Author Topic: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot, And Other Things  (Read 61032 times)

Offline Silver Sorrow

  • Forums Keeper
  • Totally Awesome Member - Won A Cookie!
  • *****
  • Posts: 2943
  • Avatar of Wrongeousness
...the first time was Oblivion, in case you were wondering.

Okay! This isn't a judgement on Fallout 3; rather, it concerns the lack of modding tools. I have a prepared statement, so allow me to copy and paste...

As you may have heard, there is no planned release of an SDK for Fallout 3. Back in September, Bethesda's marketing guy, Pete Hines, mentioned in an interview that, quote:

"Folk probably took for granted that every time we make a game, there’s a mod tool. We explained to folk that it takes a lot of time and effort to get that tool ready for release, and it’s not on our schedule right now. We need to get the game done and out. It’s not to say we won’t do it. It’s that right now we have an enormous amount of work to do, for three platforms and all these different languages to get it out around the wall. Right now, we can’t say definitively “there will be mod tools, and here is when they’ll be out”. That work remains to be done."

I'll reserve comment. ::)

...like hell, I will. Okay, I'll be brief in my drama: how can we fix Bethesda's stupid mistakes with ease if there aren't any tools? :lol:

The first statement, "Folk probably took for granted that every time we make a game, there’s a mod tool," is one of those "well, DUH!" statements. But, he's a marketing guy and can't expected to be capable of independent thought.

Okay, polemics aside, there's a possibility that we'll see mod tools, but not right away. That's fine; I prefer to play the game all the way through without mods, as it was intended. Plus, it sort of skews the review -- I'M NOT PROMISING A REVIEW! -- if I'm running sixty mods that fundamentally change the game.

What can be done without an SDK? I point you to this article for a bit of enlightenment. As you can see from the link, Fallout 3 Nexus is open and is doing good business with quite a few mods already available, some of them even useful. A special box of kudos goes to throttlekitty, who released the first .esp-oriented plugin for the game, without a construction set! How is this possible? A hex editor was used, of course.

Btw, here is a tutorial on editing textures in F3.

Usually I can say that, for whatever issue pops up, there's a mod for that. Well, I can't say that yet.

What would I like to see in the way of mods, when they're possible without a hex editor and a lot of guessing?

  • A timescale mod. Every time I turn around in this game, it's dark. It's hard to see, and daylight seems very brief.
  • An HUD mod. Something that reduces the HUD to a smaller, more non-intrusive look. Thanks to simultaneous development on three platforms, Bethesda went with the giant HUD that's readable from across the room. They did this in Oblivion too, and it's pissing me off.

This isn't mod-related, but it fits right in with the griping. Something I'd like to see Bethesda address in future games:

Allow the player to choose their HUD size and FOV to fit their preference. Currently, the FOV is locked at 75 degrees, which is weird for those of us used to the 90-degree FOV of the standard FPS. [An explanation of the acronyms used in this point will be discussed at the next gathering of the Cabal.] Again, they locked it at 75 for Oblivion, which...yes, I got used to it (mostly...when I'm feeling a bit wonky, I'll crank it up to 90), but here it feels like I'm experiencing tunnel vision. I don't like tunnel vision. In fact, I hate it more than most anything else I hate, and that includes politics in general and people without a sense of humor.

I've been told that I can change the FOV permanently by changing the values in the various .ini files...which I've done, but nothing happens. So I have to type "fov 90" in the console -- which is not visible, thanks to some Microsoft-related screwup -- every time I play. ::)
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 05:44:08 PM by Silver Sorrow »
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline bobdog

  • Totally Awesome Member - Won A Cookie!
  • ******
  • Posts: 3408
  • Avatar of Curiousness
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 06:59:02 AM »
Oh waaahh -- I get to play a brand new game while everyone else is nursing their Doom 3's and DX:IW's and Quake 4's!!  ;)

And did I hear you say the word "REVIEW"!!  :funup:

Offline Joshua-kun

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
  • Avatar of Ditzy Parisian Nuns
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2008, 08:37:05 AM »
So, Silver...I understand all the technical complaints (crashes, weird eyeball-ery), but....is it, y'know, actually any fun to play??  ;D
Jya-shu-a-kuun

Offline Silver Sorrow

  • Forums Keeper
  • Totally Awesome Member - Won A Cookie!
  • *****
  • Posts: 2943
  • Avatar of Wrongeousness
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2008, 09:52:12 AM »
It's amazing what wonders will appear when you crank the brightness up all the way. I cannot wait to get out into the wastelands in the middle of the day to see how bright it will be. ::)

So far, no crashes of note (besides a crash on exit when I first played; most likely the DRM's fault, but it hasn't happened again)...which is pretty freakin' odd, considering it's Bethesda's game. Also, just typing "fov 90" in the console works well enough; it's not like I have to type it on every cell load, or anything.

But is it fun? Well...I'd say so. Once you get into it, there's no turning back. I had a bit of trouble in the wastelands at first; getting used to the whole thing is a little overwhelming. Instead of following the MQ to the letter (go to Megaton for information), I wandered around a bit, ultimately deciding to explore what obviously was a major urban area. I ended up getting smeared all over the landscape by a super mutant with a rocket launcher...so that sucked. Lesson learned: this isn't Oblivion, where you can wander into any dungeon at level 3 and easily survive. So I went to Megaton, picked up a couple of side quests, and now I'm heading out to perhaps scavenge a bit and level up some more before tackling the MQ.

Some character shots...well, why not?

  "Does anyone feel a draft?"

  "Seriously, I think someone left a window open."

  "Hey, it turns out that I was wearing next to nothing! No wonder there was a draft!"

I swear, that armor...but I guess it's not female armor unless you can see acres of flesh. ::)  I prefer armor that doesn't expose my soft bits to gunfire, thank you very much.

Bobbo - Ha-ha! Suffer!  :purplelaugh:
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline OrlopRat

  • Totally Awesome Member - Won A Cookie!
  • ******
  • Posts: 1078
  • Hangar 16 Leftover
    • OrlopRat at Deviant Art
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2008, 07:30:43 PM »
Quick impressions:

 I'm still in the Imperial Sewers the Vault, and Butch's mom is dead and my best friend hates me. I thinks I'm going back and doing this part again. I'll be very happy when I have my sewer exit Vault exit savegame. I don't like the way my character looks. I know, I still have a chance to fix that.
   
     After all, its "Oblivion in teh futur". ;D

  I could have lived without chargen being the bleak event of my birth. And I hated birthday parties when I was a kid, but there I am, little Grania (of course, what did you expect?) ten years old and re-living the nightmare. Oh well....

   But I like it. I was kind of hoping I wouldn't, but I do.

Oh shit...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 07:34:46 PM by OrlopRat »
Tiens, voilà du boudin...

Offline Silver Sorrow

  • Forums Keeper
  • Totally Awesome Member - Won A Cookie!
  • *****
  • Posts: 2943
  • Avatar of Wrongeousness
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2008, 01:20:42 AM »
Whoops. I killed the Overseer and Amata was crying about me killing her dad...yeesh, what a whiner. I redid that part, actually, because at first I had no idea how to handle it without slaughtering everyone...see what Oblivion did to me?!? I can't resolve issues without killing someone!

I've worded and reworded my impression of that birthday party over and over in my head, but simply stated: that was the most depressing birthday party I've ever been to. And I was roughed up by one of the guests, too. Does this Pip-Boy gadget have a self-destruct nuke thingy like in Predator? That'd be sweet. Goodbye, muthafuckas...

[The following was spoiled for me when I watched the official gameplay trailers, so I'll cover it for those who don't want to know yet.]

Hey! I ran into Lucien Lachance in Megaton. He wanted me to do something really awful to the town. I wanted to ask if I would be doing it for Sithis, but it wasn't in the dialog. :P

I think I started liking this game more when I was able to forget that I was a badass at all times back in Oblivion (having a sword that does 258 points of damage is very good for one's self-esteem), and just trying to survive. As usual in my first runthrough of an RPG, I take the moral high ground; after completion, the next character sets about being...morally flexible.  :purplelaugh:  Even so, after being jerked around by Moriarty I was about to tell Mr. Lachance that I was all for doing his bidding. But I persevered and actually did some good. Probably. Right now, I'm helping Moira with her Survival Guide, and I'm just about to head out to Minefield to do some field research on landmines.

I'm playing a trigger-happy person with medical skills (Dr. Becker: "I will kill you. And then I'll use my powers as a physician to bring you back to life. And then, I will kill you again."), but I find that when I go into buildings, such as the Gemantown Police Station, I rely upon stealth and trickery. But it's balanced out by the fact that I kill all the bad guys anyway.

And lockpicking. Crap. I KNEW some day I'd need to put a few points into Security...uh...Lockpicking, I mean.

At least the experience/leveling mechanic is different from the TES games, so that I'm not just exploring for the sole purpose of power-leveling. Hang on, gotta jump around the landscape like an idiot while casting restore health spells on myself. That kind of thing.

Almost forgot: two more crashes. This time, they were in-game lockups. Nothing as serious as others have been experiencing (the Bethsoft F3 tech help forums are a hoppin' little juke joint), but annoying. It seems that, for some, the game just locks up and/or CTDs. No one really knows why, but a few workarounds have been offered. I read one mod's thread that said the problem may be due to the game relying on certain codecs that are associated with progs other than WMP (which the game expects), and he suggested changing the file associations of .ogg and .mp3 to point to WMP.

Okay, I'll point the .ogg's to WMP, but there is no way in hell that I'm using WMP to play my mp3s. I have Winamp for a reason, damn them.

This is typical Bethesda. I love their games to death, but they always let slip some enjoyment-killing fuckup that should've been caught during beta testing.

ANYWAY, I don't know if the ogg thing worked or not, but I played for a while after doing so without any problems. I still don't think it had anything to do with file associations; it's probably just some random audio bug. I did resolve my problem with the darkness by jacking my gamma all the way up and disabling HDR, which I never liked anyway. It only works in HL2, anyway. ::)

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I think Bethesda should license the Source engine for TESV. Instead of using the buggy old Oblivion engine, get an engine that WORKS, looks good, and has exceptional support to help you out when your elves start acting up.
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Starfox

  • Master Keeper
  • Totally Awesome Member - Won A Cookie!
  • *****
  • Posts: 2462
  • Did anybody see my lenses?
    • The Foxhole
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2008, 09:52:31 AM »
Well, Fallout 3 is quite a ride for sure. Oblivion in the future... true -- with a bit of Morrowind if you get the Talon mercenaries to hunt you down. Except for the VATS and the places... and the fact that you can't wander everywhere you want without dying every few seconds if you're not high level enough and adequately equipped. Even with my level 13 character (yeah, I played a lot this week-end) there are places where I wouldn't venture without caution. Currently I try to reach a place which is literally crawling with super-mutants, brute super-mutants and even quite a few master super-mutants. Nothing like the feeling to be splashed on the wall by a coordinated attack of 3 brutes (2 with assault rifles and 1 with a minigun) and 1 master equipped with a rocket-launcher. Fun times.

A tip: use the VATS every time you can. Each adversary has some weaknesses. For super-mutants for example: arms, legs, head. Don't even bother shooting the torso it does about nothing to them.

That aside... The game crashes.... once in a while. Not better nor worse than Oblivion -- there's a reason to that  :lol:

Irritating things:

- The gigantic consolish HUD (that I set to blue because apparently this is the only acceptable color to make up for the size)
- The fact that everyone assumes that I'm ready to steal each time that I even *look* to something that is not mine

Moriarty: actually I didn't even bother with him. The guy is an ass and I have my pride. Anyway, if you wait long enough you'll finally figure out where dad went without his (lack of) help. Specifically stick to Moira's quests and you'll have to go to a place where you'll find a big clue at some point. 

Burke/Lachance look-alike... well, this one was fun. After he came with his sick request:

Spoiler
I went to denounce him to the sheriff which promptly went to arrest him and was killed by the said Burke that I then killed in a frantic saloon brawl. After that I just had to pick up the nice assault rifle the Sheriff had, disarm the bomb with the reward of becoming a permanent resident of megaton with a cozy house to go with (well crappy interior but in a pure Oblivion fashion you can somewhat enhance it with -- unlike Oblivion -- some useful stuff for once). Too bad that the sheriff had to go but it was an honest mistake. I really never thought that he would be stupid enough to turn his back to Burke. And there is the fact that killing Burke may have triggered the Dark Brotherhood Talon mercenaries to hunt me down for a crap bounty of 1000 caps (What! *Only* 1000? You're kidding me right?)


As for the SDK, well, I expect something down the road. Since this is the Oblivion engine they can't expect us to swallow that they can't release a construction set that will anyway be the same than the Oblivion one, just adapted to the different settings.

Quote
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I think Bethesda should license the Source engine for TESV.

You've mentioned it before... No kidding  ;D

Spoiler
Oh and some strange thing may happen in some abandoned Vault Tech shelters. I mentioned that because the first time I witnessed them I thought that my graphic card was going fubar or that I hit a weird bug but nope... part of the story


Oh and I love the caps replacing the dollar. After all we give astounding value to some piece of paper so why not bottle caps?  :onethumb:


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Joshua-kun

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
  • Avatar of Ditzy Parisian Nuns
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2008, 11:28:45 AM »
Well, Fallout 3 is quite a ride for sure. Oblivion in the future... true -- with a bit of Morrowind if you get the Talon mercenaries to hunt you down. Except for the VATS and the places... and the fact that you can't wander everywhere you want without dying every few seconds if you're not high level enough and adequately equipped. Even with my level 13 character (yeah, I played a lot this week-end) there are places where I wouldn't venture without caution. Currently I try to reach a place which is literally crawling with super-mutants, brute super-mutants and even quite a few master super-mutants. Nothing like the feeling to be splashed on the wall by a coordinated attack of 3 brutes (2 with assault rifles and 1 with a minigun) and 1 master equipped with a rocket-launcher. Fun times.

To be fair, both Fallout 1 & 2 could be notoriously hard if you went too far out afield of the main plot early on.  Even in the early levels, combat was ridiculously hard and I always had a ton of saves in case one of my characters died.

By the way, are sidekick deaths permanent in this one?
Jya-shu-a-kuun

Offline Fanghawk

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 645
  • Avatar of Machinimanliness
    • Marshall's Machinima
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2008, 03:27:39 PM »
Fallout 1 is notoriously hard early period. I've only just started playing it while the rest of you futurists are enjoying your fancy Fallout 3's. I love it to death, but its probably the only rpg I've played where the rats that are supposed to help you learn combat will actually kill you. I could actually survive the big mutant ones, and then a little rat would sneak up behind me and CHOMP there go my last hp points. I always tend to approach open rpgs like this with the non-violent approaches, and the game seems to be encouraging that to a ridiculous amount early on.

I've finally managed to adjust to the difficultly and have progressed fairly smoothly until I've reached the reptile mutants I'm trying to clear out of the Boneyard. Oh, and I have radiation poisoning, which my character is handling surprisingly well. I guess that means I can just walk it off, right? Right?....

Offline Joshua-kun

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
  • Avatar of Ditzy Parisian Nuns
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2008, 03:38:10 PM »
Oh, and I have radiation poisoning, which my character is handling surprisingly well. I guess that means I can just walk it off, right? Right?....

You better start stocking up on Rad-A-Ways  ::)
Jya-shu-a-kuun

Offline Starfox

  • Master Keeper
  • Totally Awesome Member - Won A Cookie!
  • *****
  • Posts: 2462
  • Did anybody see my lenses?
    • The Foxhole
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2008, 01:36:56 PM »
Quote
By the way, are sidekick deaths permanent in this one?

Quite. I couldn't be sure because I hadn't run into any available sidekick since the beginning of the game (there is one at the very beginning in Megaton but he requires from you to be at least neutral or -- better -- a bad guy before following you and this time around I'm on the good side -- it's surprisingly difficult to me to be on the bad side, no matter how hard I try in any game offering the choice  :angel: . Anyway, I finally got myself some helper, a nice ghoul I've found somewhere (nice but always worried about places we go "Could be an ambush", "Could be dangerous here", "I don't like this place") and the first surprise is that he handles himself quite good for a NPC. I was worried that he would compromise my stealth tactics but no, he makes his best to stay out of the way when I go stealth.

So I saved the game and put him to test in kind of an impossible to win scenario, the kind of scenario you won't get out of with your life, not at level 16. Obviously he died. And that seemed to be very permanent to me. I could even retrieve all the stuff he had from his body.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline OrlopRat

  • Totally Awesome Member - Won A Cookie!
  • ******
  • Posts: 1078
  • Hangar 16 Leftover
    • OrlopRat at Deviant Art
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot, And Other Things
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2008, 07:09:00 PM »
  Right now I'm worried that I'll run into Dogmeat the dog. I'll feel bad if I just leave him to rot in the wastelands, but I've read that he's rather vulnerable, which means I'll be constantly worried about him if he tags along. Humans or semi-humans, no problem, meat shields, but a poor doggie....

   What the hell is happening to me in my old age?

  I also have trouble being evil in RPG's. Well, OK, in F3 I'm playing Grania at the moment, and she's the same here as she is in Morrowind and Oblivion. A good natured if destructive celtic lass who likes the ladies (no, she won't be visiting California anytime soon, what with the new developments there, you know...  :P ).

  My OB character Kijo was (is) totally evil, but even she had her weak moments. A piece of work though, and fun to play through the DB quest. There seems to be a lot of potential for being bad in F3, so I'll try starting up an evil PC eventually. Probably Kijo.

 Goodbye, Megaton

 My fantasy world has a strange kind of consistent continuity to it.

 Not now though, too early on in my Fallout experience to start running parallel stories. I'm still at the WTF stage.  ;D
Tiens, voilà du boudin...

Offline OrlopRat

  • Totally Awesome Member - Won A Cookie!
  • ******
  • Posts: 1078
  • Hangar 16 Leftover
    • OrlopRat at Deviant Art
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot, And Other Things
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2008, 12:50:34 PM »
 From an interview with Pete Hines at Eurogamer two days ago.
 
Quote
Super Moderating Hero: What happened to the Fallout 3 toolset we heard about over the summer. Are there still plans for one?

Pete Hines: As far as our tools, no word yet on that. As soon as we know for sure, we'll let you know.

  Thanks Pete.

  There are rumors going around that Beth will be making the SDK available through Windows Live for a price. Just a rumor, nothing from Pete, and I only believe things if Pete says so.
 But if they do that, I might wind up breaking some laws out of principle (Just kidding...)

There's no CS, but there are Gnomes, so it's ok.

Grania, in teh futur:


« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 12:55:26 PM by OrlopRat »
Tiens, voilà du boudin...

Offline Starfox

  • Master Keeper
  • Totally Awesome Member - Won A Cookie!
  • *****
  • Posts: 2462
  • Did anybody see my lenses?
    • The Foxhole
A girl, a gun, a dog... and me
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2008, 01:13:34 PM »
So interesting session yesterday. I ran into Tia Carrere (yeah right, I wish  :lol: ) or rather her Sidney "relic hunter" incarnation. Hey, when you find an Asian type girl in a museum called Sidney that is hunting down a relic... There's not much to say  :purplelaugh: They even went to the extent of hiring the French voice of Tia for this bit just to make sure that the thing was nailed... Got her as a sidekick for the span of the relic hunting bit... Then she promised to call me back... I'm still waiting  :'(

I found what is arguably the best light weapon in the whole game. And not just your typical gun no... the Lincoln's Repeater. You can't buy it, there's only one in the game but although it degrades like other weapons you can repair it with common hunting rifles (and there's a lot of those crappy things). As powerful as the sniper rifle, same range but with 15 rounds in magazine (I'm not sure they went for the historical thing there wasn't it more like 7 or 8 rounds?) and perfect for those sneak critical hit that can take even a super-mutant out in one VATS sweep. Now for the sadistic bit: I won't tell you where to find it  :evil1:

And finally I found Dogmeat. I wasn't even looking for him. So Orlo, to preserve you from being nervous, you can tell the dog that it's dangerous for him out there and send him to Shelter 101. Or alternatively if you're the owner of a house, you can do like me, leave him at home  ;D

Oh yeah, I also went to visit the offices of Bethesda. Crappy cozy place  :ok: It will probably be in this state for real after they announce there won't be a SDK for the game. And of course the few raiders I found within were probably the leftover of the mad gamers who crushed the place  :purplelaugh:

We need a SDK, would it only be to create a mod allowing to add radios to the Pipboy with our chosen music. Nothing like wandering in the wastelands with a good music. Galaxy News is my favored radio but I'd like the option to create my own.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 01:35:10 PM by Starfox »


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline OrlopRat

  • Totally Awesome Member - Won A Cookie!
  • ******
  • Posts: 1078
  • Hangar 16 Leftover
    • OrlopRat at Deviant Art
Re: Fallout 3 SDK: Bethesda Shoots Itself In The Other Foot, And Other Things
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2008, 02:32:27 PM »
 Good to hear about Dogmeat. I have a house in Megaton, so that solve's that. :onethumb:

   I haven't found it yet, but from the pictures and videos Lincolns Repeater seems to a version of the Henry Repeating Rifle, produced near the end of the Civil War. It's the forerunner of the famous Winchester rifle, the staple of Hollywood westerns. It had a 13 round magazine, so Beth isn't that far off.
   It fired a .44 cal. rimfire round, black powder, which means if you put a modern .44 cartridge into it you'd blow it up. There are modern replicas made which are capable of handling high velocity ammo, so hopefully it's one of those :lol:
Tiens, voilà du boudin...

 

everything