|Here's some of the comments from Van Buren developers in the Interplay forums.
First off, JE Sawyer elaborates on customising avatars:
You will have control over the following basic attributes:
On a title for the game:
* Build (normal, wiry, strong, fat)
* Skin color/texture (a number of variants within a number of different "races")
* Hair style
* Facial hair style
* Hair color
Even before adding equipment, you should be able to get a lot of variation.
I really dislike subtitles for anything other than expansion packs. Fallout 3 should be simply Fallout 3: A Post-Nuclear Role-Playing Game.Comments on Fallout visual styles:
I believe there are three distinct visual styles in the Fallout series: Vault, Wasteland, and Enclave. Vault is sterile, clean, retro-50s sci-fi with lots of dorky looking doo-dads, Jacob's ladders, vacuum tubes, diodes, horn-rimmed glasses, plastic-looking hair, etc. Key ideas: optimism, naivete, bland and sterile survival. Wasteland is dirty, broken, mish-mash 50s with a few earlier and later elements. Things half-working, salvaged and pieced together. Key ideas: pessimism, immorality, brutality, survival of the fittest. Enclave is clean, futuristic, sleek, powerful, and quick. Integrated circuits, ergonomic designs, lightweight materials, advanced science. Key ideas: pragmatic realism, amorality, power and grace, winner's history.
The discussion on visual styles came from some unofficial concept art at No Mutants Allowed. Finally, Puuk (aka Damien Foletto) argues his case for playable races:
I think Fallout generally is best represented as roughly 60% Wasteland, 30% Vault, 10% Enclave.
But ghouls live a VERY long time. It's not unreasonable to have a ghoul be more than 150 years old, or more. Also, playing a ghoul, or super mutant, would result in a lot of prejudicial treatment by the smooth-skinned locals. It would definitely be a different playing experience. The player would have to carefully weigh how much emphasis he would put into his speech skills just to avoid getting in a lot of fights, or at least heavy emphasis on stealth skills. Also, not every human would instantly go homicidal on a ghoul or super mutant on first sight. In fact, a ghoul or super mutant might be able to use their scary appearance as an intimidation tool. Just because the PC is a ghoul or super mutant does not mean they must fight through the whole game; the player would just have to play strategically.