Pre War world under different aesthetics?

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Sn1p3r187, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. Sn1p3r187

    Sn1p3r187 Carolinian Shaolin Monk

    Apr 7, 2014
    Everyone makes talk about Fallout being retro futuristic in some sense. As I've always seen the pre war world as being if I remember- the future as imagined by the 1950-60's, but after the war everything relating to the culture and the way things were was totally destroyed. And I got to thinking about Fallout's aesthetics. What if it took a different approach? I've always considered pre war life as being atompunk in some way when I compare to art and decor style here and there. But what if pre war life aesthetics were more so akin to a cyberpunk world, or a steampunk world, or a dieselpunk world? How would this affect the world after the great war? Would the great war have happened as it did? Would more aspects of pre war culture and life have survived? Would recovering from the great war have happened at a faster rate? I think of this as like- Replacing Fallout'a pre war life and aesthetics with a future as imagined by something like Deus Ex or Akira or hell even Steamboy
  2. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Mojave Express Employee of the Month

    Mar 16, 2013
    The Great War was a result of humanity's two major functions reaching inevitable conclusion. Constant advancement and constant violence, ultimately culminating in the greatest act of both.

    Doesn't matter what punk aesthetic.
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  3. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos It Wandered In From the Wastes

    May 12, 2020
    Yeah I don’t really understand the question. If the pre-war fallout world was cyberpunk or steampunk (it arguably has some dieselpunk already) then it wouldn’t really be fallout at all anymore. This is like asking what if Star Wars was sleek and futuristic like Star Trek. I don’t see why it would change anything about the world other than the aesthetic, and the aesthetic is a pretty big part of it’s identity.
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  4. Sn1p3r187

    Sn1p3r187 Carolinian Shaolin Monk

    Apr 7, 2014
    But does the aesthetic dictact the politics and technology of the Fallout world?

    To break down my question, I'm asking- If The Fallout universe's aesthetics weren't what we see in pre war times, would that change what would've happened before the great war and what happened after? This is in the sense of politics and technology that was available before and after the war. Basically- If the Fallout universe had the microchip vs not having it
  5. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Mojave Express Employee of the Month

    Mar 16, 2013
    You're asking the wrong question. Fallout's aesthetic was chosen because it reflected s time period in which it's old world theme best fit. American exceptionalism, blind patriotism, rapid advancement in perfect tandem with nuclear destructive capabilities.

    Steampunk Fallout isn't Fallout.
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  6. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos It Wandered In From the Wastes

    May 12, 2020
    To answer your question, yes, if the pre-war world had a steampunk or cyberpunk theme then technology would most definitely be different. There is no nuclear energy in a steampunk world, and if the fallout world was cyberpunk then we probably wouldn’t see things like power armor or plasma rifles (or at least these inventions would not be as important), instead there would be more focus on cybernetic technology.

    Politically, it wouldn’t make much sense to have a Cold-War style geopolitical landscape in a steampunk world, and in a cyberpunk world the corporations of the world would likely be even more powerful and influential than they are already, superseding governments rather than working under them.

    Essentially, the world would be so radically different that it wouldn’t be fallout.
  7. Sn1p3r187

    Sn1p3r187 Carolinian Shaolin Monk

    Apr 7, 2014
    The Great Corporate War of 2077 lol. I understand, it doesnt fit much in a greater scope when i think of it. In fact I think values of what Postman stated would seem paradoxical in a cyberpunk or even steampunk world. I mean if it were cyberpunk, wouldnt that mean the world had evolved past that to a major degree? In a cyberpunk world, itd probably be illegal to bad talk corporations and theyd be like vault tec on a greater scale. Minus the government contracts and they can do whatever they want to whoever with no viable repercussions
  8. VaultTecCivilDefense

    VaultTecCivilDefense First time out of the vault

    Mar 24, 2019
    Only Bethesda's Fallout had the wholly 50's styling.

    Fallout 1, 2, 3(VB) though there were elements of the retro-future, however there was also a healthy mix of 80's and 90's technology.

    Tactics, also can fall into an alternate Fallout future, as the technology is even more advanced, especially when it comes to robotics.
  9. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Half-way Through My Half-life

    Nov 26, 2007
    Their politics were defined by the developers; it's filled with governmental distrust, and social commentary. The main point about it is that it was planned as a GURPS one-shot campaign setting. The hook was the retro 50's setting; it warped and influenced the later design of everything else in the game. Without it, it's not Fallout... almost everything would be different, passed the point of being recognizable.

    There is another game (an RPG!) that uses the SPECIAL system too; Lionheart. It's a fantasy RPG, and it's not Fallout related. A flipside futuristic RPG based on a re-skinned Fallout would be wholly its own thing, no more Fallout than FO3 is.

    Who says they don't? (Bethesda's take on it of course does not count—they seek only to dumb down the elevator pitch). The Fallout setting was the pop-culture's anticipated future—not a future world hamstrung by 1950's technology.

    The Pipboy holo-disks are four terabyte holographic memory cartridges. They could have microchips—and possibly not prefer them; or not use them often. Vacuum tubes are less sensitive to radiation. The Pipboy in the game clearly has tubes and a CRT screen—yet it's a wrist mounted device not entirely unlike what Bethesda put in FO3. So... who is to say that in their future, they don't have chips, or do, and along with miniaturized vacuum tubes; no longer coke-bottle, and D-cell battery sized?

    They have man portable nuclear fusion cells. I'd think that they could have ANY tech that we currently have now, and beyond by about two centuries... but they would not abandon their design aesthetics.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021
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  10. DarkCorp

    DarkCorp So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 27, 2003
  11. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Level 27 Wizard Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    Fallout Shadowrun style.
  12. Jogre

    Jogre So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 25, 2015
    I mean, part of my response would be that the 50s Aesthetic does kinda feed in to the game: Nuclear war isn't on the back of the minds of ordinary people as much any more, whereas in the 50s it was, so the Retrofuturism kinda fits in the same way as Vaults do: It's something that naturally works with the setting of the game.

    Honestly though, the main thing I care about with a Fallout game is having a good aesthetic and art direction. Everything about the first 2 Fallout games works brilliantly from an aesthetic standpoint in my view, from the retrofuturism, to the sheer character all of the sprites have, to the gothic faces and pitch black buildings. It's all amazing to look at, and it feels like aesthetically it hasn't aged a day since it was released.

    Fallout Tactics on the other hand, I would say has aged poorly. Part of this I think is the fact that it's graphically updated and 3D meaning the graphics and animations look outdated, I get that issue with the Van Buren Tech Demo(Though perhaps unfair to judge early stages), whereas with the originals the animations and graphics are done to look as good as possible in the 2D Sprite style rather than being cutting edge 3D, so they don't really age in the same way 3D does.

    But ultimately with the Van Buren tech demo, it still feels amazing atmospherically, the dark forboding buildings, the constant paranoia the soldier has about Communists, it all creates a mood.

    Fallout Tactics on the other hand feels bright, graffiti everywhere, and is clearly inspired by 90s futurism, which makes it dated. It's not an intentional choice to utilise futurism for the aesthetics, it's generally just a weird perspective of the apocalypse from someone from the 90s, which doesn't feel as good to me.
  13. Vital999

    Vital999 First time out of the vault

    Nov 18, 2020
    Original 2 games weren't fully retrofuturistic. Their style confused me for some time, in my "pre-internet era" when I was not aware of the artistic choices of the design team.
    While scenery had lots of old-looking stuff (large computers with magnetic tapes, cars), weapons and enemies (robots, Enclave) was quite futuristic and what was expected from a game set after the apocalyptic war in the 2070ies.

    Bethesda in FO3 redesigned the world to have a fully retro-styled look - like those assault-rifle-sized plasma guns from their games, compare them to 2-handed plasma guns from original Fallout-2 or from New Vegas. Or Mr. Handy, redesigned from a barrel-like frame to the more rounded one.
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