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

hussar16

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Nov 4, 2019
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skyrim was a empty big theme park and it felt flat so lets hope he learned his lesson this time,the characters in skyrim all felt cookie cutter copy and paste.
 

AC_Eivor

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For once I genuinely agree with Todd Howard. Game worlds have gotten plenty large, there just isn't enough of interest to interact with.
 
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Belmonte

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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.

It is funny you mention it because TES3, Morrowind, already have that.

After the main quest, various NPCs acknowledges what you did, thanking you and everything. The predisposition of everyone with you gets a boost, and if you touch the subject matter it improves even more (to a certain limit). People who thought you were a loser, don't think anymore and even some NPCs who would attack you before, now don't do.

In many ways TES3 is more advanced than Oblivion and Skyrim and it was made by Todd also. The combat and stealth are worse, everything else is cooler.

If TES6 have at least half of the ambition of Morrowind, I'm already sold.
 
Jan 29, 2019
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My fav open world game is still:


So much exploration and interaction!
 

MagnesG

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More reactivity means more possible bugs, and I'm not sure if Bethesda really up to it.
 

EDMIX

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It is funny you mention it because TES3, Morrowind, already have that.

After the main quest, various NPCs acknowledges what you did, thanking you and everything. The predisposition of everyone with you gets a boost, and if you touch the subject matter it improves even more (to a certain limit). People who thought you were a loser, don't think anymore and even some NPCs who would attack you before, now don't do.

In many ways TES3 is more advanced than Oblivion and Skyrim and it was made by Todd also. The combat and stealth are worse, everything else is cooler.

If TES6 have at least half of the ambition of Morrowind, I'm already sold.

Facts. IF any team can pull this off, its them.

I always think it's funny when people talk shit about this development team only to then bring up other games that don't even do a fraction of what these guys have been able to achieve.
You only realize just how significant what they've been able to achieve is when you realize most fucking games are not even able to do some of those functions.

I say this as a fan of The Witcher Mass Effect Dragon Age pillars of Eternity Baldur's Gate etc

Imagine my surprise when playing The Witcher 3 in stealing something from someone's home that they continued to stare at me blind like they were dumb deaf or retarded and just kept repeating the same lines to me, these guys literally behaved as if they were unaware I even existed....

Clearly there is something to appreciate about the world that Bethesda have been able to craft. I'm more excited for Starfield simply knowing what the team is capable of.

The way I see it, those other teams can talk to us when they have base Morrowind features. Meet or beat.

Bethesda still does their world design to a degree that most simply don't, can't or won't do to the same degree.
 

Bkdk

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Me too, though this will require huge money into researching the AI. The type of dynamic and reactive AI will easily cost way more than 70 dollars, I wonder if they will turn it into suscribtion single player open world rpg as the power of the cloud will probably be needed to run the type of AI with dynamic response while having deep learning capabilities, also data will needed to be gathered and updated constantly from every player's response to various type of actions so the AI can give the most accurate dynamic response to whatever action the player want to pull off.
 

Kumomeme

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talk about Elder Scroll, im worried more for gameplay aspect, especially combat. Skyrim combat is awfull especially in 3rd person mode.
 
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Zannegan

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Playing through Skyrim again for the 100th time and I agree that their game systems need to get more complex/convoluted. One way to start a quest, one way to finish it, and mostly meaningless dialogue choices aren't fun. That said, that world is also waaaaay too small and packed with copy/pasted bandit caves.

A world that's too dense may as well be a linear action game. No one wabts vast plains of nothing to do (unless traversal and exploration themselves are part of the fun, as in Spiderman or BotW), but give your scenarios some room to breathe. It makes zero sense to have a bandit camp literally in sight of a guard post.

What would be really cool is if they could do both, with enemy camps and factions procedurally spreading throughout a large world, reacting to your decisions, and even splitting/warring among themselves. I don't have much faith in Bethesda though.

Even something like BotW's rudimentary physics and climbing would be a welcome addition to the series. Let's start there.
 

carlosrox

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100% correct.

Let's get more interactivity in these games now.

More detail.

More in-door areas.


All my yes.
 
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Eric187

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You want reactivity Todd? Make another buggy mess of a game and I’ll react by throwing that trash right out the window! Reactivity my friend!
 

MaestroMike

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He's Team Xbox now and works like 15 minutes away from my house so I always have to support him. Let's go Todd, baby, home team!
 

Balducci30

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What’s up with people acting like Bethesda doesn’t have the most interactive open world games? They fully do
 
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GreyHorace

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RDR 2 is totally not the benchmark for reactivity in open-world games

Rockstar bruteforce this by scripting LOTS of "random" encounters. They are all scripted.

"Oh that guy that I saved from that snake bite now gave me a weapon! How cool is that?"

Until you talk to your friends and realise that encounters that felt natural like these are all scripted. Than the illusion is gone.

Yeah you can have some animals attacking other animals and things like that, but you wont see some natives fighting against pinkertons in the open world, and then a bear comes in during the fight and kill the rest of the survivors

Far Cry 5 is probably the open world game with the most reactivity in that sense

I agree with this.

I liked Red Dead Redemption 2 a great deal, but mostly for it's story and characters. But it's slavish devotion to 'realism' came at the expense of it's design and gameplay. I've no desire to replay the game anytime soon because of this. I'd rather play the original RDR which despite it's obvious gamey sections was a much more fun experience.

As for the topic at hand, I'm not sure I'd want more reactivity in open worlds. I just want more of a playground to have fun with. The recent Ghost of Tsushima is not the most reactive of open worlds but it's the most fun I've had with one in years.

 
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MastaKiiLA

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This has been promised since like GTA3, if not before that. Yet, time and time again, it's been proven that it's much easier to make a bigger open world than a more interactive one. The complexities involved with managing multiple subroutines in a dynamic mix is just too much for devs to wrap their heads around. This is no knock on their abilities, this is stuff that's really hard to model.

It's basically trying to model an ecosystem where each animal in the biome has its own place in a complex food web. Then they also have their own sleep/feeding patterns, and their own breeding cycle. Some hibernate or fast seasonally, and you also have to consider unique behaviors like camouflage, migratory patterns, dietary diversity based on food availability, and so on. You start layering more and more factors into the system, and realize that it's just a shit ton that needs to be done to deliver something that looks and feels realistic, without conflicting subroutines smashing into each other regularly, creating janky/uncanny results.

So when you look at your jumbled mindmap, for just a small collection of NPCs in Town A, you wipe the board clean, and just pitch the idea, "What if we did the same thing as before, but made it 50% bigger?" Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Quantifiable improvements for the suits and dupes, and your project can get started. More processing power won't necessarily help to overcome the very human restriction in the design process, at least until we develop really good AI for this task. Although, I'd worry about having AI smart enough to design a realistic open-world. That's 1 step away from Skynet.
 
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Zannegan

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What’s up with people acting like Bethesda doesn’t have the most interactive open world games? They fully do
Eh, Morrowind was one of the most interactive and immersive games of its era, but they've spent the last few games actually removing functionality and streamlining systems until Skyrim (fun as it still is) came out dry as toast compared to past offerings.

The only thing Bethesda still does better than their competitors is the ability to drop a cheese wheel in the middle of a field and come back to find it months later. That was a neat trick a few generations ago, but since it has no actual impact on the game world, I wouldn't call it interactive. Silly and immersion breaking more like.

Just a small increase in the complexity/interactivity of their systems could make the games so much better. What if cheese lured skeevers or even just rotted away realistically? What if bodies didn't just lie in the streets for weeks with passers-by calmly scrambling over them to get to work? What if you could cut down a tree or burn down a barn and then the people would come build it back up? Anything.

I'm glad Todd is at least saying the right things. We'll see if it adds up to any meaningful changes in a few years.
 

billyxci

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i agree but bit rich coming from him.

maybe he can start talking whenever bethesda get around to bothering about releasing Starfield/Elder Scrolls VI.
 

johntown

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They need to go back to the way their classic games were and stop trying to appeal to the masses. They stripped all the reactivity out of Fallout 4 by removing the karma system and good vs evil choices. They also removed meaningful choice from dialogue options so you never fail.

If you want reactivity make the choices you make actually mean something. Let people fail or mistakes that have consequences.
 

harmny

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starfield is launching MAYBE next year. only then will they begin development of TESVI. so that game will launch at in 2026 minimum. See you then Todd. thanks for the teaser trailer
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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Single player games need to be more like a garden of sorts.

If you focus attention in one area, other areas will grow and create new problems for the player.
 

64bitmodels

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Todd howard: *says something actually good for once*
neogaf: BETHeSda sUcKs!!!! WhO CarES aboUt TOdD suGGesting A gaME PhiLOSoPHY ThaT cAN CHANGe THE opEn WoRlD GenRE FoR tHe bEtTEr SkyRIm 2 WILL bE DUMbEd DowN
 

FALCON_KICK

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Yeah, He's right. And Cyberpunk 2077 is doing just that along with added verticality through explorable skyscrapers sections which seem to be inspired from The Raid(2011)/Dredd(2012).
 
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Magenta Mage

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So much of modern AAA just seems to be put into games so they can hit a bullet point on a pitch deck or a line in a press release. "The map is 50% bigger than our last game!" doesn't matter if the game is boring.
 

QuantumZebra

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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.
IIRC Daggerfall was the biggest, or Arena.

But I think the award for largest game world is probably EverQuest by a mile. By the time I quit (Omens of War) I think the claim was you could walk the Earth 2x or something in the time it took to run through every zone on foot.
 

howitis3

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Jul 2, 2020
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I thought RDR2 was a terrible let down. large boring needlessly large map. self indulgent animations. Ridiculous that there are people holding this game up as something to strive for.
 
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Jun 23, 2020
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I think that you can start loading the gun already...
Haha I know! But somehow, and I don't know why, I have faith that maaaaybe this time they'll pull of a decent combat system.

I mean, Oblivion's/Skyrim's was serviceable but today, and after so much cool action games (specially FromSoft games) they really need to improve a lot on it.

But nah... Guess it's time to buy a gun. :messenger_relieved:
 
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GymWolf

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Haha I know! But somehow, and I don't know why, I have faith that maaaaybe this time they'll pull of a decent combat system.

I mean, Oblivion's/Skyrim's was serviceable but today, and after so much cool action games (specially FromSoft games) they really need to improve a lot on it.

But nah... Guess it's time to buy a gun. :messenger_relieved:
Don't forget a good pair of boots, climbing a mountain can be hard.
 
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IntentionalPun

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It is funny you mention it because TES3, Morrowind, already have that.

After the main quest, various NPCs acknowledges what you did, thanking you and everything. The predisposition of everyone with you gets a boost, and if you touch the subject matter it improves even more (to a certain limit). People who thought you were a loser, don't think anymore and even some NPCs who would attack you before, now don't do.

In many ways TES3 is more advanced than Oblivion and Skyrim and it was made by Todd also. The combat and stealth are worse, everything else is cooler.

If TES6 have at least half of the ambition of Morrowind, I'm already sold.

Didn't Skyrim basically have all of this? People whisper about you differently and interact with you differently depending on what you've done in the game.

They definitely did less "you have to pick a side" in Skyrim as you can do all the factions even if they are contradictory, but the main storyline has that binary choice between the 2 sides that dramatically effects the world. And stuff like people whispering about you being a murderer if you join Assassin's guild.