Fallout New Vegas : nouveau post mortem

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Voici une carte originale concernant Fallout New Vegas, carte montrant comment en interne le jeu était découpé en régions et qui accompagne une explication sur le blog de Josh Sawyer sur son rôle majeur dans la conception du jeu.

La carte est malheureusement assez petite, et sans légende. Les étoiles indiquent les principaux sites du jeu.

Le long commentaire de Josh Sawyer, reproduit ci-dessous, évoque différents détails sur le développement de Fallout New Vegas, y compris le manque de maîtrise à l’époque de certains aspects du moteur graphique utilisé par les développeurs. Malgré de nombreux bugs et défauts, ce volet de la série Fallout reste en terme d’ambiance et de scénario l’un des plus réussi (y compris en incluant certains DLC comme Dead Money et Old World Blues).

Au passage on trouve dans les nombreux sujets évoqués sur le blog quelques autres petites anecdotes. Comme le fait que Fallout New Orleans et Fallout Boneyard, le nom de Los Angeles dans Fallout 1, étaient des idées flottant dans l’équipe d’Obsidian.

 

– length313 asked:
Hi Josh. I love New Vegas and played it for countless hours on Steam. Some fans would argue If Obsidian were to somehow able to make the next fallout installment, it would be radically different from the New Vegas that we know and love. As fans would say its due to a shift in management. I don’t know how valid that point is, but I thought I would get your opinion on it.

– I don’t know what changes people think have been made in management that would result in such a shift. I’d say it’s more likely that changes in staff (i.e., the development team as a whole) would be likely to result in a shift – but I don’t even think that would be likely.

I guess it depends on what decisions on F:NV you consider to be integral to its character, who made those decisions, and if that individual would make similar decisions on a future Fallout project.

I had, by far, more authority on Fallout: New Vegas than on any project I’ve worked on before or since. I exerted more dictatorial control over individual elements on F:NV than I have on any other project. Were I to direct a future Fallout title, I would make similar decisions in terms of both broad strokes and details.

I did not pick New Vegas as a location, but I framed the entirety of the base game’s world, mapped out every region on paper (world builders like ScottE, Sydney Wolfram, and Denise McMurry did all in-game mapping), and wrote every Region Design Constraint doc (RDC), naming, describing, and overall defining the major locations in the game (everything marked with a star in this map, which I created):

Would I change how I approached this? Probably. I would start the character somewhere farther away from the edge of the world and probably farther away from New Vegas. I would also loosen up a bit on real-world map accuracy and insist that the world builders use as few invisible walls as possible – only to prevent them from falling and getting stuck, never out of a concern about sight lines and LoDs, especially since I/we understand how LoDs work in the engine much better now. Otherwise, I think this process worked well.

For better or worse, I conceived and designed the character arcs for every base game companion (though they were further fleshed out and entirely written by different designers, save Arcade Gannon). Time permitting, I would be more likely to work with writers to conceive companions collaboratively, as we did on Deadfire. Otherwise, I think the process and overall quality of the companions was terrific thanks to the efforts of the writers. I wouldn’t change the process or focus for a theoretical future title.

I defined the open nature of the critical path and insisted on certain elements, such as ending with the battle for Hoover Dam, allowing any non-child character to be killed, and allowing the player to skip any/every step of the critical path prior to meeting Benny in The Tops with the story still making sense. John Gonzalez (our lead creative designer) defined the major characters of the critical path, the Strip’s houses, and the details of the critical path, but I see no reason why we would (now) design something that feels fundamentally different from what John did.

I was the only system designer on the project, excepting the work Frank Kowalkowski did on Challenges (he designed pretty much everything about them and implemented them all). I made all of the SPECIAL revisions, skill system revisions, Perk and Trait revisions/additions. I also designed, implemented, and tuned every weapon in the game. Overall, I’m happier with the system design in F:NV than any other game I’ve worked on. If you want to know what I’d change about what I did, look at the JSawyer mod.

I also designed Caravan (with Jesse Farrell, but please hold me responsible for its shortcomings). Yeah, that was a bridge too far. That and scheduling the Legion territories and supplemental quests too late in development.

The team as a whole defined the character of Fallout: New Vegas’ quests and the writing of individual characters. I can’t really take much directorial credit for this other than telling designers when I think they were doing a good job, offering suggestions/feedback, and generally staying out of their way unless I thought they were making something players weren’t going to enjoy. If we were to make another Fallout game, I would absolutely have all of the designers look at what the team did on F:NV. New Vegas is what it is because of their work. All the high-level planning and directing in the world will fall flat if the moment to moment conversations, quests, and environments don’t move something in you. That takes a team of people making good decisions and doing good work and there’s no way around that.

It’s been 8 years, so a lot of the staff have moved on from Obsidian, but many members of the original F:NV team are still here. I still think we could make a fantastic Fallout game with the character of Fallout: New Vegas. I don’t think I will ever get the chance to, but I’m grateful both to the original team and to the fans for making F:NV the best game I’ve had the good fortune to be involved with.

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