General Question

Triiiple's avatar

What is the name for the art style of Fallout 3?

Asked by Triiiple (1356points) April 24th, 2009

Im not even sure if im describing this right but if you’ve played Fallout 3 your familiar with the games style.

Its sort of an older 40’s 50’s kind of thing though they have futuristic cars and bus’ that would hover and stuff like that.

Is there a name for this kind of style? Retro Futuristic?

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24 Answers

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

I’ve only played Fallout 3, so I could be wrong, but they didn’t have hovering vehicles; they had giant, experimental robots and power armor that turned the wearer into a humanoid tank.

But I’d say the style is basically 50’s retro.

aeschylus's avatar

I have heard it called “steam punk” before. Although this is mostly in anime. The art style itself is art-deco, a popular decorative motif in architecture and design from the mid 20s that went out of style around 1940. It involves long lines, right, or almost right angles, exaggerated perspective, warm colors, metallic textures, and grandiose scale. Often you will see this art style blended with obscure advanced technology made of bronze and brass with wood veneer, and blimps and hovercraft and things of that sort. A good example would be the game “bioshock.” The “steam-punk” name I think comes from the inclusion of exotic, advanced technology that still uses steam power as did many things in the 1920s-1930s.

I hope this was helpful and that I understood you correctly.

tonedef's avatar

No, it is not steampunk. Steampunk is brass and monocles and derby hats. The railway rifle is a little bit steampunk, though.

All of the Vault-Tec advertising and signage had a really adorable style that I’d probably call retro-futurism. A sort of The Future, Today! kind of attitude.

I thought it was really charming. If you like the really naive, nuclearcentric atmosphere of the game, I’d highly recommend the documentary The Atomic Cafe.

oratio's avatar

Yeah, retro-futurism could be a good word. No, I don’t consider it steam punk. It’s a post-apocalyptic B-film sci-fi world. “Invasion of the body snatchers” and such.

tonedef's avatar

Also, @MrMeltedCrayon, it’s important to distinguish between the current state of the wasteland (tanks, robots, mechanized armor) and the art style of the world pre-Nuclear holocaust. The stark contrast between gatling lasers and cutesy signs at drive-ins makes the game even funnier/more horrifying. I really like the art direction. I want to play Fallout 1 & 2 to see if it has a similar atmosphere. Maybe I’ll just hold out for next year’s “Fallout: Lost Vegas,” though. Can’t wait!

Edit: I found this article on wikipedia: Raygun Gothic. Maybe this is a little closer to what we’re looking for.

oratio's avatar

@tonedef Yes, IMO fallout 3 has contained the atmosphere from the earlier games, and translated 2D into 3D in a great way.

Yeah, Fallout: Lost Vegas, that will be a blast. :)

Triiiple's avatar

What is this Fallout: Lost Vegas which you speak of? Last DLC there putting out?

oratio's avatar

@Triiiple Nah, it’s supposed to be Fallout New Vegas. Not Lost. Not an expansion.

Staalesen's avatar

It a more like a rpg spin off than a sequel thou.. and F1 & F2 are great games, even better than 3 , Imho, but then again, I am an old fart in the gaming world…

aprilsimnel's avatar

Raygun Gothic is a cool name for all that. I was thinking more along the Streamline Moderne style originally when I saw this question. The art design of the game is very “1939 World’s Fair”.

Steampunk has more of an Edwardian aesthetic, IMO.

tonedef's avatar

@oratio, you’re right! “Lost Vegas” is from a DIFFERENT post-nuclear apocalypse Las Vegas setting.

tonedef's avatar

@staalesen, “Kotaku adds that according to Hines ‘It will be the same sort of role-playing game experience seen in Fallout 3.’”

So, yes WRT a spin-off, but it sounds like the game mechanics won’t really be overhauled much. It sounds more like they’re pulling off a “Majora’s Mask”-type project.

andrew's avatar

@tonedef Yes, the first two absolutely had the same aesthetic. That’s what gives the whole franchise its charm.

I’d describe it as “dystopic futurism”—as opposed to Bioshock, which would be “dystopic deco”.

I thought steampunk was more victorian—darwin and college of science and all that. Side note: was Diamond Age the seminal steampunk fiction?

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

@tonedef When he said what style, I suppose I assumed he meant the pre-war world, which in a lot of ways (architecture, clothing, items, food, money, videos, etc.) is still very, very relevant to the current style of the game. Hence my suggestion of retro 50’s. I suppose I didn’t think of the Capital Wasteland at large in its current state, which I guess would be more dystopic, like Mad Max or Tank Girl.

The robots and mechanized armor are also pre-war relics; there hasn’t been much in the way of technological advancement since the nukes started falling (except for maybe by the enclave).

Staalesen's avatar

@tonedef Yeah, it could be interesting… but as always I am a bit sceptic

Triiiple's avatar

What about the Laser Pistols, Laser Rifles, Computer Systems, Vaults those all seemed very futuristic to me.

They also did have hovering buses if you talk to the people in game one old lady describes it.

Staalesen's avatar

It is retro-futuristic, one the basis that is how people in the 50s would imagine the future :)

madcapper's avatar

Steam punk is def the style.

Staalesen's avatar

No steampunk got its name on the basis of the tech implied in the name, ie STEAM, wich sets steampunk in more of a 1800 setting…

madcapper's avatar

oh christ…

Triiiple's avatar

Well that art i was talking about in the game was more of the pre-wasteland stuff but i do like how this question got into every thing else.

After looking at some Steam Punk stuff i guess that style fits in with the Wasteland cities, every thing made of scrap metal and stuff.

Pre-war i guess its just retro style? Cars, Posters, Cereal Boxes

Staalesen's avatar

I belive it fits more the, idea of dieselpunk, rather than steampunk, since a lot of the point of steampunk is steam based, rather than electrical/ gas…
A god example of dieselpunk is skycaptain and the world of tomorrow :)

The way I would define it for mysel would be retro-futurustic survivalism :p

tonedef's avatar

@madcapper There is absolutely nothing turn-of-the-century about Fallout. It’s definitely not steampunk. @Staalesen hit the nail on the head.

Staalesen's avatar

@tonedef Why thank you :)

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