Work has continued steadily for the last month. Ostensibly I was beginning a complete dynamic cluttering sweep of the entire vault. However, practically I have spent most of my time working on the installation and perfection of a series of new vault elevators. The original concept and models are courtesy of SpeedyB64. I have tweaked them considerably, integrated them, and created numerous periphery and support models. Additionally I have got the elevators working with companions. Unlike the vanilla Fallout Elevators, these elevators actually move.
Installation, integration, and perfection of Vault 24's elevators has been a huge task. It started small, and grew and grew as the requirements for their proper functioning grew. Huge changes were made to the upper and lower stairwell levels. Additionally, new waiting rooms had to be built for each door of each elevator at each level. These then had to be integrated with the elevator shaft, and the exisiting levels. And models had to be built for the waiting rooms, elevators, elevator shafts...well, pretty much everything. Thankfully, a good chunk of the starting work was done by SpeedyB64 of the Nexus forums. I took what he made, and tweaked and expanded upon it for aesthetic integration into Vault 24. So without further delay, here are some screenshots of the elevators:
The elevators now allow for virtual total exploration of the vault. There are service doors, ducts, and windows opening into the shaft. There are ledges within the shaft for exploration down the shaft. The elevator cars themselves have holes in via an escape hatch in the ceiling, as well as missing panels on the sides. The working elevators can be used to quickly move vertically through the vault, avoiding the tedium, and perhaps danger, of always relying on the stairs. Up to eight companions, vanilla or modded, are currently supported. Here is some raw footage of the elevator in action with some companions in tow.
However, things are not all rosy. The elevator is a huge piece of work and scripting. I am not totally satisfied with my work on it. Because it has to work in conjunction with NPC packages it never seems to work perfectly. Perhaps this is the fault of the NPCs...perhaps my scripting. Whatever the case, the addition of the Elevator, and the addition of a few thousand dynamic clutter items, is sure to have introduced a good number of glitches and even bugs into version 0.9. Hopefully not too many...
Next up will be continuing dynamic cluttering, and then, final optimization. I am debating how far to go with optimization, as the way it works, the better I do it, the more I limit any third party modders who wish to use Vault 24 for their own projects. I am still uncertain how to proceed here.