A month ago a group of three friends decided to turn their passion for the Fallout series into a live action web show. The result was Fallout: Nuka, a series of YouTube shorts that invented a whole new storyline in the Fallout universe when a new Vault Dweller stumbles out into the wasteland in search of a Nuka Cola.
The film was a modest hit and the group, working under the banner Wayside Productions, continued making new short films. The company started a Kickstarter earlier this year asking for $60,000 to produce a full season of web shorts, a target it reached a month ago.
That’s when Chris Avellone, who worked as a senior designer on Fallout: New Vegas, and Tim Cain, the lead programmer from the original, became enamored of the series and decided to offer their services to the project. The catch is that they’ll need twice as much money to bring on the two vets.
“How exactly will Chris and Tim be involved?” Wayside’s Kickstarter explains,”First, they’ll be involved in the writing process. This includes input into the storyline, character development, creature interactions and scenery. Second, and probably our favorite part, they’re both going to APPEAR in the series. Yes, bring out the acting shoes for these guys, because we’re going to feature them on the screen.”
Avellone and Cain would not be the first developers to make the jump to filmmaking. Jordan Mechner abandoned game design in the 90s to try his luck at screenwriting, God of War 2 director Corey Barlog left Sony to work with filmmaker George Miller on a Mad Max project, and Ubisoft has invested heavily in film production, shooting lavish live action shorts to accompany its Ghost Recon and Assassin’s Creed games.
The Nuka project poses an interesting question about what most draws fans to lavish story-driven works like Fallout. Is it the game itself or the dozens of unspooling story threads that fans most love? Is having Avellone and Cain work on a series of web films a more desirable outcome than giving them money to simply make a new game in the old isometric view?
With 25 days to go the Fallout: Nuka has raised almost $95,000. The fans are speaking.