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Monday, April 27, 2009

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Fallout 2 Developers Reminisce
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Good Old Games has released a second new Fallout retrospective article, this one focusing on the second game in the post apocalyptic RPG series, Fallout 2. In addition to describing the gameplay and storyline which made the title a hit with fans, the article also features commentary from designers Chris Avellone, Tim Cain, and Chris Taylor.

Avellone was no stranger to the ripple effects made by every in-game decision. "I felt an intense desire to murder the kids in the Den when I realized they were stealing my stuff," he recalls from one early play session. "Then I realized that if I did that, I would be stigmatized in the game. This was a holdover from the original designers for Fallout 2, their souls be damned."

As the development clock clicked inexorably toward milestones, the team subjected themselves to as much overtime as was required to ship the product they had envisioned. "We were tweaking the boxing ring rules in New Reno literally in the last hour before the game was scheduled for its final submission," Avellone says. "We probably should have downscaled the game, but even cutting an area or two would have required extensive bug-fixing at that time, and we didn't have all the QA support--or even the developers able to test stuff--at the end. I do know that San Francisco almost got completely rebuilt in the last few weeks of dev time; designer John Deiley locked himself in his room for two weeks to redesign the area."

Fallout 2's development also contained its fair share of snafus that, despite the hectic pace of the schedule, made for fond recollections. "Ron Perlman threatened to kill me for how I wrote the end-game narrative text," Avellone says, grinning. "It had some pretty horrible lines for any voice actor to try and say. I wasn't there at the session, but the audio producer brought in mp3s of Ron Perlman threatening to kill me, my family, and I believe my dog, even though I don't have a dog. It was pretty scary.

"To conclude the tale, I had to sit in on a voice session with him for Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter, but he didn't know who I was. Then I had to explain he was going to be playing a transvestite dragon [in Heart of Winter], and I got that sinking feeling he would simply murder me for the hell of it."
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Good Old Games: Fallout 2 Retrospective
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