Eurogamer interviews Todd Howard

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Sander, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    A few interesting tidbits in this interview. First up, Todd Howard says Bethesda's characters and animation haven't been the best and that they're spending a lot to get it right:<blockquote>If I had to take a step back, I think our worlds are very good, I think we're on the cutting edge as far as that goes. When it comes to the characters and the animation, I think there are other people who do it much, much better. That's something we've put a lot of time into - not just technology but people and talent, and how long we spend doing individual elements.

    How other characters behave and look on the screen is the next thing people need to do better. </blockquote>He also comments on making a Fallout game set outside the USA:<blockquote>That's come up before and my view on Fallout is that the Americana is part of the Fallout schtick. It would be interesting to see what's going on over there, but if you were doing a full game over there, in my opinion it wouldn't have the right Fallout tone.</blockquote>And finally, he notes that the level cap was a bad idea, so expect cap-less games in the future.<blockquote>I think it worked out okay for that game, but going forward if we had to completely redo Fallout 3 we'd probably not have a level cap, because it just makes the game more fun to level up.

    It just does. The sense of accomplishment every time you do something to get some XP. So I think we'll make efforts in the future to not have one.</blockquote>Link: Eurogamer interview
     
  2. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    I don't get why people hate level cap so much. It's simply a key to game balance. If you allow the player to get up in a level as high as nothing else, sooner or later, the game becomes horrible unbalanced.
     
  3. Nark

    Nark Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 6, 2008
    You can tell all the skills will be horribly unbalanced if they do this (like with Broken Steel, how you can max out all skills at 100% if you plan it out enough).

    Unless they take the Fallout 2 route and put skill caps up to 300% with points costing more after 100%, I don't see Bethesda doing it right.
     
  4. SkuLL

    SkuLL Chad McRealman Orderite

    Sep 6, 2009
    Agreed - environments look good enough already, and so do characters in screenshots. Once you're in-game, though, they start looking crap because of the ancient animations :(
     
  5. KING SHIT

    KING SHIT It Wandered In From the Wastes

    120
    Feb 25, 2010
    Should just leave the "cha-ching" sound in there after you kill an enemy at the level cap. You could max out 6 or 7 of the skills with the original 20 cap in F3, and Broken Steel just broke the game more.
     
  6. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Levelling up is a typical "easy draw" in an RPG, just like phat loot. It is the crutch of mediocre developers.

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around this whole "still using GameBryo" thing.
     
  7. Starwars

    Starwars Mildly Dipped

    592
    Sep 17, 2006
    Not really surprising about the level cap either. The Bethesda followers really want games that go on forever, even if decisions lose all meaning. Seeing some of the threads discussing it on their forums for New Vegas, there was a big support for having no level cap, and of course people wanting to continue playing after the "ending".

    To be honest, I'm kinda surprised that OEI managed to hold out for having a definite ending (especially with Todd or Pete having said before that having a definite ending for F3 was a big mistake, hence the Broken Steel DLC).
     
  8. Expresate

    Expresate It Wandered In From the Wastes

    124
    May 14, 2010
    Actually the most support was for a level cap. Most people didn't care about the definite ending.
     
  9. UncannyGarlic

    UncannyGarlic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 6, 2008
    Skills could be maxxed the level 20 cap and were a joke to max with the level 30 cap.

    I honestly don't see the level cap having any effect on anything other than perks so meh. If it would mean spacing perks back out to how they were originally then I'd be all for not having a level cap.

    If only you felt that way more often Bethesda might improve...

    Thus officially confirming that Bethesda targets the lowest common denominator.
     
  10. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Eh? "core gamers" is another word for "not casual gamers". It's exactly not the lowest common denominator.
     
  11. sampson70

    sampson70 Still Mildly Glowing

    219
    Dec 1, 2009
    My only question is....How the hell can the Gamebryo engine be improved to make a game look 'Next gen"!!!???..... I just don't believe this at all, they would have to be using the ID Tech 5 engine. :roll: www.thesixthaxis.com
     
  12. sampson70

    sampson70 Still Mildly Glowing

    219
    Dec 1, 2009
    Well he does have a point,those genre are making the most money.
     
  13. UncannyGarlic

    UncannyGarlic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 6, 2008
    Well that's true, if they were truely going for that then they'd use PopCap's business model and they'd probably go more of a GTA route for the budget and price-point of their games. Looks like I was wrong about that (should have googled core gamers), whoops :oops:
     
  14. sea

    sea Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 5, 2009
    Eh, not necessarily. Dragon Age has a level cap of 25, but during normal gameplay it's nearly impossible to get that far except until right before the final boss, or by abusing sources of infinite XP (which were fixed by a patch). The original Fallout has a level cap of 20, but I've never gone past level 16 in close to a dozen play-throughs simply because doing so would require hours of grinding and tedium; the cap is meaningless when there is no appealing reason to go past. The difference comes down to hard caps (can't go past level X) vs. soft caps (limited available XP). In my opinion, a soft cap works best in conjunction with a higher hard cap, because while the hard cap ultimately prevents the game from being totally being broken, the soft cap makes it difficult or undesirable to actually reach that hard cap, and thus ensures game balance in a far more realistic way.

    I imagine that even without a level 20 or 30 cap in New Vegas, there will be an eventual cap most players will never see, and beyond a certain point, leveling up will become meaningless anyway.
     
  15. LionXavier

    LionXavier It Wandered In From the Wastes

    109
    Dec 29, 2007
    I can hardly believe that he really feels that way. But the fact that this is an obvious case of false modesty doesn't mean that what he claims he feels isn't true.

    However, I don't really think that your claim about Bethesda targeting the lowest common denominator is far from the truth. In fact, now that you mention GTA, it is hard to avoid noticing the similarities between it and the way Beth's games are "evolving": sandbox-like gameplay; vehicles (horses), houses, etc collection; minigames; notifications of insignificant details (distance walked, houses owned, etc)... and even the radio! The difference is that Bethesda adds over that some proto-dialogues with secondary npcs, an almost meaningles set of character stats that hardly prevents the fact that every character can do almost everyting and a level-up system which is palliated by some degree of level-scaling, all of it in order to make their game appeal to both those who want to experience at least the vague illusion of an RPG and those who simply want to approach it as another sandbox. Summing up, Bethesda's games target to an even wider audience than GTA does, so when Bethesda talks about the will to make games for the "core gamers", I would take your quote: "Thus officially confirming that Bethesda targets the lowest common denominator" and modify it into: "Thus officially confirming that Bethesda doesn't lack hypocrisy."

    I'd guess that, in order to achieve that, Beth will have to make a considerable investment of money and resources... into their PR department.
     
  16. TheSHEEEP

    TheSHEEEP It Wandered In From the Wastes

    149
    Jan 22, 2007
    The thing is, you really don't need level caps. I'm talking about open-world games here.

    Assume a random game.
    We can balance the game in a way that the mobs around here are lvl 10, here around lvl 15, etc... and in the final stage, they are around lvl 30-35.

    Now, what's the difference between level cap and no level cap?

    Without a level cap, everything will be fine and the player won't have any unfair difficulties as long as he keeps levelling up and if he levels more than the assumed average player, he will have an easier time. Which is exactly what he wanted, or else he wouldn't have leveled up so much in the first place.

    With a level cap (let's say 35), everything will be fine and the player won't have any unfair difficulties as long as he keeps levelling up and if he levels more than the assumed average player, he will have an easier time. Which is exactly what he wanted, or else he wouldn't have leveled up so much in the first place. But once he reaches the level cap, he won't be able to level up any more for the rest of the game. Makes you feel like you have to complete the game now.


    Level scaling changes this topic a bit, but you can always make a level scaling that works well and will not be ridiculous.

    Of course, most players won't reach the maximum level you had in mind when balancing a game. So, it really doesn't make a difference for balancing if you have one or not.
    But some players want to level up more, so why prevent them from doing so?
     
  17. .Pixote.

    .Pixote. Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder

    Sep 14, 2009
    Level caps are a lazy afterthought by game designers – with a level cap they don’t need to flesh out the game in its entirety…the player hopefully reaches the desired level and just restarts the game with a new character. It’s much more challenging to build a game that readjusts as the player improves over time…
     
  18. Blackened

    Blackened I should set a cutom tite

    598
    Jun 29, 2008
    Hehe - he's flirting with us. Intentional or not.

    About the Fallout game set outside USA - wasn't everything except USA dead and "under the boiling ocean of radiation", or something?
     
  19. Nark

    Nark Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 6, 2008
    Well, there was that Fallout Resource Wars idea that never got put into action. So I expect not everywhere outside the USA to be all dead.
     
  20. TheSHEEEP

    TheSHEEEP It Wandered In From the Wastes

    149
    Jan 22, 2007
    Well, if that was true, I beg Bethesda or someone to break the canon, because that would just be utter bullshit.
    Some places like Greenland, some places in Africa or New Zealand are far less likely to be completely destroyed than the USA.

    But I agree that the Fallout franchise would probably just not fit into anything else but the USA.

    I'm kinda frustrated about this. I just want some post-apocalyptic game outside the USA or Russia.