How Fallout was created - Memoirs of the Developers (Topic)

World Of Topics » Games » How Fallout was created - Memoirs of the Developers

How Fallout was created - Memoirs of the Developers


Last year, Retro Gamer spoke to the fathers of classic Fallout Brian Fargo, Tim Kane, Leonard Boyarsky, Chris Taylor, Chris Avellon and third-part designer Gavin Carter. He collected the main developer memories of the history of the creation of Fallout. PC Gamer recently republished this material with new facts. We have selected the most interesting for you.

Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Play Game

Since childhood, Fargo has been an ardent admirer of post-apocalyptic themes. In the future, this love poured into Wasteland, which was the first attempt to bring something new to the genre. Subsequent attempts to develop the streak were unsuccessful, largely due to EA, who did not want to give him back the rights to the game. As a result, all efforts led Fargo and the company to the realization that they needed to create a new game.

At the beginning of the creation of Fallout, Brian, along with the Interplay team, began to analyze what made Wasteland popular even 10 years after its release. They drew up four points: moral uncertainty, tactical combat, skill system, and stat system.


As Kane recalls, the creation of Fallout went beyond the studio. It was created as if detached from working time. Interplay's management did not believe in the project, paying attention to other games, and even tried to cancel it [a team of 30 people still defended their project]. Tim independently created the engine for launching Fallout, also using GURPS, a universal role-playing system developed by Steve Jackson's Games.


Interplay have licensed this system in order to use it in the game. From this came the original name of Fallout: A GURPS Post Nuclear Adventure. But this was not destined to come true, as Steve Jackson did not like the opening video of the game, where two soldiers in power armor shoot a prisoner in the head, and he initiated the break of the contract.

“Steve Jackson didn't like the video. And he was just a warm-up before plunging into the cruel world of Fallout. I realized that there was no deal, and we broke off the contract, ”recalls Brian Fargo.

At the time, Chris Taylor was creating his own role-playing system, MediEvil, which he had been developing after work for 10 years. However, according to him, she was not perfect. But when the team was left without GURPS, he offered his MediEvil to replace. It was slightly reworked to fit into the post-apocalyptic setting. This is how the SPECIAL system known today was born


Even though Interplay gave the project the green light, it was still considered secondary until it was two months away from release. The game was not even shown to people. Tim Caine recalled: “It’s very annoying when no one outside of your team can see the game until it’s fully finished.

However, the testers liked the game so much that they were ready to play it for hours on end for free. They were impressed by the gloom of this world, destroyed by nuclear war, where you could die, turning the wrong way, as well as original approaches to character development. For example, if you had high charisma, you could convince your opponent of what a bad thing he would do if he killed you.


Confident in their success, the team began development of the sequel even before the first part of the game went on sale. And when that happened, production of the next game was in full swing.

Fallout 2

During the creation of the second part of Fallout, Tim Kane, Leonard Boyarsky and Jason Anderson left the studio. They were the key figures during the work on the first game. Boyarsky said that initially the sequel was based on their vision, but later the project has undergone many changes. The company set itself the goal of creating as much content as possible in a short amount of time, and because of this the trio lost interest in Fallout 2.

After the devs left, Fergus Urquhart [head of Black Isle Studios] called a meeting where he handed out assignments to free designers and encouraged them to work hard. According to Fargo, there was nothing disastrous during the work on the sequel. Therefore, he has only pleasant memories of his work.


Chris Avellone, who worked on not only Fallout 2, but also on Planescape: Torment, believed that after the departure of the trinity, the project lost its soul.

“… A bunch of developers working on different aspects of the game. But it didn't have a "spine" or "heart", we just created content as fast as we could "- Chris Avellone.

According to him, this "patchwork" approach to development created a mismatch between the mood in the first and second part of the series. While the first game was dark in tone, the second contained inappropriate references to Monty Python, Godzilla, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The same opinion was also expressed by Tim Cain, who believed that after the departure of the developers, the studio abandoned the rule "not to insert jokes that those who are" not in the subject "will not understand.

The project did not have effective management. Because of this, Chris Avellone was periodically brought in by Chris Avellone with character models he hadn't asked for. It was difficult to fit them organically into the game, as they stood out from the general background. This problem is especially evident in New Reno, which, according to Avellone, looks incoherent.

But in the end, the game was made in just a year, when the first part took three. During this time, the developers created a large world for exploration, a bunch of quests, told more stories and even gave the players a car, which impressed 98 gamers around the world.


Tim Kane believes that his colleagues should be proud of themselves, as they have done much more in a shorter time than in Fallout 1. Fallout 2 has become a cult classic.


Further, the story of the creation of Fallout was more sad. The next game was Fallout: Tactics, which focused on the combat system of past games. She didn't find much love from the fans, but she wasn't bad either. Chris Avellone, who served as chief game designer for Tactics, says the concept sounded great in words, but in reality it was less joyful. He thinks the game was released too early.

Fallout: Brotherhood Of Steel followed, similar to Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, and players didn't like it at all. At best, it was boring, and at worst, a stain on the studio's reputation.

Fallout 3

At this time, work was in full swing at Interpaly on the continuation of the original series, which was called Van Buren. Alas, by that time Brian Fargo had left the studio. Avellone believes that this is what ruined the game, because the project could not develop without a leader. And the publisher himself had problems too. As a result, the game was canceled and the rights to the franchise were sold to Bethesda.


Fallout 3 Lead Producer Gavin Carter recalls that the studio took on the Interplay franchise because they wanted to get rid of the "TES creator" label. During the meetings, ideas for a second major franchise often surfaced and Fallout was the studio's favorite. Phrases like “could make the next part of Fallout”, turned over time into “we have a real chance to make a continuation of Fallout, but it's too early to hope”, and after a while into “everything, we are doing a sequel to Fallout, we are starting to plan work!” .

There was a huge open world in front of the player, which returned to a more serious tone. According to the creators, the war should have been hell.


“We wanted to fully realize our vision of a post-apocalyptic future - says Carter - we knew that the abundance of humor would take more from you than it would bring.” It used to take a very long time to develop, so the scene with Liberty Prime took several months. We also struggled with bugs in the VAST system for a long time.

After the game was over, almost all of the studio staff were transferred to Skyrim, but no one wanted to quit Fallout. Therefore, it was a good idea to entrust the creation of the next part of Obsidian, where almost all the people who created the two classic parts of the game worked. For Gavin, it helped make New Vegas probably one of the best parts in the series, even though it had its own problems too.

The Topic of Article: How Fallout was created - Memoirs of the Developers.
Author: Jake Pinkman