The Great Awakening

Level Summary

The Commonwealth is in danger of being destroyed by a nuke once again, and it is up to you to save it. In this standalone quest made for Fallout 4, the player is tasked with stopping the deranged Super Mutant, Atlas the Great, from wrecking havoc. Atlas is a Child of Atom who has convinced himself that Atom has called him to “awaken” the rest of the Commonwealth. This entails exposing everyone to extreme levels of radiation, and what better way to do that than drop a nuclear bomb on them? 


Game: Fallout 4

Engine: Creation Kit

Development Time: 8 weeks (May – July, 2023)

Role: Level Designer

Team Size: Solo


Design Goals

Multi-layer Combat Environment

When designing this level, I wanted to challenge myself to create an exterior that fostered interesting combat and exploration. I achieved this by creating a once raider now Super Mutant camp featuring up to 3-story high shacks and fences. 


With the limited amount of time I had to create this level, I did not want to make an overcomplicated story. So, to make the narrative more interesting, I created a dialogue scene that gives the player a chance to persuade the first Super Mutant they encounter, Kamau, to join them. In order to do so, the player must pass to persuasion checks and select a correct dialogue option.

Polished Quest

Learning from my previous projects, I wanted to focus on quality over quantity. To do this, I prioritized my main goal (multi-layer combat environment) and playtested heavily. 


Phoenix Map
Atlas' Workshop Floor 1 Map
Map Key
Atlas' Workshop Floor 2 Map

Post Mortem

What Went Well

  • I was able to create a narrative encounter which 1) established a main character, Kamau, 2) gave the player a chance to persuade Kamau to join them, and 3) provided context for the player
  • I iterated every milestone and improved my process by cutting features and adjusting spaces as needed quickly  
  • I created an interesting combat area that allows the player to move around smoothly while providing ample cover. The amount of medkits and ammo boxes the player can find are well balanced, and the space reflects the story

What Went Wrong

  • At the beginning of the project, my combat encounters were too hard, and the player often felt like they were being ambushed
  • As I was adding and adjusting AI behaviors, I ran into an issue using the factions in Creation Kit. The enemies would attack each other and sometimes the player when they weren’t supposed to. This was a big blocker for me as it took more time than I thought it would to figure it out
  • Because of the height of some of the platforms in my level, I encountered issues with the dialogue scenes working properly. When I initially built out the level, I didn’t take into consideration the distance limitation of the dialogue camera and subtitles

What I Learned

  • In the process of solving the factions issue and other technical issues, I became more comfortable with and learned more about Creation Kit. My scripting skills improved, and I was better able to troubleshoot when encountering bugs. I pushed myself to learn more about the climate and weather system within the game which allowed me to create a believable environment 
  • To improve my process, I learned how to create and properly use a schedule and scrum board. This helped me to divide my time