After building the “test cell” which will set the tone for the rest of the mod (in this case, Patsy’s Diner), it’s now time to take a step back and consider exactly what I’m going to do in order to turn Canterbury Commons from a (literal) bomb site into a friendly little slice of Apple Pie America.
This is the town as it appears in the GECK, with just three locations. I now have to turn this into a functional town.
First off I have to list all the things that I consider to be essential in a town:
- A pub
- A church
English villages have these if absolutely nothing else. Now to add in the other main staples of any sustainable settlement – from a hamlet or dormitory suburb right up to a city high street:
- A grocery store
- A cafeteria
- A doctor
- A general store
- A hairdresser
Then the “desirables” that you find almost any place of village-sized upwards:
- A hotel
- An eat-in restaurant
- A bank
- A clothing store (in this case, part of the general store)
There also needs to be a gathering-place for local events to take place. This is almost always the church hall, though in this case there is also a town hall for formal occasions. Finally, since we want the player to feel “at home” here, an allocation should be made for player housing. Now all that needs to be done is for each building to be assigned a purpose, starting with the essentials and moving on to desirables until we have run out of buildings. If there had been more buildings, then more specialisation could take place, e.g. a store just for clothing, a separate gun shop, etc.
The most obvious big challenge off the bat will be what to do about the bank. I know instinctively that I won’t accept the town as “real” without one, but I don’t want to get too bogged down with complicated scripting. My initial plan is simply to have a script that offers like-for-like desposits and withdrawals, without faffing about with interest. It wouldn’t hold much appeal for many but the most avid roleplayers (since caps weigh nothing) but it could provide a fun quest challenge for thief characters to try to break into the vault.
As for the hairdresser, I think I’ll reuse the idea I had for Big Blue House, in which the hairdresser robot had a script attached so that it would immediately bring up the hair menu on activation. This neatly bypasses the need for dialogue.
Other trading NPCs will be more problematic, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Right now, my biggest worry is what to do about this:
Seriously, guys, how can you live like this …