During the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, after years of development, we finally got to see the first images of Starfield. Early comparisons to Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky came quickly, but according to director Todd Howard, it’s not possible to fly seamlessly into space from the planet, as is possible with Hello’s game. Games.
According to Howard, who spoke to IGNthis aspect was “not important to the player” and that the studio did not think it was worth making the transitions from planet to space and vice versa in the game. The director says that he is more important that the gameplay in space and the gameplay on planets are as strong as possible.
“If you’re trying to spend a really long time designing the in-between, like this transition, you’re just spending a lot of time [on something] it’s really not that important for the player,” he added. “So let’s make sure it’s great when you’re on the surface and great when you’re in space, and those realities look and play as good as they can get.”
Speaking of which, Starfield has some of the most handcrafted content in Bethesda Game Studios history. Howard recounts, speaking again to IGN, that one of the philosophies behind Starfield is to say “yes” to new ideas as much as possible. Procedural content generation is still a part of Starfield, Howard said, but the boss says the game has gotten huge.
For example, over 200,000 lines of dialogue have been written and Bethesda has the systems for the aforementioned thousand planets to provide enough variation. However, Howard also warns that there will be times when the game can feel a little emptier. He cites balls of ice floating in space as an example.
The player can land on it and explore everything, but that does not mean that each sphere brings content. According to Howard, giving the player freedom is more important than constantly stressing quests and storylines.
“And it’s okay sometimes if the scoops of ice cream aren’t – that’s what it is. We’d rather have them and tell you yes, ‘Hey, you can land on that.’ Here are the resources, you can study them, and then you can land and spend ten minutes there and say to yourself, ‘OK, now I’m going to leave and go back to the other planet that has all this content, and I’m going to follow this series of quests.
So we’re very careful not to say, ‘Here’s where the fun is, here’s this kind of content’, but always say yes to the player and ‘You want to land on this weird planet, check it out and build an outpost, and live your life there, and watch the sunset because you love the view of the moons there? Go for it.’
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