Bethesda’s Fallout games make prominent use of the color green, and developers like Todd Howard apparently struggled to find the ideal shade.
A new behind-the-scenes retrospective video reveals that Fallout developers at Bethesda Game Studios often debate about the correct shade of green to use in each game. The post-apocalyptic RPG series was created by Black Isle Studios, but Bethesda has been the franchise’s caretaker since 2008’s Fallout 3. While Bethesda won’t make Fallout 5 for many years, a look back at the series’ history has unveiled hilarious details about the historic Great Green Debate.
While the post-nuclear world of Fallout is mostly colored in shades of rusty brown, bright color does play a role in the Bethesda series. Player often wear bright blue and yellow jumpsuits at the start of each game, indicating them as Vault survivors, and green typically dominates the franchise’s user interface. Each Fallout game created by Bethesda features a green heads-up display and Pip-Boy menu, and the VATS combat system also paints enemies in bright green. The VATS system typically pauses the action to let players plan out their next moves, though one Fallout 4 VATS glitch had the unintended effect of turning an enemy’s head into a missile.
A YouTube video from Bethesda Softworks sees multiple Fallout developers, including the esteemed Todd Howard, discuss the hunt for the perfect shade of green in each title. Art Director Istvan Pely explains that finding the perfect shade of green for Fallout 3 was incredibly important, since the RPG’s entire menu system and heads-up display is rendered in the same shade. Todd Howard was apparently fanatical about finding the optimal color, often accusing Pely of changing the shade without his consent, and greens were tweaked various times during the creation of every game. With Fallout 4 Bethesda doubled down on their green, ensuring that it was bold and vivid enough to stand out.
Fallout Devs Put Great Care Into Their Choice Of Green
Each Fallout game map also primarily uses green, making it even more important for Bethesda to find a shade that is both easily visible and appealing over a long period of time. It would be very easy for a bright neon green to eventually become an eyesore for players, so Todd Howard and Istvan Pely had to collaborate closely in order to settle the Great Green Debate. The result is an iconic shade of green that looks high-tech and electrical, but is still easily readable and reflects the post-apocalyptic world of the Fallout franchise.
While some may consider the color pallette of the Fallout series to be dull, a ton of attention goes towards ensuring that important colors appear perfectly in-game. Todd Howard was apparently the main instigator of the Great Green Debate, with he and Istvan Pely working together to find the optimal shade for in-game use. The Fallout franchise’s Pip-Boy menu has become immensely iconic, so it seems that discussions about the simple shade of green really go a long way.
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Source: Bethesda Softworks/YouTube
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