Monday, November 22, 2010

FONV - Complications

I've mentioned on occasion that the prevailing opinion on making FONV companion-friendly involves modifying scripts, triggers, and such.

Some of you may wonder why I'm so resistant to this idea. Am I just being my usual contrary self; preferring to learn on my own rather than accept advice?

Well... yeah, partly. But there's another concern.

ttomwv has mentioned to me a few times about needing to fix this trigger or that door or what-have-you to get it working with companions, and I insisted on checking alternatives. Want to see why?

For those of you who have never used the NVGECK, this is the Strip:

This is only one section; between the Lucky 38, and Gomorrah.

See all that crap?

The blue boxes are Idle Markers - things that cause a patrolling or sandboxing NPC to play specified animations. Red X's are your standard Xmarkers: the normal target for patrol points, guard packages, moveto commands, and some dialog sets. Red squares with an arrow on one side are an Xmarkerheading - the same as an Xmarker, but with an addition command that the NPC face a specific direction while doing whatever it is. Then there are your trigger boxes that handle everything from fame setting to initializing audio to starting scripted events around you.

Here's a closer view:

Now, imagine you're looking for one trigger; one script attached to it, to change one line of code.

While there are certainly cases where modding scripts is the best idea... I prefer to stick with my usual less invasive methods, thanks.

Also bear in mind, this is one section of the strip. Not even a couple hundred yards square. There are literally thousands of markers and triggers throughout the Strip.

The irony being most don't even do anything useful; or that couldn't be easily handled by quest scripts instead of triggers. As I've said before: I really think they went out of their way to make this game as complicated as it could possibly be.

I have to wonder whether the devs at Obsidian had ever modded FO3; or whether they just started in on NV blind.


  1. I'm with you on that one. I think Bethesda / Obsidian went out and found anyone they could that had never played FO3 and said: "Hey, you guys wanna make a game? We've already got a bunch of textures and meshes for you to use! Whaddya say?"

  2. It just...

    Okay, example:

    One of the triggers outside the Lucky 38 mods the Player's "fame" on the Strip. The first time you leave it, there's a boost because people saw you leaving the casino that no one else has been allowed into in decades and this means you must be an important person and whatever.

    Here's the thing, though. "Fame" isn't tied to worldspace. It's a global setting. So, all they would've had to do it tack three or four lines of code onto the dialog with Mr. House, or into one of the quest stages of The House Always Wins, I. No fuss, no muss, no triggers; and your fame is still improved in the strip.

    It would be a bit more complicated to get the timing perfect - having the fame notification be sent as you were leaving or whatnot... but it's imminently possible. You'd just need to set a variable in a quest script that triggered the gain the next time your worldspace equaled the Strip.

    Personally, I've never liked trigger boxes. They're too damned unreliable.