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. Wow this looks really good and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I see now why you’ve had such a time getting this out within the time frame you made. Next time just pull an arenanet and just say it’ll be done when it’s done. Then people like me will wait patiently and be thankful for what they have instead of whining insatiably for a product that is free and extends an already excellent game. ;) Just saying.

  2. When will the wiki be released I assume thats pretty much done. Any chance that could be released today or tomorrow if the ck doesn’t come out.

  3. Ah, so you can’t upload anything with additional files (textures, meshes, etc)? Makes sense, it’ll probably already be a mess to deal with compatibility, but I would still like a little clarification.

    Either way, can’t wait to look through the game files with the CK. :)

  4. How much you wanna bet the Creation Kit has been ready for PC since release and the only reason it’s delayed is because they’ve been trying to make it compatible for xbox so they can do a craptastic crossplatform release.

    • The only reason it would be delayed was for adding Steam Compatibility.

      They would like mods to work on Consoles but due to the nature of systems its not very fesiable and Bethesda has stated this.

      • I would say the above reply is correct – there’s also the possibility that they hung on to the CK in order to get a head start on the game’s official DLC. Modders on nexus had 1,000 mods up in the first week of Skyrim’s launch – and that’s without an actual editor. The modding community works incredibly fast. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were an announcement within a week or two on the first batch of Skyrim DLC.

  5. Man i wish my Steam Client would be nearly as fast and smooth as the one in your video.
    In reallty steam loads ages after each click :(.

    But @topic:
    cant wait to play around with the CK! Dunno whether i will use steam workshop at all or stick to the nexus…

  6. “Find and install the best mods for Skyrim directly from Steam!”

    Umm.. no, the Nexus will always be the best place to install mods from..

  7. My only qualm about past CKs was the obnoxious use of heightmaps. Not that I disagree with heightmaps, but the HM editor was a beast of a thing to get used to, and it crashed the CK on a regular basis. I didn’t see any HM editing in the video above, but I am wondering if it is basically the same principle (colored height values, massive changes vs fine changes to terrain?) What I would have loved to have seen was a WYSIWYG heightmap editor (much like NWN2 is.) I know NWN2 is on a much smaller scale than the massive ES worlds, but I am hoping that some day either Bethesda or a friendly programmer is able to release a WYSIWYG HM editor (not just import tools from WorldMachine, etc which are equally aggrivating to use.) One thing I did love about the Oblivion CK coming from extensive modding in NWN2 was the fact that interiors are designed much the same way (though not using tiles, but the abililty to build vertically in earnest was worth not using tiles.) Made the jump from NWN2 modding to Oblivion interior modding quit easy for me.

    • Oblivion interious were significantly more bland compaired to Morrowind’s set peices. From what I’ve seen in Skyrim so far, there are allot more options….for caves at least.

  8. I love the new look of the dialogue editor! Was always such a pain getting things to work right in the old conditions/responses format.

    Don’t think I’ll be using Steam Workshop myself since it looks more like it’ll be a mass file dump rather than a community, but cheers on getting that working too!

  9. All of you guys bashing Bethesda, really? How old are you! Instead of complain, why not thank them for making Skyrim. It is literally the best game I’ve ever played. Oblivion and Morrowind aren’t any different. So it hasn’t come out yet, do you guys not have patience? Bethesda works their butts off making this game the best it can be. Theirs no need to be mad about it, it makes it better when it comes out, its worth the wait.

    • Delay on bug fix is not Bethesda’s fault.

      Whenever a batch is released for a console game by the developers of the game, it first has to be tested (again) by the system spec testers of that company i.e Sony Microsoft.

      No one forced you to get the game on Console ;)

      • GenGrimm, perhaps this person could only afford to get the console version because he or she doesn’t own a PC good enough? Perhaps the game was a gift (like mine). Think before you speak.

        I’m absolutely sick of the assumption that everyone’s made of money.

        • Well, you pay double the money for your games on the consoles..

          And GenGrimm is right, no one forces you to play on a console.. get a sidejob if you are in school, in 2 months you should be avaible to get a great computer.

  10. For free, the Construction Kits that Bethesda has released in the past are pretty good.

    I would gladly PAY EXTRA for the construction kit separately – even more than the cost of Skyrim itself – IF:

    * Bethesda supported the program after its release, and
    * It was real, FULL program that their developers used, and
    * It came with tools to import content from their other games.

  11. Thank you guys, looked like you have put a ton of work into it and I for one am very happy that you guys have done so. Don’t listen to the few people on here bashing you, you have done an awesome job, can not wait to use it and download the great mods to follow.

  12. WAIT. I’m guessing that SKSE won’t be supported since it uses a custom launcher, and the one in the video is the default one. So we cant use any of the mods that need to use SKSE guessing….

  13. Bethesda… What happened to the Mod tools for the Consoles? One minute you guys said that all you needed was an avenue to release them, next it’s like it never even happened.
    I’ve got to say, I’ve put a good chunk of my life into your games since Morrowind, but with each new iteration of the franchise you pull more and more features out. Oblivion was better in so many ways it drives me insane. Don’t get me wrong, Skyrim was a solid game, a great game, but it didn’t grow in regards to gameplay, and that’s a problem. I could probably write a 20 page report on the whys and hows, but I don’t want to get too off topic here (Which I already have, but whatever.)
    Back to my original question; what was it that stopped you from releasing Mod tools for the Consoles? There was never a definitive answer, (or any answer really) as to what happened.

    • @CYBlackeagle22. We’ve said that we’d love to do mods on the consoles, but that there’s still some hurdles involved with that. Right now, we only have plans for the Creation Kit on PC.

      • About it I thought that Bethesda and Steam should create this creation kit application and put it on the console store (like playstation store) and place (for who download it) the creation kit on the main menu of the game.
        Im waiting to see this on my ps3 PLEASE!
        Thanks for the attention.

  14. Okay, I forgive you for being late.

    Not completely happy about the new scripting language, though! I was just starting to get good at it, and now I’ll have to start all over! :(

    • One good thing about programing is your never starting over.

      90% of coding is the same just in differnt orders and swaped symbols.

  15. TBH, I think we need more info on what exactly SteamWorkshop is going to be able to do. This is not TF2, where all you do is make items. There are going to be conflicts with mods, and a lot of them, so I hope SWS is capable of alwing us to download them, but then have NMN handle everything else. That would be the perfict way to do it.

    • That is the way it works. SW is just another version of the NMM but it works the same way. It downloads the files to the same place useable by any mod manager.

  16. Bethesda: “Here at Bethesda we encourage players to fix our broken game, and make it ten times better than we can, so we’re releasing the creation kit.”

  17. I noticed “Could come out tomorrow” keeps being said. I hope so. Can’t wait to get modding. Thanks Bethesda for all your hard work. Keep up the good job.

    • There isn’t a CK in this universe yet and it’s possible there won’t be one for the next TES game because support for the PC platform for TES games has been on a steep decline. Personally, I would rather see Bethesda take a more committed approach to supporting their own games rather than making the community do it.

      • Dingus,
        it is just like the idea of Open-Source software. The limited number of developers can’t do the same things (e.g. content creation with and SDK-like utility, like for example CK is going to be for Skyrim) like many-many more devoted fans and users in much more time.
        It is a business (positively speaking), you see? …we get more/better content (done partly by the community), and they (the developers) get more sales for longer period + MANY GREAT IDEAS to create better games/content in the future. This is a “golden spiral”, you see?
        …so that’s it: better for both parties.
        Letting the community to be engaged in development is a BRILLIANT IDEA. It works in the open-source sector, and the same idea is working (since for example Morrowind) also here. …even without CK, did you see for example on Skyrim Nexus, how many MODS were already done by Skyrim-enthusiasts? …even without proper tools.
        The contribution of the community cannot be replaced by any number of developers, that one I can assure you. …so why don’t you just try CK when it comes out? …it is a joy to share your OWN WORK with others, you’ll see (I hope:))
        Dan

      • I think you can count on them continuing to make CKs simply because its a cost effective R&D.

        They let people make the things they want, cherry pick the best features and try their best to get them in the next game.

        Morrowind had no player owned homes, so Modders made tons of them. Then magicly oblivion had player owned homes in all of the cities. People liked being able to shelve their weapons/armor in oblivion/morrowind so it ended up in Skyrim etc etc.

  18. The more they rush it the more problems there will be. It’s called patience. I would rather they took a year and it be awesome then three months and it only half way work.

    • While I agree it should come out when its ready they shouldn’t have told us any dates for the release until they were sure. Now we feel like we’ve been lied to and drug along. Enough with the marketing ‘coming soon’, ‘almost done’ and ‘wrapping up’. Poorly executed is all I’m saying.

  19. Even if the creation kit isn’t release could you please release the wiki documentation so that we can start learning how to use it? I’m wanting to hit the ground running to start working on my mods…

  20. I just want to say thanks to Gstaff for keeping us informed and thanks to Bethesda for continuing to support the game and give us a CK despite all the whining and complaining going on. I’m glad we have the new patch and really excited the CK will be out soon. Got some mod ideas ready, but still playing the game having fun!

  21. Honestly, I’m happy they put this up. At least they gave us somewhat of a taste, and on top of that it looks simply amazing. Thank god for a job and school to keep me occupied until the release! Thanks, Beth!!!

  22. This is looking fantastic, but I have a question. Will it be possible to sort load order and conflicts in the workshop or the Skyrim launcher?

  23. Look, I don’t care. I’m just sick of being jerked around. They keep giving us release dates that keep coming and going.

    They said “starting in January”. Well, January has now come and gone, and still NOTHING. If they’d be honest with us and just say that Steamcrap is giving them problems and delaying them, and it’ll be at least a few months before it’s sorted out, that would be great, but nooo… it’s always “just around the corner” like it was two goddamn months ago.

    Cut the crap already. The modding program was “ready” for us LONG before the damn game ever was, since you USED it to make the game. Stick to your goddamn word when you’ve given it, if you know there’s a chance you may not be able to, then don’t give one in the first place. You’re only upsetting people and damaging your reputation.

  24. Wow im really happy to hear this update. Specially for the Creation Kit and the official mod support on steam.
    You guys did a big great job!
    Long life to Bethesda!

  25. My main hope with Skyrim CK is that Skyrim has a half decent scripting language. Since I am presently using ScriptDragon, I have the advantage of full C++ capability at my disposal. Trying to port from C++ to some lame scripting language is going to totally suck.

    Apart from that though, totally looking forward to the CK release. I find Skyrim rather boring compared to previous ES games, so can’t wait to start modding.

    People raging about it are just idiots…. you paid for SKYRIM, not the construction kit. Bethesda doesn’t “owe” you anything. Just be patient for crying out loud.

  26. I know I’ll probably get a bunch of PC gamers telling me how stupid I am for asking this but will it ever be possible for players on Xbox 360 & PS3 not to use the CK to create & upload mods but to download mods that PC gamers have already created?

    • In a word, no. The problem with console mods isn’t that the system isn’t capable, it’s that Microsoft and Sony aren’t allowing user-created content on their consoles.

  27. 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

  28. You are awesome! Thank you for your efforts. The Elder Scrolls titles are well-worth to be purchased at full price just after their release, and to be honest, I just couldn’t stand to wait until they’re available at discount! Thanks for the upcoming creation-kit! Very much looking forward to it!
    Keep it up!

    Best, Hank

  29. I was thinking about the Steam automatic mod update.

    Take a house mod for example, to update a house mod the newest ESP is required, that replaces the existing ESP the users have. Well…

    Replacing an ESP with a new one will wipe all player stored equipment in that house. Therefore automatically updating a house mod will result in users loosing all their hard earned treasures.

    This is why us house modders warn players to remove all stored equipment before installing an update to our mods.

    Just a thought that has me wondering on whether the automatic updates may cause more problems then solve. I really hope there will be a solution to this otherwise new players will have a lot of trouble.

  30. This is rubbish. It’s Steam that’s causing you to keep breaking your given release time frames, isn’t it? Holy Crap. You realize nobody likes Steam or Valve or whatever, right? They’re all crap and IMO you need to ditch those colossal losers.

    Oh, and stop breaking your word. Don’t give one if you cannot keep it.

  31. Also, like I said, the program HAD to have been “ready” a LONG time ago, since, you know, they already used it to build the goddamn game. The blather about it “not being ready” is a load of crap.

    • The tools we working for the Dev but there are parts that are licensed that they can’t distribute in the Dev version of the toolset. So presuming the Creation Kit Project during pre-release time. Its understandable there there would be some delay.

  32. And there`s going to ps3 and xbox too?
    Because I love the game, This great idea and now I can only play on ps3, and I`m going to be sad if the creator works only for computers.