"I remember thinking, ‘If anything has to get cut, the workshop is going to be it'...As a producer, I was like, ‘In my little jigsaw puzzle of a schedule, if that falls off, that’s the thing that will make me find time to accomplish the other goals we have for this project."
- Fallout 4 lead producer Jeff Gardiner remembers having a particularly thorny development challenge.
Bethesda is ready to release Fallout 4 next week, and today Game Informer published a feature on its website that examines the game's development and features some interesting comments from developers in lead roles on the project.
Of particular interest are comments on the development and balance of the game's complex crafting system, which requires players to break down items scattered throughout the game world to salvage their component parts and use those to assemble everything from weapons and drugs to structures and base defenses.
"We had never done something like that before, and it’s big, scary new tech," said lead producer Jeff Gardiner, who told Game Informer that the robust "workshop" system was initially designed explicitly for the game's modding community, but proved engaging enough to integrate into the game itself. "No one likes big, scary things."
Pushing the team to nail these modder-friendly crafting systems suggests Bethesda continues to see its modding community as a key part of its business, even after the brief kerfuffle that erupted over the company's (temporary) decision to introduce paid mods to the Steam version of Skyrim earlier this year.
While the PC version of Fallout 4 will support user-created mods at launch, Bethesda has previously said it intends to offer similar modding functionality to players of the console versions at a later date.
For more details on the game's development, including comments on how the team added, then removed a working in-game Python compiler, check out the full Game Informer feature.