Right, this probably isn't the best sort of thing to do as my FIRST post on here. If there's somewhere else that this sort of thing is supposed to go, I'm sorry. Been lurking for several months now, had an idea nagging me, and decided to throw it out in front of the lot of you. Seems like a decent course of action, given how a good number of you are much more... knowledgeable about the franchise in general. Location, Location, Location.... This prospective new game would take place in the Midwest. Kinda considering the name "Fallout: Heartland", although there's probably a better name to be found. The main area would encompass most of Missouri and portions of Illinois, Kansas, and maybe a few bits and pieces from other surrounding states. "Major" Factions As opposed to the previous games, I would imagine this to be less of a match between a few large factions duking it out so much as a bunch of smaller groups and city-states vying for dominance in a situation somewhat akin to renaissance Italy, with the bigger townships mostly throwing mercenaries at each other and other groups having their own goals and methods of achieving them. In general you would have: Townships built on top of the ruins of some of the more notable ports along the Mississippi river. These would be some of the wealthier areas for the same reasons that made them so rich further back in history: trading along the river. With resources like fuel (and presumably other things like coal) having grown scarce before the war, old-fashioned barges with a little new-tech thrown in could possibly see a return to prominence. Sort of like the various Italian merchant republics of Venice, Genoa, etc., these townships/cities would be more centered around out-doing/sabotaging/eliminating the competition and the acquisition of wealth through various means. This doesn't make them 100% greedy assholes, of course, but there'd be more of a wealthy aristocracy made up of powerful merchant families at the top mixed in with a few individuals with ties to some of the less savory business ventures... Smaller landlocked towns dotting the land with varying goals and governing bodies. Possibly one or two cities that ended up hiring more mercenaries than they could afford, only to lose control to these "defenders". More rural communities further west near the Kansas territories, not unlike the "Old West" that once was. There'd likely be more cooperation than conflict for the sake of keeping a bit of order, but family and personal squabbles/grudges would still be an issue from time to time. "Minor" Factions A minor cult, preferably original as opposed to re-using things like the children of atom or other ones that have already been seen. That's not to say that the one's established thus far can't exist in some shape or form somewhere, but still. Goals would likely involve any mixture of sacrifices, extermination/subjugation of those deemed "heathens/heretics", and performing rituals to appease *insert deity here*. Supporting them could lead to promotions and possibly bonuses to charisma as a sort of religious leader. On the other hand, you might see that a few of the old-world faiths have survived and resurfaced, coming into conflict with the aforementioned cultists. Depending on if it goes fundamentalist or simple enlightenment, it could be deemed a bit more "moral" or just as depraved as the local cult. Bonuses would probably be similar, but aimed towards different uses. In the underworld of the bigger townships, take your pick of various criminals dealing with your everyday drugs, "protection", hits, and human trafficking. Working with these groups (although dealing with one would not endear you to its rivals) would offer monetary gain and possibly even influence within the domain of your "allies"... Of course, there's always the gratitude and promised support of any victims to consider should you decide to clean-house instead. What role appeals more? Mobster, Vigilante... or newly-self-proclaimed Boss? Various mercenary bands. Some would be more ruthless or altruistic than others. Earning a few favors from experienced fighters could certainly be useful for a variety of situations. Of course, if the money happens to be coming from those you're fighting against... As...unpopular as the idea may be, it's not impossible for the BoS or Enclave to make an appearance. Granted, this would be particularly small. You could either grow their influence and take advantage of an extra ally with a few resources or stomp them out. It's up to you. "Story" I imagine that it would be better to let the world progress with or without the player. Player involvement could certainly speed up or hinder various plans, but if you just want to play the part of some poor schmuck concerned with keeping himself alive--screw the politics and everything else--go right ahead. Beginnings Call me out on it if you must, but I kinda like the idea of prewar cryogenic preservation actually working. What I don't understand is the Vault-Tec monopoly on fallout shelters. I mean, maybe it could be one of THEIR vaults, but I'm thinking something more along the lines of a smaller-time company taking advantage of the situation and working on several bunkers, or maybe one of those rich individuals who actually want's to do something good (admittedly with no small amount of personal benefit in the form of safety). Regardless... *Scene begins with slowly opening eyes, a hiss of decompression and the hum of machinery. A lid/door slowly opens and a prerecorded voice sounds off from a small speaker embedded in the top of this little "cell".* "Greetings customer **** (I suppose any number works, really). This is a prerecorded message meant to guide you to your new post-nuclear-apocalypse life. Please note that as noted in your terms-of-service contract memory loss, brain damage, loss of motor function, muscle deterioration, and other various effects may have occurred over the course of your preservation. Please refer to article 21.C, stipulating that (insert company name here) is not liable for any and all potential damages. Some compensation may be available should faulty systems be involved. Please exit your preservation cell and enter the door to your right. Please avoid conflict with other customers." *You step out of the "cell" and look around to see other individuals stepping out of similar pods. A small line forms and moves through the door. After entering the designated room, another speaker echoes throughout the room.* "Please step into an open scanner. This is a mandatory action meant to ensure your physical wellbeing. Please avoid rapid and/or violent movements while being scanned." *Stepping into what appears to be a round booth with a small lamp-like scanner moving on a small mechanical arm connected to a rail that goes all the way around the inside of its walls. The camera switches to a screen attached to the outside of the booth, and thus your character creation begins. Different areas are accompanied by small text going on about "scanning (insert relevant body part/attribute here)" as a bit of in-game justification (in that the character being created is simply what the machine is scanning and showing on it's own screen, likely connected to some observation console elsewhere).* *You exit the booth. The automated speaker continues.* "Please make your way to the designated elevator in order to exit the facility. Thank you for choosing (insert company name here). Enjoy your radiation-sickness-free future!" *At this point, you have a few different options. 1: Go to the elevator. 2: Assault either one of the other "customers", one of the guards, or one of the men in lab-coats overseeing the procedures. This will go about as well as you'd expect it to. 3: Attempt to loiter for several minutes around instead of actually moving on, resulting in being prompted to move on several times and eventually being manhandled into the elevator, ending in a mini-cutscene of being thrown out onto the ground at the surface level.* Skills, Perks, and the Like Admittedly, balancing things like weapons and armors isn't exactly my forte; I imagine that you'd likely have much of the same things that were available in previous parts of the series, although popular opinion around here tends to lean more towards the older versions. In terms of actually leveling up skills, there would be two different categories: Weapons and Character Skills. For weapons I turn to the system used by Mount and Blade (Admittedly a game far removed from Fallout in terms of time period and other details, but I digress) in which succeeding to use the weapon is what improves your skill. It makes sense, after all, that landing successful shots is something to build off of; the more you use it, the better you get at finding the most efficient ways of kicking a foe out of the world of the living. Higher skill with a type of firearm improves accuracy and damage with weapons of that type as well as improving reload times and how fast you can draw (within reason). I'm not entirely certain if lumping melee weapons together would be all that proper, but just how finely they could be separately categorized would be up for debate. Character Skills, meanwhile, would be improved both by point delegation and by actual success with said skill. Landing a lot of headshots? You're given good experience in terms of marksmanship. Convincing others to see things from your point of view? All the more practice for honing your capabilities. There'd be a little bonus (although much smaller) even if you fail; knowing what NOT to do is a lesson in itself (provided your failure doesn't cost you your life in the process). A Matter of Reputation Relationships with the various factions and individuals scattered across the Heartland is going to be a little more complex than in previous titles, to say the least. When dealing with a town or larger organized group, there are several factors in just how cooperative and helpful they can be. Getting on good terms with the leadership could be beneficial, but be mindful of conflicting plans and ambitions. Becoming popular in the eyes of the citizenry certainly puts a little more pressure on the men and women up at the top, but that's not a pure guarantee either. Perhaps relations and communication with any number of individuals have broken down; do you have the force and the reputation behind you to back up your demands, then? It's an unorthodox situation in which playing a murderous bastard can actually work as most sane people still value survival and sometimes might makes right. There's just the main question of what path you plan to take: Shall you win hearts, engage in the fine art of realpolitik, or simply become the sort of individual that nobody dares to cross? Individuals will function in a similar fashion. Knowing friends and family can make for a fine way of persuading someone, either by having good references or by suggesting that accidents are known to happen from time to time and wouldn't that be a shame? Finally, different groups will inevitably be at odds with one another. Gaining favor with one is hardly going to put you in a positive light with regards to their enemies. Pretty much the standard system already established by New Vegas. "Personal" Thoughts/Ideas These are mostly just my own little ideas for more specific parts of the game's content. Hardly perfect, but nonetheless I might as well throw it out there and see how well it fares under scrutiny. "Fort Busch"--Although the idea of packing a whole "city" into a baseball stadium seems a little far-fetched to me, I have to admit that such structures tend to have a nice and sturdy look to them. Making a sort of fortification out of the place over the years would certainly make for a strong position from which to hold the surrounding area. This could also possibly be justified by some conflict or other given threat/chaos further East, with a fortified Busch Stadium standing as a grand bastion against any hostile incursion against the locals. "Mutant Mercs"--Although it may sound a bit ridiculous, the idea of intelligent (or at least not completely bloodthirsty) super mutants isn't all that farfetched if certain examples in previous games are to be believed. Furthermore, the Midwest isn't quite as far from their primary canon point of origin as the East Coast, which makes it plausible that a few could've made their way into the Heartland. I imagine that on occasion the player may come across one or two every-so-often, with said mutants essentially serving as bodyguards or just a bit of hired muscle for intimidation. "Vegas Roulette"--This is more just to serve as a sort of reference to the fan-favorite New Vegas. How to avoid contradicting any of the endings? Randomization is a lovely thing. One game might see a wandering eyebot or two advertising a secure Vegas under Mr. House (whether or not this is the genuine article or an usurper that took up the name is a matter of your own interpretation) or spouting off propaganda about the wonderful Republic in the West. Perhaps the Southwestern Heartland is having issues with strangely dressed soldiers attacking in the name of their Legion. These would, of course, be mutually exclusive with a random chance of one or another showing up in that particular play through. The first edit and a little more information... I suppose I'll press on at a later date.