The latest update to Skyrim’s Creation Kit now allows for Hot Plugin Loading. So what does that mean? Here’s BGS level designer Joel Burgess to explain…
As you know, we recently released version 1.6.89 of the Creation Kit. As previously mentioned, the CK is the same toolset the developers use – and that means that the latest version comes with an experimental new dev feature – Hot Plugin Loading.
Simply put, hot loading allows you to save and update your plugin from the Creation Kit, and immediately view those results in-game. No need to restart the game to see your changes! This has had a huge impact on iteration time around Bethesda Game Studios, and we hope modders will find it just as beneficial.
Note: As mentioned, this is an experimental feature. Not everything will work as expected, and there may be crashes or other hiccups. Many thanks to programmer Jay Woodward (aka RadHamster) for his work on this awesome new feature!
Load the Creation Kit as normal. Load your plugin (or create a new one)
In this example, we’ll pretend our active plugin is “nifty.esp”
Launch Skyrim as normal.
Make some changes in the Creation Kit, such as moving or adding a static.
In-game, open the console (~) and enter the command: “FCF”
This step only applies if you loaded nifty.esp in the Data files section of the launcher
This only has to be done once per boot of the game.
FCF is shorthand for “force close files”, and allows the Creation Kit to save a loaded plugin
Return to the creation kit and save nifty.esp
Return to the game. If possible, position yourself where you’ll notice your changes.
Open the console and enter: “HLP nifty” (or the name of your .esp file)
HLP is shorthand for “Hotload plugin”
The scene will re-load. Your changes show now be visible in-game!
“For any item, you can click ‘View all shared files’ to see what else the author has created, and then choose to follow that author. Following someone in the Workshop will let you easily discover the latest items and mods that they create, which is accessible through the “Followed Authors” filter on the right side of the Workshop. If you’re just getting started with the Workshop, let us point out a few of the more than 5,000+ authors that have been busy contributing.”
Ready to start using the Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop? Bethesda Game Studios level designer Joel Burgess gets you ready below…
When we created Skyrim, we set out to make the largest, most engrossing role-playing game we had ever attempted. Now it’s about to get a whole lot bigger, thanks to our amazing modding community.
Mod-makers have a long history with Bethesda Game Studios, bringing to life new quests, locations and characters, as well as making changes to game from subtle tweaks to full-blown overhauls. With the Creation Kit, the same tool we used to create Skyrim, there’s almost no limit to what can be accomplished – and we’re putting that power in your hands.
Best of all, access to the Skyrim Workshop and Creation Kit is free for anybody with a Steam account and a copy of Skyrim.
With the Skyrim Workshop, finding and installing your favorite mods is easier than ever before. Mod-makers will also enjoy a streamlined process for uploading mods directly to Steam.
Are you a mod newbie? Have you visited mods.elderscrolls.com and subscribed to some highly rated, popular mods? Here are some tips to help you get started.
Back up your saves. Your saves are located in your My Documents/My Games/Skyrim/Saves. Just make a copy of that directory as a backup.
Do not overwrite existing saves. Only make new saves while playing mods so that your original saves still exist if you decide you want to go back to playing without mods.
When you play Skyrim with a mod, in most cases, the new data for the mod will be written into any new saved games you create. For example, if you play Skyrim with Mod X and create a save, the next time you load that save, the game will expect Mod X to also be loaded. If you no longer want to play Skyrim with Mod X, it is best to unload Mod X (by unchecking the plugin under Data Files in your Skyrim launcher) and loading a save that does not require Mod X, usually an older save or a backed up save.
When trying mods with updated graphics settings, make sure your computer meets or exceeds Skyrim’s recommended specs <link>. We strongly recommended running with Windows Vista/7 with at least 4 GB of RAM and a video card with at least 1 GB of Video RAM.
Visit our mod forums. There are sticky threads and a decades old community of modding veterans – a treasure trove of information about creating and playing mods.
Click through for more frequently asked questions.
In addition to releasing the Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop, today we’re allowing players to experience Skyrim as you’ve never seen it before with the Skyrim High-Resolution Texture Pack. Before downloading it from Steam, make sure your system requirements exceed Skyrim’s recommended specs before attempting to install, including Windows Vista/7, a minimum of 4GB of system RAM, and a DirectX 9.0c compatible NVIDIA or AMD ATI video card with at least 1 GB of RAM and the latest drivers.
It’s been a few weeks since our last update on Skyrim’s status, so we wanted to share details on what we’re working on.
The Creation Kit and Steam Workshop are nearly ready. We’re currently working with members of Valve and our modding community to do some final testing, and we’re on track for a public release near the end of the month. We think Skyrim modding is one of the game’s best features, and we have the best modders of any game. It’s been a lot of exciting work for us, and we can’t wait to unleash it.
Skyrim’s 1.4 update is currently undergoing testing on all three platforms. The update will include fixes and optimizations for the most common issues people have been reporting (see below). We’re hoping to finalize this next week, and submit it to the console manufacturers for certification, as well as release on PC.
Our current update plan for the PC is to first release our updates as “beta” versions through Steam. This is something you’ll be able to opt into through Steam and back-out of if needed. This is an extra safety check for everyone going forward and should expedite and improve our updating process for our PC users. We’ll have more info soon on how this will work.
Echoing what we said back in December, we’ll continue to look into issues that are being reported and subsequent updates will follow. You have all supported Skyrim in a huge way, and we’ll be supporting all of you, and continue to make the game better.
After the break, check out the current changelog for 1.4.