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News Opinions 18 January 2023, 17:55

author: Darius Matusiak

Fallout Dev on How he Messed up Game's Balance

How to spoil the fun in a game with one small detail? This is what the author of this „fix” knows best! Feargus Urquhart revealed to us how he once broke Fallout.

Fallout is one of the most iconic and acclaimed series in computer gaming. It all started in 1997, with an isometric RPG, which seemingly was just a spiritual heir to a game released five years earlier - Wastelands. However, it instantly became not only the best RPG of that year, but also one of the most important games of all time. Players appreciated the breath of fresh air in the form of post-apocaliptic climates instead of the Tolkien-esque fantasy that dominated at the time. The emphasis on the main protagonist's character and the consequences of the choices were not insignificant.

  1. Read our interview with Feargus Urquhart, father of many an iconic RPG
Fallout Dev on How he Messed up Games Balance - picture #1
Fallout, Interplay Entertainment, 1997

Although at the mention of the origins of Fallout you will mainly find names such as Tim Cain, Christopher Taylor and Brian Fargo, the current president of Obsidian Entertainemnt, Feargus Urquhart - head of the former Black Isle Studios - was also involved in the development of the game.. Let the silent hero of the year award he received in 1999 from IGN attest to how important a figure he was at the time. Despite the huge success of Fallout, not everything was perfect in the game, and Feargus himself is blamed for one of the slip-ups:

"I will go back to Fallout 1. Towards the end of the game, I wanted the player to get rewarded for doing some stuff. I had to create what we called “The Turbo Plasma Rifle,” which was the plasma rifle that took one less Action Point to use. The problem was that the amount of damage you could do per AP was way off the charts. It made that part of the game too easy and it was too late for us to understand. So, I personally unbalanced Fallout at the end of the game. So, I always reflect that little changes can have a big effect."

So, as you can see, back in the 1990s, and in purely single-player gameplay, there were bugs that today mainly afflict players of online shooters. After all, fans are well aware of small fixes that completely disrupt the use of various weapons in Call of Duty, Apex Legends and other titles. And since Feargus felt leaving such an oversight in a single-player game, it may be an indication of his meticulousness and desire to deliver the most polished products possible.

If you want to know more tidbits from the work on Black Isle Studios' and Obsidian Entertainent's cult RPGs, be sure to check out this interview. Our editor managed to get Feargus Urquhart not only to make some really interesting memories, but also to reveal his plans for the future. So are there chances for a new Fallout from Obsidian? A new, better New Vegas? Be sure to read our interview, and you might learn a thing or two.

Darius Matusiak

Darius Matusiak

A wannabe fighter pilot, racing driver, and a spec-op; an adventurer and a space marine – hence, a gamer. I’ve been playing games since Wing Commander, and writing since Destiny.




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