Postworld…

Postworld after the break…

Postworld…

There’s little doubt that gaming history would be different if the computer game studio “Black Isle” was able to complete “Fallout 3” (then being developed under the internal code name “Van Buren”) instead of being canceled because of budgetary concerns by it’s sponsor, Interplay.

Interplay would still be operational in a different (and probably financially healthier) capacity.

Interplay would probably not have had any reason to sell off the franchise to Bethesda.

Bethesda might have used the time to develop their Elder Scrolls MMO (which has been rumored to be in develop for quite some time) or Elder Scrolls 5 (which is also said to be in some form of development) or even a new intellectual property altogether.

However, this was not the gaming universe that we currently live in, nor will we ever live in. After releasing a buggy tech demo of what Fallout 3 might have resembled, Black Isle was shuttered, Interplay was forced to liquidate what few valuable franchises it had (Fallout going to game developer Bethesda), Bethesda released the decidedly not-turn-based action-RPG equivalent to “Fallout 3” & then farmed out it’s semi-sequel, “Fallout: New Vegas” to game developer Obsidian who, ironically, staffs many former Black Isle employees.

The circle, sort of, is complete – A Fallout game is being developed by those who actually worked on the franchise before it was handed over to Bethesda. “New Vegas,” a game expected to be released this Fall, has more then a passing resemblance to what was likely to have been in “Black Isle”‘s rendition of “Fallout 3”: Enemies (such as Caesar’s Legion), locations and people.

Yet… “New Vegas” resembles more Bethesda’s rendition of the Fallout franchise then Black Isle’s. It uses, for instance, the same game engine. It is still a first-person action-RPG, tweaked ever so slightly to introduce harder RPG elements for the few players willing to take on the additional challenge. The days of the classic turn-based, 3rd-person perspective RPG are gone and buried.

Or is it?

No one is forgetting valiant efforts such as “FIFE,” which continues to strive in creating a modern-day facsimile of the Fallout 1 & 2 engine. “FIFE” continues to make strides and looks to show eventual promise in being a modern-day solution for people wanting the characteristics of a game engine born in the 1990s.

However, a new group of programmers aims even further then what “FIFE” has been able to achieve so far. This project is called “Postworld” and it’s current aim is to bring the Fallout franchise into the modern era with a turn-based, 3rd-person perspective engine of it’s own. Tech demo videos of this project show great promise, even if the developers admit that what is shown on the video is the result of far messier programming code unseen underneath the results.

“Fallout 3” purists – Those who rue the day when Black Isle was forced to close shop while working on the true successor to Fallout 2 – May want to keep “Postworld” (being developed by “deVoid Studios”) on it’s daily web viewing schedule. Admittedly, there’s no guarantee that this project will ever see completion – Enthusiastic bands of young game developers more often then not bite off more gaming aspirations then they can code, model or script. It would be a truly splendid gaming environment if even a fraction of such endeavors like “Postworld” ever saw even an alpha release. Again, we can only live in the universe we are in, not the one we wish to be true.

Yet, if a mod such as “The Dark Mod” can succeed in resuscitating authentic “Thief” game play better then it’s authorized sequel (Thief: Deadly Shadows), why not encourage a band of programmers aspiring to deliver the same result with the “Fallout” franchise as well?

Here’s hoping that Fallout enthusiasts, like myself, finally get the sequel they’ve always wanted. “Postworld” may not have authentic content (clearly, they will not be able to use the Fallout intellectual property without drawing the ire of Bethesda lawyers), but true Fallout fans would be satisfied with authentic game play instead.

True Fallout fans have waited a long time for a genuine heir to Fallout 2… deVoid Studios looks to finally make that wait pay off.

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