CHID 496N Pandora’s Wake Fallout 2 Last Time – We concluded discussion on The Road with Terry’s argument about how to read the religious and moral discussions going on in The Road as a way of gaining perspective on the final passage of the novel. Next Time – We will wrap up discussion of Fallout 2 with and argument from Terry and talk about final projects. . For today: First impressions and comparisons Media Apocalypse SPECIAL GURPS Choice, Consequences, and Narrative
First impressions After a first week of play, what do you think? What stood out to you in the context of our discussions of hope and post-apocalypse? How does it compare to the other texts? Similarities? Differences? Common themes?
Media Apocalypse In what way does the specific media, the fact that it’s a video game, influence its portrayal of the post-apocalypse? How does this compare with the two other media forms we have encountered? We are somewhat more accustomed to the narrative forms of print and video, they seem ‘natural’ often transparent. But, how did those two media shape the world they describe?
SPECIAL GURPS • In 1986, Generic Universal Role-Playing System was developed as a protocol for RPGs, allowing new games to be developed without having to develop and learn new rule systems. • In 1995 Interplaylicenced GURPS for use in what would become Fallout. Eventually the name GURPS was dropped and the acronym S.P.E.C.I.A.L. was adopted. Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck.
SPECIAL GURPS • SO What? • The character creation for Fallout was based on an intentionally generic system, yet, the selections you make, the characters you develop, potentially speak to what you believe will be valuable characteristics in a post-apocolyptic scenario. • How did you build your character? • How did you build your character? • Your only real frame of reference for character creation is the introductory movies. Did you build it with those in mind? • What where your guiding principles when making your character? • What do your choices say about what you think would be important in the post-apocalypse? Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck.
Choice, Consequences, and Narrative “Fallout handles failure very differently to most games, as Manveer Heir explains in his column at Game Set Watch. Heir describes his own experience playing Fallout 2, and the significant consequences of his smarminess during one of the game’s many dialogue trees. He explains that his mistakes, rather than ending the game, merely coloured the narrative of his playthrough. In many games this would be the end. The poor choice I made in talking to an official in a snide manner would result in the consequence of game over, since the critical information was hiding within. However, in Fallout, while the consequence of making my life more difficult was apparent, the game wasn’t over. There were other sources that had the same information elsewhere. I just had to explore some other cities to find them. I had to find an alternate path. A path that the designers made available, knowing that someone would talk themselves into a pickle inside Vault City. Whereas, in many games, such as Resident Evil 4, making the wrong decision or failing to save the life of a charge would result in a game over screen, halting the player’s progress, the world of Fallout just keeps going. This is not only a great game mechanic: it is a comment on the nature of life in the wasteland. So you let a girl die. Who cares? I got caught in a nuclear blast and now I look like the pope before make-up.”