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Apprentice Challenge 2

Agent c August 25, 2012 User blog:Agent c
Fallout Skyline - Apprentice
What if you could... Make the game?

Fallout: The Apprentice 2012

Welcome one and all to round two of Fallout: The Apprentice 2012. In this game eight members of the wiki community to compete in a series of challenges, that will result in one of them walking away with the "Fallout Apprentice" crown.

Each week our judges will rank the contestants entries, and you the people will eliminate one, until we're left with just one Fallout Apprentice!

Last week - Doc Incognito was Eliminated... And a reminder that before that Dragonborn96 won limited immunity. This week Jspoel and I are joined by Lizzunchbox, aka "George" from wikia games.

This was the perfect assignment to read through after a pretty crazy week at work - thanks for the opportunity to let me judge. I'm happy to be here.

— Lizzunchbox


Lets meet the remaining Contestants

Contestants
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Yes-Man
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DragonBorn96
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The Old World Relics
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The Ever Ruler
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User:Denis517
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Dead Gunner
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Crimson Frankie
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In the Boardroom

Judges
Agent c 150px-3183960.png 150px-1966728.png
Agent c
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Jspoelstra
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Lizzunchbox
Talk Page

This Weeks challenge

Overview

I've often said that Fallout is not the story of any person, or even of the war, it is the story of the Land, and the communities that grew up after the war. Villages become towns, towns become cities, and the light of civilisation begins to burn bright again.

This challenge puts you at the heart of that. You are to create a new town for Fallout 1. Just a reminder, the Towns in Fallout 1 to get your appetite going are Shady Sands, Junktown, The Hub, Adytum/Los Angeles. The Brotherhood of steel bunker for the purposes of this challenge also counts as a town, where as Necropolis does not.

You also may want to look at Fallout 2 for some town ideas (Klamath, The Den, Modoc, Vault City, New Reno, Broken Hills, Redding, NCR, and San Francisco; the cut Abbey location also counts as a town)

Features that define a "town" are that it must act as a quest hub, it must have trading opportunities, and most important it must be a "community" with at least some sort of "proto-government" - this could be as simple as the town elder in Shady Sands, Killian Darkwater as Mayor of Junktown, the merchants council in the Hub, or the semi-military regulators with the puppet mayor.

You may use concepts that are later introduced in later games (such as Dayglow, [[Maxson], Baja/mexican California), etc.

There is also some cut fallout content you may use for the challenge - it was in the original design that you could become a super mutant. You may create a town based upon the idea that this part of the game had actually gone ahead.

You should not however use the "Burrows" cut content. This was ultimately rejected because it wasn't Fallouty, not for any time reason.

Note: Other than the burrows thing, those are serving suggestions. You may come up with an idea that is all your own.

Submissions

The Ever Ruler - Mount Hell

Main Article  ;
Featured NPC - Pax

Jspoel's view

Rather entertaining story to read, with good background. Missing a bit traditional town setup, on the other hand alternate approach can work well. Well done with npc and explanation of quests.

Agent c's view

A little concerned that its a "Random Encounter" destination - not unprecedented in the series as places like Cafe of Broken Dreams are random encounters that fix on the map, but hat doesnt really work as a good idea for a town.

That aside, Good choice of images. A ghoul town is interesting given their treatment in Necropolis as a rather harsh and unwelcoming group.

You gave a good description of the place and the inhabitants… The follower I found amusing, might have been an opportunity though to link him with the Brain…

A good entry this week

Lizzunchbox's view

I love the twist on Mt. St. Helen's, and I could see this actually being a town in the game. I really like the entry point - a random encounter and a trek to the mountains could feel epic. I also like the notion of a glowing town and Glowing Ones.

However, I found myself wishing there was more of a twist or surprise here. The very best Fallout towns have some kind of surprise and/or delight, and this doesn't have that. At the very least, trekking to a mountain town should merit some kind of cool reward.

Mount Hell is not bad, however - this is a good, solid utilitarian town design.

Yes Man - Santa Clara

Main Article ;
Featured NPC - Father Martinez ;

Jspoel's view

Good infobox layout. Many and various location sections and characters with designation. Also paid attention to background story and adding a chill with el diablo. Too many quests I think. Nice touch with the notable quotes.

Agent c's view

A good deep entry this week, and your "map image" I thought was very well done. I like how you gave depth to Father Lasher, and the imagery used by the COC - in fact I think this makes a lot of sense given the lack of religious imagery seen in VC (leading me to wonder in retrospect how much Richard Grey would have known on Religious imagery)

Your sub areas seem well detailed, and the quests well fitting to the location theme; your endings are well thought out, but sad that both are depressing - not that I'm saying that in a critical way, I think that is very true to the Fallout vision - Junktowns original Killian ending had a "Negative" long term result (until marketing made them change it) after all. Very impressed.

Lizzunchbox's view

This is my favorite town of this challenge. Such a simple town name, and such a twisted and clever back story--this is the kind of town that makes for a really fun experience in Fallout.

Investigating the mystery will be good gameplay, and I could imagine being fairly surprised and pleased about the discovery of what El Diablo really is. The decision whether to expose Miguel's fraud or to kill him as a "message" of sorts is a tense one, and successfully captures the kind of screwed-up dysfunction that would surely exist in such a world.

Finally, the mission around the thief is a nice counterpoint to the main quest - it extends the themes that are coherently expressed throughout Santa Clara. Well done!

Crimson Frankie - Bellica

Entry

Jspoel's view

Like visible in the first contest, clearly knows his early Fallout. Listened well to Agent c wish of having a goverment/leader and having trading opportunities. Again invested a lof of work thinking about locations, people and converting their stories into quests.

Agent C's view

The choice to include at least a reference to Irvine was the first thing that stood out at me. As the home to Interplay, Black Isle, and later Obsidian this seemed inspired to me.

A splinter BOS from the Glow group is an interesting choice… but leads me to wonder why the Brotherhood didn't investigate the Powered Armoured Gatekeepers…

However, you've put a lot into how this would work in game, and have given a very detailed and rich location which I just generally find fascinating. The political struggle in the town is a great idea and really gives the player an ability to help shape the future.

Lizzunchbox's view

The notion of a weapons-trading center is a great one; in addition to danger, the town contains a sense of promise for the player. What kind of awesome new weapons might the Vault Dweller find I'm such a place?

Additionally, there are lots of good details in the town overview, as well as a good sense of how the characters and three towns inter-relate.

The concept of the nuclear weapons feels under-developed a bit. I'd like to now more about the plot to take them, the kind of mission this might entail, and what the potential consequence a of helping Fawkes take power might be.

This said, this is a great town concept.

Old World Relics - Pain Court

Entry

Jspoel's view

Original thought off idea of letting a box-fight determine the towns' leader. Layout could have been somewhat better. Nice quests, could have used a bit more twist and turns.

Agent c's view

An interesting idea, and I enjoyed reading it, however I would have liked to see more detail on the characters. The boxing I thought was an interesting idea. I'm kinda struggling a bit here because although there's not too much, wrong, there doesnt seem to be that much jumping out either. Definitely a good entry though, and well positioned into the game.

Lizzunchbox's view

This is a testament to the fact that not all the memorable towns in Fallout have to involve dark, epic quests and story lines. A simple town concept - like one where everyone is a boxer - stands out as a refreshing change of pace.

I'm not sure if the designer intended for this to be the case, but there are lots of opportunities for humor and great dialogue here, which I like. Plus, the gameplay would emphasize fisticuffs, which is a nice change of pace.

This would be the kind of town gamers would ask each other about. "Did you find Pain Court? Oh man, it's a trip."

Denis 517 - Relinquish

Main Article ;
Featured NPC - Karrin Murphy ;
Featured NPC - Waldo Butters ;
Feature Quest - Relinquishing Hope

Jspoel's view

Seeing Big Town's pic and the town facing some trouble from outside reminds me of Fallout 3 and doesn't give a real Fallout 1/2 feel. Also somewhat short of location page content. Positive is you made good work of the characters and seperate quest page, which could have used more story to it.

Agent c's view

I hate to start on a negative, but I think you need to focus a lot more on the game that you're trying to slot the town into. I understand why you've chosen to use F3/NV imagery as it will be what a lot of voters are familiar with, but I think there's a lot of things that you've missed from looking at it from this perspective. Make sure you cater to both of your audiences - the judges, and the voters.

A particular point where this comes to a front is in your quest. You want the VD to come to the town early to get the rope to enter V15; this is fair enough. However, you're pitting him against floaters when V15 is full of rats - Floaters are a late to end game enemy, a level 1-3 character would not stand a chance. I know you haven't played the game, but I think you could have avoided this mistake by looking at the Floater page, and the V15 page. The town is also in the wrong location for this to occur - the rope in Shady sands is on the way, you run into Shady sands on your way to V15; there is nothing dragging the player to Relinquish at this point. The Character already knows to go to V15, its in the introduction - in fact the start its the only place he knows.

This aside. I think you've got a nice concept using a millionaires preparation bunker. However the location is missing any trading opportunities, and you also forgot to link the pages altogether in some points.

I think you might have an easier time with the next challenge, if you make it through.

Lizzunchbox's view

This town feels a little too generic to me. While that's okay in the Fallout universe, there's not enough unique lore or characters here to make this stand out.

DragonBorn96 - Corvus

Main article ;
Featured NPC - Julianne Foley

Jspoel's view

You used alternative layout which makes a confusing start. Here I feel me not having played the older Fallout games (sorry!) works against me. But looking at it, Dragon has played them. Paid lots of attention on sections and quests, gets a bit vague now and then (for me anyway). Well done though.

Agent c's view

Firstly, thank you for going with the Supermutant suggestion. I was really hoping at least one person would, as its a proposed aspect of the game we don't know a lot about (beyond some hint at steam carriages mentioned in one of the bibles).

I'm a little confused as to why you decided to make Corvus founded by the Vault Dweller. There would need to be some break in the story of several months to explain that.

Your investigation quest was well done, and well detailed, it just worked really well for me, you've given the choice that Fallout is famed for.

I like including a rivalry between the Lieutenant and the VD, I think this could be a hint of a greater plot in a super mutant focused game ending.

I like your unique reward for the quest ending, much better than just generic caps, and given the players recent dipping, it might be the first opportunity to get a big gun had they relied upon smaller ones in the human part of the game.

Lizzunchbox's view

I LOVE the way this mission takes the Vault Dweller and makes him a central part of the game's lore in a way that extends the consequences of your decisions. I also love that this picks up from the end of the first game.

There a lot of details here, which is awesome, as well as a juicy mystery/conspiracy and some timed encounters, which always heighten the sense of drama in the game. I would like a little more details on the town itself, I have to say.

My only other concern here is that if you don't decide to join the Unity at the end of Fallout 1, you won't be able to play this mission. But that's the inherent beauty (or maybe the promise) of Fallout.

Dead Gunner - The Lost Hills

Entry

Jspoel's view

Good story with various characters and interactions between them. Could have used better setup with more images of locations. Bit too many quests I think. Nice touch with adding an ending section.

Agent C's view

Before I get into the entry, a point that I think people are going to bring up a lot… Lost hills is already taken. The Lost Hills bunker is home to the Brotherhood of Steel, south of Mariposa. But your road sign was good.

That said, I think I can see a lot of improvement in this week's entry. The quest was well detailed, and I like how you can effect the future of the town. Would have been nice to see a bit more detail on the characters; I'm also a bit lost as to what the town looks like, a sample image would have been nice.

Lizzunchbox's view

A great set-up to the Vault Dweller's entry into the town of Lost Hills. This creates some immediate intrigue, which is good solid game design.

However, I couldn't help but think that the idea loses steam from here a bit. The interplay between Jackie and Maurice is a solid one, but the town could use more describing. Who else lives here, and how do they feel about these to bad guys?


The rankings, and the vote

The winner, earning "Qualified Immunity" for next week is Yes Man. As long as you do not come last in Challenge 3 and you submit an entry, you are immunise from elimination next week. You may want to use this as an a chance to relax a bit or try something a bit experimental.

The rankings after I tally all 3 judges votes are as follows:

  1. Yes Man
  2. Crimson Frankie
  3. DragonBorn96
  4. Old World Relics
  5. The Ever Ruler
  6. Dead Gunner
  7. Denis517

So Nukapedia, its time to vote; the bottom 3 are up for elimination, vote eliminate. The one with the most votes will be eliminated.

Apprentice week 2 - Vote to ELIMINATE?

  • 16% 8 votes
  • 22% 11 votes
  • 61% 30 votes
49 people voted
Thanks!
Alternative Vote Page.

Home Viewer Contest

Here it is, the home viewer contest. There will be a prize for the winner to be announced soon.

You are to pitch us a "feature" for Fallout 4. It may be a game mechanic (like VATS), a Perk, a location or faction, or anything else you can think of. You should keep the feature independent of the overall location that Fallout 4 will be in, as that's not been announced (so factions and locations should be kept general).

You should not pitch us the whole game. Just one small thing that makes Fallout 4 different to the other titles.

Link your subbmission in the comment section of this (or any other Fallout Apprentice blog). Each week we'll highlight up to 3 entries, and let you pick the entry of the week. All entries of the week will go into a final vote at the end of the series... So get writing!

(Players in the main game may participate in the home viewer contest as well - and don't worry, I'm planning a prize for at least the winner in that too!).

Just some advice on this: This is in two parts, you have to tell us about your feature, but you also have to tell us how it makes the game different from those before it. Here's some practical examples for the suggestions given above:

  • Perks: Perks typically support a certain style of Gameplay, or enable/improve certain other things like items or other featuyres. Make sure you you're telling me what the problem is you're trying to solve - what gameplay style are you trying to support - is it a new one or has it been neglected, how does it "Solve the problem"?
  • Mechanics: This is a tricky one to give advice on, but again, tell me the problem you're trying to solve. Aimed Shots and VATS allow easier sniper play. The Perk system opens up new abilities outside of the skill system, etc.
  • Location/Faction:Easier to give advice on. Simply come up with something different to whats in the game.

After this weeks vote, we'll be opening up the first vote for the elimination contest - Check back during the elimination post to have your say.

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