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Todd Howard on Skyrim

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Todd Howard on Skyrim

Interview - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Thu 7 July 2011, 13:02:37

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Gamasutra sat down with Todd Howard, here's an excerpt:

That's something too, that maybe some gamers don't understand when you have a game that big, that there will be "weirdness." Do you think there could ever be able to ship a game that squashes all of those bugs? Would you say Skyrim has less of that "weirdness" going on than your other games.

It matters how you define "weirdness." There's going to be some [weirdness], like the player did X, Y and Z that we didn't expect, and now he's attacking the town, sleeping in this guy's bed, he killed his wife [laughs]... We sort of learn each time how people play these games and experience them. So we get better each time, but we do at the end of the day sacrifice, say, a well-paced story. It's almost impossible for us to do. We'd rather let you go do whatever you want. So that's a sacrifice that we're willing to make.

...

What about accessibility -- making Skyrim game that's inviting to people who might not play RPGs as much, and also the hardcore people who have been playing The Elder Scrolls since the beginning?

Honestly, it's not something that we think about a lot, in that we've found that we're getting a pretty big audience making a game that we want to make. We want to make it for whoever it is -- even if you've played Elder Scrolls before, you haven't played this one, so you don't understand what a skill does yet.

... We want to remove confusion, that's what I'd say. As opposed to making it more accessible, we'd like to remove confusion for anyone who's playing. What we're trying to do now is lead you into it more, where you're not going to try to start the game. In our games or others' games, they give you a character menu and say, 'Who do you want to be, what powers do you want." [Players think,] 'I don't know, I haven't played yet!"

What happens in Oblivion is you start the game, play for three hours, and then think "I want to start over, I chose wrong." So we'd like to sort of alleviate some of that. I also think the controls work better [too] ... it's more elegant.

You look at Call of Duty, the most popular game in the world, and that's actually pretty hardcore. At the end of the day, it's a hardcore game, has RPG elements in multiplayer, making classes picking perks. I think the audiences are there, and we tend to make our game more for ourselves and other people who play a lot of games.

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