The real life inspiration for the iconic Fallout 4 companion Dogmeat has passed away. Former Fallout dev Joel Burgess announced that River, the dog’s real name, passed away on Saturday.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Burgess mourned the loss and talked about the dog’s impact on the team.
The team initially worked with standard gaming or film dogs but eventually opted to go with River. “I always tell about River’s role in Fallout 4; that she was the antidote to my biggest worry for the Dogmeat character – a canine weapon, and nothing more. What we wanted was a companion first, and a combat ally second,” Burgess said.
“River attended countless meetings; but not just to be poked, prodded, recorded and filmed as reference – her biggest job was just to BE with the team. The more they bonded with her, the more they saw Dogmeat as a character – a friend.”
The dog’s real life traits were incorporated into the game, particularly in regards to fetching items. Dogmeat will routinely fetch random objects in-game and bring them to the player. This was based on River’s penchant for doing this.
Dogmeat is encountered very early in any Fallout 4 playthrough and is 100% devoted to the player. The dog, which is male in the game, has become a fan favorite over the years and is an NPC players feel connected with.
Condolences have poured in following the tragic loss. “If love is River’s legacy, I am contented. Rest in peace, big girl.” Burgess concluded.