Wrought From Atomic Fire

Bathed in the undying glow of a new civilisation.

Fallout 4 has always been an interesting blend of contradictions. Having enjoyed both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, I’d approached Fallout 4 with the expectation that it would feature a broader story and more comprehensive mechanics. Which it does. Kind of. Having started a new character recently I’ve noticed that almost every improvement is immediately countered with a drawback. Such as the crafting mechanics, which do function as intended, but they also have (seemingly) arbitrary level requirements that make it difficult to effectively utilise them.

I’ll never understand the reasoning behind level requirements for perks.

It feels as if they’re artificially lengthening character development by forcing you to invest elsewhere for no discernible reason. This is most noticeable when you want to craft workbenches in any settlement, as that requires a fairly heavy investment into Charisma and two perks to unlock. Even though most settlements only feature one or two workbenches by default.

Criticisms aside, I’ve (mostly) enjoyed what I’ve seen of Fallout 4 even if I’ve yet to experience the DLC, which is one of the motivations for creating this character. I need to experience these revitalised mechanics from a different perspective, and that requires a different kind of character than the ones I’d usually build. Not that I’ve actually settled on a build yet. I was thinking about using pistols but decided on automatic weapons. I’ve been thinking about using power armour but I’m also interested in armour sets. I’d usually be frustrated by such a lack of clarity, but it’s actually advantageous for a character that could fundamentally change my opinion of Fallout 4. I’m able to utilise more mechanics with no build in mind.

If I’d been tethered to a corpse for years I think I’d hate camping, too.

Following my rather spontaneous return to The Commonwealth, I’ve also decided to purchase Fallout 76. I’ve been somewhat disinterested with the development of Fallout 76 due to having limited information about how viable its content will be when experienced alone, as (knowing me) that’s exactly how I’m going to approach its content. I was, however, pleasantly surprised to learn that it’s entirely viable to explore Appalachia on your own, and that the C.A.M.P. mechanics provide brief (and mostly passive) interactions with the community. So it’s possible to have both.

I feel as though Fallout 76 has an incredible amount of potential, and it really depends on how that potential is realised as to whether it will be a truly great experience. At present, many of the mechanics function as intended but they rapidly become less important after the first few hours. Like collecting scrap. I’ve now collected so much I’m bundling and selling it.

I’ve enjoyed the (ironic) feeling of isolation and loneliness in Appalachia. Due to a lack of NPCs (besides robots) and mostly being surrounded by the rotting, irradiated, post-war corpses of the characters whose stories you’re following you’re presented with a unique storytelling approach. It’s also a very depressing approach. If the previous adjectives hadn’t given you the hint. As many of the stories have themes of regret, loss, desperation, and hopelessness as the characters adjust to their new post-apocalyptic hell. But it fondly reminds me of the same feeling of isolation and loneliness present in Fallout 3. I’m looking forward to (and remaining optimistic in) exploring more of what Fallout 76 has to offer.

Have a nice week, all!


To Ink a Deathclaw

An ill advised pursuit at best.

The phrasing could be misconstrued to suggest that the deathclaw is getting a tattoo, which would also likely be an ill advised pursuit. Unless you’d enjoy being eviscerated by a colossal lizard in an irradiated hell. Then it’s probably pretty fun. In any case, this is a digital work in progress that doesn’t feature any actual ink- but it’s the best parallel I’ve got to lining a piece crisply and cleanly. In many ways this is also the complete opposite of what I’d do traditionally, lacking many of the intricate and busy details.

Which might not be an entirely bad thing, either.

I’ve wanted to try and use less details in some pieces to get a feeling of how that would change the presentation, composition, and level of quality. I wasn’t necessarily hoping to do this digitally, but when the opportunity arrived (and the original approach wasn’t working out) it seemed to fit. It does look incredibly weird to me, though. I’m used to lines and whatnot being everywhere!

It’s also taking a fair amount of time to get even the basic elements looking as I would like them to. This is nothing new with digital illustrating or painting for me, which is something I’m heavily considering the reasons for with each new piece. In comparison to traditional art many of these pieces take several times longer. In all the worst ways. This could be inexperience with digital approaches showing through, or it may be an indication that I might need a higher specification tablet, as I currently use a Wacom Bamboo, and I’m not sure if that’s meeting my needs any more. Normally I would refuse that suggestion as even being a possibility but there might be some truth to it. I’ve been thinking about upgrading to an Intuos at some point anyway.

That’s quite an impressive maw you’ve got there.

There is a disconnection somewhere between my brain, my hand, and my tablet. Something isn’t working as intended. Which, again, could simply be that the pressure sensitivity isn’t as good on a Wacom Bamboo. But I know that you don’t need the best materials to create high quality art. One of the things that novice artists tend to assume is that they need the highest quality everything immediately, which, in skilled hands, can provide higher quality results, but does not immediately make you a better artist.

An understanding of fundamental concepts will always take you further.

Which is why I’m committed to seeing this through to the end. I’d like to know whether the problem exists within my approach (which is likely) or whether it exists as a result of my tools (which could be likely). In either case, I’m not going to invest in an Intuos any time soon and I’ve already made great progress over the last year with digital art. So we’ll keep going.

I do enjoy working with digital approaches and I see an incredible amount of potential in them. They’re also helping me appreciate my traditional pieces in a new light. It’s an interesting side step towards something that is fundamentally the same but provides a different challenge, which, hopefully if I pursue it further, will make me a better artist overall. I’m not really sure where this piece is going in the future, either. I will more than likely finish it as a lined piece. I’ve been talking to someone I know (who does great deathclaw pieces) to add some colour to it when I’m done. I think their approach would suit much better than mine would. It would also be a learning experience to see how they would approach this piece (likely differently to me).

Have a nice weekend, all!


Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Fallout 4, Deathclaws, Super Mutants, Pip-Boys, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Interplay/Bethesda.

Painting Pencil

This here’s my painting pencil.

I suppose it’s technically possible to paint with a pencil if you’re using watercolour pencils. Though, you could still argue it’s the brush and the application of water doing the painting- not the pencil. But we’re not here to talk about technicalities. I’ve been thinking about digital art and I’m still confused about where this is all going.

I’m not convinced I’ll ever be able to get my head around doing full digital pieces from scratch.

Well, no, I’m sure I could learn- but I don’t know if it would be worth it. I like each different material to bring a different result to the table. Pencil is universally versatile, ink has contrast, marker has vibrant colour, watercolour has exceptional colour blending, and so on. Where does digital painting fall into this eclectic mix? Good question. So far I have no definite answers. But I have been playing around with an older pencil sketch and I’ve brought some colourful life to it. Which, with the considerations above, is actually a pretty good way to incorporate digital painting into the mix by providing something that I can’t get anywhere else. Mostly due to the varieties of paper I use for pencil work.

The paper itself is fine. It’s excellent, in fact. But, it does have one weakness- despite being heavy it’s not heavy enough to accept liquid media. Marker would bleed. Watercolour would cockle the paper. Ink would accept but wouldn’t be of the highest quality thanks to the tooth/grain of the paper. This opens up a future possibility to use digital painting to enhance pencil sketches and create something that has a very unique feel. It’s certainly nothing like what I’m doing otherwise.

Forever a work in progress. Forever changing the background colour.
Forever a work in progress. Forever changing the background colour.

That said, like every experiment, it hasn’t gone entirely as smoothly as I would have initially hoped. It’s coming along. It’s coming along well. But it’s still a foreign concept to me, and one that requires a lot more investment than I’d initially figured it would. Which is not entirely a bad thing, either.

Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is never a bad idea if you want to improve.

It’s been a pretty odd start to the year in that respect. I wasn’t expecting to have a surge of creative work this early, nor was I expecting to come from something I’d barely had any experience using. But here we are. I’ve been going through odd emotional states, too. Almost as if I’ve remembered something that I’d never really forgotten but has been dormant for a while. I’ve got a fair few ideas in mind. Which is a surprise. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say I’ve had a flood of enthusiasm about my creative efforts. I’ve even been thinking about starting a new project in Unity and trying to push out a finished product. Or, at the very least, a working demo that you could play for a short while.

I’ve been itching to get back to traditional art, though. It’s where I’m comfortable. That said, even there, I’m exploring new ideas that are pushing my various styles/techniques further. It’s quite an interesting time for me. However, such as I’ve come to expect, it’s not without a number of hiccups along the way. Personal issues and concerns plaguing an otherwise good time. But that’s probably the reason I’ve become as enthusiastic about everything as I have. Seems to be an ongoing trend of mine.

Have a nice weekend, all!


Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Fallout, Super Mutants, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Interplay and Bethesda.

Expanding the Content

Downloadable Content is a pretty dirty phrase around most gamers these days.

Personally I’m mostly in support of it depending on which developer is handling it. I’ve never had a complaint about the DLC offered by Bethesda in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (the latter I actually purchased individually often at full price). Even the DLC in Borderlands 2 which I felt was getting borderline ludicrous in the end (minus character skins) but was still oddly great value for money. The later Headhunter DLC, while short, and often just an introduction to a seasonal boss, was even worth the price of admission.

However, I’ve always had an issue with EA and how they have handled DLC in many of their titles. Especially since the incident with Dragon Age: Origins about six-eight months after it came out where I could speak to an NPC in camp, but, should I wish to actually do the quest, I’d be prompted to spend even more money on their title.

Thankfully I never bought those individually and instead bought the Ultimate Edition several years later.

All of that said, I’m actually glad there’s a more fluid model for delivering content these days. Prior to the introduction of DLC you would need to buy expansion packs often at near enough the same price as the base game. In some cases, as I’ve noticed with Blizzard titles, that is still the way they operate. Even though you would arguably get most the expansion pack content via free patches to the base game. But, what I think of Blizzard, and whether I agree with their DLC/expansion packs, is neither here nor there.

What is everywhere is the fact that I’ve come to realise something recently with a couple of the releases this year.

I was really late to the Fallout 3 party picking it up in 2009. At the time I purchased it the Game of the Year edition had just been released, and, having no idea what that was or that I’d later spend hundreds of hours with it, I just got the base game. Again, with Fallout: New Vegas I got the base game in 2010 and collectively bought all the DLC together in 2012. I started with the Game of the Year edition with Borderlands and many of the titles since (if old enough) I’ll have complete editions for as first purchases.

With the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Fallout 4 this isn’t the case. As both have been released within the last six months and there’s only one DLC available (for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt) in the form of Hearts of Stone. Which I don’t own yet. Mostly for the realisation I’ve just explained above. I’m also not sure how The Witcher DLC usually works (in terms of value for money).

Knowing I will more than likely love whatever Bethesda chooses to add to Fallout 4 (unless it’s another Dead Money) the question now remains whether I want to purchase them and play them as they release, or, do a Fallout: New Vegas, and play them all together. Fallout 4 does operate slightly differently in that you seem to get dug deep into the character the higher levelled you get. Whereas in Fallout 3 you could find/use weapons and armour to accelerate through the game- I don’t know if that’s possible in Fallout 4.

In either case, it’s going to be interesting figuring that one out. I’m not usually one to take fully established characters back through the game several months later.

Have a nice week, all!


Vault Dweller’s Introduction to the Commonwealth Wasteland

Did you know that I rarely write Steam Guides? You did? Well, you’ve probably read this one then…

One of the things I’d love to add to Moggie’s Proclamations are the little side projects I do from time to time in other places. These are usually pretty short self contained bursts of content relating to certain things that are quite hard to form a whole usual length post for. Mostly because, as stated previously, they’re fairly short and they tend to not require an introduction. So I figured I’d try a smaller and more concise post that simply tells you it exists.

The particular content we’re talking about today is a (99% spoiler free) Steam Guide for Fallout 4 covering the basics of the latest modern Fallout title. I’m rather hoping it’ll be useful to those coming from Fallout 3 and/or Fallout: New Vegas who might be confused about the small but significant changes to mechanics or even new players to the modern Fallout series.

In either case, I’ve tried to keep it as spoiler free as is possible when discussing game mechanics.

You can find it over on Steam by clicking the following: Vault Dweller’s Introduction to the Commonwealth Wasteland.

Have a nice week, all!