PS3 News: Skyrim Director Talks About Balancing Freedom And Story - PS3 News

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Skyrim Director Talks About Balancing Freedom And Story

When it comes to The Elder Scrolls, people don't want to be told what to do. In fact, as developer Bethesda says, the more control they try to have over the player, the more it seems to chafe.

During a chat between Skyrim director Todd Howard and Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson (as seen at Game Informer), Howard said the idea is to "give the player tools and let them run wild." And every time the team tries to reclaim some control, they tend to "do it the wrong way." Bottom line? Know your audience. Said Howard:

"For us the world is the main character of the game. There are two types of people. [The first type] want to be told what to do, finish the main quest, see the credits roll and move onto the next game.

But the majority of our audience is more it's their game and they want to make the character, and just do whatever. That's why we put so much content in it, so that they feel like they have a lot to do, as opposed to 'go here, do this.'"

At the same time, Howard conceded that if a story isn't worth following, the players will simply avoid it. At that point, the player just goes- "Let the world burn. F*** 'em." The designers don't want to take things that far, and one of Skyrim's new features supposedly gives us more incentive to follow that objective arrow.

But in the long run, the purpose of this game is to explore, discover, and make yourself stronger. No matter what they do, the narrative will play second fiddle to that...and the vast majority of the franchise's fans are plenty satisfied.

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

Tags: the elder scrolls v, skyrim, bethesda

6/23/2011 10:21:46 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (19 posts)

bigrailer19
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 10:37:53 AM
Reply

Sounds better and better, everytime I hear something about it. Although this was a gimme, I'm glad to hear it. Fans first, is always a good philosophy to follow. Can't wait for it's release date!

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Qubex
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 11:35:13 AM

Have to admit Mr Big... I feels similarly... I think the developers are playing their cards right on this one. I will experience the "Hollywood" effect with games such as the Battlefield 3 single player campaign for example - run, gun and get through it before moving onto the multiplayer; but for Skyrim... no thank you, I want to feel I am exploring a world at my own pace.

I want it to last for 100 hours and I want to take a year or more to complete it... playing slowly and enjoying every minute of it...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 6/23/2011 11:35:59 AM

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bigrailer19
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 11:48:43 AM

Yea games like this are so nice because you can just keep coming back and there's more there. The problem is it's hard to pick up a game like this for say... 30 min. And be able to put it down. You need at least an hour to actually accomplish something. Sometimes you'll find yourself playing way into the night with out even realizing it! Good times!

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bigrailer19
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 11:07:04 AM
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I think I enjoy the freedom in these games more, that goes for fallout games as well. I always follow the main quest later, after I've built my character, gathered some equipment and finished many of the side quests. I enjoy the main quests also though, they have more of a fulfilling meaning when you start them. That's why I like that they are willing to try and balance the issue, an they do it very well.

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big6
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 11:11:00 AM

Yes, I was totally waay off the main quest in Fallout 3. I was having too much fun leveling up and exploring everything!
That is...until I hit the dreaded level cap. That pretty much sapped all the life out of the game. I stopped playing it shortly after that. =/

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bigrailer19
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 11:45:23 AM

Me too that level cap was pretty lame. I got to that level cap and immediately just finished the main quests. I love fallout 3 but that definitely hurt it, then the expansions came and it was the same thing, was kinda over it. I think the cap in oblivion was 200 and even after all the time I've put in I'm nowhere close with any of my characters. I understand fallout was smaller, but c'mon I hit the level cap well before finishing the game to it's entirety.

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big6
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 11:08:49 AM
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I already have it pre-ordered. I'm hoping it to be good, though I've not played Oblivion before.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 11:46:05 AM

Try oblivion, get the goty because the shivering isles expansion is epic!

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Fane1024
Friday, June 24, 2011 @ 3:13:06 AM

Or get the 5th anniversary edition, which comes with even more stuff.

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Bloodedge
Friday, June 24, 2011 @ 3:22:45 AM

I've heard the 5th anniversary edition has nothing new to offer for PS3 owners, its just the goty disc repackaged along with the case, map and making of disc. It's missing DLC that 360 owners got already, and still has no trophy support. It's quite the lazy re-release, though I guess I'm not surprised, GOTY editions are usually the final release in terms of game content.

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BTNwarrior
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 11:14:02 AM
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Best way to make us follow the story, make certain things only unlockable by completing the story. Things like good weapons, special abilities, property, things like that. Thats the main reason I completed the story line in fallout 3, to get the good perks

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Beamboom
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 11:15:43 AM

Yeah agree, and that's what items, levels and skills are for. We want the cool guns, so we fight our way to the bosses. Not cause we must meet him along the rail track, but because we want to.


Last edited by Beamboom on 6/23/2011 11:15:59 AM

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dmiitrie
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 11:52:36 AM

@BTN: That's absolutely the wrong way to do things. If the story is good, then people will do the main quest. That's the reason I went through Morrowind. But if you start making it a prereq for other things and start forcing people to play the game in a certain way, that's when they start to chafe. Just like the man said.

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Beamboom
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 11:14:25 AM
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Bethesda just scored a huge star in my book. This is *exactly* how we want it. Give us the tools, give us the world, give us a story. Let us take it from there.

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Temjin001
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 11:26:10 AM
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Yep, I agree with Ben on the Elder Scrolls purpose. I dumped like 40-50 hours into Oblivion. Never finished the game but had some great memorable experiences while feeling as one in the world of Tamriel.

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 1:51:31 PM
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Let me just say that I loved Oblivion. Played the hell out of it, and logged somewhere like 150 hours over two saves, but I was really hoping for the campaign narrative in Skyrim to be more engrossing, more enchanting and more urgent. I'd love to really feel a reason to play through the campaign, as it really started to drag in both Oblivion and FO3.

Though I must admit that I really like the feeling of smallness and being overwhelmed by the world in those games, so I hope that returns.
Peace.

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Kai200X
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 9:19:13 PM
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When I played Oblivion and Fallout3, I play everything BUT the main quests. So I guess I am the second type of gamer lol

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Teddie9
Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 9:21:01 PM
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One of the rpgs I'm depending on this year. Except by his discription I'm sorta both those kind of people. In a game like Elder Scrolls or the fallout series for that matter - I like to see and do EVERYTHING.

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___________
Friday, June 24, 2011 @ 4:29:39 AM
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hopefully the story is good, especially in a game this big and long it will be the only thing keeping people going.
though the million dollar question is will this be the first bethesda game that does not play like its pre alpha build?
tis whats stopped me from buying there games, there normally really fun, fallout 3 for example, but again like fallout 3 there riddled with bugs!
hopefully they have not rubbed that off onto id, if RAGE plays as well as fallout 3 bethesdas going to disappear off the face of the earth!

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