Modding Interview: Jumping the Gun on Fallout 4

GTjP4cHEarly iterations of Zealotee’s Rail Rifle Mod for Fallout 4

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.

No stranger to weapons mods (Zealotee also created the popular ACR mod for Fallout 3 and weapons for Project Nevada), we recently caught up with Zealotee to learn more about the project.

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.

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Reader Comments

    • There’s a difference between a rail gun and a gauss rifle. We don’t know all the base guns in the game yet though either.

    • Just because someone started designing a Gauss Rifle mod as soon as the reveal trailer came out (before the E3 presentation showing weapon customization) that doesn’t mean Bethesda doesn’t already have a Gauss Rifle of their own design in the game. This article is mainly showcasing the talent and initiative of the modder Zealotee and also trying to build up hype for an upcoming title instead of showing a mod for one of their already released titles like they do in this recurring series.

      • Sure, but I still remember the disappointment with Fallout 3. I expected some staple guns from the classic Fallouts, like the Gauss Rifle, only to find out they were missing entirely. And I don’t want mods – people who make mods don’t exactly bother with balancing whatever they put in the game. If and when they release a mod that works and looks good enough.

        • In Fallout 3 the Gauss Rifle was added with the Operation Anchorage DLC, not mods. Also Bethesda doesn’t exactly bother too much with balance either, lest you forget the Chinese Stealth Suit in that same DLC.

          But yes Fallout 3 had considerably fewer weapons than Fallout 2, only 63 base weapons with all the DLC included, not counting thrown weapons like grenades. I attribute that to the decision to go with a more demanding 3D engine and the console limitations of the time. With the first two Fallout games the weapons were all just drawings and as such took up considerably less resources on computers.

          That said, Todd Howard revealed that Fallout 4 will have over 50 base weapons with over 700 modifications for these weapons. If you think that sounds like there are less weapons than even in Fallout 3 after the DLCs, you might be mistaken. As we saw in the E3 videos, using the base weapon of a Laser Pistol you can add modifications to turn it into a Laser Rifle, same for the Plasma Pistol / Rifle. So the “Over 50 base weapons” Howard mentioned are more than likely unique platforms for similar modifications, 50 unique weapon types as it may be. One of those types might very well be the Gauss Pistol / Rifle of your dreams.

    • Gauss guns and rail guns are very different in design and what they can look like firing. Not likely to get huge jets of flame and possibly molten projectiles out of a gauss gun, but you could out of a railgun and you could even do that by design if you wanted to.

      • Oh that’s right, I forgot. This mod is being listed as a “Rail Rifle” while the traditional Fallout gun is the “Gauss Rifle”. There is a difference. Thanks Charybdisjim.

        • Yep and railguns are a brute-force firebreathing kind of approach compared to the potentially more efficient but complicated gauss/coil gun.

  1. Awesome! I hope he gets a stable job in the industry. Bethesda should hire this guy! Seems legit! Haha. Seriously, someone hire this guy. He studied for it and has worked hard. He deserves to finally work on games! Thanks for the interview! 😉

    • >>Is it me or does it look like an mg42?

      TL;DR?

      From the article…
      >>The MG42 was an excellent base for this type of weapon. It’s recognizable, has a long barrel, and is fairly popular.

  2. Actually I don’t know why people would say it doesn’t fit, in New Vegas and FO3 the Brotherhood of Steel had the Guass Rilfe which is a rail gun, but still kewl idea I can’t wait to start modding my FO4 for my PC lol

  3. For the love of God bethesda you should hire this guy as a game designer for your games, given his expertise as well as his portfolio. The guy definitely would be better off with you guys than email production!

  4. If mods for this game become necessary to improve functionality and optimization, like they have with the last four games between TES/Fallout, expect gamers to asking why that’s still a thing in 2015.

    • I don’t imagine it would be 100% necessary. To me it seems like it’s mostly based on what you like. I like single shot weapons mostly so I can see myself turning a full-auto laser back into a semi-auto laser and I’m sure they’ll put in ways to balance that out.

      I could see where you were coming from if there weren’t that many modifications (i.e. tiered modifications where scope A is superior to scope B), but if there’s really as many modifications as they promise then I’m sure it’ll be all about finding what you like best .

  5. I would love to see a gun similar to district’s 9 arc gun where it just liquifies the enemy
    sadly i dont have the modding abilities to do myself

  6. If this company is going again shove MODs as mandatory updates, i think is better you just sell editors.

    Mods are cool, but if besides your lack in consequences and good plots, this is going to be another “wait a mod to play without an issue.

    4 years and a ton of mods inside Steam and Nexus, and your damn game still broken with this useless argument. You are turning creativity with mods into a glue no capable to fix CORE issues.

    • The mess is so big!

      You need a mod to fix the game, a mod to fix the dlc, then mods for animation, graphics, sounds… then mods to fix all mods. In the end you have more corrections between Steam and Nexus, not all compatible and plagued with discontinuations and lost causes months later.

      The boringness is not fixable, even with a ton of mods about guns.

      • I must be a red bearded mutant in reverse because after years of using mods since the days of MORROWIND i have for the past three years or so been using a modless setup for ten months out of the year without getting bored once. Its like my youth was wild and decadent moddinghood and now in my later years its more sensual shakespearean classical with the the original core of Bethesda rpgs.

        Awesome looking rail gun by Zealotee and amazing that such things actually exist in real life.

        • All lessons from Morrowind are gone, destroyed by a volcano of cazualization.

          Fallout 4 is going to be dumbdown and focused on mods, because those guys want be a online store. Actually, Fallout is a better idea for MMO than the corpse of Elder Scrolls.

          • I doubt it considering how mature and over the top the content for FALLOUT and FALLOUT NEW VEGAS are. Inbreeding, cannibalism, scammer boyfriend has girlfriend butchered as she goes on a trap laden path to check on a refrigerator only to end up as Gecko food, slaves with explosive devices on their necks, vampirism, whole families slaughtered by giant ants. Does’nt sound too casual to me.

            Thanks for the reply Castro and making me search my memory banks to see why i love this series so much 🙂

  7. Will Bethesda offer tools and/or documentation to make importing models easier with FO4 mods compared to how hard it is in ES5? Not just for weapons/armor, but world statics.

  8. Calm down, people. Regardless of how you feel about the game’s stability when you haven’t even played it, this modding showcase aint the place for it. Gun looks cool, certainly looks like it will be one of those mods that fits so seamlessly into the game, you forget months down the line whether it came with the game or not. That’s just the sort of mod I like to see in development. Great work!