The Western RPG is in a renaissance of popularity and creative richness right now, thanks to titles like BioWare's Mass Effect and Bethesda's Fallout 3. But what of the man who lead the design of the last mainline Fallout game, Fallout 2?
Well, Feargus Urquhart is currently leading development at Obsidian Entertainment, currently working on the spy-themed action-RPG blend Alpha Protocol for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC, to be published by Sega in October, as well as the next Fallout game, Fallout: New Vegas, which is due from Bethesda in 2010 (and was formally announced just after this interview was conducted.)
How does this born-and-bred RPG man -- who is best known for his work heading Interplay's Black Isle Studios through the aforementioned Fallout 2, as well as Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment, see the industry in 2009?
In this wide-ranging conversation, the beginnings of the genre are tackled -- Dungeons & Dragons, of course -- as well as Urquhart's days at the ill-fated Interplay, and the current state of the genre. With discussions about the pros and cons of running an independent developer in these uncertain times, the interview takes in the landscape of a multifaceted career.