“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,” Burgess recalled, adding that he’s heartbroken. “The more they bonded with her, the more they saw Dogmeat as a character – a friend. The Dogmeat team was just a handful of us early on – as River stole hearts around the studio, however, more and more folks found ways to pitch in and help bring her personality into the game. She was more than a mascot or an inspiration – she was part of the team.”
Burgess added that River was extremely patient and gentle, which aided the character’s development. Her real life behavior was recreated in the game, so a lot of Dogmeat’s behavior in Fallout 4 accurately reflects how River behaved.
“Dogmeat is a tether,” Burgess continued. “He grounds you in the world, will always stand by you, lead you to your family, and anticipate your needs. He wants you to be safe and happy. In other words, he loves you, and if love is River’s legacy, I am contented.”
We encourage checking out Burgess’ full thread over on Twitter.
I said goodbye today to River, who most of you know as Fallout 4’s Dogmeat.
Heartbroken doesn’t cover it, but I won’t eulogize her here. For twitter, I thought it’d be appropriate to look back at her impact on that game.
(plus, writing about game dev hurts less than grieving) pic.twitter.com/ayN1Vd6oqQ
— Joel Burgess (@JoelBurgess) June 27, 2021
Rest in peace, River.