Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Q&A Podcast from G.I. with Todd Howard

This podcast at GameInformer.com was a Q&A interview with Todd Howard, director of Skyrim. While this podcast was posted in February on Gameinformer.com. it provides gamers with a lot of info about Skyrim. We listened in and took notes about things we found interesting and thought you would too. Keep in mind that this was a few months ago but it is still entertaining and some questions remain unanswered...

In regard to characters and leveling:

Are you able to be a Werewolf in Skyrim? Can you change form?
-We [Bethesda developers] are messing with all that, but I don't know where that’s going to end up, or how deep we'll get into that. We will try it, and see how it goes in the game.

How many perks are in the game?
-There are almost 300 perks in the game.

How are races different in this game?
-In the beginning of the game you pick your race, different races have different better skills and different racial abilities Similar to previous games. However, there are no classes. You just play and your skills go up; it kind of self balances itself.

Can you edit your players face?
-Yes, we have an all new face system in Skyrim. Everything is much better than what it was like in Oblivion. All the races look pretty cool and unique.

Does your character know that he/she is Dragonborn?
-Your character does not know. But there is an event that happens with a dragon where your character finds out that he/she is Dragonborn. The "Greybeards" find out and shout your name and your name rumbles throughout the world.

What is going on with the dragons in Skyrim?
-The dragons are part of the world; they are fierce beasts that become boss fights in the game. We made a whole team of people working on the dragons who worked on them for over 2 years. There can be multiple dragons in a scene. There are multiple types of dragons. Riding them is probably not going to happen in Skryim.

Are there companion characters like in Fallout?
-There are a much much higher number of companions in Skyrim, they will be more dynamic and more types of companions. However, because of the many number their individual character depth and stories are a little less than fallout.

In regard to gameplay:

How will the game start?
-You start the game heading to your execution. You are a prisoner, like the other Elder scroll game beginnings. It's like a tradition.

What is the "Radiant Story" in Skryim?
-It is a tool that is used to make quests. All of the quests in Skyrim are made by the "radiant story" system, it makes the game much more dynamic and personalized. The "radiant story" system is going to challenge the player, making the game funner. For example a person in the world could ask for your help in finding his lost child, and the radiant system will automatically force the Dungeon the child is in; placed in a location you have not yet been to.

Will there be mounts available in Skyrim?
-Mounts will most likely be in the game, but are going to be overhauled from the Oblivion mounts. The control and The feeling of riding a mount will be much better in Skyrim. We don’t know yet what exactly what you will be able to do With them.

Are you going to be able to craft?
-Yes, Smithing, Enchanting, Alchemy will be in Skyrim. You can also cook, and do other things that don’t require skills. We don't know about spell crafting yet, but it could be in the game.

Will factions be in Skryim?
-Yes. There are factions called, The College of Winterhold -for mages, The Companions -for fighters, and the Thieves guild.

What aspects of Skryim will appeal to a big fan of Fallout 3?
-If you really don’t like oblivion, I don’t know how much you will like Skyrim... Oblivion was more a classic fantasy game, where as Skyrim is much more unique and feels better. Skyrim is grittier and ancient looking. Oblivion made everything look the same, so I do think that Skyrim would appeal more to a Fallout 3 fan.

Will Skyrim have different endings?
-I'm going to pass on that question; I don't know if I should really tell the end of the game.

How expansive is Skyrim in size?
-Skyrim is about the same size of land mass as Oblivion, but Skyrim has much more mountains which make the game actually bigger. Skyrim feels bigger than Oblivion. There are over 7 regions that have a unique look, like pine forests to fall forests, and others.

Is there an in game HUD for Skyrim?
-The HUD comes and goes as needed. There is a small compass bar at the top for direction, your magika health and stamina display only when they need to. If you are just walking around the world, nothing besides the compass will be seen.

Are there going to be spears in the game?
-There are no spears in the “classic spears sense".

Can you talk about some of the weapons in the game?
-There is a two handed weapon skill, a one handed weapon skill, and archery. Those are the weapon play styles. There are weapon skills and perks, but not exactly like the perks in Fallout 3. There are "perk trees" and you start specializing as you use the weapons. Spears didn't make the cut.

In regard to console and system:

What ESRB is Skyrim going to get?
-It will almost surely be rated M. That’s our assumption. We never aim for a game to get a certain rating. The violence in the game is very realistic.

Is there any chance that the release date could be changed from 11/11/11 to something else?
-No. Skyrim will be released 100% for sure on 11/11/11. :D

Will there be an x64 version for PC players? Will there be high resolution textures?
-The game is actually made on the PC, and a lot of the team uses PC's all day. I personally use the Xbox when I play. You will definitely have the ability to run VERY HIGH resolutions on the PC version. We are going to support PC use heavily.

How will achievements/trophies work in Skyrim?
-We want to have a mix of achievements between quests, collections, general game play, and others.

Will there be any Kinect support, Move support, or 3d support?
-I don’t think that will happen. But there might be something that we do with them. But right now we are focusing on the main game.

How will the leveling system work? What is the maximum level?
-It works like oblivion. There is no maximum level. There is a max level for your skills though. We made it so you level faster. This one is balanced like 1-50. You level fast in the beginning of the game because of the perks that help you out. The actual maximum could be somewhere around level 75. If you design your game with a 1-25 levels, is sort of slows your game down. That is why we made it possible to level faster in Skryim.

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