I’ll admit that I’m something of a weeaboo when it comes to RPGs — I generally prefer mine with a “J” in the front. Nevertheless, Nick and .tiff’s respective previews have gotten me pretty excited for Fallout 3, and concept artist Adam Adamowicz’s developer diary has only boosted that excitement. His piece, prosaically titled “Conceptual Design“, illuminates the process of creating the Fallout 3 universe within a cohesive art direction.
It seems that most of the art design focuses on highlighting the tension between pre- and post-apocalyptic society, exemplified, for example, in the Super Mutant’s armor: “I wanted recognizable elements twisted to a more violent purpose to reflect a sinister resourcefulness to surviving in a highly dangerous world,” writes Adamowicz. Every design aspect — the architecture, the clothes, the characters, the weapons, the enemies — reflects this kind shift from normal to disfigured.
He goes on to describe how the buildings will “connotate their prior use” while maintaining their sense of brooding and despair. Even animals and their predator-prey relationships will be distorted into what Adamowicz calls “a twisted ecosystem.” This is the kind of aesthetic that makes post-apocalyptic stories work: Burned out Washington D.C. will look just familiar enough to remind the player just how good it was and just how bad it is now.
If the new concept art is anything to go by, it seems that Vault 101 is going to be delightfully twisted, and I think that the design team at Bethesda have something to be proud of. Oh yeah, and the Super Mutants keep their victims strapped to their backs, just in case they get hungry later, which might just be the most metal thing since Polar Bear Attack.