I have made dozens of companions and I have never once put a b in front of any variables. It can't be too important. Really, it's just computer programming shorthand to indicate that you are using it as a binary variable, i.e. you only care if it is 1 or 0 (even though technically it's created as a short integer).
If you want to make a companion, at the bare minimum you need a companion script. You don't need a quest script.
A very simple script would be something like this:
Set Waiting to 1
Set Following to 0
Set DoOnce to 1
Once you have created the script, when you create your NPC, select this script (under the name and Editor ID on the left).
Now put your NPC somewhere, and once he/she/it is there, double click on them and give them a reference name (i.e. MyCompanionREF).
Now create two packages, one called MyCompanionFollow and the other called MyCompanionWait.
The MyCompanionFollow is a package type of follow, select the player for the reference to follow, give it a follow distance of say 200 or so, and under conditions add a condition to check the script variable for MyCompanionREF and select the variable Following == 1.
For the wait, you can use either a guard or a sandbox package. With the sandbox the NPC will move around and do stuff more. Set the sandbox location to the current location, set the distance to something like 500. Again make a condition, and this time check against the script variable of Waiting (again check == with a value of 1).
Open up your NPC and add those two packages to their package list.
Now create a quest. You'll need to make 4 topics for it. You'll need to add in a GREETING, then make 3 custom topics called something like MyCompanionFollowOption, MyCompanionWaitOption, and MyCompanionNevermind. These 3 will be top level and all will have the goodbye flag set. All of them will CheckID against your companion under the conditions. The nevermind doesn't do anything except allows you to exit without changing anything. The follow option has a simple 2 line script that sets Follow to 1 and sets Wait to 0, followed by a MyCompanionREF.evp (to re-evaluate its AI package). The wait option also has a simple 3 line script that sets follow to 0, wait to 1, and again the evp.
And that's it. That's all it takes to make a companion.
The companion wheel will not work and you can't access the companion's inventory, but that is a bare minimum companion.
If you want a working companion wheel, there's a lot more you have to do, and you have to use specific variables and dialog options instead of just making your own like the above. The above is just to show you what is the absolute minimum required to make a companion work. Also, if you want there to be a quest for your companion to be hired, or maybe you want your companion to have a quest after you've hired them, that can be done by adding a quest script and another quest or whatever you want. You can get much, much fancier.
If you want a working companion wheel, invetory access, etc. this tutorial goes step by step through the process, and even has a couple of extras like a "relax" option, which I generally use also.
If you go through the tutorial, you'll see that there are a few more steps other than the ones I listed above, but it's not much more complicated than that.
Note - the above is all from memory and I'm not at my gaming computer so I may have whiffed a couple of things - if you really want to make a companion use the tutorial I linked to. I just wanted to show you what the absolute mininum was for a companion so you'll understand how the companion system works. You don't really want to make a companion that way since it won't have a working companion wheel or inventory access.
Edited by madmongo, 04 March 2015 - 07:03 PM.