Let me begin with a short explanation of my involvement with Resurrection. Many, many years ago, on a Czech Fallout fan site called Mad Brahmin, there was a forum. There, we talked about the usual things discussed on such forums - different ways to play Fallout, how much we are looking forward to Fallout3 (which is how we used to call Van Buren), and stuff like that. Then someone got an idea that while we're waiting for Fallout 3 we should pass the time by creating Fallout 2 mods. One of the projects created was Fallout 2.5 (which was later renamed to Fallout 1.5: Resurrection). As a fallout-obsessed teenager I obviously wanted to take part in this and so I became a member of the Fallout 2.5 team. At that point we were mainly working on coming up with ideas. I took part in drafting up locations, quests and the main story - basically the design stuff. But the development was going very slowly and after a few years I decided to leave the team and focus on certain other aspects of my life. Since then I helped out a little bit with some translations, but nothing big. Well, and now I'm back as a beta tester.
It's been almost two week since I entered the world of Resurrection. At first, I had my classic, cheery Fallout2 approach. I was getting ready to be nice and help innocent tribals and friendly residents of small cities, oppressed by evil bad guys. I was getting ready to gradually expand my possessions through fair trade and looting of evil guys who really deserved to die. I was getting ready for a naive fairy-tale-like story about saving the world from an evil scientist, who wants to detonate a nuke just because it's in his evil, evil personality. But Resurrection wasn't like that at all. The atmosphere was much darker. It's a ruthless world, which reminded me of Fallout 1 and Mad Max. The main story is mysterious and interesting, and as such does a great job at motivating you to keep going. But it's the small details I enjoyed the most. The original Fallouts are known for giving you a lot of freedom in choosing how to complete the quests. Resurrection accepts this tradition as a challenge and goes a little further.
As a whole, this game world has really affected me. At the very beginning I got into the role of my character, and thanks to the excellent way the details were handled, I managed to stay in that role throughout the game. I stayed in the role even when my character started to slowly move away from my personal values. In Resurrection, everyone is just trying to survive. It's a world full of distrustful communities, which I would call paranoid had I not seen that it's justified. It's a world where you can't see good nor evil, only various shades of gray. In order to survive, I had to adapt: I lied, I stole, I killed innocent people, I forced poor people to give me money, even though I knew they didn't have any to spare. But this isn't my confession. No, the change was too gradual and too voluntary, there's no way back now. Now, when I look back at things I've done, I can clearly see they were wrong. Yet I regret nothing. I know that should I find myself in that situation again, I would do the same once again. No, I didn't go insane. I see it more like becoming tougher to survive in the desert of this postapocalyptic world.
At first I really tried to play as a good guy. Sometimes I could only choose between two evils, but even then I tried to pick the lesser one. Then one day I met a doctor who was interested in one of my companions. Or more precisely her organs. I wanted to refuse, of course, but then I heard how much money he was offering in return. Oh, god, it was a lot! In the end I refused - I'm trying to be good, after all! However, later on that day I caught myself revisiting the situation in my head. I was imagining the things I could buy with all that money. I wanted it so bad! And it was then I realized just how deeply I entered into the game.
Resurrection is simply an experience, though it will be a different experience for everyone. It's a world which every fan of the original Fallouts should visit.
I wasn't sure how to begin this, so I took a look at old updates for
inspiration... and what a sight it was! Overly optimistic expectations,
hopeful outlooks, gradual sobering up and finally a shock from the
realization that we are approaching the 10th anniversary of the start of
this project. Yeah…
Instead of coming up with some new optimistic statement, let me just give you the facts.
After last year's first round of beta testing we fixed the discovered bugs, as well as finished all of the programming that was left to do. Right now we are in the middle of the second round of beta testing, which started approximately two weeks ago. This is currently done by three testers, one internal, Saruman, two external, Seto and Flowerpo, who will then also help out with the translation. (External testers had no access to the behind-the-scenes details about the game.) All discovered bugs and difficulty adjustments are bravely handled by Daemon, Mario and Ratman, who together with Saruman represent the 10 year old core of the team, which if you exclude graphics and music made at least 90% of the game. I don't mean this in a bad way, I just want to point out just how difficult it is to finish a project based on volunteer work. It's easy to start and find active people, but to persevere until the end is... something else. Our team has hit the rock bottom a couple of times, so I'm very glad that I can still be writing this update, and I also feel a lot of respect for those who were able to create some sort of a game or a whole game world.
Now what? Our target is clear - to test, balance out, and release. The sooner the better. Due to the unpredictable nature of bugs I cannot, with any degree of certainty, say that the D Day will come on X/Y/201Z - it will depend on just how thorough current (and future) testers will be. Their role is more difficult now - JaW did a lot of good work last year :-)
Pretty much the last thing I want to mention here is an important
matter that concerns all those skilled with some kind of 3D graphics
software (or known someone who is). We currently lack skillful graphics
artists. Even though the artists that worked on the project before did a
lot of work, we still have several endscreens to finish. So ironically
what before was unthinkable can now happen - a delay in the release
caused by missing artwork, which I think would be a shame. After all
these years we definitely don't want to release a game that ends with a
bunch of black screens, just because we couldn't find anyone capable and
willing to make some sort of relevant and good looking image. And so I
ask: PLEASE HELP! We can't do it without you.
If you’re not into 3D graphics, we'd also appreciate someone for 2D graphics - to play around with the graphics of certain items, and perhaps game signs, which we're trying to unify between the Czech and the English versions. But in this case our cry for help isn't desperate as much as it's aesthetic - I admit that this kind of thing is beyond my abilities, but I believe that Resurrection deserves an improvement of certain in-game graphics.
If you're interested in helping out, just email us!
That's it for now. In the next few days we'd like to get the new Forum running. You can also expect to find another update with our beta testers’ first impressions in the next few days. And then afterwards... we'll see.
A few weeks ago I talked to Ratman and Daemon, the FoRes designers, about beta testing the latest version of their modification. My job was clear. Find some bugs, learn thoroughly the entire game and then help with the balancing and some other things that are needed to be done.
I got the game two weeks ago and since then I played hard every day, looking for bugs and trying various solutions for each quest. In the version I got were missing scripts for one city area "only" and a random locations did not work on the map. All other locations are already well playable and need just a little difficulty tuning. Today I finished the game with a not very successful ending, because I came to the final location and my character was at least 5 levels lower than are expectations for this level with a fully functional map.
The game size is similar to Fallout 1, the story that follows. The story is excellent, polished to the smallest details (I dare not guess how many Prague pubs visits was needed to clarify all the story) and fits perfectly into the Fallout universe. Resurrection is more similar to Fallout 2 in variety and number of ways how to finish the quests. Ratman, the designer, said to me that one of the quests he made has up to 7 different possible solutions! The number of endings is higher than in Fallout 2 and almost 3 times as much as in Fallout 1! How will the world look like at the end of your playing in this Fallout will be only up to you. The world will flourish or will be all destroyed?
The dialogues are rich and like in the other Fallout games, depends on how you create your character and what skills you focus on. Of course there is an option to play a dumb character (not tested myself). The dialogue and atmosphere are similar to the Fallout 1. The world seemed to me much darker than the one in the first Fallout game. No wonder, because both major designers are known for their love in playing as bad guys in Fallout games. For me, playing positive character, it was very difficult, because I often had to choose between better evil and worse evil. But honestly, this is probably how the post apocalyptic should looks like, the world where the flower children and bunnies do not have the slightest chance of survival.
How do I rate Fallout 1.5: Resurrection at this stage of development As its name suggests, its story perfectly fills the time gap between the two oldest Fallout games and extends the Fallout universe with qualitatively similar product, even if it is just unofficial part. Part which you will not play once but several times and each time it will be different game, different experience with the different endings.
English version is planned, but it should come up some time after the Czech version.