Author Topic: Interview: The new Van Buren  (Read 31944 times)

Offline Lexx

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Interview: The new Van Buren
« on: June 15, 2014, 12:56:26 pm »
Van Buren is a FOnline engine based project that aims to recreate the very first Fallout 3 that was once started by Black Isle, but had never been allowed to see the light of the day. Of course we are curious about the project (you can find more information about it on the ModDB profile), and team leader Hexer has been kind enough to answer some of our questions!


1. What's the current status of the project and why did you decide to actually make this game?
At the moment we are working hard to bring all the locations to life with new art and maps. The amount of new art is staggering as some locations require art pieces never before seen in a Fallout game. In these 6 months we have finished about 40% of the game. I predict that we will mainly be busy with maps and art this entire year (2014) but we are steadily pushing forward on other areas (writing, music, and gameplay).

My personal reason for deciding to make this game is that today's CRPGs can't hold my attention the way older ones did.
I was losing interest in CRPGs and became frustrated with the fact that I might never play a game like Fallout 1 or 2 again in my life. So I decided to do something about it and canceled Van Buren was the closest thing to what I wanted to play. And here I am today, developing it with other 40 people.

2. Can you tell us a bit about cool features that are already in the game or will be in the future? And: Are there any features that you had to scrap so far??
As Fallout 2 wanted to improve on all areas of Fallout 1, so we too are trying to improve on all areas of Fallout 2.
Some of the cool features we have planned for are the ability to play as either a human, a ghoul, or a super mutant from the start. And on top of that you can enhance yourself with cybernetics. Cybernetics were always a part of Fallout's world but were in the background. We are giving them some love this time around. There are many other new features as we have a 40 pages TODO / WISH list.

So far we haven't thrown anything out but that is only because programming those features waits for me to first finish working on art and maps.

3. The leaked Van Buren design docs are partly incomplete (sometimes more, sometimes less). How do you work with that? Did you figured out all the missing parts yet or are you still working on filling them up where needed? Do you have additional content planned that wasn't mentioned in the leaked design documents?
Yes, in certain areas we had to rely on ourselves to fill in the gaps. The main plot was loosely defined while some locations and companions weren't written at all, merely mentioned. Changes to the game's famous SPECIAL system were also incomplete.

I know we put some extra strain on ourselves by featuring everything BIS cut from the game but we believe that's the only way to do Van Buren right.

There will be extra content not planned by BIS: special encounters our fans want to see, Dog Town metro, expansion pack, etc.

4. Why did you chose FOnline over other game engines available, such as Torque 2D? In retrospect, are you happy about changing the engine in the middle of development?
We chose FOnline because of engine's specialization for developing / running a classic Fallout game. So much hard work has been put into it by the developers and the community it was really a no brainer for us. Frequent updates and support, friendly community, etc. - what more could you ask for?

It took me around 1 month to figure it out. We are also able to properly make everything Van Buren requires as most of it is not possible to do in Fallout 2's engine.

5. As the FOnline engine supports it, and the original Van Buren tech demo shows a "Play with a friend"-button in the main menu: Do you plan on integrating a coop mode into the game?
We are focusing on making a single player game first and foremost. But since FOnline's is multiplayer engine - never say never ;-)

6. You've said that your team currently has a size of 40 people. How do you handle the organisation, and how are you keeping it all together?
We are using emails, Google Drive, and a specialized website for that - Develteam. That combination's working pretty good and everybody is being kept updated on daily developments.

7. So... Being super optimistic and stuff right now, do you think you might already be able to pin down a very sketchy release date?
The most optimistic date would be early 2016, but it's better to count on it sometimes during 2016.

8. Last but not least, how do you see the Fallout franchise in the future? Do you think there's some cool shit coming or are you rather pessimistic about it?
I'm rather pessimistic as New Vegas - in my eyes - was as a missed opportunity to make Van Buren. Classic Fallouts were a product of their time and that's why our building blocks are only the same things which inspired developers of Fallout 1 and 2. We think that by understanding what inspired them is the only way to make a proper Fallout title.

For example, when I read that Fallout 3's developers were inspired by The Road (a PA novel from 2006) I knew the final product won't hit the spot with fans of the classics. Not to mention they refused help from Troika, which immediately signals to you a message that they don't really want to make a "true" Fallout game but their "own" Fallout game. The results speak for themselves, the older fans mostly feel disconnected to the series nowadays.


Re: Interview: The new Van Buren
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2015, 12:51:39 pm »
Very interesting read  8). I cannot wait for this game to finished.

Re: Interview: The new Van Buren
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 11:36:06 am »
Yeah but hexer is inactive here and I don't know if he finaly release open source van buren -_-