The Van Buren tech demo was a pre-alpha release of Van Buren, the cancelled third part of the Fallout series by Black Isle Studios. The tech demo featured gameplay from the last segments of what was going to be the tutorial, showcasing what the game could have looked like.
The tech demo was created during the game's development, before to the Fallout franchise was acquired by Bethesda Softworks. When asked about it, Bethesda's Pete Hines replied: "(...) releasing someone else's unfinished product, or assets from it, is not something we intend to do." Several screenshots and one video of the tech demo have been released at No Mutants Allowed on April 30, 2007, followed by the tech demo itself on May 2.
The plot of the tech demo is not connected to the main storyline and was going to be included in the finished game as a tutorial. It takes place in the United States of America during the Great War, somewhere in the Great Midwest Commonwealth. The Player Character in the demo is referred to only as Citizen (even though the Citizen uses the Prisoner's model). The Citizen's parents were reduced to ash, as they didn't believe the government's bombing raid sirens. The Citizen made their way to the relocation center and is escorted to a Vault by Corporal Armstrong of the 4th or 13th Armored Infantry Division. To reach the Vault, they must fight Communist Insurgents. After they enter the Vault, the Citizen must help turn on the life support system.
There are several things of note in the tech demo. The first is that the female PC appears naked from the waist up, without the prisoner suit with the "13" legend. The female PC has no character portrait whatsoever.
- The technology demonstration was released in 2007, it can still be downloaded here.
- Van Buren tech demo guide
There are many bugs with the tech demo, as it is an unfinished game.
- Some weapons cause a crash to desktop (CTD) when used. Others have AP values in the 100,000s+, rendering them unusable. Still other weapons won't fire, even when fully loaded.
- Many of the maps that can be loaded through console commands either cause a CTD or completely freeze the computer.