Starfield Devs Discuss New RPG Elements, Persuasion System, And Questioning Nature Of Existence


Bethesda Game Studios is launching its next big game, Starfield, this November. Ahead of that, the developer is teasing out news about the sci-fi RPG in its “Into the Starfield” series, and the latest episode is out now. Titled “Made For Wanderers,” this episode features game director Todd Howard, design director Emil Pagliarula, lead quest designer Will Shen, and art director Istvan Pely talking about how Starfield will try to “take on the next evolution of RPGs.”

More specifically, the developers talk about how Starfield gives players “the freedom to create their own journey through the cosmos.”

Howard says in the video that Starfield will offer players the ability to see and learn more about the “backgrounds, the traits, the ‘defining your character,’ all of those stats.”

“I think there are so many games that do those things that people are ready for something that does a lot of the things that older, hardcore RPGs–some of the things we used to do–doing those again in a new way, ” he added.

Pely says in the video that the technology assets in Starfield are “severely leveled up.” It features face and body scanning based on real-world models similar to how the game uses photogrammetry for its landscapes. “It’s not just the appearance of your player and all that. We want all the personal interactions with NPCs and other characters in the game to be as impactful as possible, and for that you have to believe these are real people.”

Also in the video, Howard said Bethesda’s games are known for how storytelling opportunities pop up for players beyond what Bethesda designed and intended itself, and the studio is leaning into this with Starfield. “It seems like no matter what story we write, the one the players tell themselves is the one they think about and love the most,” Howard said.

With Starfield, Bethesda really “leaned into” how the game’s companion characters feel about your character. The game will also have an Oblivion-like conversation persuasion system where players will have to weigh the risks of what they say to other characters to get the ideal outcome. “We didn’t want it to be a system where there was definitely the right thing to say,” Shen said.

Starfield is a game about the cosmos, in some respects, and Howard said he hopes players come away with grand questions about the nature of their place in the universe. “At the end of it, we want the players to have told their own journey, but then look back at it and… we’re asking the big questions. Why are we all here? Where is it leading? And what’s next for humanity?”

Additional episode of Into the Starfield will be released in the coming months.

Starfield is slated for release on November 11, 2022 for Xbox Series X|S and PC. It’ll be available day one on Xbox Game Pass, just like all first-party Microsoft games.

After Starfield, Bethesda Game Studios will launch The Elder Scrolls VI at some point further into the future. No release date has been announced, nor have we seen any gameplay so far.

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