Fallout 4 DLC: Todd Howard Explains How They Came Up With The Idea For Wasteland Workshop

Fallout 4: Miencraft.

Posted By | On 27th, Mar. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

Fallout 4 Wasteland Workshop Screen

There is an argument to be made that Fallout 4, for all of its success, is ultimately a regression over the previous games in the series, simplifying most of its mechanics and systems, to mixed results at best, and decidedly poor ones at worst. In a lot of ways, all of this streamlining has made Fallout 4 a worse playing, less compelling game than its predecessors.

There is one exception to this, and that is the game’s crafting mechanics- Bethesda doubled down on just how extensive and powerful the crafting tools are in Fallout, and they managed to create one of the most compelling reasons to stay invested in the game in the process. They seem to be doubling down on the crafting, too- next month’s DLC for Fallout 4 is Wasteland Workshop, which expands the crafting even further.

Speaking to IGNFallout 4 director Todd Howard explains how the development team arrived at the idea for an expansion of the game’s crafting with DLC.

“I think the Workshop stuff was the biggest surprise for us, in that…how many people gravitated toward it as its own game and are doing all sorts of crazy things with it,” Howard said. He said that the popularity had encouraged Bethesda to look into expanding the customization options in future DLC releases, and that Wasteland Workshop was the result of this process.

It does make sense, too- the crafting in Fallout 4 is almost like a metagame, an entirely separate set of mechanics that exist independently of the rest of the game. It is possible to ignore everything else in the game, and for one to immerse themselves entirely into the fleshed out offerings of the crafting mechanics- it’s almost like Minecraft with a decidedly more post apocalyptic bent. It’s good to see Bethesda in tune with their fanbase, and what they clearly want.

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  • hubbajube

    “Everything sucks! You suck for likeing everything that sucks!” Said every narsistic critic ever

    • TheDevian

      That is what a critic’s job is, to point out flaws. Nothing is perfect, and a critic is there to point out where there could be improvement, so we all get a better entertainment experience.

    • David Bullard

      I thought the story was good, it could’ve been a little longer though but I liked the story…I lover workshop too. The workshop does have its moments where it really pisses you of but I love the workshop a lot more than I hate it. They just need to add walls with windows in them…if the added some pre war walls and furniture that’d be awesome!!!!! Hopefully someone makes a console mod for pre war workshop stuff.

    • TheDevian

      It’s not that I though the story itself was “bad”, it’s that it was bad for an RPG, especially an open world one that boasts how you can go anywhere and do anything, and that they have railroaded you into a certain character, they even complain when you do not live up to it. They also prevent you from doing things your character should know how to do if you have not done one of the ways you can learn about it, and the many other options don’t unlock them. Then you have examples of the exact opposite, where things happen that shouldn’t with any logic (like your maxxed out sneaking character being spotted by everything in the building, no matter how low their level, or even when they are 3 floors up and you have made no noise, or being promoted for doing next to nothing). Most of these would be hard to explain without spoilers, but when I do not actively avoid the main story, it makes little sense, blocks me from doing anything I would want to, and other than a handful of side quests, most quests only have one solution, a violent one, all the while they are telling you what a hero you are, even while you are walking into someone’s home, killing them, and taking their things (even if they are raiders). Though, when a few robots are your most compelling NPCs, and only a handful of side quest are interesting, you have a serious writing issue.

      I mostly agree with you on the Workshop part of the game, it is easily the most compelling part of the game, but I am bias, I love building things. I used to only build things in the Sims, almost never actually played the game, and this is much like that now. Other than the lack of items, which will constantly grow with expansions and mods, the main problem is the game forgetting what you have built, and the number of people who live there, making everyone unhappy, because they think there are not enough beds/food/etc. and making it more likely that it will get attacked. Then of course you have how hard it is to place objects that either (like the junk fences) need the ability to overlap some, or by all rights, should be able to snap into place, but for some reason that even the game doesn’t understand, it will only snap to the outside, or stay red, until you have rotated it 17 times, ran around the hole 3 times, stood on your head, and recited your profanic prayers to the rug gods, and only then will it snap into the exact same place you have been trying with nothing different at all! Even the stupidity of a settlement being worried about the threat of an attack from something on the other side of the map, pales compared to that. As if the mindless mobs in this game would pass by 6 other settlements to attack that one! It should not be unreasonable to add a bit of logic, and make those things make sense by being close, especially where they put the settlements literally right next door to a number of threats (that should be the ones attacking), usually in some of the worst possible locations! Take Jamaica Plains for example, almost every single other part of that section of town would have been a better location than the one they chose, you can’t even go inside one of the buildings, it’s useless! You go in one direction, there is a good water source, and in every other direction, there are nice lots and mostly functional buildings! Or Coastal Cottage, which is surrounded on 3 sides by water, that you can’t use!

      However, none of this means that I do not like the game, I wouldn’t spend this much time analyzing something I don’t like at all. I, and many others, only wish it was a ‘better’ game, the game it could have been, had they not cut so many corners and mechanics. If they had taken what was good, and dropped and/or improved what did not work. Unfortunately in this, they did much the opposite, by cutting and changing what worked, and improving what didn’t really matter. (FPS mechanics are not generally what RPG fans look for in a game…)

      No matter how much we enjoy something, we need critics to point out where they could have been better, that is how we improve.

    • TheDevian

      To me the story would have been okay in an adventure game, but it was terrible for an RPG, especially one in which we are supposed to be able to go anywhere, do anything.

      The workshop is fun for me, as someone who used to love the sims, but it was poorly implemented, broken, and felt as if they tacked it on at the last min, with out properly being tested, but then most of their games are like that, most of the industry in fact.

      All of the things you want for building are available at the Nexus, some of it will get ported I am sure, the new stuff with the new DLC packs (most we have had as mods for months), also have a lot of things like windows.

  • TheDevian

    Yup, the story was so bad that it actually gets in the way of playing the game, so we ‘gravitated’ toward the broken building system, the part that modders could most help improve… Now if only we could power tvs and fast travel from those settlements without the game completely forgetting everything we built (and the number of people) until we go back and open the workshop again! Oh well, the GECK or whatever they are going to call it this time are due out soon, hopefully modders can fix that, unlike the lack of roleplaying options.

  • DatGuy

    Gameplay streamlined? Regression? Have we played the same game? It’s in FACT a lot more complex than previous games. Cover is actually a factor unlike previous games. Crits work differently, but in fact allow a lot more to happen. The available perks are bigger and more significant than ever, despite the disappearance of skills and skill points (which were just passive factors anyway so they didn’t do much other than be numbers). Enemies can do more than ever, just like the player.

    The only thing they kind of simplified is the general dialogue options. But that’s it.

    As for people complaining about the story, yeah, it doesn’t have the imagination and quality of other titles in the series – or other Bethesda games – but I like their way of telling the story. This time there is no preset good and bad. There’s always people that like you for your decisions and those who dislike you. You just pick a side and that’s actually a very realistic way to let the player progress. Other than that it’s about what adventures YOU make. YOU provide the story. That’s one of the hardest things to do for Roleplaying games and Bethesda pulled that off spotless IMO.

    As for more crafting DLC… you can bet Bethesda wants to rush crafting content for extra profit because they know people are going to mod the game to dead soon enough. It’s a big reason why they are holding off on the GECK. Regardless, I don’t care as long as they put effort into it and so far I can’t complain. Loved Automatron already.

  • josh471

    Who on earth thinks fall out 4 is a step down!? Everyone I know is absolutely in love with this game and I’ve played the last 2 fallout games and this one exceeded them by leaps and bounds! In fact someone tried to sue Bethesda because the game was too addicting… I’m sorry but if you think this game is a step down then your life must suck or every one you know lets you down cause this game is awesome. Plus keeping things simple is always a great idea and keeps many people from getting frustrated.


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