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Interview Matt Chat 396: Interview with Leonard Boyarsky, Part Two

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
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    Tags: Fallout; Interplay; Leonard Boyarsky; Matt Barton

    The second episode of Matt Barton's interview with Leonard Boyarsky is dedicated almost entirely to the development of Fallout. Much of this will be familiar to our readers - the story of how Leonard got on the Fallout team, how he came up with its 50s-flavored setting and aesthetic, the creation of the Vault Boy, and the dispute with Steve Jackson that led the replacement of GURPS with SPECIAL. More interesting is Leonard's discussion of how he became involved in writing and design despite his official role as art director. According to Leonard, it's precisely his lack of a background in writing that may have allowed him to design scenarios with convincing and naturalistic choice & consequence.


    Another interesting bit is Leonard's claim that the original Wasteland had very little influence on Fallout. Apparently he only played Wasteland for the first time quite late in the game's development, and the only Wasteland references in it are minor easter eggs like Tycho's background as a Desert Ranger. The interview ends with the story of how he, Tim Cain and Jason Anderson left Interplay to form Troika, but more about that in the next episode.
     
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  2. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Hey TimCain, how true is this really? Fallout's entire main storyline seems parallel to Wasteland's, with a mutant invasion instead of a robot invasion (though I guess that could be a coincidence). And on a mechanical level you've got both games' championing of a skill-based RPG system.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
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  3. Cross Scholar

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    He's not the only one. In his GDC retrospective, Tim Cain says he also didn't play Wasteland until development on Fallout began, although many others on the development team had. The idea that Fallout started out as a deliberate successor to Wasteland always struck me as Fargo exaggerating his creative involvement with Interplay/Black Isle games to make his Kickstarter campaigns more succesful, and doesn't line up with how others describe Fallout's development.

    And most of those 'similarities' are just grasping at straws:

    :roll: Really now?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
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  4. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Even if Tim and Leonard didn't play Wasteland, it's worth asking if they weren't at some point early on asked to replicate Wasteland's basic design goals as read from a box cover or feature bullet point list.

    "Post-apocalypse, check. Evil horde invading from military base, check. Techno-cult, check. Power armor, check. Skill-based roleplaying system, check."

    That would make Fallout, not a spiritual successor to Wasteland, but a kind of blind reinterpretation of it. The concept of Wasteland as developed by somebody else.
     
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  5. Davaris Arcane

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    "Strange world, check. Evil horde invading from some place, check. Magic-cult, check. Magic armor, check. Skill-based roleplaying, check."

    Hey its a plot for an RPG.
     
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  6. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    As I said in my earlier post, the overall plot similarity between Fallout and Wasteland might indeed be a coincidence. But I think fantasy/D&D tropes are more universal and thus more likely to be replicated coincidentally.

    In the interview, Leonard says they started out making a Mad Max-like post-apocalyptic RPG without the 50s stuff - which is what Wasteland was like. But in fact we know that there were different concepts for what became Fallout even before that, really weird ones like the dinosaur time travel stuff. Does it not make sense then that Wasteland was the direct inspiration when they did switch to the post-apocalypse?
     
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  7. conan_edw Educated

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    but what about my indiana:argh:
     
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  8. Diggfinger Savant

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    I think both Tim and Leonard stated abundantly clear that Wasteland was not a major influence.
    As mentioned, Tim said in GDC talk that he only played it later, and now Leonard said (again) that we hadnt played it and that it didnt change anything design-wise.

    Maybe Anderson had played it - since he drafted the story for Wasteland 2 before the Kickstarter, that would be interesting to know...
     
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  9. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

    Jaesun
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    Cavalier Oblique. After all these years, we now know the answer....

    :salute:
     
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  10. i.Razor Learned Patron

    i.Razor
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    Very Interesting
     
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  11. Diggfinger Savant

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    part 3 of the interview out not now!!

    Talks about
    Arcanum, Diablo 3, and VTM: Bloodlines

    Show Spoiler
    SPECIAL-GUEST APPEARANCE BY TIM CAIN!!!
    :bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce:



    Infinitron can you please rate this post 'old' and move to relevant spot?
    Seems I cant post in this forum. Thx.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
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  12. Diggfinger Savant

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    Hate it when people confuse it with isometric, losers:roll:

    It's like assholes incapable of distinguishing randomness with uniform permutation without repetition:hahano:
     
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  13. ArchAngel Magister

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    So the video is not out?
    Show Spoiler
    :positive:
     
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