Taking Back Fallout

Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart took a moment out of his day to field a bunch of questions about the Fallout franchise over at Gamasutra, though most of the interview obviously focuses on the direction they're taking Fallout: New Vegas. A couple of excerpts:
In my demonstration of Fallout: New Vegas, it looks like you took a lot more influence from 1950s sci-fi, which I associate with the older Fallout games. The gecko lizard monster and Rusty the Robot looks very vintage, more so than Fallout 3, I would say. Were you really trying to home in on that?

FU: Exactly. Whenever I used to sell Fallout in the years of bygone, the idea was that it had sustained the 1950s for a hundred years. That's how we always looked at it. What Bethesda did is still the '50s; it's still that vibe, but I think actually where you see the difference is that we're doing it with Las Vegas. Vegas is supposed to be more... I don't want to say "campy", but it's supposed to be more "surface". You've just got to keep pushing it.


You were saying earlier that you looked to a lot of what the PC modding community has done to Fallout 3, and you're taking some of the more interesting tweaks and putting them right in the game, like a hardcore mode and weapons modification. How did you approach that?

FU: It's great whenever you're working with an engine or tools that have actually been released to the community. It's the hacker analogy. It's like five programmers trying to stop a thousand hackers from doing something. It's the same thing here: you have all of these guys out there who are figuring out ways to use this technology and engine in ways no one originally intended.

And that happens internally as well, with our own internal engine, or when the guys are using the Bethesda stuff. You're just thinking, "What happens if I do this?" And you're like, "Wow! How did you make that?" You suddenly get these really cool things out of playing within this box. And that's what the modders do, because they can't recode everything. They don't have access to that, so they just start pushing and pulling.

You get some really interesting things out of it. It was a good place for us to start, to look at all of the strange things they've been doing, even just to help us learn this engine and see what it can do.