If you downloaded 130, and don't want to go through yet another 1.2GB file, nor want to waste 8TB of ModDB's bandwidth, use this Patch.
Experience all the sights and sounds of fabulous New Vegas, brought to you by Vault-Tec, America's First Choice in Post Nuclear Simulation. Explore the treacherous wastes of the Great Southwest from the safety and comfort of your very own vault: Meet new people, confront terrifying creatures, and arm yourself with the latest high-tech weaponry as you make a name for yourself on a thrilling new journey across the Mojave wasteland.
As we reported last time, the 1.3.0 Patch delivers a 14 Page Changelog, which you'll find in the zip. We'll go over a few more notes detailed here, then show off some pictures. AND, we have a 1.3.1 Patch coming out ASAP to fix our Project Nevada Patch, which in 130 is causing a startup crash.
I'm currently away from my main PC Rig for several days, so I'm back on my trusty laptop which built most of F:PB over the first year. This machine isn't very powerful at all - it can't even run Fallout New Vegas at 1080x1920 - so these screenshots are the bare bones of what we have to offer our lowest end pc users. They still look pretty spiffy while running at 60fps! A rig that actually follows recommended hardware should look and run flawless.
The biggest difference here will be Marco's weather, which we went over in our methodology post a few months ago, and new hi-res textures, which we'll show off here. While the skies will still not change depending on regions yet, we did overhaul the wasteland so that the terrain is always hi-res, the flora is now that of San Bernardino, and the overall look of the worldspace is more akin to what you find in Southern California + some postnuclear adjustment.
If you played F:PB when it first came out, then you know what to expect story wise from this update. We haven't implemented any 2nd Installment quests, but we have rebalanced what was there based on user feedback. The Nerd path has more perks to match those of the Athlete, female player dialog is more obviously for the female, and the terminals have been totally rewritten and expanded. You'll find more ways to accomplish the same tasks in this update too, especially if you play as the Nerd.
Now, lets look at our texture updates in detail to dispel some of the mystery behind why we chose to make the changes we did. I've basically been off the team as a full-timer since release last May, since I've had a ton of real life work to occupy every waking hour of my life, but Marco has done an excellent job on these textures. We conferenced back and fourth a few times and came up with a lot of great inspirations.
Marco lives in Finland, and I am in Arizona, so together with our parallel photography skills, we were able to glean real-life photos mixed with hand painted textures to capture an accurate view of California's environment. The constraints of the GECK hold us back a lot - the consumer version has a broken Region editor that the Pro version doesn't have to work around - so adjusting regions also destroys our navmesh and drives Freddie insane. We did what we could without disturbing any mesh placement, and I'm proud of the results!
This nasty crap is called "Buffelgrass," and while it doesn't scream Freddie Kruger or Pyramid Head, it's a nightmare. Fallout has always had a huge vein of Lore based on mankind messing up the planet with good intentions or neglect, and Buffel Grass is exactly that in real life. Brought from Kenya in the early 1900s, it was planted in Texas to try to combat the insane soil erosion that was causing the Dust Bowl, planted everywhere, then forgotten about.
Until the late 80s, the Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service just forgot about the stuff... until it started burning a million acres of land to ashes every year.
You see, the grass is virulent as all hell, and for 90% of the year, it's dry and dead, because it turns out that fire is part of it's reproductive cycle. After it spread across the Southern United States, it's mostly taken root in Southern Arizona (my adopted land,) and parts of the Mojave. It's been reported a few times in F: PB's region, San Berardino's Cajon Pass, but because California's government isn't completely made of dimwits like our Arizona Legislature, they've been fighting it by throwing professionals at the infestation.
In our Fallout level design lore, the California legislature takes Arizona's stance on the issue, and the grass goes native. They sold vast tracks of land to private corporations and the military, which ignored the issue. Among piles of waste from Athens-Tec Uranium Mine, you'll find it all over the Wasteland, choking out native life and leaving vast seas of the stuff virtually everywhere except the dunes and mountains. If I were in charge of Fallout 4, I'd have it on CryEngine, so we could start epic wildfires raging across the land when Raiders toss Molotovs at you, like in Farcry 3. That would be excellent.
The California Poppy also shows up here and there in the lowland hills and valleys. Marco darkened the texture to make it better blend into the dead grass and sage. It's the iconic flower of the SoCal region, so having a few here and there helps sell the location. Normally they'd be so thick you can't see the ground beneath them, but here we decided to tone it down. Fallout is serious business, after all. We should have made them glow nuclear orange and have whole fields of it luminescence in the dark desert night.
California Sagebrush dominates the Mojave. You'll find it everywhere, along with Desert Broom and similar looking pale blue to pale green plants that all kindof look alike until you get up close. We should have made the plant itself much larger, like, the size of your player character, but that wouldn't work well with random placement and shader-based rendering that Fallout's Gambryo engine uses. Instead we have a smaller but very thick coating of it across the valley. Sometimes it will be green, sometimes brown.
Finally, we decided to update the Rocks in our Worldspace to better reflect the colours and aesthetics of the region. In this video you can explore some of the sights, as well as some of the reflections on the land from the website's author.
If I were to build the wasteland again - which I'm not, I'm done - it would be with all original 3D assets that look very close to these extremely wind smoothed and rolling surfaces. I'd use tiling textures to cover the mesh, and assign vertex texture noise to add variation. One day in the near future, I'd like to do a portfolio piece where I'll model these rocks and build a similar heightmap, probably for CryEngine. It's at the end of a long list of other plans, however it will be up on Polycount eventually along with a few tutorials for Mudbox users.
The New Hi-Res Landscape Textures are available in our downloads section. They contain the 2048 and 4096 textures for the grass and terrain, letting you pick what is best for your system requirements. We wanted to keep the file size low, since F: PB is starting to resemble downloading an entire Game DVD at 1.27GB. The 2nd Installment I'll allow 2.0GB for all the voice acting, which we're currently looking at being 2x as many lines as the First Installment.
The 1.3.1 Pach will fix several issues Marco and users Korassu pointed out. Rick is rebuilding the Project Nevada patch so it won't cause hangs, I'm patching some holes in the level design tonight, and a couple typos in the old Wasteland Scout Scouting Reports. Comeon, they're some guy's reports, there's bound to be a few typos. It's for the immersion. :p
The Patch should just be a low weight 100KB file, just drag and drop the ESM file into your DATA folder. It'll be out as soon as we can manage between day jobs.
You can read about our progress on the Design Documents Found Here. In the mean time, you can keep track of us on ModDB, Fallout Nexus, or Facebook. We've got a thriving online community centered around each one.
New Vegas Nexus
Highest Rated (8 agree) 10/10
The return of the companion system is great specially making their related quests.
Better developed environment compared to FO3.
The Karma and reputation being separated makes the player decisions more simple when facing relationship and moral issues.
Hardcore mode for the win.
Weapons, lots and lots of them.
Consistent fluff with previous FO games, unlike FO3 (eg. NCR expansionism and BoS being the dicks they always were).
Combat armor is awesome once again.
Nov 16 2010, 8:17am by SlayerX3