Friday, 14 August 2009

Fallout 3 moddage

Well, I managed to get Windows 7 up and running, but it didn’t seem to solve my crashing problems. I’m moving back towards the theory that my GPU is overheating, so I downloaded a neat little utility from EVGA that lets me control my graphics card fan; it’s previously been stuck running at 40% power, which may turn out to be too low for running most games. I’m going to crank to up to 80%, see if that gives me any improvement.

Anyway, in the meantime thought I would post about a few mods I downloaded for Fallout 3 last night… Following recommendations from a few other blogs, I went for Green World, Fellout and Hunger, Thirst, Sleep.

Green World

This mod replaces all the twisted and withered trees in the game with lush green vegetation. As the models for these bushy trees are included in the game (I guess you come across them in an oasis somewhere?), and the mod does a straight replace, it only weighs in at 4kb. This can apparently lead to some problems where branches begin to intrude on buildings, but I can’t see this being a huge problem.

Fallout purists may initially baulk at turning the Fallout series green (ironically, if it had been included by Bethesda I would have hated it; it does lend a particular Cyrodiil feel to the landscape…), but you really need to try the mod to appreciate it. Trees sprouting from the middle of the road really lends an ‘abandoned-for-centuries’ feel to the landscape, and makes it seem like nature has taken over. It also helps to break up the oppressive ‘browness’ of the landscape that was in the vanilla game.

Main problem is that the trees aren’t solid; I think creatures can see through them, and they can definitely move through them. This saves any problem with pathfinding, but can look a little jarring.


This is a simple mod that removes the green tint from the game (though I must admit, I never actually noticed it was there…). It apparently gives the game a starker appearance, which works well with the Green World mod.

Also included with Fellout are dark nights; and by dark, I mean dark. Going outside with a light means you cannot see anything that’s not right in front of your face. As the pipboy built-in light is pretty weedy, you’ll need some kind of nightvision/torch mod to be able to see anything.


I found a neat mod to go along with this which turns all the street lights in the game on; this might not seem realistic, as the game is 200 years the wrong side of having a national grid, but I like to think all the street lights are powered by microfusion cells. Occasionally you get a flickering street light, which looks fantastic against the deep dark of the night. Also, when you can just about see something scuttling around out in and out of the pools of light cast by the street lamps, it can be genuinely scary; you’re not sure if it’s a relatively harmless dog or insect, or a potentially fatal Deathclaw.

The street light mod also illuminates signs in the game, so you sometimes see a nuka cola machine looming out of the night; with the next mod installed, this can bring a palpable sense of relief flooding over you.

Hunger, Thirst, Sleep

I haven’t really had a chance to fully explore this one yet, but it definitely sounds interesting; I really enjoyed the Realistic Repair Rethought (RRR) which let you repair your weapons using scavenged scrap metal and random junk, and this mod is very much along the same lines.

Instead of skipping straight past those old nuka cola machines or food vendors, you actually stop and dig through them. Also, sacrificing clean water to give to the beggars actually feels worth the boost to karma it gives you, as you’ll definitely miss it.

I’m still playing with the RRR I just mentioned, and the Radio Riven mod I downloaded a while ago which gives you a radio station playing the old Fallout 1 & 2 ambient music. It fits in with the game very well, and gives it a much stronger Falout feeling. It also means you don’t have to listen to bleedin’ Three Dog repeating the same message over and over, which can only be a good thing.

I’ll post again with more thoughts on playing with these new mods over the weekend, maybe even a gameplay video! I also have my eye on a couple of texture mods; I’ll see how it goes…

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