GOG.com have recently published two interesting Fallout editorials, full with commentary from original Black Isle Studios game designers: Tim Cain, Chris Taylor and Chris Avellone.
The first editorial discusses Fallout 1, and touches – among other diverse topics - on how the team ultimately settled on devising SPECIAL instead of utilizing GURPS or D&D, and how the team came to settle on the more transparent register:
“We picked up on the ‘less is more’ storytelling style, and didn’t fully explain everything,” confirms Taylor. “I was a little shocked to read some of the message boards when the game came out and players were filling in the bits that we purposely-or accidentally-left vague.”
Against this backdrop I find it very intriguing that Chris Avellone should have put out the incredibly interesting Fallout Bible series that detailed the game intricately and specifically. Elsewhere, Cain hits the nail on the head in describing the game, ultimately, as a binary construct: “…funny but dark, nostalgic but futuristic, optimistic but depressing”.
The second article, then, deals with the sequel.
Unsurprisingly, none of the interviewees find the second game better than the first – Taylor cites a lack of consistency, Cain believes both its humour and pacing were ‘off’. Lead designer Avellone nonchalantly states the obvious, that Interplay was already hurting badly for funding and that the staff at hand was simply too limited to produce a bug-free game of such immense scope in a ridiculously modest timeframe of 10 months, and endearingly reminisces how the team worked on
“…the boxing ring rules in New Reno literally in the last hour before the game was scheduled for its final submission.”
In an interesting turn of events, the latter piece also notes that Chris Taylor is still working on Interplay’s “V13” Fallout MMO – despite co-creator Jason Anderson recently leaving the project for inXile - and Bethesda delivering a claim to Interplay over an assumed breach of contract. Taylor has commented on the topic as late as April 15th, in a thread on the Interplay forums, stating, “We are still developing Project V13.”
For those interested, there are other editorials available on the site.