Fallout 3 Interview: Pete Hines

Written by Joe Martin

August 9, 2008 // 9:41 a.m.

Tags: #fallout #fallout-3 #fo3 #hines #interview #joe #preview #vault

Companies: #bethesda #interplay

BT: What about the differences in how people play? Do you see differences there between seasoned gamers and newcomers?

Pete: Uh, yeah actually. The people who are more hardcore, they tend to pick up the core elements a bit quicker and then they usually start delving right into the stats a lot more. They start with the numbers and powergaming.

The casual guys though, they just play. They grab a gun and shoot stuff. It becomes a story driven shooter for them and they find big guns, put points in big guns and just do the whole big-gun, energy-weapon thing. It’s about roleplaying though, so there’s nothing that says some aren’t supposed to play like that.

If you’re into the stealth and the dialogue and so on though then you totally can, but we see that the people who do that tend to be the hardcore gamers. They tend to look for which perks line up perfectly with their play style.

BT: Is that why you’ve moved the game to a first person perspective? To make it more accessible to players?

Fallout 3 Interview: Pete Hines Fallout 3 Interview: Sequels and Player types

Pete: Uh, no, I think we moved it because we thought that would make the best game. Like, what we’re able to do from a first and third person point of view that we can’t do from an isometric view is put the player in the world so that you aren’t always looking down and detached from the world. You’re really experiencing all this destruction around you.

First person just gives you a much bigger sense of space. When you leave the vault for the first time and you have that really cool effect where you come outside for the first time and you’re blinded by the light. The whole world is slowly revealed to you. It’s hard to give the player that same level of ‘this is all free for you to play in’ from the isometric point of view.

It’s about immersion, so honestly it’s about keeping true to the franchise. Just look at the first Fallout – that was pushing the graphics for its day. It did full lip syncing and animated faces. It did everything! It didn’t just do one thing. If it was just great dialogue then it’d be Zork. It had violence, graphics, dialogue and everything else on top.

BT: Fallout 4?

Pete: Ha! Let’s finish this one first, please! Y’know, we didn’t buy this series so that we could make Fallout 3 and put it away and never do it again.

Fallout 3 Interview: Pete Hines Fallout 3 Interview: Sequels and Player types

BT: So you have the rights to do Fallout 4?

Pete: We *own* Fallout. The series is wholly ours. We’ve just licensed back the rights to an MMO to Interplay under certain conditions, but it’s still ours just like The Elder Scrolls is ours.

I would say that somewhere down the road, Fallout 4 will almost certainly happen – but let's make sure that Fallout 3 is good first.

BT: What about with levelling then? In Oblivion when you levelled up then the whole world would level up with you. What’s your approach been with Fallout 3?

Pete: We’ve steered more heavily towards ‘Things are what they are’ and that when you start to game you can go to places in the world that will be very easy for you or an acceptable level, or there are places that will be far too challenging. You can go to places where you’ll find creatures and characters that you have to fight that are too tough for you to deal with.

So, with those cases, you may leave and come back – and when you do, they’ll be the same as when you left them. We do mess with things now and then though, giving some enemies different weapons depending on what level you are.

In general though we don’t do it the same as Oblivion, with a few exceptions. There are a few places where you might get into, but not be able to get out of – so we level the game so you can’t get stuck in those places in case you need to be Level Ten to do it.
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