Bethesda Softworks announced yesterday the mod tools for Skyrim, called the Creation Kit, are not coming out until early January. No specific release date was given. On launch day, they had previously said the tools were not ready. Many players were expecting them in just a few weeks. For the time being, players will have to be satisfied with current mods which are limited to graphical changes (textures, models, effects).
- There is some good news, though. When the tools release, Bethesda will create a Creation Kit wiki with modding tutorial videos. The wiki will start with just a basic skeleton, but modder’s will be able to add their findings to it. This should ultimately become the definitive resource for Creation Kit modding.
- Bethesda will also be integrating Steam’s “Workshop” into Skyrim. This means players will be able to upload mods to the Steam cloud, and players can download from inside the game. You can still get your mods from an external website and manually install them, but the Workshop will make things a lot easier for the average player.
I really like the workshop idea. Blizzard has a similar system for Starcraft 2 custom maps, and I think it is the future. Unlike Starcraft 2, though, Skyrim mods will always be free of charge. Bethesda will not be allowing anyone to charge for their mods.
One downside to this is that mods from the Workshop have to be “approved”. This means no nude mods or other questionable content will be available from the Workshop. Another downside is that the Workshop will probably have filesize limits for mods. This means large mods like Qarl’s Texture Pack (mods that overhaul the graphics) will most likely be too big to put on the Workshop. These downsides are actually good for the external sites though. Skyrim Nexus, SkyrimForge,Planet Elder Scrolls (Fileplanet), and all the other Skyrim mod sites are bound to be popular for mods that can not go on the Workshop.