule set more than a traditional tabletop RPG rule set. By their very nature, games on a computer can be systemically tested much more quickly than they could be by hand (or on tabletop). This process tends to separate the wheat from the chaff at a rapid pace.

    When I play in a tabletop game, it's usually because I like the setting/GM/players. When I GM, I adapt or modify the existing rule set or create my own. Setting-wise, my favorite is probably Delta Green. I also really like Al Amarja (Over the Edge), Mythic Europe (Ars Magica), Dark Sun, and Cadwallon.

    JESawyer 4 Jun 10



    You look like a vegan. Am I right?


    Wrong.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 10



    What's your opinion on full voice-over for games, especially, you know, role playing games? Do you think they're a necessity? Do they hinder development in your opinion (you know, like 'I can't write a dialogue so long because the budget doesn't let us!')


    It's expensive and can be hard to coordinate. It doesn't really have much of any impact on how we write, though.

    In eleven years of making CRPGs, full voice over/lack of full voice over has honestly never factored into how I have written dialogue, structured a quest, etc. I have also never had someone come to me with a writing problem involving full voice over or lack thereof.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 10



    You look like a vegetarian who really likes cheese, am I right?


    Yes.

    JESawyer responded to elpinkogrande 5 Jun 10



    I'm curious about the divergence between the systems used in tabletop RPGs vs those used in CRPGs- it seems to me that mechanics regarded as outdated in tabletop are regularly used in CRPG's, such as classes, levels, and HP. Why do you think that is?


    Mainstream tabletop games use many of these things and so do mainstream CRPGs. In Nomine and Everway players may consider classes, levels, and hit points to be outmoded conventions, but the ratio of them to D&D players is about 1 to 1,000,000.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 10



    You said that you have multiple games sitting on your shelf waiting for you to play them (some of them even from the last year). What are these games? =)


    Demon's Souls (only a few hours in)
    Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (same)
    Brütal Legend
    Uncharted 2
    Valkyria Chronicles
    Mass Effect 2
    Bioshock 2
    Battlefield: Bad Company
    Bayonetta
    Metro 2033
    Dirt 2 (need to play more)
    STALKER: Call of Pripyat (need to finish)
    Red Dead Redemption

    ... and a few others.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 10



    Are you addicted to social networking?


    maybe???


    JESawyer 5 Jun 10


    Would you rather create your own IP or work with a license?


    I would rather create my own IP, but I'm sure the general populace would rather play something that's licensed.


    JESawyer 5 Jun 10



    A main problem reviewers have with Alpha Protocol is that it looks like a shooter, but its mechanics are that of an RPG. Do you agree a game should play like it looks on the surface? Is there still a place for stat mechanics in real-time action games?


    You shouldn't confuse or irritate the player. Please also see Brütal "Not an RTS" Legend. Note: challenge can occasionally produce some irritation, but is ultimately followed by satisfaction, not angry exhalations of consternation.

    There's certainly a place for stat mechanics in real-time action games. Just don't make it feel crappy. Castlevania games have been consistently using stats for about thirteen+ years now, so I think it's pretty viable to marry stat progression/character advancement with real-time action.

    By this point in time, I think we have enough examples of games that get it right and games that get it wrong that we shouldn't be re-treading the same mistakes.

    JESawyer 7 Jun 10



    How come you have all the time to go on formspring and answer questions? Hopefully this means that a certain game is already finished.


    During crunch I work between 10 and 13 hours a day. I usually answer formspring questions when I wake up or before I go to bed.

    JESawyer 7 Jun 10



    You said in regards to minigames: "Simple skill checks only reward (or punish) your strategic choices." Isn't that sort of the entire point of having stats in an RPG? Isn't that the entire point of the RPG genre (on a fundamental gameplay level)?


    No, because most interesting aspects of game play in RPGs still require tactical decision making.

    Imagine if every battle in an RPG were resolved based solely on the statistics of your character. That is, you had no tactical input at all -- not where your character moved, not how your character attacked, not what special abilities/powers/consumables were used, etc. The battle would simply start and play out based on how you built your character prior to the battle starting. It would be much like watching a Gold Box game with every character set to (Q)uick.

    The mixture of strategic and tactical game play is what makes games like the old Gold Box and Infinity Engine games enjoyable. You build your characters a certain way and then make decisions with those characters "in the moment" to determine success or failure. Even in a real-time combat system like Oblivion, you still have to make tactical decisions to make the most of your strategic character and equipment choices.

    When a mini-game is well-executed, it's very enjoyable -- though some may argue that at a certain point, it stops being a mini-game and instead becomes a stand-alone method of game play. I would much rather play with stealth in Oblivion than in any Infinity Engine game. Though Oblivion's perception AI and states are not as robust as Thief's or Splinter Cell's, it's still (to me) much more enjoyable than pressing a "hide" button and making a bee-line through an area with die rolls determining success or failure.

    JESawyer responded to zhandao 7 Jun 10



    I'm on my second playthrough of AP, and t's obvious that you had to make compromises between stats and "twitch" skill. How did you decide on where the lines were drawn?


    The only system I worked on was martial arts/CQC. I decided that martial arts should start good and get better. At low ranks, it's more of a close-quarters emergency method of dispatching enemies and a stealth kill aid. At higher ranks, it is a pretty viable method of dealing with most enemies as long as you can get close to them.

    In some environments, martial arts can be used consistently through a whole level to take out enemies. In others, it has to be used in tandem with stealth or only when enemies rush Mike.

    JESawyer 7 Jun 10


    'because most interesting aspects of game play in RPGs still require tactical decision making'.. isn't that a point AGAINST minigames? I've yet to play a minigame that requires tactical decision making, they're mostly just busywork... shouldn't this kind


    You're arguing that because minigames you have seen do not require tactical decision making, minigames cannot require tactical decision making. This is reasoning through induction.

    Practically speaking, many minigames could be made tactical by introducing a resource that can be optionally spent to facilitate completing the minigame more easily.

    For example, if the hacking minigame in the original Bioshock allowed you to spend a found/purchased resource to temporarily pause the flow of water, you would have a tactical decision to make: complete the puzzle in the alloted time under the pressure of the clock, or use a consumable to do it more easily.

    In turn, this causes tactical decisions to feed into strategic game play. Frequent use of the consumable may eventually result in a shortage, making subsequent hacking attempts more difficult. A player who wants to rely on the resource may sacrifice more to have it. A player who goes without may find the challenges more difficult, but is able to spend his or her resources elsewhere.


    JESawyer 7 Jun 10



    By the way, your example strikes me as 'let's make this minigame as unfun as possible, so that the player will be forced to choose between busywork or wasting resources.' I don't see how that resolves the problems the Bioshock hacking minigame had.


    I'm not trying to address your personal problems with the Bioshock minigame -- because you didn't state any. I'm addressing your assertion that the lack of tactics in specific minigames is an argument against the existence of any/all minigames.

    A hacking minigame can be tactical, just as stealth game play can be tactical (it isn't in most RPGs) and combat can be tactical. Whether individual aspects of game play are or not is a) based on the design/content of the individual element and b) separate from whether or not it is interesting/fun.

    An argument that "developers/designers should aim to do more interesting systems than busywork" won't meet with any debate from me, but I think it's wrong to suggest that minigames inherently = busywork.

    JESawyer 8 Jun 10



    Would you rather go back to the old Black Isle days or would you rather stay with Obsidian?


    I prefer to move forward while minding what's behind me.

    JESawyer 8 Jun 10



    Which do you believe is a more important factor in creating a good game: having a strong story and dialogue, or having strong gameplay?


    Having strong game play. I think when Lord Gamerson invented games, the best thing he did was put the word "game" in the term "game play".

    JESawyer 8 Jun 10



    What do you think of 'metaplots'? (IE the Old World of Darkness's fiction continuity, world events in MMORPGs, etc) Do they eliminate player choice by backgrounding them, or create the illusion of a deeper and more dynamic world? Or both?


    Old World of Darkness fiction... continuity? Good one.

    Player choice involves what the player is directly involved in. I think the stature and significance of the player's actions has to be measured in the context of other things that are going on.

    If mountains are being moved in comparison to what the player is doing, the player's actions may seem insignificant. If the player's actions start out small but then grow in importance and become directly involved with what was previously a high-profile background plot, I think it can create a believable sense of growth and importance.

    In any case, I think that presenting an advancing "world" narrative that is reflected in the environment is a good thing.

    JESawyer responded to samthedeathclaw 8 Jun 10



    Then you'll play a game even if it's story is worthless, but it's gameplay is good? *My response to previous question*


    Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) is one of my favorite games and it has a less-than-good story, so yes.

    JESawyer 9 Jun 10



    Do you people read those "IDEAS AND SUGGESTIONS" threads? If so, do you consider those ideas? If not, why not? I feel like they're pointless at times, because devs don't even reply to those mostly. Feels like lots of people writing for nothing sometimes:(


    I read many of them but do not usually respond.

    JESawyer 9 Jun 10



    In your metaplots answer you warn against the player feeling insigificant, but do you feel that that is necessarily a bad thing? Are games forced into being a Dick Fantasy for players? Even in Silent Hill you're still "The Only Guy Who Matters"...


    It is only a bad thing if the world's narrative is what is making the player feel insignificant. A game that focuses heavily on one character's personal struggle can be intensely focused on just that, with very little background narrative, and I think that's fine.

    If the world puts a lot of attention and emphasis on big things happening in the world and you're not really part of it, I think that can be problematic.

    I think Assassin's Creed 2 did a good job of balancing big world events with the secret assassin/templar world of Ezio. The things Ezio does are intertwined with (and in some cases cause) the major events of the setting, but ultimately Ezio is driven by a very personal motive: revenge.

    JESawyer 9 Jun 10



    you must change your appearance often, you look different every time i have seen you


    Not really. When I go on motorcycle trips I usually don't shave for about 3-4 weeks but otherwise I keep my hair/overall appearance pretty similar/plain.

    JESawyer 9 Jun 10



    Did you work on Mask of the Betrayer? One of Obsidian's best games. (technically an expansion but who cares)


    I only helped out with a little combat balance, which was very hard with a 20th+ level D&D game. All of the writing, quests, and other stuff (that people really liked about MotB) was done by other people.

    JESawyer 9 Jun 10



    Let's say that, hypothetically, someone offered you a job at a proper studio instead of Obsidian. Would you take it?


    Hypothetically they would have to start out by not denigrating the people I've spent the majority of my career working with.

    JESawyer 9 Jun 10



    Is it true that it never rains in southern california? I've often heard that kind of talk before.


    It is extremely uncommon, only about 15" a year, on average.

    JESawyer 10 Jun 10



    What do you ride a hog or a crotchrocket?


    I ride naked standards. So far I've had a '99 Ducati Monster,
    '06 Triumph Bonneville T100, '74 BMW R60/5, '73 Honda CB350, '69 Honda CL350, and a '67 Honda CL160.

    JESawyer 10 Jun 10



    Which Obsidian game released so far are you most proud of?


    Mask of the Betrayer.

    JESawyer 10 Jun 10



    A friend of mine who used to work in game design says that the biggest problem with roleplaying game stories is that developers mistake writing more for writing better and that other genres are better suited for interactive storytelling. What do you think


    If the central narrative is meaningfully interactive, I would classify it as an RPG. That is, I consider interactive storytelling to be the primary defining characteristic of RPGs.

    I don't disagree that some designers write too much, but I think that's an indictment of specific content, not the fundamentals behind the genre.

    JESawyer 10 Jun 10



    Bioware gets a lot of flack for recycling the same plot structure a lot. Do you think it's a creative vice to recycle that much, or is it alright to reuse the plotting so long as the dialogue, characters and worldbuilding are fresh?


    I approach storytelling from the perspective of theme and conflict first and work backward from that. I have been criticized for developing plots that do not meet players' basic expectations for tempo/pacing/structure, so I may be the wrong person to listen to when it comes to such things.

    The way I look at it, you have to try to satisfy your audience and hopefully yourself along the way. If you can get up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror, and earnestly believe that you're doing the best you can to meet both of those goals, keep going.

    JESawyer 10 Jun 10



    http://fallout.bethsoft.com/images/vault/diaries/06.08.10-team-B.jpg Is the guy all the way on the left(standing) Russian?


    No. He is an American of Eastern European (but not Russian) ethnicity.

    JESawyer 10 Jun 10



    Are you more on the "photorealism" or the "cartoony" side when it comes to graphics in computer games? Why?


    I think that the visual aesthetics of a game should be driven by what you're trying to accomplish with them. Heavy Rain is really trying to present a very grounded, subdued world where subtlety can carry a lot of weight. Okami creates a fantastic painted world because it's rooted heavily in myth and abstracted imaginary landscapes.

    Use your fundamental concept of the world and game to visualize the world you are going to create, consider how your characters fit into and move through that world, and let that vision -- even if it is indistinct -- drive the visual aesthetics.

    JESawyer responded to zhandao 11 Jun 10



    On your comment on interactive storytelling: You would not consider old dungeon crawlers as RPGs, then? And do not many adventure games center around interactive storytelling?


    I would consider them RPGs by the definitions of their time. If someone were to make Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord today, I would not consider it to be an RPG.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 10



    Have you read anything about Deus Ex: Human Revolution's "Verbal Combat" system? If so, what do you think of it based on what you've heard?


    I have not, and Google is not turning up any matches. If it's something that turns conversation into a game that is a) not mundane and b) requires some sort of tactical or strategic thought beyond "pick the right response", I will probably like the basic idea.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 10



    Serious question tyme! Who would win in a boxing match between a Dinosaur and Charlie Chaplin?


    Dinosaurs don't follow rules very well so I think they would be disqualified pretty quickly.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 10



    What's your opinion on first-person RPGs like Ultima Underworld or FPS/RPG hybrids like Deus Ex and System Shock? Do you feel like RPGs should only be done in the third-person or isometric perspectives or does it not matter?


    I think it matters for the specific game, but I don't think perspective is a defining characteristic of RPGs. Perspective is something that should be considered in the context of what you are attempting to accomplish or achieve.


    JESawyer responded to zhandao 11 Jun 10


    Can you elaborate on why contemporary RPGs are defined as interactive narrative? IMO RPGs have always been the same - dependent on the player's development of a character's stats. E.g. AP would have been enhanced as an RPG if there were dialogue skills.


    Would you consider Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to be an RPG? How about Devil May Cry 4? Ninja Gaiden? Call of Duty 4? All of these games feature the gaining of experience points (or equivalent) to unlock new abilities.

    Advancement of character abilities is not unique to RPGs -- certainly not in the 21st century, anyway.

    Most of the criticisms of AP have to do with the elements that aren't role-playing related. Personally, I don't think the DSS system would be improved with the addition of dialogue skills.


    JESawyer 11 Jun 10



    How come you and the guys at Obsidian never bother to correct all these journalists who keep crediting Obsidian designers as the "creators of Fallout". None of the creators work there, you guys shouldn't steal their credit.


    They usually don't say "the creators of Fallout" but something like "some of the creators of the original games", which is true for Feargus, Avellone, Menze, ScottE, Aaron Brown, and Chris Jones.

    JESawyer responded to zhandao 11 Jun 10



    I would consider the xp aspects of the games you mentioned to be RPG systems, yes. But they are first and foremost action games, as your twitch-skill trumps the strategic planning from developing stats. Whereas in a "true" RPG, this is not the case.


    Would you classify Oblivion and Mass Effect as "true" RPGs? Both are games in which your ability to actually aim attacks and time input are the primary determining factors in landing hits/doing damage.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 10



    You said you've done writing for games too? Didn't know that, I always assumed you weren't a story designer since I've never heard anything about your writing (no offense intended). So what games have you done writing for and what parts did you write?


    I've done writing for Icewind Dale, Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter, Icewind Dale 2, Neverwinter Nights 2, and a little for Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir. The only two major characters I've done have been Isair and Madae in Icewind Dale 2, and they weren't particularly good.


    JESawyer 11 Jun 10



    In response to your Oblivion/Mass Effect question, I don't know why we have a black and white view of it. Do you think there can be a gradient scale of "RPG-ness" on which Morrowind would be more of an RPG than Oblivion, but both are RPGs.


    They don't have to be black and white views, but if you're going to classify things based on criteria, those criteria should be consistent. The previous question declared, pretty emphatically, that Castlevania: SotN, DMC4, et al. were action games with RPG elements. Given Mass Effect 1/2s primary reliance on player skill in combat, what makes those games RPGs and not action games with RPG elements?

    JESawyer responded to zhandao 11 Jun 10



    I see ME as it's classified, an Action RPG. Course, there's a very blurry gradient between an ARPG and an action game w/RPG elements. But it's clear (to me) what the RPG elements are. Oblivion, diplomatically speaking, is not very good at being an RPG.


    Overlapping the mechanics of Mass Effect and Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, what are the elements of ME that make it an RPG and R6V2 not an RPG?


    JESawyer responded to zhandao 12 Jun 10


    I think you misunderstood. As ARPGs are a hybrid of two elements, it's NOT easy to classify one. As such I *don't* classify ME as a "true" RPG. However it does have *more* RPG elements as R6V2 has equipment stats but no character stats and skills.


    I don't have any difficulty classifying them because I don't intrinsically link styles of combat with the RPG genre. I classify games as RPGs based on their interactive storytelling. More specifically, if you have the ability to define and express your character(s) personality in a way that significantly alters the development of the story, it's an RPG. If you don't have that ability, it's not.

    Where does Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare fall on the RPG scale for you? It has stat-heavy equipment, XP, levels, classes, unlockable classes, and perks.


    JESawyer responded to zhandao 12 Jun 10



    How are games such as D2 (and 3 coming up) ARPGs, then, as they do not have interactive storytelling? What about Oblivion and Morrowind, as they do not allow storytelling or personality choices? You can do well easily in COD4 without unlockables. Not ME


    I don't consider the Diablo games to be RPGs. They are action games with character advancement and equipment upgrading. It doesn't make them better or worse games because of how I classify them.

    JESawyer responded to zhandao 12 Jun 10



    Furthermore, while it is necessary to be clear in classifying what constitutes as an essential element of a genre, actual implementation usually combines multiple genre elements and thus need not be easily classified. Popular example: Action-Adventures.


    I think "action-adventure" is one of the broadest/least clear genre classifications. I may just be dense, but when someone tells me that a game is an action-adventure game, it gives me no clear idea of what to expect.

    JESawyer responded to Fstam 12 Jun 10



    What the hell is with this rhetoric? So you're telling me that if stats are not exclusive to RPGs then they are not necessary if the story is "interactive"? The average text adventure has a more "interactive" story than the average RPG. What about that?


    Text adventure games typically don't allow you allow you to define and express your character's personality in a way that meaningfully changes the development of the story. An interactive story, to me, means more than just going through it via player input.

    JESawyer responded to Fstam 12 Jun 10



    Would that mean text adventures are RPGs? And to be clear RPG=stat system and dice rolls. But stat system =/= RPG so please stop using Castlevania or whatever else game which doesn't even have a proper stat system or dice rolls in defense of your point.


    There are RPG systems that don't use dice to resolve conflicts. Most notably, Amber uses straight statistic comparisons. Marvel Universe uses bids of resources to resolve conflicts.

    A lot of the more recent (starting with Symphony of the Night) Castlevania games have a full array of "basic" stats (Strength, Constitution, Intelligence, Luck, Attack, Defense) in addition to purchased/leveled spells/powers/familiars. I don't know if that constitutes a "proper" stat system to you, but has always seemed well fleshed out to me.

    JESawyer responded to Fstam 12 Jun 10



    Seriously, this is embarrassing to read. To be clear: Interactive storyline is not IN ANY WAY essential to RPGs.


    I don't share the same opinion and I don't see why that's such a big deal.

    JESawyer 12 Jun 10



    So, you consider a game an RPG if it lets you define your pc's personality in a way that "significantly alters the story". There must be very few games you call RPGs then, since most only offer the illusion of choice and the story stays the same.


    Yes, not that many. I think that offering the illusion of choice is bad for any game. I'm fine with being put on rails in games. Please just don't give me ten ways to be redirected into the same outcome.

    To be clearer, I think it's fine if RPGs plot lines wind up in a similar place. But many RPG plot lines are made up of a lot of little relationships, small quests, and character conflicts that you can resolve as you see fit. That is what I think is interesting and find rewarding.

    JESawyer responded to zhandao 12 Jun 10



    Well, the general audience considers the Diablos to be ARPGs. If that's not the subject, then we have come to an impasse in the argument. I'd say MY criteria, though, for an RPG, is asking whether I can win without leveling up (or a similar mechanic).


    I will certainly not argue that the general audience considers the Diablo games to be ARPGs. I've only been trying to advocate my position; sorry if it came across wrong.

    JESawyer 12 Jun 10



    You once said you were interested in a Fallout spin-off based during the resource wars. Does this idea still interest you? Because it sounds like it would be awesome.


    Yeah, I think it could be really cool, especially if the focus was on the European/Middle Eastern conflicts. Maybe that's just me, though.

    JESawyer 12 Jun 10



    Since we're on the subject of what makes an RPG or not, what do you think of games that have role playing options but force the player to use the developer's own protagonist instead of letting us make our own (like Planescape Torment, or Alpha Protocol)?


    Personally, I prefer RPGs where I have some control over my character's appearance, sex, and (if I'm lucky) voice. But if I'm stuck with a pre-defined appearance, that can also work.

    JESawyer responded to nathanarthur 12 Jun 10



    who do u think is going to win the world cup


    Hmm. I know Brazil is the top-ranked, but I'm thinking... Spain? Depending on how they move out of the group stage, they could wind up playing each other as early as the first round of stage 2.

    JESawyer 12 Jun 10



    To be clearer with that question: AP for example gives us a lot of role playing options but Mike's personality is often that of a sarcastic guy regardless of our dialogue picks and the player isn't able to change that. So would you still call that an RPG?


    Yes, but I can understand the criticism.

    JESawyer 16 Jun 10



    Are you on of the few Americans who actually know something about football, or are you jumping on some world cup bandwagons, PS good game last week, USA played well, even if they did draw due to a bit of a fluke


    I know a bit about football, but I don't regularly follow clubs. I am a bit of a bandwagon jumper when the World Cup comes on.

    JESawyer responded to Fstam 16 Jun 10



    The big deal is that you're basically denying the RPG classification to a huge number of games while potentially giving it to others that have nothing else besides "interactive storytelling".


    You already think I'm an embarrassing idiot, so why do you care how I classify anything?

    JESawyer 18 Jun 10



    You used to be cool. What happened?


    I was never cool sorry.

    JESawyer responded to Nimdok 18 Jun 10



    Any idea why game companies seem to dislike hiring writers?


    Many professional writers approach games as though they are films. The limitations that apply to films do not apply to games and vice versa. Writing for games requires a level of vocational knowledge that many professional writers (in my experience) are not willing to develop. There are exceptions, of course (e.g. Rhianna Pratchett).

    JESawyer 18 Jun 10



    E3. What impressed you? What didn't? Both as a gamer (that doesn't have time to play) and as a developer (who spent all his time doing interviews, I'm going to assume).


    The only game I saw at E3 was Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. It looked interesting, like an evolution of the college campus favorite "Circle of Death" assassin games. Otherwise, all I did at E3 was give presentations and interviews.

    JESawyer 18 Jun 10



    Why do so many games have characters with gigantic ugly shoulder pads on their armor? I don't get it.


    I can't answer the aesthetic concerns, but large shapes help define easily distinguishable silhouettes for characters. Silhouettes that read well at a distance are often an important element of developing distinctive characters. It's also useful for game play since it helps the player quickly identify characters in an environment.

    JESawyer 18 Jun 10



    Where can I get the NCR T-shirt you wore at E3?


    Putting this on FB and Twitter since so many people are asking me: unfortunately, I don't know. The shirts were provided by Bethesda.

    JESawyer 18 Jun 10



    how often do you go to moldytoaster.com ?


    Zero times per infinity.

    JESawyer 18 Jun 10



    How do you feel about gamers' tendency to give all credit for a game's success to one designer instead of the whole design team (e.g. MCA for Planescape: Torment, Warren Spector for Deus Ex, etc)?


    It's bad/almost assuredly factually incorrect. In some cases the game being lauded may have turned out well in spite of the worst efforts of the most high-profile person associated with it.

    JESawyer 19 Jun 10



    Does formspring have death penalty for ignoring pointless questions? Or what actually get shown is just the tip of an iceberg?


    I have 474 unanswered questions including this one. This tally excludes ones I have already deleted. You be the judge.

    JESawyer 19 Jun 10



    Do you tuck in your t-shirts?


    I do not tuck in t-shirts or shirts with straight hems. I tuck in shirts that have dress shirt hems because I am not a barbarian.

    JESawyer 19 Jun 10



    A lot of games have dialogue trees where to return to talk about another topic, you say "I want to talk/ask you about something else". Why do that? No one talks like that. When people want to talk about something else, they just bring the topic up.


    Short version: it's an organizational convention.

    It is much easier, structurally, to do this than it is to a) load up every node with all possible questions or b) guess at what the player might want to talk about in any given node.

    Dialogue trees are fundamentally oriented around two types of data: nodes (or topics) and replies. Beneath any given node, the designer will typically place replies that are relevant to what's being discussed. These are sub-topics or branches of that topic. At the root level are the major topics. To help the player navigate (by preventing an enormous list of potential topics), designers will typically allow the player to go two or three node layers deep with two to four options per node layer.

    If the player wants to talk about something else (especially if it is completely off-topic from what's currently being discussed), the player will include an option like, "Let's talk about something else." This will move to a main question/master question node with the root topics. The player can then delve down into those basic topics and branch off.

    JESawyer 19 Jun 10



    Which system do you prefer for skill checks: direct comparison (I've always called it threshold) or dice rolls?


    In a computer/console environment with reloading, direct comparisons always.

    JESawyer 19 Jun 10



    Do you feel that it's forgivable for a RPG to be worse at a gameplay element than another game more dedicated to it because it's a RPG and does other things? The question partially applies to other genres as well such as FPS's with poor vehicle combat.


    It can be marginally worse, certainly. It just shouldn't feel bad. It can also be "worse" in breadth but just as good in depth, which I think is also perfectly reasonable.

    Let's say a game wanted to have most of the stealth elements of Thief. It has the AI, the light, the sound (including audio occlusion), but it doesn't have extinguishable lights, water arrows, rope arrows, moss arrows, or any of that jazz. If the AI, light, sound, etc. are well executed, the goodies that are missing really aren't that big of a deal -- in my opinion, anyway.

    JESawyer 25 Jun 10



    You said writers in the industry require a level of vocational knowledge. I know that I want to become either a video game writer or game designer someday. Can you tell me a little more about what you mean, and how you'd recommend acquiring these skills?


    Computer/video games allow user input and user interaction. This can change many aspects of the narrative, including plot sequence and pacing. In most Black Isle/Obsidian games, it also means that the player can take the story in different directions. They can kill characters, change the outcome of a quest, skip steps in the storyline, etc. It's important for writers to understand the mechanics players use in games and how they experience the story. It's different from the typical movie's two hour captive audience experience.

    Playing games, especially RPGs, is a good first start to understanding how games work. Additionally, I would recommend that anyone who is interested in doing game writing should try making a very small mod. In addition to doing the basics of level layout and game play, script interactive conversations or cutscenes. Not many, just a few.

    Because of the scope involved and the learning curve, I would recommend using Oblivion's/TES4's editor. The conversation tool can be daunting if you try to make the conversations too complex, but it will give you a good idea of how interactivity / choice / different outcomes can create difficulties for how you write and script things.


    JESawyer responded to zhandao 25 Jun 10



    I thought a bit more on our discussion. I think I argued more on what *is* considered an RPG while you argued what you think *should* be an RPG. Then, I'm interested in why you consider an interactive narrative in an RPG. Thanks =)


    I think what tabletop RPGs (D&D, specifically) introduced that was revolutionary was the ability to make your own character. This does included "statty" stuff, but was building upon/expanding rules from Chainmail, a war game.

    Tabletop RPGs allow you to make a character, define his/her personality, and express it during game play in whatever way you see fit. DMs adapt and change the story based on the outcome of the player's actions.

    Through the 80s and early 90s, all CRPGs could do/did do was simulate the war game and character advancement aspects of their tabletop counterparts. Ultima games started to experiment with player choice and morality around Ultima IV. I may be forgetting some important precursor, but I believe the original Fallout was the first RPG that allowed the player a "judgment-free" way to play the game as anything ranging from a saint to a horrible monster -- with appropriate reactions to that behavior. I believe this was the point where RPGs started to emulate the underlying character / personality mechanics of RPGs in addition to the stat / advancement / combat mechanics.

    Moving out of the 90s and into the 00s, western RPGs focused increasingly on player personality, interactions with companions / NPCs, and ways in which the player can alter the outcome of the story based on those interactions and choices. Concurrently, other "non-RPG" games (e.g. Castlevania) started leaning more heavily on traditionally "RPG" character stat / advancement mechanics. By 2010, character stats / advancement are far from exclusive to the RPG genre, but companies like BioWare, Black Isle, Obsidian, Troika, and Bethesda, have put an enormous amount of focus on making games where character choices have a directly supported / scripted effect on the story (in contrast to something that is more abstracted / systemic like The Sims or GTA).

    Don't get me wrong; I like character statistics and advancement. I think they should be part of all sorts of games, and I appreciate it whenever I can get it. But when it comes to the sort of games I help make that are going to be called "RPG", it's important to me that we always do our best to actively support the player's ability to the sort of character they want to make -- with a heavy focus on personality reactivity.


    JESawyer 25 Jun 10



    What's your favorite Joanna Newsom song?


    Hmm. That's a hard question to answer. Esme may be my current favorite. Other contenders are In California, Good Intentions Paving Company, Emily, Sadie, Sawdust and Diamonds, and En Gallop.

    JESawyer 26 Jun 10



    Can you give some insight on how much input the "worker bees" have on the creative process in game making? Is it like the movies where a grip or cameraman just follows orders, or does everyone within Obsidian contribute to the creative genesis of a title?


    Everyone can contribute, either by offering new ideas or by giving critiques on what we're making, but there is still a hierarchy to how decisions are made. The source of inspiration or feedback should not have much, if any, impact on how it is evaluated.

    JESawyer 26 Jun 10



    What's your least favorite Joanne Newsom song?


    Probably Three Little Babes/The Wife of Usher's Well -- which is actually a traditional folk song. I love folk songs, but I don't like that recording. I think my dislike for it is due to it being mostly in her upper register, where she is constantly straining and practically yelling through the entire song.

    My favorite recording of The Wife of Usher's Well is German countertenor Andreas Scholl's on his folk song album, Wayfaring Stranger.

    JESawyer 29 Jun 10



    As seen on your formspring, you're always mentioning D&D and the d20 System. What do you think of White Wolf's Storytelling/Storyteller RPG System (if you've played any games using it, or maybe looking at it from the outside)?


    It's a pretty bare-bones system, mechanically. I understand that's sort of the point, but I always felt it had balance issues in part because it is so abstract.

    Also, I'm fundamentally not a fan of dice pool/successes-based systems like Storyteller/Shadowrun/L5R (RPG, the original). Probability is obfuscated for a lot of people and you're still rolling a boatload of dice. As a GM, it can be hard to tweak probability with dice pools because of the math involved.

    JESawyer 29 Jun 10



    When was the last time you were hungover?


    I've never been hung over, never been drunk.

    JESawyer 30 Jun 10



    How do you feel about NPCs straight out lying to the player?


    I think it's totally fine, though it is nice to allow the player to see through it if they a) run through the story in a way that allows them to see through the falsehood immediately or b) have a special perk/statistic that allows them to catch the person in the lie.

    JESawyer 30 Jun 10



    Do you think that it's possible for a return to old-skool, 3D isometric RPG games like the classic BIS games with the advent of mobile gaming like on the iPhone or the DS/PSP?


    I'd like to think so, though I'd guess the only handheld platform that has significant overlap with fans of those games is the mobile phone.

    That is, I'm sure you could make a lot of those sort of games on handheld platforms, but I'm not sure that the audience is there.

    JESawyer 30 Jun 10



    Hi. How do you perceive difficulty in RPGs? Is it just a matter of fights, hard levelling up? Or is it mainly a matter of complexity of relations between NPCs, hard moral decisions, logic puzzles and other non-violent aspects?


    I think difficulty and agony are two separate things (or should be) in games. Combat and "contested" game play should be oriented around challenge, of which difficulty is an important element. The focus is on figuring a way through a problem. This can be a puzzle, logical or otherwise, through which there are a finite amount of designed paths, or it can be something like combat, with a theoretically infinite number of strategic and tactical approaches.

    When it comes to making moral decisions, ethical decisions, or character decisions with NPCs, I believe the focus should be on agony in the classical sense. The struggle is to make the choice, not to succeed or fail. If you're guessing blindly, success and failure aren't particularly interesting. In many cases, it's boring or infuriating.

    The reason why stories like Antigone and the Oresteia are interesting (to some) is because their characters are trapped between two equally good (and bad) choices. Orestes makes the choice to avenge his father's death by murdering his mother, but in doing so is pursued by the Furies for his filial betrayal.

    JESawyer 11 Jul 10



    Okay. Let's say you're writing an RPG with a traditional 3-6 member party, a camp or stronghold area, all that stuff. How do you do companion dialogue? Player-intiatiated at camp? Any time in the field? When triggered by environment or quest? Or a mix?


    When it's appropriate and not irritating to the player. I think it helps when companions initiate conversation based off of something the player is also experiencing. If the character just launches into a topic at an inappropriate time, it can annoy players and distract them from whatever subject the companion is talking about.

    JESawyer 11 Jul 10



    Do you think it's hypocritical for western developers to bash Japanese games for being highly linear when the trend in western games, even western role-playing games, is towards linear, low-choice cinematic games?


    I do not think that is the trend in western role-playing games, so no.

    JESawyer 11 Jul 10



    Do you actively seek out creative work as source of inspiration for a particular project, or do you follow your own outside interests and be pleasantly surprised when they become useful for your RPGs? -Hombre Gato


    When doing research, I generally read non-fiction because I find that it's more inspirational and interesting than genre fiction. I'm more concerned with understanding how things work (or don't work) than I am with understanding what people are familiar with, if that makes sense.

    JESawyer 11 Jul 10



    Could you explain a little your hostility towards institution of marriage?


    Ultimately marriage vows are ritualized promises. I don't personally find any value in rituals or promises, but if other people do, I don't begrudge them for indulging.

    That said, I don't think civic institutions should have any part in legitimizing or invalidating legal contracts between any number of healthy, consenting adults. I.e. I believe marriage as a legal concept should be dissolved and adult citizens should be allowed to draw up contracts between themselves granting each other the same sorts of legal rights that would normally be provided by marriage. Why should any government regulate such things beyond ensuring that all participants are doing so free from coercion and mental distress?

    JESawyer 11 Jul 10



    I don't know if you can answer this, but still, why Obsidian, a relatively little developer, with a not-so-relatively troubled history, continues to focus on two teams with two games at a time instead of doing the (natural imho) choice of simply focusing


    Publishers pay us to staff with a given number of employees. That number is typically a lot less than the full developer roster at Obsidian. Additionally, tying yourself to a single project means that you are effectively at the mercy of that single project. Milestone payments, publisher relationships, etc. all rise and fall with the fate of that game. Publishers also know this, and can leverage that vulnerability to the detriment of the developer.

    By working on multiple games with different publishers, milestone payments are staggered, there is more flexibility in moving employees around, and the individual publishers have less leverage over the company's daily operations/fate.

    JESawyer 11 Jul 10



    Does your girl friend think the same about marriage as you?


    We're not part of a mind-meld, but her opinion is pretty similar.

    JESawyer 11 Jul 10



    Whats it like having a wiki dedicated to yourself?


    Fine I guess though I wish someone would update my picture since Icewind Dale II was a while back.

    No pressure.

    JESawyer 12 Jul 10



    You know that you could update the picture on wiki yourself, can't you?


    Internet bushido.

    JESawyer 12 Jul 10



    Do you work a 5 day week?


    I usually work a 6 day week, though lately it has been bumped to 7.

    JESawyer 14 Jul 10



    While I in general agree with the idea of largely disolving the outmode institution of marriage, I still see benifit to having a institution recognizing such a relationship. Largely because not all of us can afford lawers.


    I'd argue that if you can't afford a lawyer you probably can't afford anything other than a plain civic wedding. And if you eventually get a divorce, you're going to need a lawyer anyway.

    JESawyer 14 Jul 10



    Videogame Cover Art. Is it better to be artsy, like Ico's de Chirico inspired cover, vaguely abstract like Dragon Age and Alpha Protocol, or to be more quasi-literal like Gears of War?


    It completely depends on the market and the message you're trying to send about the product. I know that's a vague answer, but it really does depend on what you're trying to accomplish.

    Ico was a very unique game in its time, so its cover art (at least the Euro/Japan art) was appropriately distinct in its style, composition, and content. It immediately told the viewer, "This game is different from the other games on the shelf."

    JESawyer 14 Jul 10



    Are Brian Mitsoda's criticisms of VG voice acting from his RPS Vampire: Bloodlines interview (that nonsensical dialogue, a lack of direction, and a lack of context make it difficult for actors to produce a strong performance) accurate in your opinion?


    Those factors can definitely make it very difficult for voice actors. Our writers, especially Chris Avellone, work very hard to ensure that voice actors have as much context and direction as we can give them. Honestly, a lot of this has to do with adhering to writing standards (making sure designers always provide pronunciation guides, inline emphases, directions) and ensuring that dialogue is exported in a format that includes antecedent lines and flows in a logical fashion.

    JESawyer 14 Jul 10



    7 days a week? Does that include overtime?


    I (like most developers) am on salary, so overtime doesn't really apply to me. During the week, it means starting between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. and going home somewhere between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. On the weekends, it's closer to a six or eight hour day.

    JESawyer 14 Jul 10



    What is your favorite David Bowie song?


    I can't pick one. Depending on my mood, Space Oddity, Subterraneans, Modern Love, Oh! You Pretty Things, or As The World Falls Down.

    JESawyer 15 Jul 10



    What's the most hardcore, punishingly difficult CRPG you've played?


    Probably The Magic Candle. Maybe I was just terrible at it, but I remember having difficulty getting anywhere in the game.

    JESawyer 15 Jul 10



    What are your thoughts on hiring a "big-name" composer or musician to score your games? If it's something you've considered, who specifically would you approach?


    I have no problem with big-name, small-name, any-name composers as long as they can do a good job scoring games.

    I've always been very impressed with the musical range of Amon Tobin and I thought his soundtrack for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory was really fantastic and original.

    JESawyer 28 Jul 10



    So you don't meat, but get a leather wrist band?


    Meat and leather are different products that are produced and consumed in different ways. I have no problem with hunting animals or raising them for slaughter. It's the conditions of the meat industry and the recent human trend of consuming meat seven days a week that caused me to stop doing it. At this point I've abstained from eating meat for so long that there's really no reason for me to seek out humane sources for occasional meals.

    JESawyer 28 Jul 10


    That shirt you wore on G4 was awful. It didn't suit you at all and it looked even worse on the set they were using.


    Cool.


    JESawyer 28 Jul 10



    Why are you the one that always gets interviewed?


    I'm not. Larry, Chris Avellone, and Feargus have also been interviewed.

    JESawyer 29 Jul 10



    What's your personal preference: stealth boy, diplomacy boy, or action boy? metaphorically speaking,of course.


    Stealth boy, usually.

    JESawyer 3 Aug 10



    Every time I start thinking you're the epitome of cool, you say something really uncool and disappoint me. First it was your weird marriage philosophy(and you never answered about cultural traditions of marriage), then vegetarianism, now dislike of beer..


    I'm not sure why the activities I abstain from matter so much to anyone.

    Cultural traditions have no inherent value to me. Our societies have retained and discarded a lot of them over time. Marriages used to be arranged a lot more than they are now. We also used to have dowries. For good or ill, I don't see a lot of people complaining about abandoning those traditions.

    Speaking of hard-dying marriage traditions, sati was particularly difficult to end in British India. General Napier of the occupying force, no stranger to terrible customs, had this oft-paraphrased observation to make, "You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."

    Our societies tend to use traditions as blunt instruments and discard them when they become inconvenient or otherwise unpopular. There's really nothing special or sacred about marriage considering how much it has changed over time.

    JESawyer 3 Aug 10


    Does Starcraft 2 prove that a real PC game made for that platform can succeed still in 2010? Or are Blizzard just amazingly immune to what supposedly keeps the platform on the back-burner for AAA titles?


    Blizzard has an infrastructure (battle.net) that allows them to effectively monetize Starcraft 2. Without battle.net, you're not on the ladder, you don't have matchmaking, and you're otherwise cut off from some of the main attractions of the game. None of this would be matter if Starcraft 2 were anything but spectacular, but since it is, their infrastructure allows them to ensure that people are paying.

    Blizzard shut down bnetd for a pretty obvious reason: battle.net is Blizzard's DRM. If people don't need battle.net, they don't need valid CD keys. If they don't need valid CD keys, they don't need to pay to play. When you get down to the basics, between making a great game and enforcing payment, it really is as simple as that.


    JESawyer responded to Chelawhita 3 Aug 10



    Do you think video games should be considered "art"? If so, who is the "author"?


    I don't care if people think games are art or not. Frankly, I don't care if people think paintings are art or not.

    I think it's a waste of time to argue about what word any given person should use to categorize what I'm making. I'd rather spend my time working and taking feedback on substantive issues.

    After using something I've made, do you feel (in some way) that you are better off than you were before? If yes, mission accomplished. If not, I failed. If we aren't, in some fashion, discussing that topic, I don't care.

    JESawyer 3 Aug 10



    What do you think of these new kinds of dialogue systems we've been seeing (like in Mass Effect, Alpha Protocol)? Do you think they're an improvement or do you prefer the regular dialogue tree that let's us know exactly what our character will say?


    Since there's going to be full text either way (even if it's only displayed after selection), I would like to see "verbose" options in the menu for people who like more detail.

    I don't think being surprised by what your character says is consistently a positive experience. Being more explicit ahead of time helps mitigate that, but I understand why some games have abbreviated summaries.

    JESawyer responded to AlbanC 4 Aug 10



    There is growing interest for "Narrative Intelligence" from academics and AIGame developpers. Are you are interested by that? How would it work for cRPGs according to you? Could it allow game makers to reach the "open story" goal? @Alban_


    When academics deal with people who are part of a creative industry, they have to understand that many of us are actively attempting to solve problems that are right in front of our face. These problems are usually based on practical logistics, not a shortage of ways to generate stories or interesting characters. Similarly, while I believe that many gamers would find the idea of narrative intelligence interesting, it is not something that I have seen many gamers requesting, much less demanding.

    I am sure that research into narrative intelligence must be immediately relevant to some industry, but I do not believe that many developers or publishers will invest a great deal of time or money into it in the near future.

    All that said, I don't think there is anything all that special about our brains. If we don't destroy ourselves, I'm confident we will someday be able to generate AI that can dynamically generate stories that react to our actions in ways that support great reactive game play. If that day comes within my lifetime, so be it. Until then, I'll keep trying to do it the old fashioned way.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 10



    Sati in India was practiced by a tiny minority and understood as reprehensible and backwards by the vast majority of Indians, but became prominent largely as a rationale for British imperialism and moral superiority. Similar to footbinding in China.


    I believe that any practice undertaken solely because it is "traditional", regardless of its potentially deleterious effects, should be examined with critical scrutiny -- whether it is widespread or marginal.

    As a side note, true imperialists need no greater rationale than the acquisition of resources. It's the public along for the ride that needs the comfort of moral superiority.


    JESawyer 24 Aug 10



    About General Napier... Not a very good example of admiring customs. I really like to look at you when Indian occupant forces come to US and then some Indian general force YOU to admire theirs customs. Something like "burn US citizens alive"


    I'm not admiring General Napier. Please read the end of that post: all societies use "custom" and "tradition" as bludgeons to get what they want. When those customs and traditions become more trouble than they are worth, they are abandoned by whatever group holds power.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 10


    With the rather big exception of the project you're working on, it seems that Obsidian has almost made it a design tenet to make maps in their games as small and devoid of exploration as possible. Is it just because those were sequel to Bioware games or?


    We like making larger levels that support exploration. When we don't, it's usually because of engine constraints.


    JESawyer 24 Aug 10



    Has the massive influx of Continental-Influenced philosophers into English, History, Art and Sociology Departments in the sixties eroded the separation between Philosophy and those discplines in yr opinion?


    Yeah. I'm only speaking from my experience with history, but I'm not sure if there's a compelling argument to suggest otherwise. I'm sure someone, somewhere, is making it.

    Basically the only history professor I ever had who wasn't PoMo as heck was a very traditional professor of (primarily) English history named William A. Chaney. He lectured, held salons, and generally conducted himself in a fashion that was markedly different from the 30-40 year-old professors.

    My focus in history was witch-hunting, which is an orgy of postmodernist delight. Language, power, sex, gender, sexuality, class -- it has it all!

    JESawyer 24 Aug 10



    Does nationality have a substantial effect on creative output in the globalized world? Is this output important on works that have multiple creators? For context: this question is coming out of a fight a friend and I had about Azarello's run on Hellblazer


    On creative output? No. However, I do think it has a large impact on productivity over a large scale. Put three or four people in small office and their passions and capabilities will dictate what they produce. Put sixty people in a large office and the company's culture will dictate what they produce.

    Culturally, Americans would rather sprint until our knees explode than consider slowing down. We cut corners and burn ourselves out to get the most stuff done as quickly as possible. It isn't efficient, and it often isn't as good as it could be, but boy it sure gets done in a hurry.

    JESawyer 1 Sep 10



    Does focus testing serve any real purpose in game design/balancing or does it stifle creativity?


    It's a useful tool, but you have to weigh the feedback appropriately. If you really want everyone from grandmas to babies to enjoy playing your game, you have to be willing to really alter the experience a lot. If you're making Elitist Cool Guy Video Game 2010, then you're probably going to a) focus test a very specific group of people b) ignore a lot of negative feedback if it goes against a different goal than "making people happy". If you're really not interested in audience acceptance, focus testing probably isn't necessary/important at all.

    I mean, would Duchamp's "Fountain" be more successful with focus testing? Who cares?

    JESawyer 4 Sep 10



    Do you think intertextuality in videogames is desirable, or is it just wanking about how brilliant the developer is?


    Being learned and being brilliant are two different things. Overt intertextuality usually reveals more of the former than the latter and reveals readers' tendencies to conflate the two.

    E.g., Umberto Eco is brilliant, but I believe that the intertextual references in Name of the Rose feel more more natural and appropriate than those in Foucault's Pendulum. Foucault's Pendulum is generally lauded as being a better book despite having, in my opinion, serious issues with pacing and being marginally less obscurely referential than Gargantua and Pantagruel.

    In video games, much of what the player sees and hears comes from other characters. If the game is set in the real world, overt intertextuality can make sense for certain groups or individuals. We are always building on the foundations of those who have come before us.

    JESawyer 20 Sep 10



    What's your feeling on Silent Protagonists? Some people say it's more immersive and better not to put words in the player's mouth, some people say that Silent protagonists are inevitably too passive.


    Personally, I prefer voiced protagonists. I feel more of an attachment to the character that way. I also like seeing my character in normal game play, so I prefer third person perspectives.

    But I think this is something that comes down to person preference. You can't objectively quantify "immersion".

    JESawyer 20 Sep 10



    In VtM: Bloodlines Troika uses stuff like bizarre phone designs and juxtaposition of dated and advanced technology to create a sense of alternity without being too alien. How come so few games reach for that kind of subtler middle ground?


    Because accomplishing something through subtlety is more difficult than smashing someone over the head with a familiar hammer.

    JESawyer 20 Sep 10


    Do you think that we could remedy the problem of RPGs having terrible fantasy settings incrementally? Like now we are on average in the Elizabethan era but with elves. Maybe in five years we could be on average in the Regency with elves?


    The flaws in fantasy settings usually have to do with their fundamental premises. If the premise is that it's a traditional fantasy setting TURNED ON ITS HEAD / WITH EDGE!! then you've just booked a one-way ticked to Dullsville.

    That said, a lot of the perception of a setting is reliant on how it is presented. A single setting interpreted and presented in three different ways can be received very differently even by the same audience.

    Finally, I'd say that the setting is just that: a place where things happen. A compelling story within that setting is necessary for the player to retain long term interest in what's happening outside of the moment to moment game play.


    JESawyer 20 Sep 10



    For a specific example of intertextuality: Bioshock basically sets itself up as a sequel to Atlas Shrugged that nullifies Galt's Gulch. Is this brilliant, learned, or clumsily batting at an ideological opponent that can't fight back?


    At the very least, it is quite clever. As for batting at an ideological opponent that can't fight back: we're talking about Atlas Shrugged here. One good turn deserves another. The world has more than enough objectivists to critique Bioshock.

    JESawyer 21 Oct 10



    Has Obsidian considered the possibility of working on smaller and more focused project? No offense, because I REALLY like your games, but it's painfully clear at this point that you don't have the manpower and expertise to work on AAA projects.


    I'd love to work on smaller games, but ultimately I don't determine what projects the company undertakes.

    JESawyer 21 Oct 10



    Happy Birthday Josh! May New Vegas be your most successful project ever! That said, there's something I wanted to ask: does your reputation (as in Obsidian's) as 'great writers but poor programmers' feel like a burden on your shoulders?


    I think our programmers often have to deal with incredible stress and very difficult problems for which there often are no easy solutions. They also often get blamed for bugs that are not their fault, which is even worse. They aren't recognized for the work they do and they are blamed for work for which they were never responsible. That's pretty crummy.

    JESawyer 21 Oct 10



    How old were you when you engaged in your first romantic relationship?


    15 I guess... ?

    JESawyer 21 Oct 10



    So I'm reading the Bioware forums during the delay of their DLC and the rage, anger and horribly offensive statements are just amazing. As a developer I'm sure you are at the receiving end of similar things, does it effect you at all? Can you read it?


    It doesn't affect me much. I've heard it all by this point. What's true is true and what isn't doesn't matter. If someone blames a developer for something erroneously and it would be problematic to attempt to correct it, or if someone makes personal attacks on you or the people you work with, the best you can do is shrug your shoulders and try to address the underlying concern.

    JESawyer 21 Oct 10



    How extensive is the editorial process for video game prose? It seems pretty shoddy, especially on continuity. For instance Jack from Mass Effect 2 was raped three times according to dialogue and barkstrings because no writer checked another's work.


    It varies a lot. For RPGs, it can be difficult due to the sheer volume of text being created. ME2 had a huge number of writers, so I would imagine it was hard to wrangle everything.

    JESawyer 21 Oct 10



    Just curious, but what do you think about California's candidates for the Governor seat?


    California is inexorably becoming a failed state, so I think the candidates are irrelevant. I don't agree with everything Schwarzenegger tried to do, but he sure tried to do a lot and didn't get much done. Between Prop 13, ballot initiatives, and the populace voting on them, the state couldn't correct its financial problems with the lab-grown genetic blend of J.D. Rockefeller, William Randolph Hearst, and Andrew Carnegie as governor.

    JESawyer 22 Oct 10



    Rockpapershotgun made a pretty personal attack on Obsidian in their (terrible) New Vegas review. It's just one example of poor gaming journalism which in my mind is pretty rampant right now in this industry. As a dev, does it concern you?


    Not really. I guess there are really two things to examine in the review. The first are the implications of laziness and/or incompetence. Those implications are irrelevant; Fallout: New Vegas is what's being reviewed, not Obsidian. Additionally, I and the other people on the team know what level of effort we put into the game. People not involved with the development of the game, whether reviewers or endusers, do not.

    The second issue is the state of the game. That is the point of the review and the reviewer's comments seem as fair as anyone else's.

    JESawyer 23 Oct 10


    The writing in New Vegas is truly exemplary, kudos to you and your team, but that seems to not get mentioned in many reviews. I posted some forum comments to that effect and was basically told writing doesn't matter to a lot of people in games. Agree?


    Writing absolutely does not matter to a lot of people playing games. This is something I've accepted for a long time. For a lot of RPG players, game mechanics really don't matter. They will gladly march through a game that they hate if they enjoy the writing and story.


    JESawyer 25 Oct 10



    Whoever did Vault 11 should win an award. I found no real treasure, no big, difficult fights, but it still stands out as the single best gaming experience I've had in years.


    Eric Fenstermaker designed Vault 11.

    JESawyer 25 Oct 10



    Who wrote Yes Man?


    John Gonzalez.

    JESawyer 25 Oct 10



    Who did the writing for Veronica? She's my favorite companion by far and quickly becoming one of my favorite female characters in gaming, period.


    Eric "Hollywood" Fenstermaker.

    JESawyer 25 Oct 10



    Who did the writing for Arcade Gannon?


    I did.

    JESawyer 26 Oct 10



    I'm curious (and I mean this question in a very basic way) about how you develop on three platforms at once (PC, PS3, and 360). When it comes time to test a 'build', I imagine that you can just launch the PC version. What do you do to run it on 360/PS3?


    We have proprietary tools on the PC that allow us to transfer local or remote builds to the 360/PS3 dev kits. This transfer copies over any platform-specific data as well as any current user data (plug-ins/local design overrides) to test content. Once it's transferred, we (developers) launch the game from the console's dashboard or remotely from the tool.

    Testers do something similar but may be running under optical drive emulation or off of an actual burned DVD depending on what they are testing.

    JESawyer 30 Oct 10



    fartz


    lol!!!!

    JESawyer 30 Oct 10



    What a great game. The writing is absolutely phenomenal. And the whole faction mechanics, the complicity and importance to story and character feedback, is a new landmark in storytelling in video games. Who did the writing on Rose of Sharon Cassidy?


    Thanks. Chris Avellone wrote Cass.

    JESawyer 30 Oct 10



    Why are a disproportionate number of FO:NV's human companions gay or bisexual? Perhaps "disproportionate" isn't quite right, as it implies a culturally mandated norm. But if 9/10 people are straight or straight-acting, 3/4 gay/bi characters seems high.


    There are many things about the human companions that are statistically atypical, but there are only four of them, so it shouldn't be surprising that they don't break down along probabilistic lines. If designers strictly followed what was probable in companion design, there would likely never be gay or bisexual characters at all given the relatively small pool players are choosing from in any given game.

    Ultimately, the companions who do express their sexuality (of any sort) do so as an aside and usually only when being directly asked about themselves by the player.

    JESawyer responded to LimeHalloran 30 Oct 10



    I hate to break the rule above, but after hearing the Fallout-ized country songs you did on the game's radio, an idea struck me. What would you think of an adaptation of "Oklahoma!" set in the world of Fallout?


    Call it "Glow-klahoma: The Rise and Fall of West Tek".

    JESawyer 30 Oct 10



    big words, lol


    lmao

    JESawyer 30 Oct 10



    so who did the writing for Caesar in New Vegas, and who decided he should give an overview of Hegelian dialectics?


    John Gonzalez wrote Caesar and I asked for Caesar to present his rationale in the framework of Hegelian dialectics.

    JESawyer 1 Nov 10



    Hey! My dad wanted me to tell you that the encounter that Fenstermaker put at the end of Vault 11 reminded him of the BGII Tactics Mods. He said it was too easy though because you could game it with C4. This isn't really a question tho, so w/e.


    C-4 is made for situations like that, so your dad is Good At Video Games(tm).

    JESawyer 1 Nov 10



    My Dad says that the problem is that C4 is overpowered and increases the effectiveness of metagaming (IE trapping paths you know the AI will cross) over actual tactical skill or skill at the game's primary mechanics. He also is looking over my shoulder.


    C-4 is a limited resource but fundamentally isn't much different than a big pile of frag mines. Using C-4 or frag mines or equipping pulse grenades ahead of the end of the scenario are all meta-gaming. Really once the "big reveal" is done, either you get through the fight or you reload. Once the reveal has happened , meta-gaming about the scenario that follows on a reload is sort of inevitable.

    JESawyer 1 Nov 10



    The Caravan minigame is a great idea, but it was exploited soon after release via 1. the initial discard mechanic and 2. a stacked deck of 7s, 9s, and 10s. Do you have any ideas for improving/fixing the minigame, and d'you think we'd see these in a patch?


    The biggest flaw in the current AI (a known bug) is that the enemy AI will never play face cards against the player. High-value decks like 7/9/10 or 8/10/K don't work very well against an opponent who can play jacks or kings against you. You wind up spending a lot of time recovering from nuked 16/20-value cards or a busted caravan sitting at 40 that forces you to jack your own high-value cards or destroy the caravan entirely.

    JESawyer 1 Nov 10



    I think my dad is just kind of hung up on the Infinity Engine games and finds any tactical thinking to be immersion-breaking in shooter-ish games because for him tactical combat is about isometric views, tiny men, and turn-based-combat.


    The IE games feature some of the most meta-gamey post-reload combat in any RPG. Your father should search his heart until he realizes the truth of these words.

    JESawyer 4 Nov 10


    Tell whoever designed the ammunition crafting system to craft themselves a .22 and use it on their own head in the shower. What on earth were you thinking? Did the design have a million more guns at some point or what?


    That's a vague critique so I don't know how to respond other than to say, "That's a vague critique."


    JESawyer 4 Nov 10



    What kind of work did you do in New Vegas? Specific things like any important locations or characters?


    I implemented and tuned all of the weapons, designed the perks, all of the system and combat design modifications, and wrote Chief Hanlon and Arcade Gannon. I also did the high-level concept design for all of the areas, but didn't do any core area design or implementation myself.

    JESawyer responded to iHasRabies 8 Nov 10


    Who did the script for the guy who makes neon signs on the Strip called Michael Angelo? His character is very different from other folks in New Vegas.


    Jorge Salgado.


    JESawyer 8 Nov 10



    Would Obsidian ever consider, and I mean within the near foreseeable future, using a whole different engine for the next Fallout game? Perhaps this is a question better aimed at Bethesda, but the Gamebryo engine just seems to have far too many limitations


    That is a question for Bethesda, as it is their franchise.

    JESawyer 8 Nov 10



    Who designed the White Glove Society questline (Beyond the Beef)? Hands down one of the best quests I've seen in an RPG.


    Eric Fenstermaker.

    JESawyer 8 Nov 10



    Who wrote most of the dialog options? To be totally honest, I think they are a slight step down from Fallout 3 in terms of wit and humanity. Nonetheless, the rest of the game and its characters are just as good as its predecessor.


    Dialogue writing was shared by a number of designers. A few designers focused heavily on writing while others split writing responsibilities with area design and implementation.

    JESawyer 8 Nov 10



    Hey I recently beat Fallout: New Vegas and i saw u wrote some songs in the game in the ending credits. and i was wondering what it was like making those songs and also how it was like being a lead designer on one of the best games ever made?!


    We had to make the songs pretty quickly toward the end of the project. For the guitar songs, the guitarists (Nathaniel Chapman and James Melilli) had to learn the pieces in an hour or two. There wasn't any time to transpose anything, so I had to sing the songs in whatever key we had guitar tabs for. For side content, I think they turned out pretty well.

    JESawyer 8 Nov 10



    What do pen & paper RPGs still have as an advantage over computer RPGs? Do you think CRPGs will ever achieve those things?


    Tabletop RPGs allow a range of expression and improvisation that isn't currently possible with CRPGs because everything is happening through the medium of the computer.

    JESawyer 8 Nov 10



    What, exactly, is a "Fenster". I'll take my answer off the air, thanks.


    A window.

    JESawyer 8 Nov 10



    Who did the writing for the Cassidy girl? "Shhh ... We're hunting shitheads" is a p. cool line.


    Chris Avellone.

    JESawyer 8 Nov 10



    Was it you who thought of fisto?


    That was Robert Lee.

    JESawyer 8 Nov 10



    Is Obsidian open to being bought like Arkane Studios or Bioware or do you guys value your independence too much? I can imagine you being the "Fallout guys" for Bethesda or the "Western RPG" guys for Square/Enix and having a lot of success with that.


    That's a question for the company owners.

    JESawyer 15 Nov 10



    HUMP ME


    @__@

    JESawyer 15 Nov 10



    How early was the anti-cheating device at the tables deemed necessary and who came up with the timer? I think it was a brilliant addition, even though I still saved and reloaded after a few crappy wheel spins.


    Before we designed any of the gambling mini-games I had already talked to programming about implementing some form of anti-save-scumming feature.

    Randomized gambling, especially for games with such a fast turnover, like roulette and slots, would have been kind of pointless without a disincentive to save-scumming.

    JESawyer 16 Nov 10



    I'm a bit annoyed by all the discussions of who are the "good" guys in NV when there clearly isn't one. Can you put this issue to rest, right here, right now?


    I am a product of my LIEberal arts education and consequently, a moral relativist. This means not only am I not willing to put the issue to rest, but do not believe it is possible for me to do so.

    JESawyer 16 Nov 10



    Where did the witty/expansive dialogue go that was in the previous Fallouts? The conversation in FNV, despite being leagues above F3 in terms of writing and moral ambiguity, seemed to still be a tad superficial and not as in-depth as F1 or 2's. Why?


    I don't think I can answer this because I don't know what you consider "depth".

    JESawyer 17 Nov 10



    To expand on previous question by someone else - in Fallout 1/2, player could say some really long lines of dialogues. This is not existing in NV. Is it (yet again) engine limitation? Or console one?


    Part of that was a mandate from me that the writers not shove words into the player's mouth with basic dialogue responses. Generally speaking, the more the author defines what the player says, the less freedom the player has to maintain his/her character concept. I call it "emotional/intent loading". The exceptions to this are for stat-, skill-, or perk-based unlocks since they demand a higher level of specificity.

    JESawyer 17 Nov 10



    As far as "depth" in dialogue, I think that dude might mean literal depth, as in really deep trees with lots of nooks and crannies since that's what people mostly mean. tbqh it DOES feel like there are fewer of those outside of the Legate Conversation.


    Without doing a side-by-side comparison to F1/F2, I think F:NV has a large number of deep dialogues. Off the top of my head, Caesar, Mr. House, and many of the companions have extensive dialogues.

    JESawyer 17 Nov 10



    Doesn't refusing to put the issue to rest and citing moral relativism in fact put the issue to rest insofar as people who subscribe to authorial supremacy are concerned?


    Not everyone believes in authorial supremacy. Some people/schools of thought ignore authorial intent entirely.

    JESawyer 17 Nov 10



    I started playing New Vegas as a "might makes right" character expecting to follow the Legion, but it ends up they have a strange moral code that doesn't really fit with, so I went independent. What is a one sentence character summary for a Legionnaire?


    True to Caesar.

    JESawyer 19 Nov 10



    As of "emotional/intent loading", you ended up making PC's dialog really characterless and it's hard to care about a generic character. I understand if you don't want to over develop PC, but not developing it is not an answer.


    It certainly is an answer; it's just one that you don't like. The lines with specific intent were ones that didn't have to do with run-of-the-mill queries. I think you risk alienating a lot of people by adding secondary tone to basic questions and statements. It does give character to dialogue, but there's no telling if any given player will like the character that's being given. And if the only way you can ask an NPC what should be a straightforward question is to pick a line you don't like because it has a side-order of sass the author decided to throw in for chuckles, it can get irritating.

    JESawyer 19 Nov 10



    One of the depth problems is the fact that a lot of quest-related dialog options reside amongst first set of choices, negating any need for investigative approach. NPCs loose depth from their blind belief in PC and from PC having less incentive to explore


    Forcing players to wade through dialogue they may not be interested in doesn't make that dialogue more compelling; it just makes it mandatory.

    If you're interested in details and background information, explore the dialogue trees. If you're not, don't.

    JESawyer 19 Nov 10



    Do you think it's possible for narratives within games to ever achieve the level of nuance present within the milieu of certain cinema, or TV shows like 'Mad Men'? Moreover, do you think there will be a sustainable market for these types of games?


    Yes but I have no idea if there will be a market for it.

    JESawyer 27 Nov 10



    I think you got a bit too carried away and self-indulgent with the whole Roman aesthetic for Caesar's Legion. They were more like a big parody instead of an intimidating takes-no-BS army with some Roman culture influences. I couldn't take them seriously.


    ok

    JESawyer 27 Nov 10



    "The game's design philosophy is that if you have line of sight to a character, the player must be able to kill that character (excepting children) using standard game mechanics." Wasn't making Lanius unkillable in Veni, Vidi, Vici a violation of that?


    General Oliver and Legate Lanius both violate that, but disallowing player control during those sequences seemed preferable to putting them behind a bulletproof glass wall. Allowing the player to kill them during a sequence where they've already elected to support that faction also seemed pointless.

    JESawyer 27 Nov 10



    Are you gonna make plasma weapons stronger like they are suppose to be?


    Some plasma weapons have been made more powerful for the patch.

    JESawyer 27 Nov 10



    Why weren't more games like dice or poker included? Especially since there are 'out of order' tables at every casino. Is this a cheap ploy to add more games via DLC, or was a game like poker to complex to implement in the time constraints?


    Craps and Texas Hold 'Em are both relatively complex games in different ways. The craps tables are present as decoration only.

    JESawyer 27 Nov 10



    Does it bother you that F:NV is considered Fallout 3.5 even with large structural differences as far as quest design and exploration go? Which by the way, a lot of players seem to have noticed judging by the complaints and praise on the official boards.


    Not at all.

    JESawyer 27 Nov 10



    The art design in New Vegas feels really inconsistent when it comes to weapons. Most of them seem really grounded in terms of visual design, but the 10mm and 12.7mm guns seem really incongruous. Is this something you thought about?


    The 10mm and 12.7mm guns are some of the only "future guns" and both take their basic design cues from Fallout 1/2 weapons: the 10mm Pistol (slightly different design) and the 14mm Pistol.

    If you look at a Browning Hi-Power, Desert Eagle, and a Ruger Blackhawk, you're going to see a lot of different design elements going on, but those are all weapons that are currently used in our world.

    JESawyer 27 Nov 10



    The fact that they're in older games, or that the inconsistency was in previous games, doesn't really matter. In FO1/2 it wasn't as apparently because there were only a handful of world map sprites (small pistol, big pistol, etc)


    I disagree. It's a world with sawed-off shotguns, missile launchers, power fists, and plasma rifles. From F1 to F:NV, it's always been a grab bag of weapon styles and I think that's one of the appealing things about it.

    JESawyer 30 Nov 10



    Do all the terrible mods on the Nexus sites make you angry? I don't understand why some people think playing with a character that looks like a barbie doll with a ridiculously over the top hair style is cool. Never mind all the pedophile mods.


    My tastes are not the tastes of the average gamer, and there are obviously gamers that have very specific tastes that are even more different. I may not like the aesthetic or mechanical changes that people make, but it's hard to really get worked up about what people do in mods. It's their game and they've put in the effort to make it more to their tastes.

    JESawyer 30 Nov 10



    David Gaider of Bioware says in Gamepro this month that RPG are games where "the player has a significant effect on the story." Do you agree that is an acceptable definition of a genre now very eclectic and diluted?


    David's definition is not too far from my own. I believe that RPGs must allow the player to define and express the personality of his or her character in a way that changes the story "meaningfully" (pretty arbitrary, but it's my definition so...).

    In most games where you can change elements of the story, you have the ability to do this through the the character in a way that makes it an expression of personality, so functionally the definitions are pretty similar.

    Also it doesn't really matter what we think or say, just what we do and what players accept. BioWare and Obsidian both make games where you can define and express the personality of your character(s) in a way that changes the story meaningfully. We call these games RPGs, they're marketed as RPGs, and people buy/review them as RPGs.

    There are games made by other companies that don't fit this definition but are still described/marketed/sold as RPGs, so it's really an ongoing war of defining/redefining these conventions as we choose.


    JESawyer 1 Dec 10


    never put obsidian and bioware in the same sentence (this is an exception). they know how to make good games that dont GLITCH EVERY FUCKING MINUTE.


    oic


    JESawyer 1 Dec 10


    Who designed Crazy, Crazy, Crazy? It was a pretty simple but well-designed quest, with some of the most fun combat of the game.


    Jesse Farrell

    JESawyer 2 Dec 10



    Were the songs you wrote intended to be played on the radio in Fallout NV, or just for the Tops shows?


    Just for the Tops shows, though I think some folks internally talked about having them on the radio. Personally I think they disrupt the feel of the "legit" recordings on the radio, so I'm fine with them being Tops-only.

    JESawyer 5 Dec 10



    If you had the opportunity to actually make Van Buren, disregarding the public purely how you'd like to play it , would you opt for the original top down gameplay, something along the lines of New Vegas or another to best suit the game you wanted to make?


    Van Buren was conceived as a top-down 3D game and that's how I would personally like to play it.

    JESawyer 5 Dec 10



    Who had the brilliant idea of making 'Return to Sender' a quest with oh-so-many endings and incredibly brilliant writing an incredibly tedious and incredibly long FETCH QUEST? And what was his/her reasoning?


    I did. The ranger stations are located around interesting areas, so the primary gameplay enjoyment was intended to be derived from the exploration required to reach them. If you've already discovered all ranger stations and done everything around them (not likely), that's a problem. But then again, if you've already discovered the stations, you can fast travel to them.

    JESawyer 5 Dec 10



    Do you agree with the sentiment that giving players the ability to create incredibly powerful, nigh unstoppable characters (MoTB) is less important than staying true to rulesets and rulebooks? (DnD)


    I don't think either is especially virtuous. Rules exist to give the player a framework for playing the game. The goal is for the game to be fun. For most people, being unstoppable gets boring pretty quickly. RPGs often allow people to eventually reach that point, especially if min-maxing, but if it's near the end of the game, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    If a min-maxed character is capable of taking out end game opponents and challenges with ease, it's probably still a challenge for the non-min-maxer. As long as people are enjoying the game and feel rewarded for the character choices, I think it's fine.

    Also, a lot of licensed rulesets are flawed or even outright terrible in their original forms. Staying slavishly devoted to an already bad ruleset when it gets translated into a completely different medium is a bad idea.

    JESawyer 5 Dec 10



    What are your thoughts on players "min-maxing" and using all kinds of tricks and maybe even exploits to create more or less game-breaking characters in RPG's?


    That's part of the game. It's the system designers' job to make that rewarding without resulting in severe imbalances between the min-maxers and more casual players. Completely removing the ability to min-max (or the power of min-maxing, which amounts to the same thing) can lead to the player's choices feeling unimportant, which I think is bad in games in general and especially in RPGs.

    JESawyer 5 Dec 10



    your songs also suck.


    cool

    JESawyer 7 Dec 10



    What is more important in an RPG: real choices with real consequences, or engaging, fun gameplay?


    Engaging, fun game play should be the bare minimum expected in any game. If you're making an RPG, it should have that AND the ability to define/express a character's personality in a way that significantly changes the development of the story.

    JESawyer 7 Dec 10



    Who wrote Caesar and the Legate?


    John Gonzalez wrote Caesar and Chris Avellone wrote the Legate.

    JESawyer 7 Dec 10



    You said that it would be hard to balance Explosives with Lockpick if you could blow up locks with Exlposives. Wouldn't explosives breaking stealth and having a high chance of destroying the contents of containers be enough for Lockpick to stay viable?


    This assumes you care about being detected. If this is the case, you probably wouldn't have specialized in a weapon group that, by its very nature, is extremely noisy. Also, "chance" for a stand-alone randomized check effectively leads to save-scumming and isn't a viable solution in my opinion.

    JESawyer 7 Dec 10



    whos the homo that insisted on being so heavy handed with the gay dialogue and references in the game?


    Alarm at the presence of homosexual dialogue topics is pretty interesting considering the majority of them only appear if you voluntarily take a perk that identifies your character as homosexual.

    JESawyer 7 Dec 10



    You've answered about other characters in Fallout New Vegas but not Craig Boone. His companion quest was compelling. Who wrote his story?


    Eric Fenstermaker wrote Boone's dialogue and implemented his companion quest.

    JESawyer 8 Dec 10



    Confirmed Bachelor is considered a homosexual perk? Neither the name, the art nor the description gave any indication of that.


    Confirmed Bachelor is a euphemism for a gay man. The icon art shows Vault Boy giving a massage to a naked Vault Boy with a heart floating over his head. I'm amazed that people look at that and sincerely come away thinking, "Hey, looks like a couple of bros just having a good time and giving a friendly massage."

    JESawyer 8 Dec 10



    Do you think it's plausible that, even if his people are tribals, Caesar would have been able to keep them oblivious of the fact that he's just copying ancient Rome and not divinely inspired?


    Plenty of leaders have convinced thousands, if not millions, of people over history that they are, if not living gods, divinely chosen or appointed. There's nothing special about the people of the future.

    JESawyer 8 Dec 10



    Where do babies come from?


    FEV.

    JESawyer 8 Dec 10



    Are you prepared to admit that you and the rest of the team behind New Vegas made a massive mistake in terms of the damage that energy weapons do?


    No, because some Energy Weapons do great damage. A lot of them don't do enough -- most importantly, the ones at the low end of the spectrum -- and that is fixed in the upcoming patch.

    JESawyer 10 Dec 10



    Who did the writing for Chief Hanlon? His dialogue combined with Kris Kristofferson's voice acting is an outstanding combination.


    I did.

    JESawyer 10 Dec 10



    As we head into a likely all-digital future, do you feel as a creator there is something lost when your game never has a physical version? I could imagine my work being on a shelf somewhere giving me a tad bit more pride.


    I think humanity creates enough physical objects and am totally fine with most of our information media moving to a digital format. It's impermanent but so is everything (other than plastic).

    JESawyer 10 Dec 10



    I didn't really have any fun with FONV, but it's my 3rd favourite game ever. Why do you insist fun is a minimum when depth, writing, satisfying world immersion and adventure are more important than pedestrian combat? Maybe you should define fun.


    Because you're playing a game, not reading a book. The time spent between reading cool dialogue should be spent doing something that isn't a tedious chore.

    JESawyer 10 Dec 10



    Do you think the reason we only see RPGs with world changing plots rather than something smaller scale is due to risk aversion on the publisher level? Do you think there is a reasonable sized market for a game that focuses just on a village or town?


    Way of the Samurai did this pretty effectively. I don't think risk aversion is the issue; I think most developers want to create larger and more varied environments.

    JESawyer 10 Dec 10



    You seem willing to answer the most jaded and rude questions directed at you. How do you manage to not let all the negativity get to you? Or are you just a masochist?


    Opinion and truth are not intrinsically linked.

    JESawyer 10 Dec 10



    Why limit sections of the map to players in the beginning with Deathclaws, Radscorpions and Cazadores? I understand the wasteland is treacherous, but at times it's discouraging even at max level with powerful weaponry.


    Because if you see a difficult obstacle and make it past that obstacle on the first try, the obstacle wasn't that difficult and you didn't really accomplish anything. When the player surmounts difficulty in our game, I want them to feel like they met a challenge and put some genuine effort into overcoming it.

    I use my own experiences at the deathclaw lair in F1 and Sierra Army Depot in F2 for comparison. Those are challenging areas, especially if approach at low level, but the game allows you to overcome them if you plan well. Especially when it's an optional objective or side path, I think it's good to bump up the challenge.

    JESawyer 10 Dec 10



    Obsidian, Bioware and Bethesda are the only North American developers that make RPGs (action RPGs are different) in recent times. Most other titles come from Europe. How do you view this development?


    North American developers have high development costs and are focused on cross-platform (mostly console) development. Additionally, since RPGs have such specialized development requirements, I think it's difficult for new companies to spring up here. European companies, even if they have a large staff, often have lower development costs and often develop only for the PC. Since my roots are in PC gaming, I really enjoy seeing all of these new European RPGs and quasi-RPGs.

    JESawyer 11 Dec 10



    You said you liked European RPGs... what did you think of The Witcher? It's one of my favorite RPGs of the last 5 years.


    I only played the EE but it owns.

    JESawyer 11 Dec 10


    Does Dungeon Siege III own? I need an answer ASAP.


    Yah p. much.


    JESawyer 11 Dec 10



    During the ending of New Vegas about the Fiends, the voice over sounds familar to whom did the voice for Killian Darkwater in FO1. Is this the same voice actor or did I need to get my ears checked?


    It's not the same actor. Richard Dean Anderson did the voice in F1. Motor-Runner's voice actor did the end slide for the Fiends. I don't remember the actor's name, but it wasn't RDA.

    JESawyer 11 Dec 10



    Fallout: New Vegas is tied with Fallout 3 for my favorite game, but my question is why didnt you guys add Area 51 to the game world considering how close it is to the Air Force base? I'm hoping that it will be a DLC because you guys could do a great job.


    It really isn't that close and there's not a lot going on in the land between Las Vegas and Area 51.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sou...6.410231,-115.427856&spn=2.157308,4.22699&z=9

    Also, Area 51 is most closely associated with (in popular culture, anyway) aliens, a subject Bethesda dealt with in Mothership Zeta.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 10


    I'm really digging how well set up the start of the game is. It's almost a perfect 20 degree rising slope, very good balance, very good timing of events, very good quests, was this a design goal or did you end up with this completely by accident?


    Thanks. We spent a lot of time having ordinary enduser-type people playtest the beginning of the game. I think we still made a few mistakes early on, but the designers did a good job working around those issues.


    JESawyer 15 Dec 10



    ur so homo


    oh word?

    JESawyer 15 Dec 10



    What's your take on the whole "achievements show only half of players finish a game so we're going to make them shorter" thing?


    While I don't think we should design games to be unappealing to people, I also don't think we should cater to folks who stop playing. Our goal should be to make the experience more compelling so that fewer people stop. In some cases that may mean having less content so what's there is more well-polished, but I don't think we should cater to folks who generally don't get anywhere in games.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 10



    Why does it seem like you're writing these to yourself as an extremely roundabout way of telling people what you think about various topics?


    I have over 1000 unanswered questions in this queue so I have a lot of options for selecting things I'd like to answer. If I just wanted to talk about a topic, I'd ENTER THE BLOGOSPHERE or something.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 10


    Why is their no option to make your character of Middle Eastern and Indian decent with 'Asian' meaning purely the mongoloid race


    We just used the "races" that existed in F3.


    JESawyer 15 Dec 10



    Why was the 9mm SMG based on a scaled-down Grease Gun instead of the highly-underrated Swedish K (or its American clone, the S&W M76)? Filmmakers love the K (see: The Omega Man, Pelham 1-2-3, The Dark Knight), but it's never been in a single game!


    Because M3s rule and a tiny M3 is even cooler IMO.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 10


    Will that one Caravan bug be fixed? The one where the AI opponent won't play face cards on your caravans.


    I believe that is fixed in the most recent patch.


    JESawyer 15 Dec 10



    If the Kings are an entire gang of Elvis impersonators, why do only Pacer and The King do the voice?


    Everyone else sucks at it.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 10



    Were you honestly expecting such a negative reception for Caesar's Legion?


    I don't really think there has been a tremendously negative reaction to Caesar's Legion. Some people really hate various aspects of the Legion but most people either don't seem to care or like the Legion. I'd rather have people show strong opinions about a well-defined enemy than have everyone shrug their shoulders at Generic Bad Dude Faction #825.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 10



    Whose idea was Searchlight? I like the backstory a lot, particularly the pre-war part.


    I wrote the basic high-level design documents for all major locations in the game. For Searchlight the high-level design for the back story was essentially "Guys carrying waste from San Onofre stop in Searchlight when war breaks out, local police tell them to park the trucks in the fire department, one takes off for Cottonwood Cove hoping to get as far away from the blast centers as possible."

    Denise McMurry did all of the actual "for real" area design for Searchlight including writing all of the logs for the area.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 10



    Not to sound dumb, but why have a war over oil when everything is powered by small nuclear devices? A single nuclear unit in the home would take care of all power and heating needs.


    Nuclear power still requires fuel and new fuel sources require new infrastructure. If we were to find a fantastic new source of fuel tomorrow, it would be a long time before diesel and gasoline internal combustion engines were off the road.

    Additionally, petroleum is used in so many different products that even if we completely switched over to non-petroleum-based fuels we'd still be quite dependent on it.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 10



    Who made up all of the energy weapons?


    I tuned all of the EW stats (too low for a lot of them, unfortunately), but the EWs were modeled and textured mostly by Mitch Ahlswede, Paul Fish, and Aaron Brown.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 10



    Doesn't your answer kind of implies that Caesar's Legion is "non-generic" bad guy faction? It kinda clashes with your promises of moral grayness.


    Caesar's Legion is positioned as a faction that regularly does brutal things with the belief (Caesar's belief, anyway) that it will eventually lead to a much better, more stable, future. NCR is positioned as a faction that regularly does good things but systemically "loses" causes and pushes people around through neglect, bureaucratic inefficiency, and petty jealousy/spite.

    The player's first encounters with each group are intentionally "bad guy"/"good guy" to set up an expectation that changes over time. While it well may be that people end F:NV believing that Caesar's Legion is the best solution to the problems in the Mojave Wasteland, I don't think many folks walk away thinking, "Misogynist slaver tyrants are really cool, good folks."

    And honestly, what I say outside of the context of the game doesn't really have any bearing on what you think or what any player thinks. In the game, you're given the option to fully support the Legion's conquest of New Vegas/the Mojave Wasteland.

    JESawyer 16 Dec 10



    Who designed Come Fly With Me? It ended up being one of my favorite quests.


    A number of designers worked on it, primarily Jesse Farrell and Akil Hooper.

    JESawyer 16 Dec 10



    Why is 12.7mm, 45-70 Gov't, and 40mm grenade ammo so hard to find?


    Personally I never got the impression that 40mm Grenades were hard to find, but the 12.7mm and .45-70 Gov't ammunition types weren't showing up properly at some of the merchants (most notably, Gun Runners). That has been fixed in the most recent patch.

    JESawyer 16 Dec 10



    its funny how you worked on the earlier fallouts i think but fallout 3 made by new people was way better and you guys suck


    cool

    JESawyer 16 Dec 10



    Why does a low INT character suddenly start talking like a caveman at Helios One, but not anywhere else?


    There are a lot of perks, skills, and abilities that allow dialogue unlocks and unfortunately a few (like Low INT and Terrifying Presence) didn't have consistent coverage.

    JESawyer 16 Dec 10



    If Mr. New Vegas is an AI, how does he hold interviews with No-Bark and the new sheriff of Primm?


    Obviously with the help of a team of talented, discreet field agents.

    JESawyer 16 Dec 10



    So this is a rather obtuse question, but I was wondering how much influence Bethesda exerted during development? Did you have to get shitloads of things approved by them, or were they more of a exterior presence, not really considered most times?


    They mostly just asked us to avoid using certain groups or subjects for a variety of reasons. Though Bethesda reviewed everything we did, it was extremely rare that they asked us to change something.

    JESawyer 17 Dec 10



    you realize that "cool" "oic" "okay" laid back thing you got going on doesnt make you cool.


    yeah it does it makes me really cool

    JESawyer 18 Dec 10



    Does Obsidian or Bethesda have any plans for GECK patches? It feels like the tool becomes more and more buggy with every release and nothing ever gets fixed.


    GECK bugs go into the same pool as other bugs, though they might be given higher priority at times since it's what we have to use to make content. Personally, I haven't had many problems using GECK. There are a few "magic behaviors" that will (and have always, AFAIK) cause a crash, but I'm not regularly tripping over major issues.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 10



    Doesn't getting around 1400 caps and Pew Pew at the end of The Legend Of The Star kind of ruin the moral?


    I don't think so, because the initial disappointment is what's important (and what most players appear to experience before finding Pew Pew). Also, everyone hopefully realizes that Pew Pew and those caps are quest rewards placed by game designers and obviously not the intended reward put there by the Sunset Sarsaparilla folks.

    JESawyer responded to ThomasTinkletit 18 Dec 10



    Another 12.77mm question, why are the weapons rare?


    Most high-end weapons are rare in a general sense because they only appear when you're pretty high level. And when you're high enough level for them to start appearing, only the really tough dudes are going to be using them. The 12.7mm Pistol is considered a "tier 4" weapon and the SMG is a "tier 5" weapon. You should see more of the former than the latter, and earlier in the game. Even so, only certain enemies will carry them and only the Gun Runners will regularly sell them.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 10



    What would you say was the major lesson you took away after the development of FNV to apply (if possible) to future projects at Obsidian? Something you guys really got right, or wrong, for instance?


    Use less complex scripting in quest scenarios and stage the development of quests in a more progressive fashion. I.e. start by implementing the A-priority, bare-bones, 100% solid scenario for everything first. Only after everything is in at A-priority does mad experimentation begin. The advantage to this is that if your mad experiments turn out to be completely idiotic experiments, you still have an A-priority path that, if arguably a little bland, still works as designed and isn't going to blow up in the player's face.

    Starting with a scenario that is a complex Fabergé egg sets up a difficult task. If anything goes wrong, you're stuck with a non-functional scenario that's reliant on something that you can't immediately resolve. Both backing up or pushing forward can result in more problems and potentially wasted time. And if it somehow magically gets working, you really won't know how robust it is until it's tested thoroughly, which may be months away.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 10



    What's the matter? You can answer some fool throwing racial epithet but you can't answer people's many carefully worded questions?


    Yes, I cannot answer the 996 answers currently in my queue because I don't really have time to.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 10



    after watching the fallout new vegas dev diaries, somehow it made me wonder if you posed for this photo - http://epicbattleaxe.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/alpha_protocol_dated.jpg ?


    No. I just look like every generic white guy with short dark hair.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 10



    Why did the Hunting Rifle go from being a pretty weak, low level weaon in Fallout 3 to a decent, mid-level weapon in New Vegas?


    It did change calibers between the two games, but personally I thought the Hunting Rifle was a great weapon in F3 as long as you didn't try to use it in a firefight. I used it/Ol' Painless a lot for mid-range sniping.

    In F:NV, the Hunting Rifle is positioned between the Cowboy Repeater and Trail Carbine/Sniper Rifle. The DAM difference between the CR and HR may not seem that significant, but when executing Sneak Crits, it can make a big difference, and the ability to use AP .308 ammo is also very important.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 10



    Ok this my......3rd question I believe about the desert rangers r u guys going to go deeper in their story bcos even tho tycho goes into the rangers a little u really don't c any more of them besides the statue and r we gona c them in a DLC or their armor


    It is a mystery.

    JESawyer 19 Dec 10



    Your opinion about transparency in game mechanics is well-known, but what is your opinion about transparency when it comes to the game's story/branching? Should choices be obviously choices or more subtle?


    I think those should obviously be significant choices as well, though the effects of those choices don't need to be immediately obvious. A lot of the end states for groups and characters in F:NV are based on choices you make much earlier in the game. But something that initially seems good for a person or group may turn out to be terrible.

    JESawyer 19 Dec 10



    Why can't the Lakelurks attack while underwater? All they do is give you a creepy stare and wait till you get to land to start fighting.


    For whatever reason, nothing can attack while in deep water. It's something that was set up a certain way in F3 and we didn't change it.

    JESawyer 23 Dec 10



    Did you do any work on Dead Money?


    I only worked on the weapons and a few of the perks.

    JESawyer 23 Dec 10



    You said before part of your job was weapon balancing. Does that extend to the DLC pack as well? Did you have an active hand in designing any new weapons? I think the weapons are tuned quite well and I'm worried any new ones might throw off the balance.


    Yes. I tuned (and re-tuned for the patch) all of F:NVs weapons and all of the weapons in Dead Money. The weapons are designed to be effective in the DLC and weapons that you can find a use for in the core game. I try to avoid making weapons that are inherently superior to the best core weapons in F:NV.

    The Automatic Rifle is very powerful but it has a few limitations (mag size and accuracy) that can make it less appealing in certain circumstances. A fully upgraded Holorifle does huge damage, but it is not quite as accurate as a Gauss Rifle and has a relatively slow projectile.

    JESawyer 23 Dec 10



    lol you played fallout 3 but yet you suck big balls at trying to replicate it with new vegas.


    hmm yes yes keen insight

    JESawyer 23 Dec 10


    Which is your favorite game of all the Fallout series?


    Fallout.


    JESawyer 23 Dec 10


    Which is your favorite game of all the Fallout series?


    Fallout.


    JESawyer 23 Dec 10



    yea thats right just look at the metacritic scores bitch. fallout 3 did way better. 93 to 84 (360 metacritic)


    oic

    JESawyer 23 Dec 10



    my name is josh sawyer.i am really gay and my favorite thing in the world is to make really stupid games and talk to people on formspring because im lonely. i also like people who masturbate in public. the end.


    sweet

    JESawyer 23 Dec 10



    my name is josh sawyer i also take stupid closeup pictures of myself with absolutely no expression whatsoever because i think it's uncool to smile


    rad

    JESawyer 23 Dec 10



    This has been bugging me for awhile, what's the Hunting Revolver based on? The only revolver that comes to my mind is the BFR as it's the only I can think of chambered for 45-70 Government.


    It's not really based on any real-world weapon since I can't think of any double-action revolvers firing .45-70 Gov't. There may be one, but we didn't base the Hunting Revolver/Ranger Sequoia on a specific real-world revolver. The BFR is single-action and so is the Bison Bull (which is, by total coincidence, made in my hometown).

    JESawyer 23 Dec 10



    Did Bethesda do the QA on Dead Money?


    We have a small internal QA staff, but Bethesda handled/handles the majority of QA for F:NV and its DLC.

    JESawyer 23 Dec 10



    You're inevitably going to get this question in multiple parts anyway, so who worked on the major writing portions of Dead Money? I'm especially interested in the companions, they actually managed to top the (quite well done) ones from the core game.


    Chris Avellone wrote the Dead Money companions.

    JESawyer 24 Dec 10



    you son of a bitch think you can rip off your customers on their platform of choice by not releasing dlc on their console you jackass.


    Developers (such as Obsidian) do not determine the platforms upon which content is released, nor when that content is released. Those choices are up to the publisher and platform companies (Sony, Microsoft, Valve).

    JESawyer 24 Dec 10



    Surely you receive many legitimate questions, so why bother validating the purile "questions" that attempt to insult you? For every troll you humor with "cool" or "rad" you could be responding to a more constructive or informative query regarding Fallout


    Or I could not answer any questions at all!

    JESawyer 24 Dec 10



    I'm aware the BFR is single action, I figured if it were based on that revolver it might have been made double action for balancing or some other reason. But why choose the 45-70 Gov't cartridge, instead of the .45 Colt?


    The bullet sizes and weights are similar, but .45-70 Gov't can be loaded to much higher power than .45 LC due to the longer case.

    I picked a progression of three rimmed and three rimless dual-use cartridges: .357 Magnum/.44 Magnum/.45-70 Gov't and 9mm/10mm/12.7mm (which is essentially .50 Action Express) for revolvers/lever-actions and handguns/SMGs, respectively.

    I wanted the power progression to be something more-or-less indisputable; no one's REALLY going to argue that .44 Magnum is less powerful than .357 Magnum in normal revolver/lever-action rifle loads. I could certainly foresee plenty of arguing about .44 Magnum and .45 LC. No one's going to argue about .44 Magnum vs. a serious modern .45-70 Gov't cartridge.

    There are also aesthetics to consider. .45 LC and .44 Magnum are very similarly sized/proportioned unless you do a close comparison. .45-70 Gov't brass is huge next to .44 Magnum brass. This means the cylinders are bigger, the lever-action loading gates are bigger, and the loaded cartridges/ejected brass is very distinctive. I think it's important for players to see visual differences between equipment even when they're upgrading in the same "class".

    JESawyer 24 Dec 10



    Why don't you take damage from standing on top of a fire in New Vegas? I'm not entirely sure but I think you used to take damage in Fallout 3 and I know for a fact you did in Oblivion, why not New Vegas?


    It's irritating and AI doesn't deal well with it, making it more irritating.

    JESawyer 24 Dec 10


    If 12.7mm is suppose to be like .50 A/E, than why not name it as such? Also, was the BHP chosen for the 9mm pistol out of personal preference or another reason? I gotta say it's nice seeing a dev. who's very knowledgeable about firearms and ammunition.


    .50 AE is already a pretty niche cartridge and I didn't want non-gun people to be confused by .50 MG (essentially BMG) and another .50 round. It also keeps the "serious" handgun/SMG ammo in millimeters and the revolver/lever-action ammo in inches, which is nice for consistency.

    In my opinion, the BHP is a timeless design and its form is quite distinctive when compared to Fallout's 10mm pistols. Also, since I knew we weren't going to implement an M1911-style .45, the BHP-based 9mm design gives an extremely similar aesthetic (so similar that a lot of people assume it IS an M1911) while fitting into the 9mm/10mm/12.7mm semi-auto handgun progression in F:NV.

    RE: wildcat cartridges: I think F:NV already introduced enough niche/weird ammunition subtypes to keep the heads of non-gun people spinning for a full 100 hours of gameplay. I think wildcats go a big step beyond that. That said, Justin, Frank and I did engineer the ammo system to support a very large amount of specialty ammo types. I've seen people make 40mm buckshot and .50 MG Raufoss, so on the PC, it's very easy for modders to go nuts with .22 Cheetah or whatever other super niche stuff they want to do.

    2011 (open)

    JESawyer 1 Jan 11



    The Realpolitik analyses of the NCR and the Legion were outlined quite well by Marcus in New Vegas. But what are your ultimate thoughts on House?


    He's a laissez-faire dictator. "Do whatever you want as long as you don't cross me." Mr. House doesn't care about other people and what they do as long as Vegas remains prosperous and he remains in control.


    JESawyer 1 Jan 11



    What was the design goal behind armor classes in FNV? In all honesty, heavy armor seems to be by a large margin the best choice to me, the movement penalty being more an annoyance than anything else compared to the advantages.


    The DT system in place in F:NV means that in certain circumstances, armor with a lower DT may actually be just as effective at reducing damage as armor with higher DT -- and light/medium armor typically weighs less than comparable heavy armor.

    For example, take T-45d and combat armor. DT 22 vs. DT 16. Against many pistols, SMGs, most lasers, shotguns wielded by most enemies (meaning at well below optimal condition and nowhere near 100% skill), the DAM they do is dwarfed by the DT of both armors. I.e. the benefit maxes out at 80% reduction, so it doesn't matter whether the shot is hitting T-45d or combat armor once it gets to that point. T-45d weighs more but grants +2 ST and a radiation resist bonus at the cost of -2 AG.

    Against enemies that do large amounts of damage per shot (with rifles, higher end revolvers, or plasma weapons for example), heavy armor becomes increasingly important. However, those are also the enemies where being able to move quickly (to cover, or simply backwards) becomes more important since the consequences of being hit at all can be terrible.

    Personally, I usually play in light/medium armor (preferably with Travel Light) with pistols or rifles because I would much rather move quickly. My 360 playthrough was completed in combat armor, reinforced mk. ii. On another playthrough I was running around in Vault 34 security armor with Travel Light and I didn't usually feel under-protected.

    JESawyer 1 Jan 11



    Was it a deliberate decision to make 10mm weapons very common in vaults and 9mm weapons common outside of them? It felt like 10mm weapons were more military or vault-tec issue while 9mm were civilian.


    Yes. 10mm weapons seemed more "vaulty"/futuristic in my mind.

    JESawyer 1 Jan 11



    Merry Christmas! .....you won't answer this with a long explanation on why you don't celebrate Christmas, right?


    I'm not Christian.

    JESawyer 1 Jan 11



    Some people (myself included) bemoan how vague the ME-style summarized conversation wheel approach some developers use for dialogue in RPGs as opposed to having the options given to you word for word. Having used both approaches, which do you prefer?


    Since both need to be localized and displayed, I'd prefer a toggled option for "Brief/Verbose". I also like the presentation style used by the upcoming Deus Ex: Human Revolution. When you highlight the "keyword" it shows the full text of the line below.

    JESawyer 1 Jan 11



    christmas is the idea of giving and reuniting with family, you jackass. you don't have to be christian to celebrate the idea.


    i never thought of that thanks spirit of christmas

    JESawyer 1 Jan 11



    Where are the citizens of the Mojave and the Sierra Madre finding all those bear traps?


    Acme Bear Trap truck.

    JESawyer 2 Jan 11



    Are the Followers of the Apocalypse a Christian group? If not, what's with the cross?


    You'd have to ask the original Fallout developers why the Followers use/are associated with the fleury cross. We just continued the association. As to their beliefs, I think the actions and dialogues of their members should be the authority on that topic.

    JESawyer 2 Jan 11



    Was the specific location of the Sierra Madre left vague intentionally? If so, why? It's certainly a break from attributing settings close to the real world. (Excluding Mothership Zeta, of course.)


    Other than topics relating to weapons and a few of the perks, I am not the guy to ask Dead Money questions. Sorry.

    JESawyer 2 Jan 11



    Would you describe yourself as the brilliant and eloquent voice of a generation?


    what no

    JESawyer responded to hockeysteve54 2 Jan 11



    I'm assuming Joana was modeled after Christina Hendricks?


    I have no idea, honestly.

    JESawyer responded to Letanas 3 Jan 11



    Who thought up and/or designed the Laser RCW? That was a great way of including the Thompson without having .45 ACP in the game.


    I did. I thought there should be an automatic laser weapon available earlier than the Gatling laser and figured a Thompson-based SMG using ECPs could be cool. I was worried people would be mad about it since they didn't get a "real" Thompson, but it seems most people like it.

    It probably helps that it's a pretty good weapon.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    Was it a conscious decision to make automatic weapons so much rarer in this game?


    Not specifically, but I tried to avoid equipping "outdoors" characters with inaccurate ranged weapons since, other than the minigun, .22 SMG, and laser RCW, the automatic weapons are all pretty horrible past moderate distances.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    Obsidian should get on making a shadowrun game, preferably using the 2nd edition setting, just saying is all.


    k

    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    I know that you wrote a couple of the quests, including Return To Sender, but did you help write any parts of the main storyline of New Vegas? If so, what parts?


    For the most part, I only wrote high-level documents. I didn't write any of the plot-critical characters and I didn't do detailed area development or implementation.

    I wrote our RDC (Region Design Constraints) documents, which had a basic overview of the concepts/conflicts for all of the primary locations (e.g. Goodsprings, Mojave Outpost, the vaults, The Strip, Nellis AFB, etc.) and I did the initial write-ups for the companions (just a page each covering their basic concept, background, personality, voice, and intended plot arc).

    Let me just do a mini-writing credits dump to answer a lot of common questions here. Most of the major plot characters (Benny, Victor, Caesar, Mr. House) and the main story itself were written by the game's creative lead, John Gonzalez. Eric Fenstermaker wrote Veronica and Boone. Chris Avellone wrote Cass, Lanius, and Oliver. Travis Stout wrote Lily and Raul. Most of the other characters, major and minor, were split between the writers above and other area designers. Of course the actual full design treatments, quests, and implementation of areas were done by the area designers.

    The only "big" characters I wrote were Chief Hanlon, Arcade Gannon, and President Kimball's speech. Also I just wrote/structured the dialogue in GECK. The design, implementation, and scripting for the associated quests of those dialogues (Return to Sender, For Auld Lang Syne, You'll Know It When You See It/Arizona Killer) were handled by Matt McLean, Travis Stout, Jeff Husges, and Charlie "Master of Hoover" Staples.

    Most of the content design and generation I did was for game systems (SPECIAL + gambling/Caravan + equipment).

    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    was u involved on fallout 1 and 2 ?


    No. I only worked on Van Buren at Black Isle and Fallout: New Vegas.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    If you could make any book into a video game, what book or book series would you use?


    La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel by François Rabelais.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    haha ur pants are full of gruel


    omg

    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    Perhaps Mr. House is 'dictatorial' to the extent that he won't permit anyone to breach his quasi-governmental monopoly on force, but otherwise I'm not sure what you mean by 'laissez-faire dictator,' which seems like one heck of an oxymoron.


    He doesn't place many restrictions on people -- or on businesses -- but he always gets his cut, and when he does make a decree, it's absolute. New Vegas is a place where people have to feel like they can do whatever they want. Mr. House doesn't restrict sexual behavior, drug use, or most other types of personal behavior. The only people who really feel his direct presence are representatives of other governments, those who explicitly cross him, and the heads of the families who have to give him a share of his profits.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    oh so that's why you made a bad game. cuz u only worked on one that was canceled trolololol.


    Q_____________________________Q

    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    Your writing in New Vegas along with what I've seen of Van Buren have fascinated me for quite a while. So, if you don't consider yourself a brilliant voice of a generation as asked below, what do you think of yourself? If I may ask.


    A very fortunate person.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    Jesse Heinig said that phased obsolescence of weapon skills was not a design goal in Fallout 1 at all. Any comment on that?


    He would know better than I. It was presumptuous of me to say that those were goals, but that is the conclusion I reached from observing the distribution, stats, and tactical applications of weapons in F1. My apologies to Mr. Heinig.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 11


    lol that anon likes to suck up. your writing is bland and forgettable.


    @_@


    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    What do you think of the attitude of some (luckily, actually a minority) modders that outright insult the developers of the game they're working on and claiming that they're doing "better"?


    Insulting people is generally a bad idea unless you're looking to make enemies. If they enjoy the changes they make, then obviously it's better for them. That's the most important thing.


    JESawyer 3 Jan 11


    I think that I am in love with you.


    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm I doubt that.


    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    I loved the audio design in the dead money DLC - I wonder who was responsible for that? Pretty good job done there.


    The audio was done by Obsidian's internal audio team with Scott Lawlor at the helm.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 11



    I really appreciate you doing this. It's rare to have the opportunity to ask a developer direct questions. I don't have a question, I just wanted to say thanks.


    np

    JESawyer 4 Jan 11



    Why is it so hard to get a haircut in this game?


    Hair never changes.

    JESawyer 5 Jan 11



    I just read that Charisma affects companion stats in FO:NV. Really? Nowhere in the manual or the game does it say or imply this. Does this mean that Charisma isn't a laughable dump stat after all?


    The Vit-O-Matic tells you it affects Nerve. Nerve gives combat bonuses to your companions.

    JESawyer 5 Jan 11



    You've been deeply involved in several canned projects in your career. How do you creatively and mentally move on from such a massive unfulfilled investment? Do you bring elements with you, or bury them and start over? [ps.Loved the original G:SS world.]


    First, I don't believe any project will be signed until the ink is drying. A publisher's word is effectively worthless until a contract is finalized. Second, I don't believe any project will be completed until it's actually shipped.

    I don't invest as much into projects as I used to because I eventually realized a simple fact: these projects are not ours. They belong to the publishers. If they want to change mechanics, cut the budget, chop half of the areas, demand a story re-write, push it out a quarter too early, or simply cancel the game -- they can.

    What the publisher cares about is often not what the developer cares about, what what the publisher wants or needs is the bottom line. We are professional contractors doing work for hire, and forgetting that can lead to terrible burn out and disappointment.

    JESawyer 6 Jan 11



    poop head how many questions have u got unanswered


    Over 1000.

    JESawyer 6 Jan 11



    Gamepro this month has an article on the lack of new consoles and they say it's frustrating for developers because they don't know when or if there will be new hardware, and they don't know how to distinguish their games on current hardware. Agree?


    Personally, I'm fine working on the current hardware, but some companies are very technology-driven.

    JESawyer 6 Jan 11



    What skills do you tag when playing Fallout-- the originals or the newer ones?


    In earlier Fallouts, Small Guns/Sneak/Speech was my "default". My first F:NV run was (I think) Guns/Repair/Speech. I also really enjoyed an Unarmed/Explosives/Survival run.

    JESawyer 6 Jan 11



    What role had the additional Bethesda writers in F:NV? With all due respect, but I doubt producers/QA testers would write characters..nonetheless, I'm curious.


    They wrote some of the barkstring voice sets for generic NPCs.

    JESawyer 6 Jan 11



    I love playing as a sort-of secret agent for Mr. House and working for the NCR and Legion to put them against each other... it works so well I was wondering if that was considered during design?


    Yes, very much so. We were trying to avoid two problems 1) making a faction choice early on in the game that gives you little exposure to the other factions 2) making a faction choice at the end of the game that made your prior decisions feel irrelevant.

    I think John and the other designers did a great job of making the player feel like they were on a slow path to forming an allegiance. Ultimately, you do have to pick a path, but the process is malleable and takes place over a lot of time.

    JESawyer 6 Jan 11



    Hey Josh just want to say I've liked and appreciated every game you've worked on that I know of. I'm curious about Dungeon Siege 3. Are you working on that at all? Any idea how long the story will be (compared to old ones). Sorry if this is a repeat Q


    Thanks. I have not been involved in DS3 but I think the team is making a fun game. It's using our Onyx engine and I'm glad it's helping us build and showcase our internal technology.

    JESawyer 6 Jan 11



    Does patrolling the Mojave almost make you wish for a nuclear winter?


    I like the sight of my own blood!

    JESawyer 6 Jan 11



    What is the coolest thing you know how to do?


    When sabre fencing, I could do a variation on an aggressive, lunging parry prime into belly cut that in addition to being generally risky also left you in a terrible recovery position. But on the 10% of occasions I could pull it off it was awesome. That almost made blowing it/losing all of those other times worth it.


    JESawyer 8 Jan 11


    Is there a particular/primary reason as for why Obsidian has always lagged behind the rest of the industry from the technological point of view? Only now with Dungeon Siege III you finally seem to be recuperating.


    The company has only been around for five and a half years and virtually all of our contracted projects have been sequels/add-ons to existing IPs. Publishers want to mitigate risks. New technology is usually a big risk.

    Aliens was the first project to use Onyx and it was a bumpy road, but DS3 has been able to build on those two years of development. Rich Taylor, Vas Mavros, Chris Jones, and Javier Olivares, and all of the other DS3/Onyx programmers and developers have helped build a solid game and technology that can be used in the future.


    JESawyer 8 Jan 11



    It seems like ammo is a lot more plentiful out in the world in New Vegas compared to Fallout 3 (and perhaps the original 2 games). I know in Fallout 3 I had to constantly go back to Rivet City for more rifle ammo, but not in NV. Design decision?


    Yes. The Mojave Wasteland is more populated and more technologically stable than the Capital Wasteland or the regions of F1/F2. There's also an active large-scale (well... relatively speaking) war going on with the Gun Runners providing a lot of the ordnance for the region.

    Players can also reload/recycle. If you have Hand Loader (which necessitates a high Repair) or even Vigilant Recycler with Veronica, you can stretch your ammunition use out a bit more.


    JESawyer 8 Jan 11



    What would be your specialty of choice if you became a crew member of a submarine?


    I would be shot out of a torpedo tube with explosives attached to the top of my head.


    JESawyer 8 Jan 11



    I just moved up to Alaska from Texas and am working on acclimating to the winter up here. In Wisconsin did you ever get a block heater installed on your car? If so, was it worth it? Love New Vegas btw, the franchise needed a shot in the arm after FO3.


    Thanks. I never owned a car in Wisconsin but block heaters can be pretty helpful. If your part of Alaska does get very low temperatures, I'd recommend it. If you have a diesel engine, just get one; cold diesels can have a lot of trouble starting.

    JESawyer 9 Jan 11



    I'm doing a melee/unarmed playthrough and it's much easier than my first two games (guns and energy weapons). It seems like I can kill everything in a few hits and never get hurt thanks to +DT perks. Have you done an unarmed playthough and do you agree?


    I have but I don't fully agree. Unarmed and Melee are "feast or famine" builds. When you rock, you rock. When you suck, you suck. The circumstances make a big difference in Unarmed/Melee. Specifically, if the targets are a) spread out and using high DAM weapons or b) high DAM, high health Unarmed/Melee opponents, you can have difficulty.

    Many people use Unarmed/Melee as a second, third, or fourth run-through build. Having a general idea of where enemies are (and what they are) is very important for Unarmed/Melee -- more than with Guns or EW. If you get the drop on enemies, you can end fights before they begin, even outside of sneaking. I've played through most areas of the game so many times that It doesn't usually matter what type of weapons I'm using as long as they're somewhat appropriate for the enemies' HP/DT.

    That said, I'm fine with people generally feeling Unarmed/Melee are more powerful than other weapon types. If you look at it from a pure DAM/DPS perspective, there are certainly weapons that outshine the top tier Unarmed/Melee weapons and don't require you to be within 5' of the target. But when Unarmed/Melee shines, it feels tremendously powerful, and I think that's good for people who want to specialize in it.


    JESawyer 9 Jan 11



    Not asking about Fallout DLC or any DLC in particular, but in general do you like DLC or do you miss larger expansion packs? Which would you prefer to do for future games? Bonus: What was your favorite expac ever?


    I think small DLC packs can be fine as long as I get something worth paying for. I don't really miss "full" expansions.

    My favorite expansion is Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. A lot of new content and some welcome fixes to gameplay issues with core AoE2.

    JESawyer responded to adurdin 11 Jan 11



    In Fallout 3, the Karma rating affected how people saw you, a little bit. In FNV, it seems to be largely irrelevant. Certainly it takes a back seat to your faction standing. What effect does Karma have in FNV, and why did you keep it in the design?


    It has very little effect. It's mostly just there for player feedback, a stat like "Number of Corpses Eaten". Other than Cass, I can't think of anyone who responds to it in game. It is reflected in the end slides, but doesn't have a huge impact.

    JESawyer 11 Jan 11



    How much of a vacation do you get between projects?


    It depends on the project. When New Vegas wrapped up, I took four days and a weekend off to go hiking in Zion National Park, Utah.

    JESawyer 11 Jan 11



    When Valve says that if Steam ever shuts down they will patch it out of all Steamworks games, does that count for only Valve games or all Steamworks games (like New Vegas)? I would think it would need to be in the contract, so I thought you might know.


    I have no idea, sorry.

    JESawyer responded to Spockrock 11 Jan 11



    heeey, what happened to my question? It says you answered it, but I can't find the answer. or does it mean you deleted it? the question was about game design personalities


    Yeah I wanted to re-phrase something but it never re-appeared in my queue. Sorry about that. My answer was:

    Keita Takahashi. He focuses on player-oriented goals and ignores advice from people who would make it difficult to reach those goals.

    JESawyer 11 Jan 11



    The cannibal dude in the White Glove Society responds to your karma, asking you for help only if you are evil. Just an FYI.


    oic

    JESawyer 12 Jan 11



    Dude I'm sorry but I know you won't reply to this but you will read it. You guys at Obsidian really failed at Fallout New Vegas. Bethesda did such a terrific job with Fallout 3, making a wasteland that felt lived in and realistic. But the Mojave was bland


    ok

    JESawyer 12 Jan 11



    Zion National Park is beautiful did you do any rock climbing or just hiking/camping.


    Hiking and camping from Kolob Canyons/Lee Pass entrance to the West Rim (La Verkin, Hop Valley, Connector, and Wildcat trails).

    JESawyer 12 Jan 11



    Was Ayn Rand by any chance part of the inspiration for Mr. House? He seems very much like her type of heroic businessman and laissez-faire capitalist.


    He was most heavily inspired by Howard Hughes. John Gonzalez created and wrote all of Mr. House's dialogue, so he might be able to offer more detailed insight.

    JESawyer 12 Jan 11



    RIDE THE SNAKE


    @__@

    JESawyer 12 Jan 11



    Who designed the Vit-O-Matic tester? More specifically, who wrote the descriptions for the different levels of the stats?


    Eric Fenstermaker.

    JESawyer 12 Jan 11



    So i herd u like mudkipz?


    :3

    JESawyer 12 Jan 11



    Does it annoy you to see something like Icewind Dale 2 on gog.com and know you don't get any money from that? You undoubtedly had a big hand in making that game something people would still want to play 10 years later, but devs get no royalties.


    I've only been paid royalties once in my career and that was for (the first) Icewind Dale. With very few exceptions, publishers have the upper hand when it comes to these sorts of deals. I'm used to it.

    JESawyer 12 Jan 11



    You seem to come from a singleplayer CRPG background so I was wondering if you ever really enjoyed an MMO? If so which one(s)?


    I enjoyed WoW for a while (about 5 months when it first came out) but MMOs aren't really my style. Even in single player CRPGs I don't play for leveling or loot.

    JESawyer 12 Jan 11



    Is there a particular theme you had in mind for Arcade and his endings? ...Also, why is he slightly taller than most other human NPCs?


    *~ Arcade Spoilers Within ~*

    Arcade's conflict is about his identity. He is torn between a sense of loyalty and tradition to his father and adoptive family and a desire to be independent, self-made. He feels caught between generations and cultures and isn't sure who he should be or how, if at all, to use the "legacy" (material and otherwise) left to him by his father.

    Arcade's endings are intended to reflect that no one is damaged more by reality than the idealist. He does his best to be practical and rational, but there is a strong idealist streak in him/the Followers in general. In some of Arcade's "best" endings (meaning, the circumstances he thought he wanted), he is still somewhat disappointed by how things turned out. In his "worst" endings, he can wind up bitterly disillusioned, brutally murdered, crucified, casually executed and discarded in a ditch, or even defiantly suicidal.

    Arguably the worst ending is the one in which Arcade is given to Caesar as an enslaved doctor. The existence is so unbearable to him that he does what the historical Cato the Younger did at Utica: rather than give Caesar satisfaction, he disembowels himself. Like Cato, Arcade cannot live in a world where everything he tried to resist has come to pass.

    JESawyer 13 Jan 11



    Any kind of opinion/comment on the Bethesda vs. Interplay lawsuit?


    Nope.

    JESawyer 14 Jan 11



    any kind of opinion/comment on that really gay and stupid game that came out recently called fallout new vegas aka a knock off of fallout 3?


    LMAO!!!!

    JESawyer 15 Jan 11



    i saw a cazador the other day frightful creatures


    goodbye.

    JESawyer 15 Jan 11



    so like what are you working on now?


    yeah

    JESawyer 15 Jan 11



    I'm planning to purchase a revolver for use at the range (not home defense). In my experience, .22 is too small to be satisfying and .500 has too much kickback to be fun. Any recommendations of particular models within that range?


    That's a pretty big range. Double-action .357 Magnum revolvers have a lot of versatility. Most ranges allow you to rent range guns and .357 Magnum revolvers are pretty common (e.g. Ruger GP 100). I'd suggest renting one with range reload bags of .38 Special and .357 Magnum to see what feels comfortable. If for some reason you feel you need something more powerful (though it would be pretty weird for indoor range shooting), a .44 Magnum offers some similar versatility since it can also fire .44 Special. Ranges typically don't have .44 Special ammunition available, but many gun stores do.

    As for specific models, your comfort level is more important than what I think. I assumed I would really like shooting the Ruger Super Blackhawk, but I didn't like how it rested in my hands. I switched over to a S&W 629 and it felt much better. Both were firing .44 Magnum, so it was purely an ergonomics issue.

    JESawyer 16 Jan 11



    Why doesn´t it rain in the Mojave? And why did u make the color palette so mixed? As Fallout 3 had only green/brown, but ur game is like a bag of candies, so It´s a bit confusing and makes the game lack a bit of its own style. I still love the game thou


    It doesn't rain in the Mojave Wasteland because the real Mojave Desert exists in a rain shadow. Rain is extremely infrequent.

    It would be very difficult to portray any active version of Las Vegas without using a wide variety of color. Las Vegas is like an adult circus and the attractions and signs employ a huge variety of color.

    JESawyer 16 Jan 11



    Any technical reasons for the lack of rain?


    Not as far as I know.

    JESawyer 16 Jan 11



    While it's nice that FNV has so many different guns and ammo types and mods to use, did you ever worry you might be going overboard with them? I recall you and a few others criticizing Fallout 2 for doing the same thing back on the old Black Isle forums.


    There are a lot of ammo types in F:NV, but there are a few things I did to prevent the player from being overwhelmed. First, subtypes don't drop in the world. There are a very small number of places where the player will ever find subtypes outside of stores. Second, I tried to ensure that every ammo type was used by at least two weapons (.50 MG, 25mm Grenades, Missiles, and Mini-Nukes are the exceptions) so there weren't weird "rogue" ammo types. Third, because of how weapons tier, the player will eventually stop seeing certain ammo types unless they go "slumming" against low power critters. 5.56mm is the only ammo type that is used consistently in weapons at all power levels throughout the game. 9mm, .357 Magnum, .22LR, and even 10mm all eventually fall by the wayside for most players.

    For players who like to keep their ammo types simple (and don't want to use Melee/Unarmed), Energy Weapons is the way to go. Excluding MF Breeder, there are only four main ammo types: Energy Cells, Micro Fusion Cells, Electron Charge Packs, and Flamer Fuel. There's also the Alien Power Cell and ARCHIMEDES II charge, but those are specialty items. With a good Science skill -- and especially with Vigilant Recycler -- players can manage ammo very easily.

    JESawyer 17 Jan 11



    One ammo type I liked in particular is the coin shot for the 12 gauge shotgun. Although I never really use/used it, it's a special kind of creativity the way your team implemented a way to reuse the open wastefulness of metal used in making Legion Denarii


    It's really just a rip-off of old western legends about putting shells full of dimes in shotguns. When I was writing Chief Hanlon, I went back and watched some early Kris Kristofferson films since he was going to be playing the role. One of the first I watched was a Peckinpah film called Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

    There's a scene in it where an overzealous guard threatens Billy (played by Kristofferson) with a double-barreled shotgun filled with dime shot. Naturally, Billy eventually blows the guard away with the weapon. There's a slow-motion shot of all the dimes flying out of the barrels; mass destruction ensues.

    I read the comprehensive report on (poor) dime penetration at theboxoftruth.com but decided to create coin shot anyway. It's mostly included for novelty/flavor value. Fun trivia: historical denarii were about the right size to fit into a 12 ga. bore, though they probably wouldn't fit inside of a shell.

    JESawyer 17 Jan 11



    Was there a reason behind the many similarities between Robert House and the Master? Was House intended to be the Master of the Mojave? Since both of them had/have their armies of super mutants and securitrons, I couldn't help but make a connection.


    Personally, I don't think they are all that similar. They're both physically isolated weirdos with armies of brutes, but I think their motives and personalities are quite different.

    JESawyer 17 Jan 11



    Do you have a personal philosophy which you try to at least partically represent in your games, either through the storyline or through specific characters?


    Humanity makes the world a terrible place because we're generally terrible to each other and everything around us.

    JESawyer 19 Jan 11



    How do you reconcile your emo cynicism with fact that the whole world is high-five awesomesauce and almost everybody in it is a pretty cool guy?


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbwSwvUaRqc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV6Bq8xeQrU
    http://dreadnaught.wordpress.com/20...rica-video-of-accused-witches-being-murdered/
    http://charlestaylortrial.wordpress...regnant-women-kill-babies-and-amputate-limbs/


    JESawyer 20 Jan 11



    Anecdotal evidence used to make blanket generalizations is bad form. What do you do when someone presents a story of a guy who lives in comfort and safety and makes games for a living instead of fighting for survival every day against all the evil people?


    I say what I have always said: I am extremely fortunate. So are millions of other people who live unsustainable high-consumption lives here and in other well-off countries.

    You asked a question about how I reconcile things. If you aren't personally convinced by the sort of things that convince me, that's fine.

    JESawyer 21 Jan 11



    What was it like being lead singer for as broadly an influential band as Toad the Wet Sprocket? Do you ever regret leaving the limelight to pursue a career in electronic gaming?


    idgi is this some other white guy with short dark hair i look like (all of them)???

    JESawyer 21 Jan 11



    Does Arcade talk the way he does because he really wants to reveal his past, or because he thinks everyone's stupid and won't catch on? For someone who doesn't want to talk about his past he's sure bad at shutting up about it.


    He talks that way because you're playing a game and if he never let anything slip about his past it would never be revealed or would have to be revealed through a third party. All things considered, there are not many instances in the wasteland where he talks about anything Enclave-related prior to beginning For Auld Lang Syne. If you're looking at a strat guide or wiki and hopping from trigger location to trigger location, obviously he says a lot in sequence. Most people aren't going to randomly hop from Silver Rush to the Crashed Vertibird to REPCONN HQ.

    JESawyer 21 Jan 11



    I know you're a guy but I'll ask anyway: is it hard for women to get work as a designer in the game industry? You rarely hear about any, and on the chance you do they often end up being made fun of and having their credibility questioned.


    I can't speak with global authority on this, but women, like any of the other groups of people who make up a minority of the game dev workforce, seem to get hired in numbers proportional to their application. I.e. not many women are hired but not many women apply in the first place.

    In my experience, female artists are more common than female designers, who in turn are more common than female programmers. I'm pretty sure I've only worked with one female programmer in my 11 year career. I've also only worked with one female audio engineer, but audio teams are generally much smaller than other disciplines.

    Fallout: New Vegas has more women on the team than any I've worked with before, mostly artists, designers, and world builders.

    I've heard some bad stories about discrimination at some companies; it's absurd that this sort of thing is still happening in the 21st century.

    JESawyer 21 Jan 11



    What would you say is the most amusing glitch you've seen in New Vegas?


    There was a bug where if you completed For Auld Lang Syne by killing Moreno, his corpse still flop out of the vertibird at Hoover Dam with the other Remnants. I like to imagine that Cannibal Johnson was dragging him along out of spite.

    JESawyer 21 Jan 11



    I for one was psyched when the Gun Runners were announced to be in game, but I found myself a bit disappointed with their role. Were they planned to have a bigger role (quests, NPCs) or was their existence in the game planned how it is from the beginning?


    Because the Gun Runners are such a huge source of gear for players, I wanted to avoid having them be heavily involved in many quests. They were never intended to be a high profile group.

    JESawyer 21 Jan 11



    LOL


    Q__Q

    JESawyer 21 Jan 11



    What emotion does this "Q_Q" express?


    a crying face!!

    JESawyer 21 Jan 11



    oh no there's an inch and a half of powdered sugar-like snow outside what do I doooooo help me mighty Wisconsinite


    just put on some more layers jeez louise.

    JESawyer 21 Jan 11



    LOL @ Q_Q! I'm skipping my Russian class to mess around on your formspring. Isn't like grand?


    ??? ? ?????.

    JESawyer 21 Jan 11



    hey je thats some nice google translating


    cool but it wasn't google translated thx tho

    JESawyer responded to Spockrock 21 Jan 11



    ha! Josh can ??-?????? ) I wonder what the chances of you actually knowing how to say "got to school" in russian are. You did mention you'd been to Moscow on one occasion, though. could it be that you have such a good memory?


    No. I can read Cyrillic but I don't know Russian. I just looked up the imperative mood for second person singular "go" with the prepositional case for "to school".

    JESawyer 22 Jan 11



    How come the Fallout setting has all kinds of big casinos and weapons manufacturers, but no company that produces food? You'd think producing edible food would be a top priority but everyone just eats old, scavenged, rotten junk food from before the war.


    That's not true. In the Mojave Wasteland, there are a lot of personal farms in communities and larger farms near New Vegas proper. OSI runs sharecropper farms northeast of Camp McCarran and the Westside Co-op is a shared community farm.

    Also, guys like Heck Gunderson and Walter Phebus are NCR "Brahmin barons" and supply a large amount of the area's meat.

    JESawyer responded to Oloremo 22 Jan 11



    Hey, hello from Russia! :) F:NV - was awesome. After F3 I not wait anything good from it but I was suprised. Thanks for your work.


    Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    JESawyer 22 Jan 11



    Know you're a big cheese fan, just wanted to ask if you ever have a good beer with any of the cheeses. As a big fan of micro-brews - all I hear is how well some of them (mainly porters/stouts) go with certain cheeses, but haven't tried a sampling yet.


    I generally don't drink any alcohol. Sometimes I will try a type of food with a cheese (e.g. dates or olives) if it's a recommended pairing, but usually I like to eat cheese on bread or crackers -- or just by itself. Good cheddars can be eaten on their own.

    JESawyer 25 Jan 11



    Was Freeside inspired by New Reno from Fallout 2? Certainly felt that way to me, one of the coolest areas of the game.


    Yes, definitely in overall feel.

    JESawyer 25 Jan 11



    shut the phuck up


    thanks for softening the blow with the ph.

    JESawyer 25 Jan 11



    Did you get to sit in on the voiceover recording sessions at all for New Vegas? It seems like sometimes the developers have a lot of input on that but in other cases it's all handled by the publisher.


    I was at Arcade's and Chief Hanlon's sessions and many of the other designers/writers were present for their characters. A lot of the background/secondary characters were recorded concurrently, so there wasn't always a designer/writer present.

    JESawyer 27 Jan 11



    So how cool was Zach Levi?


    Very cool. He was extremely friendly, laid back, and gave a great performance. Arcade has some long and complex lines and Zach usually knocked them out in one take with little to no outside direction.

    JESawyer 29 Jan 11



    how come you keep sending me screenshots of fallout NV mods that are apparently all designed by pedophiles


    PC gaming.

    JESawyer 29 Jan 11



    WHY CANT I EAT CHEESE IN NEW VEGAS???? ARAYFSYAFJH


    That's how you know it's the apocalypse.

    JESawyer 29 Jan 11



    Who is Zach levi?


    Listen to your friend Zach Levi. He's a cool dude

    JESawyer 29 Jan 11



    Have you ever trolled?


    http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,26242/

    JESawyer 29 Jan 11



    It seems like energy weapons got a lot of love in New Vegas, especially after the patch changing how their ammo worked. Was that a deliberate decision, or just kind of flowed from changes you were making to the weapons in general?


    Energy Weapons, especially in the low- and mid-range, were lacking prior to the last patch. The ammo and weapon modifications were to address general dissatisfaction with the EWs as a whole.

    JESawyer 30 Jan 11



    did you work on knights of the old republic 2 at all?


    No.

    JESawyer 2 Feb 11



    Not sure if this has been asked before, but do fans or other people sometimes send you their game concepts and ideas? Do you enjoy reading them?


    They sometimes do, but they shouldn't. Anything submitted to us (or pretty much any company) effectively becomes ours. If you have a cool idea for a game, keep it to yourself or make it on your own. Game developers have no shortage of ideas for games coming from publishers and (less commonly) from within the company.

    JESawyer 2 Feb 11



    What was the most difficult part of developing FO:NV?


    Projecting the scope of the world eighteen months ahead of release. It's difficult to get a sense of how large the world is when you can only look at a few pieces at a time, especially since the technology base was entirely new to us. But once we had established a world scale that seemed reasonable, we really had to stick to it. The scope determined the pace that we had to work at, which became marathon-like after a few milestones.

    JESawyer 3 Feb 11



    Can I be your 500th response?


    sure

    JESawyer 3 Feb 11



    what will fallout 5 be about


    you

    JESawyer 3 Feb 11


    I just would like to say I really enjoyed playing Fallou New Vegas. You did a very good job!!


    thx


    JESawyer 3 Feb 11



    I'd just like to congratulate you and the team at Obsidian for the RPG of the year awards and other awards you guys won for New vegas.


    thx

    JESawyer 4 Feb 11



    what? new vegas won something? i bet bethesda paid for those awards because new vegas BLOWED! (compared to other games and fo3)


    hmm i c

    JESawyer responded to hockeysteve54 4 Feb 11



    Which Civil War General do you think is the dreamiest?


    Sherman unless you count Chamberlain as a general.

    JESawyer 8 Feb 11



    What's the premise for Caesar's Legion being so sexist, esp. in a world where Ranger Stella can mangle bodies daily in the Arena? Is it just breeding issues? Cause even the abominably sexist Romans were not *that* sexist, and Caesar is a smart man.


    Breeding issues are pretty huge in cultures that took a big step back from infant mortality progress made in the last 100-200 years. Prior to the last few centuries, infant mortality was often around 50%-ish. Child mortality (prior to age 12) was about 60%. Those are pretty awful odds of reaching adulthood.

    Remember that Caesar's Legion is basically a roving army that continually breaks down and absorbs tribes that it conquers. That can only go on for so long, and Legionaries who are indoctrinated from birth are even more loyal than adolescents who are integrated. Breeding new generations of Legionaries is vital for the Legion's continued existence.

    Even though breeding is incredibly important in the Legion, there isn't any concept of family outside of the Legion's structure. All of the places where the player encounters the Legion are forward camps where direct military service is given the most weight and is of the most immediate importance. Because only males are involved in that service, they look down upon females even though it's incredibly short-sighted.

    JESawyer 10 Feb 11



    What's up with these bitchin' classical tracks in the new vegas music folders? Was there going to be an agatha style/ultra luxe radio station?


    They play in the Ultra-Luxe.

    JESawyer 10 Feb 11



    do you smoke pot?


    No.

    JESawyer 10 Feb 11



    The SW wiki site says that Mandalore the Ultimate was killed by Revan during the Mandalorian Wars and was then succeeded by Mandalore the Lesser who was also later killed. But Bioware's timeline trailers say that Lesser was killed by Ultimate! What happen


    No idea.

    JESawyer 10 Feb 11



    Does the Mojave chapter of the BoS have any redeeming qualities?


    Elder McNamara has cool hair.

    JESawyer 10 Feb 11



    I have read that you were in a production of Assassins. Is this true? If so, which assassin did you play?


    I directed it.

    JESawyer 10 Feb 11



    Okay, whose idea was the Wrecked Highwayman? F-in awesome nostalgic moment, even made me start replaying Fallout 2 again.


    Mine. I wanted to have a Highwayman trunk full of MFCs and the Tanker FOB in Van Buren.

    JESawyer 10 Feb 11



    will KOTOR 2 ever be available on steam


    No idea.

    JESawyer 10 Feb 11



    did you seriously just pick sherman over lee?


    The last time Lee was dreamy was probably 20 years prior to Appomattox. Sherman looked like he always had bedroom hair and had that rugged/beaten about the face Daniel Craig thing going on.

    JESawyer 12 Feb 11



    What was the reason behind rechambering the Varmint Rifle from 22s to 556s before the release?


    Given its slow rate of fire, the low DAM of the weapon was irritating to people despite the weapon's high accuracy. I didn't want to have one .22LR weapon doing three times as much damage as another, so I figured it was best to switch it over to 5.56mm. It also gives the player the option of using .223 and (even better) 5.56mm AP or Surplus, which can be great against early enemies in Metal Armor.

    JESawyer 14 Feb 11



    yo bro i saw alpha protocol for $10 new is it worth it?


    Ya.

    JESawyer 15 Feb 11



    How do you feel about how Boone turned out? At face value, a reticent, repentant sniper with a death-wish seems like a pretty troperiffic character, but he never strikes me as completely cliched. Do you feel you still could have expanded his character?


    I think Eric Fenstermaker did a great job making Boone's arc feel complete. If anything, like Arcade, Boone suffers a bit from "too reticent" syndrome; i.e., without a guide, it's very hard to figure out how to get Boone to talk about his problems (note that in both cases, I wanted the characters to be more withdrawn than others, so the blame ultimately lies with me, not Eric). It does fit his character well, though.

    JESawyer responded to julienBrun 15 Feb 11



    Is creating and freely distribute a Fallout Tabletop RPG legal ?


    You should ask Bethesda about that.

    JESawyer 15 Feb 11



    So, here's my first question : I think it's important for a Game Designer to think of the game's feeling, before doing anything else. In your opinion, what are the "feelings" a player should have when playing a Fallout game ?


    Especially in a tabletop game, I think the feelings depend greatly on the type of players and GM. In a CRPG, designers ultimately are crafting experiences for a large audiences. I've seen so many tabletop games -- even within the same system/setting -- go in wildly different directions based on the players, that it's hard for me to feel comfortable defining how someone "should" feel when playing a Fallout game.

    This may seem obvious/dumb to say, but I've always asked designers to keep the basic theme of Fallout (the unchanging nature/inevitability of human conflict) in mind at all times. Whether it acts as a major or minor theme in any given storyline, I believe it's central making the world feel as it does.

    JESawyer responded to julienBrun 15 Feb 11



    In the Fallout serie, what happened in Canada, before and after the Great War (besides the troubles with US and the Annexion) ? Was there any vault to protect the country from the bombing ?


    I'd rather not comment on areas/groups that fall outside of what's already in the existing games. I think it's a bit presumptuous of me and unfair to other designers who may be working on the world in the future.

    JESawyer 17 Feb 11



    Is there a Fallout area / timeframe that you'd like to work in? You grew up in the midwest, would you have any inkling to do anything with that area?


    Yes, I would enjoy developing a Fallout game in the Midwest. Specifically, I think the Milwaukee/Chicago/Gary area around southwestern Lake Michigan could be really cool.

    JESawyer 17 Feb 11



    Hey josh I was wondering how you guys decided on cutting back on the amount of unique guns.


    I don't think we ever actually cut back on the number of unique guns. I only allocated a specific number of unique guns to be made for logistics reasons. I thought it was important for every unique weapon to have at least a unique texture, which meant that not every base weapon could have a unique variant.

    JESawyer 21 Feb 11



    Ran out of room with the recoil question. But I was also curious why the Weaver stance was chosen for each handgun? Or was it just re-used from Fallout 3?


    Fallout 3 used what is colloquially called a "teacup" grip with an arm position that is similar to Weaver Stance and the support hand below the magwell. F:NV's 1H pistol grips were changed to a more traditional Weaver grip where the support hand wraps around the dominant hand.

    Among other things, this allowed us to build extended magazines into weapons like the 9mm Pistol without having the mag penetrate the support hand.

    JESawyer 21 Feb 11



    Was realistic recoil implemented into some firearms? It seems like some firearms in game have adequate recoil for their real world counterparts. The BHP seems adequate enough. However, others definitely have less like the Anti-Materiel.


    First, F3 and F:NV do not model recoil. Weapons have fixed spread values that can increase based on things like limb condition, running, etc. The speed with which you fire a weapon in F3 and F:NV has no effect on its spread.

    The 9mm Pistol is a single-action short-recoil semi-auto pistol, so the operator has more than enough time to pull the trigger while recoil from the previous round is still significantly affecting the gun. So the 9mm Pistol has a high RoF but it also has some spread.

    In contrast, the AMR is a bolt-action rifle with the equivalent of a .50 BMG round being fired out of it. The recoil effectively makes the rate of fire colossally slow, but when you fire it, it's very accurate.

    JESawyer 21 Feb 11



    How'd you feel about the hacking mini-game Bethesda designed? Was it because it wasn't received as well as the lock-picking mini-game that you guys decided to massively dial back its prominence and importance?


    There was no intentional downscaling of the importance of hacking, but we did intentionally avoid doubling up locks with an optional hacking unlock. That was much more common in F3.

    That said, in my experience talking to both players and developers, I'd estimate that roughly 80-90% of the people who played F3 or F:NV do not fully understand how the hacking minigame works. I observed the following things regularly:

    * People did not understand that the number of correct letters meant letters IN THE CORRECT POSITION OF THE WORD.
    * People did not understand that higher Science = fewer words to choose from given a terminal of "Hard" or easier difficulty. I.e., it is valuable to raise your Science before hacking even if you already meet the minimum requirement.
    * People had no idea that you could do special character searches in the "garbage" characters to remove duds/replenish guesses.

    When people knew these things, they seemed to enjoy the hacking minigame much more, for obvious reasons.

    JESawyer responded to Skellapeal 21 Feb 11



    What class do you play as in DnD? Also, Do you prefer 4th edition or 3.5?


    I'm playing a tiefling (cunning) bard in a Dark Sun campaign right now, but my main character is a human warden in the Scales of War campaign.

    The more I play 4th Edition, the more I like it, but I've only ever played in heroic tier. I really enjoyed the "mid-level" play (6th to 15th) in 3.5. So far I like the low-level game in 4E more, but I need to see how paragon and beyond pans out.

    JESawyer 21 Feb 11



    Hey Josh, should I get the VW Golf R when it is released here in the States? Will it raise my Coolness Quotient significantly enough with the ladies?


    My R32 is a really good car, but it's still a Mk. IV Golf with all of the problems that brings (e.g. electrical problems, chassis flexibility). Everything I've read about the Golf R has been good. It still uses a Haldex AWD setup, but oh well. It's factory turbocharged, which makes modding for power easy (if you like that sort of thing) and the U.S. is getting manual only, no-DSG (definitely plus for me, and I think the Mk. V R32 being DSG only in the U.S. was a big mistake)

    The STi is the most obvious competition to it. Performance-wise, it's a significant step up from the Golf R. I've always driven German cars, so I'm used to the layout and feel of VWs, Audis and BMWs and can't quite get used to the Japanese alternatives. But the STi is a really great hatchback.

    JESawyer 22 Feb 11



    Why do I feel like New Vegas has so much wasted space? One of the examples I can think of is traveling north to the 188 Trading post. The whole left side of the road is just sand and ants.


    You probably feel that way because the Mojave Wasteland is much flatter than the Capital Wasteland. Ringing El Dorado dry lake are HELIOS One, Vault 11, and El Dorado Gas and Service. The density of locations is pretty similar to F3.


    JESawyer 23 Feb 11



    Arcade might be the most fascinating CRPG character ever. Great job.


    Thanks.

    JESawyer 23 Feb 11



    Is there a reason you wrote so many lines for Kris Kristofferson? One of the best parts in NV is shooting the shit with him (and Caesar, who is played like a very literate college football coach)


    I just thought it made sense for the character. He's old by NCR military standards and he's been relegated to the back lines (relatively-speaking), so he's more than happy to talk to someone outside of the military about his past and his opinions on what's currently happening.

    JESawyer responded to Felrender 24 Feb 11



    Who did the dialogue/interactions in Dead Money? Christine in particular stands out as an excellently-written and developed character.


    Chris Avellone.

    JESawyer 26 Feb 11



    who would win in an arm-wrestling contest: you or chris avellone?


    Chris Avellone, easily. I have weak arms.

    JESawyer 26 Feb 11



    I heard you went to Zion National Park? Did you find any Honest Hearts there?


    Honest hearts produce honest actions.

    JESawyer 26 Feb 11



    Is Advanced Power Armor air-conditioned?


    Remnants Armor has a built in ventilation/cooling system.

    JESawyer 27 Feb 11



    ??????


    !!!!!!!!!!

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Did you enjoy Arcade's performance at the Academy Awards?


    Yeah he owns.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Why do so many role playing video games insist on using tedious, bloated HP systems?


    Because the vast majority of players have no problem with basic HP mechanics.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Does the Sierra Madre have any real-world equivalent or source of inspiration?


    That's a question for Chris Avellone.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Did you consider adding vehicles? It really wouldn't matter that it was unrealistic (just give them some sci-fi power source), because it would make the game so much more fun. You need more radio stations too.


    I never seriously considered adding vehicles. To do it "right" would have been a huge undertaking.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Why was the stealth effect removed from the Chinese stealth suits? Was it just that it made sneaking too easy?


    Pretty much.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    r u a fgreakig homo


    ffffffffffffffffffffffffffarttt

    JESawyer responded to SRSGiraffe 28 Feb 11



    What do you think about Extra Credits? http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/extra-credits/2681-Amnesia-and-Story-Structure


    I like everything about it except for the "HA!" at the beginning and the use of the "lollipop guild" voice effect throughout. The actual content is good.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Was going into the video game industry always your goal, or did you start out wanting to do something else in college/high school?


    Up until high school I wanted to be a fantasy illustrator and that's what I put most of my effort toward. In late middle school I started performing more in theatre and choir and that's eventually what I went to school for at the Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton, Wisconsin.

    I was a bad student overall at Lawrence but I was worst as a music student. I switched over to the college with a history major, though I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to do. I taught myself web design while I was in school, and that's what got me my job at Black Isle in 1999. Until that job, I had thought that it would be great to be a tabletop RPG designer, but I had no real plan for how to go about it.

    I eventually got a chance to do development work on the original Icewind Dale and I ran with it from there. But the basic progression went fantasy illustrator > musical theatre performer > ??? > tabletop game designer > web designer > video game designer.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    why was Icewind Dale so different in comparison to pretty much everything else Black Isle and Obsidian have done? it seemed like it was pretty much just made to be a game for bros who just wanted to get drunk and kill some shit on a saturday night.


    Dark Alliance 2 was much easier to get into/understand than Icewind Dale and IWD2. Even though the IWD games were heavily focused on combat, AD&D 2nd Ed. and 3E rules aren't that easy for "drunk bros" to pick up, especially when you're expected to manage an entire party.

    They were developed primarily because they could be made on a compressed schedule and because they filled a different niche than the Baldur's Gate games.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    don't see The Rite it fucking sucks


    I have to I love all movies about Satan.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    I loved Alpha Protocol despite its shortcomings. What was your input on it? Does Obsidian have any plans for a game with a similar degree of reactivity?


    I offered high-level input on the game concept at the very beginning of development, but the only thing I contributed to the final product was the design of the CQC/hand-to-hand combat.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    What's your thoughts on Cannabis? I just guessed you're the sort of guy who grows his own and smokes it, never have been good at that though.


    The only drug I use is caffeine, but I'd much rather be around people high on pot than people drunk on alcohol. I think it should be decriminalized in a sensible manner.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Can you explain the concept of the picture in that link under your name? Dogs look cute though.


    Diogenes of Sinope lived in a tub and (among many other things) thought that dogs in many ways behaved better than humans. He was also known as Diogenes "the Cynic", with the word "cynic" being derived from ???????/kynikos, meaning "dog-like". A legend about Diogenes involved him running around the streets during the day with a lantern searching for an "honest man" (he never found one).

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    u suck


    barf

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11


    do you still use formspring


    no


    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Given your feelings on human behavior do you think you could take the lead on a game that emphasizes optimism and the beauty of the human spirit? I've always wondered how and if creators could make a work that emphasizes ideals contrary to theirs.


    I think individuals can be good and do good work in spite of the circumstances surrounding them, but I think the societies most of us live in are generally blundering, ignorant, and destructive.

    Our population also continues to grow at an insane rate, which, if you think about our per capita consumption of resources, is probably more singularly devastating than any individual behavior in which we partake.

    If you live in an industrialized, consumption-based society, I can't think of any socially-celebrated act that causes more environmental destruction than creating more human life.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Who's idea was that cool unmarked quest at Camp Guardian with the Lakelurks?


    I think the basic idea was mine but Rob Lee designed and implemented the whole thing.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    I just played through Alpha Protocol, the writing is exceptional. NV's writing is strong comparatively to F3's, but AP's just blows that away. Any crossover there? NV's writing can be patronizingly videogame-like here and there, is it just the premise?


    I think the differences can most likely be chalked up to F:NV's volume of characters and lines, dialogue structure, and the development timeline.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Why hasn't new vegas gotten any praise for its sound design? I can't count how many times I tripped out because a water tower groaned overhead or one of those little dinosaurs roared as I walked by. Also random wildlife/hawks/geckos/crows? Very cool.


    People generally only notice/comment on audio when it's bad. But I think F:NV's audio team did a great job.

    JESawyer responded to Snowzeratron 28 Feb 11



    I realise that the NCR had a much more firm grasp on the Mojave Desert, but why did you drastically limit Legion quests and leave out Legion characters?I find then extremely interesting and would've loved more content. Cough*dead sea as a companion*cough*


    Though New Vegas had much less scope reduction than many of the other projects I've worked on, it still had areas and characters (e.g. Ulysses) that didn't make it to the shipped product. I would have liked for the Legion to have more locations, characters, and quests of their own.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Will there be any changes to weapon damages, spread and so forth in the next update? What about more random encounters?


    There's a lot of weapon tuning coming.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Do you have any interest to work on The Elder Scrolls V?


    I don't think I have enough familiarity with TES lore to work on a TES game.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Saw someone ask you about TES. Which got me thinking, have you played them before?


    Yeah. I played Arena and Oblivion extensively and a bit of Morrowind.

    JESawyer 28 Feb 11



    Given that populations are projected to decline in many developed nations - with many more only staying at replacement rate due to immigrants (which tend to reproduce at a higher rate than natives), your concerns about population growth seem ill-founded.


    You cannot be serious.

    JESawyer responded to ThomasTinkletit 28 Feb 11



    Is the Automatic Rifle gonna be tuned up for the patch? I love the BAR and it's a great weapon, but it was pretty useless.


    According to some people it is the most OP weapon that ever OPed!

    JESawyer 1 Mar 11



    That squeaky video got me thinking. He says New Vegas doesn't have an opening act, but isn't it the parts between getting shot and the strip? It gets you used to the setting's normal and The Courier's normal and the problem gets posed at the Strip.


    Well, he's incorrect about the Courier; you absolutely do not have amnesia. There is no point at which you are unable to remember aspects of your past and, more importantly, outside of being a courier in the wrong place at the wrong time, your past is considered irrelevant to how you move forward in the story.

    JESawyer 1 Mar 11



    Re. "You can not be serious," these points are not contentious, but broadly accepted in the social sciences - to the point where Mikko Myrskylä's 2009 Nature paper about how developed nations can _overcome_ population decline was a breakthrough.


    Whether it's due to immigration or native reproduction, the most consumptive developed nation, the United States, continues to show population growth. And what about developing nations that are continuing to rise in consumption as their populations increase? Short of accounting for a worldwide pandemic, I have never seen a projection of global human population growth that is anything but enormous over the next 40 years. The fear that a smaller, younger population will have to care for a marginally larger, older population seems so insanely trivial compared to the environmental impact of continuing to grow the general population. But as long as the children of the 22nd century enjoy living in a world that looks like the end of The Lorax, I'm sure it will be fine.

    JESawyer 1 Mar 11



    I guess what I'm asking is: was it intentional that the section of New Vegas between The Courier getting shot and The Courier meeting House/Crocker/Caesar/Yes-Man should be an opening act in a traditional three act structure?


    The basis for F:NV's story structure can be found in Fallout and Fallout 2. All three plots follow this basic structure:

    * Go find a thing (water chip, GECK, Benny).
    * Upon finding the thing, learn about some crazy stuff that's happening! (Master's army rollin' out, Arroyo's population kidnapped, three way race for the Mojave)
    * Go deal with that crazy stuff. (Master/Frank Horrigan/Hoover Dam).

    The "catastrophic event" or circumstance (bad water chip, drought, shot in head) is already in place when the stories start.

    JESawyer 1 Mar 11



    You say that the Courier's past is irrelevant to the story, but yet there are hints that a future DLC will deal with the Courier's past with the other Courier. Do you think that would result in a disconnect with the player?


    That's a question for Chris Avellone.

    JESawyer 1 Mar 11



    I believe you should add more Mods to weapons


    Fair enough.

    JESawyer 3 Mar 11



    whose idea was it to include the plasma caster its awesome!


    Mine, but it's just the P94 Plasma Rifle from the original Fallout, so I can't take any real credit for it. Paul Fish modeled and textured it.

    JESawyer 5 Mar 11



    So now that New Vegas has come and gone, so to speak, do you go back to being a nobody? Not trying to be mean


    I never really was "anybody" so not much has changed.

    JESawyer responded to Keihzaru 5 Mar 11



    Did you considered during development, the posibility of nto only weapon mods, but also armor mods(thign like reinforcing the jumpsuit yourself with speial parts, etc? do you think such an idea could work or is just a Guajirian dream?


    Frank and I talked about it early on but we knew there wouldn't be time to implement it.

    JESawyer 5 Mar 11



    Was the possibility of crating weapons or armors considered? You could do that in Fallout 3 (weapon schematics) but not in New Vegas, and quite a lot of mod add that.


    I think it's more useful to allow the player to create consumables than standard weapons and armor. The Mojave Wasteland is also filled to the brim with effective weaponry. Recipes to create a new type of slugthrower don't seem as appropriate when there are more than a few guys walking around with Anti-Materiel Rifles and Light Machine Guns.

    JESawyer 6 Mar 11



    Who in particular comes up with the indivual stories for each vault? Chris Avellone? The whole team? Obviously some have movie inspirations. But others seem just.. Fucked up and bizarre :/


    I wrote the basic concepts for F:NV's vaults but individual designers fully fleshed the concepts out and implemented them. Vault 3: Akil Hooper, Vault 11: Eric Fenstermaker, Vault 19: Sydney Wolfram. Vault 21: Jorge Salgado. Vault 22: Jesse Farrell, Vault 34: Sydney Wolfram.

    JESawyer 7 Mar 11



    What does someone in your position at a game company do during downtime between projects (assuming such a thing exists)?


    There usually isn't downtime, though there might be a period of less work. Our development cycles are usually staggered, so often when devs roll off of one game they might roll on to another game that is in alpha. For someone in my position, specifically, I start working on new project pitches and going out with Feargus to talk to publishers.

    JESawyer 7 Mar 11



    was the grenade mashine gun modeled or inspired by a real life weapon?


    Not really. Though there are grenade machine guns in real life, they are usually mounted on a vehicle or set up at a fixed position.

    JESawyer 7 Mar 11



    Do you feel "Vaults" are becoming too common in the Fallout universe? Are they necessary for the game or do they just replace the generic "dungeon" of other RPGs?


    I don't know if they are "necessary", but I don't think it's bad to have them unless designers stop making them interesting. I think all of the vaults in F:NV had different ideas that went into them and very different ways for playing through them.

    JESawyer 8 Mar 11



    Why were some of the "cowboy guns" chambered in .357, when .357 wasn't developed until 1934. It just seems more appropriate to have "cowboy guns" chambered in something closer to the time of the frontier.


    Because then they'd be as terrible as cowboy guns from that era. Lever-actions in .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .45-70 Gov't. are all common today. There are a bunch of .357 Mag./.38 Spc. lever-actions (and SA revolvers) out for use specifically with SASS. For revolvers, the Ruger Vaquero is an obvious example, but there are also all of the Ubertis, Colt's own SAA repro in .357 Mag., and a boatload of others. Henry and Marlin make .357 Mag. lever-actions and Rossi made replicas of Browning's Winchester 1892 design (chambered in, among other things, .357 Mag./.38 Spc.) for years.

    When picking new base ammunition types for F:NV, I tried to avoid ammunition types that are oddballs. A lot of "non-gun" people have a general idea of what .357 Magnum is. It was a good rimmed cartridge to be a step down from .44 Magnum (which I decided should be the mid-range revolver/lever-action round). Given the common use of .357 Magnum in cowboy-style guns today, it seemed to be a good fit for the SA revolver and low-end lever-action.

    JESawyer 8 Mar 11



    So in North America, consumption of Beef has fallen by one third per capita in since 1975. However, production of beef has shifted significantly towards less sustainable production. If we take beef as a case study in meat, is the overall outlook good?


    Unfortunately the United States' population has gone from ~216 million to ~311 million between 1975 to 2010, so even if per capita consumption has been reduced, we may still be consuming the same amount, if not more, beef. And although beef production is very conspicuous in its environmental impact, the move away from beef since 1975 may due to a shift to other meats like pork and chicken, the factory production of which still has a lot of problems.

    As a society, we still consume a pretty huge amount of "meat" (including fish and poultry) considering what people lived on prior to the 20th century. A lot of Americans consume meat with two out of three meals, some with every meal. Even if you believe that humans need meat to have a balanced diet, we certainly don't need as much as we consume.

    JESawyer 9 Mar 11


    How do you feel about the results of the Irish general election?


    I don't know anything about contemporary Irish politics, unfortunately.


    JESawyer 18 Mar 11



    I know this may be a stupid question, but are there any plans for a new fallout game, obliviously there is still 3+ DLC to be released for NV but I was just wondering :D Thanks man.


    That's a question for Bethesda.

    JESawyer 18 Mar 11



    What are your personal feelings on the place of "wacky" content (i.e. Wild Wasteland) in the Fallout universe?


    They belong in a place where people who really hate them don't have to see them, i.e. locked behind a perk or game toggle.

    I critique games on being well-executed or poorly-executed and how well they meet the expectations of their intended audiences. After doing this for almost 12 years, my personal feelings barely come into the equation.

    JESawyer 18 Mar 11



    Would you still do the Pre-Fallout game about the Resource Wars?


    Sure.

    JESawyer 18 Mar 11



    Who created and designed Legate Lanius, and why there are so many inconsistencies in his background(s) and his actual appearance? Like him being a legionnaire since 12 in one story, having his face destroyed (in-game he's OK) in another, and so on.


    John Gonzalez and Chris Avellone.

    JESawyer 18 Mar 11



    Who writes the little helpy bits of info displayed on the loading screen?


    I wrote almost all of them.

    JESawyer 19 Mar 11



    What's your view on the pip-boy quest marker, I found it was over used, I didn't mind when it directed me to a well known building but I didn't like it when it pointed me to the long lost items that the BOS had been looking for, made it a bit easy IMO


    Quest markers have to be used consistently or a pretty large number of players will become confused and/or outright stumped when designers change the default behavior. For something like "find a thing" or "look around this area and talk to people", the quest marker would need to have an optional radius or trigger volume so players understand the boundaries of where they are supposed to look. Assassin's Creed 2 does this very well, alternating regularly between "go right here" and "go to this area".

    F3/FNV's marker just points you to a specific spot in space, so it either has to be turned off (demonstrably confuses a large number of players) or it points to a specific spot when the designer's intent is actually to indicate an area around that spot (also demonstrably confuses a lot of player).

    JESawyer 19 Mar 11



    Like FO3, NV gives the player too many items, making the game too easy and ruining the survival feel, imo. In the original games, finding, say, a new gun was a big event. Did you guys ever consider this a problem and try to fix it? What's your view on it?


    The original games threw a bunch of loot at you as well. You upgraded weapons less often, but I think that has more to do with the large steps between weapon tiers and the small number of distinct weapons and armor types. F1 and F2 did hold back more on specific types of loot: even though dudes are walking around the Hub in Combat Armor, you can't take that from their dead bodies. Armor/outfits in general do not drop as much, even if characters are wearing them. But at about the time you deal with the Khans for Aradesh, armed humans start dropping a fair amount of loot. Ghouls and some other creature types are heavily melee-oriented, so often they drop little to no loot.

    Did F1/F2 drop less loot than F3/FNV? Sure, but the difference is not extreme, IMO. There were only a few points in either game where I felt that resource scarcity was an issue.

    JESawyer 19 Mar 11



    Isn't it a bit counterintuitive to set a game which has a whole difficulty mode focused on survival in one of the most advanced regions of the setting? You hardly eve feel like you're strugglin' to survive in NV.


    You also hardly ever feel like you're struggling to survive in F1 and F2. The point of Hardcore Mode was to introduce a game mode that changed the combat and inventory mechanics in a way that added another layer of challenge to the base game.

    Even with Hardcore Mode, the game isn't exactly Das Schwarze Auge-level difficulty, but it's a step up. We also left a lot of the mechanics exposed in the GECK for modders to further alter Hardcore Mode to their (and your) tastes on the PC.

    JESawyer 19 Mar 11



    How does House maintain the robots?


    It is a mystery.

    JESawyer 19 Mar 11



    When you guys were making New Vegas, did you ever get in contact with the series creators to see what they thought of it and get advice from them?


    I sent Tim Cain and Colin McComb a few messages asking to clarify something that either wasn't clear or to ask them what their intention was when doing certain things. There were also some times where I had to walk a whopping fifteen feet to ask ScottE something about how the maps were laid out or what certain prop details were in the original games.

    JESawyer 20 Mar 11



    So will there be another "anchorage" type of dlc cause it be cool to see more pre-war tech like the M1 garand so maybe a vegas detective file that has been put it a virtual world and u need the pimp-boy 3billion to start it and there's alot of 20-40s guns


    I CAN TELL NO ONE ANYTHING ABOUT ANY POTENTIAL FUTURE DLCS OR FALLOUT GAMES.

    I APOLOGIZE FOR THE MISERABLE STATE OF THIS CORRUPT WORLD AND BID YOU GOOD DAY.

    JESawyer 21 Mar 11



    You answer questions in German? Ok, here we go: Jemand fragte, welche Version eines VW Golf besser sei und gut bei den Ladies ankäme. Sind deutsche Autos in den USA cool? Hier hätten am liebsten alle Muscle Cars... ;-)


    Amerikanische Fräulein mögen häufig den Jetta/Bora (z.B. die Mk. III/IV Entwicklung) oder das Golf Cabrio. Deutsches Autos in den USA sind toll, aber teuer.

    JESawyer 21 Mar 11



    Bring back the Vindicator


    o
    i
    c

    JESawyer 22 Mar 11


    Why do you think New Vegas sold so obscenely well?


    Bethesda promoted it very well.


    JESawyer 22 Mar 11


    I find it interesting that your very livelihood is financed by this consumption based society. How can you look down your nose at it but still profit from it. It's like saying, "I hate that my wife's a prostitute, but I like the money."


    The material impact of video games is fairly low, as are individual rates of consumption (for the majority of people, anyway). The more video games move toward full digital distribution, the smaller their environmental impact should become. Video games do require a lot of electricity to both make and play, which does have a negative impact and is perhaps the most difficult thing to reconcile. I try to make games that are enjoyable but not addictive. I want people to be able to pick them up, put them down when they have something more important to do (which should be almost anything), and eventually stop playing entirely.

    I've attempted to find other occupations into which I could go, but most of them require going back to school for two or four years. I do not have any marketable talents or vocational training outside of what I have learned in the game industry -- very little of which is applicable outside. Whether I'm good or bad at it, video game development is the only place where I can make a wage that allows me to fulfill financial obligations to people who depend on me. A true believer in minimalist consumption would sacrifice everything for the principle of it, but I'm not That Guy.


    JESawyer 23 Mar 11



    If you sacrificed your comparatively trivial interpersonal relationships in pursuit of an abstract ideal such as stoic minimalism you would not be forced into a profession that conflicts with your beliefs. As is stands your lifestyle constrains you.


    Yeah, that's what I just wrote.

    JESawyer 23 Mar 11



    LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT


    *launches self into sun*

    JESawyer 23 Mar 11



    I'm not trying to be rude but reading a lot of your answers regarding game development, it seems like you're just going through the motions and are not very passionate about your work. Have I misinterpreted?


    It's more than going through the motions, but it is relatively dispassionate. The things I make don't belong to me, they aren't made for me, they aren't made on my own timetable, and I don't have much, if any, control over when they are released. I make things to fit into boxes that are put in front of me. At any point in time that box can be changed, moved around, pulled away, or removed entirely -- sometimes because I screwed up, and sometimes for reasons that have nothing to do with me. It's hard to find good reasons to invest a lot of myself in something like that, especially when there are personal interests for me to pursue outside of my job.

    JESawyer 23 Mar 11



    Sounds like you're not happy with your job or maybe even your life. Have you considered making changes? And no, I'm trying to be mean. You just seem unhappy from the answers I just read.


    I've looked at other professions, but I'm not really qualified to do anything else, and certainly nothing that would do a better job at fulfilling creative and financial goals. There are too many important things in life for me to be seriously upset about the amount of creative ownership I have in my paying job making video games.

    You can do whatever you want in life as long as you don't expect anyone to thank, praise, or pay you for it. If you want thanks, praise, or money, you probably aren't going to get to do what you want -- or if you do get to do what you want, you probably aren't going to get to do it the way that you want or when you want to do it.

    I've grown up around and lived with professional freelance artists my whole life. You know what consistently makes them unhappy? Not being able to pay rent. For most people, there are always trade-offs.

    It may be that due to circumstance and/or exceptional talent that you get to do what you want, how you want, when you want, and you get praise, thanks, and money for it. That is great. I am not one of those people, but I am very happy that at least I get to do something I like and get paid for it.

    Some people have to perform dangerous physical labor and get paid virtually nothing for it. Some people pour their hearts into creations that go unrewarded. Some people are willing to do almost anything and no one will hire them. And if you really have it bad, you work in terrible/dangerous conditions, live in fear and squalor, and eke out a meager existence under severe wage slavery.

    I don't have to deal with any of that (other than my self-imposed financial obligations to others). To be upset that my life is not more dreamlike and pampered than it already is would be absurd.

    JESawyer 23 Mar 11



    Why did you say you want people to eventually stop playing your games entirely? And why are you making RPGs if that's the case, since they're usually lengthy games and made with replayability in mind?


    Because there is a world outside that is awesome and terrible and people should engage it most of the time instead of continually retreating from it.

    RPGs are long and can have a lot of content, but they don't encourage you sit and play them incessantly. They don't demand that you play them multiple times. And if you do play them multiple times, there's nothing that says you have to do back to back playthroughs. Replayability is a side-effect of non-linear quest design and supporting role-playing in general, not a goal in itself.

    Many MMOs are designed to be addictive and actively encourage players to play incessantly -- or close to it. A lot of social games encourage players to play the game at regular intervals. I don't like that. I don't want to make games that cause people to deprioritize other aspects of their lives.

    JESawyer 23 Mar 11



    Your last few answers make me think you need to go the Jeff Vogel route and make games you are passionate about that are entirely yours for niche audiences. Obviously he makes a living.


    Even Jeff Vogel recognizes that being an independent developer can be extremely difficult. He also transitioned directly from grad school to making games, i.e. he made his first game while in grad school and dropped out when it started selling well. Game developers currently in the employ of a company don't own the rights to the things they make, so that sort of transition isn't possible unless you're willing to stop working in the professional game industry entirely before starting your own thing.

    If I were to work alone, I would have to learn to program. That's outside of my skill set, and if it were in my skill set, I would have many more potential career opportunities than making games. If I were to work with others, I would either have to employ them, which means I would be running a company (an investment of time and capital that I don't have), or I would have to deal with them as de facto equals, which ruins the mythic dream of the one person super developer and in practice is terrible/unworkable.

    I make a living as a game designer and project director because I have a moderate amount of critical thinking skill, can give people clear directions, and know hundreds of ways that people should *not do things* when developing games. That's a small amount of skill set and a much larger amount of practical vocational experience. It doesn't transfer well into other careers, not even into an independent one-man game development show.

    JESawyer 23 Mar 11



    What other professions have you looked at? Honestly, you seem intelligent enough to be able to pick up just about any profession and excel at it. I understand wanting security, but it can come with the regret of "what if?"


    Jobs with the National Park Service, (management) jobs in non-game software development, jobs with various humanitarian organizations, motorcycle/car mechanic (n.b.: one of my co-workers was a mechanic prior to being a game developer and has described it as back-breaking monotony). Most of these jobs either pay next to nothing or require a specialized degree/significant relevant experience. Vocational experience is extremely important in almost any field, arguably more important than "natural talent" or intelligence.

    I don't have any "what if" regrets because a) that's dumb as hell and b) I've already had more success and fun in 12 years of game development than most people will have in a lifetime of jobs.

    I know I'm ruining some visions of game development as this Real Genius-esque environment where passionate imagineers in wacky goggles chuck dry ice around and re-assemble cars in offices as pranks, but there is a pretty big gulf between that and, say, mining coal for thirty years and dying of pneumoconiosis.

    Artists who work in movies often have less creative freedom (and are generally paid more) than those who work in games. Creative occupations fall at various points on a sliding scale between full creative control and big bucks. I don't have complete creative control, nor much control over logistics, but I'm paid far beyond my practical value to society at large and I still have a healthy amount of freedom in what I do. I stop short of investing large amounts of myself in what I make because to do so would be to ignore that what I am making *does not belong to me*.

    A group of guys made the original Fallout at Interplay, but it belonged to Interplay, not them. Then Black Isle made another Fallout game, and Interplay had MicroForte make yet another Fallout game. Then Interplay internal made a Fallout game and Black Isle's internal Fallout game was canceled. Bethesda bought the rights from Interplay and Bethesda internal developed Fallout 3. Then Bethesda contracted Obsidian to make Fallout: New Vegas. Concurrently, Interplay is working an a Fallout MMO. Where will the Fallout license go next? Beats me.

    Intellectual properties are just that: properties. In the hearts and minds of gamers, they might "rightfully" belong with certain parties, but in a court of law, it's a much different story. Developers do work for hire and, short of independent operations like Jeff Vogel's, that's pretty much how it goes.

    JESawyer 23 Mar 11



    I think you missed the point of an earlier post. Why do you impose financial obligations to others upon yourself? Is that more important to you than pursuing your other beliefs? Isolating yourself would be a good first step towards your professed ideal.


    Yes, paying the mortgage on the house my parents live in is more important to me than ending my career in an industry with relatively low environmental impact so I can live the life of an ascetic hermit doing something I have little to no skill at. Count me out of the fourth wave RAF.

    JESawyer 23 Mar 11



    How can you expect anyone else to make the necessary changes to save the world when everyone can come up with lame excuses why it would just be too hard to change? The bottom line is, change is great when it's someone else making the change.


    Because I don't expect everyone else to change, and even the change I *hope* for is not a life of asceticism. People have asked me my opinions on various things and I have answered them. I am not out in the world on a daily basis railing against people for their personal life choices.

    As living creatures, humans consume things. The things we consume, the rate at which we consume, and manner in which we create things for consumption are all things that we can self-regulate to different extents. Until we die, we cannot stop consuming. Recognizing this limitation, we can either kill ourselves or attempt to moderate our consumptive impact on the world. This is a sliding scale of impact multiplied across every living human.

    I live my life to meet the standards that I set for myself. If you think my standards are bad standards or if you think I don't meet my standards, that's not important to me. I hope I will continue to attempt to improve myself according to my own standards for the rest of my life. If you think my outlook makes sense, great. If you don't, you're going to live life the way you see fit, just like most other people.

    JESawyer 23 Mar 11



    will the be an alien DLC


    i am an alien and i am downloading your content over the internet

    JESawyer 24 Mar 11



    Reading all this stuff, I think you really need to go get laid. Jesus.


    hmm i see thx dr. sbaitso

    JESawyer 24 Mar 11



    What's the purpose of using bottle caps versus something more viable. Was it just a silly playful thing, or something that had a lot of thought put into it?


    The idea to use bottle caps originated with the first Fallout team; I don't have any special insight into it.

    JESawyer 26 Mar 11



    How much have the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games influenced your designs, and if they havn't, why havn't they? Shit's dope yo.


    Call of Pripyat influenced the Hardcore Mode "needs" for F:NV because maintaining the needs seemed to be a regular concern without being annoying. I also really enjoyed both the sense of risk/reward from exploring and the great atmosphere in CoP, specifically.

    JESawyer 26 Mar 11



    i have spent over 614 hours of my life on new vegas because my life is a hollow empty shell and i have trouble socializing with others


    kewl

    JESawyer 26 Mar 11


    do you get bonuses for games that sell well


    The only game I've received bonuses for is the original Icewind Dale.


    JESawyer 26 Mar 11



    What's your favourite song from the New Vegas soundtrack? Maybe the ambience counts.


    BIG IROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON BIG IROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON

    JESawyer 26 Mar 11



    tell mca to put a walther wa2000 w/wood furniture in the dlc kk?


    there is already a sniper rifle in .308 or do you want it in TRUE PRO 7.5X55MM SCHMIDT RUBIN???

    JESawyer 26 Mar 11



    what does the e. stand for?


    Eric.

    JESawyer 26 Mar 11



    how much do u get a year


    1,000 Spanish doubloons dredged from an old wreck off the eastern coast of Sainte-Lucie.

    JESawyer 26 Mar 11



    have u got kids


    No, just cats.

    JESawyer 26 Mar 11



    When will the next Fallout New Vegas DLC be released?


    ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

    JESawyer 26 Mar 11



    Except "chasing ghosts," can you tell anything about what the NCR Rangers are actually doing in Baja?


    It is a mystery.

    JESawyer 26 Mar 11



    Are you ready to move on from Fallout, or would you like to keep working on the series, presuming you had the opportunity?


    Independent dev companies can't really afford to be that picky. There are only a few licenses I have no interest in working on, but Fallout isn't one of them.

    JESawyer 26 Mar 11



    How low do you keep your hair? What number of clipper do you ask for?


    It depends on the season/weather. My hair almost never gets longer than an inch. It's thick and wavy when it gets longer, so I don't like dealing with it at all. I cut my own hair and typically use either the shortest or second shortest attachment.

    JESawyer 27 Mar 11



    Do you know what shaders have been used to render Fallout (critter) models into sprites? Or do you know someone who might remember it after all this years?


    Tramell "T-Ray" Isaac may know, but I believe most of those renders were done on an SGI.

    JESawyer 27 Mar 11



    Why was the level cap increased to 35 in Dead Money? The player is already overpowered enough at lv 30, what's the point in making it even more broken?


    I don't personally see much value in it, but a lot of players do. Many players buy DLC for the weapons/armor/perks they gain access to and for an increased level cap.

    JESawyer 28 Mar 11



    But for the players that HATE the level cap because of the overpowered-ness. Shouldn't the level cap be optional?


    If we inserted option switches for every game element a subset of players wanted to toggle, it would become Option Switches: The Game. Looking at the load order discussions of the "average" F:NV PC mod user should indicate that's a battle that, practically speaking, can't be won.

    JESawyer 29 Mar 11



    Who wrote Bruce Isaac? Nice reference there to the Fallout 2 ending with the Bishop child.


    I'm pretty sure that was Travis Stout.

    JESawyer responded to effinandy 29 Mar 11



    Do you think the PC


    yes

    JESawyer 29 Mar 11


    Who had the silly idea to give high-tech energy weapons, the likes of which would draw BOS envy, to a bunch of strung out junkies like the Fiends? (Who cannot even figure out how to open doors.) Game balance shouldn't trump believability.


    When push comes to shove, it should always trump believability. RPG economies are inherently unbelievable. I think designers should do the best they can to make things reasonable, but err on the side of game balance, not "realism".

    Tier 2-3 EWs (the only Tier 3s they have are the Laser RCW and Flamer) wouldn't be the "envy" of BoS considering few BoS characters in F:NV are equipped with EWs below Tier 4.

    Part of the truth in Veronica's disillusionment with the BoS is that their strategy of EW containment has completely failed, as evidenced by dealers like the Van Graffs and the armament of scrubs like the Fiends.

    Of the folks the player typically comes across in the Mojave Wasteland, few "make sense" to have EWs. When looking at distribution for EWs near the low/mid game, the Fiends are at about the right level for the player to start picking up more Tier 2 EWs. Prior to that, their only opportunity is dead Bright Followers.


    JESawyer 29 Mar 11



    Why did you make weapon mods so rare? I've only seen them spawn randomly in two or three shops after several days, you never get one as a quest reward or find one locked in a safe or something.


    Their frequency in stores (esp. Gun Runners) should be significantly improved when the next patch comes out.

    JESawyer 29 Mar 11



    Well you wont answer DLC questions so how about telling us when the next patch is out.


    @________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________@


    JESawyer 30 Mar 11



    i think you should make a remake of fallout 1 i think it would be fun to play


    No need.

    JESawyer 30 Mar 11



    You said way back that minigames allow the player to actively participate in the activity (hacking, unlocking, etc.), but isn't that only a good thing if the participation is fun? When I lockpick in New Vegas I am actively involved sure, but it's not fun.


    That applies to every aspect of game play, including combat. A lot of gamers separate "mini-games" from other types of game play as though there is something inherently special or negative about it.

    There are people who don't enjoy going through combat in games -- at all. Hell, there are game designers who don't enjoy combat. There are people who don't enjoy conversations. The solution should not be to remove those elements of game play because some people don't enjoy them. The goal of systems/mechanics designers is to make those aspects of the game enjoyable to those who are open to enjoying them. If you start designing games around things that subsets of players don't like, you won't have much left to play.

    I've written this before, but if there's no active decision making in picking a lock or hacking a terminal, there's no "play" in it, no player skill or decision making at all. There may be risk/reward to this in an online environment (as there is in a live tabletop environment), but in a single-player game with save/load anywhere, it's pointless.

    JESawyer 30 Mar 11



    Do you think energy weapons will ever look like they did in Fallout and Fallout 2? I'm sure you remember some looked more like actual guns not just a box containing wires, mirrors and a power supply.


    What EWs are you thinking of? Because the Laser Pistol and Gatling Laser were really the only two in F1 that don't look pretty "sci-fi" (even the Laser Rifle has a big cable off of the side of it). Even in F2 the Solar Scorcher and YK32 look pretty weird.

    JESawyer 30 Mar 11



    Actually yes, those were the two EW's I was talking about. That's why I said "some".


    There is the Laser RCW which is very much in the same spirit as the Gatling Laser from F1/2. Personally, I don't see the appeal in making more EWs that look like traditional guns.

    JESawyer 31 Mar 11



    General Oliver doesn't seem to grasp basic military strategy. What real life persons were an inspiration for his character? Would you agree Oliver's the main cause the war is going badly for the NCR?


    He's a mishmash of various aggressive, blockheaded military commanders. Generals LeMay and Patton are obvious examples, though completely without the forethought of those two men.

    JESawyer 31 Mar 11



    Hey josh whats your favorite color, I hope its blue for tears


    Burnt yellow for the oppressive sun that will eventually consume our planet.

    JESawyer 31 Mar 11



    It feels like the traditional Action Boy/Stealth Boy/Charisma Boy/Science Boy options are unbalanced in FNV. Many quests are only available or doable under one or two of the approaches. A player should be able to pick one style and eschew the others.


    There are a large number of quests that don't involve any sort of Speech- or Barter-based conflict (thus there is nothing to resolve and it would likely be absurd to force it), and Action/Stealth can be used almost everywhere where hostiles are present. I think people get too caught up in the idea that the "paths" are actually distinct pre-designed courses that the player follows instead of tools that can be used regularly throughout the world.

    I think it's a stretch to say that Action/Stealth/Charisma/Science Boys are a "tradition" in the Fallout franchise. None of the Fallout games directly supported the active use of all of these paths in every quest.

    JESawyer responded to MmmCashews 1 Apr 11



    What bike/s do you own?


    Bicycles: a Masi Soulville SS (selling), a Masi Speciale Commuter, and a Trek Equinox 7. Motorcycles: a 2006 Triumph Bonneville T100, a 1969 Honda CL350, and a 1966 Honda CL160. The last two are in Wisconsin and I'm slowly restoring them.

    JESawyer 2 Apr 11



    Nostalgia is pretty much the only reason I can go back and play games like Fallout and Icewind Dale. I can't imagine what it'd be like to try those games without that context. Do you think remaking older Infinity Engine games would be a good or bad idea?


    I think a party-based dungeon crawler in 3D in the spirit of IWD could be fun, even if it's not an actual remake.

    JESawyer 2 Apr 11



    Do you respond to every question we make?


    Not even close.

    JESawyer 3 Apr 11



    Why did you decide the split the strip into 3 parts? I felt it ruined the hype for the game; especially considering how it focuses around the city.


    Because consoles would have run out of memory if the Strip had not been split up into separate load zones.

    JESawyer 3 Apr 11



    Is it very time consuming to make proper scabbards/sheaths for weapons in RPGs? Usually the weapons just stick to guy's back or float very closely to it, which causes a lot of annoying graphic issues like the blade going through his back while running.


    I wouldn't necessarily say it's very time consuming, but it does take some time, and scabbards/sheaths/holsters would have the same potential clipping problems. It's all still just geometry.

    JESawyer 4 Apr 11



    You could learn a lot from GTAIV and RDR about how to give characters interesting personality, culture, mannerisms, gesticulations, opinions, motivations and humour. Your characters though decent are bland by comparison. Is it due to engines/budgets?


    I think we do fine compared to GTAIV and RDR on every aspect you mentioned that doesn't directly relate to presentation -- and that's definitely budget-constrained.

    JESawyer 7 Apr 11



    Cazadores ruined my life. Was this your intention?


    Yeah pretty much.

    JESawyer 7 Apr 11



    do you like golf bro


    It is one of my least favorite sports.

    JESawyer 7 Apr 11



    in terms of dlc Bethesda is famous for treating Ps3 users poorly ie half the dlc for oblivion, 9 month delay in fallout 3 dlc, massive amounts of bugs, delays in new vegas dlc in favour of 360... is ths going to continue? and why do it in the first place?


    That's a question for Bethesda.

    JESawyer 7 Apr 11



    What's your favorite Pokémon?


    Psyduck.

    JESawyer 7 Apr 11



    I love F:NV but I think that the lever action weaponry felt the same after a few tiers, I know their isn't much you can do with that kinda weaponry, but could something more have been done?


    I think there's a pretty big step between the vanilla Cowboy Repeater and Brush Gun. Modding the Cowboy Repeater can keep it sort of competitive with the Trail Carbine, but the Brush Gun is a true beast.

    JESawyer 7 Apr 11



    Boy I sure am enjoying myself today.


    cool

    JESawyer 7 Apr 11



    Can we at LEAST have the release date of the trailer? C'mon, throw us a bone to chew at!


    I sincerely and truly mean it when I write that I have no idea when Bethesda is going to announce or release anything ever.

    JESawyer 7 Apr 11



    Why do you always appear annoyed during your interviews? It generally seems as though you are about to decapitate the interviewer for some perceived ineptitude. Chill out dude.


    You're imagining things.

    JESawyer 9 Apr 11



    What happened to all the snakes in the Mojave in F:NV?


    They're extra-hidey.

    JESawyer 9 Apr 11



    least favorite huh? well what are your favorite sports...


    To watch, basketball and soccer. To participate in, soccer and fencing (sabre).

    JESawyer 9 Apr 11



    Can you explain the reasoning behind the gun witch's character design in DS3? It's really disappointing to see such obvious and cliche cheesecake after the progressive and positive treatment of female characters in FONV.


    I had virtually no involvement in Dungeon Siege 3, but I believe that's a question for Feargus.

    JESawyer 9 Apr 11



    Do you ever play the Fallout Tabletop Roleplaying Game that you made? Also, is it even done?


    Yes, I ran about a dozen sessions of it back in 2004, I think. No, it's not done and I haven't worked on it since about 2005.

    JESawyer 9 Apr 11



    Chris Avellone mentioned somewhere that he was sorry Ulysses didn't make it into the game (though we might see him in a DLC it seems). Was there a particular piece of cut or planned content that you especially liked that didn't make it into the game?


    I have more regrets about things that remained in than things that were left out.

    JESawyer 9 Apr 11


    "I have more regrets about things that remained in than things that were left out." What does that mean? Is there some content in F:NV you're really disappointed off ?


    I don't think we produced bad content, but the game launched with a lot of bugs. I think less content, fewer bugs would have been better.

    It doesn't matter how cool the idea behind a quest is if it breaks halfway through its resolution.


    JESawyer 9 Apr 11



    Does having less content in a game usually cut down on the number of bugs? Fallout 1 was really short and had a longer dev time than NV, but was still very buggy.


    Yes, it absolutely does.

    Fallout 1 had a relatively small development team and was made almost 15 years ago.

    JESawyer 10 Apr 11



    How selfish is game design? Are there times when you done something that you would like, but don't necessarily think a player would like?


    Only if I think the impact on the player will be very minor. If it's something that actually makes a Big Difference(tm) in the game, it's my job to ensure that "the audience" enjoys the decision.

    That said, there are certainly decisions I make with the full understanding that the initial reaction to the decision will be primarily negative. A person's intellectual reaction to an idea may be very different from how they feel after experiencing that idea in effect. A lot of RPG mechanics continue to be reproduced in games due to grumpy inertia. "This is how RPGs have done things, therefore RPGs should do things this way forever."

    If a mechanic makes the game extremely irritating or generally un-fun, designers need to investigate ways in which it can be made better. N.B.: irritation and frustration are GOOD things in game design when they come in small doses. The irritation and frustration often accompany difficulty, and overcoming that difficulty produces satisfaction. If you never experience any irritation or frustration, the game is so simple or easy that it demands nothing of you.

    JESawyer 10 Apr 11



    Is the CZ57 Avenger supposed to be the Avenger minigun from Fallout 2? They look quite different.


    Yes. They look different because the CZ57 Avenger in F:NV has to work with existing F3/F:NV grip, firing, and reload animations.

    JESawyer 10 Apr 11



    Are most of the comments you get about Cazadors complaints? Because they're by far the best enemies in NV. I always get pangs of terror when I see those little green bars on the HUD darting around before I've even seen the bugs themselves.


    Most of what I've seen has been complaints. Cazadores are unusual enemies because they are so much faster than the player and their movement is erratic. Most enemies players face in F3 and F:NV can be handled on the players' terms. Cazadores have to be dealt with carefully and often the player is caught reacting instead of being on the offensive, which is why encounters with Cazadores often produce alarm/frustration.

    JESawyer 11 Apr 11



    What is it that you find fascinating about Mormons/Utah? Im assuming you find those things fascinating.


    Not fascinating, but interesting. Southern Utah has really spectacular scenery and is the most beautiful part of the U.S. that I have seen. It's pretty telling that in my trips around that area, I encounter as many foreigners as Americans. Zion, Bryce, Grand Staircase, Monument Valley, and Valley of the Gods are all fantastic.

    I think Mormons are interesting because they occupy such a unique position in American society. Since their early days, they've had a lot of conflicts with the people around them and rapidly pushed west, out of the Midwest, and eventually into what would become Utah. Events like Missouri Executive Order 44, Haun's Mill, and the Mountain Meadows Massacre show how violent that conflict could be at times. The society that they built in the Utah region was done with local tribes like the Paiute but apart from outside, mostly-European influences.

    As a result of these conflicts and their eventual concentrated build-up of Utah, Mormons have been, and often still are, considered "other" by many Americans. Unsurprisingly, Mormon communities can be extremely organized and powerful. Unlike many other powerful religious groups, the geographic concentration of Mormons is quite dense, so I think it produces an interesting dynamic in American politics and culture. The military history of the Mormons (fighting against and for the federal government) and the central role of J.M. Browning in the development of many of the U.S. military's most notable weapons (the BAR, M1911 Pistol, and M2) throws another element into the mix.

    Finally, the interplay between the beautiful natural setting of Utah and Mormon beliefs is fun to examine, especially when the Mormon names for these locations are taken into account.

    JESawyer responded to SerMcWorst 11 Apr 11



    What's the reasoning and what are the priorities your team works with when dealing with a patch (e.g. New Vegas)? The average consumer understandably probably expecst more work to be done on critical quest bugs rather than tweaking companion/weapons.


    Bugs are prioritized by severity, meaning crash bugs first, then crit path quest bugs, then major quest bugs/gameplay bugs, then minor quest bugs and tuning. From the consumer's perspective, there's just a large mass of people working on bugs, but in reality, individual members either should not fix, or are not capable of fixing, any given bug that's in the list.

    For example, a programming bug would not be assigned to a designer, and a design bug would not be assigned to an artist. Even within a discipline, certain people are suited to fixing certain bugs. I do all weapon tuning because I did almost all of the weapon implementation. Quest designers fix their own quest bugs because they have the most intimate familiarity with how the quest is structured.

    Assigning a critical quest bug to any warm body who happens to be occupying a chair can result in a lot of inefficiency -- and often new bugs created by the attempt at a "fix". Similarly, there are idiosyncrasies to how some sections of game code work that really demand the attention of one or two programmers. Throwing new programmers at the problem would likely result in them spending twice as long orienting themselves and possibly making some poor engineering decisions.


    JESawyer responded to JoshALK3 11 Apr 11


    When will the good fans of Fallout be expecting a Honest Hearts Trailer?


    ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff


    JESawyer 11 Apr 11



    Could Single-Load weaponry in F:NV been a little less buggy? if you move whilst reloading a single-shot weapon there is a huge delay between the last shot being loaded and being able to fire


    Looping reloads were a feature that seemed like it should have been easy to implement. Initial tests seemed relatively straightforward, but new bugs kept popping up with each iteration. Had I known then how difficult they would have been, I would have either eliminated the looping reload weapons or had them play a "normal" animation that reloaded a fixed number of rounds regardless of capacity/current ammo count.

    JESawyer 12 Apr 11



    Hi Josh, can you with an honest heart tell me where I can hear the old world blues playing along a lonesome road? Thanks.


    http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1179411-an-update-from-bethesda/

    JESawyer 12 Apr 11



    when does the add on for the content for honest hearts come out


    http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1179411-an-update-from-bethesda/

    JESawyer 12 Apr 11



    You always say to ask Bethesda about DLC, but how can we actually contact them, as they always seem to ignore queries.


    http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1179411-an-update-from-bethesda/

    JESawyer responded to SerMcWorst 12 Apr 11



    When will the next Fallout DLC be released? I can't wait to see what happens when I found the spy among the Followers!


    http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1179411-an-update-from-bethesda/

    JESawyer 12 Apr 11



    DLC DLC DLC DLC DLC DLC DLC! There, its out of my system. Good day sir.


    http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1179411-an-update-from-bethesda/

    JESawyer 12 Apr 11



    Do you enjoy torturing us with small hints of the next DLC?


    http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1179411-an-update-from-bethesda/

    JESawyer 12 Apr 11



    gimma mah mahhney causin!


    http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1179411-an-update-from-bethesda/

    JESawyer 12 Apr 11



    How exactly is the Recharger Pistol working, as an in-game item? In the GECK I found no script, no special object effect related to its regeneration. The MF Breeder isn't used in anything particular, and doesn't have scripts either ... Is it hardcoded ?


    Look at the GECK form for the weapon. In the upper left corner you will see Ammunition (drop-down), Clip Rounds (field), and Regen Rate (field). Regen Rate is the number of seconds that pass per single unit of ammo recharged. You can actually set this to a float value, though it will not display properly when the form is reloaded.


    JESawyer 13 Apr 11



    Who wrote Mr. House?


    John Gonzalez.

    JESawyer 13 Apr 11



    Whose idea was it to make most of the male characters sound like 13-year-olds?


    Can you be more specific with your criticism?

    JESawyer 13 Apr 11



    What's the background on the marksman carbine? Given the retro feel of other weapons, seeing a gun tha tlooks like it's been stolen from Modern Warfare 2 is a little odd, especially the RIS...


    Fallout has always had higher end/tech conventional firearms, including a portable minigun.

    JESawyer 13 Apr 11



    I personally love politics and felt that the NCR's political situation was lacking. All we heard was that taxes were (comparatively) high, the Senate is stalled and Kimball is an expanisonist. Why wasn't there more news about the internal politics?


    NCR's internal politics are of secondary concern to the people living and fighting in the Mojave Wasteland. I also think going even deeper into the details of NCR's operations back home would have been more of a distraction to players.

    JESawyer 13 Apr 11



    Who came up with the Meat of Champions, Dine and Dash, and Ghastly Scavenger perks? I thought the cannibalism options complemented hardcore mode survivalism well. Being rewarded for consuming the leader of every significant faction was really satisfying.


    Jason Bergman came up with Meat of Champions. I came up with Dine and Dash and Ghastly Scavenger.

    JESawyer 13 Apr 11



    Next couple of weeks? You guys enjoy throwing that around. Don't ya?


    "You guys"?

    JESawyer 13 Apr 11



    Are weapon balance changes in patches as a response to community issues or gameplay balance? Do you feel you are further balancing the weapons, or do you feel the weapons were balanced and your just responding to the lack of understanding of that balance?


    Community feedback helps determine balance issues, but the community at large does not dictate changes. Besides that, what we hear on forums are often split opinions and obviously only a fraction of total players.

    Community feedback does draw my attention to things, but when I examine the problem, I may find that the issue is not what individuals think it is -- or I may decide to fix the problem in a way that is different from what people suggest.

    JESawyer 13 Apr 11



    Do you believe balance is an important issue in single player games? Don't you think perfect balance among character builds, weapons, etc may bring an unnatural and potentially boring symetry?


    Yes. Also perfect balance isn't really achievable since balance is subjective and applicability varies based on character build, play style, and content.

    JESawyer 14 Apr 11



    r u john galt???


    ^_________________________________^

    JESawyer 14 Apr 11



    Oh, man. Am I the only one *not* looking forward for the patch? Let me guess... The BAR is way too overpowered to be left like that... *sigh* It will backfire or completely break when using JSP ammo, am I right?


    I didn't re-tune the Automatic Rifle at all and I'm not sure why you'd assume that in spite of my previous comments about tuning most automatic weapons *up*.

    Community opinions on the Automatic Rifle are a pretty good example for why "doing what the community thinks should be done" is often impossible. I have as many people telling me that the Automatic Rifle is the Most OP OP That Ever OPed as I have people telling me that it's terrible and there are no good weapons in Dead Money.

    JESawyer 14 Apr 11



    hello sir grandma


    reporting for duty

    JESawyer 14 Apr 11



    I was wondering why you had high level energy weapons take multiple ammo per shot. Was it to keep energy weapon ammunition at a similar cost to high end gun ammunition, or was it to encourage people to use mid level weapons or something else? Just curious


    Energy Weapons only have four (or five, if you include MF Breeder) ammo types, so cost doesn't scale in the same way as it does with Gun ammo. The original ammo consumption rates on some of the EWs were too high, but the idea was to keep raising the cost of ammo investment over the course of the game.

    For the next patch, the most ammo-hungry weapon, the Tesla Cannon (and Tesla-Beaton Prototype), has had its consumption rate lowered significantly. It also behaves much differently and feels like a much better/more distinctive weapon.

    JESawyer 14 Apr 11



    What is a good game I should try out? Ive played all the Fallouts. Im bored and I want to pick up a good game. Preferably an RPG.


    For PC, I'd check out The Witcher EE. For PS3, Demon's Souls. For Xbox 360, Assassin's Creed 2. AC2 isn't an RPG, but it's a great game.

    JESawyer 25 Apr 11



    O Sawyer why halt tho foresaken me?


    Formspring was pretty messed up for a while and I couldn't see any of my questions.

    SOZ

    JESawyer 25 Apr 11



    Who's your favorite merc in jagged alliance 2? Don't pretend you haven't played it.


    GRUNTY

    JESawyer responded to SerMcWorst 25 Apr 11



    "Italia" is "Italy" "italiano" is "Italian". FYI. Feel free to add a trollish segue to this info, like "OH LOL IN YOUR PHOTO YOU LOOK DUMB". Actually; I seem to have done that myself. Oh, the irony!


    Huh, that's weird. It actually truncated "italiano" to "italia". My Italian is pretty poor, but not that bad.

    JESawyer 25 Apr 11



    what is your favorite fallout 1/2 death animation?


    Plasma melt w/ skull falling after body has oozed away. Close second: shotgun removing armpit/torso section with "AHHHHH!" yell from human enemies.


    JESawyer 25 Apr 11


    Why did you guys take the trailer for honest hearts down from youtube, feeling shy?


    Any questions regarding DLC promotions/materials should be directed to Bethesda.


    JESawyer 25 Apr 11



    Why did you guys take the trailer for honest hearts down from youtube, feeling shy? Any questions regarding DLC promotions/materials should be directed to Bethesda. I think you should answer it, seeing as though your team created the game.


    Obsidian doesn't handle promotion/release of materials for F:NV or the DLCs.

    JESawyer 26 Apr 11



    Why is balance such a big issue for you guys? NV is a single player game; I doubt most people get upset when they find an overpowered weapon.


    The opposite is often the problem: people become upset because their skill/money investments give them sub-standard rewards. If you put points into Explosives and buy a ton of Dynamite, Frag Grenades, Missiles, etc. and it's extremely difficult to take out things that are easy for Guns-focused characters, it can be more than a little annoying.

    Additionally, players typically respond well to difficulty that moves on a "rollercoaster" over the course of the game. If a single weapon or set of weapons allows the player to crest and effectively coast through rest of the game, it's often a less enjoyable experience.

    There's also a fundamental question to ask: is balance important at all? If so, then it should be done as well as is reasonably possible. Most of the balance tweaks I made for the last patch were done on my own time after normal work hours or on weekends. I am not responsible for designing or maintaining areas or quests, so the changes I made did not "subtract", if you will, from time devoted to other issues.


    JESawyer 27 Apr 11



    Will the spread of the .357 Magnum ever be reduced? I've done multiple playthroughs predominately using handguns as I have found them to be more than adequate. But the .357 has a wonky and unpredictable spread at times. Mostly at close ranges.


    The .357 Magnum Revolver already has a pretty low spread as far as pistol Guns go. Only the Hunting Revolver and Ranger Sequoia are lower (unless you include uniques like Maria). The 9mm, 10mm, .44 Magnum, and 12.7mm are all higher.

    JESawyer 27 Apr 11



    Ok, so after comparing the .357 with others one thing I've noticed is it's not the spread, it's the rate of fire. That Gun has the same spread but seems more precise. And Maria with even less spread shoots nicely.


    That Gun and Maria are both unique weapons. The .357 Magnum Revolver is a weapon you can get in the first hour of a normal game.

    JESawyer 27 Apr 11



    Have you ever used fan-made tools such as FNVEdit to work on the official ESM files ? The GECK is nice and dandy but I simply can't work without some of the FNVEdit features (filters, side-by-side comparaison, etc)


    No, though I sometimes used enduser tools when working on the Infinity Engine games.

    JESawyer responded to hockeysteve54 27 Apr 11



    What are your views on Objectivism?


    Not favorable.

    JESawyer 27 Apr 11



    Fist of the North Star: Great Unarmed run, or Greatest Unarmed run?


    It reigns supreme.

    JESawyer 28 Apr 11



    Why hasn't Bethesda given us a trailer for Honest Hearts yet? I don't care if you guys were working on a patch and i don't want to be directed to the beth blog update that answers nothing. Honest Hearts was said to be released a long time ago. trailer now


    Why ask me?

    JESawyer 29 Apr 11



    Do you believe there exists an objective moral reality (i.e. that it is universally true that some things are morally permissible and others are not)?


    No.

    JESawyer 29 Apr 11



    ask you? becuase you developed the game? trololol. and you should know these things obviously. dont be so foolish.


    I don't know these things, which I've stated repeatedly here and elsewhere. Obsidian does not schedule or handle the release of the core product, DLCs, or promotional materials. We make products under contract to Bethesda and they handle the publishing, marketing, PR, and distribution of those products. It is up to them when they want to release products and materials because it's their property, and it's also up to them when they want to announce those products.

    JESawyer 29 Apr 11



    I just completed Return to Sender, and I'm disappointed that there wasn't an option to dress up as a Legionaire Super Mutant, or a trained Deathclaw, to help legitimize the false reports. :(


    Typical Obsidian railroading.

    JESawyer 29 Apr 11



    I like the changes you made to 5mm ammo. The -DT effects are great, they really come in handy later in the game for Guns based characters. And the price increases have made the game a little more challenging. Thanks, keep up the good work.


    Thanks, I'm glad you like them.

    JESawyer 29 Apr 11



    How can rape not be objectively immoral?


    "Rape", like "murder", is a subjective descriptor placed upon an action based on context. "Rape" is an interpretation of a sex act. "Murder" is an interpretation of an act of killing. Context is based on individual perception of events, individual definitions of descriptors, and a variety of other factors that cannot/do not exist apart from human understanding and language.

    JESawyer 30 Apr 11



    Who created Hanlon and the Return to Sender quest? It was one of my favorite sidequests, and Hanlon is an amazing character.


    I wrote Chief Hanlon, but Jeff Husges and Matt MacLean implemented most of the quest content. Thanks.

    JESawyer 30 Apr 11



    Do you think that a commonly agreed upon subjective moral or ethical code can be, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable from an objective one?


    I do not believe such a thing can exist due to the fundamental nature of subjectivity.

    JESawyer 30 Apr 11



    do you ever play new vegas?lol


    Almost every day.

    JESawyer 30 Apr 11



    With rape though there is an objective standard... forced sex on a woman is rape and forced is objective, at least when talking about physical force. I can see you saying date rape is not objectively immoral, but sure physically forced rape is.


    No, there is absolutely not an objective standard. If there were an objective standard, there would be objective definitions and objective legal standards. These things do not exist because they cannot exist.

    JESawyer 30 Apr 11



    It's a good thing your not a judge then.


    Judges exist to be arbiters and they use a defined (not objective) legal standard and established precedence as a general guide. Not only can the standards differ by legal region (state vs. state, nation vs. nation), but the precedence can change over time. And of course, laws change as well. Amid all of that, judges (and juries) are interpreting information given from a wide variety of sources. The reason juries and supreme courts have lots of folks in them is to attempt counteract the obvious problems with subjective interpretation and bias.

    JESawyer 1 May 11


    We're not talking "legal" though, we're talking "moral." Physically forced sex on a woman is surely objectively immoral. There are times when even killing civilians can be considered "right," like in certain war situations, but rape is never right. Ever


    The distinction between legal and moral is irrelevant because you're still using vague terms like "physically forced" that ignore the expressed or understood desires of each partner. "Ravishment" roleplay involves physically forced sex that is *desired*. Is it rape if one party is so much physically weaker that the stronger party doesn't even realize that the act is being resisted? How do you know if the stronger party is telling the truth? What is the boundary between rough sex and physical resistance for occasional partners who regularly engage in the former? If the moral standard requires you to have direct and complete understanding of the desires and knowledge of all involved parties, it's useless.

    I also think it's disappointing that your objective standard is "physically forced sex on a woman", because it not only ignores that men can be physically forced into sex, but also ignores a really disgusting American social trend that makes light of prison rape -- and often involves people actively wishing it on certain prisoners. Clearly a segment of the American population thinks it is just for some male prisoners to be subjected to rape as punishment for their crimes, but I guess technically that falls outside of your objective standard.


    JESawyer 2 May 11



    What are the advantages of the trail carbine? Its supposed to be a higher tier weapon, but it seems lame compared to the hunting rifle.


    Much higher RoF and lower AP cost.

    JESawyer 2 May 11



    Have you considered renaming New Vegas to New Vaginas?


    hmm

    JESawyer 2 May 11



    Hey Josh I've got a question 'bout an Older Game! Y'know, Fallout 2, the greatest game ever! (Though Buggy as hell, can't deny it) Question: So, the SHI built a powerful settlement thanks to the Rad eating flowers. What's their relationship with the NCR?


    I didn't do any work on Fallout 2, sorry.

    JESawyer 2 May 11



    Do you believe in a god?


    No.

    JESawyer 2 May 11



    Atheism is just theism without an object of worship. We can no more have certainty that there does exist a god than there does not. Agnosticism is the way to go bro.


    I cannot be certain of anything, but I can take action or maintain inaction based on what I think is probable. If you live your life as though there is no god, there is no functional difference between non-belief and active belief of non-existence. Arguing about religious labels is a colossal waste of time.

    JESawyer 2 May 11



    would you say Bioshock and Fallout are almost the same game?


    N... no? wat

    JESawyer 2 May 11



    Do you consider yourself an Atheist or would you call yourself something else? and Are you familiar with the "skeptic movement"?


    I don't give myself any religious label because it leads to pointless arguing.

    JESawyer 2 May 11



    Practicality and pragmatism are not everything JESawyer. Surely there is something to be said for meaningful abstractions that have no functional impact on ones life. As you said, you cannot be certain, thus it is possible you have met God. Relevant now?


    No.

    JESawyer 2 May 11



    Do you find the celebrations over Bin Laden's death disturbing at all? I mean seriously, block parties? I mean I know it's to be expected. We're all savages at the core. But it's just so, well, awful.


    The behavior of human beings doesn't disturb me because I already believe a large number of us are horrible, cruel monsters and always have been.

    JESawyer 3 May 11



    do people alway go to you for their rape questions?


    i guess

    JESawyer 3 May 11



    who old is your wikipedia pic


    It's probably from about 2002. Yikes!

    JESawyer 3 May 11



    It is a mystery?


    yes

    JESawyer 3 May 11



    Hello Josh. What's the process of making a patch of FNV? Does Obsidian QA team test a new patch first and then send it to Bethesda for further testing, or Bethesda does the most of testing?


    Our internal testing team is very small and typically consists of 2 to 4 people. They do test specific things, but they are not responsible for the majority of testing. As with the core F:NV product, Bethesda handles most of the QA for updates and DLCs. Microsoft and Sony are responsible for certification.

    JESawyer 3 May 11



    I'm happy Osama Bin Laden is dead, what's your take.


    I think the world is probably better with him not active in it, but I don't celebrate his death and I don't believe it changes much of substance.

    JESawyer 3 May 11



    I agree with you about us being horrible, cruel monsters. But it's like a puddle of urine in an alley. There's a difference between knowing it's there and having your nose rubbed in it in an overwhelming and public way, or are you that desensitized?


    Classifying it as "desensitized" can add a negative connotation to it. I think the average person's state of awareness and lack of willingness to understand the horrors that we inflict on each other every day is deplorable. It's going on every day, everywhere, and if you are surprised or shocked, you're part of the problem.

    JESawyer 3 May 11



    Why dehumanize people who you disagree with? Isn't that what "horrible, cruel monsters" do? Besides, if humans were really fundamentally what you think, how could there be anyone who thinks they're so mean? It would be the baseline for all human belief.


    If by "dehumanize" you mean "reduce below the absurd elevated pedestal we place ourselves on", I do it because their behavior and attitudes are harmful and destructive. We should recognize this behavior and condemn it. We do ourselves no favors by pretending it does not exist. When people say that the United States is a post-racial society, they are living in a state of delusion.

    The second part of your question is sort of self-defeating. You could as easily reverse it and say, "If people are fundamentally good, why are there bad people?" We are intelligent animals. Our elaborate social rules and methods of communication are much more recent developments in our history. When push comes to shove, we fall back on animal behavior and instinct. And while we're not unique in this, we are a species that kills for pleasure. Humans in positions of power have a long and colorful history of using their intelligence for sadistic and/or murderous purposes.

    JESawyer 4 May 11



    Do you think the world would be better off if humanity were governed by an emotionless artificial intelligence (with a soothing female voice,) programmed to protect us from ourselves no matter the cost?


    No, but it would probably be better if humanity devoted itself to addressing the root causes of many of our problems (e.g. poverty, ignorance) instead of getting wrapped up in matters of no consequence.

    JESawyer 4 May 11



    What level of involvement did you have with the design of the New Vegas DLC's?


    I designed the weapons for Dead Money and was the project director for Honest Hearts.

    JESawyer 4 May 11



    I just noticed that Chris Avellone updated his Linkedin account with Old World Blues and Lonesome Road. Since he didn't work on Honest Hearts, were you the creative director on that DLC? You seem to like Utah a lot!


    Yes. I like the wild parts of Utah. I haven't been to any of the cities.

    JESawyer 4 May 11



    In New Vegas, did you consider implementing the ability to apply any consumable item to companions (i.e. not just stimpaks)? If so, why did you not include it? I've been in occasions when I wanted to give them items like med-x, antivenom or stealth boys.


    I wanted to keep the Companion Wheel simple, and stims are by far the most common items that players typically want to use on companions.

    JESawyer 4 May 11



    Dont you think that the ability to max out all skills over the course of the game makes the notion of skill point distribution somewhat redundant? I am of course asking this in the context of FO3 and, more specifically, the FNV DLC total level cap of 50.


    50 levels takes a relatively long time, going through a large amount of content, to achieve. So while many characters may wind up with similar skill distributions at the end of the game, how they spend skill points along the way is still very important.

    JESawyer 4 May 11



    So in the screen shot for Honest Hearts on Bethblog....is that a M1911 I see. Or am I just going to have to wait until May 17th to find out?


    All I'll say is that those aren't F:NV's 9mm Pistols.

    JESawyer 4 May 11



    So I say "Josh tell me bout your courier", and you tell me "Hes a superman whos good at everything". I respond with "Omigosh mine too!" Chris A walks in and says "ZOMG mine too!" Then we all reminisce about when we werent forcibly homogenized. Good thing?


    Cruel fortunes conspire to make you advance a character to 50th level.

    JESawyer 4 May 11



    Is there any connection between the weapon balances you worked so hard on in the recent patch, and the balance and game design of Honest Hearts which you also worked on? Is that the reason why the patch had to come first?


    The patch had to come first because stability was the highest priority. My balance fixes weren't a priority, but since I wasn't involved in any of the stability work, I was able to do them concurrently.

    JESawyer 5 May 11



    I was wondering if you had ever considered the notion of having the next fallout take place somewhere in the south. Maybe New orleans?


    That's not up to me, but I think New Orleans would be a cool setting.

    JESawyer 5 May 11



    all these didactic-ish posts on your formspring lately sound like they could be missing dialogue for Arcade. did you intentionally make Arcade a mouthpiece for your own philosophical/political views, or am I reading too much into it?


    Arcade is much more optimistic about people than I am and he's also more incredulous/shocked at the state of things. His style of speech is similar to my style of exposition. Much of that may be because I originally had to actually speak AS Arcade when I played him as a Van Buren tabletop character in Chris Avellone's campaign. As a result, I tend to construct Arcade's phrases in a way that is similar to my own exposition. Characters like Chief Hanlon and President Kimball are (hopefully) more distinct.

    JESawyer 5 May 11


    You are a fantastic game designer and your contributions to Fallout have been among some of my favorite. For all the criticisms that NV gets (both warranted and unwarranted), I just thought you should be offered some honest praise for the work you did!


    Thanks.


    JESawyer 5 May 11



    on a related note, I'm not sure if this was ever implied in the game or not, but was Hanlon responsible for the miscommunication that led to the Bitter Springs massacre? and, as the dude who wrote him, would you have turned him in or given him a pass?


    No, Hanlon wasn't involved in Bitter Springs.

    I generally don't like to give personal answers to the choices I would make in these games or situations. It's for a few reasons. I make decisions in games based on the character that I'm playing, and I don't base characters on myself. I also think that people will tend to assign authorial weight or legitimacy to one choice or path when a designer says it's what he or she prefers. I'd rather not support that. The point of creating the spectrum of choices and allowing the world to react to the player's choices is to make the choices feel valid specifically because the player made them.


    JESawyer 7 May 11



    In Fallout N:V why where there less raiders than in other fallout games (was it just because of the more organised style of the Mojave?) and also, why was there only one major Raider gang?


    Because NCR beat the crap out of almost all of the raiders.

    JESawyer responded to theflyingbuddha 7 May 11



    Thoughts on the economy in FO NV: I personally find it very easy to just rack up assets in the game. There's generally not a lot of incentive to buy anything for most of the game. Do you disagree?


    I think the high payout ratio of slots is probably the most destructive element to the economy because it requires virtually no effort. Collecting things to sell is a hugely variable problem. People who scour the wasteland can collect a ton of gear. With high Barter, they can sell it for a reasonable price and have a lot of caps floating around.

    There are a few item types that never drop in the world: ammo subtypes and mods. That's intentional. You can craft hand loads, but you can't craft most ammo subtypes, and you can only buy weapon mods in stores. The last money sink is implants from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

    Some players struggle to buy the high-end weapons and implants that they want, ending the game with only a few thousand caps. Others end the game with hundreds of thousands of caps. Without fixing the slots payout ratio (or max bets) or drastically altering the way in which players get caps from quests vs. found loot, that's a difficult gap to address.

    JESawyer 7 May 11



    Can you give some little thing about Joshua Graham about how he feels towards NCR or Legion? Please?


    No.

    JESawyer 7 May 11



    What are the northern extents of Caesar's Legion? Ringo says that he is going up to New Cannan, which is near SLC, but Dead Sea claims to be from the Salt Lake area, and Legion control is implied, so wouldn't Crimson Caravan Company be unwelcome there?


    It is a mystery.

    JESawyer 7 May 11



    When I first started playing Fallout, my characters were just numbers and I optimized builds to give myself the biggest advantage possible. Recently, I've assigned SPECIAL and Skill points based on how I view the character. Which do you prefer?


    The latter. Min-maxing in most RPGs is pretty easy for me, so it's more interesting to come up with a character concept and build his or her stats around the concept.

    JESawyer 7 May 11



    So... democrat or republican?


    Death to all partisans.

    JESawyer 7 May 11



    Are you rope kid on the something awful forums?


    Yes.

    JESawyer 7 May 11



    Was their any Vault concepts that never made it into the game, if so what were they.


    I don't believe so.

    JESawyer responded to theflyingbuddha 7 May 11



    As a follow up on economy: in retrospect is there any tweaking that might have been done differently? Like maybe food/medicine being less common outside of vendors? I personally wish there was a bit more ebb and flow between looting and buying, myself.


    In P02 (not sure what that patch is called for endusers... the one before the most recent one), I actually did cut down the amount of found stims pretty heavily. Locked first aid kits still had some, but unlocked ones often have none, or have an empty syringe instead. A lot of dudes who carried stims by default had them removed. Stim pricing was also adjusted up quite a bit.

    Despite this, stims are still used far more often than food despite food being more widespread. I've seen videos of people playing where, outside of combat, they will still use stims even though they're carrying food items that provide more efficient healing (and provide additional bonuses).

    Because stims are, in many players' minds, "the" way to heal your character, it is difficult to get them out of that mindset or to change their expectation of where they can be found and how common they are. According to Steam stats, the Desert Survivalist achievement (heal 10,000 points of damage with food) has a 1.0% completion rate, only trailed by Artful Pocketer at 0.9%. For further reference, it's beaten out by Caravan Master (win 30 games of Caravan) at 1.6%. 9.9% have unlocked Stim-ply Amazing, the Medicine/stim equivalent.

    JESawyer 8 May 11



    Do you feel like you're an easily offended person, or easily angered?


    No.

    JESawyer 8 May 11



    Quick question before I go off to dreamland. Since you are the project director for HH does that mean you will also write some of it's characters (even Graham perhaps?) if so that makes me really excited. Hanlon and Arcade are among my favorites in NV.


    Yes, I also did some writing on Honest Hearts.

    JESawyer 8 May 11


    Who thought up the Boomers, Nellis and the "Volare!" mission? They're by far my favorite faction and missions of the games. Great job guys.


    John Gonzalez came up with the Boomers. I came up with the basics of Volare! and Akil Hooper did the actual development of the quest.


    JESawyer 8 May 11



    Can we kick people off cliff faces in honest hearts


    If you have Ranger Takedown, probably.

    JESawyer 8 May 11


    I want to argue with you in a medium that is inherently biased and sure to make me look foolish. I don't have anyone else on the entire internet to argue with.


    Cool.


    JESawyer 8 May 11



    What time do you normally wake up?


    If I'm cycling to work, 6:30. Otherwise, 8:45.

    JESawyer 8 May 11



    What real-life weapon is the Brush Gun based on?


    Not one gun specifically, but guns like the Winchester 1886 and Marlin Guide Gun.


    JESawyer 8 May 11



    Who wrote Cliff Briscoe?


    i *think* it was Eric Fenstermaker, but I may be remembering incorrectly.

    JESawyer 8 May 11



    Could you please suggest a RECENT musician or band that I should listen to? (I like most music genres) =) thanks =D


    Fleet Foxes.

    JESawyer 8 May 11



    any thoughts on when honest hearts tailer is comin out..........i know u have nothin to do with the release either....uh...Thanks?lol


    lol!!!!

    JESawyer 8 May 11



    Kannst du was zu den jüngsten Entlassungen bei Obsidian sagen? Ist ein Projekt eingestellt worden?


    Nein, kann ich nicht. Entschuldigung.

    JESawyer 8 May 11



    Who came up with the Idea of the All-American Marksman Carbine?


    I did.

    JESawyer 8 May 11



    If a future Fallout game set in the Mojave wasteland requires you to make one of the New Vegas endings canon, which ending would you favor from a storytelling perspective?


    I'll decide that if it ever comes up.

    JESawyer 8 May 11



    What are your thoughts on gun ownership?


    That's a pretty broad topic.

    I think private citizens should be allowed to own firearms. I think legislation regulating firearm ownership should be primarily driven by people who understand how firearms work. It should also be undertaken with a genuine desire to improve safe private firearm ownership, not to slowly eradicate firearm ownership/irritate owners. Attempts to legislate firearm ownership as a way to reduce common gun crime should be abandoned since they have never demonstrated success in the past. Legislators would be better off focusing on the root causes of crime involving firearms.

    JESawyer 8 May 11



    How many backed up questions do you have waiting on here?


    968

    JESawyer 8 May 11



    Granted, as a game dev you don't have to muck about with all that college MLA and APA citation crap. But for your games that involve a (mostly) real world setting like Alpha Protocol and New Vegas, does Obsidian have a research budget set aside?


    Not usually. Research on easily accessible topics is up to individuals/part of the job. Occasionally, we do spend money for outside resources/consultants on things that are outside of our expertise.

    JESawyer 8 May 11



    You don't really believe gun control advocates are just doing it to troll gun owners, do you? Or did Jim Brady get crippled for life just to make guns look bad in some kind of elaborate progressive conspiracy?


    It is hard to look at much of California's gun legislation and believe that the people sponsoring it are honestly interested in curtailing gun crime. Much of the language legislators use focus on the lack of "need" for a person to have a weapon with a specific feature when a) it's not really the point and b) restricting access to these things doesn't show a demonstrable drop in gun crime. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (which California also picked up, independently) is particularly absurd. The D.C. handgun ban also accomplished little.

    California's AB 962 was overturned in January because it was another piece of silly legislation that any person intent on committing a crime could circumvent. It was also either intentionally vague or unintentionally ignorant in its language due to the specification of "handgun" ammunition, which is an arbitrary designation, much like an "assault" weapon.

    Unsurprisingly, much gun crime is committed by people who do not legally own firearms. Despite this, legislators often push to regulate things that only serve to irritate legal gun owners and are no obstacle to people carrying stolen or personally modified firearms. Supporters of this sort of legislation often do their causes no favors as too many proudly revel in being ignorant of how firearms work (or don't work).

    JESawyer responded to Spockrock 8 May 11



    "Legislators would be better off focusing on the root causes of crime involving firearms." could you elaborate on this?


    Poverty. The drug war.

    JESawyer 9 May 11



    I was so bummed about you and what happened, especially the role I played BUT I just got the news! I'm so excited! And relieved! It seems like this year's Samhain is gonna be one to remember. I'llbring the candycorn if you bring the Opana. Allahu Akbar!


    oic

    JESawyer 9 May 11



    Where do the brotherhood of steel get all their food from?


    Veronica buys much of the HV BoS' food for them. That's essentially her job: acquiring things that the BoS cannot produce within Hidden Valley.

    JESawyer 9 May 11



    If the NCR collects taxes then why in F:NV are there no tax collectors?


    If you play the game until April 15th, they show up.


    (not really)

    JESawyer responded to MartinPurvis 10 May 11



    According to your wikipedia page, you started out at Black Isle Studios as a web designer and quickly climbed up the ladder, did you know how to code any computer games before this or even work on them?


    No. I only had experience playing and designing tabletop RPGs for my friends. I had played a ton of CRPGs growing up, but had no CRPG development experience.

    JESawyer 10 May 11



    How do you get into the game industry with no professional experience or academic qualifications?


    I had professional web development experience and I came in as a web developer. I worked on Black Isle websites with Black Isle developers and, over time, convinced them that I knew enough about AD&D/Forgotten Realms that I could work as a junior designer on Icewind Dale.

    JESawyer 10 May 11



    is there some kind of mandate to try and recycle old content for NV/NV's DLC??? are you afraid of running out of ideas???


    No????

    JESawyer 11 May 11



    well its just that they're all made of cut content from the last four real games and you guys are using the OMG KIDNAPPED!!! LOL setup again seriously?????????


    No they aren't, and no we aren't... ?

    JESawyer 11 May 11



    Honest Hearts looks fun! Am I reading the info correctly? Is there a new ammo caliber? Is that a whole new ammo type?


    Yes, .45 Auto is a distinct new ammo type with subtypes.

    JESawyer 11 May 11



    YCS, BYOB, and LF are all dead now. Thoughts?????


    :negative:

    JESawyer 11 May 11



    How adding a new ammo caliber with the DLC has been handled balance-wise? Will we be able to find that ammo in the main Mojave area or only in Zion?


    It will also start appearing at the Gun Runners a few days after you return.

    JESawyer 11 May 11



    I JUST HAD SEX


    cool

    JESawyer 11 May 11



    WHAT? After all he has been through and all the bad things he has done and Joshua Graham still claims to be a christian?


    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+15:11-32&version=NIV

    JESawyer 11 May 11



    Why hasn't the Honest Hearts DLC trailer come out yet, the frigging DLC is coming out next week? I really want to know


    Hmm yes I see.

    JESawyer 15 May 11



    Most people didn't even complete FNV (12.80% have hardcore achievement), surely for them it's not worth buying dlc? I did 80% and even I don't see the need. Are the DLC higher quality focused experiences than the main game's side quests? Persuade us.


    DLCs don't require that you complete the main quest. I have no interest in persuading you.

    JESawyer 15 May 11



    will we see more comedic items like the Pint-sized slasher mask from FO3 in future DLCs


    Without getting into items, Old World Blues is the most LOL!!! of the DLCs.

    JESawyer 15 May 11



    Is Chief Hanlon a homo? I walked into his room while he was sleeping and he was sharing a bed with a Ranger.


    That's just TES engine sandbox behavior.

    JESawyer 15 May 11



    Is The Burned Man named after you?


    No.

    JESawyer 15 May 11



    I wish I could believe that the average caveman would realize that bringing power armor, buckets of ammo/stims, and the best unique weapons to Zion spoils their experience. I appreciate having options, but you give people too much credit. Gear-strip ftw.


    The weight limit will force people to think about what they take. They can still bring in very powerful equipment, but they do have to make some strategic decisions. People who want a challenge will use the weight limit as an story-based excuse to bring in a minimalist set of gear. People who want to slaughter everything won't, but it's their choice to do so and I don't think the experience will be worse for them because of it.


    JESawyer 15 May 11



    According to Keiji Inafune, he got around the refusal of his superiors to greenlight prototypes for games like Lost Planet and Dead Rising by going ludicrously over-budget, forcing them to release the products in order to recoup losses. Is this unethical?


    No, but I'd say his superiors are pretty inattentive if a prototype can go so far over budget that it's necessary to make and release a full game just to recoup losses on it.


    JESawyer 17 May 11



    Why did you nerf some of the special ammos? Specifically, .308 JSP and .223 rounds?


    .223 was never meant to have that bonus. .308 JSP was pretty much pure power/no brainer choice for any .308 weapon.

    JESawyer 17 May 11



    So you used John 1:5 "The light shines in darkness, and the darkness did not overcome (or comprehend) it" for Graham's gun. Was there any special reason for that verse on his weapon?


    Yes.

    JESawyer 17 May 11



    I don't mean to be a jerk but that guy was asking for an explanation for Graham's gun and you blew him off with a one-word answer. I appreciate your generosity for having a Formspring, but that means you have an opportunity to explain the game to fans.


    My one-word answer is an invitation for players to examine the content and context on their own and draw their own conclusions. Whatever I intended ultimately doesn't matter.

    JESawyer 18 May 11



    Finished Honest Hearts and I'm curious, who was involved with The Survivalist's subplot? Also, is it wrong that when I read his lines I hear them said by Sylvester Stallone?


    I designed the overall arc of the Survivalist, his background, and his relationship with the inhabitants of Zion, but John Gonzalez wrote all of the entries you find in the logs.


    JESawyer 18 May 11



    Will the bug with the Survivalist's Rifle be fixed? If you're not aware, it doesn't always appear in the duffel bag, instead it sometimes is picked up by White Legs or given as a reward from Daniel.


    Daniel doesn't give it as a reward, but if you talk to Daniel and your current companion is switched out for someone else (e.g. Joshua Graham), the previous companion will give you all of the loose objects in his or her inventory. NPCs picking the weapon up is just a part of the engine's AI.

    JESawyer 18 May 11



    I find it extremely irritating that Tribals can be equipped with 12.7mm and Brush Guns. I also assume this is for balance. But couldn't you also get balance by making NPCs get more accurrate/strong/resilient as the player leveled and keep them low-tech?


    What you're describing is essentially what the enemies did in in Point Lookout. There was a fair amount of negative feedback to both their high hit point totals and their damage buffs. Joshua Graham explains that the White Legs raided an armory at Spanish Fork and that is supposed to help explain their relatively high level of armament.

    JESawyer 18 May 11



    Why is the Compliance Regulator so bad? It has such a cool design. The paralysis effect seems pointless as the weapon does so little damage you have to switch to a more powerful one. Why didn't you just make it a moderately powerful, unique pistol?


    The paralysis effect is the point of the weapon. From a hidden state, a critical hit is guaranteed. For high crit rate characters, it's common even in standard combat. Players can use it either to avoid conflict by paralyzing the target or they can use it to set up the situation you described. ~10 seconds of uncontested fire from the player with any decent weapon is almost always a death sentence.

    JESawyer 18 May 11



    Honest Hearts was a joke. $10 and that's the best you an give us? For shame Josh.


    Specific points of complaint are more constructive than a general expression of displeasure.

    JESawyer 18 May 11


    I'm really enjoying Honest Hearts. Thank you for all the extra details in the setting which makes it feel like a real hiking adventure. I'm taking my time and not rushing through it. This is one of the best environments I've seen in Fallout ever. :)


    Thanks. The artists put a lot of time into the environment.


    JESawyer 18 May 11



    Are new recipes and weapons conceived when the DLC is, or are they conceived earlier but intended to be implemented in DLC? You're the only Obsidian guy I can find to pose the question to!


    Weapons are always considered early on because they typically require a significant investment of artist time (outfits and characters require even more). We usually start with a list of recipes but it tends to grow over the course of the DLC. Recipes are very easy to make in GECK, so unless the final product of the recipe requires new art, they can happen relatively close to the end of development. The gecko-backed armors came in late on Honest Hearts but they were straightforward to implement.


    JESawyer 18 May 11



    The log entries for the Survivalist made him at times seem woefully uneducated. But in order to live under those conditions and seeing his ingenious methods, makes it seem he would be more the contrary.


    John and I thought of the Survivalist as a clever ex-military man without a lot of formal education. The Survivalist is experienced at living and traveling in the wilderness, so he uses his general experience and quick wits to survive in Zion. Some close examination of his rifle also gives clues about his life before the war.

    JESawyer 18 May 11



    In Honest Hearts, Joshua Graham's approach to the White Legs problem is very violent, vengeful and almost vindictive, while Daniel's is much meeker. Was it intended to be a parallel to the Old and New Testaments and their separate portrayals of God?


    Both men ostensibly want to protect the Sorrows and Zion. When they speak, they talk about salvation and preservation of that tribe and that place (physically and spiritually) being the goal. Speaking with them at length reveals aspects of their background that are, whether they admit it or not, driving their attitudes.

    JESawyer 18 May 11



    I had fun with honest hearts and there were some very memorable characters, thank you!


    Thanks.

    JESawyer 18 May 11



    OK, so, first thing I do is whack the hell outta graham with my displacer glove for incurring the wrath of caesar, then i'm told to collect a map, and then I exit a tunnel and I'm getting an ending slide. can you comment on this design decision???????????


    After you reach Zion, you're allowed to slaughter pretty much everyone even in circumstances where no one has asked you to do so and you are in no imminent danger. You chose that option and received most of the same items through Chaos in Zion that you would through the main quest line.

    JESawyer 18 May 11


    What would your response to these statements be: "the super racist native american who thinks "casinos" are just places where the "white man flips over little pieces of paper""


    Follows-Chalk isn't a Native American, culturally or ethnically.


    JESawyer 18 May 11



    On the desert ranger combat armor R.B. Vickers is painted on the armor. Was this going to be Clark's name and was just changed at the last minute or is it his friend's armor, or just some dude's, that died and Clark was just using it to survive in Zion?


    R.B. Vickers is the name of the armor's original owner.

    JESawyer 18 May 11


    What's the significance of the "FORGIVE ME MAMA" on the helmet? Also, when did Vickers rotate back to the States? April 2077?


    The text on the Desert Ranger Helmet is part of a recurring theme within Honest Hearts.


    JESawyer 18 May 11



    Whats up with the rain? It looks normal looking forwards but when I look up it turns to snow!


    Patrolling the Great Basin almost makes you wish for a nuclear winter.

    JESawyer 18 May 11



    Care to provide story driven, consistent explanations as to: Why do the Gun Runners sell Fire Bombs, War Clubs, and Tomahawks? Why does a "magic" unique gear footlocker suddenly appear? Why the color difference between NCR Vet. and Desert ranger armor?


    1) A northern route was opened to Zion. Regardless of how the Courier resolves the situation there, the weapons that are available there become available in the Mojave. The Gun Runners don't manufacture the items, but re-sell them.

    2) It's not "magic", but gifts from Joshua and Daniel for helping them resolve a pretty important issue in Zion. If you do Chaos in Zion, there is no such box.

    3) NCR Veteran Ranger Armor is Desert Ranger Armor adapted for their use.

    The more important game design reasons are:

    1) It's not beneficial to allow access to one category of new weapons and not others.

    2) Forcing people to kill the owners of unique items that are part of the core story to get those unique items is not great. Similarly, not giving those characters unique items in the first place is bad. Over and over and over again, we have seen players bend over backwards to get those items. They want those items because they look cool and are valuable, stat-wise. We (the developers) put time into making the assets, so we should make them available to the player. This is why the safehouses were filled with low-CND faction-relevant items in a patch.

    3) A re-textured outfit is more interesting and distinct to a player than one that simply has a few logos removed.

    JESawyer 18 May 11



    What comes first for you: good game design or believable level design?


    Good > believable. If you can make something that is good and believable, that is great (assuming it's appropriate for the setting). Sometimes, the game mechanics are in conflict with realism or believability and I think it's better to make the game mechanics feel good.

    As an example, .45 ACP/.45 Auto in Honest Hearts is *~ unrealistically ~* more powerful than 10mm ammo. I could have made the ammunition and the guns that fired it more realistic, but then you'd have a new DLC handgun that holds 5 fewer rounds and does less damage than what is already a "Tier 2" handgun. And to make matters worse, it would have been an iconic weapon that people wanted for look/feel that was fundamentally not as good as most other weapons in the game.

    When it comes to level design, designers should try to be consistent and not pull the player out of the experience. They should also try to think about how the areas are used, because it helps build an environment that pulls the player instead of jarring them out. This isn't always possible, but when it is, it should be pursued.

    JESawyer 18 May 11



    Are there parts of the real Zion Park that have sharp, jagged cliffs and no grass? Or is it due to erosion after 200 years?


    There are some pretty gnarly bare-rock cliffs in Zion.

    JESawyer 18 May 11



    Are you going to play The Witcher 2?


    Yeah.

    JESawyer 18 May 11



    Your DLC sucks. Let the guy who wrote Vault 11 do a DLC because you're a depressing stoic gaylord who secretly loves attention but tries to act edgy and intelligent for kicks.


    Lord of the Gays.

    JESawyer 18 May 11


    Who wrote Joshua Graham? DLC isn't out yet; just curious!


    I did.


    JESawyer 18 May 11


    Have you ever updated your own wikipedia page... be honest!


    Yeah, I went in to remove a credit listed for Planescape: Torment because I wasn't on the dev team.


    JESawyer 18 May 11



    will the bug with the survivalist rifles iron sights not being aligned be fixed and how could such happen?


    It's not a bug. The Survivalist's Rifle was used by the Survivalist for decades and shows signs of improvised repair (the clamps on the foregrip wood, the mismatched wood furniture, etc.). The bent front sight is damage that the Survivalist couldn't or didn't repair and just adapted to using as-is.

    If you aim at the right front post, that's where the bullets are going.


    JESawyer 19 May 11



    Why did you decide to change Graham's character so much from your initial version in Van Buren, where he was pretty much the most evil bastard around?


    Because that's uninteresting.

    JESawyer 19 May 11



    How did the Sorrows manage to forget how to speak and read English and all the knowledge and stories gleaned from the Survivalist's gifts in less than two hundred years?


    The Survivalist's notes may give an incorrect picture of how much English the Sorrows knew when he initially made contact. Even by that point, they were speaking a devolved pidgin language and many of them could not read.


    JESawyer 19 May 11


    Is It correct that the tribals are descended from vacationers at the time of the Great War? I swear I hear a little German in the Dead Horses and Spanish in the Sorrows, but I also hear another language(s) mixed in and spoken by either tribe as well.


    Yes. Joshua Graham explains that they speak languages from a place he calls "Res" mixed with languages from people who were vacationing in Utah.


    JESawyer responded to pepper2000 20 May 11



    My friend is saying that your guys were insensitive in your jokes regarding Indians in the latest DLC. Thoughts?


    I have no idea what jokes he's talking about, most notably since there aren't any Indians/Native Americans in Honest Hearts.


    JESawyer 20 May 11



    Who did the voice acting and writing for Follows-Chalk? I thought both were excellent.


    I don't remember the name of the actor who performed Follows-Chalk, but Travis Stout wrote the character.


    JESawyer 20 May 11


    What is "Res" supposed to be? Are there clues that I'm missing that can help explain it, or is it meant to be a mystery?


    Joshua Graham says that it was east of the Grand Canyon.


    JESawyer responded to pepper2000 20 May 11



    Well at least with the Dead Horses, there seems to be a lot of influence from Native Americans. And my friend was saying how she saw that "Two-Bears-High-Fiving" joke as being very insensitive. She took it as mocking the NAtive American naming culture.


    Two Bears High-Fiving is a reference to a popular mod for the opening ink blot tests from Doc Mitchell. The tribes are influenced by a number of indigenous groups, not simply "Native Americans" (itself a very broad categorization of geographically and culturally diverse groups). The "ethnic" composition of all three of the tribes is intentionally mixed. There aren't Caucasian, African, Asian, etc. Dead Horses. There are just Dead Horses, with a thoroughly mixed background.

    What English speakers understand of various Sioux, Cherokee, Sauk, etc. names is usually as literal a translation as they can manage because many indigenous American names are really, really long. Even so, there isn't a homogeneous indigenous American "naming culture".

    Cultures based on European backgrounds may treat our names as sounds without meaning, but a lot of them are packed with the same sorts of sentiments -- animal names (e.g. Melissa, Bjorn), religious connections (e.g. Joshua, Johanna, Michael), etc. The names of individual tribals in Honest Hearts is intended to give them a sense of being "other" more than it is intended to evoke specific indigenous connections.

    Joshua Graham elaborates on this a bit in his dialogue. The New Canaanites wear more clothing and understand more about technology than the Sorrows, but they're still a tribe.

    JESawyer 20 May 11



    So the USMC and LA Riot armor have similar appearances, just like how today's SWAT and military combat uniforms are similar? And I'm guessing the Ranger w/ the helmet statue @ Mojave Outpost represented the Nevada Rangers this whole time.


    Yes, essentially.

    JESawyer 20 May 11



    Why is the writing on Grahams gun Greek and not Latin?


    John was written in Greek.

    JESawyer 21 May 11



    My anglo name, if literally translated, would be Noble-Born Miller's Son from the land of Carnaghan. P cool eh?


    ya

    JESawyer 23 May 11



    Hi, who was leading gamedesing of the upcoming DLCs?


    Chris Avellone is the project director for Old World Blues and Lonesome Road.

    JESawyer 23 May 11



    When will be released the next.. nah i'm joking ^_^ About Honest Hearts: why the survivalist had all those computers to write his diary? Why not hand-written notes (just lore-wise)? Too much text to fit into notes? Ciao from Italy!


    Terminals are a lot easier for the player to see, especially in a dark cave, than hand-written notes.

    JESawyer responded to ProgRock 23 May 11



    Also, I heard that you designed the Survivalist story, and I also want to congratulate you on that; it was an incredible side-story that was intriguing and just straight up bad-ass. It reminded me of the Mark Meltzer story from Bioshock 2.


    Thanks, but John Gonzalez wrote all of the entries; I just came up with the idea and defined the character's story arc.

    JESawyer 23 May 11



    Why is that Joshua Graham does not wear Legion armors in the flashbacks ? Was it to make him easier to identify ? Why not give him a Legate armor in this case ?


    Lanius' armor seemed inappropriate for Graham. Though it's unlikely that Joshua would have worn the same clothes then that he does when you meet him in Honest Hearts, there weren't a lot of other appropriate clothes for him and his outfit does make him stand out as particularly unusual -- which, even among the Legion, he was.


    JESawyer 23 May 11



    I just want to say thank you. Thank you for writing Joshua Graham's character, and for New Vegas in general. JG is without a doubt one of the most interesting characters I've ever met in a video game, and NV will ALWAYS be my all-time favorite game. :3


    Thanks.

    JESawyer 23 May 11



    Are you aware of the fact that, after you revealed he was your tabletop character, Arcade has been criticized for being a Mary Sue on fansites? Do you think it's fair?


    Jean-Baptiste Cutting was also my character in the same campaign. Is he a Mary Sue?

    I think people know enough about my personality from interviews and the questions I've answered here to make that judgment on their own. The fact that I played the character in a tabletop campaign shouldn't have much bearing on it considering the variety of characters I played in that, and many other, campaigns.

    That said, when I design characters that I am going to personally write or play in RPGs, I try to build up around subject matter I know. As with writing, role-playing about topics with which you are familiar is generally a good approach. There are parts of my cynicism and despair in Chief Hanlon, parts of my idealism in Arcade, and parts of my struggle to be honest with myself in Joshua Graham. Of those three, Arcade is the most like me, but he is not me and was not intended to stand in for me.


    JESawyer 23 May 11



    Honest Hearts was a very well-designed add on and the Survivalist was probably my favorite part of the experience, he reminded me of many hours spent in the Capital Wasteland. Where did you draw your inspiration to create such an interesting character?


    I can't speak for John Gonzalez, who wrote the actual dialogue, but I believe I developed the idea while backpacking in Zion on my own and reading the Pearl of Great Price by Joseph Smith before bed every night. I thought of a "non-believer" surviving the Great War and living in isolation there, seeing other people come and go, and how his own beliefs and relationship to the world would change over time. I also thought the idea of this person becoming some sort of supernatural figure to locals that was later syncretized with the Christian god would be interesting.

    JESawyer responded to stealthsniper 23 May 11



    Ff the Desert Rangers formed after the war sometime in the 22nd century. Then how could R.B. Vickers be a ranger if he was alive before the war?


    He wasn't.

    JESawyer responded to recklessblues 23 May 11



    Honest Hearts made me uncomfortable. What was the purpose of using every negative trope related to indigenous people in one game (cargo cults, mighty whitey, the ignorance and naivete of the NPCs and even naming a quest after the white man's burden)?


    I don't think it would have been particularly interesting to suggest that, contrary to how the majority of various low-tech, low-contact cultures around the world have dealt with the arrival of cultures with significantly higher technology and scientific knowledge -- that the tribes of the Great Basin have some special psychological makeup that inures them to the same sorts of cultural processes.

    JESawyer 23 May 11



    Why does everyone wear masks during the final battle of Hoover Dam?


    FaceGen/FaceFX data can be expensive, so most "generic" participants wear full-face outfits to cut down on the memory required.

    JESawyer 23 May 11



    How come Joshua Grayham pronounce Caesar in anglo version,instead of classical latin one (Like most Legion soldiers do)?


    Because Joshua Graham learned the name "Caesar" long before the Legion came along. Also, Joshua Graham doesn't really care about Caesar's rules anymore

    JESawyer 23 May 11


    Just how much did Graham buy into the Roman schtick in his days as the Legate? It seemed that at the least he kept his own name rather than changing it into something Latin. Wouldn't Caesar/Edward have a problem with him not playing along?


    You may notice a trend of Joshua Graham retaining much more independence, despite his slow descent into darkness, than Legate Lanius. When you consider that Joshua is one of the only other people in the Legion from a background of high technology and education, the differences between him and Lanius (or any other Legion officer) are obvious. He possesses most of Caesar's "special" knowledge of technology in addition to many subjects with which Caesar was never that familiar. In many ways, Joshua was something of a threat to Caesar even before Hoover Dam.


    JESawyer 23 May 11


    Why is it that no one considers the fact that even Europe itself was very tribal at a point where Africa and the middle east held the greatest kingdoms and civilizations and various advances before Western Eur.'s gem, Italy? The third world was civilized.


    Beats me. Cultures without a ton of technology or contact with the outside world tend to have similar reactions to sudden contact with high technology and high tech cultures. There's nothing that surprising about it. If society lost 98% of its populace and the remaining people became isolated, the survivors wouldn't automagically retain knowledge about combustion engines and the human respiratory system. Tribals in F:NV are intended to be relatively isolated Post-War groups, with a very mixed makeup, internally, that lost a huge amount of Pre-War knowledge.


    JESawyer 24 May 11


    duh DOY sawyer! the answer is that a eurocentric view of history prompts people who subscribe to it (read p. much every westerner) to ignore the idea of "civilization" as anything other than a gift that we proud, special white people can give out.


    *drops civilization care basket 2 u*

    (surprise it's cluster bombs!)


    JESawyer 24 May 11



    Are you guys aiming for quality or quantity on your DLCs. So far the writings been average to pretty good but not standout worthy. Gameplay and environments are lackluster and retain static environments. Honest Hearts should of been hugely ambitious.


    New Vegas wasn't even hugely ambitious and it was pretty darn buggy despite our best efforts, so I don't think going ALL OUT on DLCs with smaller dev/testing staff sizes is a sound idea.

    JESawyer 24 May 11



    Who do you think would win in a fight, Lanius or Graham?


    you should ask the guy who does all of the vs. fights on youtube.

    JESawyer 26 May 11



    how come there are not any felines in the wasteland?


    I may not be remembering this correctly, but I think somewhere in the history of the Fallout franchise or Fallout bible, cats are extinct-ed.

    JESawyer 26 May 11



    Long time ago Mr.Avellone promised extra points for guessing Josh Sawyer's "disads". He mentioned: Color blindness, obesity and odious personal habit. I believe that right answer was never given. Please help. :)


    All of the above.

    JESawyer 26 May 11



    what's with the magic bear?


    datura's a helluva drug.

    JESawyer 26 May 11



    all of your funny answers are in all lower case. explain yourself, sawyer!


    fyad
    lf
    ycs

    JESawyer 27 May 11



    If the US Army used the unnamed 10mm SMG as standard SMG, why would an armory have stocked the .45 SMG? By comparison isn't the design obsolite? Especially for a Retro-Futuristic America?


    I don't know where it's stated that the U.S. Army uses any of the 10mm SMGs as a standard SMG, but an effectively one-handed compact SMG seems like an odd choice for "standard" armament.

    And as far as what the army adopts and what it keeps on hand in armories, the U.S. military generally doesn't just chuck out small arms when they begin adopting new equipment. More importantly, I don't think they would go out of their way to excise/remove weapons from their huge number of armories around the country/world.

    There are still plenty of armies today that use 9mm Browning Hi-Powers and rechambered (in .308 Win.) SMLE rifles. Though not many U.S. military branches still use the M1911, some do, and that's a 100 year-old design.

    JESawyer 27 May 11



    This is a two parter. 1. Why did you decide to make Joshua Graham a good character instead of an evil character like in Van Buren? 2. Where did the inspiration of the Joshua Graham character come from?


    I think it's worth noting that in even Van Buren's documents, a lot of the references to the Hanged Man's "evil" refers to past acts. In VB, he was seemingly a man without purpose. While his characterization by others and his tendency to laugh off/ignore attempts by others to control him could have been interesting, it really ended at "nasty guy who says and does creepy stuff and is a badass". There were specific instances (such as at New Canaan) where he would specifically avoid conflict and showed some additional depth, but he effectively had no character arc within the story.

    Personally, I think the "wow so crazy" type characters aren't particularly interesting or insightful because they only exist in pure fantasy and, as such, can't really be related to. I think it's important for characters who are influencing player opinions to be more-or-less human. If you can't put yourself in the character's shoes, it's hard to empathize with him or her.

    Joshua was inspired by a lot of different characters and things. The apostle Paul, Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert DeNiro's character from Roland Joffé's "The Mission"), T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia, and others. His outfit was designed to feature body armor but look somewhat "old west"/preacher in style -- hence the low-collar white shirt, sleeve garter, and the cut of the ballistic vest. The rattlesnake skin on his belt, shoes, and gun are symbolic but also intended to reflect that "western" feeling. The stitched patterns in his shirt were supposed to be tribal markings from the Dead Horses and were inspired by a scene from The Mission where Mendoza receives patterned body paint from the Guarani. I remembered a white dress from PJ Harvey's White Chalk tour where she had lyrics stitched into the cloth in black thread and I just put the two ideas together.

    JESawyer 27 May 11



    Marksman clearly has a quite modern design. Is there any particular reason it should consider canon?


    Miniguns also have a quite modern design, along with a dozen other conventional Fallout guns that have been in previous games. I don't think there's anything about the Marksman Carbine that makes it stand out compared to the others.

    JESawyer 27 May 11



    >> I don't know where it's stated that the U.S. Army uses any of the 10mm SMGs as a standard SMG, but an effectively one-handed compact SMG seems like an odd choice for "standard" armament. O:A.


    Fair enough.

    JESawyer 27 May 11


    Why is Honest Hearts basically all more in depth fetch quests? I mean clever using taboos as a reason why you specifically have to if Daniel or Joshua don't but come on.


    The main quests were primarily designed to be straightforward and hard to break. Several of F:NV's quests went against the basic structure of the engine and in almost all cases, it resulted in a high degree of fragility and/or confusion for players. DLCs do not have long development cycles, so I wanted to mitigate the potential for main quest bugs by keeping them simple. In fact, the one major main quest break that many players have noted (Follows-Chalk being easily winged or killed during his initial appearance) was something that went in late in the cycle (and shouldn't have).


    JESawyer 27 May 11



    is the magic bear real because i have its hand?


    The bear is real, but everything you see about the bear may not be!

    JESawyer 27 May 11



    Beefjack, 7.3/10 The problem lies with the delivery. Few of the side quests are expressly dealt with, and after the main bulk of them are dealt with, the end rears up. With a little more time put into some more dialogue, this would have been a moot point


    Again, this goes back to time and overall resources.

    JESawyer 27 May 11



    I'm seeing "time and resources" coming up as a reason for what some are calling a lack of ambition in the DLCs. Being a software engineer, I know too well about these limitations. As consumers though, is there any way we can influence more expansive DLCs?


    What you buy and don't buy and how you articulate your opinions about DLC help inform developers and publishers about what you do and don't like/tolerate. That's really the bottom line. DLC, especially the "adventure pack" style, is still a relatively new phenomenon, so we're all testing the boundaries of what consumers expect.

    When someone asks me about why something was done a certain way, I usually won't hesitate to explain why, even if the reasons seem dumb. From the consumer's perspective, our budgets/timelines really aren't important. What's important to them is that they feel that their money was well spent. How we generate those budgets and timelines is based off of what we see players responding to in terms of depth and breadth -- and other logistical concerns surrounding us.

    JESawyer 27 May 11



    When the moon hits your eye like a big-a pizza pie, that's amore. When the world seems to shine like you've had to much wine, that's amore.


    hmm i see

    JESawyer 27 May 11



    Should the 10mm SMG be considered cannon that it was the standard of the US Armed froses, due to it being used extensively in Operation Anchorage? Both the DLC and the Anchorage War Memorial. Also why dose it have to be single handed?


    In that's what O:A says, sure. The 10mm SMG could be used in a "proper" two-handed stance, but it never really is in any of the Fallout games. The closest you get is F3/F:NV using the teacup/Weaver grip, which isn't really appropriate.

    Today, SMGs aren't typically standard-issue for military troops. Soldiers usually have a rifle, light MG, and/or sidearm. SMGs are often used by special forces and/or SWAT.

    JESawyer 29 May 11



    As the nightstalkers are the result of splicing DNA of two different creatures and their origin is still unknown (IIRC)... here's my question: Were the scientist at Big Empty capable of "producing" such a thing? ;)


    it is

    a mystery

    JESawyer 29 May 11



    What do you know about the amazing 2D RPG Obsidian is making?


    it's kewl

    JESawyer 29 May 11



    Curiosity, why can't we bring the party members from dlc with us? I would love to run into Caesars Camp with Joshua just to see everyones reactions.


    Script is used to manage companions joining/leaving the party. It is done in many places throughout the game and is often done by specific IDs. I.e., it is not a generic "add/remove companion" function. The designers handled this in F:NV because our roster of companions only changed once (Ulysses).

    We can't directly patch DLC content, and can't reference (in script) anything in the update from the DLC or vice-versa. This means that any companions we might add in the DLC, if brought back into the Mojave, would not be covered by the scripts that are made for the core F:NV game.

    JESawyer 29 May 11



    Are you going to nerf Boone's beret? It seems really overpowered with it's 5+ critical chance. It makes the other hats/helmets useless.


    The issue isn't really Boone's beret as much as the multiplicative stacking that the engine runs on it. By itself, +5 Crit Chance is really nice but not the end of the world.

    JESawyer 29 May 11



    I read here that you think all the weapons in Dead Money were horrible. But I found the Holorifle with all the upgrade mods pretty good as a short to mid range "energy weapon shotgun...". So why did you think all of it was(and still is) terrible?


    I don't think the weapons from Dead Money were horrible. I think they are pretty good within certain parameters. When the Automatic Rifle and Holorifle are fully modded, they are among the "best" weapons overall, but they still don't dominate all-around due to a variety of drawbacks that may or may not be relevant based on circumstance. As you already mentioned, the Holorifle can suffer at long range, especially if the targets are aware and moving. The Automatic Rifle's main disadvantages are spread and limited magazine size, but against a lone target (or a few low-health targets) at short- to mid-range, it crushes.

    The Police Pistol is not a particularly powerful weapon, but it's nice early on in Dead Money and is a good holdout weapon if you don't have a great Sneak skill. The various melee/unarmed/explosive weapons and variants are, IMO, nice mid-tier weapons.

    JESawyer 29 May 11



    what kind of gun would you recommend for a first time gun owner?


    Conventional wisdom suggests that the best first firearm is one that a) feels comfortable for you to hold and fire b) uses a relatively low-power cartridge (such as .22 LR) to help develop good technique/avoid flinch and c) uses a cartridge that is inexpensive (such as .22 LR) so you are not discouraged from practicing regularly. If I go to the range to practice with my .45 ACP Colt Series 80, I may go through $50 of ammo in no time. I can practice with my Henry .22 for hours and use a little over $10 in ammo.

    But this all assumes that your first firearm is purchased specifically for learning how to maintain and operate a firearm. If you are buying a firearm for a specific purpose (home defense, hunting, ranch pest control), that's an entirely different story and I'm not really qualified to answer. Just to make it clear, I'm not even qualified to answer the first question, but that's the advice I've seen posted and spoken time and again.

    JESawyer 31 May 11



    Why did you nerf the bladed gauntlet? I had never heard a singl complaint about it, and the Ballistic Fist/and or Pushy were better choices across the board.


    Because the Bladed Gauntlet is a weapon you can get in the first few hours of a normal playthrough and the Ballistic Fist and Pushy are top-tier weapons that you find/buy in the late game.

    JESawyer 31 May 11



    who was the lead producer of dead money? I have a lot of questions about dead money


    If you mean the project director, it was Chris Avellone.

    JESawyer 31 May 11



    You mention weapon "tiers" quite a bit. This seems like a dev distinction for the purposes of balance and distribution, but its not clear what weapons fall into what tier or what governs which tier they get placed in. Could you clarify this for us? List?


    By skill requirement, a weapon's "tier" starts at 1 with a 0 requirement. 25 = Tier 2, 50 = Tier 3, 75 = Tier 4, 100 = Tier 5. The one notable mistake I made recently were the .45 Auto Pistols. They were meant to be Tier 3 (not Tier 2) with Joshua Graham's unique pistol being Tier 4.

    What governs their placement is their general efficacy relative to weapons of a similar type and how they provide a distinct application relative to similarly-powered weapons of different types. For example, in most regards the .44 Magnum Revolver is more powerful than the .357 Magnum Revolver (Tier 1), Police Pistol (Tier 2) and less powerful than the Hunting Revolver (Tier 4).

    Compared to other Guns with a 50 requirement, it is more accurate than a 10mm SMG, and has a higher DAM, but a much lower DPS. Compared to the Hunting Rifle, it has a higher DPS, but lower DAM and accuracy. That's generally how the balancing process goes, but with more in-game testing to ensure that the statistical design is producing actual results in game.

    JESawyer 31 May 11



    Is the Light in Darkness based on any real version of the M1911?


    It's loosely based on various "Officer"-sized compact M1911s, though a compact M1911 like that should probably have a reversed recoil plug.

    JESawyer responded to TraderRager 31 May 11



    Why is the text on the Light Shining in Darkness Greek? How is Graham so well educated to the point of being fluent in 2 dead languages and having an extensive knowledge of firearms?


    Joshua Graham is from a religious community that preserved a great deal of Pre-War knowledge and tradition. He was also a missionary, so it was important for him to learn a variety of languages even before he left New Canaan. In his dialogue, he also explains that his "people" are fond of the mechanical workings of firearms, and that the .45 Auto Pistol was invented by one of his "tribe".

    JESawyer 31 May 11



    Do you have any involvement in Old World Blues?


    No.

    JESawyer 1 Jun 11



    Have you ever edit anything on Fallout wiki? :)


    No.

    JESawyer 1 Jun 11



    Do you have any involvement in Lonesome Road?


    Other than playing it and providing feedback, no.

    JESawyer 1 Jun 11



    How much do you know so much about history? Major in college or just a hobby?


    It was my major in college and it continues to be a subject of interest.

    JESawyer 2 Jun 11



    Did you know, according to fallout wikia, as of a few minutes ago, I am the first person to download Honest Hearts for PS3?


    oic

    JESawyer 2 Jun 11



    Is "Way of the Canaanite" based off of modern CQB techniques and weapon handling or is it based off of something different entirely? How is Joshua able to waste anything with just a pistol?


    because he owns

    JESawyer 3 Jun 11



    Hiya! Not a question, but just a thank you. I loved you guys when you were Black Isle, I was happy to see most of you become Obsidian. Can't wait for you folks to make more awesome games. :) Thank you a lot for tons of hours of entertainment.


    thx

    JESawyer 3 Jun 11



    Were there any companions which did not make it into the final cut which you personally liked?


    Ulysses was the only companion we cut.

    JESawyer 3 Jun 11



    Are the Followers of the Apocalypse at the Old Mormon Fort just a contingent of the original Followers or has the entire group actually migrated to the Mojave?


    They're part of the larger Followers group.

    JESawyer 3 Jun 11



    Is New Canaan mentioned by Joshua Graham et al a reference to Heinlein's Tunnel in the Sky, which focuses on the colonisation of a planet also named New Canaan?


    No.

    JESawyer 3 Jun 11



    how high on your to do list are new vegas bugs


    I don't get many bugs assigned to me, but I generally fix them within a few days of receiving them.

    JESawyer 3 Jun 11



    It seems New Vegas is mainly about history repeating itself. From Caesar vs the Republic to the events of HH. Is the concept of history repeating, or parodying itself your side of the development process? Explain.


    One of the themes that materialized over the course of New Vegas' development was "creating the new world in the image of the old world". Caesar interprets this the most literally, but a large number of individuals and groups are caught up in the same idea.


    JESawyer 3 Jun 11



    Who was R.B. Vickers and how did Randall Clark come across his armor?


    mysteries

    JESawyer 3 Jun 11



    After Honest Hearts, why wasn't there any new speech option to talk to Caesar about finding Graham in Zion, like there was with Veronica about Elijah?


    The reactivity for Veronica was planned for ahead of time (i.e., before New Vegas' development ended). Because Honest Hearts wasn't planned out until significantly after all of Caesar's dialogue was written and recorded, we didn't have the same opportunity.

    JESawyer 3 Jun 11



    People should be supporting Brian Fargo's inXile. You know, the man who worked on and sheltered Wasteland to Fallout and others while founding Interplay. Not Obsidian. Supporting you guys is like sup current shady Interplay just cuz they have Chris Taylor


    o ok

    JESawyer 4 Jun 11



    Did you guys cut out a lot content from Fallout: New Vegas or is most of the created content in the game?


    Not much was cut.

    JESawyer 4 Jun 11



    Will you have sex with me?


    doubtful


    JESawyer 4 Jun 11



    What would Caesar have done if you told him about Graham?


    his eyes would have popped out of his head, steam shot from his ears and an "ow-ooogah" sound would have played.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    what do you like on pizza? i like bacon and onions


    Cheese and pineapple.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Why does Marcus speak in clipped sentences, e.g. "was a resort pre-war", "was part of the super mutant army"? Some other characters do this a little, however Marcus' speech uses this with far greater frequency.


    Jeff Husges (who wrote Marcus for F:NV) based Marcus' speech patterns on the character's dialogue from F2. Marcus has a similar style there, e.g. "Helped build the place."

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    You're on a beach, alone. Night falls. Slow walk on the beach, or go surfing/swimming/skinny dipping?


    I'll assume it's a beach near my apartment, which means it's an ocean beach. No way in hell am I going night surfing/swimming/skinny dipping on an ocean beach.

    FEAR THE OCEAN AND ITS GRIM, LURKING DENIZENS.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Would you be for another weapon that used .50 BMG rounds, like a M2 Browning? It'd be nice to see some more variety in the heavier duty ammo, like we got with the Survivalist Rifle.


    We've already established that .50 BMG is an extremely mighty round. Even the Automatic Rifle was hard to balance and that was "only" firing .308. I try to keep weapons firing the same conventional ammo within about 25% of the base DAM from weapon to weapon or it starts to seem weird.

    Also... come on: http://www.gunsandammo.org/images/0/06/50-BMG.png

    JESawyer responded to SerMcWorst 5 Jun 11



    Is there any particular reason Honest Hearts didn't get the a drawn intro in the same style of Dead Money (and apparently Old World Blues)? In my opinion it worked wonders for Dead Money, while the screenshots just seem clumsy.


    Time/resources.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    In early previews for FNV, it showed the exact same HUD design as F3. However, in the actual game, it has been modified to look more western. When was this change made, and who designed it / decided it needed changing?


    I'm not sure when it was changed, but I worked with Jason Sereno, our UI artist, to make a few adjustments. I didn't want to go crazy with changes, but a small tweak to the aesthetic seemed like a good idea.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Were you involved in the development of Old World Blues? If so, I'm curious as I've recently watched the Qore coverage of it and there is a gun called the K9000 which has a brain in it, is there a purpose to this or is it just for show?


    I helped tune some of the OWB weapons, but didn't come up with the list/concepts for them.

    JESawyer responded to zach9054 5 Jun 11



    Who came up with the idea for ED-E? i love that little dude.


    Thanks. I generated the concepts and character arcs for all of the companions, but different designers wrote the actual dialogue and implemented the quests. In the case of ED-E, Akil Hooper generated the quests/content.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Do you ever read the title of a NV mod, something like "Better Arcade", then look at it and it just turns Arcade into barbie doll, do you ever see mods like that and get angry? Or are you numb to things so trivial?


    I might find a mod funny or silly, but none of them make me mad. It's a single-player game that a person put effort into modding for their personal enjoyment (and maybe the enjoyment of others).

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    The futuristic electrical war axe thingy in old world blues looks so cool.


    yah it's kewl

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    are you attending e3 this year?


    No.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    I love you.


    cool thx

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Is Hidden Valley Bunker Plato's Cave? I think Veronica explicitly calls it a "Cave" at one point, and she's alienated from her Brothers within through being out in the Wasteland.


    No, but the general analogy is a good one. The HV chapter is insular and paranoid primarily because they are completely out of touch with what is going on in the outside world.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    I'm not exactly sure why the guns in NV don't have recoil, I assume it's because of an engine limitation, but if the guns could have recoil, would energy weapons be affected by it?


    There's nothing built into the engine to support progressive recoil. Some people have approximated it with script, but that's about as far as it goes.

    Certain EWs would "logically" be affected by recoil, like the Gauss Rifle, but obviously laser weapons should not. Plasma weapons are sort of in a weird place, faux-science-wise, but I already made them slow-firing as a rule.

    JESawyer responded to Kalsue 5 Jun 11



    I love the fallout game since the first one and i want to thank you and all your team for those great game.The only complain i have are the bugs in the latest one and the fact that hardcore on very hard was way too easy for me.Thanks


    thx

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    You should make SOF operators armor in one of the next expansions, complete with thigh pistol holster, magazines, quick draw one point sling and NVG's. and give it 5% crit so that i can one shot deathclaws with my All-American. pretty pleese


    hmm i c

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Is Hidden Valley bunker all what is left of what used to be mighty Brotherhood of Steel?


    No, it's just one chapter.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Was the mapper used for Icewind Dale 2 similar to that of Fallout? Kinda always wondered and was a bit saddened that it was never released to the public. :)


    No. IWD2 used BioWare's map editor. Artists would generate large bitmap renders (often touched up by Brian Menze) and insert them in the engine as one big map. Fallout I/II's maps were built out of individual tiny parts/tiles.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Icewind Dale is better than Fallout and you should make Icewind Dale 3 thanks.


    ok

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    As if you guys rep. Black Isle. Chris Avellone and the rest came in on Fallout 2, yourself for Van Buren and a little on P:T. Obsidian has a few ppl like map designers and Feargus to represent the FO1 team. And unlike Tim Cain or others they get credit.


    No, I'm pretty sure Tim Cain gets a lot of credit for Fallout. If you only count people who were on the original Fallout team as being part of Black Isle (even though that game was published before Black Isle was the name of the division), then yes, only Feargus, ScottE, and maybe Brian Menze and Dan Spitzley can "rep" BIS at OEI. You're also excluding everyone who was there from 1998 to 2003, which is a little goofy.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    You mentioned before that there is no way to directly patch DLC, but does that mean that bugs which exist in the DLC will always be there forever? :(


    Unless the bugs are caused by something in the base FalloutNV.esm, yes.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    how come you know so much about things in general, are you like a boss in the upcoming trivia pursuit game?


    I just read about anything/everything I can to a shallow depth.

    JESawyer responded to Cgrenfell 5 Jun 11



    Can't wait for Old World Blues I really want to talk the toaster and not feel isane about talking to a toaster


    then this is the dlc for you my friend

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    I am literally withering away pining for a new NWN, an online game that tries to replicate the PnP, dungeon master experience. NWN 2 had amazing campaigns but it seemed to drop the ball on the online/PNP portion. Do you use NWN 2 online or stick to PNP?


    Just tabletop.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    I played 2 mins of Honest Hearts (Talked with those guys in the beggining) and I dont understand 'Zion', 'New Caanan' and 'Utah'... Utah is the city? New Caanan are the people? Please can you explain


    Zion National Park is a place in southern Utah, one of Pre-War America's states. New Canaan was a Post-War community built in the ruins of Odgen, Utah. New Canaanites are people from New Canaan.

    It is important to note that the concept of "Zion" has a larger implication for Christians (especially of certain denominations) that goes beyond a physical place. When Joshua and Daniel talk about Zion, they may use the term interchangeably to refer to Zion National Park or their religious concept of Zion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zion

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Honest hearts was amazing! Especially when crushing the white legs the execution moves by sorrows/dead horses. So cool!


    Thanks. Jessica Johnson set up the executions during Crush the White Legs.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    What is it that makes Joshua Graham so damn tough? Is it a mutation? When the player asks if he's in pain, he says that he learned long ago that he is immune to the effects of chems.


    mysteries

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    do you think that dead money was inspired by system shock 2? you know because of the scavenging for ammo/consumables, vending machines, someone ordering you throu your pipboy/mfd, and the enemies in both games are people who have been changed.


    You should ask Chris Avellone.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Do you play any table-top RPGs at the office? If yes, which ones?


    There are regular board game groups and a few tabletop groups that meet during the week. Personally, I play in a Sunday 4th Edition D&D group. We are currently alternating between the Scales of War campaign and a Dark Sun adventure series.

    JESawyer responded to TraderRager 5 Jun 11



    I see you took a Que from you fan-base and effectively put a "loot box" at the end of Honest Hearts. Was this your choice, or was this done by one of the level designers?


    My choice. I didn't want people resorting to weird tricks/murders just to get the "cool stuff" made for the unique NPCs.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Why doesn't the NCR properly supply squads? You will find a squad of, say, 7 soldiers, and they will ALL be using the Service Rifle. Did you ever consider having proper layouts, like 4 Service Rifles, 1 LMG, 1 Grenade Rifle, and 1 Hunting rifle?


    From a story perspective, NCR doesn't properly supply squads due to bureaucratic inefficiency. From a balance perspective, we don't want players gaining easy access to high end weapons like LMGs in the early game, so most of the troopers the player encounters early on have pretty low-end weapons. The NCR and Legion troops with high end weapons don't even spawn in the world until a certain story state has been hit. That's when you'll start seeing Veteran Rangers with Brush Guns, NCR Heavy Troopers with LMGs, Legion Centurions with Chainsaws, and Legion Assassins with 12.7mm Pistols/SMGs.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Why doesn't the Varmint rifle use .22lr? It was apparently planned to early in production, and the VR's real world equivalent is also .22 caliber. What gives? I'm sick of some many guns using 5.56.


    People didn't enjoy using it as a bolt-action .22LR weapon because it was so weak due to the low DAM and low RoF. If it were a semi-auto Ruger 10/22 type rifle, I think it would have been more enjoyable.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Is it difficult to write and create concepts for a universe knowing you may never be able to contribute to it again?


    No. That could be any game I ever work on.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Cannibal Johnson lives in a cave. Cave Johnson is the CEO of Aperture Science from the Portal games. Is Cannibal Johnson's name a Portal reference?


    No.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    Who was responsible for the discussion of Hegelian dialectics at The Fort? I know Fallout is a cut above, but I was really surprised to see something like that from a mainstream game. It's nice to see games that don't treat you've got a little baby brain.


    Thanks. I asked John Gonzalez (who wrote Caesar) to include a discussion with Caesar in which Caesar used his interpretation of Hegelian dialectics to justify the existence of the Legion, his drive to conquer the NCR, and his vision of a brighter future for the Legion as a sort of reborn Roman Empire following the fall of the corrupt Roman Republic (NCR).

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    How old do you reckon the burned man is?


    He and Caesar were both young men (Joshua Graham had just started missionary work) when they met, so that should give you a rough timeframe.

    JESawyer 5 Jun 11



    So essentially all the gear the White Legs got was army surplus?


    Most of it, yes.

    JESawyer 6 Jun 11



    What did JG say to Salt-Upon-Wounds in Latin?


    It wasn't in Latin. It was in the White Legs' tribal language, which includes elements of Spanish (hence the common Romance language roots with Latin).

    Also, *~ mysteries ~*

    JESawyer 6 Jun 11



    Why does For Auld Lang Syne have no way to say "fight for me/Yes Man" or "fight for House"? There seems to only be the option of fighting for NCR or Legion. This is kind of ridiculous, seeing as Arcade's ideal path is Independent Vegas.


    Supporting NCR produces the same functional result, since really there are only two or three points in Hoover Dam where you potentially do something substantively different (against NCR), and those events do not occur outside on the dam itself.

    JESawyer 7 Jun 11



    But what if you are vilified with the NCR prior to the Dam war? Also, why would a Yes Man/House player ever tell them to support the NCR, especially when one of them doesn't like the NCR and is clear about it? It doesn't make any sense.


    Because Mr. House knows that he is not personally going to wage war against the Legion with his Securitrons. His plan is to let NCR bear the brunt of the fighting and then use his Securitrons to push NCR out when the dust settles. Yes Man's logic follows this as well.

    Asking the Remnants to fight on behalf of "Mr. House" doesn't make sense because Mr. House effectively has no forces in the main battle at Hoover Dam and he wouldn't want the Remnants to actively oppose NCR *during* the fight (because it would make removing the Legion presence more difficult).

    Asking them to fight for an independent Vegas would produce the same functional result: help kick the Legion out, after which point the Securitrons show up and push NCR out.

    Since there's no functional difference between what the Remnants do if the player is supporting NCR, independent Vegas, or Mr. House -- and since Mr. House and Yes Man see no point in having the Remnants actively fight NCR at Hoover Dam -- there's no real need to complicate the quest by adding in duplicate options producing the same end result.

    JESawyer 7 Jun 11



    It must annoy you when your asked really dumb questions like "when's the next dlc coming out". How often are you asked such stupid questions?


    Multiple times every day.

    JESawyer 7 Jun 11



    Hello Joshua, thanks for your work, it's amazing. I have one question: Old World Blues about to be the most humorous DLC. It was your idea? (I really apologize, my English is so bad). Thanks for your answer and have a nice day. -John


    It was Chris Avellone's idea and he is the project director.

    JESawyer 7 Jun 11



    Your fond of repeating "budget" for DLCs nacks however the fact that money can be put aside for it rather than soley on new projects shows you do have resources at your disposal. DLC should expand gameplay, your $10 content used to be free on PC.


    Money isn't "put aside" for DLCs; publishers pay us a contractually-defined amount to develop them. We're paid per-milestone delivery, just as we were on the core game. The publisher determines the price point and when to release it.

    JESawyer 7 Jun 11



    Chris Taylor and Tim Cain said that Fallout came out during hard for RPG times. Most of devs were too busy making easy jRPGs. Would you agree that Fallout somewhat saved RPG genre? Giving stimuli to other devs to try their hands at developing RPGs.


    I think so, yes.

    JESawyer 7 Jun 11



    fallout is one of my favorite game series. i love all the different choices you can make.


    It's one of my favorites as well!

    JESawyer 7 Jun 11



    When slug ammo is used for the shotguns in NV, do they calculate damage as one number or is it split up like the buckshot?


    It's just one projectile. When you look at the damage done by shotguns, the display will either show something like 7.2x7 (7.2 damage per shot, 7 shots) or a single value (50) if slugs are equipped. Slugs are also more accurate, so if you're at mid-range with weapons like the Hunting Shotgun (especially with the choke installed), you can really blast through armor.

    JESawyer 8 Jun 11



    Favorite seasons of The Wire?


    2-4, but 4 is probably my favorite. I like how 5 tied up a lot of the long-running elements of the series, but the press plot didn't interest me and seemed very "David Simon gonna pick some bones"-y. In my view, more than any other organization represented in The Wire, the people working at the Baltimore Sun fall into "good guy" and "bad guy" categories. People are either wholly good/competent or consistently dishonest, underhanded jackasses. It's easier for me to empathize with String than Templeton -- and that's pretty bad.

    JESawyer 8 Jun 11



    hey, thanks a lot at the end of Honest Hearts there was a footlocker with a lot of unique content..I LOVE UNIQUE STUFF! Really thanks


    np

    JESawyer 8 Jun 11



    Are you going to be playing Skyrim when it comes out?


    Yes. I played a lot of Oblivion as well.

    JESawyer 8 Jun 11



    Was Oblivion the first Elder Scrolls game you played?


    Arena was the first Elder Scrolls game I played.

    JESawyer 9 Jun 11



    Is there any single person in the design process who creates the location's (eg Nipton) environment (placing fire/cucifixes, building houses, terrain shaping), populates it with items/NPCS (Vulpes, M. Steyn's comp, locker contents) and implements quests?


    No. Environment building is typically handled by world builders and lit by artists. The rest of the "designy" aspects are handled by an area designer working from an RDC (Region Design Constraint doc) authored by me (or, in the case of some DLC content, Chris Avellone).

    JESawyer 9 Jun 11



    Cool I can ask you a fallout question now! Is It impossible side with Benny in F:NV? Also, whys your bicycle hung up? Dose that save like 3 square feet of space or do you just like hanging things on your wall?


    You can side with Benny at various points, but he invariably tries to screw you over for your magnanimity.

    I hang my bicycles up to save space. My apartment is not that large.

    JESawyer 9 Jun 11



    The Brotherhood of Steel faction is most appealing to right-wingers. Did you make the BoS companion, Veronica, a goofy and bisexual teenaged girl just to annoy them?


    No.

    Also, Veronica is a) not bisexual b) not a teenager.

    JESawyer 9 Jun 11



    What games have you seen at E3 that you're most excited for?


    Dark Souls, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dragon's Dogma, and Hitman: Absolution.

    JESawyer 9 Jun 11



    whos idea was it to take the advanced mk1 (in new vegas) and make it worse than the older t-51b? because if u use t-51b with toughness perk x 2 it beats the mk1, is it really that fragile that it can't withstand a few years without repairs ?


    have you considered taking toughness twice with remnants armor?!

    JESawyer 9 Jun 11



    Why is the Gauss Rifle an energy weapon when it fires projectiles?


    Because it uses MFCs to propel the projectiles.

    JESawyer 10 Jun 11



    you used to look like a nerd and now you look fly as hell. what'd you do?


    I lost 75 lbs.

    JESawyer responded to StarkeRealm 10 Jun 11



    How does loading a choked shotgun with slugs sound like a good idea (in FNV)?


    it's a good idea irl if the goal is to destroy your barrel.

    JESawyer 10 Jun 11



    first character in skyrim melee magic or archer?


    Probably an archer since my alchemy/sneak/marksman assassin, Black Donald, was such a success in Oblivion.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    Are cazadores based off of tarantula hawk wasps?


    Yes.


    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    Why does lead have weight? It use to not, now it does. Same with .22LR and 12.7, with pack rat it says 0.00 on it's unit weight. But when removed from the inventory it subtracts from weight.


    Some ammo and item weights are so low that they are below 0.00.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    Is the rifle This Machine based off of the M1 Garand or one of its variants?


    Yes, but it is not an exact reproduction.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    Is the .45 submachine gun from the Honest Hearts add-on based off of the Thompson submachine gun?


    Yes, but it is not an exact reproduction.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    Is the Automatic Rifle from the Dead Money add-on based off of the M1917 Browning machine gun?


    No, it's based off of the M1918 but with modifications to the grip and other parts.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    Is [Weapon X that looks like real life Weapon Y] from [some game] based of [Weapon Y]?


    probably

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    I paid $10 for fetch quests? Refund :mad: I'm not anywhere near the end but the wiki says it's all fetch quests except for the end assault.


    cool

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    By "below 0.00" I assume you mean "below 0.01" or "below 0.005", depending on the rounding of the displayed number. I know that was probably a typo, but I ask this so that no one will get confused.


    Actually I'm not sure if it rounds at a certain point or just drops, so I don't know where the line is drawn. But yes, it only displays to the hundredths place. X.XX.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    Why does the game assume the PC wants to leave Zion park? Compared to the Mojave it's almost like a heaven on Earth. Food and shelter along with rainwater. Vault 22's parasite and the White legs notwithstanding.


    The player doesn't have to leave Zion.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    What real-world locations served as the primary inspiration for the New Vegas casinos?


    I can't remember, but most of the casino designs were developed by Joe Sanabria. There may be some videos online in which Joe talks about them. Sorry I can't be of more help.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    Looking at the map, it seems to take hours to get into the wilderness from huntington beach. Isn't that annoying?


    A little, but there are nice hiking trails around Laguna Beach.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    Yay for more Based on Z questions: Was the 12.7mm SMG based on any existing weapon or is it purely fictional?


    Pretty much pure fiction, though a couple of elements were loosely inspired by the P90 and Kriss Vector.

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    new vegas sucks my balls on xbox but is awesome on pc


    i c

    JESawyer 11 Jun 11



    I'm asking this merely to prove a point to someone: Is the 9mm Pistol based on the Browning Hi-Power or the Colt M1911 more?


    It's based on the BHP and the differences between it and the M1911 are pretty obvious if you look at the details.

    JESawyer 12 Jun 11



    I really love all your games in particular Fallout but i have a question why all Citations from Bible in Fallout 3 and Honest hearts are from King James Bible?


    I can't speak for the F3 development team, but the KJV Bible is what the New Canaanites use.

    JESawyer 14 Jun 11



    Could u have an oval shaped mission marker to indicate "it's somewhere in this area"? cos if it says "search room for clue" I don't want the marker to lead me straight to the hiddn journal under the couch, cos we're not really searching the room that way.


    The engine doesn't currently support that, but it's a good way to handle "find this" objectives. Assassin's Creed 2 used an objective pointer with either a) a radius or b) an irregular volume (e.g. the inside of a large, sprawling courtyard). I thought that did a good job of indicating the general area for the player while still making the player search for the target.

    JESawyer 14 Jun 11



    What does the name "Cazzador" mean and why did you use it?


    "Cazador" is the Spanish word for "hunter". Since cazadores are based on tarantula hawk wasps and they are more common in Arizona and New Mexico (the Sonoran Desert, especially), I thought they may have originally been named "in the wild" by Spanish-speakers.

    JESawyer 14 Jun 11



    Sorry but could the people who did the Fallout 3 DLC's finish Old World Blues and Lonesome Road for you guys? I enjoyed Fallout 3's DLC's far more then F:NV.


    ok ill go ask them brb

    JESawyer responded to CurtisWilson 14 Jun 11



    Why would you give dead bright followers around the Mojave good grade weapons, such as Plasma Rifles and Plasma Defenders when you don't want players to score good guns early on in the game, they fetch a high price to a lucky wastelander.


    Because those are Tier 2 and Tier 3 EWs and it's around that time that the player is getting Tier 2 and Tier 3 Guns.

    JESawyer 14 Jun 11



    How was Vicker's armor ever really Desert Ranger armor if it was never used by an actual Desert Ranger? Unless Randall Clark was somehow one of them? How would he have acquired the armor?


    I own a 1944 German-made Mauser K98k. It has Waffenamt and Wehrmacht stamps. Sometime after the fall of Berlin, it was captured by Soviet forces, stripped, and its parts dumped into bins. The receiver and bolt were re-marked with an electro-pencil using Soviet serial numbers and over time, various bits and pieces were swapped out and the wood furniture was stripped and re-finished. A few years ago, a guy in Michigan bought it, cleaned it, and I subsequently bought it from him.

    If military gear holds up, it gets passed from owner to owner (willingly or not) and, despite some cosmetic changes, it typically bears some indelible marks of its origins and history.

    JESawyer 14 Jun 11



    old world blues better come out the 21st or u guys would have lied by saying it will be released mid june


    cool

    JESawyer 15 Jun 11



    I think for your sake you should add a little reminder off to the side there about how Bethesda determines the release dates of DLC and not Obsidian.


    It doesn't matter/make any difference; people will ask anyway.

    JESawyer 15 Jun 11



    If you take the time to actually play New Vegas, which of the casinos do you feel suits your personality and if you can answer, how does it reflect your personality?


    The Silver Rush, because it's mostly a pile of rubble and I greatly dislike gambling.

    JESawyer responded to RyanD69 15 Jun 11



    Wasn't Old World Blues supposed to release today?


    Beats me.

    JESawyer responded to Audiosplicer 15 Jun 11



    Why do all the NPCs in FO3 and NV have eyes that look like dead fish eyes?


    radiation???

    JESawyer 16 Jun 11



    Do you have any feelings about all this hacking going on lately (LulzSec)?


    it's bad

    JESawyer responded to Kamokazi 16 Jun 11



    I've 100% my trophies, but I know there are more quests.. but is there any way of getting around the fact that I have to destoy the BOS bunker in New Vegas? I felt really bad that I had to do it, even when I sided with the Legion...


    You don't have to destroy the BoS if you follow the NCR or Independent paths. Forging an alliance between the BoS and NCR is tricky, but you can do it as long as you accept a small negative NCR rep hit from Colonel Moore.

    JESawyer 16 Jun 11



    If you dislike gambling, why weren't there options to steal from the casinos? And how can the NCR ranger armor be hand-made in the NCR if it's simultaneously both pre-war riot armor and pre-war combat armor?


    NCR Ranger Patrol Armor is made in NCR. NCR Ranger Combat Armor is essentially adapted pre-war riot/combat gear.

    JESawyer 16 Jun 11



    I liked the original Fallout's approach to weapon distribution. Just because the implied progression from SmGuns -> BgGuns -> EW was unclear during character creation does not mean that it was bad design. Couldn't you have simply kept and clarified this?


    I could have if I thought there were any value to doing so, but I didn't/don't. They're all arbitrary subdivisions.

    JESawyer 16 Jun 11



    Was there inspiration from Sin Citys Kevin for Grahams character? (sorry couldnt fit my whole question in there.)


    No.

    JESawyer 16 Jun 11



    I notice a heavy influence of american army weapons and tech Desert ranger armor Mercy GMG china lake GL M1 garand M1a1 thompson M16 Gobi campaign scout rifle Why is there not much foreign tech?


    Americans are pretty darn good at making guns and we make a lot of them, both in variety and quantity.

    JESawyer 16 Jun 11



    Sunset Sarsaparilla started production in 1918...years before the Fallout universe diverged from our own. Mistake on the part of the developers?


    No. Fictional brands in the Fallout universe don't have to exist only in the branched timeline.

    JESawyer 16 Jun 11



    most guns are actully made in the uk by quite a bit. where the biggest gun manufacturer and exporter also designing many "American" guns.


    I doubt the first claim, and clearly in the case of the second, it's irrelevant given that all of the firearms initially listed were of American origin. More importantly, the game is set in the heart of the United States. While Americans like fiddling around with Glocks and H&Ks and Mausers and Enfields, we have more guns in this country than living people.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_industry#World.27s_largest_arms_exporters

    JESawyer 16 Jun 11



    Who wrote You'll Know It When It Happens/Arizona Killer? Running security and checking for clues was great, especially Boone's comments about possible sniper locations


    Charlie Staples handled the majority of implementation for those two quests.

    JESawyer 16 Jun 11



    Is there any chance of the Devs posting their 'all holy opinion' in an NCR vs Legion thread so the people on the Beth forum shut the heck up? Please help end this, or do you guys just enjoy giggling in your offices at these threads? T_T


    Our opinion shouldn't matter.

    JESawyer 16 Jun 11



    Was there any concern about offending Mormons with any part of their portrayal in Honest Hearts?


    I wasn't concerned about reactions to religious content in Honest Hearts, but a lot of other people were. I do think that some people are effectively allergic to the subject of religion, but I wasn't concerned about their reaction.

    JESawyer 17 Jun 11



    Do you think that VIDYA GAME NURDS are more likely to have overly shallow readings of media? They seem to subscribe to the supremacy of authorial intent.


    I think people in general care a lot more about authorial intent than they should. If something isn't clear in the product as you play it, we failed. Our intent only matters as a bit of trivia or as a lesson in how not to do things.

    JESawyer 17 Jun 11



    You said that you do some PNP RPing. Ever DM or just play?


    I haven't DMed in about six years. I don't have the time to dedicate to it, and I think players deserve someone who can do the necessary prep.

    JESawyer 17 Jun 11



    Why is there a cross on the scripture in honest hearts even though Mormons don't use it?


    Clearly the books that Daniel and Joshua use are pretty old, and they're not reading the Book of Mormon.

    JESawyer 17 Jun 11



    why is dungeon siege 3 so bad?


    it isn't... ???

    JESawyer 17 Jun 11



    who created primm slim? I love that guy specially when he talks in NV radio.."Howdy citizens! How about a yee-haw! (...)"


    Kristen Altamirano created Primm Slim's unique model variant and Akil Hooper wrote Slim's dialogue.

    JESawyer 17 Jun 11


    If you DMed any pointers for the others out there? How do you go about creating storylines?


    Remember that you're there to help the players have a good time. This should inform how you balance the challenge of the game. Most players will not have a good time if they are being sucker punched and beaten to a pulp, nor will they have a good time if they roll over everything without effort. The way you "win" as a GM is if the players in your campaign enjoy the time they spend in it.

    Not everyone is a good fit for a group of players or GM. If you recognize that everyone in a group is on board with the direction and style of the game, save one person, talk with that person about what's up. It may be better for him or her to play in a different group rather than being continually grumpy and unpleasant.

    Regularly remind yourself that RPGs are about creating environments in which players can create their own characters and generate their own stories within the context of the world and the game's rules. The storylines you generate are there to present dilemmas for the player and opportunities for them to express themselves -- with appropriate consequences.

    With that in mind, do not focus heavily on planning or defining what the players will do. Create the circumstances, hooks for character and player motivation, a loose forward progression, and a compelling cast of interesting NPCs to generate conflict and react to the players' actions. If you're mapping things out in detail more than one adventure in advance, you're probably not going to be ready for how the players derail things in the next session.


    JESawyer 17 Jun 11



    I see in HH there are rock paintings of the Slender man. Are you trying to say the slender man exists in the Fallout universe?


    It's not the Slender Man.

    JESawyer 17 Jun 11



    I just recently started playing system based RPs. Some seem to be very crunchy heavy (Shadowrun, Conspiracy X). Others a bit easier D&D 3.5. Last 4th edition seems a bit strange with cards... Any thoughts on that and what's your most favorite system(s) ?


    I don't have favorite systems, to be honest. I have systems that I don't like/won't play and the rest is "stuff I will play if the GM and players are good".

    No, I won't state what systems I won't play.

    JESawyer 18 Jun 11



    hi u r really tasty guaranteed hotties is nnteen.info facebook


    oh great thansk 2 u~*

    JESawyer 18 Jun 11



    Do you think you can beat Cliff Bleszinski in arm wrestling?


    Doubtful. I have weak arms.

    JESawyer responded to stealthsniper 18 Jun 11



    What would happen if i killed all of the major fraction leaders ( ncr C.L mr.house) at the same time is that even possible?


    I don't think it's possible without cheating/mods, but the main quest should always fall through to Yes Man/Independent.

    JESawyer 18 Jun 11



    So are you saying that the Mormons in HH are not really what we would call Mormons today? Just dedicated Christians that have roots back to Mormons?


    You should ask some Mormons how they would classify Joshua Graham and Daniel.

    JESawyer 18 Jun 11



    Ok, it's not the slender man. But surely he was the inspiration for those pictures?


    Not even remotely.

    JESawyer responded to AndyConrad 18 Jun 11



    Joshua Graham was supposed to be Mormon? I though he was Catholic. He is really nothing like a Mormon. To have been religious as he is, he definitely would've said something like "If I die, at least I will get my own planet", as is the belief in Mormonism


    That's a shallow summation of what Mormons believe. I also don't know why you think Joshua Graham is Catholic. There's nothing uniquely Catholic in what he says or how he behaves. He also quotes exclusively from the KJV bible, which is atypical for Catholics but is the preferred translation for Mormons. More importantly, there are a number of soteriological concepts and passages he refers to that are only found in the Book of Mormon or Pearl of Great Price.

    JESawyer responded to Spockrock 18 Jun 11



    why do the NPCs in Dungeon Siege 3 speak with thick Eastern European accents and have Russian/Romanian names?


    You should ask George Ziets.

    JESawyer 18 Jun 11



    Pearl of Great Price = Piece of Eden?


    http://lds.org/scriptures/pgp?lang=eng
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_of_Great_Price_(Mormonism)

    JESawyer 18 Jun 11



    Trate de preguntar en español? OK. ¿Qué idioma es el idioma de los Dead Horses basada en? La idioma de los Sorrows se basada en español, por supuesto. Pero no puedo entender qué idioma de los Dead Horses se basada en.


    El idioma de los Dead Horses se basada en alemán, inglés, y navajo, pero la morfología del navajo es irreconocible.

    JESawyer 20 Jun 11



    My FNV character sneaks a lot, but I don't know why some of my companions feel the need to comment on it each time. From Arcade's "Ohhh kay . . . ." to Graham's creepy "Yesssss!" every time he sees me stick out my a**. I feel harassed (no pun intended).


    I think that one of the patches addressed that by having companions only say those sneak "barks" once every 24 hours.

    JESawyer responded to Cgrenfell 20 Jun 11



    Who came up with No-Bark's character from fallout, he is so funny with all the nonsense he say?


    Eric Fenstermaker.

    JESawyer 20 Jun 11



    Is the grenade machinegun Mercy a reference to MRSI?


    No.

    JESawyer 20 Jun 11



    Are you concerned about the future of gaming?


    No.

    JESawyer 20 Jun 11



    I take it you didn't decode the hidden stuff in Assassins Creed.


    I decoded a bunch of stuff in AC2, but it's been a while since I've played it.

    JESawyer 20 Jun 11



    Any other rebalances changes coming with the next FNV patch ? :)


    I do not believe I adjusted much, balance wise, for the upcoming patch. Of note, Plasma and Pulse Grenades have their AoE increased (they were still pretty small and frustrating to use outside of VATS).

    JESawyer 21 Jun 11



    do you have acknowledge about the bug of mantis foreleg, which gives infinite XP to the player? It's already in the game since the launch


    Yes. I believe that has been fixed for the upcoming patch.

    JESawyer 21 Jun 11



    And also on the note of Honest Hearts, I'm lost on the religion of Josh Graham? Does he follow a strict Mormon/Catholic background, or has he molded his own religion with close ties to either? Or maybe I'm completely off-base.


    I'm reticent to give a strict label to Joshua Graham's beliefs since There Is No True Christian/Mormon/Catholic/Lutheran and people would simply debate the label.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

    That said, I still don't understand what about Joshua Graham leads people to believe he is Catholic. He doesn't exhibit any behavior exclusively or even commonly associated with Catholics.

    Ultimately, every individual's beliefs are personal. Joshua and Daniel are both New Canaanites and both cite scripture and express beliefs in soterological concepts that are also found in modern day Mormon teachings. Obviously they are not part of a larger organization similar to the current LDS and how they practice their faith might be wholly unrecognizable given their post-apocalyptic outlook.

    However you want to label them, they both make it very clear that they believe that Jesus Christ = salvation for the world's people. Really, I think that what they believe is more important than how their beliefs are labeled.

    JESawyer 21 Jun 11



    Why are you on Fallout wiki ... :S


    ????????

    JESawyer 21 Jun 11



    Do you participate in any martial arts?


    No. When I was in high school I took Tae Kwon Do and Kyuki Do but never got very far, mostly because I didn't put in the requisite time and effort.

    The closest thing to a martial art I've done since then is sabre fencing, which I did in college and off and on during the early- and mid-2000s. Thumb damage and osteoarthritis in my knees has caused me to give that up as well.

    JESawyer 21 Jun 11



    Osteoarthritis?


    ???

    JESawyer 22 Jun 11


    Is Ranger Ghost an albino?


    JR Vosovic created Ranger Ghost, and I believe that was his intention.


    JESawyer responded to Kastera1000 22 Jun 11



    Was the R91 assault rifle (Fallout 3) based off of any preexisting assault rifle, like the Heckler & Koch G3?


    I wasn't involved in Fallout 3, so I don't know what the intention was for the F3 assault rifle.

    JESawyer 22 Jun 11



    How much time do you spend each day at formspring ?


    Not too much, usually. I just skim it and answer short questions here and there. If there's something longer, I usually handle it before or after work.

    JESawyer 22 Jun 11



    why don't laser wepons in NV use iron sights?


    There were a variety of animation and model issues with the laser weapons that delayed any attempts to add iron sights prior to implementing "true" iron sights. Once that system was in place, we realized that we would need to do a certain amount of work well into beta to make true iron sights work for laser weapons. Because the weapon artists were already heavily tasked and the QA staff had a huge amount of content to go through, I decided that it was too late to implement the required content. On their own, the weapons don't actually require that much work to modify for iron sights. The timing was just really bad.

    JESawyer 22 Jun 11



    When he asked "Osteoarthritis?" I think he meant, "Osteoarthritis? That's terrible. Was that a catalyst to lose weight and become healthier in general? Has it negatively affected your general outlook? I would imagine any constant pain must wear on you."


    No, the catalyst for losing weight was realizing I was huge/looked terrible. Honestly, I didn't actively do a lot to lose weight. My lifestyle in college was very sedentary and I ate horribly: virtually unlimited access to a lot of junk food that I would eat late at night just before going to bed.

    I didn't realize something was wrong with my knees until I started training for a sprint triathlon a few years ago. In the last week of training I felt intense pain below my knee. It was really unbearable to run on, so I went to the doctor. After some tests, the doctor informed me that there was very little cartilage remaining in my right knee and that I was suffering the effects of osteoarthritis. My left knee was also not in great shape.

    Since then, I've effectively stopped running, though I will occasionally run on a rubber-backed track or similarly forgiving surface. I've tried to practice/demonstrate fencing footwork but the stances and the explosive nature of the movement rapidly generates a lot of pain in both knees. I still have my gear, but I'm skeptical I will ever regularly fence again.

    At first I was upset at the realization that I would have trouble running. Part of the shock came from the sudden interruption of a focused training regimen and having difficulty accepting that I would not be able to participate in the triathlon. Beyond that, it also affected daily movement, sometimes generating intense pain that would force me to sit down. I am on my feet, moving around a great deal at work, so it was hard to accept that I couldn't do that as much.

    Thankfully, that sad phase went away relatively quickly. There are several things I cannot do or cannot do regularly, but the world is full of so many people who have it so much worse. I can still walk, I can still (slowly) climb stairs, I can still swim (even though I dislike it) and ride bicycles. For the "bad activities", I either abstain from the activity or participate carefully without being competitive (with the aid of anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen).

    JESawyer responded to 224422000 22 Jun 11



    Hi Joshua, a quick question: In FO:NV there is a painting of Mr House modeled on a Howard Hughes picture. In the picture, behind Mr House are the legs of a giant robot. Is that robot Liberty Prime? Thanks :)


    mysteries

    JESawyer 22 Jun 11



    Can osteoarthritis ever be cured??


    No, nor can the damage be reversed. The best I can do is strengthen the muscles and support structure around my knees. If it gets bad enough, I will eventually have to undergo knee replacement surgery. Hopefully by then I can get ICARUS upgrades and leap across Neo-Detroit with ease.

    JESawyer 22 Jun 11



    is there going to be at least a trailer for old world blues by the end of the month?


    http://bethblog.com/index.php/2011/06/22/old-world-blues-releasing-on-july-19th/

    JESawyer 22 Jun 11



    If I'm fighting an opponent with armor but no helmet, say like Paladin Ramos, and I'm aiming for the head, should I use AP ammo because of the armor, or HP ammo because the head is bare?


    F:NV's DT system applies to the entire body. When Ramos is not wearing his helmet, his DT is lower overall because the helmet is not equipped, but his head is not especially vulnerable.

    JESawyer 23 Jun 11



    When you meet Joshua Graham, he mentions meeting the Dead Horses when he was the Malpais Legate. If the Dead Horses had contact with Caesar's Legion, why weren't they absorbed into the Legion since Edward (Caesar) did that to every other tribe they met?


    Tribes aren't absorbed instantly. Joshua Graham made contact with the Dead Horses but never got around to incorporating them into the Legion.

    JESawyer 24 Jun 11



    so what do you think of glenn beck?


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I0GfLh4SGU


    JESawyer 25 Jun 11



    What's up with G22? Is Albatross really a CIA analyst, why did he join them and how did he become their leader? Why is he travelling in a plane the last time you see him? How did he come into contact with Sis and why is she his bodyguard? So much to know!


    I am not the guy to ask about the Alpha Protocol story and its intricacies. Sorry.

    JESawyer 26 Jun 11



    Do you ever submit secret questions to yourself?


    No.

    JESawyer 26 Jun 11



    Would you tell people if you were submitting secret questions to yourself?


    Yes, which is one of many reasons why I wouldn't.

    JESawyer 26 Jun 11



    Would you sometimes like people to ask about something you're rather proud of, showing their interest in your work ?


    People asking about anything I've worked on, whether I'm proud of it or not, is already showing a decent level of interest. The nature of questions people ask indicates the things people are interested in in discovering. It also helps me understand if I failed to communicate something in the game as it stands.

    JESawyer 27 Jun 11



    what are your thoughts on deus ex: human revolution


    looks rad imo

    JESawyer 27 Jun 11



    Tonight.....you.....


    wat

    JESawyer 27 Jun 11



    What invention do you wish never existed?

    Formspring question of the day


    Formspring.

    JESawyer 28 Jun 11



    Tonight... You... refers to Handbanana, a rapist genetic monstrosity from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.


    oic

    JESawyer 28 Jun 11



    Is the story of Honest Hearts (loosely) inspired by the Utah War? Feels similar to me, just that the Mormons are the Sorrows and US gov are the White Legs. The Mormons standing against the US gov + emergency plans for evacuation, and so on.


    The Utah War/Mountain Meadows Massacre provide some inspiration, but not with analogue parties like you're suggesting.

    JESawyer 28 Jun 11



    All of the factions in New Vegas have positives and negatives attached to their presence in NV. All except the Followers. They appear to be incorruptible/have no morally questionable quests. How can a faction like that survive in New Vegas?


    They usually can't, which is why in a lot of endings they get pushed around and/or generally screwed over. Also, I'd classify The White Wash as a pretty morally grey quest. Arcade's reactions to it are fairly complex, and the Followers as a group try to distance themselves from the people involved.

    The independent/Followers-oriented endings can involve a fair amount of scrambling and hair pulling as the move to a more liberal democracy produces a lot of chaos and compromises that the Followers aren't equipped to handle.

    JESawyer 28 Jun 11



    Why can't they play find already modded weapons in the Mojave. I seriously doubt he is the only person who decided to mod their gun to make it more effective.


    For economy reasons. Mods and ammo subtypes are placed almost exclusively in stores to give the player something they can buy there and can never find elsewhere.


    JESawyer 28 Jun 11



    Is the NCR a conservative nation at the time of New Vegas? It seems that way since Kimball the war hero is president, Moores more forceful military approach, the Brahmin barons with great influence, the corporist relationship with the army and caravans...


    I think it depends on how you define conservatism, but most of what you see in the Mojave Wasteland is NCR as an occupying force and military presence. You can learn about other parts of NCR by talking to people like Hanlon and Heck Gunderson, but I wouldn't want to speculate beyond what's presented in the game.

    JESawyer 28 Jun 11



    Who wrote Cass's dialogue? I'm always surprised at the comments she makes.


    Chris Avellone.

    JESawyer 28 Jun 11



    Why couldn't you simply rehire Ceaser's voice actor, record a few lines, and add them to the HH add-on so the player could comment on meeting Graham?


    Because re-hiring a voice actor (especially a high profile actor like John Doman) isn't always simple, and touching Caesar's dialogue in the core game -- well, it's already really complicated, and introducing elements that could affect the critical path is pretty dangerous, especially if it's accomplished through the DLC files (because we couldn't patch it).

    JESawyer 28 Jun 11



    why is it that you don't answer any of my questions??? i asked about ulysses characterization, the courier's more definitive story arc, and any hints on ulysses..... am i doing something wrong?


    Yes, you're asking about things in future DLCs that I can't talk about. Sorry.

    JESawyer 28 Jun 11



    Why'd you quit as lead designer for FO3?


    At Interplay? Because the company was in bad financial shape and I didn't believe they could realistically fund the team needed to finish it.

    JESawyer 28 Jun 11



    What was your specific area of study of history in college?


    Witch-hunting in early modern Europe.

    JESawyer 28 Jun 11



    i don't mean to pester you either


    np

    JESawyer 28 Jun 11



    why does the gun just kind of teleport to the middle of your screen when you go to look down your iron sights? i would rather a smooth animation.


    No, you wouldn't. Because then it would lag, and there would be complaining about lag.

    JESawyer 29 Jun 11



    In Fallout 2, you could bare knuckle fight your way through thanks to special unarmed attacks you learned as you leveled up. In New Vegas the emphasis seemed based more on increasingly ridiculous glove type weapons. Why was this direction chosen?


    I think it's odd to consign glove weapons to the "ridiculous" end of the spectrum while bare knuckle fighting your way through dudes in power armor is (presumably) a-ok. The universe already has ridiculous glove weapons in the Power Fist. Once that's on the table, the various versions above it don't seem particularly odd.

    Additionally, Fallout: New Vegas does have special unarmed attacks that you learn both through leveling up and from NPCs in the world. Uppercut and Cross are unlocked by raising your Unarmed skill. Ranger Takedown, Legion Assault, Khan Trick, and Scribe Counter are all learned from NPCs.

    JESawyer 29 Jun 11



    Are you embarrassed at all the glitches/freezing issues and do you realize that it's ruined an excellent game for thousands of people?


    I was disappointed, but It's hard for me to really be *embarrassed* about it since I played through the entire game on the 360 and most of it on PC and PS3 without encountering a lot of these issues. One person can't be a QA team.

    JESawyer 29 Jun 11



    Shouldn't the NCR stationed in Nevada be called the New Nevada Troops?


    No... ?

    JESawyer 30 Jun 11



    How do you feel about permament goo & ash piles littering the wastes?


    It is the most pressing issue in my mind, day in, day out. It will go with me to my grave.

    JESawyer 30 Jun 11



    calling the goo and ash piles a feature isn't a good way to avoid the issue. People don't mind them, it's just that they never go away and take memory. And the game memory leaks bad as it is


    Okay, but I don't remember calling them a feature.

    JESawyer responded to Valoopy 30 Jun 11



    Who wrote the plot for Vault 11? That was my favorite Vault, and the story was really awesome.


    Eric Fenstermaker.

    JESawyer 30 Jun 11


    Is Fallout New Vegas going to be releasing a game of the year after all DLC is released?


    That's a question for Bethesda.


    JESawyer 30 Jun 11



    In the credits with the Wild Wasteland perk, how were the nicknames and quotes chosen? I'm assuming the ones without nicknames just didn't want to take part in it?


    Nicknames and quotes were submitted by individual team members. Some people on the team asked me to pick a nickname for them. Those are usually the ones that are complete nonsense. People without nicknames in the credits didn't submit anything and didn't ask me to put anything down for them.

    JESawyer responded to Valoopy 30 Jun 11



    Hey, me again. I noticed that the Legion is all white males. I understand why (because it models Rome), but I'm hopelessly confused as to how Ulysses, who is clearly not white, would be accepted by Ceasar. Could you clear things up a bit?


    That's not true. Severus, Karl, and some other Legionaries are not white.

    JESawyer 1 Jul 11



    if somehow a dlc was released with a bug that mad it unplayable for some people and since you cant patch a dlc would you fix the bug then re release the dlc


    I'm not sure, but I believe that is what happened with F3's DLC for The Pitt.


    JESawyer 1 Jul 11



    Are DLCs already on the disc and need to be unlocked by purchasing "the keys", or is it all new data being downloading on your console/PC?


    For new releases, it's a download.

    JESawyer 1 Jul 11



    joshua graham and lanius should fight


    ok

    JESawyer 1 Jul 11



    why didn't the ncr destroy the legion at the 1st battle for the dam? they killed countless centurions and had them on the run! its a major screw up even by ncr standards


    NCR wouldn't have destroyed the entire Legion even if they wiped out the attacking force at Hoover Dam. NCR's strategy was focused on pushing Caesar's Legion out. Pursuing them and engaging in skirmishes along the eastern banks of the Colorado would have been haphazard and served no great benefit.

    JESawyer 1 Jul 11



    I just heard a couple of your songs for New Vegas. Sir, is there no end to your talent?


    Yes, and you've found it. Congratulations.

    JESawyer responded to hufdvh 1 Jul 11



    Is there anything we can find out from you that we can't find out from the FONV forums regarding future DLC and patches?


    Nope.

    JESawyer 1 Jul 11



    Not sure if you're allowed to answer this, but are you still working on New Vegas (tuning, DLC, etc.), or are you working on other things, or do you hang out around Obsidian, helping out on random projects (like the hth in Alpha Protocol)?


    I'm doing a small amount of work on the DLCs, mostly helping with tuning, but otherwise I'm focused on developing new projects.

    JESawyer 2 Jul 11



    How much was cut from the legion quest paths? They seem remarkably spare compared to the quests of other factions in the game, and of course the NCR, which is their supposed counterpoint. Was Ulysses' content originally meant to supplement the legion?


    Several Legion camps on the east side of the Colorado River were cut before they entered development. The order in which we built the Mojave Wasteland radiated out from the middle of the map, with areas near the edges being built much later. Unfortunately, the Colorado River (save the Fort and Lanius' camp, which are self-contained) became the logical division line for content when time was running out.

    And yes, Ulysses-as-companion was designed to give more pro-Legion sentiment and content.

    JESawyer 2 Jul 11


    Will the new project be everything we expect it to be?


    Doubtful.


    JESawyer 2 Jul 11



    What's it like to develop for different platforms? Is it harder to develop for one platform versus another?


    Building for a single platform, often regardless of what that platform is, is easier than developing for multiple platforms. It's the differences that make things complicated.

    If a publisher were to say, "Develop for the 360 only," "Develop for the PS3 only," or "Develop for the PC only," any of those would be easier than developing for any two concurrently.

    JESawyer 2 Jul 11



    Who is the overall story designer of the Fallout series? Who, if anyone, makes sure all games released under the name "Fallout" are canonical to the previous games and follows the general fallout style?


    No single person. It's been different for each game.

    JESawyer 2 Jul 11



    If you guys ever make a DLC for Denver, add a dog enemy called the Conehead. Make it be a mutated English Bull Terrier.


    ok

    JESawyer responded to sirota554 2 Jul 11



    So working on New Vegas, and Van Buren. What would you say are the benefits, and drawbacks of Sandbox vs Node based maps? Map nodes are still used successfully by people like Bioware so I dont think they are totally archaic and something of the past.


    Streaming open terrain maps have to be designed for exploration in (almost) any direction. They give a lot of freedom to the player, but can make memory management/performance difficult to optimize. Node-based maps are essentially tailored around a limited set of player navigation options. They remove a lot of the freedom, but the experience and performance can be more easily controlled.

    JESawyer 2 Jul 11



    In F:NV almost half of the map is unused. A huge "border" on the left, and significant borders on the right and upper part. Next time i suggest to crop it, cause that's a torture for players who loves to explore. Guess you didn't have time to build there.


    We built our map following natural features of the Mojave Desert extrapolated from USGS topographical data. The Mojave Wasteland is pretty close to the Capital Wasteland in overall tiles. When people compare the two and conclude that the Mojave Wasteland is tiny compared to the Capital Wasteland, it's sort of odd. It's the equivalent of comparing two non-scale-equivalent maps of California and Colorado and concluding that Colorado is larger than California because the map occupies more pixels in a square encapsulating it.

    We tried to alleviate this disconnect in Honest Hearts by putting a dotted line around the outer wall of Zion Valley. Like the Mojave Wasteland, Zion Valley was also constructed by using USGS data as a starting point.

    JESawyer 2 Jul 11



    "The Mojave Wasteland is pretty close to the Capital Wasteland in overall tiles" Yes, but all the artificial walls in the middle make it feel smaller: you're funneled into corridors with which you become very familiar. Free roam would've solved this.


    It would not have solved line of sight issues. The Mojave Wasteland has deeper valleys/higher mountains than the Capital Wasteland, so in some cases the highest points of ostensibly walkable terrain overlook areas that look bad from a high vantage point.

    This was the first time any of us had used this technology, so many of the best practices for building only became apparent in retrospect, unfortunately. Were we to build the Mojave Wasteland again, we would make different choices in how to lay out the areas.

    Some of this can be seen in Zion Valley. The only collision blockers we used on that map were to prevent people from getting stuck while dropping down from higher elevations. ScottE and the other world builders put a lot of effort into making sure that people could scale anything on the interior of the valley, and the outer cliff faces tower far above the rest of the terrain.

    JESawyer 2 Jul 11



    Hey Josh, quick question. I am color blind (the one I have only like 1% of population has it), Since there are quite a few varieties of color-blindness. Do you guys do any testing for textures and such when creating games?


    I am severely deuteranomalous, so it's something I bring up with our artists regularly. The most important elements to check are in the UI. I prefer to use UI elements that differ in value and shape as well as color. There may be cases where a monochromat may still get confused, but we try to handle as much as we can.

    JESawyer 3 Jul 11



    Do you know anything about why Obsidian decided not to make Knights of the Old Republic III?


    It's not our choice to make. The license belongs to LucasArts.

    JESawyer 3 Jul 11



    How would you think it would affect the ruleset and gameplay of a cRPG if almost every feature was toggleable and/or adjustable from options menu?


    It would make balancing and bugfixing even more difficult than it usually is.

    JESawyer 5 Jul 11



    Do you download any mods for your PC version of the game? If so, which one do you like best?


    I only download mods to look at how they work for a while. Whenever I play the game, I play only with the core .esm + patches + DLCs. That might change after all of our DLCs are released, but I still catch weird bugs from time to time and I want to make sure they're "ours".

    JESawyer 5 Jul 11



    Who wrote the story and scene for the Nipton quest? That was a really great introduction to the Legion. It really captured that intimidating wasteland vibe that Fallout 1 had going, reminded me of the Necropolis visit where you first meet super mutants.


    John Gonzalez, though the area was designed and scripted by JR Vosovic and Jorge Salgado.

    JESawyer 5 Jul 11



    so with the latest patch coming soon, how would you activate the NCR/FoA alliance? Do you just ask Julie Farkas?


    Yes, after becoming pals with the Followers, talking to Julie Farkas when the Hoover Dam battle is imminent will open an option to ally with the NCR.

    For those who are curious, this option was previously disabled because there was no tangible benefit to or sign of the Followers and NCR allying. I think it's very important that when the player creates some sort of change that there is a substantive (even if minor) impact on the world as a result. Now that the Followers place medical/chem kits in Hoover Dam for the battle, you can actually see evidence of the alliance.

    JESawyer 5 Jul 11



    Have you all worked on a fix for that bug where while in FP view and using a long gun, sometimes it will glitch around the screen obscuring aim and sometimes even disappear? Very aggravating.


    If you're referring to the "floaty arms" rifle bug, yes. After many, many, many attempts at a solution, this extremely difficult bug is now fixed.

    JESawyer 5 Jul 11



    Fallout Boy New Vegas


    wow

    JESawyer 6 Jul 11



    why do people in the fallout universe keep looking back at the war that happened 200 years ago? you would think most would just move on, but a lot of them just cant seem to forget about it, sure traumatizing & all, but its old history already.


    it prob. has something to do with most of the physical landscape being a shattered fire-hollowed husk and the thin remnants of human society perpetually vacillating on the edge of self-destruction idk

    JESawyer 6 Jul 11



    wtf y do repair kits no longer fix guns to 100%? great so now any time we want our guns fixed we now have to spend all out caps at a npc? thanks for fixing something that wasn't broken!


    "That entry is a bit misleading. It will repair the weapon to 99.9% CND. The problem is that the engine treats 100% CND weapons in weird ways and it can cause bugs. Since weapons max out in effectiveness long before you reach 100%, the loss for the player is extremely small."

    JESawyer responded to TraderRager 6 Jul 11



    Will stealth characters be getting a decent weapon soon? The silenced .45 from Honest Hearts doesn't count.


    Do the silenced 12.7mm guns and the Sniper Rifle + Silencer not count either?

    JESawyer responded to TraderRager 6 Jul 11



    Why are the White Leg "Storm-Drummers" called such if none of them have the ammo drum mod?


    The name has to do with the sound of the weapon, not the drum magazine.

    JESawyer responded to TraderRager 6 Jul 11



    Why did you put so much effort into balancing the games economy only to break it with the whole "1100 chips every 72 hours" thing from Dead Money? My weapons will never be broken again, and i have enough stims to punch the Leg. deathclaw to death.


    The only thing I did for Dead Money was implement the weapons.

    JESawyer 7 Jul 11



    why was the remnants power armor givin really low item hp isn't it supposed to be the best power armor?


    If you ever look at a powerful item that has one stat lower than the items immediately "below" it, it's to give an incentive for using the "worse" item. Remnants Armor has the highest DT, but much lower health than T-51b. T-51b has better stats across the board than the T-45d, but the T-45d gives a higher STR bonus.

    Not all items can be compared in this way, but when you see something like this, that's why.

    JESawyer 7 Jul 11



    Why are so many things in FNV recycled? Many weapons share the same animations, nothing really new is added to the DLC, other than different places, at least in Fallout 3 resources weren't constantly recycled.


    The development timeline for F:NV was significantly shorter than it was for F3. It's odd that you should call out weapon animations since that was one of the places where we added a lot of new or modified assets. The majority of fire animations were revised and a lot of reloads were re-animated or made from scratch.

    JESawyer 7 Jul 11



    Are you a hipster? You seem like a hipster.


    o ok

    JESawyer 7 Jul 11



    "We have a whole big cool world idea that we can hopefully talk about soon. That is a whole new world, a whole new thing. It's being put together by Josh Sawyer" sooooo, news?


    No.

    JESawyer 7 Jul 11



    where did that quote come from?


    kurt cobain.

    JESawyer 7 Jul 11



    The reload animations aren't unique. The .45 Auto Pistol, 9mm Pistol, Silenced .22 Pistol and 12.7mm Pistol all share the same reload/jam animation. The Plasma Pistol, Plasma Defender and Pulse Gun all share the same reload animation, and so on.


    More weapons in F:NV share them than in F3 because there are many more weapons in F:NV. I'm not sure if you've handled an M1911 pattern pistol and a BHP, but there's not a ton of fundamental (or even subtle) difference between how the slides are racked, magazines are inserted, and slide releases are operated.

    There's also a hard limit in code to how many reload animations can be on a particular stance. If you check the list of reloads in F:NV, there are a lot more than there were in F3, and we're close to maxing out the list on at least two stances.

    I'm also not sure what your basis for comparison is; F3's DLCs didn't add a ton of new reload animations.

    JESawyer 7 Jul 11



    i have encountered by 3 new legion hit squads after the patch. why do these hit squads return so many times?


    You can avoid/evade them, and their appearance rate was increased because they barely appeared at all previously.

    JESawyer 8 Jul 11



    Why does every single primitive weirdo in Honest Hearts have one of the most powerfull weapons in the game? Did I miss some in-game info or is it just your decision wich I didnt understand?


    You probably missed where Joshua Graham tells you that the White Legs raided an armory at Spanish Fork.

    The Dead Horses and Sorrows weaponry is typically not quite as powerful.

    The gameplay reason is that the DLC has to cover characters from (realistically) level 10 to level 40, with all of the gear the player could potentially have. I saw a lot of complaints about damage boosting on the swamp folk in F3's Point Lookout, so I thought it made more sense to actually upgrade the White Legs' weapons.

    JESawyer 8 Jul 11



    You guys should really stop to mess around so much with the existing FormIDs at each patch. Now people are hearing the Beatrix Russsel's sex scene in a loop when using old, outdated mods (hilarious side effect btw).


    We don't go in and intentionally adjust the FormIDs. As things are edited or deleted in Update.esm, the editor assigns new FormIDs to them.

    JESawyer 8 Jul 11



    Didn't you jack up the price for weapon mods in favor of more variation? I still see the same ones as before, just more expensive.


    In the previous patch (not the one released over the past few days), mod prices were increased *and* the number of mods spawned in stores was doubled.

    JESawyer 8 Jul 11



    why was the service rifle beyonet cut from the game?


    It didn't work and it would have taken a decent amount of programming to get it to work.

    JESawyer 9 Jul 11



    Dead Horses... Why such name?


    Joshua explains they are from Dead Horse Point.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Horse_Point_State_Park

    JESawyer 9 Jul 11



    dude! centurions? great job with the changes to the hit squads !


    Jorge Salgado did all of the hit squad revisions.

    JESawyer 9 Jul 11



    your snarkiness is wasted, i found it anyway


    cool did you use google

    that's what i used

    JESawyer 10 Jul 11


    so whos lead on lonely road?


    Chris Avellone is the project director for Lonesome Road.


    JESawyer 10 Jul 11


    who desigined the fight in olivers compound?


    Jesse Farrell.


    JESawyer 10 Jul 11



    Who wrote The King? I thought he'd be a pretty one-dimensional caricature, but after going through his dialog he turned out to be a very noble character, both to his own men and to the memory of Elvis.


    Jesse Farrell.

    JESawyer 10 Jul 11



    Do you often feel insecure when compared to Chris Avellone? It must be hard for you, since he's more talented and sexier. Do you even consider yourself half the man he is?


    I consider myself to be 105% the man by gross volume.

    JESawyer 10 Jul 11



    i want my name to be spahgeti


    ok

    JESawyer 10 Jul 11



    The Master and House play chess, who wins?


    Why is ZAX not an option???

    JESawyer 10 Jul 11



    your gross volume is...gross


    damn son

    JESawyer 10 Jul 11



    Thoughts on Brett Favre possibly returning?


    lol just lol forever

    JESawyer 10 Jul 11



    r u married


    No.

    JESawyer 10 Jul 11



    Why bother with other sniper rifles when the scoped hunting rifle is already such a beast?


    The RoF/AP cost on the Sniper Rifles is superior, the basic Sniper Rifle can be suppressed, and the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle still outclasses the Hunting Rifle for sheer damage on a Crit/Sneak Attack Crit.

    JESawyer 10 Jul 11



    Why didn't you guys make the strip a fast travel location? Because it's annoying to have to walk through the gates every time you want to visit the casinos .


    It was poor planning on our part. A number of triggers were placed at locations that complicated fast-traveling into the Strip. Because we did not want to endanger the critical path close to shipping the product, I decided that we should not move the triggers/fast-travel point. Sorry.


    JESawyer responded to AdamCherry4 10 Jul 11



    Why is Freeside bigger than Vegas?


    Do you mean bigger than the Strip or bigger than the exterior? It's bigger than the exterior because cutting a huge chunk out of the Mojave Wasteland just makes circumnavigating the Strip/Freeside more obnoxious. It's bigger than the Strip because in some ways the Strip's real estate is inside the casinos. I'm not sure how they directly compare in terms of square footage.

    JESawyer 10 Jul 11



    since the release of OWB was pushed back will LR also be pushed back?


    I have no idea, sorry. Bethesda and the console manufacturers decide the release dates.

    JESawyer 10 Jul 11



    So how do the Gun Runners produce their weapons? Do they use pre-war schematics they found somewhere? Are there any original weapons that they designed themselves?


    They use Pre-War schematics and schematics they make through careful disassembly and examination of existing weapons.

    I believe the greatest designs of the Gun Runners have yet to be seen.

    JESawyer 10 Jul 11



    Has Obsidian thought about striking out on your own IPs instead of existing ones?


    Yes, but convincing a publisher to back an original IP can be very difficult.

    JESawyer 11 Jul 11



    Why can't you attack while swimming, like you can in Oblivion?


    I'm not sure. It wasn't in F3 and we didn't change it for F:NV, mostly because there wasn't enough water-based adventuring to justify it IMO.

    JESawyer 12 Jul 11



    There is a bit of a rumour going round on the fourms that there will be a new .50 cal weapon in Old world blues. Care to say something? :)


    http://chzgifs.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/icwhutudidtherep1.gif

    JESawyer responded to kcocyah 12 Jul 11



    Hey, what bike do you ride?


    I have three bikes: a Masi Speciale Commuter with a three-speed internal hub Sturmey-Archer S3X that I use for commuting, a Milwaukee/Waterford road frame with a Campagnolo Athena 11 group, and a Trek Equinox 7 time trial bike.

    JESawyer 12 Jul 11



    JEYNE KASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSYNDEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.


    hmm i c

    JESawyer 13 Jul 11



    Is the Honest Hearts .45 Handgun an M1991 or a Desert Eagle?


    It's certainly not a Desert Eagle.

    JESawyer 13 Jul 11



    The whole reason I avoided the Wild Wasteland trait was because I wanted to play a game that actually takes itself a bit seriously. And from all I've read of Old World Blues, it looks to approach Fallout 2's level of ridiculousness even without WW trait.


    ok

    JESawyer 13 Jul 11



    Hey, you did a really good job with the weapons in FO:NV but just out of curiosity why does the Varmint Rifle (A civilian anti-rodent weapon) use 5.56mm rounds? and also why do single load weapons (E.G Hunting Shotgun) get glitched move and reload?


    There are a lot of real-life varmint rifles chambered in .223 Rem, which is the "civilian" version of 5.56x45mm NATO. I didn't think it would be a great idea to restrict our Varmint Rifle to using a single ammo subtype of 5.56mm.

    Looping reloads turned out to be surprisingly difficult to implement and bugfix. Had I known it would have been so problematic from the beginning, I never would have pursued it.

    JESawyer 13 Jul 11



    Why did you remove Tesla Cannon EoA damage?


    Buggy, not particularly useful, blurred the roles between Explosives and Energy Weapons more than I thought was necessary.

    JESawyer 13 Jul 11



    Every Hunting Rifle looks the same - patchworked. How have the Gun Runners not found a way to polish one of those things yet?


    These things take time.

    JESawyer 14 Jul 11



    Avez-vous plaisir à donner la substance de personnes pour discuter et spéculer environ ?


    Pardon, je ne comprends pas.

    JESawyer 14 Jul 11



    So Joshua and Daniel are some form of post-War Christians with a Mormon influence. Is it safe to assume that Judaism, Islam, etc. also survived the war in different, syncretized forms? ("Judah Krieger" always struck me as a nice Jewish name...)


    In general, players should not assume anything not stated or shown explicitly in the games.

    JESawyer 14 Jul 11



    Google Translate sez on the french ting: Do you enjoy giving the substance of people to discuss and speculate about?


    yeah but not even a fluent french speaker could make sense of that sooooOoOoOooo

    JESawyer 14 Jul 11



    Is the 9mm Caliber in Fallout NV 9mm Luger (9x19mm) or a more exotic type of 9mm?


    It's supposed to be 9x19mm Luger/Parabellum/NATO.

    JESawyer 14 Jul 11



    M1911s are incredibly varied, a wide variety of upgrades and mods are available so why is every single one in HH (except A Light Shining In Darkness) identical to the next?


    A lot of firearms are incredibly varied. Why single out the .45 Auto Pistol when there are dozens of different guns in the game? Weapons have consistent appearances to not generate an enormous amount of assets. Additionally, if we wanted to point different assets to one type of weapon, we would either have to develop a system for doing that or generate multiple weapon forms with identical stats pointing to different assets. It would be a maintenance/logistics problem.

    JESawyer 14 Jul 11



    Why is the player just given everything at the end of Honest Hearts with no work required? If a player wanted Graham's gun/armor or Daniel's outfit or something, why not just require the player to steal them/earn through a quest?


    The work required is completing the campaign.

    JESawyer 15 Jul 11



    did the m1911 originally have slightly inaccurate guttersnipe sights like the unique version? if so, was this (and the improved sights) mod cut in favor of YET ANOTHER SILENCER? how come?


    No, it had conventional sights. The night sights were made part of the base version because the zoom modification that went along with the improved sights caused a bug. I figured it would be more useful to have the night sights be the default rather than cut them. Guttersnipe and trench sights are typically used to give weapons a lower profile for concealed carry.

    JESawyer 15 Jul 11



    Harry Potter opens today. If you were going to cast a magic spell, what spell would you cast?

    Formspring question of the day


    Perdo Nerdum.

    JESawyer 15 Jul 11



    Who was responsible for the most satisfying weapon I've ever used in a game, the Hunting Shotgun?


    Mitch Ahlswede built it and I tuned it.

    JESawyer 15 Jul 11



    Fav Radiohead album?


    OK Computer.

    JESawyer 15 Jul 11



    Why can you not dual wield weapons like in previous fallout games? (I'm not sure if it was one, two). It makes sense that say, somebody with 9 strength and 100 guns could dual wield 9mm pistols at least. Not realistic, but fun, like most of fallout.


    You couldn't dual wield weapons in F1 or F2. There are non-trivial animation and interface problems that have to be solved to support dual wielding.

    JESawyer 15 Jul 11



    Was Chris Haversam originally intended to be a companion? His dialogue at the end of Come Fly With Me seems to suggest that.


    No, sorry.

    JESawyer 15 Jul 11



    Aren't you suppose to be working? You have way to much time on your hands if during your work day you can devote so much time to formspring/twitter. You should have spent less time on twitter and more time on fixing all the bugs in FONV before release.


    I answer Formspring questions and look at Twitter when I am waiting for a build or .esm to copy or during a check-in. I write longer Formspring questions after or before work.

    JESawyer 16 Jul 11



    Have you ever seen the film Six-String Samurai? Vegas at end sort of reminds me of Obsidian's interpretation of Vegas.


    Of course. The icon for New Vegas Samurai is based on Buddy.

    JESawyer 16 Jul 11



    A trait is a terrible stopgap for lack of thinking ahead for levels. It's unfair that people who want to keep leveling also have to deal with their character being perfect at everything.


    ok

    JESawyer 16 Jul 11



    Why bother answering a question if you are only going to reply with ok or oic? Does it fuel a sense of superiority.


    It acknowledges that I read the person's comment and, whether or not I agree with it, I understand what they are saying. The level increments were not my decision, nor are any of the traits, perks, weapons, or other content outside of the core game and Honest Hearts.

    JESawyer 16 Jul 11



    I'm not trying to sound like I'm talking down to you. But I have to agree with others that when you say "ok" or "oic" it makes you come across as a bit of a jerk. People ask you these questions because you were the Project Director.


    I'm not the project director for Dead Money, Old World Blues, Lonesome Road, or the DLCs as a whole. I also have no say over when patches are released, when DLCs are released, nor when information about DLCs will be released.

    If I simply delete questions about things over which I have no control, they just get asked over and over and over again in increasingly hostile and accusatory tones. If I take the time to explain the actual nuances of who decides what and how, it also rarely makes any difference.

    Based on the way things have gone in the past, the most efficient way for me to deal with questions like these is simply to acknowledge what the person has said as briefly as possible and move on. I have over 1,000 answers active in the queue right now and I get between 20 and 50 more every day. Practically speaking, there are only so many ways I can explain and describe any given process or decision I did or did not make before I'm spending the majority of question-answering time explaining things over which I have no control.

    JESawyer 16 Jul 11



    Personally, I remember your past answers. I understand you're not the project director for the majority of the add-ons. And whether or not you worked on them doesn't matter. People come to you because you're the most accessible of all the New Vegas devs.


    That's great that you remember. Unfortunately, your comment, like 95% of the comments/questions I receive, are anonymous, so I have no way to sort one person from another.

    It's unreasonable to expect me to answer questions about things over which I have no control. In the case of the specific comment we're talking about, it wasn't even a question, just a hostile comment.

    I answer these questions to help people understand development processes in which I am a part, not to explain the decisions of other people. I have enough justifiable anger and criticism directed my way for the things over which I am or was responsible.

    JESawyer 17 Jul 11



    Were you the project director of Honest Hearts because of your love for national parks?


    The idea for Honest Hearts was mine and Chris and I were already expecting to share some of the DLC responsibilities. I tailored much of the content of Honest Hearts to things with which I was familiar and/or things in which I had an interest.

    JESawyer 17 Jul 11



    Why was the voice of Robobrains changed from the woman to Wesley Crusher in NV? I thought the different voice added a nice bit of variety to the robots. Also, why are there so few Robobrains compared to other robots, eg at Repconn, NV Steel?


    True Hollywood Stories.

    Someone said, "We can get Wil Wheaton down here to do a voice." That someone texted him with something along the lines of, "Want to be a robot in Fallout: New Vegas?" 30 minutes later, he was in the studio.

    That's a fact, Jack.

    JESawyer 17 Jul 11



    Is the Assault Carbine based on the CAR-15 or similar variant?


    It's sort of a hodge podge, to be honest. I don't remember what parts came from where.

    JESawyer 17 Jul 11



    i like "oic" it's very fyad


    that's so fyad

    JESawyer 17 Jul 11



    Can you explain the need for the [two] Companion Dismissal Terminals?


    They are brute force methods to allow users with older save games to reset their companions. Some legacy bugs would otherwise permanently screw up the game state even if patches had subsequently fixed what caused the error.

    JESawyer 17 Jul 11



    Not to pick on you, but the pic of your holding an AT4 -in that pic you're holding it backwards.


    Yes. It was handed to me as a prop at a party. I am not familiar with the weapon at all.

    JESawyer responded to TraderRager 17 Jul 11



    Could we get a Laser Pistol buff that brings it on par with the 9mm? As it is, it is literally the most useless weapon in the game bar the BB gun.


    I disagree. It's expensive to operate, but it has a very low spread and a large magazine. It could use "combat sights" and some mods, though.

    JESawyer responded to TraderRager 17 Jul 11



    What was the decision behind making fire-based weapons Energy Weapons? Shouldn't they be filed under Explosives, since they don't run on batteries and deal damage using combustion instead of direct energy? "Pyromaniac" is an explosives perk, to boot.


    They don't cleanly fall into either category, but they were placed in Energy Weapons because EWs had more gaps in the lineup than Explosives.

    JESawyer 17 Jul 11



    Given the choice, would you take out mod support for any future games?


    I think mod support is great in pretty much all ways, so no.

    JESawyer responded to cjs226 18 Jul 11



    How is it that Joshua Graham doesn't know Lanius and has only heard rumors about him?


    Lanius was Joshua Graham's replacement, so even if there was some overlap between their time in the Legion, they weren't in close contact.

    JESawyer 18 Jul 11



    When creating specific canon, like House being Robco CEO, do you have to go to Bethesda for approval first?


    Not specifically, but they did review our design documents.

    JESawyer responded to Harryvassharp 18 Jul 11



    How come there are only two Sniper rifles in New Vegas (Without mods) considering that the AM Rifle is a High tier weapon it leaves players early on without any means of sniping


    The Varmint Rifle and Ratslayer are both available relatively early in the game. A Laser Rifle with a scope can also be very effective.

    JESawyer 18 Jul 11



    why dont the bright followers get an ending? what happened to them?????


    Their endings are sometimes incorporated into the Novac endings.

    JESawyer responded to Harryvassharp 18 Jul 11



    Why was the Chinese assault rifle Removed from FO:NV and why did the design of the Assault Rifle change from the G3-esque to a M16 ish weapon?


    The Chinese Assault Rifle was removed because I didn't think there would be a heavy Chinese presence in the Vegas area. The Assault Rifle doesn't appear in New Vegas, only the Assault Carbine.

    JESawyer 18 Jul 11



    Do you find it hilarious that you were holding the AT4 backwards?


    No, but this is truly hilarious: http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/Louis-C.K.-Hilarious/70129452

    JESawyer 18 Jul 11



    Why wouldn't there be a heavy Chinese presence in the Vegas area? Unless they really only did sent two scouts to Hoover Dam...


    Because it's an inland area that the nuclear weapons failed to hit and of much lower strategic importance (than somewhere like D.C.) after the fact.

    JESawyer 18 Jul 11



    I have only just realized that stacked items have a combine weight which was shown at the bottom of the screen. I thought that you had changed one gold bars value to around 300,000 caps. Who thought to change it to this? It caused some confusion.


    I did, because not showing the aggregate weight was causing a ton of confusion on its own. Many items have a very low weight individually but are carried in large quantities (e.g. ammo, lead).

    JESawyer 18 Jul 11



    How would you respond to assertions that, even in Hardcore and with the difficulty turned up, New Vegas is still too easy? Speech checks are consistently low; ammo, food, and water are plentiful; and few enemies have significant armor/lethality to the PC.


    Speech checks are not consistently low, but yes, it's an easy game.

    JESawyer 18 Jul 11



    What is your favorite summer memory?

    Formspring question of the day


    http://tinyurl.com/8rjacs

    JESawyer 18 Jul 11


    Meltdown, work on it, so far it cancels it's how benefit and makes a character impossible to play properly.


    That is demonstrably not true. Many players have made successful EW builds that incorporate Meltdown.


    JESawyer 19 Jul 11



    S?????`?????????o?????`????_? ????´?~???????h??????~?`???????e?????y????`?¯??????.^???????.????^¯???.?????? ~????w??~??°????????h¯??????a¨??¯????????????t??¯????????


    ur blowin my mind brah


    JESawyer responded to 302CID 19 Jul 11



    Will we see fixes for missing entries in perks that require lists to properly function? eg; Cowboy(Police Pistol, too many knives to list) The Professional(Police Pistol, That Gun) This is a widespread issue and it gets worse with every DLC.


    Only for weapons in the core game. DLC content cannot be patched, unfortunately.


    JESawyer 19 Jul 11



    If DLC can't be patched how do you deal with fatal bugs that don't allow the game to be played


    Re-upload the entire DLC.

    JESawyer 19 Jul 11



    so uuuhhh....got any mugs?


    http://diogenes-lamp.info/images/mugs_for_the_mug_god.jpg

    JESawyer 20 Jul 11



    wow owb is the best dlc ever


    I'm glad you're enjoying it, but I didn't work on it.

    JESawyer 20 Jul 11



    From where can I get a poseidon energy mug? (How many people asked that by now?)


    The mugs were something we had custom-made for the team. Each person got a Poseidon, REPCONN, or Petró-Chico mug with a name/title on the other side.

    JESawyer 20 Jul 11



    So you didn't work on ANYTHING in Old World Blues? Like, nothing at all? o_o


    I helped with a very small amount of weapon tuning, but otherwise, no.

    JESawyer 20 Jul 11



    So...what's your obsession with Field Notes?


    they own basically

    JESawyer 20 Jul 11



    So if they own...what do you use them for? Everything?


    For all note-taking, yes. I have different books for different things. It's a lot faster for me to use a notebook and pen or pencil than try to type it out on my phone. They're also thinner and more flexible than Moleskines, so I can carry a pack of three or four of them at a time without it being inconvenient. As I finish using a notebook on a subject, I file it away and start a new one. These are the ones I use currently:

    http://diogenes-lamp.info/images/field_notes_explosion.jpg

    JESawyer 21 Jul 11



    When you're not being a developer in your free time, what kind of things do you do on a typical day off/after work?


    I don't do much outside of work. I usually ride my bikes, play games, or read.

    JESawyer responded to EB683 21 Jul 11



    Seeing as how you did weapon tuning for OWB. What is the deal with the LAERs small HP? Was it a over sight?


    I didn't tune the LAER at all.

    JESawyer 21 Jul 11



    Is the Circle of Steel Christine is a part of in OWB the same Circle of Steel from VB? If so, how different are they in New Vegas compared to the notes from VB.


    I don't know what Chris' intentions were, sorry.

    JESawyer 21 Jul 11



    Are you guys planning on fixing to infinite loop bug in the dialogue with the brain in OWB? It's extremely serious, and I don't care if DLCs "can't" be patched.


    I do not know what you're talking about.

    JESawyer 21 Jul 11



    I was surprised to find that the 360 version of F3 had limited keyboard functionality. Meaning that, with a keyboard plugged in, you could auto/quicksave using F5 and F9. Does this work with NV as well? And do you know why this feature is even in F3/NV?


    I do not know, sorry.

    JESawyer 21 Jul 11



    I have to agree, writing something down is a lot quicker than typing it on a phone or other personal device. How durable are Field Notes, and how many pages?


    Pretty durable. Most covers are made of linen. They have 48 pages and you can get them in blank, ruled, or grid.

    JESawyer 21 Jul 11



    Is the Marksman Carbine loosely based on the POF Short Barreled Rifle?


    No. It's loosely based on some paratrooper-oriented marksman rifles I saw online. It and the Assault Carbine are present in part due to New Vegas' proximity to Nellis AFB.

    JESawyer 21 Jul 11



    MCA said that Bethesda refused that a new Power Armor was added to OWB. Can you give us any hints or reasons for this decision?


    I don't know anything about that, sorry.

    JESawyer 21 Jul 11



    Do you prefer blank, ruled, or grid?


    The only thing I could prefer more than grid would be hex.

    JESawyer 21 Jul 11



    Please resolve a pressing issue I have with a product you had no input on.


    certainly.

    JESawyer 22 Jul 11



    Did you come up with Joshua's comments on the Divide and the "courier that wouldn't have traveled with a caravan" completely on your own, or did you trade notes with Chris Avellone?


    Chris asked me to make specific references.

    JESawyer 22 Jul 11



    is it unethical to put a snake head on a coyote body


    In the 70s my dad put snake heads on baby dolls and set up an unauthorized booth at the Art Fair on the Square in Madison. It didn't last long.

    JESawyer 22 Jul 11



    Given the amount of choice/consequence in quests and how the ending sequence is dictated by your choices throughout the game, would you consider STALKER: Call of Pripyat an RPG, despite its lack of character stats or traditional leveling?


    The choice and consequence feels a bit thin, but I also haven't completed CoP so maybe it gets more involved.

    JESawyer 22 Jul 11



    Avellone never named Bethesda telling not to put in PA. Just said not allowed. Did Beth say no or Feargus?


    I have no idea.

    JESawyer 22 Jul 11


    rrerr


    hmm


    JESawyer 22 Jul 11



    Who is your favourite member of the Wu Tang Clan?


    Toss up between ODB and RZA.

    JESawyer 22 Jul 11



    Any reason heavy armour has basically been "left in the dust"? After the 3 current dlcs light armour is now superior to it in almost every way.


    The Heavy armor still has better protection than any of the Medium or Light armor. T-51b has 3 more DT than Desert Ranger Armor and 5x the durability of Gannon Family Tesla Armor, and the Remnants Armor still has the absolute highest DT, 10 points higher than the best Light armor, Reinforced Sierra Madre Armor. Additionally, both the Remnants Armor and T-51b give +1 STR and +25% Rad Resist.

    As for why no new Heavy armor has been introduced in the DLCs, I can only speak for Honest Hearts. Other than Gecko-Backed Reinforced Metal Armor, nothing else seemed like it would be a good fit for the DLC.

    JESawyer 22 Jul 11



    Why do you spend so much time tweaking weapon values this late after release? So what if I take out a deathclaw with a certain rifle at level 7? Who's going to care except me?


    I haven't tweaked many of the core weapon values for several months. The only significant changes I made in the last patch were a few grenade explosion modifications. The majority of changes happened in the previous patch, which was quite a while ago.

    JESawyer 23 Jul 11



    If it were possible, do you think it would have been a good idea to make an optional quest path in Honest Hearts where the Courier uses the White Legs to help him crush Graham's forces, and return to Caeser to claim his place as the new Legate?


    If there were time to build a full pro-White Legs quest (not so much a pro-Legion quest), I think that would have been nice to add. I still think it would be important to structure the quest in such a way that the themes of the DLC were not lost.

    JESawyer 23 Jul 11



    What's your favorite radio song in Fallout: New Vegas? Sorry if this has been asked before.


    BIG IROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON.

    JESawyer 23 Jul 11



    So why did you guys make Fallout New Vegas so easy?


    My goal was to increment the difficulty above Fallout 3 without taking such a large step that F3 fans would be unable or unwilling to adapt.

    JESawyer 23 Jul 11



    Did you contribute anything to Ulysses while he was still part of the core game, before he was cut?


    Not really. Chris Avellone conceived and wrote the character. All I did was some minor editing and I talked to Chris about the character's patterns of speech and ways of speaking to the Courier.

    JESawyer 23 Jul 11



    Randall Clarks story was a powerful one to read. Thank you.


    I'm glad you liked it, but John Gonzalez wrote all of the logs.

    JESawyer 23 Jul 11



    Have any favorite latin phrases? I just ran into one on Wikipedia's list of latin phrases "aliquid stat pro aliquo" which apparently means "something stands for something else" and also "nemo saltat sobrius" which they say means "nobody dances sober"


    Qui mihi atque animo meo nullius umquam delicti gratiam fecissem, haud facile alterius lubidini male facta condonabam.

    JESawyer 23 Jul 11



    r u the most hipster game designer


    cool

    JESawyer 23 Jul 11



    Does it ever get annoying/depressing that you seemingly always get praised for stuff you didn't do but rarely for stuff that you actually did


    I get praised for the stuff I do as well, but it's a big game and there were a lot of people working on it.

    JESawyer 24 Jul 11



    Whats been the most difficult or frusterating bug to fix so far?


    "Floaty arms" and general stability.

    JESawyer 24 Jul 11



    what's your favorite death animation from F1-2?


    Plasma melt.

    JESawyer 24 Jul 11



    How do you get multiple developers working on the same .esm/.esp file at the same time?


    The GECK has source control support, so users are only checking out individual forms when they make modifications. During check-ins, they integrate their changes (stored in their local .esp) into the master .esm. When people are doing check-ins, other users are locked out of doing check-ins, but can still work on/check-out forms.

    JESawyer 24 Jul 11



    Why couldn't you just postpone the game a month to fix all the bugs?


    Release dates are determined by the publisher and console manufacturers.

    JESawyer 24 Jul 11



    what does "Qui mihi atque animo meo nullius umquam delicti gratiam fecissem, haud facile alterius lubidini male facta condonabam." mean? google translate couldnt figure it out :(


    It's from Sallust's Bellum Catilinae (The Catiline Conspiracy or, more literally, The War with Catiline). Catiline and his pals are caught attempting to overthrow the senate. The senate is divided on what to do with them. Some want to have them held or tried according to Roman law. Others (primarily, Cicero) want to have them killed immediately without a trial, in part because armies of the conspirators are still out and about. Julius Caesar (at this time "only" a member of the senate) speaks to the senate and urges clemency (something Caesar was later known for). He finds a great deal of support, but is followed by Marcus Porcius Cato / Cato the Younger.

    Cato supports Cicero's position, arguing that whether or not their republic is good or bad is not the issue, that the republic itself is threatened by the Catiline conspirators staying alive. In the opening of his address he reminds the senate of his strict and stoic nature by saying (according to Sallust, anyway) the quote above:

    "For as I had never, in my own conscience, excused myself for any wrongdoing, I found it hard to pardon the sins which other men's passions led them to commit."

    JESawyer 24 Jul 11



    Why'd you guys nerf cazadors? God forbid there be an enemy in the game that presents an actual threat.


    I didn't nerf them. I asked the team and apparently no one recalls making that change.

    True mysteries.

    JESawyer 24 Jul 11



    Where does Raul go to if you dismiss him? I just finished Dead Money and need him back in the party, but he's not at Black Mountain.


    There is a place on the map near (I think) The 188 called Raul's Shack. If you don't have the Lucky 38 suite, he returns there.

    JESawyer 24 Jul 11



    How well do you know Latin? For example compared to the other languages you use?


    Not that well. I really only know English and some poor conversational German. Everything else is just fragments.

    JESawyer 25 Jul 11



    so who's the mind behind Fisto? i understand that humor is a core piece of fallout, but... well whatever floats your boat :/


    Robert Lee.

    JESawyer 25 Jul 11



    Have you actually played and completed Lonesome Road?


    Yes.

    JESawyer 25 Jul 11



    Is the Riot shotgun based on the Chinese Type 97-1?


    It isn't based on anything, really.

    JESawyer 25 Jul 11



    Why was there never a quest like "Chaos in Zion" for the core game?


    The Yes Man / Wild Card path is the core game equivalent.

    JESawyer 25 Jul 11



    Why weren't the swords from FO3 carried over? I can understand your story reason for not including the C.Officer's sword, but you'd think someone would have a Katana in New Vegas.


    a katana with mods, no less.

    JESawyer 25 Jul 11



    So far all NV dlcs give a very different experience than what's in the OC. Does Obsidian often use dlcs to experiment with new gameplay ideas, as a quick way to see what gamers would like and not like to see in your future games?


    We do use them to experiment with themes and gameplay elements on a small scale, yes. For example, in Honest Hearts, I wanted to deal with post-apocalyptic religious characters. Religion isn't dealt with very much in video games, or it's only touched on superficially, or it is done through a proxy/fake religion as a joke.

    In contrast to Dead Money, where Chris created a number of nasty, vice-driven folks, I wanted Honest Hearts to feature characters primarily motivated (at least ostensibly) by a desire to do good. That is, I wanted the player to be choosing between virtues instead of choosing between vices. This is also (to a lesser extent) different from the core game, where the major factions are all various shades of scumbag and players are often thinking about which group sucks least.

    But fundamentally I really wanted to see if people were allergic to religious topics and characters. Even though it's obviously common in films and books, the topic of religion in games often draws a stink eye or immediate concern that someone, somewhere, will be offended. Honest Hearts had a lot of fair criticism for its relatively small scope, but I'm glad that most people either didn't care about the religious content or enjoyed it. I don't think religion needs to be an element of every story or setting, but I'm glad to know that it can be.

    JESawyer 25 Jul 11



    I understand you can't give us any spoilers for Lonesome Road, but...any spoilers for Lonesome Road?


    @__@

    JESawyer 25 Jul 11



    If crossbows were in new vegas, which weapon skill would they come under?


    Gunarmed.

    JESawyer 26 Jul 11



    You should have pushed back the release date. You shouldn't have signed off on a product that wasn't properly QA'd. You shouldn't be proud of the fact that you've spent nearly a year fixing your mistakes.


    The developer does not determine the release date of a product, the publisher and console manufacturers do. I also don't know where you're getting a sense of pride from me; I'm not trying to project one.

    JESawyer responded to WinstonChen855 26 Jul 11



    the Mojave Desert actually like that, because I thought deserts are usually very flat?


    The real Mojave Desert is actually like that, but at 25x the scale. We reduce the distances so you aren't literally walking for days just to get from town to town. Nevada's portion of the Mojave exists between a number of mountain ranges, open valleys that sit in a rain shadow east of the Sierra Nevadas. In the valleys, the terrain is mostly flat. But snow-covered alpine places like Jacobstown (near Mt. Charleston in real life) do actually exist.

    JESawyer 26 Jul 11



    Josh, have you tuned weapons for the Lonesome Road?


    I have now!

    JESawyer 26 Jul 11



    Ever thought about bringing bozar back?


    every second

    every day

    JESawyer 27 Jul 11



    Did you have anything to do, anything at all, to do with the Ghost People's walking style in Dead Money? Because that is probably the creepiest thing I have ever seen in my life.


    I talked to the animators a bit about their combat movement, but I don't think I gave them any direction on their normal movement. That probably came from Chris Avellone.

    JESawyer 27 Jul 11



    What were the weapons you tweaked in OWB?


    The cool ones.

    JESawyer responded to fschimski 27 Jul 11



    A thing I'd bery interested on from a dev-perspective is the display of Skill[xx/yy] in Dialogs. IMO-it was one of the few poor decisions in NV, players would just not choose the check when they know that they would fail. Do you like that system as it is?


    I'm sure there can be a better system, but I do believe it was an improvement from the randomized checks. Randomized checks in dialogue just leads to save-scumming.

    One of the design tenets for the "failed" dialogue checks in F:NV is that they should not result in the player being any worse off for having selected them. So, for example, failing a check will not make a neutral character hostile toward you, but a character who is already hostile toward you obviously won't be swayed by a failed check.

    The "fail" options are present to let the player know there is a check on that node and how far they are away from making that check. There's always alternate dialogue for the fail check as well, and ideally it's entertaining.

    JESawyer 27 Jul 11



    Do you think item description like in previous Fallout games is still practical in "modern" games? If given chance (or not limited to the current UI), would you use them in New Vegas?


    I wrote almost all of the unique item descriptions for IWD and IWD2, so I'm all for it. Publishers usually just dislike the translation costs. Deus Ex: Human Revolution has item descriptions, so it's not like it's impossible for a publisher to accept.

    JESawyer responded to fschimski 27 Jul 11



    I have read your comment at the Bozar - regardless if it was just a joke or not - the antimaterial rifle always reminded me of the Bozar from the first Trailer I saw - was the design of it inspired by the Bozar?


    The design of the AMR was inspired by the PGM Hécate II.

    JESawyer 27 Jul 11



    Are there some cool weapons in Lonesome Road?


    yeah

    JESawyer 27 Jul 11



    Why are weapons(and items in general I guess) found in DLC's often more powerful than those found in the main game, despite being easier to get? Not saying this is the case with F:NV DLC, as I've yet to play any of them.


    I don't want to assume too much, but generally I believe that developers want to ensure that players view the DLC as something they "must have", and a weapon, suit of armor, or perk that exceeds the capabilities of anything in the core game will do the trick.

    I don't entirely disagree, but I think it's more important to find a unique niche for these things than to make them The Things From the Core Game++. I believe that tools should be designed for specific applications. That means that in certain applications, they will not be appropriate -- but another tool will be. That's one of the reasons I decided to arbitrarily place weapons in "tiers" for Fallout: New Vegas. I want players to look at a Hunting Rifle and a 10mm SMG and understand that they are in the same ballpark in terms of overall power, but that one is clearly intended for a specific type of combat that the other generally fails at.

    With so many weapons and so many DLCs, it can be hard to find niches that aren't occupied, but personally, that's how I try to approach things.

    JESawyer 27 Jul 11



    You mention save-scumming as an issue for randomised events, yet the game is rife with it anyway - forcing locks, hacking, even combat and loot drops. The only real solution is to disallow "save anywhere" - would you have done this if it were your choice?


    Forcing locks is also problematic, hacking less so (because of the time delay), and combat and loot drops are effectively *not* problematic because of how they work. Combat is a sea of randomization that quickly normalizes after a few moments, loot drops are typically handled on first load, making the delay before the player acquires the loot non-trivial. The player also often doesn't know what loot is randomized and what is static, which also discourages save-scumming.

    In reality, you only see people save-scumming when doing stand-alone checks like randomized dialogue comparisons or forcing locks.

    JESawyer 27 Jul 11



    Did you choose the PGM Hécate II for it's aesthetic. It really does match other rifles in the game with it's partial wooden furniture.


    Yes, for its appearance/construction and also because it is bolt action. I wanted the highest DAM Guns weapon to have the slowest rate of fire.

    JESawyer 27 Jul 11



    I think what fschimski meant was should the skill check have been displayed next to the dialogue option? If players can see that they can pass a skill check, they will almost always select that because they see they can "win" the conversation.


    That's a good point, but I think that goes beyond whether or not the skill number is displayed or whether or not it is randomized. It's a criticism of Speech skills or dialogue perks as "the way to win dialogue". There is effectively no "play" to dialogue. That is, it is not an element with tactical decision making. Even if the dialogue checks were "hidden", you'd still be fundamentally just guessing at what answer will produce a favorable result and reloading would still allow you to simply try again, uncontested. As long as Speech and/or other purchased skills and perks are used as conditionals, there is an element of *strategic* gameplay (outside of the dialogue), but ultimately only some options are authored to produce ideal results.

    I think that the mechanics of dialogue and dialogue conditionals could some improvement, and I think looking at how players make selections and decisions is a good place to start.

    JESawyer 27 Jul 11



    Was the Light Machine Gun from New Vegas based on any one weapon in particular?


    It's a mishmash of M60 and M249 SAW parts.

    JESawyer 27 Jul 11



    @dialogue: But there is a big different between realizing you've just passed a skill check and not realizing this. If a dialogue option is marked as "fail" right from the beginning, why should I click it anyway, it most likely just ends in something bad.


    Fail options in F:NV never result in the player being worse off than before he or she selected the option.

    JESawyer 27 Jul 11



    Do you like the new Deus Ex human revolutions dialogue system? It's kind like mass effects but if you bring your mouse/stick to 1 of like 3 options whatever Jensen will say appears in full


    Yes, I think that is the best way to handle brief/verbose lines. Personally, I only ever want to see the full text. Since it has to be localized and displayed anyway, allowing players like me to preview it prior to making a selection is pretty trivial.

    JESawyer 28 Jul 11



    ey!


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmVDr93UJQQ


    JESawyer responded to ThomasTinkletit 28 Jul 11



    If the LMG was an M60 and SAW, then why did it reload via clips? Was it because it's difficult to animate opening the weapon and placing a new snake of bullets in and closing it?


    Yeah, and it would have been a one-off reload animation.

    JESawyer 28 Jul 11



    How about Planescape: Torment where 90% of the game was about navigating through and "winning" dialogues? There was at least one dialogue where chosing the wrong answers resulted in game over (the one with Ravel). Is this really such a bad thing?


    I think that depends on whether or not you believe that dialogue should be primarily used to express character or if it should be primarily used to produce a change in the world. These things can often be in conflict, especially if the change the player is producing is difficult/impossible to predict.

    JESawyer responded to Spockrock 28 Jul 11



    speaking of which, maybe you know the answer? ._. why does Bozar look like a Barret .50 cal (even has a scope attached), but acts as a machine gun, and doesn't have targeted shots?


    let's split the difference and make it a scoped light machine gun

    JESawyer 28 Jul 11



    who would win Liam Neeson vs Morgan Freeman


    lorgan freeson

    JESawyer 29 Jul 11



    How many lines of dialogue did New Vegas have?


    I think somewhere around 65,000, but I may not be remembering correctly.

    JESawyer 29 Jul 11



    The Tesla Cannon have effect that deals 25 damage over 2s, but after using it after the patch released, I noticed that it in fact did not work: it's not added to the explosion, not only that but the explosion itself was disabled for the projectile data?


    There is a DoT effect on the weapon itself and yes, the explosion was disabled.

    JESawyer 29 Jul 11



    What time do you typically get off work?


    Usually between 7:00 and 8:30.

    JESawyer 29 Jul 11



    hey, would you be willing to do an interview with a podcast on itunes called Galaxy News Radio? they really want to interview someone of your...?importance? thanks! and did you work on dead money? that was my favorite DLC of both fallout 3 and new vegas.


    Sure, though all Fallout-related interviews have to go through Bethesda first.

    JESawyer 29 Jul 11



    Why does the Recharger Pistol do more damage than the rifle? That doesn't make sence to me.


    For the same reason a real-life .44 Magnum revolver does more damage than a .22LR rifle: though they are using similar technology, the pistol is designed to handle much higher power. Consider the Recharger Rifle to be the first version of the technology, when they needed something large and bulky because they hadn't worked out all of the kinks. The Recharger Pistol is the evolution of that technology, the smart phone to the Recharger Rifle's 1990s Motorola Bag Phone.

    JESawyer responded to Fffelix 30 Jul 11



    Thank you and the whole developer team, Fallout is the best thing that has ever happened to my Xbox. :D


    Thanks.

    JESawyer 30 Jul 11



    no i said "r u" the most hipster game designer not "u r"


    cool

    JESawyer 30 Jul 11



    Why were the Stun and Gas grenades cut? Did they not work properly or were they just too overpowered...?


    Yeah, they had some problems.

    JESawyer 30 Jul 11



    HUMMUS!


    this morning i saw a cat named hummus :3


    JESawyer 31 Jul 11



    I know that you are not main designer of HH. But do you know why in Sorrow´s camp are caves inhabited by White legs? Thx for really cool game!


    Actually, I *am* the main designer for Honest Hearts. The White Legs that are in the caves should only be in the more remote parts of the Sorrows camp, and they are attempting to infiltrate it (IIRC).

    JESawyer 1 Aug 11



    What's the point of even playing New Vegas on Hard or Very Hard? There's no incentive to play it on either setting. No extra experience, no achievement, the loot drops aren't better. For me, the game is most satisfying by seeing my choices have an affect.


    Levels of difficulty are present for players to broadly adjust the combat statistics to suit their tastes. If you don't feel the need to adjust that, don't change the level of difficulty.

    JESawyer 1 Aug 11



    I've been wondering this for a while. Why do you answer these questions for fans?


    Primarily so people will have more insight into how or why we make decisions during game development.

    JESawyer 1 Aug 11



    Why does CA get to lead three whole dlcs?


    That's just the way it worked out, schedule-wise. I handled Honest Hearts during the overlap between Dead Money and Old World Blues and have now (mostly) moved on to another project.

    JESawyer 2 Aug 11



    who's idea was the deathclaw promontory? it was very cool


    I think it was Jorge Salgado's idea. He definitely implemented it.

    JESawyer 2 Aug 11



    Ur a selfish prick ii know for a fact you named the bruned man after yourself. Both of youa re named joshua.. coincidence? I think naught


    and his surname is graham because of my love of mr. graham's delicious crackers

    i am undone

    JESawyer 2 Aug 11



    Who designed the Arizona Killer quest? That one was pretty awesome and fun, there are a lot of methods for finishing that one.


    Charlie Staples.

    JESawyer 2 Aug 11



    do the nets in at the end of the map in the Colorado river serve any purpose like catching fish or something like that besides keeping the player within the map.


    you are the fish

    JESawyer 2 Aug 11



    Is Charlie Staples a real guy or is he some magical gnome made of staples who hangs around your office?


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPONTneuaF4


    JESawyer 3 Aug 11



    Did you ever attend the voice recording sessions and give advice to the voice actors?


    Yes. I went to the sessions for Arcade and Chief Hanlon. For Honest Hearts, I was part of a phone-patch to Joshua Graham's session. During our VO recording, we don't typically give direction to the actors directly. A director runs the session and we talk to the director. He or she knows the best way to phrase direction to get the desired effect.

    JESawyer 3 Aug 11



    was the desert rangers armor inspired by tycho's discription in fallout 1


    Yes.

    JESawyer 3 Aug 11



    Can you guys add Raufoss Mk. 211 ammo for the Anti-Materiel Rifle?


    sure why not

    JESawyer 3 Aug 11



    why dont u guys add single weapons or weapon packs for like 240ms points or $3 each. it would really add to the game especially if u dont have pc and cant download guns from nexus.


    hmm what if it were more like 400ms points???

    JESawyer 3 Aug 11



    Actually if it were 400MS points that would be ok, as long as you get a good number of items. I suppose you could include guns with different ammo types and sub types as well. It would be nice for consoles.


    hmm. you've got a point. lemme sleep on it.

    JESawyer 4 Aug 11



    Josh, thank you.


    np

    JESawyer 4 Aug 11



    If you feel the need to respond to trolls at the expense of answering more legitimate questions, fine. There is, however, no need to be condescending to people who ask questions that you dislike/can't answer (e.g. 400MS point packs, Raufoss ammo, .etc).


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INeULXlR9uo


    JESawyer 4 Aug 11



    Why does the quest design in Honest Hearts suck so bad? Everything is either a fetch quest or more boring combat. son i am disappoint.


    Sorry you didn't like it. Core F:NV had some problems with quest designs and implementations that were extremely glitchy. Because Honest Hearts was developed on a relatively short schedule, I asked the quest designers to implement crit path quests that were very straightforward, with the idea that we would make the quests more elaborate if there were more time at the end. There really was never more time. Despite the long delay between DM and HH, the latter was out of testing over a month before the core game patch came out (which was necessary to release HH, OWB, and LR). Of the four DLCs, HH had the shortest development and testing cycle.

    Obviously, that's not really an excuse. If you paid $10/800MS points/your currency of choice for it and didn't like it, you didn't like it.

    JESawyer 4 Aug 11



    Hi my name is Nicholas and my older brother Sam is writing this for me. He said I should tell you how I'm 10 years old and I want to be a game designer. He said that you're a good designer so I want to know how someone becomes really good like you.


    Hi, Nicholas. There are probably better role models than me, but here are some basic things:

    * There are a lot of jobs in game development. The most common are designers (who design the systems and create the gameplay for levels), artists and animators (who create all of the game art, including levels, weapons, characters/outfits, visual effects, and animations), programmers (who write the actual code of the game and tools), and audio engineers/sound designers/composers (who create or help direct all of the sounds, voice over/dialogue, and music). All of these departments work together to make the game, but each has a different skill set and responsibilities on the project.

    * The most important skill for a designer is the ability to think critically and to think from the perspective of other gamers. Professional game designers often make games that we would like to play, but we are making them for a large audience -- sometimes millions of people. We have to think about how players will experience the games that we make because we want the people who buy our game to enjoy it. What they enjoy may not be the same as what you or I enjoy, so we have to be able to think about playing the game from their point of view.

    * It is important for designers to play a wide variety of games and to think about how the game works. When you find yourself making a decision in a game -- from what direction to move on a map, to what conversation option to pick in a dialogue, to what weapon to use in a fight -- think about how you make your decision. The designer's job is often to present you with a problem to solve, a choice to make. If the problem is too easy, the player is not challenged. If the problem is too hard, the player may get angry and give up. Though we want to make decisions difficult, the player should be able to overcome any problem if they think about the situation and use the tools that we give them.

    What I would suggest is to continue playing a variety of games and thinking about the things you like and dislike about them. Read and listen to other players and the things they like and dislike. You may not agree with them, but you will start to understand how other players think. Ask yourself not only how you would design a game to make yourself happy, but to make your brother happy, or your friend happy. You might not be able to make a game that makes everyone happy, but it's good to think about ways you could try.

    The other thing I suggest is to try a lot of activities that don't have anything to do with video games: hiking, swimming, reading about different subjects, carpentry, foreign languages -- the video game industry is full of people that know a lot of things about video games. People who have the ability to draw on other experiences from their lives often find that they can create things that aren't normally seen in video games.

    JESawyer 4 Aug 11



    I've got a Fallout idea that is great. Don't offer $10, don't offer $20. You offer with $100, I won't even show ya! Offer with a couple of thousands and I promise you, you will walk away with millions to flip. So what do you say?


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVE2aAHCd4c


    JESawyer 4 Aug 11



    Video games are supposedly the most post-modern medium because of their propensity for intertextuality, irony, deconstruction, and other devices associated with post-modernity. Do you think this is a fair assessment?


    Honestly now, how many video games do you know of that intentionally rely on intertextuality (unless you count aping other media) and deconstructive techniques? I think literature and film still have a pretty big leg up on us there.

    JESawyer 5 Aug 11



    Who came up with the Terrifying Presence perk? It owns.


    Thanks. I did, but I wish it had more uses or a more general use in combat. As-is, it's very special-case.

    JESawyer 6 Aug 11



    Someone on the Bethesda forums (I think it was Chris Avellone) said that Lonesome Road would be out this month (August). Can you confirm that the current release date is still scheduled for August?


    I have no idea, sorry.

    JESawyer 7 Aug 11



    Since I have a feeling you were involved, I love that Police Pistol from Dead Money, it's sound, it's kick when it fires, and it's texture. So much beauty. Can you tell me the IRL model for it?


    It was loosely based on the Colt Police Positive.

    JESawyer 7 Aug 11



    Hi Josh. Are the items in Doc Mitchell's house supposed to be taken freely by players as a basic loadout, or just their ownership not set properly?


    No ownership is set on those items so the player can't force hostility prior to exiting character creation. If the player wants to grab everything in his house, it's not going to dramatically affect anything.

    JESawyer 7 Aug 11



    Question: Caesar has openly stated that he found that learning tribal dialects is a waste of time. So how was he able to contact and order the White Legs, who speak a very foreign language?


    Caesar doesn't have to be the one doing the speaking. He has a lot of agents, and many of them know a variety of tribal languages.

    JESawyer 7 Aug 11



    The Police pistol was based on the Colt Police Positive, I presume. Is there any particular reason why it operates in single-action?


    I thought it fit the weapon better, especially given its accuracy despite having a short barrel.

    JESawyer 9 Aug 11



    I'm sorry but I felt Nelson was simply to unrealstic. The other Ranger stations stop most of the Legion across the Colorado (2/3rds according to the comm officer at Forlorn). How in the hell would they get resupplied? A ranger was watching the town!


    Milo is a single patrol ranger, and there was an entire additional pack of Legion in the Techatticup Mine. Between Techatticup and Cottonwood Cove, there's only Ranger Station Echo. Though Echo does run interference, that's not a lot of NCR forces to track and deal with guys who could be running up and down the coast from the Legion's main point of access to the west side of the Colorado.

    JESawyer 9 Aug 11



    So why would you make basically another assassin suit, name it the stealth suit, and make it a medium armor. with all the bonuses, it still does not match the assassin suit in terms of stealth. They both even have the same DT so why make it medium?


    I didn't make it.

    JESawyer 9 Aug 11



    Why did the NCR go to Baja when Vegas and Hoover Dam are not that far off from Shady Sands?


    NCR is expansionist, so they spread out in any/all directions.

    JESawyer 9 Aug 11



    Has BGS started preproduction on Fallout 4 yet?


    I have no idea.

    JESawyer 9 Aug 11



    Is there going to be a possible patch for the Stealth Suit Mk II Firmware 1.4 that actually does increase your crouch speed? Also, why isn't it light armor? The fact that it's medium completely compromises the ability to sneak well.


    Why does wearing Medium armor completely compromise a character's ability to sneak well?

    JESawyer responded to ohyesitsthecopz 9 Aug 11



    i love the lever-action. what gun is it based off of.


    The Winchester 1887, though in 20 gauge and with other modifications.

    JESawyer 9 Aug 11



    I have to say that New Vegas is my favorite game. Despite the glitches this game has been the best virtual experience I've ever had. Please keep it up.


    Thanks.

    JESawyer 10 Aug 11



    If you had the chance, would you add phosphorus rounds for shotgun weapons in FNV?


    There are a lot of wacky shotgun ammo types out there, most of which are demonstrably pretty bad (flechettes, "dragon's breath", etc.) but they could still be cool for a video game IMO.

    JESawyer 12 Aug 11



    Were the zap and displacer gloves originally meant to use ammunition (SEC)? If so why was this cut?


    A lot of the "fist" ammo types were intended to use ammunition, but the engine doesn't support it and there wasn't time to implement it.

    JESawyer 14 Aug 11



    Where there any plans for the player to be able to access the virtual reality pods in Nellis?


    No. They're present to explain how the Boomers know how to operate planes.

    JESawyer 14 Aug 11



    This may seem like a silly question, as I have poor understanding of game development, but wouldn't all involved parties want the best game possible to be released. Time limits, bugs, deadlines, cut content, publisher demands - these all seem to detract.


    No. Publishers want the best return on their investment, which often motivates them to do things that in opposition to final game quality. Publicly traded publishers are often the worst in this regard, because their investors are typically even more myopic about RoI and quarterly results.

    JESawyer 14 Aug 11



    On the topic of my phosphorus question; why wasn't any other type of incendiary round added in the main game besides the .50MG round? Was it due to engine limitations, or because you didn't have enough time to implement new rounds, or something else?


    40mm Grenades also have an incendiary subtype.

    For the most part, I tried to use ammo subtypes that are found with their real-world equivalents. So you'll find .308 AP and 5.56mm AP, but no 10mm AP or .357 Magnum AP. While this is somewhat "realistic" it was done mostly to make choosing between weapons in part based on the ammo subtypes available to them. This is also the reason why the same three mods aren't slapped on every type of lever-action rifle (for example).

    JESawyer 14 Aug 11



    If you get negative feedback, do you feel offended?


    No.

    JESawyer 14 Aug 11



    What's with the childish "hahaha srsly" response towards Joshua Graham when he tells you about his religious beliefs? It's as if the dialogue was written by some pretentious atheist who can't bear the thought of someone following a religion.


    The option was present for people who are role-playing pretentious atheists who can't bear the thought of someone following a religion. If you are not playing such a character, select the options that either generally agree with him or the options that more or less say, "Well, okay."

    JESawyer 14 Aug 11



    Given the chance, would you make Icewind Dale 3?


    Sure.

    JESawyer 14 Aug 11



    Why didn't you guys revamp the engine before making New Vegas? Clearly even critics like IGN had to do a double take and say the game is great but the bugs/graphics/animations kills a lot.


    Because "revamping" the engine is an enormous time investment. We had very few programming resources on the project, and much of their time was devoted to upgrading from Havok 5.5 to Havok 7 (which was necessary to meet Sony TRCs for compiling with an SDK no older than six months -- Havok 5.5 would not compile with current SDKs).

    JESawyer 14 Aug 11



    You seem like a Libertarian, are you?


    Not really. I think personal choice is an important thing for the government to avoid infringing, but people, myself included, are pretty stupid about understanding the consequences of their behavior. I think the US/UK housing market crashes are a good example of this: on the business side and the consumer side, you had people engaged in a state of prolonged mutually-supported delusion about the system being tenable. I mean, I could tell it was untenable in 2004 and I'm practically a moron when it comes to anything financial.

    The same sort of thing happened with the world's first bank crash back in the 14th century with Venetian traders and Florentine banking houses. In both cases, "The Market" engaged willingly in all of the practices going on, and by doing so, all parties helped ensure systemic collapse. Also in both cases, it was not simply the direct participants who suffered, but everyone who was entangled in the larger financial system.

    I don't think more regulation is a great solution to the problem of personal or systemic idiocy (in many cases I think mandated higher transparency and less regulation would likely accomplish more), but I do think that choice architecture and incentivization work well. I've been reading an interesting book on soft or "libertarian" paternalism, called "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness" that has some good ideas about practical approaches to choice architecture.

    JESawyer 14 Aug 11



    But there isn't an option to agree with Graham on his beliefs or even show much knowledge about them. The only options the player gets is to either be a smartass, ignore him completely, or to come off as a clueless moron who has no idea what religion is.


    No, there's definitely an option to agree with him and/or have a positive reaction. It's always the top response when replying to any of the occasions when he expresses his beliefs. The exact response is vague because the player could have a variety of nuanced opinions about what he's saying.

    The Courier wouldn't have much knowledge about his beliefs; he represents a denomination of Christianity that is effectively held by one community. Even if your character were some type of Christian, the Courier isn't a New Canaanite, and there are specific things that New Canaanites believe that aren't common to other Christians.

    JESawyer 14 Aug 11



    Would you consider the 40mm buckshot or "Hornet's Nest" for the M79 ?


    The problem with an ammo type like that is that the impact data for the weapon (in this case the Grenade Rifle or Grenade Launcher) is set up for explosives. That can't be changed on the projectile, so you'd have buckshot creating a bunch of huge impact particles and noises that don't make sense for the weapon. It may seem minor, but trust me, it's really obnoxious.

    JESawyer 14 Aug 11



    Why wouldn't the Courier know much about his beliefs? One of the things you can tell Jed Masterson is that it's been a while since he's been to Utah, implying he's been there before. He could've learned about it there, since that's where New Canaan is at.


    You also tell him that in the context of asking things about what's going on there. Utah is a reasonably big place and its human population is dominantly tribes (many of whom don't speak consistent English) and raiders. Outsiders don't know much about the New Canaanites. That's one of the defining characteristics of them in the story.

    JESawyer 14 Aug 11



    And would you keep the Icewind Dale 3 as linear and action as its predecessors? Or you would rather make more experiments with themes, game mechanics and world structure as MCA did in Planscape Torment?


    As a series, Icewind Dale has always been, and was known for being, a party-based dungeon crawler. You can have a party-based dungeon crawler be non-linear and you can have strong themes in a dungeon crawler's story, characters, and world design. I don't think these things are in conflict. Most of IWD and IWD2's constraints involved building the games on 14- and 10-month dev cycles, respectively.

    JESawyer 16 Aug 11



    When Chief Hanlon said the NCR sent the rangers to chase ghosts in Baja did he mean that it was a fruitless endeavor or that they were going after some kind of "Boogeyman" like remnants of the Enclave, the Master's Army, or some to be announced menace?


    mysteries

    JESawyer 16 Aug 11



    Has anybody ever considered a radioactive snake-creature as an enemy? It seemed like it'd fit the Mojave Desert area. Or would the creature be difficult to implement due to it's shape?


    Snake creatures are pretty difficult to implement for that reason, specifically. Even creatures like yuan-ti generally cause animator angst. One of the reasons the Nightstalkers exist in F:NV is because I wanted to have something snake-y without requiring animators to build a snake rig.

    JESawyer 16 Aug 11



    Is it impossible to patch DLC, or just not worth the effort? My friend says it is possible you guys just wont, can you tell me otherwise so I can prove him wrong?


    Sometimes it is possible to fix an error introduced by a DLC by addressing it in the core game updates (e.g. the companion terminal introduced by the last patch fixes various companion issues found in DLCs), but actually loading in an additional .esp to address an issue in a DLC .esm typically isn't possible due to load order differences/inconsistencies between platforms.

    Believe me, if it were easy to patch DLCs across the platforms, we'd definitely do it. In cases where the DLC has some catastrophically bad issue (e.g. like The Pitt's missing asset bugs), we may re-upload the entire DLC, but in that case users are getting an entirely new .esm, not a patch.

    JESawyer 16 Aug 11



    Will there be any info/video/notes from your upcoming GDC lecture readily available? It seems GDC has some form of pay-wall to view things online. Is it ever possible for that info to appear in another medium or will it only be via GDC?


    I'm not sure, to be honest. I know that GDC will make elements of the talk available. My talk presentation PowerPoint/.PDF won't be incredibly useful, I'm afraid, since the slides aren't very text heavy. Hopefully they will put a video up, but it may be pay-to-view or subscription-based.

    JESawyer 16 Aug 11



    Dude Its cool that your from WI now I dont feel as lame when I say Im from here!


    Wisconsin owns. Wisconsowns.

    JESawyer 16 Aug 11



    Is there a way to save Jed,Stella and the others in HH?


    No. They are doomed!

    JESawyer responded to PTG 16 Aug 11



    So once the gun is set up as an "explosive" weapon, it can only ever be made to fire projectiles which are explosive? That sounds annoying.


    Not so much that, but the impact data is on the weapon. Explosives weapons often have large visual effects/noises for where they hit. That can't be changed on the projectile.

    JESawyer 16 Aug 11



    You do know that mandating increased transparency, which must be done by governing body to make it enforceable and effective, is a form of regulation, right? Without laws and penalties to comply, corporations have no incentive to be transparent.


    Yes, obviously. That's still decreased regulation compared to most approaches governments take toward industries.

    JESawyer 17 Aug 11



    What kind of car do you drive?


    A 2004 Volkswagen R32, but I only drive it about once a week. Usually I ride my Triumph or bicycle.

    JESawyer 17 Aug 11



    Is there anything you can tell us regarding the Radioactive Roadblock at the NW end of Highway 95? Is seems fairly clear that it is (or was intended to be) a DLC entry point given the graffiti, location, and lone campfire.


    It's just a map endpoint. In the real world, 95 shoots out of the Las Vegas Valley in the northwest, so we were just blocking that route out.

    JESawyer 17 Aug 11



    Do you think car companies should focus more on diesel and hybrids or just try and move on to a completely different source of fuel such as hydrogen?


    They should be trying anything and everything that shows promise. I don't think the world can really afford to discard any given energy technology outright. I've seen a lot of people complain about biofuel research, for example. The fact of the matter is that we have several million internal combustion engines powering vehicles all over the planet. Even if we were to develop tech to replace the IC engine on a large scale tomorrow it would take decades for the world to adopt it.

    JESawyer 17 Aug 11



    Why go to such lengths to try to get the player to play nice with the Khans? They're irredeemably stupid in all of their actions. Everything bad that happens to them is a direct consequence of their own misdeeds, yet they think they're innocent victims.


    Why do you think we're going to "such lengths"? Characters like Bitter-Root offer up an opinion pretty similar to yours, and the actions of many of the Khans are certainly questionable. If you don't like them, don't help them.

    JESawyer 17 Aug 11



    If Wisconsin owns, why don't you live there? Also why don't you have cheese on your head?


    There are very few game dev studios in Wisconsin. I do own a house there.

    JESawyer 17 Aug 11



    Your forward thinking philosophy toward game design seems to be in direct opposition to the diehard fallout 1 and 2 fans who still think isometric is the way to go. Is there any merit to their vigil or are they just nostalgia zealots?


    During my talk at GDC Europe, I said that I actually think that top down/iso turn-based or real-time with pause games are MORE viable now due to the rise of mobile and free-to-play games. Randomization as part of combat resolution from that perspective is often totally fine because there is SO MUCH randomization that any individual result is often loss in the overall pool of checks. However, after the talk I elaborated on what I meant with one of the people in the audience -- because there are some aspects to combat that still encourage the sort of save scumming you find with dialogue or lockpicking checks.

    Take something like the classic spell Disintegrate from A/D&D. In older editions, this was a total win/loss spell. If the target failed the save, it died, flat out. People effectively used this as an effective degenerate tactic against many difficult enemies in Infinity Engine games. The first spell cast would be Disintegrate. If the target made its save, the player would just reload and try again.

    With Disintegrate reworked as a spell that does a large amount of damage on a failed save and a decent amount of damage on a successful save, it's no longer an all-or-nothing spell that encourages save scumming. The effects are still variable, the results of the save still matter, but it's one check that's normalized with many others during combat. The more the randomized checks of combat are normalized, the more the player's specific character strategies and tactics matter.

    As an aside, I've been playing the 1992 RPG Darklands for most of my trip. I still love the game, and while aspects of the combat are random, they are much LESS random than the extreme examples of old editions of AD&D. The worst aspects of the game are the ones where there are severe consequences (often through random encounters) that come down to purely random checks. It's a double whammy of (randomly) getting a horrible encounter, attempting to escape, and (randomly) failing due to one check.

    JESawyer 17 Aug 11



    You say IWD required creating entire parties but it didn't. There were preset parties/characters available. Why not present the presets as the "standard" way to play and keep character generation as a "hardcore" option instead of just cutting it entirely?


    I said that we typically asked the player to make entire parties, which we did. They didn't have to, but they often did -- in part because the prospect of making you own party is a lot more appealing than using a pre-made set.

    I don't think you have to cut the option of making parties at all! But if a game asks the player to make a party, the system design should not be such that new players have to be extremely prescient and forward-thinking to avoid making a terrible group of characters. For example, in 1st Edition AD&D, demihumans often had level limits. If you missed this fact, you could make a totally viable character -- right up until you hit the leveling wall. Once that happens, you're essentially stuck.

    Very few non-MMO RPGs allow character respec, but I think character respec is another good way to address balance range issues in games with a huge amount of character variety. You thought it was a good idea to make a party of Genasi Bards called Earth, Wind, and Fire. It was not a good idea, so if you accept a small cost, you can rebuild some -- or all -- aspects of your characters.

    JESawyer 18 Aug 11



    But can't respecs be abused in the same 'degenerate' way as quicksaves? And do they run counter to the idea of choices & consequences?


    No, because respecs involve strategic decisions with long-term consequences. And if there's a cost to respec, there's still a consequence to building poorly. I think the consequence of "you cannot continue to play this game" is absurd, but not entirely uncommon in RPGs.

    JESawyer 18 Aug 11



    Was Boulder City empty/abandoned when the NCR blew it up? It strikes me as kind of odd that there would be no refugees or disgruntled former residents around.


    It was a war zone, so there probably weren't people just chillin' out watching the Legion roll on through. Also, since the whole thing was an NCR plan/trap, they would have evacuated anyone stubborn enough to try to stay.

    JESawyer 18 Aug 11



    Wisconsin is a beautiful state, but I suspect if you returned here after years elsewhere (as I did) that you'd be disappointed by, perhaps even ashamed of, the changes in culture and politics (as I was).


    I am. Growing up, Wisconsin was always a very moderate state. We had a good mix of representatives and political discourse was level-headed (that I recall). The last time I went back, anyone who talked to me about politics sounded like an actual, for real, crazy person. And these are people with whom I generally agree on things. Everything that's happened in the last year has made me less enthusiastic about the idea of ever returning there.

    JESawyer 18 Aug 11



    And what your idea of a "long-term consequence" for respecing be?


    How about the loss of a level or a percentage of XP, which could translate to the loss of several levels? If that's not enough, how about that plus a reduction in XP gained following the respec based on the level of the player? If a player is hell-bent on metagaming a respec system, that's a non-trivial price to pay. For a player who just planned poorly or didn't understand a certain aspects of the rules, it still allows them to correct their errors without having to start the game over.

    Respecs also don't have to be "do it anywhere/anytime". They could only happen on level-up, or at specific locations/characters, or at specific locations with an additional currency cost (e.g. caps) based on level. These things can all discourage "frivolous" or metagamey respecs while still allowing adjustments.

    JESawyer 18 Aug 11



    Isn't the very fact that the player needs to respec a failure on the part of the developer to provide the needed information when building the character? It seems like respecing is a poor solution to the problem, because it doesn't fix the underlying issu


    The underlying issue is the complexity of the system. If you want systemic complexity, you have to accept that as the complexity increases, it becomes more difficult for the average user -- who may know little to nothing about RPGs -- to fully comprehend and forecast how to build a character.

    Very few games demand strategic understanding and planning in the way that RPGs do. Often many of the benefits or drawbacks are things that are based on combinations, not individual elements, and they play out over hours and hours of gameplay in diverse situations -- often in non-linear game environments.

    We can do our best to explain and describe, but some people won't get it. Either they won't get it due to lack of experience, or they won't get it because they aren't good at games in general, or they won't get it because they aren't that intelligent. We could make the systems drastically less complex, or we could play a sick guitar lick and scream, "YOU FAILED" at the player, or we could say, "Hey how about you pay X price and you can rebuild your character?" Of those three options, I'd prefer to go with the last.

    JESawyer responded to SerMcWorst 18 Aug 11



    I understand your point on randomization, but you do realize that sometimes you sounded a bit myopic in your GDC speech? For many strategic successes are exhilarating and taking failures out means you're subsequently taking successes out too.


    That's obviously not true. You can reduce the gulf of efficacy between the bottom and the top without making the range nonexistent. In 3E and 3.5 D&D, you can make characters and parties that are TERRIBLE and will fail at everything constantly. It is much, much more difficult to do that in 4th Ed. That doesn't mean you can't min-max 4th Ed. And it also doesn't mean that you can't have variety in 4th Ed. characters. My Earthstrength Warden looks very different from many other Earthstrength Wardens and is better/worse at a variety of things.

    JESawyer 18 Aug 11



    Giving the ability to respec just seems to me like a cheap solution to a greater problem of having builds that are far inferior or can't complete the game in the first place. Doesn't respec turn those long-term consequences into whenever-you-want-term?


    If strategic planning is going to be important in some way, there is always going to be a gap between "best" and "worst". As designers, we should design these systems to make that range large enough to make good planning feel good, but small enough to prevent catastrophic failure. Even so, players WILL wind up building characters they find aren't what they expected, or with consequences they didn't understand.

    In a situation when a player makes a tactical failure, once they understand the failure, they (hopefully) can change their tactics and overcome the present obstacle. If they've made a STRATEGIC error, the realization doesn't necessarily mean anything unless they can take an action to correct it. In the case of an RPG, the errors may have been made 10-15 hours ago, 30 hours in on a 60 hour game.

    Making errors and learning from them is part of playing games. If we don't give the player an avenue to correct their errors (other than "lol make a new character nublet"), that stinks.

    JESawyer 18 Aug 11



    Your talk seemed centered around improving traditionally obscure RPG mechanics. But modern RPGs typically have simple combat systems, "bread-crumb trails", no character generation and no skill checks. How can such games benefit from your "5 hard lessons"?


    I gave examples in my talk about how virtually every RPG that came out in the last five years still has some aspects of this stuff. Fallout 3 had randomized skill checks. F3 and F:NV both still had randomized Force Lock checks (DX:HR has randomized hacking threats that can also encourage save scumming). Alpha Protocol had hilariously large weapon spread. Almost every RPG has a bunch of skills/talents/perks that grant imperceptibly small benefits, or features boatloads of gear that differs in statistically insignificant ways. Most RPGs require a fair amount of strategic character building -- that the player can fail terribly -- and virtually none allow respecs. RPG devs still make decisions about player controls/input while wrestling with the idea that in RPGs the character's abilities should matter more than the players -- even though how the character is built and used is entirely based on the player's choices.

    We're getting better, but we really do keep tripping over the same bad decisions.

    JESawyer 18 Aug 11



    Some players enjoy creating "flawed" characters that are difficult to play. Why not keep both parties happy by having standard and "hardcore" character generation? The standard could let you customize within limits but ensure the character is balanced.


    I think the key to doing that is reducing the general power gulf between "worst" and "best" parties while allowing the ability to respec. If you're making your intentionally-limited party, don't respec.

    JESawyer 18 Aug 11


    Who wrote the dialogue for Christine Royce in Dead Money?


    Chris Avellone.


    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Why did you guys nerf power armor so much? I understand balance but come on.


    It still has the highest DT and some of the highest HP of any armor. T-45d has some drawbacks but T-51b is basically pure bonus and is extremely durable. The reasons to wear any given suit of light or medium armor are primarily weight, movement speed, and any particular bonuses you may like. But if you want high DT and durability, power armor is pretty much the way to go. Even the "flimsiest" power armor, Remnants Armor, still has 400 HP, which is pretty good.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    As far as I know, New Vegas doesn't allow respecialization after you leave Goodsprings, except for a single opportunity to respec traits in one of the DLCs. Why doesn't New Vegas allow more respecialization, if you're in favor of it?


    It was actually very tricky to make that respec work, even at low level. There were a variety of scripting issues and logic problems that Jeff Husges had to work around to make that happen. Basically, if you want to support respec throughout a game, you have to plan for it from the beginning. Otherwise you (the designer/programmer) can engineer yourself into a corner.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Reducing the gulf between best and worst is extremely detrimental to the experience and the difficulty of the game. The greater the degree of potential failure the greater the feeling of satisfaction when making a strategic success. Homogenization sucks.


    By your logic, the larger the gulf, the better the game. I disagree completely.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    I vote for the failure guitar riff. If you have done your job as a dev then the game will satisfying enough that players wont mind replaying 30 hours. If people suck for whatever reason, too bad. By learning from their failures they will improve and grow.


    Yes, but learning from their failures doesn't mean that they have to be punished in one of the most severe ways possible.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Respec options are condescending to the player. I plan out every aspect of my character. The existence of the option for some shortsighted douche to bumble through a game and then respec their character to be like mine is insulting. (eg FO3's karma perks)


    Your attitude is pointlessly hostile toward inexperienced players.


    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Awesome job at the GDC. Maybe we can create a 'free hug' DLC that gives words of encouragement to anyone who makes the slightest mistake in a game. Or hey maybe we could replace 'game over' with 'good effort'. 'Chin up, sport' sounds like a great perk too


    I advocated an increase in complexity in many parts of F:NV over F3, including a significant reduction in level-scaling in the world. I think difficulty and complexity are good things to have in RPGs. In most cases, players have the ability to adapt to the immediate situation and overcome it. Character building typically does not allow that unless the player is willing to start the game over. I think that's unnecessarily punitive.


    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    I heard the BOS was made stronger in the recent patch? Is that true?


    Hmm. That sounds familiar, but to be honest I can't remember what it could be. Sorry.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Why no DT penetration for standard .50 MG rounds?


    Their huge damage is effectively their DT penetration. 5mm gets DT bypass inherently because they are low damage rounds and it's a way to give them a specific niche.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    NV is still selling strong and has outsold F3 (well deserved, imo). Why do you think this is? How much of it do you attribute to Bethesda's marketing and how much to Obsidian's work? And has this success earned Obsidian some more respect from publishers?


    It's hard to say, but I attribute a lot of it to the success of F3 and Bethesda's marketing campaign. I do believe it has helped us with publishers, yes.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Why wasn't the Brotherhood made as a major faction


    They were a major faction in F3 and I thought they should be less central in F:NV, especially since we had already considered the idea of the NCR-BoS war.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Hi Josh - My name is Will Ooi and I've been doing some interviews with Chris Avellone &just recently Jason Bergman, along with some Fallout fans. I'm also interested in seeing whether you'd like to take part, although with this Formspring ...cont...


    Sure. Give me your e-mail address and I'll contact you.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Wouldn't you say one of the benefits of pregenerated characters is that they provide a useful loose guideline to determine which attributes are good for each class? One would have to be intentionally not paying attention to make a bad character.


    Even good players often don't pay attention.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Do you share Feargus Urquheart's opinion that "No one would get through character creation nowadays"?


    No. I do think we would have to approach character creation with a wider audience base in mind, though. To me, this means retaining a great deal of breadth in options but not designing options that go beyond sub-optimal and into the realm of terrible. For experienced players, they're the options that are ignored instantly based on a snap evaluation (unless the player is making a gimmick build). For inexperienced players, they look like viable choices that actually aren't. Either way, I don't think there's a strong case to include them.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    You and every other RPG developer talk about this mythical wider audience, but how legitimate is that? Do you really think there is some RPG formula out there that would pull in Call of Duty numbers on a repeating basis?


    What is "mythical" about Fallout: New Vegas selling in 5 million units compared to the few hundred thousand that bought Icewind Dale? Even when I was making Icewind Dale and IWD2, I could see a lot of new players struggling to understand the rules -- both 2nd Ed. and 3E.

    No, I don't expect to pull in CoD numbers because CoD's design is extraordinarily simple and there's nothing in CoD's design that would suggest they are attempting to challenge players. I think it should be obvious by the features that we put into F:NV that we were not attempting to further simplify the game or the genre.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    I guess I agree with a lot of what you are saying and think you make very good points. It is just that I cannot help but worry, that games -RPGs in particular- are steadily being dumbed down to appeal to a wider market of instant-gratification simplicity.


    I don't really think instant gratification is a good goal of game design. It provides immediate satisfaction but can lead to long-term boredom. That's one of the reasons I insisted on doing things like placing a quarry full of deathclaws next to Goodsprings and turning everything north of Goodsprings into a monster badlands.

    A lot of players ignored the warnings and attempted to bulldoze their way through. Most failed. The ones who succeeded were patient or extremely resourceful. The rest eventually overcame the challenges of the area by returning at higher levels. The game didn't prevent them from moving forward (especially since areas like Quarry Junction are optional), but asked them to step up to the challenge instead of handing things to them.

    Allowing respecs doesn't really have anything to do with instant gratification, though. It's almost the opposite: the slowly dawning realization that you made some really bad choices. As long as there's a significant cost associated with doing the respec, the player can still feel a bit of a sting while still being allowed to work their way out.


    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Is the Grunt perk intended to make some tier 3 and 4 weapons more viable in the later game to expand the player's weapon choices?


    A bit. I think I just realized that I had overlooked the desire to be a tough military type character and use those weapons exclusively. There are perks tailored to a variety of weapon styles, most notably Cowboy. Since HH introduced the .45 Auto weapons, I thought it was a good time to make a Cowboy-equivalent perk.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Why even bother answering all these questions when most of the people asking them seem like rude assholes who've already made up their mind and will just roll their eyes at any answer you give?


    I think the way the questions are phrased reveals a lot.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    if you actually looked at the majority of users in the active fallout communities youd see that most people care little about the intricacies of the plot or characters -most people want to BOOM! headshot a deathclaw with a cool gun. why encourage this? $?


    I don't understand your question.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    First of all, I wanted to ask who was in charge of balancing weapons? They deserve a medal. Second I wanted to say that Fallout New Vegas is an amazing game, thank you for it, and ask if it's likely that Obsidian will get to work on another FO game?


    I did, though it took a few patches to get them mostly right. Thanks.

    I have no idea if Obsidian will work on another Fallout game. Ultimately, that's up to Bethesda.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    How come you didn't write more characters for FNV? Arcade Gannon and Chief Hanlon were interesting and realistic, and worked really well with the setting. They were two of my fav chars from the game.


    Thanks. I write character dialogue slowly, so large characters take a lot of my time. Since I'm a project director, that's not very efficient and not really where I should focus a lot of my time.

    Also, "realistic" characters seem to be less popular for a lot of players, so I only do the writing on those sort of characters when they really seem to fit, or if I have a particular interest in them/their conflicts.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    You're spot on about NVs audience being larger than IWDs, but why do most RPG devs refer to a "modern" audience instead of wide vs. niche? For reference, no one in their right mind would call HAWX a more "modern" flight-sim than DCS-A10C.


    I'm not sure. I don't *think* I refer to them as "modern". It seems like an odd term to use. I'd just use wider. We're making games on more platforms for more people. It's a bigger, more diverse audience. I'm fine with that, as long as I have the chance to draw people in for a challenge.

    This may seem odd, but I view it as asking people to step up rather than reaching down. But this gesture has to be one that's inviting, not hostile, if that makes sense. I want people to have fun with the games that I make, but that includes working a bit to succeed. Making people "sweat" a little is good. Punching them in the face isn't. I don't want to design games to box people out because they aren't immediately awesome at them.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    To compare with a straight face, the quality of game design of FNV and IWD, based on sales is innately stupid and downright insane ! Do you seriously believe that the potential audience numbers for both were equal ? There is almost 10 years between them !


    "Do you seriously believe that the potential audience numbers for both were equal ?"

    No... and that's what I'm suggesting. F:NV is a much broader-appeal game with a lower barrier of entry and overall difficulty. Both it and F3 are broader-appeal games with lower barriers of entry than F1 or F2, as well.

    I made no comparison of game quality between IWD and F:NV, only audience size, which is what the person asking the question was incredulous about.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Surely a well made game removes the need for a respec? You have to assume a certain level of intelligence amongst players and if players still screw up so badly that they need a respec then surely they are not deserving of one?


    Candide: The Best of All Possible RPGs.

    Some of the people asking these questions keep conflating intelligence with experience or with prescience. A person of reasonably high intelligence but no experience playing chess is probably going to lose -- badly -- to a significantly experienced player of less overall intelligence. Even if they understand the tactical elements clearly, the strategic dimensions take a long time to master.

    In most games, the strategic elements play out over the course of a relatively short game. In chess, not very long at all. In an RPG, your strategic choices may be playing out over the course of 15, 30, 60, or even 100+ hours. That's a lot of forethought to demand of people who may be playing an RPG for the first, second, or third time.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Taking Baldur's Gate as an example, the early game is easiest for a fighter whereas the late game tends to be easier for a mage. Wouldn't a respec here just make the game too easy? Woudn't you lose much of the RP aspect of an RPG?


    The situation you described is generally one of the things I described as being terrible in RPGs: a requirement for the player to be awesome at strategic gameplay right out of the gate -- even when there are facts they could not possibly know that could contribute to his/her strategy. It's a combination of two bad things:

    1) 2nd Ed. AD&D has terrible class balance across various level ranges. Low-level wizards are hilariously fragile, especially in a game where protagonist down = game over. Didn't realize that? Welp, your character's dead lol!!!
    2) Unknown to the player (how could they?), he or she will be gaining Xzar.almost immediately on his/her adventure, meaning that as far as a well-balanced party goes, the player does not need to be a wizard.

    This setup is not a "challenge", it's a gut-punch for a) players who don't understand how weak low-level wizards are and b) everyone who doesn't already know that they will be getting access to Xzar.

    If 2nd Ed. kept its limited character customization but had good class balance, respecs probably wouldn't be necessary. Still, it's extremely easy for players to miss that Int is connected to max spell level. By the time you realize that, you're probably 20+ hours in. Congrats!

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    I'm trying to convince my girlfriend we should go backpacking in Utah for our upcoming vacation but she's convinced the state is a boring and full of salty lakes and mormons. Do you have any pictures of your recent trip I could show her?


    Just do a GIS for "zion virgin river".

    Also don't have her watch 127 Hours.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    Do you think expansion packs/dlcs are better opportunities to give players a more hardcore and less forgiving challenge than doing so in core game? I've noticed FNV's dlcs, particularly Dead Money, are significantly more challenging than the core game.


    Yes, though it's harder to balance because the level range can be very wide.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    How successful have you been at convincing your boss that people can get through character generation?


    It hasn't come up recently (i.e., in years). I can't remember the last time a publisher talked to us about making a player party-based game.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    How can you say that "realistic chars are less popular"? Lots of people have indicated that realistic characters like Hanlon and Arcade, and Boone, Veronica, Joshua Graham, etc are their favorites because they act like real people in the Mojave.


    I appreciate that, but I think they are in the minority. In particular, a large number of people were clearly disappointed by Joshua Graham's portrayal.

    JESawyer 19 Aug 11



    What's with your hostility toward sick guitar licks in games?!?!


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oskw8aGIFk0


    JESawyer 21 Aug 11



    Would you at least tell me if I'll get sued if I write a fan fic and sell it.


    I have no idea. I wouldn't even attempt to give legal advice. Sorry.

    JESawyer 21 Aug 11



    So unless Lonesome Road provides an explanation. We've been told that'll be the last dlc and youve mentioned before that fallout 4 has not begun any sort of progress. I dont find any reason for you not to tell us whats going in Baja California.


    With no exceptions I can think of, I don't think I should expand upon "lore" that isn't stated explicitly stated in game.

    JESawyer 21 Aug 11



    Are you a master of C++?


    Not at all. I can't program and I'm not even good at scripting.

    JESawyer 21 Aug 11



    Mr. Sawyer, I understand you can't talk about it, but is there any POSSIBILITY that we will get the new Power Armor in Lonesome Road?


    m
    y
    s
    t
    e
    r
    i
    e
    s

    ---,--'--@

    JESawyer 21 Aug 11



    Who is the man that appears on the $20 NCR bill?


    Seth, from Shady Sands in Fallout. Under his portrait it reads, "First Ranger Seth".


    JESawyer 21 Aug 11



    I'm sorry if I sound like an idiot, but what is "respec" and why is it important?


    Respec = re-specification. It means allowing the player to take the points he or she has allocated to his or her character and essentially rebuild their skills/abilities/perks.

    F3 and F:NV already allow this to a very limited extent near the beginning of the game. I'm proposing that players be allowed to do it later in RPGs, but with a cost (e.g. one character level or a percentage of XP).

    I think it's important to allow respecs because I have personally seen a lot of reasonably intelligent but inexperienced players make a lot of basic errors in building their characters. They wind up with characters that are, if not unplayable, not fun for them to play because they didn't understand some aspect of the rules.

    JESawyer 21 Aug 11



    If you had complete creative freedom to create an RPG with a moderate budget, what kind of game would it be? Let's assume it was destined a $20 downloadable title and projected to turn a satisfactory profit at 300K copies sold.


    Darklands 2, basically. I know I should probably give an answer that's the RPG equivalent of Flower or something equally lofty, but no -- with that budget/target, I'd pretty much just want to make a low-magic mythic history RPG in late Medieval/early modern Europe. Top down/iso and either real-time with pause or turn-based.

    Obsidian has two lead designers with history degrees focused on Medieval or early modern Europe (myself and Nathaniel Chapman) and Jorge "Oscuro" Salgado has an MA in history as well.


    JESawyer 21 Aug 11



    Why do you think that there's been so few western RPG's with tactical combat since the IE games? DA:O had very repetitive encounter design. SoZ didn't really have a good engine or UI for it.


    This will probably sound really bad, but I don't think most RPG designers actually think about gameplay -- especially not core gameplay. I think this is due to a few problems: first, some gamers (and even some game devs) view gameplay as a chore. They are quite vocal about wanting to pursue the story and characters more as a choose-your-own adventure novel than as an integral part of a role-playing game. Because of this, designers often focus on the creative aspects of RPGs to a fault -- essentially letting the core gameplay elements fall by the wayside. The result is, unsurprisingly, worse gameplay that even more players are loathe to engage.

    JESawyer 21 Aug 11



    With F:NV, do you feel that all the work you do to make it a deep RPG goes to waste at times? I've seen a lot of non-hardcore F:NV players treat F:NV more like a shooter; ignoring things like plotlines and instead massacre towns and go for good weapons.


    I say it's their game; they can choose to engage the things we put in it or not. I can only do my best to help make dialogue enjoyable, or to make characters and factions interesting. I tried my best to avoid ever forcing players to sit through things they don't want to experience. Ultimately I can't make the player *want* to like something.

    JESawyer 21 Aug 11



    Well, we've seen how the internet has reacted to your remarks. What about other devs? Are you getting pats on the back or is Josh suddenly sitting alone in the cafeteria?


    It's hard to say because I'm still in Europe.

    JESawyer 21 Aug 11



    I noticed you wrote and performed a few songs for the soundtrack. What instrument do you play?


    I actually don't play any instruments (unless you count the dulcitar I just started to learn). The guitar parts for the Lonesome Drifter's songs were performed by Nathaniel Chapman and James Melilli.

    JESawyer responded to ohyesitsthecopz 22 Aug 11



    is This Machine considered a unique Hunting rifle?


    It's considered a unique Battle Rifle.

    JESawyer 22 Aug 11



    How did you some to end up singing for the Lonesome Drifter? Have you always been interested in singing or was it something that arose as you wrote the songs?


    I've been singing since I was very young. My father is a guitarist and singer and has been doing it for as long as I can remember. As far as me singing the songs for the Lonesome Drifter, it mostly occurred because we didn't know what to have him do once he went to the Tops. Since few people ever complete Talent Pool, much less go back to actually listed to the Lonesome Drifter, it didn't seem too risky to lightly re-write some folk songs and record them in Scott Lawlor's (our audio director) studio at Obsidian.

    JESawyer 22 Aug 11



    Have you played Divinity II? The developers put a lot of emphasis on "respecing" as a way to fix mistakes you made early on with an ever increasing cost in XP. The system does work and is helpful even to veteran players without clairvoyance.


    I have not played Divinity II, but thanks for letting me know that it has respec options


    JESawyer 24 Aug 11



    Why were there so many ammo types in FNV? .223 and .38 were only barely different, 9mm+P only starts appearing long after you've got better guns, etc. They're pointless. Also, why is bulk 5.56 better than normal? Military-grade? Artyom must be so jealous!


    Considering that none of the alternate ammo types are just lying around in the environment (99% of them either must be crafted or bought in stores), it's hardly a burden to the player that they exist. They're present to give options for players who want to use them.

    9mm+P starts appearing pretty early in the game and retains its usefulness if you use the 9mm SMG and/or the unique variant. .223 and .38 Special are cheaper than 5.56mm and cause less wear on the firearm. There is no "bulk" 5.56mm, but there is 5.56mm Surplus. MilSurp ammunition varies a great deal, but in my own personal experience it is often loaded fairly "hot" (for MG use, not rifle use) and burns dirty, thus the increased DAM and increased CND wear on the weapon.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 11



    Was the decision to use the PGM Hecate II as the basis for New Vegas' Anti-Materiel rifle influenced in any way by the VB character Hecate?


    No, sorry.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 11



    Deus ex HR is brilliant fun and well written. New Vegas just doesn't compare.


    cool

    JESawyer responded to ohyesitsthecopz 24 Aug 11



    what is the Cowboy repeaters real world inspiration.


    The Winchester Model 1892, though only loosely.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 11



    Speaking of This Machine, why was the generic Battle Rifle never implemented into the game?


    All copies were trapped in Mojave Outpost customs.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 11



    So, how do you like Europe ?


    EU: I am with you on €1 coins. €2 and 2 cent coins: completely unnecessary.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 11



    This may seem foolish to ask, but don't most players complete all possible quests on a FNV playthrough (bearing in mind their faction allegiances)? Every time I play the game I explore every location and do every quest I can - It seems strange not to.


    Based on observation, I would say that of the players who do finish F:NV, most do not come anywhere near completing every quest available to them.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 11



    You regularly cite the dice-aiming for FPS/RPG hybrids as a sticking point going as far back as Deus Ex. But games like Call of Duty and STALKER have the same modular spread cones for accuracy and nobody seems to mind. What's the difference?


    STALKER's are large and feel pretty terrible until the weapons get upgraded. CoD's are small and use progressive recoil, which feels much different than generic "spread". That's the difference. In many "shooty" RPGs, you start the game with terrible weapons and you're terrible at using them. The designers give the player weapons that are inherently bad, then the bad condition stat of the weapon and the character's low skill make shot placement hilariously random.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 11



    As a STALKER veteran, I can honestly say that the weapons in STALKER aren't nearly as bad as you make them out to be. The problem is less with weapon accuracy (it's decent), it's more the fault of hilarious damage resistance of enemies.


    The stock accuracy of most of the weapons is pretty bad. Seriously.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 11



    How, logically, does the Ranger Combat Armor provide more DT than, say, regular old Combat Armor. The RCA's got a thick-looking chestpiece, and plating on the wrists, but apart from that it's all coat and jeans. Is there plating under the clothes... ?????


    CoolGuyTech.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 11



    I think you should seriously answer the Ranger Combat Armor question. I know alot of it is just game balance, but some of us players are intimately concerned with the believability of equipment properties/distribution. Without justification gear sucks....


    I am not going to seriously answer the Ranger Combat Armor question because there is no serious answer to give.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 11



    Do you believe in karma?

    Formspring question of the day


    Only for killing Feral Ghouls and Fiends.

    JESawyer 24 Aug 11


    Josh, scope your AK in Stalker. Seriously.


    "The *stock accuracy* of *most of the weapons* is pretty bad."


    JESawyer 25 Aug 11



    You know (some) german. Have you ever played Gothic/Risen/Nehrim/Something else in their native language?


    It's surprisingly difficult to get some of these games in German. I tried to get Drakensang in German and eventually gave up.

    JESawyer 25 Aug 11



    So is Ranger Ghost an Albino or just really Pale?


    I believe JR intended her to be an albino.

    JESawyer 25 Aug 11



    I never had problems with stock accuracy. Are you talking about SHOC or CS or COP?


    I only played SHOC and COP (mostly COP). COP seemed particularly bad.

    JESawyer 25 Aug 11



    Then how did people play Stalker Shadow of Chernobyl before they introduced the upgrade system in Clear Sky? Turn your automatic fire off buddy. Use 1-shot or 3-shot bursts. If anything COD is the one making a mockery of FPS. At least Stalker tries.


    I don't use weapons on automatic in STALKER games.

    JESawyer 25 Aug 11



    Hypothetical situation: game releases a number of DLC's, and the last DLC is released at the same time as an item pack containing items that could have easily been included in the DLC, but wasn't for the sake of profit. Ethical, in your view, or not?


    If you're talking about the weapons in GRA, they would not have been included in LR. GRA contains over two dozen weapons, plus new ammo subtypes, plus new challenges and achievements. The content in GRA was always developed as part of a stand-alone DLC. They took separate development resources and separate testing resources.

    JESawyer 25 Aug 11



    Were you involved in the development of Gun Runners' Arsenal?


    Yes, I was the project director.

    JESawyer 25 Aug 11



    Dude, the Bozar! I love you, bro!


    --,--'-@

    JESawyer 25 Aug 11



    About the GRA: If new ammo subtypes are being added to existing ammo types - say, 40mm grenades and their incendiary variants - would that conflict with weapons added through mods which use the current 40mm grenade ammo list? What about the DLC weapons?


    Okay, here's the deal: initially all of the new ammo subtypes were added to their respective lists via script. Unfortunately, we found a load order bug that would cause indefinite hangs if a weapon were hotkeyed with an ammo subtype from GRA -- basically it was a dumb side case but it was real and serious and bad, so we had to add the new ammo subtypes directly to the ammo lists in GRA. That is, the GRA ammo lists *overwrite* the stock ammo lists. Not ideal, but there you go.

    JESawyer 25 Aug 11



    Gun Runners' Arsenal sounds great, but please tell me you put some emphasis on Energy Weapons. They're in bad shape compared to guns.


    There are some doozies in there.

    JESawyer responded to TraderRager 25 Aug 11



    Are the weapons in GRA "cheat" items that are instantly given to the courier, or are they just weapons that are added to the gun runners store?


    They are added to vendor lists. You still have to purchase them. Some are cheap, others are among the most expensive items you can buy.

    JESawyer 25 Aug 11



    What is your secret weapon?

    Formspring question of the day


    It was the Bozar but now you spoiled it.

    JESawyer 25 Aug 11



    I know your not sinking to EA'snickel and diming for clothing and weapon packs that cost a few bucks each but still not a road I want Obsidian to go down. One day just like Mass Efect 2 you'll charge $3 for a few diff clothing options.


    I specifically asked to make GRA because I wanted to show players, publishers, and developers that you could make a reasonably-priced weapon pack that added more than two retextures.

    Well, that and because I wanted to add some more weapons and ammo types.

    In any case, I feel that players will get a very good value for GRA. There's a lot of cool stuff in it.

    JESawyer 25 Aug 11



    courier's stash is dumb thx that is all


    oh word?

    JESawyer 26 Aug 11



    So I'm guessing that one screenshot means some of the old ammo types might be more common after this? The alternative interpretation would be more ways to waste a limited ammo type.


    ???

    JESawyer 26 Aug 11



    Is Zion Canyon considered part of the Mojave Wasteland?


    No. The Mojave Wasteland pretty much excludes all DLC areas.

    JESawyer 26 Aug 11



    I think it's worth noting that The Witcher 2's patch 2.0 offers an update that adds substantially more stuff than GRA for free. Worth reflecting on.


    Great.

    JESawyer 26 Aug 11



    Deus Ex: HR is everything Deus Ex fans wanted. You could learn something from them


    I think a lot of developers could learn something from them.

    JESawyer 26 Aug 11



    How did the decision to let the four DLCs have connection and a story told across them come about and would you do another series of connected DLC for New Vegas if given the chance? How does working on the smaller scale of DLC compare to a full game?


    That's a better question for Avellone as he had the "master plan" for the over-arching story.

    JESawyer responded to Keihzaru 28 Aug 11



    GRA question, are there gonna be new Unarmed weapons? If so, could you name one?


    Yes. There will be new weapons for every skill category. All of the new items are available at merchants *only*. The weapons are a mix of the following:

    * Unique versions of core weapons (e.g. the Nuka-Breaker is essentially a unique Rebar Club and the Bozar is a unique Light Machine Gun).

    * Brand new weapons that have no current base equivalent in the game. Many of these are created with recipes.

    * "GRA" versions of core game weapons that previously had no mods. E.g. if in the core game a weapon (for example, fictional weapon Super Laser) had no mods, you may see that merchant has something like Super Laser (GRA). The (GRA) signifies that it can be altered by mods with the same weapon name and (GRA) suffix -- e.g. Super Laser Focus Optics (GRA). The (GRA) mods will not work with weapons of the same name from the core game. Sorry, just a limitation of how we had to structure the data due to potential .esm/.esp conflicts.

    * Non-unique versions of unique core game weapons that had no base version.

    JESawyer responded to tehgary 28 Aug 11



    You mentioned before that anything you create is owned by other parties, so you know not to get attached to things you're writing. Did you have that attitude when you started out as a creative chap at Black Isle, or was it learned over time?


    It was learned over time.

    JESawyer 28 Aug 11



    I think your detached aloofness regarding your work could potentially serve as an obstacle to good game design. I am inclined to believe that passionate creativity plays just as large a role in good design as calculated empirical observation/testing.


    It is not an obstacle.

    JESawyer 28 Aug 11



    Jason Bergman confirmed that there were 27 new weapons in the GRA pack, does that include the already existing weapons that now just have GRA in the title to allow for modding? or are the 27 all completely new?


    That figure is all-inclusive: some unique, some completely new, some mod-able GRA versions, and some non-unique versions of unique core game weapons.

    JESawyer 28 Aug 11



    Aren't equivalents of most items in GRA already available as mods?


    I'm sure some are, but I doubt most are.

    JESawyer 28 Aug 11



    Why is the GRA pack being added and not put it in with the stock game? Time constraints or for profit?


    Because it took more than a small bit of time to develop and test.

    JESawyer 28 Aug 11



    Can you explain what you mean by "Non-unique versions of unique core game weapons that had no base version." ? Like a generic "This Machine" ?


    Like that, yes.

    JESawyer responded to kyrt 28 Aug 11



    I was wondering what type of challenges will be given in Gun Runners Arsenal for Fallout New Vegas. Can you shed any light on what type of challenges will be given? Are they going to be fetch challenges, kill challenges, find challenges, or what?


    They are combat challenges. The one star (*) challenges are quite easy to pull off. The two star (**) challenges are moderately difficult but nothing too crazy. The three star (***) challenges are generally quite demanding.

    JESawyer 28 Aug 11



    Isn't the Bozar supposed to be a sniper rifle, not a LMG? It was only a machine gun in Fallout 2 due to a glitch.


    People enjoyed the Bozar because what it actually was in game (a cool-looking, pretty accurate automatic weapon firing a boatload of .223) was great.

    JESawyer 29 Aug 11



    why did you scrapped the damage resistance system? bringing back the DT was a great idea but removing the DR at the same time wasn't


    DR has limited scalability (100 points -- or in the case of F3, 85 points). It produces odd effects like shielding you from ten bullets' worth of damage from an explosion but from literally no damage from a low-damage bullet.

    Were DR to be used with DT (which some modders have done), I think it should be used in low values (e.g. never higher than 25%, max) as a way to help reduce damage from explosions and other ultra-high DAM attacks while keeping DT the dominant value for reducing DAM on standard attacks.

    I zeroed out DR values on armor because we were switching systems entirely and I wanted to limit the number of balancing factors in armor development. For modders, I would suggest establishing a rule for how DR scales with DT and follow that so you're still ultimately balancing one level of protective power. E.g. 1 point of DR for 1 point of DT, or 1.5 points of DR for each point of DT over 5.

    JESawyer responded to ohyesitsthecopz 29 Aug 11



    it is stated that there are 27 new weapons added with GRA. does that number include the GRA versions of guns already in the vanilla game?


    Yes, it's all-inclusive.

    JESawyer 29 Aug 11



    Will the new ammo types from GRA be found in boxes or on corpses throughout the Mojave?


    No, stores only (or crafted, in some cases).

    JESawyer 29 Aug 11



    Adam Jensen on GRA: I never asked for this


    Unlike Adam Jensen, you have a choice!

    JESawyer 30 Aug 11



    Are any of the weaponm mods in GRA available for the vanilla weapons in the Mojave?


    No, only the GRA versions introduced in GRA. This is because many vanilla weapons were modified in patches, and attempting to override them with mods in another data file would cause potential load order conflicts.

    JESawyer 30 Aug 11


    Do you think Skyrim or Deus Ex will be RPG of the year? Which one for GOTY?


    I haven't played Skyrim, but DX:HR is pretty darn good!


    JESawyer 30 Aug 11



    How do you play DX:HR? No kills, or murder?


    I choke everyone out.

    JESawyer 30 Aug 11



    Would it be difficult for a modder to add the GRA weapons to the inventories of vanilla NPCs? (eg. Could we equip Fiends with Bozars?)


    It should not be difficult. We chose not to do it specifically to make testing/memory control easier.

    JESawyer responded to SerMcWorst 30 Aug 11



    Was the decision to not add the new ammo and weapons from GRA to the loot tables based on possible conflicts or just a way to avoid changing the enemy/loot balance?


    It was less about balance and more about mitigating the potential for bugs.

    JESawyer 30 Aug 11



    Are you paranoid about bugs now?


    Paranoia implies an unfounded concern.

    JESawyer 30 Aug 11



    joshua I need a REAL man to show me his game design. will u make me feel like a woman??


    @__@

    JESawyer responded to xDesertxRangerx 30 Aug 11



    Dumb question: Have you pre-ordered Skyrim yet?


    I don't pre-order games.

    JESawyer 31 Aug 11



    Don't you think that after all the bug problems in Fallout New Vegas in the beginning, and all the patches that were needed to solve those bugs, and then after the delay of Honest Hearts and now the delay of LR, that you owe it to us to make a DLC free?


    No.

    JESawyer 31 Aug 11



    If you could release GRA for free, would you?


    Are you asking if I would release GRA for free if somehow everyone who contributed time to developing, testing, and distributing it were compensated, or are you asking if I would release GRA for free and flush all the resources required to make it down the toilet? Please clarify.

    JESawyer 31 Aug 11



    Is it possible for a company like Bethesda Softworks to be working on multiple giant projects? Let's look at a hypothetical situation. Is it possible that they are optimizing Skyrim AND in design/preproduction on Fallout 4? Thanks for playing along...


    Other than working on Skyrim, I have no idea what Bethesda's internal team is actively developing.

    JESawyer 31 Aug 11



    Why is it, do you think, that game development is looked at differently than movie production? With games it seems like there's an expectation of altruism that doesn't appear to exist in other mediums. We don't expect movie studios to give us free stuff.


    I think it's possibly because some studios release free stuff, so gamers have an expectation that potentially anything could be free stuff.

    JESawyer 31 Aug 11


    Before the age of 21, how many is TOO many people to have slept with or had sexual contact with?


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8SnLwU4ypY


    JESawyer 31 Aug 11



    You said you don't pre order games...Do you receive games for free, from other companys? Like a 'gift'? Or you buy your own games


    I buy my own games.

    JESawyer 31 Aug 11



    Have you seen the Nuka Break series on Youtube? If not, I strongly suggest it!


    yah

    JESawyer 31 Aug 11



    Man, playing DXHR sure does make you think about how XP rewards incentivize player choice. The rewards associated with HACK and CHOKE are many times better than those associated with any other path. How do you feel about this as a design decision?


    I am ambivalent about it. I understand the idea of rewarding more XP for something that is more demanding, but it's also associated with an opt-in play style. I like it more for things that don't really have a strong effect on gameplay (e.g. achievements or player feedback) than for a game currency like XP.

    In games like Hitman: Blood Money, your available money isn't really THAT high impact, so the rewards of getting Silent Assassin over any of the wholesale slaughter ratings or gimmick ones (e.g. Piano Man, The Russian Hare) aren't that big of a deal.


    JESawyer 31 Aug 11



    Lots of GRA questions flying around, sorry if this one's already been asked: How are the new weapons going to be acquired? Are they just going to show up in merchant's store lists? Will there be a quest that opens up a giant stockpile? Something else?


    When you install GRA, a pop-up appears (just like the other DLCs) that tells you that the increasing conflict in the Mojave has caused weapon manufacturers to import increasing amounts of weapons (and that you should go check them out). If you qualify for any of the ammo or weapon recipes, you will be able to make them immediately. If you want to buy any of the new ammo, weapons, or mods, you have to go to weapon merchants who sell them -- most notably, the Gun Runners.

    JESawyer 31 Aug 11



    Oh god all my new vegas saves were wiped by a computer repair store and Lonesome road comes out in 20 days but GRA would be awesome to play through from the begining with. WHAT DO I DO?


    Play DX:HR.

    JESawyer 31 Aug 11



    What's your favorite aspect of the new DX other than the recapturing of what made the originaklgreat that IW slipped up on despite many of the same elements.


    Solid core gameplay, excellent level design.

    JESawyer 1 Sep 11



    Will the weapons in GRA make combat more fun, easier, harder, etc.? I'm really curious to know how much the weapons will change gameplay.


    Some of the weapons and ammo types are "just" good items that offer an alternative to their base counterparts. With some of the ammo subtypes and new weapons I tried to offer items that would alter the way the player went about things. I think the MFC Clusters do this pretty well. They're essentially a clump of wired-up Microfusion Cells wrapped in rubber and rigged to explode like tiny plasma mines. But you throw the whole bunch overhand, like a bundle of grenades, and they bounce a LOT. They don't have the individual punch of a plasma mine, but they can cover a large area very quickly. You can also angle them off of walls or around corners really well due to how they bounce. They're a lot of fun to use.

    JESawyer 1 Sep 11



    Will the new weapons in GRA be modified by corresponding perks? E.g. as the Bozar is classified as a 5.56mm LMG, will it benefit from the Grunt perk?


    Yes, when the data allows it. In that specific case, Grunt will not apply to the Bozar because Grunt is part of Honest Hearts. Our DLC .esms can't reference each other, unfortunately.

    JESawyer 1 Sep 11



    Can the Curios and Relics Achievement be unlocked with the uniques already in-game?


    Yes, but only uniques you find in the core game (and GRA, of course). So, for example, Maria can contribute to Curios and Relics, but A Light Shining In Darkness cannot. The Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle can contribute to Curios and Relics, but Christine's COS Silencer Rifle cannot.

    JESawyer 1 Sep 11



    How do you get companions in FNV to equip a weapon you give them? I gave Boone a anti-material rifle to use, but he still uses the weaker hunting rifle.


    If it is not a companion's default weapon, he or she needs to have ammo for that weapon or they will not equip it.

    JESawyer 1 Sep 11



    Do your friends every ask you about games you're developing?


    Not really.

    JESawyer 1 Sep 11



    Why isn't rock one of the weapons? Rofl srsly rock fight. Add that to the Wasteland Arsenal dlc.


    hmm yes i c

    JESawyer 1 Sep 11



    Have you got some images or renders of GRA weapons?


    yeah

    JESawyer 1 Sep 11



    To add onto the question about Grunt affecting the Bozar, would Cowboy be able to properly affect GRA weaponry since Cowboy IS in the base game? And if you don't mind me asking, any chance we'll see a unique Brush Gun or new mods for the Brush gun?


    To the first question, yes. To the second ques http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OntwwcBVe6o


    JESawyer 1 Sep 11



    Is the GRA a filler of Lonesome Road because it was delayed?


    No. GRA was developed completely independently of the other DLCs and wasn't a response to anything in particular.

    JESawyer 1 Sep 11



    You can't hide from me, ropekid! I want to know why the Merc Outfits are terrible compared to the Wastelander Outfits. How can a hoodie, sweatpants, and galoshes provide more protection, weigh less, & give better bonuses than the Merc Adventurer outfit?


    Mercenaries are cooler than Wastelanders sorry.

    JESawyer 1 Sep 11



    If devs like the Witcher team can give bonus free content why doesn't Obsidian. You guys don't seem to appreciate fans. Fixing bugs which shouldn't of been in there in the first place is the only "gift."


    I have no idea how much money The Witcher 2's dev team and publisher put into creating the content they distributed (nor how much it cost to distribute). I do know how much (more or less) it cost us (and Bethesda) for GRA, and it doesn't make financial sense for us to release it for free.

    JESawyer responded to hufdvh 1 Sep 11



    Will there be unique energy weapons for the GRA? Perhaps a unique gatling laser? Or will the weapons sold be the Gunrunners usual stock of guns, germs and steel... I mean guns, unarmed, melee, and explosives?


    Yes, there will be unique Energy Weapons. One has already been mentioned on BethBlog: The Smitty Special (unique Plasma Caster).

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    As a real life firearms enthusiast, do you sometimes find a tendency to design games to be too gun porn-y? I've seen some confusion on forums about the differences between bolt/lever guns and what guns use .44 Special and .223.


    .44 Special and .223 are marginal ammo subtypes, so I'm not really too concerned about some folks not "getting" it. Personally, I don't think it's asking too much for players to distinguish between bolt- and lever-action rifles. Dungeons & Dragons throws an array of Olde Tyme weapon types at players that makes the Landeszeughaus armory in Graz pale in comparison.

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    Is the .esm referencing each other problem a result of engine issues, or is it intentional because you can't count on a person with GRA having Honest Hearts or vice versa.


    When we load .esms in GECK, we can only load FalloutNV.esm and one other .esm. So, functionally, we cannot load more than one DLC concurrently in the editor. If a DLC isn't loaded in the editor, none of its forms are visible. If we make an entry in a script referencing content in another .esm (that isn't loaded), the script won't compile.


    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    Your distribution cost argument for DLC is ridiculous. Passing over the whole point of digital. Hell free DLC usually makes a dev team look good. There's people who make 30-50 better designed/functioning weapons than you guys and have it on Nixus free.


    Digital distribution costs much less than physical distribution, but it certainly isn't free (especially across three platforms). Distribution is also only part of the cost of creating and releasing the product on those platforms.

    And yes, there are many very nice weapon packs on the Fallout: New Vegas Nexus website -- the Nexus being a site with hosting/bandwidth operating costs that are covered by advertisements and premium memberships.

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    Have you been dropping hints to GRA before it was announced? It seems that way with some of the Q&A you've done on this site.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BKV9qB0C3M


    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    Wait wait wait wait wait wait waaaaaaaaaaaaaait. Loading multiple .esms is a simple change in the GECK ini. Are you seriously telling me Obsidian didn't know that? Surely there's more?


    That's one element of it, but more importantly, I believe that setting is in place by default because load orders are different on the various platforms (PC vs. each console). We can always be sure that the main FalloutNV.esm will load first, but after that, how various .esps and other .esms load in varies (and may in fact vary from load to load). The engine can do some bad things on different platforms if it tries to reference things before they are loaded (including crashing or hanging in an infinite load). If an individual .esm only references things in itself and in the base FalloutNV.esm, there *~ shouldn't be ~* any potential for load order conflict.

    So while changing the ability of the GECK to load in multiple .esms concurrently is possible, it poses problems for us that are not necessarily issues for a PC user working on one platform.

    EDIT: As a side note, I'm sure there are endusers who know many of the GECKs features better than we do. This engine and editor go back quite a while. Excepting Jorge "Oscuro" Salgado, none of us had worked with this technology before F:NV.


    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    Why is it that when I try to make my character I pick "Caucasian" and half the time when I click "Randomize" it shows a black guy?


    obama

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    Why do some fallout new vegas clothing items still give DR even though you said you removed DR from clothing?


    They shouldn't anymore. I'm pretty sure most, if not all, of those were fixed with one of the patches. If you open the FalloutNV.esm by itself, you may still see DR entries, but the Update.esp/.esm should have fixes for most, if not all, of them.

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    Is the bozar in GRA a unique variant of the LMG or can you obtain multiple copies of it?


    It's unique.

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    Why havent you patched the rebreather? it gives 3 DR instead of DT.


    Beats me. I didn't make it and I never received a bug for it.

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    Aren't 5.56mm and .223 two ways of saying the same type of bullet? Then why the .223 is weaker than the 5.56mm?


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56×45mm_NATO#5.56_mm_NATO_versus_.223_Remington

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    How will Courier's Stash be implemented? Will we be given all items once the game, like we get them now. Or will we be able to select which items we want from a box or selection screen? It just seems like it might be a lot of weight to start with.


    THE BURDEN OF CHOICE.

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    I noticed a 40mm and 25mm plasma grenade sub-type. Will there be a plasma grenade launcher?


    The 40mm and 25mm Plasma Grenades can be fired from any weapon capable of firing "ordinary" 40mm or 25mm grenades, respectively. So if you want to load Mercy up with 40mm Plasma Grenades, you can.

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    Is 12GA dragons breath effective? Just curious because, the .50MG incendiary rounds didn't seem to be necessary because the fire damage never killed enemies for me. I found the rounds themselves put down enemies.


    Yeah, though only if you "let" them be. The Dragon's Breath rounds fire buckshot, like regular rounds, but the buckshot does less damage and has a maximum (not very long) range. If the target is caught in the spread by any of the shot, it catches fire, and that is when the fun begins. If you continually pump round after round into a target, you're not letting the fire do its DoT. Dragon's Breath rounds work best if you pop around a corner and take one or two shots, then let the DoT work through the target's hit points while you stay in cover or deal with another target.

    Also they're just really fun to use.

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11


    Will weapons with 12 GA dragon's breath ammo be affected by Pyromaniac?


    No. Pyromaniac affects weapons only, unfortunately. We can't distinguish based on ammo.


    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    Why doesn't the .50 MG have standard DT penetration like the 5mm round. Isn't that why they call it an anti-materiel round?


    Its DT penetration is the fact that it does over 100 points of damage.

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    What's with the lack of bows or self placed traps and other assortments of weapons. The lack of the simplest yet deadly weaponry and tools in both the Mojave and BGS's 3 is astounding yet I can find a plasma wep in a matter of minutes. Really?


    Do you see a lot of people using bows today if they have access to firearms? Unless they are specifically bowhunters, it's pretty rare. The Mojave Wasteland has recovered from many of the material effects of the Great War. Even by the time of the original Fallout, many, many people had good firearms.

    None of the Fallout games have been at "Road Warrior" level weaponry. The closest you get is Arroyo, but once you get the pipe rifle, there's no looking back.

    JESawyer 2 Sep 11



    How many questions in your backlog now?


    999

    JESawyer 3 Sep 11



    Regarding the bows, you said there was none because nobody would use them if they had access to firearms. But then why does the Legion still use makeshift machetes, spears and hand axes?


    My comment was directed at his incredulity at their absence, not that no one would ever use low tech weapons.

    JESawyer 3 Sep 11



    Have you been to Graz yourself, Josh? I've missed the armoury there, unfortunately. How does it compare with other weapon/armour collections?


    Unfortunately, I have not been to Austria. My adviser in college spent a few years in Styria researching the history of witch-hunting in that region and had a beautiful poster of plate armor from the Landeszeughaus.

    JESawyer 3 Sep 11



    I was just wondering, are there are any new ammo subtypes for Energy Weapons in the GRA DLC?


    Yes. There are new ammo subtypes for Guns, Energy Weapons, and Explosives.

    JESawyer responded to Lizardsoul 3 Sep 11



    Hi Sir, I don't know if this is the best place where to ask for bug fix, but can you do something for the lack of 1st person textures of some weapons like the Tesla Beaton and the Q-35 Matter modulator?


    I believe the Tesla-Beaton Prototype's 1st person texture was fixed in one of the patches...

    I'm not sure about the Q-35.

    JESawyer 3 Sep 11



    Could you name some more unique GRA weapons such as the name for the unique Chainsaw.


    That picture is not of a unique Chainsaw.

    JESawyer 3 Sep 11



    What did you dream about last night?


    My house in Wisconsin collapsing in a storm and imploding.

    JESawyer 3 Sep 11



    Why did you guys change the Winchester Plasma Rifle to Plasma Caster? Was it because of F3's PR to not repeat the name or because you didn't agree with the 'rifle' classification? I understand why you removed the Winchester but not why the rifle part.


    Fallout 3 already had a Plasma Rifle. Additionally, it doesn't really look like a rifle, but it was mostly because of the existing name.

    JESawyer 3 Sep 11



    I dont really think bows are reasonable in the fallout world, but the asker had a point. Caesar's Legion excited me at first (as did the White Legs) because I liked the idea of a powerful low-tech faction. Unfortunately these groups are mostly gun users.


    Sure, but to single out bows as the "no duh" thing that would definitely be there -- I just don't think it's that weird, I guess. Especially in an area with a paucity of wood.

    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    It's not a chainsaw? So it's another revolver? Odd to have a screenshot with the pc using a vanilla weapon.


    It's not a unique Chainsaw.


    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    Maybe not "bows" per se - It does seem plausible, though, that in a post-apoc. wasteland there would be a (relative) scarcity of ammunition leading to the use of more primitive projectiles. Dirty tribals could more readily improvise "arrows" than bullets.


    They could more easily improvise spears than either! That's what they had in Fallout 2 and one of the reasons we brought them into F:NV. Also, they fit the style of Caesar's Legion's "recruits" better. Though the primes and veterans use much better equipment, the recruits are the equivalent of pre-Marian reform hastati: multitudes of scrubs with the most basic gear they can find.

    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    Is the Survivalist Rifle considered a unique Service Rifle? I ask this because the ammunition is completly different.


    Yes, the Survivalist's Rifle is considered a unique Service Rifle, just as FIDO is considered to be a unique K9000.

    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    I get it, it is a modded chainsaw! Is it not?


    It is.

    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    Sorry dude the only NV faction who had believably primitive weapons were the Ghost People - why Dead Money rocked hard. Apocalypse = resource scarcity = limited guns/ammo = improvisation. The player encounters more CL primes w/ guns than recruits w/spears


    Fallout: New Vegas takes place over 200 years after the apocalypse. In many of the previews, I referred to New Vegas as "post-post apocalypse". Even in the original Fallout, there were tons of people with guns. By the time you get to the Khans camp, you've already seen more guns than in the entire Mad Max series.

    Fallout has never been a "resource scarcity" setting when it comes to weapons.

    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    why is there so many freaking invisible barriers. in Fallout 3 there was hardly ever any besides trying to get out of the capitol wasteland without the DLC. Its kind of a burdan and extremely annoying the avid Fallout Player such as mysef 500+ hours.


    In the core F:NV game, we had a lot of sight line problems with large elevation gains overlooking things like cities where it looked very bad. We chose to use invisible barriers on the interior to prevent those bad sightlines. In retrospect, we should have allowed the bad sightlines and removed the invisible barriers.

    Around the exterior of the map, our problems were twofold. First, we started the player very close to the edge of the map (Goodsprings). Second, despite the fact that our map follows natural boundaries, we did not clearly mark the edge of the world space on the player's Pip-Boy map. Instead, we used a large square to mark an imaginary boundary around the entire oddly shaped area. This not only caused frustration and confusion among players who were trying to press west near the beginning of the game, but made players reach the (erroneous) conclusion that were "only using half the map".

    While it was faulty reasoning, the causes were easy to understand. We tried to address this in Honest Hearts by clearly marking the edge of the playable area on the player's Pip-Boy map, by allowing the player to reach the peak of almost every summit on the interior of the map, and by only using collision blockers when testers reported getting stuck while hopping down cliff faces.

    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    Why in the world do Mojave residents come up with food recipes that require risking one's life to get the ingredients? Radscorpion casserole? Deathclaw(!!!) omelets?


    Wasteland Omelets are carried over from Fallout 2 (Rose, Jas' aunt, makes them in Modoc). Ruby continues in this proud, absurd tradition with Radscorpion Casserole.


    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    Do you have a second language? Any advice on what would be a useful second language?


    I know enough German to navigate through Germany and have basic (bad) conversations, but anything else I've studied is just fragments. Spanish is very useful and also not a particularly difficult language to learn.

    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    Didn't mean to start some war about bows. And that was just one part of my coment. Any "technical" reason bows weren't in? Because of TES? Is that why?


    It didn't have anything to do with TES, specifically. We weren't sure what assets or functionality were present to support bows, and adding a new animation stance is a pretty time-consuming undertaking. There seemed to be enough R&D required up-front that I didn't think it was worth pursuing.

    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    Who said anything about Mad Max? In Fallout who has guns? Factions that believably would use guns. Shady Sands? Nope. Blades? Sorry. Khans? Barely. Necropolis? Only the elite. The problem is that you gave guns to NV factions that wouldn't have/use them.


    The Mad Max universe is a post-apocalyptic setting with a low number of firearms. Fallout has never had a low amount of firearms.

    I have to say I think it's weird that you're lecturing me on what NV factions would or wouldn't have guns when I either created those factions or defined their current state since Fallout 2.

    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    Can you explain why the heck Veronica is dressed like a jawa?


    The BoS is either hated or feared in a lot of areas. Because she's on her own, she's not going to walk around in scribe robes or something else that announces her faction affiliation. She needs to interact with regular folks without drawing attention or being particularly memorable. Of course, from a game design perspective, I wanted to put her in an outfit that no one else has so the player would investigate her.

    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    In HH it mentions a few times a gang of raiders with motorcycles called the 80s, were they cut from the dlc? Or just something you guys came up with to add a bit of lore to Utah?


    They were something I originally developed for a Fallout tabletop game I ran. I just inserted them for a bit of lore.

    JESawyer 4 Sep 11



    In FNV at some point almost every automatic gun had a huge spread. But when patch 1.3.0.452 released in april or something it corrected this for most guns except the automatic rifle which remained at 2.5, why was this never fixed? any chance it will be?


    The Automatic Rifle is in DLC, and therefore, effectively cannot be patched.

    JESawyer 5 Sep 11



    Since NV is roughly 200 years after the apocalypse. How come the Gun Runners haven't designed any new guns based on the needs of wastlelanders? Considering pre-war guns were built for human conflict, not deathclaws and other monsters.


    I thought about that, but I believe that guns like the Hunting Revolver/Ranger Sequoia, Brush Gun, and Anti-Materiel Rifle can already handle the biggest critters around. In the real world, modern loadings of .45-70 Gov't are only "required" for truly enormous bears and similarly grand creatures. .50 BMG (the round upon which our .50 MG is based) is for use against hardened targets, including vehicles. The transition from real-world targets like polar bears and armored cars to Super Mutants and BoS Paladins seems pretty natural to me.

    JESawyer 5 Sep 11



    I just wanted you to know, La Longue Carabine is the most beautiful gun I've ever seen in a video game.


    Thanks, though all credit belongs to Paul Fish, who did the modeling and texturing. The offset scope was based on one we saw in a Clint Eastwood film (not the Sharps in Josey Wales -- another one I can't remember right now).

    JESawyer 5 Sep 11



    Did you ever think of keeping the Gun Nut perk so you could throw in a bit of gun enthusiast humor between players and Isaac? Perhaps, a dialogue option debating .45 ACP versus 10mm Auto? I don't know, I've always found enthusiast debates entertaining.


    The Guns skill could be used to trigger something like that, or perks like Grunt, Cowboy, or even Hand Loader.

    JESawyer responded to theflyingbuddha 5 Sep 11



    Is the DLC model of continuing content better for studios in your opinion? I know some lament the bygone days of the expansion pack but I'd imagine that's a much more financially taxing model with longer dev times and whatnot. Is this accurate? (Thanks!)


    I don't know if it's better for studios, but it's better for publishers. The RoI for a DLC of 3-6 hours of content at $10 a unit, retail, is pretty good -- especially since there's usually no cost of goods or transportation.

    DLCs can also be developed, tested, and released more quickly than expansions. One of the main reasons to produce short duration, low price point DLCs is to keep "discs in trays" (i.e., not going back to Gamestop). The people who bought the game keep the game, the people who didn't pick up the game initially may consider buying it with the DLC.

    If the length of time between release and the first DLC content is six months, that "buoyancy" goes down sharply.

    JESawyer 5 Sep 11



    Apologies - didnt intend to lecture. I believe that the item distribution in the gameworld should uncompromisingly follow the characterization of various factions to the exclusion of all other concerns. (Eg. Caesar explicitly states his disdain for tech.)


    I understand your point, but factions are made of up human beings, and human beings make compromises -- or are inconsistent in their behavior. While Caesar lectures you on his disdain for tech, he's sitting ten feet away from a personal Auto-Doc. He segregates women from the Legion (resulting in a heavy prejudice from his soldiers), but he has little problem with using a female Courier as a valuable agent.


    JESawyer 5 Sep 11



    Do you think Deus Ex 3's cover system is awesome for gameplay or does it "break" the game by allowing you to see stuff you shouldn't be able to see?


    Yeah, that's the game. Creeping up to corners and peeking around them in third person is what the core gameplay mechanic is. Without that ability, stealth gameplay and cover shooting would feel like garbage.

    JESawyer 5 Sep 11



    I've noticed that Ulysses often speaks in clipped sentences, similar to Marcus. Was that intended as a character trait?


    You'd have to ask Chris Avellone.

    JESawyer 5 Sep 11



    Will our companions be able to use the GRA weapons and ammo with their effects?


    Yep.

    JESawyer 5 Sep 11



    What are your thoughts on rubber bullets or projectiles for pacifist roleplayers?


    They are good. That's why we put bean bag shotgun rounds in the game.

    JESawyer 5 Sep 11



    "Stealth gameplay and cover shooting would feel like garbage" But it's more realistic and tactical.


    Actually, it's anti-tactical because you're removing a enormous amount of information from the players, forcing them to essentially guess when it's safe to poke their heads out. Sometimes they get shot in the face, sometimes their stealth is ruined. When it happens, it's pure luck. The player didn't make a mistake, just guessed wrong. Why is that something to strive for?

    JESawyer 5 Sep 11



    That kind of stealth gameplay certainly didn't detract from Thief's gameplay.


    Yes, because the entire model of stealth in Thief is completely different. The person asking the question wasn't asking for Thief's stealth, just to remove DX:HR's 3rd person view. Since DX:HR's stealth is based on sound and (more importantly) line of sight, not light levels, this would be catastrophically bad.

    In Thief, their equivalent to being able to peer around corners was being able to observe from darkness. Most corners and approaches were darkened to allow players to move to a position from which they could observe guard patterns with effectively no fear of detection. Much like Deus Ex and Splinter Cell and various other games with good stealth mechanics, the guards follow extremely regular patrol patterns so players can patiently memorize them and either evade or stalk their way forward.

    "Realistically" I doubt the residents of the City all love living in buildings that are so dark that you can navigate most hallways without being able to see a human being crouching 2' from you, and in which there are amazingly consistent shadow paths through which a talented thief can pass undetected, but these are understandable conventions for the type of gameplay the designers were trying to produce.

    JESawyer 5 Sep 11



    Don't forget that Thief also had corner leaning which served the same purpose as the third person cover mechanic


    The majority of observation was typically done from darkness outside of cover lean situations. Several stealth games use corner lean, but (IIRC) it's almost always risk-free, so you're still hidden. I think it's a weird standard if sticking your head around the corner while being effectively invisible is fine but making third person observations around the corner is bad. Both are "unrealistic" conventions that the designers use to facilitate the obvious core mechanic of stealth gameplay: low-risk observation of AI behavior from a fixed position.

    EDIT: This is a pretty good example of common Thief gameplay from the first level, Lord Bafford's Manor. I remember this part very well. A very bright area bordering a very dark area. You can stand straight up in the dark area and not be observed even though you're directly in the guard's line of sight and you would obviously be completely silhouetted by the light in the background. But that's the game's convention and it works just fine.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt2RJPiUGHo#t=45s


    JESawyer 5 Sep 11



    So adding more ways to get caught didn't seem like a smart direction to go in unless we could do a better job solving more ways to feed that back to the player and give the player even more tools for hiding. -End-


    Yep. Feedback is very important in stealth games. It's one of the reasons I really did not like the shift in light detection mechanics from Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory to Splinter Cell: Double Agent (or, to be quite honest, any stealth game where visibility/awareness is communicated to the player through a binary switch).

    Things like the light gem in Thief or the light/sound meters in Chaos Theory provide you with a more graduated level of feedback about where you stand. Think of it this way: you can have a conventional speedometer, or you can have a light that goes off after you've exceeded the speed limit *and* a cop just hit you with a radar gun. The former gives you a sense of position relative to the boundary as well as a sense of acceleration toward and away from that boundary. The latter just tells you that you've screwed up.

    Not to mention that in SC:DA, they used a green/red toggle for detection, making it literally unplayable for me.

    JESawyer 6 Sep 11



    I'm also a Thief fan (and ghost), and for me "the equivalent to being able to peer around corners" is just listening to the guards' movements. It rewards player skill and helps with the immersion, and it's more realistic than a magic floating camera.


    What about the guards who aren't moving (of which there are several even in Lord Bafford's Manor)? Even if you know they're there, you don't know their facing unless you have some way to observe them.

    JESawyer 6 Sep 11



    Visibility is a total bs core mechanic. It seems as though the enemies in every game using it will have eagle eyes if you are within their vision cone. Like on DX:HR, I've been spotted while hiding in between crates with a very marginal gap between them.


    I have not experienced that.

    JESawyer 6 Sep 11



    I just picked up Alpha Protocol a few days ago and I have to say I am really enjoying it. I was sad to hear you guys weren't planning on a sequel. Is this due to Sega owning the rights or that Obsidian would just rather not make another AP game?


    I don't know, to be honest.

    JESawyer 6 Sep 11



    Yo, Mista Sawyer: Why were Romances scrapped?


    Not enough time to do them well.

    JESawyer 6 Sep 11



    You know in Deus Ex:HR you can also hug/hide behind cover in 1st person if you choose to right?


    Sure, if you want to effectively not use their stealth mechanics.

    JESawyer 6 Sep 11



    I'm just reading through your formspring here, and your responses to many questions seem to indicate that you are ready and willing to sacrifice realism/believability for the sake of (sometimes) marginal increases in gameplay quality. Why is this?


    Because until I see gamers sincerely demanding that if they get winged in the gut with a bullet that they spend the next three hours bleeding out on the ground before permanently dying, they probably are too.

    JESawyer 6 Sep 11



    Will GRA increase how many mods vendors tend to stock? As it is, I've never bothered upgrading the hunting rifle as by the time all the mods become available for purchase, I've got 100 lockpick to grab the Gobi instead. Especially the scope not randoming.


    Patch03 (not sure what it was called for the public) doubled the amount of mods at most vendors. GRA does add in more mods, but not more instances of mods from the core game.

    JESawyer 6 Sep 11



    I don't you think you understand what level of realism players want. Look at games like Battlefield Bad Company 2. Bullets drop down range, and certain calibers act differently based on real world counter parts. And damages are implemented with thisinmind


    No, I think I get it pretty clearly: players want realism when it's enjoyable, and they don't want it when it isn't enjoyable. It's not too hard to figure out.

    The game you're using as a model of verisimilitude also has regenerating health.

    JESawyer 6 Sep 11



    It has regenerating health depending on which mode you play. I don't know anyone who really wants genuine realism. I suppose those who play Arma, but that's a very small audience. But implementing some realism like BF BC 2 did, is not a bad thing.


    If it makes the game more enjoyable, sure. I tried to maintain a loose level of realism with the relative weight and damage of various ammo calibers in F:NV. Many people know that "fifty cal" weapons use heavy ammo that wreaks havoc on anything smaller than a tank. .22s are light, small, and low damage, but still have the potential to be deadly. Semi-autos are faster than lever-actions, which are in turn faster than bolt-actions (cartridge lengths being roughly similar).

    But in practical terms, you probably wouldn't bring a lever-action rifle to a military engagement for quite a few reasons. We stretch realism to allow for a wider spectrum of character types. By design, the guy with a Light Machine Gun is roughly as viable as the guy with a Brush Gun given appropriate circumstances.

    I do draw the line at certain points, both to maintain a sense of realism and game balance. Many people have requested a .50MG machine gun, M2 style. I found it difficult even to balance the Automatic Rifle firing .308 rounds (in hindsight, it should have had less spread by default, but it was tuned prior to the general tuning of the other automatic weapons). I couldn't think of a great way to make an M2-style weapon be enjoyable *and* realistic without making it the obvious "no duh" high-end Gun.

    That said, I tuned the .45 Auto weapons *up* to make them do more damage than their 10mm counterparts. In the real world, 10mm is (generally) a more powerful round than .45 Auto. We already had a high-capacity 10mm Pistol, so where did that leave the .45 Auto Pistol? If I were being "realistic", it would just be a worse weapon, all-around. I tuned the DAM and accuracy up, to match the legend of the M1911. It's perpetuating a myth, but even with its limited ammo capacity, the .45 Auto Pistol became a viable step up from the 10mm.

    JESawyer 7 Sep 11



    You've mentioned before that the only game you ever received a royalty check for was Icewind Dale 2. Have you gotten any for New Vegas yet? I would hope so, since NV is by all reports very successful and the company publishing it is financially solvent.


    The only game I've ever received a bonus/royalty for is the original Icewind Dale.

    JESawyer 7 Sep 11



    You mentioned you couldn't think of a way to make an enjoyable M2 style weapon. I'm sure you thought of this, so what do you see wrong in it? A weapon like the minigun, only with a lower rate of fire and more damaging bullets.


    The only other .50MG weapon does 110 points of damage per round. I would either have to drop the damage tremendously or make the rate of fire absurdly low to prevent it from being insanely powerful. As the Automatic Rifle shows, using inaccuracy as a tuning element does not produce an enjoyable weapon.

    JESawyer 7 Sep 11



    Why are you trying to appease fps-tards instead of RPG gamers? I'm sure you haven't forgotten next to the ability of roleplay Statistics trump all elements of player interaction and realism.


    Wow, what fun!

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    I agree with you that fun gameplay is most important, more so than realism or number crunching with RPG stats. The thing is, Obsidian has shown time and time again that you guys pretty much fail at making fun and stable gameplay. Walk the walk, Sawyer.


    F:NV is fun and unstable. DS3 is both fun and stable.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Would it have been at all possible to give the Marksman Carbine selective fire? That'd be cool.


    Not without some significant engine/data modifications. Sorry.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    You trying to say D&D and Tolkien isn't fun? Why be an RPG dev at all then. Those who actually are RPG gamers do find it fun. Or are you trying to say Wasteland or Fallout 1 isn't fun either.


    What does Tolkien have to do with game mechanics? I am "actually" an RPG gamer and have been playing tabletop and CRPGs for over 25 years.

    Fallout is one of my all-time favorite games. Even so, its combat and advancement mechanics have a lot of systemic flaws that I've consistently criticized since I first played it back in the late 90s.

    D&D is still a game that uses dice-based randomization as its primary resolution mechanic, but they've accepted a lot of the fundamental shortcomings of their previous editions and (for the most part) improved a lot of their systems.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Yes fun. Like D&D. Which all RPGs from Fallout to Diablo III are based off of.


    Really? All RPGs? Fallout was originally based on GURPs, which is effectively nothing like D&D. Is Darklands based on D&D? Is The Magic Candle based on D&D?

    Also, I don't know how you play D&D, but how I play D&D, the way I build my character and the tactical choices I make have much more impact than the character's raw stats.

    2nd Edition AD&D, in particular, is a system in which a skilled player can take a statistically inferior character and do far more than an inexperienced player. Player skill can have an enormous impact on character/party efficacy, even in a tabletop environment.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Obsidian was almost an indie Interplay it seemed. Based on your opinions all you guys are is another mainstream studio like Bethesda or Blizzard not catering to RPG fans. If it was you creating Fallout 1 it would never exist in its RPG glory.


    I wouldn't presume to say that I could create a game as revolutionary as Fallout, but it has always been my personal goal to advance the RPG genre. Whether we're making top-down games, first-person games, real-time games, or (hopefully, someday) turn-based games, the idea that we should continue doing something primarily because that's the way it's been done before is backwards-looking.

    If it's a good mechanic that makes sense, we should continue using it. If it doesn't, we shouldn't. A lot of RPG "sensibilities" are rooted in tabletop mechanics that don't even make any sense when put into a computer environment where the player can save and reload at will.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    The level of player agency, along with the more plausible world, in New Vegas made the whole thing feel far more like an ‘RPG’ then Fallout 3. Looking forward to the next project you are involved with.


    Thanks. Personally, I feel player agency is the most "RPG" thing to make sure our games support. I don't play D&D because I love rolling dice. I play D&D because I get to make my own character and decide how he or she interacts with the world. If I just wanted to roll dice, I'd play Warhammer 40k.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    I've had stomach aches that were more interesting experiences than F:NV's or DS3's gameplay.


    Great.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Share a whiskey with me sometime?


    I don't drink, sorry. Thanks, though.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Actually when I said "Share a whiskey with me sometime?" it was a reference to what Great Khans say when you have positive reputation with them. I don't drink either, just thought it would be funny.


    o
    i
    c

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Fallout 3 had dungeon design but was fun. New Vegas's areas were plausible but kind of boring. Which angle do you feel is better?


    I think New Vegas suffered from a lack of dungeon-like environments to explore. I'm glad we put a lot of effort into having a more-or-less believable wasteland layout, but I wish we had been able to put more time into secondary locations/dungeons.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    How can you think Reinhart is the best Dungeon Siege 3 character when geometry of annihilation makes him the easiest to play and puts all other abilities to shame?


    because he's fantasy kenny rogers

    JESawyer responded to psoliver 8 Sep 11



    Out of interest why was Ranger Chauncey (the mutant one) cut? Same goes for Angel the mutant in Gomorrah


    I'm not quite sure why Chauncey was cut. I was wondering that myself, to be honest.


    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Dont know if this has been asked before, but why dont you curtail RPG save-scumming by getting rid of player controlled saving in favor of replacing it with a traditional checkpoit/savepoint system? Is this bad from a design standpoint or something?


    It's not inherently bad, but it does make a lot of gamers go Super Saiyan. Depending on the type of game you're making, checkpoints or save points can be an important element of how the design works.

    A decent hybrid system I've seen is save points + shutdown save. One of the most reasonable arguments in favor of "save anywhere" is that people have real lives (some do, anyway) and sometimes they need to stop playing and go live that life. A shutdown save is a single save in its own slot that overwrites itself every time the player saves and deletes itself on load. If you save to the slot, it exits the game. There are still opportunities to save-scum, but it does make the process very arduous.

    Another way to handle it is the way Demons' Souls does: players don't *have* save games. They *only* have a single shutdown save per character. This is an extremely unforgiving system, and combined with DS' healing mechanic it makes the game brutally difficult.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Couldn't the shutdown save bring up even worse issues than save-scumming, i.e. the power goes out while playing the game and you lose everything if you didn't get to save.


    I'm not sure how Demons' Souls handles that, but in games that have save points + shutdown save (like some of the Castlevania games, IIRC), even if you lose your shutdown save, you still have your save point saves.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Can you tell us more about chauncey? if he was supossed to be included in the game.


    He was a Super Mutant Ranger posted at Foxtrot, primarily because of its proximity to Jacobstown (much like the Ghoul Rangers are posted at Echo due to its proximity to Searchlight). He was supposed to wear a standard "flat rim" Ranger hat of normal size -- i.e. comically small on him.


    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Why do you respond to hostile questions? It seems like they're just out to try and provoke you.


    They are, but along with their hostility is often a lot of faulty reasoning. When I talk about vocal minorities being irrational and hostile, I'm not talking about some mythical individuals I've conjured up to illustrate a point. A lot of them are right here on my Formspring every day.

    People can disagree with me politely or rudely. I may answer them either way. If they're rude, readers are going to conflate their hostility with their position. That typically only helps me and hurts them.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Why even bother trying to prevent save-scumming at all? Just let players play the way they want, even if they want to reload saves constantly like an autist. I enjoy the convenience of being able to save anywhere in games.


    If I'm not designing some level of challenge into the experience, I'm not designing a game. If players aren't interested in some level of challenge, they aren't actually interested in playing a game. Taken to the absurd extreme, we could say, "Why even make the player earn levels? Why not just let them set their stats?"

    Save-scumming is a response to a bad design mechanic. Players aren't "bad" for using it, but designers *are* bad for designing mechanics that encourage it.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    I don't think you can really change save scumming. I do it for many different reasons. But usually I reload when I don't get the dialogue I wanted. Or occasionally, if I'm hacking a terminal or (rarely) forcing a lock.


    Designers can remove the motivation to save-scum by designing better systems. F3 and F:NV shouldn't have had the Force Lock option, IMO. I think it would have been better to either a) allow the player to play the mini-game or b) expend a certain number of lockpicks (based on relative skill) to open the lock.

    I also don't think jamming the lock closed on a failed lockpick attempt is necessary. The player loses a lockpick in the process. If lockpicks were a consumed resource during "auto-picks", there would be some felt loss to busting one.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    why not have one-shot consumables for hacking and lockpicking? For example an auto-hack device and a breeching charge. Would help in character diversity as you could skip lockpick and science while allowing you to get through a few skillchecks using them


    They have those in DX:HR and while I understand the drive, I do think it undermines the player's investment in the hacking tree. One of the biggest issues I see is a lack of scaling (what's good for a L1 hack is good for a L5 hack). If those consumables stripped away levels instead, I think there would be more motivation to invest in hacking (though it's arguable that the way XP works in the game already encourages players to go hack-crazy).

    That's why I suggested lockpicks as a consumed resource. As individual units, they may not have tremendous value, but if you want to auto-pick a Hard Lock with 75 Lockpick and it costs 10 Lockpicks, but with a 100 Lockpick it only costs 5, it becomes more of a decision for the player. Auto-picking an Easy lock with 100 Lockpick could only cost 1, making the player who made that investment feel that even in those circumstances, he or she is getting something for the points he or she spent.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    The Automatic Unlocking Device is only available in Deus Ex if you preordered, which you said you don't do. :smug:


    I played dev builds prior to release.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkBe80SajCg


    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Save-scumming is more fun than playing the hacking minigame in New Vegas for the 1000th time. Isn't shoe-horned, repetitive minigames the bigger issue? Surely it wasn't technical limitations that spared us playing 'Mastermind' to open locks in older RPGs?


    There is no instance gameplay to opening locks with a randomized check. There's also no reason why hacking could not have an optional resource-consumption bypass in the same way that locks could (in DX:HR, they are effectively all hacking, so AUDs always apply).

    Some people never get tired of certain mini-games. Some people tire of them on occasion. Some people hate them outright. If you're not in the mood, accept the resource cost. If it takes your RPG skill into consideration, you're still making tactical/strategic choices at more frequent intervals.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Any minigames in Obsidian games you never tire of? Seems their inclusion in RPGs is linked to the "letting the core gameplay elements fall by the wayside" tendency you've mentioned.


    I don't get tired of lockpicking in F:NV (or F3). Even for Very Hard locks, it doesn't take very long.

    How is the inclusion of mini-games linked to "letting core gameplay elements fall by the wayside"? I don't see the connection.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    Is the powerpoint of your GDC talk all we're going to get, or is video still in the pipeline?


    The video is available on the GDC Vault, but it is premium content.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    For one thing you're replacing core gameplay elements with an unrelated tower of hanoi. It's the same problem as QTEs where you're essentially saying you have so little faith in your stealth/exploration/skillset gameplay that you put in a sudoku instead.


    I don't think any core gameplay being *replaced*. Excluding the strategic decision to put points into a skill, there's no gameplay, core or otherwise, to a randomized check. There are a few other ways to handle it:

    * It's a flat check. No mini-game, just based off of what you invested into the skill. Still no additional gameplay, but it avoids the save-scum-encouraging randomness of a stand-alone die roll.

    * There's a mini-game that may be altered/influenced by levels of difficulty and the character's skill. Obviously this adds gameplay, but people may not like the mini-game, the mini-game may be aesthetically odd/incongruent (e.g. Bioshock's hacking minigame or Mass Effect's "Simon says" mini-game), or the mini-game may not scale well/gets old fast. These are all totally valid criticisms/complaints about individual mini-games, but what's true of one mini-game is not necessarily inherently true about ALL mini-games. E.g. F3's lockpicking is pushing a bobby pin around to find a sweet spot to pick the lock and is significantly different in most ways from Bioshock's hacking mini-game.

    * There's a flat check for an automatic bypass but if you're close to the check, you can also expend a limited resource to lower the check. This is the "burn 10 lockpicks with a 20 skill, burn 2 with 100 skill" idea. Personally, I like this because there's still an ongoing level of resource management and consideration the player goes through.

    * There's a mini-game that can be opted-out of (automatic bypass) through the consumption of a limited resource that scales based on skill/difficulty disparity.

    In a game with save/load anywhere, I would prefer *any* of these solutions to a randomized check.

    JESawyer 8 Sep 11



    A minigame could theoretically scale well, never get old, and feel aesthetically accurate. On a related note, Schroedinger's cat may theoretically still be alive.


    I think F3's lockpicking scaled well, it never got old for me, and I think it feels aesthetically appropriate. It's also short, which I think is very important.

    That said, I'd be hard-pressed to think of a game mechanic in any game of any genre that really "never got old".

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    Have you played DE:HR? what do you think of it? pretty sweet game in my book.


    Yes, but I haven't finished it yet. Overall, I think it is a very good game.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    Have you ever thought about making Icewind Dale 3?


    Yes, but not much. I don't speculate much about designs for games that publishers aren't actively pursuing.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    Am I a bad man for modding out the mini-games in New Vegas? I kept the skill checks.


    It's a single player game and you went through the effort required to make the change, so no.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    After reading the New Canaan design document for Van Buren, part of me wishes that it had been used for HH instead of Zion. Was there ever consideration of making the DLC based in New Canaan and not just a couple of New Canaanite refugees?


    Not really. New Canaan is/was a relatively big community with a lot of unique characters. We didn't have the time or budget to build something like that.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    Why did you make Unarmed and Melee skills so insanely powerful? Half-way through the game I abandoned my sharpshooter's scoped hunting rifle in favor of a power fist. I slaughtered everything easily with it and had a very low skill level.


    Because during periods when you are not actively punching, your DPS is effectively zero. You also have to run straight at enemies, maximizing your exposure to gunfire.

    As someone who did a lot of sniping and a lot of melee/unarmed in F:NV, I have to say that as easy as a good Power Fist makes close-range fights, nothing is as easy as long-range sniping. Your exposure to enemy attacks is minimal and with even a modest amount of Frag Mines placed near you, there's not a lot anything can do to you. If you suppress the Sniper Rifle, most enemies won't ever detect you.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    ME1's decryption was a 'Simon says' but they also gave you the option to spend omni gel to unlock, which is a lot like you deem to be suggesting as ideal. But them again the completely scrapped the gel thing on ME2, so I'd guess it wasn't well received?


    To be honest, some of the decisions made in the transition from ME to ME2 (and DA to DA2) are a mystery to me. In some cases, it seems like someone detected a negative aspect of a system and, instead of modifying that aspect, just removed or rewrote the system entirely.

    Though ME's decryption was short, it was also completely unconnected from the game universe, which is why it felt so odd/jarring to me. ME2's mini-games seem more fitting (that I remember), but I don't think they needed to remove the "spend resource to bypass" aspect.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    I also liked the lockpicking minigame. The hacking minigame, though... not so much. Did you have any ideas for how the hacking could have been done better or do you think it was handled well?


    Mastermind was the basis for F3/F:NV's hacking, and that's not something that scales well with regard to time. As the words got longer, it could take proportionally longer to solve the puzzle (though Science skill helped offset this somewhat by altering the game). This means that toward the end of the game, when you're probably starting to feel fatigue from *any* game system, the hacking becomes more time-consuming. Though lockpicking also became harder with rated difficulty, the increase in duration was not that significant.

    Additionally, I have found from talking to a large number of people who played the game that the "hint" aspect of hacking (finding (){}[]<> to remove duds/replenish attempts) was not well-communicated, so hacking was much more time consuming and difficult for them.

    In essence, Mastermind is a relatively slow puzzle to solve, so anything that could ensure a shorter maximum duration at high difficulty would probably be a good modification.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    You told us you couldnt patch dlcs but there was a patch that made it so that gecko-backed armors were no longer created at 100% but now there are given at the condination of the original non gecko backed amor. How would they do that?


    The FalloutNV.exe was altered, meaning it was a global crafting change. You only see it in Honest Hearts content because (IIRC) that's the only place where the crafting system is used to make armor.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    Fallout 3's minigame was ridiculously easy, virtually risk-free, and was therefore just a pretense. The real benefits of the Lockpicking skill came only at 25,50,75, and 100 and that had nothing to do with the minigame, it was an underdeveloped flat check


    Some people have genuine difficulty with the Fallout 3/NV lockpicking. During a Best Buy presentation, one of my co-workers kept breaking picks trying to get into a locked container and I eventually had to complete it for her. It turned out that she always had difficulty with lockpicking.

    I've watched a ton of people play Fallout: New Vegas and I think you'd be surprised at the things that players -- from inexperienced nublets to seasoned gamers -- find difficult.

    As a side note, we did make one modification to lockpicking in F:NV: lockpick "hit points" scale with skill. If you have 100 Lockpick and you're picking a 25 or 50 lock, you can really jam the pick around with much less concern about snapping it. Personally, I think it made those situations feel better because the skill/difficulty disparity was so large.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    Can you translate from Latin what The Burned Man said to Salt Upon Wounds before he dispatched him from this world.


    Joshua Graham was speaking in an amalgamated tribal language, but no. Sorry.


    JESawyer responded to xDesertxRangerx 10 Sep 11



    Is it true that if you come up with a potentially money making idea for a game at your work and try to publish it, the company can claim rights to it?


    Yes. Most video game developer terms stipulate that the work of employees is the intellectual property of the company.

    JESawyer responded to TheHazer 10 Sep 11



    is there gonna be a trailer for LR coming out anytime soon?


    Thanks for asking me this question six times while I was at lunch. As with all other materials related to F:NV products, I do not know if or when any information is being released. You will hear/see it from Bethesda before me. Sorry.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    DX 1 had multi-tools and lockpicks you could use a certain number depending on lock or terminal. Mass Effect didn't invent that aspect. You could even shoot something to bypass it.


    Yes.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    For GRA, will the new unique weapons be obtainable in the mojave wasteland or will they have to be purchased like the rest of the new items


    All GRA items must be purchased from vendors or crafted.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    Do you know when we'll hear about Obsidian's next project?


    No.

    JESawyer 10 Sep 11



    Since all the new stuff will have to be crafted or bought, will there be more merchants in the Mojave once I download GRA? Say, for example, that big empty space by the NCR camp at Primm?


    No. New items will be found on existing merchants.

    JESawyer 11 Sep 11



    bloodman is coming for you!!!!


    omg

    JESawyer 11 Sep 11



    What's your long-term game-plan?


    I don't have one.

    JESawyer 11 Sep 11



    Has answering any of the questions here ever caused you problems at work or with other developers?


    Not as far as I know.

    JESawyer 11 Sep 11



    I just would like to compliment you on the design of Westside. I think many players overlook it but its diversity and resourcefulness are especially striking when compared to a more emphasized area like Freeside. Whoever the world builder was did well too


    Thanks. Most of the content of Westside was developed by Jeff Husges, though I wrote a few of the characters (Anderson, Meansonofabitch), John Gonzalez wrote some (maybe all?) of the characters in Casa Madrid, and Jorge Salgado developed the Thorn. Scott Everts did most of the world building.

    Because Westside is "detached" from the Strip and doesn't have any protector groups like the Kings, we wanted to portray them as being very resourceful and community-oriented, sharing a lot of responsibilities, including defense.

    JESawyer 11 Sep 11



    If you could describe the Hive Missile in one word, what would that be?


    fun

    JESawyer 11 Sep 11



    In the case of a locked door, people have considered the idea of either bashing down the door with brute force or using a weapon to destroy the door/hinges. Are there problems with such brute-force approaches? Seems viable at first glance.


    Yeah, it makes Lockpick or equivalent skills worthless. Either that or you have to bend over backwards to implement some sort universally-appreciated cost to bashing/shooting/blowing up locks.

    Some players absolutely do not care about making noise or alerting enemies, so they would happily blast away at every other door hinge/lock with a combat shotgun.

    JESawyer 11 Sep 11



    About intellectual property, if you start something after leaving a company, how much success could they expect in claiming that you came up with it under their pay?


    I'm not sure. Generally I assume that if a larger company wants to pursue a smaller company, the larger company will win out in the end due to litigation costs.

    JESawyer 12 Sep 11



    "Some players absolutely do not care about making noise or alerting enemies, so they would happily blast away at every other door hinge/lock with a combat shotgun. "You're still using resources (ammo) and there are consequences so what's the problem?


    Ammo is not as precious a resource as skill points, and if the player is going into a situation to shoot everyone in the face anyway, there's no "cost" to the consequences.

    Essentially, if a system makes players never even consider taking a certain skill, there's either something wrong with the skill itself or something wrong with the system surrounding that skill.

    JESawyer 12 Sep 11



    Are developers like you not allowed to talk about dlc by law or do you just choose to keep it secret?


    It's the publisher's product, so they handle all marketing and PR (and distribution) for it.

    JESawyer 12 Sep 11



    Why are your cat's names mentioned in the credits?


    they own

    JESawyer 12 Sep 11



    Referring to lockpicking and ammo, you could just make ammo less plentiful...


    Now you're constraining ammo availability based on a desire to use them as an element of opening locks. This seems like an awful lot of contortion when you could simply say that a Lockpick skill opens locks and that a resource dedicated to opening locks can be spent on a sliding scale to lower the requirements.

    The more you connect and conflate resource values, the more difficulty you will have in balancing subsystems and the game's systems overall.

    JESawyer responded to taylorlautner 12 Sep 11



    Have you ever felt like you were living someone else's life?

    Click here to watch the trailer for my new movie, Abduction!


    I am a Na'vi thanks for asking, Taylor.

    JESawyer 12 Sep 11



    I'm playing a brute force character in DXHR right now, and I'm glad the game gives me the option to open doors in a way that's consistent with my character build instead of punishing me for not being a hacker.


    Yet combat is almost universally more difficult for characters that neglect combat-oriented augs (excepting the most deadly weapon in DX:HR, the thrown dumpster). Should choice and consequence only apply to certain builds and not others?

    JESawyer 13 Sep 11



    Why does Dean Domino always have thick shades on? He even wears them in his promo posters.


    ummmmmm because he's really cool????????

    yah.

    JESawyer 13 Sep 11



    Do you think essential game items such as the AUD for DX:HR should be allowed to be preorder items? Having it as a retailer exclusive forces you to be a hacker for a majority of side quests and some MQs. It locks out a build.


    Yeah, that does seem a little odd. I don't know if AUDs are *essential*, but they are very valuable and can allow players to instantly circumvent really difficult hacks.


    JESawyer 13 Sep 11



    What happened to all the shopkeeper's stuff after I killed him? I murdered Chet hoping to score some free weapon mods, but all he had on him was worthless junk. Where'd all the goodies go???


    tranquility lane

    JESawyer 13 Sep 11



    Should men own cats?


    ya

    JESawyer 13 Sep 11



    Regd. bruteforcing doors and locks. Reinforced (metal) doors can't be opened without special shotgun rounds or explosives, both limited resources. Low Explosives skill destroys items in locked containers. Do you still think this can't be made to work?


    Again, why does it have to be special shotgun rounds or explosives when games like F3 and F:NV already have a dedicated item (and skill) for opening locks? There could just as easily still be a minimum skill for opening locks with a sliding lockpick item cost that goes down with the relative difference between the lock difficulty and the character's Lockpick skill.

    I mean, let's not be disingenuous here: if "special shotgun rounds" or explosives were able to get into locked boxes, metagamers would buy a single shotgun round for every Very Hard box with anything valuable in it (e.g. the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle's) and never put a point into Lockpick. Either that or they'd blast and reload, blast and reload until they got their "shell's" worth.

    I don't see people advocating that the use of a bunch of lockpicks and the Lockpick skill should give an advantage in combat, or allow them to pass Speech checks more easily. But that's essentially what this boils down to: allowing characters specialized in a weapon skill set to use the weapons or ammo they carry around with them to break open what would normally only be available to characters who specialize in Lockpick. What does a character who specializes in the Lockpick skill get out of this? Why would a player be motivated to invest in Lockpick if they could cherry-pick the best locks for demolition with an Explosives build or some shotgun rounds?

    And while a high weapons skill (e.g. Explosives) could be a prerequisite to certain locks, it's still no sacrifice on the part of an Explosives build. They're already putting tons of points into Explosives to blow up their enemies with the same weapons and ammo they're using to crack open the occasional safe or door.

    JESawyer 15 Sep 11



    Why shouldn't Lockpick give you combat/speech/other advantages? (Perhaps with a slight renaming so that it makes more sense, like Security or Stuff.) I'm not a game designer, but it seems to me more (hopefully interesting) options is a good thing?


    It could be, but giving those secondary or tertiary bonuses is only necessary if the skill's overall utility is lacking compared to other skills with an (ostensibly) equal value.

    People often approach "shoot/blow up locks/doors" from the perspective of being "realistic", not from the perspective of how skills should be balanced with each other in a system that weights them all roughly equally. I'm sure you can think of ways to stretch all sorts of skills into other fields. The fact that I don't see people advocating such measures leads me to believe that they aren't interested in balancing skills that are lacking (from the positions advocated, Guns or Explosives) and they aren't interested in achieving verisimilitude broadly (or it wouldn't be such a narrow focus). They're interested in grabbing loot out of locked containers without needing to put any points in Lockpick.

    I understand the motive. I just think some people are being disingenuous about why they're advocating alternate ways past locks.

    JESawyer 15 Sep 11



    Any suggestions for running a Fallout Campaign (Tabletop of course)? Do you feel the setting makes for limited character concepts (I.E. recommended play with small amount of players due to such conceptual space).


    A small conceptual space? I don't think that's true at all. Despite the heavy definition of small areas (D.C., California, Nevada, some parts of the Midwest), you have the entire rest of the U.S. and potentially the rest of the world to play with. I think there's an enormous amount of character variety potential in the Fallout franchise, especially if you use a classless system.

    If I were to start a campaign today, I'd pick a region that borders one of the more well-established regions, bring over the factions/plot elements/characters I wanted, and then develop new ones that fit the area and the setting overall. That way you have continuity with the core material, but you and the players can expand and develop new ideas on your own.

    JESawyer 15 Sep 11



    i played vegas for 80 hours and haven't raise explosives at all. so some skills ARE useless.


    By that logic, any skill that any player doesn't raise on any playthrough is useless. I have played Explosives-oriented characters and between the damage increases and access to perks, the skill is far from useless.

    JESawyer responded to ArthurSpeakman 15 Sep 11



    RE: Lockpick Weapon/Speech - Why not? I can wrap Dogtags around my knuckles as a weapon, why not have a Lockpick Weapon Mod that adds DMG based on my Lockpick skill IF I get the special perk (Thief's Revenge!)? It CAN be done, it just needs balance.


    Saying "it just needs balance" doesn't mean that it's a good idea. Balancing skills, subsystems, systems as a whole takes a long time and a lot of effort.

    Take Guns and Energy Weapons in F:NV. For this example, assume I am of average intelligence and average "talent" for someone who has been designing video games for twelve years. These two skills essentially do the same thing with two different types of weapons -- much in the same way that the same skills in Fallout 3, Fallout 2, and Fallout did. All that changed were some of the formulae (for both) and the weapon content each skill accesses.

    Despite the narrow focus and similarity of these skills, just balancing the content of what's affected by these two skills took me 2 or 3 patches to get *mostly right*. Even now, there's still a fair amount of contention about that in the community.

    Now compare Guns and EWs to Explosives. Now compare them to Explosives, Melee Weapons, and Unarmed. Now compare them to ALL the skills in Fallout -- what the skills affect directly, what they affect indirectly. The more things we allow skills to branch out and touch, the more difficult balancing those skills becomes.

    I argue that coming up with ideas is relatively easy. Seeing an idea through to the point of being well-executed is much more difficult and time-consuming. The more edge cases and subsystems you design into a system, the more difficult that execution becomes.

    JESawyer 15 Sep 11



    "If I were to start a campaign today, I'd pick a region that borders (...)" ...wait, so you'd be basically doing New Vegas all over again? :P


    Why not? Overall, I think it worked well enough for us. We brought over familiar factions, framed their attitudes in the new region, and posed them in conflict with new factions.

    JESawyer 16 Sep 11



    I think the FNV DLCs seem more epic and compelling than the plot of the main game. Do you think this is due to their smaller size?


    It could be because the player is more central to the DLCs than to the main plot. In each of the DLCs, the Courier is summoned to be a central figure in what's unfolding. In the main plot, the Courier is essentially used and left for dead at the opening of the game. It isn't until he or she deals with Bennie that other factions start to take a lot of interest in him or her.

    JESawyer 16 Sep 11



    Exactly when in development did the team decide to change the portrait for Mr. House, and why? Was the previous one just something of a placeholder?


    It was relatively late in development. I felt the original portrait made Mr. House look too manic.

    JESawyer 16 Sep 11



    Why did Ambassador Crocker turn Afro-American?


    There was a recording mix-up. His voice really didn't match his appearance, so we matched his appearance to match his voice.

    JESawyer 16 Sep 11



    But there were many voices that didn't match their bodies. The Brotherhood scouts and Klamath Bob are good examples.


    Yes, yes. All part of a rich tapestry.

    JESawyer 17 Sep 11



    Have you ever thought that maybe Lockpick is just too narrow a skill? Like, you know, you could combine it + "repair" into a mechanical skill, in the same way that science covers both hacking and robot stuff?


    In Van Buren, it was combined with Traps to form the Security skill.

    The subdivision of utility skills should be based off of the density of applicable instances of that skill. If there's a ton of locks to pick with worthwhile stuff to get out of it, Lockpick can stand on its own.

    JESawyer 17 Sep 11



    'I have to say that as easy as a good Power Fist makes close-range fights, nothing is as easy as long-range sniping' then why do put melee and unarmed weapons into the game if they are going to have no advantage?


    The advantage they have is at close range. Especially if you're indoors or in a camp, they're extremely powerful. You suffer damage in the process, but you dish out far more. Long-range sniping isolates the player from most danger, but long-range sniping isn't always possible.

    JESawyer 17 Sep 11



    What book are you reading right now?

    Formspring question of the day


    Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship by Goethe.

    JESawyer 18 Sep 11



    are you gonna answer more questions after LR and GRA are out?


    Sure, though not many LR questions since I didn't do much work on it (mostly balancing).

    JESawyer 19 Sep 11



    Have you ever tried to read/read a book in German? I suppose you're reading the translated version right now.


    Yes, I'm reading an English translation of an early French edition.

    I try to read things in German, but it is very slow going because my vocabulary is not that broad. I have a book called Fünf Deutsche Meister-Erzählungen/Five German Short Stories that is a dual-language book and that's a bit easier to follow.

    If you have a Kindle, you can change the dictionary to a different language (if you download an alternate dictionary). That can make word look-ups a lot easier.

    JESawyer 19 Sep 11



    Why do you answer questions less frequently these days?


    I'm busier.

    JESawyer 19 Sep 11



    What book are you planning on reading next?


    I will probably finish Nudge by Sunstein and Thaler and then read either The Book of Khalid by Ameen Rihani or The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.

    JESawyer 19 Sep 11



    How do you feel about Japanese games? Every once in a while I'll be able to get past all the anime melodrama and enjoy a Japanese game, but that rarely ever happens. I do sometimes enjoy Japanese games that are aimed the non-Japanese market though.


    It depends on the game/series. I like the Devil May Cry series, Pikmin, Katamari Damacy, and Animal Crossing (for example), but some other series I just can't get into at all. That said, I think it has less to do with a game being Japanese/not Japanese and more to do with the specific content. There are plenty of "western" games that I can't get into, style-wise, either.

    JESawyer 19 Sep 11



    What's your desktop background?


    A picture I took at La Verkin Creek at Zion National Park.

    http://diogenes-lamp.info/images/zion/zion_laverkin_creek.jpg

    JESawyer 19 Sep 11



    You seem to have a somewhat low opinion of Warhammer 40k?


    Not at all, but it isn't really an RPG. It's a tabletop war game.

    JESawyer 19 Sep 11



    RPG fans always talk about how much better it used to be and how devs are forced to make action RPGs etc etc. If given the chance, though, do you think you would even want to create an old-school turn-based, isometric RPG?


    Yes. That would be awesome. I still play tabletop RPGs where one battle takes 2+ hours. I wouldn't even care about the scope/size of the team as long as it could have really solid tactical combat and strategic character/party building.

    JESawyer 19 Sep 11



    Was it an oversight that the 2,000 cap credit check doesn't take the caps from the character? It just seemed to remove the challenge of getting into Vegas a little as it's practically free...


    No. It's not a fee, just a check to insure that you're actually bringing caps to spend. Mr. House and the families don't want freeloaders on the Strip.

    JESawyer 20 Sep 11



    Games like Fallout 1/2 aren't very tabletop like in the computer game form. Much faster paced. Same goes for jRPG turnbased games which still come out by the day


    Check out Front Mission 4. Mid-game, the pre-combat loadouts take about 45 minutes-1 hour and the fights can take over an hour.

    JESawyer 20 Sep 11



    I must say that the SMMG has to be one of the greatest weapssons you have come up with. It has plenty of loud noisy dakka to mow down anything in the wastes that looks at you funny.


    Thanks, though Seth McCaughey was the guy who came up with the weapon concept and animations. I just tuned it.

    JESawyer 20 Sep 11



    How is "ED-E" supposed to be pronounced? Like "Eddie" or "Eee-Dee" or just saying the letters or what?


    Like "Eddie".

    JESawyer 20 Sep 11



    Can you give us some insight on Joshua Graham's 'Avenging Angel' status?


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danite

    JESawyer 21 Sep 11



    How did you guys patch taking all the gold bars from the Sierra Madre if Dead Money is DLC? I mean about clipping the gold bars through the barrier Elijah puts up.


    As far as I know, we didn't patch that.

    JESawyer 21 Sep 11



    Why was lonesome road so short? honest hearts had much more to do.


    @__@

    JESawyer 21 Sep 11



    Congrats on DLC4, it's a success in my book. One thing that bothers me is that whilst the SMMG is well designed, it doesn't kick like the Colonial Marine style weapon it looks like (to me, anyway). Is there a reason it uses 10mm and give pretty low DAM?


    10mm is not used heavily at high levels but can be acquired in large volume. The SMMG does much higher DAM than a minigun and much higher DAM than the other weapons that use 10mm ammo. With HP or JHP ammo, it will destroy lightly-armored targets.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    why is there so much friction between you and other devs (according to /v/)?


    This is pretty vague, so I don't really know what you're referring to, sorry.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    Why was it decided to base the Courier's aligned faction on reputation for LR? It makes no sense and is counter-productive for roleplaying. You should have just left it as a dialogue option so people could choose for themselves.


    I'm not the guy to ask; the only work I did on Lonesome Road was weapon tuning.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    Your foul tricks have failed Mr. Sawyer. The satchel charges may have messed me up, but they mess up the Deathclaws even worse. I have mastered the charge of the satchel, and I am now a god.


    Good. If you have high Explosives, you can disarm them and use them yourself.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    Why do you spend time on tuning weapons when so many other things in the game are unbalanced/overpowered. Skill points/experience, some traits, armor/clothing bonuses, etc.


    I tuned a lot of those things, some more than others. Players pay a higher level of attention to weapons, so I've spend a lot of time tuning them, in particular.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    What political issue is most important to you?

    Formspring question of the day


    Junk mail.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    Anthony Weiner. Hahahahah


    LMAO!!!

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    Alpha Protocol is 2 bucks on Steam. 1: Do you get any money from this 2: Will it run on a 3.06 GHZ Pentium 4 (rest of system is more modern)


    1) Me? No. 2) Beats me. Sorry.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    I found the All American and two Tesla-Beaton Prototypes on a Marked Man. Considering their predicament, that one's pretty well armed.


    wat

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    Hey Joshua, the Red Glare+ (fully upgraded, full chems, etc) seems pretty weak. Is it meant to just be spammed at the incoming enemies? Anabelle (Missile L.) seems far superior.


    It's an automatic explosive weapon with small radius, low DAM, so it's mostly for use against lightly armored groups. For that purpose, it's very good.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    Red Glare sucks so why is it in the game?


    Because actually it owns and you are Bizarro Superman... ???

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    If it "owns", then why was it designed for use against light armored groups of enemies? Why not just use a couple 40mm grenades from the grenade rifle or Thump-Thump? Or even a SMG?


    40mm Grenades may not have the range, even from Thump-Thump or Mercy. There's a scope on Red Glare for a reason: it's very accurate and its rockets fly very quickly. If you're in range to use an SMG and have high Guns, yeah, use an SMG. SMGs are made for close-quarters fights against lightly armored enemies.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    Does it offend you that I'm a homosexual and that I think you're very attractive?


    No. Thanks. I don't know why anyone would be offended by someone being attracted to them, really. It seems like an odd response.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    Yes they are made for close range, but there's also the Light Machingun or the Minigun or even a Marksman Carbine. But most enemies don't group up until they get close anyway.


    Yes, those are all Guns that you can use if you like using Guns and put points into Guns. If you like Explosives and put points into Explosives, you can use Red Glare.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    Or you can use a 40mm grenade MG or rifle, or a 25mm GMG. Or mines, frag grenades and plasma grenades. I've used that assortment plenty of times with my explosives character. I've never had a problem, the GMGs are very efficient even at close range.


    A lot of people seem to be enjoying Red Glare. Sorry that you don't, but it's a very effective weapon in a lot of circumstances, with or without upgrades.

    DLC weapons aren't supposed to make every other weapon that came before obsolete. Red Glare is unique among explosives weapons because it is automatic, accurate, scoped, and has a high RoF (and high projectile speed). I'm not sure what you were expecting to get out of it.

    Even if you don't believe it's fantastically amazing, I think saying it "sucks" is hyperbole.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    I'm not the one who said it sucks. I don't think it sucks. I was trying to understand the reason for it's implementation. Because the enemies you fight in The Divide are tough and armored, making the Red Glare tough to work with in The Divide.


    Marked Men are not particularly heavily armored (most have DTs under 10). They also often are seen in groups at long range. Red Glare is pretty effective at mopping those jokers up.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    Icewind Dale II is fun, but it needs more ice, wind, and dales. At least twice many. Can Icewind Dale III have three times as many? Please?


    Six times as many or nothing.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    But once you encounter deathclaws it gets tough. There seem to be a large number too, particularly in Courier's Mile. And even along your travels through The Divide.


    Yes. Don't use Red Glare against them. Weapons in F:NV are designed to be good in some circumstances and bad in others. Using Red Glare against heavily armored Deathclaws will result in tears.

    JESawyer 22 Sep 11



    What was the meaning behind the president names for projects at Black Isle? Was it just for names, or did each project have some odd tie to said president?


    It was just their names, in order of inauguration. Obsidian's names are similar, U.S. states in order of their incorporation to the union.

    We use this scheme because there is an order to it, but the names have no connection to the project itself. If someone sees "Project North Carolina" on a notebook or document, or overhears it in conversation, that has no real meaning.

    JESawyer 23 Sep 11



    so hey, why include the 12.7mm AND .50 BMG rounds? irl they're pretty much the same, the former being commie-er


    12.7mm is the equivalent of .50 Action Express. .50 MG is the equivalent of .50 BMG.


    JESawyer 23 Sep 11



    I’ve already reached level 50. Now what - how can I get these new perks (Mad Bomber etc)?


    Start a new character.

    JESawyer 23 Sep 11



    Not including the option to shoot/blow up a lock smacks of lazy design. You could have quests or areas where opening locks quietly or without damage has an advantage. Framing people, areas where straight combat is harder than stealth, etc.


    No, it was an intentional choice to avoid the obvious side-effect of making Lockpicking obsolete for a bunch of character builds.

    JESawyer 23 Sep 11



    Is it safe to assume that the GRA achievement "Curios and Relics" (which requires you to get 10,000 damage with unique Mojave Wasteland weapons) will not be retroactive and will start counting only damage done after GRA has been installed?


    Correct.

    JESawyer 23 Sep 11



    Is there going to be an in-game explanation for why the Gun Runners are suddenly going to start selling energy weapons?


    For the most part, they don't, unless you kill the other EW dealers.

    JESawyer 24 Sep 11



    bozar?


    yes

    JESawyer 24 Sep 11



    You said an automatic gun using .50MG is impossible to do realistically beacause the anti materiel does over 100 points of DMG it would have to dumbed down in a bad way. Why does the shoulder mounted SMG do much more DAM than 10mm SMG then?


    It's a higher tier weapon (Tier 5 vs. the 10mm SMG's Tier 3). It also fires more slowly than the 10mm SMG, so its DPS is not dramatically higher.

    JESawyer 24 Sep 11



    You say that your making special GRA versions of weapons that use the weapon mods beacause the weapons were modded in patches. The plasma pistol was but the laser pistol wasn't.


    I wanted to be consistent, so instead of having some work as-is and others require new forms, I just made new forms for everything.

    JESawyer 24 Sep 11



    Since when do NCR heavy troopers use plasma and laser weapons?


    I didn't set up the weapons of any of the LR enemies.

    JESawyer 24 Sep 11



    Did you give 20 and 12 gauge rounds 1.2x damage as like a buff to shotgun damage? If so, why not just make the shotguns themselves do more damage? This is so confusing


    I gave buckshot (standard rounds) the bonus. That way there is a bit more incentive to use buckshot against unarmored foes instead of using slugs against everything.


    JESawyer 24 Sep 11



    will there be ANY difference between the GRA and the normal laser and plasma pistol? (visual, stats etc.)


    They are identical except for the ability to take GRA mods.

    JESawyer 24 Sep 11



    why have the energy weapons been nerfed since the Fallout 2? they are now weak and common and don't feel like hi-tech weapons among with the guns which have higher DMG


    Because the weapon skill subdivisions used in Fallout has never matched the design of weapon categories used in the games. I.e., there's nothing in the description of the EWs skill in F1, F2, Tactics, F3, or F:NV that would indicate that EWs are superior to conventional firearms. Along the same lines, there's nothing to prevent players from tagging EWs (or Big Guns, for that matter) at the beginning of the game only to find that they actually don't get any real chance to use that skill for at least a third of the game.

    If players are presented with a variety of skills in which they can invest at the beginning of the game, they should be able to use those skills from the beginning of the game. If you want to return to the olden days of EW supremacy, I'd suggest re-structuring the skills based on stance/type or some other categorization (e.g. Pistols/SMGs, Rifles, etc.). That way, you could have EWs be the top weapons of each category and effectively non-existent in the early game.

    Even so, you would still (IMO) have to find a way to make Pistols as viable as RIfles, etc. if you want players to be able to get the most out of each skill.

    JESawyer 24 Sep 11



    What is your opinion on recent statements by some developers that certain genres of games are "not contemporary" and that fans of RTS and TBS games should play first-person shooters instead because "time has moved on"?


    I think developers should recognize that some players like game types that are not as popular as others. Those players shouldn't be made to feel like they're doing something wrong (they aren't).

    That said, if you like a niche game type, you also have to understand that it's hard for some developers to make games for those niches, even if they'd really like to.

    JESawyer 25 Sep 11



    There's a rebalance mod for FO3 that split the weapons into handguns, long guns, and heavy weapons, and rebalanced them all to have distinct roles designed to make them more "equal". In theory would this be better than splitting be flavor?


    I don't think it's inherently better or worse, but if you want to make EWs the superior weapons in the game, I think splitting up weapons in that way is a way to do it and still keep the skills roughly equal in value.

    JESawyer 25 Sep 11



    Favorite gun you've ever fired at a range (or other places)?


    My experience is not that broad, but I have to say the Smith & Wesson 629 with a 6" barrel. The action is great, it's quite accurate, and it handles the recoil of .44 Magnum easily.

    JESawyer 25 Sep 11



    Are you writing these GRA Bethesda Blog posts? They're pretty funny.


    Yes. Thanks.

    JESawyer responded to Pinheiro95 25 Sep 11



    So far what's your favorite weapon that you've created in GRA?


    Probably the MFC Clusters. Close seconds are the Bozar and an ammo subtype that hasn't been announced yet.

    JESawyer 25 Sep 11



    I love games like baldurs gate becourse i dont get forced to solve the main story right away so that i can go and wander the land and have a adventure! Baldurs Gate II wasent that... Fallout NV is that. I can exlore and have a adventure. thank you!


    You're welcome! I'm glad you like it.

    JESawyer 25 Sep 11



    Hey, just wanted to say that not only are the GRA write-ups funny, but the weapons and ammo contained within looks like they own. Gonna buy it the second it's out on Steam.


    Thanks. With this DLC, we're telling people pretty much everything that's available, so hopefully everyone goes into it with eyes wide-open.

    JESawyer 25 Sep 11



    Is the Bozar actually going to be burst-fire though?


    It's fully automatic.

    JESawyer 25 Sep 11



    will there be another GRA post on beth blog before it comes out?


    On the Beth Blog, gstaff indicated there will be one more on Monday and another on Tuesday.

    JESawyer 25 Sep 11



    Are the GRA weapons like the 12.7mm SMG (GRA) counted as part of the 27 new weapons in the dlc or are there 27 new weapons not including the (GRA) versions you had to add so they can accept mods?


    Yes, the GRA versions are part of the 27. The 27 weapons includes uniques, GRA variants of vanilla weapons, and brand-new weapons. It's all-inclusive.

    JESawyer responded to Mahare 25 Sep 11



    So I hear you designed Arcade? THANK YOU. He's easily my favorite human companion, and also a good example of a gay character who isn't a stereotype/negative image. He's amazingly well done...thank you for designing him.


    Thanks. I'm glad you liked him.

    JESawyer 25 Sep 11



    When I asked you to put .50 Raufoss ammo in the game, I was just dicking around, I didn't think you'd really do it. You are the most awesome game developer I've ever seen!


    When you asked that question, the .50 MG Explosive round had already been in the game for a long time. GRA hadn't been announced, so I was just playing around. Hopefully you'll enjoy it.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    Are you worried about making the game too easy with all the new toys in GRA?


    I think the availability of other DLC weapons is a greater concern than the availability of GRA weapons. At least GRA weapons require money or crafting to make.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    Games "often focus on statistics, but we often can't perceive the effects in games...[I've] implemented broken things in games but players don't notice it," because there's no external statistic reflection. Such as?


    Splash Damage. It took quite a while for people to notice that it wasn't doing anything, and it was only confirmed by looking directly at the entry in GECK (it does work properly now).

    For a much earlier example (I didn't work on this one), the Bastard Sword +1, +3 vs Shapeshifters in Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast did nothing special against Shapeshifters. The engine didn't even support that kind of functionality until Icewind Dale.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    I'm sorry, but the Bozar should have been a unique AMR not a LMG. Recreating a glitch, simply for the purposes of fan-service and nostalgia is inexcusable. IF such action is taken it should be relegated to the realm of easter eggs (i.e. a WW trait filter)


    I disagree.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    I saw that there is going to be a sword in GRA. I thank you for this, because when I started my character, I was hoping to use a sword. So I was disappointed when the only sword was the Bumper Sword. So thanks. oh and is the sword added in GRA any good?


    The Katana in GRA is very good, especially with mods.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    It seems to me that a high % of game buyers don't really understand the story and mechanics of even a relatively simple RPG like FNV. Couldn't you get achieve the same sales by making a really dumb and simple RPG?


    Possibly, but I do think there is a "sweet spot" of accessibility and complexity that is much higher than the lowest common denominator. Personally, I think it is best to implement simple, clear mechanics that have layers of complexity added over time. I also think using level of difficulty to add additional mechanics for more dedicated players can help expand a game's appeal.

    I also think it's really important to distinguish between DUMB/OBSTINATE players and INEXPERIENCED/IGNORANT players. There are a lot of dumb and obstinate people in the world, it's true, but I think most of the people who struggle initially with RPGs are people who are inexperienced or ignorant. RPG developers and players are used to an enormous array of conventions that would bewilder almost any newcomer -- especially when presented without explanation.

    I think that experience with RPG mechanics and being presented with clear tactical challenges produces tactical decision-making in players, even players who lack PhDs.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    You once mentioned that weapon mod design is meant to be orthogonal, but uh.. what's the point of having uniques that are all-around weaker than the modded version of the base weapon? (See OWB with K9000 and FIDO)


    I didn't tune those two weapons, but I think the Mentat Chow RoF increase of K9000 is what takes it a bit too far.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    Will the gun runners arsenal weapons have new sound effects?


    Some of them will. Some uniques have new sounds, and a few of the GRA variants (most notably, the Laser Pistol) have new firing sounds as well.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    If the AMR suppressor doesn't completely silence the gun (which makes sense), what does it do? Decreased chance of being noticed? Is it purely cosmetic?


    It takes the noise radius down from "Loud" levels (big) to "Normal" levels (less big). If you shoot it in the next room, dudes are still going to hear it. For long-range sniping, it will effectively be silent as long as enemies aren't too close.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    In the design stages of New Vegas, did you ever think of letting enemies in the game have randomly modded weapons?


    No. I wanted mods to be a money-sink for the player. The same with ammo sub-types. That's why mods and most ammo sub-types are only available from vendors.


    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    Do you believe that a modern game that is similar to IWD2 could be done with roughly the same budget and be profitable? Paradox Interactive is successful at making complex games with medium budgets, so why wouldn't it work for a tactical RPG?


    I think it could, but I'm not an expert on game economics.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    On a scale of one to ten, how much would a Fallout game based in Hawaii own?


    It's hard to say; I don't know much about Hawaii.

    Someone on a message board suggested that it be all ghoul-ed out. I thought an interesting quest would be to solve a dilemma among the ghouls. Since ghoul-ification, they don't know who to call "haole" anymore -- a truly devastating problem.


    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    "The Katana in GRA is very good, especially with mods." Does it mean GRA will add mods for melee weapons (at least the ones it adds)?


    ^________________________________________________^

    JESawyer responded to TraderRager 26 Sep 11



    What is the 25mm APW mentioned in the GRA Part 3 post? Are we getting something to the tune of a XM25?


    mysteries

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    "The Katana in GRA is very good, especially with mods." Suuuure, you tell the melee weapon users before the post comes out, but nothing on the brush gun still....


    http://www.bethblog.com/index.php/2011/09/26/bring-the-boom-with-gun-runners-arsenal/

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    What does the 'APW' in 25mm Grenade APW stand for?


    Anti-Personnel Weapon.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    CD Projekt's dev team RED has about the same employee base as you, isn't all that big, and only did minor publishing like Icewind Dale and Planescape: T for Europe. Yet they an give free DLC vs. 4 paid DLC packs from Obsidian already. For shame. $grubbers


    I'm glad CD Projekt has the ability to do that.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    Why is Mad Bomber the only new perk in GRA? Explosives bias much?


    Because apparently we are biased towards every category of weapon.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    How do you pronounce Paciencia? Pah-Key-en-sia?


    I guess it depends on how you like your Spanish to be pronounced. IMO, it should be pronounced using Mexican Spanish (it has a Mexican flag wrapped around the stock), but there's always the Castilian way...

    http://yfrog.com/2m34kz

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    No, seriously, why not have more perks in GRA to cover more bases?


    Explosives did not have a Hand Loader / Vigilant Recycler-type perk. In general, Explosives has a relatively limited set of perks available. This was a chance to introduce another way for Explosives characters to specialize.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    Fallout: New Vegas is one of the best selling RPGs of ALL time. Bethesda Soft. aside I'm sure Avellone, Feargus, and the company got a nice chunk of money from it+ DLC money. And you want to imply Obsidian isn't in the position to not give back to fans?


    DLC, even small DLC like GRA, still costs quite a bit of money to develop, test, and distribute on three platforms. Given those costs, it does not make financial sense for us to release that content without charge.

    I don't know the particulars of CD Projekt's financial status, but if they are in a position to release DLC for free, that's great.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    Hit the deck or Heave Ho! Which of those two perks do you think is best for a explosive char if you could only pick one?


    I think it depends on the build. If you want to throw a lot of grenades by hand -- especially if you already have a high ST -- Heave, Ho! If you're using more "fired" explosives weapons, Hit the Deck will save you a lot of grief.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    There isn't really much for Energy Weapon users in Honest Hearts.


    That is true.

    JESawyer 26 Sep 11



    Oh alright, thanks. It means "patience" in Spanish? Why? BTW - Nice glasses NURD.


    Because you have three shots, so you had better make them count.

    JESawyer 27 Sep 11



    Whose idea was it to do that Best Buy preview?


    Beats me, but I assume Bethesda.

    JESawyer 27 Sep 11



    After all your work with balancing NV's weapons, it seems like just adding a bunch of really powerful end game weaponry to the gun runners is going to really ruin the balance of the game. Am I wrong in thinking this? Do the weapons not appear all at once?


    They don't all appear at once, and players still have to buy the weapons. For someone doing a meta-gaming playthrough this may only be a small obstacle, but that's mostly true even of the core game.

    JESawyer 27 Sep 11



    It's not that CDP want to spend money for nothing, it's that they view free DLC as a sales booster for the main game. Valve operate on this principle as well and do VERY well. Do you not agree that free DLC can boost main game sales?


    Yes. So can paid DLC. The question is can free DLC on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 (of which the latter two have additional distribution costs) generate more core game sales than paid DLC on PC, PS3, and Xbox -- and more money overall than would be generated by selling the DLC.

    JESawyer 27 Sep 11



    I wonder, was Mad bomber cut from the main game due to lack of time, or just something you made in response to complaints?


    It wasn't really in response to complaints. I just saw a gap in the lineup.

    JESawyer 27 Sep 11



    So how come if there are 27 weapons in GRA I count like 29 so far? =O


    new math

    JESawyer 27 Sep 11



    What fall TV show are you most excited about?

    Formspring question of the day


    I'm interested in building a time machine to go back to 1990 so I can live in a world WITH NEW LAW & ORDER EPISODES.

    JESawyer 27 Sep 11



    Are there any unique weapons in GRA that aren't bought? Say for example on a distant shore on the Colorado? Or is it just in the shop?


    New weapons/mods/ammo are either bought in stores or crafted by the player.

    JESawyer responded to darthbdaman 27 Sep 11



    Why did you decide to give the gun runners unique versions of weapons to mod which are the same in every whey, when you could have just added the mods to normal weapons. It seems like a waste. Ow well off to the G.E.C.K then...


    Many of those weapons were already modified in patches, meaning there would be load order conflicts if I attempted to modify them in the DLC as well.

    JESawyer 27 Sep 11



    Hey, are the GRA weapon mods in vendor lists randomized? Some aren't showing up anywhere...


    Yes, many of them are randomized.

    JESawyer 27 Sep 11



    On the GRA Steam page, it says the Bozar is intended to be an "all-powerful LMG"; does that mean it was intended to benefit from the "Grunt" perk like the LMG? It doesn't seem to, not that it isn't a beast of a weapon as-is.


    Unfortunately, because Grunt was introduced in Honest Hearts (DLC), GRA cannot reference it without introducing load order bugs. Sorry.

    JESawyer responded to skullmandible 27 Sep 11



    Huh! seems like load order causes you guys a lot of problems! Like, constantly


    Any time we have two potentially conflicting pieces of data, pretty much.

    JESawyer 28 Sep 11



    But if some plucky modder puts it in the list for the Grunt perk that would work fine right??


    For PC, that would probably be fine. As always, multiple mods may conflict, check your load order, etc.

    JESawyer 28 Sep 11



    Did every single weapon added by Gun Runner Arsenal really need the "(GRA)" suffix in thier names? On stock weapons with new mods it's understandable, but all of them?


    Yes. There are a lot of weapons in core F:NV and expansions. Challenges and achievements in GRA are associated with new GRA weapons, specifically. Rather than make players guess, I used the GRA tag.

    JESawyer 28 Sep 11



    Sorry gun expert, but rotating barrels machine gun isn´t modern weapon. Its actually one of first concepts for this type of weapon – Gatling machine gun 1860.


    what are you referring to what

    JESawyer 28 Sep 11



    How come MF hyperbreeder Alpha can work for both Master of the Arsenal and Curios and Relics? Glitch or intentional?


    Intentional. GRA uniques are still Mojave Wasteland uniques.

    JESawyer 28 Sep 11



    Any particular reason you didn't put Medicine Stick in with Cowboy? That shouldn't introduce load order bugs, should it?


    Medicine Stick should be affected by Cowboy...

    JESawyer 28 Sep 11



    Man, let me tell you... The Medicine Stick and the Nuka-Breaker? What's the point of these? They seem overly expensive for how little damage they do/how slow they are. And I was really picturing a Mini-Nuke type boom from the new Ballistic Fist.


    Price increase in GRA is not proportional to increased value. Tier 5 uniques are the best of the best. Even if that margin of quality is slight, you still pay for it.

    Medicine Stick is extremely powerful, with or without Cowboy. Nuka Breaker has a higher Crit Chance/Crit DAM (plus electrical shock) than Oh, Baby! If you have a crit-oriented character, Nuka Breaker is a very good weapon to use. Two-Step Goodbye is also a weapon that benefits most from a high Crit Chance build.

    JESawyer 28 Sep 11



    Gatling 1860. Somebody asked you why you mess the game with modern weapons like M16/M4. And your answer was that rotating machine gun is also modern weapon and its a Fallout classic.


    Miniguns are modern. They are as similar to the original Gatling gun as an M14 is to a Springfield Trapdoor.

    JESawyer 28 Sep 11



    If you could, would you add the Satchel Charge and the Bowie Knife to the list of weapons affected by Grunt?


    No. Cowboy seems more appropriate for the Bowie Knife, IMO.

    JESawyer 28 Sep 11



    So how does it feel to forever be in the shadow of Chris, brosef?


    We don't even focus on the same sort of design, so fine I guess... ??

    JESawyer 28 Sep 11



    Hay in Icewind dale there is a axe named Londsome road!


    It's true!

    JESawyer 29 Sep 11



    Would you do an Arcanum sequel if offered?


    Sure.

    JESawyer 29 Sep 11



    I love how the Bozar is broken almost as much as in FO2 <3


    According to the posts I've seen, it's actually terrible!

    JESawyer 29 Sep 11



    I guess people were looking for raw power rather than high accuracy/high rate of fire. Like the Automatic Rifle with a scope, and a spread that allows you to hit something that isn't hugging you. I like it, though. It's a full auto All-American.


    I'm not sure where people developed that expectation. The Bozar in F2 was a burst-only weapon that did the bulk of its damage through sheer volume of lead thrown downrange. It's less accurate than a semi-auto/bolt-action rifle, but it's more accurate than any other automatic Gun (IIRC) other than the CZ57 Avenger.

    Its DAM is not high, but its DPS is no joke, and 5.56mm ammo + a fast reload speed gives players a lot of options for dealing with different types of enemies.

    JESawyer responded to Spockrock 30 Sep 11



    wasn't Bozar 7.62 in FO2? :? the new it is Bozar in name only! :shakes fist:


    No, it was .223 FMJ.

    JESawyer 30 Sep 11



    I never liked the Bozar in Fallout 2, am I terrible person for this? :c


    yes sorry

    JESawyer 30 Sep 11



    Why do Paciencia's sights look a bit... off?


    It's the rear sights; they're sort of skewed oddly. The front bead is accurate.

    JESawyer 30 Sep 11



    WMX/E pulled off new mods a hell of a lot better than GRA did. Seriously, how hard is it to just make the old weapons moddable, rather than spamming a bunch of new ones that are EXACTLY THE SAME?


    The engine used for Fallout: New Vegas handles load order for .esm/.esp files differently on each platform (PC, PS3, Xbox 360). For purposes of this discussion, let's talk about the three that are relevant: FalloutNV.esm (the master .esm for Fallout: New Vegas), Update.esm (the patch) and GunRunnersArsenal.esm.

    When we modify a form that exists in the base FalloutNV.esm and save it off in a new .esm, the base ID remains the same between the two so the engine understands that they are fundamentally the same form. When the engine loads the game, it loads the forms in FalloutNV.esm FIRST. After FalloutNV.esm is done loading, it starts to load in the other .esms. In this case, it loads Update.esm and GunRunnersArsenal.esm. If one of these .esms contains a form with the same base ID as a form in FalloutNV.esm, that form is overridden.

    However, the platforms load these data files in a different order, and not consistently. If both Update.esm and GunRunnersArsenal.esm contained a form with the same base ID (e.g. a weapon that was previously patched), the engine may load the one in Update.esm last or the one in GunRunnersArsenal.esm last. If it loaded the one in Update.esm, it wouldn't matter that there were mods associated with the form in GunRunnersArsenal.esm.

    In the not-so-terrible case, you get weapons that seemingly haphazardly have old stats/old mods or new stats/new mods. In the worst case, data in one .esm that relies on data in another loads first, attempts to reference the other data, can't find anything (because it hasn't loaded) and hangs or crashes the game.

    On PCs, this is not an issue because there's a single platform and users can manually adjust their load order. For Gun Runners' Arsenal, creating GRA versions of weapons was the safest way to add items without generating a huge list of load order issues on different platforms.

    JESawyer 30 Sep 11



    Why were energy weapons users not given a perk like Cowboy or Grunt? Do you think Plasma Spaz and Laser Commander equal out to them? Don't get me wrong Laser Commander is pretty good but Plasma Spaz leaves some to be desired, and both seem inferior.


    I think Laser Commander and Plasma Spaz are pretty good, but not quite as good as Cowboy/Grunt. In retrospect I don't think the damage bonus from Cowboy and Grunt needed to be quite that high.

    JESawyer 30 Sep 11



    For some reason I can't use the GRA Ammo. Not in GRA weapons, nor in normal weapons. Is it an ESM problem? or a load order problem? Should I change the load order somehow?


    If you're playing on PC and are using mods, try disabling your mods. All of the "I can't load GRA ammo in my weapons" bugs I've seen have been on PC when someone is running a mod that replaces or otherwise affects ammo lists.

    JESawyer 30 Sep 11



    Is it more efficient to use .50 MG AP against a deathclaw rather than .50 MG Match? Since the AMR hits for more than 100 it seems like you'd get more than 15 damage more using Match, so wouldn't it ultimately do more damage? DT is confusing.


    Yes, .50 MG Match should do more damage from an Anti-Materiel Rifle (about 5 more) in that situation if the weapon's CND is above 75. You need Hand Loader to make Match rounds, and it's a little more expensive in terms of lead and powder, but ultimately it's better.

    JESawyer 30 Sep 11



    how come the "Thought you died" perk affects the Survivalist's rifle but "Grunt" doest affect the bozar. and by the way both those guns are awesome. great job!


    Thought You Died is a global increase to damage. Grunt uses a list to determine what weapons are affected. Because that list is a piece of data in an .esm, it has to be modified by referencing that .esm.

    JESawyer responded to Pinheiro95 1 Oct 11



    What exactly is the advantage of the 20 Gauge, 3/0 Buck Mag from GRA, is it just that there are 4 projectiles? I'm not really sure what the advantage is of that because it has the same stats as normal magnum rounds.


    The base damage is divided among fewer projectiles, so each projectile does more damage. This is useful against lightly armored enemies, especially if you don't have Shotgun Surgeon.

    JESawyer 1 Oct 11



    is tim cain still alive?


    Yes... ?

    JESawyer 1 Oct 11



    Would you rather have DT in its current implementation or a more elaborate system where you really need AP ammo to get through heavier armor?


    I don't know about a more elaborate system, but I found in my tabletop game that allowing armor to completely negate damage was actually fine as long as the target still took fatigue damage. Fatigue was something that built up over time from certain types of attacks (especially damage absorbed by armor). When it passed the character's current HP, the character would be temporarily knocked out. Once the character was knocked out, it was much easier for almost anyone to kill him/her/it.

    Fatigue depleted at the character's healing rate every round, so it was something that characters could "shake off" relatively quickly, but it prevented people from doing things like charging at guys with shotguns just because they were wearing armor that could absorb most of the damage.

    JESawyer 1 Oct 11



    Can I ask why you don't use the original weapons' actual names? Like why do you call the M16 a "Service Rifle"? Is it due to liscencing issues?


    It's partially for that and also because they aren't "really" those weapons. We take liberties for animation and aesthetic reasons. Rather than provoke players into debating how "legit" a weapon is, I'd rather just give weapons a functional name that gets the basic idea across and leave it at that.

    JESawyer 1 Oct 11



    Henry Leland's bio says he is 39 and was hired by Halbech in 1977. Was he a bag boy equivalent or something, because he would be 9 if AP takes place in 2009


    Beats me. I wasn't involved in any of AP's story development, sorry.

    JESawyer 2 Oct 11



    the power armors have nerfed drasticly since the first Fallout games... why?


    If you didn't wear PA/APA in F1/F2, you were playing at a significant handicap if you wanted to participate in combat. The DT/DR system combined with PA/APA stats meant that endgame content was entirely "balanced" around wearing PA/APA. Fights were nickel-and-dime slugfests punctuated by triple damage armor-bypassing crits that would annihilate almost anyone -- including the player. Fighting the Enclave at Navarro is one of the best examples of this, but you can find it elsewhere in the late game of both F1 and F2.

    Practically speaking, this means that if a player wants to play a combat character in F1/F2, their optimal choice for armor is always PA/APA. I think that limits player choice too much because the alternative options are significantly worse in almost all ways.

    I don't know the design process for developing PA for F3, but for F:NV, I wanted Light and Medium armor options to be viable for the player in addition to Heavy. F:NV's DT system with a minimum damage percentage (20% in the shipped version of the game) means that against certain attacks, there is a point at which higher DT doesn't provide additional benefits.

    The other major consideration is mobility. F3 used a finely granular sliding scale for adjusting movement speed based on carried weight. F:NV uses the weight category (Light, Medium, Heavy) of body outfits to adjust speed in more distinct increments.

    JESawyer 2 Oct 11



    Is Lt. Gorobets Ukrainian?


    By ancestry, that is the implication, yes.

    JESawyer 2 Oct 11



    Did Obsidian ever run into problems with the ESRB over the writing in New Vegas? The story of New Vegas is hardly as squeamish as the rest of the games industry concerning things like mutilation, war crimes, and rape.


    Not as far as I know.

    JESawyer 2 Oct 11



    Josh, why there so few children in FNV? And will you try to make future Obsidian games as ambitious as FNV? (you should, you guys are amazing sometimes)


    Since children can't be killed in F:NV, I asked designers to use them sparingly. I also asked them to make the children as inoffensive as possible. This was not always successful.

    JESawyer 3 Oct 11



    You excited for iPhone 4S/5/3000/Whatever and other pieces of technology in the mobile space to be shown or comming out i,e, future Nokia WP7 phones, future HTC Android phones, WebOS's questionable future, Playstation Vita, quad-core phones etc?


    No. I think the iPhone 4 generation + iPad were a nice step forward, but I haven't seen anything on the horizon that's "wow"ing me.

    JESawyer 4 Oct 11



    What dose the Sprtel-Wood mean in Sprtel-Wood 9700? If its a referance whats it from?


    http://www.mail-archive.com/bikies@danenet.org/msg04114.html
    http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2010/09/brian_wood_heroic_video_game_d.php

    JESawyer 5 Oct 11



    bozar...more like BORE-zar amirite


    damn

    JESawyer 5 Oct 11



    do u liek penuses?


    mine is pretty decent imo

    JESawyer 6 Oct 11



    I know you guys can't technically do it, but *if you could have* would you have added the Bozar to the Grunt list? (I like this weapon, btw, a lot)


    Yes. It's a LMG and should be affected by Grunt.

    JESawyer 6 Oct 11



    Apologies if this has been asked before, but is there a specific reason why the Armoured Vault 21 Jumpsuit was cut (that you can remember)? Showing it in the manual and E3 trailer (as well as the Lonesome Road trailer) was such a tease.


    It was an unintentional omission.

    JESawyer 8 Oct 11



    why do the Legionnaires address the pc with 'ave' ? debent hic solus Caesar aut Centuris loquere. To 'degenerates like myself' they should say Salve, wahr nicht? Was this purposefully done? just as the variations in Latin pronunciation among legionaires?


    I don't see why they would use "salve" instead of "ave". "Ave" is a pretty neutral/flexible form of address.

    Variations in pronunciation among legionaries were usually due to errors during recording.

    JESawyer 8 Oct 11



    Why did you give Vulpes a unique voice? It seems like there were so many other more significant characters.


    He's the first named member of the Legion most characters are likely to encounter.


    JESawyer 9 Oct 11



    In NV when heads explode at short range (i.e. taking named Fiend heads for the bounty,) the DT shield appears, do exploding heads actually inflict damage?


    Any moving physics object (including gibs) have the ability to inflict damage if the velocity is high enough. The engine tracks damage down to the tenths or hundredths place, so the amount from stuff bouncing around is usually negligible.

    JESawyer 9 Oct 11



    Were you the lead of only one DLC because you were the lead of the core game or did you not want to be a big part of any more than one DLC?


    Partially because I was the lead on the core game and also because I had to start preparation for our next project. Chris Avellone was also very interested in heading up the development of DLC content, so it all worked out pretty well.

    JESawyer 10 Oct 11


    Why are there no 1 cards in New Vegas?


    ???


    JESawyer responded to ohyesitsthecopz 11 Oct 11



    what weapon is the grenade launcher based off of?


    The rifle is based off of the M79. The launcher is based off of the "China Lake" prototype.

    JESawyer responded to ohyesitsthecopz 11 Oct 11


    is the 25mm grenade APW a unique grenade rifle, grenade launcher, grenade machine gun, or a weapon in its own class.


    It is its own weapon.


    JESawyer 11 Oct 11



    He doesn't know Aces are 1


    Aces are 1 (or 11, in Blackjack).

    JESawyer 11 Oct 11



    When Steam sells games for like, 5 bucks, how much of that does obsidian see?


    It depends entirely on the contract with the publisher.

    JESawyer 11 Oct 11



    Why'd you imply that Yes Man was going to take over in the Independent ending? After going to all the work to take Vegas over myself it was kind of a bummer to learn Dave Foley was going to take it all away.


    That's not the implication.

    JESawyer 11 Oct 11



    Dark Souls rocks!!!!


    yah

    JESawyer 11 Oct 11



    How many more games do you think Obsidian will make until the studio has to finally shut down?


    mysteries

    JESawyer 11 Oct 11



    hi josh... i just wanted to know... do u think im cute? ^_^


    yes
    no
    maybe

    JESawyer responded to SerMcWorst 12 Oct 11



    RDR now has a hardcore mode (http://support.rockstargames.com/en...on-about-hardcore-mode-in-red-dead-redemption) F:NV has retro-actively copied it. FOR SHAME OBSIDIAN.


    that owns

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    So was the Nuka Breaker a reference to the Nuka Break series?


    Yes.

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    How did *you* handle Ulysses? I ask this of you, assuming you will answer on your own behalf and not that of any other entity. :sigh: probably you won't answer because then all the a-holes of the world will assume it's canon just because "Sawyer said!"


    Well, I didn't work on LR outside of tuning the weapons, so authorial intent isn't really an issue here. As soon as I entered Ulysses' Temple I dumped a full magazine of Red Glare into his back, then Brush Gunned him and everyone else.

    I sacrificed ED-E.

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    Why do you have the nickname "Serpiente" in the wacky New Vegas credits? I know it means Serpent or Snake in spanish, but why that one?


    It was my name in my high school Spanish class. When I went to the upper-level classes, my new teacher said I couldn't use Serpiente, but I defied her.

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    Why do members of the Legion using the hard C pronunciation of Caesar? Is it to distinguish each other from the profligates?


    That is how they learned to pronounce Caesar's name.

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11


    Why is "Eureka!" the name of the NCR's Hoover Dam quest?


    It's the state motto of California.


    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    Regarding Yes Man: That was the implication I got, whether it was the one you intended or not.


    I didn't write it; John Gonzalez did.

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    Then what is the implication? That seems to be what everyone reads into it-- Yes Man reprogramming himself to be more 'assertive' is kind of ominous!


    That he will not just roll over for the next person to walk up to him in the Courier's absence. I.e. he will become a somewhat-independent steward instead of a powerful tool for any random person to use for nefarious purposes.

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    Did you make the Enclave in F2 and FNV?


    Not in F2, but in F:NV, I wrote Arcade and designed the characters/plot for For Auld Lang Syne. Jeff Husges did all of the quest implementation and wrote all of the Remnants' dialogue.

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    How many questions are waiting to be answered?


    988.

    JESawyer responded to Pinheiro95 12 Oct 11



    Was the Survivalist's Rifle based off anything in particular? Like the M4 .50 Beowulf?


    Yes, it was loosely based off of the .50 Beowulf AR-15 platform conversion.

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    just beat nv for the eighth time. thanks for the pimpin' game bro.


    thx yw

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    Now that New Vegas is done and dusted what, if anything, would you have liked to have in the game that didn't make it?


    Legion settlements east of the Colorado and a Legion-oriented companion.

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    When does Dark Souls get hard? I just made it to Ash Lake, and only died once. Have gamers gone soft? Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts is a more challenging game this this.


    you are very good at video games congratulations.

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    I assume you dress properly when you go touring about on your dandy-horse.


    wat

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    What is a dandy horse anyway?


    ??

    JESawyer 12 Oct 11



    What song do you sing in the shower?

    See how others responded


    Wand'rers Nachtlied II

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-l7XMZ1fVc


    JESawyer 13 Oct 11



    I made a 1INT Courier and tried to make him look as much like a primitive neanderthal as possible. He looked just like the guy from Gears of War.


    cool

    JESawyer 13 Oct 11



    Is war going to change or what?


    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    no

    JESawyer responded to Pinheiro95 13 Oct 11



    Is the service rifle a mish-mash of an AR-15 and an original AR-10?


    Yeah sorta.

    JESawyer 13 Oct 11



    Why is there a large chunk of emptiness on the entire left-hand side of the Mojave Wasteland map? The contours on the map look like there's supposed to be a large basin past the Canyon Wreckage, but it's never been opened, even with Lonesome Road.


    Because that's where the Spring Mountains actually run in the real world. The Mojave Wasteland's map was made using actual USGS topographical data (scaled down, and with the Colorado River widened). The outer "border" of the map is a perfect square only because that's what F3 had. Unlike the Mojave Wasteland, the Capital Wasteland was constructed to be a perfect square, so the map border and the playable area match almost exactly.

    For Honest Hearts, we had another asymmetrical/oddly shaped map (also constructed from scaled-down USGS data), but we pulled the borders in to closely match where the playable area actually ends.

    http://images.wikia.com/fallout/images/c/c3/Bighorn_Bluff_Location.jpg

    Here, the dotted line closely hugs the walls of the valley. There's no real expectation that the player can move past that line.

    If you look at this Mojave Wasteland map, there is no "outer" border and no terrain outside of the playable space, just a plain black line at the edge.

    http://www.supercheats.com/guides/files/guid/fallout-new-vegas/mojave-wasteland-map.gif

    Compare that to the in-game map, where there is NO border to the playable space, only to the map itself:

    http://images.wikia.com/fallout/images/2/2f/MojaveMapBW.jpg

    JESawyer 13 Oct 11



    Why does the Arc Welder from Lonesome Road suck so much?


    Unless you have a terrible Energy Weapons score or are using it against enemies it is not made for, it doesn't. Especially if you use it against robots, it will annihilate them in no time.

    JESawyer 13 Oct 11



    What is the purpose of the battle rifle? It has lower stats than This Machine in every way.


    Many people would like their companions to use This Machine, but do not want to worry about their companions losing the weapon. Also, not everyone wants to do Contreras' quest

    JESawyer 13 Oct 11



    Was the platinum chip made in Sunnyvale California as an homage to Buffy the Vampire Slayer? I realize it's an actual place, but it inspired Sunnydale.


    It was made in Sunnyvale as an homage to War Games.

    JESawyer 16 Oct 11



    Why is a game that makes back less than twice it's budget considered a flop? What's wrong with just breaking even? I know you're not the ideal person to ask this question to, but I'm sure you have some insight in this.


    Because the majority of people who invest in public companies are petulant/short-sighted/don't care.

    JESawyer 18 Oct 11



    That's not fair. If you were in the shoes of a middle class or lower class individual betting their families well being on the income/turn out of the stock based on sales would you have that attitude like most gamers do?


    A person who is responsible for a family should not be betting his or her family's well-being on volatile stocks. If a person's investment portfolio lives or dies on one stock, for which the sales of a single product have a major impact, that is a bad portfolio. I don't think you have to be Suze Orman to figure that out.

    JESawyer 18 Oct 11



    Who in Honest Hearts did you write? Joshua and Daniel were both really awesome.


    Thanks. I wrote Joshua and Daniel.

    JESawyer 18 Oct 11



    Some companies (such as Paradox Interactive) claim that "middle class" games (100K-500K sales) are booming due to digital distribution but "AAA" developers are saying that such games are economically unfeasible. Are they lying?


    AAA developers are really just speculating because they aren't the ones making "middle class" games. Making smaller scope games within a larger dev house can also present logistics issues due to how teams are typically structured.

    JESawyer 19 Oct 11



    Can you post a picture of yourself when you were more fatter?


    The picture of me on Wikipedia is from when I was more overweight. I was 265 at my heaviest, but probably 235 in that picture. I'm a little over 180 now.

    JESawyer 19 Oct 11



    When designing quests for NV, did you have a "dumber" audience in mind compared to your previous games?


    No.

    JESawyer 19 Oct 11



    Why didn't New Vegas delve deeper into the Mormon backgrounds of the followers of the apocalypse?


    The FotA don't have a Mormon background, they just happen to occupy Old Mormon Fort.

    JESawyer 19 Oct 11



    why was the strip seperated into 3 loading screens in the final game?


    Memory problems caused crashing in both The Strip and Freeside, so they had to be split up.

    JESawyer 19 Oct 11



    Do you sing as a hobby or in a band or anything? and if not, what was the reasoning behind getting you to sing for the Tops acts? (you did a really good job btw, I'm a fan!)


    Thanks. I don't sing in a band. We needed some songs for The Lonesome Drifter and didn't really have time to find a pro to do it. They were all recorded one Saturday or Sunday afternoon, I think.

    JESawyer 19 Oct 11



    Do you lift/advocate staying in shape? I wish more people took care of their bodies while spoiling themselves with entertainment like video games in moderation instead of the "f that playing D&D while munching on a big mac & sippin mtdew! Yeaah!" attitude


    I don't lift anymore but I do advocate staying in shape. I commute to work by bicycle twice a week and do a long ride on the weekend, averaging a total of about 110 miles a week.

    JESawyer 19 Oct 11



    your a goon


    relax i'm a goon

    JESawyer 19 Oct 11



    How come very few people occupy the snowy part of the Mojave when it appears to be in much better shape than the rest of it? Are they really that terrified of the super mutants, or is it the Fiends making it too dangerous to travel that way?


    Super Mutants and Cazadores are a big part of it.

    JESawyer 19 Oct 11



    Who is the shortest at Obsidian?


    Travis Stout is 5'3" and after consulting him I believe he currently is The Shortest Obsidianite.

    JESawyer 19 Oct 11



    Do you think the success of games like Dark Souls and Demon Souls will encourage other devs to start making more challenging and strategic gameplay?


    I hope so, though I think the tactical elements of Dark Souls' combat are more compelling than the strategic considerations.

    JESawyer 20 Oct 11



    What situations is the nail gun useful in? Other than being silent, it seems generally inferior to other SMGs.


    It has a few things going for it:

    * High ammo capacity
    * Extremely easy ammo crafting requirements
    * 5 points of DT bypass (nails)
    * Silent

    JESawyer responded to Mahare 20 Oct 11



    Do you happen to use any PC mods when (if) you play New Vegas for personal use?


    I use my own mod that I made after LR/GRA/CS came out. It's mostly a bunch of bug fixes and balance tweaks that never (for various reasons) made it into patches. The rest of the modifications just make the game harder overall (increased H20/FOD/SLP rates, lower base health, much lower carry weight, etc.).

    JESawyer 20 Oct 11



    Why couldn't you make your hardcore tweaks part of the game in a higher difficulty setting?


    Making them my own default in a mod is different from making them part of an optional mode. Additionally, I only do superficial testing of my own mod because it's just for me. Finally, it would appeal to a decreasingly small number of players.

    JESawyer 20 Oct 11



    So it's not worth putting in meaningful difficulty tweaks instead of arbitrarily inflating enemy hitpoints? I think gamers looking for a challenge would prefer those tweaks compared to "Very Hard" in NV - which I doubt was playtested seperately.


    "Very Hard" was already implemented in F3. Hardcore mode was new for F:NV and was a meaningful difficulty tweak.

    JESawyer 20 Oct 11



    Could you possibly upload your personal mod somewhere?


    I still need to do some more work on it, but sure.

    JESawyer 20 Oct 11



    Why is Obsidian's view of 'hard' generally bullet sponging enemies? There ARE other ways to make enemies hard, you know...


    It isn't our "view", and if you're talking about F:NV DLC creatures, those enemies have to scale across an enormous range of character levels. It would be a little silly to ignore that the player's damage output can increase dramatically as he/she gains access to additional perks and gear, but that range can be very wide. As a result, it's difficult to find creature HP values that feel right for a variety of points in those ranges.

    JESawyer 21 Oct 11



    What the hell is the 'fallout lounge couch'?


    It's a couch in the Fallout lounge.

    JESawyer 21 Oct 11



    [SCIENCE 17/90] hey uhh chris, why don't we just have our programmers make us an engine?


    wat

    JESawyer 21 Oct 11



    describe your tats bro


    they're sick bro

    JESawyer 22 Oct 11



    how many calories do you consume per day


    Today, I had 1775.

    JESawyer 22 Oct 11



    The FO wiki page on the Sprtel-Wood 9700 says "The Sprtel-Wood 9700 is a homage to Scott Sprtel, a medical student who was run over while on his bike, and Brian Wood, a game designer at Relic Entertainment who was killed in a traffic collision."This true?


    Yes.

    JESawyer responded to Pavlov8 22 Oct 11



    Have you seen the vulpes inculta shimeji? http://minicow.deviantart.com/art/vulpes-inculta-shimeji-185391342


    lol

    JESawyer 22 Oct 11



    What is your favored D&D class?


    In 2nd Ed., Specialty Priests, in 3E/3.5E, Fighters/Rogues. In 4th Ed., I've only played a Bard and a Warden, but I've liked my Warden the best.

    JESawyer 22 Oct 11



    What is your BMI


    I need to do one of those dunkin' things, but it's probably in the low 20s.

    JESawyer 22 Oct 11



    What are "dummy" effects used for and how?


    Dummy effects are used to display text descriptions of weapon effects that normally don't show up in the GUI (e.g. Bonus Crit Damage, Bonus Crit Chance, etc.). Some of these stats are pretty significant elements that a player might want to know, but the engine doesn't have a mechanism to display them.

    JESawyer responded to Jayalay 23 Oct 11



    Who came up with the quest titles? They're awesome and introduced me to a lot of great music, so if you did any of them, thanks!


    We all did, drawing from a pretty broad pool of (mostly) 1950s music.


    play shoadow run?


    Not in many years.

    JESawyer 23 Oct 11


    Which is more OP, Crissaegrim or Shield Rod?


    Crissaegrim.


    JESawyer responded to Kastera10000 23 Oct 11



    Were the unique spiked knuckles, Love and Hate a reference to anything, like the movie "Do The Right Thing"?


    Night of the Hunter and Do The Right Thing.


    JESawyer 23 Oct 11



    Why make the NV casinos unrobbable? Doesn't that kind of defy all logic in a post-apocalyptic world?


    Is not being able to rob casinos really where the logic brakes get put on in Fallout?

    JESawyer 23 Oct 11



    Are you satisfied with the player's first meeting with Graham? The activity you find him in the middle of fits with the preconceived notions that the player no doubt has of him. But the player's introduction to him doesn't seem grand enough.


    Ecce homo.

    JESawyer 23 Oct 11



    Why was Marilyn cut? Since she is featured on the cards and Veronica alludes to her, I'm guessing she was cut rather late in the development process?


    Apparently, there were some errors with her VO that weren't able to be fixed, so she was cut.

    JESawyer 23 Oct 11



    Who did the Boomer mural? It's great.


    Brian Menze.

    JESawyer responded to RileyAchen 23 Oct 11



    Ok, really, what's the deal with some people pronouncing Ceasar's legion "Kaesar" and other people pronouncing it "Seesar" why does this happen, and what's the proper pronounciation?


    Most Legion folk pronounce it using classical Latin pronunciation (kai-zar) because that is how they learned the name from Caesar. Most non-Legion people (and a few ex-Legion people, like Joshua Graham) use the ecclesiastical/Catholic pronunciation.


    JESawyer 23 Oct 11



    How is it that most of the people of the shown Fallout world can pronounce/speak/read English?


    Most of them were raised in communities of English speakers. In the case of vaults, residents certainly had access to education.

    JESawyer 23 Oct 11



    Who wrote the Vikki and Vance story and Primm Slim? Funny stuff.


    Akil Hooper.

    JESawyer responded to SerMcWorst 24 Oct 11



    http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1245470-ashur-and-caesar/ Ashur was a minor character in a DLC. Caesar is one of the major antagonists in Fallout: New Vegas and has tons of opportunities to explains his views. Reflect, Josh, reflect.


    Ashur is an interesting character. The point of Ashur is also much different than the point of Caesar. I don't want to speak on behalf of John Gonzalez (who wrote Caesar), but while you are not necessarily supposed to DISlike Caesar, it was not our intention to make Caesar someone who is easy to like, nor his autocratic rule something that you react to by saying, "Oh, well it's totally justified."

    If a person says, "I don't like Caesar," I wonder if that person doesn't like Caesar as a character or doesn't like Caesar as person. If you don't like Caesar as a person, that's not surprising. He's pretty unlikable for a variety of reasons. He is a domineering tyrant who runs things in a way where he is effectively unchallenged, and it produces a narrow vision in him. No one in the Legion *debates* Caesar, and he has ruled through brutality for so long that it's now just the way things work in Legion territory. Ultimately, Caesar is an educated tyrant living in an echo chamber of his own creation. Despite having a long-term vision for the future, he is quite short-sighted. If you were expecting Caesar to be grey and found him to be black, I'd argue that he's still grey, but he's intentionally a very dark grey. Tamerlane and Charles Taylor also had reasons for doing the things they did, but it doesn't make the things they did any less terrible.

    On a related note, I've written before that I believe the gender roles in the Legion were not effectively communicated in the game. Through Legionaries, it is portrayed as misogyny, which was never the rationale I had in mind for Caesar's motivations. Caesar wanted women to stay out of battle because he wanted to produce as many Legionaries as possible as quickly as possible. It wasn't about the fighting (or other) capabilities of women, but the simple fact that women are the only ones who can bear children, so he wanted them doing that as much as possible. Unfortunately, I don't believe Caesar ever says anything about this directly, so the player is left with the very misogynistic statements of various Legionaries. It's still reprehensible, but for a different reason.

    JESawyer 24 Oct 11



    Is there a reason that all mirrors in the world of Fallout are broken? I know Obisidian didn't make the worldspace object, Bethesda did, but do you know why? ive always been curious


    Because the engine doesn't do real-time reflections in that way.

    JESawyer 25 Oct 11



    Can you explain the Kaiz-arr vs Seezer bit to me? Okay, so say Julius Caesar, is it Kaisar still or is Kaisar reflectant of Caesar as a title and not a name? I've been curious if the name was differently said than the title.


    Using classical Latin pronunciation, the name Gaius Julius Caesar would be pronounced ga-yoos yoo-lee-oos kai-zar.

    It would have been spelled GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR (sometimes with the Æ ligature) as there were no Js or Us in the classical Latin alphabet.

    JESawyer responded to TraderRager 25 Oct 11



    On Caesar- If he is only interested in protecting women from war, why are they not given the same personal freedom as soldiers? It's one thing to not allow them to serve out of preservation, but EVERYTHING points to all Femalegionares being slaves.(cont.)


    Soldiers in Caesar's Legion don't have personal freedom. They "get" to fight and die for Caesar. It's not a volunteer military, though many legionaries are born or raised into it, so they are effectively brainwashed.

    JESawyer responded to TraderRager 25 Oct 11



    (cont.) Even in ancient Rome, women were treated with some respect and had lives of their own. Why are they forced into slave labor in the Legion? Wouldn't it be better for both moral and publicity if they worked out of their own drive?


    Everyone is forced into service under the Legion. Morale among legionaries is good (because most are raised into it) and he doesn't really give a shit about publicity.

    JESawyer 25 Oct 11



    Not the same anon, but re: morale: wouldn't ancient Romans have been "born into it" too? The idea that everyone in the Legion is okay with how things are just because it's all they've ever known doesn't jive with how people function as human beings.


    Ancient Romans were born into a patrician and plebeian society that was far more than a military organization. First, there was a Rome. Second, there were patrician families from which military commanders (not common Roman Legion scrubs) were groomed. But from bottom to top, Roman society revered Rome and Roman virtues.

    I completely disagree with your statement about how people function. Going along with the way things are is *exactly* how most people function as human beings. And the younger people are indoctrinated, the more zealous they will be. You don't need to go that far back to see the power of this.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12th_SS_Panzer_Division_Hitlerjugend
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Guards_(China)

    JESawyer 25 Oct 11



    The history of the red guards directly refutes your point since in the later years they were increasingly autonomous and contradictory towards the CCP and each other.


    Clearly revolution would never happen if *no one* ever changed (and in the case of the Red Guard, it was a movement of one large group against another), but to suggest that people *don't* naturally go along with the way things are as a rule -- that flies in the face of pretty much everything we know about social and personal behavior.

    This goes right down to the basic fundamental reaction (or lack of reaction) you find in individuals when they are paired with another person. Alone, they react to stimulus very quickly and often "do the right thing". Paired with another person, people tend to look to each other and do nothing unless they are urged to do so. And if an authority figure tells them to do something, absolving them of responsibility with the order, they will often follow directions to absurd lengths.

    My Lai went down with very little resistance. Hugh Thompson, Jr. is a hero because HE took it upon himself to intervene against his own side when no one else -- on the ground or otherwise -- would. Most people only get up and do things when they see other people get up and do things. Those people are exceptional. Sometimes they're exceptionally bad, sometimes they're exceptionally good. Most people just go with the flow -- or wait for someone else to lead the charge.


    JESawyer 25 Oct 11



    Just how expendable are troops to the Legion? Roman tactics involved 2 lines of fresh meat, then a third line (Triarii) that would devastate the opponents that have tired themselfs killing the first 2. Does NV's Legion do similar?


    That's exactly what the Recruits, Primes, and Veterans are.

    JESawyer 26 Oct 11



    Reducing women to breeding material is, uh, still misogyny? Not really "another" reason, that. "Women can't go to war; they need to make babies" is something women hear today, and it's plain old sexism. No need for new words. Caesar's still gross/inept :P


    All members of Caesar's society are forced into specific roles. It's kind of bizarre to say that reducing women to breeders (which select legionaries are also forced to participate in, by arrangement) is misogynistic but forcing all able-bodied men to fight or die is... apparently not misandric? It's not like Caesar is giving men (who, again, with the exception of the Blackfoots, were either directly enslaved as children or born to enslaved women, never knowing their fathers) the option to fight or raise ponies.

    JESawyer 26 Oct 11



    A My Lai scenario should've been in NV to counterbalance against the NCR bias. The Ashur decision is a hard one compare to the NCR/Legion. Legion was too abundantly obvious while with NCR you had to really read between the lines.


    Bitter Springs is NCR's massacre, though no one portrays it as being as depraved as My Lai.

    JESawyer 26 Oct 11



    Would you ever consider wearing a tonsure?


    http://diogenes-lamp.info/images/halloweencostume2004.JPG

    JESawyer 26 Oct 11



    ...Except there's nothing in the setting that suggests women are *valued* as mothers in the way the militaristic culture rewards fighting men. They're slaves/property. A few more lines from Caesar doesn't "separate but equal" make.


    How are the fighting men rewarded (other than with more fighting responsibilities)? Don't conflate historical Rome with Caesar's Legion. There are no "Roman triumphs" for legionaries in the latter. I never suggested that they were separate but equal, only that it's a bizarre double-standard to insist on misogyny alone (which is quite different from "simple" sexism against females since it demands a level of hatred) considering that men are being forced (and, in fact, raised solely) to kill and die. If Lucius were to "retire", it would be through his own death.

    Caesar doesn't hate women. He doesn't think they are incapable of doing things other than breeding. He has no problem with employing a female Courier to be his agent in the Mojave. But he does want his female slaves to breed more legionaries (as they are the only ones who CAN do it) and he wants his male slaves to fight. The females who can't breed are manual labor slaves (or killed), just as the males who can't fight are manual labor slaves (or killed).

    JESawyer 26 Oct 11



    Could Caesar really win a war of attrition with the NCR, or is he just deluded by an environment of yes-men into believing they have the numbers for ancient tactics to still work when the enemy is just cutting down your front lines with gunfire?


    Primes, Veterans, and even some Recruits use powerful firearms. Most of the legionaries who use melee weapons are early/weak scrubs. It's true that some Centurions and most Praetorian Guards also use melee/unarmed weapons, but as people who assault those characters in close quarters (where they are often encountered) can probably attest, it's not much of an impediment for them.

    As to whether or not Caesar has the numbers to ultimately win (and hold power) in the long run, that's unknown.

    JESawyer responded to SerMcWorst 26 Oct 11



    Is there any particular reason people seem to be convinced that NCR is just about to implode in New Vegas? There's no evidence of that and honestly, NCR mostly resembles a pre-Wild West years USA and.. it's still not exploded to this day.


    Chief Hanlon strongly suggests that, in addition to the general corruption and incompetence that the player sees himself/herself all over the game, that NCR's government and electorate are terrible. There's also the abandonment of NCR's inflated (fiat) currency in favor of Hub merchant-backed caps in many areas. It's unlikely that a government/society as large as NCR's would quickly "implode", but it could easily be pushed into a inexorable downward spiral (e.g., through hyperinflation of currency).

    JESawyer 26 Oct 11



    no ghouls or supermutants in ceasars legion....explain


    It's hard to brainwash people who have been alive for a hundred+ years. More importantly, non-feral ghouls and SMs are also a tiny fragment of the population. Caesar doesn't really consider them to be that relevant in the overall struggle for the Mojave.

    JESawyer 26 Oct 11



    How many women work as game developers where you work?


    About 10 or so (out of Obsidian's 100+ devs). It's actually a lot higher now than it was when I started in the late 90s (i.e., zero).

    JESawyer 26 Oct 11



    For a tribal, is it better to be apart of Caesar's Legion or to stay in the tribe?


    It depends on the tribe. Clearly the White Legs think being part of the Legion would be awesome compared to slowly falling apart in Utah.

    JESawyer 26 Oct 11



    why arent there more racism roleplaying options in NV.


    It don't think it would really add much to the game.

    JESawyer 26 Oct 11



    Doesn't the whole NCR is incompetent and corrupt aspect get undermined by the epilogues where NCR has the best possible endings (moreso than House and Wild Card) even though the Courier is one person and can only do so much?


    I don't think NCR's endings being "best" is a given. Depending on how you work things out, NCR's can be very good, but so can the Wild Card endings. Some of the best NCR endings involving the player circumventing the plans NCR has for certain factions (e.g. the Kings, Great Khans, BoS, FotA). If you don't set up those endings yourself, the NCR will effectively steamroll all of those groups following (or before) an NCR victory.

    JESawyer 27 Oct 11



    Why do the holograms of dead money use the dragon ball solar flare?


    they're super saiyan

    JESawyer 27 Oct 11



    How can you say there is no sexism when Siri herself says that the men can take advantage of any woman? Even Lanius is implied to be a violent rapist. Seriously.


    "How can you say there is no sexism" I didn't. Sexism is different than misogyny and misandry, and Caesar is (quite clearly) different from ordinary legionaries.

    JESawyer 28 Oct 11



    Looking at Wikipedia, very few games have sold 5 million copies - yet we often hear that the sequel to game X will be more "accessible" because the original only sold 3.5 million etc. Is it really realistic to sell 5 million copies of every single game?


    No, it's an absurd expectation.

    JESawyer 28 Oct 11



    But Caesar specifically constructed the Legion society, so it's hard to believe a guy who recognizes women can be as capable, or moreso, than men would ensure that no capable women could be of any use to his Legion beyond acting as semen recepticles.


    You know what men are not as capable of doing as women? Giving birth to children. I think it is really bizarre that so many people think that creating new legionaries is a lowly thing and fighting/dying is noble and awesome. Women aren't celebrated for creating more legionaries as women were celebrated in Nazi Germany...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_of_Honor_of_the_German_Mother

    ... but there's also very little to suggest that Caesar celebrates individual legionaries beyond promoting them to higher ranks. Caesar's Legion is not the Roman Republic (nor the Roman Empire); it's a roving army comprised primarily of reconditioned slaves or children born to slaves. Non-Legion people live in areas controlled by the Legion, but those folks aren't *part* of the Legion (e.g. Dale Barton).

    JESawyer 28 Oct 11



    ...So is life in Legion-controlled lands any better for women? You seem to keep moving the goalposts.


    I'm not moving the "goalposts" at all. It is interesting to watch people try to squirm intention out of Caesar that he certainly never explicitly states, nor even suggests.

    How is life for non-slave women in Legion-controlled territories? It's never shown in the game. It's one of the things I would have liked to explore more in Legion areas outside of the Fort. Certainly characters like Dale Barton indicate that there is life outside of the Legion itself even in territories they control.

    JESawyer 28 Oct 11



    One token Nazi medal for pure aryan mothers hardly balances the the vast, VAST majority of male-dominated civilizations throughout history that have treated women as sub-human or property. Men in the Legion have power, women don't have any.


    Why are people so obsessed with the "balance" between the different gendered roles under the Legion? I've never said it's balanced. But there is very clearly a trend among people questioning the Legion to project the concept of military service as a noble endeavor (for which one is rewarded, no less) onto legionnaires when it's never presented in that way. They are slave soldiers. Service is not voluntary, they can't retire, there are no parades and pats on the back for them. They aren't Roman patrician officers who are going to retire to a Tuscan estate when they turn 50.

    The only power that male legionaries have is to serve Caesar well enough to be promoted to a position of more responsibility. Nothing really comes with that additional responsibility other than increased scrutiny and better equipment (to match the increased danger).

    Most of my commentary on this topic has been to highlight the following:

    * Caesar's Legion is subdivided (by Caesar) based on gendered/sexed roles. These subdivisions are sexist (inherently), but they are neither misogynistic nor misandric.
    * Legionaries under Caesar are not like Roman patrician officers. They are not part of a larger society that celebrates and rewards military service with things like conference of honorific titles, triumphs, etc. All legionaries are slave soldiers, period.
    * The opinions of individual legionaries are not the opinions of Caesar. These individuals may make misogynistic comments, but those comments did not originate with Caesar, nor is there any reason to believe that he shares them, given his willingness to employ a female courier.

    If you want to weigh the individual horror of rape and forced child-bearing against forced military service for life, knock yourself out. It's two terrible ways to go through life.

    JESawyer 28 Oct 11



    Was it planned to have more Legion territory in the game, but it had to be cut, or was it never intended to show much of the Legion? It seems like the area East of the Colorado river is really underused, and the Legion really only has 2 or 3 major areas.


    Yes. There were three additional Legion locations planned on the east side of the Colorado River.

    JESawyer 28 Oct 11



    Sawyer, it's not that childbirth is lowly, it's that being *raped* against your will and forced to carry children is hardly good times. + a pacifist stance doesn't translate well into a setting for a FPS where every level brings shiny new killing methods.


    I never said it's "good times". What I object to is elevating slave legionaries to the level of (patrician) Roman legionaries in an effort to emphasize how women alone have it bad and men are living the high life. They both have crappy lives, neither have a choice in the matter, and I'm not particularly interested in weighing the depths of misery by sex.

    JESawyer 29 Oct 11



    Why use Caesar's Legion to represent the worst of of Roman society? It all feels like a loose facade for an asshole to be an asshole.


    You may be on to something.

    JESawyer 29 Oct 11



    Would you make a Caesar's Legion DLC if given a chance, now that it's clear you didn't manage to show it properly in the main game?


    It would be tricky to do it as DLC, since it would potentially be asking people to pay for content that they're not interested in exploring other than as a battleground.

    I do wish we had time for the three additional Legion locations, though.

    JESawyer 29 Oct 11



    For the planned Legion territories, why were they cut from the main game?


    Time. Re-scoping the size of worldspaces can be very problematic, so we developed areas essentially in a loose radial pattern, working out from Novac (the first area we developed). Because the Legion camps were on the other side of the Colorado River, they were scheduled for late development because the natural barrier presented by the river meant that cutting off access would be relatively easy. Unfortunately, that's what we wound up doing.

    JESawyer 29 Oct 11



    Given what you've shared on CL doesn't that imply that the Legion may very well implode on itself if the troops have nothing to look forward to other then ultimately death for Caesar?


    Many players have suggested that Caesar's Legion does not have long-term prospects based on a variety of factors.

    JESawyer 31 Oct 11



    Is it typical/advantageous to begin world-building from a different location then where the player begins the game? I guess I presumed you would have started from Goodsprings and built along the critical path first.


    Yes, because you are most likely to make errors in the first area you build. Also, it's likely that your game mechanics are still in a bit of flux. You don't want to build tutorials that you are going to have to scrap.

    I always try to push to build a mid-game area first, saving the opening area for the middle of development.

    JESawyer 31 Oct 11



    What's your first Skyrim character going to be?


    Probably some creepy Breton with archery, alchemy, and sneak. That's what I played in Oblivion and it worked out well.

    JESawyer 31 Oct 11



    You really don't understand why people think women get the worst lot in the Legion? At least the men have some degree of dignity and power, the women are nothing more than mobile orifices whose minds are of no value.


    No, I didn't say that. In fact, I denied stating that gender roles are balanced only about 9 questions ago.

    JESawyer 31 Oct 11



    So your going to be a cracker in Skyrim?


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdSYhwLENvM


    JESawyer responded to AlmightyHiggey 31 Oct 11



    Ever raged at a game?


    I used to get ultra-ragey, but not so much anymore. Even Dark Souls doesn't get me that mad. The game that made me angrier than any other game was Tribes 2. It made me so mad once that I thought I was going to black out.

    JESawyer 1 Nov 11



    Why is Three Marys so full of garbage? The White Legs didn't haul all kinds of pre-war junk they're clueless about (electronic doodads, coffee makers, microscopes,) from SLC, did they?


    They both haul around junk and litter with the stuff they go through.

    JESawyer 1 Nov 11



    I haven't played Lonesome Road but is there an explanation behind all those "JOIN THE JUSTICE BLOC!" and Humanity Bloc posters scattered around in the loading screens?


    Vault 11.

    JESawyer 2 Nov 11



    why there is no difference at most of the dlc weapons between the modded and unmodded versions? holo-rifle, LAER, k-9000, etc


    There is a pretty significant difference between the plain and modded/unique versions of all of those weapons. Specifically, the Holorifle and K9000 become extremely powerful with one upgrade, each.

    JESawyer 2 Nov 11



    How much research on LDS traditions/teachings/ect did you do for HH?


    I did less research on the LDS and more research on texts like the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price, since individual books were more likely to endure than the larger LDS culture. I also spoke with a few Mormons (currently practicing and ex-) I know about the characters and general content involved to get their feedback.

    JESawyer 2 Nov 11


    Hey Josh, why does Graham have a band on his arm? Is it a religious signifigance or is it something for his gun arm? Or is it purely decor?


    It's a sleeve garter. They were pretty common in 19th century America. We see them today mostly in Western movies on characters like barkeeps, dealers, or surgeons. They're used to hold the sleeves up while doing work.

    On Joshua Graham, he has his on his strong/firing hand to ensure the sleeve doesn't distract him.


    JESawyer responded to DAMacMahon 2 Nov 11



    If you could reboot any RPG series you did NOT work on, which would it be?


    d
    a
    r
    k
    l
    a
    n
    d
    s

    --,---'--@

    http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/darklands?pp=cb4e5208b4cd87268b208e49452ed6e89a68e0b8

    JESawyer 3 Nov 11



    Darklands is fun and all, but you need to make a Shadowrun game.


    Computers have not yet been invented that can simulate that many d6s.

    JESawyer 4 Nov 11



    According to Feargus Urquheart, your RPGs are to the gaming industry what "Transformers" is to the film industry. I guess we can forget any kind of depth or complexity from your future games huh?


    Tune in next week for another episode of Feargus Said A Thing.

    JESawyer 6 Nov 11



    Do you like Thief the game?


    Yes it is a good game.

    JESawyer responded to DAMacMahon 6 Nov 11



    Why do developers use the same FOV for console and PC versions when they have to know a larger FOV is best for the PC? I can't imagine it is a time/budget issue, since usually a mod or tweak can change it in 5 seconds.


    A 70 degree FoV is pretty wide. If you shoot the FoV up to 80 or 90 in F:NV it's even more fish-eyed.

    JESawyer 6 Nov 11



    asdf


    agreed

    JESawyer 6 Nov 11



    Feargus said tim cain died


    feargus lied tim cain died

    JESawyer 6 Nov 11



    why is benny's suite so damn grody


    he's a grosso

    JESawyer 6 Nov 11



    Why does .45-70 SWC cause such a severe degradation penalty?


    It's a very hot hand load. Normal .45-70 Gov't loads are pretty mild, but the case can hold a lot of powder.

    JESawyer 7 Nov 11



    You gonna try out that new free to play Tribes thing?


    Probably.

    JESawyer 7 Nov 11



    Why do some people who ride bikes always have one pant leg rolled up when riding, like some sort of minority gang member from the mid-late '90s?


    Because if you don't have a chain guard, your drive-side pant leg can get caught in the chain.

    JESawyer responded to J05HDA 8 Nov 11



    Is this the first time you've attempted to do this 'write a novel in a month' thing?


    No. I never get very far, mostly because I'm only really interested in writing historical fiction. That's a bad genre to "just write".

    JESawyer 8 Nov 11



    Why wouldn't you have a chain guard?


    They're ugly as heck and make chain/rear wheel maintenance a little more difficult.

    JESawyer responded to DAMacMahon 8 Nov 11



    You really think an FOV of 70 is okay for a PC monitor you sit a couple feet from? I'm not going to go rabid PC angry man on you, but I do disagree completely. Why were old PC exclusives usually made with higher FOV then?


    Probably because a lot of those older games were competitive FPSs where you never saw your character and (typically) were fighting at short distances, making lateral awareness very important. Widening the FoV also extends apparent distance, making it more difficult to clearly see things on the horizon.

    JESawyer 8 Nov 11



    get a tape


    what


    JESawyer 8 Nov 11



    Hello J.E. Both Icewind Dale and F:NV have brought me grate joy... but right now i feel depressed, could you give any tips to get out of love related depressions?


    I've never been good at it, myself.

    JESawyer 8 Nov 11


    you should shave


    no u


    JESawyer 8 Nov 11



    It seems from leftover content that the Varmint rifle was originally intended to use .22 ammo (which makes more sense), but then switched over to 5.56. Do you know/remember why?


    The .22LR variant did such pathetic damage that no one wanted to use it.

    .223 Rem. is a popular varmint caliber. Making the Varmint Rifle use 5.56mm/.223 was mostly for convenience.

    JESawyer 8 Nov 11



    so bro what do you thin of mw3


    http://i.imgur.com/0hxG7.gif

    JESawyer 9 Nov 11



    Was that .gif image your cats?


    it's me

    JESawyer 9 Nov 11



    What video is that cat .gif from?


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bETCusT5kNM


    JESawyer 9 Nov 11



    Concerning things like Grunt weapons in GRA, is there a reason why you couldn't patch new lists and stuff into the base game, so that both DLCs could access it?


    Load order conflicts between the various .esms. Even in my personal mod, I have to use a third-party manager to prevent run-time hangs.

    JESawyer 9 Nov 11



    In one of the Gamestop preview vids, I saw what looked to be an anti-material rifle with a computer screen on top. What the hell was that?


    It was probably the Grenade Machine Gun.

    JESawyer 9 Nov 11



    So Josh, about that mod you promised you'd release.. We're still waiting for it. :mad:


    cool

    JESawyer 9 Nov 11



    Is Obsidian going to talk about anything besides Tim Cain's contractorship and St. Vincent soon?


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADBKdSCbmiM&ob=av2n


    JESawyer 10 Nov 11


    Do you have anything to do with the production of skyrim?


    Nope.


    JESawyer 10 Nov 11



    If I was an eccentric hedge fund manager would i be able to commission Obsidian for a Zybourne Clock game.


    imagine five european economies at the edge of a cliff

    JESawyer 11 Nov 11



    Does it bother you that a large portion of the ignorant herds only recognize you as one of the dudes responsible for Fallout stuff (FNV, VB) and either don't care about/don't recognize your accomplishments on other projects?


    No.

    JESawyer 12 Nov 11


    hey josh, do you already walked on the streets and someone recognizes you about your job?


    Never.


    JESawyer 12 Nov 11



    Do you work at Saturday or sunday?


    Not lately, but sometimes.

    JESawyer 12 Nov 11



    Ever considered supporting your local debate team? If you have time you should give judging a try.


    I was a high school forensics judge in college.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forensics_(public_speaking)#High_School

    JESawyer 13 Nov 11



    Really? Wow what events did you do? I tend to stick with LD and USX myself.


    When I was in high school, I did "Solo Serious" (what is now called Dramatic Interpretation/DI). As a judge, I judged DI, Humorous Interpretation, Prose Reading, and Poetry Reading.

    JESawyer 15 Nov 11



    What do you think of Skyrim so far? Also, Black Donald looks a lot uglier than I thought he'd be.


    It's been fun so far. Black Donald is intentionally made to be very creepugly.

    JESawyer responded to DAMacMahon 16 Nov 11



    Not a question: Okay, so because of your FOV answers I started playing Skyrim on the default setting. It felt really cramped for a long time but eventually I got used to it. Then I changed it to 90 and found it really fish-eyed and distant. So you win.


    ^________________^

    JESawyer 16 Nov 11



    What do you think of dopplegangers? Would you ever consider them valid in a Fallout game, or in media in general?


    They're cool.

    JESawyer responded to Formspring 16 Nov 11



    How many hours do you sleep each night?


    5 to 6.

    JESawyer 17 Nov 11



    So what would you do if your favorite fictional character were drawn having sex with another character of the same sex despite them being heterosexual?


    Par for the course.

    JESawyer responded to Evanwastaken 17 Nov 11



    were native americans annihilated in FO's divergent timeline?


    Not explicitly, no. There are a lot of NA tribes scattered all over the country -- and plenty individuals who are ethnically NA but do not live in NA communities -- so a fair number (percentage-wise) probably lived through the war in various ways.

    JESawyer 17 Nov 11



    were you in color guard in highschool?


    No.

    JESawyer 19 Nov 11



    How much do people at your company pirate?


    As far as I can tell, very little.

    JESawyer 19 Nov 11



    Why do developers explain simplified mechanics with "evolving tastes" instead of "mass appeal"?


    why do people keep asking me to theorize about the motivations behind things that i don't do

    JESawyer 19 Nov 11



    Do you believe it's true that in the past 5 years gamer's tastes have evolved so that they only like grimdark action games?


    No.

    JESawyer 19 Nov 11



    Were the engine capable of supporting it, would have implemented things like shotgun-rifles (over/under) or attachable grenade launchers? Or would that make the game lean too much on the FPS scale and less on the RPG side?


    I wouldn't have been opposed to it, no. I also don't think I would have pursued it that aggressively.

    JESawyer responded to Formspring 19 Nov 11



    What celebrity do you look like?


    Every while male with short, dark hair. We are all actually the same person.

    JESawyer 19 Nov 11


    why do you sleep only 5 or 6 hours? Because of your work? or you can't sleep more than that?


    That's just when I wake up. Even when I "sleep" more than six hours, I'm awake and just lounging around in bed.


    JESawyer 19 Nov 11



    Do you think Daggerfall fans like me would enjoy Skyrim? Seems most people pay attention to Morrowind fans even though that marked the mainstream catapault of the series.


    I always thought it was Oblivion that really sold huge for Bethesda (not that Morrowind didn't sell well, but I didn't think it was a "blockbuster"). I also enjoyed Daggerfall, but that was a very long time ago. I think that Skyrim has a lot of improvements over Oblivion, if that helps.

    JESawyer 19 Nov 11



    Do you have a preference among the consoles for development? I mean I know we're supposed to be PC elitists, but did you favor one over the other?


    It really depends on the engine technology and the goals of the project. PC is, by far, the easiest to develop on from a purely technical/pipeline standpoint.

    JESawyer 19 Nov 11



    Where did Black Donald come from?


    A dark place.

    JESawyer responded to SerMcWorst 20 Nov 11



    You are the first one I hear saying that PC is the easiest, most developers seem to consider it a headache.


    To develop ON, it's very easy. Releasing games on PC produces headaches in the form of hardware problems/conflicts.

    JESawyer 20 Nov 11



    We hear about publishers not wanting to spend on risky projects, but I see lots of niche games with good production values coming out (mostly from Europe). How do these developers get funding?


    I am guessing that a good portion of those developers are either funded by European publishers or by European branches of American or Japanese publishers. It's a generalization, but American publishers tend to be the most risk-averse. That also applies to American branches of European and Japanese publishers.

    On another note, at a mid-sized developer (like Obsidian), it can be difficult to work out the logistics of having a small (8-20 developer) team working among multiple teams of 45-70.

    JESawyer 20 Nov 11



    What doesn't your company make a smaller, niche-type RPG with a lower budget?


    That's more of a question for Feargus, but we do talk to publishers about doing smaller scale games.

    JESawyer 20 Nov 11



    Is it harder to design interesting quests when the player has access to convenience features like quest compass and step-by-step quest objectives?


    For certain types of quests, yes. Those quest types would typically be "Where is thing x?" That said, I think it's really only compelling if the point is that the player has to figure something out. In a lot of those quests, "Go talk to Bob in the market," is not a puzzle; it's just a step in a sequence.

    Personally, I do enjoy how Assassin's Creed 2 handles those sorts of objectives. The game points the player toward either a radius or a shaped volume. The player knows when he or she is inside the volume, but he or she still has to search for the objective within that volume.

    JESawyer 20 Nov 11



    Have you talked to a doctor about the sleep thing?


    No, because it's never been a problem.

    JESawyer 22 Nov 11



    Josh, what do you think about the idea of introducing another inventory\containers dimension in RPG games - physical space? Applied to player as well, of course. So PC can take more ammo, but not many guns and unable to put 20 armor suits in a small box.


    That's essentially what grid space systems like Resident Evil use. It can lead to "inventory tetris", but that could be avoided by simply using a "size" stat in addition to weight.

    I don't know if it's necessarily better or worse. In a more simulation-oriented game, physical space and weight could be interesting to track.

    JESawyer 22 Nov 11


    Question from one of lesser knowledge... Is there a save game size that you would call "normal" for F:NV? Mine is 14mb, and i'm having intense lag in multiple sections of the Mojave/ all DLC lands. Just curious if that is/could be an issue!


    That can easily be a big problem, especially if you're on the PS3. The longer you play a character, the more bit differences on objects (characters, pencils on tables, containers, etc.) get saved off and carried around in memory. I think we've seen save games that are pushing 19 megs, which can be really crippling in some areas.


    JESawyer 22 Nov 11



    If it's an issue why hasn't it been resolved.The pace at whivh game sellers basically dish an alpha or beta game to the marketplace is sickening. New V stopped being "beta" in mid-2011. I know as a dev my workplace wasn't AAA dishing but we had integrity.


    Since you're a developer, you should understand the implication of what I wrote. It's an engine-level issue with how the save game data is stored off as bit flag differences compared to the placed instances in the main .esm + DLC .esms. As the game modifies any placed instance of an object, those changes are stored off into what is essentially another .esm. When you load the save game, you're loading all of those differences into resident memory.

    It's not like someone wrote a function and put a decimal point in the wrong place or declared something as a float when it should have been an int. We're talking about how the engine fundamentally saves off and references data at run time. Restructuring how that works would require a large time commitment. Obsidian also only had that engine for a total of 18 months prior to F:NV being released, which is a relatively short time to understand all of the details of how the technology works.

    JESawyer 22 Nov 11



    Hey Josh, different user, but same kind of 'lesser knowledge' bloke. What's a bit difference and how does it determine a save file?


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bit_field

    It's a compact way to store data. The bit differences in this case are just flags set up to mark what data has changed (i.e., are different) from what's in the core .esm.

    Let's say that I, as a designer, set up a creature in an area. I set all of the character's statistics and gear and save it in the master FalloutNV.esm file that gets loaded into the game. You, the player, run through the area and shoot that dude. You loot him of his gear and put a shovel in his inventory because you are wacky.

    The game needs a way to mark that his a) position b) health c) inventory d) some other stuff has changed on him. It does that by marking what fields have changed (by setting individual bits) and then indexing the individual (changed) values for reference later.

    When you load the save game, it loads up all of the bit fields marking changes in your save game. When the individual objects load, it applies the indexed changes to those objects. That way, when you come back to the area you left two nights ago, the character is still sprawled out where you left him, naked, with a shovel in his inventory.

    Individual bits of data are tiny, but there are thousands upon thousands of objects in F:NV, each one containing numerous data fields that could potentially be changed in your save game. Over time, it adds up.

    JESawyer 22 Nov 11



    Is the inflating save file just an issue for the PS3 (I've seen lots of lag/crash complaints from PS3 users) or does it happen on all platforms? I'm just wondering if other platforms handle it better than the PS3.


    As with Fallout 3 and Skyrim, the problems are most pronounced on the PS3 because the PS3 has a divided memory pool.

    JESawyer 22 Nov 11



    (Same fellow you just answered) So....basically, every time I manipulate an object, it fluctuates the save file up or down? I've noticed files can get rather huge, is there no way this could have been greatly diminished in a game as big as New Vegas?


    It almost always goes up. Some areas will reset contents after three (game) days, but a lot of stuff lingers. Additionally, we also have to deal with "persistent references". These are objects that are immediately loaded with the game because we need to be able to reference them anywhere/everywhere in the world -- even if the player is nowhere near the object. Characters are the most common example. All of the companions need to be able to move around the world even when they are not in your current area, so they are all persistent references.

    All object data (excluding art assets like .nifs and audio assets [VO]) for persistent references is loaded at all times, so that's more-or-less a permanent chunk of resident memory. The number of persistent references invariably goes up with each DLC, so as the number of DLCs increases, the system has less and less memory available. Of course, the player's save game file only gets bigger and bigger, since he or she is going through more or more areas manipulating an increasingly large number of objects.

    This is why some of our later patches actually removed content from the core game (e.g. Primm). Even though we had balanced the memory footprint for the core game, DLC content was pushing down the available resources.

    JESawyer 22 Nov 11



    "divided memory pool"?


    The Xbox 360 has a unified memory pool: 512 megs of RAM usable as system memory or graphics memory. The PS3 has a divided memory pool: 256 megs for system, 256 for graphics. It's the same total amount of memory, but not as flexible for a developer to make use of.

    JESawyer 22 Nov 11



    What should I know about fallout 1 before I play it. Like what's the most fun way to approach it in your opinion


    Don't tag Big Guns or Energy Weapons at the beginning of the game. Otherwise, go buck wild. It's one of my all-time favorites.

    JESawyer 23 Nov 11



    But why did the patch remove content from the PC? Most PCs nowadays have 2-4GB of RAM, plus 500MB-1GB of GPU memory. So I doubt the DLCs negatively impacted most PCs to justify content removal...


    If we had generated .esms per-platform, that would have been a crazy nightmare for a lot of reasons. A slightly less risky approach could have been to script the removal of assets using the IsPC/IsXbox/IsPS3 functions, but that also introduces its own host of potential problems, especially if objects are attempting to reference something as the script removes it.

    We ran into a small but non-trivial number of crashes in F:NV involving persistent references attempting to interact with an object as the player transitions out of his or her current area. E.g. Chief Hanlon attempts to sit in a chair. The player leaves the area, the chair Hanlon wants to sit in is unloaded, and the game crashes.

    JESawyer 24 Nov 11



    Hypothetically, if I were to play through FNV without opening any non-necessary containers (e.g. never opening an ammo case) or touching any non-necessary objects (e.g. never moving a pencil) would the game be more stable?


    By some margin, yes, but randomized loot I believe is generated on the area's first load, which also applies to the equipment in many characters' (e.g. Fiends') inventories.

    JESawyer 24 Nov 11



    I didn't know content was removed. Exactly what was removed with the patch in Primm?


    Some convicts from the exterior and various props, I think.

    JESawyer 24 Nov 11



    Who wrote the dialogue for the Courier?


    Courier dialogue is written by whatever designer writes a specific NPC. We have style guides to try to maintain a consistent tone for Courier/PC responses.

    JESawyer 24 Nov 11



    Thanks for all the technical explanation, I've always been curious about that particular engine quirk. No question, just thanks.


    np

    JESawyer 24 Nov 11



    do you drink coffee?


    No. I really dislike the taste of coffee.

    JESawyer 24 Nov 11



    Do you bike to work?


    Yes, usually 2 or 3 times a week.

    JESawyer 24 Nov 11



    Do you ever worry that the higher-ups at your work might read your Forumspring and take issue with your views on the way the gaming biz works?


    No.

    JESawyer 24 Nov 11



    Wasn't there some other way to deal with potential GRA issues without slamming the <GRA> tag on everything? I think that this was a very poor design decision as it breaks the 4th wall in an unpleasant way - detracting from my "role-playing" experience.


    If there were, I would have done it.

    JESawyer 24 Nov 11



    how much time do you spend in a travel bike from your home to obsidian? don't you have car?


    It takes me about 45 minutes to ride to work. I have three bicycles, a motorcycle, and a car.

    JESawyer 25 Nov 11



    How is Green Bay staying afloat with such a bad defense and rushing game?


    I don't know man, but they need to clean that up.

    JESawyer 25 Nov 11



    What kind of bike of do you use for commuting?


    A 2008 Masi Speciale Commuter. It started as a single-speed but I've put a three-speed Sturmey-Archer hub on it.

    http://velospace.org/node/38178

    JESawyer 25 Nov 11



    What kind of motorcycle and what kind of car? I'm imagining you and Avellone in aviator glasses and leather jackets, riding side by side on your Harley-Davidson's.


    I ride a heavily-modified 2006 Triumph Bonneville T-100.

    http://diogenes-lamp.info/images/utah_trip/utah_trip073.jpg

    I drive a 2004 Volkswagen R32. It's mostly stock, except for the suspension (Koni coilovers and Neuspeed sway bars).

    http://diogenes-lamp.info/images/r32/r32_yay.jpg

    JESawyer 25 Nov 11



    Could we please see this Courier style guide? If it's not possible, could you give us an example of a style rule, at least?


    Our writing style guides are pretty long (and to be honest, we can't enforce them 100% of the time), but here are a few:

    * Put more detail and specificity into skill-, stat-, and perk-unlocked dialogue options than general dialogue options.
    * Always place "goodbye" reply options at the bottom of the list.
    * Once a vendor's store is "unlocked", always place the store option near the top of the initial return greeting.
    * Don't give the player "fake" reply options that lead to the same outcome as others.
    * If an NPC continues his or her nodes in a long sequence, the player should be given the option to back out after three nodes.

    There are many more, but those are some of the ones I remember. We've been following variants of these rules since the late 90s, so a lot of them are just habit now.


    JESawyer 25 Nov 11



    Oh, so this is more of a general dialogue style guide. I was expecting stuff like "do not reference Courier's past life" or "do not use jargon unless it's specifically called for" or "do not have more than one pop culture reference per dialogue tree".


    There are things like that too. Like I wrote, it's a fairly lengthy document.

    Pop culture references were essentially forbidden unless they were part of Wild Wasteland content.

    JESawyer 25 Nov 11



    Um, do you have the fenders installed on your Masi (like in the photo you linked)? :-/


    Yes.

    JESawyer 26 Nov 11



    So when the courier implies that he had a kid in Montana during dialogue with the lonesome drifter - did someone violate the style guide?


    No. The player doesn't have to select that dialogue option, and even if he or she did, that sort of response may or not be a sincere question coming from the Courier.

    JESawyer 26 Nov 11



    What did Ulysses mean by mentioning that the package that the Courier delivered to the Divide might have reminded him of something?


    You'd have to ask Chris Avellone.

    JESawyer 27 Nov 11



    You said you had a style guide for the Courier/PC tone responses. Does this mean you basically had a vague "personality" written down for the Courier to govern his typical responses? If so, what was the personality you guys aimed for?


    It was actually the opposite. Unless a response was intended to have a very specific "'tude" (e.g. provoking a fight), writers were supposed to divorce personality from the general query. My reasoning was that if you just want to ask a straightforward question, having the designer load the line with some sass can irritate the player.

    In the DLCs, the writers (including I) put more personality/flavor in even the "normal" player responses because some players reacted negatively to how neutral the core game responses were.

    JESawyer 27 Nov 11



    Do you ever take a look at Fallout Forums


    Yes, but not so much anymore.

    JESawyer 27 Nov 11



    What about implications of certain dialogue options? For instance, when you talk to Joshua, you can ask him about the tribals: (I'll paraphrase) "Why don't they speak... like us?) Implying the Courier doesn't even know what to call English.


    That line was worded in that way to avoid a moment where a FIGS (French/Italian/German/Spanish) player could be confronted with a line that didn't make any sense or was jarring.

    E.g. "Warum sprechen sie Englisch nicht?" is odd because the line isn't in English and draws attention to the fact that it's a translation. "Warum sprechen sie Deutsch nicht?" is even more odd because a) it draws attention to characters in post-apocalyptic America speaking German and b) the Dead Horses actually DO speak some German.


    JESawyer 27 Nov 11



    Whoa your new avatar looks a lot worse than before.


    B)

    JESawyer 27 Nov 11



    There's something that's been nagging me about Honest Hearts; how much does Daniel actually know about the Sorrows' belief system? He's surprised to hear how the Sorrows have interpreted his teachings, and he considers Zion to be just a piece of land.


    He thinks he knows a great deal, but as is common in cross-cultural interactions, he knows less than he thinks he does.

    I was inspired by the early, rapid spread of Catholicism through Europe. The conversion of communities was far from complete. People maintained or re-purposed folk beliefs alongside their understanding of what Catholicism was.

    Even when you understand the words someone is saying, it's often hard to correctly interpret what he or she is trying to communicate.

    JESawyer 27 Nov 11



    Hey, Josh! a) <3 b) Verneinung im Deutschen normalerweise *vor* dem, was verneint wird: nicht Deutsch, nicht Englisch, nichts essen, kein Audi...


    Ja, stimmt. Ich vergaß. Tut mir leid.

    JESawyer 27 Nov 11



    To what extent should a game's thematics factor into things like control scheme/mechanics/etc, compared to factors like fun and accessibility? I know that they're not necessarily antagonistic.


    I think it's important to always keep the themes of the game in mind. Wherever you can reinforce themes, it helps make the game feel more cohesive. Then again, I don't think the themes should be forced in at all costs.

    JESawyer 28 Nov 11



    What's more important in video game narratives: Closure so that players can walk away satisfied or context so that the players can puzzle it out themselves?


    I think the player should feel satisfaction, but I don't think they should be completely satisfied. There should still be something to wrestle with even after the credits roll.

    Some people have asked why it's so difficult to get entirely satisfactory ending slides in F:NV. That's why.

    JESawyer 28 Nov 11



    You should shave.


    cool

    JESawyer 28 Nov 11



    Are you tired of most of the questions being about Fallout? Be honest! :P


    No, that's fine.


    JESawyer 28 Nov 11


    I don't get why Fallout games need a set antagonist at all. In 3 it was the Enclave. In NV it was Benny, Why not let the player make their own emenies?


    An antagonist is not necessarily the *enemy* of the protagonist. In the case of F:NV, the player need not deal with Benny as an enemy, though he is the initial force working against the Courier and continues to treat the Courier as an enemy. Players can pursue Benny and leave him with Caesar if they want to.

    Players making their own enemies is effectively what they do post-Benny.


    JESawyer 28 Nov 11



    Did you try Star Wars: TOR, and what's you general opinion on ye olden KotOR games?


    Most MMOs don't interest me and I'm not really into the Star Wars universe.

    JESawyer 28 Nov 11


    What systems (current and legacy) do you own?


    I sold my original Xbox, PS2, and PS, so now I just have a PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and DS.


    JESawyer responded to FronzKofko 29 Nov 11



    What work did you do on Alpha Protocol?


    I designed the hand-to-hand combat mechanics.

    JESawyer 29 Nov 11


    I've noticed while "tcl'ing" around in exterior worldspaces in Oblivion, Fallout 3 and NV that there is another layer of landscape under the one you walk on. Do you know why?


    That is the LoD (level of detail) terrain. For a given worldspace, all LoD terrain is always loaded. It has a lower mesh density and texture resolution than the terrain that is loaded in your current cells.


    JESawyer 30 Nov 11



    I stole your zion park desktop. Thanks


    np

    JESawyer 30 Nov 11



    What do you do nowadays? Job-wise, of course. :)


    I'm still a project director at Obsidian.

    JESawyer 30 Nov 11



    Eric Fenstermaker rules, you drool.


    o
    i
    c

    JESawyer responded to whitneymatheson 30 Nov 11



    Which celebrity do you most resemble?

    Check out USA TODAY's Pop Candy blog


    All white males with short, dark hair. I am simultaneously Adam Sandler, Jason Biggs, Matthew Fox, Commander Shepard from Mass Effect -- you name it.

    JESawyer 30 Nov 11


    It looks like Bethesda caught up with you guys in writing with Skyrim


    cool


    JESawyer 1 Dec 11


    So why go back on your decision to not include Tommy Guns? Is it just because it's ~dlc~? IIRC You didn't want them in the core game because they were kinda campy and obvious


    Having the Vegas families with Thompsons was the overly obvious thing. It also didn't fit into the progression I planned for the core game. The DLC weapons were mostly niche weapons that complemented what was in the core game. The .45 pistol and SMG were able to slot in reasonably well.


    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    You talk about weapon tiers and variety in NV a lot, but I have to wonder if all that effort that went into balancing didn't go to waste. Imo, 4 or 5 huge leaps in gear is much more satisfying than a steady progression through more tiers. Thoughts?


    There are only five weapon tiers soooOoOOoooOo

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    Yeah but the tiers aren't really that differentiated. Sure, I probably couldn't beat the endgame easily with a .357 or a 9mm, But I could with a .44 or a 5.56.


    A lot of players are... not very good. "Bad" you might say. They need the statistical bump of higher tier weapons. For good players, it eventually becomes overkill.

    JESawyer responded to Formspring 1 Dec 11



    Would you rather see a beautiful sunrise or sunset?


    http://youtu.be/nLLEBAQLZ3Q


    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    south park? god damn it josh


    hey

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    Do you have any involvement in Obsidian's upcoming South Park RPG? Are you a fan of the show?


    sup

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    Why a South Park game, and not My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? WHY?!


    oh

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    Patrolling Gameinformer almost makes you wish for a nuclear winter.


    hey

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    Are you involved in the South Park RPG that was announced today? I'm actually really excited about it.


    cool

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    So, are you working on this South Park project? Or do you have something else hidden away from the public?


    hmm

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11


    South Park RPG.... Really?


    oic


    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    South Park? Can you confirm that Obsidian is working on South Park? As in the same studio that has produced some of the most well written and executed RPGs I have ever played? ...I think I am going to be sick.


    hrm

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    Who is head of South Park RPG?


    ff

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    From making Fallout, to making a South Park game. What in the world happened, Obsidian?


    yase

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    A South Park game? What the hell are you guys doing? I'm not going to see any of that 'good dialogue and writing' that made you guys famous, am I?


    indeed

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    SOUTH PARK Is The Word


    k

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    How many South Park related questions have you been asked thus far?


    hmm

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    ...South Park RPG? :|


    yes yes

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    Are you involved in the South Park game?


    uh

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    This week on Fearghus said a thing: Is South Park the license that Fearghus said no developer could turn down?


    ferg

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11


    Are you doing any work on the South Park RPG?


    @_@


    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    Are you involved in the South Park RPG? Say yes cause that would own


    hey

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    So doing anything involved with South-Park? Like an RPG?


    urgh

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    What is your role in the development of the "South Park" RPG?


    q_Q

    JESawyer responded to ohyesitsthecopz 1 Dec 11



    are you working on or going to be working on the new South Park game?


    hmm

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    Do you have anything to do with the South Park RPG?


    oh

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN, BRO.


    -__-

    JESawyer 1 Dec 11



    What's more annoying, NDAs or incessant questions you can't answer?


    I know this probably won't make any difference, but I'm not working on the SP project


    JESawyer 2 Dec 11



    I use to be a designer like you, until I took an arrow to the knee.


    lol

    JESawyer 2 Dec 11



    do you have sex with girls?


    Just one...

    ... that I know of! Hehe am I right

    *straightens imaginary tie*
    *spills imaginary whiskey*

    JESawyer 2 Dec 11


    i love you fhqwhgadshgnsdhjsdbkhsdabkfabkveybvf


    oh thx


    JESawyer 2 Dec 11



    Who are you and why are you being posted about on reddit? seriously, I don't know...


    water u tolkien about

    JESawyer 2 Dec 11



    How come you sit


    it's sittin' tyme

    JESawyer 2 Dec 11


    Are you working on the new SP RPG?


    no


    JESawyer 2 Dec 11



    Why do you have bland answers? like oh,lol,hey and ETC.


    fart

    JESawyer 2 Dec 11


    what does ask when go you south park new game.


    vidya gamz


    JESawyer 2 Dec 11



    So what are you working on then the Cheers RPG?


    roll 2d12 to see how many people know your name

    JESawyer 2 Dec 11



    Should I buy Dungeon Siege III for $20 on Steam? Your answer depends on it!


    yeah

    JESawyer 2 Dec 11



    What did you do before you were a game designer? Did you still work for a software company?


    Before I started in the game industry I was in college.

    JESawyer 3 Dec 11



    people ask about south park, but they be idiots i noes north park. i be chillin there man, with me and me. also, how do game work with ?


    http://youtu.be/Hi0erY0WG6A


    JESawyer 3 Dec 11



    McNulty is overpowered. His only drawback is alcohol addiction. Thoughts?


    He also has Irrational Hatred: Superiors and Addiction: Sex.

    JESawyer 3 Dec 11



    First thing that pops into your head when I say "Coffee?"


    gross

    JESawyer 3 Dec 11



    Which is your personal favourite Obsidian game?


    Fallout: New Vegas

    JESawyer 3 Dec 11



    If modders attempted to remake Fallout New Vegas and its dlcs on the FOnline engine would they get a C&D?


    Beats me.

    JESawyer 3 Dec 11



    New Vegas has been patching itself on Steam the past couple of days but I can't find a changelog. What's being changed?


    Beats me.

    JESawyer 4 Dec 11



    Why was Poseidon chosen for the name "Poseidon Energy"? Considering he was the god of the sea, and PE has their hands in a myriad of energy and defense projects. That choice just seems kinda odd.


    mysteries

    JESawyer 4 Dec 11



    Do you have to call anybody "sir" at your job?


    No.

    JESawyer 4 Dec 11



    Since you've worked with Bethesda in the past, what do you think of their move to integrate modding with Steam Workshop?


    cool

    JESawyer 4 Dec 11



    Do you prefer a certain type of European/Middle-Eastern sword or katana/nodachi? Since you fence I presume you use a sabre or training long sword.


    I don't fence anymore, but when I did, I used a standard USFA/FIE sabre.

    JESawyer 4 Dec 11



    When you give one word answers, I can't tell if you're being serious or not. Steam Workshop is cool?


    I sincerely think it is cool. PC gamers clearly love mods. Since Skyrim is a Steam game on PC, integrating a mod repository/system should be great.

    JESawyer 5 Dec 11



    Not a question; just wanted to say thanks for plugging Darklands. I'm not sure if my party is spending as much time gaining fame as it is recovering from the trouble I get them in, but the game is incredible. Best open sandbox RPG I've played.


    I'm glad you like it. It seems crazy that game was made in 1992.

    JESawyer 5 Dec 11



    Will there ever be a Fallout: New Vegas complete or GOTY edition?


    http://www.bethblog.com/2011/11/03/fallout-new-vegas-ultimate-edition-arrives-in-february/

    JESawyer 5 Dec 11



    Why do you think the games industry is so mum? It's hard to find any recently written books about working in the game industry in a mid-tier or upper-tier job.


    I'm not sure if that's the sort of thing that would really sell well. It could make an interesting blog, maybe.

    Then again, some of the decision-making processes that happen at that level would likely embarrass/infuriate a lot of people because they involve a variety of folks working in different companies. Even something approached as a matter-of-fact rundown on how things work might come off as a tell-all.

    JESawyer 5 Dec 11



    Since Skyrim is unavailable for Steam for pretty much half the Europe or more (including the country I live in), how will we be able to get/make mods?


    I don't work for Bethesda, but I don't believe this prevents independent mods/mod sites from operating.

    JESawyer 5 Dec 11



    I've heard it suggested that Steam Workshop integration is motivated, at least in part, at shutting out "adult" mods or challenging the monopoly of the Nexus, whose sketchier content is semi-associated with Bethesda's Brands. Do you think that's true?


    I have no idea and would rather not speculate on it.

    JESawyer 5 Dec 11



    While Obsidian has a big cult following, your commercial and critical success has been pretty inconsistent, to say the least. What is it that has helped you stay afloat? What's the difference between Obsidian and, say, Troika?


    That's a question for Feargus.

    JESawyer 5 Dec 11



    Why do you choose to answer troll questions but not real good or intellectual/debatable questions.


    I answer both types of questions, and the troll questions take effectively no time to answer. I delete about 20x more questions than I answer.

    JESawyer 6 Dec 11



    Hey Josh, do you agree with Chris Avellone's 'Nuke the world' attitude of 'Fallout getting to civilized'? It's expected humanity would rebuild, why would it need to be destroyed so soon?


    I don't want to speak for Chris, but I think he's referring to the world being too civilized as a post-apocalyptic setting. During the development of F:NV, I referred to the Mojave Wasteland as post-post-apocalyptic. A setting that developed significantly beyond what you see in the Mojave Wasteland would feel even more removed from the original games.

    JESawyer 6 Dec 11



    whos idea was the name 'obsidian'?


    That decision was made before I arrived, but maybe Feargus is the guy to ask.

    JESawyer 6 Dec 11



    Where do I go to ask Feargus questions?


    fergtowne

    JESawyer 7 Dec 11



    Are there any good RPGs for IOS?


    I guess it depends on how you define RPG. I've enjoyed playing Battleheart.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5_Uq81_vqE

    I've also heard really good things about King of Dragon Pass.

    http://youtu.be/pB5MSHMRGa0


    JESawyer 7 Dec 11



    Yes, King of Dragon Pass is the best. Seriously, get it now. -Patrick


    cool

    JESawyer 7 Dec 11



    being a video game designer is pretty hard {plays on the xbox for a million hours}


    tighten up the graphics on level 3

    JESawyer responded to larzma 7 Dec 11



    Have you ever met Todd Howard? If so, how was he as a person?


    Yeah, I've met Todd Howard two or three times at E3 and Bethesda. He's a great guy.

    JESawyer 7 Dec 11



    Who came up with the ammunition crafting in New Vegas? I thought that was a ridiculously cool gameplay mechanic for a game of that form.


    I did. Thanks. Most people (apparently) didn't like how detailed it was.

    JESawyer 8 Dec 11



    Personally, I really liked the detailed crafting system in NV. I'd say the main problem people had was that you don't have a pipboy list that had your known recipes in it, making it a pain when looking for parts/ingredients for crafting.


    I agree.

    JESawyer responded to Formspring 9 Dec 11



    Can you whistle?


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncyo8EUUCVE


    JESawyer 9 Dec 11



    Do you consciously try to follow an official-or-not Game Design Philosophy when developing a game or do you just work off of your experience and intuition?


    I don't follow a codified "philosophy", but I've established several principles for dealing with various design issues, usually based off of my experience. The bottom line usually comes down to what the player experiences. There are a lot of different player types, but it's harder to go wrong if you think about aspects of the game from different player perspectives.

    With RPGs, this can be particularly difficult because I there are two major levels of player perspective: conceptual and experiential. It's very common for RPG players to judge systemic elements out of context. In part, this comes from the strategic necessity of character building in both tabletop and CRPGs. Players are used to making quick assessments of value without experiencing what they are assessing.

    Ideally, players should be able to make reasonable judgments about game elements without experiencing them, but even rational assessments can be faulty. E.g.: a 5% increase in damage is not statistically relevant unless it means that targets go down in fewer applications of damage (which is ultimately the goal of doing damage). Given other options that manifest significant bonuses with greater regularity (e.g. an increased movement rate), such a bonus, on its own, may have diminished value.


    JESawyer 10 Dec 11



    Was Black Isle Studios named after the Black Isle in Scotland?


    I believe so.

    JESawyer responded to Pavlov8 10 Dec 11



    How do you feel about GSC closing down? http://www.vg247.com/2011/12/09/report-gsc-is-shutting-down-s-t-a-l-k-e-r-2-canned/


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiMOKmp0uZc


    JESawyer 10 Dec 11



    So you watch the VGA's?


    I watched ~15 seconds of it.

    JESawyer 11 Dec 11



    what's your favourite vidya soundtrack?


    It's a little dated, but I think it's still MechWarrior 2.

    Classic.

    http://youtu.be/rJ0LAs9KiXc


    JESawyer 12 Dec 11


    Do you have a business card?


    Yes... ?


    JESawyer 12 Dec 11



    This has bugged me ever ince i noticed it. NCR ranger armor has this white strip of cloth it looks like going along the shoulders of the armor and then drapes down? or what is that?


    It's a piece of cloth for patrol rangers to soak in water and place on their necks.

    JESawyer 12 Dec 11



    Is there any combat or survival gear for hot temperatures in the real world that use that sort of design? I've never seen it and it's interesting.


    It's pretty common for hikers to soak bandanas in water and put them on their head/neck.

    JESawyer 12 Dec 11



    Did you work on KotOR 2 at all?


    No.

    JESawyer 12 Dec 11



    So South Park isn't anything that would interest RPG fans and we're all basement-dwelling subhumans. Thank your colleague for an insightful interview, silly me expecting Obsidian to at least show some respect to their longtime fans.


    the guy who gave that interview is an extreme warhammer 40k player/miniature painter and pro beard grower but ok thx

    JESawyer 12 Dec 11



    So why did he feel the need to be a jackass? Projection?


    i am the magnificent joshtradamus, capable of seeing the future and unraveling the mysterious thought processes of any gave developer i have ever met

    JESawyer 12 Dec 11



    does that make you an amateur beard grower?


    clearly.


    JESawyer 12 Dec 11


    Isn't it strange that you have to do interviews where they sit you in front of a camera for extended periods of time? Your career is leaving the house to write tabletop campaigns, it's not like you are Michael Fassbender.


    I never thought it was that strange. I don't think it's that much different from sitting down and writing answers to an interviewer's (or fan's) questions; it's just a different medium.


    JESawyer 12 Dec 11



    Your offices are like crypts, with visages of long dead characters lining your halls.


    1 year = long dead???

    JESawyer 13 Dec 11



    The soundtrack to "Drive" is almost TOO good >.>


    My favorite song in it is actually from another soundtrack.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg0jOpr1Uhk


    JESawyer responded to EpiclyRalphy 13 Dec 11



    Why was the ability to make Hollow point and armour piercing rounds never added in New Vegas?


    I wanted the player to have to buy some ammo types and craft others.

    JESawyer 13 Dec 11



    Has anyone told you that beards remind them of Santa?


    http://youtu.be/lzzc__CLtM8


    JESawyer 13 Dec 11



    Did you see that Feargus interview. Turns out he said a thing.


    hmmm

    JESawyer 13 Dec 11



    How would you tackle a modern remake of Darklands? In today's gaming market would it even be possible as a big budget title, or would it have to be an indie game to remain quintessentially 'Darklands'?


    Personally, I wouldn't approach it as a big budget title. Outside of low-level mechanical changes, a nicer UI, and better graphics (by that I mean stylistically the same but rendered to a window bigger than 320x240!), I think it could be a great low-budget, low-price Steam, browser, or iOS game.

    JESawyer 13 Dec 11



    I asked the q about game design earlier. So is your work-around for this issue to make gameplay mechanics more intuitive (conceptually), or to make players experiences of the different mechanics have less drawbacks/fail states?


    I think the biggest stumbling block happens in content creation for the elements of a system. Whether it's a skill, a spell, a perk, or a weapon, the designers need to not only conceive a clear (and worthwhile) role for that element, but figure out how to clearly communicate its value to the player.

    For example, something I failed at during the development of F:NV was establishing a clear benefit for the Charisma stat. Charisma does contribute to Nerve for companions, but that is only communicated during character creation (briefly) and in a loading screen. It's very difficult to compare (or even see) companion stats, and companions were, in general, very powerful. This caused many players to treat Charisma as a dump stat.

    If you (as a designer) ever run into a situation where players commonly refer to one stat as a dump stat, you probably screwed up something along the way. I believe there should always be circumstances where neglecting a skill or stat should cause a sting. Not a horrible failure, but a sting -- where you recognize the value of the thing you have neglected. And if you DO focus on that thing, you should regularly feel rewarded for having made that investment.

    Another example of this is the Silenced .22 Pistol. Before it was patched, it was just a terrible weapon. Post-patching, it's a good weapon for a very specific character build, but its value (very high crit damage) is not effectively communicated to the player. It also doesn't have a broad enough appeal for players to use it if they aren't using an ultra-stealth-crit build.

    Making something intuitive can help with communicating the value of a thing (e.g. sniper rifles are accurate, so I will assume this weapon is accurate before I even fire it), but ultimately you need to communicate value in some way. Intuition is just a tool you can use to that end. You also can't rely on intuition, because some players don't intuit the same things as others -- whether that's due to upbringing, background, or something else.

    Going back to GUNS, GUNS, GUNS, one of the things I tried to do when revising the ammo types for F:NV was to use "commonly" known/understood types. I removed .32 because it's a family of moon rounds used in the early 20th century. Nothing inherently wrong with .32 cal rifle and pistol rounds, but the designation doesn't carry the same pop-culture weight as .22 LR, .357 Magnum, and .50 (B)MG.

    People "know" that .22s are weak, .357 Magnum is reasonably strong, and .50 (B)MG is crazy strong. That said, sticking to ballistics strictly could have run me into a difficult position. .45 ACP, sadly, is not as powerful as 10mm Auto -- but in F:NV, it's more powerful. Because it helped make the .45 Auto weapons slot into the weapon progression more easily, I went with the "common" perception of .45 ACP -- that it sends people flying through the air, cracks engine blocks, and otherwise creates pumpkin-sized holes in foes of all sizes. In short, F:NV's .45 Auto weapons live up to the myth of .45 ACP by going beyond the reality of their power and ballistic performance.

    JESawyer 14 Dec 11



    Do you remember the unique non-scoped .44 magnum from FO3, Paulson's Revolver? That basically fired like a shotgun? Can you tell me if that is even remotely realistic. What the hell was up with that? Can you do that with a .44?


    There are revolvers that fire .410 shot, and you can load "rat shot" in just about any straight case.

    http://www.castbullet.com/reload/44shot.htm

    Seems like a lot of effort to kill bumblebees, but okay.

    JESawyer 14 Dec 11



    i lick your beard


    gross

    JESawyer 14 Dec 11



    all i want for christmas is you


    i am skeptical of this claim.

    JESawyer 14 Dec 11



    So why haven't you guys got the rights to Darklands? Or better yet Myth?


    Atari has the rights to Darklands.

    JESawyer responded to FronzKofko 15 Dec 11



    The energy weapons in Fallout 1 seem to be leagues better than any other weapon; why did they get toned town to being just about the same level [if not a little worse] than other guns in New Vegas?


    Because the Energy Weapons skill doesn't cost twice as much as the Guns skill.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 11



    What are your beliefs on gun rights?


    Firearm legislation should be consistent, practical, and well-informed. I do not believe legislation or arguments about legislation should revolve around necessity; necessity is extremely difficult to agree on and it's almost never the basis for other types of legislation. If we legislated restricted ownership of other goods based on necessity, the entire country could be living like Spartans. This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but unless that's what you really want, necessity is a bad focal point.

    Examples of firearm legislation that I think are bad: the Assault Weapons Ban, the DC Handgun Ban. The former is inconsistent, impractical, and doesn't target the weapons that are typically involved in gun crimes (small caliber handguns). The latter was consistent, targeted guns involved in gun crimes, but completely ignored the practical reality of how the majority of firearms used in crimes (especially in DC) were acquired. More importantly, they didn't really make any difference.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 11



    Have you ever used a gun (target shootin', no killy willy)?


    Yes. I also own firearms.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 11



    Are you growing your beard to let baby birds live in it? :D


    i am the baby bird.

    JESawyer 15 Dec 11



    Can I lock you into a dungeon? I'd be feeding you crackers. :)


    no thx

    JESawyer 15 Dec 11



    How can I play darklands? I've tried several times and I'm always defeated. Help a nub out


    Here are a few important things to know:

    * Strength and Endurance are very important for everyone. A sub-33ish score in either is asking for death. Generally you want a bit more Strength than Endurance to avoid killing blows. Endurance generally goes down faster than Strength in fights, but big hitters can wipe out both in one hit. This means (permanent) death instead of unconsciousness.

    * 30-45 are the "good" age ranges, IMO. There are exceptions, but comedy parties with 20 year-old knights and 65 year-old alchemists usually don't work out well.

    * Always start fights by shooting or throwing cheap ranged weapons -- javelins, crossbows, bows, handguns, etc. -- then switch to melee.

    * The easiest place to "farm", should you choose to do so, is in any city with a craft district ("the gabled roofs..."). If you travel through these areas at night, you will usually encounter packs of four thieves with scrub gear. Kill them, take anything of value, and repeat. Your weapon skills will advance quickly, as will your reputation. When your reputation gets high enough in a town, merchants (e.g. the Medici or Fugger reps) will actually prompt you with quest opportunities as you leave their shops.

    * When you have upgraded your gear a few times (scale armor, proper swords and ranged weapons, some Essence o' Grace potions), you will probably want to seek out a raubritter after receiving a quest to defeat one. Be careful, as these guys will beat the shit out of you if you do not have 50+ weapon skills and decent gear. If you defeat them, you will start rolling in florins and higher quality gear.

    Once you have defeated some -- let's say three -- raubrittern, the world is much more approachable overall. Before this point, it's very common for random encounters to wipe the whole party, often killing several characters in the process.

    Good luck.

    JESawyer 16 Dec 11



    Some might say that the energy skill does cost more than small guns. It costs the same amount of skill points, but the relative paucity of weapons and ammo, even toward the endgame, acts as a balancing factor doesn't it?


    I understand arguments that early-game Energy Weapons aren't well balanced (especially the Laser Pistol without GRA mods) and that ammo is hard to come by until you get access to a few areas, but I don't think ammo access is a serious problem after the early game.

    Weapons can be harder to come by, but it's also tricky to establish a) vendors that make sense and b) enemies that should have/drop them.

    I didn't do a full EW playthrough, but I got pretty far. Once I started getting weapons like the Plasma Defender, Gauss Rifle, and Tri-Beam Laser, I was rolling pretty much everything. Ammo access wasn't really a problem (though ammo weight was more problematic).

    JESawyer 16 Dec 11



    Do those pointers you gave about Darklands illustrate poor design i.e. not knowing the importance of these factors from the evidence available?


    Sure, but keep in mind that the game was developed in the early 90s. That sort of system design was sort of par for the course.

    JESawyer 16 Dec 11



    sorry man, i appreciate all that advice but i meant HOW TO PLAY it. i cant get it to run on my computer at all and the internet seems to have failed me.


    HMMMMMMMMM I just use DosBox and I've never had a problem. @_@

    JESawyer 16 Dec 11



    Thoughts on SOPA?


    Not good.

    JESawyer 17 Dec 11



    Have you tried lockpicking in real life?


    No.

    JESawyer 17 Dec 11



    Explain why you tuned the NWN2 campaign to a sleep-inducingly low level to compensate for the disparity between optimal and non-optimal characters instead of addressing the core problem - the unnecessarily complex and unintuitive character creator/system.


    Some of those complexities are part of 3E/3.5, and some are due to our UI. In the last six months of NWN2's development, the game had enough problems that redesigning the character creation/advancement UI wasn't a high priority.

    JESawyer 17 Dec 11



    Are any of the characters in FO:NV designed to look like you?


    Not as far as I know.

    JESawyer 17 Dec 11



    I don't know if you read each and every ill-thought-out message sent to you through Formspring, but I want to tell you: Fallout New Vegas is my favourite game, and I greatly enjoy reading the process taken in developing it. Thank you.


    Thanks.

    JESawyer 17 Dec 11



    Wishing for a nuclear winter makes you want to take an arrow in the knee. Oh look, curved swords! I never asked for this!!!


    yase teh z0r

    JESawyer 17 Dec 11



    what world do you live in that specific types of ammo have any sort of pop culture weight


    The world with Dirty Harry, Navy Seals, and a bunch of police dramas that constantly talk about weapon calibers.

    It's the same world where there are multiple gun-oriented TV shows that have solid viewership (e.g. Top Shot, Future Weapons, Sons of Guns).

    (The United States)

    JESawyer 18 Dec 11



    *drinks 50 sunset sarsaparillas in rapid succession* "gulp gulp gulp gulp gulp gulp ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah"


    this is me irl

    JESawyer 18 Dec 11



    I think most people associate power with the guns themselves. The average person knows nothing of guns other than what they see in movies and TV. Few non-gun people even though the AR/M16 platform rifles are chambered for 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem.


    Yes, but if you're going to have a variety of ammo types in a game, I think it's best to use calibers that are *most* likely to be recognized.

    If we only put things in games that the average person knows about, there would be very few things in games.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 11



    AUTISM


    ok

    JESawyer 18 Dec 11



    Whatever happened to releasing your personal FNV mod? Are you still planning to upload it somewhere?


    I stopped working on it for a while because I was busy, but I started again recently. I made some significant changes to core mechanics, so I want to make sure it's actually fun/stable for me throughout the game. It will be a while.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 11



    Do you agree that NWN2 would be much better if the first act was completely removed? For the same reason do you agree that Dungeon Siege 3 would be better off if the entire game was designed like Stonebridge was? Because everything else was really boring.


    Completely removed? No. I do think that the first act is very long compared to acts two and three, though.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 11



    What do you think of the Republican candidates so far?


    I don't really care about them that much, to be honest. I think our government is pretty terrible in spite of a decent number of good folks working in it. Outside influence (i.e., money) is too insidious for it to function well. The debates are, and will continue to be, really dumb.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 11



    What did you name your courier?


    Sassy.

    It's my default name for test characters.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 11



    So why did you chose to include the full 3.5E character creator if the target audience was someone new to RPGs? You should have used a simplified character creator that always produced well-balanced characters as default and an optional "hardcore" mode.


    I was only on NWN2 for a relatively short period of time, and only the lead designer for the last six months. I did not establish the scope, story, or overall design of the game.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 11



    Fallout New Vegas is the best RPG I have played on this current generation of consoles, but Fallout is not an Obsidian IP... So, when is Obsidian going to release more of their own IP games?


    When publishers want to publish games using IPs we develop.

    JESawyer 18 Dec 11



    roflmao green bay got pounded right up the kisser. /wisconsin suck peeeenus


    http://www.arethepackersundefeated.com/

    JESawyer 19 Dec 11



    What's your advice on somebody who's in a bit of a creative slump, but wants to make really original content like Fallout?


    Leave all of your familiar places and activities to do something that is not creative.

    JESawyer 19 Dec 11



    Who created the character Silus? He seemed to really stick out from other Legion members as being more selfish and aware, even going so far as calling Caesar a "megalomaniacal, self-appointed dictator".


    Eric Fenstermaker.

    JESawyer 19 Dec 11



    Why would I want to do something not creative?


    You don't. You want to do something creative, but you can't. If you were in a creative state, you wouldn't be asking me for advice.

    Fresh ideas are synthesized out of disparate experiences. The reason why so much "creative" content isn't creative is because it's made by people who ingest from, and then regurgitate back into, the same stale stream of ideas.

    If your goal is to "be original", you're really going to have a lot of trouble. Go out into the world and do things. Among the things you do, you will hopefully find things that you love. Those things that you love will interact in your mind and produce ideas. Eventually, the volume of ideas in your mind will exceed your will and ability to contain them. That's when you will create -- because you need to, not because you want to.

    JESawyer 19 Dec 11



    Comic Sans or Times New Roman?


    Venetian 301 or get out.

    JESawyer 19 Dec 11



    Is Sassy a boy or a girl Josh??


    Usually a girl but sometimes a guy.

    JESawyer 20 Dec 11



    You know what really levels me up? Making games.


    w@w

    JESawyer 20 Dec 11



    Who did the writing for House?


    John Gonzalez.

    JESawyer 20 Dec 11



    The Artist is a good movie, you will like it. Like it to the max.


    cool thx

    JESawyer 21 Dec 11



    who wrote Benny? Both the character and the lines


    John Gonzalez.

    JESawyer 21 Dec 11



    Is there any character John Gonzalez didn't write?


    There are lots of characters he didn't write, but he did write most of the critical path story characters.

    JESawyer 21 Dec 11



    Fenstermaker was the coolest F:NV dev. Sorry Josh.


    cool

    JESawyer 21 Dec 11



    who wrote House (the TV show)?


    Sara Hess (among others) https://twitter.com/#!/sarahess

    JESawyer 21 Dec 11



    Browser of choice?


    Chrome.

    JESawyer 21 Dec 11



    Who wrote Davison? Even though it was a bit part, I liked that character a lot since it was the kind of thing you'd see in the first two Fallout games (ie talking heads with brief but memorable dialogue).


    Strangely enough, that was one of the few minor characters John Gonzalez wrote. Jesse Farrell wrote most of the other characters in REPCONN Test Site.

    JESawyer 21 Dec 11



    I know you were the project director of F:NV, but what contributions did you make?


    For F:NV, I designed (but did not write the dialogue for) all of the companions and companion arcs. I did all of the system design and balancing. I wrote all of the high level RDCs (Region Design Constraints) that area designers used to write their ADDs (Area Design Docs). I wrote the dialogues for Arcade Gannon, Chief Hanlon, and President Kimball.

    For Honest Hearts, I was also the project director. I wrote the story, designed and tuned most of the gear, designed all of the main characters (the Happy Trails caravan, Ricky, Joshua Graham, Daniel, Follows-Chalk, Waking Cloud, and the Survivalist) and wrote Joshua Graham and Daniel (Ricky, Stella, and the Survivalist were written by John Gonzalez; Jed Masterson, Follows-Chalk, and Waking Cloud were written by Travis Stout).

    For Gun Runners' Arsenal, I did all of the design except for scripting, which was done by Jorge Salgado and Jeff Husges.

    On the other DLCs, all I did was weapon tuning.

    JESawyer 21 Dec 11



    Navmeshing takes 4eva


    yah

    JESawyer 21 Dec 11



    Why is it that when you move/pickup an object in gamebryo it disturbs other nearby objects? For example: A Nuka-Cola is chillin on a table next to a coffee cup. I collect or z-move the Nuka and the cup magically floats an inch off of the table's surface.


    That's just the Havok physics system beginning simulation because two collision volumes were intersecting and one of them was influenced (moved or removed).

    JESawyer 21 Dec 11



    If you were offered the opportunity to work on the Assassin's Creed franchise, maybe not a main installment but a spin-off of some sort, would you take it? You have mentioned a fondness of historical fiction, and I'm wondering if you thought about this?


    Yes. I love historical fiction and the Assassin's Creed IP.

    JESawyer 23 Dec 11



    Would you accept a "merry christmas and happy new year" from me?


    ok thx

    JESawyer 23 Dec 11



    If you could make a fantasy IP based on any historical period, what time period would you pick?


    The Early Modern Holy Roman Empire. It's full of crazy political drama and social/religious/academic upheaval.

    JESawyer 23 Dec 11



    I'm you from the future. To be specific I'm you from a future that doesn't exist anymore. To be even more specific I'm you from a future that has NEVER existed. No, I guess this isn't the right way to express it..... Because that future is actually the


    oic

    JESawyer 25 Dec 11



    Keep the CHRIST in CHRISTmas!!


    i'm not christian but ok

    JESawyer 25 Dec 11



    If so then do you find it odd that a once Puritan nation that disregarded Christmas due to it being Pagan beliefs wrapped into a Christian holiday now embraces it and for some families it's the only time they follow the Bible's teachings/embrace family?


    no

    JESawyer 25 Dec 11



    What kind of animal are those legion hats made of?


    Coyote.

    JESawyer responded to NormanJayden1 25 Dec 11



    Whats your mods name and will it be uploaded to the Fallout new vegas Nexus?


    My mod's name is jsawyer and I will host it on my personal domain.

    JESawyer 25 Dec 11



    what is your mod going to be about?


    Just a variety of balance tweaks, some larger mechanics changes to make the game more difficult overall, and bug fixes I encounter along the way.

    JESawyer 26 Dec 11



    What does the E. stand for?


    e.arf as in "welcome ta earf."

    JESawyer 27 Dec 11



    How do you cure tummyaches?


    jellybeans

    JESawyer responded to Asraselk 27 Dec 11



    What was your inspiration for Veronica?


    First, I want to say that while I did design Veronica and her companion arc, the character was fully developed and written by Eric Fenstermaker. I think execution is more important than the idea.

    Early on F:NV, I was thinking about what kind of character would make an interesting Brotherhood companion. A scribe sounded interesting, and I liked the idea that scribes were trained in unarmed techniques (or power-assisted Unarmed combat) for close-quarters combat in the bunkers.

    Companions in crisis allow for a lot of criticism, self-reflection, and opportunities for the player to weigh in. Because the Mojave Chapter was going to be a bunch of depressing grognards overall, I liked the idea that Veronica was the young, sardonic, always-questioning member whom the others pushed out. Once Veronica was regularly interacting with the outside world, her perspective shifted even further from her brothers and sisters in the bunker.

    Veronica means "true image", and that is what her character was meant to represent: a balanced and realistic way for the Brotherhood to move forward with the world instead of becoming part of its history.

    JESawyer 27 Dec 11



    Why is it a loss of Karma to steal from bad karma groups like the Powder Gangers?


    Because their factions weren't marked as "Evil". I addressed that in my mod (many others have long ago, as well) and you can steal from the PGs all the live-long day without karma loss.

    JESawyer 27 Dec 11



    Yah and she was also a TOTAL LESBO lol


    hmm i see

    JESawyer 27 Dec 11



    NV was given one year of development time, right? Was meeting the deadline hard? Also, how much was taken/slightly modded from Van Buren to use in NV? Do you think you could've met the deadline w/o the help of VB ideas to base off of?


    No, it was about 18 months. All we really took from Van Buren were some faction ideas (Caesar's Legion), characters, and a variety of plot hooks/setting changes. We used no material resources from VB, no VB documentation, nothing that would actually give us any significant time savings, honestly.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Do you find it strange that karma is gained from killing enemies from a faction that is scripted to attack the player on sight regardless of karma or reputation? (eg. Fiends.) Seems pretty annoying for a player who is trying to maintain evil karma.


    The larger issues are the karma values in the editor and the lack of Good/Very Good NPCs to kill. For some really weird reason, fKarmaModKillingEvilActor is set to 100 and fKarmaModKillingVeryEvilActor is set to 2 -- so you get about 50x more good karma for killing an Evil actor (e.g. a Fiend) than for killing a Very Evil actor. No one on the team remembers changing those values, but they were clearly screwed up.

    There are also a lot of actors set to default alignments in the editor. Jean-Baptiste Cutting is Neutral (should probably be Very Evil). Doctor Usanagi is Neutral (should probably be Very Good). Some Centurions (the ones on the Dam) are set to Evil (should be Neutral).

    For purposes of the player getting bad karma, there are also a lot of generic folks who should be set to Good alignment (e.g. Prostitutes, Junkies, Westside Citizens/Militia). Even if the NPCs aren't "good", there's little justification for players to be murdering them unless they are playing bloodthirsty characters/want bad karma. Similarly, Feral Ghouls aren't actually evil (they are insane), and it's hard to avoid killing droves of them, which makes it difficult to maintain bad karma in vanilla F:NV.

    Fiends are kind of huge jackasses and unless you decide to dive into Vault 3, it actually is pretty easy to avoid them on the crit path. If the fKarmaModKillingEvilActor value were set down to something like 5, it wouldn't be a big deal.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Can I have the link to download your mod?


    It's not done yet, but when I'm done, anyone can download it. It's mostly general balance adjustments I couldn't do for various technical/time reasons, plus some general "make the Hardcore game harder" adjustments. I've made a couple hundred adjustments, but the most significant are probably:

    * Max level with all DLCs installed is 35.
    * XP rate is halved.
    * Base player health is quartered and level-gained health is reduced by 25%.
    * Base Carry Weight from 150 to 50 (related perks/things have also been adjusted).
    * Energy Weapon ammo weighs less than its nearest equivalent Guns ammo.
    * Energy Weapon durability is in the same ballpark as Guns durability.
    * Medium Armor has a small amount of DR proportional to its DT.
    * Heavy Armor has even more DR proportional to its DT.
    * Power Armor does not require a perk, but if you have the perk, the weight of the armor is essentially negated.
    * Karma/Alignment values adjusted all over.
    * H2O/FOD/SLP rates doubled, but the first threshold is moved from 200 to 400 (statuses roll over ever 150 after).
    * Water and Food drop rates on NPCs is dramatically lower. It is difficult to stay out of Dehydration/Starvation by looting enemies.
    * Water/Nuka-Cola/Sunset Sarsaparilla heal much less, but now all restore H2O (alcohols will as well, but at lowered values).
    * Default Stimpaks are uncommon. A new variant, Stimpak, Expired is the default. It is not that great.
    * The player's Workbench recipe now makes Stimpak, Homemade. It is better than Expired, worse than default Stimpaks, and has the PE penalty from Healing Powder.
    * All Stimpaks have weight.
    * Pre-Order items have been adjusted to be more well-balanced and not worth that much if you rush to Chet's to trade them in.
    * A bunch of fixes I couldn't make during development because of load order conflicts, time, etc. E.g.: Automatic Rifle spread re-adjustment, putting the Police Pistol on the Cowboy List, Bozar on Grunt, Junk Rounds are now actual ammo variants you can make, etc.
    * Some other stuff.

    It requires a load order manager (must load after all retail .esms) and every single DLC, including GRA and the pre-order packs.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Hi Josh, i'm about to jump into Dark souls without any knowledge of the series and how it plays. Seeing as none of my friends are into it I was wondering if your could give me some tips on combat as i'm a total n00b atm.


    Go slowly, never relax or assume that you are safe. Keep your burden below 50% max, and use dodge often (just be careful around ledges).

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    What say you on the issue of sexism in video games?


    it's bad.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Would you agree that "sexism in video games" is an issue in your titles too? E.g. Dungeon Siege III? If not, why?


    I didn't work on DS3. On F:NV, we worked pretty hard to make the sexism be in-character/in-world.


    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Those are some good adjustments with the mod, but why not do a larger one changing factions etc.


    Because I don't want to.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Do I need the Courier's Stash to use your upcoming mod? It's the only DLC I haven't bought because it's honestly a waste of money, but at 99 cents now, I'll bite if it's required...


    It requires absolutely all of the DLCs, including GRA and the pre-order packs. Sorry


    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    How cold I get all the preorder packs though if I haven't preordered? Or can Courier's Stash serve as an ersatz for them?


    Courier's Stash gives all of the pre-order .esms.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    In New Vegas, do you think Energy Weapons could use a perk like Grunt?


    That's sort of what Laser Commander and Plasma Spaz are for. I think the damage bonuses that Cowboy and Grunt give are a bit high and could be bumped down to 20%.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    out of curiosity, how did you adjust the karma and alignment rates in your mod?


    So far:

    * fKarmaModKillingEvilActor from 100 to 5
    * fKarmaModKillingVeryEvilActor from 2 to 30
    * All (known) Feral Ghouls set to Neutral alignment
    * Colonel Moore Alignment changed from Neutral to Evil
    * Colonel Hsu Alignment changed from Neutral to Good
    * Dam Centurion Alignments changed from Evil to Neutral
    * Doctor Usanagi Alignment changed to Very Good
    * Dixon Alignment changed from Neutral to Very Evil
    * Jean-Baptiste Cutting Alignment changed from Neutral to Very Evil
    * Gloria Van Graff Alignment changed from Neutral to Very Evil
    * Alice McLafferty Alignment changed from Neutral to Evil
    * Alice McBride Alignment changed from Neutral to Good
    * Squatter Alignments changed from Neutral to Good
    * The King's Alignment changed from Neutral to Good
    * Contreras' Alignment changed from Neutral to Evil
    * Westside Citizens and Militia Alignments changed from Neutral to Good
    * Gomorrah Prostitutes Alignments changed from Neutral to Good
    * 1E Junkies' Alignments changed from Neutral to Good
    * Michelle and Samuel's Alignments changed from Neutral to Good

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Colonel Moore evil? Why? Also wouldn't killing Feral Ghouls be like a mercy killing?


    Colonel Moore is kind of an awful human being.

    There are too many Feral Ghouls all over the wasteland to give them an alignment. Otherwise they would have too much of an influence on overall karma (as they currently do). There are plenty of other scumbags to knock off (e.g. the Fiends) if you want to farm good karma.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    I think you gave the legion too many guns or at least more guns than their characterization would have us believe. Equipment wise, the only notable difference between a legionary and a trooper is that the legionary uses melee AND guns instead of just guns


    And most legionaries above the rank of recruit once had to survive and succeed with little more than machetes and throwing spears. The use of "good" equipment is something that is earned in the Legion. Most recruits have to succeed through speed and tenacity because their gear isn't going to do the work for them.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Who came up with the basic premise of the story in F:NV?


    One of the Obsidian owners came up with the idea that you start the game by being shot in the head and dropped into a desert grave. It was my idea to end the game by resolving a conflict between NCR/Caesar's Legion at Hoover Dam. Everything else was developed by John Gonzalez.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Is Colonel Moore really awful, though? I'd describe her as Lawful Neutral at worst.


    She goes out of her way to brutalize or screw over groups and people she doesn't like when it's obviously unnecessary, including the Courier. If the player does exactly what Colonel Moore asks, the Kings are butchered (unnecessary and easily avoidable), the Brotherhood of Steel is destroyed (avoidable), and the Great Khans are destroyed (also unnecessary/avoidable).

    I don't know if you've done the "provoke the Kings" route that Moore suggests, but the NCR Troopers that go in with you essentially become a sweeping death squad, gunning down every person in the building.

    If the player tries to work around Colonel Moore, she has Ambassador Crocker removed from his post and eventually she trashes the Courier's reputation with NCR. Both of these things are petty and vindictive.

    I'm not big on arguing moral/ethical abstractions like alignments, but this amounts to "worse than neutral" to me.

    JESawyer responded to RadekSmektala 28 Dec 11



    Why is karma even necessary, though? It seems to me like a way to make very shallow moral judgement on the player with no consideration for motive and context. Mind you, I'm not saying the designers failed here - it's just impossible to create a binary sy


    Feel free to ignore it with all of the other arbitrary stats that are tracked and tacked onto your character.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Why can't you just add your changes to the game in an official patch?


    The short technical reason is ".esm inter-dependencies" and "load order errors". Sorry.

    In addition to technical reasons, some of the mechanics changes make the game significantly more difficult (base health / stim changes) or at least more of a hassle (carry weight, stims having weight, H2O/SLP/FOD rate increase). I'd rather have people opt-in to those changes than make them the default in a patch.

    Finally, the game's over. The ship has sailed. No one is working on it anymore. No testers, nothing. This mod is just me working in my free time. If I horribly botch something, you can just un-check the mod and go on your way.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Do you plan to reintroduce the armored vault 21 jumpsuit in your mod? If so, would it be by crafting or found?


    Yes. It is for sale in Sarah's store at Vault 21. Both it and the Armored Vault 13 Jumpsuit now use the RepairVaultSuit list and have 200 CND. The Armored Vault 21 Jumpsuit grants 12 DT, +1 LK, and costs 2000 caps.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Will your mod add any removed/unfinished quests?


    No.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    But it seems as though Caesar, ideologically speaking, does not want legionary gear to do the work for them regardless of rank. Shouldn't the veterans upgrade to better melee and throwing weapons? Instead of point-and-click technological problem solvers?


    Yes because Caesar subordinates a hard-line ideology for practical concerns in certain circumstances, especially if a strategy proves to be flawed. E.g. having his officers shot to pieces by NCR snipers in an open environment, say the span of a long dam.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    When you modify the GRA Baseball Bat with nails, you cover all sides of the bat with nails. Then you throw it on your back. Wouldn't that be...uncomfortable?


    man up

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    You say Moore is worse than neutral and yet House will do the same thing to the Kings, BoS, and send "protection" to Primm. All of those actions arguably avoidable.


    No, he certainly doesn't do that to the Kings unless the Kings actively ally with his enemies (NCR -- which is something only the Courier can do). If you drive a wedge between the Kings and NCR and support a Mr. House victory, he leaves them alone.

    The same applies to Primm. Mr. House only sends his Securitrons and taxes the citizens if the Courier turned Primm into an NCR town.

    It shouldn't be too surprising that when the Courier gets groups to ally with an enemy of the faction they help win at Hoover Dam, bad things happen to those groups during the aftermath. You're right that these things (other than BoS) are avoidable, but they only happen in the first place because the player sets them up for disaster.


    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Does your mod have to be loaded last after all other DLC?


    Yep.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    The BoS and Kings are all enemies of the NCR how is she being "evil" for ridding the Mojave of their presence?


    Pacer is pretty much the only King who is actively working against the NCR. Sending in a squad of soldiers to provoke an extermination of the entire group borders on mustache-twirling nastiness.

    Her response to overtures of peace (and an actual brokered peace) with BoS show that her motives aren't really NCR's interests but her own vendettas.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    But there are plenty of ways for Legionaries to sneak up on and ambush NCR troops in the expanse up to and inside the Dam... In fact, the Legion groups inside the Dam itself use guns. I think it's time to admit technological restrictions made it lame.


    I don't think it made it lame at all. If my two other options were a) to have the Legion use melee weapons at all times in all circumstances even though it means that in open environments the player (and NPCs) could kill them off with ease or b) to have the Legion just use guns all the time like everyone else, I think both of those options are worse and duller than having them use a mix of close-range Unarmed/Melee weapons and Guns.

    If the Praetorian Guards just had some 12.7mm SMGs, I think that would be boring as hell. If Legion Assassins only carried machetes and chainsaws in the open desert, it would be pointless.

    JESawyer 28 Dec 11



    Do I need all DLC in order for your mod to work properly? I have all DLC except Dead money and Honest Hearts


    Yes.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Karma doesn't seem to have any actual use in New Vegas if I'm not mistaken other than a personal indicator vs Fallout 3 where it fully cemented how people looked to you, contrary to what BGS said it would all work pre-launch.


    In F:NV, Cass and Mortimer react to it. Otherwise the only big place it's referenced is at the end of the game in the slides.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    How in the world would the Fiends overrun McCarran with that huge wall?


    they're high on life okay

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Do you have any idea of when the mod will be available?


    Happy Kwanzaa!

    http://diogenes-lamp.info/jsawyer_fnv_mod.zip

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Have you ever tried playing your mod in combination with other third-party ones, e.g. Project Nevada Rebalance?


    Nope!

    JESawyer responded to ProgRock 29 Dec 11



    So I recently visited Zion with my family, and I have to say that it was the most beautiful place I have ever been. I totally understand why it's named as such, and I plan to go back again during the summer.


    It's an amazing place. Our national parks are under-appreciated in general.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Do we have permission to release patches for your mod?


    If you want to make an .esp that overrides or reverts some aspect of mine, of course. Please just don't modify my .esp directly or host it anywhere.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Does your mod include any of the fan-bugfixes for the DLCs (since they couldn't be patched) like the looping dialogue bug with your brain in OWB? I'm checking to see which mods to keep and which to ditch on my replay if I want to use your mod.


    I personally made all of the changes in my mod, and they are all listed in the jsawyer_READ_ME.txt file in the .zip. That's the easiest way to see what I did or didn't address. I didn't fix that bug.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Will you ever update/expand your mod again or is it completely finished ?


    I'm done with it for the next month or so, I'd say. If some other major things come to light, I may address them, but I'd like to see how this release works for a while.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    You said that Moore will get Crocker fired and try to smear the Courier if the player doesn't act as her attack dog. I have generally avoided killing the Khans/Kings/BoS and I don't think I ever got told that. Is it an NCR epilogue thing?


    It's not in the epilogue. Crocker is removed from his post if you help negotiate peace with the Kings. If you return to Moore after negotiating peace with the BoS, she gets mad at you and you gain Negative NCR reputation. Since you've been doing missions for NCR for a long time, it's unlikely to significantly affect your overall rep, but it's indicative of Moore's character and attitude.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Some of the BoS characters are considered "good" rather than neutral - what gives?


    Jesse Farrell (who made most of the BoS characters) probably considers some of them to be good.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Has anyone at Obsidian referred to Planescape: Torment as Planet Escape: Tournament yet?


    Plain Scrape's Tourniquet.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    You don't want your esp to be edited or hosted anywhere else, which I understand. But would you be okay if some of your changes were added in a mod, like keeping only the rebalances and fixes and not the hardcore tweaks?


    Certainly.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11


    Wait is that really the finished mod or you're just trolling??


    Yep, it's done. Take a look. Changes are in the jsawyer_READ_ME.txt file in the .zip.


    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Are you in the liberty to say what happened to the Shi from FO2?


    My personal policy is to not comment or speculate on things that lie outside of what's presented in the games. I think it unfairly restricts other developers, modders, and gamers in general.

    JESawyer responded to DrHL 29 Dec 11



    I see, Moore was wounded in the BoS-NCR war which is why she's in that "desk job". She has a grudge against the BoS and lets this interfere with her work, which at her level is dangerous. This and all those other things you said makes her evil, right?


    If it were just her attitude toward the BoS, that could be chalked up to her personal experiences alone. But when it comes to the Great Khans and (especially) the Kings, it's a lot harder to justify.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Thanks for giving me an excuse to reinstall NV. Going through the changes list, when armour changes are mentioned, it's in the form of "$ARMOUR given X DT". Stupid question, but does this mean the DT is changed to X, or that X is added to the old DT?


    In almost all cases, it says that armor was given DR (Damage Resistance). DR is a percentile reduction of incoming damage that stacks with DT (Damage Threshold). I gave Medium and Heavy armors DR to make them more appealing. Using the JSawyer mod, a player with Power Armor Training wearing any form of PA essentially has weightless armor with some of the highest DT and DR. The only real penalty is (now) a 10% reduction in movement speed.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Thoughts on south-eastern Wisconsin?


    it

    owns

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Missouri is better :p


    a shameful post

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    I dont know if i'm doing something wrong, but I dont see a lot of changes in your mod (mostly the 12.15.2011 edits about weapons, the 9mm is still vanilla, the Laser Pistol too, etc.)


    I loaded the .esp just now and saw the changes listed in jsawyer_READ_ME.txt. Possible problems:

    * Are you using a load order manager like FOMM? You need to.
    * Is jsawyer.esp loading after the FalloutNV.esm and all of the DLC .esms? It needs to.
    * If you are running other mods with jsawyer.esp, they may be overriding my changes.

    Hope that helps.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    do i really have to have courier's stash for your mod to work?


    I do not know what will happen if you attempt to load the .esp without the four pre-order .esms in Courier's Stash.

    It is currently one American dollar on Steam, if that matters.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Sorry if I came wrong - I meant to ask if you uploaded the right esp file. I know it happened to me once to upload an outdated esp. I cracked open your esp with FNVEdit and I see no 9mm/Laser Pistol changes, so I can provide a screenshot


    Hmm. It's possible. Try re-downloading it and tell me if it's different.

    http://diogenes-lamp.info/jsawyer_fnv_mod.zip

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    Why would the mod need all DLCs to work. Personally I don't want your weapon pack.


    Because data that is referenced in the .esp is absent when the .esp is loaded and it might -- or might not -- cause errors.

    JESawyer 29 Dec 11



    MCA said Obsidian does get some money on NWN2 sales. What about DS3?


    No idea, sorry.

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    will your mod change what kind of perks/stats i should give my character?


    I'm not sure. I think Energy Weapons in Hardcore feel like a more viable choice than they were previously. Cowboy and Grunt are slightly reduced in efficacy but still very good. Carry Weight is very restricted, so high ST and perks like Strong Back and Pack Rat or the Hoarder trait may be more appealing.

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    Thank for the mod :D


    Thanks. I hope you like it.

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    Is this for the Xbox 360, or just the PC version? I am; Ravendarklock


    My mod? It's just for PC, sorry.

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    I'm not the person bellow, but he was right, the changes weren't in effect. I checked the new file on the GECK though and now it seems everything checks (the new file is almost 2x the old one too). Thanks a lot for the mod BTW!


    kewl thx

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    Did you have any outside help with the mod or is it just something you did at home to make your own game more fun?


    I just did it on own at home.

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    Do you know how compatible your mod is with other mods? Reading over what it does, seems like I'll have to remove Project Nevada. Hopefully worth it, though!


    I have no idea. Unfortunately, I suspect it may conflict with Project Nevada.

    JESawyer responded to SusanneSaville 30 Dec 11



    Who wrote Vulpes Inculta? (I apologize if this has been answered before - I scrolled back through a bunch of pages to check first but didn't see it.)


    John Gonzalez.

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    Is the Forecaster a Psyker, and is his Nullifier one of the ones from under the Cathedral? How'd he get it?


    mysteries

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    So, wait. Caesar, sanctioning rape and in some cases cannibalism, slaughtering whole cultures that don't conform, gets to stay at neutral karma, but Moore, strictly for being "petty," is evil? Not trolling, I'm genuinely just blown away by that assertion.


    No, it's her pettiness in the context of slaughtering whole cultures. If she were petty and intentionally spilled beer on a Great Khan's shoes, that would probably not earn her as much karmic debt as trying to have the Great Khans' whole tribe annihilated.

    A case can be made that Caesar should have an evil (or very evil) alignment, but he also exists in a bubble that insulates him from what he's doing. Caesar does what he does because he feels that it is contributing to a better society. With Moore, she is clearly motivated by hatred and spite.

    Motivation matters a lot to (many) people. It's why, right or wrong, we have self-defense laws, hate crime laws, crime of passion laws, and criminal defenses that are based on the defendant being mentally ill.

    It's also why some people are willing to "forgive" military commanders like William T. Sherman or Curtis LeMay.

    http://youtu.be/hOCYcgOnWUM

    Short version: moral relativism lol alignments lol


    JESawyer 30 Dec 11


    Are you saddened at all by the fact that something you worked very hard on for months is now on sale for $5 on steam?


    No.


    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    So by the logic of Caesar in a bubble Hitler wasn't really evil?


    Caesar has more in common with a character like Mr. Kurtz in Heart of Darkness than he has in common with Adolf Hitler. Hitler's relative isolation and ascent to power don't even compare to Caesar's.

    But hey, why waste an opportunity to bring up Hitler?

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    Can you explain the similarities between Mr. Kurtz, and Caesar?


    Both are men of intelligence and education who traveled from a life of relative comfort, technological wizardry, and "civilization" into a wilderness full of warring people with relatively low education and a relatively "primitive" lifestyle. Both rose to power and were essentially deified for their intelligence, knowledge and leadership capabilities. Both cut off communication with the outside world and lived in their (until now) remote, savage kingdoms, using the most brutal means possible to deal with rare instances of dissent. Both have an "unusual" way of looking at the world due to their cultural isolation.

    Unlike Mr. Kurtz, Caesar's reign continues for a long, long time.

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    Joshua Graham. Epic voice actor. Fail use as a character in a botched DLC. And I waited a decade for you to bring him into light. Sigh


    c00l

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    Wait, the readme for your mod calls 40mm grenades a pre-order consumable. Am I supposed to eat the grenades?


    They are a consumable in the sense that one instance = one use and then it's gone.

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    Have you ever met a cat that was as friendly as a dog?


    A lot of dogs are unfriendly (e.g. many Jack Russell Terriers are "one-person" dogs), so yes. We had a Maine Coon when I was growing up who was friendly to everyone (except one barn swallow and one persistent cat -- once).

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    Speaking of Kurtz, was that character in any way a direct influence for Graham in Honest Hearts?


    Only slightly. Graham and Caesar were in it together, in different ways. While Caesar never had a radical shift in his approach and ideology, Joshua Graham had a slow slide followed by a dramatic fall and "rebirth". Joshua Graham was inspired by characters like Rodrigo Mendoza from The Mission and T.E. Lawrence.

    That said, Honest Hearts has a lot to do with personal motivations and why being honest to yourself about them is important. In many ways, Caesar is dispassionate -- or at least less passionate than someone like Joshua Graham, or even Lanius. Caesar is an odd sort of philosopher; Joshua Graham is a zealot. Caesar is also hypocritical or at least "bends" his own rules when it suits him. Joshua has to lie to himself to rationalize what he does. He can't live with an internal contradiction.

    They are also very different types of leaders. Caesar leads by telling people what to do and wowing (or terrorizing) them with the results. Joshua Graham leads by personally doing things that (typically) terrify both his allies and his enemies. As Joshua says himself, he's effectively a war chief of the Dead Horses. He's not the sort of guy you ask for opinions on how to repair a road or develop infrastructure.

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    Is there a way to know if the mod is working properly in-game?


    If you open the console and type "coc wolfhornpoint", you should see five hostile ghouls in robes called "Deranged Bright Follower". If they are there, it's working. If not, something wacky is going on.

    My first upload of the mod was an old .esp, so unless you downloaded it today, I suggest downloading it again.

    JESawyer 30 Dec 11



    Where can we download your mod? Since your domain is just an image. Unless it's some cryptic puzzle???


    http://diogenes-lamp.info/jsawyer_fnv_mod.zip

    JESawyer responded to enneract 31 Dec 11



    Would you be interested to know that your mod works great on 360, if one has a devkit or other console able to run unsigned code?


    sweet

    JESawyer responded to taeglar 31 Dec 11



    It seems like your definition of evil Moore tracks with how evil work in bad rpgs. You're judging Moore evil not based on her philosophy or mission or impact, but rather by how much of a pointlessly mean jerk she is to people, like a typical evil crpg PC.


    No, I am judging her based on her philosophy, mission, and impact because she's wrapping vendetta in the NCR flag. Her being a "pointlessly mean jerk" means that she has someone exterminate three groups of people because *she hates those groups* -- even when those groups are not actively working against the NCR and when the Courier and/or other groups have ways to work with/around them.

    It has to be said that if the player negotiates peace with the Kings, negotiates peace with the Khans, and negotiates peace with the BoS, the only material losses to NCR are that NCR hands over its salvaged PA and doesn't take control of Freeside -- in itself hard to argue as necessary or "good" for NCR or Freeside.

    Consider her attitude toward being in the Rangers. She misses it because she had the freedom to do "whatever [she] want[ed]". Compare that to the attitudes of pretty much every other Ranger and it should show you that she views authority as something that allows you to get your way, not as a way to serve a higher cause.

    JESawyer 31 Dec 11


    Your mod makes the game exceedingly difficult due to the increased weight of objects that were once weightless.


    The only thing that really applies to are stims/super stims and (I think) doctor bags, but yes that was my intent.


    JESawyer 31 Dec 11



    Why in the world does a pack of bubble gum weigh 1 pund in NV???


    it's extremely dense

    JESawyer 31 Dec 11



    Your mod doesn't seem to work. I set the the fallout mod manager to load it first but it still loads right after the item packs and my character health isn't quartered. How can I use the mod properly?


    HMM I will investigate this sometime in the next month.

    JESawyer 31 Dec 11



    Why does the Courier reload revolvers improperly? Wouldn't the gun's condition degrade slower if the Courier didn't flick the cylinder back into place?


    For the same reason the Courier finishes reloading pump-action shotguns with one hand (in 3rd person, anyway): because it is more distinctive and looks cooler.

    JESawyer 31 Dec 11



    Why do you only get a perk every two levels in NV?


    To make those perk slots more valuable and to make character builds more distinctive.

    JESawyer 31 Dec 11



    The mod manager is supposed to load it last, not first. to the person below me.


    Yes, I misread his or her question. It does need to load last, though it seems that regardless of order, the health modification is not working for many people.

    JESawyer 31 Dec 11



    Was Dead Money influenced by the 1948 movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre? and if so in what way?


    Yes, but I think Chris Avellone can give more detailed insight than I can. My only real contribution was the addition of the Police Pistol, which is similar to the Colt Official Police used by several characters in the film.

    JESawyer 31 Dec 11



    I know it would be like picking your favorite child, but which main ending in New Vegas is canon?


    Unless it needs to occur in the context of a future game, I will never define a canonical ending to Fallout: New Vegas. The reason we gave you all of those endings and ways to do things was to tell you that whatever ending YOU make is the right ending. It is the heart of what I believe RPGs are about.

    JESawyer 31 Dec 11



    Characters aren't quite so distinctive when you up the cap to 50 and don't restructure the to 30 system to accommodate it.


    That's one of the reasons why earned XP is halved and the level cap is 35 in my mod,

    2012 (open)

    JESawyer 1 Jan 12



    you're game sucks. nice code by the way.


    ok


    JESawyer 1 Jan 12



    Whose idea was it to let the player have Yes Man punch Oliver off of Hoover Dam? I must say, that is supremely satisfying.


    I'm not sure. It was probably Charlie Staples, Akil Hooper, or Jesse Farrell. They all worked on Hoover Dam.

    JESawyer 1 Jan 12



    why didn't you put your mod up on Nexus, man?


    It's quite small and I want to make sure that I'm controlling its singular distribution point.

    JESawyer 2 Jan 12



    Is it normal for some of the brotherhood paladins to wear t-45d helmets? It looks kinda weird with the t-51b.


    For some, yes. It's supposed to show that the Brotherhood doesn't always have matching parts for everyone.

    JESawyer 2 Jan 12



    Any idea when this mod will be available? (yes!, ive been trying to do the same thing to FONV using far too many mods, finding this has just made my day, and i wish the best for you)


    It's available now, but I will probably be releasing one or two more updates due to various oversights (e.g. not adjusting the high-level perk level requirements or Logan's Loophole).

    http://diogenes-lamp.info/jsawyer_fnv_mod.zip

    JESawyer 2 Jan 12



    In Honest Hearts, what is the "School" and who is the "Principle" that the Sorrow's predecessors in Clark's journal talk about?


    mysteries

    JESawyer responded to LanceGonzalez 2 Jan 12



    Things in your mod that don't seem to work as expected: Initial HP are a bit lower, but not quartered. Super and regular stimpacks weight is still 0. H2O/FOD/SLP first threshold is still set at 200, and i'm not sure if the rates are doubled.


    I will check on these, but (especially) in the case of the Stim/Super Stim weight, if those are still 0, another mod (that affects Stims) may be overriding my changes.

    JESawyer 2 Jan 12



    Why in the world would House cement in that Vault? It makes no sense.


    He doesn't want it to be able to return to a fully-functional vault because he doesn't want its former residents to attempt to retake it. I.e. he wants to motivate the Vault 21 dwellers to leave the area. If he had simply sealed off areas or electronically locked portions of it, enterprising smarties like ex-vaulters might attempt to work against him and eventually restore it. With the majority of the vault filled with cement, it can only function as a tourist attraction and small-scale residence.

    JESawyer responded to Kastera1000 2 Jan 12



    Did you ever consider implementing a weapon mods system that required varying levels of the Repair skill? Any average Joe can attach a scope or use extended mags, but it takes someone with knowledge in firearm mechanics to replace an action or spring.


    No, because Repair was already a very valuable skill. I didn't want to restrict the best mods to characters with high Repair.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 12



    I'm also getting some weird happenstances: I swear HP and EXP gain were reduced, but now they seem to have returned to normal.


    I didn't modify the base HP correctly, but I figured out the problem. For a future update, I probably won't quarter the normal values after all, but they will be significantly lower (about halved at 1st level tapering to about 2/3 at 20th).

    I'm also switching from reducing gained XP to doubling the XP that's required to level. There are too many sources of XP that I can't modify through a single value (e.g. quest XP), so it's easier to address it through the requirements.

    Between these two things, it should be rough stuff.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 12



    Does your mod affect sneak attacks, or sneaking in general?


    No.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 12



    Fallout New Vegas is really an overwhelmingly huge game in terms of narrative content (the world map and dungeons are mixed in terms of size) to the point that it's got the longest strategy guide ever. Did it feel that big when you were making it?


    No, honestly. I certainly didn't expect it to have such a huge strategy guide.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 12



    Why not make caps have weight? 210 caps weigh one pound, and would make people pick between having caps, and having bullets.


    Because of the volume of caps required to make large purchases (or large sales), I think that would become excessively annoying.

    JESawyer 3 Jan 12



    Would it be possible for Obsidian's onyx engine to make something like an IE game? Would love to see a return of those type of RPGs with those glorious backgrounds.


    Personally, I think the environment art in DS3 was spectacular in places. Especially when it comes to lighting and visual effects, the engine can do some great things. I don't see why Onyx couldn't support an IE-style (party-based with multi-select) game, though that's not what it's currently set up to do.

    JESawyer 4 Jan 12



    For a rebalance thing on your next update to your mod, can you reduce the Roughin' It Sleeproll down to about 3-4lbs. At 15 with your mod (and arguably in the release build too) it's way too heavy to bother to keep around. And a simple sleeping bag =/= 15


    Bedrolls are pretty heavy, actually.

    http://www.cowboycamp.net/bedrolls.html

    JESawyer 4 Jan 12



    You're telling me Robert E. House, super genius, let a vault be built just down the street from his secret lair, then figured out how to get it back, could think of nothing better to do with a fully intact, Pre-War facility than to fill it with cement?


    He turned it into a tourist attraction. It's arguable that there's nothing more Vegas than that.

    JESawyer 4 Jan 12



    How deep is the concrete filling? Just the entrance? I mean House has money, but lacks any actual resources beyond what he trades gambling money for, and concrete doesn't seem cheep/common in the wasteland given what post-war buildings are made of.


    The concrete is in what were the lower areas of the vault. The upper areas are open because that's what the Vault 21 hotel is.

    Concrete is very common in this area and easy to make/mix, especially since there are two quarries of cement materials within walking distance: Quarry Junction and Gypsum Train Yard.

    JESawyer 5 Jan 12



    Does your beard keep you warm?


    Yes. It's the only reason I have it.

    JESawyer 5 Jan 12


    Does that mean you will shave in the summer?


    Yes.


    JESawyer responded to Bloggers99 5 Jan 12



    I've been going on and on about New Vegas since it's initial release. I only recently purchased the DLCs outside of Dead Money. Were they designed/written by different folks? I ask because each one is a masterpiece though rarely are they comparable.


    Thanks. Chris Avellone was the project director and writer for Dead Money and Lonesome Road. He was also the project director for Old World Blues, though he and Travis Stout shared writing on that project. I was the project director for Honest Hearts and shared writing with Travis Stout and John Gonzalez.

    JESawyer 5 Jan 12



    Do you have any idea when you will find the time to do the one or two updates required for your mod? It sounds awesome, but I want to make sure there aren't any outstanding issues before I start a new game.


    I will likely do another release this weekend. I fixed some more problems and made a few more adjustments, but I need to clean up some "dirty" forms that I touched and haven't reverted. I don't want to override things I don't need to.

    JESawyer 5 Jan 12



    Recently got the rest of the DLC for F:NV, and: Will having some of the DLC esms over the main esm make any major difference (Not using any mods)? Should I get FOMM and adjust the load order to be safe? Going to adjust when I get your mod later, but jw.


    It should not make any difference if you are running without mods.

    JESawyer 6 Jan 12



    How does House get gypsum from the train yard? Does he buy it from the Deathclaws?


    He doesn't need to at the point the game takes place. Quarry Junction is NCR's problem and the deathclaws are a recent arrival.

    JESawyer 6 Jan 12



    you're up late.


    10???

    JESawyer 6 Jan 12


    What is the correct load order anyway? FalloutNV.esm first, then all DLC esms, then esp mods (bouncing breasts and the like) and your mod last ?


    My mod doesn't have to load last (and in some cases, you may want to override my changes with other mods), but it does have to load after FalloutNV.esm and all of the DLC .esms.


    JESawyer 6 Jan 12


    When you guys were working on the Alien RPG did Ridley Scott come to your office?


    No.


    JESawyer 6 Jan 12



    do i see some gray hairs in your pic? damn, the vidya industry is stressful, isn't it?


    I'm 36 years old; grey hairs are pretty common at this age.

    JESawyer responded to isequals 6 Jan 12



    Is there a technical reason that I shouldn't add entries to jsawyer.esp in order to increase Auto-Inject Stimpak weight to the same level as standard Stimpaks? Will it crash my game? Thanks for the mod, by the way (and I won't distribute my changes).


    There shouldn't be any problem.

    JESawyer 7 Jan 12



    What was the point in making generic versions of That Gun and This Machine for GRA? Both unique versions are already very easy to acquire and are superior while the generics are very expensive and not as good. Who would anyone bother with them?


    A quest has to be done to get This Machine and That Gun is 40% more expensive than a regular 5.56mm Pistol. Additionally, a lot of players do not want to give unique weapons to companions because it's common for companions to have weapons damaged out of their hands (and they never retrieve them).

    JESawyer 7 Jan 12



    Wait, you mean some people actually pay money for That Gun, you can just sneak in his shop at night and steal it for free lol


    you owe a karmic debt to cliff briscoe

    JESawyer responded to Formspring 7 Jan 12



    Do you like to sing karaoke?


    It can be fun, but I don't like the attitudes of some people at open karaoke. I think there's a lot of petty cruelty toward people who aren't necessarily great singers.

    If you can't go to karaoke without ridiculing others for their singing, do everyone a favor and stay home. It's not a concert, dummies.

    JESawyer 8 Jan 12



    Is Mr. Fenstermaker working on the same project as you are right now?


    No.

    JESawyer 8 Jan 12



    were people cruel to you when you sang karaoke?


    No.

    JESawyer 9 Jan 12



    Will you be uploading an mp3 of you singing karaoke?


    I already effectively did that by singing four songs in Fallout: New Vegas.

    JESawyer 9 Jan 12



    Were you creul to people when they sang karaoke?


    I'm not cruel to people about their singing in any venue.

    JESawyer 9 Jan 12



    which songs did you sing?


    As the Lonesome Drifter: Streets of New Reno, Home on the Wastes, and New Vegas Valley. As Bruce Isaac: Green Clouds and Dust Whirls.

    JESawyer 9 Jan 12



    Why did you remove the mod slots for weathered 10mm pistol?


    It was never intended to be modded.

    JESawyer 9 Jan 12



    If you couldn't add weapons from other DLC's to Grunt which was introduced in Honest Hearts, why can Heavyweight, introduced in Dead Money, apply to weapons from other DLC's?


    Because Heavyweight doesn't look at a list of weapons. Heavyweight looks at the weight of any weapon to make the determination if it qualifies for the reduction or not.


    JESawyer responded to Kaphei 10 Jan 12



    Have you released an updated version of your mod yet?


    Yes. http://twofoldsilence.diogenes-lamp.info/2012/01/jsawyeresp-v2.html

    JESawyer responded to PTG 10 Jan 12



    Since you fundamentally made "(GRA)" weapons and the base weapons the same, will they stack if in the same container?


    No, because they have different IDs as far as the engine is concerned. However, they will repair each other because they are both on their shared repair list.


    JESawyer 11 Jan 12



    Is your mod safe to use now? Will it be updated again, and if so, will I have to start a new character?


    I will update it again, but you won't need to make a new character.


    JESawyer 11 Jan 12



    why has obsidian not done anything with the shadowrun ip?????//


    That IP belongs to FASA and/or Microsoft, I believe.


    JESawyer 11 Jan 12



    ??


    ??????

    JESawyer 11 Jan 12



    Hi, can anyone who can post there bring this to Josh's attention :smile: : 1. It seems his mod broke medium(haven't tested with heavy) armor movement penalty(If it's not intentional). 2. "Travel Light" perk is broken as well, no bonuses to movement spui


    I reduced the Medium and Heavy armor movement penalties by half in the mod. I didn't do anything to Travel Light.

    JESawyer responded to LoEaDiTo 11 Jan 12



    What if I use your mod without GRA an CS???


    It (probably) won't load.

    JESawyer 11 Jan 12



    "I reduced the Medium and Heavy armor movement penalties by half in the mod." Why would you do that? With the superior DR of medium/heavy, movement penalties are pretty much the only thing keeping the light/medium/heavy balance.


    In the JSawyer mod, weight is a much more significant consideration. Light armors weigh virtually nothing compared to Medium and (especially) Heavy armors.


    JESawyer 11 Jan 12



    you look like that guy from home improvement


    i don't think so tim!!!!

    JESawyer responded to Guynemer 12 Jan 12



    Love the mod; very challenging. Two questions: any plans to reduce the weight of energy weapons ammo? And is there an issue with applying weapon mods? Absolutely nothing happens when I hit X, even though I have multiple mods for my weapon.


    Energy Weapon ammo was already halved in the JSawyer mod. I haven't heard/seen anything about not being able to apply mods.

    JESawyer 12 Jan 12



    Why put all that work into adding the Advanced Power Armor and it only shows up once in the game and only if you go out of your way to look for it?


    If it were easy to get it wouldn't feel special.

    JESawyer 12 Jan 12


    If you could work on any Nintendo IP, which would you choose?


    P
    I
    K
    M
    I
    N
    --,--'-@


    JESawyer 12 Jan 12



    Could you put the link to your mod in your Bio info or somewhere easy to find? Also, please don't forget to do something about the Merc armors!


    I already modified the Merc outfits. Check the v2 notes:

    http://twofoldsilence.diogenes-lamp.info/2012/01/jsawyeresp-v2.html

    JESawyer responded to Formspring 13 Jan 12



    Do you have a good singing voice?


    It is okay but I have limited range and flexibility. I also tend to sound nasal at times


    JESawyer 13 Jan 12



    If you could have the voice of a male singer, which one?


    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

    http://youtu.be/MHmzzu4FAnM


    JESawyer 14 Jan 12



    Who wrote Chris Haversam? One of those really memorable fallout-humor characters!!


    I think it was Jesse Farrell.

    JESawyer 14 Jan 12



    Any chance of rebalancing Them's Good Eatin in your mod? The items given just seem too good.


    I've already made the change for v3. The items are still pretty darn good (and they now restore FOD and are marked as food/Survival items), but their VALs have been reduced greatly as have their drop rates.

    JESawyer 14 Jan 12



    nice quilt where did you get it?


    My girlfriend's grandmother made it.

    JESawyer 14 Jan 12



    JSawyer mod slows down levelling SO MUCH. It needed to be a bit slower but damn. Do you know if it's even possible to get level 30 without hitting up the DLC?


    I'm not sure, but the XP required has been increased by about 1/3. The amount of XP to get to level 33 is close to the amount of XP required to get to level 50 in the normal game.

    JESawyer 15 Jan 12



    Do you have a bicycle hanging on the wall in your bedroom???


    It's hanging on a bicycle rack. I have three bicycles and two more that I'm putting together. Some of them have to stay in my room.

    JESawyer 15 Jan 12



    Not sure how much you were involved in Dungeon Siege 3 but I just wanted to say that I enjoyed playing it. The character design and lighting effects were pretty fantastic imo


    Thanks, but most of the character design and lighting credit goes to Justin Cherry and the rest of the art team. I didn't work on Dungeon Siege III at all.

    JESawyer 16 Jan 12



    Why do you need so many bikes? are you some kinda freak?


    Road, time trial, commuter, hillclimber, cyclocross.

    JESawyer 16 Jan 12



    what's the diff. between road and commuter bikes?


    Commuter bikes are often outfitted with thicker/tougher tires, fenders, lights, baskets/racks, and other stuff that is convenient for commuting. They may also have internally-geared hubs (IGH) or a single-speed freewheel connected to a single chainring. Road bikes need to be lighter, faster, and (typically) have a wider range of gears.

    I may take my commuter bike 10-20 miles on the roughest (but flattest) streets in Orange County. On my road bike, I may ride 40-100 miles on smooth roads with a few thousand feet of elevation change.

    JESawyer responded to Formspring 17 Jan 12



    How do you get through Mondays?


    Read Garfield.

    JESawyer responded to Ogremindes 17 Jan 12



    Regarding your change to Logan's Loophole, are you aware that the book has the cut off age at 21? So you could have your cake and eat it too.


    o
    i
    c

    JESawyer 17 Jan 12



    If you went to school in Appleton I have to ask: Did you used to shop at Chimera Hobby Shop?


    Of course. Chimera and Jerry's were where I bought almost all of my RPG books when I was going to Lawrence. I think I may have occasionally bought some stuff at Power House Comics.

    JESawyer responded to TellerGrim 17 Jan 12



    In the Legion Ending, why does Caesar allow the Followers of the Apocalypse to leave the Mojave unmolested? Doesn't the Legion hate them for 'defaming' Caesar's origins?


    Yes, but while Caesar's alive, he still calls the shots in the Legion.

    JESawyer 19 Jan 12



    Did you ever expected to hear your voice in a game trailer?


    lol

    JESawyer 19 Jan 12



    Do you not think the Automatic Rifle's a bit op now? I'm like level 18 and slaughtering ghost people in about five bullets, even without .308 JSP. Is that the kind of thing I'd be doing with an LMG at this level???


    The Automatic Rifle is in the same "tier" (5) as the Light Machine Gun. The advantage of the LMG is mostly in ammunition capacity, slightly lower spread, and slightly higher DPS. Against a small number of enemies (especially ones with high DT), the Automatic Rifle is the weapon to use.

    JESawyer 19 Jan 12



    Who wrote Corporal Betsy?


    George Ziets.

    JESawyer responded to ilyacharlie 19 Jan 12



    I saw you answered a russian "question" (well, it's not a question, just a meaningless syllable). Were you somehow, somewhere learning Russian or did you just googled the word? :)


    I can slowly read Cyrillic writing but I don't actually know any Russian vocabulary or grammar.

    JESawyer 19 Jan 12



    Is that your singing in the New Vegas: Ultimate Edition trailer?


    Yes, and Nathaniel Chapman is playing guitar.

    JESawyer 19 Jan 12



    Why is there an animation of the character blowing up the Vegas Strip in the new trailer? ITSA MISLEADIN


    Put C4 all over the place and pull the trigger. That's all that picture is, AFAIK.

    JESawyer 19 Jan 12



    Who's the tallest at Obsidian?


    It might be Trent Campbell (animator) or Zane Lyon (project director). I think they're both about 6'4". I'm only 6'2".

    UPDATE: After being measured for the first time in probably ten years, I am now only 6'1".

    JESawyer 20 Jan 12



    Do you watch the Colbert report?


    Sometimes.

    JESawyer 20 Jan 12



    Is Beatrix Russell named after Beatrice Russell from The Wire?


    I don't think so.

    JESawyer 20 Jan 12



    Why would Caesar not want to harm the Followers?


    They pose no real threat to him (in his view), and he shows more power by sparing them than by destroying them. Also, he is, despite his opinions about their naïveté, a bit soft-hearted toward them.

    JESawyer 22 Jan 12



    Sorry, I'm sure this has been asked before, but: Why is the number of savegames limited?


    At least one of the consoles has a TCR/TRC (technical requirement) that when a player opens the load game menu, it cannot take more than a certain amount of time to display the save games. 100 is a somewhat arbitrary number, but it does ensure that we do not take longer than the requirement demands.

    JESawyer 22 Jan 12



    Did you like The Sopranos


    I didn't watch The Sopranos because I can't think of a less interesting subject than the American Mafia.

    JESawyer 22 Jan 12



    is veronica belmont a qt IRL // alt question: is she a vampire killa irl


    I have never met her.

    JESawyer 22 Jan 12



    What's with your disdain towards the American Mafia in fictional form.


    Maybe it's because I grew up in the 80s. I feel like I was bombarded with Mafia-related entertainment media growing up. By the time The Sopranos came out, all I could think was, "Who still finds this subject interesting?"

    JESawyer 23 Jan 12



    Is that why New Vegas's mafia-esque factions weren't too good along with the New Vegas area itself?


    Excepting the Omertas, we specifically avoided Mafia-type factions because it had already been done in Fallout 2.

    JESawyer 23 Jan 12



    Bad news. I think your mod break the Meltdown perk. With your mod enabled, no explosion. Disabled it and BOOM! I don't know if it was caused by a conflict or something, since I don't see any change related to Meltdown. Can you please check that out?


    I haven't seen anything like that, but I'll probably be releasing another update this weekend. I'll look into it.

    UPDATE: I must have forgotten that I made a change to Meltdown (and didn't document it). Meltdown now only triggers when using plasma weapons. I've updated the description for the next update.

    JESawyer 24 Jan 12



    Meltdown is plasma only... balance/gameplay reasons, or to fix red lasers/flamethrowers/gauss causing green explosions? Or both? The mod Meltdown Medley has unique Meltdown explosions for each weapon, but I'm guessing you felt Meltdown was overpowered.


    It's mostly because a lot of people complained about certain weapons (especially flame weapons) triggering explosions. I think people also ran into a certain amount of "Meltdown Fatigue" from seeing it all the time. By restricting it to plasma weapons, I can ensure that people can use laser and flame weapons without triggering it.

    JESawyer 27 Jan 12



    Did you read/study any president/politician's speech to write Kimball's speech in New Vegas or did you just pretty much did your own thing with it? I'm curious because it's one of the most overlooked pieces of writing in the game imo.


    I looked at a variety of speeches and utilized basic elements of structure I found in a number of them: repeated phrases, the inclusion of the audience in the actions of the speech, and lengthening of phrases to build toward a climactic moment.

    For President Kimball's voice actor, I asked that he be in the ballpark of Dirty Dozen-era Lee Marvin.

    JESawyer 27 Jan 12



    >make an entire faction about Elvis >don't include any Elvis songs


    The cost of licensing Elvis songs -- even covers of Elvis songs -- is extraordinarily high.

    JESawyer 27 Jan 12



    Alright, What if your already level 40? the max level cap is 35 with your mod, but as a level 40 char, and me being uninterested in making a new one, what will it do?


    The mod states that it is for use with new characters only. If you don't want to make a new character, don't use it.

    JESawyer 27 Jan 12



    Why does the L.A.E.R. form Old World Blues have only 75 hp?


    I didn't tune the LAER's health, but I did adjust it (up) in my mod.

    JESawyer 27 Jan 12



    Where did the inspiration for Daniel and Joshua Graham's religious dialogue come from? A professing Christian myself, I was shocked and impressed by it's authenticity. D. F.


    Thanks. I studied religious history in college (specifically, witch-hunting in Europe) and took some supplemental religious studies courses, one oriented around the New Testament.

    Joshua (especially) examines actions and events through a biblical lens. Putting things into a biblical context reinforces his rationalization of his actions and the actions of those around him (e.g. the Courier is a "good neighbor" like the Samaritan, Salt-Upon-Wounds is the ram in the "thicket", and Joshua is Abraham offering up a "sacrifice" to God).

    JESawyer 27 Jan 12



    What versions of 'Home on the Range', 'Red River Valley', and 'The Streets of Laredo' did you take most inspiration from when writing/performing versions for FNV?


    The answer for all three is probably Marty Robbins, but I also like several of Johnny Cash's recordings of Streets of Laredo. I just love Marty Robbins' voice and emotion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L14UKBjC5Is


    JESawyer 29 Jan 12



    Why didn't GRA add any new .45 auto ammo types?


    .45 Auto already had enough ammo types and subtypes. Additionally, GRA could not access data in HH for the same reason none of the shipped DLCs reference other DLCs: load order conflicts. Since .45 Auto is introduced in HH, GRA could not contribute to that ammo list.

    JESawyer responded to LanceFalcon 29 Jan 12



    Are you okay with people asking multiple questions? I read that your mod reintroduced the Vault 21 Armored Suit. I saw that in the Lonesome Road trailer - was your mod in play there?


    I think the person making the video just added it through the console (same as in the original F:NV trailer).

    JESawyer 29 Jan 12



    You have a super beautiful voice! <3


    Thanks.

    JESawyer 29 Jan 12



    did you consider using a unique model for Marcus' face, or did you do that? not to nitpick but compared to his FO2 appearance Marcus looks a bit... odd.


    He does have a unique face in F:NV.

    JESawyer 29 Jan 12



    is it easier to take risks with expansions/dlcs? i'm playing through nwn2 for the first time right now, and the quality of mask of the betrayer's campaign over the original is pretty drastic.


    Yes, very much so. Because each one is a side story, it's a good place to try out things that the player might tire of after a few hours. For example, the majority of players might not be interested in playing through a 50+ hour campaign about religious conflict, but it was fine to try out in Honest Hearts.

    JESawyer 29 Jan 12


    how far into the development process was Ulysses cut as a companion? He seemed like he would have been pretty cool, and I feel like there was a dearth of pro-Legion companions.


    He was cut very late in the development cycle.


    JESawyer 29 Jan 12



    Can any other information be provided about the Iron Lines tribe besides that they mapped railways, used parallel line body art, used handcarts, and reside primarily at Circle Junction?


    Chris Avellone would likely be a better resource on the Iron Lines.

    JESawyer 29 Jan 12



    Hey, I was wondering, is this perk in New vegas a reference to the novel Misery? It's called Hobbler. The pip boy logo is one vault boy in crutches, and the other holding a sledgehammer.


    Not directly, but the icon does suggest that.

    JESawyer 29 Jan 12



    Anything you might say about NWN2? Specifically things that were planned and didn't make it or thing that made it in kinda unplanned but you think worked out? Or something kinda revealing like that anyways, thanks.


    I was only on NWN2 toward the end, so it's hard for me to make a comprehensive analysis of it.

    JESawyer 29 Jan 12



    For the Strip and Legion factions, the player was able to meet and get to know their leaders (Caesar, Lanius and MR. House, respectively) and understand their motivations. Why were we not allowed to do the same with President Aaron Kimball for NCR?


    President Kimball is not a faction leader in the same way that Caesar and Mr. House are. Speaking to him wouldn't really give the player any dramatic insight into why NCR is the way it is.

    JESawyer 30 Jan 12



    I guess I didn't understand how late you came to nwn2, was your role solely production/management? did you make any 11th hour creative decisions? I ask since I know the production was kind of troubled and I wonder what belongs and what is adhoc or hurried


    I didn't have a huge amount of creative input on the game as far as story or characters go. I worked a bit with George Ziets to develop the background of the King of Shadows as a tragic figure, but that was about it. I didn't develop the plot or any of the major characters outside of that.

    Most of my time on the project was during the last six months. Since the majority of core content had already been developed, I was mostly in production triage mode trying to wrap up (or sever) loose ends.

    JESawyer 30 Jan 12



    When do you think you'll try and release Version 3?


    It's out now.

    http://twofoldsilence.diogenes-lamp.info/2012/01/jsawyeresp-v3.html

    JESawyer 30 Jan 12



    Who was responsible for the Orc Caves?


    John Lee, I think.

    JESawyer 30 Jan 12



    Could you explain why you choose to remove All-American/Marks from Grunt? Makes it to powerful, not a "gruntish" weapon, or... ?


    Not that Grunt-ish. Battle Rifle/This Machine are more appropriate.

    JESawyer 31 Jan 12



    Dude, 'Aliens" was way better than 'Alien'...


    ," said the man with bad opinions.

    JESawyer responded to iguanius 3 Feb 12



    Hi. Are you planing to do something with jury-riged perk? In my opinion that perk brakes the game balance after 14 level and carry weight has nothing to do with it...even weapon repair kits becomes meaningless :/. Still, your mod is so so so awsome :D!!


    If I could, I'd make Jury Rigging repair a percentage of health equal to the percentage of VAL the repairing item has to the item being repaired. I think it's a good perk otherwise,

    JESawyer responded to MojaveManiac 3 Feb 12



    When working with Fallout:New Vegas, what was your proudest contribution to the project?


    Cazadores.

    JESawyer 4 Feb 12



    Y'know, Wasteland Tequila technically isn't Tequila at all. There's a very strict definition as to what can and cannot be called Tequila.


    youare tequila

    JESawyer 5 Feb 12



    I just encountered "Deranged Bright Followers", did your mod add that?


    Yes.

    JESawyer responded to Jspoel 5 Feb 12



    Can you tell me if Fallout: New Vegas' Benny is based on or a reference to the American gangster Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel? His name, looks, checkered suit and location (Las Vegas) indicate that.


    Yes.

    JESawyer 5 Feb 12



    What was up with removing all the dying NCR soldiers inbetween Camp FH and Nelson? I'm pretty sure it occurred after the first patch, I just recalled it now - I quite liked the sick, bleak touch it gave to the Legion's already brutal tactics. 2ofensiv 4u?


    Memory problems.

    JESawyer 5 Feb 12



    Did you do anything other than Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows at Midway?


    No, and very little of what I did was in the shipped game, which is why I asked to not be credited.

    JESawyer 5 Feb 12



    Why do you use an iPhone or iPad (as your replying via iOS shows)?


    I use an iPad 2 and stylus to create reference notebook/sketches in Noteshelf that I can export as .pngs or .pdfs. It's a lot faster and more productive than sitting down with a Wacom tablet in my office. I use paper notebooks (Field Notes) for actual note-taking.

    JESawyer 5 Feb