It's a Small Wasteland
Josh Sawyer, Project Director at Obsidian Entertainment
It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to NavMesh it.
Toward the end of Fallout: New Vegas' development, I found myself saying that a lot. The NavMesh is what characters use to figure out how to path around the world. The NavMesh's little triangles cover every walkable surface and carefully -- hopefully -- avoid obstacles in the environment. If there's no NavMesh linking two points, characters can't find their way between them. And if a characters somehow finds itself off of the NavMesh, that's a whole lot worse. Bad things happen, including the game crashing.
While there are "auto-NavMesh" tools in GECK, that isn't how good NavMesh gets generated. It gets placed by hand, along with all of the rocks, Joshua trees, and tumbleweeds of the Mojave Wasteland. In a few weeks, when you start off on your adventures through Fallout: New Vegas, I'd like you to consider that every single thing you come across was put into that world by someone on the New Vegas development team at Obsidian. Every tin can, every fire gecko, every Legion Vexillarius, every box of 10mm ammo. Everything. The Mojave Wasteland started as a greyscale image turned into a "height map" for generating the raw clay of terrain that, in the final tally, hundreds of people labored over for a year and a half. If you have the time, take a look at the credits. Not until the end of the project, when I watched that list roll by, could I fully appreciate the scope of this team's efforts.
I enjoy talking about our work and I have the good fortune to be able to do so to the press and fans, but I worry that it obfuscates the immense volume of human time, headaches, frustration, and creative passion that goes into making something of this scale. This is not the result of one person's ideas, the fruit of one person's labor. And though the press and fans have emphasized the connection between the Obsidian of today and Black Isle of days gone by, I believe it diminishes the role of both Bethesda, in developing Fallout 3, and the myriad developers at Obsidian who are coming to Fallout for the first time. Without their creativity and drive, this game could never have been made.
We are all momentary heirs to and stewards of this small world. I can't claim to have made it, but I'm glad I had the chance to stay here for a while. I am grateful for all of the many people who have gone before to light the way, and to everyone who came with me into the flickering darkness of the wasteland, guiding my oft-unsteady feet until we found our way back home.