I wish my tax dollars went to cool stuff like this Canadian government-funded Fallout mod

Originally released in 2017, the Fallout Tactics mod, The Sum / Nous Aurons has found newfound attention with Kotaku’s (opens in new tab) reporting that the anarchist art project received funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

The Sum / Nous Aurons has been on my radar for a while now⁠—Felipe Pepe (opens in new tab), creator of the great videogame history resource, The CRPG Book (opens in new tab), singled out The Sum as one of the best games he played in 2022. It takes the familiar presentation of classic 2D Fallout and turns it on its head, showcasing an entirely alien setting with this familiar engine and assets. It’s a future wracked by the ecological and technological devastation we now face, as opposed to the alternate history, retro-futuristic nuclear apocalypse of the mainline Fallouts.

The Sum further contrasts Fallout’s competing imitations of old world societies like Caesar’s Legion or the NCR with an optimistic, almost utopian view of new, forward-looking, and yes, anarchist societies emerging from the wreckage.

As Kotaku recently reported, The Sum received funding and support from two Canadian arts funds, and developer Hugo Nadeau explained in a statement to Kotaku that the ultimate decision on who would receive grant money was left to the artists eligible for it, and that “no government representative gets to choose or prioritize any of the projects at all.”

Which is not to say it was an easy process, with Nadeau clarifying to Kotaku that, “It is not rare for many of us to wait five to six years, even more to receive [funding for a project.]” This sounds similar to the highly competitive environment surrounding arts grants in the United States, but still, it’s an encouraging thing to see and I’m grateful programs like these can facilitate projects like The Sum. 

You can download The Sum / Nous Aurons’ latest 1.7 build from ModDB (opens in new tab), and I’m looking forward to trying it out myself. Additionally, you don’t have to own a copy of Fallout Tactics in order to play The Sum / Nous Aurons⁠—it’s both standalone and free.

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