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I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.
February 12, 2012 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Here is the footage from Todd Howard's keynote address at DICE 2012. This was from the Bethesda Game Jam after the game shipped in 2011, and it describess potentially new downloadable content for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
posted by crunchland (31 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, I want all of these. Immediately.

DRAGON MOUNTS!!!
posted by fight or flight at 2:15 PM on February 12, 2012


OMG BOSS MUDCRAB
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:19 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Potentially? There's got to be something like a half dozen different community-developed mods available on Skyrim Nexus that can add in Scene Specific Ambient Occlusion like they show in the one part of the video, and the part where the guy is using Kinect to issue dragonshouts by voice command has already been implemented for PC users by a third-party modder as well. All available for download prior to the release of the Skyrim Creation Kit this past Tuesday. (Yes, everything that the Skyrim modding community had put out prior to that point was made with hacked-together third party tools.)

I did get really excited about the spears and also adding a perk tree for lycanthropy though. Those aren't outside the capabilities of Bethesda's Mod community, but would more likely to have cleaner implementations if developed in house.

On a related note, I am very impressed with them for releasing the High Resolution Texture pack as free DLC for the PC, because that's bound to feel like a knife in the back to 360/PS3 players who won't be able to enjoy it. And as immersion breaking as it is, I absolutely love the mod that Bethesda co-authored with Valve, Fall of the Space Core, Volume 1.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:20 PM on February 12, 2012


because that's bound to feel like a ARROW in the KNEE to 360/PS3 players who won't be able to enjoy it

ftfy
posted by Sebmojo at 2:36 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Nah, this is most certainly a stealth attack for x6.0 damage. Bethesda sneakily laid the groundwork for it by setting the large address aware compiler flag for the PC build two patches ago.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:43 PM on February 12, 2012


Good thing they hit that 11/11/11 release date though, right?
posted by codacorolla at 2:48 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


The problem with the giant crab is it has no apparent weak spot. How am I supposed to do maximum damage?
posted by straight at 3:51 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


bound to feel like a knife in the back to 360/PS3 players who won't be able to enjoy it.

As a PS3 owner the knife was already there due to the sheer number of bugs in the game. I hope they also used that week to hire some PS3 coders because they obviously haven't got any good ones right now.
posted by episodic at 3:56 PM on February 12, 2012


Valve Launches Portal 2 Space Core Skyrim Mod
posted by homunculus at 4:16 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh hai I just popped in to say I got bored of Skyrim because for a while now I've been doing the same thing over and over and over. Oh look a cave. It's full of draugr. Now boss draugr. Oh sweet a little secret door to take me back to the start of the cave. Dragon outside. Fast travel to city to sell loot (after standing waiting outside shop for nine hours like a madman). Off to next cave! I am an unstoppable destroyer of things!
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:18 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a push at our company to do game jams like this. We did a test three-day jam with various levels of buy-in and skepticism, but the results were spectacular. You'd think that in three days you can't do much, right? WRONG! There's real financial risks involved with giving your entire company a week and telling them "do whatever you want!", but if Bethesda and other companies (like Double Fine and Google) keeping highlighting the positives then it's easier to convince the people in charge of the purse strings to let us have our fun.

Also "the mod community already did it" kinda misses the point because mod communities don't have to work under the same restrictions as a company. Game jams are like "let's pretend we're modders for a week!" with the advantage that they have more experienced teams. A game jam is about devs no longer having to jump through management hoops to get your ideas realized, or cutting other features to make way for fluff like seasonal foliage or dragon mounts. Instead, they get to prototype something that wouldn't otherwise be approved and prove to people that it's fun or cool (or prove that it's not fun and the idea should never be spoken of again).

That and everything in that sizzle reel was done in one whole week. That's a ton of content that's actually useful (as opposed to all the silly stuff probably made that same week). Buggy, untested content that probably doesn't run on consoles but STILL impressive in the sheer amount of stuff prototyped.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 4:20 PM on February 12, 2012


As tumid dahlia points out, Skyrim's problem is that it's so fucking boring. The many, many bugs and broken scripts don't help.
posted by bardic at 4:47 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having once spent the month of July beating a padded 4x4 into submission using that torso twist spear thrust at 0:49 all I can say is AWESOME!

I wonder if they set it up so that you can tell your thane to stand in front of you with a shield and stop the bad guys from disemboweling you, or if they get all excited and go tearing off on their own after 30 seconds, like in real life.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:28 PM on February 12, 2012


I learned recently that the land masses of Morrowind and Oblivion are both in Skyrim already, so that's something.
posted by mhoye at 6:14 PM on February 12, 2012


Off to next cave! I am an unstoppable destroyer of things!

"Skyrim is one of those subtle manipulations of the notion of "freedom" where the emphasis is placed on taglines like "go anywhere, do anything" and yet the entirety of the games mechanical system is built around violence and combat while literally every other means of interacting with people is reduced to a choose-your-own-adventure book a written by a third grader."

- A quote from an anonymous user of an anonymous forum.
posted by mhoye at 6:26 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also "the mod community already did it" kinda misses the point because mod communities don't have to work under the same restrictions as a company. Game jams are like "let's pretend we're modders for a week!" with the advantage that they have more experienced teams.

I wasn't trying to put down the developers' creativity, I only wanting to point out the parallel evolution going on between the professional and amateur camps. And yes, the developers are working under the constraints of deadlines and budget and project politics, but until recently, the modders have had their own restriction, the lack of the Creation Kit.

And while the developers have a head start on Skyrim-specific experience, the fact that the Creation Engine is merely the latest iteration of the same tech that's been behind Bethesda's last decade's worth of games means that modders' experience from Morrowind/Oblivion/FO3/FO:NV can't be discounted. You wouldn't have seen ambitious, complex mods like Thu'uMic (controlling dragonshouts via voice recognition) be out this early without the lessons learned on and the tools developed for the previous four titles. I'm convinced that anything from that video that Bethesda doesn't end up releasing officially, will be recreated by the modders at some point.

And that's what I love about Bethesda games on PC. Because they trust us to play with their tools and to make our own, as long as we don't try to make a profit, bugs can get fixed, game balance and design issues adjusted, and new content added, even years later. There were 4 new mods for Morrowind posted to the Nexus today. With the right downloads installed, you can easily forget it's a decade old game.

And speaking about Morrowind, I'm guessing everyone going nuts over the giant enemy crab never went to Ald'Ruhn.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:25 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


As tumid dahlia points out, Skyrim's problem is that it's so fucking boring. The many, many bugs and broken scripts don't help.
posted by bardic at 4:47 PM on February 12 [+] [!]


MY 200 HOURS OF PRETENDING TO BE A VIKING BEGS TO DIFFER, SUH!
posted by Sebmojo at 7:41 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Skyrim is one of those subtle manipulations of the notion of "freedom" where the emphasis is placed on taglines like "go anywhere, do anything" and yet the entirety of the games mechanical system is built around violence and combat while literally every other means of interacting with people is reduced to a choose-your-own-adventure book a written by a third grader."

- A quote from a stupid anonymous user of an anonymous forum for stupids.
posted by mhoye at 6:26 PM on February 12 [+] [!]


ftfy also
posted by Sebmojo at 7:45 PM on February 12, 2012


They had me at giant mud crab.
posted by Argyle at 8:31 PM on February 12, 2012


I'm taking a break from Skyrim because on the console the combat system is horrible. Maybe it works better on the PC, but on a console it feels like you're skidding around on rollerblades, constantly swinging at walls. It's not that it's too hard, it just feels fundamentally wrong and unpleasant somehow. I actually ended up dialing the difficulty way down just so I could get combat over as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, with combat removed, there's a big chunk of game missing.

It's bizarre, because fighting in other games - the Assassin's Creed series, the Fable series, the Dragon Age series, and most recently Amalur - fighting is handled so much better. I'm not sure why the developers didn't do something similar. Hell, even Fallout 3 had VATS as a nod to the turn-based combat of the original games, and VATS was kind of cool. I think part of it is that they've tied their hands by being resolutely first-person-perspective, which feels right for a shooter, but wrong for swordplay.

Anyway, I'm hoping the DLC gives me a reason to re-engage.
posted by Ritchie at 9:46 PM on February 12, 2012


I think part of it is that they've tied their hands by being resolutely first-person-perspective

I don't know where you're getting that from, because you can toggle between first person and third person over-the-shoulder views. Couldn't tell you what button you'd push on a console for that, but third person is available.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:30 PM on February 12, 2012


I understand that, but there's a difference between a game where a third-person-perspective was designed in from the beginning, and one where it is sort of an afterthought.
posted by Ritchie at 3:16 AM on February 13, 2012


I don't know about it being an afterthought. I recall watching an interview on Xplay of one of the developers after offering a pre-release trial during some convention, months and months ago, and he expressed surprise that so many people actually preferred to play in first-person mode. That said, I agree with you that hand-to-hand fighting in the game is pretty sloppy on the ps3.
posted by crunchland at 3:37 AM on February 13, 2012


mhoye: ""Skyrim is one of those subtle manipulations of the notion of "freedom" where the emphasis is placed on taglines like "go anywhere, do anything" and yet the entirety of the games mechanical system is built around violence and combat while literally every other means of interacting with people is reduced to a choose-your-own-adventure book a written by a third grader.""

I started with Daggerfall and one of the advancements in Morrowind that excited me was the expansion of how NPC interaction worked. There often seemed to be opportunities for double crosses or taking non-standard actions. When Oblivion came out I was sorely disappointed that things seemed to take a step back, and then Skyrim got even worse.

I think part of the problem is the need to have all of the voices spoken. When you're dealing with all text, like in Morrowind, you can have reams and reams of possible dialogue - you're only limited by how much you're willing to write. Once you begin having to voice all that dialogue, you encounter a real limitation on how much text there can be. Bethesda has chosen to focus on a visceral form of immersion instead of a more intellectual one.
posted by charred husk at 6:19 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think part of the problem is the need to have all of the voices spoken. When you're dealing with all text, like in Morrowind, you can have reams and reams of possible dialogue - you're only limited by how much you're willing to write. Once you begin having to voice all that dialogue, you encounter a real limitation on how much text there can be. Bethesda has chosen to focus on a visceral form of immersion instead of a more intellectual one.

I think that if I could pick any one thing to change in the game series for its next iteration it would absolutely be to move back from the voiced character dialog (I'm also realistic enough to know that this will never happen).

You have to create voice tracks for X unique dialog options with X unique actors in X unique foreign languages for X unique permutations of each dialog option (for example, adding in a nod to the fact that the player is Argonian or Dark Elf instead of Nordic).
posted by codacorolla at 8:55 AM on February 13, 2012


Nord Mead
posted by homunculus at 9:13 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do PS3 players have no hope of ever enjoying these mods and things?
posted by rahnefan at 7:21 AM on February 16, 2012


Do PS3 players have no hope of ever enjoying these mods and things?

Outside of really hacked together stuff like this, Bethesda made some noise earlier in the development process that they want to create a platform for mods similar to Steam workshop for the PC. I think the main stumbling block at the moment is that it's free content that Sony or MS would be paying the bandwidth and hosting costs on, and after all, they're not running charities.
posted by codacorolla at 8:04 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thank you codacorolla.

Sounds pretty unlikely. :(
posted by rahnefan at 8:44 AM on February 16, 2012


That's a neat development codacorolla. This is the first time I've heard of mods being loaded on PS3, but then again, I haven't followed that scene too closely either. I'd imagine the method linked to above wouldn't work for anything that needs SKSE or DragonScript, but those are only a fraction of the mods out there.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:29 AM on February 16, 2012


Instead of some downloadable stuff, why not a glow in the dark, "I used to be an adventurer than I took an arrow in the knee" shirt?
posted by misha at 9:22 AM on February 21, 2012


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