Chad Moore Interview

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“An Unfortunate Affair a story by Sir Chadwick Moore,” reads one of Arcanum’s loading screens presented as a magazine cover. For years, I treated it as such - a mere loading screen. However, during a recent replay of Arcanum, that screen caught my eye for some reason, sending me on a little investigative trip.

And as it turns out, that story actually exists (you can read it over here) and Sir Chadwick Moore, or rather Chad Moore, is very much a real person and a bit of a Renaissance man among RPG developers. Over the years he's worked on numerous notable titles, including Fallout 2, Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, and even WildStar, Carbine Studios’ short-lived MMORPG.

Chad’s areas of expertise include scripting, writing and narrative design, character modelling and animation, and even voice acting direction. And right now, he’s directing a yet to be announced and mystery-shrouded RPG over at inXile Entertainment.

Having discovered all that, I simply had to learn more about this veteran developer who, up until recently, was very much off my radar. Here’s the resulting interview:

GameBanshee: You’ve been in the video game industry for over two decades and in that time, you wore plenty of hats. Cinematics, voice acting direction, programming, writing and world building. Can you tell me a bit about how you got into the industry and how you’ve managed to acquire such a varied skillset?

Chad Moore: That’s a pretty long story, but I’ll do my best to summarize the high points. Back in the early 90’s, I got some experience using a 3D package called Alias – and I leveraged that knowledge (in conjunction with what might be the worst demo reel in recorded history) to land a job at Brian Fargo’s Interplay in 1995. While there, I worked on a PS1 game called Red Asphalt (which was originally meant to be the sequel to the Rock-n-Roll Racing) modeling cars and environments. I also decided that this fun little racing game required extensive backstory, lore, and character development – parts of which eventually ended up taking up more than half of the game’s manual. This was an omen of things to come.

Being at Interplay, and by extension Black Isle studios, I was around some of the industry’s most skilled RPG makers. That’s where I met Leonard Boyarsky, Jason Anderson and Tim Cain (the original creators of Fallout) – which eventually led me to Troika Games where I really developed my RPG chops working on games like Arcanum and Vampire, along with continuing to hone my skill as a 3D artist. After a brief stint as a Lead Character Artist at Treyarch Studios, I joined Carbine Studios - where I was reunited with many of my old colleagues from both Interplay and Troika to help them create the game world and narrative for WildStar, an MMO that released in 2014. At that point, I decided to break completely from my career as an artist, and focused solely on my skills as a designer, world-builder, and storyteller.

Fast forward to 2019, and I join the team at inXile – where I’ve once again joined forces with both Brian Fargo and Jason Anderson to lead the team that’s creating the company’s next-gen RPG. Needless to say, I’m very much enjoying my new gig.

GB: Over the years, you had a hand in creating a number of notable RPGs. Fallout 2, Arcanum, Bloodlines, just to name a few. Is there any reason why you were drawn to this particular genre?

CM: I’ve always been a storyteller at heart. I spent a lot of time as a kid writing stories on an honest-to-god manual typewriter. I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, and was an avid comic book collector for many years. RPGs were just the natural extension of these interests, which presented a more interactive way of living in these fantastic worlds. Where you could be the hero of your own story. It’s one of the reasons I still love the genre to this day, especially when I get to help create the world, its characters, and its stories from the ground up.