Work on the Fallout series
For Fallout 3, Joel created the Liberty Prime sequence in Take it Back!, the Jefferson Memorial drainage chambers in The Waters of Life, and led the design of nearly all points of interest in the Capital Wasteland and downtown Washington, D.C. He also wrote several notes and terminal entries for the game. For the add-on Point Lookout, Joel served as the lead designer.
Joel implemented several easter eggs in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4. In a July 2019 Twitter thread discussing easter eggs and their acceptability in games, Joel talked about his belief that easter eggs should make sense and appear believable even to players who are unfamiliar with the reference. He highlighted the Snatcher references in Minefield in Fallout 3 and the Vitale pumphouse in Fallout 4 (the latter containing several other easter eggs), as well as the Ray Bradbury tribute in the McClellan family townhome in Fallout 3, all of which he implemented.
Before being hired by Bethesda, he worked at several companies (including Terminal Reality) as a designer and 3D artist. Joel left Bethesda in May 2016 and joined Ubisoft Toronto, where he served as the world director on Watch Dogs: Legion. He currently works at Capybara Games as a studio director.
|2001||2003||UCF GAMES Lab||3D Artist|
|2003||2003||Dezign Corp./I-Net Holdings, LLC.||Designer / Art Lead|
|2003||2004||Terminal Reality||Level Designer|
|June 2005||May 2016||Bethesda Softworks||Lead Level Designer|
|June 2016||November 2019||Ubisoft Toronto||World Director|
|November 2019||Present||Capybara Games||Studio Director|
|2008||Fallout 3||Lead Level Designer|
|2009||Point Lookout||Lead Designer|
|2015||Fallout 4||Lead Level Designer|
|2018||Fallout 76||Additional Designer|
|2004||BloodRayne 2||Level Designer|
|2005||Æon Flux||Additional Designer|
|2006||The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion||Additional Dungeon Art|
|2011||The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||Level Designer|
|2013||Gone Home||Additional Handwriting|
|2020||Watch Dogs: Legion||World Director|
- Geck Profile
- Joel Burgess' Blog: Fallout 3 Writing (archived)
Note: These notes and terminal entries include, but are not limited to:
- Joel Burgess on Twitter: "Stumbled across an old easter egg I put in Fallout 4. Actually, kind of an easter egg within an easter egg, within an easter egg.
I wonder how many people got how many parts of this?"
- Joel Burgess on Twitter: "So, example: I think the easter egg I'm most proud of is the McClellan house in Fallout 3. I won't detail it in full here, but it's a location full of references to Ray Bradbury, and a specific story in the Martian Chronicles."
- Joel Burgess on Twitter: "If you know the source material, the name of the family, the address, the dead dog, the poem the robot reads... all big nods to Bradbury. The house itself basically mirrors Bradbury's story. It's a glaringly obvious homage if you get the reference."