Howdy, folks! Well, it's that time of the year when we here at Mutants Rising feel that we owe you -- our avid supporters -- an update. So, what's been happening with Mutants Rising in the past nine months? Where to begin:
Firstly, you may be wondering 'who is this guy?' or 'what happened to ardent and cp?' Rest assured, folks, they are alive and well. I joined MR at the start of the year as a Writer, and have since been promoted to Producer. My main function is to alleviate some of ardent's massive workload. But enough about me, let's talk about something interesting.
Game design has been progressing at slow and steady rate. From a design standpoint, the game is 100% complete -- in fact, just last week, we finalized design on MR's big bad boss. I'd tell you more about him/her, but I wouldn't want to spoil it for you, so I'll simply say that he/she's a doozy, and you will thoroughly enjoy thwarting his/her plans. See how I'm even keeping his/her gender ambiguous? >:D
Normally we'd have some sort of content update with a newspost like this, seeing as how we go so long between updates. Instead, we're going to have Jinx, one of our lead game designers, give all of us some insight on his design process. So, without further ado, here is Jinx:
How do I go about designing a location and writing the characters in such a way that they feel genuine and 'in place'? I pretty much just did what I used to do when I was a P&P game master way-back-when: I started asking myself questions. Who lives here and why? Why would a large mass of people from different places in the wasteland decide to settle on this spot? What are the natural resources available? What threats and calamities plague these people on a day-to-day basis? What does the culture look like when such diverse people gather, and what situations arise from that? As the process progresses and more and more of these questions get answers, the design document grows and the desired theme of the location can be realized. Pretty soon I have the basics ironed out; history, economy, culture and available resources to name a few.
One has to keep in mind while writing all this that there is a much larger story being told that must follow a set of themes, giving it a coherent feel. While any writer naturally wants to give their creations their own twists, these can't stray too far from the main themes or it will feel out of place. Likewise, sticking too close will result in a repetitive story that risks becoming boring very quickly.
That was Jinx commenting on game design. In the next newspost, we'll be highlighting another key member with a similar essay.
Before I go, I want to mention that we here at Mutants Rising are still looking for new members to join the team. We're always looking for any passionate Fallout 2 modder who is highly skilled in multiple areas, but we are actively seeking a 3D Artist to "animate a couple of talking heads and do some custom items and scenery art." And, per usual, we're looking for writers to help complete MR's massive dialogue undertaking. What does it take to write at MR? Let me break it down for you:
· Have expert-level knowledge of Fallout 1 & 2. If you're reading this, you probably meet this requirement.
· Have a high school/university-level grasp of the English language. Our writing team is very small -- enough time will be spent editing for content. Editing for basic grammar is not an option, and (sadly) won't be tolerated.
· Ability to produce on a consistent basis. Mutants Rising is a hobby for almost all of us (other than ardent, who continues to amaze with his bossness). We don't expect 40 hours a week from you. But if you think you may disappear for months at a time, please don't apply. Lack of productivity has been the bane of MR in the past, something which we've been slowly changing
· And that's it. It might not seem like much, but (surprisingly) few applicants are able to meet these requirements. If you're passionate about Fallout 1 & 2, you WILL like this mod, and we want you to be part of it. To apply, visit the forum at http://www.mutantsrising.info/ and post in the recruitment section, or send me (Angry) a personal message.
That's all for now, folks! As MR's new Producer, I plan on significantly decreasing the time between updates and newsposts. Expect one around American Thanksgiving or before the end of the year.
aka, "The Dude Next to Cabbot" on NMA
Writer/Producer for Mutants Rising
Happy New Year, everyone!
Our Christmas demo turned out to be a huge success (for a Fallout 2 mod), having received a lot of kind attention from the community and well over 1000 downloads in the past quarter of the year. We also got a lot of praise as a team, for which we are very grateful. But the moment of relishing in our *cough* worldwide celebrity *cough-chuckle* has passed and now we're back in the workshop again. In the first months following the release of the demo, we decided to focus on precising and freezing the design element of the mod. This will not only enable us to better assess the time and resources needed to complete the game, but will also help us make sure every element of the plot comes together and ties in nicely with one another.
-Head to the gallery to see all the new eyecandy-
As promised, the new demo of Mutants Rising is live now!
The demo comprises the complete first location of the game, with all of its quests and characters. It also includes several of the new game features we introduced, most notably the overhauled healing system. We hope the demo will give you a good taste of what the mod is going to look like in the end, and that you will like it.
To get your hands on the demo, you can either download the Smart Installer version, or the Manual Install pack:
* Manual Install - If the Installer doesn't work for you for some reason, or if you're already familiar with installing Fallout 2 mods, you can try the Manual Install. Download the ZIP file into your Fallout 2 installation directory and unpack it there. A new folder should appear, named "MutantsRising". Go inside it and read the readme for the remaining installation details.
We're anxious to have your opinions, so make sure to check out our forums http://forums.mutantsrising.info and leave comments. Should you find any bugs or have any questions, please post them in their respsctive threads on the forum too. Have a good time with Mutants Rising!
Dear Fallout fans,
The new demo will showcase the town of Elko, i.e. the first location of the game. You might ask why we would release the same stuff we released over 4 years ago. The main reason is that Mutants Rising has evolved greatly since then and the only "stuff" that remained from the original Elko are the general lines of the story. We could say that Elko 2007 was a draft, while Elko 2011 is the fully implemented, frozen location of the final product, with cutscenes, fully voiced and animated talking heads as well as blackjack and hookers (in fact, forget the blackjack and the hookers).
The demo also presents an opportunity to reveal some of the new game features we have implemented. First and foremost, we completely overhauled First Aid and Doctor skills. Each time your character receives a critical hit, you suffer a bleeding wound. For each such wound, you lose 1 Hit Point every 10 seconds. In order to heal these wounds, you can either use drugs, or apply your First Aid skill. Using First Aid also increases your Healing Rate. It does NOT restore your lost Hit Points though. The Doctor skill on the other hand, is still used as a means to heal crippling injuries, but it also enables you to restore Hit Points. The effects of both skills depend on your skill level - the higher the skill, the greater the bonuses. Moreover, the HP bonus from using Doctor is increased by your Healing Rate, so it's convenient to apply First Aid before using the Doctor skill. This was our attempt at making both abilities more useful, and preliminary tests showed that it does add a challenge and forces you to boost these skills or spend a fortune on drugs. Another prominent modification was done to the character traits. We have replaced many useless traits from the original with new ones, and modified or tweaked the remaining ones, increasing the number of valid choices. There are also many other tweaks such as decreased ammo counts, decreased Carry Weight, etc.
The demo will be available on 25th December this year. Stay tuned!
The previous progress bar wasn't very accurate and since the shape of the mod changed considerably over the last few months, it has become completely unreliable. That's why we have devised a more precise (and more number-based) method of calculating progress, tracing the major aspects of Fallout modding. It may seem like we're farther away from the finish than we made out to be, but note that the new system counts only things that are final (i.e. finished and frozen design documents, frozen dialogue, finished, tested and working scripts, finished art etc.). These figures are accurate and hopefully, you will see them rise more often, which will give you a better idea of the pace we're progressing at, so please, don't hate us. We'll get to the finish eventually, and it will be worth the wait."
Damn, it's Easter, see how the time flies. Well, we're here to say that we're still alive and no, we're not finished yet.
Actually, we have made several important decisions for the benefit of the game, but to the detriment of the release date. Most notably, we have restored an entire location that was already slated for the expansion pack, back into the vanilla game. The town was cut back when the team consisted of around 3 active members. Now we have more members and it is imperative that this town is brought back to life. Also, we have decided that despite the third makeover, the initial town of Elko wasn't up to our expectations and have scrapped it completely. Constant updating and adapting have ruined the nature of Elko, so it was easier to start from zero. Elko is now being remade with entirely new maps, new dialogue, new design and new scripts (as well as some shiny new art). We are proud to say that it is much truer to the spirit of Fallout than it has ever been (For the first time ever the whole team is happy with the town and we will NEVER touch it again). Finally, we are working extensively on Las Vegas' design to make it shine in its own MR way, which will be much different from Obsidian's New Vegas' allure.
Of other news, we are very happy to share with you our take on the famous ‘War. War never changes." line. The cutscene was made by our fellow modder, a full-time member of the EC: Paris TC mod, you know him, you love him, Aguirre. Voice over was provided by Brian Sfinas aka Cunningandvalor, who also did voice work on several of our Talking Head NPCs. We also have a new, stunning world map created by .Pixote. the Awesome and some cool ending screens.
Eyecandy aside, we would like to emphasise that our primary goal is to create a fun gaming experience faithful to the spirit of Fallout and that means we have also been working hard on our scripting and writing. To illustrate this, we're presenting you with this less-known side of our project (yeah, we were late for April's Fools):
As the seasons come and go, so does Mutants Rising continue upon its bleak, harsh and somewhat epic journey towards completion. Many men have fallen on this horrendous journey. A few determined souls remain.
The last few weeks have seen a significant amount of progress. The last area of the game (not the last town to be completed - but the last area of the game) has been completed and submitted for testing and a further town has also been revisited, completed and is being tested.
Latest additions include new creatures, many new scenery objects , two new fully talking heads and around 60 new scripts. (roughly - who keeps an exact count?)
In light of recent events, we bring you a little insight into the game in lieu of any art pics....
On a cold night, you happen upon an army base, shrouded in darkness and little movement. It's almost ghost like appearance does nothing to dampen your intrigue over what secrets lie within.
A gruff looking gate guard takes you inside and introduces you to Sergeant Weathers, a bald and grizzled character who heavily favours his left leg. Though he doesn't seem at all pleased to see you... there is a fire in his eyes.
Days of training follow and further days of seemingly pointless tasks. Then, and only then do you gain access to the Brotherhood of Steel.
During your stay, you do many things and meet many new people. There'll be fights...
And maybe some more fights...
But which will yield the best rewards?
Will you escape with your life? Better armour? Some secret new technology found nowhere else? Maybe a new friend or two?
And what of the outsiders living in the slums under the protecting hand of the Brotherhood. Why are they dying all of a sudden?
FInd out these things and much more when oyou play Mutants Rising and enter Cedar City!
So... it's almost the end of quarter two and we haven't finished making our precious baby. (shocked?) We could release the game as is, but we understand that the Fallout community has high standards, and we do not wish to disappoint you all. Ardent who is famed for his excellent mod (at least among us modders) joined us earlier in the year and has been systematically ripping apart our work and putting it back together in a shinier form for your pleasure. A different perspective on things has been refreshing, and considering the core team has consisted of a handful of people over the years, it was much needed. Chris Parks, our resident ubber modder unfortunately has a life (plus the problems that go with it), and as much as we would like to chain him up in a basement (fed on fish heads exclusively, of course), we can't do that.
We are working very hard to finish the scripting, and in the mean time our artists - Sharae, .Pixote. and Equilerex (who is safely back from the army) have produced some new artwork, most of which we prefer to keep under the blankets to have some surprises for you when the final build is released. Also, our writers, Jinx and Ghouly89, are working on new content for the expansion pack. We have been collaborating as a team to write a dialogue tutorial for FO modders and we hope that you will find this a positive reflection of the mod to come (Read it here). The modding community can expect more tutorials when we release the game and have the time to spend on them. We hope that new tutorials and the assets we will be releasing will encourage more modders to come out of hiding, as we have seen with the latest release of Killap's excellent project.
And we have some eye candy for you:
Mutants Rising has been alpha testing for the past month or so, and we are working to release a stable build. We would rather not release a piece of software with disappearing car trunks and random CTDs. Testing has already chewed up and spit out a couple of people.
Our sole scriptor and leader has not been well, and has had a few other RL issues, which has unfortunately lead to some delays, as well as other issues i.e. diminished team. We where hoping for a Christmas release, but did not want to set a public release date luckily enough. Hang in there though, as we have all the groundwork for a final release now, apart from a few maps which are being worked on right now. We still do not want to set an official release date as RL is an unpredictable thing, but MR should be in your hands in the first half of 2010.
Here are the new portraits of the pre-made characters. You may recognise one of two of them:
These are all by Neutralie who you can find on Deviant art
We are now working on the expansion pack for the project and some preliminary progress has been made, but it's completion depends on your opinion of the final release and the ingress of new blood into our team. Mutants Rising need you! We are now open to new writers joining our team for this.
We decided to release some of the Mutants Rising OST, in order to generate some more interest and hype for the project, but also decided not to release everything, as we don't want to spoil the atmosphere of your first play. The rest of the OST will be released with the main build. The Music is by Eimink, Slunk and Public:
These will also be appearing on our new ModDB profile if you have trouble with these DL links.
Thanks for your support
As the months continue to trudge on by, so does Mutants Rising continue on its never ending quest.
We bring you a render of the basement in the final location of MR - Morrows, made by equilerex. It features complete new art for everything including a new one person elevator.
We won't release any more details on the nature of this area - that would spoil all the fun, but we do wish to point out that this area features about 90% new art courtesy of our (rather diminished!) art department.
In other news, the restoration of Elko is making progress. If you did not catch our previous update, we decided to revisit the start town and remake it. Most of the new required art has been completed and what was one huge map and a small tacked on junkyard is now a much smoother 5 map town. The old vault has been replaced with something that makes much more sense and we're even working on two new movies for this area.
Our artists are also busying them selves with the end game slides, which should give you an idea of how far we are from the end. To put the mod in perspective, as our comrades at BGE did in their last release, here are the vital stats so far:
Mod size... 400MB
After much deliberation and furious playtesting of the mod, we have decided to go ahead with the restoration of ELKO, the initial town in the game.
Dude101 and I talked about this almost constantly during the design of the game, but with each passing town, it was forgotten about.
As most of you are aware, I joined the mod to save if from being cancelled and effectively resurrected the game. Elko was the ONLY part of the game that had any real work done on it, so I added it straight into the build.
Although the reviews of the demo were favourable, there are many bugs in the demo and quests which don't quite gel with one another. Instead of trying to fix this, we have decided to overhaul the town from the start now that we have a better idea of the whole game.
So what's happening? We intend to re-write all the major dialogues and streamline the quests somewhat. The cluttered city map will be expanded onto around 5 smaller maps to ease loading times and increase the character of the game. The vault under the city will be removed as this never seemed to "fit" with the idea of a shanty town, built in haste.
This is a promising move for the game as a whole and it will allow Dude101 and Aaron some creative freedom with an area that was largely locked from the start.
This does mean that we will be delaying the release of the game until these changes are implemented and working.
On another promising note, we welcome sharae and brother_soifran to the team. Here's a sneak peak on what they are working on ...
One final note. We had considered releasing another demo to showcase the new elko. Is this something that would be welcomed by the community?
The last month or so has seen a flurry of activity on and off the forum. A whole town has been completed, Las Vegas, since our last press release and now we are within sight of the finish line. Only one and a half towns are left to be scripted and then we have a completed build to test.
- Chris Parks, team leader.
In the meantime, here's a little scenelet from the game to tempt your appetites:
The stranger had walked into the sleepy town of Wendover just three days before, mud clinging to his boots and sand caking his lone pistol. His time in the town had been intersting to say the least. Supplies were purchased from a gun shop to the left of the town entrance. stocking up his resources. Even though the store was well stocked, it had a pitiful supply in comparison to what he actually needed.
He spent his nights in the brothel mostly, getting to "know" the local ladies. In his short time in Wendover, his name was etched into its history.
After leading an attack on the brothel to liberate the prostitutes he was told were trapped there, he brought together the town to fight against the impending mutant attack. The combined efforts of the whole town ensured that most people survived. In the carnage that followed, the evil doings of the Normans was atoned for to an extent. I just hope that nobody else takes their place.
How different things could have been if the stranger had not united us. Maybe we would not have survived.
I know little else of his business in the town. Some say that he had doings with the airfield guys, but I never knew about it. He left shortly after the mutant attack.
Me, I am done for this world. I hope that the next offers me some comfort that this one hasn't.
- Account of Rus, doomed survivor of the mutant attack.
We will be keeping our gallery more up-to-date, so expect regular eye candy for your Fallout fix.
We are still recruiting for those interested. We have achieved allot this year, and those joining now are sure to steal *Cough* I mean share in our final glory. At the moment, we could really use help making movies, we have most of our other bases covered but we could always use more artists, because five just isn't enough.
Our most recent location Las Vegas, was "finished" on the day New Vegas was announced, and I hope that it stands tall in comparison. Wasteland fans will be pleased with this one.
We are currently discussing in private the idea of an expansion pack. Allot of planned content was cut from the build, and there is scope for expansion (assuming it is well received), which will involve more Wasteland inspired re-imaginings. We are only one location away from the finish in terms of writing, but are many months away from the finish line, but be assured we will not fail.
We're back!! Yes, although we've had a period of enforced exhile, we are back and working hard again. The old server had reached the end of its lifetime and gave up on us. It has taken quite a while to get the new server up and running correctly.
So what's been happening?
Unfortunately, work has slowed somewhat on the project. Each of our main contributers has personal issues to deal with so work on MR has taken a back seat. However, we do want to assure everyone that we are working and have made some more progress.
It has been some time since we released any information about the mod, so we thought it was time we brought the public up to date with everything.
Let's get the bad news over with first. Due to circumstances beyond our control (server catching fire) we have lost our development forum and some of our key background material. We are currently trying to recover the lost data and forum but this is likely to take some time. We do want to assure everyone that this will not hinder development in the long term and no actual game data from the current version was lost.
Secondly, our main (and only!) mapper has had to leave us temporarily to join the army. he has helped tremendously with the mod and has single handedly made maps for at least five towns in short time. We wish him well and eagerly await his return.
On the more positive side of things, work has been progressing well on the mod and now only three towns out of 11 need completing. Of these, two have their maps ready and one has a complete set of dialogues ready to be scripted (Oh the joy...) Once these towns are completed, the hard work of tidying up the game and checking for errors will begin.
Continuum and equilerex have been working hard making new artwork to shock the community with and we have ensured that each new town has something special to shock you all with.
On the scripting side, things have really slowed to a crawl unfortunately. I'm the only scripter and as such everything from scripting to installing new art, maps, sound etc is on my shoulders. I have been very busy at university this year and have pressing family commitments so little time to mod fallout. However, scripting is still infinitely quicker than completing all the dialogues so things will pick up at the end of term.
At this hard time, we also extend our sympathy to the late FMF team. It is such a shame to have lost our rival team and to show our appreciation for all the effort they put into fallout, the team has decided to put City on the Coast, a self contained area, into Mutants Rising to ensure all their work has not been in vain.
As always, we would welcome any new members to help with the final push on the mod. Anybody interested should contact myself or Dude101.
Thanks for listening to me ramble on. Until next time. Keep playing fallout.
I realise that many of you have been eagerly anticipating this project and as such I have an apology to make. The website has not been kept up to date as was hoped and we haven't been around NMA for a while either. There has been valid reasons for this but rather than dwell on the past, we are looking to the future. The website will undergo periodic updates to keep everyone informed of what we are doing.
The key piece of news this month is the mod progress from the main page. This is not a lie: we are very close to the end of the project. The team has been very active over the summer and have spent countless hours on furthering the project. Only two towns are left to be worked on and all the others are either completed or well under development.
The artistic team, consisting of Continuum, Dopefish and Equilerex have completed countless pieces of art and each town (with one exception) now has a loading screen. It has almost reached the point where the writers can't come up with any new artwork for them to make!
Public, our new musician, is a one man musical army. He has created, along with help from Emink, new music for almost every town in the game. The atmosphere of Mutants Rising has taken on a personality all of it's own.
Animalize, our only full time mapper, has completed maps for no less than four full towns all on his own as well as maps for smaller, less involved areas. Whilst it is true that many of the team are capable mappers, none of us live up to his high standards.
Below are a few juicy screenshots and tidbits just to keep you all coming back for more!
The above artwork was designed for a disused train station. (surprised?) It plays an integral part in the completion of the game.
Above is a brief screenshot of the final area of the game. Continuum has taken it upon his shoulders to make a complete set of new art for this area to ensure Mutants Rising has the lasting effect that a mod of it's size deserves.
First things first as they say, the MR team is sorry that we haven't kept you all up to date recently. This is due to two things: we've been very preoccupied with the mod and CP (Team Leader) has finished University for the year. Whilst that may make no sense to you, it means CP no longer has broadband net access, just dial-up. CP is the only one who has access to update the website, so no net means no updates.
Anyway, that's irrelevant. The mod progress has been superb over the last month or so. CP's (Scripter) time left with the project is fast running out so we're pulling together to get things completed. Several large new maps have been finished, two or three loading screens and town maps have been completed, Wild_Qwerty is working on some new critters and Continuum has finished many new pieces of art and is currently working on what we believe is the biggest piece of scenery fallout has ever seen! A couple of old members have also returned and we have about four talking heads in progress. The whole thing is being pulled together script-wise and all things considered, we are about 60% of the way through the game.
If all things go as planned we hope to have a workable version of the game to test and subsequently improve by October. Judging by the number of people we have on the mod and the enthusiasm they are showing, this probably won't be a problem.
In the meantime, here's a couple of screenshots just to keep the appetite up!