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Van Buren was the project name Black Isle Studios assigned to their version of Fallout 3. In 2003, the game was canceled and the Black Isle employees were laid off.

The game was going to use an engine that Black Isle had made for Baldur's Gate 3, commonly referred to as the Jefferson Engine. It was fully 3D. Black Isle Studios planned to include a dual combat system in the game that allowed for the player to choose real time or turn-based combat, due to Interplay's demands, though Joshua Sawyer had stated that the emphasis would be on the turn-based version. Co-operative multiplayer was also going to be included in the game, again because of publisher requirements.

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VB DD07 loc Mesa Verde
The Ciphers are the nomadic descendants of a group of scientists and soldiers which left Los Alamos after the Great War on the search for a safe haven. Wandering north, the refugees finally settled down in Mesa Verde.

Intending to preserve as many achievements of the Old World as possible, the scientists began painting and carving electronic schematics into the walls of their new settlement and insisted that mathematics should be emphasized when educating the village children so that their descendants would be able to understand the schematics. Over the years the villagers heavily integrated mathematics in their culture and even speech. Their confusing, cryptic way of speaking, permeated by math terms, has caused them to be dubbed "Ciphers" by educated wasteland dwellers who thought they might be speaking in some type of code. The Ciphers assign an almost mystical significance to specific numbers - it is the closest thing to a religion they have.

Nearly a century after the refugees' arrival at Mesa Verde, the descendants of the original settlers had outgrown the space and resources available. Many families chose to adopt a nomadic lifestyle to avoid the perpetual thirst and hunger. Only families with very young children or Ciphers too old to travel remain full-time in the village.
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Denver
Van Buren concept art for Denver

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