John Sawyer joined Black Isle too late to work on the original Fallout games – but became series custodian for 18 months during the development of New Vegas at Obsidian.
As such, he has some pretty strong opinions about the future of the series with Bethesda, and in particular about modding – which he calls “one of the greatest things about [Bethesda’s] technology”.
Bethesda games tend to wind up utterly different in the months after their modding community gets hold of them – to the point where forumites speak disparagingly about ‘vanilla’ Skyrim.
Sawyer himself developed his own popularNew Vegas mod after the game was released.
“I hope Bethesda continues to make everything very mod friendly,” Sawyer told Eurogamer. “How they’ve worked with the community is… the mod community for Bethesda’s games is amazing. I hope they continue to support them because it’s really cool.”
Sawyer also hoped that Bethesda would continue his work in New Vegas to make choices feel “more impactful and meaningful and to challenge the player”.
“Fallout games are best when the choices are – and this applies to role-playing games in general, but Fallout is a more desperate world – more agonising. They feel more appropriate to the post-apocalyptic genre. So I hope that whatever twists and turns the story takes, it’s more nuanced than a black-and-white choice.”
For Sawyer, the need for ‘challenge’ extends to Fallout’s famed difficulty as well.
“Some people want to go through the wasteland like a tourist, which is fine – they don’t really want it to be super-difficult. They want it to be interesting and engaging, and they want to see a lot of neat stuff and go through a cool story. And that’s cool.
“Personally I like things to be a little more challenging, and there’s a segment of players that also want [that]. I don’t have any doubt in this.”
Are you part of that segment, would you say?