If you were the chief writer on Fallout 4...

Discussion in 'Fallout 4' started by CT Phipps, May 8, 2017.

  1. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    You have to follow the same basic plot of Pre-War, finding relative, Commonwealth, and the factions but you can mix it up otherwise.

    How would you do it?

    Here's my ideas.

    C.T. Phipps' Fallout 4

    0. Stick with the SPECIAL system rather than reinventing it. Keep options of story relevance and incorporate skills into the game.

    1. The Sole Survivor is the brother/sister of Nora rather than the husband. Hence, Shaun is the Sole Survivor's nephew and they have much more freedom to choose what their identity was in the Pre-War world. You can claim to be a variety of professions or just refuse to talk about them and be mysterious. There'd be about 30 minutes in the starting area where you'd have to deal with youth gangs trying to steal your car's microfusion battery, talk about how you can only eat sugar pops, and also dealing with a power armored soldier who is threatening the two women across the street. Nora signed you both up at Vault-Tech. When you flee to the Vault, you see the nuclear explosion on monitors in the Vault.

    2. I'd make the opening Vault area far more gruesome as you wake up to find the entire place full of skeletons rather than frozen people with only the barest of power. Your sister's pod is empty, however, and you are on a mystery which will be to find out what happened to them rather than "who killed them." The game will emphasize you have almost no clues whatsoever so it's not something meant to drive the plot as closure to the end.

    3. At the start of the game you'll have the option of choosing to side with either the Minutemen or the Nuka World Raiders. The latter will be fully integrated into the game with backstories, histories, bases, and the option of communicating with them. You'll also be able to sneak the survivors out of the area or just bribe or speech the Nuka World Raiders into leaving them alone. I.e. You can keep from making one into your enemy at the start. MacCready is the Raider Companion and Preston is the Minuteman Companion, no exceptions.

    4. The Institute is actually a walled Vault City-esque location inside the Commonwealth without much difficulty getting in. It's a picturesque Utopia that is run by robotic slave labor. The Institute considers the surrounding people of the Commonwealth to be primitive savages and sends out Synths to infiltrate the other groups to keep them from trying to attack the Institute in order to steal their stuff. You need a pass to get into the Institute which you can do by forging one, rescuing some Institute scavengers, or just showing enough skills at Science or Medicine to get in.

    5. Arthur Maxson has returned the BoS to its original goal of stealing technology. The Institute has to go because it is a collection of advanced technology which "threatens the world." I don't try and make that sympathetic. The Institute and BoS are irreconciable as long as he's in charge. On the other hand, I do highlight the BOS has changed under Maxson to being a feudal state that they actively rule territories under their control now. They control the Capital Wasteland and Arthur envisions eventually building a Brotherhood Empire.

    A major plotlline is discovering that Scribe Rothschild arranged for Arthur to replace Sarah Lyons and have the Lone Wanderer exiled from the Brotherhood to return to a traditionalist Brotherhood. You can find Sarah Lyon's body and audiodiaries that prove the treachery. You can then decide to have Rothschild executed, destroy the evidence, replace Maxson with Danse (you lose him as a companion as a result), or use it to influence Maxson.

    Eliminate the whole Danse is a Synth thing.

    6. The Railroad isn't an actual faction in this game but just a spin-off of the Institute. They're a bunch of exiled citizens that either fell in love with their Synths or committed some crime against the Institute. They're a minor faction but a useful faction which just helps broaden the organization as a whole.

    7. Massively pair down the Settlement system. There's four Settlements in the entire game with your initial settlement in Santuary Hills, Lookout Point, the Fortress, and making your home base at the Rockets. It's a side-game and largely irrelevant to the system.

    8. The Final Battle in the game is either an attack on the Institute for its many crimes by the Raiders or Brotherhood of Steel or defending the Institute. You can have the Minutemen either assist the Brotherhood of Steel or the Brotherhood of Steel in attacking the location. The final battle will include many people showing up who you helped or not similar to the Battle of Hoover Dam. You can also actually totally subvert the typical Fallout business by forcing a peace treaty between the factions through a complicated questline and speech.

    The final boss will be Liberty Prime for the BOS (which you can sabotage beforehand so he doesn't do anything or explodes) or a Institute mecha.

    9. Tweak the lore so it's actually consistent. The Institute has its own unique brand of Power Armor they created post-apocalypse. The Super Mutants in the Commonwealth are survivors of Washington D.C. driven North by them after having their base destroyed by the boS/Lone Wanderer. No references to Jet before the apocalypse.

    Yes, this means either Codsworth and Curie are RoboBrains or they don't exist.

    10. Generally expand the amount of things to do and say without shooting things. Adding in the Racetrack for Robots, the Combat Zone, the option to get married, the chance to join the Church of the Atom, and on is all there to make the place feel more authentic. There should also be a good deal better voice options with at least some consistency and knowing what you're saying.

    11. As for Shaun? You actually find out the Institute shut down the power of your Vault to steal it. Kellog, however, had a moment of humanity and refused to kill a woman with a baby. She also insisted on leaving her brother alive. You have learn Kellog's history via the Memory Reader to track him down (he's a frequent user) and find this out. You can spare him or not but if you do, he becomes a companion. Later, you'll find your sister is an old woman now living with the Railroad while Shaun is an Institute scientist but not Father.

    12. Obviously, we keep the "What happens to X" slideshow.
     
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  2. Jogre

    Jogre It's all JO'Ger now

    Oct 25, 2015
    I would usually say scrap the whole thing and start anew, but since you are insisting this involves keeping the lost relative and most of the factions, I'll try and work with it.

    Note, anything I haven't explicitly mentioned, is probably because I'd not even try and rework it, but rather remove it.

    1. Pre-war sequence is altered drastically. The one in-game feels entirely redundant, as it essentially introduces this pre-war plot point, but then skips passed it, not doing anything fun with it, assuming you want to rush straight in to the wasteland. Instead, I'd say start it roughly a week before the bombs fell, on your characters day off. Vault-Tec guy comes round and informs you that you have a place in a Vault due to your "Service to this country", to which you can respond by suggesting various ways you may have served(Perhaps you were a weapons scientist, or an intelligence agent, or a naval officer, ect.) on top of this, give the player an option to say something among the lines of "Must have been some kind of a mixup there", if you are uncomfortable with the army background. After choosing a background, you get to allocate your SPECIAL and choose a first level Perk to represent your characters trained skills.

    Later in this pre-war sequence, you get the option to explore the pre-war world, and can basically choose out of a list of places you want to go. Each of these places has slight clues as to the real dark nature of the pre-war world(Perhaps a news reader suggesting they've uncovered a conspiracy regarding an oil rig before technical difficulties interrupt, or a crowd of people being pushed back by cops in the background, or maybe a brief conversation mentioning how good Little America is at hockey). In addition, whatever place you choose will put you in a situation, which depending on your choice of Perk or SPECIAL can be altered.

    Then, once your character heads home at the end of the day, you get a "Just over a week later" timecard, and boom, day the bombs fell.

    2. The finding a relative plot point seems worn out and old, however might as well work with it. I liked your idea of Nate/Nora being a sibling, however, perhaps keep it vague. Perhaps Shaun(Who would for the sake of this be 3 or 4 rather than a newborn) refers to you as "Uncle/Aunt", however you could simply imply that Nate/Nora is simply an old friend, perhaps someone from an army mission, a partner in crime, or even just an annoying neighbour who makes there kid call you uncle/aunt. That way the writing teams are happy because it can be interpreted as saving a relative, however it can be interpreted otherwise, if it suits your character.

    Also, fix the Kellog sequence. The other tests subjects end up dying because the experiment failed, not because the Institute are idiots. Perhaps the kidnap occurs with all but one of the vaults living participants, rather than just one.

    Also, you can find The Institute without having to be actively looking for Shaun. Perhaps if you happen to stumble upon Diamond City, you find an alternate macguffin device, or find an urgent job that overlaps with the Shaun quest, so you can completely ignore the lost relative plot point if you so wish.

    3. Since the "200 years but nothing changed" thing frequently comes up, here's a little twist. What if The Commonwealth did have its own government for a little while, but it recently collapsed(Maybe in part due to Institute shenanigans)

    Even now, it would still be fairly more civilized than most parts of the wasteland, as there would still be multiple standing city states, though perhaps due to differences in ideology, they'd be unwilling to reform the Commonwealth's government.

    Perhaps "Raiders" aren't actually raiders perse, but are rather bandits, living in the fringes of these city states, robbing passers(Perhaps rather than being immediately hostile, most will make unreasonable demands, which if met, will let you pass, but its easier just to fight them)

    4. Since you mentioned factions in stuff that stays, here's some quick rewrites

    Institute: Far more advanced and interesting technology. Better laser guns, perhaps automatically cleaning floors, there clothes can change colour at will, all sorts of cool shit happens in the Institute to represent technological prowess.

    Synths are also far less of a major plot point for them. Due to being in Fallout 3(Which I'm assuming would still be kept canon in this rewrite, though I'd rather scrap the point completely tbh), they are still there, just far more minor. Perhaps Synths were never intended to be sentient, instead being built as basic lab assistants, who perhaps were given capacity to learn and change behaviour, however adapted sentience overtime. By the time the Institute realised this, it was too late.

    Also, far more doubt over whether Synths actually are people. Perhaps far less emotions, pretty much all mechanical, except for skin and artificial blood to help them blend in with humans. They'd also have lots of quirks, and quite alien-seeming personalities, so that doubts can arise over whether they are just robots who taught themselves to behave in a certain way.

    Institute motives and long-term plans make far more sense, also perhaps the reason they interact with the surface using Synth infiltrators is to acquire wealth for themselves, so they can one day take over the surface and create a utopia.
    Railroad: Adjusted to fit rewritten Synths.
    Minutemen: Preston is the General rather than you. Minutemen were perhaps a paramilitary force, defending trade routes for the Commonwealth, but after collapse fell apart due to infighting. Perhaps for added controversy and depth to this faction, Preston is convinced to unite the Commonwealth, by forcibly replacing the heads of City States, and while not evil, is too blinded by idealism and a desire for peace. Also, if not saved at the very beginning of the game, Preston dies, so this option requires you to save him as soon as you get the quest to do so.
    Brotherhood: Far more isolationist, and truer to there roots. They've just come here to stop Institute Experiments from leaking to the surface, and collect Institute technology. They care neither about people nor the player, the player is a hired hand, who isn't part of there group. They perhaps intend to establish The Commonwealth as a feudal state, that will pay tribute in forms of pre-war tech; they genuinely do not care about the fates of individual peoples, and will likely leave once they've bled the commonwealth dry. You side with the Brotherhood mostly for tech and money, and they do not care about you.

    Also, add an independent option, which is far more difficult, yet more rewarding than the others.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
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  3. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016


    Ok ok lemme try.

    I wouldn't have the "find the relative" plot, I'd chuck it out. BUT if I absolutely had to keep it and the Pre-War idea, I'd make it so you're siblings (siblings is better because you're not obliged to like 'em) who are arrested for sedition (whether it's true or not) and sent off as experiments to an unmarked Vault. You'd start off inside the Vault and you're questioned (you'd select your various skills and optional perks here) before being bunged into the freezer. I know the whole prisoner shtick is Elder Scrolls stuff but I feel this approach allows the player to fill in the blanks and create more of their own unique character rather than "You are a soldier, you are married to Nora, you live in a nice house" etc.

    (Actually truth be told, I don't think having the PC as a Pre-War character really adds much, so you could just have the PC wake up in the Vault from the get go.)

    I'd actually have you wake up in a Vault that has no trace of anyone: no skeletons, no blood, no signs of disturbance, no notes, nothing. Just as if everyone up and vanished and you don't see anything, you just wake up in the future. Perhaps there'd be a terminal next to your pod and depending on your skills/SPECIAL the experiment performed on you changes i.e. steroid tests to increase muscle mass for Strength. It would give little information on the Vault's purpose and show a fault of sorts but nothing more.

    Toss out the whole Nuka World stuff and have the Minutemen as a grey faction. They're a militia but aren't pure good, they keep settlements safe but expect payment. They're at odds with the Gunners, who protect the settlements outside the walls of the Institute. The Minutemen have been trying to stop the Gunners from extending the Institute's power. They have superior numbers but aren't as well-equipped, creating a stalemate.

    The Institute itself I'd have it as a technological paradise but only for those inside its walls. It governs the Outer City with Gunners and security bots and does keep the peace and provide a stable way of life, but is authoritarian and demands much from the people. Its own security force consists of unaltered humans, bots and a few cyborgs. I'd have the Institute believe that cyborgs are the way future instead of synths, or something along those lines. Citizens seen to be of use to the Institute are granted access to the Inner City for assessment. By earning the interest of the Institute you'd be invited to an "interview", or you could take the place of someone else who has been invited, impersonate security, sneak in via a forgotten tunnel, hack a security system or force your way in (which would be very difficult, like killing Caesar in a fight in his camp).

    For the Brotherhood of Steel, I'd have Sarah as the Elder. Over the years she's lost so much "fighting the Good fight" (including getting Maxson killed) she's becoming disillusioned with the prospect of helping the wastelanders. EDIT: To add to this, she'd see them as ungrateful and unworthy of saving, save the few who manage to prove themselves.

    The needs of the new C.W nation are growing, thus the BOS has started expanding into neighbouring territories (similar to the NCR in many respects) and the Institute has caught their attention.

    I'm knackered so I haven't got much else right now, but those are some rough ideas.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
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  4. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    I know, I know you'd all love to throw it away.

    But the point of being head writer is you're usually forced to put suits on pigs.

    :)
     
  5. naossano

    naossano Vault Fossil

    Oct 19, 2006
    Would giving a call to MCA count as working ?
     
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  6. R.Graves

    R.Graves Functionally Defective

    Apr 21, 2016
    Even if I had less talent than emil It would still be better because I actually know the lore and care about it.
     
  7. R.Graves

    R.Graves Functionally Defective

    Apr 21, 2016
    I like the idea that piper uses her press to print the region's currency and is more of bigger influence in diamond city like she actually has employees and stuff. That would lead to greater political tension between her and the mayor. And allow for more endings. Also the synths should be more like terminators because I feel the idea of a fully synthetic human to be kind of jarring and weird in the fallout setting. I might reach out to some of the original writers for ideas and input. BOS would only be referenced as a sort advanced east coast followers of the apocalypse..
     
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  8. BigGuyCIA

    BigGuyCIA Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Oct 26, 2016
    Hmmm. Kind of hard to really conceptualize everything since it's off the top of my head but here goes:

    -- Intro part --

    Intro starts off with you visiting the home of a very wealthy cousin. He's a giant asshole but you can decide the nature of the relationship during the visit. Bomb sirens go off and you're rushed off to the nearby vault. Your name is not on the list but based on how you interacted with the cousin he would either help get you into the vault or tell you to fuck off. The latter option leads into some basic sleuthing or use of charisma to beguile your way in.

    You're finally in the vault and corralled [unknowingly] with the others into cryo pods (if you snuck in they don't really notice because the vault is not at maximum capacity i.e. a lot of people didn't make it before the bombs dropped). You wake up 200 years later and find the vault almost completely empty with the exception of some pods which house some leftovers. A power failure had sparked the vault's systems and caused the cryo doors to open. You make your way out of the vault and find that the old neighborhood is completely desolate. You bump into your cousin (much older) that's living much like a vagrant in the burned out husk of his old home (basically a human Codsworth). You learn that the Institute had been pulling vault occupants out of cryo and taking them away. Your cousin in this case had been pulled out of cryo 15 years earlier. The wife had failed to survive the cryo process, and the son (your nephew) had been whisked away with several other captives. Your cousin had managed to slip away from the rest of the group during the trek outside of the vault. He'll request that you help him find his kid - at which point you can either tell him to fuck off or oblige him.

    -- Concord Area --

    I'd probably make it so the showdown in the town is reminiscent of Ghost town quest from FNV. There's two groups locked in a bitter stalemate over control of a locked armory that's holding some military grade equipment, and you have to decide which mercenary group to help. The Minutemen are somewhat more noble in their cause but ill-equipped, while the Gunners are significantly more ruthless in their work but better equipped with weapons and armor. You have a few options here:

    -Help the Minutemen and get rid of the Gunners by any means necessary (gungho or silver tongue).
    -Help the Gunners and get rid of the Minutemen by any means necessary ("").
    -Convince both parties to come to terms and split the equipment (the Gunners in this case will betray the Minutemen and slaughter them when they enter no man's land).
    -Sneak off to the armory and figure out how to open it yourself and take what's inside. Depending on how you manage it both sides won't really find out it was you who stole the equipment.
    -Blow up/destroy all of the equipment inside of the armory which causes both parties to sort of just leave. You can use this option to threaten both parties into peacefully distributing the loot without the Gunner's betraying the Minutemen. This earns you the ire of both sides, however.

    -----

    Will add to this later if I feel like it's worth trying to make Fallout 4 better.