Fallout 4 and New Vegas veterans team up to create a new open-world RPG Wyrdsong

For years Fallout fans have been clamoring for another team up between Bethesda and Obsidian Entertainment to produce a new Fallout game. It’s still not in the cards (although Microsoft now owns both studios), but an announcement at Gamescom’s Opening Night Live might be the next best thing.

Bethesda veteran Jeff Gardiner, lead producer and project manager on open-world RPGs like Skyrim, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76, has formed a new game development studio called Something Wicked Games. Joining Gardiner is Charles Staples, design director on Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds and lead level designer on Fallout: New Vegas. That’s a lot of Fallout DNA in one studio.

The announcement was accompanied by an animated trailer for the new studio’s first game, and it’s not a Fallout-like post-apocalyptic shooter. Something Wicked is creating a gothic RPG called Wyrdsong, which is a “semi-historical, supernatural open world RPG set in medieval Portugal,” Gardiner told me in a Zoom call last week.

Details about Wyrdsong (pronounced ‘weerd-song’) are pretty sparse at the moment. The game is in “early pre-production” and Gardiner isn’t ready to say much more about it. While it’s being built in Unreal Engine 5, it hasn’t even confirmed if it’s a single-player game. However, he opened up a bit on the choice of framework.

“So the last vacation I took before Covid was in Portugal,” Gardiner said. “And as I’m sure everyone knows, in Covid you really remember that last holiday.”

Alongside his visit to Portugal, Gardiner found inspiration for Wyrdsong in the country’s past. “I started reading an alternate history book about the Templars, which posits that they actually arose as part of the formation of the nation-state of Portugal,” he said. “And while I’m reading this book, I realized a lot of these places or places that I visited in Portugal, so there are synchronicities and serendipities there.”

(Image credit: Something Wicked Games)

Gardiner also cites Elden Ring as a “huge inspiration” for the Wyrdsong team, saying he first bounced around the Dark Souls series before realizing the games weren’t about punishing the player but about rewarding patience. . And even though Wyrdsong is nothing like Fallout, that doesn’t mean the post-apocalyptic RPG won’t have an influence on it either.

“I think the emphasis is on the lessons, not on the setting and theme of Fallout, but on the RPG nature of these games. ‘There is choice and consequence’ is an easy thing to say. But we want to make sure the player feels those lessons that we’ve learned from those games, in terms of creating an amazing story, while also giving the player the freedom to make their own decisions in that story and engage with it or no,” Gardiner said.

“Charlie and I strongly believe in giving players tools and letting them have fun in the game however they want. If they just want to go through the main quest and then walk away, that’s great. S “They never want to touch the main quest, and they just want to go to the corners of the realm and look for plugs and screws. That’s great too.

Something Wicked currently has around 15 employees, and as production progresses on Wyrdsong, Gardiner plans to expand that number to thirty in the next few years and potentially up to 70 by the time the game is ready for release. “And we were fortunate to secure $13.2 million in seed funding from NetEase,” Gardiner said.

As you might have guessed, there is no announced release date or even release year for Wyrdsong yet. In the meantime, you can visit the official website here.

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