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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Joshua Sawyer
Sawyer bazooka.jpg
Josh Sawyer in 2010
Biographical data
Other NamesJ.E. Sawyer, Josh "Serpiente" Sawyer
Date of BirthOctober 18, 1975
Involvement in Fallout series
GamesFallout: New Vegas
Dead Money
Honest Hearts
Old World Blues
Lonesome Road
Gun Runners' Arsenal
Van Buren
J.E. Sawyer's Fallout RPG
External links
HomepageDiogenes Lamp blog
WikipediaJosh Sawyer
MobyGamesJoshua Sawyer
Other LinksJ.E. Sawyer's Tumblr
J.E. Sawyer's Twitter
J.E. Sawyer's
J.E. Sawyer's Facebook
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Joshua Eric Sawyer is a video game designer active in the role playing game genre. After Chris Avellone left Interplay, Sawyer became the lead designer of Van Buren (the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios) before he himself left in November 2003. At Obsidian Entertainment, he was the lead designer and project director of Fallout: New Vegas, a standalone game based on Fallout 3's engine and gameplay.


Sawyer grew up in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin and earned a BA degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. In addition to being a history major, Josh participated in the theater (including mounting a production of Assassins). After Lawrence, Sawyer moved to California.


July 2005PresentObsidian EntertainmentProject Director / Lead Designer
November 2003July 2005Midway Home EntertainmentLead Designer
March 1999November 2003Black Isle StudiosJunior / Game / Lead Designer

Black Isle Studios (1999–2003)

Starting as a Web Designer at Black Isle Studios, he quickly worked his way up the ladder to an associate designer position and then lead designer on Icewind Dale II.

While at Black Isle he was known for coming up with the "Ex-Presidents" project naming system. When Interplay closed down Black Isle Studios many team members ended up at Obsidian Entertainment, which would eventually come to include J.E. Sawyer.

He was the lead designer of Baldur's Gate III: The Black Hound (codenamed Jefferson) before it was canceled due to Interplay losing all rights to the Dungeons & Dragons license. He then moved on to Black Isle's Fallout 3 project, codenamed Van Buren, which used the same engine, as lead technical designer. After Chris Avellone left Interplay, Sawyer became the lead designer of Van Buren. In November 2003 it was reported by Tor Thorsen of GameSpot that he had abruptly quit his role as lead designer of Van Buren to pursue other projects.

Midway Home Entertainment (2003–2005)

After the cancellation of Van Buren, Sawyer left Black Isle and joined Midway Home Entertainment to work on Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows. On July 19, 2005, GameSpot announced that he had left Midway. He was preceded in that move by memorable game designer John Romero, who left work on the Gauntlet remake in June 2005.

Obsidian Entertainment (2005–present)

In 2005, Sawyer was employed by Obsidian Entertainment to work on Neverwinter Nights 2. Sawyer was the project director and lead designer of Aliens: Crucible, the cancelled role-playing game based on the Alien film franchise. He was the project director and lead designer on Fallout: New Vegas, which was released in October 2010. He also wrote and performed several songs for Fallout: New Vegas: "Cobwebs and Rainbows," "Home on the Wastes," "New Vegas Valley," and "Streets of New Reno."

On December 29, 2011, Sawyer released his personal mod, JSawyer, on Diogenes Lamp. The mod fixed some major oversights made by the developers with statistics such as karma values and what weapons certain perks effect as well as making Fallout: New Vegas, in general, harder.

Subsequent projects include the landmark Pillars of Eternity and its sequel, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, released to critical acclaim.


Fallout series

YearTitleCredited as/for
2010Fallout: New VegasLead Designer, Project Director, Additional songs
2011Dead MoneyItem Design
2011Honest HeartsProject Director
2011Old World BluesItem Design
2011Lonesome RoadItem Design
2011Gun Runners' ArsenalProject Director
-Van BurenLead Designer
-J.E. Sawyer's Fallout RPGCreator

Other work (excerpt)

YearTitleCredited as/for
2018Pillars of Eternity II: DeadfireLead Designer and Project Director
2015Pillars of EternityLead Designer and Project Director
2006Neverwinter Nights 2Lead Designer (taken over from Ferret Baudoin)
2002Icewind Dale IILead Designer
2000Icewind DaleDesigner

Behind the scenes


  • Sawyer talks Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 3 and other Obsidian games
  • Continued
  • The PC Gamer Show Episode 2 9:28—17:08
  • 2012 Game Developers Conference; Choice Architecture, Player Expression, and Narrative Design in Fallout: New Vegas

External links


Copyright.pngThe contents of this page were entirely or partially copied from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, and are therefore licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The original version, its history and authors can be found at the Wikipedia page "Josh Sawyer".