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My idea is to explore more of the world and more of the ethics of a post-nuclear world, not to make a better plasma gun.— Tim Cain on Fallout Tactics

Timothy Cain is the original creator of the Fallout series and setting. He was the lead programmer on Fallout and one of the six people responsible for the game's original design.


Interplay Entertainment (August 1991 - January 1998)

Tim Cain began his Interplay career as a freelancer, working on The Bard's Tale Construction Set, a game creation system. After finishing, he was employed by Interplay in August 1991.

Initially, he was the only one working on Interplay's GURPS project, creating the game's engine. Later the team grew and he went from lead programmer to producer when Tom Decker left the project.

After completing Fallout, Cain went on to do some pre-production work on Fallout 2, including writing the main story arc as well as helping designing The Den area. In an interview, he criticized the bigger influence from sales/marketing department during Fallout 2's development, saying, "We were losing part of the game to a larger group who had bigger plans for it."[1]

Troika Games (April 1998 - February 2005)

After leaving Interplay, he set up Troika Games with Leonard Boyarsky and Jason D. Anderson. He was a project leader and lead programmer on Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura and The Temple of Elemental Evil. He also worked as a programmer on Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Troika's last game.

After Bethesda secured the Fallout license from Interplay in 2004, Cain expressed disappointment. "I was hoping that Troika would get the license, but we were massively outbid. But in the end, they made a good game."[2]

Carbine Studios (August 2005 - July 2011)

After Troika's shutdown in 2005, he joined as the programming director at Carbine Studio working on Wildstar, a fantasy MMO game for NCSoft. He was promoted to design director in October 2007. Cain left Carbine Studios in July 2011.

Obsidian Entertainment (October 2011 - Present)

In October 2011, he announced that he was joining Obsidian Entertainment as a Senior Programmer under a limited time contract and would eventually leave the company.[3][4] On February 20, 2012, Tim decided that he would not leave Obsidian, but would join the company and work full time.


  • Tim Cain is responsible for writing Fallout's most famous and first-line spoken, "War. War never changes." It was also his only writing contribution to the first Fallout.[5]
  • Typing "boom" on the Fallout credits will show an animation of his head exploding. The FRM file can be found FO1 Tim Cain and His Magnificent Explosive Head.gifhere.
  • In Fallout 2, in Golgotha near New Reno, there is a grave marker that reads, "Tim Cain. Founder, Lover, Fighter, Programmer."
  • Tim Cain's face is the Fallout 1 & 2 icon when icons are displayed larger than 32x32.

Employment history

19911998Interplay EntertainmentProgrammer
Programming consultant
19982005Troika GamesLead programmer
Project leader
20112014Carbine StudiosAdditional content design
2011PresentObsidian EntertainmentDirector
Additional system design


Fallout series

YearTitleCredited as/for
Lead programmer
Original game design
1998Fallout 2Original game design
Additional programming

Other work

YearTitleCredited as/for
1991The Bard's Tale Construction SetDesigner
Manual writer
1995StonekeepProgramming consultant
2001Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick ObscuraProject leader
Lead programmer
2003The Temple of Elemental EvilProject leader
Lead programmer
2004Vampire: The Masquerade - BloodlinesProgrammer
2014South Park: Stick of TruthGameplay programmer
2014WildStarAdditional content design
2015Pillars of EternitySenior programmer
Additional system design
2019The Outer WorldsDirector



External links