The Mojave Wasteland's Cut Content & Design



the wasteland is a harsh inhospitable hell inhabited by mutated horrors and desperate men an irradiated monument luring treasure hunters to their doom but for a grizzled few it's nothing more than an old-world safe just waiting to be cracked open however it was once planned to be more immersive and even more dangerous this is the untold tale of the Mojave wasteland prospectors are arguably the most interesting generic NPCs in new Vegas they brave the wasteland engaging whatever it has to offer and assuming they live scavenge the Fallen in the final game they're relatively rare and only appear in a handful of locations in fact you're likely to run into more dead prospectors than living ones and a given run but they were actually supposed to appear much more often and in many more areas these numbers once represented their chance to randomly spawn but in their script area designer Jorge Salgado mentions that oblivion style transponder no longer being used intrigued I asked him about it there were two reasons for which I opted to not use oblivion style transponder the fallout 3 engine didn't allow for it in the same way that the Elder Scrolls oblivion did – I wanted to have a more persistent and independent population of creatures for our new vegas wasteland in Oblivion you could simply put a creature spawner object in the world link it to a list of possible critters to draw from more technically called a leveled list and that said the engine would take care of spawning a set of creatures under the conditions of some parameters you could input whenever a player approached the spawn or a game object in fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas that feature was disabled preachers couldn't dynamically be created out of the blue each spawner could only output one object likely to address problems that many dynamically created actors could cause especially in reckless hands that turned out for the better because I saw it as an opportunity to create more complex behaviors in our creatures then simply appearing out of thin air and sitting there as I already did in my mod for oblivion asked eros oblivion overhaul I wanted to have a wildlife that behave more realistically SD players would then be able to notice patterns geckos hunt insects radscorpions and giant ants don't get along night stalkers were in Ward swaths of the wasteland at night in search of wound praise to hunt as a pack etc and thus take advantage of these behaviors in their efforts to survive the wasteland as part of a large performance pass given the amount of memory consumed by nearby locations and creature variety i had to trim down the composition and behaviors of these creatures considerably it's still possible to see geckos hunting insects or night stalkers running into a gang of looters but the breadth of the original design isn't in the original release anymore I'm happy with how it turned out all in all I always wanted to have a wasteland whose creatures wouldn't simply level up / level down based on the strength of the player which is another feature I had already worked into a skiros Oblivion overhaul and we designed F&V at that in mind that said the Oblivion system for spawning had some advantages I tried later to capture with a custom scripting system while many players are aware of prospectors I'm not sure how many realize how interesting they actually are so I asked Jorge to elaborate on his concept for prospectors as well as their cut content one of my responsibilities is in the development of F and V was designing and implementing encounters in the wasteland I took this further than displacing creatures spawned out of levelled lists my goal was to bring life to the wastes of new Vegas and I opted for a handcrafted and when necessary also a scripted approach out of this effect I created and balanced most every creature found in the wasteland outside of unique locations eg I'd skip going into areas assigned to other area designers such as vault 34 or a camp forlorn hope etc and also made the prospector system to balance a bit of the overwhelming presence of hostile critters while roaming around the waste prospectors were meant to act as independent self driven agents they had a wide set of possible routes that would take them all over the wasteland even into interior locations at times given this behavior it was inevitable that they would eventually be found near enemies that's why they are for the most part able to fend for themselves and happy to dare into the dangerous lands outside of protected post prospectors were meant to remind players as they did their thing around the wasteland and would suddenly run into a friendly prospector having a firefight against looters or what-have-you that the new Vegas world wasn't descripted around them in other words Michael with prospectors was to show that the game world was to some extent independent of the player their level their presence etc it's one of the things I try to infuse into my designs as since the world is there whether you're in it or not because emergent gameplay aside from being interesting tends to exponentially increase the sense of immersion a player experiences in a game world we had to reduce the scope of the prospector system a bit for performance reasons there were a lot of factors that contributed to performance concerns and we trend everywhere we could so the total number of prospectors roaming the wasteland was reduced and I also stripped some of their more problematic behaviors like heading into many interiors purposely attacking enemy hideouts and camps dialogue options etc all in all they came out rather unscathed so I'm happier therus all in conclusion Jorge's vision was truly masterful a wasteland more than just an area of enemy radiation but rather a living breathing world filled with complex creatures and NPCs of varying factions just waiting to create into the stories for the career to experience these additions would have gone a long way in immersing the player as they traveled across the wasteland ultimately though all this was left on the cutting room floor

21 thoughts on “The Mojave Wasteland's Cut Content & Design

  1. Prospectors' cut behaviour patterns are imo. one of the most fascinating things about New Vegas. There's nothing that screams "CIVILIZATION IS REBUILDING, HUMANITY IS RECLAIMING THIS LAND NOW" like having to compete with wastelanders for loot in a dungeon, or running into people even in the middle of nowhere out in the desert. You're not a special chosen hero, you're just one of many wastelanders out there, sifting through the ashes of the old world. They actually were one of the main inspirations for me to create "The Living Desert", I felt this vision for New Vegas was too cool to be left unimplemented.
    Anyway, thank you for this video, this was as informative and fascinating as always!

  2. You’re videos keep reminding me I need to build another gaming rig so I can play New Vegas again. Awesome video, please keep them coming!

  3. Great video! I'd love to see a Fallout NV: Remastered version with all the cut content added. If the original devs were involved then I'd happily pay for Fallout:NV again.

  4. The more I learn about New Vegas development the more I respect these guys and can clearly see the path videogames should take to be consolidated as true art forms. One of the most engaging art forms, If done with passion and effort, like FNV was done. I'm glad some mods try to reimplement this simulation aspect to the games, It's a much needed feature that the community is more than capable of bringing back.

  5. Man, i absolutely love these Cut Content videos. I would like to translate them in Spanish to copy/paste them in my Amino blogs, if you give me permission to do it. If not, it's fine, I respect your work a lot.

  6. Great video as always Griffin! I always wondered if there was a system in place for the prospectors as one would spawn between Primm and Goodsprings from time to time in a new game, a good source of an early different trade or armor if you murdered them. Great scoop as always mate keep it up! <3

  7. You're the real mvp for actually researching and reaching out to the devs instead of just reading off a wiki like most youtubers

  8. Another great video – thanks, TriangleCity! I was always intrigued by the prospectors and their whole deal of scavenging in a similar vein to the Courier. It added some texture to the game world, in my opinion, even if they were just superficial NPCs.

  9. Absolutely love this series. I've learned more about new vegas watching these videos than in all my years as a fallout fan prior. Keep up the good work m8.

  10. Love getting the inside scoop on these details. Somebody might hear this and think the scripting of prospectors is pretty mundane, but even the smallest bits of info on NV's development are utterly fascinating to me. Thanks for keeping this series going!

  11. Sorry about the plosives in this video guys! I'm out of town and forgot my pop filter. We're almost a year deep into this series and I want to thank everyone who's come along for the ride 🖤

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