Sunday, August 19, 2012

Further Remodeling

I ended up going with the modding kick I was on today. It took several hours, but I finally got through all four of today's ideas.

Firstly, I revamped the Terrace again:

I hung tapestries "out" there, too. Dark blue on two walls, and black on the other two. The meshes show up a little wonky in screenshots owing to what I think are alpha issues in the meshes; but they look much better in game.

Also hung lanterns over the poolside tables; and while I forgot to take a good screenshot of it I also tiled the floor in my favorite black marble tiles. Which was not easy because whichever hack Bethsoft employed to make the Ultralux bathhouse completely ignored the common conventions of making room pieces. Since the pieces of the bathhouse are randomly sized and don't line up for shit, the tile doesn't line up either; it's not concentric on either side of the pool; the floor isn't flat so some tiles end up higher than others and leave a seam... it's an OCD nightmare. I'm hoping I'll be able to ignore the details -- but don't be surprised if the whole tile idea ends up getting wiped after driving me a little too nuts.

Added vents on the north and south walls, over the doors. The idea being that one set is intakes, and one exhausts; and by utilizing both the air circulation system creates an air current in the large, open room -- doing double duty of keeping the air from getting stale and/or chlorine-y smelling; and in creating a gentle, soothing breeze for relaxing poolside.

Lastly, it doesn't show in screenshots (obviously) but I went through and added sound markers to the pool; so now sitting next to it you get to hear waves gently hitting the side. I'll just say that there's a pump to circulate poolwater and it generates small waves. Yeah, that sounds much better than my standard wizard did it...

While taking screenies, I also nabbed one of a certain someone being a lazy girl and snoozing out on the pool toy:

...and about to get a rude wakeup in the form of an extra wet nose, by the look of it...

You may be wondering how she got out there without getting wet. Me? I'm wondering how in the everloving fuck she managed to get out there with a shirt on, but no skirt -- since there's nothing even remotely like that in the scripting. Judging by the white patch on her shoulder, it looks like the shirt texture's gotten corrupted again, too. One of these days I'm going to have to figure out whether that's the GIMP compressing incorrectly, or something to do with Gamebryo.

Back in the kitchen, I made good on my threat to replace the bar -- sort of. I didn't like the alternatives in FNV's statics database, so I just shrunk the one down far enough for the eating animations to line up; stuck some cabinet doors in one side (because the kitchen was lacking in storage as it was, obviously...); and threw some stools around it for eating.

Turned out pretty nice -- color clashes between doors and bar notwithstanding.

And lastly, while I was pondering earlier, I had an idea for the arboretum: auto-irrigation. Some plants -- like the evergreen trees -- would have roots deep enough to draw from the tank that feeds the hydroponic lake; but others wouldn't. With all that technology, having to water everything by hand seemed kind of silly.

In theory, it was a simple enough operation to script... but I've had simple ideas crash and burn in this damned game too many times to count; so I wasn't going to mention it until I tested it. Which I did. And it works. Wonderfully.

Every night at 2000 (8pm for those of you stuck in the 12h clock format) valves open up automatically, sending water down the new pipes over all the non-lake-bound plants except the cacti, jalapenos, and agave. The water runs for an hour, and then shuts itself off.

Haven't decided yet whether I want to go back through and add more pipes to water the desert plants. Seems like they wouldn't need as much and could get by on periodic hand-watering; but scaling down the pipes and water spray to make grocery store-esque misting for them would be kind of cool.

A quest script tracks where in the estate you are (and whether you're in it at all) and prevents the water effect from switching on if you're not in the arboretum to enjoy it -- to save a bit on system resources by keeping the game from enabling and disabling stuff you can't see anyway. I figure in Gamebryo, every byte helps.

Seems I wasn't the only person to think it was a good idea, as while I was testing Maeva came in with Fenrir, sat down, and proceeded to just listen to the evening "rain".

You'll notice the arboretum got the air-current generating vents, as well.

I don't know; I'm feeling kind of ambivalent about the estate. I mean, it's a triumph for me -- this is hands-down the best house mod I've ever done... but that's exactly the problem: I'm about out of stuff to add. It already has scripted beds, an aquarium, house-wide radio with two selectable stations, walk-in closet, a huge bathtub with seats, online ammunition ordering system, fireplaces, sittable toilet, library, full work areas, full kitchen, bottle-filling-sink, full medical (including via DLC plugin a special NosCo Autodoc that even handles sex-change operations, should your character be feeling confused as to their identity in life), LCD television, dining hall that's really more appropriately called a banquet hall, swimming pool with full poolside eating and sleeping amenities, sauna, arboretum and hydroponic garden, shooting range with remote-resettable targets...

Without straying into cheat territory (adding a super-merchant or such) I can't think of much else to add to the place. The only remaining idea I've had is running radios and speakers out into the arboretum and terrace; and building a remote control that auto-detects what cell you're in, and lets you switch that radio on and off without having to find it and whatnot. And that's a little dicey -- I mean, Radio New Vegas just isn't that good; and I'm thinking it would be nicer to have a quiet pool and garden to relax around.

I am thinking, however, of dropping some code into the arboretum's managing script to reset the pickable plants periodically -- since by default, Gamebryo won't respawn the cell unless you stay out of it completely for three consecutive days.

I would have really liked to do something like the Lucky 38 -- a mountain-top home with big windows facing out onto the house's own worldspace... but the engine and GECK just won't let me do it.

So, I suppose at some point I should probably finish the mail-order system(instead of just the options I use); and then start copying this stuff to releasable plugins, huh?


  1. By looking at the screenshots, I can imagine echoing footfalls in some areas, and somewhat muted ones in others. This, depending upon the size of the area, and whether or not you have the drapes hanging there or not. To be honest, I am starting to think that this would be a nice addition to my house mod collection.

    No, I am not asking you to release it, I am just saying how much I like it :)

  2. "By looking at the screenshots, I can imagine echoing footfalls in some areas, and somewhat muted ones in others."

    I'd have to look at the acoustic space settings, but they don't usually echo too much. I think I used the Underworld settings in the main house; and the Ultralux bath setting in the terrace and arboretum? There weren't a whole lot of choices that worked well.

  3. Yeah, that sounds much better than my standard wizard did it...

    You could say an engineer did it which sounds much more respectable while at the same time just as meaningless :)

    It all looks very nice though

    1. I believe in Fallout-verse, the proper throwaway explanation is: "IT'S NUCLEAR, OKAY?!"

    2. Can't believe I didn't think of that one...

    3. I can hear it now:

      "Uh, sir? We need an explanation for this water reclamation system, and the writers have got nothing..."


      "I-I don't think that really applies..."




      "Wait, wha...?"


      "Yeah, okay; let's just go with nuclear. Fuck it; still makes more sense than Kirkbride..."