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Boulder design document/5
VB design document
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authorunknown (last modified: Sean K. Reynolds)
publisherInterplay (leaked internal document)
release dateSeptember 9, 2005
downloadsee main page of document
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Boulder design document
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Gametitle-VB
Gametitle-VB
Gametitle-VBThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

This is part 5 of the Boulder design document for Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios.

Contents

1 Main page of document
6 Part 5
Document start icon The following is the original document or a transcript thereof.

Scripting

General

There are some general scripting issues...

  • When ZAX dies, all of the doors to the facility open and the Jackals (if alive) come charging in to attack.
  • When Presper leaves the Dome, he takes his train with him.
  • If you mess with Presper's train while it's at the station, the explosives on it can go off, leaving nothing but wreckage. The train G3D will need to be removed, replaced with wreckage G3D, and other bits of wreckage scattered over the train station, plus damage to any creatures in the area.
  • If you tell the BOS about the Dome, at some point
  • Once you come in contact with the scientists, the countdown to ZAX's death starts. See "Trade Holodisks To..." quest for info.
  • If you talk the Daughter of Hecate into getting the Jackals to leave, all Jackals need to leave all Boulder maps.
  • If you choose the "Sleep Through Presper's Holocaust" quest, the game ends and needs to show you the appropriate cut scenes for your area.
  • If you do the "Robobrain a CNPC" quest, the game needs to do a fade to black, destroy the CNPC's model, put all of its gear in a pile on the ground, put a "dead" version of that CNPC prone on the operating table, reveal/create a variant-texture robobrain creature, assign that CNPC's script and dialogue to the robobrain, and fade in.
  • If you complete the "Give Slaves to Boulder" quest, after the PC leaves those slave models will need to be destroyed and replaced with robobrains elsewhere on the map.
  • Are there any wacky scripting things you'll need the programmers to be aware of? (For example, can you go to Hoover Dam, aim an artillery cannon at the town of Podunk five miles distant, fire a poison gas shell into the town, then go back to Podunk and all the inhabitants are dead except for the ghouls? Or, if the town is suffering from a disease, does the population die off over time? "Little" things like that.)
  • If you complete the "Destroy the Truck" quest, we'll need to remove the truck G3D and replace it with a junked-truck G3D.
  • We'll need a generic script for whenever a CODE flash is used in the game. Basically a quick fade to white, which lasts for about half a second, then fades out to the normal game, maybe with cool spots in your eyes for a second, I dunno. Anyway, we'll need to be able to call that function.
  • We'll need a generic "helping out" script/schedule for any CNPCs you drop off here to help out fixing things. Basically they'll have their normal dialogue options, but instead of standing there forever like in FO2 they should move to various terminals and work on them, go to a place to sleep at night, etc.
  • Cut Scene: Presper leaves with his group. include specific details of how the cut scene plays out, including characters you may need added or subtracted from a map on the fly, camera angles, and so on. Note: Be sure to include animations and Ids to the art for scriptors contained within the cut-scene description.
  • Cut Scene: ZAX dies. include specific details of how the cut scene plays out, including characters you may need added or subtracted from a map on the fly, camera angles, and so on. Note: Be sure to include animations and Ids to the art for scriptors contained within the cut-scene description.
  • Cut Scene: Goddard kicks you out. If you harass the scientists or try to steal from their rooms, they assemble and Goddard kicks you out of the dome. include specific details of how the cut scene plays out, including characters you may need added or subtracted from a map on the fly, camera angles, and so on. Note: Be sure to include animations and Ids to the art for scriptors contained within the cut-scene description.
  • Jackals continue to respawn in their locations until all of them are killed (or if you get the Daughter to take them away).
  • Once trade is established with Denver, Galenski and his truck will be off the map for about a week once a month.

Town-Specific

There are some important things to consider for towns...

  • If you attack a scientist, the other scientists come to help, as does Eddie.
  • If you attack Eddie, Helen, or the kids, the parents run to help and the kids run away.
  • If you attack Larsen or his men, they all attack you.
  • If you attack the Jackal camp, they all attack you.
  • If you attack neutral robobrains, all on that level of the dome react to the attack (some may only shift to considering you an enemy, if they're far away and unable to get to the battle).
  • If you attack ZAX, he calls all the robobrains to defend him.
  • If you go into a scientist's room and try to take things, they ask you to stop (twice) If you persist, they leave and gather the other scientists. Goddard will kick you out.

Cool Shit

The Cool Shit section is just that -- what's cool about this area? For starters, you should be able to say in one or two sentences why a player would remember this location. If you were a player, what would make you want to play this location? What would make you glad you played this location?

This section should include the following technical details:

  • Why cool? There is a wealth of technology here, the PC just needs to create it. There's a lab for every kind of character and while supplies of some things are short, Denver isn't too far away. You can find out about the Nursery and the BOMB-002 in the Grand Canyon.
  • Why come back? You can't access anything below level 2 (& 3) until later in the game. If you want to talk to ZAX, make a robobrain, talk to the Think Tank, or stuff like that, you have to do it while Presper isn't here and only after the scientists have accepted you.
  • Handouts: Info on plague research, info on robobrains, history of Boulder, history of Denver, Agnes' journal of their trip.
  • Vehicles: There's Galenski's truck, but he won't let you take it (you'd have to kill him), and it's not made for non-road travel (it's tires and suspension will go out, making it a landmark/base but no longer a vehicle), so you can only take it from Boulder to Denver.

Task List

The Tasks section is a list of all the work that needs to be done for the area. It is a good summary for the producer, other designers, artists, and programmers as to what has been done in the area, who to check with if you have questions about certain tasks, and so on.

This section is only useful if it is used. If we're several months into the project and no one has been using it, then it will no longer be used or updated. There's no sense in wasting time doing additional bookkeeping if it's serving no purpose.

Sound Requirements

The Sound Requirements section is intended to cover every conceivable audio question you've had to answer for an RPG in the past. What follows are the descriptions of these categories; actually list your sound needs in the chart at the end of this section.

Music

The music breakdowns depend on the game. In Fallout 3, we will most likely be going with music themes tied to areas, which is in keeping with the previous games. Be sure to include your preferences for these themes in the document so Adam Levenson has something to work off of... even if it's just a starting point for a debate.

Basic SFX

An area's going to need sound to make it come alive. Some basics:

Note: If a sound needs to be scripted, include the ID of the sound here - check with Chad if you don't know what I'm babbling about.

Environmental Sounds: Wind, weather, settling rocks.

Item-Specific Sounds: Glance through your area, see if there's any items that might need sounds to complement their presence: the humming of generators, crackling of fires, buzzing of neon signs, and so on.

Wildlife Sounds: Wolves howling, birds chirping, crickets, hissing of rattlesnakes. Do not include human voices in this category (that's covered in "Walla," below).

Business Sounds: Any SFX tied to businesses or merchants in the area (sound of a tractor in the distance, a trash compactor crushing metal, gunshots from the rifle range, roaring of a plane from an airport).

Living Sounds: Any SFX tied to everyday life in the area (tolling of a church bell, sound of a basketball on asphalt, car engine coming to life, chopping of wood).

For every sound effect you want, be sure to include:

Distance: The distance you expect the sound effect to be played at.

Time-Dependent: Is the SFX tied to a time cycle? Does a factory stop crushing metal cans at night? Is a neon sign turned off during the day? If so, audio needs to know.

Any Walla? Is there any walla that needs to be done for the locations? This is much different from sound effects, because a voice actor must be employed to do the lines. See "Walla" SFX, below.

The basic chart for SFX would be as follows:

Area Sound requirements
anywhere that isn't inside the dome MUSIC DESCRIPTION
Quiet, creepy, spooky ... there's nothing here, something must be hiding from us....
BASIC SFX
Wind, human-like howls (the Jackals are doing this), metal banging on metal (the Jackals are doing this); Jackal sound effects decrease at night
WALLA SFX
The basic walla sound effects in the area.
Dome MUSIC DESCRIPTION
50's music, as if playing from loudspeakers all over the dome.
BASIC SFX
Alarm bell every hour, on the hour (softer in the nighttime hours)., crackling electricity, buzzing of electric lights, radio/intercom crackles
WALLA SFX
People muttering, low conversations, occasional electronic beeps in response to the muttering
Boulder Tunnels MUSIC DESCRIPTION
Computerized, techno-ish, spooky
BASIC SFX
Alarm bell every hour on the hour (softer in the nighttime hours)., crackling electricity, buzzing of electric lights, water dripping, steam pipes hissing
WALLA SFX
ZAX MUSIC DESCRIPTION
Computerized, techno-ish, sad
BASIC SFX
Crackling electricity, buzzing of electric lights
WALLA SFX

Location Checklist

Attribute Challenge Reward
CHARACTER SPECIFIC
Evil Karma Character Overwrite the Think Tank,

Put CNPC into robobrain,

Sell slaves to Boulder

Good Karma Character Help the kids, help ZAX, help scientists
Stupid Character CODE Yourself Smarter +1 IN
Low Reputation Character
High Reputation Character
Male Character sex with Daughter of Hecate
Female Character sex with Banshee
COMBAT BOY
Firearms Better at dealing with Jackals (many ranged combat situations)
Melee Better at dealing with robobrain threat (many short corridors, short-range fighting is favored)
Unarmed Better at dealing with robobrain threat (many short corridors, short-range fighting is favored)
CHARISMA BOY
Barter Barter with scientists & Galenski
Deception Easier to get a CNPC onto the robobrain operating table
Persuasion Convince Daughter of Hecate to make the Jackals leave,
SCIENCE BOY
Mechanics Fix the reactor, Fix mechanical things, use the lab,
Medicine Heal people, research, info on New Plague,
Outdoorsman Track down Larsen's camp, track down the glowing ghouls
Science Research, use the lab, fix things
STEALTH BOY
Lockpick Pick the lock on the truck
Sneak Sneak into the Dome or the camps
Steal Steal drugs and stuff from the Dome folks
Traps Set traps for the Jackals, defuse the traps on the NCR train
GENERIC SKILLS
Carrot 1 (Bonus Perk, Medal, Epithet, whatever) Mad Scientist (if you do a robobrain extraction)
Carrot 2
Easter Egg 1
Easter Egg 2
PERKS + TRAITS
Perks (Any cool Perk mileage?) Ex: Flexible Can use this to slip between the bars of the cells.
Traits (Any cool Trait mileage?) Ex: NCR Background Can get some history on the Fort, as well as bonuses to detect the cache of weapons.
ENVIRONMENT
Economics
Power/Infrastructure A somewhat unstable nuclear reactor
Food Nutrient paste dispensers (enough to last a year, but very boring). Water pumped from deep wells and purified, the process controlled by ZAX.
Tie to Another Area 1 With Denver. Trading medicine, nutrient paste (they're really due now), recharged energy cells, tools, for mechanical stuff, dog food, computer chips, holodisks. Boulder has a portable generator, a doctor's bag, Geiger counters, etc. THEY DO NOT USE MONEY, IT IS VALUELESS TO THEM. THEY ONLY NEED HOLOSUPPLIES AND MACHINE PARTS.
Tie to Another Area 2
Tie to Another Area 3
MULTIPLAYER GAMING
Multiplayer Elements?

Room for Improvement

Also be sure to include hooks for "room for improvement." This section may change depending on how Ferret thinks it should be organized.

Room for Improvement: This is how the location can "change," not necessarily "develop," so this may need a new title or heading. Things such as some tiles getting "rebuilt/ruined," more people appearing (disappearing, or dying) on the map, trade relations with other settlements, and so on – again, for good or ill. Keep in mind the reactivity of the area is the most important thing – the player should feel like he's making a difference, and he should be able to see it. Here's some transcribed stuff from the Denver document:

Fix stuff so ZAX can finish: With this taken care of, things will get back to the level of able-to-catch-up in the dome.

Heal the Scientists: With help from the Nursery, they (like other victims of the New Plague) can be cured, allowing them to leave the dome and head to civilization, though they might be happy to stay here if there were more people.

Get Rid of the Jackals: These cannibal bastards make life in Boulder a thing of constant fear. Kill the Jackals and the domepeople have much less to worry about.

Establish Trade With Denver: With regular supplies from Denver, the scientists will be able to get more done and create other things, making it easier for the PC to trade for the stuff they want.

End Movies

WHERE TO GO CONDITIONS

The player never entered Boulder. Skip Cinematic
The player nuked Boulder Goto 1
ZAX dies, Jackals invade Goto 2
ZAX dies, no Jackals, their reactor goes nuclear Goto 3
ZAX dies, no Jackals, reactor OK, scientists shut down stuff and die with no cure Goto 4
ZAX lives, scientists shut down stuff and die with no cure Goto 5
ZAX lives, cure from Nursery, scientists shut down dome and leave Goto 6
BOS takes over, dome looted, scientists killed, dome sealed Goto 7
You put yourself into cold-sleep to await Presper's new world order Goto 8
You put yourself into cold-sleep to await Presper's new world order

(mystery ending)

Goto 8
You put yourself into cold-sleep to await Presper's new world order

(Presper ending)

Goto 9
You put yourself into cold-sleep to await Presper's new world order

(ghoul ending)

Goto 10

1. Boulder Nuked (WTG)

In Boulder, once again the sky burned and the earth was blasted by nuclear fire. Those creatures that survived the explosion quickly succumbed to fallout, poisonous air, and mutated diseases harbored in the charred flesh of the dead. Boulder became synonymous with Hell, and tribals and civilized folk alike forever avoided "Three Deaths Rock." Show the dome, blackened and cracked open in parts, surrounded by scorched earth, clouds of greasy smoke, and horrible greenish rain.

2. ZAX dies, Jackals invade, meltdown (WTG)

With the auto-cannibalistic death of its ZAX unit, the doors to the Boulder dome open wide. The Jackals pounced on this opportunity and enter the dome, killing and eating all within. Without ZAX to regulate the dome's nuclear reactor, it soon goes critical, giving the Jackals only a few short minutes to escape before the meltdown occurs. The Jackals flee, carrying the scientists' deadly strain of the New Plague into the wasteland. The dome, part of it blown outward by a nuclear blast from within. In the foreground, a few Jackals fleeing the explosion, with other Jackals in the background scattered in other directions.

3. ZAX dies, meltdown, Three Deaths Rock (WTG)

With the auto-cannibalistic death of its ZAX unit, the doors to the Boulder dome open wide. Though the scientists were able to seal the dome manually, the loss of the mainframe doubles their workload for repairs. Their unstable nuclear reactor eventually goes critical. The diseased scientists choose to be incinerated rather than carry their infection outside the dome. Tribals and civilized folk alike forever avoided the acid rain, toxic clouds, and radiation of "Three Deaths Rock." The dome, part of it blown outward by a nuclear blast from within. Everything around it is wasteland, with clouds of greasy smoke and horrible greenish rain.

4. ZAX dies, scientists fail, everyone dead or sleeping (WTG)

4

With the auto-cannibalistic death of its ZAX unit, the doors to the Boulder dome open wide. The scientists were able to seal the dome manually, preventing their contagion from leaving. Laboring alone, they were unable to find a cure for their disease, and one by one they died or went into cold sleep. The last survivor, Xian, sealed all exits to the dome to maintain their quarantine, then took her own life.

A room in the interior of the dome. On a bed sits a Chinese woman in an environmental suit, holding a small pistol in her hand, as if gathering courage to use it.

5. ZAX lives, scientists fail, everyone sleeps (WTG)

Though their ZAX computer was saved from cannibalistic suicide, the Boulder scientists were unable to find a cure for their disease. Eventually they reached a consensus and had the computer put them in cold sleep. Lacking any humans to talk to or protect, ZAX sealed the entrances to the dome and resigned himself to wait. The scientists still sleep, along with the other people Dr. Presper had put away for his rebirth of civilization. A view of the cold sleep chamber, with rows and rows of hatches, each with green lights across the board.

6. ZAX lives, Nursery cure dome abandoned (WTG)

With their ZAX computer saved from cannibalistic suicide, the Boulder scientists were once again able to focus their attention on repairing the dome and researching a cure for their disease. Though they made some headway, success came unexpectedly a year later in the form of genetically-engineered fruit sent from the Nursery. Freed from their disease, environmental suits, and prison-home, the scientists left Boulder, ordering ZAX to seal it behind them. The sleepers remain, awaiting someone with the knowledge to wake them safely. A view of the cold sleep chamber, with rows and rows of hatches, each with green lights across the board.

7. BOS takes over (WTG)

7 BOS takes over, dome looted, scientists killed, dome sealed

Alerted to the presence of pre-War technology, the Brotherhood of Steel sends agents to Boulder to prevent these items from falling into the wrong hands. Finding diseased NCR scientists holed up in the facility, the B.O.S. agents gassed them to death and incinerated the remains. All data and materials were stripped from Boulder, and the site was sealed to prevent access by tribals and other undesirables.

The dome in the background. In the foreground, heading away from the dome at a leisurely pace, are several wagons or small trucks laden with gear and machinery (covered by tarps). The BOS logo is on the trucks and on the people visible within or on them.

8. Sleep through the holocaust (mystery ending) (WTG)

Determined to survive Presper's nuclear attack, you have the Boulder scientists put you in cold sleep. You are never awakened. A view of a coldsleep hatch, it's lights all in the green except for one that's yellow.

9. Sleep through the holocaust (Presper ending) (WTG)

Determined to survive Presper's nuclear attack, you have the Boulder scientists put you in cold sleep. Eventually you are awakened ... by Doctor Presper. A view from the patient's perspective, lying on your back, coming out of cold sleep. Everything is blurry and distorted as your senses become used to normal wakefulness. Looking upward, you see standing over you is an older version of Presper, holding a large syringe of blue liquid.

10. Sleep through the holocaust (ghoul ending) (WTG)

Determined to survive Presper's nuclear attack, you have the Boulder scientists put you in cold sleep. Eventually you are awakened to a world that's very different than the one you left.... A view from the patient's perspective, lying on your back, coming out of cold sleep. Everything is blurry and distorted as your senses become used to normal wakefulness. Looking upward, you see standing over you is a ghoul in doctor's scrubs.

Random Notes

This section is just for random notes you've made on the location - brainstorming ideas or whatever. It's like a word junkyard for stuff you might use or might not, but you haven't ruled them out yet.

Appendix

Include a summary of changes you've done in a document at the end, and dump it into the Source Safe comments, if you can. Chances are, you'll have to email this information to certain people on the team, so it's worthwhile to record here.

08-22-03 – finished except for quest states and journal entries

06-25-01 – Fallout Location Template document created.

06-28-01 - Added comments from Steve Bokkes (QA Quest List), Dave Maldonado (Appendix and Item and Character Summaries), and Feargus (Quest Importance and Scope). Added spawning and difficulty level information to the Scripting section as well as an "estimated play time" entry into the Area Summary section.

07-09-01 – Added comments from Dave Maldonado and added "character's sex" (male/female) to the location checklist.

12-24-02 - Added Emotional Porn and Random Notes section, straightened up the document, reformatted some tables.

1-11-03: Added PIPBoy functionality to carrots, added timeline information to history.

5-30-03: Added all the designer comments, including comments from the scripters.

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