Starfield is being positioned as the dream game for so many but what if your dream is to make games? There’s no doubt that the Creation Kit and the modding scene have been a huge boon for Bethesda and its community. It allows creatives to express themselves and make their own content without needing to build everything from scratch in an engine like Unreal 5. However, these tools are outdated, hard to use, and almost incomprehensible for newcomers.
Many senior developers today became interested in game development by modding. They modded their favorite games such as Doom, Wolfenstein, and Half-Life. Those tools required lots of reworking. But that was when the games industry was much smaller with both its developers and fans. Today, many desire to break their way into the game industry. In order to do that you need experience. It’s tools like Creation Kit that sparked interest in people of all ages, only if it’s made accessible.
The Creation Kit Today
The current state of Skyrim’s Creation Kit has always been frustrating to get access and use. You can’t just boot up Skyrim or Fallout and start playing with the creation tools which is an issue for many. If Bethesda took the time to refine and smoothen out the rough edges of their tools set, it could be bundled as another feature alongside the game. Instead, to get access to Creation Kit today requires a person to seek it out and put in the work.
The community has built up extensive resources and guides for it. They have provided discord servers, forums, and videos to get newcomers started. However, it can still be daunting. Without doing extensive research into how it runs and all the quirks you won’t get far before hitting a roadblock. It’s hard to look at the interface as an immediate challenge and feels dated. There’s not a whole lot of logic to what everything does. But that’s just a surface-level issue. As you work more and more with the tools everything can feel like it’s fighting against you.
That’s not to say that Creation Kit is impossible to use, it just requires time and acceptance of its shortcomings. Talented modders have created incredible experiences using these tools and Bethesda deserves credit for empowering them. It’s just that if you aren’t computer savvy or familiar with scripting languages like papyrus, it will be difficult to get going and slow to realize your vision. Starfield is Bethesda’s chance to make amends and bring these tools to everyone no matter the skill level they may be at.
How Bethesda Can Learn from Other Level Editors
With easy-to-access level editors like Halo’s Forge and Fortnite’s Creative mode just to name a few, it’s time for Starfield to do the same. With these videogame tools, you can seamlessly start creating without separate installs or complicated hoops to jump through. A person can be playing with their friends or alone, get an idea, and immediately start creating within seconds. With Bethesda’s current Creation Kit infrastructure that’s not possible. By the time someone figures out how to use the tools, the spark may be gone.
Other level editors have been built with beginners in mind and have teams dedicated to supporting the tools. They have found ways to give access to visual scripting that requires no programming knowledge. Their level design tools are easy to wrap your head around, and sharing your creations is simple. If you look at the upcoming game developers, then you won’t give 5 minutes without seeing a portfolio that features some game’s level editor. Even Bethesda themselves post job openings that ask for Creation Engine experience. So why wouldn’t they make it more accessible?
Will Bethesda Listen and Provide Access to the Creation Kit After the Launch of Starfield?
Currently not much is known about what Starfield’s creation kit will look like. But it’s been said modding will have more tools than ever. Their Creation Engine has gotten a massive overhaul for Starfield. We can only hope that the same can be said about the community tools. Bethesda seems to be giving fans what they want with Starfield so we here are hopeful that they will do the same for the aspiring game creators. We won’t know for certain until we can get our hands on Starfield itself when it releases on September 1st for early access and September 6th for everyone.