Fallout MMO Hires Chris Taylor (Not That One)

By Alec Meer on September 24th, 2008 at 10:39 am.

Well, we’re all presuming the reborn Interplay’s secret project is a Fallout MMO, as there’s plenty of proof out there and nobody’s denied it yet.

Yesterday the new Interplay website opened up, and with it came a mention of “Project V13,” the working title for a ‘next generation’ MMO. No details whatsoever on that, but what is scintillating is the announcement that they’ve hired Chris Taylor to work on it. Not Gas-Powered Games’ Chris Taylor – who perhaps shouldn’t be allowed near any kind of roleplaying game again after the disappointing mess that was Space Siege – but the other Chris Taylor, a key member of the original Fallout/Fallout 2 team.

Since 2005, he’s been running Zeroradius Games with two other ex-Fallouteers, which has come up with a whole bunch of high-concept board and card games. So his return to videogaming – and very probably Fallout – is thus a big bloody deal. It’s also a hope that the Fallout MMO will be more like the Fallouts of yore, and less like Bethesda’s more FPSy, ultra-brown affair.

Official statement below

The company also announced that Chris Taylor, a game designer who was a part of the original Fallout game development team at Interplay in 1994, has rejoined the company. Taylor will serve as Lead System Designer for “Project V13,” the working title of Interplay’s next generation Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO) currently in development. Taylor joins other original Fallout team members on staff at Interplay’s internal game studio, which recently opened an office in Irvine, Calif. Additional development staff members continue to be hired as the project ramps-up.

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32 Comments »

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  1. Meat Circus says:

    Maybe you’ll think of me when you when are all alone.

    Yay, I guess.

  2. Jochen Scheisse says:

    That is great news, as he obviously understands Fallout, and due to his co developing of LOTR MMO, he’ll also know a bit about MMOs.

  3. pauleyc says:

    Now that’s a surprise. I thought Interplay was pretty much dead and buried yet here it is, clawing itself back to the market in true zombie style.

    First Bethesda gets the rights to FO3, now this MMO by Chris Taylor himself. NMA is going to explode.

  4. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    The world needs a thousand Vault Dwellers going “LOL”. Because that’s what Fallout’s all about.

  5. aldo says:

    I’m somewhat surprised Interplay have the money to hire him or, indeed, anyone – I thought they were still hugely in debt and only surviving by selling off IPs?

  6. Briosafreak says:

    They raised money, a new partner and settled the debt to Atari and others.

    Chris “anarchy” Taylor rocks, but he isn’t the only one from the original Fallout team aboard, there’s Jason Anderson too and who knows more…

  7. James G says:

    I actually completed the first Fallout last night. Took quite a while to get into, as I wasn’t quite used to the lack of hand-holding in the early stages. The interface also felt a touch cumbersome, especially when it came to more imaginative solutions to quests. I’ve got Fallout 2 lined up now, and from what I’ve heard I think I’ll end up enjoying that one a bit more, especially as I’m now more familiar with how things work.

  8. Greg Wild says:

    Excellent news!

    Fallout truly has the potential to be an absolutely awesome MMO. With the old FO guard onboard it can only get better.

  9. Esha says:

    I would’ve been so much more excited if they’d said they were conceptualising an open-ended co-op Fallout game. Sort of in the way that Neverwinter Nights can be co-op, but you don’t let the lollies in through the door, because the players control the servers. And there were servers run by reasonably intelligent people.

    I’m hoping that one of these days we see a high concept MMO, one in which everyday language isn’t accessible. Perhaps busted up machines, or a corrupted alien race, either way… perhaps they’d communicate with holographically projected symbology. There’d be a stock amount of symbology within the game, but the players could submit (for review) new symbols which could be included in the game.

    This would result in a game where people generally seem intelligent, and if anyone sits around spamming holographic symbology, they’re “malfunctioning” and soon The Cleaners will come and take them away.

    Of course, this’ll never happen because the Everyman gamer loves to talk, and they love to talk in the most idiotic way possible, and these people have lots of money for some incomprehensible reason. And money counts for more than intelligence, unfortunately. Bloody capitalism.

  10. Greg Wild says:

    Not a bad idea, but I think you’d only end up with the likes of penis shapes.

    Human love of all things crude always find a way :P

  11. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    And in unrelated news, bloody capitalism reminded me of Captain Blood, one of the rare games to use the concept of icon or symbol-driven communcation as a primary form of communication, with alien languages thrown in for good measure as well. Contains weird plot to boot! :)

  12. Thirith says:

    @Diogo Ribeiro: If that doesn’t date you, I don’t know what does! (I never figured out Captain Blood myself… I guess playing a pirated version on my C64 without a manual didn’t help much.)

  13. Esha says:

    @Greg

    That’s why I said that they should be submitted for peer review before being circulated. This actually isn’t that hard, as many systems have a set of eyes looking over things before they’re taken into the mainstream. Mod sites, for example, often have someone poking the code before the mod is put online, looking at an image to decide if it’s too crass for the kind of tasteful and intelligent game they’d be trying to convey would be much easier.

    It would be restrictive, and that’s a problem. But I could see some really interesting symbology arising with the crass elements simply filtered out. Providing there was a strong ruleset for that filtering, it probably wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    @Diogo

    Eesh, I remember that. That seems like a lifetime ago compared to what’s going on now. The World of media is really good at making me feel old, really fast. And that was only the 80’s.

    I think I played the Atari ST version.

    Anyway, that is an interesting correlation, to be sure!

  14. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @Thirith:

    Yes, it could be tough figuring it out without the manual. Though I believe there are some fansites out there which had a guide to handle those situations.

    Notice how DRM worked wonders there? ;)

  15. Thirith says:

    Yes, it could be tough figuring it out without the manual. Though I believe there are some fansites out there which had a guide to handle those situations.
    They didn’t have those sites in the mid-Eighties, I’m afraid… :)

  16. Urael says:

    Tsk. The new Interplay Games page on their shiny new website has links to buy some of their old games…

    …which drop you into Amazon. Surely they should be supporting GOG, who have been doing a brisk trade flogging their old back catalogue for them and raising their profile somewhat above the level of ‘who?’

    Tsk, I say. TSK.

  17. James G says:

    Well GOG is still in beta, so I think its a bit unfair to expect them to link to a page most visitors wont be able to use.

  18. kuddles says:

    Seeing as how there is a 0% chance this thing is ever gong to see the light of day, I don’t know why I should be excited about this. I mean, seriously, sites have been spooging about “the rebirth of Interplay” for about two years ago, and it’s still essentially one guy partially responsible for burying the company into the ground to begin with who is now begging for someone to fund him.

  19. ShaunCG says:

    Great news. Now if only they could get Chris Avellone onboard!

  20. araczynski says:

    “It’s also a hope that the Fallout MMO will be more like the Fallouts of yore, and less like Bethesda’s more FPSy, ultra-brown affair”

    umm, no, not everyone.

    i wonder if there’s people out there that are still bitching because games aren’t like pacman & tetris anymore.

  21. Dreamhacker says:

    Well, Boyarsky is working hard at ruining Blizzard’s Diablo 3 making Blizzard’s Diablo 3 shock full of colors, flower and rainbows.

  22. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @araczynski:

    i wonder if there’s people out there that are still bitching because games aren’t like pacman & tetris anymore.

    Probably as many bitching about how contemporary games should drop any and all pretenses at continuity, design and recognizing their main fanbases, natch. The trick is sorting the men from the boys, as in, not lumping all criticism into one big pile of pointless drivel. Some of the insults flinged at the more hardcore fanbases are as abhorent and outdated as the things people often believe they defend.

  23. James G says:

    I wish people would stop with the whole idea that an FPS style interface is somehow a progression over a turn-based one. Its a different mechanic, requires a different skill-set and a different approach. I’m not about to class one as superior to the other, as it is clearly a matter of personal taste, as well as how well it is integrated into the rest of the game. My poor hand eye co-ordination, and preference of a more cerebral approach means that I generally prefer games which take a slower approach. However I also like a bit of variety, so wouldn’t suggest that Half-Life 3 should be turn based, for example. (Now there’s a fun rumour!)

    That said, the monotony of the graphics we’ve seen so far seems approximately comparable to that I saw when playing Fallout 1, and is improved on with more detail, and will surely take advantage of some of the benefits conferred by 3D. We’ve also seen footage which indicates that the camera will be able to pull back fairly far, although I’m not quite sure how one will go about combat from this position, except maybe via VATS.

  24. Devin Padgett says:

    I’m still slightly hoping that Bethesda will have some hand in this as well, but if not, then eh… either way, a Fallout MMO is cause for rejoice!

  25. James G says:

    Partially, although with less venom, and I understand Bethesda’s decisions from a marketing standpoint. While I don’t see an FPS mechanic as superior to a turn based approach, it is one which undoubtedly holds greater market appeal. I think Fallout 3 may be better understood is seen as a license, rather than a true sequel. Just as ‘Star Wars’ games may slip into many different genres, this is Bethesda producing a different type of game.

    Can I also clarify that I’m not suggesting that we should just end up producing the same game again and again. Innovation is good, and there is nothing wrong with a FPS-RPG. I’m not even going to suggest that there’s anything wrong with an FPS RPG in the Fallout universe (Although if I were going to do that personally I think I’d give it a subtitle, rather than calling it Fallout 3.) My only intent was to say that a turn based mechanic has not been made redundant by improvements in real-time approaches. (Ie. See King’s Bounty, Civ 4)

    Truth be told, I prefer the pause and play dynamic of Baldur’s Gate to the strict turn based play of Fallout. It retains the level of tactical control yet reigns back the abstraction a notch.

    On a slight Hijack, I think its interesting to compare this with the whole 2D vs. 3D debate, which largely seems to have solved itself. The two forms of presentation sit side by side, as each has its own advantages. World of Goo would not be as effective in 3D, and yet I doubt anyone would argue that Bioshock would have worked better as a 2D platformer (Despite Soldat and Gang Garrison II adapting the FPS mechanic to 2D.)

  26. Fumarole says:

    I also don’t think this will ever be more than vaporware. Project V13 for Vault 13, anyone?

  27. Alex says:

    What’s Tim Cain up to these days?

  28. RichPowers says:

    hahah thanks for the headline clarification, RPS. When I saw a similar story over at Blue’s, I instantly thought that Chris Taylor was leaving GPG and making a Fallout MMO, thereby turning my understanding of the world into utter chaos.

  29. Schrodinger's Lolcat says:

    FORTY. MILLION. DOLLARS. FOR PRODUCTION.

    Clearly they aren’t that strapped for cash. That or they have some very adventurous investors….

  30. Harlequin says:

    Forty million isn’t really all that astounding. The operational costs of World of Warcraft are at least double that. Even the garbage pile that is Age of Conan made about 20 million on its first day of sales.

    I just hope the money gets used to develop something worthwhile.

  31. Kadayi says:

    To make a viable MMO that can complete against the existing market leaders is going to take a lot more then 40 million dollars tbh.