10 Things You Never Knew About Fallout 4’s Development
Fallout 4 took the solid foundation built by its predecessor and created a playground for fans to enjoy. The value of the Workshop DLC and other content is debatable, but the story its development matters.
Fallout 3 proved that one of the best isometric RPGs ever could transition into a first-person shooter while staying true to its roots. The sequel has its flaws, but it expanded and built on content in ways most franchises haven’t bothered to attempt. The stories that come along with a development cycle that ambitious can’t help but surprise you.
10 The Setting Almost Wasn’t Boston
While it’s hard to imagine Fallout 4 without its Boston setting today, Todd Howard and others had cold feet during development. The top brass wanted to go back to the drawing board and choose an entirely new location.
After taking another look at the maps developed for Boston, the team became convinced that what they had was too great to throw away. Despite a sudden case of cold feet, the decision to place Fallout 4 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts remained.
9 Conrad Kellogg Voice Actor Controversy
AAA game developers have a reputation for secrecy to avoid leaks, but Bethesda’s actions surrounding Fallout 4 stirred a whirlwind of controversy. At the time of writing, the Screen Actor’s Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists continue to strike against any company in the gaming industry until fundamental issues get addressed.
So, what’s all the fuss? Keythe Farley performed as Conrad Kellogg without even knowing he was playing a major (and one of the evilest) characters. While companies have to keep their secrets, this one arguably robbed Mr. Farley of the ability to properly negotiate a fee for his services.
8 A Focus On Adding Color
Fallout isn’t a series known for vibrant colors, but developers wanted to include fewer drab or muted colors in its fourth iteration. The amazing concept art alone shows that the artists wanted to inject more color into the game. Even Todd Howard admits that Bethesda became too obsessed with the color brown while developing Skyrim.
Adam Adamowicz, an artist who worked on the game and sadly passed away from cancer in 2012, made significant contributions toward this effort. Everything from the character creation to Boston itself largely owes its colors to Mr. Adamowicz.
7 The Wasteland Taskforce
Nothing feels worse than walking into a highly anticipated open-world to discover it’s vapid and empty. If we can’t believe that we’re in Boston in Fallout 4, it’s impossible to suspend disbelief and get lost in the world.
As Boston started to take shape during the development of Fallout 4, Bethesda created what it called “The Wasteland Taskforce.” This group dedicated itself to walking through sections of the city to ensure that they created the best settlements in the game.
6 More Original Pitches Got Into The Game Than Normal
Todd Howard especially put his foot entirely inside his mouth with promises for Fallout 76, but its predecessor mostly delivered on its original concepts. Compared to a disaster like Cyberpunk 2077, Fallout 4 looks like a saintly attempt at an AAA title.
Bethesda imagined that the Workshop content would only wind up in the hands of Steam modders eventually. While the follow-through is debatable, Bethesda seems to have made an honest effort for Fallout 4.
5 The Lead Producer Thought the Workshop Would Get Cut
The lead producer of Fallout 4 felt that the workshop content was most likely out of everything to get cut. The entire concept scared the team at Bethesda, and getting it right meant complicated elements had to come together.
While it wasn’t perfect, it’s still easy for gamers to get lost building settlements in Fallout 4. Understandably, the development team also found itself lost in the content for quite some time. Meanwhile, it’s easy to continue to miss the brighter spots of something like the Vault-Tec DLC.
4 Power Armor Was The First Asset In The Game
The tradition that started without Fallout 3 continued with its sequel. The first asset created for the game was power armor (and you could always use some pro tips for how to get the most out of the suits), based on stories told by Todd Howard.
Howard had an obsession with getting this part right because it’s such an essential part of the world. An update to the series had to honor the past while carving its own space in the Fallout world.
3 Just Over 100 People Worked On The Game
When you imagine AAA development, companies with thousands of employees and immense resources come to mind. Rows and rows of cubicles full of people working away to meet deadline crunch must be necessary to produce massive games like Fallout 4, right?
The sequel’s development started immediately after releasing Fallout 3 with a dedicated team of just over 100 people. The amount of content that many people produced is a staggering achievement.
2 Developers Hid a Room in Fallout 4
Bethesda hid a secret room in Skyrim and tradition continued with Fallout 4. Pull up the console commands prompt, type “COC QASMOKE” and the game teleports you to a room with every weapon, armor, and more in the game.
This cheat room likely got used by developers or quality analysts to test the game as well. If you’ve always dreamed of having every weapon in Fallout 4, this is your ticket to turn that fantasy into a reality. Unless you want to ruin your first playthrough, it’s best to do this after beating the game.
1 One Gun To Start
From the start of development, the team knew that thousands of weapons would have to exist in Fallout 4. Creating them in groups and then spending too much time on crafting individuality felt unwieldy.
Todd Howard says to make things work they developed a gun system before designing the rest of the sniper rifles, shotguns, etc. As a result, the game only had one gun that could become any gun in the game before adding the others.
Next: 10 Fallout RPGs To Play If You Like Fallout 4
- Fallout 4
Aaron Wolfe is a freelance writer from Seattle, WA. He has experience as an English Language Arts Teacher with reading and writing specialist endorsements. Aaron also worked with Microsoft Partners to transition businesses to cloud solutions. He’s a life-long gamer and PC enthusiast with a passion for collecting retro games.
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