Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game - All News
Monday - June 26, 2023
Fallout - The Origin of the Setting
Tim Cain talks about the origin of Fallout's setting:
The Origin of Fallout's Setting
Thursday - June 08, 2023
Fallout - Biggest Influences
Tim talks about the biggest influences on Fallout:
The Biggest Influences On Fallout
Wednesday - May 31, 2023
Fallout - Cut Content
Tim Cain talks about cut content of Fallout and Fallout 2:
Fallout Cut Content
I talk about content of Fallout (and one thing from Fallout 2) that never made it into the shipping game, either because the design was rejected, or we didn't have time to make it, or it wasn't finished by the time the game shipped.
Thursday - May 25, 2023
Fallout - Was a B-Tier Project
Tim Cain tells us about the status of Fallout at Interplay:
Fallout Was A B-Tier Project
Thursday - May 18, 2023
Fallout - History: The GURPS Apps
Tim Cain shows his old GURPS apps:
History of Fallout: The GURPS Apps
Tuesday - May 16, 2023
Fallout - How it got its Name
Tim Cain explain the name-finding process for Fallout:
How Fallout Got Its Name
Thursday - May 11, 2023
Fallout - How it was made SPECIAL
Tim Cain eplains how the SPECIAL system was implemented for Fallout:
How Fallout was made SPECIAL
Monday - April 24, 2023
Fallout - Retrospective Review
Ye Old Entertainment reminds us that the original Fallout is still one of the best games for real roleplaying:
Fallout review: Worth playing in 2023? You mean the best post-apocalyptic RPG ever? Of course!
Friday - February 10, 2023
Fallout - Community Edition released
The open source edition of Fallout has been released:
As you go about your day, I'd like to bring to your attention that Fallout Community Edition, an open source Fallout game, was released today.
You owe your prayers to Alex Batalov, the creator, and our champion.
P.S.: You can play it on Android too!
Monday - October 17, 2022
Fallout - Feargus Urquhart wants to create a new one
Dualshockers reports that Obsidian co-founder Feargus Urquhart is still interested in making Fallout games:
Obsidian Founder Says He Would 'Love To Make A New Fallout Game'
"I hung around at Interplay for probably an extra year because I wanted to work on Fallout more."
In a recent chat with DualShockers, Obsidian co-founder Feargus Urquhart revealed his studio's ongoing interest in Fallout.
Earlier this year, rumours began to swirl that prolific RPG (and, apparently, survival game) developer Obsidian Entertainment was looking to return to the Fallout series. Obsidian previously made Fallout: New Vegas in 2010, which in the years since its release has come to be held up by many as the best Bethesda-era Fallout game.
Now, speaking with DualShockers to celebrate Fallout's 25th anniversary, Obsidian founder Feargus Urquhart shared his thoughts about the possibility of the studio making another Fallout game. While Urquhart didn't give away specifics, he did reveal that Obsidian would love to return to the series.
Saturday - October 15, 2022
Fallout - Perfect post-apocalyptic RPG
PCmag thinks Fallout is the perfect post-apocalytic RPG:
25 Years Ago, Fallout Perfected Post-Apocalyptic RPGs
Interplay let a team of volunteers loose in the wasteland, and they came back with one of the most important games ever.
Role-playing games have traditionally been set in fantasy worlds, full of undiscovered country, mysterious monsters, and hidden treasure. But a quarter-century ago, a brave team took a step into the future and created a post-apocalyptic adventure that would forever reshape the genre. Fallout, originally released on Oct. 10, 1997, has become one of the most prestigious series in role-playing history - let’s explore how it got that way.
Before The War
Newport Beach teenager Brian Fargo was captivated by computers after his parents bought him an Apple II in 1977. It wasn’t long before he was developing his own games. After graduation, he founded Interplay to create role-playing games for a variety of publishers, including the critically acclaimed series The Bard's Tale. It wasn’t long before the company branched out into publication themselves.
In 1988, Interplay released Wasteland. Inspired by the popular Mad Max franchise, the game set players in a world generations after global thermonuclear war, exploring a radiation-ravaged American Southwest and discovering an artificial intelligence threatening to eliminate humanity's scattered dregs.
It was an immediate critical and commercial success, a breath of fresh air into the moribund landscape. The team put a sequel together, the less successful Fountain of Dreams. But after a third title in the series was abandoned, programmer Tim Cain started to spearhead something new in-house.
Tuesday - October 11, 2022
Fallout - Conceiving Fallout 25th Anniversary Video
For the 25th anniversary of Fallout Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarski was asked about its creation.
Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarski discuss the unique blend of influences that would go on to inform Fallout’s dark and retro-inspired take on the future and the excitement of creating a new universe for players to explore.
Join us in celebrating 25 years of Fallout!
Head on over to fallout25.com to details on how to partake in the festivities throughout October 2022, Don’t forget to share with us your own Fallout memories by using the #Fallout25 hashtag and follow us on social media for the latest news:
Official Site – https://fallout.com
Thursday - April 14, 2022
Fallout - Fallout Apocrypha
Chris Avellone has answered some commonly asked questions on the Fallout Bible that went into the creation of Fallout and Fallout 2.
IS THIS “APOCRYPHA” CANON? IS THE FALLOUT BIBLE?
Neither this or the Fallout Bible are canon, these just compile insights and factoids from development.
If you’re looking for what’s canon and what’s not, then the actual game content from the Bethesda/Bethesda-backed titles (F3, NV, F4, 76) are the sources you should refer to (F1, F2, Tactics are not necessarily canon).
OMFG DID BETHESDA LIKE, TOTALLY, SCREW OBSIDIAN OUT OF A BONUS ON METACRITIC???!!!
The “Metacritic bonus” if the game got above an 84 review score was something Bethesda offered above and beyond the New Vegas contract.
We didn’t ask for this, they offered it, and it was our responsibility to hit that review score. We did have to have layoffs at Obsidian around this time period, but the bonus from Metacritic wouldn’t have prevented that from happening.
HOW MANY PEOPLE FROM NEW VEGAS ARE STILL AT OBSIDIAN
As of 4/9/22, about 20-ish, I believe, out of an original team of ~70. The remainder either quit, were laid off, or were fired.
Before that’s a cause for alarm, however, many of these remaining 20 were key people in New Vegas’ development, and Obsidian also has Leonard Boyarsky and Tim Cain on board, even though both are on Outer Worlds (2), and Leonard and Tim are the original creators of Fallout.
Thursday - February 24, 2022
Fallout - Fallout: New Vegas 2 & Fallout Remasters?
MrMattyPlays shared a rumour regarding Fallout: New Vegas 2 and Fallout remasters being talked about.
The report is in. Talks are underway at Microsoft in regards to remastering games in the Fallout franchise as well as putting Obsidian Entertainment in charge of "New Vegas 2." It is also said these are many years away, so while it's super exciting for many like myself who have just wanted to have the acknowledgment; we must remain patient (and expect the worst).
Friday - February 18, 2022
Fallout - Retrospective @ Mortismal
Fallout 1: 2022 Reviewloading...
Reviewing the original Fallout, one of the true classics, in my quest to cover all of the CRPGs.
Wednesday - June 17, 2020
Fallout - How to Fallout
Strat-Edgy talks about the different possible builds of Fallout.
Two characters make the journey through the desert with two different outcomes for everything they do. This is what we call an rpg. Probably the best around. Not to brag but I was playing this game before it was cool.
Saturday - September 30, 2017
Fallout - Free to Own this Weekend
The original Fallout is free on Steam this weekend
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Fallout is free. Yes, if you played it new you are old now.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original Fallout, Bethesda have made it free on Steam for the weekend. You've got until 11.59PM on September 30 (Pacific Time) to grab it and even if you don't install it, Fallout will remain in your account forever.[...]
Tuesday - September 12, 2017
Fallout - Interview on Creation
@Eurogamer Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky and Feargus Urquhart were interviewed by Eurogamer about how Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 were created.
Join me in the 50-minute video below, as I chat with Feargus Urquhart, Leonard Boyarsky and Tim Cain about their work on the original Fallout 1 & 2.
Monday - May 22, 2017
Fallout - Tribute
My Tribute To Fallout 1 (Fallout 20th Anniversary Celebration)loading...
Saturday - November 05, 2016
Fallout - Interview with Cain & Boyarsky
The latest dev game club podcast focuses on the making of Fallout and interviews Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky about it.
Welcome to our fifth and final episode examining 1997's classic RPG Fallout. We are lucky enough to interview Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, Producer/Lead Programmer and Art Director respectively on Fallout as well as two of the three founding members of Troika Games. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
0:38 Interview with Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky!
Issues covered: the Wild West of early studio game development, the meta-installer, making engines in your spare time, tabletop after-hours, abstracting the operating system, GURPS character generator, working you way up, pizza and game dev, RPG renaissance, bold theme choices, filtering passionate ideas, making your dream game, career paths into game development, clubhouse Interplay and a creative atmosphere, business incursion, from the garage to the office park, right place right time, QA preferring your game over being paid, By Gamers For Gamers, making your colleagues laugh, companions in scripting, wearing multiple hats, making a Tarrasque into a Death Claw, making heads from clay and digitizing, cavalier oblique and making the tools work, bringing various sensibilities to the game, throwing a party for your return, a family of talking raccoons, finding your creative partners, system and story *should* work together, what makes good level design, digging yourself a big hole, exposing variables and state to designers, managing teams of small size, ambient music, art influences, Vault Boy instead of icons, voice talent, everything coming together, consequences, "games should be fun," freedom, setting the world on fire, Tim Cain's grandfather and mother, constraints and necessity, Fallout DNA.
Saturday - July 09, 2016
Fallout - The History of the Series
Hardcore Gaming 101 with an introduction into the Fallout series:
Among Fallout fans, there are two conflicting ideas about what Fallout actually is. To many players, Fallout is about exploring the post-apocalyptic wasteland, shooting raiders and participating in conflicts which will shape the future of the world (or rather what remains of it). Others will say it's not enough - for them, Fallout is a game about difficult choices, complex mechanics and extreme non-linearity.
Such divide among the fans stems from the fact that Fallout can be thought of as two loosely connected series developed by different teams with different approaches to both gameplay and narrative. The first two mainline games are a product - or maybe a catalyst - of the 1990s computer RPG revival and carry all the common traits of this movement. They're played from isometric perspective, they put a lot of focus on player agency and their difficulty is less in choices made during the combat and more in preparation and character building. Fallout 3 and 4, created by Bethesda, are more similar to that studio's flagship The Elder Scrolls series (especially later titles like Oblivion and Skyrim): they're exploration-heavy first person action-RPGs set in a large, freely explorable (due to both lack of explicit 'invisible walls' and the controversial level scaling mechanics meant to provide steady difficulty during the whole playthrough) open world.
Thanks Dark Savant!
Monday - January 04, 2016
Fallout - Best to Worst
Kotaku has ranked the Fallout games, best to worst. (In their opinion, obviously, though that should go without saying.)
Credits to Couch for tonight's news.
In the 18 years since the Fallout franchise was introduced to the world, all of the games have been met with praise—which means that ranking them isn’t easy. It’s especially difficult to pit the games against each other when you consider that the post-nuclear franchise underwent a genre change.
1) We’ll only be covering the main entries in the Fallout franchise; no spin-offs or DLC. Sorry, Tactics!
2) Remember, this is my personal opinion. You might disagree! You’re welcome to comment with your own rankings, if not debate my personal order—although naturally I’ll do my best to justify my choices.
Let’s do this.
Sunday - November 08, 2015
20 Years of Fallout @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra looks back at 20 years of Fallout. Tim Cain and Josh Sawyer tell us what has changed from a developers perspective:
20 years of Fallout: Lessons learned shipping games in the wasteland
Perhaps war never changes, but game development sure does.
As Bethesda Softworks braces for the launch of a new Fallout game, it’s worth taking a moment to look back at how the high-profile franchise got its start -- with one game developer, in a room at a California game company, coding an engine in his spare time.
“It was just me working on an engine,” recalled Fallout lead Timothy Cain during his GDC 2012 postmortem of the project, which is absolutely worth going back to watch. “I just kind of wanted to make my own engine, and nobody said no. That was just kind of the way Interplay worked in the ‘90s.”
Dig into the history of Fallout, from a developer’s perspective, and you get a sense of how both the series itself and the industry it grew up in have changed since Cain first began working on the game at Interplay in 1994, just over two decades ago.
It didn’t start out as Fallout, of course. During his postmortem, Cain told the story of how the game known internally as Vault13 which came to be branded Fallout at the suggestion of then-CEO of Interplay Brian Fargo after taking a build home to play.
“Fallout had a double entendre of the radiation from the bombs and then the alternative definition, which is a lingering effect or set of consequences,” Fargo, now chief of Wasteland 2 developer InXile, tells Gamasutra. “Perfect for a game that stakes its rep on choice and consequence.“ [...]
Friday - November 06, 2015
Fallout - Retrospective @ Games Radar
Games Radar is looking back at the original Fallout game.
After a slow-burning start, Fallout became one of the most revered names in PC RPGs. It ushered in a dark future stomping ground that proved incredibly memorable (for a wheezing, radioactive husk) and continued to sparkle in the transition to 3D.
Of course, classic Fallout looks a bit scruffy now, and it was never the most forgiving of adventures, so in some ways the series’ growth has thrown a harsh light onto its origins. But this was visionary stuff, opening up avenues for morality or hair-raising immorality, then leaving you to deal with the karmic consequences of lying, betraying or resolving disagreements with people like the old Vault 13 Overseer by, well, murdering them.
Friday - October 02, 2015
Fallout - Uncovering the true Origins @ Kotaku
Brian Fargo talks about Wasteland and the Fallout series at Kotaku:
Uncovering the Fallout Series' True Origins
The Fallout Anthology is out today, a collection of every game in the greatly loved post-apocalyptic series so far (that's 1997's Fallout, Fallout 2 from 1998, Fallout Tactics from 2001, 2008's Fallout 3, and New Vegas from 2010) that comes in an actual nuke-shaped container, which strikes me as deeply ironic given what the Fallout games have to say about nuclear war. But one crucial game is missing from that collection: Wasteland, a 1988 game for the home computers of the time. Its creator Brian Fargo would go on to make the first two games in the Fallout series with legendary studio Black Isle Studios. (He would also finally make Wasteland 2 in 2014, after a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign. A PS4 and Xbox One version is coming this month.)
Wasteland is the Fallout series' true origins. And not just spiritually: Fallout literally exists because Fargo could not get the rights to the Wasteland name from EA, who originally published it, so he had to come up with something else. As a consequence, perhaps unsurprisingly, a lot of Fallout's iconic things, people, places and plotlines originated in Wasteland.
"I think that people have forgotten, or don't know, how much Fallout was actually [the original] Wasteland 2," Fargo tells me. "My charter was like, OK, I can't get the rights to Wasteland 2 from Electronic Arts. I'm never going to pry it from their cold, dead fingers anytime soon. So, what can we do that hits on the open-world nature of it, the sense of a persistent world? Because that's what made Wasteland very revolutionary: this whole concept that you could solve things by using skills and stats on the environment, that you could talk, sneak or shoot your way out of a problem.
"There's a lot of stuff that was literally lifted straight from Wasteland into Fallouts 1 and 2, and even today. I wanted to specifically reference as much as possible without being sued by Electronic Arts. It's like if there was a movie with Han Solo in it before Star Wars." [...]
Wednesday - July 01, 2015
Fallout - Why Fallout Is the Best Nuclear War Story Ever Told
Matthew Gault (Medium.com) writes about the Fallout series:
(...) Video games are huge business, sales of electronic entertainment have surpassed movies, books and television for several years now. But more than that, video games are art. The medium possesses the unique ability to transport a player to another world completely.
Like films and TV, it’s a visual medium where the creator’s vision is explicit. But like books, video games often create unique, beautiful worlds that trigger the user’s imagination while providing dozens of hours of entertainment.Like all art, the best video games tell us something unique about the human condition in general and the culture that created them in particular.
That’s what Fallout does best — it’s a 20-year-old video game franchise that helped the MTV generation understand, mock and control its elders’ Cold War paranoia.
Fallout is set in a post-apocalyptic world as conceived by American 1950s Defense Department propagandists. It’s a world in which the grandchildren of the Cold War conjured the fear of the previous generation and dispelled that fear by turning it into a playground. (...)
Saturday - January 10, 2015
Fallout - Retrospective @ Chalgyr's Game Room
Well here is the second Retrospective article from Chalgyr's Game Room, and this time it deals with one of my favorite RPGs. You can already guess by the title its Fallout.
If you look at Fallout you see a 2-d game with mediocre graphics, simple sound and slow action. However, if you start playing it you discover how ingenious it is.
The story involves a bold person who gets out of an underground shelter after a nuclear holocaust devastated the United States and must find an item essential for the survival of his vault. During your travels you will meet many violent fellows, such as slave traders or gangsters, but you also cross relatively peaceful settlements, where people struggle to recreate civilization. Many dangers await you in the desert and some of them are even worse than giant scorpions or groups of marauders.
Sunday - July 27, 2014
Fallout: Lonestar - Texas-based Fan-made Mod
No Mutants Allowed posted information about a new mod for Fallout based in Texas. After seeing so many mods started but never finished hopefully this one is.
It's been almost 5 years since I last posted .... I feel like I'm in confession .... and if you remember me at all then you might know that I used to be a major player for an old, now defunct, Fallout 2 total conversion mod called Fan Made Fallout. Do a search, there are some old posts of ours/mine still floating around here somewhere. Sadly, that project closed it's virtual doors in 2009 and if you go to the website now you'll find a page that you'll likely need to translate in order to read.
But a lot can happen in 5 years.
Last year, in November, a friend of mine who has worked on a number of official Fallout titles passed along word that there was a new mod in the works that was looking for people. And that's how I became a part of my new Fallout TC project: Fallout: Lonestar. We are creating a brand new game, currently modding on the G.E.C.K., that takes place in Texas (ironically, so did FMF). We are currently in pre-production and there's a TON of writing taking place on a daily basis. We are also creating a fair amount of concept art we're sharing with the community as we go. I'd like to invite you all to come over to our website and check us out!
To get the basic project information, go here (not updated to often, yet):
And to interact with us, check out our Facebook and Twitter pages (which get updated the most, so be sure to LIKE and FOLLOW):
Please feel welcome to come check us out any time and follow along with our development!
As a member of this community for almost 10 years I know how rare it is to see a project of this scope succeed. I've seen projects come and go ... and I've been a part of one for over 4 years. This feels so different. Come on this journey with us and see for yourself!
See you all in Texas!
Thursday - March 13, 2014
Fallout - Editorial @ Play Magazine
Play Magazine editor Jamie Lumsden has never played the original Fallout, and finally decided it was time to finally do so. Read the article to find out how it went.
If there is a negative side-effect from the continual improvement of graphics in video games, it’s that the average gamer has little to no patience for a step or two backwards in terms of visual quality and scale. The obvious exception to this trend can be seen in indie game development, where creators are often more limited in implementing complex 3D graphics due to budget and manpower constraints.
One of the most common approaches to addressing such constraints is to draw inspiration from older or ‘retro’ games, which were designed with similar limiting factors in mind. As such, my experience playing the original Fallout felt much like playing a modern indie RPG title rather than stepping back in time seventeen years to 1997 when it was released. That is, of course, after I downloaded and installed the high resolution patch and made peace with the inability to alt-tab.
The quality of graphics in a game has always been pretty low on my list of considerations when assessing the merit of a game, especially in the case of strategy or role-playing games. This was definitely an important factor in my enjoyment of Fallout, which more than made up for its out-dated visuals with a mature and sophisticated plot that I think was ahead of its time.
Since I had previously played both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, I was already somewhat familiar with the events and even some of the locations in the original game. Despite having a basic understanding of the overall plot, I listened in on most of the game’s many conversations, which are impressive in their diversity and humor. Most of Fallout’s objectives can be completed in multiple ways and involve a combination of combat and detective work that requires the player to pay close attention to detail.
Monday - February 17, 2014
Fallout - Lets Play @ GamingNexus
Randy from Gaming Nexus never played the original Fallout. He decided to finally play the game, and document it as he went along. So far he has two episodes.
Sixteen years ago, in a pair of unrelated events, I joined the U.S. Navy while Interplay Entertainment launched the original Fallout. Instead of exploring the wasteland and collecting bottle caps, I sat on the beach in Guam and sipped Zombie cocktails. Military life was rough. So, in the successive years between then and now, it's come to my attention that I’ve missed an important game or two; something I plan to remedy in our new Saved Game series.
Fallout takes place in the year 2161, but looks like it froze in time just after World War II. The music and architecture all point toward the United States built by America’s Greatest Generation. While rooted in tabletop role-playing games, Fallout hops back and forth between real-time exploration and turn-based combat. It’s universally considered one of the best computer RPGs of all time.
But until now, I've never played it. John Yan, owner of Gaming Nexus, claims he doesn't even know me anymore.
So let’s watch as I blindly stumble through Fallout, ignoring instruction manuals, YouTube Let’s Plays, and billions of online walkthroughs. This may not end well.
Thursday - December 19, 2013
Fallout - Editorial @ Gamemoir
Gamemoir has a new article that ponders it would be nice for Fallout to be set in a Post-Fallout setting. I have to say I agree with them.
Post-nuclear armageddon fantasy is a genre I would really love to see. There’s so much room for creative innovation and with such a rich lore base, the sky is really the limit as to where Bethesda could go with the IP.
I suppose there is a fear that the game would effectively become a sort of modern “Skyrim with guns,” as Borderlands 2 was described. However, I don’t think those fears are well grounded. What really makes Fallout? It’s the tone, the characters, and how they think and feel and interact.
Would putting similar characters, with philosophies and paradigms born out of the hellfire, into a different setting change the overall tone and style of the series? I don’t think so. Will we have learned our lesson? Will we finally have achieved peace? As a Fallout game, we play with the disclaimer that “War, war never changes.”
So long as the narrative focuses on the drive to spread misery seemingly inherent to the human condition and also the drive to survive and protect others from said misery, we will have a Fallout game, blues skies and green hills, or brown everything.
I do enjoy the blasted wasteland look at times, and there is something to be said about the emotional impact of watching people trying and failing to cope with the difficulties of life where everything has a faint glow.
A part of me hopes that there will continue to be ruin fiction Fallout, but I also hope for some progression. A sign that there actually is a future in the series, even if it ultimately collapses again.
Monday - May 13, 2013
Fallout - Retrospective @ Edge-Online
Edge has new retrospective article that looks back at the classic RPG Fallout.
Fallout’s best stories feel incidental – things that you simply come across one day in the wasteland, or uncover by accident in one of its cities, and that you wouldn’t know existed unless you’d happened upon them. Wasteland encounters like a crashed UFO or a band of ghouls may provide a valuable item or hint, but they point the player in interesting directions, leaving room for the imagination. It works because it’s not explicit, leaving you to draw inferences from the world, to make up and investigate your own quest lines. You might think that Junktown’s sinister Doc Morbid’s extreme rudeness is borne out of caution, just like everyone else in the wasteland – unless you happen to be scavenging his house for ammo at night and find the manhole leading to his secret butcher’s shop, where he and his dwarf assistant prepare their patients for sale as snacks in a neighbouring town. If Doc Morbid’s tongue-in-cheek name isn’t Fallout’s only flash of black humour, then nor is Vault Boy, the cheerfully grinning face of nuclear disaster. Fallout flashes its gallows humour like a wicked grin, elevating the mood without undermining the tone.
Black Isle employed many emergent storytelling techniques in common with Bethesda, of course, which made the developer a good match for the Fallout series upon its resurrection in 2008. But in Fallout 3 Bethesda does, in the end, let you become a superhero, with stats and skills coming out your ears – at which point it immediately stops being so affecting. In Fallout, you never stop being a victim of the wasteland, and you can never control it. It’s always a struggle. In fact, the game frequently lets you get yourself into situations you can’t escape, leaving you to either die of radiation poisoning in the middle of the wasteland or resort, exasperated, to a previous savegame.
Perhaps being completely uncompromising is the price that has to be paid for presenting a world as cohesive and believable as this one, in which so many stories rise spontaneously to the surface. Fallout’s vision is epitomised in the ending image, in which the Vault Dweller is seen alone and stumbling – not striding, but stumbling, shoulders hunched, head down – into the sunset, exiled by the unbearable weight of his experience. There’s no reward for bravery. Not in Fallout’s world.
Saturday - April 28, 2012
Fallout - Analysis of the Opening @ No Mutants Allowed
The article covers everything from the introduction to the interface to the combat to Vault 15 to Shady Sands and more. A quote about what Fallout 1 must teach the player - full list can be seen at this link:
•The key backstory (United States vs. China, world apocalypse, Vaults, etc.)
•The most important characters (the player character, the Overseer - others are only relevant later in the game)
•The player's goals and objectives (search the surface world for a Water Chip and bring it back to Vault 13 within 150 days, in order to save the Vault)
•Movement (point and click)
•Interacting with the game world (right-click context menu, hotkeys, skill use)
•Inventory use (managing and equipping items, looting containers)
•Combat (turn-based system, melee attacks, ranged attacks, aimed attacks, action points, hit points, reloading)
•Different weapons (guns, unarmed, melee, etc.)
A quote about the combat:
In a game where hand-holding is almost nonexistent, tutorial pop-ups everywhere would have killed the flow of the game and would have coddled the player, leaving him/her unprepared for later on... by making the player use his/her head, not only is there a genuine feeling of learning and progress, but the player now knows to expect little help when the game gets more difficult. By modern standards, this is sacrilege, but even today, getting into Fallout is fairly easy because of the way it's set up to encourage learning. Even if the player misses out on something right now, the player is almost guaranteed to learn the fundamentals.
A quote from the article's conclusion:
Fifteen years later, the first Fallout still demonstrates effective teaching of both its narrative and gameplay through subtle gating, smart scenarios of vary scales which lead from one to another, and by giving the player increasingly challenging tests with a good feeling of progression and mastery. There might be a few rough edges, but for a game with so many moving parts, its opening accomplishes a lot without resorting to a single pop-up. Compared to contemporaries like Baldur's Gate, Fallout's opening still stands the test of time as a smart and effective piece of game design.
Source: RPG Codex
Friday - April 06, 2012
Fallout - Free on GOG for 48 hours
GOG's free "legendary" game is the original Fallout, which is available for 48 hours (a bit over 40 hours to go) - log in and click to add it to your account.
Sunday - March 18, 2012
Fallout - The First Modern RPG @ Joystiq
Following on from last week's article about the CRPG crash in 1995, Joystiq argues that Fallout was The First Modern Role-Playing Game:
It wasn't supposed to be Fallout. After the role-playing game genre crashed in 1995, new models for the style began to appear. Smart money would have been on the wildly popular Diablo to become the trendsetter, where Fallout was an underdog from the start. At the 2012 Game Developers Conference, Fallout's lead producer, Tim Cain, described its creation: he was the only Interplay employee assigned to the game for months, it was almost canceled twice, and when it shipped Cain was told it was a "risk" despite the low level of company investment.
Despite all that, the original Fallout has become widely known as one of the greatest and most influential games of all time, and the model for the biggest RPGs of recent years. Several weeks ago I argued that Ultima was the most important game series of all time, but Ultima's influence through new games was almost gone in 1997. Fallout was its replacement; it was the first modern role-playing game.
Thursday - March 08, 2012
Fallout - Tim Cain On What Could Have Been [Updated]
Kotaku reports on a Tim Cain presentation at GDC that talks about what Fallout could have been, as well as talking about the actual development. Here's the bizarre storyline we might have played:
In a Fallout post-mortem at the Game Developers Conference, Tim Cain, the producer, designer and lead programmer described an alternate version of the game’s story that could have come to be a reality.
“You started in the modern world,” Cain said. “You traveled back in time, you killed the monkey that would evolve into humans, you went through space travel, you went to the future, which was ruled by dinosaurs, you were exiled to a fantasy planet where magic took you back to the original timeline that you restored to full, and came back to the modern world to save your girlfriend.”
Update: Watch the whole session here courtesy of GameSpot UK.
Friday - February 17, 2012
Fallout - Origins, Part 3 @ NMA
R. Scott Campbell's Origins of Fallout concludes with a Q&A-like article. Here's a fascinating bit of trivia:
The Deathclaw. The horror of the wastes.
Was it always a big scaly lizard thing? Nope. My initial design for this terrible creature was a the apex predator of the wasteland, a mix of wolverine and brown bear, mutated by the FEV. It could survive any environment and feared nothing; a legendary force of nature that struck terror into the hearts of men! Unfortunately, the artists took one look at my concept sketch and said, “Dude, that’s way too much hair.” It was true. The Wolverine-bear was very furry, and there was just no way around it.
So here’s what happened: the newly formed Black Isle started work on what would be Planescape: Torment. One of the first art pieces was a monstrous creature called a Terrasque. It was sculpted in clay and was then point-by-painstaking-point digitized into a 3D model. As Planescape moved forward, it turned out that the Terrasque wouldn’t actually be featured in its design – leaving that tasty model in disuse…. Thus, the furry wolverine-bear became a hairless reptilian biped. (Take a look at page 339 of the D&D second edition Monster Manual. Holy cats! It’s a Deathclaw!)
Thursday - February 16, 2012
Fallout - Origins, Part 2 @ NMA
R. Scott Campbell continues his memories of The Origins of Fallout with Part 2 now online at NMA:
The team was still trying to find the perfect genre for our first (of hopefully many) GURPS role playing games. We had discarded high-fantasy, since most every role-playing game in the market was filled with spells, swords, orcs, and elves. Because you could do so much with GURPS, we wanted to do something different. We kicked around the idea of making a science-fiction planet exploration game, potentially using Tim’s galaxy generator as the seed. However, that seemed to overlap with the Star Trek license that Interplay was already developing. Drat.
Then inspiration hit: Why not remake Wasteland!?
The Wasteland franchise had ended tragically in 1990 with EA’s abysmal sequel Fountain of Dreams. Why not resurrect that incredible game and give it the justice it deserved?
Everyone immediately loved the idea. Tim even mentioned that Steve Jackson Games was working on GURPS: Survivor; a role-playing sourcebook with rules for post-apocalyptic adventuring. What a perfect fit!
The ball was in motion; our first game was going to be GURPS: Wasteland.
Saturday - May 21, 2011
Fallout - Fallout 2, Original Press Packs
NMA sends word they got their hands on the original press packs for Fallout and Fallout 2, with screens, art and the press release from the day. Nothing revelatory but a little trip down memory lane.
Saturday - April 02, 2011
Fallout - Five Things We Learned @ Joystick Division
I gues you'd call this a tribute piece with Joystick Division listing five things they learned from Fallout (spoiler alert but if you haven't played Fallout by now...):
Fallout subverts conventional RPG standards in several senses. Instead of the typical sword, shield and spells, you have machineguns and grenades. Instead of orcs and goblins, you face anarchists and irradiated scorpions. But maybe the biggest departure from the norms of past videogames is that Fallout doesn't have a mandatory final boss battle.
That's right. It's in there, if you want to do it. And it's as tough and intense as any final boss battle you'll ever play. But if you don't feel like taking on a twin-gatling-gun-wielding mutant-goo psychopath, you can do a couple things (spoiler alert!). You can:
A.) Talk him down. Convince him of his folly. That's right, you can actually use diplomacy to prevent the final boss battle in this game.
Or you can:
B.) Just walk past his lair and nuke the entire fucking base. Boom. Goodbye.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Monday - March 21, 2011
Fallout - 1998 Movie Treatment
Ausir from The Vault writes in about a newly discovered Fallout movie treatment from 1998. Here's their intro and head over for a sample of the treatment and links:
No, the news is not about any upcoming movie. It's about a Fallout movie that was being planed by Interplay just after the release of the original Fallout. In 1998, Interplay formed a division called Interplay Films, which was to develop some of the company’s video game titles into movies. A Fallout movie script was to be written by Brent V. Friedman. Several studios were interested in the concept, but before a deal could be conconsummated, Interplay Films was disbanded around 2000 and the movie was canceled.
Thursday - October 21, 2010
Fallout - and Fallout 2 Giveaway
Ausir writes that The Vault has a Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 giveaway, with 10 copies from GOG on offer. You'll have to work a little for it, though, becuase you need to have at least one edit to their wiki. Head over for full details.
Wednesday - July 21, 2010
Fallout - The History @ IGN
Surely Fallout is one of the most historied video games. IGN feels there is room for another, so head over for their History of Fallout:
Two years later, none of their follow-ups projects approached the potential they'd shown in their first release. Fargo, however, had ideas for a post-apocalyptic RPG, possibly something modeled after Russia-invades-America flick Red Dawn. Even better, he knew a programmer who'd developed several impressive new coding tricks. Alan Pavlish only had two credits on his resume - one a mere VIC-20 port of Galaxian - but Fargo was sold on what Pavlish had to offer, and soon brought the creators of two highly respected pen-and-paper RPGs on board. Michael A. Stackpole's Mercenaries, Spies, and Private Eyes was largely regarded as an unsung gem, and Ken St. Andre's enduring Tunnels & Trolls, the second modern RPG ever published, advanced the old D&D gaming mechanics. That made them perfect casting for what Fargo had in mind: an RPG that broke rules, starting with the non-fantasy setting. That neither Stackpole nor St. Andre had ever worked on a video game before didn't seem pertinent.
Friday - July 16, 2010
Matt Chat with Tim Cain #3
I've posted this under Fallout to collect it with the others but this third part of Matt's chat with Tim Cain actually covers Fallout 3 and more:
In the final segment of my interview with role-playing maestro Tim Cain, we discuss Fallout 3, Arcanum, The Temple of Elemental Evil, and the top-secret MMO Tim is working on with NCSoft. Special thanks to Troy "Aether" Hewitt for helping me get in touch with Tim.
Friday - July 09, 2010
Fallout - Forgotten Revolutiion @ Hellmode
Sol Invictus writes a piece at Hellmode titled Fallout: Forgotten Revolution. The article looks back at Fallout and the quality of choice offered, especially compared to today's games:
It’s more options than anything Dragon Age has to offer, and I haven’t even mentioned how your decisions affect the endgame. Interplay designed the game in 1996, and released it in 1997 — over a decade before Dragon Age saw the light of day. Fallout is the name of the game.
Against the choices you had as a player a decade ago, RPGs today are miles away from offering the same freedom and lack of narrative restriction as the aforementioned Fallout. Of course, not every game was like this. Fallout was one of two games offering this much freedom. The other was Fallout 2.
Thursday - July 08, 2010
Fallout - Matt Chat with Tim Cain
I think we may have overlooked the first one, so I'll cover both here. Matt Barton (of The History of CRPGs fame) has interviewed Tim Cain over two parts on his background and Fallout - well worth watching. Here's the blurb for the first (10 mins):
This is the first part of my interview with Tim Cain, producer of Fallout and many other of the best computer role-playing games. In this part, Tim discusses his early days and begins telling the story of Fallout.
...and from the second (10 mins):
In the second part of my interview with Tim Cain, Tim talks about the politics and philosophy of Fallout and what happened after Interplay realized it had an unexpected hit on its hands.
Monday - May 10, 2010
Fallout - Soundtrack Remastered
This is a cool one. NMA let us know Fallout composer Mark Morgan has remastered the original 24-track sountrack and it can be downloaded free here.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Monday - February 22, 2010
Fallout - Tim Cain Interview @ DaC
Tim Cain has long kept a low profile but there's a new interview at Duck and Cover. I've filed this under Fallout but the questions cover a bit of Interplay history and his current work in addition. A sample:
DAC: Looking back, is there anything that you would have changed about the original Fallout games?
Tim: Oh, there is so much that I would have done differently based on what I know now. The interface could have been improved, and there are ways to speed up and balance the turn-based combat system to make it more comparable with modern games. I also wished our budget could have been larger, not only to make a bigger and longer game, but also to have a real marketing campaign. Sometimes I feel that Fallout 1 was basically an advertisement for Fallout 2. :-)
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Tuesday - November 03, 2009
Fallout - History & Review #2 @ Media Consumes Me
You might remember Part 1 of this Fallout history from a few weeks back. Part 2 is now online, picking up the story after the release of FO: Brotherhood of Steel:
Interplay was funding its projects through credit agreements, game sales, and loans from the head of the company himself, Brian Fargo. They never kept much cash at the ready, and once troubles grew out of their hands in 1999, Titus Interactive, a French based production company, acquired a majority interest in Interplay. In 2001, Brian Fargo, the original founder, left the company and Titus Interactive’s own Herve Caen took over as CEO. A deal with Vivendi Universal was signed to publish Interplays games, giving a much needed lifeline to the troubled company.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Thursday - October 08, 2009
Fallout - History & Review #1 @ Media Consumes Me
A Fallout history or retrospective rolls around every now and then and this time, it's a site called Media Consumes Me. This is the first of two parts, with this part covering some back history and the all the Fallout games up to Van Buren:
It all started in 1988 with Wasteland, published by Electronic Arts. It featured EGA graphics and was released on the Commodore 64, Apple II, and DOS. The game was set in the post-apocalyptic southwestern U.S. and the player controlled a party of Rangers exploring the wastes. It was a pretty advanced RPG for its time, giving the player a nonlinear experience not found in many RPGs during the late 80s. The game was very dynamic, allowing the player to overcome an obstacle in a variety of ways, based on the parties’ stats. It was also one of the first RPG games to introduce a persistent world.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Wednesday - July 22, 2009
Fallout - Junktown Dog @ The Escapist
The Escapist has a nice piece on everyone's favourite - Dogmeat. The article has input on his creation from the likes of Chris Taylor, Jesse Heinig and Tim Cain and is well worth a read for Fallout fans. The intro:
Perhaps no character in the Fallout universe is as beloved by players as Dogmeat, the canine companion to every Lone Wanderer to leave (or be thrown out of) his vault. He doesn't care who you are or whether you're good or evil. So long as you feed him, exercise him regularly and generally avoid shooting him in the head, Dogmeat will be your friend until the end. This makes him unique in the Wasteland. Dogmeat first appeared in 1997's Fallout, developed by Black Isle Studios and distributed by Interplay, where he can be found in Junktown terrorizing a man named Phil. If you feed him an iguana-on-a-stick or are wearing a leather jacket like his previous owner, Dogmeat will follow you and never again leave your side. If you want him gone, you either have to shoot him, Old Yeller-style, or wait until someone else does the job for you.
Perhaps no character in the Fallout universe is as beloved by players as Dogmeat, the canine companion to every Lone Wanderer to leave (or be thrown out of) his vault. He doesn't care who you are or whether you're good or evil. So long as you feed him, exercise him regularly and generally avoid shooting him in the head, Dogmeat will be your friend until the end. This makes him unique in the Wasteland.
Dogmeat first appeared in 1997's Fallout, developed by Black Isle Studios and distributed by Interplay, where he can be found in Junktown terrorizing a man named Phil. If you feed him an iguana-on-a-stick or are wearing a leather jacket like his previous owner, Dogmeat will follow you and never again leave your side. If you want him gone, you either have to shoot him, Old Yeller-style, or wait until someone else does the job for you.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Monday - June 22, 2009
Fallout - Hi-Res Patch Update
NMA has news that Mash's awesome Fallout and Fallout 2 hi-res patch/mod has hit v2.1:
Highlights of version 2.1:
Added the 'Options' button to the Main-menu.
Screen resolution can be set in-game via a button on the 'Option/Game-Pref Screen' when accessed via the Main-menu.
When subtitles are enabled, a space will automaticly be created for them at the bottom of the movie screen.
Added some side art to fill the blank areas either side of the IFace-Bar.
Thursday - May 14, 2009
Fallout - Trilogy Pack Patch
This patch is actually for Fallout: Tactics in the Fallout Trilogy pack. Chris Taylor posts on Interplay's forums:
If you have the new Fallout Trilogy, and you are encountering a black screen and hourglass when trying to load Fallout Tactics, we have a patch for you:
Download and execute patch from http://www.interplay.com/downloads/DSPatch.exe
If you are able to play Tactics, you do not need this patch. It fixes a compatibility issue with some versions of Windows Vista/XP. Most players will not need this patch.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Fallout - Makes NPD Charts
How's this for unexpected? According to Kotaku, Interplay's Fallout Trilogy pack (yep - the original games, not Bethsoft's Fallout 3) made the NPD charts for last week in 7th position.
Monday - April 27, 2009
Fallout - Dev Profile @ NMA
NMA serves up a profile of Gary Platner, Art Lead on Fallout and Art Director on Fallout 2. To round out the piece, Gary supplied some pics of Fallout promo material and a couple of shots of his current desk at Blizzard. A sample:
What's your favourite Fallout memory?
The power armor helmet on the box of Fallout 2. Scott Rodenhizer got to design the box cover helmet. And he was very…’adamant’, about making a better power armor head then Leon! First off, Scott is an amazingly creative modeler, and his redesign of the helmet was astounding! But for a while, it remained uncolored and untextured. He kept adding and editing things, and just never got around to coloring it. I took a render of the helmet and just started painting over it. I had some ideas for color, and wanted to try ‘em out. I added some gold eyes, some rust and put in a foggy dark blue atmosphere with shadows falling over the helmet and shoulders. I showed it to Scott and said ‘what do ya think of these colors for the box cover?’ He looked at it, sat down, stood up, covered his hand over his mouth…he must have looked at it for 5 minutes without saying a word! Scotty was a tough little nut, and he was…let’s say, a tricky artist to work with. But we both knew something…that colored helmet looked f***ing hot! And I know, it took every part of his being to admit, that what I had done, looked pretty good. Hilarious!
I will never forget that. I was mostly just proud that I could actually do something that Scott, reluctantly, actually liked!
Friday - April 24, 2009
Fallout - Contest @ GOG
Not just in one but you can enter in four contests on the Fallout franchise at Good old Games:
Wednesday - April 22, 2009
Fallout - Soundtrack and P&P Wargame in the Week of Fallout @ GOG
For those who visited Good Old Games yesterday, you might have noticed that they have a Fallout week that started with an editorial, premium content for the Fallout games and 20% discount on Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout:Tactics.
Today this Fallout week continues with the download of an additional soundtrack from Fallout and those who own Fallout: Tactics can now download Fallout: Warfare - a paper and pencil wargame set in the Fallout universe.
Read all about it on Good Old Games.
Tuesday - April 21, 2009
Fallout - Retrospective @ GOG.com
Take a journey back in time on Good old Games with author David Craddock and former Black Isle Studios members Tim Cain and Chris Taylor who are looking back at the very first Fallout.
The conception of Fallout did not occur during tense negotiations or nuclear threats, but casual dinners and brainstorming sessions. "A bunch of Interplay developers used to go out to Coco's for dinner once or twice a week," recalls fellow Fallout designer Chris Taylor, who speaks of secondhand stories relayed to him when he joined the team later on. "It was people like Tim Cain, Scott Campbell, Scott Everts, Jason Taylor, Wes Yanagi and others. They just shot the shit and talked games. Some of the earliest ideas in Fallout came out of those dinners, just random ideas that were tossed around. Some of it stuck, but most of it was forgotten."
Many ideas were modified or vetoed by the design team, but everyone agreed unanimously with one crucial inspiration: Wasteland, a computer RPG developed by Interplay for the Apple II. "We had all played Wasteland and loved that game," says Cain. "From that game, we took the ideas of non-linearity and an open world map, and we also loved that certain quests would lead you into moral dilemmas."
Thursday - January 29, 2009
Fallout - A History @ IGN
Starting with the creation of Interplay by Brian Fargo and the ensuing Wasteland, IGN has a detailed history of the Fallout franchise, through the Troika split, Van Buren and ultimately on to Bethsoft:
Regarded internally as something of a B-title, "V13" was passed off to a RPG-focused subdivision run by Feargus Urquhart. It wasn't long before the three project leads - producer/programmer Tim Cain, art director Leonard Boyarsky, and lead designer Chris Taylor - picked up a familiar Wasteland-ish vibe off their minor post-nuclear project. Urquhart shifted resources to it, more than doubling their eight-man team. Interplay let him, and then promptly forgot all about V13. Without any oversight from the home office, Urquhart let the project's scope expand at an exponential rate. He and Taylor both started at Interplay as part-time play-testers. Now they were re-igniting a legacy.
Thursday - December 11, 2008
Fallout - Dev Profile @ NMA
NMA catches up with Jesse Heinig, who contributed to the design of SPECIAL and did some scripting and other design on Fallout:
Tell us a little about your role in the making of Fallout 1/2/3(Van Buren)/Tactics ?
I was involved only in Fallout 1 for the most part. I came in partway through development, right before the game switched from GURPS to SPECIAL. At the time, the team was ramping up for the big push toward release, which was about a year off. I was brought on as a scripter, since I had some skill in programming in C and Pascal. As with the rest of the scripting team, I wound up also doing work on design, since the game was just too big and the design documents too elaborate to be maintained by one guy (especially since some of the original design docs were obsolete but hadn't been updated with early changes in the dev team). I proposed a few ideas for interface and for the SPECIAL system itself after the GURPS license deal fell through, though Chris Taylor really deserves credit for a lot of the SPECIAL design. I also lobbied hard for a couple of things that did make it into the game: one, perks that were not just combat-related, like Empathy (boy did that turn out to be a pain); two, companions who could join the Vault Dweller (since they were in the initial design doc but got cut, but I figured out a way to "fake" Ian into the game and the programmers decided to make it stick); and three, the Power Fist (since I did a lot of my testing with an Unarmed/Speech/Science character and found that Unarmed Combat just couldn't hang unless it had its own categories of weapons).
My scripting mostly handled Junktown, parts of Vault 13, random encounters, the military base, a little material in Shady Sands, and the joinable companions. I also scripted the original ZAX in the Glow, based on some early design docs.
Wednesday - December 03, 2008
Fallout - Dev Profile @ NMA
NMA has profiled Fallout artist (and later, Deus Ex among a host of other stuff) Michael Dean:
Tell us a little about your role in the making of Fallout 1/2/3 (Van Buren)/Tactics ?
I was the third artist on the project, after Leonard and Jason. Stayed till almost the end, but took a lead job at another company just before ship.
How was it to be a part of the Fallout team?
One of the best teams I've ever worked on. Leonard and Jason were both great leads, and easy to work with. Tim was very good about holding meetings every week to see what we all thought and where we'd like to see the game go. The entire team was at least somewhat (or even heavily) involved with design, which is what I think really gave the game a lot of character. There was very little design-by-numbers and a lot of "hey check this idea out, let's make it work" that went on with all aspects the project. Improvements also happened quickly, as there was little -if any- ego, attitude, or red tape keeping everyone from doing their jobs efficiently.
Thursday - October 30, 2008
Fallout - Design Lessons 101
Designer Manveer Heir writes about Fallout / Fallout 2 for his regular Design Lessons column at Gamasutra:
In Fallout 2, I was granted a temporary day-pass to go inside the gates of Vault City, a very closed-off city that could have information that would help me with my main quest. While inside Vault City, I spoke to a high-ranking official in a rather rude manner. As a result, I was immediately kicked out of the city and my pass was permanently revoked.
Unless I fought my way into the city and killed everyone within, I was now unable to get inside the walls of Vault City. All of the quests that I had accepted in the city, were now impossible to complete. The important information inside the city was unreachable. The people in the city would not speak to me, sell me goods, help me out. They reviled me.
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.
The game never told me if I talked back to the man in Vault City that I would get the boot. It just did it. I made that choice. I remember clicking the dialog option and thinking to myself “Man, this guy is a little annoying. I'm going to be a smart-ass." Nowadays, many games would broadcast you the consequence of your choice before the choice is made. Give the player all the information up-front, and they can make the right decision.
Wednesday - October 29, 2008
Fallout - Retrospective @ Eurogamer
Obviously everything is about Fallout at the moment, so Eurogamer is looking back at the original titles:
Gameplay innovations went hand-in-hand with the game's unique and dark setting. Fallout was a genuine role-player in that it was impossible to succeed in the wasteland without taking full advantage of every ability that your created character had. If you came across a heavily-guarded compound and just didn't have the firepower to get inside, you had to start hacking computers and looking for pass-codes, or talking to people around in an effort to find someone who could get you inside, or scavenging or thieving better equipment from wherever you could. There were always so many ways to approach a given situation, so many different directions to go in and so many random events, characters and quests to stumble upon, that almost everyone who played Fallout got something different out of it.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Tuesday - September 30, 2008
Fallout - A Timeline @ UGO
Following their Favourite Fallout Characters article we linked last week, UGO has a Fallout retrospective organised as a timeline. Here's a bit from the resource wars:
Following decades of increased privatization on a global scale and deterioting relationships between international governments, the Resource Wars erupt in April 2052. Over the next two-plus decades, skirmishes major and minor rage as the world's superpowers confront one another. The feud, which has its roots in the rising prices of the world's oil supply, quickly flares into a multi-national rush for control of every available natural resource. Notable events include the collapse of both the United Nations and the European Commonwealth, the destruction of Tel Aviv beneath a nuclear conflagration, China's invasion of Alaska and the United States' annexation of Canada. This period also sees the more widespread use of biological warfare, which proves to have lasting consequences.
With the world crumbling all around, the United States government commissions the construction of a series of subterranean shelters to be built by the Vault-Tec corporation. These "Vaults," as they are dubbed, are designed to house a maximum of 1,000 individuals; only 122 are ever built. As we now know the Vaults were in fact a series of unique social experiments, each subjecting its residents to a different set of factors. The ultimate goal of these experiments was to develop plans for re-colonizing the planet in the aftermath of whichever cataclysmic event required the use of the Vault in the first place.
Games Radar also gets into the Fallout retrospective action with a short piece from PC Gamer's Desslock titled Fallout is a Good Old Game (the reference to CD Projekt's GOG service is deliberate):
Fallout is about making real role-playing choices. It’s about creating a highly customized alter-ego and making distinct decisions that meaningfully affect your character’s journey. It’s choosing either to aid post-apocalyptic NPCs or to punch them in head [Or groin! –Ed] until you hear the lamentations of their children. It’s embracing the seemingly insufferable task of keeping your Mad Max–inspired hapless canine pet alive against chain-gun-wielding super-mutants, and eschewing potentially more beneficial character traits in favor of reducing foes to a “bloody mess.” The game constantly delivers a range of nuanced choices, and considerably fewer subtle alternatives, that collectively ensure players have a highly personalized experience, which is the essence of roleplaying. In terms of offering role-playing depth, Fallout has a paucity of peers, and it’s still worthwhile to track it down if you never journeyed into its apocalyptic wasteland.
Saturday - September 27, 2008
Fallout - Free on GameTap
This news update is a bit late and I cut yesterday's short, all of which means some of these newsbits are now showing their age. I hate it when real life intrudes.
We foreshadowed Fallout being added to GameTap's free game list a while back, which has now come to fruition - you'll need to install their player but then Fallout is free.
In related news, Turner Broadcasting has merged GameTap with Metaboli, hoping to find better value in the larger combined service.
Thursday - July 24, 2008
Fallout - Original Reviewers Guide
Here's a different one...Desslock has dug out the original reviewer's guide for Fallout, sent out with the original review copies 10 years ago. It contains a list of features, known bugs and gameplay tips from Tim Cain. Grab it over at NMA.
Wednesday - June 11, 2008
Fallout - Resolution Patch @ NMA
Mash has adapted his resolution patch from FO2 to suit Fallout. Head over to NMA to read about it and grab the file.
Wednesday - June 04, 2008
Fallout - Heading to Gametap
Interplay continues to resuscitate their business with a new deal to add Fallout (amid other Interplay titles) to Gametap:
ATLANTA – June 2, 2008 – GameTap, the first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), announced today an expanded partnership with Interplay Entertainment Corp. (OTC BB: IPLY) that now includes multi-year worldwide rights for the company’s titles to be available for digital download in its online store and for subscription play. Under the new agreement, Interplay titles will also be made available for free play on GameTap’s ad-supported website www.gametap.com.
“Interplay has been and continues to be a great partner of GameTap,” said Ricardo Sanchez, vice president of content and creative director for GameTap. “By expanding on our previous deal, GameTap will now feature more of Interplay’s top titles including their widely successful Fallout titles.”
As part of this expansive agreement, GameTap will now feature additional Interplay titles, including the critically acclaimed Fallout, Descent and MDK. New and previously featured titles, such as the Earthworm Jim series, will be added to the subscription service, GameTap’s ad-supported website, and also sold in GameTap’s online digital retail storefront.
Tuesday - March 11, 2008
Fallout - MMO Rumblings
TenTonHammer are stating:
Interplay, which still holds the rights to the Fallout Online property, has updated its website with an interesting placeholder. A number of sites are speculating that we might see some new Fallout news coming from them in the next few weeks."
Read more @ Fallout 3 A Post Nuclear Blog.
Saturday - January 26, 2008
Fallout - SPECIAL @ Twenty Sided
Shamus Young's Twenty Sided blog (home of the recent three or four part Eschalon review) takes a look at Fallout's SPECIAL system:
The discussion on Eschalon’s character system was pretty interesting. Several people mentioned other game systems, some with numerous attributes that define your character, and some with very few. Opinions ranged from “you should only need mind / body / spirit” to “let’s track every possible aspect of your being using linked stats and floating-point numbers”.
Of all the (computer) RPG’s I’ve played over the years, my favorite character progression system is still the one found in the 1997 classic Fallout. Why I love this system [...]
Friday - November 30, 2007
Fallout - Memories @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault celebrates Fallout's 10th Anniversary with an interview with several developers who contributed to the game. Chris Taylor, Cheis Avellone, John Deiley, Dan Spitzley, Scott Bennie and Scott Everts all share some memories:
Current company: Obsidian Entertainment
Current project: Unannounced
Current position: Technical Designer
Fallout background: Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout 3 (Van Buren) as a Map Artist and on art touchup / processing
Fallout 1 was an amazing project, mostly because we didn't know what we had. The company considered it a B-grade game, so they pretty much left us alone. We made a game we all wanted to play, and everything just came together. I created all the game maps, some layouts sketched on napkins! I don't think we realized how well it turned out until the last few months when others started playing it. These days, with budgets so large, it's hard to do a game that experimental.
Sunday - October 14, 2007
Fallout - 10th Anniversary - Desslock Interview with Tim Cain
Dark Savant writes in to advise us of this ten year old interview with Tim Cain put up in honor of the original Fallout's tenth anniversary at No Mutants Allowed.
Desslock is a game journalist some of us know for running Desslock's RPG News site at GameSpot and who is currently the RPG columnist for PC Gamer. His RPG News site was launched in early 1997 with an interview he conducted with Tim Cain prior to Fallout's release. The content was later moved to GameSpot where the site would run from 1998 to 2003.
In the spirit of Fallout's 10 year anniversary, Desslock released his 10-year old interview with Tim Cain to No Mutants Allowed.
Some of the material covered:
Desslock: What are two features (perhaps among many) which you believe set Fallout apart from other role-playing games?
Tim Cain: First, different characters really are different. If you make a stupid character, he will have different responses to NPCs dialog, and therefore the game will take a different spin as certain adventure seeds are denied you. Similarly, starting with low combat skills could easily get you killed in the first adventure seed that is offered, since it involves big, dangerous monsters. Likewise, take a high Luck and you may find things in the wasteland that others cannot...
Second, how you behave in the game really matters. Be a jerk, and people won't barter with you. Save a town and become a hero in their eyes. Join the bad guys and see a different endgame (not necessarily a lose game sequence either). In other words, this is a true role-playing game, and you are responsible for your own actions.
Thanks, Dark Savant!
Monday - October 08, 2007
Fallout - 10th Anniversary - Interview @ NMA
NMA's Fallout 10th Anniversary party reaches its climax with a retrospective interview featuring Leonard Boyarsky, Chris Taylor, Feargus Urquhart, Chris Avellone and J.E. Sawyer. There are too many quotes to grab but I liked some of the advice for "anyone" making a new Fallout game:
Establish a vision and go with it. The Fallout games are great, but to progress the series, you need to separate the wheat from the chaff and build on top of that. Refine the strengths of the Fallout games and add new innovations. There's a lot of dissonant noise from fans about what those strengths really are. And that's fine. It's not their job to make the game. They aren't a team. But you have to be able to get to the heart of what's really important.
There are probably a lot of decisions that you will make that infuriate a lot of people. If you feel those decisions need to be made, do not half-ass them. The people still will be infuriated, and what you are making will suffer overall because of those compromises. A compromise made for reasons of scope or quality -- that might be a good compromise. Compromises made to quasi-please the average audience member aren't a good thing, especially not with a concept as strongly expressed as "Fallout".
And whatever you do, make sure you nail the art, the music, and the sound. That's the stuff that transcends rules and combat systems and dialogue trees.
Thursday - October 04, 2007
Fallout - 10 Anniversary Stuff
Rather than the usual dev profile this space is used for, the Bethblog's latest Inside the Vault asks various staffers what they liked best about Fallout:
Todd Howard, Executive Producer
It’s always been the initial opening for me. It’s one of the all-time great intros. From the opening strums of the Ink Spots, Vault Boy watering his plants while being locked in a Vault, Galaxy News, “our boys” in Canada executing someone and waving at the camera, a car that does 0 to 60 in .5 seconds with “no electronics”, the final pull-back to a destroyed world, to the opening line of “War. War never changes.” Within one minute, you’re completely sold.
Meanwhile, NMA has released some marketing material used for the original Fallout release
In other vaguely Fallout-y news, NMA has spotted Tim Cain popping up as the programming director of a new NCsoft shop called Carbine Studios, currently working on an unannounced MMO.
Wednesday - October 03, 2007
Fallout - Original GURPS Shots @ The Vault
Fallout fan site The Vault has two previously unseen screens courtesy of Chris Taylor, showing a character sheet and character creation from when the game was going to be based on GURPS.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Monday - October 01, 2007
Fallout - 10 Anniversary @ NMA
Over the last couple of days, NMA has released two more features as they celebrate Fallout's 10th anniversary. Head over for photos from Sharon Shellman of various pieces of promo swag from the release and three pieces of concept art from Tony Postma.
Saturday - September 29, 2007
Fallout - Eddie Rainwater Profile @ NMA
The next item in NMA's 10th Anniversary Fallout extravaganza is a profile of artist Eddie Rainwater:
How was it to be a part of the Fallout team?
Awesome! Next to my current Blizzard team, it was my 2nd favorite team in my whole career over all the other teams I've worked with by a long shot. The guys were SO talented and Leonard was an awesome art director. Between his and Jason's vision and Leonard pushing me for higher and higher quality, it was the bomb. I think those were some of my favorite times of my career. Working alongside Scott was great too, man he's so talented and totally fun to work with. I think we spent most of the day laughing about the funniest stuff while we were making all this cutting edge (at that time) kickass character art. I was really bummed when Leonard and Jason left to form Troika (but happy for em too). I'll never forget the awesome painting that Justin Sweet made of that old Fallout comic book cover, totally inspiring. Tramell was always coming by and cracking jokes, I mean the atmosphere was just awesome. It's hard to describe, but with the imminent deadlines and late nights, we all had a blast and pushed our art to a pretty high level, really cool and rare to have that kind of team comradery.
Wednesday - September 26, 2007
Fallout - 10th Anniversary - Jason Anderson Profile @ NMA
The next item on NMA's 10th Anniversary agenda is a profile interview with Jason Anderson, who was a very early part of Fallout and went on to one of the Troika three:
What specifically inspired Fallout for you? What were the biggest influences?
Leonard. Leonard was my biggest art influence on Fallout. I shared an office with him, so I suppose this was only natural. Leonard drove the look and feel of the art in the game and some of what he was doing with the game I was familiar with, but some of it he introduced me to. In regards to art style, I was truly following his lead as to the look and feel of the game. Although, after spending 3 years sharing an office with him, I pretty much nailed down the look and feel of Fallout. Ask me a question now - I know it all.
Monday - September 24, 2007
Fallout - 10th Anniversary - Art @ NMA
NMA's 10 Anniversary celebrations for Fallout continue with four pieces of original Leonard Boyarsky concept art.
Sunday - September 23, 2007
Fallout - 10th Anniversary @ NMA
Ten years, huh? NMA is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Fallout with a countdown of sorts leading up to October 7th. To kick off, they have Chris Taylor's original Mr Handy design doc, so head over for a look and keep an eye out on new stuff every couple of days.
Thursday - August 02, 2007
Fallout - 1 & 2 Engine Tweaks
A rather cool item over at NMA where a Morrowind/Oblivion modder named Timeslip was added some neat tweaks to the Fallout engine:
The first thing it changes is gameplay speed. Running from one side of new reno to the other for the hundredth time gets a bit boring, so you can set up some keyboard keys to modify the speed to anywhere between 0.5x and 10x normal. It affects running speed and combat, but not the world map, sound, movies or talking heads.
The second thing is that there's no option to play fallout in a window, so I added a windowed mode. It messes up if you scroll the window around, but it makes alt-tabbing, working with two monitors and taking screenshots a lot easier.
Lastly, scrolling through the inventory gets a bit cumbersome if you have lots of stuff in it, so I tweaked it to let you use the mouse scroll wheel as well as the normal controls.
I've only tested it with the copy of fallout2.exe that comes with megamod 2, but it should work with a normal v1.02 US version too.
This one adds the option to make the middle mouse button do something useful, frame skipping in windowed mode and a way to force DirectInput into background mode.
Friday - June 01, 2007
Fallout - Dev Profile @ NMA
Concept Artist Tony Postma is the latest Fallout Dev Profile at NMA:
Tell us a little about your role in the making of Fallout 1/2/3 (Van Buren)/Tactics ?
On Fallout 1 (and to a lesser extent, 2) I was strictly involved in the conceptual design of the look and feel, particularly the user interface. The team already had an idea of using retro-atom age imagery and objects, so I kept my concepts in that vein. I really wanted the interface to look and function like a "real" device, so I researched and imagined it to be like some computer or car stereo with a removable face plate but with 1950' vacuum tubes, bakelite plastics and glass CRT's. I also came up with the idea that the maps would be from found objects like postcards and period signage picked up from the sands of the desert. Unfortunately while I was concepting for Fallout, the majority of my time was as concept/2D for M.A.X. Mechanized Assault and eXploration (and later M.A.X. 2). I also did concept art for Shattered Steel, a few Star Trek titles, and quite a few of Interplay's other games and didn't spend as much time on Fallout as I would have wanted. I like to work in a lot of different capacities, but I think I might have spread myself too thin then.
On a Fallout-related note, NMA also has an editorial on the difference between Pip Boy and Vault Boy.
Friday - May 18, 2007
Fallout - Dev Profile @ NMA
NMA's latest Fallout dev profile is Sharon Shellman, who worked on Fallout's cinematics and later worked at Troika. What had completely escaped me was that she is Jason Anderson's partner, so this little bit is an interesting catch-up on their lives post Troika crash:
Jason and I took stock of our lives at that point and decided we needed a break from the entertainment industry. It had been 10 years, and a lot of stress, and it was time for a break. Family had become very important to us and we decided it was time to focus more on our families. We were very grateful to have built up quite a bit of equity in our home, so we fixed it up, sold it, threw everything into storage & hit the road in an RV. Yep, we just left. (never said we were a conventional family).
So we traveled for about 3 months, visited family, saw the grand canyon, got married, you know, the normal stuff... and finally settled down in Phoenix. We both have family nearby and we really liked the housing prices compared to CA. Plus it's still close enough to visit our CA family. We took another 6 months to decide what we wanted to do with ourselves and decided.... you know what, we'd really like to get into real estate. (I know, bad timing).
I'd always loved houses, my poor roommates could attest to this. I used to make them move every year because I'd be bored of our house and wanted to rent a new one. So I got my realtors license and Jason and I bought a fixer upper to work on. He'd grown up fixing up old houses with his parents, so this wasn't new work for him. Just back to the old family business.
Tuesday - May 08, 2007
Fallout - Dev Profile @ NMA
NMA's latest Fallout Dev Profile is Tim Hume, who developed the Mac version of Fallout, and apparently has a good sense of humour:
Tell us a little about yourself, what have you accomplished in life?
Well, I went to UC Irvine to get a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. I left before finishing though. When I was deciding whether to leave or not, I talked with Tim Cain. He had been in the PhD program with me and had left to work at Interplay. After talking with him, I decided to do the same.
Two months after starting work at Interplay, I got married to an amazing woman. After Interplay, I worked for Quicksilver Software doing more games. After working on the AI for Master of Orion III, I went to work for Boeing. Last year, I moved to St. Louis, Missouri. I grew up in Iowa and Missouri, so it is kind of like moving home again.
Before going to work for Boeing, I took the stage name of Albert Hammond, Jr. My new solo CD, Yours To Keep, is available now. I worked on it in my spare time.
I think my greatest accomplishment, though, was the result of just being in the right place at the right time. You know how there is the stereotype of the game programmer geek that doesn't have the best hygiene? Well, I won't name names, but there was one of those on Fallout. I made that work for me by turning it into a study. This led to me eventually winning a Nobel Prize in 2004 in Medicine.
Tuesday - May 01, 2007
Fallout - Dev Profile @ NMA
Designer Scott Bennie is the latest Fallout Dev Profile at NMA:
Tell us a little about your role in the making of Fallout 1/2/3 (Van Buren)/Tactics?
I came into the project (the original Fallout) at the 2/3rd point. I had been designing a game called Realmswar (a Forgotten Realms strategy title that went nowhere) and Tim Cain invited me onto the team to help out designing Hub and Children of the Cathedral quests. By this time, it was already obvious that it was going to be a special game, the team had a definite magic to it, and it was an honor and (mostly) a pleasure to work with them.
Thursday - April 26, 2007
Fallout - The History @ NMA
NMA has posted The History of Fallout, a self explanatory article that is based entirely on developer quotes to ensure accuracy:
The necessity for, and creation of, SPECIAL occurred near the planned release date, nearly half a year before the game was actually released. The setting of Fallout was decided on long before those events, being “a dark game, based on the horrors that 1950's science had predicted for a future apocalyptic world. So we balanced that with humour, by poking fun at those same predictions in a way that would amuse a modern player.”
Wednesday - April 25, 2007
Fallout - Dev Profile @ NMA
Staying with the talking heads theme, the latest Fallout dev profile at NMA is Chris Borders:
Tell us a little about yourself, what have you accomplished in life?
I started off in the videogame industry as an audio editor back in the 1990's for Interplay Productions. Soon thereafter, I was promoted to the position of managing all of the voiceover for Interplay's videogames. I left the company back in early 2k to start my own company, TikiMan Productions, Inc. We currently produce the voiceover for some of the biggest videogames in the world, including titles like... Gears of War, Scarface, Call of Duty, Need for Speed, to name just a few.
Wednesday - April 18, 2007
Fallout - Dev Profile @ NMA
This latest Fallout dev profile at NMA talks to Scott Rodenhizer, who created the famed talking heads:
Tell us a little about your role in the making of Fallout 1/2/3 (Van Buren)/Tactics?
The heads came about because I was hired to provide sculptures of the cast of Star Trek for the Vulcan’s Fury title (god awful game) and Leonard Boyarski came by to the sculpture studio to try his hand at doing a little sculpture. He actually sculpted the first Fallout head--the overseer. He got me on Fallout to do the rest of the heads and really encouraged me to do get into 3D which later positioned me to become art lead of fallout 3. (I quit weeks later to move up to San Francisco)
Wednesday - April 11, 2007
Fallout - Dev Profile @ NMA
Dan Spitzley is the latest Fallout dev to be profiled at NMA. Dan worked across Fallout, Fallout 2 and Van Buren and is now at Obsidian:
Tell us a little about yourself, what have you accomplished in life?
I grew up in Grosse PointePark, Michigan and started playing computer games at a very young age. My parents bought an Apple II+ and eventually a IIGS in the 80s and they were my platforms of choice until about high schoool when they started to fall off the map. I mostly played Infocom games, as well as RPGs like the Ultima and Might and Magic series. They are the ones that got me interested in working on games. I was also a huge adventure game fan, playing nearly all of the Sierra and LucasArts games at one time or another. As far as what I've accomplished, I've been lucky enough to work with some fantastic people on games that have been well-received by fans of the RPG genre. I like to think that I've had a part in making some people's lives more entertaining.
Thanks, Brother None.
Thursday - December 07, 2006
Falling For Fallout: A (Post-Nuclear RPG) Retrospective
In what we hope is the first of an ongoing series of retrospectives, Kawika takes us back to reminisce about playing Fallout and what made this title so special:
I know it’s cliché to start a Fallout article with that endearing quote, but can you think of any words more fitting? I sure can’t. An unmistakable chill went up my high-back leather chair-cushioned spine the moment Ron Pearlman (yes, Hellboy himself!) spoke those words immortal to CRPGers everywhere old enough to remember them. How does one define a game like Fallout? Wow! It’s an eclectic collection of “what-ifs”, “where-tos” and Easter eggs…lots and lots of Easter eggs. It’s the past, the present and the future. It’s science fiction and it’s fantasy with a tinge of reality as often uproarious as terrifying. It was the impetus of a new CRPG development company and the inauguration of a new era in CRPG design and story telling. Perhaps most importantly, however, Fallout is arguably the Godfather of witty, innovative computer gaming as we know it today.
Monday - August 28, 2006
Fallout Revisited: Day 3 @ GameBanshee
Friday - August 25, 2006
Fallout Revisited, Day 2 @ GameBanshee
GB: Looking back, is there anything about the development of Fallout 2 that you would have liked to change? Was any content removed due to cost or time constraints that you would have liked to see implemented?
Chris: Less in-jokes, it's a pretty immature way to design a game (it's a design directive here at Obsidian that we don't do in-jokes or cultural references). We ran out of time at the end to do everything we planned (it always happens), so some locations had to be downscaled or cut. I did want to have the EPA location in the game (I put up a rough area doc of that way back when for a Fallout Bible entry), but it was better for the game getting done that we didn't put it in. I also wish there'd been more time for the Raider Camp, which was pretty empty.
Tuesday - August 22, 2006
Fallout: Classic Review @ Armchair Empire
Probably the important element that keeps "Fallout" together is the sense of style. It is a humorous, satirical, and thoroughly cohesive sense of time and place. The playfulness and fears of the 1950s are easily moved forward a century without feeling cheesy or mentally insulting. You see it in the conversation screens with the vacuum tubes and speaker cones, the armor and prosthetics on the major NPCs, the cut scenes showing off American life before the bombs fell, even the simple and smiley line art in the character sheet and in the manual. The style ties the game together into a tightly knit whole. Without it, Fallout probably would not be nearly as enjoyable.More...
Sunday - June 18, 2006
Fallout PnP license sold to Glutton Creeper Games
June 16, 2006: GCG is reviewing Fallout license, and hiring freelance authors and artists to undertake the d20 Fallout PH project. More news to follow...
June 10, 2006: GCG has finished contract negotiations with Interplay for a license to create a d20 modern OGL setting for FALLOUT. More news to follow...
Information aboutFallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released: 1997-09-30
· Publisher: Interplay