I sat down with Jason Fader, technical producer for Fallout New Vegas to ask him some questions about the upcoming game.
I started off the interview by asking how the shift to 3D changed the way they approached development. He replied that since Fallout 3 had already developed the engine, most of the tools they needed were already in place and that development was very intuitive. Since they already had that leg up, they were able to focus more on making the environment work for quests and story.
I followed up with a question about what his favorite part of working on the project was, and he emphatically answered, “showing it off at E3.” He said it is always a blast to see what fans have to say about games you make. In regards to the gameplay, he really enjoyed seeing the strip come to life in New Vegas. He also really loved the improvements to the system like the new speech and sneaking options and the companion system. He said that companions are now more like a “loyal sidekick” and have much more backstory and interaction with the player.
When asked about which vault is his personal favorite, he said he wasn’t sure which game it is in, but one of the vaults has a sort of Logan’s Run feel to it. Its twist is that there are elections for the position of Overseer, and then when the term is up, the person is executed. Naturally, the position actually has less appeal that way, and the propaganda posters try to make you NOT vote for the candidate. “Don’t vote for this guy, he’s terrible. Please vote for the other guy.”
I then asked about the setting for Fallout New Vegas; how did the team pick Vegas? He said that the original Fallout 3 was to be set in Colorado, but when Bethesda pitched the idea of a Fallout game to Obsidian, they suggested Vegas. That idea became popular and was greenlit very quickly. When I followed up with where he’d like to see it go next, he said that it will really depend on who makes the next Fallout game. If Bethesda works on it, it would probably end up on the east coast, but of Obsidian makes the next one, it will stay on the west coast. Personally, he’d love to make Fallout in Hawaii.
As a last question, I asked what longterm fans of the series will be able to find as easter eggs. He replied that the entire game is one big easter egg for fans. The New California Republic and Caesar’s Legion both featured prominently in the first two games, and even the super mutants will be more familiar to fans because the species seen in Fallout 3 is different. Fans might also be able to recognize a few characters or locations, but he didn’t specify which ones those might be.
On behalf of RandomNPC and myself, I’d like to thank Jason Fader and the entire Bethesda and Obsidian team for taking some time to sit down and chat with me. Fallout New Vegas will be available later this October.