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Notes from the Wasteland


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I suppose the mods might want to stick this post in one of the FO threads. I don't think it should be but... *shrug* Maybe I'm talking about the old Interplay game. :grin:


The wife and I are staying up in Mesquite for the week in order to catch some plays at the Utah Shakespearean Festival up in Cedar City. Mesquite is about ninety miles northeast of Las Vegas on the I-15. It

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I'm wondering if VB is canon. I heard that there was stuff in Operation: Anchorage that echoes stuff from VB, but if it isn't there's no reason why there couldn't be a Giant Radioactive Dustbowl on one edge of the map. Wouldn't be too pretty to look at from afar, but hey, that's life.


Which reminds me of an old Fallout PnP game that I had devised in which the stand-in for a water chip / GECK was a weather control apparatus needed to save the PC's town from the encroaching Giant Radioactive Dustbowl. Finding it would require actually going into the Giant Radioactive Dustbowl, meeting weird things and eventually getting to some Military Base that has it.


I should really get that started up again.

Edited by Pop
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Yeah, Las Vegas itself is in a basin and the I-15 corridor tends to be open with mountains to the sides. I wish I had a better camera, but frankly I had to really gut the image quality just to fit them on here in the first place. I mean, you get the feeling of wide open spaces framed by elevated areas all around in the desert out here. The Dustbowl would just be the same idea only so dreadful a PC could not reasonably pass through it.

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I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that thinks of video game settings when I'm out vacationing.


I passed through an area called Black Mesa in Colorado and I swear that was a videogame name.


edit: Just found out it is the largest coal mine in the world, that's why it looked so odd.

Edited by Hurlshot
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I think Black Mesa is the company name in Half-Life dude. What's funny is that I passed a place called Black Rock and I thought of Half-life. haha


Anyhow, I have photos of the Zion National Park I'm going to post later. I have to say that Zion is a bit far away, but it's an interesting area and so I guess why not? I won't post the Cedar City stuff, but Valley of Fire and Lake Mead is a must. If those aren't in the game, I'll be sad. :'(

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First of all, I'm impressed. Rat bastard! You've got photos all the way up into Montana for crying out loud! I feel guilty about sharing photos from Zion! :grin:


Nice real estate in those pics. Seeing that tiny tent reminds me of camping in Lake Mead. As it turns out, I've also been camping up in Montana, but I'll save those photos for some other time.


Of your photos of Nevada, Arizona (?), and Utah, I am heartened by the spread. It's truly wonderful to know that the folks working on the game have done more than see the Las Vegas Strip at night. I love the deserts of Southern Nevada. I've dug for clams in the sand at the bottom of Lake Mead. I've camped on Mt. Charleston. To see your photos is a relief because it might mean that the areas of my youth will get better treatment than the campy feeling of New Reno. Sure, include the humor, but do justice to the region. Anyhow, I have some photos of Zion, but I'll double post and include those in a bit. I wanted to say I appreciate the photos and I hope other folks who have pictures to share of the area will also feel free to post! :)

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Okay, for folks who haven't done so, I'd look at Sawyer's link and take a gander at his pics. They're awesome, and some of them are off the beaten path. Sadly, nothing I have to offer this trip is off the beaten path because these days the wife and I tend to look at 'adventure' as staying at a hotel near the fun stuff.


That's why I'm so fat:




NOTE: I am bashful so I hid my face.


I do have more photos I took, however, and, like Hurlie, I think of computer game settings wherever I go. Zion is beautiful and it's a lot more gentle than the deserts around Las Vegas. I had never been there before, but it's certainly as aesthetically pleasing Yosemite, where I have been several times. On the off chance we end up there in NV, I'd like to make some observations. First of all, let me hit some of the things that the deserts in Nevada, Arizona, and Utah have in common. The sand and rocks are varied. This is one of my beefs with the DC title. The desert is one shade of brindle**** brown with tiny specks of black and white thrown on top. Sand comes in different colors and can be anything from fine to course. Both rocks and sand can be hotter than the forges of hell after the sun's been beating on them all day.




The other thing these areas have in common is the nature of the roads. A lot of the best roads in the post apoc world would probably still be the remains of the man made roads of today. Some of these have been hewn through the mountains and some of them are in natural corridors that allow for passage.




Now for the things that tend to be a bit different. In Arizona and Utah, and different parts of Nevada, there are a lot more mesas. You're going to have a lot of canyons and some of those canyons will have water pretty much year round. Some won't. Folks above you have a serious advantage. Just ask Custer about that one.




In Zion, there is a lot of water and a lot of greenery and even some wildlife to hunt. Yeah, folks can't hunt there, but the wildlife exists. It's not quite like being in some of the midwestern states where they give away population control permits like candy, but it's better than Nevada where you tend to work a bit harder for the kill.




Finally, here are a couple of pictures I just thought were kind of cool. I mostly took photos to support my ideas, but the shady rocks one looks kinda cool. :grin:



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The above post has Gorths Seal of Approval ® :grin:


Awesome pictures (from both of you actually).

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Ugh, I never realized how dated my laptop is until I started doing this stuff. The connection sucks and the laptop is like the 'little engine that could.' ...Only my laptop is wrong. Anyhow, I have the pictures on facebook and I'll 'save as' from there so the photos will be small enough to upload to Obs. I have a tiny bit from Henderson, a little bit from the extreme edge of Lake Mead, and then more photos from Valley of Fire.


We took a cooler with some pork ribs and chicken I'd been marinading the past couple of days. The park is not busiest in mid-July owing to the fact that the air is only slightly cooler than walking on the surface of the damned sun. Folks came and went, but I stayed and grilled and I will tell you now, those pork ribs were so good, even the pig approved. Anyhow, I got some shots I figured I'd share. Probably tomorrow after I get back from Cedar City. It just take a long time to move all the photos around and figure out the small number I'm actually going to use.


One thing I will say is that NV is not like the LA or DC areas. There are a lot of remote locations around Las Vegas. Yeah, I know you can find secluded spots around the cities if you look, but you don't have to look all that hard around Las Vegas. I've spent enough time in all three places to be able to tell you that the desert around Las Vegas should have some areas that make the player feel truly isolated. Obsidian might not want to do that, but it's certainly possible.

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Oh, and tall skyscrapers, please. The buildings in FO3 were ridiculously small.

"Alright, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade - make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life's manager. Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons. Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons. I'm going to to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!"

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Will: There's the Leaning Tower of Stupak (the Stratosphere). I don't know if it would survive the nuclear war, but judging from how well the buildings have fared during the whole FO series, it seems to make sense we'd see it. It is huge. I've been to the top of the thing and the view from above is quite impressive. The thing about the Strip is that it looks tiny from any direction driving into town. Maybe a little less so coming in on the I-15 from California, but even so it's not huge and sprawling. Las Vegas is like an oasis in the middle of the desert which surrounds it on all sides. When I was a kid, there were many many patches of desert within the city as well. I don't see those as often, but there's a whole lot of empty desert in all directions from Las Vegas. Of course, the Strip itself has all sorts of large and garish buildings.


Well, screwed up the time change 'tween Nevada and Utah so I had to reschedule the backstage tour to Friday. That will cut into my Lake Mead stop, but I plan on getting good photos anyhow. I have some of the extreme edge of Lake Mead, but they don't do justice to the sheer size of the Lake. Even with the water level dropping, it's impressive and I would suspect, if they can keep the dam running properly, there would be more water in the lake with the vast vast majority of the population perishing in the war.


First, though, I had to stop in Henderson in the morning, so I have one photo I took coming into the basin. This photo shows some sort of commercial building on the side. Notice how open the approach is to the buildings.




I also took a couple photos in Henderson, mostly just to show how the desert is all over the damned place. The desert areas in the last two photos are literally right across the street from a very nice housing area. The homes are new, nice, and rather large and yet the desert, far from detracting from the value, is a draw for a lot of folks. It's beautiful, assuming you can look at it from the large bay windows in your two story dwelling. The first picture shows some black rocks on the left edge, brown and redish rocks, and then white rocks on the right. Note the towers and pipes all over the place in the second photo.




Coming out of twon, we stopped at the very edge of Lake Mead. Don't get the impression that this is "Lake Mead" as such. The actual lake is much larger, but it does have some outlying areas. I went the back way from Henderson to Valley of Fire in order to get a little slice of the lake, which is exactly what I got. A tiny slice.




The back way to Valley of fire has some interesting scenery and a few miles of dirt roads. This gives you a good idea of the different levels of elevation all over the place.




Next I have a bunch of photos from where we stopped in the Valley of Fire. Most of them I took at the petroglyphs simply because it was convenient. I'd packed a cooler full of marinading meat and grilled it there. You have to grill pork right to make sure it's done, which means either par-boiling it, which wasn't an option and I'm damned if I'd do that to my BBQ, OR you have to grill it a long time. It was a few hours for everything, but the pork was so good the pig would've wanted a bite.




So, it's Cedar City the next two days, which means I won't get to Lake Mead again until Friday. Still, I should have some nice photos from there also. I'd really like the game to break from FO three a bit in that I'd like to have more areas that are isolated. I don't want it empty. There has to be stuff to do, but maybe not quite so populated as DC. ...And I hope it's not crammed with stinking aliens. jjc said something that struck me as true a while back about the idea that the vaults were just experiments. I don't mind the funky things FO3 did. I enjoyed the game quite a bit, but I hope that it doesn't establish 'canon' for the series. At that point, it's just becoming too disjointed for my tastes.

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