Fallout 3 screenshots surface

[UPDATED] Images from Black Isle Studios' now-cancelled game reveal story details, online multiplayer co-op component.

Role-playing gamers hurt by Interplay's closure of Black Isle Studios had some salt rubbed in their wounds over the weekend, when several screenshots from Fallout 3 surfaced on the No Mutants Allowed fan site. The images were apparently taken from a FO3 demo BIS developers had made to show Interplay executives, and feature graphics from the game's new isometric 3D engine. They were later commented on by an anonymous FO3 developer, who provided insights into the now-cancelled title.

The first image shows one of the underground vaults made famous in Fallout and Fallout 2. According to the developer, the shot "looks like a pre-prototype one as it's missing the lighting that gets burned in after being laid out." Despite its rough appearance, the shot does show that FO3 had the same detailed environments as its predecessors. "There was lots of cool little stuff going on in this level; characters walked around and interacted w/ stuff, there were all kinds of cool computer noises, the doors opened w/ the old Fallout sound (we used lots of old sounds for our prototype to help keep the feel), there were some cool effects from a broken generator and a floating eye bot."

The second image features a glimpse of FO3's surface world. "This level was the most impressive to look at. All the buildings, streets, etc were built with our tile and prop sets," said the developer. "When you walked into the buildings or peeked through the windows, the roofs faded off super clean to reveal the interior (the interiors of buildings didn't render while you were walking around outside, thus dropping lots of polygons to draw)." The developer also described some of the visual bells and whistles that would accompany combat in FO3, as well as a fully animated vault entrance. "After we did our prototype, we showed the demo to a few people around the company who were Fallout fans and I heard no less than 3 people gasp for air as it opened. It was a great moment."

However, it was the shot of the main menu that caused the biggest stir among RPG fans. One of the options was "play with a friend," indicating that Fallout 3 would have had a online multiplayer mode and possibly even co-op play. However, the developer admitted the screen's graphics looked somewhat unfinished. "They looked good in game, but here, so close up, the self-shadowing looked really harsh on the characters." He (or she) went on to describe what the final screen would have looked like. "The skybox animated, the train animated into the scene, and the characters moved around in their idle animations. Eventually we were going to do lots of cool stuff with this screen, but it was a really nice start."

GameSpot had planned on posting the Fallout 3 screenshots, but were denied permission by Interplay shortly before this story went live. "Since the title was officially never announced, we're not allowed to discuss it," said an Interplay spokesperson, who would only refer to the game by its official code name, Van Buren. "The executive order is that we don't want anything from it published." The spokesperson confirmed that the order came directly from Interplay CEO Herve Caen.

Along with the screenshots, details on Fallout 3's story have also emerged. According to a prominent FO3 developer, the hero of the game was a prisoner "in a government quarantine protocol that was still being executed after the bombs fell." The prisoner later teamed up with the Brotherhood of Steel, the high-tech knights whose enclaves dotted the landscapes of Fallout and Fallout 2. Another report, the game was to be set in the Rocky Mountains, with Denver being mentioned as a specific locale.

Although Interplay hasn't even officially announced the Black Isle Studios layoffs, Fallout 3's fate seems all but sealed. However, the game's rabid fan base has already started a petition calling on Interplay to either sell the half-completed game to another studio or the restart the game's development.

However, given the amount of bad blood recently spilled, a reconstituted BIS development team is a faint possibly at best. On his farewell post on the Interplay forums, Fallout 3 producer Tom French's bitterness was plain. Describing the laid off workers as "a very dedicated group who struggled through some of the worst conditions possible in order to keep working on the game we kept making up until the final day," French speculated on what might have been. "I think what would have happened would have been a sort of second renaissance for our games. … We would have most likely proven with Van Buren that we as a division still cared a great deal about the games we made and the fans they were for."

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29 comments
Mr_Versipellis
Mr_Versipellis

It's a little ironic that they're showing the new unfaithfull Fallout as "related". It really ought to have been named "The Elder Scrolls V: Fallout, Featuring Half-Life 2!"

feartrain999
feartrain999

Also I find it kind of funny reading some of the older posts. I never understood why ppl hated the idea of Bethesda taking this project over. When I originally heard about it in 04 (I think), I went crazy and have been more than excited since.... Ive been literaly counting the days since.

feartrain999
feartrain999

Yeah I was very upset to read this article years ago about the cancellation. But honestly, I believe it cannot be in better hands. I read in an interview/article that the Bethesda developers (leads anyways) are actual fans of the game. So now that it's nearing the launch, it seems to have become just as I had hoped, especially when watching the Gameplay movies. This may sound strange and some ppl may kick me for it (I am a HUGE fan of the original Fallout's out by the way), but I'm kind of glad that this got handed to Bethesda in the end. It may be still a bit early to judge this, I know, but a 3-D first-person shooter, post-apocalyptic, Sci-fi, RPG is the BEST.DA**.MIX.EVER. ...This game is going to be on my top 5, no doubt.

pixiedust35147
pixiedust35147

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

agustbestur
agustbestur

This game is said to be endless over 100 hours of gameplay

greyzhaze
greyzhaze

I hope this is going to be worth the wait

PMantix
PMantix

Amerus, look at the date this story was posted... Dec 15, 2003. They are talking about how the original developers canceled the project.. Bethesda is still planning on putting this out as the new developer (and I'm pretty sure the two projects were completely separate)

amerus
amerus

awww cmon.. why does all the games i want get cancled, stupid game developers

Rentago
Rentago

bathesda or how you spell it is making it like oblivion, things will break, decay, etc. You can upgrade weapons and after a while your gun may break. added an oblivion touch

koobeeny
koobeeny

Guy stuck in government quarantine.... Postapocalyptic world.... Colorado.... All sounds rather like Stephen King's The Stand, eh?

Pescar0
Pescar0

Very excited, hope they make a linux port.

mastergerard
mastergerard

@ dj_sonical that post was posted By Tor Thorsen, GameSpot Posted Dec 15, 2003 2:14 pm PT.. Btw Bethesda did say they will make a major change in the game what we dont know WHATS THAT MAJOR change will be

TrlMnkyBtt
TrlMnkyBtt

I also hope that they played fountain of dreams as well. most people remember wasteland, but not many remember the unofficial sequel to wasteland was banjo bob hardy's game fountain of dreams released by EA.

dj_sonical
dj_sonical

I don't think there's any further development on Fallout 3. Looks like we've been had by Bethesda.... Sux, they probably couldn't cope with the pressure of making a sequel for the best RPG games ever made!

alunfight
alunfight

since when fallout3 gonna be release?

komradandre
komradandre

i hope they've all played 'wasteland' before they do this...

mrmilos
mrmilos

Every option you remove/eliminate to choose from in FALLOUT is the same as eliminating a piece of FALLOUT itself. That is something they really should consider when making Fallout 3.

SenisterDeniste
SenisterDeniste

Bah, games these days are losing what made them fun, gameplay, Oblivion lacked anything except for looking good. I don't want Fallout 3 to be screwed up.

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

I remember buying the original Fallout a month or two after it was released, based solely on what I read and saw on the box. I hadn't read any reviews, didn't know anything about the game except that it was a Sci-Fi RPG. I've been buying and playing video games of all types for 23 years now. Fallout is one of the few that has stood the test of time.

wovan
wovan

I have just Finish fallout 2 at the 22 time and i cant wait for fallout 3. Fallout is the best game, that i played EVER!

ViperHeRo
ViperHeRo

I have just Finish fallout 2 and i cant wait for fallout 3.

RequiemDogma
RequiemDogma

The Oblivion engine is really nice actually, and the physics are great, it's their manipulation that's lacking (You cannot lift things up without moving them away from you.) I wouldn't mind seeing Fo3 made with the Oblivion engine, it could remain Isometric.

torebjerkan
torebjerkan

That's too bad. I think the Oblivion engine suck donkeyballs. The Physics are crap. It may look nice, but interacting is a pain. Please dont use 3D on fallout, it is an isometric game. I loved the previous ones, dont screw up this one with concentrating on fancy graphics.

Planeforger
Planeforger

Erm...people? Why repost on this news article? It's three years old!

ea_goodandy
ea_goodandy

It's not canceled anymore. Bethesda is making it. You know, the people who made Elder's Scroll III: Morrowind and Elder's Scroll IV: Oblivion. They are using the engine from Oblivion to make Fallout 3.

Exeed_Orbit
Exeed_Orbit

It's cancelled man, nothing sweet about that. It would have been sweet to see it though. Oh well. *sigh*

kelvz_ph
kelvz_ph

Fallout3!!!! I thought the day would never come for this long-awaited sequel to be continued.

IRUSHTWINKIES
IRUSHTWINKIES

It does i played for over 300 hours i have done everything and got every gun,Armour,ect its the best 20$ i have ever spent