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Monday, October 8, 2007

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

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the release of Fallout, an award winning RPG set on a post apocalyptic Earth. To celebrate the event No Mutants Allowed has been offering interviews, images, and other bits of nostalgia related to the game. The most recent addition to the list is a retrospective Q&A with commentary from Fallout designers Leonard Boyarsky, Chris Taylor, Feargus Urquhart, Chris Avellone, and J.E. Sawyer.

6. Any idea why there were almost no more turn-based cRPGs after Fallout?
Leonard Boyarsky
Iím sure people were intimidated by its enormous financial success. Seriously, though - marketing, PR and even execs in the game industry are convinced that you canít make big money with a turn based game, so no one tries. Now, I donít know whether you could actually go huge with a turn based game (on the PC) anymore, but, unless someone actually puts out a good one with proper marketing and PR support weíll never know, will we?

J.E. Sawyer
I think a lot of it has to do with the perceived acceptability of certain play modes among PC gamers and retailers. Games like Darklands showed that real-time with pause RPGs could be pretty fun. The Baldur's Gate series was such a huge financial success that it must have seemed like real-time with pause was the inescapable evolution of RPG combat.
I think ToEE was the last strong showing of any turn-based PC CRPG, but it was plagued by two problems: it was pretty buggy, and low-level D&D combat in a CRPG is incredibly dull. After patching, learning the D&D rules, and getting to about 4th level, it was great fun. Still, I doubt it made a lot of random shmoe gamers jump up and declare that turn-based combat was the most rad thing they had ever experienced.
To be honest, I don't think most gamers actually care a whole lot about whether combat in a CRPG is turn-based or real-time. They just want it to be fun and interesting. I think that convincing retailers that you can have fun and interesting turn-based combat is more difficult than convincing the mythical average gamer. Retailers and publishers get locked in cycles of self-fulfilling prophecies about the viability of certain game elements.
For the rest of the Q&A and links to other Fallout related materials head over to the NMA website linked below.

NMA: Fallout Anniversary
NMA: Fallout Retrospective Interview
Omni Group
Fallout 2
Buy Fallout 2

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