The game is built on the GECK engine, which is under fire for being outdated and the reason for New Vegas‘ rough launch on all platforms. Although the engine may appear to need work, Chris Avellone, senior designer of Fallout: New Vegas, insists that the engine still holds great potential.
“One thing I like about GECK is that when it comes to creating an open-world environment, like we’ve done for New Vegas, it’s pretty impressive and took care of a lot of what we needed – and we have experience with working with an open-world engine before.
Being able to see that technology and see how [Bethesda] structured all of the data was really important for us as a studio and we thought the GECK was pretty solid, even though it’s been through a couple of iterations and is a long standing piece of technology.”
In relation to the comments of the engine not being up to date with current technology, Avellone explains where his priorities lie when it comes to his goals in the development and final product.
“Technology does get out of date pretty quickly, so as long as it’s functional that’s all that I care about. Also, I care about the fact that the mod community can now take all of the stuff from New Vegas and run with it, and hopefully we’ll have plenty more RPG spin-off to play in the next year or so. From an RPG perspective I care more about the game mechanics and I think the GECK really delivers there.”
Although he stands by GECK, Avellone does admit there are flaws that prevent them from some aspects of quality, but the engine does allow them to build what they want in the game the most.
“I’m not going to say it’s the prettiest engine out there – it doesn’t have the best animation and there’s certain limitations to the facial structures you can build with the characters. But at the same time it allowed us to create really fun quests, really cool characters and a really huge world that was fun to explore. So from an RPG perspective that’s what I want.”
Even though there are some limitations to the engine that may pull you out of the game, Obsidian still supports GECK because they are able to produce features in the game they planned on. They make it clear that they are aware of the issues with the engine. Since GECK has gone through a couple of iterations, it is possible the engine can be built upon even more to bring it up to speed with the rapid growth of technology.
Hopefully most of the kinks will be worked out once the first New Vegas DLC is released.
Do you think Obsidian should move on to a new engine or stick with GECK? Do you think the engine is the reason Fallout: New Vegas had such a rough release, or was it released a few bugs too soon? Speak up in the comments!
Fallout: New Vegas is out now for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.