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Post by Mantorok @ 08:20pm 09/12/03 | 25 Comments
Interplay have laid off all 14 staff at Black Isle Studios, and have cancelled Fallout 3 (AKA Van Buren). read more here. promoted forum item



fallout 3
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Latest Comments
StopShootingMe
Posted 08:32pm 09/12/03
That sucks arse. Fallout was great, and Black Isle did good work :(

Original Baldur's Gate rocked me...
Volcun
Posted 08:55pm 09/12/03
... does this mean black isle is no more?
nF
Posted 09:23pm 09/12/03
Was lionheart made by blackisle? (It was the infinity engine atleast)

Cause they blew.
Protius
Posted 09:24pm 09/12/03
If they are gone all the good AD&D games aren't gonna be in production anymore.
Morgan
Posted 10:12pm 09/12/03
Blackisle gave us title's such as:

fallout
fallout 2
baulders gate series
icewind dale
lionheart sucked though
planescape torment
etc.

they didn't make fallout tactics though... f*****g 14 egrees east
typo
Posted 10:27pm 09/12/03
you can realy tell that lionheart was pushed out before it was ready.

Interplay is dumb; I don't think they have any marketable devisions left.
typo
Posted 10:30pm 09/12/03
If they are gone all the good AD&D games aren't gonna be in production anymore.


Firstly AD&D are s*** rulesets. Secondly Biowares DnD products have always been better than Black Isle.

Blackisle gave us title's such as:

fallout
fallout 2
baulders gate series
icewind dale
lionheart sucked though
planescape torment


Thank Bioware for baldures gate Bioware

Morgan
Posted 10:37pm 09/12/03
http://www.blackisle.com/games.html

IMO fallout +2 was there flagship product. another!!!! no hope :(

so much for interplays:
for gamers by gamers
nF
Posted 11:14pm 09/12/03
Umm, i thought BIS was part of Bioware. Thats odd.

Anyway, it doesn't look like they were going anywhere. They made the one engine (infinity), and made every game with it.

It looked dated back when BG was released (98?), and they kept using it for 5 years or so.

You can't do that in the game industry and make money, oh wait, maybe you can.
Morgan
Posted 11:25pm 09/12/03
they also made the fallout engine which rcked
whoop
Posted 11:30pm 09/12/03
It looked dated back when BG was released (98?), and they kept using it for 5 years or so.

You can't do that in the game industry and make money, oh wait, maybe you can.


*cough* cs *cough*
iateababy
Posted 07:26am 10/12/03
and starcraft :P

Anyway, that company was so great. The fallout series is arguably the greatest RPG-style disc of fun ever invented. Its sad to see them kick it because its the sort of geekish game that wouldnt sell =[. Oh well...
Kimbo
Posted 10:05am 10/12/03
Interplay - buy gamers for gamers?

Its such a shame... Fallout Tactics and the whole Fallout series will be sorely missed :|

Kimbo
Posted 10:09am 10/12/03
by gamers for gamers even ;) Hrm Hrm Hrm :)
bingus
Posted 11:26am 10/12/03
No Fallout 3.. no Black Isle...

I think I'm going to cry.
Pharcyde
Posted 11:33am 10/12/03
Well there goes my wet dream of a Fallout MMORPG.

F*** :(
treeoflife
Posted 02:04pm 10/12/03
They didn't make Lionheart. They helped another team make it.

This is not good news or suprising. Hopefully the staff will float to another team and continue their good work.

Here's to one of the best CRPGs developers ever.
treeoflife
Posted 02:05pm 10/12/03
Secondly Biowares DnD products have always been better than Black Isle.
This is true, but then again we are only talking about the BG and IWD series'.

Thank Bioware for baldures gate
Both companies worked on it, though BG2 was predominantly Bioware.

... does this mean black isle is no more?
The company is still there. It's just that there is no one actually in it. Black Isle from now on will be run by a different group of people.

You can't do that in the game industry and make money, oh wait, maybe you can.
This is a good point. They stuck with old engines and still made good games that sold.

One day when engine development finally hits a brick wall, we'll see innovative game design again. Oh and the come back of PC gaming. One can not deny the effect consoles have had on the design of games.

Oh one last thing. PST is still the best CRPG ever. :)

Khel
Posted 02:15pm 10/12/03
One can not deny the effect consoles have had on the design of games.


Yeah, like Knights of the Old Republic, which was developed initially for XBox and is quite possibly one of the best games to come out for years. Damn that effect that consoles are having on the design of games.
treeoflife
Posted 03:29pm 10/12/03
I can point out exceptions too. Shall we play this silly game till one of us gives up due to boredom?

It seems you have taken my point slightly askew, or that I wasn't clear enough. I do admit my tone was aggressive. It was not meant to be. Console gaming has resulted in some very good things. I apologise. Anyhow back to it.


Console gaming has dumbed down the potential complexity of games. Whether it be due to the fact that a controller only has so many buttons, or that the demographic has changed somewhat. Sure better interface design (in all sense of the word), helps out but one cannot deny the usefulness of a keyboard and mouse.

This loss of complexity hurts certain game design and genres. Some genres cannot even be implemented on consoles due to their nature (not enough keys, no mouse). Let alone modding...


It's just that certain game design aspects are being ignored/underdeveloped because of this. Popular genres (Action-Adventure anyone?) have taken the forefront and as a gamer, I'm looking for more than that. And as a Developer, the pressure from Publishers to conform to their wishes must be immense.


But I guess that is the nature of an industry. It's doing alright at the moment I admit, but it's just annoying that innovation in design isn't all that evident anymore. It's a shame that we have a million war and tactical shooters to choose from, and once that genre is flogged to death, the industry will more onto another one.

It's also a pity that after all these years, we still only have a handful of games that deal with mature storylines and concepts.

And that I haven't thought, "that's a damn good concept for a game", for a long long time.
typo
Posted 05:45pm 10/12/03
Both companies worked on it, though BG2 was predominantly Bioware.


Except that Black Isle worked on it mostly in a role as a publisher. The relationship between publisher and development company is pretty much insestual, both companies would be living in each others panties for longer than they care to admit.

One reason why when Bioware ran screaming from Interplay that it was so painfull for both parties. Interplay was used to the talent that Bioware had, while Bioware was used to the way way the suits did business at Interplay.

One day when engine development finally hits a brick wall, we'll see innovative game design again. Oh and the come back of PC gaming. One can not deny the effect consoles have had on the design of games.


I remember when the first console market exploaded in a fit of innovation. After a while all of the companies where throwing out the same old s*** repackeaged.

Then the console market died in the arse, everybody got C=64s or amstrads or tandys and everybody laughed at people with ataris. Man some of the games that came out on c64 was f*****g innovative and insane. Like pirates, or paradroid.

Then even the mighty c64 games started to get stale, in fact the entire PC market went to s*** as the console market hyped its way back to the top.

Realy great fast games where being made, the first adventures into console RPGs and shiznits.

Then the next wave of PCs ... now consoles ...

The point of this is that it is a cycle. Money grabbing f**** have flooded the PC market with s***, and now they are moving away from PCs ... THATS F*****G GOOD NEWS FOR PC LOVERS!

Even at the lowest points in time for either platform, people still made f*****g fantastic games for both platforms. It is just that one with the least amount of market share didn't get so many s*** games.

Eventualy a cycle will turn and it will all come back to PCs or some variant of PCs and all the console people will be crying, while they grip their boyfriends d*** real hard for comfort.

Yeah, like Knights of the Old Republic, which was developed initially for XBox and is quite possibly one of the best games to come out for years. Damn that effect that consoles are having on the design of games.


You have to admit though, that KOTOR would have been f*****g fantastic no matter wht the platform it was first designed for. Actualy the reason why it is so great is because Bioware went out to make a F*****G AWESOME game, and nothing to do with the type of platform it was designed for.

The lessoned to be learned for game publishers is that KOTOR is a good example ... make good games, and gamers respect you, make s*** games and you live in shame forever.

Console gaming has dumbed down the potential complexity of games. Whether it be due to the fact that a controller only has so many buttons, or that the demographic has changed somewhat. Sure better interface design (in all sense of the word), helps out but one cannot deny the usefulness of a keyboard and mouse.


Man there are LCD games for all platforms now ...

This loss of complexity hurts certain game design and genres. Some genres cannot even be implemented on consoles due to their nature (not enough keys, no mouse). Let alone modding...


Sure the complex Interactions are hard to do on a console at the moment, but don't be surprised when limited keyboards come out for consoles.

But lets be honest, games that require complex interactions are realy hard to make work even on a PC. In fact you could argue that being forced to only use a smaller number of possible interactions game developers are forced to innovate new ways of interaction simply to get there game across.

As for modding, it isn't the fact that consoles don't have keyboards that is the problem, it is that the developers kits for consoles cost f***loads.

It's just that certain game design aspects are being ignored/underdeveloped because of this.


Games that are being "ignored/underdeveloped" are normaly games that are f*****g hard to realy do well.

Popular genres (Action-Adventure anyone?) have taken the forefront and as a gamer, I'm looking for more than that. And as a Developer, the pressure from Publishers to conform to their wishes must be immense.


Immense? No I think you completly miss-understand how most developers are in the relationship between developer and publisher. If the publisher says we want to pay you a few million dollers to develop this game, most developers who are so cash strapped jump up and say "yes sir".

The only developers who can make whatever products they realy want are either

1: semi independant, at least independent enough to fund their own research and development for a while untill a publisher thinks that a product is going to sell and comes into the ride. (Bioware)

2: So immensly popular that they can sell 3 million copies before the game is released (Blizzard).

But I guess that is the nature of an industry. It's doing alright at the moment I admit, but it's just annoying that innovation in design isn't all that evident anymore. It's a shame that we have a million war and tactical shooters to choose from, and once that genre is flogged to death, the industry will more onto another one.


I don't see what the problem with reworking a good idea. Most of these companies are not proclaiming to be innovation focused. Most of them are hear to make money by selling us entertainment.

If you want to complain about the people who make that reality happen, complain to gamers who purchase them.

As for innovation design not that evident anymore. It is much easier to be innovative when nobody else has done anything else like this before. I mean how innovative was pac man, or space invaders.

Trying to do something that nobody else has done before is realy f*****g hard. Generaly you can't just sit around saying ... "We can't make this product yet untill we come up with something truly innovative", because you will never make your product. Chances are it always comes back to be related to something someone else has done.

It's also a pity that after all these years, we still only have a handful of games that deal with mature storylines and concepts.


With the exception of violance, blood and guts.

Other than that the market isn't mature enough to deal with them. Almost every single game that puts swearing in always makes it sound corny and forced. Not to mention that the market isn't big enough to support only adult games (even though we are the largest market (we don't purchase consistantly enough))

That being said there have been a hand full of games that do, just like there are realy a handfull of FPS games actualy worth playing, and just like there have only been a handfull of RTS games actualy worth playing.

What you are essentialy crying about here is that the companies who mass produce s*** haven't made s***** adult concept games.

THAT IS A GOOD THING!

typo.close();
typo
Posted 05:47pm 10/12/03
phwoar ... that is a hitman sized rant there ...

Sorry about that

if (post >= hitman.rant.length) post = "";
treeoflife
Posted 01:25am 11/12/03
First of all, nice reply. Active conversation about game design is always good.



In fact you could argue that being forced to only use a smaller number of possible interactions game developers are forced to innovate new ways of interaction simply to get there game across.
I agree, but usually attempted innovation doesn't work too well. Some examples.

Autoaiming, though present on both PC and console games, are only a must for consoles. The lack of precision one can only get from a mouse, limits the interaction of a game, and this can be a major influence on the design.

Another example of autoaiming-ish behavious is the combat system in Enter the Matrix. It removes entirely the draw of fighting like one would like to be able to within the Matrix world. An idea that just didn't work well. In my opinion, they should've taken Oni's system and realised that it was a decent base to work from (though Oni's system was also lacking).

I have yet to experience POP's melee system, but I've only heard good things. Which is a notch for console innovation. I'm sure that there are other examples but in my opinion, the amount of innovation is overshadowed by its limitations.



Games that are being "ignored/underdeveloped" are normaly games that are f*****g hard to realy do well.
Also agree, but it would be nice if more steps were taken (risk) to develop these type of games. But yes, I can understand it's just not viable in most situations. Though I applaud companies like Sony and Microsoft for occasionally throwing money at developers to experiment with design (The Beast).



1: semi independant, ... (Bioware)

2: ... immensly popular ...(Blizzard).
I used to think that too but after reading up about the games industry, it seems that even Bioware and Blizzard would be heavily subjected to Publisher demands. Unfortunately I can't quote a passage or a link, but games like SC:Ghost or even the NWN expansions gives the impression that they too bow to popular demand, or something similar in nature.

Maybe it takes something more than just an incredibly successful developer (inhouse Publisher development)? Or perhaps the complete opposite; students, hobbyists, researchers, not as constrained by budgets and deadlines?



No I think you completly miss-understand how most developers are in the relationship between developer and publisher. If the publisher says we want to pay you a few million dollers to develop this game, most developers who are so cash strapped jump up and say "yes sir".
Yes this is true, but talking to/reading about some developers, they gave the impression that it is also very much the case that the Publisher holds certain licenses that they will 'only' fund. Apparently it is pretty rare that a pitched idea from a developer will ever be taken up by a Publisher. And this is what I'm crying about.



Trying to do something that nobody else has done before is realy f*****g hard. Generaly you can't just sit around saying ... "We can't make this product yet untill we come up with something truly innovative", because you will never make your product. Chances are it always comes back to be related to something someone else has done.
But it can be done. I bet many developers have many many great ideas but due to it being an industry, their ideas will never be realised and gamers will never be able to experience them. That to me is a real shame.

Similar to the talented music artist that struggles to be heard as they are not tied to a Label. Or even a talented budding scriptwriter. Popular entertainment drowns everything else out. They win by default, by overkill...



Most of these companies are not proclaiming to be innovation focused. Most of them are hear to make money by selling us entertainment.
I realise that this is an industry and therefore concede that it's a reluctant compromise.



If you want to complain about the people who make that reality happen, complain to gamers who purchase them.
I agree, but I believe it's much more than that. It's actually annoyingly complex but i'll just say that piracy is a real issue with gaming, especially PC gaming. Some of the best games just don't get the sales, even though they may be appreciated the most. If anything, I blame basing success on sales, but then again that's prefectly reasonable from a business standpoint. Reality ay...



Other than that the market isn't mature enough to deal with them.
I believe it is. It just hasn't been given enough of a chance yet. (Insert 'teenager coming of age' simile here) I can just imagine that there are so many great ideas that will never be...



the companies who mass produce s*** haven't made s***** adult concept games.
Oh the humanity if it ever occurs.



Edit: Hmm.. still not as long as my other rants. Apologies once again. Used lines to break it up a little. Better than 4 posts in a row I guess... :P
treeoflife
Posted 01:43am 11/12/03
Sorry a little more.

As for modding, it isn't the fact that consoles don't have keyboards that is the problem, it is that the developers kits for consoles cost f***loads.
I was more talking about games that are designed especially with modding in mind. Games that ship with mod tools and so forth (Morrowind, Max Payne 2, Warcraft 3).

You'd be hard pressed to have modding on consoles, and this is directly related to the nature of consoles and console game design, even the target demographic. No keyboard or mouse as a standard as well.


Man there are LCD games for all platforms now ...
LCD? Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean like the LCD thing on the Dreamcast controller, or using a GBA as a controller? Probably mean something else entirely but my mind ain't working too well at this moment in time.


Khel
Posted 03:52am 11/12/03
You'd be hard pressed to have modding on consoles, and this is directly related to the nature of consoles and console game design, even the target demographic. No keyboard or mouse as a standard as well.


Thats why we have PCs. Consoles aren't meant to be PCs and PCs aren't meant to be consoles. Both offer different gaming experiences, and if you dont want to play console oriented, then dont.

I dont want to be able to mod the games on my console, I dont want complex control schemes, I dont want a keyboard and a mouse, I want it to stay simple, like consoles are intended to be. Thats the whole point of a console, I can sit down in front of my tv, pick up a controller, whack in a cd and have a quick game of something. If I want anything more complex, I'll go play it on a PC.
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