Modding is already part and parcel of the Fallout community. It's the lifeblood of Bethesda's fanbase in one sense, with modders putting as much time into their creations as some of the developers themselves.
But now NVIDIA is getting involved in the scene as well, offering up $USD40,000 for some of the best Fallout 4 creations from the community.
The competition is meant to coincide with the proper release of the Garden of Eden Creation Kit, Bethesda's official toolset for modding. Creators will be able to submit mods in one of the following four categories:
- Status: Mods manipulating the way things work in the game, like dialogue, audio mods, patches, UI changes, and Utilities
- Inventory: Mods based around creating weapons, enhancements to existing weapons, apparel, aids/chems, miscellaneous items, and more
- Data: Mods focusing on new quests and Fallout 4’s Workshop mode
- Map: Mods featuring new environmental elements— new towns, cities, vegetation, environmental art, and more
The top five mods for each category will be handpicked by NVIDIA, with the finalists going forward to a public-wide vote starting July 11. The judging criteria is supposedly based on how original and creative the mod is, how fun it is to play, and the general polish and professional quality.
People interested in entering can do so via the NVIDIA landing page. You'll have to use the Creation Kit Mod from Bethesda to qualify, and you'll have to upload the mod to the Bethesda website as well.
Once it's been approved and uploaded there, you'll be able to submit the Bethesda.net mod URL, along with a video, screenshot and description of your mod on the NVIDIA landing page. You've got until July 3 to have everything uploaded, and if you're fortunate enough to win, or at least make it to the public vote, this is what you'll get:
Grand Prize: $USD10,000, Fallout 4 custom PC, Engineering support from NVIDIA
1st Place category winners: $USD5,000, Bethesda Gift Bag, Geforce GTX GPU
Finalists: Bethesda Gift bag, GeForce GTX GPU
It's interesting that NVIDIA didn't specify what GPU they'd put up on offer. I wouldn't expect finalists to be getting a GTX 1080 or a Titan X, but there's a world of difference between, say, a GTX on the FinFet 14nm manufacturing process and a second-hand first-generation Maxwell chip.
But the real intriguing element from all of this is the "engineering support" from NVIDIA. Precisely what that entails is unknown, and I've emailed NVIDIA for clarification. The prospect that an NVIDIA engineer might have coding or optimisation tips for mods that could then filter down into the community is incredibly cool, however, so we'll see how that pans out.
Either way, this is a neat little move from NVIDIA for an already lively community. The Fallout 4 mod scene has already spawned some remarkable creations — it'll be interesting to see what people make when there's extra motivation.