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No Mod Tools for Fallout 3 Launch 91

Posted by Soulskill
from the disappointing dept.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun interviewed Bethesda's Pete Hines about the upcoming release of Fallout 3. He talks about dealing with misunderstandings about the game prior to launch, violence in modern games, and the fact that the game won't launch with mod tools. "Folk probably took for granted that every time we make a game, there's a mod tool. We explained to folk that it takes a lot of time and effort to get that tool ready for release, and it's not on our schedule right now. We need to get the game done and out. ... Right now, we can't say definitively 'there will be mod tools, and here is when they'll be out.' We discussed some Fallout 3 gameplay videos a few weeks ago. That work remains to be done." In related news, Interplay has picked up Chris Taylor, designer of the original Fallout, to help develop their Fallout MMOG.
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No Mod Tools for Fallout 3 Launch

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  • Noooo (Score:3, Funny)

    by zentu (584197) * on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @04:51PM (#25143575)
    Fallout WITHOUT mod tools. How will i get my unofficial addon that makes it a Mad Max. I needs me some thunderdome. [and a clonedome You know, 1 will enter 2 will leave]
    • "Nooo!" indeed... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rui del-Negro (531098) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @10:07PM (#25146743) Homepage

      This is a very bad sign, that goes far beyond the absence of actual mod tools.

      Some people don't know why Half-Life was such a great game and why Oblivion was so disappointing. The answer is just one word: play-testing. Okay, maybe that's two words.

      Half-Life spent half its development life (ha-ha) in testing (and refining). And Half-Life 2 levels started being playtested before the textures were even ready (remember those "orange map" screenshots in the teasers?).

      Oblivion's quests feels buggy and disjointed mainly because it was not playtested by anyone outside Bethesda, and some last-minute adjustments to the game probably weren't tested at all.

      Now, what does all this have to do with the announcement that mod tools won't be available? Simple: mod tools and documentation are tipically readied for end users while the game is in the final testing stage which, even on a relatively linear game like Half-Life, should take several months or years, if the game is to be any good. During this stage only minor things are being tweaked, like map design, damage of each weapon, location and frequency of rewards, etc.. Basically stuff that doesn't keep the programmers too busy, so they can focus on polishing the mod tools (in fact, better mod tools will also make that final tweaking much easier).

      So, when the official word is that "[mod tools are] not on our schedule right now. We need to get the game done and out", what that means is the game isn't even ready yet, but the release date is already set, so there will be little if any playtesting (probably, as with Oblivion, only internal playtesting, which is close to useless in terms of gameplay tuning, it'll just catch the most obvious bugs). And, of course, without mod tools we can't even expect a fan-made "Fallout Overhaul" any time soon.

      I can't say this is unexpected, but it is disappointing. Considering the FPS-like gameplay shown in the demo videos and now this, I'm pretty sure I won't be buying Fallout 3 in the first few months after release, if ever.

      Can someone please put the 1992 Origin team back together? I miss a good RPG.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sj0 (472011)

        Who is the publisher for Fallout 3, anyway?

        For obvious reasons, I'll have to decline purchasing yet another classic if it's EA.

      • by Pahalial (580781)

        This was my reaction. I'd mod you up if you weren't already at +5 - The last thing you want a dev team saying a month before launch is "We need to get the game done." It screams of becoming one of those games that needs a few months' worth of patches and/or mods before becoming truly enjoyable (see: Messiah, Oblivion, and countless others,) and gets panned by all the critics before that happens - dooming it to poor sales and no further sequels.

        Mind you, that would likely result in a late-in-life cult status

      • by tieTYT (989034)

        Some people don't know why Half-Life was such a great game and why Oblivion was so disappointing.

        I actually liked Oblivion a lot. Did it not sell well?

        I'm the type of gamer that likes to play the game that was given to me. As such, I rarely use mods unless they're produced by the same company that made the game. Often, I think game companies use mods as a way to not balance a game. For example, in Morrowind, there were too many damn birds. Instead of Bestheda (sp?) creating a patch, they just let someone else create a mod.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rui del-Negro (531098)

          Did it not sell well?

          If you're going to measure quality simply by number of units sold, McDonald's must serve the finest food in the world.

          How much a game sells is mainly a product of how much hype was created around it and / or how good its prequels were. Lots of brilliant games (ex., System Shock 2) were short-term commercial failures because people simply don't hear about them.

          Oblivion is fine as a "medieval combat" game with a big world to explore, lots of monsters, etc., especially after you install a mod or two to get rid

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Gulthek (12570)

        That's also why Halo 3 was such an amazing game. Bungie spent a huge part of their budget on developing and studying results from a staggeringly complete play testing environment. It was even featured in Wired [wired.com].

        Game companies should really learn these lessons.

        If you want a good RPG in the style of the classic Origin games, then you can have it: Eschalon [playgreenhouse.com]

    • by Loibisch (964797)

      [and a clonedome You know, 1 will enter 2 will leave]

      Lol, thanks for the laugh. :)

  • by Sasayaki (1096761) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @04:54PM (#25143617)

    No modtools? That's a shame. Modtools really extend the life of a game- in fact, I'd say they probably extend the life of a game more than anything else (apart from being an MMO). How long did Half-Life 1 hang around because of Counterstrike?

    • by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @05:04PM (#25143773) Homepage Journal

      Modtools really extend the life of a game- in fact, I'd say they probably extend the life of a game more than anything else (apart from being an MMO).

      Then why do console games, which rarely if ever have legit mod tools due to the platforms' closed nature, have such a long life? Nintendo seems to be doing brisk business "licensing" Virtual Console versions of its decade-old titles on Wii Money Prin^W^W Shop Channel.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Sasayaki (1096761)

        Good point- but could you imagine what might happen if there were official modtools for console games? The Wii itself would be endlessly entertaining.

        Actually, that's probably why they won't do it- it'd be endlessly entertaining. Gotta bring out the new console sometime...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Goaway (82658)

        Because on consoles, you actually have to make a good game from the start, and you can't just offload that work on the modders.

        • So how do you explain all the shovelware being published for the Wii?
          • by morari (1080535)

            Stupid customers.

            Going out and buying Madden 0X or Halo isn't too different than purchasing Carnival Games anyway. One is just made on the cheap and probably profits much more, while the others waste time and energy on marketing what's "cool".

    • by Compholio (770966) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @05:06PM (#25143797)

      No modtools? That's a shame

      It doesn't say "no" specifically, it says "not immediately, and no guarantee on eventually".

    • by westlake (615356) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @10:21PM (#25146837)
      No modtools? That's a shame. Modtools really extend the life of a game- in fact, I'd say they probably extend the life of a game more than anything else
      .

      I don't recall mod tools shipping with Fallout 1 or 2 - and the series has remained in print since 1997.

      • by rts008 (812749) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:39AM (#25148481) Journal

        Same here. I have found some third party mod tools, but even on a recent Fallout DVD (has FO, FO2, and FO:BoS, all with official patches), no mod tools.

        Hell, I still keep an old Dell Optiplex GX1 with Win 98SE that has all three FO games on the network...I was playing FO2 on it this past weekend!

        And before one of you fellow FO+ *nix zealots sound off about FO running perfectly on WINE-I know, and have it running so on my day to day Kubuntu Hardy PC- I also have some older Win 95-98 games that I still play that are not compatible with WINE, DosBox, Or VirtualBox.

        I expect some mod tools will come out sometime after FO3 is released, either from the publisher, or as in FO and FO2, third party/fanbased tools. The 'No Mutants Allowed' website would be a good place to check for this, IMHO. Who can forget 'falche.exe' and 'falche2.exe'?

      • by Pvt_Ryan (1102363) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:51AM (#25148555)

        No modtools? That's a shame. Modtools really extend the life of a game- in fact, I'd say they probably extend the life of a game more than anything else .

        I don't recall mod tools shipping with Fallout 1 or 2 - and the series has remained in print since 1997.

        That's because they were made great from the start. The emphasis was on Gameplay and not graphics

        That is the common problem with modern games, The designers are all "oohhh ahh look at my pretty gfx, look i got this rag doll to be the most realistic ever" yet the game play sucks

        At the most basic level take the game breakout (i think that's what it was called for the amiga), Peggle is the most recent take on it I think. It's the game with bricks at the top, you have a paddle at the bottom and you bounce a ball. It does't matter about the gfx as the gameplay is great.

        In fallout III I wanted the same top down view as fallout I & II and I just wanted the world to be better textured. I don't care about rag dolls, physics, etc. I want the storyline, the character development, the ablity to pimp my wife, the bare knuckle and boxing fights you could rig. I don't want VATS it's just a gimmick for the younger generation who are used to pretty gfx and shit gameplay.

        Take Doom III, I loved the previous Doom games, but Doom III for all the work that went into the gfx the game became a flashlight simulator. It was soo dark and you couldn't have a flashlight equiped at the same time as your firearm (i think they eventually released a patch to add flashlights to weapons). To top it all off the game was nowhere near as good or replable as Doom I or II (I still play them on dos box)

        Another game that suffered was the Monkey Island series, I & II where great epic games, III was a complete revamp with pretty cartoon gfx and the game sucked harder that Monica Lewinsky

        • Another game that suffered was the Monkey Island series, I & II where great epic games, III was a complete revamp with pretty cartoon gfx and the game sucked harder that Monica Lewinsky
          .

          Monkey Island II I choose to forget.

          There is something decidedly mean-spirited about the changes in Guybrush - and the game's "it was all a dream" ending.

          I thoroughly enjoyed The Curse of Monkey Island and return to it every now and again.

      • by SMacD (1140995)

        Fallout 1 & 2 weren't made by the same developer. Fallout 3 is being developed by Bethesda Softworks-- which develops the Elder Scrolls series (which include Morrowind and Oblivion).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by EggyToast (858951)
      If they extend the life, why would they need to be available at launch?
    • They are saying there will be no mod tools at launch; judging by Bethesda's past record of releasing excellent Elder Scrolls Toolkits, I'm banking on Fallout 3 tools being released within six months of launch.

  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bieeanda (961632) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @04:58PM (#25143667)
    Unless modding tools were promised, and that promise was writ mile-high in the stone of the Rockies, I don't get what the fuss is about. Your assumption is not the developer's obligation.
    • Re:And? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @05:35PM (#25144245) Homepage Journal

      Oblivion's core gameplay was so horribly flawed that the game isn't remotely enjoyable unless you alter the leveling system with mods.

      Morrowind's NPCs and towns were horribly boring without mods.

      Bethesda makes nearly great games. The mods make them great. I'll take a pass on FO3 unless there are mod tools.

      • Morrowind's NPCs and towns were horribly boring without mods.

        The dancing girls were a lot more interesting after applying the "Better Bodies" mod. It really improved the, uh, realism of the, uh, storytelling and, uh, stuff.

        • by ultranova (717540)

          The dancing girls were a lot more interesting after applying the "Better Bodies" mod. It really improved the, uh, realism of the, uh, storytelling and, uh, stuff.

          Laugh all you want, but that's actually a pretty important point concerning Fallout. Fallout is about a dirty, post-apocalyptic world, and that means things like porn studios, prostitutes, and so on. However, what we'll almost certainly get is nothing more than shooting some monsters - and goodness forbid that Han shoot first. In other words, it'l

        • by rts008 (812749)

          Oh, get a second life [secondlife.com], dude! :-)
          I kid! I kid!

          I tend to agree with you in general, though.
          If developers are pushing 'eye candy', then by golly, give us the means to see some serious 'eye candy'! Quit playing around!

          Reminds me of the ole 'Tigger' sound clip (Winnie the Pooh?):
          "The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tiggers are wonderful things.
          They're bouncy,bouncy,bouncy,bouncy, fun, fun, fun!
          The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is I'm the only one!"

          *off topic* Scratch the '...I'm the only one!' part!
          I was fort

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LingNoi (1066278)

        I played Morrowind for months, finished and really enjoyed it. I didn't find the towns boring and actually feel there is more varitey then there is in Oblivion. I just didn't have the same experience with Oblivion. I think what killed the experience for me was the leveling system and the fact that pure magic users (which is what I started out on) felt gimped. To get decent spells you needed to spend absurd amounts of money.

        Exploring wasn't as fun as it was in Morrowind too. I think it's because Morrowind wa

        • Re:And? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Kagura (843695) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @07:28PM (#25145485)
          I just restarted playing Oblivion with about 5,000 mods yesterday, and I intend on playing it until the end again.

          I strongly, strongly agree with you that exploring is not nearly as fun as in Morrowind. In addition to what you mention, I think another "problem" is that you can see the entire capitol province at almost any time. It really makes it seem smaller than it is. Another problem is that the wilderness got repetitive moreso than Morrowind.

          That said, Elder Scrolls 5: Coolwordhere will be an instant purchase for me when it comes out in 2020. I'm glad Morrowind and GTA games are so popular, because it is large, open-ended and exploring kind of games that I find absolutely most enjoyable.

          Allow me to recommend two Oblivion mods if you decide to play again:
          * Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul
          * Modular Oblivion Enhanced

          These two add a lot more to the game. Try reading the features/manual to them, and you just might get the itch to start playing again.
        • by LurkerXXX (667952)

          What I missed was not being able to enchant armor so that you could actually fly. That was fantastic in Morrowind.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by zzottt (629458)
        I played all the way through Oblivion without any mods and enjoyed every moment of it so speak for yourself. Yes it was the PC version of Oblivion.
      • by AbRASiON (589899) *

        Now now now what??

        Oblivion may have been MORE fun with mods to the levelling system but claiming it's not 'remotely enjoyable' and 'horribly flawed' is a bit much I think.
        Many games are better with mods yes but then again many are worse once mod'd.
        You have to ask yourself, what do you want the game, do you want it easier, harder, longer, shorter, do you want to play it effectively forever or do you want a linear single player experience.
        Do you like the actual gameplay itself or would you prefer it to actual

  • by Hellershanks (1315357) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @04:59PM (#25143689)
    You had to download them, so odds are they will release a set of mod tools down the road. Like they said they got to get the game working and completed before they release the tool.
  • So... removing features here at the last minute so they can still get it out the door before the deadline. It looks like the picked a too aggressive deadline and they're trying to cover for it now instead of spec things out correctly at the start.

    I'll bet the game ships with bugs.

    • I'll bet the game ships with bugs.

      Even Centipede [wikipedia.org] shipped with bugs, as did Mario Paint [youtube.com] and even Crazy Castle [mobygames.com].

    • I'll bet the game ships with bugs.

      No problem, dude. The Modding-Community will fix it, like they did it with Oblivion.

      wait...

      damn!

    • by afidel (530433)
      Yeah, the last game I bought which was shuffled out the door missing features was just getting fixed when the studio went under (Hellgate) so I don't think I'll be buying Fallout 3 until it's got the major bugs fixed and the mod kit is out. Sorry but it's just too heartbreaking as a game to have a game with great potential ruined by poor execution. I guess that's why I love Blizzard so much, they keep working on a title until it's really polished (look at Diablo 2, a patch was released just a couple months
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by A.Bettik (989117)

      So... removing features here at the last minute so they can still get it out the door before the deadline. It looks like the picked a too aggressive deadline and they're trying to cover for it now instead of spec things out correctly at the start.

      TFA doesn't indicate that it was ever in the schedule. Mod tools have always been nice from Bethesda, but never promised.

      I'll bet the game ships with bugs.

      Absolutely unthinkable that 50,000 people playing a game would find something a smaller team of developers didn't </sarcasm>. I don't doubt that it will ship with bugs, because bugless software is quite frankly something from textbooks and academia. As the time spent on software approaches infinity, the number of bugs approaches zero. I don't know how far along that curve Fallou

      • by LingNoi (1066278)

        Pretty radical but I wished more developers did what introversion did and put the source code on the game CD. That doesn't mean you can redistribute the source code (it would still be their copyright). It would just be useful when the game is 10 maybe 20 years older there are some games which were made in 1997 which still have close nit communities but can not modify the game enough to fix memory leaks, etc.

        Also if you look at ID, they release their engine source code and doom is still playable.

        Going back o

    • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @05:59PM (#25144561)

      I'll bet the game ships with bugs.

      And I'll bet the sun will rise tomorrow. Both are equally safe bets.

      Keep in mind that "bugs" can range from a very minor graphical glitch or even a gameplay issue that they don't think works as well as it could - all the way to crashing issues / data corruption, etc, the most serious sort. They're all bugs, and every modern games ships with a large number of them. Obviously, developers work very hard to fix all the highest priority issues, but they always go through a triage session and decide what's actually worth fixing and what bugs they can live with before the game ships. You're kidding yourselves if you think *any* game ships with zero bugs these days.

    • by gknoy (899301)

      I'll bet the game ships with bugs.

      Well ... yes. It's a software product made within the past 20 years. ;) This is like betting that there will be cheerleaders at a football game, or that there will be drunk drivers on New Year's day. It's not necessarily GOOD that it ships with bugs, but it isnt' surprising. I seem to recall Morrowind and Oblivion having their fair share of bugs early on (as did some of the prior Fallout games, even). I'm not worried: if there are bugs, they will be patched.

      • ? Even with the latest fan-made patches FO1&2 still have bugs. It's a testament to how good the games were that people were still willing to play them even with the bugs.
  • Interplay (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @05:21PM (#25144043) Homepage Journal

    Interplay destroyed Black Isle, ruined Jefferson and Van Buren, refused to pay employees, didn't pay their debts, was delisted, and without an office. How are they still around seriously making a Fallout MMO, and why in the world would Chris Taylor want to go back there?

    • by guaigean (867316)
      Well, prior to all of that they were an extremely successful company with a large list of titles and a wide variety of IP. They produced many of the best selling and best rated games of the 90's. Perhaps knowing what was once possible mixed with a nostalgia for past days could lead someone into such a venture.
      • by MaineCoon (12585)

        None of the people associated with Interplay today were around during the heyday. The only folks there are the people (mainly person) who ran the company into the ground in it's last couple years and looted it.

        Well, them, and now Christopher Taylor.

        The only link to Interplay's past is it's name and the remnants of it's IP catalog.

        • by ctaylor (160829)

          Well... It wasn't a decision that I made overnight. I happen to really enjoy MMOs (both playing and designing), the game that Interplay wanted me to work on is extremely important to me, and I'm not the only Interplay vet working here (Jason Anderson, who was one of the people responsible for the bits that made Fallout, well, Fallout, is also here.)

          I had many conversations with both Jason and Hervé Caen before signing back up. Hervé wants to make it work and he was passionate about making this wor

          • For what is worth, I'm a fan of your work, and I wish you well in your endeavor. I think Fallout can work well as an MMO, because Fallout to me was never the single-player story of being the special savior, but exploring the ambiance of the world. I think it should be a harsh world where survival is difficult, yet full of the black humor that we come to expect from a Fallout title.

            Give me an in depth SPECIAL system with great character creation, and I'm there.

            I also believe that Interplay could make some

          • Oh, and it goes without saying a Linux/Mac client would be a huge plus. If not a native client, at least go the CCP route and work with Codeweavers/Wine to prepackage a working Wine version.

    • It all went downhill when they cancelled Secret of Vulcan Fury

  • DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @06:02PM (#25144597)

    I think Bethesda would be doing themselves a great favor by once again being forthcoming about what, if any, DRM they plan to use in Fallout 3. Before Oblivion released, some rumor about them using StarForce was going around, and they explicitly said that not only were they not going to use StarForce, but all they were putting in was a CD check when you start the game. People went out and bought the game with confidence that it wasn't going to fux0r their b0xen and that they'd still be able to play even if someone dropped a nuke on the Greater DC Metro Area the next day.

    Considering how much grief EA has had over Spore, etc., they might want to preannounce their DRM plans again, as a selling point.

  • Chris Taylor. . . (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JSBiff (87824) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @06:11PM (#25144717) Journal

    Is that the same Chris Taylor that was heading up Gas Powered Games (Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander), and previous created Total Annihilation?

    I suppose Chris Taylor is probably a common enough name that it's likely two separate people, but thought I'd ask, in case anyone can confirm or deny?

  • Strange... (Score:4, Informative)

    by rtechie (244489) * on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @06:37PM (#25144979)

    Fallout 3 is based on the same engine as Oblivion. They even use some of the same assets, you can see the same characters and models used in Oblivion in the recent demo videos. There is already a extensive set of tools available for Oblivion, so I assume they would just have to be modified for Fallout 3.

    I have this nasty feeling that the devs realize this and they just want to push the tool development effort back onto the gamer community.

    • Keep in mind that developers don't edit text files to make the game - they first develop internal tools to use with the game. So essentially about 80% of the work has already been done. All that they have to do it to tidy it up and perhaps add some more capability to the game to better handle mods. Being this close to release date the developers are likely to be in panic mode and are more worried about other things. After things calm down a bit, they will likely put in the effort to release mod tools (if th
      • There is also sometimes negotiation required with other companies. For example UT2K4 is heavilly reliant on models for level structure so most modding will require modelling. The moddeling for UT is done with maya and then a custom plugin is used to export the format UT needs.

        However the full version of maya is very expensive and the free version doesn't normally support plugins. So to allow modders to make UT models without spending rediculous ammounts of money epic had to do a special deal with the publis

    • by Sibko (1036168)
      Actually, I think it's more than that. Bethesda's changed over the past couple years, in my opinion for the worse. The internal conflict during Morrowind's development saw some pretty hefty talent and their opinions going out the door.

      Recently Bethesda shut down a mod using legal threats for essentially importing Morrowind into the Oblivion engine. Obviously if Bethesda doesn't like what kind of mod you're making they're going to try and stop you from making it.

      I think deciding not to release the edit
      • "Morroblivion was only shut down on the official forums, and hosting of it on TES Nexus was taken down at Bethesda's request, due to some apparent licensing issues with using textures from Morrowind in Oblivion. Work on the project is still going on, however."
  • Hehe, "no modtools" (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The community for Bethesda games has a knack for accomplishing things Bethesda never intended.

    For example, the oblivion modding tools were locked down in terms of modeling and skeletons, and other misc functions.. but the community hacked together a set of tools that met and/or exceeded the tool-set of the beth developers themselves in terms of functionality.

  • Maybe I'm the only one but it just feels too much like Oblivion.

    I hate the quest dialogue which has crossed over from oblivion. Why can't they make it more like mass effect where your character interacts with characters rather then just sitting back in FPS mode looking at the characters.

    I don't like how emotionless the characters look as they speak out their lines (another oblivion trait).

    They even have some form of mud crab in there.

    It feels like Bethesda did the quick job on this one trying to figure out

  • ESRB to blame? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nobodyman (90587) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @09:51PM (#25146635) Homepage

    Shortly after Elder Scrolls: Oblivion was released, a modder released a "topless" mod for the female characters. The ESRB, fearful of another "Hot Coffee" incident, re-evaluated the game and changed the rating from "T" to "M" [escapistmagazine.com], forcing 2K Games to republish the game with updated box art. I remember thinking to myself, "well, there goes the mod tools".

    Sure enough, the next game that Bethesda released doesn't include a mod tool. The Oblivion rating fiasco may not be the only reason but I'll wager it was a factor. And if game creators are being held responsible for the actions of modders, can you blame them?

    • said topless mod wasn't done in the editor, was equivalent to someone finding a hack that allowed Barbie to be nude in Barbie's Dream House... One reason for the rating change was the fact of the actual game content. Mods now do not affect the rating, since they are external changes. (much like the catch all about online play) IIRC the biggest thing was further playing that showed certain themes and the amount of gore (but I think the ESRB was in a panic mode, since there are worse games rated T)
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hi, Matt from Bethesda here...

      As Pete mentioned in the interview, the focus right now is simply to get the game ready for release.

      We did a fan interview (question #9) back before E3 where Todd Howard answered this question.

      http://www.bethsoft.com/bgsforums/index.php?showtopic=856489

      To summarize, it's something we'd still love to do. If we're able to make it happen post release, we'll let everyone know.

      • by nobodyman (90587)

        Thanks for setting the record straight. Of course I'm buying the game either way, but mod tools will be very cool too.

    • by illumin8 (148082)

      Shortly after Elder Scrolls: Oblivion was released, a modder released a "topless" mod for the female characters. The ESRB, fearful of another "Hot Coffee" incident, re-evaluated the game and changed the rating from "T" to "M", forcing 2K Games to republish the game with updated box art. I remember thinking to myself, "well, there goes the mod tools".

      I don't disagree that this was part of it, but remember, Oblivion was also extremely violent. I remember killing someone in the sewer and watching as their lif

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