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Luther Patenge

Fallout 3 Tutorial: And That's When I Got Jumped - Creating Encounters

Created by Luther Patenge and Immanuel Alam

In this tutorial we will learn about creating static encounters. An encounter is when the player encounters enemies. The enemies can be scripted to appear or merely be there ready and waiting.

The GECK makes creating new encounters easy. First find a suitable area and then drop in enemies as you would objects, this is covered in Bethesdas tutorial on the GECK wiki.

Enemies, along with friends and neutral characters, can be found under Actors > Creature and Actors > NPC. Note the subcategories prefixed with “Leveled.” This means that these actors will scale in power relative to the character.

Double click on an actor to see its properties. Note the Factions and AI Data tabs. The Factions list determines which “teams” the actor is on. The AI Data tab determines whether the actor is hostile, whether they will help members of their teams, how likely they are to run away and so forth.

Making a new enemy – the Enclave Alien Blaster Trooper

1. Go to Actors > NPC. Right click and select New.

2. This brings up a blank NPC dialog. Give our new actor an ID of “EnclaveABT.”

3. The Template Data are allows us to have this actor inherit base properties from another. Select another Enclave actor in ActorBase. Check all of the boxes (to make those tabs inherit from the ActorBase). Deselect “Use Inventory” and “Use Base Data.” This will allow us to edit them. Give the NPC a name of “Alien Blaster Trooper.”


4. Go to the inventory tab and change the character’s weapon to “WithAmmoAlienBlaster.” If you don't know how to do this, the tutorial for how to change the inventory of NPCs is covered here.


5. Drop the new actor into a cell and enjoy! Just hope he doesn’t hit you!

Encounter building tips

1. Don’t make the player face an encounter every time he turns the corner but place them strategically. Notice how in Fallout 3 there is generally some travel time between fights as there naturally would be in a wasteland

2. Don’t make random encounters too difficult. You can imagine how frustrating it would be to the player to be doing great on the story and quest missions then getting wasted by raiders with power armor and laser gattlings for no reason.

3. Do make quest and final dungeon encounters difficult and interesting, this allows for a proper climax to end a story segment.

4. Don’t give the player the best loot too quickly, this makes the rest of the game uninteresting. Keep in mind that enemies can be set to use items without dropping them on death.

5. Do balance multiple enemy encounters, mix melee units with supporting long-range units to force the player into making tactical decisions.

6. Do use the Faction system to your advantage, giving the player allies makes for interesting and potentially larger scale battles, such as when the player faces the Behemoth with the Brotherhood of Steel.

7. Playtest, playtest playtest! Never assume that your encounter is good because it looks right in the editor. Give it a shot, and if possible have some friends do the same

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