Project Van Buren [Unity3D]

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

  1. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Half-way Through My Half-life

    Nov 26, 2007
    This is a popular line of thought.

    There are RPGs that do that (, and it's a welcome feature), but I wouldn't say that it's a core aspect of RPGs—because one doesn't have to invent the character to roleplay them; if it exists... it's a role, and it's playable. Indeed it's common in PnP games for players to be assigned a PC if they don't have one.

    I have seen posts by people who won't play a game unless the avatar is the same sex as them; Planescape:Torment has that a lot, because you only get the one character, and he is male. I consider Planescape to be a better RPG than Fallout —ergo better than most RPGs. I don't think it's a better game than Fallout though.

    The advantage [one of them] for an RPG with user created characters, is that the user can create their own character (but of course). However this limits what the game has for them; like in the way that the story of a Choose-Your-Own adventure book is but a fraction of the the pages within the book; one reads only one side of each choice.

    An advantage for an assigned character, is that they can write a better story for it; because they can know who that characters is—even better than the player does. In the Witcher, Geralt has a presence in the world, and people remember him from years before the game starts. He is not a faceless stranger who NPCs comment to that they used to be just like him, before they took an arrow to the knee.

    I will not claim that either style is the better, or the truer form of RPG, but it is the case that both styles have their strengths and shortcomings, and a player will miss the other side of good RPGs for only sticking to one style. If you ever want to play the Witcher series again (I highly recommend... at least the first one), it might help to experience it as an exercise in extrapolation (of this Geralt fellow), based on what you can tell of him from the interactions. He has a sense of humor... and that's not always something you get from a generic custom PC—where the dialog options might not even exist in the game.

    Can I ask you why? [without being taken as judgmental... it's not. I am just curious.]

    The reason is, that in my case, I play the games to roleplay someone—anyone—with problems, and an outlook very different to my own; and preferably unfamiliar to me. The last thing I want is an avatar in a world where I don't belong.

    Bethesda (just for instance) designs their games for the PC to be the player as—whatever PC they choose... Be a warrior, be a mage; be both... in fact it distills down to "Do whatever the hell you want, with very few limitations". Harking back to "core aspects of RPGs" I would say that limitation itself is the paramount core aspect of any RPG—or should be, because that's what they do. RPGs evaluate when to say 'no', and they do this based on the strengths and weaknesses of the character in play.

    To have the PC be both avatar, and character would seem to cheat the core concept that the game facilitates... like having a player whose day job is locksmithing, and who can open the [assume physically accurate working] locks in the game because they know how... but the character wouldn't know how if they did not study the skill; so how is this clueless PC opening all of these locks?

    That is the crux of the player skill vs. character skill argument. In FO3, the player can influence the gun accuracy, and pull off shots that the PC might not have the skill to repeatedly manage. This might also be true of riddles in RPGs. If the player has heard it before, then should they be allowed to answer —for— the PC? What if the PC's stats imply that they are not at all very bright, and would likely not even understand the wording itself, let alone answer the riddle.

    *And the flip side: What if the PC's stats implied they are quite superior to the player? Isn't that part of the draw with roleplaying? To roleplay as Bruce Lee, or the Hulk, or Gandalf, or Dr Who—Dr. Strange even. This brings up the notion of the impairment of the PC, by player inadequacy holding them back. Imagine an RPG where the player picks the locks themselves... but they are roleplaying a master thief... and they cannot manage to pick the locks. That's out of character for a master thief.
    In Witcher 2, you play Geralt; a master sword fighter... and if you cannot master the combat puppetry... he gets brutalized by the common street thugs —that's out of character for an expert fighter, trained to handle large groups and to fight giants.

    Because it's best for the story.

    Additionally, it's impactful, and it leaves you while you are still interested—even reflective about what may have happened after.
    *The things that nobody needs to know, and that could spoil it for them if they did. Just for an example consider the film Highlander as a cautionary tale of this. Now that is a film where most diehard fans probably wish the franchise ended with it.

    As has been often mentioned in the past... Some things are a nice option—unless/ or until they become the only option. It would be a sad day indeed, if every game out there had to support the player wandering around indefinitely within it, in order to sell.

    In Planescape, the character is fighting to regain their ability to die.
    In Baldur's Gate 2, the PC can end the game as a god—what comes after that? Whatever it is, it is almost certainly anti-climactic.
    In any game where they are fighting to save the world... and do... after that it's back to farming, and spending nights at the neighborhood bar. Or do they seriously roam the woods looking for anything that will attack them?

    In Fallout, after saving the world the PC expected to pick up life where they left off, but instead that past life had come to an abrupt end—they were different people than when they had started out. They couldn't have gone back to spending week nights in the commissary, and playing cards with their neighbors. [And mechanically speaking, all that was left was random encounters in the wasteland—which is effectively what the dev's chose by having the PC be banished by the Overseer. Presumably these happened to them as they wandered the wastes.]

    This is what you want, sure; but this is describing a simulator... like a game for a jet pilot where they never run out of fuel, and always get to keep flying, because that's the fun part for them. I am not knocking it, or that you like it, but it just doesn't seem very RPG-like to me.

    Bethesda makes games like that. They are like the fictional theme park that the film Westworld depicted, and that the HBO series of the same name was based upon. In Westworld, guests would suit up in cowboy garb, and spend the week in the old west. That's not roleplaying in the sense that they played a character like Billy the Kid, or Wyatt Earp ... that's a dress-up game, where they are are playing themselves in costume —not limited by a character, and the rest of the world plays along.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  2. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    What do you mean by this? Money in both games are always useful. Sure, you could practically wipe out a trader's stock with loot only, but that would require an enormous amount of grinding for loot because sell value of items are far less than their buy value, and Barter skill actually helps increasing sell value/decreasing sell value. The only time where Barter is truly useless is in Fallout 1.5: Resurrection because almost all of raider/bandit encounters there are all armed with Desert Eagle, which is practically count as candy there, and even then the skill itself is useful for some quests.

    I agree with your preference, but as Gizmojunk said, either premade or from scratch has its own pros and cons. I'm currently playing Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and I was initially surprised to find myself having to 'roleplay' as Henry, son of Skalitz's blacksmith. However, as I delve into the gameplay mechanics and system, I was even more pleasantly surprised by the amount of stats, skills, and perks I can take. While the game's system of learn-by-doing means you could pretty much learn and master all skills anyway, there are perks you can't take if you took some others, and there are perks much better to take if you want to play a specific character archetype. And because the game didn't allow players to make their own characters from scratch, they have much more focus and control on how the story goes on, which so far is superb and yet didn't feel restricted nor railroady. The prologue is linear, yes, but right after it opens up so much I was initially unable to decide where I want to start from.

    But that doesn't make any sense. You're but one individual, and thus it's only really possible for you to have one avatar/persona. What if the game allows you to make a separate character that's truly separate and completely different than your avatar? What would you do then, if you try playing that kind of character?

    Say, you're an engineer with skills in technology, with an alignment of Lawful Good. If you're to have an avatar in an RPG, that character will be an engineer with high Mechanics/Electronics/Science/Repair skills etc etc, with an alignment of Lawful Good. And then, it's possible for you to create a Necromancer character, with an alignment of Lawful Evil, capable of raising an army of the dead. Would you be able to treat this Necromancer character, as if it's an avatar of yours? I'd say no.

    In any proper RPG, the possibilities of what kind of character one can create is nearly limitless. Well, at least it is limited by how much there are stats, skills, and perks, but still! It's strange how one could tend to play a proper RPG, but missed a lot of opportunity by only trying to play a character that serve as their 'avatar', instead of trying a completely new role that's alien to their personal life.

    You say all this, as if there are any good RPGs/games out there that allows you to keep going on an adventure even after the main quests end. What, Fallout 3 with Broken Steel DLC? Eugh. Skyrim? Bleh. There's literally nothing of substance to do in any of these games after the supposed endings. Skyrim might have radiant quests, but they're just time sink and nothing worthy to experience. I'd say only people who like those kind of time sink are people who've yet to refine their taste in gaming.

    Nah, no matter what kind of character it is, it's *not* out of character. Why? Because reloading a save is not a concept that exists for these characters. When a player reload a save, as far as that character concerned whatever happened *after* that save point which leads to player reloading to that point hasn't yet happened for them. It's funny how we got to have this kind of conversation, about video games.
  3. SMBComix

    SMBComix It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Apr 22, 2014
    Wow, this is a lot to respond to... um... I'll do my best. Bear with me here.

    In response to Gizmojunk and Dark Angel's questions about how being both a separate character and an avatar makes sense, I usually imbue each character with different, separate aspects of my own personality. They're never direct copies of myself, but they all share certain aspects... my evil characters are my dark side, my good characters the light side, and the ones in the middle are probably the only ones that could be considered copies of myself except they're not because I would NEVER do half the shit in these games IRL. lol

    In response to your comments on my assertion about not wanting the adventure to end...

    Gizmo: You're right, it's best for the story. But I don't consider the story to be the end-all be-all for the character. Part of the fun of RPGs is making your OWN story, and in video games the only way to do that is to continue after the main adventure's complete. Is it boring to folks who prefer more structured narratives? Well, yeah. Thankfully, from what I've heard from other people I've talked to about it, Fallout 2 actually gives you the literal option to end the game at the end slides rather than continue it. Like you're literally presented with a dialog box that asks if you want to keep going or just be shunted to the main menu to start over. I don't see how Van Buren can't do that same thing; if anything that'd make it even more BIS-like.

    (Please correct me if I'm wrong on the dialogue option thing.)

    Dark Angel: Yup. I do in fact think there are decent games out there that provide the simulator/RPG hybrid experience. The one I play the most? Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. Shit, I'd love a total conversion mod that changes it into the Fallout universe originally envisioned by Black Isle, because Fallout 2's steadily becoming my favorite game in the series thanks to the last couple days of me playing it, but knowing how much you hardcore NMA guys hate Bethesda and their games I'm not going to hold my breath.

    (Just to quickly put in here before I continue -- yes you can easily do a total conversion mod for Daggerfall, once the Daggerfall Unity project is done... which it very nearly is. I've been following that project for over a year.)

    Basically, unless I give my feedback now, I'm NOT going to get anything remotely resembling what I want. I'm not trying to shit on you guys, please understand that. I just don't think it's a good idea to keep another market unfilled, even if it's a small one. (I've got no illusions that there are shitloads of people who feel the way I do, but in case there are others I think it's a mistake to alienate anyone.)
  4. Sagez

    Sagez It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 29, 2013
    How is the progress going, @Hardboiled Wanderer ? While I do not necessarily agree with you*(you did answer my questions on page 3) I keep my fingers crossed all the time. We have too many failed Van Buren attempts (I was in one team myself...).

    *btw I think that ''plague mechanics'' could be easy to implement via some random NPC dialogue about feeling sick (triggered some time after meeting the player for the first time). Later the player visits the town again and that NPC he talked to earlier is even more sick/dead already/sterile/cured somehow. Add just several NPCs in several settlements and players will start to think about the coincidence, I think.
  5. Hardboiled Wanderer

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

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hey there. Progress is slow, but it's moving forward nonetheless. You don't have to worry about project being abandoned, no, not on my watch. There is nothing pressuring me, and thus nothing ceases the motivation.
    As for a work - I am working on AI most of the time now. When I'm tired from coding, I do other random stuff, like yesterday, I was playing with audio a bit. About a month ago, I've done some writing for Fort Abandon after a little chat with Chris Avellone. I really like the way this location is forming right now, thanks to Chris' hints. I will upload some fruits of my latest work soon.

    Edit: For those who haven't seen Fort Abandon concept, here:
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 11
  6. Hardboiled Wanderer

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

    Apr 24, 2016
    @Sagez As promised:

    This is just a little showcase of melee AI (realtime), currently under development. It's not much of a gameplay (I just let my character to be beaten up). You can see two other behaviors enemies do during AI combat other than attacking - strafing around their target and performing some battlecries and similar stuff while they are recharging APs. There will be more behaviors later, this is just what I had animations for.
    Interesting part is that this AI is totally randomized, enemies are performing their behaviors unpredictably, the only script-wise rules are APs, and even those may be randomly ignored (for example - enemy has enough action points for attack, but sometimes he randomly decides to wait and recharge more APs. I was even thinking about linking this decision to their intelligence stat... let me know what you guys think).

    It's still bugged here and there, but it's a huge step from its original state.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 4
  7. DiddlePants

    DiddlePants First time out of the vault

    Apr 15, 2017
    You have some great talent my friend. I’m really looking foward to this game eventually coming out. Could you provide a rough estimate for a release date? Keep up the good work! :ok:
  8. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    If the game is good, lack of true ending doesn't prevent that game to be good. But having one could make it better.
  9. Hardboiled Wanderer

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

    Apr 24, 2016
    Thank you. Unfortunately, there is no estimation, not even rough one. I don't want to tie myself into some strict time barriers, and yes, even saying 2, 5 or whatever amount of years is pretty much a strict limit I would have responsibility for. In this project, I like my working order being open-minded - I work when I want/can/have ideas, and I would like to keep it that way.

    I am, however, planning to release a tech demo mainly focused on demonstrating combat and other basic systems. The plan is August, maybe September 2019.
  10. Negativity

    Negativity Take a dirt nap

    Oct 19, 2017
    This looks really good, you're talented. I'm guessing we're looking at a good 6 or so years until completion? You'll need voice actors and stuff, which is going to take time, and then all of the quests you'll want to put in. Let's just hope Bethesda doesn't file a cease and desist.
  11. Sagez

    Sagez It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 29, 2013
    @Hardboiled Wanderer Thank you very much, it looks as good as always - I mean it's awesome! Poor Joshua; are those men some NCR marauders or just ordinary bandits? Combat video is also pretty sweet, nice animations and overall flow. Great job. Please take all time you need. Regarding AI, it's certainly a very interesting idea. I'll also link a Retcon Raider video - I was promoting his Van Buren videos in other thread, as they are very helpful to anyone interested in the original Fallout 3. Please check the playlist and see if you like it.

    @Negativity I don't think that Bethesda will trouble this project. They did trouble Hexer when he was using Fallout 2 engine (this isn't the same case), so he moved to fonline engine and it was cool. On the other hand when Fallout Nevada was released it didn't require Fallout 2 to run; just install and play (they changed it later, but Bethesda never did anything). So... it's not really gonna happen. Well, if... the project can always be renamed.

    @DiddlePants I like your avatar (Gore Shiring as I remember), it could be used as a loading screen! Probably my favourite Fallout fan art.

  12. Octavian

    Octavian It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jun 16, 2018
    Just curious, how are you planning to implement the plague mechanics described in the design documents ingame? It seems like something thats extremely hard to implement in a way thats impactful enough to be noticeable and cue players in, but without being extremely frusturating to a point where it will absolutely suck the fun out of the first playthrough (or even first few).
  13. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    They didn't trouble him. He asked consent and they didn't provide it. But they didn't try anything to prevent him.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  14. Sagez

    Sagez It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 29, 2013
    You're right. I guess he moved to fonline engine just to be extra careful.
  15. Hardboiled Wanderer

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

    Apr 24, 2016
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  16. wanamingo89790

    wanamingo89790 First time out of the vault

    Dec 13, 2018
    looks amazing, if i were you i'd replace the kinda hazy sun glare desert lighting you have right now with something more like this
    but thats just my two cents
  17. Hardboiled Wanderer

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

    Apr 24, 2016
    Post-processing is still being changed from time to time, slowly shaping it to look as Fallout-ish as possible. Your two cents taken, I guess a little darker/browner look would be better, will keep that in mind.
  18. Atomic_Spawned

    Atomic_Spawned Radiation-soaked, needs a towel.

    May 7, 2019
    This looks promising! Keep it up, man! If you'd like any assistance, I could definitely help.
  19. Hardboiled Wanderer

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

    Apr 24, 2016
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 7
  20. ironmask

    ironmask Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Mar 10, 2018
    What ever picture, you posted did not load.