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Landscaping Fallout NV

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#1
DB095

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Hello, so I've been working on a map that I've been doing for around a month now and I've stumbled into a problem. I don't know how to make a new landscape in the game because there is no tutorials on google, youtube or anything else that I can find. I've built this building in the Fallout New Vegas G.E.C.K. and now I want to make an outdoor desert thats not in the game, but like I said I don't know how to. Can anyone help or have any ideas on this?



#2
madmongo

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I've never found a good tutorial about it. What's worse is that it gets you into the buggiest parts of the GECK, and there are a lot of hidden gotchas that you only find through trial and error.

 

There is some info in the Worldspaces section here:

https://wiki.nexusmo...mods_using_GECK

 

The first thing you need to know is that when you create a worldspace with a reasonably realistic terrain, the terrain itself is going to easily take up 12 to 14 MB in your mod. If you are using the GECK in single user mode (the way that most modders do), then you are very likely to run into the 16 MB bug. Anything with an ID number of some sort needs to be below 16 MB, due to the way that the game uses these ID numbers. The ID is a 32 bit, the first 8 bits of which are used for the mod number. For example, purified water has the ID 000151A3 (hex). 00 is the mod ID (Fallout.esm, which should be first in your load order) and 0151A3 is the offset into the file. .45 ammo from Honest Hearts has an ID of xx00947B, where the xx is the mod number on your system. On my system, Honest Hearts happens to be 06, so the ID of .45 ammo on my system is 0600947B.

 

32 minus 8 is 24, so there are 24 bits left over to specify the offset into the file. 24 bits is 16 MB, so any ID with an offset over 16 MB will break the game. In other words, the largest offset you can have is xxFFFFFF. Any larger offset breaks your mod and breaks the game.

 

In single user mode, the GECK just appends new records to the end of the file. So let's say you create a landscape that happens to take up 14 MB, then you add in 3 MB for navmeshing. Now your mod is 17 MB, but it still works, because you haven't added anything with an ID. Now, you create an NPC. Or you create a new static. Or maybe you create a new misc object. All of those things have IDs, so the GECK will happily append it to the end of your mod, with an illegal offset that is greater than 24 bits. The GECK will give you no warning whatsoever. But now, if you try to load your mod in the game, it crashes your game. If you try to edit your mod in the GECK, it crashes the GECK. Better hope you saved an earlier version of your mod because that version is completely broken and can't be fixed.

 

The way that you avoid this is you need to put the GECK into networked mode using Version Control, which is how Bethesda and Obsidian used the GECK. This is a networked environment where you expect to have a server on the network that contains the official repository, and each developer checks out files and checks in their changes to the server. You don't actually need a networked server. You can fake it out with a local repository that is on your computer. When you check files in, the GECK will re-arrange things so that anything with an ID is down at the bottom of the file. You still have to avoid the 16 MB bug, but that's a lot easier to do. What you would do is create your worldspace, which is say 14 MB in size in this example, and check that in to your mod's esm. Then you create your navmesh, and the esp you are working with is now 3 MB in size, and you check that in to your 12 MB esm. So now your mod esm is 17 MB. Now you add NPCs, misc items, whatever you want, and check those in. Now maybe your mod is 19 MB in size, but all the ID stuff is down at the bottom of the mod so you're nowhere near the 16 MB bug.

 

Instructions for setting up version control are here:

https://geckwiki.com...Version_Control

 

The instructions were written for Fallout 3, so pay attention to what needs to change for Fallout New Vegas near the top of the page.

 

If you make a small mod with a small usable area, it is possible to squeeze your mod under 16 MB in size. For most mods with a worldspace though, you are going to need to use version control if you want it to actually work.

 

I personally have two sets of ini files saved in other folders, one with version control set up and one with the GECK in normal single-user mode. That way all I have to do is copy over the files that I want and I can very quickly change which mode the GECK is in.

 

Once you have version control set up, the next thing you need to do is create your worldspace. Click on world -> world spaces in the GECK, and when that form comes up, just click new on the left hand side give your new region a name, and fill in the blanks. VERY IMPORTANT: Immediately save your mod, exit the GECK, and restart it. If you don't, the GECK will crash on the next step. Like I said, this gets you into the buggiest parts of the GECK.

 

Now that you have a worldspace, you need to give it a heightmap. There are ways of importing a heightmap, but for now let's assume that you are just going to create one in the GECK. If you just go into the heightmap editor and accept the default heightmap that the GECK gives you (which is flat and featureless), the GECK will crash. Like I said, buggy. The first thing you need to do is raise the entire heightmap. What I usually do is generate a random heightmap with almost no randomness to it at all so it's basically flat and featureless, but (and this is the important part) I give it an offset of 14000. If you aren't using trees, an offset of 6000 works pretty well, but if you are using trees, you can end up with floating trees in your LOD later if the height is under 14000. Now use the landscape editor to create your desired landscape. The important thing is to do things slowly. If you try to raise or lower the landscape too quickly you can end up with landscape tears, which cannot be fixed. If the GECK ever tells you that something is out of bounds and says that it can repair it, it can't. Your mod is broken at that point. Go back to an earlier version. Do things in small steps, and check things in to version control when you have them working. That way the most you lose is the latest changes you made since your last check-in.

 

Save often. Did I mention that the GECK is buggy?

 

Now you can paint your landscape and add stuff to it, and all that fun stuff. Oh wait, when you go to view your new landscape, all you see is a big blob on your render window. That is yet another bug. Did I mention that the GECK is buggy? The GECK needs to have some object to render in the render window or else it doesn't render properly. I usually go to the origin of my new worldspace (cell 0,0) and place an airplane there. Then I'll go to an interior cell like one of the sewers just so that the GECK has a proper cell to render. Then return to your new worldspace cell 0,0 and now you should see the little airplane (or whatever you shoved in there to make it work) and now you'll finally see your landscape. Don't forget to remove the airplane (or whatever you added there) later, or people playing your mod may see a weird airplane stuck motionless up in the sky.

 

Once everything is done, you'll need to generate LOD for your new worldspace. I personally use FNVLodGen which comes with good instructions on how to use it.

 

Good luck! It's probably going to take you a bunch of trial and error to make things work, but that's the basic gist of it.

 

Oh, and one last thing. There is an automatic navmesher that will navmesh entire regions for you. DO NOT EVER USE IT. I have only had it create a usable navmesh once. Most of the time it will just lock up the GECK completely. Sometimes it gets the GECK stuck in an endless loop, popping up an error that literally says "Get Jean!" (we can assume Jean was one of the GECK's developers). Click OK to get rid of the message and it just pops up again, forever, until you kill the GECK from task manager. I have also had it navmesh the entire area OUTSIDE of the region it was supposed to navmesh while leaving the area inside the region (the part that it was supposed to navmesh) completely untouched. Whatever it does, the first thing it does is completely wipe out the existing navmesh for your entire worldspace. Seriously, don't ever use it. Unfortunately, that means using the normal navmesh tool which means you have to do one cell at a time.


Edited by madmongo, 23 August 2021 - 07:36 PM.


#3
DB095

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madmongo, thanks for the help! I'll give it a go and see how I get on. Also, thanks for sending me those links about the worldspace, I'll have a look at that soon. If I get it working or not I'll update them. Once again, thanks! 



#4
DB095

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madmongo, Quick update, I got it working after a decent amount of trial and error. But I got it working, so thank you for the help!



#5
madmongo

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I have always said that the GECK is really a secret Vault-Tec experiment designed to test modder's frustration levels.

 

Glad you got it working!







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