Black Isle Studios will not be undertaking the creation of a
character transfer utility for Fallout 2.
This decision is largely due to unexpected personnel changes, the
complexity of the original Fallout 2 code, and issues with the way
the engine stores character and game state data. Because of these
factors, I do not feel we could provide you with a reliable utility.
Another factor in this decision is the limited scope and
usefulness of such a utility. Since a save game converter would not
be possible, we were only planning a character converter. It would
have transferred character data from one savegame to a new game.
This utility was expected to bring over most of your stats, levels,
and perks - but no inventory and no game state information. You
would have been starting the game over with a higher-level character
only. This utility was only for those who are not playing the
patched version and wanted to continue playing there current
character on the patched version.
I realize that many of you will be disappointed or upset with
this decision. However I feel it is better than releasing a possibly
flawed character converter of limited use.
For those of you still interested in converting your higher-level
character into a new game, there is a utility that can basically do
the same thing. Instead of transferring your character, you can
start a new game and edit your character's skills, perks, and stats
up to their previous levels so that you can quickly catch up to
where you left off. This is a third party utility and is not
supported by Black Isle Studios.
The foreign patch versions are still being tested in QA. When
they are done we will post another update and link them to the Files
Eric DeMilt Producer
Well the new patch is out. If you are having any technical
problems, contact our tech support. See your readme.txt for details.
So everyone knows, this is the Final Patch. We are not planning
on doing another patch unless we figure out the Humongous Install
problem, which the previous patch already addressed for most people.
At this point the Humongous Install problem seems to be system
specific, so we don't have many leads.
I've also decided to take all of the Feedback boards down. The
team and many users find it very difficult to get any information
out of the boards anymore. This is also compounded by the fact that
pretty much everyone will be taking the next week to ten days off,
so we won't be there to monitor and answer questions.
We might put a single message board up later in January, but
we're not sure yet.
I hope everyone has a Happy Holiday,
Hi everybody. It's been a little while since I posted, and I
finally have some good news to report. :) No this is not about
Baldur's Gate - but actually about Fallout 2. :) Oh, and everybody
on the Fallout 2 team has been working on the patch - not Baldur's
Gate. There seems to have been a few misconceptions about that.
The 1.02D patch is now out!This is the Final version
of the Patch. This works with the US version of the game, and the
one shipped in Australia. We still need to get one done for UK and
The Character Transfer utility is almost done, we are trying to
get the user interface to be a little more intuitive. The UI was put
together by one of the programmers as if he was the only one who
would ever use it. :)
That's it for now,
We're sorry the patch wasn't available last weekend. We're not
going to release the Final patch until it's ready. We were hoping to
release the Final Patch Friday, but there was a problem that we
found and fixed. It was tested through the weekend and things are
looking really solid.
We should have another update for you around the middle of the
Fallout 2 Producer Black Isle Studios
I haven't done an update for a little while - my only excuse is
late nights on Baldur's Gate. :)
Well we are almost there with the patch. What we hope is the
final version of the patch is being built today, and then tested by
QA. Our plans are to have it by Friday night at the latest.
The character converter should be up around the same time, the
programmer is working on the interface for it right now.
As to Save Game compatibility with the BETA patches. It will work
with the BETA patches, however if your game is acting wacky, save
games are not loading, or the game is crashing a lot then your Save
Game file is probably corrupted. At that point you will need to
start a new game with the Final Patch.
We continue to work on the patch - we're having a hard time
fixing the Lo Pan/Dragon fight bug where people Save in the middle
of the fight. The engine really doesn't handle Saving the game in
staged fights like that. But we are working on a fix.
I've gotten a lot of people thinking that I wrote Myst in my last
update as to what Fallout 3 would look like. The example I was using
for what Fallout 3 might be is MYTH - The Fallen Lords by Bungie,
not Myst - the five year old adventure game. Also, I was not saying
that it would look exactly like Myth, but it was just an example of
an engine that was 3D and isometric.
Now for the UK version of the game, we will be releasing a patch
for that version at or around the same time as the US version. There
might be a slight delay because we have to send the version to the
UK to have it hooked up with the copy protection that was only put
on the European and UK builds. French and German patch versions will
also be coming out close to the US version, same reason for the
delay with them.
We are still working on the character import utility. Just wanted
to mention that, because when I don't I get 20 E-mails from people
thinking we're not doing it. :)
Lastly thanks again for everybody's support, good wishes, and
help with sending in Save Games,
PS. And as a last last note. Black Isle just wants to say "Big
Ups to Monolith for Shogo". We know where the love is. :)
Well I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving - a bunch of us
actually took a whole day off. I haven't whined in an update for a
while, so I need to give Desslock something to edit out. :)
Anyway we continue to fix things for the patch like disappearing
Power Armor that is being worn by Party Members when they go up
levels, and what seems to be the last problems with the Car that
shows up on the Raiders Map. There are other things that I have
gotten from people that we are fixing as well.
Our QA department continues to test the game, and we are fixing
things as they find them. They are all a little gun shy right now
about missing things, so they are being very very careful.
We should have the Final Patch through QA sometime between 12/4
and 12/11. That final date is in case something horrible happens,
but at this point I don't think it will have to get that long. We
are still working on the utility to bring your character over from a
Save Game. That will be ready the same time as the Final Patch.
I have gotten a lot of E-mail from people worried that Fallout 3
will be a First Person Shooter (FPS) because of the statement that
it is going to use a 3D engine. So everyone knows, it will not be a
FPS, but it is possible that it will use a 3D engine- think Myth.
Having said that, Fallout 3 has not been launched as an official
project yet - we are just throwing ideas around.
Finally, thanks for all the E-mail from people and for the guys
up on IRC on Saturday that helped with a few bugs.
Located in the Files section and at this
link, is a new version of the Fallout 2 BETA 1.02 Patch. It is
still a BETA patch though, so it has not finished going through our
It should be a lot more stable than the last one, and fix a bunch
of little things.
We are a little concerned about Save Games between this and the
previous BETA patch, only if the Save Game you are trying to load is
corrupted. We aren't 100% able to determine if a Save Game is
corrupted when it is being loaded. So don't try to open a Saved Game
that was previously corrupted. I know that sounds a little lame, but
I wanted everyone to have that information.
Thanks again for the awesome E-mails you have all been sending,
PS - The patch version is listed as 1.02, which is the same as
the first patch. This is correct. The patch version listed on this
web site previously was wrong. Rest assured that this -is- the
latest patch for the game.
We released the BETA version of the patch over the weekend, and
have been fixing things that we have gotten back from everyone since
Both Matt Norton and David Hendee will be up on the Glitch Board
for the next while making sure to answer everyone's questions and
make sure that we are fixing the bugs that need to be fixed.
I do not have a time estimate for the release of the Final Patch
- the holiday's make estimating even harder to do.
Thanks to everyone for their kind words about the product, and
that they are having a blast playing it even without the patch.
Someone surprised even me, when he told me that he's finished the
game 5 times already, playing it for like 200 hours. :)
I'll be doing as many updates as I can over the next while,
however if you don't stop back - have a Happy Thanksgiving.
We found two more problems with the car late yesterday afternoon
that needed to be fixed. So we had to build another version of the
QA is testing the patch right now. Some people here at
Interplay/BIS want it released as soon as possible, others want to
check it as thoroughly as possible. I am leaning towards the latter,
as I don't want to release a buggy patch.
We are really, really trying to get it out by tomorrow night, so
everyone can play over the weekend. However, if we find some serious
bugs tomorrow then it might not happen. We are working on it, and I
am as frustrated as everyone else that things keep on coming up that
need to be fixed.
Also, in order for me to help get it done I am not going to be
able to be at my desk that much. This means that I will not be
responding to e-mail that quickly over the next couple of days.
Well it is Wednesday morning, and we found a bug with the fixed
car last night that is now fixed. So we will be testing the patch
all day today to make sure that things really are fixed. I
hope to have it put up on the website tonight, but I want to
see how far the testers get today. If it is not tonight then it
should be by tomorrow night.
I am not trying to string this thing along, I just want to make
sure that what we fixed is fixed, and more importantly that it does
not break anything else.
For everyone that sent me the Unpack utility - thanks.
Also, we are still wondering what is the problem with Humoungous
Installs and are still trying to figure it out. It most likely will
not be fixed in the first patch. When we do fix it, it will be fixed
in the second patch. A second patch will not invalidate Save Games
that were made with games played with the first patch.
We are still working on the patch. It's taking a little longer
because we don't want to miss anything. However, I am thinking of
releasing a BETA version of the patch - although I'm not sure
yetabout doing it.
Oh, if someone could E-mail me the unpack routine that exists for
unpacking the Fallout 2 database that would be cool.
Next, if you are running a pirated version of the game - please
don't report bugs. We don't have any idea what version you might
actually have, and it really complicates things.
As to the long Load times between areas with the Humoungous
install weare working on it right now. This may sound bad, but we
are totally confused as to why it is happening - but we have
Lastly, we are still trying to get the patch out in the next few
Well, I can see that the fact that Save Games are incompatible in
the patch, has not made BIS anymore friends, so I am looking for a
compromise. A user E-mailed me with an idea last night that we are
currently looking into. We are seeing if we can create a utility
that will take your character from an old Save Game and start him at
the beginning of the patched game. He wouldn't have his items or
reputations (these can potentially screw up scripts), but would have
all his other stats. We are also thinking of giving the character an
Extra $500 or $1000 in cash per level he has to make buying stuff
We'll try to get that done this weekend as well, so it can
release with the patch early next week.
First off... It is
IMPORTANT for you all of you to know that you -can- finish the game
without applying the patch.
We are still working on
the patch, and have our QA team testing it.
So everyone knows - the patch will NOT allow you to load your old
save games. I really wish we could have made it work with old save
games, but because of how complicated Fallout 2 is, and because of
how big of game it is - it just isn't something we can do.
It looks like about Monday or Tuesday for the patch.
Well I've gotten about 1250 e-mails over the past week, and I
want to thank all of you for your kind words and for the bug
reports. I wanted to list out what we will be fixing for the patch
and what are not bugs. Also, the patch should be out within the next
week. I was hoping for Friday, but it might be a little after that.
Loading Times =============
1) We have a problem with the Humongous Install that we have not
figured out. If you are using that and experiencing slow Load times
then re-install with the Large Install. Many people have found that
the game is faster after playing for a while with that install.
2) The patch will address the slow Loading and Saving of Save
Not Bugs ========
1) If you have stuff disappearing out of your Inventory and the
last time you had it was in the Den - then the kids in the Den
probably stole it. They then go sell it to one of the shopkeepers.
2) One of the kids in the Den does have a Frag Grenade.
3) You need to get a Special Perk to be able to Skin Geckos, you
can not just do it. You'll find the quest in the first few areas of
4) Jet is currently a permanent addiction that you can get rid of
by solving a certain quest - we might be changing this though.
5) The way ammo weight is determined is a little weird, so it
will look like (in certain circumstances) that when you load your
weapon you will gain weight. It should only be about 1kg, and the
error does not accumulate.
6) To refuel the car you need to use a Small Energy Cell or Micro
Fusion Pack from your inventory (not your hands) on the car.
Bugs that will be Fixed in the Patch
This is not a complete list, but the more important ones. Stuff
that is not listed are probably more tweaks then bugs, or really
small stuff like spelling fixes.
1) Boxing in New Reno will no longer lock up the computer.
2) The Dice Game will give you winnings.
3) The Lloyd quest in New Reno will not lock the computer.
4) Talking to Tandi about the Vault 15 quest will not lock the
5) Loading and Saving of Save Games will be faster.
6) Party members will not turn hostile (under most circumstances)
any longer, so you will be able to talk to them all the time.
7) Ghouls in Gecko will not randomly shoot at you.
8) Harold will give you the right information when you are trying
to optimize the power plant.
9) Shopkeepers will get money more often - this is more of a
tweak then a bug fix.
10) Endless stopwatch in combat should be fixed.
11) The car and the trunk will no longer become separated.
12) Francis has been fixed.
13) Hakunin movies will not appear after the GECK has been
14) Dragon and LoPan challenges should no longer cause Endless
15) Goris will no longer join if you are over your Party Member
16) Slave Overseer in NCR will no longer lock the computer up.
17) PIP boy will no longer crash when you get too many Maps in
18) Here and Now perk will work correctly.
That should cover about 95% of the E-mails that I have gotten
from everybody. I wish we would have caught those things when we
were testing the game here. So you all know we did fix over 4000
bugs - probably more because many were fixed before they made it to
the bug list.
If we can figure out the Humongous install thing, we will
probably do a second patch. If we do, I will try to include a new
area in the patch so its worthwhile for you all to download it.
I have heard from a lot of
people that they can't get people out of their way when they are
stuck in a Room. We put a new command in the game called Push. Just
select the character then get the drop down menu to come up and
choose that Icon that looks like a hand pushing something. Look in
the manual if you are having a hard time finding it.
A quick note to all of the loyal fans who were able to make it
out for the Fallout 2 party on Friday. We enjoyed meeting you, and
wished we had more time to spend with each of you. From our count
(based on goody bags, etc) around 700 folks turned out.
We have video coverage of the party, and will be posting some
video and stills shortly.
One quick thing... there was close to a riot over the cardboard
PIP-Boys that we had at the party. To be frank, those were unique
items that we produced just for the party. We made the art, printed
it out, and hand-glued them to cardboard. I don't want to disappoint
those of you who didn't get one (or couldn't come to the party) so
we are going to post the art files on the site (that way you can
download them, get them to a printer, and create your own).
Hopefully people will think this is cool.
Oh, and we're going to scan in the label from the "geckos in a
can". The "geckos in a can" were unique - there are no others except
the ones at the party, but we thought people would enjoy seeing the
The party is tonight, and we are all looking forward to see
everyone that is coming out.
I have some worldwide release information and that is that the
game should be out in Australia within the next 7-8 days. It is
shipping today over there, so it should be on the shelves within
that time frame.
We are still working on the French and German Language version -
we should be getting our last update from the translators next week.
Our intrepid Line Producer is working hard to get them all done.
We have also built versions for other areas of the world - like
Asia and Africa - but I don't have release dates yet.
My last note is actually somewhat of a sad story, and somewhat of
a rant. Last week when we went Gold we shipped out CD's to all of
the press that wanted to do reviews of the game. Since then, one of
these has ended up on the Internet. In our haste to get the game
done, and also in misplaced trust, we did not serialize the
versions. So, we are unable to trace who released it. So, I have
heard that people are already playing the game, and since they have
the full version they will probably not buy the game.
This really sucks in a lot of ways. As game developers we would
like to continue doing what we do. We can't if people do not buy our
games. The fact that someone from the press released it, is even
more deplorable. I think the adage "Biting the hand that feeds you"
is pretty appropriate.
Anyway that is my sad story, and rant for the day. I am not sure
what we will do in future. We will definitely serialize all of the
versions that we send out - as we do for Baldur's Gate. And I might
not release versions to the press until we have shipped the game. It
sucks, but I am not sure what else to do.
Lastly, if anyone has any idea who released it, I would
appreciate an E-mail. Thanks for reading,
I have been getting a lot of E-mail from people who have "gotten"
the "BETA" off of the net. Just to answer a bunch of people's
questions all at once:
1) This was a preview version that we sent to the press about
four months ago. They were not supposed to release it to the net.
2) The game is VERY different then it is in that version. In fact
the whole first part of the game is totally different. In the final
version you do not start out in a cave as you do in the preview
version from the net.
3) Thanks for the E-mails from people who want to report bugs in
it, but since it's four months old a lot of the code has changed.
So you all have been hearing me say Fall for the past four or
five months. Well guess what?
Fallout 2 has gone
We are pretty sure that it will be shipping on 10/30, in the
stores a day or so after that.
We will most likely have copies at the party to sell.
Thanks to the Fallout 2 team for putting in the long hours, and
for all our wives, girlfriends and significant others for putting up
with those long hours.
Oh, and if you haven't pre-ordered your version from your local
retailer you might want to - just to make sure you get a copy on the
day it releases. From the number of people that E-mail me on a daily
basis, there are a lot of you wanting to get your hands on a copy
the very first minute it is out.
Thanks for reading my updates, and we hope you love the game,
Sorry about not having an update for the past few days. I've been
sick and we've been trying to get the game done. Also, our internet
provider got their pipe to the internet cut in half by a Back-Ho
(however that is spelled) yesterday morning.
Anyway, a quick update is that all of the quests are in and
working. We are going through all the end game stuff to make sure
that is working and doing some last minute tweaking.
We just got the audio for the new intro movie ending that we
decided to do about Thursday night. The Intro movie was cool, but we
just felt that the last part of it wasn't in line with the rest of
it - so it was changed. One of the Stonekeep 2 artists jumped in and
helped fix it Thursday night. It went off to the audio guy for sound
effects on Friday, the sound effects came back (through a different
internet provider) on Saturday and our Audio Director worked on the
movie and got the soundtrack done at 2:49pm today.
Other than that we are balancing and making sure the car shows up
where it is supposed to. There is a big problem with the car because
it has to keep inventory and change maps - something the engine
doesn't like to do except for the player and partymembers. So in a
moment of genius we made the trunk a partymember - but that caused a
crapload of problems.
We've fixed some crash problems with some of the party members,
and the game is VERY stable right now.
We also modified some of the to-hit stuff in the past week, so
you'll all have to improve your Small Guns a little more than the
120 to get all the Eye and Head criticals you got in Fallout 1.
And the programming team in a fit of hyper-programming fixed
about 30 medium/major bugs in the past few days. They are pretty
much working on little stuff right now.
All and all the team is really kicking ass, and getting a lot of
stuff done. The game is looking really good and we've polished off
most of the bugs. We don't have the bug count of Baldur's Gate, but
of the over 3700 bugs on the bug list we should have less than 50
still active - which means in the game.
4 Stars, we are down to 4 stars. Which means that almost
everything is in and working. One of those stars is the End Game
Slide Sequence which is still waiting on some art, the entrance to
the Military Base - also waiting on art, something else near the end
game, and some damn Repair Robots that are getting stuck by locked
Those are the big problems up on our White Board of Doom, however
we still have tons of small bugs that are getting fixed quickly but
still need to be fixed. We are also implementing some other things
as art comes in - like the Special Random Encounters. So, this
sounds like everything is being held up by the artists - but that's
not really the case. Everybody has plenty to do, and is working
umpteen hours a day on the game.
We just had an emergency with one of the early movies in the
game, where the voice file did not synch up right with the frames of
the movie. So one of the artists is going to be spending the next 36
hours straight (I'm guessing) getting it re-rendered by Sunday
morning. The movie will then get laid to tape, and the frames
compressed into the movie format that we use. Our Audio Director
will then do the soundtrack including the voice on Monday. A little
later than I had hoped, but shit happens. :)
All the death touchups for the critters are done, so everybody
has their bloody death right now. And the artists are now pretty
much working on touchups and just making things look better. I want
some new trees and bushes, but we'll see if we can get them done and
in the game.
People have been able to play the game pretty much flawlessly up
until about the middle of the game, but there are still some design
screw-ups (many of them my fault - ooops) towards the later part of
the game that we are working on. Nothing serious we just are trying
to make sure that people will be able to know where to go next if
they are looking for the main plot.
Party Members are being kind of a pain in the ass and crashing
the game right now. But all in all they are coming along pretty
well, and they definitely add flavor to the game. Some of the
partymembers have a lot to say, and they'll even give you their
opinion of your other partymembers.
Oh yeah, a clarification on the language comment in my last
update. We are not taking out language, like four letter words or
things like that. What we toned down were things that were just
really bad references and situational stuff that was really, really,
really raw. I know you all still want to see this, but you gotta
believe me when I say that we all have high tolerances and some of
this stuff leaped way over those lines. So don't worry you will get
plenty of raw language in the game.
Another week (well maybe a little more than that), and we've
gotten a whole lot of stuff done. We are down to 10 Quests that need
to be fixed for everything to be working. This may sound like we
haven't gotten tons done, but some of those will be coming off in
the build tomorrow, and we added a few things that really needed to
take as high priority as a Quest.
We had a big meeting with QA on Monday and went over a bunch of
the problems that they were having with the game. There seemed to be
two main problems: Random Encounters were too tough, and a group of
Golden Geckos could take out a 40th level character. There were
about 40 other things that we talked about as well. Some of the
things we have already dealt with, others we should figure out by
next Monday, and others are a part of the ongoing balance testing
that we are doing.
One of the big problems was that partymember chem use can be set
to "Any Drug, Any time" and the partymembers are really taking this
seriously. Once you go into combat, your partymember that is set to
this will use all their AP's every round to take any chem they have
in their inventory. So one tester had Sulik (a tribal guy) boost
himself with three shots of Buffout and one shot of Jet in the first
round of combat. And Sulik was just getting started - by the third
round of combat he had take every chem in his inventory. Needless to
say this is getting changed.
We still have the random encounter bug hanging around that when
Bounty Hunters get killed they turn into Shelving Units or Fruit
We are also working on toning down some of the language in the
game. I'm not talking about four letter words, but rather exchanges
between NPC's that make a group of 4 or 5 25 year old guys from
California wince. We are all pretty jaded and if it gets a reaction
like that out of us, then we know it is too much. But don't worry we
are still using that Mature rating as much as we can handle it.
Other stuff on the game is going well. The artists are working on
"fluff" art that is being put in just to make the areas look even
better, and they are working over certain pieces of art that look
good, but could look even better.
We are getting pretty close, but we are going to work on the game
until we feel it is balanced well and that it lives up to the first
It's midnight, I'm going home (had to get at least one whine in
here so that Desslock can make fun of me about) :)
Just a quick update to let folks know that everything is still
coming along well. We will be releasing more party details shortly,
but I just want to confirm, for those that are making travel plans,
that it will DEFINITELY be on Friday, October 30th, and the location
will be in Orange County (or very close nearby). For those flying
in, I would recommend flying into John Wayne Airport in Orange
Just for people's information... full-scale production of the
boxes started today...
Fallout2 Party: Dogmeat's
Well folks, party planning is moving along at a frenzied pace...
I will have additional details on location (somewhere here in Orange
County) but mark your calendars!
The date is Friday, October 30!!
We are planning a band, the entire development team will be
there, and of course, for the day before Halloween, costumes will
HAVE to play some sort of role... the guest of honor will be
Dogmeat, who we expect to be present in some shape or form... (ugh!)
To help us with planning, I am asking people to fill out some
information for us to figure out how BIG this party is going to
be... I have already heard from over 300 people who said they will
come, but even if you wrote me before, please fill out this form so
we can get an "official" headcount. We will keep these names handy
so that we can do something special for the "pre-registrees" that
show up!! Expect more news soon....!
Home State: (California, for example)
(Email is optional - only put it in if you want to receive party or Fallout2 info - we won't use it for anything else)
How many will be in your group?: (not including you)
If you live in another place, check the links
page for links to Satellite Dogmeat Parties, like the one in
Little late this week on the update, my body decided that I
needed sleep and I took a few early days.
So onto the top three answers for the E-mail that I get:
1) FALL! :) Like I said in the last update, it really is Fall,
and I really really really can't be anymore specific about it then
2) Mac Version - No I'm sorry we are not doing a Mac version, and
since my last update I have not heard from any publisher about
wanting to do it.
3) Price - I am pretty sure it is going to cost as much as the
Oh, and a number of people have e-mailed me over the past week
and when I have responded I've had my E-mail bounced. So, if you are
e-mailing me, please make sure to say that I should respond to a
different account then the one you are sending me from.
As to what is going on in development. We had a pretty good week
and we are down to around 15 quests needing to be fixed for us to
have all quests in. We are actually adding a few more into areas
that are finished at this point to round those areas out. We are
also working on some in-game sequences - sort of like movies using
the game engine.
We should have all the original quests, a lot of the new quests,
and those in-game sequences all in by Monday. So we will then just
be focusing on bug fixing, balancing the game, and making the game
make sense. Making it make sense is sometimes the hardest.
Art is going great, and all of the artists are off movies and
back on making game art. We have a list of about 75 items that need
to be done to really give each area the character that it needs -
and almost all of those have been assigned to artists. One of the
areas where we are a little tight on time is Death-Touch Ups. This
is where an artist goes through and touches up each death for a
certain character type frame, by frame, by frame. I think I
calculated that it meant that per character about 1000 frames had to
be touched up to finish it off. So there are two artists numbing
their brains on this right now, since it's pretty much a mindless
job that just needs to get done.
All the new music is in the game, and for those of you who
haven't asked, we used the same composer as we did last time, so the
music should still feel the same. Oh, and we have added ambient
sound effects into each of the areas so you'll get more of an
environmental feeling from them.
As to the movies, they should all be off to our Audio department
today. All but two of them are already in the game - and they should
go in, in the next couple of days. They are compressed, but
obviously don't have the audio tracks attached to them yet.
QA is going well, and we just moved another QA guy over to our
building to help our Lead Designer out with Overall game balancing.
So that makes 8 testers just in our building testing the game every
That's about it, any questions just ask (as usual),
If you thought YOU really wanted to come
to the Fallout2 party, read this! I think this guy has melted my
crusty heart. Party feed back has been overwhelmingly positive and
planning is moving forward at full steam! Thanks toall who took the
time to write! - Greg
I read on your website you were thinking of having some sort of
interesting celebration upon completion of Fallout 2, and were
interested in reader feedback. I would be glad to do so, although
you may soon discover why the saying "be careful what you ask for"
Let's see: late night bash, goodies ( Meghan would obviously be
in attendance ), meet the oppressed proletariat finally unchained
from the galley oars...oh, I mean the programming staff, sounds like
a fine idea. Having it at night is a genius stroke - the staff will
likely need some time after project completion to reacquaint
themselves with direct sunlight.
But wait. Southern California? SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA?!
I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada! How can you be so utterly
cruel as to hold such a bash at such a distance? Tormenting me with
wild merriment and even worse, quick access to Fallout 2! This is
geographic oppression at it's worst. You'll be out having a blast
whilst I very likely will have seen our first snowfall of the season
- frost at the very least.
How could you do this to me? I can't go to this party. My copy of
Fallout 2 will arrive much later since I live in Canada, I'm never
allowed to enter all the really good contests since I don't live in
the U.S.A., and let us not even go into how much more it will cost
thanks to the problems with separatists and socialism my country
has. Here, have another kilo of salt to rub in my wounds. Oh yeah,
you guys don't use metric - make that 2.2 pounds.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to live in a frozen wasteland
of a country like Canada day in, day out, without being further
tormented by knowing I am being deprived of Fallout 2 parties? Augh!
You people think you're so tough, looking for supermutants in
deserts. Hah! I'd like to see you last one winter up here,
especially in some frozen Hell like Yellowknife, or even better,
Iqualuit! Yet do you have any respect or consideration for those of
us up here, suffering out the quirk of fate for being born north of
the 49th parallel? Oh no, you probably never even thought of us.
Californian Cartographical Elitists, I bet.
So I'm left to suffer, while others have a wonderful time with
goodies and the game. Sniff. Excuse me a moment, I having trouble
seeing the keyboard right now...
Okay, that's better. Thank God for Kleenex. Where was I?
Oh yes, left out in the cold, literally and figuratively. Makes
for a bitter man, let me tell you. Oh wait, I suppose I have told
You could help though! Yes, there is a light at the end of the
tunnel, and I don't mean the sun coming back up in the spring. Have
mercy on a oppressed Canadian who is overtaxed, bedeviled by bad
weather at every turn, and will be just plain out of luck for your
party. Earn some good Karma, and send me a copy of Fallout 2! Yes,
that would definitely get me through the winter, if I didn't have to
wait who knows how long for it to finally show up by dogsled in my
city. Goodies would be nice too - with such things I could sit in my
office with a heat lamp and a few potted cacti or palm trees, sing
Beach Boys tunes and pretend I am at the party too. Ah, makes me
warm just thinking about it, or is that a short in my electric
(Yes, even our postal code looks funny versus a Zip Code. At
least we haven't had to add any digits yet - what were you people
thinking, 300 million population and less than one hundred thousand
combinations? I guess the Postmaster General was too busy with an
intern too think it through.)
9/15/98 - Attention Fans
We’d like to do something cool for fans of Fallout2 for the
official launch, and wanted to hear back from folks about whether
they thought it was cool or not...
We are thinking about having an official Fallout2 "premiere" on
the day the title ships -- perhaps something like a street or block
party here in Southern California. We'd have the entire group from
Black Isle Studios there, including the entire Fallout2 development
team, and probably a large number of people from the other Interplay
divisions. For fun, we'd be giving away product, t-shirts, Fallout2
POP, life-size PIP Boy cardboard standees, etc. Perhaps at midnight
we'd start selling product (the night before it shows up in any
stores), and the development team would be there to autograph
manuals, etc. People who come in costume might get a free drink on
me. We might have a band there, radio D.J.'s, etc. The day after,
we'd post on our website photos taken at the party.
Do people like the idea? Given our location in Orange County,
we'd be a pretty easy drive for anyone from San Diego through L.A.
We wanted to put something together as a sign of fan appreciation
that the greatest number of people could attend.
Send a response to my email and let me know what you think!
It's been over a week since the last one, so I'd take another
stab at updating everyone - before I start getting the death threats
in my E-mail again.
First of all, I am going to answer the Top 3 questions that I get
1) Fall, FALL, FaLL, FALl, fALL - I bet you all guessed it but
the game is coming out this Fall, and I promise - cross my heart -
that when I can say something besides that I will post it here.
Also, if you get any dates from magazines, reviewers, other
Interplay/BIS websites/people, stores, etc... they are all guessing
at this point.
2) No Mac Version - I am sorry, but I could not justify launching
a Mac version when Fallout 1 Mac did not really make any money. At
some level I have to look at this like a business, and at the time
it did not make sense to start Fallout 2 for the Mac. However, I am
working on licensing the game to another publisher for them to
publish and develop.
3) Old Friend - No hints, other than it's not Harold. From the
E-mails I have been getting, I bet you all opened your Christmas
presents early. :) And no threat or bribe is going to get anything
out of me.
Well as for development we are doing pretty well. The last week
so more progress on the seeds(quests) and I think by next Monday we
should have every seed in and working. I am working on San Francisco
right now with the scripter who is going it, and we are trying to
iron out all of the weird problems. Things are working, but you can
screw them up easily. Today we had to go back in and completely
rewrite one character and change all the flags (variables which
check the state of a quest) in about seven characters to make one of
the quests work right. I still have a list of like 30 smaller things
that we need to get working before I am happy with the area.
The movies in the game should be done by Wednesday at which point
we will be sending them off to Audio to get sound and music put to
them. That should take about two weeks or so - and our Audio
department is good at getting things done when they are supposed to.
Lip Synching the Digitized Heads continues. Oh and I'm sorry but
I haven't had a chance to check which actors/actresses I can post
about and which I can't. I'll try to come up with a list in the next
week, but I can't promise it 100%. Anyway, about 4 of the heads are
being lip synched right now by different people and we should be
getting more dialog from Audio in the next couple of days.
Design is for all intensive purposes done. Although a few things
are being written here and there to help balance the game, and fill
in gaps that we missed.
Programming is going well, however our Lead Programmer suffered a
serious Family Emergency late last week and has been in and out of
the office. We all hope for the best for him and his family.
Not to end the update on that note, but it just brings things to
light that we all actually have lives. However, my new wife has seen
me less than my computer lately - which is probably a good indicator
that I should go home. :)
Well, it's Labor Day (I hear) and there are about 17 of us here
working on Fallout 2 right now. I wanted to get through with the
whining right up front. :)
Things keep on moving forward and we have almost half of the game
debugged from a plot standpoint. That means that half of the
quests/sub-quests are working bug free and are giving the Karma,
Experience, and Town Reputation. Now that doesn't mean everything is
working in those areas, but it means that the player can do all the
puzzles/quests. The areas still need balancing and some more bug
testing/bug fixing, but it makes us all feel better to know at least
the quests are working.
There is a scripter working on each of the areas that still
remain to be fixed up, so that should start going pretty well. I am
not totally sure but I think by the 14th we will have all of the
plots working and the game finishable. That is one of our big
problems right now, you can't finish the game. All the maps are
there, almost all of the scripts, and almost all of the art, but it
hasn't all been put together to make it all work. I am hoping to
crack the whip a little bit and get the guys to put that in by
Tuesday or Wednesday. We'll have to see on that one.
The art interns have BURNED through the remaining inventory art
and we are down to about 10 items at the most - which have probably
already been done, but just not put in the game's database yet. They
are starting on the remaining scenery art (map art) and we should
start seeing the areas get more and more polished. Most of the Real
(real means paid in this instance) artists should be done with their
movies this week, which means that they will be going onto doing the
remaining scenery art as well.
We have started lip synching the heads now, and there are about
three being done right now. A bunch of people "volunteered" to help
us out on this. :) There are another 10 or so to do, but we are
waiting on our audio department to get us the cut up audio. We only
have one more actor to record, and our audio department has been
doing a great job getting the dialog digitized and cutup quickly for
The partymember advancement system is in and working, I QA'd it a
bunch on Saturday and our Lead Programmer fixed all the problems in
about 30 minutes. It probably still needs more banging on, but most
of the major problems are cut out of it. Oh and we decided to add
one of everybody's dearest friends from the first game back in. I'm
not going to tell you guys who it is, because I want it to be a
surprise for the people who find him.
All and all things are going well, and we're working hard to get
the game done, and done right.
Any questions, just ask - except about the release date - which
is Fall and I really can't be anymore specific. Sorry.
Well, you all get a real long one this time, since it has been a
while since I have written. And to answer you all, it is because
we've been REALLY busy, not because nothing has happened. :)
Anyway, it looks like we have gotten almost all of the design
into the game and all of the areas will be done from a scripting
perspective this week. This is a little later than I hoped, but this
was because we re-wrote a couple of areas to have them make more
sense. So, some people would call this implementation and others
would call it tweaking. You decide.
The movies are due from all the artists next Monday and things
are looking pretty good for that to happen. One of the movies might
be a little late, but it shouldn't hurt us too bad.
Art continues to go into the game and the artists working on
Critters really have kicked some ass. We've been able to populate a
lot of the areas with a lot more new people, and one of the party
members even got his own special character.
Now having said all of that, we still have a lot to do. We need
to balance the game and come up with some new systems to get
everything we promised in the game. One of the latest things we were
working on was the ability for your Party Members to develop over
the course of the game. We came up with a pretty good system over
the past few days (Yes a bunch of us are doing the 7 day work week
right now) that was implemented yesterday. We just have to put a
bunch of data in for it over the next couple of days and we should
know if it is working out.
Programming wise I had our Lead Programmer put a little tweak in
that has critters run in combat if they use more than 50% of their
AP's for movement during a turn. It turned out to both speed up
combat (not it's main purpose) but also to make things a lot more
So I know you are all going to ask me what areas had to be
redesigned and if we are just going to cheese them. :) Well the two
main areas that had to be redesigned were the Den and Navarro. I
won't go into details about Navarro because that would give a lot of
the game away, but the Den just didn't really move the player
towards where he needed to go next and people weren't sure what
actually was supposed to happen in the area. This was because about
three designers had touched it, and it needed one solid redesign
which was done by Dave Hendee - and we didn't have to beat him too
much to get him to do it on time either. However, as of today, the
"new" Den is already in and being tested.
To sum up, a lot of things have been going on for the past couple
of weeks and our Quality Assurance Department is feeling a lot
better about the game. They tend to be a little more pessimistic
about things then us - which we often need. But I have seen the
occasional smile on their faces lately.
And lastly, the date is still Fall. I get a lot of E-mail from
everyone asking what the EXACT date is, and I wish I could give it
to you guys. Two things stop me from doing it. (1) Since we just
went public we have to be careful about the dates we release because
of the investors (2) Pinning a final date on big projects like this
is REALLY tough and I don't want to get everybody's expectations up
about a certain date and then missing it.
We are all back from Gencon and it seemed everybody loved the
game. Some people were staying around the booth for hours to play
Fallout 2, so the game must be pretty good. :) If you haven't
checked out the clips off of the Black Isle Studios Web Site you
I just got back to my office from looking at some of the movies
that the guys are working on. A lot of the cuts are not in their
final version but they are looking good. We should be giving ones
that have been rendered out for timing to the Audio department by
the end of the month.
The interns have all decided to stay until the end of the project
to help out which is awesome. They've done a great job with
everything we have thrown at them. One of our other interns, Benc,
just left to go back to Germany. He also did great work for us on
scenery objects and some of the town maps.
One of our programmers has knocked a bunch of things off of the
little feature and bug list over the past week. Things are a little
slower going right now because he has hit the harder things, but
stuff is still getting taken off the list.
Scripting is going well, and we are hooking up individual testers
and designers with scripters to make small groups that can attack
each of the areas in turn.
Just to let you all know, I will be out at Gencon in Milwaukee
all next week. So I will probably not be answering E-mail that
quickly, if at all, until I get back. You can still send stuff, but
I probably won't get back to you until around the middle of the
And I'll make sure to post another update as soon as I get back.
Anyway the first thing I wanted to say was that we just got some
of the BIG boxes in and Dave is going to be running a contest to
give them out. The BIG boxes are 1.5 foot by 2.5 foot and are
basically blow ups of the what the final game will come in.
As to the game, things are going great on adding new critter
types. A couple of the artists are burning through them and we might
have a few more in the game than I was expecting.
We also have four interns from Yucca Valley High School doing
art, and they are doing a great job. They have been doing a lot of
scenery art for the last area.
Oh, and I just got an update from Fred Hatch that we might be
going in the Studio as early as next Tuesday which would be awesome.
It will really help us not have to rush getting the head dialog in
the game. However, I still don't know what actors we might be
casting yet. As soon as I know, and we are not bound to not
publicize who they are, I'll let you all know some of their names.
Well we have completely redone the first part of the game, and it
is looking really good. The art for the area will be done in the
next few days. So we should be done (even with a lot of the bug
fixing) on this area this week.
Overall programming is going well and the AI continues to get
worked on. I've left one of our other programmers on the project to
clean up some things and implement smaller features like the "Take
All" button on the loot screen and inventory management.
The artists are continuing to work on the intro movie, but a lot
of the scenes are getting close to being done.
Design wise we should be done within the next week, and we added
a few more perks last week. Oh, and we also plugged a GIANT hole in
the plot last week that you all would have yelled at us about if we
had missed it.
Fred Hatch (the line producer on the project) is meeting with our
Audio Director this week to get studio time arranged. We're not sure
which actors we will be using this time, but it is the same Audio
Director as last time, so I am sure some of the names will be
Well, I guess I didn't live up to my promise. Sorry about not
posting an update since last month. Things got crazier before they
got saner. I went on vacation for two weeks on 6/24, and the week
before the 24th I was on a press tour with the preview of the game.
That's the version that all the web sites got. A bunch of the sites
already have articles up, like Avault, Gamespot, etc... The editors
have been pretty positive which is great to hear.
Oh, and my vacation was for my honeymoon, since I got married on
Anyway, I'm back, and here is some info on what the hell has been
going on since then.
A lot of the artists are working on the Intro movie right now
trying to get that done in the next month or so. The scripters plan
to have all of the areas except for the last two (SF and the final
area) by Wednesday (7/15). And all of the design should be finished
up by then as well. We should also be going into the studio to start
recording the head dialog within the next few weeks.
Let's see we also have about 6 interns working on art for the
game, this is on top of the 5 full-time artists who are also working
on it. So we should be getting more and more art into the game up
until the second it ships. We also contracted one of the artists who
did a lot of the inventory items from the first game to do some of
the inventory art this time around as well.
All in all things are going well, and I'll have an even better
update early next week after we see what everybody was able to get
done for 7/15.
Just got back from E3, and everybody seemed to love the game. I
talked to Desslock, the guys from Avault, Vault Network, Cindy from
Strat +, Mike Wolf from PCGamer, and a whole bunch of other people.
And I, nor any of the Black Isle producers, threw up. A real
achievement with the parties that were going on.
The game has been going pretty well over the past month, since my
last real update. The Lead Programmer has been working on Combat AI,
and a lot of the new Party member AI is in the game already. A lot
of the AI is now dependent on the NPC, Party member, or Monster's
Perception and IQ - and we are probably going to be putting more of
that in. One of the guys on the team got his character killed this
morning because he thought the Combat AI was going to act like it
did in the first game.
The art continues, and work has started on the intro movie. The
last couple of areas still need art done for them, and a couple of
the artists are going to take about a month to go over each of the
areas to make sure they all look original.
There are only about three areas that are left to design, about
six or seven to script. So QA is going to be moving over by the team
on 6/15 and we start fixing bugs. Most of the designers have already
been testing their areas.
Updates will be coming more frequently now that the month of the
CGDC and E3 is over.
Well we hit Alpha last Monday, and are planning to put the game
into QA around the middle of next month. Things are looking pretty
good and we are reasonably on schedule. We have about 6 designers
and 4 scripters working on implementing the areas and they have
gotten through about 25% of them so far.
The Lead Programmer is going to start working
on the new Combat AI pretty soon. We talked last week for a couple
hours about different things that we could add to the AI to make
things act more realistically.
New thing we are adding is to have weapons that
you can set to Full Auto.