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Most of the hostile no name npcs in FO:3 were ugly (or went downhill from there).

 

I was going to take issue with this, then I had a horrible thought: what if I only thought the people in the game were too good looking because I'm from England...

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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What makes me sad is the lack of item descriptions.

 

Really, Mr Sawyer, is it that hard to mod them in? I mean, you've already put in ammo subtypes, created a separate, much better dialogue editor and overall reshaped Fo3 into something playable. What's with the general hostility towards something so simple as a few lines of texts in an optional window?

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Because those additional lines of text are context that make the weapon not an arbitrarily placed thingie that kills people, but a thingie that kills people that was made by a specific manufacturer in the universe, that might have a story to tell and fits into the universe. That's what I loved about Fallout 1, Fallout 2, Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, System Shock 2 (and 1, even if the descriptions were in the manual), KOTOR2 and several other games.

 

I understand that some people like to play with generic guns and don't care about their place in the world, just the fact that they look kewl, but that's why I said optional. Those people can just ignore the window and never press the button. And I seriously doubt there are people that suffer fatal cardiac incidents upon viewing an item description. That'd be about the only reason why item descriptions shouldn't be improved.

 

Yes, it's flavor. But for some (quite many) it's a very yummy flavor. Text descriptions are a way to convey that, which cannot be conveyed simply through graphics or sound. Like the material the weapon is crafted out of, or the manufacturer name, various little details that can't be seen in-game. Fallout has a long standing tradition of doing that - only FoBOS and Fallout 3 refused to add proper text descriptions. Every other game in the series (Fo1, Fo2, FOT, VB) had text descriptions.

 

Or maybe there's some weird technological limitation in the Gamebryo engine that makes it inferior to Fallout's engine in terms of descriptions?

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Pride And Prejudice on Gutenberg.org has thirteen thousand lines. So, yeah, I guess that's a lot. That amounts to a 2000 page book.

 

That's certainly... a lot.

Edited by Mikael Grizzly

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I miss the hit/death descriptions. :lol:

 

Those were good fun (or if you prefer 'HAHA! Good fun!').

 

'You hit rats in the eyes for 102938102938 damage causing sever blindness.. as if there ever was any other kind.'

Edited by WorstUsernameEver
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What makes me sad is the lack of item descriptions.

 

Really, Mr Sawyer, is it that hard to mod them in? I mean, you've already put in ammo subtypes, created a separate, much better dialogue editor and overall reshaped Fo3 into something playable. What's with the general hostility towards something so simple as a few lines of texts in an optional window?

 

Hiring a new member of staff to do nothing but type them up? Unless, I suppose you might get a temp who could transfer them in from the original Fallout or something. You're still talking about many many many days of work.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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In other news, apparently FO:NV will have over 60000 lines of text. Seems like a lot. is it a lot?

Is that just NPC dialogue, or does it include player choices? The latter are often only a few words long ("What's new in town?", "See you later", etc.) which, IMO, stretches the definition of the word "line."

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WorstUsernameEver:

No I wasn't talking about the character creation screen. Sure that could have been better too (with decent base heads to start your work from) but my main problem is the randomly created npcs in the game like nameless soldiers, raiders and so on. Most of the hostile no name npcs in FO:3 were ugly (or went downhill from there).

I thought most of the Raider chicks were hot. Dirty, but hot.

 

Creating a (human) male that doesn't look like Cletus the Slack-jawed Yokel in a Bethesda game is impossible though. But in FO3 it's particularly bad.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

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Hiring a new member of staff to do nothing but type them up? Unless, I suppose you might get a temp who could transfer them in from the original Fallout or something. You're still talking about many many many days of work.

 

Not really a separate staff member. This statement means you have no idea what you're talking about.

 

It's pretty simple.

 

1. Have the interface guy add a button to the inventory screen labeled "Description/Examine". Make sure it works.

2. Have the interface guy code it, so that it calls a string in a text file in the .esp/esm

3. Fill it with placeholder text until the game is set for QA.

4. Once the game is set for QA, write clever item descriptions for the items. Check with spellcheck, have another guy proofread it during lunchbreak.

5. Done.

 

Fallout 1 descriptions were created mostly by Chris Taylor, who, if you didnt notice, was also the lead developer for the game. It's not rocket science.

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Canonical weapons mod for Fallout 2, translating item descriptions for Call of Pripyat (which basically amounted to writing them from scratch) and work on my still unreleased Fallout: Tactics "let's make it more sensible" mod, rewriting descriptions for every single real world weapon and replacing them with in-world ones.

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Just some quick questions.

 

Why would you leave content as a placeholder until it is "ready for QA?"

What other tasks is the interface guy working on, that will have to be supplanted in order to accommodate this change request?

Who writes the descriptions? You say you want something that isn't generic because you find generic guns lame, so I'm assuming you'd like the descriptions to be something interesting?

Who writes the descriptions? You say Chris Taylor as an example from before, but games today are built differently than they were 10 years ago. Someone in upper management is likely too busy doing other stuff (and probably too disconnected from the lore of the game) to have time for this. I'd strongly suggest a writer. What else is he writing? If you want something more than generic ("This is an M60, a light machine gun built by the United States"), some checks and balances to ensure appropriate names are used for the setting, as well as some actual time to put thought into the weapon descriptions. If you want something interesting, you likely can't get any person to do it. And when you get this person to do it, it means that they are not working on something else instead.

 

How many languages is this game going to support? Editing will have to be done to ensure that nothing that seems innocuous to one culture/language group, isn't actually offensive to a different group.

There's also localization costs. Assuming this game is not an English only release, Loc will have to make another pass. Especially if you're just keeping a placeholder until it is "ready for QA" (at which point you're probably resubmitting for localization).

Feature Creep is also always a concern. How many "lunchbreak" long tasks are you going to add in? After all, they're all easy changes right? Even if there are 100 others with the same considerations.

 

I could go on if you like...

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Why would you leave content as a placeholder until it is "ready for QA?"

 

Content that isn't immediately pertinent to the gameplay. Same reason why Obsidian used placeholder supermutants and nightkin.

 

What other tasks is the interface guy working on, that will have to be supplanted in order to accommodate this change request?

 

Let's see: you assign the task to the guy who is making other interface buttons, like "open weapon mod menu"?

 

Who writes the descriptions? You say you want something that isn't generic because you find generic guns lame, so I'm assuming you'd like the descriptions to be something interesting?

 

Writers. Leads. Generally anyone willing to do so.

 

In practice, most of the descriptions are probably readily available in design docs, or can be reused with minor tweaking. It's not a lot of work.

 

Who writes the descriptions? You say Chris Taylor as an example from before, but games today are built differently than they were 10 years ago. Someone in upper management is likely too busy doing other stuff (and probably too disconnected from the lore of the game) to have time for this. I'd strongly suggest a writer. What else is he writing? If you want something more than generic ("This is an M60, a light machine gun built by the United States"), some checks and balances to ensure appropriate names are used for the setting, as well as some actual time to put thought into the weapon descriptions. If you want something interesting, you likely can't get any person to do it. And when you get this person to do it, it means that they are not working on something else instead.

 

Once the game ships for QA (which is done by a separate team), there's going to be a lot less workload and the writers can do it then, hence the reason for using placeholder text as long as more important matters are being done.

 

Really, item descriptions aren't rocket science, which is how you make them sound.

 

By the way, your claim about the decade of difference is silly. Game developing hasn't changed tremendously over the past decade, in fact, I say it has become easier, with better computers and better software. What T. Isaac had to painstakingly create in primitive 3D modelling software can now be created much faster and much more efficently. Hell, the developers even have a complete game design suite (the Developer GECK), which makes it that much easier.

 

If over thirteen years ago, with much more primitive software, smaller team and less resources the lead designer for Fallout could write the item descriptions pretty much singlehandedly, then it's not a stretch to assume that any writer on the New Vegas team is capable to do so with a lot more resources at his disposal.

 

How many languages is this game going to support? Editing will have to be done to ensure that nothing that seems innocuous to one culture/language group, isn't actually offensive to a different group.

 

Problem of the publisher, not the developer.

 

There's also localization costs. Assuming this game is not an English only release, Loc will have to make another pass. Especially if you're just keeping a placeholder until it is "ready for QA" (at which point you're probably resubmitting for localization).

 

Again, not the developer's concern.

 

Feature Creep is also always a concern. How many "lunchbreak" long tasks are you going to add in? After all, they're all easy changes right? Even if there are 100 others with the same considerations.

 

As I wrote before, it's a task that can be done once the gameplay and other features are set and off for QA and the workload lessens. It's really a no brainer, you just have to stop thinking like a bean counter, Bobby Kotick.

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