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Todd Howard: Mods “make your game better”, more companies should allow them

Thursday, 1st March 2012 14:02 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Bethesda’s Todd Howard told G4 in the latest episode of X-Play he prefers mods over DLC and doesn’t understand why so many game companies don’t provide users the tools to create their own content nor why they don’t allow modding, period.

While many companies rely instead on DLC, Howard said Bethesda benefits from releasing modding tools due to the additional attention the firm’s games receive from the community.

He also admitted the team is rather wowed by some of the mods created and because of the creativity out there, DLC isn’t half as effective or fun at creating a great gaming experience.

You can listen to the full interview with Howard, where he also discusses the Skryim Creation Kit, through here or below.

Thanks, GameFront.

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9 Comments

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  1. freedoms_stain

    most Publishers prefer money over no money.

    Dice are fooling nobody with their claims of FB2 being “too complicated” for modders to work with. EA want them pumping out paid DLC until the next DICE game, at which point they’ll probably want to kill BF3 all together, not allow modders to keep it running long after official support dies.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Sini

    the only good thing your shit game with simplistic combat, boring world, yawnfest plot/dialog and outright mentally retarded npcs have is mods, so you better believe it.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DSB

    @1 Yeah, I guess on the plus side, it means that someone at Activision and EA actually knows that modders would threaten their own content on quality.

    That’s a small victory for the volounteers in my opinion.

    I can’t quite escape the notion that Bethesda has a pretty big stake in allowing mods for their games, I mean beyond the fact that there have been truly great ones in the past.

    It essentially also allows people to help them fix their games :P

    Either way, the more inclusive the better. That’s what the industry needs these days. Too many of them are busy building big dark towers.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. TheWulf

    It’s definitely a truth that mods can aid with the survival of a game. Mods turned a game that I probably wouldn’t have bought, and a game that I found boring, into something that I wanted to play.

    I’m actually offended by the retarded depictions of wildlife in some games, I find kamikaze animals to be incredibly lazy when it doesn’t take that much effort to code a working ecology that makes all this a non-issue. Ned proof? Both Morrowind and Oblivion have working ecology mods.

    Also, the dragons after the main quest are like effing cliff racers.

    So important mods to me are those that have provided Skyrim with a better sense of having a sustainable ecology (mods that do this full on will be out eventually, too, as they were with Morrowind and Oblivion), and the passive dragon mod (which I enable after the main quest).

    I mean, what’s Paarthurnax doing? Sitting on his scaly rear and watching the clouds drift overhead? If his promises meant anything, it would mean that he’d pretty much have called the heads of the dragon families together after the death of Alduin and would have started knocking some sense into them. There were only two things making the dragons ‘evil’ after all: That they feared Alduin, and that they didn’t realise that they could be anything else.

    So the cliffracer dragons after the main quest are as immersion breaking as they are bloody irritating.

    I don’t like killing in games beyond what I’m supposed to kill. So one thing I did to avoid that is used the werewolf form’s howl to scare people away. That way I could just kill the necessary target when everyone else was fleeing in terror. Unfortunately this becomes ineffective after level 25. BUT THERE’S A MOD THAT FIXES THAT.

    Another thing?

    Werewolf fucking backtracking.

    You’re a sapient werewolf that’s able to make the choice to go into a dungeon and not kill anything other than your quest target, but you’re not smart enough to pick up a bag of coins? I call unadulterated bloody shenanigans! So there’s a werewolf loot mod which fixes that.

    ANIMALS can report crime. So if I accidentally shoot a traveller with an arrow, a rabbit runs off and informs the guards about it. There’s a mod that fixes that.

    1,000 gold for transforming into a werewolf, really? I’m the effing dragonborn, I saved your arses from Alduin, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. If I say that you don’t attack the werewolf wearing [identifiable marker], then that shit should fly. I want to be able to actually hop into a town without the werewolf form wearing off. Because really… who’s going to be stupid enough to attack the dovahkiin in the middle of a town? This is another incredibly tiring and unfun restriction, which Skyrim has a lot of. It was poorly thought out. But there’s a mod for that.

    There are a lot of games I don’t buy purely because of all these annoying issues you can’t ever fix. So yes, modding is important. In fact, modding may even be the MOST important thing.

    Sure, Skyrim is still incredibly boring (the fault of the setting and storyline, that is), but at least mods are doing what they can to make it fun. A particular favourite content mod is roof-jumper’s treasure, which I implore you to play if you have not. In roof-jumper’s treasure there are notes added to roofs in each of the holds.

    The idea is that you use clever jumping and whirlwind sprint (that shout dashy thing) to get to different roofs. In each of the holds there’s a series of clues which leads you on a scavenger hunt. Once you have all of the clues for a hold, you then have to figure out where the clues are telling you to go. And some of them are HARD. Hard, hard, hard, hard, hard. But so, so fun.

    And, frankly?

    Roof-jumper’s treasures is some of the MOST fun I’ve had in Skyrim. Hands down just some of the most enjoyable time I’ve spent with that game. You know me, I prefer having some content which isn’t “HO HO HO, I AM A GENOCIDAL MANIAC THAT KILLS SHIT!”, because I’m not that sort of gamer. More power to whomever is, I guess, but that’s not me.

    This is actually why I liked New Vegas. New Vegas had a good amount of content which didn’t involve killing. In fact, if you did it the right way, you could proceed through an unmodded New Vegas without killing a single person. I honestly believe that they did do that intentionally.

    And come to think of it… New Vegas really needed far, far less mods than Skyrim. Far less. But the modding capability was there, which was nice.

    I’m the sort of person though who thought that the most fun to have in WoW was wall-walking back before they fixed that – and now that they’ve fixed that there’s really next to no fun to be had in WoW at all. I’m that sort of person. I value the odd bit of alternative content.

    So… yeah. New Vegas could have gotten away with no mods, very easily.

    Some games though… some games need mods, and without the ability to mod them I just wouldn’t have bought them. If Skyrim hadn’t been modifiable, I wouldn’t have bought that. And with each good mod out there it’s turning into an increasingly better game.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. TheWulf

    @2 – I wouldn’t go that far. But it IS a boring setting. I’m definitely looking forward to somewhere other than EPIC REALITY REPUBLICANLAND. Where your only choices are fascism or racism, and you like it or lump it. Ffff.

    @3 – Yeah, pretty much. It probably helps Bethesda keep a handle on quality when they can see what modders can do. Some of the best DLC for a Gamebryo game though didn’t come from Bethesda, but rather Obsidian. New Vegas had amazing DLC… Old World Blues… so amazing. But yeah, they don’t seem to feel threatened by mods, which is a good thing.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. The_Red

    “Make your games better” part is for every game company BUT Bethesda. For them, mods “Make their games PLAYABLE”…

    Even the greatest game of all time becomes shit when it has to deal with all the crazy bugs, playability issues and other constant problems in Beth games. Heck, PC version of Skyrim was literally unplayable at first. What with so many control and UI issues along with another million little naggings.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Kabby

    “Heck, PC version of Skyrim was literally unplayable at first.”
    No, it wasn’t. Over exaggerate much?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Stardog

    Please fix the broken Creation Kit so we can actually create decent mods…

    http://forums.bethsoft.com/topic/1347249-unofficial-creation-kit-bug-list-2/

    #8 2 years ago
  9. fearmonkey

    @5 – Could be worse, it could be EPIC REALITY DEMOCRATLAND (Where you have to give a large percentage of your money and stuff away to be “fair”)
    Sorry, I couldn’t resist lol….

    Todd’s right though, more games should allow mods, and better yet, find a away to bring them to the consoles. Not really mods, but I remember having a great time playing with Timesplitters 2 map making features, and Halo’s forge to a lesser extent.

    #9 2 years ago