Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Game News Fallout: New Vegas dev quote roundup

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by VentilatorOfDoom, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,389
    Location:
    Deutschland
    Tags: Fallout: New Vegas; Obsidian Entertainment

    <p>There's a roundup of developer quotes available at <a href="http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Ausir/New_Vegas_dev_quote_roundup" target="_blank"><em>The Vault</em></a>, stemming from different sources.</p>
    <p>To give you an example, Josh Sawyer doesn't like lengthy dialogues:</p>
    <blockquote>
    <p><strong>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?</strong> <br /><br /> I don't think I can answer this because I don't know what you consider "depth". <br /><br /> <strong>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?</strong> <br /><br /> 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. <br /><br /> <strong>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.</strong> <br /><br /> 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. <br /><br /> <strong>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.</strong> <br /><br /> 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. <br /><br /> <strong>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</strong> <br /><br /> Forcing players to wade through dialogue they may not be interested in doesn't make that dialogue more compelling; it just makes it mandatory. <br /><br /> If you're interested in details and background information, explore the dialogue trees. If you're not, don't.</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p><em>Thanks to Brother None for pointing this out.</em></p>
     
    ^ Top  
  2. Azrael the cat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Azrael the cat
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Messages:
    6,207
    Location:
    The island of misfit mascots
    I appreciate Sawyer's honesty in an age of hype (I still can't work out why people think this game was Avellone's - it's been Sawyer's lead since day one). I don't agree with quite a bit of what he has to say here. In fact, as a storyfag, I disagree with lots of it, even though I enjoyed NV. But he's always been a straight talker, and he's always justified his decisions - it seems he knows what he wants to make, and why.

    I would have liked a more developed PC, however. Nonetheless, that would go against FO history. FO3, if anything, run counter to previous Fallouts by NOT giving the player a 'blank slate of a personality'. I just hope they realise that some variety is good - not all games need take the same approach to the PC.
     
    ^ Top  
  3. UserNamer Savant

    UserNamer
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Messages:
    627
    I have been replaying f2 since I finished nv, and I actually enjoyed the fact that the chosen one showed his own personality every now and then.

    I think that as long as you can choose your own morality, enemies, or way to resolve quests, a few specific (personality wise) lines every now and then are not bad at all.
     
    ^ Top  
  4. Think big! Smoking Dicks

    Think big!
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    10,610
    I seem to recall lots of personality in dialogue options in Fallout 2. Particularly in New Reno.
     
    ^ Top  
  5. Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    5,271
    Location:
    Poland
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    "I sometimes like to take not my stuff... from shelves... like those over there."
     
    ^ Top  
  6. Andyman Messiah Mr. Ed-ucated

    Andyman Messiah
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    9,931
    Location:
    Narnia
    Honestly, Courier Six is pretty developed if you know where to look. There are dialogue options depending on your build, and signs around the world that hints that he's a pretty legendary courier. If I remember correctly there's some graffiti near the start of the game that goes something like "go home Courier Six" or something.

    Basically, what I'm trying to say is LARPING.
     
    ^ Top  
  7. Havoc Cheerful Magician Patron

    Havoc
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    5,271
    Location:
    Poland
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    His backstory is pretty interesting. When you talk to Nash, he tells you that a courier bailed out seeing yours PC name.
     
    ^ Top  
  8. .Sigurd Educated

    .Sigurd
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Location:
    huahuahua
    Some other stuff:
     
    ^ Top  
  9. Andyman Messiah Mr. Ed-ucated

    Andyman Messiah
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    9,931
    Location:
    Narnia
    Huh. :)
     
    ^ Top  
  10. Mister Arkham Scholar

    Mister Arkham
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    763
    Location:
    Not buried deep enough
    I can understand Sawyer's rationale here, and even appreciate it to some extent. He strikes me as a pretty old-school kind of guy, and one who comes from a design background strongly influenced by tabletop games. In that case, it's easy to say that you as a designer and writer (effectively the GM in the equation) don't wish to strongly force a personality type on the player by making the PC's dialogue options too florid. If you as a tabletop DM were to take your players into a conversation and hand them a list of pre-constructed responses, well, you wouldn't be DMing for much longer because your group would collect your damn head before the night was out. But not only can you do that in a CRPG, you almost have to. Courier 6 has some flourishes here and there, but mostly your dialogue options in NV are painted in very broad strokes--and while I do agree that it's a valid way of doing things, I have to say that it isn't one that I enjoy in most cases. Thankfully, NV had enough going for it in the writing of the NPCs that the game's expansive dialogue trees never became tedious.
     
    ^ Top  
  11. Baron Arcane

    Baron
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,887
    Seems they ran with the Gordon Freeman protagonist... ugh. At least he speaks. But yeah, JE Sawyer is a smart guy and knows his gaming. I used to read his Formspring site pretty regularly and it convinced me that if I disagreed with him on a certain point of game design it was probably because he was the informed well read industry professional with a strong gaming pedigree and I was a douche with 2 cents and internet access.

    Playing a character who doesn't add flavour to dialogue probably could get annoying, but personally I hate bland replies from the PC. The PC is the devil as far as I'm concerned, and I would like him/her to get the best lines. Was not Nada there to chew bubblegum and kickass?

    For all his infuriating silence Gordon Freeman himself was the least immersive character I've ever played, so a character that replies neutrality in tone in all situations is only one step up from that. But, as I said, more than happy to defer to Sawyer's judgement on this and to lend my keen insight and forum contributions to geo-politics or milfs I'd like to fuck, whatever.
     
    ^ Top  
  12. Drakron Arcane

    Drakron
    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Messages:
    6,208
    Never played a male so I cannot say but you need to pick the Lady Killer perk so that goes from "emotional loading" to "based in player choices".

    Again, OPTION and the Courier come from California so knowing or not a NCR location is not strange to have been there.

    Sawyer did creation of a blank sheet Courier Six but there are some assumptions that must have be made so the plot hooks work, the same happened in FO1/FO2 were basic background was set in stone.
     
    ^ Top  
  13. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite

    Roguey
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    27,094
    If you want a PC with a personality, go play Mass Effect or Alpha Protocol or some other story-driven piece of crap.

    I support concise dialogue options without any emotion/intent loading. These aren't quite keywords but they're good enough. :love:
     
    ^ Top  
  14. deuxhero Arcane

    deuxhero
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    8,482
    Location:
    Flowery Land
    Deus Ex and Gothic (Fallout 2 as well, but the majority of it falls under the famed "lulzy humor") had some measure of personality in their dialogue options and worked. Though they all used the same kind (snark, lots and lots of snark).
     
    ^ Top  
  15. .Sigurd Educated

    .Sigurd
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Location:
    huahuahua
    I already got this conversation. It's a singer that used to work in the Shark Club who is trying to scape because he stole his delayed payment and banged Mr.Bishop's daughter. The Courier mention that he/she saw his show in the Shark Club at New Reno not too long ago.
     
    ^ Top  
  16. Excommunicator Arcane

    Excommunicator
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Messages:
    3,385
    I'm a big fan of designs that make an effort to avoid the emotional loading as he describes it. I can't stand it when it happens when I'm playing, and when I see my character loading some morals or emotions or motivations into the dialogue that I don't share, all it does it significantly distance me from the character, leading me to enjoy the game less. Avoiding the loading doesn't necessarily mean there is no character being developed, and I would also always like to see the development of personality through the character's actions (dialogue & non-dialogue), by having the game respond to them in a substantial way.

    Bioware are especially bad at emotional loading, and despite them thinking they make the most emotionally engaging games around, to me they are loaded with all sorts of obvious moral and emotional ideas that makes me unable to emotionally connect at all.
     
    ^ Top  
  17. kingcomrade Kingcomrade Edgy

    kingcomrade
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Messages:
    26,884
    Location:
    Cognitive Elite HQ
    What is the anti scumming feature for gambling?
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  18. Drakron Arcane

    Drakron
    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Messages:
    6,208
    There is a timer ... you cannot just save, bet, lose, reload, repeat until you win.

    Well you can but there is a cooldown timer were you have to wait until you can bet again, its long enough to be rather annoying so you try to win instead of save-reload until you win a jackpot.
     
    ^ Top  
  19. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,869,318
    Location:
    Glass Fields, Ruins of Old Iran
    Interesting responses, though I don't get the beef about the 80-character limit. That's only what can be shown onscreen at once, right? A character can keep talking and new lines will appear. And PC%NAME has a scrolling dialogue window.
     
    ^ Top  
  20. Lingwe Liturgist

    Lingwe
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    australia
    The 80 character limit was for Fallout 3, which is why the [Intelligent] dialogue sounded like the stupidest shit you've ever heard. The charcter limit for New Vegas is 100. Only marginally longer, but is enought to make the bland generic conversation options that Sawyer told his designers to use.

    Modders can edit the Geck ini to change the length of the player responses anyway. For Oblivion they had this crappy thing where even if you tried to make the player responses longer you couldn't get beyond 53 characters anyway. For Fallout 3 they changed it so that you could display much longer sentences - it just means that the dialogue box becomes bigger and bigger (sometime obscuring the NPC's face).
     
    ^ Top  
  21. Morkar illiterate

    Morkar
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    5,756
    Location:
    Germany
    The only reason for the character limit is that you can read it on the xbox without obscuring the npcs faces? Nice...
     
    ^ Top  
  22. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,869,318
    Location:
    Glass Fields, Ruins of Old Iran
    I imagine it's so the VAs can record multiple short sentences, instead of a single, gigantic one.
     
    ^ Top  
  23. Think big! Smoking Dicks

    Think big!
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    10,610
    Not so much Deus Ex.
     
    ^ Top  
  24. deuxhero Arcane

    deuxhero
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    8,482
    Location:
    Flowery Land
    ^ Top  
  25. Xor Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Xor
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    9,301
    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    I think this is a matter of taste more than anything else. I prefer my protagonist to have a bit more personality given by the writers than was available in NV. Torment did this well, with practically every dialog having 10 or so responses. KOTOR2 did a good job with this, as well.
     
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)