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How a Fallout 3 trailer inspired the pitch for Fallout Shelter

In a video interview with Noclip, developers at Bethesda Game studios discuss the development process behind Fallout Shelter and how it was inspired by a trailer for Fallout 3.
“If you go back and look at the trailer for Fallout 3, you'll know exactly when you see it”

- Game director at  Bethesda Game Studios Todd Howard speaking to Noclip about the inspiration for Fallout Shelter. 

It seems inevitable that a successful console game will make its way to the mobile market, especially with the rise of mobile gaming over the past 10 years.

Of course, every game changes from pitch to completion and in a recent video interview with Noclip, developers at Bethesda Game Studios discuss the development process behind one of the studios most played titles, Fallout Shelter. 

Fallout Shelter didn't follow the script of how a game is traditionally developed. In fact, the concept for the original game came from an unlikely source -- the commercial trailer for Fallout 3. 

"We had been doing Fallout 3 and done this commercial...If you go back and look at the trailer for Fallout 3, you'll know exactly when you see it." explains game director Todd Howard, referencing a trailer where the camera pulls back from an old TV to reveal smiling vault dwellers.

"So it pulls back and it says 'Life has evolved'," he continues. "It pulls back and there's Fallout Shelter. We're talking about 2008. There's Fallout Shelter because that was, 'hey, that would be...that right there, that's the game."

"We kind of let it sit and we kept bringing it up. We should do an iPhone game," Howard says. "You get a lot of pitches from other mobile companies." But Howard notes that the studio had its own pitch to present instead.

"It's like Little Computer People meets The Sims meets Fallout, and you can breed them and do experiments. It's one of those games where once you see the 10 second pitch--it's like, 'I got it.'"

Howard goes on to discuss how the pitch was mulled over at first, where the studio wondered if it could even be done on mobile. Besides with Fallout 4 looming on the horizon, surely there was no time for a mobile game.

"When Fallout 4 was coming around I saw an opening to make it as a marketing vehicle," Howard laughs. "I just wanted to make the game."

They were speaking as part of a longer interview around the overall design philosophy behind Fallout Shelter, and how it came to fruition, so be sure to watch the entire video over at Noclip. 

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