Monday, August 29, 2011

Weirdness, Warriors, and Weapons

When I loaded the save today to test the new drivers and sorters, we were in Violet's trailer park west of the South Vegas ruins.

It had been odd going in; normally there are several guard dogs roaming about, but for some reason this time there were none -- only Violet and Violetta. I originally marked this off as a side effect of my level (remember, this game I proved that you can subvert the devs' railroading; on entering the park, I was only level seven). Violet and her mutt were already dead when I saved.

When I loaded this game, we were immediately surrounded by red marks on the compass. Obviously, it hadn't been an effect of my level; the stupid game just hadn't activated the spawn points for the guard dogs.

Well obviously the dogs didn't manage to hurt us, but nonetheless it made for an interesting test of the girls' combat AI.

I turned when the shooting started, and just barely managed to capture this shot of Maeva in action:

If you look close in the bottom left corner, you can see two of her hulls in mid-air.

I took this one just because I was still impressed with how well her black painted fingernails came out in the custom body texture I use for her. It's not something I notice every time I look her way, but boy does it make her stand out even more than usual sometimes.

This one was just inside the west entrance to the South Vegas Ruins. The combat style continues to impress.

Not only did this make for a nice screenshot, but that was how they fought -- rather than advancing as a normal NPC would, my girls sat in cover and used the choke point to pick off the Fiends one by one as they attempted to attack. Never underestimate the tactical value of being able to fill a gap in the wall with lead.

That out of the way, I also wanted to show off some preliminary shots of the NosCo Super Blackhawk. The "357 revolver" in FNV is, of course, based on the Ruger Blackhawk. How can I tell? It has a transfer bar safety, if you look close in first person view. Colt SAAs and clones don't.

So, when I made a 44 magnum version of the same revolver, I called it the Super Blackhawk; much as Bill Ruger himself did when he did similar in the '60s. If I ever release the mod, I'll probably have to change the name, since I'm pretty sure the SBH name is trademarked...


I started with the "custom" 357 model as a base, since it looked less shitty than the base model. I edited the texture, replacing the fake-ivory stocks with rosewood; I removed all the card suit symbols, and switched the engravings from gold to silver; as well as a few other minor edits here and there. The result is a lovely but less ostentatious piece, suitable for any single-action aficionado:

This is the revolver in first person. As you can see, it's in a two-tone style: the frame, barrel, and cylinder are matte blue; but the hammer, trigger, triggerguard, ejector, transfer bar, and front sight are all silver. We'll call it matte nickel.

Here's the sighting view. I haven't decided whether to recolor the front sight or not. As silver, it stands out well against the rear sight; but tends to wash out against light target backgrounds. I haven't decided what color to redo it in, though.

Here's one in NPC hands. As you can see, unlike the custom 357, this weapon is set to actually display properly in the hands of NPCs.

I should also note I've since edited the texture a bit more, and removed the engravings from the flutes in the cylinder.

Here's the other side, though the lighting's not as good.

I left the bulk of the engravings, since scroll work doesn't offend my sensibilities; though those clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds made me feel like I had wandered into a bad western movie so they had to go.

Unfortunately, once compressed by the engine, the text didn't come out nearly as legible as it had been in the image editor. If you look closely, though, you can still sort of see that the engraving on the ejector rod housing says "NosCo". I need to redo it with a larger, less ornate font, apparently.

Though it's difficult to see in these, if you catch the revolver under the right light, you can also still see the club engraving outline on the stocks. I tried removing it... but apparently I need more practice with normal maps, as it did not come out well, and had to be hastily reverted to the original normal map.

As noted before, the revolver is fully 44 magnum compliant -- it uses the other ammo types (44special, hollowpoints, handloaded SWCs), and does properly spawn casings for the player. It does not accept weapon mods -- this is a custom piece, and the innards are not to be tinkered with by the likes of you, Courier. Damage is mid-way between the custom 357 and the base game 44 revolver; the SBH has a shorter barrel than the latter, so produces less velocity -- but still packs considerably more wallop than its 357 little brother. As with damage, max effective range is midway between custom 357 and default 44. It is still a six shot.

I haven't decided how I want to get them into the wasteland. For simplicity's sake, I had the test version you see here start in Mystery-chan's inventory (two; one for her, one for me). For public release I'll probably have them sold by Gun Runners or something.

If I get together enough custom weapons, I may have a wandering NosCo weapons vendor. I've also had an idea to implement a pair of convertible revolvers -- one in 357/9mm, and one 45acp/45 Colt (CaliberX required for this one).


  1. A NosCo weapons vendor... I like the sound of that. Sure would beat the heck out of that wandering guy trying to sell those stupid robots in D.C....

  2. The black nail polish on Maeva is noticeable even in the first screen of her firing the shotgun. I think it makes a big difference on her appearance as well as implying something about her personality.

    I am not a fan of revolvers on an aesthetic level, engraved one even less so, but you do seem to have a nice piece there. I agree that "NosCo" can be made a bit more legible, but I was able to make it out on the second screen shot of the right hand side. The positioning of it in the hand could use a bit of adjustment, but does sit in the hand better than some of the in-game revolvers do.

  3. "The positioning of it in the hand could use a bit of adjustment, but does sit in the hand better than some of the in-game revolvers do."

    Not a lot I can do about that. I only changed texture paths in the copied custom 357 mesh to prevent conflicts; so any misalignments are the same ones that would be present with the base object. I'm not sure if alignment is controlled in the weapon mesh itself or where; but I lack the modeling skill to improve it.