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Todd Howard wants to see more reactivity in open world games rather than greater scale

KyoZz

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Speaking in a new interview published in The Guardian, Howard looked to the future of open world games and proclaimed he'd rather see more reactivity rather than greater scale for scale's sake.
"Let’s just cast forward to the next five to 10 years of gaming - for me, it’s more about access than clock cycles. Just the time it takes to even turn a console on and load up some of these games is a barrier – it’s time that you’re not enjoying being in that world … The kind of games we make are ones that people are going to sit down and play for hours at a time. If you can access a game more easily, and no matter what device you’re on or where you are, that’s what I think the next five to 10 years in gaming is about.
I’d like to see more reactivity in game worlds, more systems clashing together that players can express themselves with. I think chasing scale for scale’s sake is not always the best goal."

Which is great news for me ! If that mean they will bring back the magic system from Morrowind were we could experience a lot of stuff, for example, I love this !

 
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If you're expecting Bethesda Game Studios to revolutionize open world games in today's gaming climate, then you're in for a rude awakening.

The best they can do is have better textures and dialogue trees. I don't see them fixing their inherent weaknesses when it comes to "reactivity" and actual proper A.I. systems to emulate a living breathing world.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is the benchmark for reactivity in open-world games.

Good luck achieving that with 300 employees only.

EDIT: I assumed reactivity meant interactivity with NPCs, etc.
 
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JOEVIAL

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He is right about "scale just for the sake of scale" being bad. Ubisoft games are awful about this.

So yes please Bethesda Softworks. Make the world small or medium sized but packed with detail and interesting things to do. It doesn't have to be any bigger than Skyrim, but it has to have more detail. That's all they have to do to be successful.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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If you're expecting Bethesda Game Studios to revolutionize open world games in today's gaming climate, then you're in for a rude awakening.

The best they can do is have better textures and dialogue trees. I don't see them fixing their inherent weaknesses when it comes to "reactivity" and actual proper A.I. systems to emulate a living breathing world.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is the benchmark for reactivity in open-world games.

Good luck achieving that with 300 employees only.

What did RDR2 do in terms of reactivity?
 

GymWolf

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They have zero excuses this time with ryzen inside the new consoles (crying inside while thinking about horizon 2 crossgen)
 
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Deleted member 801069

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He is right about "scale just for the sake of scale" being bad. Ubisoft games are awful about this.

So yes please Bethesda Softworks. Make the world small or medium sized but packed with detail and interesting things to do. It doesn't have to be any bigger than Skyrim, but it has to have more detail. That's all they have to do to be successful.

Skyrim wasn’t even really that big. The way they did the layout of the map made the world seem much larger than it was. They did this mostly by using mountains you couldn’t fully climb.
 

Barry Burton

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I agree with him here. I find many of the big, giant open-world games to offer a shallow experience, and manage to not feel that immersive as a result (despite all of the effort put into making those games strive for realism with their visuals).
 

R6Rider

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Skyrim wasn’t even really that big. The way they did the layout of the map made the world seem much larger than it was. They did this mostly by using mountains you couldn’t fully climb.

This reminded me of Morrowind, which was really only the Vvardenfell island. It felt big when playing because of how hilly and mountainous the center of the map was (and also the slow walking/running speed).
 

Hendrick's

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If you're expecting Bethesda Game Studios to revolutionize open world games in today's gaming climate, then you're in for a rude awakening.

The best they can do is have better textures and dialogue trees. I don't see them fixing their inherent weaknesses when it comes to "reactivity" and actual proper A.I. systems to emulate a living breathing world.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is the benchmark for reactivity in open-world games.

Good luck achieving that with 300 employees only.
They are at at least 400 employees as of 2018 and Bethesda has 2300 total, not to mention MS. They can easily ramp up as needed.
 

NickFire

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I'm all in favor of plateauing world size to make npc's more lifelike. But the comment just before that gives me pause on getting excited.

Specifically, "If you can access a game more easily, and no matter what device you’re on or where you are, that’s what I think the next five to 10 years in gaming is about."

I'm genuinely confused on what he means here. Is he talking about different high end machines? If he is, and regardless of whether PS5 is included, then I think we have a great chance of meaningful increases to reactivity. But is he talking about prior gen and mobile? if so, I doubt this is much more than lip service.
 
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Deleted member 801069

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This reminded me of Morrowind, which was really only the Vvardenfell island. It felt big when playing because of how hilly and mountainous the center of the map was (and also the slow walking/running speed).
Yeah, I’m not criticizing Skyrim for it. It’s a smart way to do the layout IMO because the world felt big which is what matters.

Having said that I would welcome a bigger world in the next TES title.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

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He's right, RPGs get better with complex systems.

But it's Bethesda speaking, so...
 

Dr_Salt

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I agree. I remember seeing the random encounters in fallout4 and thinking that the world felt like a small living ecosystem that was working even if you weren't there to witness everything that was happening.

They just need to expand this on a massive scale. Make the worlds their own living simulations.
 
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Deleted member 801069

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I'm all in favor of plateauing world size to make npc's more lifelike. But the comment just before that gives me pause on getting excited.

Specifically, "If you can access a game more easily, and no matter what device you’re on or where you are, that’s what I think the next five to 10 years in gaming is about."

I'm genuinely confused on what he means here. Is he talking about different high end machines? If he is, and regardless of whether PS5 is included, then I think we have a great chance of meaningful increases to reactivity. But is he talking about prior gen and mobile? if so, I doubt this is much more than lip service.
Maybe he’s talking about cloud gaming
 

AJUMP23

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Please no I got so bored on Botw structure, even though their physics interactions is top notch.

If it is another part of the gameplay and still essentially an Elder Scrolls game but with more dynamic environmental interaction and creative possibilities, I don't think that would be bad. Deep world with rich interactions.
 
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Trogdor1123

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I like this idea too.

His comments on the removal of barriers for game play is something I am really noticing this generation.

I used to get an hour to play every now and then but when my wife asked me why I wasn't playing I just said it's not enough time with loading, updating, booting, etc. This gen though I am in to a map on demon souls and playing within 20 seconds. It's utterly incredible and changed the enjoyment I'm getting out of the system.

I hope it continues
 

CatLady

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I’d say the same. Smaller scale, fewer bugs. Scale can increase with expansion packs.
While you’re at it, better animations and more than one person doing the voices.

I'm replaying FO3 and my god do I love this game, especially now that there is no more loading on the Series X. BUT the game is massive in scope and for me that's a good thing, but after talking to hundreds of NPCs I'm really tired of hearing the same 3 voices disguised to sound like different people.
 

Oddspeak

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It's always weird playing an open-world RPG where you get to the end and successfully kill God, and you're wandering around in the post-game and every NPC still treats you like a random nobody. Once the story is over, it feels like nothing has actually changed in the world. If TES6 can actually address this, it'll be a drastic improvement for the series.
 

azertydu91

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If it is another part of the gameplay and still essentially an Elder Scrolls game but with more dynamic environmental interaction and creative possibilities, I don't think that would be bad. Deep world with rich interactions.
Yep that would be a good thing but after the shit that was Fallout 76 I'll just stay cautious with anything related to Todd Howard.
 
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Deleted member 801069

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Yep that would be a good thing but after the shit that was Fallout 76 I'll just stay cautious with anything related to Todd Howard.
I read the new DLC makes Fallout 76 fun now
 

KyoZz

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If you're expecting Bethesda Game Studios to revolutionize open world games in today's gaming climate, then you're in for a rude awakening.

The best they can do is have better textures and dialogue trees. I don't see them fixing their inherent weaknesses when it comes to "reactivity" and actual proper A.I. systems to emulate a living breathing world.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is the benchmark for reactivity in open-world games.

Good luck achieving that with 300 employees only.

Wile I totally agree on the RDR II part (this game is unbelievable), I personally don't wait for them to revolutionize the open world genre, but I rather want them te refine their formula.
Bring back that magic system from Morrowind, this is my main expectation, because a BUG free game is not on the table ^^ But if they work on their IA, allow even bigger interaction with NPC's, new way to finish quest and an incredible build system I'll be in heaven.
 

azertydu91

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I read the new DLC makes Fallout 76 fun now
Maybe but I won't buy it for a maybe, some people can be trusted and I don't think that Todd Howard is among them.
So I'll wait and won't get too hyped until I see something good, other than that it is all talk for now.
 

LDS

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Don’t disagree, games like Red Faction Guerrilla are still the best open world games because there are fun things to do in the world not just a vast amount of empty space. An actual sandbox. Imagine something like that with our advanced CPUs GPUs and RAM levels.
 
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I'm replaying FO3 and my god do I love this game, especially now that there is no more loading on the Series X. BUT the game is massive in scope and for me that's a good thing, but after talking to hundreds of NPCs I'm really tired of hearing the same 3 voices disguised to sound like different people.
I think what Hendrick's Hendrick's said about Microsoft potentially consolidating all the Zenimax studios together to work on Mega Projects like Elders Scrolls VI and Fallout 5 will help make those games reach to new heights.

Before, Bethesda Game Studios had to work with what they had and respectfully executed their games very well despite the limited resources they had. Makes me realize why the industry respects them immensely hence the GOTY awards they sweep up with their flagship titles.

That's what Rockstar Games did with Red Dead Redemption 2 during the last two years of its development: 2000 employees working on one Mega Project (y)
 
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Raven117

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Sure, thats great and all, but it needs to be in service of the broader experience, not just a tech demo.

Witcher 3 didn't have near the interactivity of BotW, but it was no less compelling (if not more due to the way the story wove in and out of the world).
 

kyussman

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I'd just like to see deep rpg mechanics if you are making an rpg......Fallout 4 was barely an rpg at all,felt a lot like playing Far Cry most of the time.
 
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Kadayi

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I'm hoping for bigger cities. No more towns having 5 buildings or capitol cities having a few dozen people.

Indeed. Much enjoyment derived from Skyrim (modded to the gills naturally), but yeah not exactly Cities by any stretch of the imagination. Not that ones necessarily expecting absolute verisimilitude in terms of scope and scale, but at least perhaps something that feels like it's a step in the right direction Ala TW3.
 

NickFire

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Maybe he’s talking about cloud gaming
Despite my personal aversion to cloud gaming (lag), in this instance I include Stadia and Xcloud as high end machines because the servers are certainly high end. If that is what he is talking about then there shouldn't be a roadblock to more reactivity. My question is whether he includes prior gen and mobile games (actual downloads run by phones). If they are part of the plan I don't believe there is much headroom left for reactivity increases that matter all that much.
 

LordOfChaos

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He want to do Breath of the Wild in the Elder Scrolls, I say bring it on.

I’d like to see more reactivity in game worlds, more systems clashing together that players can express themselves with. I think chasing scale for scale’s sake is not always the best goal.

Is that the best example of this? In BoTW most NPCs had their tiny little fixed routines, apart from a quest maybe moving them around or changing what a town looks like in one case.

Actually Skyrim from years earlier imo was a better example of "clashing systems". You could fuck around to the degree that quests would get messed up by killing or pissing off the wrong people.
 
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Hendrick's

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I'd just like to see deep rpg mechanics if you are making an rpg......Fallout 4 was barely an rpg at all,felt a lot like playing Far Cry most of the time.
I'm actually replaying Skyrim now, and it really is still their best game. Sure, I have a ton of mods making it look better and play better, but still, really hope to see a return to form from them.
 
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Deleted member 801069

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That’s the definition of Bethesda open world games.
More accurate for Ubisoft titles

Fallout NV and Skyrim were exceptionally tight games IMO. Even once you got to the Vegas strip in NV, it really wasn’t that large at all and every hotel had an amazing quest line attached to it.
 
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AJUMP23

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Yep that would be a good thing but after the shit that was Fallout 76 I'll just stay cautious with anything related to Todd Howard.

76 is an anomaly because it is designed for extended online play and not a single player experience. That is what I tell myself anyway.
 

AJUMP23

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I’d like to see more reactivity in game worlds, more systems clashing together that players can express themselves with. I think chasing scale for scale’s sake is not always the best goal.

Is that the best example of this? In BoTW most NPCs had their tiny little fixed routines, apart from a quest maybe moving them around or changing what a town looks like in one case.

Actually Skyrim from years earlier imo was a better example of "clashing systems". You could fuck around to the degree that quests would get messed up by killing or pissing off the wrong people.

In terms of NPCs you are right, I was thinking in terms of reactive physics based gameplay. Adding dynamic physics and improving on NPC systems would add for some great encounters and experiences.