River, the inspiration behind the Fallout 4 dog Dogmeat, is dead

River, the dog Bethesda used as inspiration for Fallout 4 companion Dogmeat, has passed away. This was confirmed by owner and former Fallout developer Joel Burgess this week.

Dogmeat became a popular companion in Fallout 4. Image: Bethesda

In a longer thread on Twitter Burgess recalled the development of Fallout 4. In particular, he highlighted the way River helped the team create a character that was more than just a weapon, and who first and foremost became a friend and companion to the players.

– River attended countless meetings; not just to be filmed and used as a reference – her biggest job was just being with the team. The more they bonded with her, the more they saw Dogmeat as a character and a friend.

Not only was River’s appearance used as inspiration for Dogmeat, but also the way she behaved. Out on a trip, for example, the team noticed that River was jogging in front, but kept turning to check that Burgess was following.

“This behavior came into play, and helped to attach the dog to you,” Burgess said.

With River’s help, Bethesda created an assistant who is first and foremost there to protect the player figure. This made Dogmeat stand out from other computer-controlled helpers, Burgess says.

– You see, Dogmeat does not care so much about killing your enemies. He protects you, and often exposes himself to danger so that you have the time and opportunity to deal with the threat. If you’ve ever had a German Shepherd, you know.

We had a great time with Fallout 4.
Read the review here »

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