[CHRIS] - Chris Taylor (Interplay)N E W S C R E E N S H O T
[Yurg] - Yuri Bushin (Freelancer)
[Yurg] Thank you very much for your agreement to give us this interview. Taking a case, I want to thank you for the big contribution to
creation of Fallout universe.
[CHRIS] No problem! Thanks for hosting a fansite. That's really cool.
[Yurg] It happened, that in due time both parts of Fallout were ones of the most popular games in Russia, and new Fallout Tactics project at once has attracted to itself the big attention of my compatriots.
Chris, you are asked frequently about who you are, what are you doing, how were you connected to first two parts of Fallout. Probably, you have already got tired to tell about it. But still, Chris, you were the leading designer in Fallout 1 team. What the situation with the second part was, how big was your participation in its creation? If that's not a secret, in wish else projects were you participated before taking up BOS?
[CHRIS] I was the lead designer of Fallout 1. I wrote the manuals for both Fallout games. I was not on the Fallout 2 design team. Previously, I have worked
on Stonekeep, Fallout 1, MAX2, Starfleet Command and now I get to work on Fallout Tactics.
[Yurg] Chris, and to whom to the first the idea of creation of project BOS has occurred?
[CHRIS] It was an internal idea of Brian Christian, our division director (ie, the BOSS), to do a Fallout strategy game. Micro-Forte came up with the Fallout BOS concept.
[Yurg] Which games do you like most of all? And what has pushed you to engage in BOS project?
[CHRIS] Personally, I like RPGs the most. I'm really into Everquest right now. I also like strategy games like Warcraft II. I'm playing Unreal Tournament right now. Hmmm. I guess I play a lot of different games. Jagged Alliance and X-com are two of my favorite games, and they are an inspiration for us on Fallout Tactics.
[Yurg] Don't you show up a secret to us, about how long ago the work on BOS has begun?
[CHRIS] It really started in October of 1999.
[Yurg] Many of admirers of Fallout universe were shocked by the fact that the next game in Fallout universe is developed outside of Black Isle Studio. How that was happened?
[CHRIS] Black Isle develops RPGs. 14° East develops strategy games and was looking for a new game to make. The Fallout world is a very good world and we wanted to do a game in that world. Black Isle will develop any future Fallout RPGs.
[Yurg] Do you cooperate with BIS in your work on BOS? Do they help you in creating a storyline acceptable by common Fallout universe conception?
[CHRIS] Somewhat. We have a lot of freedom, but we are keeping them in touch with all of the story developments.
[Yurg] It is very unusually that the team of developers is divided not simply by several borders, but by several oceans. Don't it creates big difficulties? Are you pleased with cooperation with Micro Forte?
[CHRIS] In most cases, working with an external developer causes many headaches. However, Micro-Forte is very good and they are doing a great job. I couldn't be happier (well, unless they were working in the building next to us... :)
[Yurg] It turns out, that more often players do not know at all, how many people are involved in creation of game. Will you tell us about BOS team? How big is it and who participate in the project?
[CHRIS] There are 24 people working on Fallout Tactics at Micro-Forte: 14 artists, 6 programmers and 4 designer/producers. There are 4 people working on Tactics here at Interplay right now. Interplay will also be doing all the audio and the majority of the quality assurance (Micro-Forte is also doing quality assurance).
[Yurg] You're spending a lot of time answering the questions of web board visitors. Do you gather some new ideas for BOS from players' wishes?
[CHRIS] Absolutely. I love communicating with the fans, and I do get some good ideas from them.
[Yurg] For us, russian Fallout fans one question is quite important. Is an appearance of localized or original version of BOS in Russia possible? It is planned the support of different languages in the game at all?
[CHRIS] Hmmm. Not for me to answer, really. We usually do German and French, but sometimes Spanish as well. That's really a part of the business I don't deal with very often.
[Yurg] Whether your team plans the release of advertising videos for BOS, like it was with Fallout 2, StarCraft, Diablo and other popular games?
[CHRIS] We plan on releasing some gameplay videos to the Internet.
[Yurg] Are your answers on BOS web board understood correctly, that 3d acceleration support isn't the main goal, and you will try that the game uses the possibilities of casual computers without the 3d cards?
[CHRIS] Fallout Tactics supports 3D hardware cards, but does not require them.
[Yurg] Can we count on that you will give more attention to combat characteristics of weapons that it was in Fallout 1-2, especially in ballistics? This is tactical game, and realism is important here as nowhere else.
[CHRIS] The weapons and armor statistics are getting looked at. We want to create a game that is very familiar to Fallout players, but it needs to be better balanced for multi-player.
[Yurg] On the web board (it seems) you told that while creating a new character, we will be able to choose his race. Hmm: Will there be Russians in BOS? ;)
[CHRIS] Species would be a better example: Human, Super-Mutant and so on, but only for a few special characters. There is only one race in the Fallout world: survivor.
[Yurg] Can we hope that there will preserve the most of unique sorts of weapons from both Fallouts, like Alien Blaster, Solar Scorcher, Vindicator, Bozar and others?
[CHRIS] I can't answer this at this time...
[Yurg] And one more question about weapons. Will we see marks of grenades' explosions and other heavy weapons on the ground? Will be the BOS world somehow interactive in that way? And will be open flame implemented in the game? Screenshots look like flame sources are implemented already.
[CHRIS] Probably no scorch marks. Fallout Tactics will have a little more of an interactive environment. Open flames are already in, but mostly as decoration.
[Yurg] It was told on the board, that in multiplayer we will be able to play as mutants, ghouls and other non-humans. What it will look like? We will really able to choose them as the main character in multiplayer? If so, will they have the unique singularities (bonuses), besides the different appearance from human?
[CHRIS] Yes. Yes.
[Yurg] Back to the storyline - can we expect that mutants will possess something special in their weaponry? After all they're not so dumb and would develop their own, new types of weapons?
[CHRIS] I can't answer that at this time.
[Yurg] In Fallout 2, you could not obtain Stealth Boy fairly. Will be implemented such effects as invisibility in BOS? Or such things are breaking the game balance?
[CHRIS] Yes. We are working on new items to counteract most of the effects of the Stealth Boy under certain conditions.
[Yurg] Chris, you told many times that multiplayer will have two modes - deathmatch and cooperative. What will be specifics of each mode? And is cooperative designed for completing the single player in: well, cooperation?
[CHRIS] Multiplayer is still being worked, but we would very much like the players to be able to play the single-player missions under multiplayer conditions.
[Yurg] At first, conceptual question about single - and multiplayer modes. Which mode is considered as main? Lets say, if you will tell your grandchildren about creation of Fallout Tactics, will you say: "Well, in the beginning there was multiplayer:", or "Well, in the beginning there was single player:"? :) I suspect that your answer will be that they both are equal, but...
[CHRIS] Both really. Single-player is a little more important from a resource management point of view, but multiplayer is up and running already. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. For us, multiplayer is probably the more important to work on -- since it is letting us play the game earlier and get better ideas on how the game should be played.
[Yurg] Do you, or somebody of designers, have a special task to create those "little things" that was the great part of original Fallouts' attractivity, created their feel? I mean something like Nuka Cola brand, or something.
[CHRIS] Heh. Yes.
[Yurg] Will be the PIP-Boy incorporated in game as part of the interface? This is very important! ;)
[Yurg] Everybody was very pleased that we will be able to drive various vehicles in BOS. I know that you told that you cannot tell at this time about what concrete it will be. I have other question. How will we be able to use it? Will the tank move on the map? Or the vehicles will stay motionless on tactical screen like it was in Jagged Alliance?
[CHRIS] You can drive them around the map and run people over. You can shoot out of their windows. You can blow them up.
[Yurg] Chris, it is possible do unveil at least in general, if BOS will be tied by it's storyline with events that take place in the second part of Fallout? I ask this because of one of wallpapers, where somebody in Advanced Power Armor is drawed (or in very similar armor), which, by the logic of Fallout, is in Enclave arsenal. It is the painters' haste?
[CHRIS] The storyline is secret at this time, but we have worked this all out.
[Yurg] Can you tell that BOS will sum up the tactical games genre of the 20th century? It is true that the game is created under impression from X-Com and Jagged Alliance 2?
[CHRIS] X-Com and JA are very important games. They are certainly an influence on Tactics.
[Yurg] Everybody is comparing Fallout Tactics with X-Com and JA series. And I'm sure that it will be at least as great as those titles. But it seems that we'll be obliged to compare BOS with another project - Dreamland by Mythos Games. Aren't you afraid of results of such comparison?
[CHRIS] I'm not familiar with Dreamland, sorry.
[Yurg] Can you tell us secretly, if some other projects (in different genres) set in Fallout setting are speculated in Interplay headquarters? Like some action title maybe? As far as I know, there are three in-house development divisions in Interplay - RPG, Strategy and Action ones. So, the next logical step can be the action title?
[CHRIS] It certainly seems logical, but no other Fallout titles are in production at this time. I certainly can't speak for Digital Mayhem, our action division.
[Yurg] Chris, thank you very much for your answers. Let me wish luck to you and your colleagues in creation of game loved by us in advance!
[CHRIS] Thank you very much!