Chris Roberts’ followup to Times of Lore was Bad Blood, developed in 1989 immediately before Wing Commander. Bad Blood is sort of a proto-Fallout which features a very similar post-atomic horror setting and even relies on a similar sense of humor. The biggest difference between Bad Blood and other games of its ilk is that you play a set character… one of the wasteland-dwelling mutants!
You can see from the screenshot that Bad Blood takes Chris’ interest in making a game experience as visceral as possible to the next level and easily preludes Wing Commander. Instead of having a health meter, for example, there is a bottle of water showing how much the player has left to drink before he will die. The gameplay is similar to Times of Lore, but with a clear action-oriented bent.
Bad Blood sold reasonably well, but wasn’t entirely well received RPG gamers were notoriously disappointed that it wasn’t the traditional sword-and-sorcery role-playing title that Origin was then known for… and action gamers didn’t know to look for it in the first place. Little did they know how Chris’ next release would change the face of the company!