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For other people named Erik, see Erik.
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Erik J. Caponi is a designer at Bethesda Softworks and one of the developers of Fallout 3. He is responsible for writing dialog, designing locations, crafting characters, implementing scenes and scenarios, and creating background lore for games set in the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series or role-playing games. Secondary duties include systems and content design.



Erik J. Caponi

Bethesda Game Studios (Rockville, MD)Edit

July 2005 - Present

Responsible for writing dialog, designing memorable locations, crafting characters, implementing scenes and scenarios, and creating background lore for games set in the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series or role-playing games. Secondary duties include systems and content design.

Monolith Productions (Kirkland, WA)Edit

September 2004 - July 2005
Game Designer

Duties include: Creation, design, development, and implementation of compelling story, content, and game play experiences using game mechanics, visuals, and dialog. Maintenance and expansion of the story bible. Writing of new fiction consistent with the tone and canon of The Matrix intellectual property.

University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)Edit

May 2003 - August 2004
Multimedia Designer, Office of Special Events

Writing of interactive presentations, website copy, and scripts for large-scale video projects to service and highlight university events in scope ranging from the university commencement to visits from international dignitaries. Secondary duties include the writing of ad copy, event coordination, production, and communication.

Xmachina Studios, LLC (Pittsburgh, PA)Edit

September 2001 - March 2003
Level Designer

Responsible for the writing and design of characters and fiction of two original IPs for action games. Also responsible for tracking and design documentation to outline design goals and project vision.


"I came on pretty late in Oblivion’s development. I got the change to work on a few of the Settlement Quests as well as various late-stage writing and design tasks. I was one third of the design team for Knights of the Nine and was responsible for a few of the quests as well as the final battle against Umaril’s minions and the battle with his spirit in the sky over Cyrodiil. On Shivering Isles, I was responsible for Retaking The Fringe and Symbols of Office as well as a lot of freeform design. I was also the designer on a couple of the downloadable content packs."

"Primarily what I do around here is known as “Freeform Gameplay”. I started with it on Shivering Isles and it’s now my full time role on Fallout. What it means is that I’m responsible for gameplay content that isn’t related to quests. This can take the form of incidental dialog, NPC behavior, scripted scenes, town dialog, world encounters, lore, conversation systems, as well as any one of a million different things that might not be tied directly to a particular quest."

"Perhaps the most limiting thing about working in a persistent world is that you can’t change the world around the player’s actions. You can’t have an epic quest that ends up burning down a town or killing a major NPC. So the stories have to be very self contained and can’t change the world itself. This leads to things feeling very static. And personally, I like to write things that make the player look at the game world and see the effect that his actions have had on it. Having a world that needs to house several thousand players limits that."

On mature content in Fallout 3: "It is somewhat liberating. I’m a foul mouthed guy, and the ability to let loose is somewhat satisfying. Or course, as much fun as it is to write vicious combat dialog, there’s a lot more to Fallout than colorful language. The ability to incorporate situations and themes that wouldn’t really fit into the Elder Scrolls setting is enjoyable. It’s not too often that you get to work with the darker side of things."

[1] ORE Newsletter interview, Jan 2008

Employment historyEdit

20012003Xmachina Studios
20032004University of Pittsburgh
20042005Monolith Productions
20052009Bethesda Softworks
2009presentBig Huge Games


Fallout seriesEdit

YearTitleCredited as/for
2008Fallout 3Designer
Quest Writer

Other workEdit

YearTitleCredited as/for
2005Matrix OnlineMission Designer
2006The Elder Scrolls IV: Knights of the NineGame Designer
2006The Elder Scrolls IV: OblivionGame Designer
2007The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering IslesGame Designer

Additionally, Erik has been a rules tester for tabletop roleplaying games and a domain storyteller for Camarilla. He holds a degree in filmmaking.

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