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The Origins of Fallout - Part 1

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The Origins of Fallout - Part 1

Editorial - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Thu 16 February 2012, 10:45:07

Tags: Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game; Interplay; Wasteland

No Mutants Allowed put up the first part of an editorial on the history of Fallout, written by no one else but R. Scott Campbell, Lead Designer of Fallout. Great read, brimming with anecdotes about different RPG devs and Interplay.
While I struggled with Sim Earth, Tim had proposed the idea to management to make a new RPG based on the GURPS license. Yes, from what I hear, “What’s a GURPS” was actually asked by someone. Tim sold them on the idea that because GURPS is a generic system, once we make one game, we’ll be able to reuse the core mechanics to make any other kind of RPG. Somehow they said “Yes.”

Steve Jackson, a legend in the pencil-and-paper gaming world, created and owned the rights to GURPS. However, Steve had been burned by games before. In the past two of his great IPs were turned into Apple II games: Autoduel and Ogre. Ever since, Steve Jackson games had been inundated with developers wanting to turn their beloved IPs into computer games – and failing miserably.

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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