• Janitor Dave

Welcome to grammar class, newcomer.

Come on in and stay a while. Want a drink? Some iguana-on-a-stick? Maybe you want to overthrow the Plague and establish the Underground Railroad as the dominant force of Alton, or vice versa. Maybe you're a masochist and just want to use the power of the Sun to blow the whole damn thing to smithereens using your freshly acquired C-Finder because you're a carbon copy of Chris Avellone and want to see the world burn.

Well, sorry for the late update. I know I promised one on the same day as the last post. I've been pretty much lacking free time lately. Everything lately has been moving at a crawl. Hell, even this blog post took days to come together.

The TTW conversion of Alton is coming along smoothly. Multiple test runs have shown that there aren't really a lot of technical issues to speak of. The only actual bugs I've found are minor technical glitches that were easily fixed. Turrets dropping to the floor, maps not working properly, klaxon alarm lights not functioning at all, just minor stuff like that. Only one actual issue was discovered, the explosions seemed to cause the player a lot of damage. (The available TTW 2.9 port had the same issue.) Those are just technical issues, and technical issues can definitely be fixed, and all the ones I've stumbled across so far have been patched up.

So you've got the base port that was really all that Alton needed to be sent to TTW 3.2. I have a working build that is ready to release as the porting process went smoothly; LOD carried over seamlessly, all the available audio data worked in-game without having to change file names, et cetera. However, I have a tendency to overdo things, so I'm including a special plugin that in a prior post, I dubbed The Silent Edit, a slight homage to the JSawyer mod for the original Fallout New Vegas base game. I chose that name for it as the Silent Edit functions similar to the JSawyer mod in that it modifies the presentation of various events in the Alton quest line, as well as introducing balancing tweaks that provide a more entertaining experience.

How is that coming along, you may be asking.

Hoo boy. It's been a bit of a job thus far. I mean, just look at that change log. And this is just a week and a few days digging around on my spare time--

That's just the front half of the mod's story line, I've barely even scratched the back half of the quest.

The grammatical and spelling errors are aplenty. I can't believe my own eyes as to how wonky it actually was. Probably the worst offender so far was the generic Vault 59 dialogue quest; some text was just flat out unreadable and didn't belong in Fallout 3 at all.

I mean, what is that even supposed to be? It functions as a way to barter with her, but it's just so... off.

I've done what I can so far to clean up, but there's quite a few bits of dialogue to proofread. Not to mention how many missing dialogue files there are, for critical lines that various NPCs speak. Even the re-voicing project was hit and miss. The mod is either missing lines from important NPCs, or just flat out missing complete voice data from peripheral side characters.

I've had thoughts of ditching the voice acting in Alton entirely and getting the Malevolence gang back together to re-do the voices, however, that would take more time than it's probably worth and the chances of even getting a few of them back is probably pretty slim at this point. Now, while I'm pretty sure I could get a few of them back, even without time constraints, I don't personally feel comfortable asking any of them to do a second Team Silent Pizza project without fair compensation, so don't expect the voices of Malevolence to appear in any future projects unless hell freezes over and I'm able to properly compensate them.

That's not to mention what a bit of a cluster the actual topic structure is... it's definitely... unique. I've not seen such a mangled web of dialogue trees in my years of modding. It gets the job done, but it's not efficient at all and is a pain in the ass to organize with different topics being pulled from different quests for the same NPCs.

As for the quests themselves, I've made some changes to the progression; the actual order of the quest line hasn't changed, but the way the game presents objectives and situations is now closer to what would be expected if Alton were part of the base game. I've found several instances where the game would display the next objective before acknowledging the completed objective, which knowing how the objectives usually work in Fallout 3/New Vegas, isn't right at all. Most of them have been fixed. I say most because I'm sure there's others I'm missing.

Now, before anyone asks, this isn't meant to slag off Alton at all; in fact, it's got a hell of a lot of potential but it's hampered with issues that shouldn't have gone unresolved, especially with multiple team members and countless beta testers involved. The foundation is great, but EMH's team left a lot on the table. I guess that's just the age of the mod showing, though; back around 2011 when Alton IL originally released, this is kind of the quality you expected for expansion-sized mods because that's mostly what anyone could do. You didn't have things like Miami, Cascadia, Frontier, hell, even Tale of Two Wastelands itself among others.

To derail the subject for a second, If I'm being embarrassingly honest, I miss those days. Any old person could create a quality mod and it would get the recognition it deserves. Nowadays, you have to basically create a brand new game on the foundation of Fallout 4 or New Vegas to even get a second glance. Or you could go the dirty route and release complete smut mods and attract all the horny gamers. Rule 34 lives on, etc., I digress. I don't judge, just not my cup of tea.

Will Project ZDIS ever see the light of day? Only time will tell at this point.

As for updates to Team Silent Pizza's other projects, Washington's Malevolence is just waiting for the Natalie Moritz voice data to be recorded and sent in. (As an aside, I'm genuinely starting to believe that role is cursed, as it's been handed off twice now and I'm having creeping doubts about the third person. Call it being nervous that I'll be burned on that role yet again, that's probably what it is.) The 2.6 update will include that, as well as a revised introduction. I may actually release the Xbox 360 port through another web site if all goes to plan, as I do have a working build right now.

For anyone looking forward to The Impossible Mod or Project ZDIS, all I can say about those projects is that they are currently stalled while the TTW 3.2 version of Alton (along with my included but optional Silent Edit plugin) and the 2.6 update to Washington's Malevolence is finished up. I have road maps of the stories and the introductions just about done, however, not much else of substance has arisen.

Screenshot of unfinished Fallout 4 mod
Now, what, do tell, was THIS supposed to be, exactly?

I should probably address the series of Fallout 4 screenshots that were posted to my personal Twitter with the #CivilWar tag. What that was supposed to be, was the original true follow-up to Washington's Malevolence, titled Washington's Malevolence: Echoes of the Past, which was set to take place in a post-New Runners raid Maddox Island, as well as a new map based on Lexington, Virginia, and its surroundings, ten years after the events of Washington's Malevolence. The mod was set to feature a lot of landmarks, such as the Virginia Military Institute, the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, as well as natural landmarks such as the Natural Bridge Caverns. Part of the Blue Ridge Parkway was set to appear as well. The intersection pictured is the intersection of Route 60 and Route 11, a part of Lexington I'm personally very familiar with as I've lived in this part of Virginia my entire life and have been to Lexington countless times.

Maddox Island was meant to be in the project as "unfinished business", so to speak. It was meant to be almost a straight-up copy of the Fallout 3 map, with most of the landmarks intact, as well as new areas to explore. There were plot threads left unresolved with Malevolence that I really wanted to dig into as part of this Fallout 4 project.

Now, for some bad news.

That set of screenshots, unfortunately, is as far as I ever got with either map. As it stands in Fallout 4, Maddox Island is a bare shell of its Fallout 3 counterpart (that I could never get the scale quite right), and the Lexington map never got further than that intersection and a very basic mapping of the nearby highways. I do not foresee that project restarting, unfortunately; by the time that project would see anything close to completion, Elder Scrolls VI will probably be out and as was the case with Malevolence, I will be behind the curve and it may be far too late to release a quality project. Of course, if I could actually pull a team together, I would consider finishing that project, but as it stands, there isn't even really a plot line for it. I would probably just end up using Project ZDIS's story for that project.

That's about all I have. Feel free to comment below or hit me up on Twitter for comments and concerns. In fact, if you got to this part of this update, send me a picture of Vault Boy on Twitter. (Nothing NSFW, please, that might actually get you blocked.)

Thanks for reading this (lengthy) update!


Team Silent Pizza

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