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While working on the mod, I got many ideas how to improve gameplay (especially combat) with changes to the engine via sfall and assembly-hacking. So I got side-tracking working on those. It started with simple stuff and several months in I found myself extending the scripting language and refactoring sfall itself to be more useful to modders.
But working with game engine in the form of assembly code and a huge pile of sfall hacks is extremely difficult and tiresome. So I got burned out. Also at this time I got interested in this promising full Fallout 2 engine remake called Falltergeist. Given I was already working on the engine, I thought I will contribute more by working on remake instead. With a vision that in just a couple of years we will all switch from sfall to this engine and live in a modding utopia.
Well, for a number of reasons I will not get into here, the project development stalled, and so I lost interest as well. In everything Fallout related.
Fast forward 5 years, due to some changes in my life, I got a lot of free time on my hands. First, I played amazing conversion of Fallout 1 in Fallout 2 engine by Rotators team. Then I realized I've never actually finished Fallout: New Vegas. So I spent several days modding it heavily using amazing Viva New Vegas as a starting point. 240+ hours of gameplay later, and I think it is (with proper mods) one of the best games I've ever played. But now I want to check out what I've been missing in classic Fallout space.
Last year, several big things happened in Fallout 2 space. The biggest probably is the release of Fallout2 RE & CE - a huge project of restoring the lost source code of Fallout engine using modern reverse engineering tools, years of community efforts and insane amount of hard work. I think this project will change Fallout 2 modding and make sfall redundant in a few years.
Also, while I was away, BGForge team taken on the task of updating and preserving the original Restoration Project by Killap, on which EcCo is based on. RPU is a masterpiece of automation engineering. Even more exciting was the release of updated RP maps by the original mapper of the project - Pixote. He finally cleaned up a lot of maps and improved the overall quality with less clutter, most notably re-designing the EPA ground level.
If this wasn't enough excitement, some guy went ahead and implemented talking heads of countless NPC's in the game who didn't have them before. There's even a project to add voices to all of them...
Gotta also mention entire new free games released on this engine like Nevada & Sonora...
So with all of the above developments (and other I didn't mention), it feels like modding space for this ancient game is not dead, but instead better than ever in terms of available mods and modding tools.
Given the years of absence, I needed some time to get into context of the game, current developments and what my mod actually did. Current task is to rebuild my modding setup to make it easy to work with, merge everything with latest RPU files and release that, so it's usable for RPU users ASAP.
If that goes well, next task will be to make the mod more modular internally. I will still release it as one big "overhaul" thing, since I don't want to support all of the different combinations (like my last installers had). But it will be easier for me or more advanced users to pick pieces of the mod and use them separately (or in other games like Nevada, for example).
I have plans for the actual content of the mod, but I better focus on compatibility first. Might share these later.
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