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Posted by Odin

  1. Tell us a little about yourself, what have you accomplished in life?

    Well, I started out as a programmer working in machine code, assembly, and Pascal MT. Iíve automated testing facilities and written software for satellite link up teleconferencing systems for major corporations. Iíve also worked as a computer/network technician. However, my greatest joy in life was when I became a designer for Black Isle Studios. I love the creativity and the way it letís me express myself. If I could choose what to be remembered for, it would be my work as a designer.

  2. What are your favourite computer games/board games and why?

    So many choicesÖ I would have to say the Wizardry, Ultima, and Might and Magic games to begin with. Iím a die hard fantasy role playing fan and those games made me happy in their day. After that Iíd go with the Thief series because I like skulking around and getting away with stuff. Deus Ex for many of the same reasons. System Shock I and II because they were just so well done and engrossing games. Fallout simply because itís Fallout. Now Iím hooked on online role playing games.

  3. What hobbies do you have besides computer games?

    I love sci fi and fantasy movies and novels. I like to swim and bike ride. I like fine foods and the restaurants that serve them. I play DnD and GURPS when I get the chance. I love running DnD games.

  4. What are your favourite bands/artists (music) ?

    Well, I donít really have any one favourite. Iím way too picky when it comes to my music choices and all too often I will buy an album for one song only. I listen to Pat Benetar, Heart, Queensryche, Enya, Elton JohnÖ but only select songs from each artist. I donít much care for country (depressing), rap (canít understand most of the words) or ďscreamin demonĒ music (I listen to music to relax, not develop anger or angst).

  5. Tell us a little about your role in the making of Fallout 1/2/3 (Van Buren)/Tactics ?

    Fallout 1: I was asked to sit in a room by myself, play it, and then give my opinions on it. After a couple hours of play I was in Tim Caineís office asking if I could work on the project. Unfortunately, the team was full.

    Fallout 2: I worked on several areas of the game. I was responsible for the Temple of Trials at the beginning and several quests within the village. I was responsible for Vault 13, Vault 15, Navaro, and NCR. I also helped with several smaller areas but canít say that I remember much about them.

    Fallout 3: I was responsible for around five areas in this game, one of which was a very major area that could have a huge impact on the game as a whole. Iíd love to give details on themÖ but Iím not sure if I can release any of that information. Itís the property of Interplay Entertainment Corp.

  6. Whatís your favourite Fallout memory?

    The people I worked with. It was a pleasure knowing them all. Also, the release parties!

  7. What specifically inspired Fallout for you? What were the biggest influences?

    Iím a huge ďBĒ movie fan and used to watch things like ďThemĒ (giant mutated ants) andÖ Hmm. Thereís so many of them that I can picture in my mind but canít recall the titles of. Sorry.

  8. Pop Culture played a big role in Fallout, what pop culture influences you?

    I have no clue what influences me (except maybe the full moon). Iím a pretty ďoff the beaten pathĒ kind of guy who doesnít know from one minute to the next what will set me off on a path of inspiration or a bout of temporary insanity. People tell me Iím a great designer one day and an overbearing freak the next. All I can say is that they are probably right on both accounts. I cared about the games I made. They were a passion for me that, at times, I let get out of hand.

  9. How was it to be a part of the Fallout team?

    It was an awesome experience. I got to work with some really talented people who I grew to love and respect. I learned a lot from those people and I hope I passed on something to them as well. If I had it all to do over again, I wouldnít change a thing, but Iíd love to relive it.

  10. Were there things that you wished you had added to either Fallouts?

    Oh yeah. As a designer youíre never (at least in my case) satisfied with how things turn out. There are always things that can be added in or improved upon. Unfortunately, there are also things called deadlines and time constraints that, in the end, win out. As for specifics, Iím a very story oriented person. I would like to have improved upon the story elements throughout my areas, fleshed out the characters more, and improved upon the quests.

  11. What were you favourite places in fallout and why?

    Hmm. Well, I canít put my finger on any one particular area that stood out for me. I liked the game as a whole. Also, Iím one of those players who are more interested in exploring a game world than playing the game per se. I loved running around and looking at everything. It all had merit and added to the gaming experience.

  12. What is your hope for future Fallout games? Would you like to be a part of a future Fo team?

    I can only hope that a developer who really cares for Fallout and the universe itís based in gets the license. I donít want to see the game cheapened in order for someone to just ďmake a buckĒ or go with the prevailing trend of console gaming. I think a massively multiplayer online version of Fallout would be nice.

    Would I like to be part of a future team? Absolutely. I canít think of a better future.

  13. Who would you bring with you in a future Fallout team and why?

    Iíd gather as many of the original team members from all the Fallout projects as I could. They were all talented and dedicated people with a passion for their work. Every one of them made Fallout the legend that it is today. Every one of them deserves the opportunity to work on whatever arises out of the ashes that once was FalloutÖ

    I wonít mention any specific names because I donít want to leave anyone out and offend them by omission.

  14. In your opinion, what are the key ingredients that every RPG should have?

    Story depth: I think that people enjoy a good story and get tired of senseless hack and slash just for the sake of loot and levelling. Thereís nothing wrong with loot and levelling, but Iíd rather it be for the sake of something meaningful. In my opinion that something is an engrossing story.

    Choices: Being presented with dilemmas and having the choices you make produce meaningful changes within the gaming world. People want to know that their characters make a difference. They want their characterís lives to be meaningful and shape the world around them. They want to have an impact on others.

    Simplicity and Diversity: Players donít want to read a manual or play a game that has a learning curve of hours. Keep it simple. However, people do want a variety of things to do in a game other than just beating on mobs. There should be a variety of things for players to do and each of them should produce a meaningful result and/or reward for the player.

    Heroism: Players play rpg games to be the hero. They want to kick butt, they want to be better than everyone else, and they want to be recognized for it. Find a way to give them that feeling of ďI, and I alone, saved the day!Ē and they will love you for it.

    Thereís so much more that I could add to this list. Itís by no means complete, but those are the ones that come to mind for me when I play a game.

  15. Where do you see computer RPGs going?

    Down the toiletÖ Most small companies wonít touch an rpg. The time required to do a good rpg is huge and the resources needed far exceed those of other types of games. Imagine testing a game that has a couple hundred quests with multiple solutions for each quest and then take into consideration the ingenuity of human beings when it comes to finding ways around thingsÖ The resources required to create the game, test it, and then fix all the bugs are enormous (Iím talking meaningful content here, not courier quests).

    Also, many larger companies wonít touch an rpg either, even though they have the resources. Big companies are interested in as much profit as possible for as little expenditure as possible. I hate to admit it, but rpgís are a niche market. When you compare their sales figures to other games and then take into consideration the resources and time needed to make themÖ they donít make good business sense to bean counters.

  16. How does the fan base hinder/help the projects that youíve worked on?

    There are a lot of good people out there with a lot of good ideas. We made an effort to listen to every one of them and design the game accordingly.

  17. When planning the story how do you go through the process of integrating themes and story with the constraints on software?

    As a designer, I donít even try. I leave that up to the people who know those issues best. I design an area and try to put as much interesting and fun stuff in it as possible. I then turn it over to the scripters (who deal with the programmers) and let them decide what is and isnít possible. After all, thatís their field of expertise. Then I try to compromise and make whatever corrections to the design are needed that will cause the least trouble and keep the most fun content.

  18. If you could make any computer game that you wanted, which would it be and why?

    Two games come to mind. First, Fallout Online. I think that online games are the way of the future and that a Fallout title would do exceptionally well. Second, Iíve been working on a traditional Final Fantasy type console rpg. I love those games and want to try my hand at creating one.

  19. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

    At this time in my life I have no answer for you. My passion is making quality role playing games but, to be honest with you, Iíve been unable to find work in the industry. Interest in developing rpgís (especially for the pc) have dwindled that much.

  20. Any last word to the Fallout fan base?

    YesÖ Thank you all for your support. You made all the effort that was put into these games worthwhile. Also, donít give up. Fallout isnít dead so long as it isnít forgotten. Thank you for keeping it alive!