- Tim Cain, the co-creator and lead programmer of Fallout, recently discussed ideas for a potential Fallout Remake.
- Cain’s vision for the remake includes an explorable map with procedural generation, a cleaner UI, enhanced AI, improved artwork, creature respawning, a deeper level of NPC reactivity, and improved ending slides.
- A significant aspect of the remake, termed the “massive mechanics pass”, would involve a comprehensive overhaul of the SPECIAL ruleset and the game’s skills and perks.
Online discussion forums have been a hive of activity lately around the Fallout post-apocalyptic role-playing game franchise. These conversations have covered everything from the much awaited Fallout 3 remaster to the widely anticipated Amazon TV series adaption. But in the midst of all of this chatter, one important discussion seems to have been overlooked: the fascinating idea of rebuilding the original Fallout game and the potential implications of doing so.
Fallout, a 1997 game developed by Interplay Entertainment, has yielded four mainstream titles and seven spin-offs. The majority of gamers nowadays tend to ignore the two excellent isometric RPGs, Fallout 1 and 2, in favor of the open-world first-person shooters Bethesda created after obtaining the Fallout IP.
However, ardent followers of the Fallout series will recall clearly the first game, which presented us to a 22nd-century post-apocalyptic world. In the wake of a worldwide nuclear war that broke out in the latter half of the twenty-first century, the majority of the world was reduced to a barren wasteland, and those who survived sought sanctuary in enormous subterranean shelters known as Vaults.
This is where the protagonist, also known as the Vault Dweller, first appears. Vault 13, one of the several vaults dispersed over the wasteland, is home to the Vault Dweller. The breakdown of Vault 13’s water filtration system marks the start of our Fallout adventure. The Vault Dweller is selected to go out into the wastes in search of a replacement Water Chip, an essential part of the purification system, since the Vault’s water supply is running low.
On this treacherous voyage, the Vault Dweller comes across mutant animals, rival groups, and ruins of an ancient civilization. The Super Mutants are a race of mutated humans that the Vault Dweller learns about along the journey and who constitute a serious threat to the remaining human population. As the Vault Dweller discovers more about the Super Mutants’ beginnings and their creator, the Master, the story continues to take on new dimensions.
Players could explore a large open world in Fallout that featured moral decisions, turn-based combat, and character customization. Players’ choices affected how the game ended, with several different results depending on what they did during the game. Even though the 1998 sequel retained these essential elements and gameplay principles, many die-hard fans—including myself—agree that the first game is still superior to the second. This feeling is what keeps us optimistic about a faithful reimagining of the renowned Fallout original game that does not sacrifice any of its essential elements.
Fallout co-creator and main programmer Tim Cain recently responded to QA tester Evan Chantland (who pointed out that Fallout 2 contains an Easter Egg featuring a deceased person whose headstone has the same name) with his ideas for a possible Fallout remake. Cain starts off by going into further detail on what a Fallout remake would entail, which is essentially bringing the game up to date with modern standards while keeping the main components of the original Fallout game.
Cain goes on to outline a few of the modifications he would make in the remake, starting with the addition of an explorable map. With the addition of procedural creation, players would be able to explore a wider range of environments, such as mountains, caverns, and ancient ruins.
Cain then discusses the significance of having a UI that is clearer and easier to use, as well as the requirement for improved AI for companions. He also recommends a total redesign of the game’s artwork to make it more intricately detailed and appropriate for high-definition screens.
Another suggestion he makes would be to include creature respawn points, which would provide more life to the gaming environment. A higher level cap would probably be included in a remake for gamers who enjoy a true challenge, however Cain does imply that this would be an optional feature.
Regarding increased responsiveness, Cain wants NPCs to react more to choices made by the player regarding their gear, friends, and previous deeds. To provide a higher degree of reactivity, throughout gameplay, maps would also be updated in response to player actions, which would also cause dialogue to alter.
Better ending slides are a great suggestion if you enjoy viewing the decisions you made during the game and how they’ve affected different characters. This entails resolving issues with the original game and including additional concluding slides that explain the long-term effects of a player’s choices.
What Cain calls the “massive mechanics pass” is a full revamp, and it’s the most intriguing feature. The SPECIAL ruleset—which includes Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck—is one of the main areas of emphasis for this comprehensive overhaul. In order to increase the impact of Charisma, Cain proposes increasing the number of Charisma checks and enabling it to affect dialogue interactions, party size, and companion recruiting.
Along with Agility, which was regarded as quite advantageous in the original game, intelligence would also be altered. This would mean altering the Fallout: New Vegas skill point distribution and increasing Intelligence’s adaptability.
A review of skills would also be conducted, since Cain advocated eliminating First Aid and Doctor. In addition, he intends to reconsider the value of gambling and possibly incorporate it into other game elements. Additionally, Cain suggests a careful analysis of benefits with an emphasis on improving and rebalancing them.
Moreover, a Fallout Remake would remove duplication, guaranteeing that every bonus aids in character growth while maintaining the integrity of the game. Cain admitted that some benefits associated with globe maps were negligible or perhaps detrimental to the experience. He intends to improve or replace these benefits, highlighting the importance of encounters and exploration.
Cain plans to raise the level cap or offer extra means to further character development in order to address the issue of how the level cap affects the availability of perks. Cain also intends to balance and standardize qualities such that they provide meaningful options for character development. He states that instead of sticking to a small number of overpowered alternatives like Gifted, he wants players to think about attributes based on the role and playstyle of their character.
If you’ve carefully reviewed these elements, you’ll notice that even with all of their modifications, Fallout’s basic design principles remain intact. The isometric perspective is still how players will navigate the game world (although, Fallout technically employs a trimetric perspective, but we won’t delve into that). With a few small tweaks, combat will still be turn-based and utilize an action-point system. The game will still be based on the SPECIAL qualities.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you think a Fallout remake with these features would be exciting, or are there any particular ideas you would like to see included? Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.