The Skeleton In The Closet

Alford
Alford

Hawker's Gallery
Hawker's Gallery

Cinematic Camera Moment
Cinematic Camera Moment

Alford
Alford

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Level Summary

A standalone mod made for Fallout 4 begins after the player has known Valentine in the main game. The player receives a letter talking about a case happening in Alford, a town in the outskirt of the Commonwealth. Valentine’s old friend, Moss, starts to hear gunshots every night in the town and he believes they are under threat from the Institute. He asks the player to figure out what is happening and saves the peaceful town.

The quest contains a classic Fallout style story supported by both NPC interactions and environmental story-telling, while also provides combat stages that are suitable for both straight-forward and stealth player. The player will meet meaningful choices in the quest which will lead to two different endings and truly influence the NPC’s life.

Development Info

  • Game: Fallout 4

  • Genre: RPG, FPS

  • Mode: Single Player

  • Team Size: 1 Developer

  • Engine: Creation Kit

  • Development Time: 174 hours

Walkthrough Video

Responsibility

Download

  • Concept and Documentation

  • Quest Design and Implementation

  • Scripting

  • Gameplay Flow

  • World Building

  • Lighting

Maps and Quest Flow

Design Goal

Create a Fallout 4-style quest fitting the main game

It’s important to make reasonable backstories in the world for the characters instead of only mentioning some familiar names to create the connection. Some examples are listed below:

  • Moss is a secret synth who got Valentine’s help to fake his death and escaped from the Institute.

  • Laure, the escaping scientist from hopes Valentine to help her leave the Institute.

  • Laure knows the player due to someone working in the Institute.

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A Letter from Valentine

32.png

Moss' History with Valentine

33.png

Someone in the Institute

Refuse to Involve Valentine

Player’s Choices Lead to Meaningful Results 

  • Two Different Endings

After the player makes his final decision, he will face two different endings and both lead to unique combat and different NPC reaction.

Ending 1

Fight for Laure

Ending 2

Abandon Laure

Final Combat Enemies

2 Institute Coursers

Laure + 2 Synths

Final Combat Location

Alford

Gallery's Attic

Final Combat Supporters

3 Villagers + 2 Synths

Moss

41.png

Help Laure and Fight with Coursers

Laure' Destiny

Live in Alford

Dead

Moss' Destiny

Live in Alford

Expelled from Alford

NPC's Attitude

Welcomed, Appreciated

Unwelcomed

42.png

Abandon Laure and Fight against Her

  • Player's Action Have Lasting Impacts

On the way to the gallery, the player meets two turrets which can be deactivated by the terminals nearby. If the player doesn’t destroy the turrets then they will be helpful in the final combat against the coursers. If the player destroys the turrets which means the player tends to fight by himself, he can have a more challenging fight at the end.

43.png

The Turrets Outside the Gallery

Provide Good Overall Pacing

It’s quite a long quest and I try to engage the player in multiple ways and make some twists as the progression is going instead of only fighting and talking.

  • The player needs to enter the gallery twice. In the first intrusion, the player has a chance to observe the situation inside and collect information for the next time. In the second intrusion, the player meets some real fights and has to make his final decisions.

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Gallery's Lobby

Hawker's Office

  • Moreover, the quest also contains a stage in which the player needs to follow Kenny secretly to see what he is doing and overhear a personal conversation. To create this “tailing after” moment, I use a custom distance detection script and several AI package shifts which makes the whole process feel natural.

52.png

Tailing after Kenny

Overhearing Conversation

Postmortem

What Went Well

  • Create a Fallout 4-style level

  • A quite solid and robust level

  • Create more interactive moments except for fighting and conversation in the quest.

What Went Wrong

  • The pacing of combats

  • No real alternative routes for sneaking -type players

  • Lack environment storytelling

What I Learned

  • How to tell a complicated story in Fallout 4.

  • Basic ways of manipulating NPCs in Fallout 4.

  • The overall pacing is good since the quest always provides a new objective before the player gets bored in the previous interaction.

  • Good implementation of lighting