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Fallout 76 Project Lead talks design challenges and Oblivion

From Oblivion to Fallout 76, Jeff Gardiner has been with Bethesda for a long time. Come and hear what it was like to design an MMO using a singleplayer engine.


Bethesda games are some of the most highly anticipated titles. Whether it’s a new Elder Scrolls or Fallout game, players want to learn more, hear more, and experience more. Though it may have had a shaky launch, Fallout 76 has evolved in new and exciting ways, and has managed to capture the hearts and minds of players. Greg Burke had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Jeff Gardiner, the Project Lead on Fallout 76, all about the hardships of developing what is essentially a Fallout MMO. Check out the interview below!

Designing a multiplayer Fallout game presented its own unique challenges. To begin with, the engine, which was used for singleplayer games, would load everything around the player. Using this engine for Fallout 76 meant a drastic change in how this engine operates, as there are several players operating within one instance. This acted as a rather large learning opportunity for the team, with Gardiner describing it as a moment that “levels you up.”

Gardiner goes on to talk about how working on Fallout 76 is like working on two full games at once. The team is actually split into several groups. There’s one large portion of staff dedicated to the live team that tackles exploits, bugs, hacking and things that weren’t caught during development, and then there are several other teams dedicated to content creation.

One of the interesting changes still being tweaked for Fallout 76 is how the leveling of enemies and areas work. In most MMOs, areas are typically locked to levels. Someone that’s a mere level 10 wouldn’t be able to venture into a level 50 area, lest they get stomped. To try and make the entire experience a bit more open, while still retaining challenge, the team is working on a system that changes the difficulty of an enemy based on the player. It sounds like a rather complicated process, so it’s worth listening to Gardiner explain their methods to fully understand what’s happening.

This interview with Jeff Gardiner is an eye-opening moment that should give players a really great insight into the development process of Fallout 76. The game has come a long way since its launch, and only continues to improve. For more developer interviews, be sure to check out the Shacknews and GamerHubTV YouTube channels.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 24, 2020 7:22 PM

    Sam Chandler posted a new article, Fallout 76 Project Lead talks design challenges and Oblivion

    • reply
      September 24, 2020 10:56 PM

      they should do a ford 'vs ferrari with Fallout. Lets do an MMO, but with the shit engine that is Creation. lol, you are crazy, that engine can't run online!

    • reply
      September 25, 2020 3:14 AM

      “Fallout 76 has evolved in new and exciting ways, and has managed to capture the hearts and minds of players.” No, Bathesa found a way to kill Fallout Fan Whalez for PROFIT. 76 is fucking souless wallet raping garbagetainment.

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