Wow, I hoping to find such a thread and here it is no digging. I have an honest question: how do you write a GOOD Fallout 3 story?
Cause I spent a year, a full year working on a Fallout 3 fanfiction and I found the characters are flat. Like, I'm trying to do a New Vegas fanfic now as my writing skills still need to be polished, but in New Vegas, you have a plethora of interesting characters, the world makes sense, and thus the all important place in the world for the character is possible, and there's even an internal struggle for my Courier: she's terrified of crossing the Legion.
By contrast, in Fallout 3, you've got three problems:
1. The "Lone Wanderer" has no place in the above ground world. I tried to alievate this by having the Vault being able to pick up above ground radio, so they aren't completely clueless, yet they know no one, have no attachment to no one, and there isn't enough time to develop one because:
2. The Lone Wanderer is after their dad, which is unlike the quest in Fallout 1 and 2, in that it always has immediate importance. Every day they don't pursue Dad, a day further away Dad gets.
3. There's no place for internal struggle. They can't go back to Vault 101, and wouldn't after what the Overseer put them through, gainful employment is negligible and there are no meaningful choices; chosing to nuke Megaton or not is not a meaningful choice for a non-sociopath, and my Lone Wanderer is close to a sociopath. Moreover, the writing group I working with got sick by the end of it because literary every 500 feet there's a gunfight in DC, and it got tiring to them. It got tiring for me to write gunfights. Because nothing advanced the plot.
I wrote something like 150 pages and in that time five things happened: they hooked up with the Regulators, they got side tracked by power of the atom, stopped the Superhuman Gambit they fought a Behemoth and fought their way to Rivet City. But there's no time for emotional growth, there's not even enough time for PTSD to set in. And worst of all, they can't make any sense of this world: there are so many raiders, and there's nothing to raid. There's all these Supermutants, what the hell do they eat? Why do people live in a crater when there's a nice, flat town nearby that can be walled off?
Unlike FO4, which has a beefy (if poorly executed) main quest that can be expanded to the exclusion to the gameplay, FO3 has a paper thin main quest with poor integration of it's side quests. Unlike New Vegas, where if you work for anyone but the Legion, almost all the sidequests are framed around fortifying the Mojave for the battle at Hoover Dam.
I don't think it's good material. Even things I enjoyed like Point Lookout don't make for good stories. SO how do you make a good Fallout 3 fanfic when the base material is so poor?