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Fallout's co-creator likes mods because they can help solve dumb Twitter arguments, and he's totally right

Preach it, Tim Cain.

The Vault-Tec rep in Fallout 4.
Image credit: VG247/Bethesda

Tim Cain, one of the developers behind the original Fallout and a consultant on The Outer Worlds 2, has outlined how he feels about mods in a recent YouTube video, and one of the big positives he alludes to is their potential to serve as an alternative or solution to annoying back-and-forths about features and mechanics in video games.

If you’re modding a game, odds are some of the first works you’ll grab - assuming they’re on offer - will be ones that revamp certain systems within it to better match what you want from the experience. For some people, it’s turning Fallout 4 into a survival game, for me it’s turning everything into Fallout New Vegas, complete with perk and skill systems that mirror that game.

As it turns out, Fallout co-creator Tim Cain’s a big fan of these kinds of mods, because they can actually help developers think about things people might want them to do with or add to their games without just being someone declaring ‘do this’ on the internet.

“There’s a huge difference between somebody saying ‘I wish the skills worked this way’, and a modder going ‘I made the skills work this way’, Cain explains in a recent YouTube video on the subject of modding. From a developer’s point of view, he outlines that to him: “one is ‘that’s an interesting opinion’, some people agree, some people disagree, the other is ‘hm, let me take a look’.

“Rather than argue over whether it’s a better skill system, I can play it and see how it actually works, and see how it interacts with the perks and levelling and other skills,” Cain says. He adds that this is one of the reasons he has a lot of respect for modders, who’ve taken the time to learn how to add things to or change a game they like, something that requires more commitment than just liking a game and talking about it a lot on social media.

The latter is obviously still a thing lots of us do and something developers can glean positive stuff from - after all, anyone who makes a game wants people to like it - but by actually bringing ideas being floated in comments sections and on forums to life in a tangible form, mods can sometimes be a nice way to avoid situations where people are just relentlessly begging for things.

Think about Cyberpunk 2077 modders adding their own iterations of metro systems and romantic hangouts to that game, in a way that likely helped show CD Projekt that there was definitely appetite among the player base to see more of those kinds of things in official updates.

Obviously that isn’t feasible for every game - Cain touches on how tough it can be for developers to actually make sure they’ve left the tools in a game needed to make it moddable relatively easily in the the video - but it’s a positive for many, and has probably helped save us from plenty of Twitter tiffs over the years.

If you love a good mod, make sure to check out our coverage of the recent showcases of the huge Fallout: London and Skyblivion.

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