First Impressions – Skyrim Creator Kit

There is a reason Skyrim is held in such high esteem; with its rolling hills, dank dungeons, and sprawling fields filled with things that can maim and kill you.  Bethesda has recently announced that it will be releasing a creation kit to accompany its blockbuster hit.  This kit makes it easier for level designers, environment artists, and modders to take the world of Skyrim and make it their own.  It even throws in extra features for people without the skill or interest in design, making sure everyone that uses it will have a pleasant experience letting their creativity run free.

The Skyrim Creation Kit contains everything you need to construct your own experience, and I mean everything.  Bethesda is the first company to release a mod kit, giving users every asset (from the smallest rock to buildings and people) that they used to create the game.  This makes it very easy for users to model their levels exactly as they want them.   Another neat addition that has been previewed is the use of real-time lighting and shadows.  Move a light in the scene and you can see how the shadows will be cast from the surrounding objects.  If level design and environments aren’t your fancy, no need to worry, there is magic in this bag for everyone.

Bethesda has shown clips of an interaction designer that has been put into the creation kit.  This gives story writers and quest designers the chance to make up their own tale and have it come to life before their very eyes.  To make things more interesting, Bethesda also developed a new scripting language to go along with the kit.  Now you can have the NPCs make unique movements and perform actions that have never been seen in the retail game.

All these things that you create can be shared.  Steam is opening up shop and letting you upload your creations for everyone to play.  Simply download the mods and start your game; Skyrim will automatically load the created content.  Also, if you are having trouble with any of the tools that have been provided for you, the developers were kind enough to create a wiki.  This wiki explains how to use all of the tools in the kit in order to get the most out of your experience.

This kit is a great example of how developers want people to use their game.  Letting gamers fashion their own content gives the devs a learning experience, as these mods are a great way to provide insight into what gamers want to see in games.  A release date of tomorrow, February 7th has been announced and modders can’t wait to get their hands on this product.  Hopefully, this opens the door for others to make kits for their games to expand the design universe.

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February 6, 2012 - 8:00 am