Friday, December 31, 2010


I had a post typed out. Gains and losses; thoughts for the future.

You know what? I'm just not feeling it; and ultimately I doubt it matters.

So I'll just send the same empty "hope" for "change" that everyone else blithely spouts tonight.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


You people have it, I swear.

A guy tries to take a couple days off, to wade through all the crap involved in getting Lovers running in an Oblivion install (a mod that I am so not linking here, by the way) to see if it's actually as good as people are always going on about. Complex, pain in the ass in general; lots of readmes in Japanese, translated into a form of English that bears no semblance to the real thing. Rather like the old Babelfish translations, now that I think of it...

Anyway. While I was playing with silly adult mods, malcontents have started in again.

A new modder going by badreaper001 has kindly released a new NCCS package with about a half dozen companions. Hampered at the moment by a player who decried that the mod needs the wheel. When pointed to ttomwv's wheel addon for NCCS, he now complains that the wheel conflicts with some other companion mod.

Fucking duh.

Tarrant predicted this about a week after NV went gold; and I've been telling it to people for weeks. No one listens. The problem is the "wheel" buttons don't do anything directly. They're like shortcuts to dialog commands. Trouble is, these shortcuts are hard-coded to be read from only one dialog topic; and the game only allows one override to any given topic. Any further changes simply override the previous override. This means that you get ONE companion mod that will work with the wheel.

I can't fix it. Don't ask. There is no way to code out around it that I'm aware of.

If you people would pick a freaking mod and be done with it, it wouldn't be an issue; but everyone has to have eighteen different companion mods running at any given time.

This is why I won't add the wheel to NCCS by default. I said it before, I'll say it again: conflicts. When and if I can make it reliably selectable, then maybe - but for now I'm not willing to compromise compatibility for the legions of indecisive players who don't read the manual but love posting derisive comments.

The one and only fix I'm aware of to the situation would be to create a sort of merged patch. Problem is, the auto-patch creators that are so favored by the community won't do it. They can't combine multiple edits into one, as far as I'm aware - they only allow you to select which of the combined plugins' edits you want to make dominant. The fix would be to combine all plugins (or at least make one plugin that references all companion master files you use), and manually write in the dialog commands for each companion (or system) into a single edit of the pertinent quest.

Doable? Absolutely; but not on my end. There are simply too many companion mods out there; too many permutations and combinations and options. I could write a hundred merge patches and not cover the possibilities.

And considering that I don't even use NCCS, my odds of spending a week or six writing compatibility plugins for NCCS and every other companion I can find are somewhere akin to the odds of Mars slamming into the Earth next week.

Malcontent #2 is from my RR Companions Pack for FO3. He thinks my eye textures look bad. To which I reply: fuck you and the horse you rode in on. You don't like them? Upload better, or sit down and shut up. I do not take shit about the quality of my mods off of people with eight posts, no kudos, and no uploaded files.

Malcontent #3 actually brought me to a dead stop. As far as I could discern from the PM, the issues revolves around the fact that he is for some reason using Notepad++ to edit a companions plugin for RR, and this is resulting in the script not staying set on the companion. I got an email with an rtf file attached (rich text? Really? What, did I stumble into the wayback machine and end up in 1999?) that when opened was full of encoded game data, master file lists, and resource paths for what looked like a custom race. I offered what advice I could without invoking profanity... but I haven't read the reply PM yet. I did receive another email though that claims to have a copy of the esp file attached... which I also haven't read yet. I'll get around to it; I just need ample time to zen-ize my mind to prepare.

I was telling Herculine the other day that I'm thinking about giving up modding as a hobby. I'm considering taking up something more relaxing... like defusing old Soviet mines in Africa. Anyone know how to say "I need QuikClot!" in Kirundi...?

Sunday, December 26, 2010


You may remember some time ago when I expressed frustration at the hair problems inherent in NV.

I had posited a theory at the time that the issue had to do with bsa files. Since hair worked perfectly from Ling's, but not when I extracted the very same meshes to use stand-alone.

Most people would simply use Ling's or Mikoto's beauty pack in all their companions and other mods.

One look over the 'My Mods' folders on my hard drive will tell you I'm not most people.

I tried creating a bsa file of my own, which was a dismal failure. Rather than fix the issue, it simply removed all the meshes.


I shelved the idea for the time, since having messed up hair is better than none at all.

Flash forward to this afternoon. I was trawling the Bethsoft forums, looking for patch information; when the thought occurred to see if there had been any new developments in the bsa area.

Got to reading, and find out that the problem before was with FOMM's bsa creator, and not the game specifically. It seems that bsa creator doesn't correctly include a 'data' folder in the tree inside the archive; so it throws the whole tree off, and the game can't find any of the resources.

Followed some posted advice, set up a special directory tree outside the FONV install for the express purpose of bsa packing - with a setup that allowed for simply selecting 'data' and taking the whole tree (something you can't do in your install directory for obvious reasons).

Sure enough, it worked.

My cosmetic resource works correctly; I fixed my girls' hair - even managed to give Natasha back her correct 'do.

Even fixed my character's ability to wear hats without the hair clipping through:

It's a small victory, granted; but these days I takes what I can gets. Seeing hair styles correctly makes the game less frustrating on the whole, and will actually let me release a 'ported' cosmetic resource.

It also makes my personal mods easier to keep track of. I can pack all the needed resources into one bsa, and not have to deal with directory structures.

Even took the opportunity to get Maeva back up and running with her personal body textures.

Seems the issue at hand was that Obsidian fucked up yet another part of the game engine, which now won't read the egt and egm files for hair unless they're packed into an archive. Without these files, there's nothing to tell the game where to place the hair on the head - so you get the now-prolific off center hairs, bald spots, and mis-sized hair styles when you set an NPC's scale to anything other than 1.

It still amazes the hell out of me that any of these people remain employed.


Had another idea today, to potentially improve companions' combat performance. Unfortunately, it flopped totally.

Not much point going into great detail. Suffice to say that it involved a 'follow' package and a 'combat' package that were scripted to switch out at appropriate times.

Switch worked fine; but it seems that the guard packages don't function the same as they did in FO3. Yet another thing Obsidian fucked up in their mad quest for the "Largest number of flaws in a video game ever" trophy.

Scripting reverted, the damage has been rectified and they operate normally again; so at least I didn't lose ground.

Being back in Fallout after my Dragon Age hiatus is different. I really missed guns. Yeah, being able to cast fireball is neat and all... but it just doesn't compare with shooting someone in the face with a 44 Magnum.

I'd like to see how well one of those damned Revenants stands up to a shotgun barrage, oh yes.

What I didn't miss was the buggy ass companion behavior. They're still freezing up regularly after combat. Compared to DAO where my party did what the hell it was told, it feels like taking a big step back.

Then again, my not having to script in the mutant offspring of C++ buys anything using the Gamebryo engine a lot of leeway with me, so I'm willing to overlook the freezing for the time being.

And they still surprise me. I had ditched my NCCS companions since testing was over with for the time being, and returned to my suite to collect my personal companions. It was after 2200, so I decided to get some sleep and then we'd set out in the morning.

Two of the companions were in bed; with the third roaming the suite.

Flash through twelve hours of sleep. As I get up, so do the two formerly sleeping companions. The third comes in, and climbs into the just-vacated bed.

...They posted a watch for the night...

Testing that the combat behavior was indeed fixed was interesting, as well. Ran through Vault 3, and my girls were looting weapons from Fiends they had killed. [CENSORED] had had her Multiplas damaged beyond use in the fighting outside, and so just randomly decided to loot a laser rifle to supplant the varmint rifle that she apparently really hated using.

I tell ya, Kiddies, if I could just get 'em to do this shit on command instead of on their own whims, my companion system would be the best ever.

Oh, and also? I'm so going to hell:

Friday, December 24, 2010

NCCS - Beta 0.3 Upcoming

So, after one of those lovely panic attacks about 0100 local, I gave up on sleeping tonight; and decided to work on the master a bit.

Dragon Age is beginning to grate on my nerves.

Decided I should tackle the warping dead, since some of you for reasons I will never fathom insist on killing your companions.

Seems I mis-projected the size of the edit required. It ended up being eighty new lines of code; and not fifty. Not a huge deal. Once I set my mind to it, it ended up being a ten minute job - twenty if you count testing.

Killed off three companions, changed cells five times. No dead bodies followed me. The damned thing actually worked on the first try.

I know - I'm amazed, too.

It was good, too; since my first efforts this morning didn't go so well. I had it in my head to add some... new features to my personal companions. Specifically, stripper dancing on command. The NVGECK continues to be a piece of shit, though. Markers wouldn't move, items wouldn't add on script command, idles don't play correctly on command. It's a mess through and through.

Although I did manage to get them to break into dance whenever the follow package was active but we weren't moving:

I, uh... won't be releasing that one into NCCS, however. Issues of considerable silliness aside, it doesn't work quite right. The dancing animation doesn't stop playing when you start moving again; so they follow you while the animation keeps playing. Kind of creepy, really; and I figured people would bitch left, right, and center about the strange idles so it got tabled.


Before releasing 0.3, I think I'm also going to tackle that greeting issue, to stop the deluge of PMs I'm getting (averaging two a day now) from people who skim the guide instead of reading it, and miss that bit about only using voices one through four because the others don't have a motherfucking greeting.

I also added a message that lets you know when one of your companions has died. Unfortunately it can't let you know by name, but a quick head count should narrow down which one bought the farm.

Beyond that... I think we're nearing a 1.0 non-beta, stable release. Everything appears to be working fine if one takes the time to RTFM, so with the system death-friendly, and greetings for the voice types that don't have one in the base game, that should be about the extent of useful without getting cluttered.

I had a couple of other ideas, but really I don't know how badly I want to embark on a quest to add anything that's that much trouble; just to be further accused of breaking games and writing bad guides.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Case. In. Point.

This, this is the shit I'm talking about.

I get up this morning, still slightly miffed that I missed an eclipse on the solstice and the darkest night in four centuries because of the stupid weather and fourteen million giant nightlights for the cowards here in the asshole of the free world.

Open my gmail box to check for comments, then pop over to the NVNexus to check on NCCS... and what do I find in an NCCS comment?

"this has made it where my game has to be reinstaled my game crashes no matter what now and i had alot done ingame with a bunch of other mods that worked fine the SCC for FO3 worked fine but this is a no go now i cqant even play the game "

What? Seriously? If this isn't a joke, someone out there in the universe obviously still hates my guts.

Let's see. We've got: no punctuation, no grammar, no capitalization, no description of the problem, a reference to how many unnamed mods work, and a note that a companion system in another game is better.

Not only that, but the person edited the comment twenty minutes after posting. That was his revised comment! The improved MKII model!

I'm kind of sorry I missed the original. It must have been glorious in its craptacularness.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Note To Self:

7'8" ceilings are not tall enough for a 5'11" man to make an overhead swing with a 34" bladed bastard sword.

Strike low, reverse direction; come around for a strike where the neck meets the shoulder...

*scraping sound*


Oh, how I miss my old house. Vaulted ceilings, it had. Fifteen feet high at the center. There was a beautiful spot of dead space where the hall ended in an empty spot between the living room and dining room. Not much; about fifteen feet square.

Fifteen cubic feet may not a dojo make, but as long as you kept combinations to two or three strokes, you could swing a sword around in there with impunity.

Hate this damned apartment. Nowhere to shoot within forty miles of here, can't even run a sword drill...


Where'd I leave that tube of plaster patch...

On Criticism

A commenter on the last post brought up an interesting issue - whether I'd want to receive comments, if they weren't positive.

This, I thought, deserved its own post; rather than being relegated to the comments basement.

The theory behind this was that many artists can't handle criticism. Okay, I'm a writer, and modder and general monkeyer-with of all things vidja gaem; but I don't know that I've ever been described as artist.

Several other appellations have been thrown on me over the years... just not that one.

So, this gets me thinking. I bitch a lot about what I term 'the complainers'. Do I really not take criticism well? Am I being dishonest with myself - saying that I want comments, when I really only want vapid, sycophantic praise?


Nope. Had me worried there for a second.

Let me explain how commenting and criticism in general works.

I don't get paid for this. None of us do - such things are specifically against the EULA we all agreed to when installing our games and our toolsets. Making money off of our mods is, in fact, a hefty violation of international copyright law.

So, when you criticize a mod, you are in point of fact saying: "Hey, I don't think your work is good enough to be given away for free!"

No matter how you word it, this is a blow to the modder's personal ego. It doesn't matter how long you've been 'sharing' work; how hard you did or didn't work on it; or how much you tell yourself you don't really care.

But, criticism can be good, as long as it's constructive. Once you get past the sting, you can start to look at the comment itself, and see whether their concerns can actually improve your work.

Case in point: I bitch heavily and often about people who "comment" only with 'your mod doesn't work!', 'your mod needs to be X before I'll consider endorsing it!' and of course my personal favorite, the thumbs-down with no comment whatsoever.

On the other hand, when Herculine or ttomwv or Fry or the good Sergeant or any of a dozen other people come to me with an issue - with something that they think could be done better, I listen. I sit down and consider it before replying. Is it possible? Would it really be an improvement? If yes, I try it. If no, I try to explain why it isn't viable.

Why do I listen to one group, but dismiss the other? It's all in how you approach it.

Constructive criticism. Don't just tell a modder that something sucks. Take the time, think about it, and give them an alternate idea; how could it be good/better by your standards?

There's also the secondary matter that some stuff just ain't ever happening in a game mod. The sad fact is that most players have never and will never mod. They have no idea what is and is not possible in a game engine; or how long something will take to implement if it is possible.

Because of this lack of practical knowledge, they come up with unreasonable expectations. Some people expect a mod to rival the base game itself in content and quality. Granted, the quality bit is easier to equal in some games than others.

Then, there's the matter of motivation and time constraints on practicality.

I'll cite you and example here. Many moons ago, ttomwv wrote plugins for the RR Companions Vault that expanded the sorter in the armory. One handled the items for FOOK2, and one for 20th Century Weapons. These were written early on in the respective mods' lives; when item counts were still comparatively small. By the middle of this year, each of the two mods boasted more than five hundred new items.

To make the sorters work, each item needs a minimum of three lines of code; sometimes four or five. Bare minimum, that would be fifteen hundred lines of code for each mod. Twenty-five hundred if you weren't lucky. Then there are containers to store it all, since the point of a sorter is to separate your loot automatically. 20thCW would need a dozen or more containers; FOOK2 probably many more. Then there's testing. Every single line of code has to be proofread. Every sorting option tested - which means collecting or console-spawning some of nearly every item in the game. Figure on about a 10% bug rate where a typo or mis-pasted line will cause an option to not work right, and you have to re-do fifty of those items at least once.

So, was it possible? Yeah, sure. Was I going to do it? Oh hell no. We're talking about a solid week of six to eight hour days doing nothing but coding and testing; and for what? Something I wouldn't even use - an "option" that I think is a waste of time to begin with?

So, the TL;DR version: criticism is fine; but think before you hit post. If you can't tell me how it could be better, just telling me it's bad probably won't get you anything more than dismissed.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Slacking Again

I'll confess, I haven't been modding for NV lately. Haven't even fired up the NVGECK.

Quite frankly, the gaggle of fuckwits who can't do anything but bitch about the quality of something they're getting for free has got me disinclined to take NCCS one step further in the immediate future.

Instead, I've been playing Dragon Age.

It's... okay.

As I described it to Herculine recently, DAO feels, to me, like World of Warcraft, if it were written by the people who did The Witcher. You still got the simpering nonsense of "OMG WE HAVE TO SAVE TEH WRLD FROM TEH EVL ZOMBIE-DRAGON!" but it includes a lot more death, sex, general hopelessness and racial inequality.

I tell you, Kiddies: I have been playing video games for over two decades now, and I am so completely and thoroughly sick of saving the world from some allegory for the devil and his faceless, dark minions...

That was one thing I respected about the writing for The Witcher. There were no 'good guys'; there was no altruism; there were no happy endings. It was just which side you decided to take in the grand argument.

I've also been playing with the DAO toolset. I used Aurora for NWN back in 'the day' quite a bit, and was fairly handy with it. This seems to be the same toolset, but more evolved - and none of the evolutions are improvements.

The DAO toolset is the most convoluted, needlessly complicated piece of shit I have ever used.

After this, NVGECK's bugs are a tiny price to pay for something that does what I want without seventeen useless steps in between.

Not going to start officially modding for DAO or anything, so don't worry if you're one of the four or five people who actually give a shit about my FO3/FONV mods.

Speaking of, I just made the mistake of looking at NCCS' stats. 1164 unique downloads, 14 endorsements. For those of you who fucked your way through high school and missed math class, that's a hair over one percent of players that could be bothered to take the ten seconds to endorse.

Couple that with the fact that I haven't picked up a single kudos point for NV despite blowing through twelve or more hours of my life answering inane posts and PMs to help morons figure out how to use a mod...

...Yeah. I'm gonna go work on a gun or something. At least that's thankless work that benefits me in some way...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NCCS - Not The Same Issue...

...But my timeframe wasn't far off.

The bitching has begun.

The companion management system doesn't work with people who like to kill their companions.

Of course, I completely forgot this sect of the playerbase.

I suppose "learn to script yourself" would be out of line?

Fools to the left of me, Philistines to the right; and me not nearly drunk enough in the middle.

Share your companion system, I said. It'll get popular and companions will become prevalent. It'll be like Oblivion! Feh.

I'll tell you this right now, though: universe help the first person who bitches at me to include some kind of slavery function.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

NCCS - v0.21 Uploaded

Find all the details in the changelog, the file details, or my posted comment.

I give it a week before someone starts bitching that the management system doesn't allow for enough companions.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


"how do you open the tutorial? i downloaded it and yet it won't open =("

This is not fiction. This comment was posted to the RR Companions Vault this afternoon.

If you'll excuse me, I need to sit in the corner for awhile and weep quietly for the future of the human race.

NCCS - Subversion Successful!



The Tops.

And the Ultralux.

Without. Touching. The base game scripts. My personal companions plugin contains not one single edit to any door or script in the base game. None. They made it onto the strip, and into and out of all three casinos without stopping, having to be recalled, or getting into any fights. They even followed me into the cocktail lounge in the Lucky 38 - something I never managed to get the regular NCCS companions to do.

In the words of the immortal Ace Ventura: Damn, I'm good!

I've also figured out what I was doing wrong with the sit package all this time. It's been so long since I set that up I had forgotten how I did it. So I'll be trying that one again shortly.

Once that's tested, I'm going to begin adding the stuff to NCCS, and hopefully get a 0.2 beta up for you folks soon.

The new Z-axis dependent OnCombatEnd block that my partner was interested in has been added as well, and works perfectly. We walked from the North entrance to Freeside clear around the outside of the Strip, down to the Sunset Sarsaparilla bottling plant, with no one appearing in my path at any time.

Slight issue in that the game sometimes seems to pick random times to warp them around to catch up to you... but since they never appear in your path now, I'm hoping this annoyance will be minor enough to be outweighed by the benefits - which seem to be substantial.

Monday, December 6, 2010

NCCS - Leashes

I know, one would think I'd have the new code fully integrated into the master, and perhaps a new beta release - what with me extolling the virtues of the new stuff and all the other day.

Trouble is, the way I had originally set it up, I didn't like the way companions "popped in" when you crossed a cell barrier in the open wasteland. They tended to end up in front of you a lot.

So, I rewrote the code, and added a check on the player's Z axis heading; along with some code that moved them around based on which quadrant of the compass you're facing. Seems to work correctly; though I only set up the heading check for exterior cells. In an interior, the companion will only pop in one time - since the cell barriers are doors in an interior and all.

Thus far, I've had the code running from game start, up to Sloan, back down to Primm, across Primm Pass, north through Novac, Freeside, and into the Strip and the Lucky 38.

Picked up my Suite in the Lucky 38 at level three. No crappy Novac motel room for us this time!

Before I do any releasing, I still want to try out the casinos. I'm hoping that this new code will completely preclude the need to monkey with existing game scripts.

I'm also learning more about the engine, still. I've worked up a new theory on why the quest script seems to "freeze", but I won't bore you guys with it.

The 'return to' code works correctly for both Lucky 38, and Novac motel room, as well. The option to send the companion back to those will only appear if the room in question has been obtained. Those are the only two explicitly stated player houses that I'm aware of in the base game. If anyone knows of others, let me know about them and I can probably get the option added.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

NCCS - Impending Wow

Some days, I do something so cool even I have to sit back and just go "Goddamn, how did I come up with that?"

This morning is another of those.

I have... just conceived and implemented a system that will allow all NCCS companions to stick with the player no matter how moved or by what.

It works on teleports... it even provides for instant following through load doors - no more having to wait an in-game hour for the engine to get off its dead ass and move NPCs through.

Best part?

I did it in such a way that not one single NPC has to be called via explicit reference.

I've only tested it for about twenty minutes now; but it seems to work every cell change.

The one possible downside is that it works a bit too well, sometimes. When traversing the open wasteland, your companions will occasionally be teleported to join you; since despite the openness, the wastes are actually broken up into "cells" just like interiors, and when you cross a cell border into the next, the script triggers and moves them up to join you.

The flip side is that it's not distance dependent - only strictly by cells; so it won't randomly trigger the way the old teleport code in RR did.

I'm not going to go into detail about how I did it. It would bore and/or confuse most of my readers (hey, I know perfectly well my thought processes border on requiring the readying of a padded room...); and that aside, I know perfectly well that my "competition" has been looting ideas from my blog as well as my previous work, and I'm not in the mood to hand out any more freebies.

I've also implemented code that will once a day add a handful of leveled lists to an NPC's inventory - to simulate them looting stuff as you travel. This one isn't tested yet; I haven't been in the new game long enough for it to fire; but the GECK took the code without complaint, so if it doesn't work it should only be a matter of me getting my timing calls correct to make it work. Once I do get this one working, I'll create another custom leveled list to simplify the code, but for the moment I'm testing with default game lists.

This morning I also learned how to apply perks to companions. I haven't implemented this one yet, since I wanted to get the new companion management code tested before I added another feature to potentially screw up; but it's next on my testing list.

I've also got some ideas for new group perks - that will be added or removed from the player depending on how many companions you have in tow.

This NCCS whim of mine could... end up being pretty cool. A slightly more arrogant me would be proclaiming that when all is in place, all other systems will be woefully eclipsed by the greatness. Real me, though? Is a fatalist, who's had one too many sure things blow up in his face to declare victory just yet.

Lastly, I think I may have taken some of my coding a bit too far. When I started the new game, I forgot and left my special companions plugin active. This is what I woke up to:

The three of them were in the house and trying to initiate dialog to join me before the doc even finished his introductions.

S'nice to have such loyal hench-cuties, though. I knocked them down to leveled lists for starting equipment, so as a party we'd have someplace to go; a need to scavenge better armor and weapons.

Windows To The Soul...

Months ago, around the time I released my FO3 cosmetic pack, I referenced dual-color eyes. A certain Fairy misunderstood what I had meant, and assumed I referred to each eye being a different color. This was not the case, at the time.

I was, however, rather bored this morning; awaiting a download limit to expire, and well... guess what got ported to FONV. Worked some on a facegen preset for my next character - since just because I finished the thing, doesn't mean I can stop playing; I still have to keep testing and developing NCCS, after all.

Decided I wanted to have a bit more fun than just normal glow-y eyes, and this resulted...

I think I may be putting her in the wrong game. I swear, that left eye looks like an Oblivion gate.

Either way, not my best work by any stretch... but not bad, I suppose.

FONV - Main Quest

Just finished it.

I am, once again, underwhelmed. Really, ending the game with the main quest was the perfect garnish to what's been a total 'fuck you!' to the players throughout.

All this time, and they still couldn't be bothered to fix the semi-auto weapon bug, or the memory leak; but they did find time to introduce a whole host of new bugs related to terminals, the Pip-boy, and scripted quest events in general.

The NCCS code to teleport your companions along with you to the final battle doesn't work. Not that I was expecting it to. Bethsoft would have had to hire true visionaries to make the game any more unfriendly to mod-added companions.

Also nice to see the GMPC kept up, since the head legion asshole and general dipshit both have DT's of about fifty - to the point that an AMR shot to the face with a guns score of 100 doesn't do 25% of their health in damage.

But of course, none of that matters. We all know that the express purpose for this game even existing is to sell five or six more shitty DLC expansions, that will each be bug-riddled to a level unknown to the previous.

The annoying bit is I'm not sure most of these non-following problems can even be fixed on the scale required for NCCS.

Can I make them tag along? Sure. I can have my companions set up to work across the board in an hour or two.

The problem is I don't get the luxury of working with explicit references in NCCS. I have to have the code work for every NPC someone can make regardless of what they use for a RefID - assuming they go to the trouble of using one at all.

I'm pushing my luck even expecting people to cut and paste a damned companion script.

I've also got a headache, and the method for instituting companions that can't be left behind on an NCCS-wide scale is so complex it's making my head hurt worse. I'd make a joke about working with the Gordian Knot, but no one would get it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

NCCS - Companion Guide Highlights

Rather than make you all read the guide, I figured I'd share some of the in-game images.

Alas, much as I wanted there to be; there is no blooper reel. There were no wardrobe malfunctions, and Deb told me to go to hell when I suggested we engineer one.


I did two companions this time instead of three. I didn't have another companion plugin on hand to use to copy from, so we just did original, and copy of an in-game NPC.

You can see them both here. Deb on the left is original, on the right is a template-copy of Sunny Smiles; the least unattractive NPC I could think of from the base game. And of course, close-ups:

And an action shot:

(Observant fans will notice the tail sticking suspiciously out of that suit of power armor...)

Basically I just pissed off a giant radscorpion with my pistol and let the party go to town. They're surprisingly hard to get action screenshots of. Doubly so when there are five of them. Notice ED-E is being completely useless, as usual. I swear, that thing is only useful for the Enhanced Sensors perk.

Then, I went on to the advanced section... and things got more interesting...

This is normally the point where I'd cackle maniacally, and go on about how great I am at creating hottie companions... but truth be told I wasn't really trying. I was just idly working on them as I typed; choosing random hair styles... and that happened.

Apparently, I have worked up quite the bit of natural, unconscious talent.

You can't really tell it, but the stealth armor is a custom mesh; I replaced the standard one with as a part of the tutorial - for all you people too lazy to look up item guides of your own and keep bugging me about it. Didn't turn out half bad, all in all; even if I did have to delete the helmet.

Oh, how I wish I could just make companions, instead of having to write my own fucking system every time. It would leave me free time to create so many cute NPCs. But nooooo. Nobody else can do it right, so I have to keep my head stuck in the scripting editor most of the time...

The Other Side

Ever have one of those days where you just... die?

Went to bed 0900 Thurs; got up 2145 in time to make something to eat and catch the new Burn Notice. Back to bed near 0100; and finally got up about twenty minutes ago. Figured it up, and we slept like seventeen hours.

Wish I could do that every day. Of course, aside from being physically impossible without the aid of drugs, it makes it impossible to get anything done. So probably best that I can't.

Anyway, to make this rambling mess somewhat topical: I finished off the new companion creation guide yesterday before crashing; but didn't release 'cause I wasn't confident in my proofreading skills at the time. I'll read 'er over again this morning, and should have it up in a couple hours.

Ended up axing the mods page of the guide altogether. There just aren't any NV mods I really like. You'll get a look at my load order in the images, and I run one radio fix; and the rest is all NCCS and my "special" mods.

Speaking of images, I may have taken a few too many. The images folder jumped from 8.45mb to 12.1mb. Debs turned out nice this time, though; especially after the advanced section.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FONV Hair Problems

Really not in the mood to write html this morning (I truly, truly hate working with that garbage), so stuffed the creation guide onto the back burner for another day or two.

Rather, I've been working on some new NCCS features. New 'go home' features that will allow sending your companion to the Lucky 38 suite or Novac motel room (provided you've acquired their use). Worked out a new (for me, anyway) method of sending the companion home that totally does away with the unreliable travel packages I used in RR.

Added Pip-Boy lights.

Worked out details on some other features that will be worked on in the future but not disclosed at the moment for a few reasons.

Anyway. In the course of testing, I got 'round to be frustrated by Maeva's hair problem.

Wondering whether it was my altered mesh, or the game in general, I popped out Ling's in the GECK and got to looking. All hairs display perfectly, there.

Extracted that mesh over the top of the one I use. Check, and again: bald spot.

This makes me wonder.

When FONV first hit, I remember reading that it had some issues with resources not contained in a bsa file.

Since the only difference between Earache42's hair and mine is that he uses a bsa and I don't, I'm wondering if this problem isn't wider reaching than originally thought.

I'll confess I'm not keen on having to build bsa files. They're a straight-up pain in the ass for modders to work with; since resources can't be referenced in the pack; they have to be extracted, paths set up, assigned to their objects in the GECK, and then packed. Anytime you need to alter a mesh or change a path, the bsa has to be extracted and remade.

Still... I'm thinking it might behoove me to throw together a small one just for my special companions, to test and see if that unfucks the hairs...