The Garden Of Eden, Baby: Fallout 3 Mod Tools

They said it would never might happen. And now it has. Fallout 3, controversially released without official modding tools, will be blessed with the GECK come December. That’s the Garden of Eden Creation Kit in the Fallout universe, but in our rather less post-apocalyptic universe it’s the F3 equivalent of The Elder Scrolls games’ powerful Construction kit. Oblivion’s a game that quickly became mpre than the sum of its officially-made parts thanks to the unending glut of enthusiastic and often enormous mods. So, toys to bend’n’shape Fallout 3’s delightfully ravaged world can only be good news.

It’ll be entirely free, and it’s only for the PC release, so we needn’t worry about it being some watered-down mini-tweaker. This is the official description:

“Users can create, modify, and edit any data for use with Fallout 3, from building landscapes, towns, and locations to writing dialogue, creating characters, weapons, creatures, and more. “

Which, I hope, will quickly lead to a version of Fallout 3 devoid of poxy crabmen, with crappy characters like Mr Burke either removed or rewritten, and more talky quests. If someone can get rid of that mandatory slo-mo violence sequence after a successful VATS kill I’ll be an especially happy man.

Seems as though Bethesda intend to fix another of F3’s failings too – specifically, that its main quest’s abrupt and lousy ending also curtailed your general adventuring in that big old wasteland. Downloadable content is due in addition to the GECK, and while it’ll carry a pricetage, it’s really not another case of horse armour. There are three chunks of bonusy stuff scheduled:

Operation: Anchorage. Enter a military simulation and fight in one of the greatest battles of the Fallout universe – the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska from its Chinese Communist invaders. An action-packed battle scheduled for release in January.

The Pitt. Journey to the industrial raider town called The Pitt, located in the remains of Pittsburgh. Choose your side. Scheduled for release in February.

Broken Steel. Join the ranks of the Brotherhood of Steel and rid the Capital Wasteland of the Enclave remnants once and for all. Continues the adventure past the main quest. Scheduled for release in March.

It’s the first and the last that sound most promising. Fallout 3 has some splendid setpiece moments, so Operation: Anchorage’s flashback war is certainly worth getting excited about. The Broken Steel pack’s the really interesting one, though. Does it mean self-contained questing as brand new character, or will it somehow let you continue doing whatever, wherever with your old character? Clearly there’s much to discuss about the latter possibility, but let’s keep those ending spoilers in comments to a minimum please, folks…

85 Comments

  1. subedii says:

    Well colour me surprised. Events such as this may just make me have to abandon my cynicism.

  2. solipsistnation says:

    You think the pure battle scenario sounds most interesting? Weird, although I agree that there are some cool setpieces in the original game.
    I’m most interested in Broken Steel and The Pitt. Well, and the modding tools of course.

  3. Nick says:

    I happily eat my words.

  4. Furbomb says:

    Aight mate, first thing to do:
    Combat Shotguns -> Oblivion = Win.

  5. Deadpan says:

    Who’s to say there’s not a crate full of armor and big honking space guns right outside the vault door?

  6. Larington says:

    With regards to the ending:

    Could it be, that he is the quizzat haddarat (If you get the badly qouted reference there, kudos (though not the game, kudos))? – Don’t know.

    Could it be that Bethesda have been listening, or that this was somehow pre-planned? – Could be… Could be…

  7. subedii says:

    Personally I await a jetpack or hang glider mod. A little extra speed and the added vantage point would be a welcome relief when trekking across the wastelands a second time.

    Of course, more likely is probably either a car or motorbike I guess, although I’m not sure how well something like that would do, given the terrain.

  8. Deadpan says:

    Actually. I’m willing to bet we see better nightcaps inside a month.

  9. Him says:

    I like adventuring on foot; the quick travel between locations is fast enough for me.

  10. Frankie says:

    Oh man, I’ve got classes to pass, you know! I haven’t even finished the original game :)

  11. Kestrel says:

    Hey RPS, about that: when OWG has enough time to percolate y’all could mebbe do a feature on favorite FO3 mods..always nice to see what you mad journos and your readers are playing

  12. Chris Livingston says:

    I’m definitely interested in The Pitt, because it had a brief mention in the game, and I was wondering about it.

    And isn’t the slow-motion gore after a VATS kill the whole point of VATS? So we can watch arms fly off and stuff?

  13. Meat Circus says:

    Yay.

    If modders can polish a turd like Oblivion into a playable game, I shudder with glee at the thought of what they could do with a marginally above average title like Fallout 3.

  14. MisterBritish says:

    VATS gore is great occasionally sure, but it should have been restrained to kills resulting from a critical hit (like F1/F2). Hopefully a mod will pop up that implements something like this.

  15. Deadpan says:

    Quick Wishlist:
    – Ridable Giant Scorpion w/ cargo rack for lugging my Fat Man around.
    – More armor appearance options
    – Modify molerat sticks to work on supermutants.
    “If overloads their ‘feel bad’ sense”
    – Quest to fetch more public domain songs for 3dog.
    – Doc Curie as an alternative to Nuka-Cola
    – My own Robot Army
    – Skinnable Pip-Boy 3000 w/ MP3 and RSS feed reader.

  16. Deadpan says:

    @Meat Circus,
    If anyone can prove that you CAN polish a turd, it’s the Gaming Industry.

  17. malkav11 says:

    Personally, I think most of Fallout 3 is just fine as is, so my mod anticipation is significantly lower. I think the main things I want to see are a) no more invincible characters (yes, including the children), b) remove the “owned” flag from objects and beds whose owners have met with…accidents, and c) low intelligence dialogue options.

  18. Capon says:

    Oh please, modders, PLEASE, add an mp3 player. Do this, or I’ll hunt down all your phone numbers and call in terrible, whiny fan-boy hate on your voice mails.

  19. TheDeadlyShoe says:

    A priceTAGE?

    OHNO THEYRE ADDING MORE DRM

  20. x25killa says:

    A golf cart. That’s all I want in Fallout 3.

    And mutated cats.

  21. TheDeadlyShoe says:

    VATS gore is great occasionally sure, but it should have been restrained to kills resulting from a critical hit (like F1/F2). Hopefully a mod will pop up that implements something like this.

    Thats kind of ridiculous. People don’t die from red textures!

    I mean granted. They don’t usually get their heads ripped off by a bullet either. But at least it makes it obvious they’re dead.

  22. futage says:

    I hate pricetages :(

  23. J9 says:

    Well, I was worried it might never happen but I was assuming they’d eventually release it so I’m glad to see that they are going to for sure. Sadly with the way game ratings and such go they had very good reason to delay the release of the mod tools until December. They still get their holiday release, before getting slammed because a mod lets you kill kids or adds boobs. Games should not be ‘punished’ (when it comes to ratings) because of user created content.
    It’d be like marking Lord of the Rings an ‘adult’ book because of some creepy fan fics someone based in the same universe/using characters from it. Perhaps not a perfect analogy but 1. It’s not the original/intended content and 2. things you have to go and look for, or create yourself.

    I feel its more then a bit of a shame that games can and are punished for user created content. Its something that I certainly don’t want to see developers discouraged from allowing, it tends to make games a much better value for me with all the extra time I can play them with out getting bored.

  24. JulianP says:

    “Broken Steel. Join the ranks of the Brotherhood of Steel and rid the Capital Wasteland of the Enclave remnants once and for all. Continues the adventure past the main quest. Scheduled for release in March.”

    How about joining the ranks of the Enclave and ridding the Capital Wasteland of the Brotherhood of Steel remnants once and for all?

  25. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Hello, post-ending adventuring! We’d missed you.

    I can’t wait to see what the modding community does for Fallout. Oblivion actually turned out pretty fun, if still slightly wonky, with all of the mods available for it (and I don’t much like vanilla Oblivion).

    But am still waiting for a F3 Fist of the North Star mod.

    Fist of the North Star would be this, by the way.

    Because even with Strength 10, Unarmed 80+, Iron Fist 3, and the Bloody Mess perk, it’s just not the same. It doesn’t feel like a proper post-Apocalypse until you can get into kung fu fights where people explode. Or where you can hit pressure points on your body in a specific order to give yourself the ability to understand any spoken language. Stuff like that.

  26. A-Scale says:

    The Elder Scrolls games’ powerful Construction kit. Oblivion’s a game that quickly became mpre than the sum of its officially-made parts thanks to the unending glut of enthusiastic and often enormous mods.

    AHA! I found a spelling error in a British person’s writing! That’s worth at LEAST 5 points.

  27. TheDeadlyShoe says:

    I think you were kungfu’d in the head at some point Dorian.

  28. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Actually, wait, that’s the wrong clip.
    I miss the edit button.

    Sorry for the double post.

  29. Ben Abraham says:

    Thats kind of ridiculous. People don’t die from red textures!

    I mean granted. They don’t usually get their heads ripped off by a bullet either. But at least it makes it obvious they’re dead.

    So does them falling down and not getting up again. 0_o

  30. Ben Abraham says:

    ^ the first two lines were in a quoteblock. Awww they changed Quoteblock functionality on me, and without me noticing.

  31. Sucram says:

    Looked to me like California was already making extra content for Fallout 3.

  32. Nehr says:

    Great picture. There’s something about it that makes it look ingame, weird.

  33. Bhazor says:

    Come on dudes quit beating about the bush. We all know what’s going to be the first mod.

    Hot. Naked. Amata.

    Speaking of Amata, she ISN’T voiced by Jennifer Hale. That genuinely surprised me when I found out.

    I think that given how important modding and the community has been in giving the elder games their longevity it would be silly not to release some kind of mod support. But a full blown developer kit? Those guys may be late for the date but they’re looking damn fine and have a bottle of single malt to make it better.

  34. Paul Moloney says:

    Yes!

    I mean, it would have been dumb of Bethesda not to issue an SDK, but I’m very glad they did. Score.

    Tonight I was having much fun shooting antennae off Fire Ants.

    P.

  35. Real Horrorshow says:

    I cant wait for all the nude mods and revolting anime garbage.

  36. Nehr says:

    The nude mods are already here. Don’t need a CS for that.

    So is the killablechildren mod, but that one I use. Real nice.

    link to fallout3nexus.com

  37. Trithemius says:

    I’m really curious about how the DLC will be integrated into the game. Will it add a higher level “strategic” map to allow the player character to move to other locations? Will it have entirely seperate game-modes? Will it do something I haven’t thought of yet?

    I’m pleased with the prospect of the Pitt – although I would like the Commonwealth of Massachussetts (I assume) and the Institute at some point!

    Also, if the Lone Wanderer is the Cuisineart Hatrack then it’d better be a Jodowrosky-style one, rather than a Herbert- or Lynch-style! It’d have to be I think! :)

  38. spd from Russia says:

    Alec Meer wrote “Which, I hope, will quickly lead to a version of Fallout 3 devoid of poxy crabmen, with crappy characters like Mr Burke either removed or rewritten, and more talky quests. “

    Say what? Why do you expect that from ammateur modders when payed experienced pros from Beth failed to deliver that in the first place (having spent 4 years on the game!) ? Do you think its so easy to write quests and story compared to Fallout 1/2 or Bioware`s work? Tell that to Emil Pagliarulo.
    And to voice the charachters properly is next to impossible in home conditions (you need both good actors and recording equipment).

    on the sbject of DLCs planned – its all combat and not much RPG at all :( Beth is focusing on the action, further turning Fallout and FPS, which is a FFFing shame. They are killing what once was THE best true RPG franchise.

  39. Stromko says:

    I’m not feeling that doom and gloomy about Fallout 3, it’s not perfect by any means but it’s a quite substantial RPG. The content is much better quality than Oblivion, and there’s more locations than Fallout 2.

    It’s important to actually play these classic games now and then to get a reality check on what they really accomplished. I played both Fallout 1 and 2 when they came out, loved them both, but there were a lot of rough edges. Of course I may be a bit of an infidel, I tried out Planescape: Torment with the high resolution mod and failed to get hooked on it again, and didn’t actually finish a full play-through of Fallout 2 with a high-res mod before I lost interest. Back in the day I played F1/F2 to death, even struggled through FT:BOS several times, but times change.

    Of course we expect that in the intervening years, the genre will move forward and be incredibly awesome in some vast way, and so we tell ourselves it’s fair to compare a new game against our memories of the great classics.

    Trouble is, when they start changing things, they alienate just as many as they please. I’m one of those people who actually came off with a very positive impression from Mass Effect, loved it to death and am sad that there’s no news of any sequels after all, but on the other hand I hated Jade Empire.

    So sure we expect something revolutionary to come along and be just as awesome as Fallout 1 was upon its release, but when it comes along, we don’t even recognize it due to all the changes necessary to make it a revolutionary and awesome thing. I’m not saying Fallout 3 is that game, the real answer is entirely subjective.

  40. TheSombreroKid says:

    **********SPOILER**************************

    my belief is that the patch coming out this week will fix the bug at the end of the game and the quests of the up and coming packs will be started in the dc ruins after the end of the game (there’re not so hard ways around the story).

  41. TheSombreroKid says:

    ohh and try killing amata at the start it’s creepy!!!!!!!!!!!

    no matter hw many bullets you pump into her she always get’s back up and walks backwards and stuff! she’s not human!

  42. Klaus says:

    Say what? Why do you expect that from ammateur modders when payed experienced pros from Beth failed to deliver that in the first place (having spent 4 years on the game!) ?

    I have already downloaded an ‘item description mod’ which wasn’t in the core game.

    And, I do believe that the modders from the Baldur’s Gate community do excellent work, and some of it I consider better than the core game.

  43. spd from Russia says:

    Klaus yeah, there are tweaks and (dubious)rebalance mods, new items and new perks etc (see fallout3nexus). But making new locations, quests, NPCs – its a tonn of work – much harder and longer to do. And even much harder to do well (ie rebalance mods ususally take about half a year of community testing to get balanced for real). Its easier to mod older games with 2d art and text-based dialogue.

    Also I find it quite pathetcic that we cant expect game improvements and fixes from the developers who are the ones getting money. And should only hope that the community people doing free job will save the day.
    More respect to the guys who do it and to the devs that actually fix their games (like CDProject – the Witcher guys )

    On another note, I bet Beth thinks there is nothing wrong with their game, thanks to the rosy reviews and good sales. And all the critics, who see beyond the slow-mo gore that the writing is inept and the RPG aspect is quite shallow? – “here are the tools – go make the game you like yourslef! We are too bussy making another roleplay-void mission pack to sell you”

  44. Mr. President says:

    Which, I hope, will quickly lead to a version of Fallout 3 devoid of poxy crabmen …

    Now every time I see those mirelurk things, I can’t help but hum that stupid crab people song.

    Taste like crab, talk like people.
    Craaab people!

  45. Klaus says:

    @spd

    I agree with you on the work involved, but I think it can be done. I am optimistic about this for some reason. I also agree about the bugs issue, it’s just easier to assume the fans will do it. But most of the time it seems they’re right.

  46. Ravenger says:

    In games development on large projects with big teams there’s a lot of inertia. Once the game is going in a particular direction it’s difficult if not impossible to change that direction. That makes it tricky to fix fundamental problems, or to change key features. This is especially true late in development when some problems might only be immediately apparent to external testers or focus groups because after working on a project for a long time you can get very close to it. So close you can’t see any obvious flaws it might have.

    Also you might spend at least 50% of the development working on a partially complete engine which limits what you can do initially, and when the engine is finally complete you’ve not got a lot of time to implement all those cool gameplay features you originally wanted to include.

    Modders have the advantage of coming fresh to a game, without that inertia, and having a finished game engine with the entire feature set in place. That’s why it’s often modders who manage to add features to games which many users thought should have been there in the first place.

  47. Tei says:

    GIANTS ANTS, the size a bus, that spit acid

    *spoiler* make the final robot driveable

    Mini-rts features: the ability to create a city, build building, enhance it, move more NPC’s to it, and make the war to other citys.

  48. Tei says:

    @KLAUS: Hello, are you new to modding? modders use the base to explore other ideas. Is like a brainstorming meeting, where all ideas are tested, even the bad ones. Is a universe full of “WHAT IF”. What if all superheroes become zombies? What if all superheroes are alines in disguise? The original authors are limited to only one theme and final. But modders can do crazy, and can do cheesy (a modder can add a weapon that shot dogs, the authors of the game can’t )… a modder can even try sexual themes (like adding porn to all Mario games), or even go gray area/dark area and make a mod about “Aliens” or “The Beatles” or Mario (Imagine Mario in Fallout, with a incredible jumping power, and the ability to crush people it jump into).

  49. klo8 says:

    Awesome. \o/