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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » No Mutants Allowed - Origins of Fallout, Part One

Default No Mutants Allowed - Origins of Fallout, Part One

February 17th, 2012, 21:57
No Mutants Allowed has a three page article about the origins of Fallout. It is written by R. Scott Campbell, the first lead designer for the game. He talks about how he got to work at Interplay, how GURPS began and how Fallout was born. In this first part, though, we mostly hear about him starting at Interplay and how the beginning of GURPS were. It also tells the story, via his personal account, of how it was to make videogames 20 years ago. But let's begin with this:
Editor's note: R. Scott Campbell is one of the creators of the original Fallout, responsible for creating its storyline, defining the setting and writing several of the high profile non-player characters populating the game world. In a nut shell: he's one of the most important fathers of Fallout and, ironically, one of the least recognized.
Before moving on to this - a quote on cinematic experiences in games:
Long before I ever heard the term “Jump the Shark”, I began to see some warning signs of Interplay’s continued success. I sensed a change in the management. There was a shift from a passion for game making, to a desire to make Hollywood-style cinema. We changed from the old adage of “Shoot for the moon. Here’s a nickel.” to “How can we make this experience more like watching a movie.” It began with Stonekeep (which started as a throwback to the old Bard’s Tale, but became a nightmare of “cinematic experience”), and exploded with the Sim-CD series (Interplay’s remakes of SimCity, SimAnt, and SimEarth in CD-ROM format with lots of movies) and the horror show that was “Cyberhood” (an interactive movie that became a black hole of funds.)
And movin on to how GUPS began:
When Interplay approached Steve Jackson Games for GURPS, they were extremely skeptical. They were told of the long line of great RPGs that Interplay had made. No response. They were told that they would have creative control over the game. Still no response. Then they were told the up-front license money they would be getting. Suddenly, there was a response.
With GURPS given a green light, Tim assembled a team, and (because SimEarth was just canned) chose me as the Lead Designer. It was a bit of a rocky start, as much finagling was needed to secure people for the team from other projects Once the contract was signed, Steve Jackson came to the studios for a meet and greet with the team. I remember him being extremely cool with our overall ideas about handling the game. One pointed question was, “What do you think about blood and violence in the game?” With a smirk and a wave of his hand, he answered, “The more the better!”
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February 17th, 2012, 21:57
Fascinating read - thanks for posting this one, Aries!

BTW Parts 2 and 3 have also been posted:

Part 2: http://www.nma-fallout.com/article.php?id=60788

Part 3: http://www.nma-fallout.com/article.php?id=60792

It seems a lot of gems ended up on the cutting room floor:

Still another silly idea that met the chopping block was the “Dead Viper”. At the time of development, Brian Fargo had just purchased a candy-apple red Dodge Viper sports car. He would beam with pride when his V10 roared into the parking lot each morning. Almost immediately, the sports car began suffering break-down after mechanical failure – it ended up spending more time in the Interplay parking lot and repair shops than on the road. Being pitiless bastards, we wanted to poke fun at it.

A player could discover a shiny new red Dodge Viper amongst the ruins of the Interplay building. The character could even interact with it, getting a dialog stating: “It’s a high-performance sports car. With just a few repairs, it could be drivable…” This would send the player to the ends of the Wastes looking for “sports car parts”, bringing them back to the car in hopes of repairing it and cruising through the radioactive desert in style. The evil part was, no matter how many parts you find, nothing would fix the car.
Last edited by CountChocula; February 18th, 2012 at 00:37.
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