There hasn’t been a single game released in the past couple of decades that wasn’t at least somewhat influenced by another game, and finding out which games inspired which can give you a good idea of what to expect from them. As for Fallout 4, game director Todd Howard claims that DOOM and Minecraft were actually big inspirations. Bethesda wanted to take the creative freedom and endless crafting options of Minecraft and put them into the world of Fallout, which is what inspired the game’s impressive crafting system.
A lot of stuff has happened since Bethesda released Fallout 3 back in 2008, and some of that has affected the development of the sequel. In videos recently posted to Bethesda’s YouTube channel, game director Todd Howard talked a bit about just what those influences were. Crafting games like Minecraft have become huge in the last five years. Howard talked at length about the game’s crafting system and called out Minecraft as being a pretty obvious inspiration. The team has tried to make as many elements of Fallout 4 into systems as they can, so that players can get invested in what they’re doing. The crafting system lets players customize just about everything about their character. Since it uses components pulled from objects in the game, it also helps ensure that nothing in the game world feels useless. This, says Howard, has had an interesting side effect. The team would normally be spending a lot of time right now balancing the economy of the world to keep players from exploiting it and becoming overpowered too early into the game. Now that everything has a use, though, that doesn’t seem to be nearly as big a problem. Players are keeping what they find and selling much less of it because everything has a purpose, and those exploits just aren’t popping up.