The Skyrim Creation Kit, built in partnership with Valve, promises to make distributing and installing mods a whole lot easier.
Bethesda has confirmed that the Skyrim Creation Kit is on track to launch tomorrow, and that it'll be bringing with it a special surprise.
Designed to provide the same tools that Bethesda itself used to create the vast world of Skyrim, the release of the Creation Kit follows a trend for providing PC gamers with the ability to shape the Elder Scrolls series of role-playing games to their individual requirements.
Previous titles in the series, such as Morrowind, have had the tools available at launch. Skyrim, however, has had something of a delay. This hasn't stopped modders, though: even without the official Creation Kit, there's an amazing amount of content
available for the game.
The official Creation Kit promises to boost the modding scene into overdrive, however. Based around the same toolkits used by Bethesda itself, the Creation Kit has been developed with Valve to feature heavy Steam integration to make it possible to share mods directly within the company's digital distribution platform.
Rather than having to download mods from a - potentially sketchy - third party site, the Creation Kit integration with Steam will allow users to browse and search for Skyrim mods, subscribe to projects and automatically keep installed mods up to date.
For those who have already been working on modding the game, the Creation Kit offers an easier way to share their wares. It also adds new functionality, such as the ability to build archives and the option to pack custom INI files into the mod directly.
In the original announcement of the Kit, Bethesda producer Ashley Cheng claimed that the company is going a step further this time around: it's looking to expand the world of game modification outside the PC. "We’re going to keep looking for ways to get mods to more people," Cheng claimed, "and hopefully one day to our console audience."
Delays to the release of the Creation Kit have been frustrating gamers, but it looks like that is coming to an end. Pete Hines, Bethesda's vice president of marketing, told fans on microblogging service Twitter
: "For our Skyrim PC fans, the Creation Kit is on track for release on Tuesday. And, we also have a special surprise with it. #whatcoulditbe!?"
Fan speculation as to the nature of the surprise is rife, but one thing seems clear: it's unlikely to be as surprising as seeing the dragons transformed into My Little Ponies
Looking forward to the Skyrim Creation Kit?Got an idea as to what the surprise might be? Share your thoughts over in the forums