In the last four years, Brandan Lee has graduated, found work, had girlfriends. In 2011, he worked on Bear Grylls season six. But somewhere in the gaps between Life, and with more than a little help from comrades RickerHK and Fast Freddy, he managed to pull together the first installment of Project Brazil: an all-new Fallout: New Vegas campaign for “people who like Black Isle style character-driven content in an RPG”.
Project Brazil is host to nearly 5000 lines of “professional quality” voice acting work, recorded in Lee’s media studio by friends from the film, TV, radio and live theatre industries. Its first installment of three, due Friday, tells the story of an adoptee in Vault 18 on the night of the last big Vault-Ball game of the season. The consequences of the player’s decision to either dodge or tackle Johnny Matheson will shape the rest of their life, and set the tone for an adventure reportedly chocka with meaty choices.
In Project Brazil, Lee has found new ways to integrate the Fallout series’ S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats system with player dialogue.
“Your Charisma really affects your ability to keep people talking, Perception lets you spot things that you can talk about, Endurance lets you say something badass that can terrorize or encourage enemies and allies, Intelligence deepens the narrative and opens up certain character backstories, and Luck will unlock secret options to save you from dire situations or totally mess up your day,” explains Lee.
“Primarily, your stats will open up more possibilities, and some of the possibilities end very poorly for you – that adds a layer of metagaming, where you have to discern if it’s a smart move or not based on subtle hints in that conversation.”
Friday’s installment uses Vault 18 (“an old-school RPG dungeon”) as its backdrop, but will also introduce players to the San Bernardino Cajun Pass, a wasteland equivalent in size to Fallout 3’s, in its latter stages.
“The San Bernardino Mountains are open to explore at the end of Chapter 1, but there is not quest or storyline implemented yet,” he explains. “It’s just there in case anyone wants a sneak peak at what’s planned for the future, or those who want to blow shit up and try to survive in the really exciting environments we made.”
Lee estimates a three-hour playtime, but says that it’d take closer to seven to exhaust all of the mod’s branching content.