The original version of Fallout 3 is being revived as Project Van Buren, providing a look at the intended isometric RPG.
Fallout 3 could have been a very different game. Rather than the first-person adventure it became, it should have been an isometric role-playing game, like its predecessors. But thanks to developers Black Isle Studios going bust and the property being picked up by Bethesda, that game never happened.
But following the release of a tech demo (above) and design document in 2007 (confirming the original game’s working title as “Van Buren”), which provided an insight as to how Fallout 3 might have looked, the game has become a bit of an obsession with some classic Fallout fans. One of those is developer Adam Lacko, who’s Project Van Buren is building a new version of the game based on the tech demo and design docs. Here’s a look at it:
Slowly getting beyond what BIS managed to implement in their tech demo – realtime-with-pause combat… with actual pause this time around.— Adam Lacko (@lacko_adam) November 8, 2021
Next stop – thresholds and fatigue implementation.#Fallout #VanBuren @jesawyer pic.twitter.com/upgBIVejdD
Using Unity to build the game and consulting with former Black Isle developers, Lacko states “Project Van Buren aims to recapture and preserve this visual presentation to the pettiest detail, staying true with the intended course of its original makers.”
Recently, Lacko has announced that the “last major technical feature” has been added, a sign that Project Van Buren could be ready. However, that doesn’t mean that a release is imminent.
Implemented the last major technical feature – Dim haze of war (Fog of war) and Pip Boy's Automap (since they both use the same base system). Entities do not hide when out of the view range yet, need to come up with some efficient solution for that.#Fallout #VanBuren #gamedev pic.twitter.com/IwAToazSyF— Adam Lacko (@lacko_adam) November 10, 2021
Oh, and we still don’t know what Bethesda has to say about it…
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.