The first installment of an ongoing series, featuring conversations with modders that focus on the tiniest details of a game.
When modder jet4571 loaded up Fallout 4 and looked around their house, a place that was supposed to accurately represent their character's values, a glance at the toilet area revealed something sinister: the toilet paper was flipped the wrong way, with the loose piece facing the wall. To fix this most egregious error, jet4571 build a mod for the game—"Immersive Toilet Paper"—that flipped it around.
"This mod isn't supposed to be a joke mod," they wrote on NexusMods last November, "though the title was a bit of humor over the term immersive and how it is overused. The title is apt though.[...] Honestly I believe someone at Bethesda who made the dispenser made it that way just to troll some players, Proper toilet paper mounting debate is a funny and contested issue."
For comparison, here's what his mod accomplished:
There are tens of thousands of mods hosted on NexusMods and elsewhere, but the creations that get the most attention are, understandably, the frighteningly ambitious projects, like Enderal, which used the foundations of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to build an entirely new game.
Those are great! But I wanted to know what drives folks like jet4571, people making mods that, say, flip the direction of toilet paper. I decided to wonder no more and chat with jet4571, the man responsible for "Immersive Toilet Paper."
(This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.)
Waypoint: What's your experience with modding? How long have you been messing with how to build and edit games?
Jet4571: First modding was probably Quake 3, made a few simple maps. Did some minor changes to Battlefield 2, maps for Delta Force 2, Land Warrior and others in that series. Complete overhaul of Delta Force Extreme. So I have been modding games in some way since the late 90's.
You called this mod "immersive toilet paper." Why'd you settle on that name? What's so immersive about the direction toilet paper falls?
I called it that because a lot of people are using the term wrong, but that joke fell short because people do find it immersive. Why do they find it immersive? Because that's how they prefer their toilet paper and being the opposite way just doesn't feel right to them.
How long did it take to build? I have no idea how long it might take to flip toilet paper.
The actual modeling took just a couple minutes to do, maybe 20 minutes to find the toilet paper in the files. As a mesh replacer, [it took] maybe a half hour to make it. [Editor's Note: A mesh the outline of a 3D object.] But Bethesda decided to do pre-combined objects, so another hour of frustration trying to figure out why the mesh replacer didn't work and making the ESP [a modding file format] to get it to work. Somewhere between an hour and two hours, I guess.
Is this how you prefer your toilet paper in real-life? Does it bother you if it's not this way? Have you ever modified a real-life toilet to be more immersive?
Yes. [And] no, real toilets are already immersive, lol.
You updated the mod to reflect "immersive" toilet paper in the whole world of Fallout 4 . That's a pretty big change to the game's lore, don't you think?
I don't believe there is any game lore governing toilet paper. It's not like JET being a postwar drug introduced in Fallout 2 and Bethesda made it prewar in Fallout 4.
OK, point taken. But if you care this much about how toilet paper flips, I have to imagine you have other strict preferences about toilets.
I don't really care all that much about which direction the toilet paper was, I put the roll on that way, but that's out of habit, more than anything. I certainly don't get upset if I see a roll the opposite way. I saw it and thought a dev probably set it up that way as a joke, because some people really are anal about their toilet paper—pun intended. So I flipped it around to go along with the joke.
Preferences for toilets? Clean and functional.
What other mods have you worked on? Anything else like this? If not, do you have any plans to keep building mods? The people want to know.
Like this? I added a turd to the broken toilets as a tasteless joke [and] called it Immersive Toilets. Turned out to be the shittiest mod for Fallout 4. The name of the mod is part of the joke—the turd is just a disgusting joke.
I have 116 mods up at The Nexus and about twice that number that are unreleased/unfinished. Some are adult mods, some weapons, clothes, mod resources, decorations—just whatever really. I don't plan to stop making mods. It's a hobby, and I have fun doing it.