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John Gonzalez is a developer who worked at Obsidian Entertainment as the lead creative designer on Fallout: New Vegas.


Gonzalez was responsible for designing the central plot and conflict of Fallout: New Vegas,[1] the concepts for the casinos,[2] as well as the creation of Benny, Robert House, Vulpes Inculta,[3] Ricky, Stella, and the logs of Randall Clark.[4] In addition, he wrote Yes Man,[5] Caesar (with Joshua Sawyer suggesting that Caesar should present his rationale in the framework of Hegelian dialectics,[6] as well as a discussion on his justification, drive and vision),[7] and Victor.[8]

Gonzalez was responsible for the creation and development of Lanius,[9][10] along with The Forecaster,[11] as well as the writing of Cold, Cold Heart,[12] some of, if not all, the characters in the Casa Madrid Apartments,[13] and Davison.[14] He also conceived and designed the Boomers,[15] added the assertive upgrade dialogue for Yes Man to clear potential player fears of others using him,[16] and came up with the number of ICBMs aimed at Las Vegas.[17]


Gonzales is included in the "Special Thanks" section of the All Roads graphic novel.[18]

Employment history

March 2000June 2003Outrage EntertainmentWriter
April 2006June 2008Ubisoft ShanghaiLead Narrative Designer
December 2008March 2011Obsidian EntertainmentLead Creative Designer / Writer
March 2011September 2013WB GamesLead Narrative Designer
September 2013June 2020Guerrilla GamesLead Writer / Narrative Director
July 2020PresentSmilegate BarcelonaNarrative Director


Fallout series

YearTitleCredited as/for
2010Fallout: New VegasLead Creative Designer
2011Honest HeartsWriter

Other work

YearTitleCredited as/for
2008Tom Clancy's EndWarStory Director, Writer
2017Horizon: Zero DawnNarrative Director, Story


  1. "From Software has brought in new directors for the Dark Souls sequel which has a number of people, including myself, worried for it's quality. Since you've acted as director before, how big of an impact did feel you had on the final product (FO:NV)?"
    Joshua Sawyer: "Without knowing the company culture at From Software, it's hard to know how much influence individual director(s) have. In general, I believe people attribute too much to project directors (or equivalent). The high-level design of the companions and areas in F:NV (outside of the Strip) was entirely mine, as was the entirety of the system design, but I did not do any of the hands-on design for any quest or location, I didn't design the central plot or conflict (that was John Gonzalez), and I only wrote a small number of dialogues (Arcade, Hanlon, Kimball's speech and a few others)."
    Josh Sawyer Formspring December 10, 2012 answers

  2. Joshua Sawyer: The casino ideas, those were pretty much John Gonzalez.

  3. Who wrote Vulpes Inculta? (I apologize if this has been answered before - I scrolled back through a bunch of pages to check first but didn't see it.)
    Joshua Sawyer: John Gonzalez.
    Josh Sawyer Formspring December 30, 2011 answers
  4. "I know you were the project director of F:NV, but what contributions did you make?"
    Joshua Sawyer: "For F:NV, I designed (but did not write the dialogue for) all of the companions and companion arcs. I did all of the system design and balancing. I wrote all of the high level RDCs (Region Design Constraints) that area designers used to write their ADDs (Area Design Docs). I wrote the dialogues for Arcade Gannon, Chief Hanlon, and President Kimball.
    For Honest Hearts, I was also the project director. I wrote the story, designed and tuned most of the gear, designed all of the main characters (the Happy Trails caravan, Ricky, Joshua Graham, Daniel, Follows-Chalk, Waking Cloud, and the Survivalist) and wrote Joshua Graham and Daniel (Ricky, Stella, and the Survivalist were written by John Gonzalez; Jed Masterson, Follows-Chalk, and Waking Cloud were written by Travis Stout).
    For Gun Runners' Arsenal, I did all of the design except for scripting, which was done by Jorge Salgado and Jeff Husges.
    On the other DLCs, all I did was weapon tuning."
    Josh Sawyer Formspring December 21, 2011 answers
  5. Who wrote Yes Man?
    Joshua Sawyer: John Gonzalez.
    Josh Sawyer Formspring October 25, 2010 answers
    Josh Sawyer Formspring October 25, 2010 answers
  6. so who did the writing for Caesar in New Vegas, and who decided he should give an overview of Hegelian dialectics?
    Joshua Sawyer: John Gonzalez wrote Caesar and I asked for Caesar to present his rationale in the framework of Hegelian dialectics.
    Josh Sawyer Formspring November 1, 2010 answers
  7. Who was responsible for the discussion of Hegelian dialectics at The Fort? I know Fallout is a cut above, but I was really surprised to see something like that from a mainstream game. It's nice to see games that don't treat you've got a little baby brain.
    Joshua Sawyer: Thanks. I asked John Gonzalez (who wrote Caesar) to include a discussion with Caesar in which Caesar used his interpretation of Hegelian dialectics to justify the existence of the Legion, his drive to conquer the NCR, and his vision of a brighter future for the Legion as a sort of reborn Roman Empire following the fall of the corrupt Roman Republic (NCR).
    Josh Sawyer Formspring June 5, 2011 answers
  8. "I know that you wrote a couple of the quests, including Return To Sender, but did you help write any parts of the main storyline of New Vegas? If so, what parts?"
    Joshua Sawyer: "For the most part, I only wrote high-level documents. I didn't write any of the plot-critical characters and I didn't do detailed area development or implementation.
    I wrote our RDC (Region Design Constraints) documents, which had a basic overview of the concepts/conflicts for all of the primary locations (e.g. Goodsprings, Mojave Outpost, the vaults, The Strip, Nellis AFB, etc.) and I did the initial write-ups for the companions (just a page each covering their basic concept, background, personality, voice, and intended plot arc).
    Let me just do a mini-writing credits dump to answer a lot of common questions here. Most of the major plot characters (Benny, Victor, Caesar, Mr. House) and the main story itself were written by the game's creative lead, John Gonzalez. Eric Fenstermaker wrote Veronica and Boone. Chris Avellone wrote Cass, Lanius, and Oliver. Travis Stout wrote Lily and Raul. Most of the other characters, major and minor, were split between the writers above and other area designers. Of course the actual full design treatments, quests, and implementation of areas were done by the area designers.
    The only "big" characters I wrote were Chief Hanlon, Arcade Gannon, and President Kimball's speech. Also I just wrote/structured the dialogue in GECK. The design, implementation, and scripting for the associated quests of those dialogues (Return to Sender, For Auld Lang Syne, You'll Know It When You See It/Arizona Killer) were handled by Matt McLean, Travis Stout, Jeff Husges, and Charlie "Master of Hoover" Staples.
    Most of the content design and generation I did was for game systems (SPECIAL + gambling/Caravan + equipment)."
    Josh Sawyer Formspring January 3, 2011 answers
  9. "Who created and designed Legate Lanius, and why there are so many inconsistencies in his background(s) and his actual appearance? Like him being a legionnaire since 12 in one story, having his face destroyed (in-game he's OK) in another, and so on."
    Joshua Sawyer: "John Gonzalez and Chris Avellone."
    Josh Sawyer Formspring March 18, 2011 answers
  10. "Who came up with Lanius and was he inspired by anything in particular? Lanius is an amazing character by the way."
    Joshua Sawyer: "I think Lanius was developed by John Gonzalez, but Chris Avellone wrote the dialogue."
    Josh Sawyer Formspring April 12, 2012 answers
  11. Asbury: "Speaking of examples of great writing: anyone know who came up with The Forecaster? Because--maybe embarrassingly--I had one of those clarity-dude meme moments when the kid said the stuff wasn't junk, but thoughts."
    rope kid (Joshua Sawyer): "I designed him; John Gonzalez wrote him."
    (Joshua Sawyer on SomethingAwful Forums)
  12. "Who wrote the story and scene for the Nipton quest? That was a really great introduction to the Legion. It really captured that intimidating wasteland vibe that Fallout 1 had going, reminded me of the Necropolis visit where you first meet super mutants."
    Joshua Sawyer: "John Gonzalez, though the area was designed and scripted by JR Vosovic and Jorge Salgado."
    Josh Sawyer Formspring July 5, 2011 answers
  13. "I just would like to compliment you on the design of Westside. I think many players overlook it but its diversity and resourcefulness are especially striking when compared to a more emphasized area like Freeside. Whoever the world builder was did well too"
    Joshua Sawyer: "Thanks. Most of the content of Westside was developed by Jeff Husges, though I wrote a few of the characters (Anderson, Meansonofabitch), John Gonzalez wrote some (maybe all?) of the characters in Casa Madrid, and Jorge Salgado developed the Thorn. Scott Everts did most of the world building."
    Josh Sawyer Formspring September 11, 2011 answers
  14. "Who wrote Davison? Even though it was a bit part, I liked that character a lot since it was the kind of thing you'd see in the first two Fallout games (ie talking heads with brief but memorable dialogue)."
    Joshua Sawyer: "Strangely enough, that was one of the few minor characters John Gonzalez wrote. Jesse Farrell wrote most of the other characters in REPCONN Test Site."
    Josh Sawyer Formspring December 21, 2011 answers
  15. "Who thought up the Boomers, Nellis and the "Volare!" mission? They're by far my favorite faction and missions of the games. Great job guys."
    Joshua Sawyer: "John Gonzalez came up with the Boomers. I came up with the basics of Volare! and Akil Hooper did the actual development of the quest."
    Josh Sawyer Formspring May 8, 2011 answers
  16. "In the Independent ending, Yes Man talks about finding some code in Mr Houses database that will let him be more assertive. Is this just an artifact of a time when you were considering allowing post-ending gameplay?"
    Joshua Sawyer: "No. John Gonzalez wrote those lines to assuage potential player fears that other people would manipulate Yes Man if/when the Courier wasn't around. Yes Man is programmed to do anything anyone tells him to do. This is convenient for the Courier but a liability if Yes Man is intended to help coordinate things in New Vegas after the Second Battle of Hoover Dam."
    Josh Sawyer Formspring May 4, 2012 answers
  17. "I don't know much about nuclear war, but House saying something like 70 weapons were aimed at Vegas in FNV seemed high to me. Would it really take 70 nuclear explosions to destroy a city to the enemy's satisfaction? How did you come up with that number?"
    Joshua Sawyer: "I didn't; John Gonzalez did. I don't know how he arrived at that number.
    Josh Sawyer Formspring May 27, 2012 answers
  18. All Roads Special Thanks