In their series of Retrospective Interviews focusing on the history of computer role playing games, RPG Codex interviewed Tim Cain, best known as one of the six people responsible for Fallout‘s original design. Fans of the cRPG genre will also recognize him from Troika Games as the project leader of the ambitious Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (2001) and The Temple of Elemental Evil (2003) as well as programmer of the equally ambitious Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines (2004).
The lengthy interview gives insight into Tim Cain’s work at Interplay, from his humble beginnings as a contracted programmer for the Bard’s Tale Construction Set to his departure when Interplay executives began to interfere with Fallout 2‘s design process after the first game became an unexpected commercial and critical success.
However, the most interesting part of the interview is when Tim Cain focuses on Troika Games. Most importantly, he discusses the development of Arcanum, giving a peek behind the scenes of one of the biggest, most ambitious and non-linear role playing games in the history of the genre, and gives the planned outline for its sequel that, sadly, never came to be. He also covers The Temple of Elemental Evil and its implementation of the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Edition rule set, considered to be one of the best of its kind.
Finally, he discusses his personal philosophy when it comes to developing games, including politically sensitive subjects and themes in games and common pitfalls when it comes to designing computer role playing games.
Tim Cain is currently working for Obsidian Entertainment as a senior programmer on South Park: The Stick of Truth. Arcanum, one of his most ambitious projects, is also now available completely bug-free, thanks to an unofficial patch for the game.
via[No Mutants Allowed]