’08 RPG Showdown: Fable 2 vs Fallout 3

Games for Fun, Gaming No Comments

Fallout3, Fable 2 360 boxes

RPG sequels. One by the renown Lionhead studios (led by the insatiable Mr. Molyneux) and the other by the stalwart Bethesda studios which is a… Zenimax Media company (what?). Two very big RPGs for the ’08 gaming season, both of which I just 1000pted. Which one will reign supreme?

Well, neither and both. While there are some similarities between the two, they are both very different RPGS. Fallout 3 is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in an alternate future with a 1950’s atmosphere. Fable 2 is set in the fairly tale-ish world of Albion where swords, magic and flintlock pistols deliver justice.

Good vs. Evil: Moral Choices

The whole good vs. evil choice thing has been around for a while in RPGs but it seems like moral choices are becoming a staple mechanic. Fable 2 and Fallout 3 both feature a fairly well done morality system. As you can imagine, killing innocent people, trespassing and stealing in either game makes you more “evil” while being selfless and assisting others makes you “good”. In both games, you get a visual representation of your moral standing. In Fallout 3, you get a 2D image and some text that shows your current moral standing and title. In Fable 2, you’re shown through your character model. For example, your avatar might sport a halo over their head, or possibly horns if you go the evil route. Your dog companion will reflect you play style as well by looking shinier or mangier.

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Ray Gun Easter Egg

Game Development, Gaming 1 Comment

Call of Duty: World at War Box 360I was wondering how long it would take for someone to find it! I assumed I hid it well enough that only someone looking at the level scripts on the PC would figure it out. Anyway, I’m glad someone discovered it and now players can enjoy the Ray Gun in a regular level. As far as I know, no other levels have one.

ELITE B MAN apparently discovered the Easter Egg. From thexboxlive.com fourms:

 “with all of the ways to get under the map in multi, some of my friends and i thought we might be able to do it in single.

i went to the right hole, tried to get under becuase it looked like the type of structure that would allow you to get under (hill in round house, slope in downfall; there is always an elevation difference), and i worked my way right. when it happened, i restarted and did the same thing and it worked. i did this a few more times and then i came and posted.”

So, for those who still don’t know how to get to the Ray Gun in “Little Resistance”, you need to touch the right and middle craters with water in them on the beach after calling in the first rocket strike. Then, stand in the far left one for around 10 seconds and you’ll find the Easter Egg.

A few notes about the Easter Egg- the sound is (was?) reversed Japanese dialog we were going to use for the level but was cut. Originally the Easter Egg played the dialog normally but the sound department wanted to make it much cooler and scary. There are four Ray Guns for co-op purposes, but they never go away anyway, so you can use the same statue, go back for more ammo, etc.  Also, something changed with the Ray Gun properties right before we shipped. It used to gib guys (which was way more rewarding) but now it just kills them. That made me sad when I played the shipped version of the game, but I’m glad it made it in regardless!

Congrats to ELITE B MAN, you are indeed elite as you are the first person to see the Easter Egg outside of Treyarch!

Nazi Zombies, Ray Guns and Magic Chests

Game Development, Gaming 154 Comments

Call of Duty: World at War Box 360Early in the development of Call of Duty: World at War, myself and the Lead Level Designer at the time, Jason McCord, were trying to come up with cool “extras” for the game. For example, CoD 4 had the airplane level at the very end of the game which arguably IW could have shipped without. At the time, we didn’t have anything planned besides “competitive co-op,” which is a lot like arcade mode in CoD4, just co-opified.

We had kicked and idea for an end sequence in CoD:WaW where you’d be placed in a bunker which you couldn’t leave. To your right would be a German officer screaming at you to get on some MGs, and to your left would be those MGs mounted on a window over looking a beach. It was then the player was supposed to realize that you were on the beaches of Normandy from the German perspective, and you had to mow down allies as they came up the beach. Eventually, towards the end of the credits, as the pace got to be too heavy and there were so many guys that eventually they broke through the beach head, you’d hear banging on the door to the bunker. A few seconds later, an explosion would rip through the bunker, knock you unconscious, and you’d be on the ground, facing up. An American squad would light up the place and a bad-ass US soldier would stop over you, slowly aim his gun at you and fire. Fade to black. Finish rolling the credits.

Hmm, actually, that still sounds pretty cool. Unfortunately, there was a lot of resistance against playing as a German, even though the players gets owned at the end and the Americans still win. What could have been a cool cinematic and interactive ending to the game never was.

Later in the project, we added some AI to the level “Little Resistance” (second level in the game) which had Japanese soldiers looking dazed after a rocket strike on their defensive line. These guys sort of stumbled around and every time someone saw those animations, they mentioned how they looked like zombies.

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