With modding more accessible than ever in Fallout 4, we always anticpated that we’d continue our series of interviews with folks modding the game. What we didn’t expect was to do our first interview nearly four months before the release of the game. But that’s where we are.
Floridian Peter Zaccagnino (a.k.a. Zealotee), recently made headlines as one of the first — if not the very first — to get started on a mod project for Fallout 4. His mod is the Rail Rifle and features customizable muzzles, barrels, and more.
What inspired you do create a rail gun mod?
I’ve always liked rail guns for some reason. In real life they’re incredibly powerful. The ones the Navy currently uses can fire from miles and miles away with extreme precision. However my rail rifle is more of an anti-personnel weapon than anything. Rail guns are also excellent at piercing multiple layers of armor so perhaps they could be very efficient against power armored foes. I had previously created a rail cannon for Project Nevada which I was really proud of. But what I noticed when reading about the players that were using it was that it just didn’t fit the Fallout aesthetic. It was too sci-fi and futuristic for some and didn’t fit in with the rest of the world. I happened to agree. So I set out to make a weapon that had a classic look to it with a futuristic functionality.
So at what point did you start the project? Was it during the E3 Showcase?
Believe it or not it was a day or two after the reveal trailer came out. I immediately started sketching ideas, looking up concepts, and getting a general idea of what I wanted it to look like. The MG42 was an excellent base for this type of weapon. It’s recognizable, has a long barrel, and is fairly popular.
How did the presentation of weapon modding impact your thoughts on creating the rail rifle?
When I saw how all the weapons in the game can be modded into different variants, my jaw dropped. That was one of the features I was most excited about. It also revamped my thought process entirely. Now I had to come up with designs for different barrels, stocks, muzzle breaks, optics, and magazines. I was excited though. It would allow me to create an entire platform of weapons versus one single weapon which was going to behave like an energy light machine gun. Now there will be a sniper rifle, light machine gun, assault rifle, and many more!
Did any other parts of the presentation inspire you with new ideas?
Come to think of it, I was so engrossed with the weapon modding portion of it that I couldn’t think of any other ideas. That’s not to say I wasn’t blown away by what was shown. The settlement crafting is amazing. Later on I may even make a turret version of the rail rifle or stationary mounted rail rifles for the player and NPCs to defend the settlements with. Ultimately a lot of those ideas will be determined once I’ve poured some hours into the game to see what it’s like.
Outside of modding, what do you do for a living?
I do email production for a marketing firm down in South Florida. Ideally I’d love to get into the game industry though. I also do freelance work on the side ranging from pixel art, vector art, and of course 3D.
What other modding projects should folks check out from you?
In terms of mods, ZL Armaments for New Vegas has all of my weapons (minus the Project Nevada ones) plus two new weapons, a VSS and an AS-Val. You can find them here.Here’s the link: ?
Other than that I’ve done quite a bit of freelancing for indie projects. You can check out my portfolio of pixel art here and I am currently available for hire!
I also just recently completed art for a mobile game called Fuzz Jump. It was my first real expedition into vector art and with design help from my lovely fiance we were able to create a cute and fun style. Definitely a world away from my Fallout mods haha.
What modders have inspired your work?
When I first started there weren’t many modders that really struck me with their work. Most of the good mods I liked at the time simply used the already existing assets in creative ways like Enclave Commander. I had gone to school for game design and by the time I had finished there were no prospects in sight for that industry. Eventually I decided that I should try creating mods. No one had made an SVD for Fallout 3 yet so I started there. Through trial and error and plenty of feedback from the community I completed it. After that I found an awesome network of modders that eventually brought me into the fold of Project Nevada, namely The 3rd Type and Snakster/Schlangster. Out of everyone they inspired me the most.
How else are you readying for Fallout 4’s release in November?
My PC, while not the greatest of machines, should be ready to go to play the game. If I finish the Rail Rifle model with plenty of time to spare (and more than likely I will) I plan on starting another weapon project. I’m not 100% sure what it will be just yet.
Well there you have it. Thank you so much for the opportunity! Also here is a link to the most current version of the rail rifle. It’s a low polygon model with the normal maps baked in. Texturing should begin soon.