Developers from Bethesda Game Studios have said that Fallout 4’s base building mechanics were almost cut before launch.
In a new documentary from Noclip looking at the history of Bethesda Game Studios, Studio Director Ashley Cheng said that Fallout 4’s ‘workshop’ building and settlement systems almost didn’t make it into the final game. “The Workshop mode in Fallout was on the cutting block for so long,” Cheng said, “we just weren’t sure ‘does anyone even care about this?'”
Lead Producer Jeff Gardiner went on to explain that “Workshop was the easiest thing for us to cut because… it was ancillary to the rest of the game. It was a side thing.” Gardiner said that had they committed to it earlier, it could have potentially been woven into the main quest line.
This is somewhat surprising to hear given how big of a selling point it ended up being for Fallout 4. But even Bethesda admits that not everyone liked the Workshop side of the game, which many players would spend dozens of hours in while many others ignored it entirely. It’s also an interesting revelation given the rumors that building will be a large part of Fallout 76.
The documentary explains that the building features weren’t actually planned from the start. Instead, they came out of an internal “game jam” Bethesda hosted where developers could work on anything they chose. Another product of that jam were the cat animations that also made it into Fallout 4.
You can watch the full Noclip documentary here (with the part about building beginning around the 1:18:30 mark) which also talks about how Skyrim’s magic system was originally used in a cut quest. You can also learn the history of Vault 76 here to get a little more info about what Fallout 76 might have in store.
Tom Marks is IGN’s PC Editor and pie maker. You can follow him on Twitter.