Project Van Buren [Unity3D]

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Hardboiled Wanderer, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hi there mutants,

    I know what you may think after reading the thread title - another wanna-be Van Buren remake that will die in next two months. And maybe you are right (EDIT: 7 months 9 months later - nope, you weren't right). I don't see it possible to do anything worth playing all alone on my own. Heck, I know what it takes to make such a massive RPG. So, why do I even bother doing any of this, you may ask. Well, there are several reasons for it, like learning new things, improving skills, making a mark and hoping for a place on the Sun... you name it. But the first and foremost reason is love for Interplay's Fallouts.

    Van Buren - 8th president of the United... A Fallout game we deserved, though never got. Everyone who had read the original design documents will most probably agree that this could have been the best RPG ever created. Since those documents got leaked by some dude with inked arms many years back, I have always had this "shrapnel in the head", saying "damn, we have the concepts, we have most of the design, I have two hands, arguably at least half of brains, creative mind and a few years of experience in Unity Engine. Then, there is my best buddy who has a writer's soul and actual designing skills. Aaaand, none of us have a trademark, but f*ck that. Why don't we just do something about it?" So, here it comes:

    Project Van Buren

    This project is purely non-commercial and non-profit. Author does not attempt to claim any parts of the intellectual property of FALLOUT® nor Van Buren trademarks. FALLOUT® is a registered trademark of BETHESDA SOFTWORKS, LLC. Van Burenis a registered trademark of ROXY FRIDAY, LLC. Moral rights for presented content belong to the employees of former Black Isle Studios, a division of Interplay Entertainment Corp.


    This project aims to reimagine and recreate Black Isle Studios' cancelled game codenamed "Van Buren", which was formerly meant to be a successor to the original Fallout® franchise, while staying as faithfull to the original concepts as reasonably possible. And that's about it.


    Project Van Buren may one day be an isometric (well, technically it's not), fully 3D role-playing game set in FALLOUT® universe. Game is powered by Unity Engine 2018.3, featuring dynamic lighting and advanced post-processing technology to bring cutting-edge visuals and level of detail unseen in this game genre (I'm just kidding, Divinity or Pillars look much better). What follows is a list of features worth mentioning:
    • Game will introduce dual combat system, which means combat encounters can be dealth with in real-time or turn-based fighting.
    • World of Van Buren will be the biggest one in FALLOUT® franchise, setting its borders from as south as Bloomfield Space Centre to as north as Great Salt Lake, Utah, and from the flows of Colorado river on Neveda's borders to former city of Denver, which "flows" in "other" Colorado. Filled with natural wonders such as Grand Canyon, pre-war facilities like above mentioned Bloomfield, Boulder, or Los Alamos Nuclear Test Site, and most of all - with degenerated human (and non-human (or no-longer human)) creatures to diversify your jurney around what used to be Four State Commonwealth.
    • All the factions from the original design documents will obviously take place in Van Buren, and even a few more! In addition, uncivilised lands of Four State Commonwealth will make you cross the roads with dosens of tribes and raider gangs, with wide warriety of a their degeneration level. Don't lose hope there, though. Travel along Long-15 far enough northwards and you may find people who won't try to rob or kill you the moment they see you. But they have their issues too.
    • Whether you are a former criminal or (boooring!) do-gooder who ended up in jail by accident, be a Prisoner of your choosing with simplified S.P.E.C.I.A.L. role-playing system, featuring attributes and skills designed by J.E.Sawyer. Play through the quests and decide the fate of so many communities and folks that you'll thank god for ending slideshow to remind you all of them.
    • To be continued...
    Please do note that pictures you are about to view represent a genesis of my work, from very early tries to the latest (far better {at least I hope so}) results. That's why the quality may (and will) differ. I've spent 5 months creating and modifying assets, shaping the visuals and artstyle to fit my vision of a Fallout game, although I keep changing things even now.
    As a result, almost every asset got replaced by better looking and/or better optimised one, and thus, the maps of Burham Springs exterior or Grand Canyon concept will need to be reworked from scratch for example. I will leave their screens by the end of this post, as they still represent their conceptual value.
    Now to latest work, shall we?

    Recreation of the part of Tech Demo exterior scene. You may notice reused original Van Buren assets (metal shack tiles) with new texture sets.

    Fort Abandon concept. Someone's being "baptised" for the third time, it seems...

    Random desert map (done in like half an hour just for shaping assets, testing newly reimplemented navmesh and pathfinding systems and currently ongoing AI programming).
    You can also notice a new Prisoner Suit on a player character. Detail:

    Aaaand... As I am a hardcore fan of Mad Max series, and I know Tim Cain and Leo Boyarsky are one of those fans too, it is quite understandable that there is no damn way of Fallout game not containg one of these:

    Also in the headlines...

    I am currently designing a new UI. Please have a look at these (totally unfinished-work-in-progress) console art pieces. I would like to hear which one you prefer (if any). Let me know in this thread or PM, the greater opinion pool, the better.

    Older work

    Dog Town (Denver, Colorado)
    Following scene was inspired by the original concept art. And yeah, that cupola over the mountains is Boulder Dome.

    And now some UI work. Inventory:

    Interstate 84 near Ogden, Utah, by 2253 known as New Canaan (still Utah)

    (not a present state, will be reworked one sunny day)​

    F*cking annoying... Frequently asked questions
    Q: Will there ever be a public demo of some sort to try out?
    A: Yes, this is actually planned and all the work that is currently being done aims to bring a playable demo as soon as reasonably possible. Demo will be ready once at least two AI packages are fully programmed, tested and debugged, as the combat will be the core part of such a demo. Gimme 6 months at least (stated in February 2019 A.D.)

    Q: Can I donate to your project?
    A: No and yes. As stated in the disclaimer (which you most probably skipped... typical), this project is purely non-profit. That's why I do not accept direct financial donations. Only way which I consider possible is to buy me some assets I need. If you feel like you want to contribute to this project, feel free to contact me in this thread, via PM or my Twitter.

    Interceptor (a.k.a HardBoiled) out.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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  2. Cliffy McEdgeface

    Cliffy McEdgeface bitch I will cut you

    Jun 28, 2018
    This is cool AF but why Unity3D? Cost? I've heard little good about it. EDIT2: Derp, right, you've got the skills for it. Sorry, must have skimmed over that part.

    EDIT: Also, methinks this might be the wrong forum section.

    EDIT 3: Um, you won't get in trouble for adapting assets from New Vegas will you? I sincerely hope not.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  3. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    Apr 24, 2016
    Well, for the past 2 years it's getting better than ever. Optimalisation, visual improvements, better platform support. But the main reason is that Unity is really the easiest engine to work with, with huge support, I'm not afraid to say that is has the best asset compatibility, and after all - it's free.
  4. Cliffy McEdgeface

    Cliffy McEdgeface bitch I will cut you

    Jun 28, 2018
    Well, that's good. I look forward to seeing what you can make it do. And if nothing else, it can't possibly be worse than Gamebryo :P
  5. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    Apr 24, 2016
    As far as I know, there is no restriction for using anything as long as it is not commercially profiting, because than it would be case of selling property without ownership.
  6. Negativity

    Negativity Take a dirt nap

    Oct 19, 2017
    That looks cool, but I think you're right, you'll forget about it by next week. Otherwise if you need help with anything I'm sure you could ask on here. I could try producing an intro cinematic if you wanted? or nah it's all just up in the air really isn't it.
  7. Pwener

    Pwener FEV is the equivalent of a chest x-ray.

    Aug 15, 2017
    Give it another twenty years and we can start pooling everyone's assorted work on the game and we would have roughly... 12% of the game finished. Keep at it guys! I believe! I BELIEVE!

    (Goes back to playing Fallout 3 shamelessly).
  8. Einhanderc7

    Einhanderc7 Vat dipped, grown and still oozing with perfection

    Apr 22, 2016
    Screenshots are all well in good but I'm far more interested in the game mechanics the game will be designed with.

    Have you done all of the pre-production, and planned out the entire development of the project? If not I strongly suggest you do and include milestones to track your progress. If this is your first game development project seek assistance.

    Without doing a comprehensive pre-production, and development pipeline with milestones this project will never get finished. Not to crap on the effort, just being very realistic.
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  9. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    Apr 24, 2016
    Now thats the good point. As I have mentioned above, a friend of mine, a good designer (who actually works in game industry) is my brain for designing and mainly writting. To answer your question - yes, we have discussed the core mechanics, general design ideas and many other topics, all has been (and still is being) written and catalogized, along with finding and studying the original design documents, deciding what is usable and what is not (Joshua Grahams design is not suitable as they wrote it for instance, as New Vegas changed the canon lore greatly, the same goes for Hoover Dam design). We have had an argument about combat mechanics for example, as I am sort of an old school RPG player who likes turn-based combat and as for in-game developing, I am greatly inspired by Wasteland 2. Not that my colleague is less of an old-school RPG player, he, however, insists on real-time combat. Conclusion was not yet done completly, though our current goal is to implement combined combat system as it was originally planned for Van Buren. That would greatly change the level-design for example, and I can feel it as a huge challenge, but I think we can come up with something that will work.

    As for writting and design, we would like to stick to the original design documents where it is possible. Also, in several cases we have found a good ways of improving and adding some of our design - like new major faction to the south of our world map. It is inspired by Raul Tejada and some of the memories he have revealed in New Vegas about this areas. (long-bullshit shorter: Faction of Mexicans around Phoenix, not gonna spoil the details). Other than that, well-known factions we love Fallout for are back - much younger and smaller Caesars Legion, the BoS at its worse time during the open war with the more and more arrogant NCR, "peacefull half-jews with .45s" (as we call them :D) in New Canaan and about dozen of tribes (and my plan is to even increase the number) spread all over 4 states border area, plus the tribes elsewhere. Los Alamos ghouls, Denver scavs, Legionares in their capital Farmington (now Aztecinium)... lot of stuff.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  10. Einhanderc7

    Einhanderc7 Vat dipped, grown and still oozing with perfection

    Apr 22, 2016
    Well then all I can say is stick to the schedule and good luck.
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  11. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    Apr 24, 2016
  12. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Which sadden me is that most of those remake sounded good. I wish all those people worked together on the same project, instead of starting so many of them...
  13. LuciusCorneliusSulla

    LuciusCorneliusSulla First time out of the vault

    Sep 23, 2018
    Looks pretty cool. I hope the Legion has better gear in it. I always figured they used the football gear just out of a cost issue when throwing themselves against the dam. I mean, 76 tribes and none of them can work metal or leather?

    Age Of Decadence has good roman armour sprites for inspiration. I imagine if it's too early Caesar's Legion will look more tribal besides for some of his core members.
  14. ironmask

    ironmask Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Mar 10, 2018
    Looks good, hopefully this will be the first van buran fan project to be completed someday but my hopes are extremely low.
  15. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    Apr 24, 2016
    Well, I have always imagined Legion's gear to be inspired by Mad Max 2 (like most of the armors anyway), as the football shoulder pads are commonly worn there as a protection. In our concept, as you mentioned, the Legion is far more tribal-like as we know it in New Vegas. It has been only 6 years since it was formed, and due to its rather smaller size and lack of soldiers, it is not even so fundamental about erasing tribes it conquers. For instance, the Blackfoot tribe still exists as a tribe, even though it's actually a part of the Legion, same goes for the Hangdogs. Legion let them be as long as they serve them, Blackfoot as slavers, Hangdogs as Denver dogs breeders, or Twisted Hair as scouts.

    (though I have recently discovered major design coflicts in the New Vegas lore about Twisted Hair, so it is not sure they will be in our game due to huge, almost 30 years gap between canon and Van Buren lore. Problem is, it ruins another amazing concept - Hecate, who is supposed to be the only survivor of the Twisted Hair masacre. However, in New Vegas, final conquering of this tribe has been done shortly before 2281... I really could use some help on how to get them in our timeline, for I am out of ideas :D ) .

    All the tribes will be finally culturally erased and unified in the years following, but for now, they are left alone. That's why I imagine that since most of the Legion soldiers are still former tribal warriors, there would be no strict uniforming, and they will wear litterally everything they can create or find, combined with some Legion marks and colors of course.
    Uniforming the Legion soldiers with football gear surely has its own lore, most probably connected to capturing some bigger city with pre-war football history. It could be Flagstaff after all, which is (in our world) know for Flagstaff Eagles, and (in a game timeline) will be captured in 2255.

    Speaking of Blackfoot, I have updated an OP post a little :D
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
  16. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    While I am glad to see a project like this and it is nice that you want to try to incorporate the lore of FNV into it, I really think that if you want to recreate Van Buren why not make it as it really was intended?
    Make it completely like the design documents that were released.

    FNV was the best of a bad situation, incorporating some of the elements of FNV or recombining them into something new. But I think people would have no problem with seeing a Van Buren in which for example the Hanged Man was a really bad asshole compared to his portrayal in Honest Hearts.

    Likewise have the Twisted Hairs killed off before the game starts, explaining where Hecate came from and what her motivations are.

    Consider it a different sequel to Fallout 2 with FNV being an alternative timeline.
  17. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    Apr 24, 2016
    I have to admit that you've made a good point, and as a matter of fact, this variant is still on the table. During the "pre-production" debates, I was the one who actually wanted to do all this as you described - stick to the original. Problem was that my friend strongly disagreed on working completely with someone elses designs and not to create anything new. He actually considered this project as a part of his resume for potential work in the game industry (which he eventually entered not a year ago and he is pretty good there, quickly building his designer career). So that is why I had to reconsider whole project and make some compromises, not to my liking of course.

    However, for the last 3-4 months I have been working solely and I kinda feel like I have a right to do it my way, so that is why I said above that your idea is actually still on the table as I am still considering it as well. I am, however, mostly busy by prototyping and programing the core gameplay mechanics right now, which is actually not my expertise and costs me much more effort then it would cost some really experienced coder (Level-design is what I (think I) am good at). That being said, the conclusion on what design to use is not on the schedule at this time, so there is plenty of time to think about it.

    Anyway, thank you for your words, it kinda gave me a bit of a confidence that the "original designing way" is not my personal preference only and it may be to someone elses liking too.
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  18. Beardy Unixer

    Beardy Unixer First time out of the vault

    Apr 24, 2018
    Don't forget Word of God has it that the trunk of the Highwayman is supposed to turn up in Van Buren, in reference to the bug in 2. It's not in the design documents as far as I remember, but definitely the most egregious oversight in New Vegas that needs to see the light of day somewhere.
  19. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    Apr 24, 2016
    Wasnt there a reference in NV as well? I should definitely write some note down on this one tho.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  20. Risewild

    Risewild Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    New Vegas does have the Highwayman trunk :wiggle:. It's a nod to Van Buren too.