We asked Fallout 1 Art Lead and Fallout 2 Art Director Gary Platner to do a Fallout Developers Profile a while back, and now (with the help of Ausir) he has, topping it up by providing some old renders from the original Fallout 2 production cycle (which can be found in the profile).
Tell us a little about your role in the making of Fallout 1/2/3(Van Buren)/Tactics/Brotherhood of Steel?As bonus material, Gary provided some extra shots of Fallout promotional material and tchotchkas.
On Fallout 1, my main job was making ground tiles and wall sets, plus any other props needed to fill out the zones and maps. At first the team was just rendering props out from Lightwave and throwing ‘em in the game. I had never used Lightwave, so I wasn’t that good at texturing. So I would render out walls and other props and then painted on ‘em in Painter (like Photoshop, only better)! I would add more details like scratches and paint-chips, shading and color. That really worked out well, soon we were all doing that. I really loved making all those wall sets and doors and crap!
On Fallout 2 I found myself in the art director role, so I ended up doing a little bit of everything! Leon and Jason were gone, and I was the only one on the team left that actually knew how to do most of the work! Believe me, I’m not bragging here, I became art director because Leon and Jason did so much art, and I had worked so close with them on all the art assets. We only had about a year to do as much as we could. So I wanted Fallout 2 to feel familiar, but improved and new. I redid the interface, helped add more features and basically tried to improve how we made the zones. I did most of the intro cinematic at home, and Chad Moore and Michael McCarthy from Rock and Roll Racing made other cinematics. I grabbed anyone I could from other Black Isle projects to help finish this game. I even got 7 art interns and a couple contract artists to help make inventory items and wall sets.
What's your favourite Fallout memory?
The power armor helmet on the box of Fallout 2. Scott Rodenhizer got to design the box cover helmet. And he was very…’adamant’, about making a better power armor head then Leon! First off, Scott is an amazingly creative modeler, and his redesign of the helmet was astounding! But for a while, it remained uncolored and untextured. He kept adding and editing things, and just never got around to coloring it. I took a render of the helmet and just started painting over it. I had some ideas for color, and wanted to try ‘em out. I added some gold eyes, some rust and put in a foggy dark blue atmosphere with shadows falling over the helmet and shoulders. I showed it to Scott and said ‘what do ya think of these colors for the box cover?’ He looked at it, sat down, stood up, covered his hand over his mouth…he must have looked at it for 5 minutes without saying a word! Scotty was a tough little nut, and he was…let’s say, a tricky artist to work with. But we both knew something…that colored helmet looked f***ing hot! And I know, it took every part of his being to admit, that what I had done, looked pretty good. Hilarious!
I will never forget that. I was mostly just proud that I could actually do something that Scott, reluctantly, actually liked!
What is your hope for future Fallout games? Would you like to be a part of a future Fallout team?
One thing we could have done better with Fallout 1 and 2, was really convey the ‘50’s sci-fi look. The movie ‘Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow’ really did it right visually! So I had high hopes for Fallout 3. And I was hoping Bethesda would really push the art style! But, to me, it ended up looking like any other shooter game. And that’s a shame, ‘cause the best thing ‘bout Fallout, for an artist, is its genre. It has such visual potential! But, yeah, I would have loved to be on the Fallout 3 team!
And, as bonus bonus material, for Blizzard aficionados, a shot of his current place of work.
Link: Fallout Developers Profile - Gary Platner.