The Skeleton In The Closet
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.
Game: Fallout 4
Genre: RPG, FPS
Mode: Single Player
Team Size: 1 Developer
Engine: Creation Kit
Development Time: 174 hours
Concept and Documentation
Quest Design and Implementation
Maps and Quest Flow
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.
A Letter from Valentine
Moss' History with Valentine
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.
Fight for Laure
Final Combat Enemies
2 Institute Coursers
Laure + 2 Synths
Final Combat Location
Final Combat Supporters
3 Villagers + 2 Synths
Help Laure and Fight with Coursers
Live in Alford
Live in Alford
Expelled from Alford
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.
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.
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.
Tailing after Kenny
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