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Falling Into Fallout 3: Director Todd Howard Talks Scope And Evolution
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Falling Into Fallout 3: Director Todd Howard Talks Scope And Evolution


October 13, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next
 

How does it feel, by the way, to have been making games for that period of time, and especially having one series that has existed for so long?

TH: Well they take so long, so it's not like we've made many games. It's good. I mean, I think we're lucky, in that the audience for what we do hasn't gone away. It's gotten bigger, if anything. It's gotten a lot bigger. So, we're fortunate that we can make those kinds of games that we want to play.

Like I said, those ideas are cool, and are cool forever. Playing a fantasy game where you get to make your own person and run around in an open world, whether that's a post-apocalyptic fantasy, or a more classic medieval swords-and-sorcery fantasy, that's always cool. It's gonna be cool a hundred years from now. It's just, can you present it in a fresh way and keep people interested in it?

As far as Fallout goes, this is sort of a sticky topic, but how do you guys deal with the crazy people who are on the internet?

TH: I mean, they're a lot less crazy than people think, actually. And there's a lot of noise, and we try pretty hard to listen to it. So, even if someone's ranting, and they're sending us messages on a certain thing, there's usually a common thread in that, and we honestly try to get at it.

For a number of reasons, we don't enter a back and forth debate, because that's not our job; our job is to listen, and try to -- as much as possible -- explain why we're doing what we're doing, and have the game ultimately speak for itself. I think it's a really hard game for someone to grasp from anything I say, or a screenshot, or -- I mean, you played it for 30 minutes; was that enough?

No.

TH: OK. So that's 30 minutes you just had -- to do whatever you wanted, for 30 minutes. So, my point is, it's hard to say something to express "This is how the game feels." We could say how it feels, but if you're pretty dubious about how you go about our stuff, I don't think that's going to prove anything to anybody. I'm not saying it should, either.

Some other things I found are that there are still a lot of games in parts of the world that are very viable isometric, turn-based things, and they've done really well. A lot of them don't come out over here, in America. If you pick up a European PC game magazine, you'd be surprised how many games like that there are. So it's still a very viable game type.

And I think a lot of people assume that we're doing things to meet some sort of demographic; they're like, "Oh, why is it first person?" I love first person. And I'll ask your opinion: When you step out of the vault, in first person, and see the [HDR light effect on your] eyes come in... Dude, that is a real moment.

Yep. I wrote that down. [flips pages] "Emerging from vault: gorgeous."

TH: Okay, so imagine that in isometric. Different league. And that's my opinion; there's no research that's like, "Oh, people like first person games, so we'll do it like this!" I think that it's awesome. And also, like I said before, with genres: It's not just me, but everybody at work, we play a lot of stuff. So, we play a lot of modern games, and we think most people can handle it.

And then if you look at the spectrum of games, if you look at every game coming out in the next year, on the platforms they're coming out on -- here's the spectrum [gestures with hands], from casual to crazy hardcore, and we're over here [points to hardcore end of scale]. Right?

So we're in the same spectrum that Fallout was when it came out. If that spectrum in gaming shifts over the next 50 years, we're not going to be off the curve somewhere. And that's not necessarily intentional; it's just human nature as we play other things.


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