In the thriving realm of mod development, Team Folon, the creative minds behind the highly anticipated Fallout: London mod for Fallout 4, are contemplating the possibility of stepping into the world of independent game development. In an exclusive interview with Dual Shockers, lead developer Dean Carter and lead 2D artist Emily Kemp shed light on their aspirations and drew inspiration from the success of Modern Storyteller, the studio behind the critically acclaimed The Forgotten City.
Scheduled for release on April 23, Fallout: London promises to be a transformative experience, plunging players into the post-apocalyptic streets of London in the year 2237, positioned between the events of Fallout 1 and Fallout 2. As players navigate through a sprawling open world, grappling with the aftermath of a rival faction raid, the mod aims to deliver an experience comparable in scale to Fallout 4, complete with five smaller hubs that collectively rival the size of the Far Harbour DLC.
While the primary focus of the interview with Team Folon was on the development of Fallout: London, Carter took a moment to share the team’s post-release aspirations. Expressing a collective desire to continue their journey as an independent game studio, Carter drew parallels with the trajectory of Modern Storyteller after the success of The Forgotten City, marking it as a source of inspiration for Team Folon’s potential future endeavours.
The Forgotten City, originally a 2015 Skyrim mod that garnered acclaim from the Australian Writer’s Guild, underwent a transformation into a standalone game under the guidance of Modern Storyteller’s lead developer and writer, Nick Pearce. Drawing attention to the success of Modern Storyteller, Kemp expressed admiration, deeming it “aspirational” for Team Folon.
Despite the difference in their development paths, with Modern Storyteller benefitting from government investment – a luxury not available to Team Folon in the UK – Carter exudes confidence in the potential of their studio. While it remains uncertain whether Team Folon plans to evolve Fallout: London into a standalone game, Carter is steadfast in his belief that the team, having invested considerable time and effort, will not disband after the mod’s release. “We’ve worked too hard and too long to not do something,” he emphasized.
The parallels drawn with The Forgotten City and Modern Storyteller prompt the question of whether Team Folon might be getting ahead of themselves. Carter acknowledges the success stories of other mod developers turned professional studios, such as Pavonis Interactive, the creators of the popular Long War mods for Firaxis’ XCOM series. While sceptics might wonder if Team Folon is putting the cart before the horse, the success of Pavonis and Modern Storyteller provides a compelling case for this unconventional career trajectory.
The journey from mod development to establishing a professional game studio is not a new one. Modern Storyteller and Pavonis Interactive serve as testament to the viability of such transitions. The success of The Forgotten City and Terra Invicta showcases the potential for modders to evolve into accomplished game developers. Team Folon’s ambition, fuelled by the impending release of Fallout: London, signals a growing trend in the gaming industry where creative modders strive to carve their niche as independent developers.
As April 23 approaches, the gaming community eagerly awaits the unveiling of Fallout: London, not only as a remarkable mod but potentially as the catalyst propelling Team Folon into the ranks of independent game developers. The journey from the ruins of post-apocalyptic London to the uncharted territories of game development is one filled with anticipation, mirroring the uncertainty and excitement that the fallout of creativity often brings.