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Fallout 3

Interview: Going nuclear with Bethesda's Pete Hines

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Hines: Our philosophy with Fallout 3 was to make it as if we'd made Fallout one and two. Which obviously we didn't but we couldn't really spend a whole lot of time worrying about what we didn't make or what we didn't have control over.

We approached it the same way we approached Morrowind or Oblivion - we are doing the next game in the series, this is what the series has always been about, what are we going to do with the next one to make it cool and fun and the next big step for this series?

That was our approach for Fallout 3, was to say "What's our next big thing going to be for this series". What are the things we need to stay true to and can't change, and what are the things we maybe want to change or update and do differently.

Ultimately, that was our approach, to make to make the kind of choices to make the best Fallout 3 game we thought we could make.

To date that's what we've done. We've definitely changed some things, but we feel like we've stayed true to the things about Fallout that make that series memorable - which are the setting, the characters, the tone, the feats, the moral choices, the player choice.

The character system is the same, the dialogue system works the same. We didn't want to change the stuff we felt didn't need to be changed.

During the demo you quipped that "Destruction is our new trees". But how difficult has it been creating a post-nuclear world?

Hines: Very. Especially all the outdoor stuff. Our lead artist for Fallout 3 is very good and he's also really obsessive... We really do go into a lot of detail, we don't just make things for the sake of making them, they have to have a sense of why they're there, and what function do they serve?

For the outdoor stuff, it's definitely really difficult to render that kind of destruction. But for us the big benefit is, on this generation of technology that incorporates both the two new consoles as well as the stuff we're doing now on PC with DX 9 and DX 10. This is another go-around for us on those things.

Oblivion was our first shot, and we've learned an awful lot of things having made that game... We're able to push our tech a lot further having gone through that experience and knowing how to speed up our rendering, how to use shaders to better model this kind of environment.

We couldn't have pulled of something like Megaton with the last generation of our stuff - just all those little details, the wires, and all that stuff. It's a really dense, packed environment.

Keep eyes peeled for part two, coming soon...

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