The Origins of Fallout, Part Three

No Mutants Allowed has published the third and final part of the Origins of Fallout. It's also the densest in information, as R. Scott Campbell goes over key design and setting points like FEV, China being the enemy, bottle caps, and several bits of cut content.
I remember my fellow Fallout designer, Brian Freyermuth, asking how much something will cost in a shop. I remember thinking, (cost what?) What was our game currency? We went through a few ideas:
  • A pure bartering system? Nah, that would be difficult for the player to understand the worth of anything. (Two molerat pelts for a cup of coffee? Is that good?)
  • Bullets as the currency? I gotta admit, bullets are definitely useful in the wasteland. But that idea was shot down (sorry) when we realized that people would be very hesitant to use things like machineguns, since every trigger-pull would directly lower their bank accounts! That level of financial restraint wouldn't be enjoyable.
  • Credit cards ? just the hard plastic cards, of course - but most would have probably been melted in the nuclear firestorms.
So, I thought, what shiny token-sized thing would you find strewn around the trash piles? Something common, but not so common as to be everywhere? Bottlecaps, of course! (That, and I liked the idea of a string of caps on a chord that jingled when people pulled them out.)