[Promoted from our Community Manager's inbox, here's another fantastic Guest Writer! Stacey Thompson is back to discuss some of her ideas of what the next Fallout could include!]
Bethesda Softworks is one of the few big game developers that still turn out electronic games that appeal to the more refined electronic RPG enthusiast. I’m referring to the kind of gamer that prefers looking at a spread of values that he or she can gleefully manipulate to get a desired result (which includes the sliders that need to be messed with to get the character’s look he prefers), while at the same time getting immersed in a richly-designed world that will keep you out of the loop of our consensual reality for weeks on end.
It was pleasantly surreal for me when Bethesda announced back in 2004 that they had acquired the rights to develop and release the next Fallout game. I liked Bethesda, but before their games came into my life, I was already enamored by the first two Fallout titles by Black Isle Studios. The expansive world and story of Fallout combined with the graphical goodness and meticulousness of Bethesda, I imaged, would be totally awesome.
Fortunately, I was right. Both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas are excellent games in their own right. There were initial apprehensions that Bethesda would lose the spirit of Fallout and just come out with an “Elder Scrolls: Mad Max Edition” kind of game, but I think they enhanced the retro-futuristic flavor even further. The mod-friendliness of Bethesda’s platform merged with and grew the Fallout fanbase, and to date, new mods are still being made for the two most recent Fallout titles.
Since there’s very little to go on as to what the next Fallout will be like (New Vegas was supposedly the last game of the series to use their dated game engine), I decided to create my own list of expectations (sort of a wish list, actually) of things I’d like to see in the next installment of the series. Some are already present in the previous titles (or at least, realized in a custom mod that was made available to the community), and others still in the realm of dreams and aspirations.
Mod Creation Kit Built Into or Released with the Game
This would be something the creative and aspiring game developers would appreciate. Rather than wait for months after the release of the game for the tools to create your own custom content, Bethesda should make it a point that creation and modification utilities come packaged with the the released game. This will pave the way for faster migration of in-demand mods from previous Fallout games, as well as allow players to start customizing the game immediately, or even come out with bug fixes for the benefit of the community without waiting for the official patch.
An Even Bigger Game World
I realize that this will place greater demands on the official game development team, but do realize that part of the fun with Bethesda-made RPGs is that the world is built to be modded. Bethesda already did something similar with Skyrim in that they included the maps of the previous Elder Scrolls games into the game, albeit devoid of many features and are accessible only if unlocked intentionally via mods.
I wouldn’t mind if they’d put the geographic map of the entire North American continent into the next game, even if they’ll just be using one or two states for the actual game. That way, modders will have an enormous space for them to play with and add more of their content into the world without even needing to alter the areas in the base game. I liked what they did with Nevada, and hope to see that kind of environmental diversity in their future releases.
Given the larger areas, I’d also appreciate if vehicles (land, sea, air, or even space) were supported natively in the next Fallout (there was a Highwayman in Fallout 2 and a Hummer in Fallout: Tactics, but none in the Bethesda-made sequels). It will take some tweaking to get things right and balanced, but the potential fun factor of gunning down a pack of deathclaws while riding a classic Harley is something I’d really like to play out. Oh, and stretch limos for rent (or outright “acquisition”), please!
I figure that if the world has gone to the crapper, people would be doing more killing, drinking, and gambling. The first two are reasonably covered, but New Vegas has whet my appetite for more games of chance. It need not be casino-style games, humanity has invented so many ways to make a wager, and with the end of the civilized world, there should be plenty more creativity available to make up for the lack of basic resources. Having said that, I’d find it extra-cool if another notable casino from the present time would show up in its post-apocalyptic form.
A Pip-Boy App for Android and IOS Smartphones
This would make wandering the wasteland a tad more fun and immersive. Imagine, you need not to switch your Pip-Boy onscreen. Instead, you just look at your smartphone (which will probably be strapped to your wrist for added realism, or even better, attached to a Pip-Boy frame) and check your equipment, perks, attributes and whatever else. Looking at other bits of data and switching radio stations can also be done via the smartphone Pip-Boy. It would be so cool.
An ESRB AO Rating
The Wasteland is a truly cruel and unforgiving place. I think Bethesda should go full-on with the theme of Fallout on their next title, and tell the kids under 18 to play other games for the meantime. Sex and violence are definitely staples of this world, so there’s no point in toning it down just so a seventeen-year-old can play. The game will still be around a year later, anyway.
I’m very excited for the next Fallout. In fact, I’m so excited, that I’m just going to reinstall New Vegas and grab some of the best player-made mods available. Enjoy your wasteland adventures!