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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

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A History Of Fallout
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

No Mutants Allowed recently posted a detailed examination of the history of the classic post apocalyptic RPG, Fallout. Based primarily on quotes from the original developers the history maps out the game's path from its GURPS roots to its eventual release in 1997.

Fallout originally started out as the first computer game based on GURPS , a well-know pen and paper role-playing system. Initially, Tim Cain was the sole person involved in the project, programming the incipient game engine himself. The goal of the project was to create a computer game that was “as close as you can get to playing GURPS, short of playing GURPS.” The game apparently succeeded in this aim, as Steve Jackson Games was very satisfied with the implementation of GURPS. Tim Cain spent plenty of time getting the complex rules of GURPS advanced combat just right, until he was convinced he had developed an engine that "plays very quickly, and accurately reflects actual fighting."

In early 1997, in the midst of Fallout’s development, Steve Jackson Games and Interplay terminated their deal. Apparently, Steve Jackson Games was satisfied with everything but for the Vault Boy pictures in the character screen, and the execution scene in the introduction. As the split between Fallout and GURPS became imminent, Steve Jackson remarked “The GURPS implementation they've created is *worth* saving.” When the contract was referenced over approval rights, Interplay discovered several flaws, which in turn developed into a legal squabble over the contract itself. Eventually, the companies ended with a mutual decision to part ways. Chris Taylor, while agreeing that the split was a blow to the project, said "instead of compromising and making an inferior product -- Fallout will be produced with conviction."

With the loss of rights to use GURPS, the Fallout team worked intensely to develop a suitable replacement, one that would work with the completed combat engine. After a few weeks the team had created SPECIAL (originally named ACELIPS, and changed for good reason), developed specifically to work with the designs originally meant for GURPS.
Check out the full history at the link below.

NMA: The History Of Fallout

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