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Balancing Weapons & Abilities Is Vibes-Based, Fallout New Vegas Director Says

Just "playing around" and seeing how it works in practice is the best approach.

In a recent YouTube video, Fallout: New Vegas Director Joshua Sawyer talked about his approach to balancing abilities and weapons in games before launch, and it looks like the most important thing here is to rely on practice, as "it's mostly vibes-based".

"I don't really believe in spending a huge amount of time prior to people playing the game in a sort of 'simulation land,' because it doesn't really matter," he says (via GamesRadar).

Image credit: Obsidian Entertainment, Fallout: New Vegas

Further, Sawyer explains that when developing New Vegas, he created a simple spreadsheet to categorize weapons by ammo type and base damage, which helped evaluate damage threshold values. Despite its basic nature, Sawyer mentions that the tool was used briefly and was last accessed in March 2010, seven months before the game's release.

"That's because ultimately, it's about the practical effect of it in the game," Sawyer added. "Once you actually have a framework, then I think most of that work should be done in-game. Depending on the volume of the abilities, the powers, et cetera that you have, maybe some sort of a heuristic [approach] or some sort of simulation would be a good way to get a general idea of where things land, but ultimately, I think you just play around with it."

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