Fallout Developers Profile - Gary Platner

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Apr 3, 2003
    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).<blockquote>Tell us a little about your role in the making of Fallout 1/2/3(Van Buren)/Tactics/Brotherhood of Steel?

    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!</blockquote>As bonus material, Gary provided some extra shots of Fallout promotional material and tchotchkas.

    And, as bonus bonus material, for Blizzard aficionados, a shot of his current place of work.

    <center> </center>Hurray! Thanks again, Gary Platner and Ausir.

    Link: Fallout Developers Profile - Gary Platner.
  2. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Omg, this is so damn cool. I want moar old graphic stuff.

    /Edit: Also I would really love to get the hole cathedral as graphic. Man, it would come really handy.
  3. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Damn right it does, and yet loads of people scream how retro-fifties it feels.

    Sure, the advertisement stuff does like the pictures for the Super Duper Mart and other small stuff but that is the extend of it.

    Mr Platner, you're a source of inspiration for me.
  4. TTTimo

    TTTimo It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Apr 26, 2008
    Good profile. Very nice down to earth fella. The promotional stuff is probably some of the rare few places to see more detail of the Advanced Power Armor up close.
  5. Daimyo

    Daimyo Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Oct 26, 2007
    A nice read indeed.

    Thanks Gary Platner, Ausir and thanks NMA ;)

    Given his answer about what he'd like to work with in the future I bet he is watching Interplay closely ...

    (and perhaps weeping at the apparent loss of an awesome opportunity - crossing my fingers it won't be a lost but a postponed opportunity)
  6. rehevkor

    rehevkor It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Nov 19, 2005
    I'd kill for a Vault 13 flask and a the Fallout mug...
  7. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    The image on the shirt gives a good hint more about the helmet. See here:

    The one flexible tube doesn't go into the neck. I bet it ends in this box on the back of the armor.
  8. Paul_cz

    Paul_cz Mildly Dipped

    Jun 11, 2008
    Wow, this guy is awesome! : ). I wish he joined Obsidian..it is a waste of his talents, making an MMO : )).
  9. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Apr 3, 2003
    I'm not sure I see that, since he's an artist, not a designer

    I know few artists with a credit-line as impressive as his:
    Games Credited
    World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (2008), Soft Club
    World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (2007), Blizzard Entertainment Europe
    World of Warcraft (2004), Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
    Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002), Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
    Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (Collector's Edition) (2002), Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
    Diablo II (2000), Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
    Diablo II (Collector's Edition) (2000), Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
    Planescape: Torment (1999), Interplay Entertainment Corp.
    Baldur's Gate (1998), Interplay Productions Ltd.
    Fallout 2 (1998), Interplay Productions, Inc.
    Fallout (1997), Interplay Productions, Inc.

    Purely from an art perspective
  10. Briosafreak

    Briosafreak Lived Through the Heat Death

    Dec 18, 2003
    Gary is brilliant
  11. goobyman

    goobyman First time out of the vault

    May 28, 2004
    MMO's... the bane of my existence. *goes back to playing WoW*
  12. Beelzebud

    Beelzebud A Smooth-Skin

    Mar 6, 2008
    I'd kill for that v13 flask. Is that Fallout box with the alternate title art just an early version of retail package or what? I've never seen that before.
  13. UncannyGarlic

    UncannyGarlic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 6, 2008
    Great interview that made me laugh at points (particularly the story about the Advanced Power Armor helmet). I thought it was interesting that he was enthused about a Fallout MMO, one of the few of the original crew who seems to be. Awesome renders by the way, I still love the maps they had for Fallout 1&2, it was just another piece that added to the overall feel and consistency of the games.

    Yeah, that's quite the impressive list as far as art in the gaming world goes. Still, I'd love to see him work on more new things (too much WoW I say, even if he does do a good job).

    Agreed. I thought that the most retro-fifties looking thing in the game, other than the posters, were the computers. Otherwise I have to agree that it just looks pretty generic post-apoc or steampunk (I still don't get why/how this happened).
  14. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Apr 3, 2003
    Oh, and...

    I don't think so.

    Blizzard devs tend to stay put, and he is yet another one who sounds really happy to be there.
  15. Cold Zer0

    Cold Zer0 Still Mildly Glowing

    Aug 6, 2004
    NRFB Fallout boxes!!!! Holy s**t!!! Yeah, ok I am a fan boy for this kind of stuff :)

    Good interview, some nice stories about developers. Always a pleasure to hear more of those :)
  16. DMorgado

    DMorgado First time out of the vault

    Apr 15, 2009
    Does Mr. Platner have more Power Armor references he would like to share? :D
  17. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    yup yup, Gary is great. i wish i had even but a smidgeon of the talent he has...

    too bad he didn't bring PS:T up more as well. i'd have loved to hear some stories about that too.
  18. Paul_cz

    Paul_cz Mildly Dipped

    Jun 11, 2008
    Umm, exactly because he is such a great artist! Look at Alpha Protocol screens and videos - that game, however interesting from gameplay and writing standpoint, looks COMPLETELY GENERIC and uninsteresting visually.Main character is generic wanabee whoever.Even the font used for the logo of AP looks horrible.They could definitely use someone like Gary methinks.
  19. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Apr 3, 2003
    I don't think he did a lot on Planescape actually. He's credited as additional art, and he was probably busy more than fulltime for the entire production cycle on the Fallouts.

    Tim Donley was the Planescape art lead, would be an interesting guy to talk to.

    That said, speaking of Planescape; ever seen the storyline board?

    So awesome

    But I guess it was a tiring job judging by this photo "snapped by Brian Fargo minutes after we officially wrapped production on Planescape"

    (see how many people you recognise)

    Alpha Protocol is set in the real world. There's not a lot of elbow room there.
  20. TychoXI

    TychoXI Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 20, 2008
    I WUVED reading this! Thanks-.