So, for a bit of context here: I am a huge BGS game nut. If you want some kind of metric to define that, then I’ll just say I played Fallout 76 for way longer than most people even cared to criticize it. I played on and off and left around the time the Fallout 1st stuff happened. If that doesn’t say anything then nothing will.
Though, I’m not just a BGS nut. I also, since I was very young, have been obsessed with space. Not stuff like Star Wars, but stuff like the Apollo landings, the ISS, the current journey to Mars, and all that. I’m that sort of space nerd. Even though I’ve somewhat drifted from my absolutely space obsessed nature as I’ve grown older, it still holds not only a special place, but I would argue a fundamental place in my heart. Starfield’s self prescribed “NASA-punk” aesthetic scratches an itch that has never been scratched before for me. When I think “space” I don’t see Han Solo, I see Carl Sagan, you feel me?
This piece of Starfield concept art particularly speaks to me on that front.
I don’t want to get into that part too much because it’s not strictly Weight Gaming related, but I guess just keep in mind I jive with this game’s aesthetic more than I’d say 99% of space games I’ve seen on the market.
Even before the 2018 press conference, when most people didn’t even know it existed, I was excited for the possibility of a BGS sci-fi game just from the name and trademark alone. After the official teaser trailer I was very, very excited, and after this info dump this past week I am elated, and honestly that’s underselling how I feel even now after I’ve almost came off of the high of it.
I wanted to say all this because there is indeed a gigantic amount of bias on my part, so please take everything I’m about to say with a boulder of salt:
I believe Starfield has the greatest potential for both WG related modding, and roleplaying a fat character of any previous BGS title.
Exhibit A | Moddability
Now, I know what you’re thinking immediately:
“Ey, yo, wise guy, we already got that part. Everybody knows modders save Bethesda’s ass, what’s new now, ya’ chump?”
Yeah, I understand. Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first, though:
- Bethesda games famously (and infamously) are extremely moddable, and extremely easy-to-mod. Starfield has been stated as being even more so, which lines up with the trend of Bethesda games as time goes on, with as the games grow more complex under the hood more things can be changed easier. That’s why despite the fact that New Vegas is an older game, and people mostly agree that the RPG elements and story are much better than Fallout 4’s and Skyrim’s, both Fallout 4 and Skyrim separately have many more mods on the Nexus, and some people elect to just rebuild New Vegas in Fallout 4’s engine instead of just building New Vegas up more. You can just do more.
- There are entire communities dedicated to modding Bethesda games, including frameworks for other modders to work off of.
- There likely will be tools like Bodyslide & Outfit Studio available at the latest a month on, and conversions of things like coldsteel’s shapes likely at the latest a year on. These make tubbifying your game infinitely easier, and in the case of the former it will come very soon.
There is at least one detail about moddability, however that I believe to be unique only to this very thread of this very website, due to it being a unique observation of mine…
Now, when looking at this picture some might immediately be drawn to the bodytype triangle, or the field named “bodytype” but from what I saw the triangle basically the same as Fallout 4, and the “bodytype” field I predict will be for a feminine, masculine, and maybe even a third more androgynous bodytype, as it’s been confirmed Starfield is going to include character creation elements for non-binary characters. Footage also basically confirmed that there’s nothing like Sims 4 style animation adjustments depending on the width of the characters’ hips, so ultimately for WG model related trickery most of this section is useless, as the body triangle rarely ever got screwed with for Fallout 4 modding, and the “body type” field is very likely hard coded.
What is this?..
Walk Styles, eh?.. Now that’s interesting.
(Image from Expressions & Anims Guide on The Nexus)
Believe it or not, Fallout 4 actually had a system like this too, they were just only for NPCs, and from what I remember reset whenever you reloaded the game/left the area if you changed them with console commands. It’s basically a screenshotter’s tool.
But look at this. It’s right out in the open now, which means not only might it be possible to add new ones, but even if not, then changing your personal standing and walking animations will be much easier than waiting for a mod like Dynamic Animation Replacer to come out for Starfield.
Personally it always really irked me with Fallout 4 specifically because if you wanted to change your walking animations to not have your arms clip into your sides, then every single person that shared your in-game sex would be just as extended, and would frankly look silly on anyone that wasn’t you.
Jogging and Sprinting animations are easier to change or just ignore (the general rule of thumb is the quicker it is the less priority it should have to change to reduce clipping), but walking for me was/is a big part of a Bethesda game, not only for the segments in which you’re following someone, but also just to take in the atmosphere for a moment, and it was something I either had to use DAR for in Skyrim, or just deal with all the women in my game walking weird for the sake of avoiding clipping.
In conclusion, Walk Styles might just make making tailored animations for the player character or specific NPCs much easier than before.
Exhibit B | Backgrounds & Traits
I don’t even know where to begin with the potential of backgrounds and traits. It is true that you had traits in Fallout 3 and New Vegas, but I’ll get to why these have particularly more potential later.
These sorts of systems where it’s a list are so simple to mod I would reckon a 4th grader could make one, but let’s stick with what’s in the vanilla game thusfar, starting with the backgrounds:
The ones that draw my eye are:
- Chef - Do I even need to say why?
- Combat Medic - A cute idea.
- Diplomat - Do you know how many big (pun intended) studies link obesity to sedentary office jobs? Not just one. Over 3 in the last 10 years with one Google search.
- Industrialist - If I were to go out on a limb and guess since we didn’t get to see the description of this one; I would say this has something to do with Starfield’s “outpost” system, which if implemented into the base game better than Fallout 4’s settlement system (which I will get into the plausibility of later) could be a perfect in game reason to sit on your ass and just be an architect.
- Homesteader - I guess it implies they at least make enough money to own a house, but it’s still certainly the one I’d pick for some kind of “eating us out of house and home” kind of character. Maybe also it would be a good fit for some kind of spoiled brat, which is definitely a fun sounding option. A much more charitable interpretation could be some kind of housewife/househusband, which is also an adorable idea.
Long Hauler - Some kind of Space Trucker?
Here is one of the first images that popped up when I Googled: “stereotypical trucker”
I don’t blame them. Long hours sitting combined with you literally needing to eat fast food most of the time because it’s most of what they got at the truck stops is a deadly combination. I don’t doubt it could be roleplayed to be a similar situation for a character like this.
- Professor - An even cuter idea. Like, actually adorable. So adorable I can’t even sit straight.
- Introvert - Like Lone Wanderer except it has a more socially awkward/asocial twinge to it rather than A Boy and His Dog vibes. Love it.
- Kid Stuff - Doting Parent stereotype anyone? I wonder if we get to customize anything about them. If not then it’s still really, really cool. It’s especially cool that it’s optional.
- Spaced - Micro-Gravity Induced Muscular Atrophy anyone? There’s literally nothing that can stop it beyond working out more and keeping a balanced diet to compensate? If you don’t then the lesser the gravity gets, the less ambient calories you burn because of not having to support your body weight? The average Western (particularly North American) diet would be disastarous to try and not get fat in space because of this? If you’re fatter, you burn more calories when moving because of the weight you exert on yourself, but in zero-g it would be much more difficult to lose weight due to you not having that force being exerted on you? Simulated gravity is mostly clap-trap due to it not being practical? This is a serious problem people don’t talk about a lot in near-future sci-fi like Starfield? Why are all my sentences ending with question marks? Maybe I’ll have to make a post in #project-help:writing-world-building about this after I finish this one?
- Starter Home - Such a cool idea. I’m going to get a bit more into this later but I love this.
You can see that there’s a lot of potential already for non grisled characters, which is where I segue into:
Exhibit C | Not Just Rough and Tumble Roleplay
It’s been made clear in nearly every single thing said and shown about Starfield that you have the ability to not only create, but play as a character that doesn’t necessarily live to kick ass and take names, which is a gigantic abnormality for any other BGS game. Let’s go into the Fallout (yes even the Black Isle ones) and Elder Scrolls games (yes even the old ones) for how you’re normally portrayed, and the wiggle room you have to roleplay it different.
My Subjective Analysis of The Plausibility of Playing A Fat Character In Most Fallout & Elder Scrolls Games
Elder Scrolls I: Arena: Literally was originally supposed to be an arena fighter. Even though it changed, you basically start rotting in a prison cell, and then after that you have to go on this over the top journey to collect fragments of The Staff of Chaos from across a whole continent, and fighting practically never stops. These reasons and more are why I could never imagine The Eternal Champion as fat.
Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall: You are supposed to be an agent of The Empire, which does leave a little wiggle room for some patented Imperial Decadence™ (Imperial = Best Human Race don’t @ me), but there’s only so much that can be justified there.
Fallout 1: Maybe (see what I did there?) (Maybe > I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire don’t @ me) I could attempt to try and suspend my disbelief in The Vault Dweller’s younger life, but as Vault 13 would go on beyond it’s opening date, I have a harder time believing normal dwellers could even stay at a healthy bodyweight much less get fat. After they would leave it’s almost impossible for me to imagine they’d stay fat for long as well.
Fallout 2: This is one of the only ones where I can say full stop I cannot imagine The Chosen One being fat with any amount of mental gymnastics. A fat tribal chief would already be pushing it for me, but I legitimately cannot think of a way beyond something that approaches the levels of Deus Ex Machina. I’m sorry, but you’d have to have superpowers to beat Frank Horrigan and be weighed down with 600 pounds of lard at the same time.
Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: Morrowind, especially Vvardenfell, is not a place that contributes much to ideas in my mind of something being fat. It’s harsh, unforgiving, and my Imperial palete couldn’t suffer Dunmer cuisine for a moment, much less enough to to get fat off of it (oh shit my Imperial pride is showing again, let me tone it down a little bit). The Nerevarine could be something that resembles fat with some Corprus shenanigans, I mean, Yagrum Bagarn is one my favorite Elder Scrolls characters of all time, even excluding his MASS, but beyond that The Nerevarine would probably stay pretty thin given they don’t have any of that good, good Imperial cuisine to snack on!
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: The first one where I believe it’s pretty plausible, given your background is finally pretty open. Though it takes some mental gymnastics, but it’s something that I think you could compartmentalize, especially if you just stuck with the quests that suited you. Ooooh, so THAT’S what Sheogorath said when he talked about doing the fish stick… (No it actually isn’t this is a joke here is the actual context to that line) Wow. Sheogorath plausibly could’ve been a fat girl. Elder Scrolls lore is a drug.
Fallout 3: The Lone Wanderer is genuinely one of the most plausible. Vault 101 genuinely seems like it’s well supplied and with the experiment designed for it to be closed indefinitely means it’s believable that you’d theoretically be able to have access to surplus food. You have Liam Ne- I mean James as a father that could serve the role of spoiling them, and after they leave, The East Coast isn’t as bad as The West Coast when it comes to pure societal wreckage before the NCR came along.
Fallout New Vegas:
Fisto’s Revenge: (Before any of you say anything, I know Obsidian made it, but Bethesda still published it though, sucka!! So I’m talking about it!) I know that most of the time The Courier was in NCR territory, and by this time living in The NCR frankly isn’t that bad. I would have no problem with some kind of pencil pusher for The NCR being able to get chonk’d out. What’s the problem however is The Courier’s profession that makes it a little less believable. Mail men in our cushy modern world drive trucks, but trucks are rarer in the Fallout timeline after The Great War. Something something, nuclear/fusion powered engines would poop out after a while; something something, if they weren’t nuclear powered, gasoline would be extra hard to come by because of The Resource Wars; something something, Bethesda has only just added actual drivable things in Starfield, and vertibirds in Fallout 4 don’t count since you need a mod to directly control them, and even in 1 and 2 cars will still pretty rare so Bethesda has plausible deniability. The best The Courier would have is a pack brahmin. Walking for miles and miles (The Courier has been to New Reno!) in an unrealistically mostly desert California doesn’t contribute in my mind much to the idea of getting Fat As Fuck™, but once you finish the main quest with any of the factions I could imagine The Courier getting very fat, maybe the fattest of any of these. Especially with Yes Man or Mr. House, given one of Mr. House’s things he said was that he’d basically just spoil you. The only exception is Caesar’s Legion because at a certain point that would be pretty #Profligate of you, and they would be likely forced to stop, as DEGENERATES LIKE US BELONG ON A CROSS!.. IF we… weren’t so heavy the cross would break… They’d probably shoot us then. Yeah. Shoot us or chop our heads off, then put us in a big pile and burn us. That’d probably work better. It’d smell like bacon for weeks I bet. Way better than how Nipton smelled. The hounds from Denver would enjoy it probably.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: One of the most open ended starts yet, and with you basically being some kind of superhero with your skill set it’s believable. Especially if you played the “let myself go” card after the main quest. If you avoid the main quest then it’s also pretty believable for me. Skyrim isn’t the wasteland it was in the lore, so there’s actually probably a hundred ways someone could become a Horkerborn in Skyrim and it makes sense.
Fallout 4: You were pre-war, but if you chose to be a dude you’re also a veteran. I’m not saying it’s impossible but you also have to consider pre-war America in Fallout had food problems and the like all the time. It honestly depended where you were if I recall correctly, and was not some kind of wonderland. One of the points of Fallout is to illustrate how pre-war America and China were both bad. After you leave the vault I think it’s mildly plausible with a Minutemen playthrough, extremely plausible with an Institute playthrough, and not really plausible with The Brotherhood or Railroad, though with mental gymnastics it’s still possible. Also, Nuka World exists. That whole place is rife for some creativity for fat roleplay.
(Dishonorable Mention) Fallout Shelter: Seriously, Bethesda?.. Not even different body types besides male and female PERIOD?.. I would give you all the microtransactions you want, Todd. Please! It’s so hard to mod and literally nobody cares enough! I would play it if it had a chubby body for dwellers though!!.. Please Todd, I beg of you!!
“Arright, arright, see, now you’ve done it, you goon. You gaba-goon. What does that even mattah, eh??? What does it matteh that it’s implausible, eh??? EHHH???”
…good… point… Just stay a couple feet away from me, please.
Why should you care about any of this? Well, BGS games are partially meant to facilitate roleplaying, and someone’s suspension of disbelief is subjective. Mine personally is quite firm. It would take me out of the experience if it doesn’t make any sense in the world. This is just me, but I usually like for the weight gain to make sense in universe at least loosely. Now, any amount of mental gymnastics can eventually justify most points of view on a subject, but it makes it harder to enjoy it.
The reason why I pulled the picture of The Courier as the image for this section is that’s what they picture The Courier as. The game is built around the idea that that is what you look like somewhat. When they’re writing the dialogue, and when they’re putting the choices in, they’re thinking of something that looks like that picture. We aren’t.
I have to try really hard sometimes, and I can, but, from what it seems like, Starfield won’t be a game I’d have to do that for at all.
The backgrounds show that you’re not just always considered as some merc, or some badass straight from hell. You can be if you want to be, but ultimately it seems the most open.
Here is my analysis from what we’ve seen so far about how plausible it is that the player character in Starfield could realistically be fat:
Starfield (Pending Vindication): You’re going to start Starfield joining Constellation, basically just an explorer’s/archeologist’s guild, except more sci-fi obviously. For them you’re going to be acquiring artifacts likely through usual Bethesda game means, but also likely through just plain exploration. I have no doubt that there will a fair share of busting heads, but from what it sounds like, the addition of all these non-combat related traits, being replaced with ones about faction allegiances, religion, and whether you had a mom and dad or not, the fact that space combat is going to be a big part of the game where you are obviously seated most of the time, and the fact that a non-apocalyptic end for humanity and advanced technology implies abundance means that honestly it is the most plausible with no mental gymnastics required. The backgrounds you pick can be anything from a merc to a Homesteader, and one of the pickable traits is you have a Mortgage for crying out loud! From what it seems you can roleplay being as soft as you want. (Soft as in… not battle hardened. But you could interpret it the other way too!)
Speaking of that, let’s go back to the Traits and Backgrounds for a second. Remember how I said I’d explain why I thought Starfield’s had more potential for roleplaying a fat character than say New Vegas’s for example? Well, it’s because in New Vegas most of them have to do with combat. About 70%. Starfield’s are more 50/50 balanced between combat and non-combat related Backgrounds, and Traits. In fact, if you just talk about traits it looks like there’s actually less combat than stuff just about faction and religion. There’s a lot more options for someone who wants to take it easy and not necessarily live to run around slay things. It’s fine and completely justifyable for someone that’s that large to have to run around and kill someone every once and a while, but at a certain point of gratuitousness I get to be like: “How are they keeping all this on with all this activity?”. In Starfield, it seems as if you’ll have more to do, which is a great segue into:
Exhibit D | Not Just Gruff and Tumble Gameplay
Here is just going to be a lightning round of non-physically oriented game mechanics (mostly) confirmed for Starfield, because the problem with roleplaying someone who doesn’t like to move their tushie from the couch in a Bethesda game is that it’s built to be a game that there’s a lot of fighting in, so if you don’t wanna go around delving in dungeons all the time it gets pretty boring. Starfield seems like it’s going to have a lot more options.
- In Starfield there are 5 skill categories, with only 1 dedicated solely to combat. Contrast this to Skyrim’s 11/18 skills being devoted to combat.
- Starfield will have a mix of Skyrim’s and a more traditional method in which to spec out skills. You will level up, and be given a point to put into a skill to level it up, but also after you’ve put one point in you can also complete challenges in that skill to level up the skill automatically. Honestly a happy medium between the two in my opinion.
- The new way to attain “recipes” for things. Instead of perks, or physical recipes in the world (though that may still exist in certain situations) you “research” it.
- 3 (arguably 4) of these have nothing to do with combat or strenuous activity whatsoever.
- Mostly acquired based on (from what I recall) exploration and resource gathering as opposed to looting from dead enemies, or perks that are basically gained only through physical activity like in Skyrim.
- In Starfield’s UI, when looking at a location there’s a lot more references to discovery, and surveying things rather than in previous Bethesda games where you basically had: “Map Marker”, and “Map Marker with “[Cleared]” in little text to indicate you killed all the bad guys that disappears once the bad guys come back”.
- As much of a (overblown) news story as it is, Bethesda’s 100 systems and over 1,000 planets implies that exploration is going to be a bigger aspect all on it’s own. (Also if I see one more article that says that all the planets look like our moon I’m just going to start believing these journalists didn’t watch the reveal and just saw screenshots of Kreet. (It shows because they can’t even spell it right. The Starfield moon they show you is Kreet, not Crete)).
- It seems there will be a lot of planets that have much lower gravity, which like I elucidated before almost exponentially reduces strain on bigger bodies, and thusly less strain when exploring them. In fact, gravity is one of the main reasons fat blobs like we see in art are scientifically implausible to live for more than a very short time even if health issues weren’t a problem. Robert Wadlow only lived to 22 and he was just really tall. It’s the same idea for anything that gets that big. Eventually the skeleton just can’t support all the weight pushing down. This is not the case in lower gravity. Though, as I elucidated before, there are drawbacks health wise too.
- Even for planets that have Earth’s gravity or higher, there MIGHT be some kinds of land vehicles to help you get around since ships won’t be able to buy flew on planet’s surfaces (not confirmed, but then again I thought customizable ships and controlled space flight were a pipe dream). If not modding them in will be much easier due to some things set up with spaceflight.
- Normally, in any other game, I’d have trouble with the idea of a chonk’d up person walking around a lot, but, as it turns out, in sci-fi you have things like…
- Oh yeah, not only can you get passive gameplay from exploration, but a whole new type of combat in Ship-V-Ship combat in space, which seems to be a big part of gameplay, as there are functions to dock on other ships, power distribution to different parts of it, literally over a dozen stats associated with your ship, and chiefly, the fact it’s a space exploration/sandbox RPG game, so it’s kind of reflexively going to be a big part of Starfield.
- Also, it was basically all Pete Hines talked about in the extended showcase.
- Literally a blob could command a space ship.
- I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m likely going to spend 25% (45% when the mods come out) of my time playing Starfield just customizing my ship, or outposts. Which reminds me of…
- I feel as if this going to be a big part of Starfield much like how junk was a big part of Fallout 4. Outposts are both Fallout 4 settlements, and a big way for you to get resources, which will fuel everything from ship construction, to better weapons and equipment. It will likely not be essential, because Bethesda doesn’t like making many game mechanics like that, and they’ve outright said if you want to play Starfield like previous titles there’s no issue with that, but it certainly is going to be a method in which to get said resources.
- One of Minecraft’s (and the thing referenced ad nauseum when talking about Starfield: No Man’s Sky’s) solutions for interesting passive gameplay is in the form of exploring for resources, which Starfield as stated before has.
- Building is fun, and Starfield having a togglable top down view for building an outpost shows just like gunplay going from Fallout 3 to 4, that Bethesda has refined base building since 4 and 76.
- I don’t know about Vasco particularly, but the Cyberneticist origin references robots, and I have a hard time believing Bethesda isn’t going to repurpose the Robot Building System from Fallout 4’s Automatron like it did Fallout 4’s Settlement System (they might package it as a DLC like before, but they might not). If they’re just as balanced as Fallout 4’s were, then you could basically just invest your time in building a really powerful robot, and then just sit back while it clears a whole dungeon for you.
I guess the purpose of this post is that in non-Starfield centric communities I’ve seen a lot of negativity about it, and I just kind of wanted to bear the torch for a bit of hopeful skepticism for BGS. I also wanted to point out that beyond me evangelizing for this game I encourage everyone to make smart choices and to probably not preorder the game, and wait for some reviews from people you trust. I also however want to remind those who are extremely negative that Bethesda games have always been buggy, sometimes overambitious, and some have been bad before Fallout 76. In fact, one almost sunk the company before Morrowind came along. So if you believe Bethesda can’t rebound then I guess you believe everything from Morrowind on is garbage. (Those people do actually exist believe it or not.)
Basically, there’s a way you can be excited, even elated and still have realistic expectations, and I think there’s a way you can be skeptical and not literally tear apart every single aspect they reveal about the game because it isn’t Elder Scrolls 6.
Think of it like candy. Hype candy. You shouldn’t have one all the time, because if you eat to many you’ll get-… wait… that’s a really bad analogy for Weight Gaming… Uuuuuuhhhh…
Holy moly! I think this is my longest post yet! It’s gonna need a tldr!
(Wow, even the TLDRs can get fat here. cOoL!)
Starfield not only has some interesting things in it that could help modding in fat characters, but also roleplaying will require much less mental gymnastics due to more RPG elements and more non-physical gameplay mechanics, and I think that’s very very neat.
It’s ok you won’t hurt my feelings (A lot ) Seriously though, I get it. People have been burned a lot these past few years. I just can’t help it. I guess I’m a glutton (pun intended) for punishment. I guess the only people who I’m a bit confused by are those who are hyped for Elder Scrolls 6 and Fallout 5, but aren’t willing to give a fresh franchise a chance. I’ll say if the reason is you don’t like sci-fi that much I guess that’s cool, it’s just Fallout is pretty sci-fi heavy, so I don’t know why there wouldn’t be some cross-appeal for you, but to each their own.
- Trying To Reign In Hype
- BGS Games Aren’t My Cup Of Tea
- Sci-Fi Isn’t My Cup Of Tea
- Hard To Say
- BGS Games Aren’t My Cup Of Tea
Would You Find More Posts Like This About Upcoming Games With WG Potential I’m Interested In Useful/Interesting (I have at least one in mind)?
- Either Or