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Chris Avellone

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Blog Comments posted by Chris Avellone

  1. I think it's fair and a good point - companions shouldn't be (1) more powerful than the player, to the point where they can handle the combats by themselves, (2) upstage the player, and (3) seem to have used the ruleset in ways the player cannot to their advantage (ex: they're allowed to have stat allocations that no normal player could have made). All these things can breed resentment.


    A lot of the CNPC-initiated companion stuff makes them feel more alive, as long as the execution is handled correctly and it makes sense in the context of the situation.


    I probably should have mentioned that you need to have balanced companion choices based on player personality - if they are a psychotic, there should be some companions that will stick with you, and the same is true if you walk middle of the road or walk the paladin's road as well. This can depend on alignment range, karma range, or faction range.


    Anyway, blah blah blah words words words

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  2. Giantevilhead: To answer the Enclave question, that's unknown. In the 1st iteration of Van Buren, history was the Enclave nuked the hell out of San Francisco, assuming that the destruction of the oil rig was caused by attackers from that city (and also a way to clean the slate there).


    Heartbreak_Courier: To continuing the franchise and work on it again, we'd love to if the opportunity presented itself - thanks for the kind words, we enjoyed being able to take another shot at the license (and dig up the old Van Buren material as well).

  3. I found the difficulty appropriate in hardcore mode, but I felt that consumables and ammo should have been more scarce. Does the engine support varying the spawn rates across normal/hardcore?


    For me, this was a major issue in the main game - once you leave the starting areas the wealth of food and ammo available trivializes the "needs" portion of hardcore mode, making it more of a chore than a feature (since you'll always have food and water in your inventory). Perhaps it would also make sense of your needs would increase with certain stats/skills, like a high strength character should require more food.


    Anyway, I hope you can continue to use hardcore mode to incorporate some of your more "punishing" ideas in future DLC :p


    There is a script function to check Hardcore mode, that's not a bad idea. I'm not sure how it affects item spawns, although I don't think that would be hard to do.


  4. How does the job market feel at this point? I would imagine it's been hit pretty hard by the recession.


    It varies, some publishers/developers are hiring (Blizzard, Turtle Rock), some studios like us are doing hiring at a slower pace (programmers and production mostly), some studios are shutting down. The recession did eventually hit the game industry, just more slowly than other sectors.

  5. Hi Chris,


    Just want to say I'm greatly enjoying Dead Money so far. One thing I'd like for future DLC's is more scaling difficulty for hardcore mode. It would be neat if hardcore mode made ammo, food and water more scarce...as it is now I'm practically swimming in food and ammo even though I'm using a mod that greatly increases the rate of hunger/thirst.

    Also, I must say I'm very disappointed in reviews that complain about the collar and poison cloud mechanics, I really like what they add and haven't died once because of them (though I did die to some grenade traps).

    Keep up the good work and don't be afraid to make hardcore mode even harder in future DLC, I think most people who play on that setting really do want to be challenged!


    Thanks - Dead Money was actually initially a lot harder than its final release. A lot.


    First off, all the hardcore mechanics in DLC1 were par-for-the-course in normal mode, it had a lot more traps, the toxic cloud was even more lethal (rather than reduce you to low hit points in normal mode, it would kill you and kill you faster than it did now). I did want the player to feel apprehensive while playing and create a sense of tension, but the end conclusion was that it was too punishing overall: not challenging, punishing. One joke was that Dead Money was going to become the Tomb of Horrors for the Fallout universe - all I wanted was people to pay attention to the environment and space more.


    Feedback from Bethesda QA did provide a lot of good metrics for what felt right in terms of enemy strength, trap placement, and toxic cloud scaling, and we used a lot of those same feedback appraisals for future DLCs, so that's good.


    I did want the player to scavenge and scrounge, however, and see each last resource as precious, as mentioned above - it was my way of trying to restore value to things Fallout players may now be taking for granted (and really, Stimpaks should be an amazing find for any player living in the Fallout universe).

  6. Yes, the Elijah ending is obtainable, although you have to really hate NCR and have talked to Veronica about Elijah thoroughly (perhaps again) after DLC1 is installed.


    Having the "join the bad guy" ending has been important to me since Fallout 1, so if we can do that in our titles, even in DLC, we try for it. Also, writing the Elijah joining end movie was a lot of fun in an evil way.


    And on the headless enemies - we did joke about that, although I suppose in the end, Ultima cornered the market on those creatures. :)

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