Fallout-Tale: The Improbable Pacifist

An RPG was recently released. This game, released to much applause, stood out for its ability to progress through the entire game without the main character killing any enemies. The name of this RPG was-

 

-Fallout 4. What, you thought it was Undertale? Oh, it was that too. The two are as different as games in the same nominal genre can be. While Undertale was designed for this (and in fact, to get the best ending requires it), Fallout clearly wasn’t. Someone found a way to win at Fallout 4 without technically killing any enemies. Note that it should be said technically. They still end up dead, it’s just that your counter stays perfectly clear.

Fallout 1 has zero required kills (directly, at least). Fallout 2 has only one. Fallout 3 has a handful. The game I’ve played the most, New Vegas, could theoretically be done with one direct kill (Mr. House on a Yes Man route), or zero if one assumes the Brotherhood of Steel’s evacuation procedures are very efficient (blow up the bunker as House requires without killing anyone inside).

4 is far more combat-focused, and has unskippable, unavoidable encounters. The player managed to do it anyway, though pushing the already wobbly game past its limit at some points. And watching it is interesting, to say the least. (Just in the first video the player “level grinds” through putting up a million wooden bureaus).

The result can be seen in this playlist.

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Bad Fiction Spotlight: The Subspace Emissary’s Worlds Conquest

Fanfiction has a way of becoming long-winded. The total lack of editors, the make-it-up-as-you go nature, and the “locked-in” effect of being unable to edit past chapters easily all contribute into works that make War and Peace seem tiny.

Enter The Subspace Emissary’s Worlds Conquest, which makes Proust seem tiny. This Smash Brothers fic is arguably the longest piece of fiction in the English language, with its four million words making it over three times as long as the classic In Search of Lost Time

The “plot” of this story is incredibly simple. An original character named Chris (which happens to be the name of the author as well-hmm…) and his Lucario, join up with the cast of Smash Bros. Brawl in a crossover through every other game the author has played. This is not an exaggeration.

That being said, it’s hard to sink the claws into it. The writing isn’t that detailed (but it has gotten better as the story has progressed), so it’s difficult to “mock” in that sense. The author is actually good-natured (if embodying all the traits of a Fanfiction.net writer from Central Casting), so there’s no “drama” around it. And that the fic has slowed down and lingers un-updated like the half-iguana in Boatmurdered,  indicates that it doesn’t stand apart from the Fanfiction.net mediocrity so much as represent an oversized version of it.

This is important.

What this fic is every young gamer’s fantasy that they’ve scribbled, or kept in their head. I’ve certainly thought of similar things when I was younger. It’s just-written out, and written to a gigantic extent.

Automation Game Projects

In my list of games I like to play, I’ve previously mentioned my liking of Automation: The Car Company Tycoon Game. In that game, I’ve built all sorts of cars in it. However, there are a few ones that I keep fine-tuning. Not in terms of any specific file, but a general class of cars.

 

Kabans.

 

Kabans (the name comes from a Russian word for “boar”), are compact cars that I build with the following characteristics/priorities.

 

-Good off-road performance.

-Fuel efficiency via direct injection and light panel materials.

-Modest attempts at cost control.

 

I’ve built a line of Kabans ranging from early 2000s ones to contemporary designs. Most get decent enough grades in the tycoon part, and are fun to build (if not ride in, given that I make the suspension prioritize ruggedness over smoothness).

 

Breakout-Car.

 

Breakout-Cars are the nickname I give to my array of designs that I took a particular interest in with the engineering and tooling cost changes in the latest update. They represent budget cars built by countries with revving up (no pun intended) auto industries. The goal is simplicity-simple parts that could theoretically be made easier by domestic suppliers, and simple construction.

 

Thus the only advantage of breakout-cars (especially for a developed-world consumer) is their price. The first breakout-car was so bad that I nicknamed it “Crappy-Car”. Hideous acceleration, pollution, and fuel consumption made it a car people would only buy if they had no other choice. Later cars are better, but still not ideal.

 

Speedsters.

 

And of course, there are the high-end luxury and sports cars. The exact opposite of breakout-cars, they’re simple to explain-high end in everything, including cost.

I like seeing the production numbers, even if “cars per day” is misleading.. A large plant can produce over a thousand Kabans a day, and smaller plants (to represent the still-lacking physical capital) make slightly fewer breakout-cars. But for the super-luxury ones-small plants and perfect attention to detail means that for the two plant sizes I used, it maxed out at three and four cars a day.
So, enjoy a ride in your Kaban, or, worse, breakout-car that the next Malcolm Bricklin wants to import.

A Timeline To Be Recommend

So, I felt it right to share one of my favorite timelines. On the website alternatehistory.com, there are many good examples of what-if timelines. But one quirky, small-scale, yet detailed one has to do with the history of console gaming.

The timeline, called Player Two Start, has Nintendo and Sony as partners rather than rivals. Based on an actual proposed deal that fell through (and left Nintendo with the Phillips CD-I embarrassment), this changes a little bit of non-gaming history and a lot of gaming history.

Well worth a read.

Bomber-Fighter Aircraft

Ever since the first bombs were placed on small fighter aircraft, the term “fighter-bomber” was formed. Far less common is the term “bomber-fighter”, which makes the actual examples-those both proposed and actually built, all the more interesting.

The most numerous bomber-fighters were light/medium bombers turned into niche fighters. The Ju-88 served the World War II Luftwaffe in all roles, the Mosquito was a similarly advanced example on the Western Allied side, and there were less common examples like the Soviet Pe-3. Postwar, this trend continued with the Soviet Yak-28, starting off as a bomber but developed into an interceptor. There were misses as well as hits, like the ill-fated F-111B.

However, what I find the most radical and interesting have been the proposals to adapt unquestionably heavy bombers into air-to-air capable fighters. Perhaps the most famous proposal of this nature has been the B-1R upgrade. The 1980s-vintage B-1B bomber would gain advanced radars, F-22 engines, payload capability changes-and the ability to fire air to air missiles.

A lesser-known proposal was the Soviet Tu-161, to equip the massive strategic missile carrier with a radar and long-range air to air missiles. This would have been a worthy heir to the same design bureau’s Tu-128, a bomber-sized interceptor that remains one of my favorite obscure aircraft.

Neither was built or seriously considered. The Tu-161 was a luxury that was dubious for the economically reeling USSR even if it had remained intact, and the B-1R, while more technically plausible, runs into the problem of “too many eggs in one basket.” The multirole B-1R was intended as a bomber with some self-defense capability-but why not keep it a bomber with F-22s and/or F-15s to escort it? Why not replace the Tu-161 with multiple MiG-31s? Why put all that into one less maneuverable, expensive bomber type aircraft?

Even a “missile-truck” fighter like the CSBA’s future proposal, F-14, or-Tu-128 for that matter, is different from a bomber. Especially if the missileer is one intended to be stealthily, and all the RCS reductions would not make the B-1 into a true stealth aircraft.
Yet the novelty of the bomber-fighter concept makes it entertaining to think about.

My Unfortunate Command Scenario Slump

I look back at my older Command scenarios, the product of someone who was newer to both the game and the platforms it represented. While there was much to be tinkered-with and approved (and not just to take advantage of the many changes added since I made them), there is also something more-well, I don’t know the word for it, about the products made by someone who’s still figuring everything out, rather than one who knows it by heart. Interesting? Creative?

 

The main reasons for my lack of scenario creation (from around once a month at worst to several since I’ve submitted one to the community pack), involve being busy with other things. But I think there’s a sort of valley I’m in as well.

 

The valley is that I’m finding smaller scenarios to be less interesting (not totally uninteresting, but less interesting) to make, while bigger (not necessarily bigger in the number of units, but in the complexity of the scenario itself) scens require a lot more effort.

My old philosophy is changing. Small and willingly rough just isn’t as satisfying as it was.

I may, as I decide on a writing project and rev it up, make even less Command scenarios. While understandable given my scheduling, this is also sad-because making them is something I greatly enjoyed. Or I may recover from my scenario-valley and unleash more on the community pack. I’m still extremely active with Command-just not making and submitting scenarios.
Whatever the outcome, I feel like I should either slow down or push faster. Still, submitting over twenty scenarios I’ve made to the community pack isn’t bad.