Kafe's Map thread

Kafe

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Needed to skip over some work done in the video since Christmas and covid knocked me out of making a video routine.
Anyway, quick edit smashed together of the worldspace project. for my work on and off around January.
 

Kafe

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Spent a bit of time recently talking to some existing fallout 4 modders, and was able to get my hands on a resource pack for a new foliage set, hits much closer to the intended world location, so been replacing them in areas where the assets were lacking.
20240203133739_1.jpg


Planning to start setting up the next main location I wanted to cover for my demo space.
Will need to worry after about bridging these isolated landscapes together.
( I did make a plan for it though so should be grand)
 
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alex

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I didn't go back to look if anyone mentioned this already and I know it's off topic.. but this thread is over 5 and a half years old and still going
 
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Kafe

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I didn't go back to look if anyone mentioned this already and I know it's off topic.. but this thread is over 5 and a half years old and still going
Going through I'm surprised how much stuff in this thread actually got finished,
although there's a good few things in here I'm certainly sad didn't make it in the end.

- City 33
(Horizontal distance got obscene, but still one I'm thematically interested in)

- 'Vertical City'
(5 different versions, only one really felt alright, but christ city maps are difficult beasts)

- L4D2 Firestarter Campaign
(still planning on it, mind you)

- All the WW3RP maps
(like 90% of them come from me misinterpreting what stasiland was going to be)

- New Refuge
(Blew the Displacement budget in the first area like an idiot)

Hopefully my Fallout 4 project doesn't join the pile, want to go back and empty 'the list' rather than expand on it.
 
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Kafe

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First time I'm my life that I've ever got dialogue working in creation kit.
Was never my strong suit but I've got a grip on it now, generally makes sense when you've got the hang of it.
 
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Kafe

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Been doing overtime at work recently so not as much progress as I'd like, still got some things in.

Bit of grass plain beside watchpoint 9, setup to be a wolf den encounter.
Likely going to add a small cave interior to this to link up more alternative approaches for the demo quest, but for now it sets up a combat encounter for the wolves to take advantage of the grass and dense foliage to ambush players.
20240224170958_1.jpg



Connecting to this, I've added a quick hunter trap, trip wire between the cliff path that drops a grenade bouquet from the suspended tree.
Meant to be more obvious to players this time around at least, more built to scare off the nearby wolves.
20240224171022_1.jpg



Work right now is mostly less involved landscape work, only a tiny chunk of empty terrain between the two areas I've done, so want to bridge them together to have the experience so far feel less segmented and more distinctly open world.
 
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Kafe

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I've not shown much lately, had a couple weeks off the project while some life things were going on, plus dragons dogma, plus wanting a small break to pace myself anyway.

I've been back to it lately and got some screenshots too (through steam uploads instead of discord, since those have a lifespan of a couple weeks)
On the south west part of the map is the starting place for the campaign, as mentioned before the mod is meant to be a standalone mini-campaign, so this would be fresh start, lvl 1 with specific starting items, additionally this is catered more towards survival mode as well, so I have started roaming the existing map with that enabled, see travel times and available resources.

For world building updates, there are two locations being setup currently
South west Tunnel - The means of how the player entered the game world whilst they were a stowaway aboard the steel trail's locomotive, the tunnel out of the valley is highly radioactive so leaving on foot is not a option.
there are a few structures to scavenge from however, and a derailed line of trains, which may have some residents.

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Steel Trail Railyard - The faction HQ for the 'Steel Trail Nomads', one of the new factions I'm writing up as part of the project, they're a nomadic tribe travelling the continent along the old railways. while they're in the valley they've setup in a old railyard, and this serves as the player's starting location.
Work on it so far has mostly just been shelling the buildings and getting a idea for the total space used. I still need to populate the area and properly introduce the faction's identity into the space, but I've started some work towards it.
This was funnily enough the location I did first some time ago on a older version of the game world, but mistakes I made broke it, so this will be my second crack at things.

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Additionally as part of the mod I've been removing many of the loading screen messages related to fallout 4 factions and commonwealth lore, and started to populate the list with my own stuff.
Outside of one joke ending idea, I'm trying to focus solely on new factions and groups, I had done a partial rewrite/ overhaul to the mod story plans with @welcome to the Retirement some time previously to help achieve that, where previous I was trying to cram pretty much every game's factions into one place, we've gotten rid of them entirely, and personally I think that's for the best.

For these loading screens, I'm using them as a opportunity to help build up the new factions, and give some lore snippets.
I'll include the seven for the Steel trail nomads in a spoiler. these will appear randomly during loading.

"The Steel Trail Nomads are a tribe formed around pre-war train locomotives. in which they have toured the remains of North America for generations."

"If you are fortunate enough to come across the steel trail nomads during one of their stops, they serve as one of the fastest means to travel the wastelands to date, with only the rare few vertiberds able to beat it"

"The Steel trail have made many friends during their travels... alongside many enemies, Tech hunters and brotherhood chapters consider their locomotives as a worthy prize to claim, and have fought the nomad families on many occasions."

"Members of the Steel trail are split up into Rail seekers, Runners and Navigators, based on experience and achiements within the tribe. All of which follow the guidance of the Trail Master, who commands the locomotive and directs the course."

"Core to the Steel Trail's beliefs focus onto the pre-war railways, the majority of members are taught on the repair and maintenance of their locomotives and the tracks they run on, the tribe has, through it's many families, rebuilt hundreds of miles of track."

"While many late members do not have a religious interest in the tribe, those raised within the steel trail respect the pre-war tracks with divinity, "

"Oh great Journeymen, while your bodies may be of bone and dust, within these boundless trails of steel, your spirits run free" - the Trail Master
 
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Blackquill

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I've not shown much lately, had a couple weeks off the project while some life things were going on, plus dragons dogma, plus wanting a small break to pace myself anyway.

I've been back to it lately and got some screenshots too (through steam uploads instead of discord, since those have a lifespan of a couple weeks)
On the south west part of the map is the starting place for the campaign, as mentioned before the mod is meant to be a standalone mini-campaign, so this would be fresh start, lvl 1 with specific starting items, additionally this is catered more towards survival mode as well, so I have started roaming the existing map with that enabled, see travel times and available resources.

For world building updates, there are two locations being setup currently
South west Tunnel - The means of how the player entered the game world whilst they were a stowaway aboard the steel trail's locomotive, the tunnel out of the valley is highly radioactive so leaving on foot is not a option.
there are a few structures to scavenge from however, and a derailed line of trains, which may have some residents.

FBD1C5616B3CDE74F65727A3DC350E6F18BB7516

9F6F0B90063C11C07E583FE14DB52C8E04D66AD1


Steel Trail Railyard - The faction HQ for the 'Steel Trail Nomads', one of the new factions I'm writing up as part of the project, they're a nomadic tribe travelling the continent along the old railways. while they're in the valley they've setup in a old railyard, and this serves as the player's starting location.
Work on it so far has mostly just been shelling the buildings and getting a idea for the total space used. I still need to populate the area and properly introduce the faction's identity into the space, but I've started some work towards it.
This was funnily enough the location I did first some time ago on a older version of the game world, but mistakes I made broke it, so this will be my second crack at things.

665A941E759B7FEE16776D50E487254037CD8026

E9873A7BC1975FC180E279BC33A6E12A4789686A

45FEECB0DD91B593DA030BBB7139BE1B2B87166A


Additionally as part of the mod I've been removing many of the loading screen messages related to fallout 4 factions and commonwealth lore, and started to populate the list with my own stuff.
Outside of one joke ending idea, I'm trying to focus solely on new factions and groups, I had done a partial rewrite/ overhaul to the mod story plans with @welcome to the Retirement some time previously to help achieve that, where previous I was trying to cram pretty much every game's factions into one place, we've gotten rid of them entirely, and personally I think that's for the best.

For these loading screens, I'm using them as a opportunity to help build up the new factions, and give some lore snippets.
I'll include the seven for the Steel trail nomads in a spoiler. these will appear randomly during loading.

"The Steel Trail Nomads are a tribe formed around pre-war train locomotives. in which they have toured the remains of North America for generations."

"If you are fortunate enough to come across the steel trail nomads during one of their stops, they serve as one of the fastest means to travel the wastelands to date, with only the rare few vertiberds able to beat it"

"The Steel trail have made many friends during their travels... alongside many enemies, Tech hunters and brotherhood chapters consider their locomotives as a worthy prize to claim, and have fought the nomad families on many occasions."

"Members of the Steel trail are split up into Rail seekers, Runners and Navigators, based on experience and achiements within the tribe. All of which follow the guidance of the Trail Master, who commands the locomotive and directs the course."

"Core to the Steel Trail's beliefs focus onto the pre-war railways, the majority of members are taught on the repair and maintenance of their locomotives and the tracks they run on, the tribe has, through it's many families, rebuilt hundreds of miles of track."

"While many late members do not have a religious interest in the tribe, those raised within the steel trail respect the pre-war tracks with divinity, "

"Oh great Journeymen, while your bodies may be of bone and dust, within these boundless trails of steel, your spirits run free" - the Trail Master
Good call scaling back faction involvement stuff honestly

A lot of fallout mods I see always try to cram all the factions people like in even if they don't fit. Not everything has to be fucking BOS Legion NCR Enclave etc.
 
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Kafe

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A lot of fallout mods I see always try to cram all the factions people like in even if they don't fit. Not everything has to be fucking BOS Legion NCR Enclave etc.
yeah... old narrative was very brotherhood heavy, it was a bit of a mess.
they can stay in their bunkers for this one.
 
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Kafe

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Pretty proud of myself tonight

For context, just under a year ago, there was the 1st version of my fallout 4 project's worldspace, all I did within it's lifetime was a early version of the steel trail railyard, and a collapsed tunnel up north. But during my screwing around, I tried my hand at worldspace LOD, which allows you to see beyond what is immediately loaded.

I fucked this up really badly, a mix of problems with how the tools were built, and my severe lack of foresight with making backups.
The result gave me a broken worldspace lod that also set my entire map llandscape back to default, taking away all the terrain edits done.
that essentially killed the old iteration.

RIP iteration 1 from 2023, we've come a long way since but I've not forgotten your sacrifice
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-

More recently the new map has gotten large enough that not having that LOD is starting to become an issue, as landmarks can't be seen at range, and I can't get an idea for how the horizon looks, plus it makes some of the more open areas look terrible in gameplay, hurts the exploration aspects.

Tonight, after a few weeks of looking at the process again off an on, I finally buckled down, made several backups and tried the process again. and with community tools doing a damn good job, I have a working, decent quality lod of my mod's worldspace.
Which means I can stop tactically placing my camera to hide the draw distance, and show you some distance screenshots of the map so far!

This is definitely more of a milestone for myself, I had been absolutely terrified of doing this for so long, despite how much I needed it to iterate with.

There has been one thing broken, the mini-map for showing locations, I will need to fix the offsets in the world settings, but that is thankfully a relatively minor update. (it still used the default commonwealth map, but it allowed you to fast travel in my worldspace.)

0B31B59898633E33D012E8F5DAF868B385D027E4


AE32B456BA4B13F885D07B362DEE8A2B82F30132
 
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Kafe

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I forgot to block updates for fallout 4 and creation kit fuuuuuck.
 

Kafe

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Been taking some time to look at the short term situation.

- the fallout 4 script extender will be out of commission for a while, which also means the XDI dialogue interface is as well. that will prevent me from at least testing quest and character dialogue for a little while, at worst will prevent me from setting up the dialogue to test when it's fixed, need to look into that more.

- All of the new addon content in the game are stored in their own separate master files, bit of a pain in the butt to deal with as when they're enabled they auto trigger a bunch of quests, I'd fancy using many of the assets in them so I would have to add them to the dependencies list of my mod to disable their quests for the campaign.

- They broke the landscaping tools for now it would appear, cannot edit landscapes without the grass disappearing the landscape no longer correctly receiving lighting. hopefully a local break. shouldn't impact anyone playing the game, you have to cause the landscapes to update in the creation kit for it to happen. big pain since my project is mostly open outdoor landscapes.
 
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Kafe

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New Creation kit patch came out today but this has unfortunately not fixed any of my editor issues.
will see how the next few days go but I'll likely shelve the project for a little while, waiting for basic tools to work again is just gonna make me miserable.

See if any map making jams come out to hold my attention for a few weeks
 

Kafe

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Sorry squad, it's all text today.
While we wait on the editor, here's a first pass over new faction lore for Chicago and the Tech Hunters.

Lot of this is building up context to the new factions, even though some things like the city of Chicago or the town of 'Cargo' are not part of the mod's location, they're motivators for the new Tech Hunter factions.

Tech Hunters operate in the same role in the campaign that had been occupied by the Brotherhood of steel in the old iteration of the campaign, which of course had significantly more history to bounce off of.

I've also decided for now to reduce the role of more generic settlers by merging them into the tech hunter factions, which have two distinct groups, you can read up more bellow.

Right now it's HL2RP levels of fan fiction and about the same length, plenty of iterations to do in future.

Groups from the Chicago ruins​

Township of 'cargo'​

Once the radiation levels in the ruins of Chicago reduced to explorable levels, many settlers and scavengers began to slowly return to the region, for the decades prior local communities around Chicago struggled to make do with limited equipment, tools and resources available in old suburbs. but with Chicago now approachable, there steadily became a boom in quality of life for the surviving residents as salvage from the city could be recovered and brought back to new settlements.

A large subset of settlers elected to pack up from their more remote settlements and establish a township within the city, with the new equipment available to them in close proximity, they were able to clear up a small block of space in Chicago and repair a some surrounding structures, forming the foundation for their new settlement 'Cargo'

The township's economy has two major income sources, servicing and supporting the needs of local tech hunters, and handling salvage to sell and export to surrounding communities.
Tech hunting was by far the biggest export of the city, and the industry rapidly grew alongside the town.
The population was significantly smaller compared to the pre-war city population, and the scale of the Chicago ruins would provide income for years to come

-

One development from this was the creation of Tech Hunting Companies, as smaller groups merged, brought on more staff and continued to venture into the Chicago ruins, these groups became sizable and very powerful. After a couple decades the concept of 'scavengers' did not really exist anymore, as independent scavengers were frequently outcompeted by larger companies over time.

Competition over salvage opportunities grew as the most easily accessed regions of the city were effectively salvaged, and in the early years of major tech hunting companies existing, there were instances of violence over salvage rights. for the township of Cargo, this became a major cause for concern that a 'tech hunter war' could break out and cause significant damage to the town, Chicago ruins and main source of income.

The leadership of Cargo began diplomatic efforts with the largest tech hunting companies in order to try establishing a code of conduct to protect mutual interests, after some years Cargo and the tech hunter companies were able to form a 'tech hunter union', imposing a new organisational structure and form of managing salvage operations, no longer would tech hunting companies need to hire small armies to protect their salvage spaces, the town of Cargo would by this agreement own the entirety of the Chicago ruins, with Salvage rights being granted to tech hunter companies that stake a claim with the town. Recognised claims provide protection over salvage sites with harsh penalties for infringing on those protections as a third party.

With buy in from major tech hunting companies, they were able to strong arm any smaller company into compliance, for the town of Cargo, this arrangement was effective in protecting them, and for the larger companies, this was effective in protecting many of their interests, as they can leverage their relations with Cargo leadership to secure holds on areas of interest. Smaller companies and individuals lost out in the arrangement as big companies received preferable treatment, and individuals could no longer receive salvage rights.
The town of Cargo had largely been an independent settlement prior to the forming of the tech hunter union, they host a small council formed of the original founding members, this council has since expanded as the town grew and needed to replace founders after their passing, while tech hunting is a big business in Cargo, they do not have a direct seat on the council in order to presence some level of fair play with salvage rights.

the town manages salvage rights over the ruins of Chicago and works hard to keep the tech companies in check.

Tech Hunter Companies​

Tech Hunters have existed in Chicago for as long as the ruins of the city have been accessible, although earlier on in their history tech hunters were considered as simple scavengers and looters, when the suburbs of Chicago were swept over by solo scavengers, there was a greater need for manpower and equipment to tackle the challenges of pulling goods out of the city ruins.

With the formation of the town of Cargo, and scavengers forming together, a more officially recognised term grew into use, initially tech scavs, and later tech hunters, these growing groups started the slow process of salvaging the city of Chicago, with the town of Cargo acting as a companion to them, providing services and acting as a trade/ export hub for goods found.

as a prime economic source, some of the first and most successful tech hunter groups grew extremely quickly with the city opening up to them, industrial and technological districts within the city were highly desired and sought after, causing a great deal of competition and challenges between rival groups over claimed locations, very quickly the main job in tech hunting wasn't salvage, but mercenary work, either to protect claimed territories or to aggressively contest rival claims elsewhere.

these tech hunter groups expanded into large scale 'tech hunting companies' with salvage crews, security crews, engineering teams and trade caravans. These collectively drew so much manpower to the city and to Cargo that it began causing legitimate fears over large scale wars sparking over tech claims.

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The Tech Hunter Union agreements formed in the city of Cargo between their council and leadership of major tech hunter companies helped to mitigate this problem, with the formalised claim and salvage rights process it established. Although this did further consolidate tech hunters into these larger companies, as of now there are three major tech hunter companies, alongside smaller and independent groups still managing to get by in the region.
Tech Hunters these days are all registered companies with the town of Cargo, how they organise themselves is entirely their own prerogative.
For a rough idea, Smaller groups frequently tend to be relatively flat structures with a single leader operating the crew, they'll typically take on multiple roles within those fields of engineering, salvaging, security and trading.

Larger tech hunting companies are far more organised and can resemble many pre-war businesses, a leader at the top, with different leads managing divisions of the tech hunting company, in which the bulk of workers will be operating under. Just because someone is in charge does not mean they're the owner, they may simply be managing business on behalf of another.

Major Players​

An early tech hunter team during the initial entry into Chicago after the great war, this tech hunting team developed over time to a mixed purpose tech hunter company, while they continued to recover old tech and materials from the city, they also work with the city of Cargo in demolishing and clearing out pre-war ruins to help enable their expansion, their specialty in clearing ruins has been instrumental in their long term health as a large tech hunting company, providing steady work and the skillset needed to search some of the more heavily damage zones of the city.

they have gained a reputation these days for undercutting other tech hunters in salvage claims through leveraging their demolition work against Cargo in order to secure claims that they may otherwise lose out on. They're known as more passive in their activities, greater focus on negotiations and lobbying with interest groups to secure their goals. they are typically well integrated within communities they're working out deals with, although this is considered as a 'human shield' strategy by other tech hunters.

In the Valley, they arrive alongside a large group of settlers, and operate out of the town they reside in.
Radium tech was formed after a merging of multiple smaller tech hunter outfits as resistance from mutated creatures deeper within Chicago became too much for smaller groups. their focus has primarily been tech hunting for many years, but have steadily developed a R&D and engineering division, often fuelled by enthusiasts of pre-war tech and post-war inventors working to lead the post war technological development scene in the northern US wastelands.

As Radium Tech grew, they maintained their focus on handling highly dangerous zones of Chicago, unlike other companies, this led Radium to militarize significantly more than many other tech hunter companies, risking a arms race.
Radium were one of the key causes for concern that led to the establishment of the Tech Hunter union, which Radium had opposed due to ownership being decided by suits detached from the sites, rather than those who know the dangers.

The Union establishment was forced on them, and they have suffered for it since, as salvage opportunities do get lost to Cargo granting them to other groups, many times these other companies get them just to secure them despite not having the ability to salvage there.

The Valley is something of a lucky break for Radium tech, in which they intend to leverage the lack of the tech hunter union to utilise their old methods to gain the treasure troves present in the valley military bases.

But with the score being guarded by Slag, and with competition, it's going to be a very tense situation.
 
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Kafe

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- They broke the landscaping tools for now it would appear, cannot edit landscapes without the grass disappearing the landscape no longer correctly receiving lighting. hopefully a local break. shouldn't impact anyone playing the game, you have to cause the landscapes to update in the creation kit for it to happen. big pain since my project is mostly open outdoor landscapes.
Can be worked around now, gotta hit that landscape hard with smoothing.
we are so 75% back
 
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Kafe

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What I see most days when I'm not taking screenshots
I feel like I've made a lot, but yeah there is certainly no shortage of work to be done in the process of making this project a reality
ab8331d0616b41f18b7713fc9720a2a6bf17c511.jpg

Lot of space to fill out, shame I've been getting delayed so much
But most of my older tools are now functional again, so I've been able to get back to it.

This empty patch of landscape is the rest of the train line between the south west tunnel and western tunnel.
It's not a big patch of content, but it's part of the opening quest flow, it's used to lead you into meeting different faction characters, starts the steel trail faction quests, and sets up the demo quests for later.

Been adding features to the western tunnel, you'll see it collapsed for now, the demo quest will largely focus on clearing this obstruction for the steel trail.
408ee05d7173425f5eac94476dc6b072f8fcef2e.jpg


At the moment I'm trying to get one notable exterior covered each weekend, the list is pretty big but that feels like a good way to tackle it. landscaping is not as tricky, but I reckon I'll spend a good weekend's worth of time at some point to do a broad pass over the demo area of the map, pin in some of the major landmarks, make sure I'm happy with distances. as I've largely just been eyeballing it, comparing map markers against my 2d map to see if the ratios feel okay.