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Oblivion Q&A at GamesFirst!

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Oblivion Q&A at GamesFirst!

Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Thu 10 March 2005, 10:00:35

Tags: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

GamesFirst!, the exclamation point is apparently part of the site's name because it's so damned exciting, has put up an interview with Gavin Carter of Bethesda about the fourth installment of the Elder Scrolls series. Here's one of the big questions of all time answered:

GamesFirst!: How have the NPCs been revamped for Oblivion as opposed to Morrowind?

Gavin Carter:
Reworking our NPCs is a major focus for us with Oblivion. Everything about NPCs has been redone from the ground up. For starters, all of their dialog is fully voiced. Being able to actually hear the characters speak out loud really adds to the atmosphere. We’re making revisions to how dialog functions in the game as well. Gone are the encyclopedic database characters of Morrowind who had lists of generic topics that scrolled off the screen. We’re trying hard to give all NPCs a sense of personality and keeping their topics down to things that are interesting and unique. The dialog system itself has been revamped to remove the hyperlink-style keywords sprinkled in among the dialog. You’re now presented with topics and dialog choices in between NPC dialogs. We find this helps you focus on the information (as well as our incredible facial animation system) much more, instead of just hunting through the dialogs for the colored words like in Morrowind.

The biggest change, though, is probably our world-spanning 24-hour AI system, dubbed “Radiant AI.” We use this system to provide a goal-based framework for an NPC’s daily schedule. We can dictate when they get hungry, where they sleep, what type of items they want to acquire, where they like to shop, and any number of other things. All of this is accessible through menus, so no scripting is involved. We’ve used this system to set up everything from normal NPC town schedules, to rival adventurers you run into in some dungeons who are out looking for the same treasure you are.​
Hot damn! That's the one thing I've been waiting to hear about this game since it was announced.

Thanks, Art and Steve!

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