Interviews// Bethesda Softworks Peter Hines

Then that all gets blown to hell and you come out of a vault several hundred years later

Posted 15 Feb 2007 17:33 by

SPOnG: Okay, back to the game! Some of the optimisations you've made on the PS3 version, you've said, are going to make their way over to the Xbox 360 and PC versions [via updates] at some point in the future.

Pete Hines: Yeah, there's a few things we've done that are non-platform specific that may be applicable to the PC or the 360.

SPOnG: But some at the same time will be PS3-specific?

Pete Hines: Yeah, quite a few of the optimisations done for this version are specific to the way the PlayStation 3 is designed, in the way it processes information? so those optimisations wouldn't be applicable to the other versions.

SPOnG: Okay, one slight criticism I have of Oblivion is that there is that 'uncanny valley' thing, where when you are talking with other characters, the facial animation is just slightly wonky and unrealistic?

Pete Hines: Yeah, we think they are actually wholly unrealistic. We've gotten that uncanny valley question before and I don't think it applies, only because we're not even remotely close to something being so realistic that by one aspect being slightly off it's disturbing. I still think we have a long way to go in terms of lip-synching, facial animations, expressions and all that stuff, but you know?. they're definitely getting better, but there's light-years to go where we are going to be approaching realism, where you have to worry about it being just that little bit off to be disturbing.

SPOnG: Okay, let's move on to say a few things about Fallout 3 - firstly, give us your take on the history of the franchise?

Pete Hines: Sure, Fallout was a series started back in the mid 1990s done out of Interplay in an RPG shop they had called Black Isle Studios. They were post-nuclear role playing games - so set in the United States after a nuclear war? and actually also in an alternate universe.

So it's like it's in a separate timeline - it's as if the world of the 1950s continued on a separate path to what they envisioned the future to be, as opposed to what we have come to know as the future. Then that all gets blown to hell and you come out of a vault several hundred years later to try and struggle to survive.

SPOnG: From that description, it strikes me that there's maybe similarities with what Irrational are trying to do with Bioshock.

Pete Hines: Mmmmmm, not really? maybe a little, but only in as much as any role-playing game is going to be similar in certain ways to any other role-playing game. What you're going to see from us in Fallout 3 is going to be pretty different though.

SPOnG: In terms of resurrecting that late 1990s classic though?

Pete Hines: Yeah, but again, what Fallout 3 does in terms of theme and tone and setting is very different.
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