Fallout 3 was initially under development by Black Isle Studios, a studio owned by Interplay Entertainment, under the working title Van Buren. Van Buren was set to carry on the Fallout series, following Fallout 2, prior to being cancelled. Interplay Entertainment went bankrupt and closed down Black Isle Studios before the game could be completed, and the license to develop Fallout 3 was sold for a $1,175,000 minimum guaranteed advance against royalties to Bethesda Softworks, a studio primarily known as the developer of the The Elder Scrolls series. Bethesda’s Fallout 3 however, was developed from scratch, using neither Van Buren code, nor any other materials created by Black Isle Studios. Fallout 3 was to be centered around Utah and Colorado, but it also would have included areas of neighboring states. The player would be able to visit places such as Hoover Dam, Denver, Mesa Verde, and the Grand Canyon. [Info from Wikipedia]
In May 2007, a playable technology demo of the cancelled project was released to the public. You can read more about and download the beta at No Mutant Allowed website. Various unused maps, weapons and models can still be found in this Alpha-demo thanks to some codes / hacks. Also, the full Fallout 3: Van Buren Design Doc was leaked online, you can find it in here!
In the videos below you can even see Chris Avellone talking about the project at the Framework 2009 convention.
Thanks to Robert Seddon and Megalol for the contributions!
What do you think about this unseen game? Give your vote!
Would you like to add more info, screens or videos to this page? Add a comment below!
- Plague of Darkness [XBOX/PS2 – Cancelled] - 15-02-2023
- TimeShift/Chronos [Beta – Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2, PC] - 09-01-2023
- Zombies : The Awakening (Krysalide) [PC/XBOX/PS2 – Cancelled] - 22-12-2022
And speaking of No Mutants Allowed content, I think I may have forgotten to mention this before: http://www.nma-fallout.com/forum/dload.php?action=file&file_id=1097
“The purpose of this mod is to add back into the game all the content that was originally planned by the Fallout 2 devs. You will find about 6 new locations (some quite large, other smaller) as well as a few new areas to old locations. […]”
really an interesting mod :) thanks for the link Robert
I can’t believe they even contemplated releasing Van Buren for this generation. With a top down view like this it’s not much to ask for decent graphics. Turn Based combat was only used due to a lack of processing power – this is a major step backwards and it’s hardly suprising that Black Isle racked up huge debts with such a shoddy output.
Via RPGWatch, Chris Avellone walking about the project after it was cancelled:
That was an awesome presentation, i’m going to add the videos in the article, thanks Robert :)
an old model of the t51 power armor used in the tech demo:
Feargus Urquhart Summer 1999
*Hypthetically* if we were to do a Fallout 3, we are going to make sure that
it is extremely similar playwise to Fallout 1 and 2. In talking about what
the game might be we have thrown around real-time with a pause like Baldur’s
Gate and also having multi-player. If we do go real-time it will use a
system that can still be played in turn-based mode as well – probably a
little more turn based than BG. Although none of that is set in stone yet.
Black Isle Studios
PS. And yep a good amount of the division is working on Torment right now,
however we should be releasing some news about something new soon – not
about Fallout though. :)
anybody seen this yet?
Links above are mostly dead. You can find the beta and docs over @ archive.org >> https://archive.org/details/f3demo