My contributions to Sim Settlements: The must-have mod for Fallout 4

Preface

Before discussion of my contributions, I’d like to give a personal thank-you to each and every member of the Sim Settlements team and community, who have enabled and helped me to perform at my best, and have allowed me to run wild with my creativity.

There are far too many areas to showcase them all properly within even a half-dozen posts, so I will be writing brief summaries of major locations in addition to a few labelled screenshots. Minor locations will be shown with one or two screenshots each.

While this is not an exhaustive list of all the work I have done for Sim Settlements, it showcases some of the most important and aesthetically interesting locations.

Summary

If you’ve played Fallout 4, you’re probably familiar with Sim Settlements, the widely known project that completely renews and reworks the game’s settlement building system. Originally created by Nexusmods user Kinggath, the project has since grown to boast over two million downloads, with patches and new content still being conceptualized, created, and released more than a year later.

In February 2018, I was lucky enough to be brought on to the Sim Settlements team as the Lead Level Designer.

In essence, I take concept art, story details, layouts and level plans and transform them into fully playable interactive environments. For the most part I use existing assets that Bethesda Game Studios have created, but there are also some custom assets that other members of the team have made that I get to play with.

Given my existing experience in Bethesda Game Studios’ Creation Engine and my knowledge of the structure, gameplay and design of single-player RPGs, I was able to get started immediately. In addition, my prior knowledge of artistic concepts- light, balance, color, etc- have allowed me to fine-tune and develop these custom levels to fit certain themes and requirements.

Please note that most of the following content is considered a work-in-progress and is not necessarily indicative of the final product, as much of the content is yet to be released at the time of this post.

Major Locations

Salem Warrens

The first project I tackled was Salem Warrens, an area that was once a maintenance facility beneath the streets of Salem. 200 years after the Great War, one of the story’s key characters, Jake Evans, has set up shop in its dusty, dark recesses. After spending some time away, however, some unsavory residents have moved in and are creating a dangerous (and slimy) obstacle that the player must contend with to reach some critical information that Jake has left behind:

SalemWarrens01Jake’s office

 

SalemWarrens02Pre-war offices

 

SalemWarrens03Mirelurk

Prometheus Labs

The Prometheus Labs are an early iteration of the game’s Institute faction, a vestige of the Commonwealth Institute of Technology. The undersea Prometheus Labs are from an earlier time, when the Institute was more concerned with the safety of the Commonwealth and humanity’s future, and less concerned with creating artificial life. Styled as a combination of Fallout and Bioshock, it is a unique area with a distinct feel that one will likely not encounter in the base game.

PrometheusLabs01The Hub, a gathering place

 

PrometheusLabs02Dive suit repair stations

 

PrometheusLabs03
An early in-editor view of the dungeon’s ocean zone

Crystal Cavern & Hazmat Disposal Cave

Another expansion pack for Sim Settlements, Industrial Revolution, is all about automating certain processes to gather valuable materials and improve your settlements. For this expansion back I built two caves: the Crystal Cavern, where the player can acquire bits of crystal for crafting, and the Hazmat Disposal Cave, where the player can acquire large amounts of nuclear material.

CrystalCave01Crystal Cave

 

HazmatCave01
Hazmat Cave

Minor Locations and other screenshots

Below is a small showcase of some other minor locations as well as some areas that went on to become the Prometheus Labs.

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