It's been almost two years since I've actually written something for TBCS that isn't code. Even my own projects and worklogs have been sitting on the 'to do' pile, making me feel guilty with their hopeful stares and their naive expectations. I'm a busy guy, so I just dump stuff on top of em' so I don't need to pay them any attention.
So what's changed? What could possibly bring me out of my semi-permanent reverie long enough to write a front page article? Well folks, we're talking about a mod. But not just any mod; a Fallout mod, based on one of my all time favourite games...
Cheron's Fallout 2.0 Mod was sweet. Rusted panel effects gave the case an authentically post-apocalyptic appearance, but much like the game, it didn't take itself too seriously. A little car, a spitting image of the Highwayman from Fallout 2, sits proudly atop the rusty box. Bottlecaps enshrine the miniature automobile, an allusion to the currency system in the original Fallout game. Not to mention the bright green water-cooling system! Much like the games, Fallout 2.0 is a case that merged raw style with an element of self-parody. So, you can imagine my excitement at the prospect of a Fallout 2.1!
It seemed that Cheron wasn't particularly pleased with the performance of his old hardware, and decided that an update was necessary if he ever wanted the play the magnificent Fallout 3 on this computer. Yet this isn't just a boring old hardware change; Cheron launches into a full-on mod, completely redefining his original concept.
I don't want to give the game away, because I want you to drop and check out the worklog, but I'd like to offer just enough to whet your appetite. First up, we see Cheron dismantle the beautiful Fallout 2.0 in order to cut fan holes and paint the internals; the beige interior was extremely conspicuous on the original case, a remarkable improvement that immediately lends the project an air of professionalism.
Watching Cheron planning, setting up and configuring a water-cooling system is really something to behold; the self-titled "Water cooled Madman" opted for an unusual setup employing right-angled connectors. It was suggested that these might disrupt the flow, but Cheron was willing to take the risk as the liquid cooling loop only needed to cool the CPU; a perfect example of that extravagant attitude that we love so much here at TBCS!
However, recent updates show that Cheron has added a powerful graphics card to the mix and reduced the number of right angled connectors, resulting in a cleaner loop with better flow. With inclusion of the radioactive green cooling fluid from the original mod, this water cooling system really adds a lot to the case.
Cheron also dismantled the fan controller from his original case after deciding that the effect wasn't quite perfect, but it seems he's decided to replace even the modified version with something new; the extremely stylish Scythe Kama-Meter makes an appearance in the most recent pictures. I'll be watching to see how he manages to convert the Kama's 1980's Sci-Fi appearance to the 1930's styling prevalent in the Fallout games.
As Cheron's work progresses, the heart of a perfectionist is clearly visible. This isn't a new mod, or a new idea: what we are watching here is the sacrifice of something beautiful in the name of evolution. There are few amongst us with the will to butcher our work so completely in order to create something new and innovative.
Cheron is a modder to watch. It's a shame that Cheron doesn't provide more details of his methods, because I'm sure a number of modders would like to try out his techniques. All the same, this is a fascinating worklog worth checking out.