First Look: Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop (Updated)

Update:

The Creation Kit is on track for release on Tuesday!

The Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop (mods.elderscrolls.com) are nearly here! To get PC players ready for its release, watch our preview video and check out a new diary from Production Director Ashley Cheng.

Here’s Ash…

With each game we release — Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3, and now Skyrim — modders continue to use our worlds as a canvas to build the most incredibly creative and fun mods in gaming. The fact that Morrowind’s modding community is still going strong 10 years after its release is a testament to how essential our community is to the success of our games.

We’re big believers that if we go the extra mile and make our games as moddable as possible, the game will only be better for it. So the gameplay of “do whatever you want” extends to “make the game do whatever you want.” As we were building Skyrim and its tools, we made it a goal to try and keep the transition from our previous titles to Skyrim as smooth as possible for modders. More importantly, we want to make it easier for more people to enjoy mods. So we teamed up with Valve and created the Skyrim Workshop. We couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s turning out. Mods are a big part of what makes our games special, so we urge everyone to try it out. We’re going to keep looking for ways to get mods to more people, and hopefully one day to our console audience.

With Skyrim Workshop, you can browse and search for the latest or highest rated mods, subscribe to any that interest you, rate your favorites and post feedback. Once you’ve subscribed to some mods, start the Skyrim launcher and you’ll see your subscribed mods automatically download. The launcher will even check if a mod has been updated and grab the latest version.

If you want to try making mods (and we think everybody should), the Creation Kit will be a free download via Steam under Tools. The Creation Kit has lots of new features, including the ability to build archives. Plus you’ll want to check out the Creation Kit Wiki, our online documentation and help file, for more details.

Of course, you’ll still be able to use popular fan-hosted mod sites like Skyrim Nexus to find great mods to play. We did not change any functionality to exclude the way mods worked previously. We even added a few features to help out — for instance, custom INI files can now be packaged into mods so you don’t need to backup your INI files anymore.

And we’re not done. Neither is Valve. Give us your feedback on the Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop in our forums. We both have updates in the works, so give us your thoughts.

Big thanks to programmers Ken Cockerham, Mike Lipari, and Shannon Bailey for getting the Skyrim Workshop up and running with Skyrim. And special kudos to Joel Burgess (who originally brought up the idea of using Steam Workshop) for shepherding this process along the way.

We’d also like to give big shout outs to Valve. We are all big Valve fan boys. Thanks to David Sawyer, Josh Weier, Pieter Wycoff, Kurtis Chinn, Tom Bui, Alden Kroll and Jason Holtman.

Finally, we’d like to thank all the modders who volunteered to beta test the Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop. Your feedback has been invaluable.

We can’t wait to see your work!

Reader Comments

  1. THIS is what we wanted to read and to know about. Not the other stuff you have been publishing until now. Now, let us fix your game for you and shape it as we want it to be. You’ve done a great job with Skyrim, now we’ll do ours for years to come!

    • This.

      CK looks good. We’re all eager to use it.

      SO GIEV.

      I, for one, have been holding off playing Skyrim properly until I can tweak it to perfection.

      I can’t wait to finally fix poor Meeko, so he’ll actually “go home” to *my* home, instead of going back to his shack, to spend his life sitting alone beside his dead owner…

      Seriously Bethesda; why did you make it impossible to give any of the dogs a good home? I tried to leave my “stray dog” at my home once.

      He vanished. The house ate him. I had to use console commands to get him back.

      Y U NO LIKE DOGS?

    • I totally agree, bethesda made this decade’s best game.

      And with the workshop, we can shape new structures, buildings and make the game our way or change the current!

        • They are going to release it. it’s coming. that’s how it is. could be any time now. any day…I hope they don’t give is a release date until they are absolutely sure that its releasing that day. or they can surprise us with a sudden release we didn’t see coming. whatever the case they are late, so any time it could come out. any time.

          • All I know is that from that video the CK has been in a release-able state for some time now, but they’ve refused to do so to hunt down what ever bugs they picked up after interfacing the steam workshop thing last minute.

            All they need to do to make me happy is release the CK.

          • The devs just can’t win, can they? If they release something with bugs, people whine and complain about how they should have held it off and fixed the bugs. If they hold something off to fix bugs, people complain about how they should just release it already.

          • I could, but I like Bethesda too much for that and I have too much class. My only gripe has been and will always be (Until its released) the delays to the CK.

          • If they are this close to publishing it no one should be working on it. Only QA testing should be going now to find a list all known bugs and MAYBE fixing the ones that can’t be ignored. QA testing can be done by anyone, thus when you divert man power to…write articles, create graphics, write scripts, do voice overs, clean voice overs, construct video etc etc. Those people could have been finishing the final test cases required to get the regression testing done sooner.

            All in all, I’m an impatient person, specialy when there are no deadlines, or when deadlines are not met and instead we get maybes some time at a date in the future.

            Release the kit and I shall be satisfied.

    • As I’ve said before, it’s not far off.

      We don’t have a final date set… it’ll go up once it’s ready. That could be tomorrow. That could be next week.

      Once we know for sure, we’ll let you guys know.

        • You guys keep on working at Skyrim and the CK. To know that, is half the way to the finish line. So, what’s the point?
          Most of us are waiting patiently (more or less) for the release, which you call “final”. ^^

      • Dear Bethesda,

        I absolutely understand your point, and (after working the last 10 years as a computer scientist after university graduation) I think that it is ABSOLUTELY HIGH CLASS what you do and how you approach things.

        Thank you Very Much for all your work, for Skyrim, for the updates, for the upcoming Creation Kit, any patches, and then sooner-or-later the most probably great DLCs!!!

        Thank you, Bethesda!!!

        …and, if I may just say 1 more thing: please consider bringing back the ORIGINALITY + LEAPING FORWARD OF MORROWIND somehow (maybe in the next TES game, or in DLCs, or anyhow:)

        I love your work and you can’t disappoint me by being as perfectionist as possible. Nothing is perfect. CK will come out, and there will be bugs. Somewhere on someones PC the will be some issue, maybe with the Steam Workshop, maybe with something else. Maybe you could avoid it, maybe not. Maybe it is the fault of the user, maybe not.

        The important thing is YOUR EFFORT. …that is what amazes me. You set the standard very-very high, and I can only wish for you to be able to keep it, and just push the envelope farther and farther!!! :)))

        TES VII: Maybe Virtual Reality? ;)))))))

        Best,
        Dan

  2. Oh my… O.O.
    The scene editor and dialogue view looks flippin’ AMAZING. Going to make modding easier than ever, I just hope the new scripting language is as good, or better, as the one used for Oblivion :D.

  3. Easy to download mods? That’s great.
    Only option is to “subscribe” to a mod? Not so great. Who is checking each mod to verify it doesn’t break a users experience with the game? Or do something malicious? Should we just let these auto update? If v1.1 of a mod is working fine why not make downloading of v1.2 electable?

  4. Not trying to be a hero but are you aware of how horrible you sound and the bad reputation you give to the rest of the community by bashing out such ungrateful comments?

    Anyways, great to see this coming out soon, keep that work up bethesda.

  5. Wow, I can see why it took awhile. It looks absolutely amazing and i can wait to get my hands on it. Steam integration with automatic updates does look very appealing. Now what happens when NMM gets that feature too? Can’t wait!

  6. I think this is going to kill skyrimnexus modding website. as well as all the other ones.

    Will there be any censorship on steam for mods? (i.e. nude mods or whatever)

  7. ok then maybe its just me as a none modder but from that vid it looked more difficult to use then the oblivion ck an i tried using that for years an still couldnt get anything right with it lol so i really do hope it has a noob setting cause im gonna need my hand holding while i get used to it an not some step by step videos either has some of them where even more confusing.

    • Trust me, I couldn’t use the CS for Oblivion at all when I first started, but you gotta stick with it; the wikis are a huge help, especially the “My first dungeon” tutorials.

      The only problems I ever have are finding what I want. HOPEFULLY a simpler tree?

      -Forky

  8. Thanks for the info guys, and great work on Skyrim, but I think people would’ve preferred the CK a bit earlier, even without steam workshop :/

  9. I swear, Bethesda could announce free chocolate cake for everyone who’s purchased the game, and half the comments would rail against Bethesda for not providing strawberry pie.

    Looking forward to the CK, I have some ideas I can’t wait to play around with.

      • I believe you paid for Skyrim, not the Creation Kit and Steam Workshop? If you wanted to ensure you were getting them, you should’ve waited until after they were released. Being ungrateful is complaining blindly when people are putting in effort for your enjoyment, placing total emphasis on everything that has gone wrong, despite the fact the good the Bethesda team have done dwarfs the bad.

      • Idiot is a bit of a strong word and I apologize but at the end of the day what other game company releases a tool kit specifically to help the modding community? Not many. Yes they did promise it, like they do with all elder scrolls games, but they technically don’t have to give it to us. Its free, it takes time for them to make ready and it will make modders lives easier. I am just shocked at some of the modding community, who have the patience to create brilliant mods, but don’t have the patience to wait just a bit longer.

      • it’s an awesome game. If a weeks delay to the CK is really that big of a deal to you, maybe its time to get a better job and stop acting like you spent $200 for all of the ridiculously awesome features instead of $60, like all the games that developers spend a year developing and don’t give any support at all for.

      • I’ve paid for my games forever. Yes, the first games I got besides low-level edutainment (Math Blaster and Reader Rabbit) I paid for. And I find your attitude nonsensical.

        • Realized that was ambiguous. I mean to say, there is no stamp on the box that says “includes one free Creation Kit”, nor is Bethsoft under any contract to deliver, and especially not to deliver by a given date. Ad hominem attacks only lower the level of discourse and are hardly appropriate in debate over the obligations of one party towards the public.

          • I bought the game due to the statement made by Bethesda that the game would have a CK. I was told of a feature of the game and decided to pre-order it based solely on such. If I didn’t want the CK I would have bought it for Xbox. They repeatedly say they will release one so don’t act like Bethesda is only releasing this CK out of benevolence or a sense of sharing. This franchise exists still primarily due to a prolific mod community. The games are good, but so are many more which replay value is as poor as an Elder Scroll game would be without a CK. The CK and the modding community is seriously the only reason Bethesda has grown as large as they have.

            I understand that sometimes these things take longer, I’ve done coding before. I don’t have any anger to the staff for the delay, it’s a large amount of variables to hammer out. I am angry at the PR. Don’t lie to me with arbitrary dates that have no validity. I’m more interested to hear about how far it’s gotten. I want to know what features are still in need of work. I want status reports, not a date.

            So get this straight. Yes, Bethesda does owe us a CK. They promised it well in advance. The PR could be done a little smarter or at least in a more respectful way. As for Ad hominem, you apparently didn’t get to psychology in your studies. Attacks of that nature are common among a helpless, uninformed group at the mercy of another for something they want, more so for something they feel owed. As I said prior, Bethesda owes us a CK, deny that and you’re obviously not looking at the perspective realistically.

            For me, Skyrim has been a huge bag of disappointment. The CK is the make or break factor between me liking the game for the long haul, or demanding my money back for a wide variety of reasons. Mainly, my pre-order said nothing about steam. I was not informed prior to purchase that I would be obligated to install a piece of 3rd party software that creates so many computer problems. That alone should be enough.

            But the programmers are brilliant and the CK always reflects that. For those that feel as I do, the CK is what we bought when we handed over the money for Skyrim, and it’s very late, and we are starting to get very impatient. I truly believe most everyone just wants some honesty.

      • Odd. Last I checked the CK is free, and was never advertised as being part of the boxed product or anything.

        You bash Bethesda for supposedly lying, then have the audacity to post lies yourself to make your case? WTF?

    • So true, but it’s the same for any company. Spotify’s blog is full of comments from people complaining about everything under the sun and basically no-one being grateful. Tis a shame.
      While I’m feeling nice myself, thank you Bethesda, this is a truly awesome update, and it’s exciting to see Steam Workshop functionality expand beyond Valve’s own titles.

    • It’s more like this:

      “Chocolate cake will be available to anyone who purchases Skyrim, either on the same day of the release or soon after. So please buy our game.”

      “The chocolate cake will be available in a few weeks.”

      “We’ve decided to give everybody strawberry pie along with these cakes even though nobody asked, but as a result we won’t have the cakes and pie ready until January.”

      “Well it’s February, so here’s a video of us eating some cake and pie. Cheers.”

      See why people are a little upset?

  10. Not long anymore, thank you Bethesda, for keeping us up-to-date. And the Steam Workshop feature looks awesome, probably will kill the need for readme’s and directory diving for most mods. Bet the more complex mods probably will still need the old fashioned way of installing. :P

  11. So the general interface is the same? Awesome! That’s what we wanted to hear ^_^. Can’t wait to use the new features too!, NPC interaction one looks like fun. Quick question: Will we be able to put items in Groups or Layers Photoshop-style or 3DS-style? It’s the only additional thing I’ve ever wanted to do. :)

    Looking forward to it, Bethesda! Thankyou!!

  12. Yay!! Thank you Beth! It’s so awesome that PC users get the kit so they can mod and make happy, while you give we console players the finger! XD Go you!!

  13. Bethesda, please go away from this complicated and ugly user interface in Creation Kit. It’s looking like from the Windows 98. It’s very rough to embody the desire to create.

      • I mean not that (win 7 is awful, i agree).
        I mean a whole new level of creation in the games – right inside the game by adding the needed instruments to the standard 3rd person view in game. Create new objects and etc. inside the live running game.

  14. Will we have access to the animation state machine?

    I want to do some animation mods but it seems like the biggest improvements to the animation system will need changes to how the state machine is structured, rather than just improvements to the animations themselves.

  15. Cannot wait Bethesda, your construction kits have always been a great addition opening infinite possibilities for some of the greatest games out there. Critical damage to the knee mod coming soon !!

  16. Are we still going to have to use a bashed patch to make sure all these mods work properly? From an end user’s perspective, one basically had to reach a modder-level understanding of the Oblivion esm/esp files and object models just to use mods correctly, let alone create them. A new mechanism to deal with this would outshine any other fancy feature in the CK.

  17. Looks great, I can’t wait to get going modding!
    Still not sure what sort of flexibility modders will have regarding uploading their mods to Steam. Can we comment in reply to feedback left especially false feedback, can we delete the mods we have uploaded (important when merging older mods into newer ones), is a readme even possible and if not will we have to try and fit a mass of information and credits to others whose work we have used into a small info box….and so on…

    But I guess those details will be revealed when it all goes live.

  18. One of the main reasons, why we get unfinished and faulty stuff all the time, is that producers have to keep time lines.
    So give BethSoft at least the chance, to release the CK when it’s DONE – not when the announced time line ends. We’ll get those tools by choice and for free – so calm down and stop bashing.

  19. I’d not be so hyped up about the trailer.

    The trailer has an exact meaning:

    Bethesda is 100% sure of not being able to make it for this week.

    Else why someone would waste let’s say…2 hours…on something that will be released two days thereafter?

    That’d not make sense.

    They’re feeding us the trailer because they’re not going to make it for this week and most likely not even for next week…it’s just “smoke and flash”!

    • I re-read the post…

      “…a new diary from Production Director Ashley Cheng…”

      That’s bad bad bad bad

      …why Bethesda feel necessary to add such a thing as a developer diary after the release of the game if they’re going to release the CK any time soon??

      Probably people talking about Valve Time weren’t far from truth…

  20. The Creation Kit is free, so I’m happy to get it whenever it comes out, but there has be no useful information about the 1.4 update, only “thanks for beta testing.” I have no clue whether beta testing efforts have made a difference since only a single reported issue made it into a beta build. Everything else has been too close-lipped. This lack of communication doesn’t inspire us to help make 1.4 better. Note: “we’re nearly there” is not informative.

    • @Dingus: The fact that they release a trailer is informative.
      Means that “nearly there” is quite far ahead in time. Else why do this kind of 100% PR update when most people are berserking about getting the patch and the CK?

      People has no need to be hyped further…

      Apart from that…I don’t think “beta testing” on the patch was going to impact *this* patch. While they are botching all their estimation, they’re probably under pressure for releasing because…well…you cannot leave thousands or milions of people pissed for you not releasing…at least not for much time.

      People who could buy the game can see the complains of those who already bought it…and that’s bad for sales.
      Jashkar

  21. Just thought I would leave a little comment for those who want to spend the time sifting through it….

    To those complaining about the release date…. Do you know WHY there are so many bugs in Skyrim at the moment? Chances are, it is because Bethesda was rushed to release an imperfect product because people like you need instant satisfaction. Do you really want to have the ability to “fix” the game(which is not needed, in my opinion) if the means by which you are “fixing” it will have just as many bugs as the game itself?

    To Bethesda… I am a PS3 player. Chances are, I won’t be using this directly, though I may get some mods from it. As a player, I appreciate everything you have done. With all you have going on with other titles, I would like to apologize for those who are so ungrateful that they can’t see how hard you are trying. Keep up the good work! And as said by someone else, take your time. Don’t give a release date if you aren’t 100% sure you can make it. I would rather have something postponed than to receive a sub-par product. Release it when you are ready. If people want it that bad, they will be willing to wait for it.

  22. Mmmmh…this new CK seems quite powerful… :-|

    …that NPC-interaction-thing with charts looks cool…

    …and I clearly see that 3D window movements are made through *mouse* and seem quite easy! I *love* that!!

    I was never able to properly navigate 3D window in previous Construction Kits…now hopefully I’ll be able to navigate it!
    Jashkar

  23. Stop bashing bethesda, and for all you trolls you should stop demanding the Creation Kit this instant.
    Bethesda are making a free program that you pay nothing for, im as ready to start modding as most of the community and yes im a little annoyed they are running late.
    But they didnt have to work this hard for you trolls, stop whining and Ill laugh when bethesda say ‘good luck, you can do without the CK for being so arrogant, use the skyedit’
    Just wait a few more days, just because they are over their deadline they said for january doesnt mean you have to sharpen the pitch forks and light the torches.
    If its not here by the end of febuary then by all means light them, but for now they are just a few days late.
    Get over it!
    And to bethesda, CK is looking good, just keep us posted, will be modding the moment its downloaded :-) I have big plans for Skyrim

    • The problem isn’t being a few days late. This fellow summed it up good.

      Daniel said on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 12:57 am:
      It’s more like this:

      “Chocolate cake will be available to anyone who purchases Skyrim, either on the same day of the release or soon after. So please buy our game.”

      “The chocolate cake will be available in a few weeks.”

      “We’ve decided to give everybody strawberry pie along with these cakes even though nobody asked, but as a result we won’t have the cakes and pie ready until January.”

      “Well it’s February, so here’s a video of us eating some cake and pie. Cheers.”

      See why people are a little upset?

  24. FINALLY!!!!!

    After nearly 100 hours on unmodded Skyrim, I have NOT played the game since.
    Already did EVERYTHING!! Boooooring…

    Stupid Bethesda. Thank god us modders can fix this miss you’ve made. Keep pumping out these half-assed hack n slash adventure games. But I’m not paying.
    Pirating your next title.
    You ripped me off for Skyrim @ 80 bucks so you can’t be mad