Todd Howard: Skyrim, Elder Scrolls 6, Fallout, and Starfield | Lex Fridman Podcast #342

LordOfChaos

Member




I know this is nearer to three hours and yall myself included have the attention span of a mosquito it sucks, but this is a really great interview through and through. Talks about ES6 and Starfield of course, working with Xbox and exclusivity but mentions the PS5 being a beast of a system design, conversations on AI, game development, advice for young people, and a bunch of interesting things to gamers. Todd takes this surprisingly seriously but it's a good watch.




0:55 - Simulation 2:51 - NPCs 11:42 - Daggerfall and Arena 19:55 - Bethesda 28:19 - Video game graphics 34:38 - The essence of a video game 39:27 - Redguard 44:27 - Creating open worlds 52:06 - Superintelligent NPCs 57:00 - Starfield 1:16:42 - The Elder Scrolls 6 1:36:03 - Fallout 1:43:11 - Character creation 1:48:13 - Quests & items 2:01:58 - Xbox 2:07:24 - Greatest game of all time 2:17:40 - Day in the life 2:25:34 - Advice for young people 2:29:02 - Fallout TV show 2:33:34 - Indiana Jones game 2:39:46 - Meaning of life
 
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Bernkastel

Ask me about my fanboy energy!
Someone needs to do a TLDR
The video has chapters
0:00 - Introduction
0:55 - Simulation
2:51 - NPCs
11:42 - Daggerfall and Arena
19:55 - Bethesda
28:19 - Video game graphics
34:38 - The essence of a video game
39:27 - Redguard
44:27 - Creating open worlds
52:06 - Superintelligent NPCs
57:00 - Starfield
1:16:42 - The Elder Scrolls 6
1:36:03 - Fallout
1:43:11 - Character creation
1:48:13 - Quests & items
2:01:58 - Xbox
2:07:24 - Greatest game of all time
2:17:40 - Day in the life
2:25:34 - Advice for young people
2:29:02 - Fallout TV show
2:33:34 - Indiana Jones game
2:39:46 - Meaning of life
 
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anthony2690

Gold Member
Someone needs to do a TLDR
Topher Topher
 
The video has chapters
0:00 - Introduction
0:55 - Simulation
2:51 - NPCs
11:42 - Daggerfall and Arena
19:55 - Bethesda
28:19 - Video game graphics
34:38 - The essence of a video game
39:27 - Redguard
44:27 - Creating open worlds
52:06 - Superintelligent NPCs
57:00 - Starfield
1:16:42 - The Elder Scrolls 6
1:36:03 - Fallout
1:43:11 - Character creation
1:48:13 - Quests & items
2:01:58 - Xbox
2:07:24 - Greatest game of all time
2:17:40 - Day in the life
2:25:34 - Advice for young people
2:29:02 - Fallout TV show
2:33:34 - Indiana Jones game
2:39:46 - Meaning of life
goat
 

reksveks

Member
- He says he met with LucasArts in 2009 and pitched the Indiana Jones game (Its always been on his bucket list). Deal fell apart for publishing issues and he didn't have the team ready. ~10 years later, he pitched the game again and they (LucasArts) said he loved it. Said Machine Games is the perfect fit cause of their storytelling. Said looking at the game is part of his day-to-day (aswell as playing/making Starfield). Hes actually more involved with the development on Indiana Jones more than I initially thought.

- Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 was different intentionally. They were trying new things in F4.

- Says in Starfield the star systems will have levels attached to them.

- Says you won't be stranded out in space with no fuel. Its a "fun-killer". Maybe for a hardcore survival mode in the future

- Different space suits will have buffs to gases/toxicity/temperature. Will be useful depending on what planet you travel to

- Robot enemies are confirmed.

- Wishes their games (ES6 specifically) didn't take as long to make as they did but they do

- Will always support mods and hired modders that are now professionals.

- Not putting Starfield on PS5 helps with focus. Says they've always primarily focused on Xbox when it came to consoles. They went into development focused on Xbox so the exclusivity isn't abnormal for them. Xbox brought Bethesda to consoles with Elder Scrolls: Morrowind

- Xbox top engineers are helping with Starfield development on Series X/S

- Delaying Starfield was tough but the right thing to do. They wanted to say they could get it done (given the amount of work left and the amount of time remaining) but it was too much risk involved to the team, the game, the fans and Xbox

- Says theres added pressure to deliver for everybody with Starfield since they are a platform seller now. Making "THE GAME"

- Says he prefers console to PC cause hes in front of a PC all day at work
Here's some info on Starfield from the man himself.
The world is generated in tiles, like usual Bethesda games. They made these tiles look like realistic landscapes, put them together, and then wrap them around a planet.
Todd says they could do way more than 1000 planets but decided to set a limit due to the detail of naming them and having a distinct feeling about each one. The star systems are leveled Todd specifically mentions a "Level 40 System" so different systems will be of varying difficulty.
The tone is that space travel should feel dangerous and that they have dialed this back and forth during development.
Can possibly mine planets for fuel?
"They get into environmental things" on planets. Space suits, buffs, gasses, toxicity, temperature.
There are robots. Robots are mostly utility robots. Starfield is a deeply human world.
Other ships DO come and go from the starports. (I love this.)
You can jump into a system and see a freighter, other ships can contact you.
4 of the followers in starfield have deeper relationship options than they've ever done, as an example, instead of a rigid hate/love meter, if you do something that pisses your friend off, they'll behave differently for a time instead of removing X amount of points from the meter
planets have actual orbits and move around the sky
Knicking it from the other place.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
…Or you could just simply go with what they’ve said - as well as the common sense inference - and accept they’re tied up making Starfield.
Eh, Skyrim was released 11 years ago and counting.

That's a lot of time for their main franchise. Not even Square-Enix takes that long with Final Fantasy.
 

Kiraly

Member
"Not putting Starfield on PS5 helps with focus."

And rightfully so. Much rather have them focus on a single platform to really make that Xbox sing. This game will be one for the ages.

"The tone is that space travel should feel dangerous and that they have dialed this back and forth during development."

Hope they manage to finetune it but I am positive they will. That possible future hardcore mode sounds enticing.
 

Jigsaah

Gold Member

I know this is nearer to three hours and yall myself included have the attention span of a mosquito it sucks, but this is a really great interview through and through. Talks about ES6 and Starfield of course, working with Xbox, conversations on AI, game development, advice for young people, and a bunch of interesting things to gamers. Todd takes this surprisingly seriously but it's a good watch.


0:55 - Simulation 2:51 - NPCs 11:42 - Daggerfall and Arena 19:55 - Bethesda 28:19 - Video game graphics 34:38 - The essence of a video game 39:27 - Redguard 44:27 - Creating open worlds 52:06 - Superintelligent NPCs 57:00 - Starfield 1:16:42 - The Elder Scrolls 6 1:36:03 - Fallout 1:43:11 - Character creation 1:48:13 - Quests & items 2:01:58 - Xbox 2:07:24 - Greatest game of all time 2:17:40 - Day in the life 2:25:34 - Advice for young people 2:29:02 - Fallout TV show 2:33:34 - Indiana Jones game 2:39:46 - Meaning of life
Now this is a quality post. Appreciate the timestamps. They are on the video itself, but you went the extra mile.
 
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The_hunter

Member
TLDW:
- game is a mix of handcrafted content and procedural generated content.
- system in place to create pre-generated planets and environments that look good.
- hand crafted content is clearly labelled.
- resources each planet has are clearly labelled.
- simulation elements, planets rotating etc.
- solar systems each have a specific level range.
- different spacesuits that provide different buffs against gasses and toxicity of planets.
 
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"Not putting Starfield on PS5 helps with focus."

And rightfully so. Much rather have them focus on a single platform to really make that Xbox sing. This game will be one for the ages.

"The tone is that space travel should feel dangerous and that they have dialed this back and forth during development."

Hope they manage to finetune it but I am positive they will. That possible future hardcore mode sounds enticing.

Same reason im looking forward to Final Fantasy XVI & Forspoken
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
TLDW:
- game is a mix of handcrafted content and procedural generated content.
- system in place to create pre-generated planets and environments that look good.
- hand crafted content is clearly labelled.
- resources each planet has are clearly labelled.
- simulation elements, planets rotating etc.
- solar systems each have a specific level range.
- different spacesuits that provide different buffs against gasses and toxicity of planets.
 

Banjo64

cumsessed
Will watch this in it’s entirety when I’m working from home on Friday - thanks OP. Love Todd, love Bethesda.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
This was awesome, lots of info on how they’re creating their games and the stuff that is always spinning in the background in their games. Makes me want go back to Skyrim, again, and try Daggerfall, never played that.
Starfield really sound like No Man’s Sky here and I love that game so much, I doubt Starfield does as much but hopefully enough to always have me curious about visiting new planets. Never heard about the levelled systems before, are they going to stop you from visiting a level 40 system if you’re level 20 or is it just a recommended level thing?
The planet surface grid design could be good or bad depending on how many grids there are.
 
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Kenpachii

Member

I know this is nearer to three hours and yall myself included have the attention span of a mosquito it sucks, but this is a really great interview through and through. Talks about ES6 and Starfield of course, working with Xbox, conversations on AI, game development, advice for young people, and a bunch of interesting things to gamers. Todd takes this surprisingly seriously but it's a good watch.


0:55 - Simulation 2:51 - NPCs 11:42 - Daggerfall and Arena 19:55 - Bethesda 28:19 - Video game graphics 34:38 - The essence of a video game 39:27 - Redguard 44:27 - Creating open worlds 52:06 - Superintelligent NPCs 57:00 - Starfield 1:16:42 - The Elder Scrolls 6 1:36:03 - Fallout 1:43:11 - Character creation 1:48:13 - Quests & items 2:01:58 - Xbox 2:07:24 - Greatest game of all time 2:17:40 - Day in the life 2:25:34 - Advice for young people 2:29:02 - Fallout TV show 2:33:34 - Indiana Jones game 2:39:46 - Meaning of life

Guy sounds half dead
 
The meaning of life answer explains Todd's design philosphy. His games are all about that curiosity.
What he said about skill systems and how they were changed from Oblivion to Skyrim was interesting.
 
The more I hear about Starfield the more excited I get. I hope they have mod support early for the Xbox version. I didn't think you'd have the whole planet to explore but open zones. Him talking about the wrap technique is interesting. I wonder what the upper limit for bases are and how many the game will keep track of. This game will impress off scale alone. I just hope the rpg aspect is as amazing as they say. Sounds like a game designed around the vault 101 walk out moment.
 
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