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New Canaan design document/3
VB design document.png
AuthorJ.E. Sawyer
PublisherInterplay (leaked internal document)
Release DateNovember 25, 2005
Downloadsee main page of document
New Canaan design document
Part 2
Gametitle-VB.pngThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

This is part 3 of the New Canaan design document for Van Buren, the cancelled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios.


1 Main page of document
2 Part 1
3 Part 2
4 Part 3
Document start icon.png The following is the original document or a transcript thereof.



  • There are many smoke plumes and clusters of flame at specific locations in Burham Springs, the Mines, and the Toxic Caves. They will all be extinguished when 11_Fire_Extinguished = 1. Also, related sounds stop then, too (see Sound Requirements section).


  • Phil, Sparky, and Frank are buddies, even though it might not seem like it. If anyone starts shit in New Canaan (attacking or stealing from one of the three), they are all on the same team and will go after the PC and his or her companions, full bore.
  • Sparky can become extremely agitated by very loud noises (like shouting right next to him, a shotgun blast near him, etc.), and will attack the source.
  • If/when the entrance to the mine is blasted (see the Blow Up the Mines for CoS quest), the screen shakes and it is loud. It is loud enough that it can be heard at Phil and Sparky's place as well as Frank's place. The trio will investigate and attack the PC and company.


  • Neither the geckos nor the gehennas are on teams, but they will investigate sounds of combat if they hear it, and will attack humanoid opponents over each other.
  • The entirety of the mines is filled with smoke and a lot of fires while 11_Fire_Exinguished = 0. Without 90% Bio Resistance, the PC will take increasing amounts of Bio damage for every fifteen seconds spent inside. It starts at 1 point, then 2, then 4, then 8, then 16 (forever). If the player leaves and returns, the amount resets.
  • In the Toxic Caves, radiation poisoning is really, really bad. If 11_Pump_Fixed = 0, simply standing at the bottom of the ladder will result in accumulating 1 rad every second. Standing in the shallow toxic waste results in gaining 5 rads every second. Standing in the deep toxic waste results in gaining 15 rads every second. After 11_Pump_Fixed = 1, the danger areas recede according to the dropping toxic water level. The 1 rad/second rate is in the front (lowered) area, and the 5 rads/second is in the area around the Agricola Lab entrance. After 11_Pump_Fixed = 1 && 11_Hose_Fixed = 1, all areas are at the 1 rad/second rate.
  • The PC will be able to interact with the pump hose in the Mines to patch it up using either Mechanics or an inventory item. This sets 11_Hose_Fixed = 1.
  • When 11_Pump_Fixed = 1, the toxic waste in the Toxic Caves drops/recedes to only the area around the Agricola Lab entrance. When 11_Pump_Fixed = 1 && 11_Hose_Fixed = 1, the toxic waste disappears completely.
  • After 11_Pump_Fixed = 1 && 11_Hose_Fixed = 1, the player can walk down into the area marked in red outlines on the Toxic Caves map. This gives access to a functioning vault door that opens to the Agricola Lab.
  • While in the lab, using any sort of weapon that causes Ballistic, Heat, Electrical, or EMP damage will cause the Agricola MR robots to activate and attack in the lab.
  • In the computer room (Agricola Lab), the player will be able to find an Agricola Fire Suppression Manual Override book. A character with a 75+ Mechanics and this item in his or her inventory can either use Mechanics or use the item on an Agricola MR to activate its Fire Suppression routine. Once it is done for one robot, it should display a message that says, "You have activated the Agricola Mining Robot's fire suppression manual override. You proceed to perform this operation on the other Agricola MRs." It should then, fade out and fade in to a cutscene of the Agricola MRs tooling around the mines, drilling into the walls and putting out the fires. After this is completed, the Agricola MRs return to their stations and it fades back in on the player. Also, 11_Fire_Exinguished = 1.
  • The same scene can occur if the PC interacts with the central computer in the lab using a 115+ Science. This is started through dialogue, but essentially arrives at the same end result. After fiddling around, the player gets an in-dialogue message indicating that he or she has completed the beta fire suppression software and transmitted it to the Agricola MRs. The same suppression scene as before plays out, and the robots return to their stations.

Cool Shit

This area is cool because is a combat-heavy romper room with a few badass NPCs, a lot of cool shit to buy and salvage, and a messed up environment.

  • The Combat Boys will get to lay waste to a lot of really tough geckos, gehennas, and molechs while striding through smoke and flames.
  • Phil, Sparky, and Frank are weird, quirky guys who don't take shit from anyone, and can dish out plenty of pain on those who cross them.
  • Phil and Frank sell a lot of really cool equipment and pieces of equipment. Also, the player can recover even more stuff in the bowels of the mines and caves.
  • The environment is extremely dramatic -- an Old West mining town burned to a ground -- but still burning and fucked up and full of mutants.

Task List

The Tasks section is a list of all the work that needs to be done for the area. It is a good summary for the producer, other designers, artists, and programmers as to what has been done in the area, who to check with if you have questions about certain tasks, and so on.

This section is only useful if it is used. If we're several months into the project and no one has been using it, then it will no longer be used or updated. There's no sense in wasting time doing additional bookkeeping if it's serving no purpose.

Sound Requirements

Area Sound requirements
Initially, the music of Burham Springs should sound like it came out of a horribly desolate Sergio Leone movie. Though High Plains Drifter was directed by Clint Eastwood, it still has that feel. As time goes on, the music should settle into something a little eerie and ominous, but not outright evil. It should be appropriate even after the fires of Burham Springs are extinguished.
Wind whistling across the desert and against the cliff face. Sand tinkling off of the blasted and burned surfaces of the buildings. Near the cliff faces, the shifting of rocks is audible.

While 11_Fire_Extinguished = 0

The cracking of flames in the distance. The soft, low crackle of large fires somewhere far away. Also, the pool region emits the sounds of boiling and bubbles popping.

There is no, I repeat no walla in Burham Springs.
Both the mines and the toxic caves should have an eerie, sci-fi, exploration-in-the-dark feeling. This could certainly be generic music used elsewhere in the game.
Near the mine entrance, the sounds of Burham Springs can be heard. Elsewhere, only the occasional shifting of rocks or a distant echo of shifting rocks is audible.

While 11_Fire_Extinguished = 0

The cracking of flames near and in the distance. The soft, low crackle of large fires somewhere nearby.

There is no, I repeat no walla in Burham Springs.
Both the mines and the toxic caves should have an eerie, sci-fi, exploration-in-the-dark feeling. This could certainly be generic music used elsewhere in the game.
Only the occasional shifting of rocks or a distant echo of shifting rocks is audible.

While 11_Fire_Extinguished = 0

The cracking of flames near and in the distance. The soft, low crackle of large fires somewhere nearby.

There is no, I repeat no walla in Burham Springs.
In this area, specifically, the music should change to a more heavily sci-fi robotic feel. This can also be generic music.
The low hum of recharging bays and fluorescent lights.
There is no, I repeat no walla in Burham Springs.

Map and Map Key

Location Checklist

Attribute Challenge Reward
Evil Karma Character Lay waste to Burham Springs XP, HERMES Light Armor tech
Good Karma Character Save Burham Springs XP, General NCR loot
Stupid Character N/A N/A
Low Reputation Character N/A N/A
High Reputation Character N/A N/A
Male Character N/A N/A
Female Character N/A N/A
Firearms Destroy all monsters XP
Melee Destroy all monsters XP
Unarmed Destroy all monsters XP
Barter Convince Frank XP
Deception N/A N/A
Persuasion Convince Phil XP
Mechanics Fix pump, hose, hack robots Access to Agricola Lab, put out fires
Medic N/A N/A
Outdoorsman Poisoning geckos Goods from Phil
Science Hacking computer, finishing program Info, put out fires
Lockpick Stashes to loot from Phil et al Phat loot
Sneak Monsters to sneak by Don't die
Steal Stuff on Phil et al Phat loot
Traps Mines everywhere around Burham Springs, potential blow uppery at the mine entrance Don't die, free traps
Carrot 1 (Bonus Perk, Medal, Epithet, whatever)
Carrot 2
Easter Egg 1
Easter Egg 2
Perks (Any cool Perk mileage?) Ex: Flexible Can use this to slip between the bars of the cells.
Traits (Any cool Trait mileage?) Ex: NCR Background Can get some history on the Fort, as well as bonuses to detect the cache of weapons.
Tie to Another Area 1
Tie to Another Area 2
Tie to Another Area 3
Multiplayer Elements?
Ending 1 Destroy mines Burham Springs destroyed
Ending 2 Fire suppression Burham Springs saved, NCR moves back in
Ending 3 New Canaan Connection, no fire suppression Burham Springs same, trades with New Canaan
Ending 4 New Canaan Conncetion, fire suppresion Burham Springs saved, NCR - New Canaan conflict
Ending 5 New Canaan Connection, fire suppression, deal worked out between BS and NCR Burham Springs saved, NCR - New Canaan accord

I'd like these categories to be balanced out among random encounters as well, when possible (obviously, not all categories will apply).

Ending: A brief, one-sentence explanation of the possible endings for this location. These are described in more detail in End Movies, below.

Economics: This is just an entry to make sure that you have given some information in the location that gives clues on how it manages to stay afloat financially in the wasteland; you don't have to beat the player over the head with it, but just make sure it's communicated in some fashion in the location.

Power/Infrastructure: How does the community get power, if necessary? (Tribal communities and farming towns don't need much beyond the ability to make fire.) Again, someone in the town should make mention of this, or there should be scenery to support it (campfires, generators, atomic reactor, and so on).

Food: What do the inhabitants of this area eat? Someone in town (maybe the flophouse owner or farmer) should mention it.

Tie to Another Area 1: I'd like to see the areas tied together more – either with inter-dependent quests, or family members spread out across locations, or something that gives the player the feeling that each location in the game is not an isolated location all into itself.

Basically, ask yourself how does the location interact with other locations and groups in the world? Includes neighboring settlements (for Denver, it's Boulder and Circle Junction) and ones far away (what information or consequences may be given/occur in Black Canyon or when speaking with Lt. Gov. Dodge once you find the Denver salvagers allied and well? And would the ghouls like to know that Denver is occupied… and that it could easily be taken? Sure they would!)

This should probably consist of most of the major players in Fallout, including:

Super Mutants

Just some things to consider.

Anyway, that's the bare bones checklist, and it's subject to revisions. Here's an example of how the list could be filled out:

Room for Improvement

Store: If a deal is made with New Canaan (see New Canaan Connection quest), Phil and Frank can start to offer more items (traded from New Canaan, but not taking away from New Canaan's store supplies)

Store Frequency: As above.

End Movies


The player never entered Burham Springs Skip Cinematic
The player destroyed the mines Goto 1
The player suppressed the fire Goto 2
The player made the New Canaan deal, NO fire suppression Goto 3
The player made the New Canaan deal, fire suppression Goto 4
The player made the New Canaan deal, fire suppression, treaty w/ NC/NCR Goto 5
The player fucking nuked Burham Springs Goto 6


With its mines collapsed, Burham Springs continued to burn for years. All its scavengers left, and the stray mutants roamed the countryside. It was abandoned and cursed by travelers, its thick black smoke a stain on the desert sky. Burham Springs on fire, completely desolate and smoking.


Its fires extinguished, Burham Springs was reclaimed by the New California Republic. In time, it became a small but steady source of coal for the republic and its residents. Would-be scavengers of the mines were forced to find new jobs in the community or risk their fate in the wasteland. Burham Springs slightly rebuilt. No fires or smoke. A few figures near the mine entrance and on the street. NCR flag flies on a flagpole.


Though the fires of Burham Springs continued to smolder, the Mormons of New Canaan continued to do business with the residents of the town of the mines long after Jeremiah Ridgon and the original scavengers were gone. Burham Springs on fire, completely desolate and smoking. New Canaanites on the street doing business with miners/scavengers.


With the fires of Burham Springs extinguished, NCR moved back in to renew mining operations. They did not recognize the trade arrangement between New Canaan and the mine's salvagers. Within months, the Mormons and the Republic took to fighting in the desert, weakening both and accomplishing nothing. Burham Springs slightly rebuilt. No fires or smoke. NCR Rangers doing battle with New Canaanites on the street, dead bodies scattered. Bullet-ridden NCR flag flies on flagpole.


With the fires of Burham Springs extinguished, NCR moved back in to renew mining operations. New Canaan's treaty with the New California Republic led to increased prosperity between the towns, and Burham Springs became a living community once again. Burham Springs rebuilt. No fires or smoke. New Canaanites on the street with miners and NCR Rangers, prosperous.

Random Notes

This section is just for random notes you've made on the location - brainstorming ideas or whatever. It's like a word junkyard for stuff you might use or might not, but you haven't ruled them out yet.


Include a summary of changes you've done in a document at the end, and dump it into the Source Safe comments, if you can. Chances are, you'll have to email this information to certain people on the team, so it's worthwhile to record here.

06-25-01 – Fallout Location Template document created.

06-28-01 - Added comments from Steve Bokkes (QA Quest List), Dave Maldonado (Appendix and Item and Character Summaries), and Feargus (Quest Importance and Scope). Added spawning and difficulty level information to the Scripting section as well as an "estimated play time" entry into the Area Summary section.

07-09-01 – Added comments from Dave Maldonado and added "character's sex" (male/female) to the location checklist.

12-24-02 - Added Emotional Porn and Random Notes section, straightened up the document, reformatted some tables.

1-11-03: Added PIPBoy functionality to carrots, added timeline information to history.

5-30-03: Added all the designer comments, including comments from the scripters.

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