If there's one word to describe Fallout, it would be: explosive. The post-apocalyptic survival game, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary, launched a decades-long franchise that's included open-world games, building and management simulators, and an MMORPG that's still going strong. In 2012, programmer, designer, and producer Timothy Cain held one of GDC's most-popular Classic Game Postmortem talks on the video game that went nuclear. Now, he's returning to GDC Showcase this June to revisit his beloved series.
Timothy will be the guest of honor at a virtual rewatch and live discussion of his 2012 Classic Game Postmortem on Fallout. In a chat with GDC, Timothy noted how excited he was to be able to return to his 2012 talk—as well as GDC itself, in an accessible virtual setting.
“Some people, especially indies and those from other countries, have a lot of trouble making it to GDC in San Francisco. Having a virtual event lets a lot more people attend one of these things and have input, where otherwise they might not have been able to do it.” he said.
The first Fallout game offered players a post-apocalyptic open world filled with distinctive characters, moral dilemmas, and quests that could be solved in multiple, oftentimes unconventional ways. Timothy Cain, who was the producer, lead programmer, and one of the primary designers for the beloved game, delivered a talk on how he helped create a franchise that set a new standard for open-world RPGs and still resonates with players.
But he still has so much more to share.
For example, Timothy noted how many people he wished he'd talked more about in his 2012 session—like composer Mark Morgan, who created the incredible music for the first two Fallout games. He also shared his enthusiasm for how Bethesda's continued the Fallout series, especially when it comes to one of the franchise's most-important features: The Vaults.
"Bethesda is really good at making games. I'm very happy that they took this setting and gave it a very long set of legs," he said. "There was something that we had thought of but didn't do in Fallout, that we started doing in Fallout 2: We realized there weren't enough Vaults to really save everyone. There were, like, 1,000 Vaults for 1,000 people, and that's only a million people being saved in a country that we said had 200 to 300-million people in it. One of the ideas we had was that the Vaults really weren't to save people, they were experiments. They were sociological and psychological experiments, so that the government could eventually make a multigenerational spaceship that could reach another star, because they thought the Earth would be unrecoverable.
"What I love is they did, in later Fallout games, have that idea—that Vaults were experiments. I wish they had pushed the storyline more, that they were experiments with an ultimate purpose towards going to the stars. But I'm just happy to see that story—not story, justifications for what people assumed were just 'gamey' additions to the game."
But that's not all! GDC is also thrilled to announce a second Classic Game Postmortem rewatch and live discussion on Lemmings. Venture off the proverbial cliff with co-creator Mike Dailly as he looks back on the creation of the seminal DMA Design puzzle-platform game starring those allegedly death-seeking rodents, which debuted on Amiga in 1991 and subsequently appeared on a multitude of other platforms.
These sessions are a fantastic opportunity to meet with the developers of these games in an intimate setting and ask them about their work, their process, and the legacy their creations have left (not to mention getting that great insider commentary on some classic GDC talks!). It's all part of GDC Showcase, an online event happening June 27-29 dedicated to bringing 3 days of great content and networking to the online global community, through our easy and accessible virtual event platform.
Join Timothy and Mike at GDC Showcase for a deep dive into two of the most-influential games of the 1990s—and bring your questions!
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