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Fallout 3 Capital Wasteland mod is back on, but makers face a lot of work

Bringing Fallout 3 into the Fallout 4 engine requires re-recording all dialogue

Fallout 3 Capital Wasteland mod - Vault 101 dining room
Vault 101’s dining room brought up to date with Fallout 4
Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Road to Liberty
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Around this time last year, Capital Wasteland — a modding project to bring Fallout 3 into the Fallout 4 engine — got a lot of attention. Fallout fans may have had issues with the progression or the story of Fallout 4, but the engine did deliver some improvements and streamlining. Well, shortly after gaining notice, the effort went dark.

It’s back. Mod makers Road to Liberty posted an update yesterday, the first in nearly a year, that explained why things ground to a halt. Evidently, Bethesda Softworks didn’t send any legal threats, but Capital Wasteland’s intent to use all of the dialogue from Fallout 3 raised enough red flags that HcGxGrill, the mod’s co-lead, put the project on hold. While Bethesda was said to have provided alternate suggestions for pulling off the mod, at the time Road to Liberty found that beyond the means of their five-person team. The project was said to be canceled back in March.

HcGxGrill still worked up the momentum and enthusiasm to keep going. But to make sure everything stays in bounds, they have to re-voice the lines from Fallout 3. “This is a very big undertaking as there are approximately 45,000 voice lines in Fallout 3,” they write. Road to Liberty needs a lot of community help to bring this to bear, particularly voice actors. Level designers and artists are also always helpful.

At this point last year, the team had redone some of the mainline quests from Fallout 3, plus about 40 percent of the Fallout 3 map had been updated with Fallout 4’s technology. These kinds of total conversions are among the longest of plays in PC modding. An effort to bring 2010’s New Vegas into Fallout 4 has been going on for about two years. That team, incidentally, said back in December that the shutdown on Capital Wasteland had caused them to reassess their efforts, and while development was still going ahead, Fallout 4 New Vegas would need a similar voice acting overhaul.

And, of course, there’s Skywind, which is 2002’s The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind rendered in the Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim engine. That’s been in development since 2012, though the mod makers did put out a new trailer back in October.

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