It’s a little weird, but I regularly check people’s plumbing. Don’t worry, that’s not an understatement. In a previous life, I was a plumber and gas fitter, you see, and although I hung up my tools over a decade ago, I still subconsciously scan pipes, water heater locations and bathroom setups on the fly every time I go to a new location. – in real life and, believe it or not, in video games.
Strange as it may be, this is something Fallout enthusiast Jessica Esper, who goes by the pseudonym NukaViolet, understands all too well. As a real-life graphic designer, artist, and painter, NukaViolet applies his real-world expertise to Fallout 76, and is one of the most distinguished gaming settlement architects to roam the wasteland online. Within exhaustive but accessible tutorials, his style is methodical but endearing; her informative but serene childbirth. She’s basically Bob Ross from the post-apocalypse.
“I constantly assess the game world around me, plan things in my head and imagine what things might look like if they were laid out a certain way,” says NukaViolet. “I’m going to lay something out and then think, ‘Oh, I should have a room here, because then I could hide my power in the ceiling.’ It’s a little obsessive, but it’s the process and I love it. “
Despite her calming, almost ASMR-like diction, NukaViolet says her least favorite part of creating videos is listening to her voice in return. She prefers construction, showing how subtle but drastic changes to base construction can transform settlements – from choosing the right lighting, merging elements to create whole new ones, and building bespoke headquarters that adhere to the broader Fallout lore, to name a few areas she’s been focusing on recently.
As such, her YouTube channel is made up of short, hands-on thematic builds, along with longer, more complex tutorials that meticulously explain how you can turn a harmless houseplant into a wall centerpiece; or transform your room looking like a supersaturated interrogation room into a relaxing space lit by accents. Here’s a striking preview before and after the latter:
“You can see how different these parts are, and all I did was change the lighting,” says NukaViolet. “The room on the left is overexposed and all objects are visually bearing the same weight, which means everything is screaming for your attention. Your brain tells your eyes to look away because it’s too much information to process. same time.”
“Basically, I make videos like the ones I would like to see for myself. There are so many settlement building videos, for Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, but they mostly deal with specific things – a little here and a a bit there. But I don’t want to have to watch 50 different videos to figure out what I’m trying to do. I just prefer to learn it in one video, watch longer content, and learn a lot more. Like a box office unique, you know? I want people to learn, grow confident, and ultimately have fun. “
NukaViolet’s attention to detail helps him keep his work streamlined, of course, which is the result of years of hands-on experience in art and design. Graduating from high school in Virginia in 2003, she received a scholarship from the Art Institute of Washington and has worked in graphic design ever since, turning to interior design, video editing, painting and pretty much whatever keeps her creative. juice flowing along the way.
Settlement building in Fallout 76 scratches that artistic itch for NukaViolet currently and marks a constant evolution playing through The Sims, Age of Empires, and modern Fallout games – her brother put her on the Washington DC Fallout 3 game so that she was still studying in the American capital.
“For a very long time, I only played what my family was playing. Because I lived in a different state, I played online with them, which was a good way to keep in touch,” continues NukaViolet. “My brother always loved Fallout and finally bought me an Xbox as a wedding present. Then I got into Fallout on my own and really liked it, then when Fallout 76 came out, that’s it. when I really got into construction. “
“I think Fallout 76 struck such a chord with me because I could share my builds with other people. It made me want to build things bigger and bigger because people can actually see them. . And that’s when I started pushing myself to get better and better with each build. I’ve now built, easily, over 100 camps. “
NukaViolet hails the Fallout 76 settlement building scene as a whole, but singles out Logan RTX, Bad Notions, Rad Rux, Aqua Nova, Vapid Valentine, Uranium Fever, and Khalil Smooth as creators pushing the boundaries of the creation sequel. game with stunning results. NukaViolet even teamed up with the latter to create a Western-themed machinima-style cutscene, which adds yet another layer of invention to the settlement design. To that end, whether or not you are interested in base building in Fallout 76, the idea that an innovative and successful subculture exists in a game otherwise rooted in the survival and elimination of rival factions is interesting – just like the fact that its most prolific contributors are so eager to show outsiders how it’s done.
With that in mind, NukaViolet admits that other games like Minecraft and Ark: Survival Evolved may benefit from larger, more vocal communities (and therefore potentially more lucrative from a content creator’s perspective), but it’s a passion for building in a game she loves which brings her back time and time again to the wasteland workshop. And when does she need a break? She simply puts down her tools, walks around, and pumps a few Slug Buster rounds into one or two unsuspecting Deathclaws.
“It’s something I like about Fallout 76 compared to other games,” says NukaViolet, “if you’re bored, like, you know, spending a few hours on a build, if you need a pause, you can just go kill stuff. It’s always fun.
Out of the safe
After a ton of positive feedback on recent projects, NukaViolet is now working hard on their next full tutorial, this one focused on merging elements. With that, two young children to look after – one of whom was born in the last 18 months of confinement – and a real kitchen renovation on the horizon, the tireless designer has her work cut out for her.
If my own, admittedly random, tendencies as a former plumber have anything to do with, I suspect that NukaViolet’s excellent work in the world of Fallout will serve her well in the real world, as she determines the ideal formation of her refrigerator, from her sink, stove and any other kitchen appliances she chooses. Either way, she’s an expert at maximizing space – just check out her super soothing Bob Ross-style Fallout settlement tutorials to see it.
“The kitchen company has this free program where you can set up your space,” adds NukaViolet. “It’s kind of like Fallout where they have pre-made things, where you can choose your counter and other things, and it looks so cool. I have already chosen all the devices, I have a layout. of, like, everything, and everything is pretty much sorted and done.It’s no coincidence that the process is similar to how I build in Fallout, the intersection between the game and the real world is definitely there! “
If you would like to follow the work of Jessica Esper, aka NukaViolet, you can do so via Twitter and Youtube – this Fallout 76 lighting tutorial is particularly brilliant.