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The Best Upcoming Fallout Mods for Single Players

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Fallout 4 - Pipboy

While the hype for Fallout 76 has reinvigorated interest in Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic franchise, the news has had the unfortunate side effect of eclipsing some of the series’s mod offerings. In fact, a significant amount of new, fan-made single-player Fallout content is currently in development, ushering in a renaissance for New Vegas and Fallout 4. Below, OnlySP has rounded up some of the best single-player campaign mods for the Fallout series, seeing as 76 will be ambivalent to solo play.

Fallout: Miami

A commonality between single-player mods is a focus on uncharted Fallout locations. Developers have cited a myriad of reasons for uncharted content, but these reasons can be condensed down to a lack of narrative conflict with the established canon. However, team behind Fallout: Miami has taken the brave choice to create a mod that continues the adventures of the Sole Survivor from Fallout 4, flying in the face of story mod tradition. Miami brings the series to the south-east of the United States, in the “the geographic area covered is roughly from South Pointe Pier to the famed Fontainbleu Hotel.” The conversion mod focuses on the survival strategies, deadly fauna, and glitzy urbanisation of the Floridian hotspot. Stylised as the “Vacation Wasteland,” this area of the Fallout universe is significantly less radiated, offering rare chances at recreation and a traditional life. More information can be found on the game’s subreddit, in which the developer released the following statement: “The scale of the project is comparable to an official expansion, featuring a main quest, multiple side quests, new items, and a large cast of voiced characters.” Further details can be found in the game’s trailer, which implies the Fontainbleu Hotel will be a focal point in the project’s story:

Fallout: New York

In Fallout lore, New York is considered “gone” following the Great War of 2077. Little more is expanded upon, whether the city is dust or ruins. This mod, developed by Roserosenbergfr, imagines a New York in ruins, complete with iconic buildings such as the National History Museum and an intact metro system (trains notwithstanding). A bunch of fresh screens, along with some gameplay footage, is embedded below. Few details have been released, but this mod is definitely worth keeping an eye on, as the creator is making a concerted effort to reliably translate Manhattan to Fallout:

Cascadia

Cascadia is a bioregion and proposed country that exists within the confines of both Canada and the United States. Stretching between British Columbia and Washington state, the region is known for its forests, lakes, wildlife, and, well, Fallout mods. Cascadia, at its core, is an attempt to reconnect the Fallout series with the natural world, substituting the barren wastelands of previous entries for more robust and populated undergrowth. The mod hopes to create an entirely new single-player story set in Seattle, with the game branching out to the rural surroundings of the Washington capital. Fallout games, along with mods, have mostly steered away from the West Coast, meaning the area offers untapped narrative and art design potential. The mod is set several decades after Fallout 4, and the world of Cascadia intertwines nature and urban areas. Speaking to Kotaku, mod director Dr Weird summed up that the game attempts “to create a world where nature shows subtle signs of having returned to a more natural order.” In gameplay terms, that means more greenery, conifers, mutated fauna, and less empty wasteland. Most of the foliage has been created by the team, with the asset conversions being touched up considerably. A full trailer, embedded below, has now been released, expanding on the mod’s impressive conversion of Seattle’s surroundings:

Liberty Hell

Liberty Hell, named affectionately after the Liberty Bell, is an attempt to re-create Philadelphia in the Fallout universe. The mod boasts four playable characters, each with their own origins, motivations, dialogue, and game start. The developer, Liberty Wastes Beautification Committee, has been working on the project for two years and released a new teaser in April as a visual update on development. Interestingly, the three characters the player does not pick can be found in the world as NPCs and can join the player as companions, giving the mod a classical RPG feel. The mod will be free, with updates available on the game’s ModDB page.

Fallout: New California

Moving into New Vegas mods, New California acts as a prequel to the Courier’s story. New California is amazingly ambitious for a mod, sporting a new story with branching paths, a new playable character, 16,000 lines of voiced dialogue, and 12 different endings. The mod has been in development by project leader Brendan Lee since 2012, originally titled as Fallout: Project Brazil before changing direction. Players assume the role of a new player character, an adopted resident of Vault 18, embarking on a journey through the wastelands of the New California Republic’s Cajon Pass. The mod is listed as a prequel, with the game tying into the events that land New Vegas‘s protagonist in hot water. A fully playable beta, along with a narrative trailer, is now available for the dark take on California:

Fallout: The Frontier

Outside of Fallout 3‘s ‘Operation Anchorage’, the franchise has never flirted with snowy climates. The Frontier is a mod that pits players, as the Courier, to aid a band of NCR deserters against an unidentified military force. The mod threads organically into New Vegas, with the initial quest popping up during the events of the main game. The mod’s trailer shows off some new additions to the franchise, including tanks and other heavy armour, trains, and a Death Star-inspired laserbeam:

The Fallout community has created some good single-player focused content, so if 76 does not appeal to the audience of OnlySP, then perhaps one of these mods will. For more on the best of single-player gaming, from indies to mods to AAA, be sure to follow OnlySP on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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“The Perfect Canvas To Build a Game World On”: Talking Hand-Drawn Horror in the Hills of Mundaun

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Mundaun

The Swiss Alps are best known as a holiday destination. Snow and skiing dominate the public imagining of the region, but horror lies in all hills. The folkloric horror game Mundaun promises to subvert the usual perception of the area.

The horrific twist on an idyllic locale is accompanied by an eye-catching art style like no other in gaming.

With Mundaun being such an intriguing prospect, OnlySP reached out to the game’s director Michel Ziegler to find out more.

OnlySP: Could you please begin by providing a brief description of Mundaun for any of our readers who may not be familiar with the game?

Ziegler: A [while] ago, I came up with the description: a lovingly hand-pencilled horror tale. I like the word tale, because it emphasizes the type of narrative the game is going for. It’s a first-person adventure game inspired by the dark folklore of the alps. The aesthetic is really unique, since I combine hand-pencilled textures with 3D. It’s kind of hard to be brief about what makes the game unique. I think it’s the combination of all the things in there, some pretty well hidden. Mundaun should be a mystery, an enigma.

OnlySP: Curiously, Mundaun is a real place. How accurate a recreation of the landscape is that found in the
game?

Ziegler: The levels are a condensed interpretation of the real thing. It’s more about how that place feels than accurate topology. The steepness of it, the objects and architecture you encounter that is very specific to that place. It wouldn’t be possible to meaningfully populate a large sample of the real mountain range. I want the give the player the feeling that in every corner there could be some small and unique thing to discover.

OnlySP: Do you have any personal connection to the real place? Why did you settle on it as the setting for the game?

Ziegler: My family has had a small holiday flat there since before I was born. I spent many summers and winters up there and so it became like a second home. Especially for a child, the nature feels huge and full of wonders. I would spend my days finding well-hidden spots and imagining adventures. I chose this setting, because it is dear to me and it is full of buildings that are many centuries old. It always felt like a timeless and mysterious place. The perfect canvas to build a game world on. Four years in, it still inspires too many ideas to ever fit into one game.

OnlySP: I’ve seen the game described as ‘folk horror’—following the likes of The Wicker Man and Children of the Corn. Would you consider that to be an accurate assessment of Mundaun?

Ziegler: I think so, even if my game isn’t inspired by those particular works. But I think there is a certain ambiguity to the scenario that makes people immediately think of fiction that has a similar feel in their cultural circle. Even if I draw much inspiration from things that are specific to where I live, I find that the world and tone of Mundaun resonates with people from all around the globe and from different cultural backgrounds. That said, the haymen that haunt you in Mundaun make the comparison to The Wicker Man an obvious one.

OnlySP: If so, what sort of local legends are you drawing on for the source of the horror?

Ziegler: Not really any specific ones. If I had to name one story that influenced the plot of Mundaun, it would  be Jeremias Gotthelf’s The Black Spider. The oppressive mood it conveys has always fascinated me. Also, I loved collections of small folk tales as a child and I think, I’m remixing elements from those, creating my own folk tale. I’m not restricting myself to only local influences at all though. I take everything that I think is interesting and fits the world and universe of Mundaun.

OnlySP: How does the monochromatic art style contribute to the player’s sense of tension?

Ziegler: For one, it invokes the aesthetic of old movies and photographs. For me personally, those often have a sinister quality, hiding something in the dark shadows. In addition to that, the hand-drawn textures give the game the quality of a darkly illustrated picture book.

OnlySP: Speaking of the art style, it certainly is one of the most intriguing elements of Mundaun. How did you come to settle on it, and what is the process by which you bring these hand-drawn artworks to life in the game? When you began, did you have an idea of how much work would be involved?

Ziegler: I just love drawing on paper. I’ve never gotten into drawing digitally much. For a small game prototype (The Colony) I made before Mundaun, I also applied a hand-made approach. I love the combination of hand-made textures with 3D, it’s a strange thing. Pencils just seemed a perfect match for a more dark aesthetic.

The process is similar to the usual 3D process, but with a small detour. After unwrapping the finished 3D model, I print out the UV maps. I trace the outlines to a new drawing paper and then I fill in the actual drawing with pencils. After scanning them back in, I apply them to the models. I probably didn’t properly anticipate, how many drawings I would end up making, because I underestimated, how much Mundaun would grow.

OnlySP: The puzzles that appear in the trailers seem to draw from an older tradition in games wherein they don’t necessarily feel realistic (although that interpretation is, admittedly, based on brief snippets taken out of context). Nevertheless, do you have any concerns that that approach might turn away some players?

Ziegler: Yeah, it’s a concern. I try to make the puzzles quite logical. Playtesting seems to be the key here. I’m not trying to break the flow of the game, the puzzles are just a great way to add detail and flavour to the world. I try to integrate them into the world and make them feel organic and unique to this place.

OnlySP: Aside from the puzzles, what else will players be doing in Mundaun?

Ziegler: Encountering, avoiding, or fighting off different types of enemies. Finding and talking to some of the eccentric native folk. Making coffee, smoking a pipe, carrying around the head of a goat. Driving a chair lift, a hay loader vehicle and a sleigh. There’s a whole lot of different things to discover. I think, the mix of high-stakes death threatening situations with more mundane activities is one of the most interesting qualities of Mundaun.

OnlySP: Explore” seems to be one of the keywords of the game. Does it feature an open-world design, or is it more of a level-to-level affair with expansive levels? And, in total, about how big is the game world

Ziegler: It features three discrete levels, each with their own flavour. You start in an area with meadows and trees and then make your way up to a more sparse, stony area. Then there’s the snow-covered summit region. The levels are quite sizeable and the player is given freedom to explore them, but it is not an open-world design per se. Each part, activity, and task is unique and lovingly hand-crafted.

OnlySP: How long do you expect the average playthrough to last? Or is it still too early to be able to say?

Ziegler: It is a bit early, but I think it’ll be 4-5 hours.

OnlySP: Speaking of, we first came across Mundaun about a year and a half ago. How long has it been in
development?

Ziegler: It has been in development for 4.5 years now.


Ziegler and his team at Hidden Fields are currently targeting a Q1 2020 launch for Mundaun on Mac, PC, and Xbox One.

If your interest is piqued, let us know either in the comments below or on our community Discord server.

Otherwise, be sure to bookmark OnlySP and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube for all the latest from the world of single-player gaming.

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