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Bethesda Talks Random Events In The Elder Scrolls V

In reading previous details pertaining to the latest Elder Scrolls, you've probably seen the term "radiant storytelling."

This, along with what we call "procedurally-generated events," has been addressed by Bethesda's Todd Howard in a recent interview. The possibilities appear to be endless in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and players will have to be cautious, as just about every action can have a visible consequence. Even something as small and seemingly trivial as dropping a weapon... Said Howard:

"We have a couple of designers who are just in charge of ‘world interactions’ or random things. You drop a sword, the story will see that as an event, thanks to the radiant [story scripting] system, and then if somebody nearby likes you, maybe they’ll come and give it back to you."

He also gives the example of how wolves hunt in packs, and if they kill something (like a mammoth), they'll probably stick by the carcass for a while. Many open-world games adopt similar philosophies and styles but based on what we're hearing of the radiant storytelling in Skyrim, Bethesda may be taking things to a whole new level. You never know who may be watching what you do, and you never know what their reaction might be...creepy.

Related Game(s): The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Tags: elder scrolls v, skyrim, skyrim radiant storytelling, bethesda

4/19/2011 9:21:33 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (32 posts)

RobiinzZ
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 9:37:51 AM
Reply

I never really got into the last oblivion on ps3, generally due to the graphics being a tad poor and me finding it a bit overwhelming since i'd never played one before.

But this one looks amazing and keeps sounding better and better, cant wait :D

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laxpro2001
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 @ 8:58:25 AM

There wasn't more than one Oblivion... it was just the last entry in The Elder Scrolls series. Also if you didn't like the last one, I doubt you will appreciate this one very much...

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Dreno
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 9:42:00 AM
Reply

Wow...

Bethesda sure seems to be putting everything the got into this game. This sounds amazing. Every time I read about this game it gets better and better. I can't wait to play this game.

It looks like skyrim is gonna make oblivion look like frogger.

And makes the " for every action, a consequence " of fable look like a joke.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 9:43:51 AM

That was ALWAYS a joke.

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Aranha
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 9:43:40 AM
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That sounds great. Hopefully this will be the first Elder Scrolls game I can get into. I own the 3rd and 4th, and had trouble getting into them. The thing is, I can tell they are quality games, games that I WANT to get into, that I WANT to like, but something's just not clicking. I guess I suffer a little of what you suffer from with these games Ben. But hey, maybe all we needed was a little bit of "procedurally-generated events" in our Elder Scrolls, lol. The game definitely looks worthwhile though.

I wonder: If a tree falls in a forest, and you're the only one in the game to see/hear it fall, does the game count that as an event, even though "others" aren't around to see/hear it? I guess it could be a roadblock for travelers, or the home of large rodents? Maybe that's a bit too much detail for the game, but if things are affected on that level, then kudos to them for event detail.

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 1:34:26 PM

I'd imagine it's more NPC behaviour and such, over environmental occurrences. Sure, it'd be a good event to have, but what would be the point of having a tree collapse, or an avalanche or whatever when it'll have only the most minimal effect on the game as a whole. I don't think we'll start seeing details like that until the next console generation, but as mentioned, I'd enjoy seeing it.
Peace.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 9:46:38 AM
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Yeeah, we got a release date on this yet? I'm gonna go so nuts in this giant world. I hope after this the main team gets to work on Fallout 4, we need a solid new Fallout installment with all these improvements. New Vegas was kind of a big expansion.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 10:03:23 AM

Pretty sure it's November 11.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 10:29:03 AM

Might hafta make it an Christmas game then, that's how I "afford" the games that release around xmas.

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Lotusflow3r
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 10:39:46 AM
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This has shot up in my wanted list.
When it comes to western RPGs, Elder Scrolls is king.

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kraygen
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 10:58:58 AM
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I hope they follow through with this and that it is as good as it sounds. I've heard other devs make this claim about their games and really all it ended up being was animals "roamed" along a set track and these "random" events were really just scripted to happen under strange circumstances.

If they have found a way to make it as good as it always sounds, then it'll be super awesome.

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coverton341
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 11:07:41 AM
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This game keeps getting higher and higher on my priority list. More I hear the more I need this to come out now.

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Heartless Angel
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 11:13:58 AM
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Another game with tons of bugs. Hell no Bethesda, I learned my lesson from New Vegas

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Riku994
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 12:07:01 PM

They made a new engine, New vegas was running on the Oblivion engine.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 1:30:42 PM

Technically speaking, Bethesda didn't develop New Vegas. A better indication would be Fallout 3, but that certainly wasn't a paragon of smooth gameplay.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

FM23
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 2:05:15 PM

Fallout 3 wasn't anywhere near as bad a New Vegas thanks to Obsidian. Lawless is right, the new engine should work wonders I hope.

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BTNwarrior
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 12:19:47 PM
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still wondering if they are brining pole weapons back into this game

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Deadcelledo
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 1:25:08 PM

I hope they do,I want to be a dragoon :(

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 1:29:38 PM
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Huh... should be a very involving experience. I enjoyed Oblivion, but I'm still not sold on Skyrim, in spite of how good it's sounding. Maybe I'll just wait for the inevitable GotY edition to come out next year before picking it up...

But this radiant storytelling is most interesting, and I hope that more games adopt a similar mechanic. Imagine the same thing in something like GTA. You run over an NPC, then a few days later you come across a funeral. Suddenly, an angry mob starts to chase you, then out of nowhere a bunch of cops come flying down the street with riot shields to break the whole thing up. Damn... That would be too cool!
Peace.

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FM23
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 2:11:18 PM

Wow...that would be awesome. If they did that, then I guess Rockstar would finally be forced to implement ingame loading.

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TheOldOne
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 1:47:31 PM
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I will be getting this on day one!

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FM23
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 2:10:22 PM
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So I never experienced Elders Scroll ever, though I plan on gettting Oblivion as there is noting else write now to get until LA Noire. So far, I'm more than interested and the game previews are really hitting me. ME3 and UC3 are must buys for me this fall, but Skyrim is reaching the point of "must have" as well. I will be nice to have a game where your actions in its open world setting affect the overall balance instead of only little aesthetic pieces and minimal story subplots. RDR would have definitely benefitted from this system.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 3:15:38 PM
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i'm nervous about the ps3 version. all the footage i've seen was the 360 version. elder scrolls actually was better on the ps3, but then fallout 3 followed looking better on the 360. will the ps3 version be at the same resolution? will it look as good as the spectacular 360 footage i've seen?

i guess a rpg is more than graphics, but i just want the ps3 version to be as good. if anybody can point me to any ps3 footage of gameplay i would be grateful.

i just do not do inferior multiplats if i hear the 360 version is the best. me2 is a great example of doing right with the ps3 version. no resolutioin cheats going on there, and the game looked pretty good.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 4:04:08 PM
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i think i just discovered some ps3 footage, and let's just say it looks like nov is going to be an epic month for gamers.

you know what? i loved the v.a.t.s. combat system in fallout 3. how you could puase the combat, and target different body parts was pretty neat. i also loved the exploration factor in bethesda's games. every character has a name, and an affilliation that directly impacts the game which is pretty cool.

bethesda, and bioware do great in this genre. i know new vegas was a little dissapointing, but this is bethesda making it, not obsidian. thank god for that. it will also feature a new engine.

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Lairfan
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 6:36:33 PM
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Sounds cool. I hope its even more dynamic than the system RDR used. I was astounded by some of those random events and how awesome they were, and this sounds like its adding more interaction with the NPCs into that formula, which is really good.

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FM23
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 9:06:48 PM

Yeah, but RDR random actions were consistently reoccuring making them unrandom

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Qubex
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 9:34:09 PM

Problem FM23, if you wanted to make RDR more random it would have taken another 5 years to make...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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___________
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 @ 8:20:47 AM
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starting to get a little disappointed by this, not that i was expecting much, but still.
just looks really uninspired, really boring.
plus the devs said yesterday the PC versions going to look exactly the same as the console versions?
so another crappy console port?
oh joy!

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BTNwarrior
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 @ 10:49:36 AM

well this is better news for the console gamers because unlike ES4 Falllout3/new vegas this will be made on an engine that was designed for consoles and in turn will not crash on consoles

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___________
Thursday, April 21, 2011 @ 11:19:07 AM

yup, and the lucky PC gamers who spent 4+K on there gaming rigs get to play games a 500 dollar rig could play!
lucky us!

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Chelsea United
Thursday, April 21, 2011 @ 9:14:47 PM

the actual hardware in your $4000 rigs would cost $2000 at max, the rest is cosmetic value which is useless.

Last edited by Chelsea United on 4/21/2011 9:17:15 PM

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___________
Friday, April 22, 2011 @ 10:12:45 AM

dont tell my what my PC cost me!
actually 4K is just the original build fee, that does not count the 2 570s i recently bought which were 500 each, and the 3D Asus monitor which was another 1000, and the new CPU cooler i bought which was another 300, and another 400 the new SSD drive i bought, and the new RAM i bought for it which was another 300, so its more like 7K!
plus thats not counting the 50 bucks installation fee i was charged for each item, so theres another 400 so thats almost 7.5K!

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