Fallout's Production Designer Talks Adapting Games and Westworld Differences

We talked to Howard Cummings about his love for the Fallout games.

The entire first season of Fallout was released on Prime Video this week, and it's already a hit with critics and audiences alike. The show is currently up on Rotten Tomatoes with a 93% critics score and 85% audience score. ComicBook.com's Tanner Dedmon gave the new series a 4.5 out of 5, saying it has "raised the bar for what a video game adaptation can look like." ComicBook.com had the chance to attend the show's Los Angeles premiere earlier this week and spoke to many of the folks who brought the series to life. The cast had nothing but praise for the production design, and we spoke to the production designer, Howard Cummings, about the series and how it compared to his time working on Westworld, which had a lot of the same team behind the scenes. 

"The showrunners were new, Graham [Wagner] and Geneva [Robertson-Dworet], and they're the originators of the story and all this stuff, but we all kind of fit right in," Cummings shared. "But yeah, there was a shorthand that helped, but it doesn't look anything like Westworld. It's kind of the opposite. And it's a comedy, so it's goofy. It's also violent. Well, Westworld was too, but I mean it is colorful. It's nothing like that. So I kept going, 'Am I supposed to make this thing look slicker?' And they said, 'You do what you want to.'" 

"I fell in love with the game," he added. "I fell in love with looking at and understanding from the fans really from YouTube tutorials and stuff like that. And that's how I learned about the game. And I went, these people love this. And then I began to love it."

What Is Fallout About?

While the show's main characters – Lucy (Ella Purnell), Maximus (Aaron Moten), and Cooper Howard (Walton Goggins) – are entirely new, they fit certain archetypes established in the games. Lucy is a Vault Dweller, and the start of the series centers around her leaving her Vault for the very first time and heading to Los Angeles. Maximus is a squire of the Brotherhood of Steel, while Cooper is a bounty-hunting Ghoul. 

"It's an uncertain time in television. So the art form of season finales has become: provide enough closure, but leave the door open for more," writer Graham Wagner told Total Film. "But we feel we've barely scratched the surface of the Fallout universe. We literally have documents and documents of stuff that we're, in success, eager to dig into. Our fingers are crossed that we're going to get the opportunity to do all that stuff." 

Fallout is now streaming on Prime Video.