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The History of Bethesda Game Studios - Elder Scrolls / Fallout NoClip Documentary

Discussion in 'Bethesda Game Studios' started by Arnust, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. Arnust Learned

    Arnust
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    Pretty interesting stuff. NoClip delivering as always.
     
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  2. Feyd Rautha Augur Patron

    Feyd Rautha
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    Omg at around 18:30 he says that the western RPG:s at the time Morrowind was made were shit and he only compares Morrowind to Final Fantasy

    e: At around 19:45 Todd says that Morrowind sold much better than anticipated and especially on Xbox. That must have been the reason for the dumbing down
     
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  3. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Specifically, he says Western RPGs at the time weren't "cool".
     
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  4. Makabb Arcane Shitposter Bethestard

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    It's interesting to see Todd talk about Arena and Daggerfall, it seems he knows how to make games..... so why they don't make them anymore.
     
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  5. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    Well they admittedly say they turned to make games for consoles rather than PC after the success of Morrowind.
     
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  6. taxalot I request a spice shipment immediately. Patron

    taxalot
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    Codex 2013 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
    It's the same reason he's rich and famous and you're a frustrated guy on some forum, bro.

    No offense meant.
     
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  7. Feyd Rautha Augur Patron

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    They also had to waste a lot of dialog because voice acting was taking up to much space on the disc, so that was a limitation as well
     
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  8. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Very, very brief mention of New Vegas, basically just saying "we're not directly involved, it's cool" with no comment from Todd.
     
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  9. Feyd Rautha Augur Patron

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    So apparently the combat system in Fallout 1&2 was called VATS (38:37). Didn't know and yet I've played those games countless times
     
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  10. m_s0 Arcane

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    More on the glossy side, clearly not catered to anyone who'd have a more critical (/academic) interest in the medium - par for the course for Noclip. The video is not completely without merit, but it shows pretty well how access is a double-edged sword. The interesting part is I'm not sure Danny O'Dwyer is conscious of any of this, and, ultimately, that's what makes Noclip so disappointing.

    So while it's well-produced and grandma wouldn't see it as out of place on TV (i.e. it's a legitimate-looking piece that somewhat achieves the aim of documenting the medium on a surface level), is this really the best that can be done in view of Noclip's mission statement?
     
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  11. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    I think it was just Aimed Shot.

    Well, this is sort of sponsored documentary thing. I'm not sure companies would cooperate with him (he spent days in Bethesda HQ for this) if they see any clue of really critical opinions.
     
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  12. m_s0 Arcane

    m_s0
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    I don't mean critical as in negative. I mean engaging with the subject matter which is something Noclip never really does. Yeah, you get some good anecdotes, but good anecdotes won't advance the discourse, and that is supposed to be the ultimate goal here. Check out his pitch for the Noclip channel.
    Yeah, I know. I'm that guy. :negative:
     
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  13. Matticus Educated

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    Interviewer: "Are you a big fan of those earlier games? (Fallout)"
    Todd: "Oh my god, loved them. I think it's genius stuff."

    I connect with this because I too liked the original fallout games.
     
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  14. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    Well, I would call this The History of Todd Howard Regime. It's not that surprising this is mostly about who remains in BGS, and very brief on its founder, has (IIRC) no mention of Ken Rolston and Michael Kirkbride.
     
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  15. DosBuster Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

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    Lol at Todd's acknowledgment of fan angst at Fallout and his admittance that he'd be just the same.
     
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  16. Matticus Educated

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    Not trying to correct you, just maybe an interesting discrepancy: I was just watching the F1 postmortem yesterday and tim referred to it as a 'called shot', which is the lingo they used in the early vision statement of the game.

    Here's the link, in case you haven't seen it:

     
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  17. Arnust Learned

    Arnust
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    Some lad made a quick TL;DW that lacks some bits:

    In no particular order:
    • Some stuff that would make people disappointed. Particularly, Todd explaining the desire to acquire the IP and why exactly (the skin not so much the mechanics). He acknowledges the fan backlash and mentions he would have felt the same way.
    • They discuss how development for Fallout 3 consisted of 2 different teams - one for quests and one for level design.
    • They talk about the initial rumors and leaks that led up to Fallout 4's launch and how it impacted the team. Todd in particular was annoyed by it but expressed surprise at how much manages to stay a secret because of how much is going on at Bethesda.
    • Todd talks about Fallout 3's initial quest (escaping Vault 101) and how they were happy with how it turned out. He did mention how it was annoying on following playthroughs to have to sit through that sequence again, but says that opening moment from exiting the vault really hammered home that 'fish out of water' feeling.
    • One of the world designers talks about how he went about creating and figuring out the layout for Diamond City and the idea of centralizing everything. He didn't like having a layout where towns were isolated in varying parts of the city (ala Oblivion or Fallout 3), and wanted Diamond City to present players with all the shops in a central location because he knew players would visit often to interact with the shops.
    • They talked about some of the Vault designs, particularly the Gary vault, and how they spent additional time recording dialogue for each Gary to say. They really liked the fact that it was nightmare fuel despite the comedic overtone.
    • Emil mentioned the use of verticality in designing the Fallout wasteland, and how they used it to inject the feeling of black and white differences between the poor and the rich (Tenpenny Tower vs Megaton). Two societies but one is literally dug into shit and the other towers above it.
    • They wanted that initial impression to be overwhelming to players, which is why Fallout 3, Skyrim, and Fallout 4 all feature the player staring out into an open expanse when they exit the starting sequence. They wanted players to try to say "where do I go, what do I do" when they play.
    • Lead animator discusses some of the quirks that went into leveraging newer, more complex animations using the Havoc engine. They mention it was easier to work with having spent time working a little on Skyrim's engine and getting better with it in Fallout 4. Lots of work went into creating the "scenes" and attaching animation instances to them (e.g. when the player meets piper for the first time outside of Diamond City).
    • Emil P. talks about how he came up with the meme guard dialogue ('arrow in the knee') and that it was a throwaway line of dialogue he came up with in 5 seconds. He was responsible for writing most of the guard dialogue in Skyrim and the Dark Brotherhood questline. He discusses his design inspiration for the Dragon dialogue. Overall pretty informative and he seems to really enjoy what he does.
    • Gamejams are monumentally important to the team because they provide an interactive, creative reprieve from actual work and let's them learn and develop new ideas and technologies. This in turn has gone on to influence lots of individual mechanics and systems in their future games.
    • Workshop/settlement building was born from one of their game jam systems which almost ended up on the cutting room floor because they didn't feel like it would become something people were actively interested in.
    • One of the lead designers (Matt Gardiner) mentioned that they didn't really anticipate workshop mode being a huge hit, so they only implemented bits and pieces of it into the main story towards the end of the development cycle. He says that had they known it would be a major hit amongst players, they would have developed it even more and integrated it into deeper parts of the story like rebuilding an entire town.
    • They mentioned FNV and one of the developers was really pleased with how the game turned out. They seemed to have nothing but praise for the guys that worked on and developed FNV.
    • The town of Salem in Fallout 4 was originally going to feature a quest that had a lot of cross-over to TES. There was going to be a plotline following the witch trials involving telekinesis and fireballs - literal magic. It was cut because the code base they had imported from Skyrim didn't include any of the magic stuff and they would have to rewrite it from scratch for Fallout 4 (at that stage in development). One of the newer quest designers insisted on not cutting it but making it more of what it is now (a Deathclaw trapped in a church).
    • There's no other specific mention of cut-content outside of the Salem segment.
    • One of the artists (Carafano I believe?) talks about how they were happy with the technical features of capturing a downtown, metropolitan area. He was really pleased with the technical and artistic aspects of it all.
    • A developer (Ashley Chang is his name I think?) says that Fallout 4 was the biggest technical feat for the studio as a whole because they were able to get it to a playable state faster than any of their products. They were beta testing the systems far sooner than other titles.
    • Overall Todd mentions the team has a good sense of camaraderie and everyone is usually excited to be working with each other on the projects they put forth. Employees there have quite a long tenure due to the environment and people generally enjoy their job, which leads to a more quote on quote, hardened development team when moving onto new projects.
    • Bethesda's "process" involves overlap between projects to ensure that the team is constantly iterating and integrating things they've learned from the previous project into the next. Each project usually starts and ends in this order: a map -> add new technologies -> add quests/story -> QA.
    • They've mentioned that following this process has helped reduce the amount of content that gets cut at the end of each dev cycle. Todd does mention the last year or so of a project is a mess where they end up with lots of conflicting systems that they shave away to make it more seamless.
    • Carafano talks about the obsessive nature each member has when working on any given project. They have a desire to push out the best possible product they can and often times have to step back and say "this is enough."
    Overall, Bethesda Game Studios seems to inspire a great deal of confidence from their employees. Say what you will about the final result of their games, but it can't be doubted that they genuinely enjoy what they do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
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  18. conan_edw Educated

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    So Todd commented on everything almost for the longest among the others but when it came to New Vegas he said nothing at all :lol:
     
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  19. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I find pre-Fallout 3 part (including Oblivion yeah) most interesting about this even if it was almost entirely told by, and for, the winners. How Todd casually knock on the door of old Bethesda to say 'I want to work here someday', story about Battlespire and Redguard, acknowledging the "hardcore" fans who think post-Morrowind is decline, etc. (It's a bit funny there's no mention of Ultima Underworld at all, but Todd mentions Ultima in general talking about how much he wanted that level of detail.)

    (Personal random thought about "arrow in the knee": I think the line was too personal and specific to be a generic line by random guards. It would feel awkward even if it was told by just two different guards.)
     
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  20. Feyd Rautha Augur Patron

    Feyd Rautha
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    at one time they said that every npc in fallout 3 was killable, even quest givers but that must be an outright lie? you couldn't kill mr.burke in megaton for example
     
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  21. DosBuster Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

    DosBuster
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    I think you can? The only npc you probably can't kill from memory are main quest ones.
     
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  22. mitochondritom Educated

    mitochondritom
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    Yea, I don't think you can kill your Dad either.

    I watched this last night and while it was well produced, it just felt like an extension of Bethesda's Marketing Wing. If I am remembering right there was zero mention of the ham-fisted attempted to monetize the modding.
     
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  23. Feyd Rautha Augur Patron

    Feyd Rautha
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    I havn't played it since 2008 but I have a strong memory of him being unkillable when you first meet him in the bar, before he gives you the quest
     
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  24. Gerrard Arcane

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    What did you expect, admitting it was cheaper the pay off reviewers so that the metacritic score remained below 85 than pay the bonus?
     
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  25. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    It would be cool if there was their view about differences between F3 and NV, and how it influenced F4, even if it was just wishy-washy statements. (But eh, I didn't expect this from this documentary or Bethesda. Just a fabulously optimistic wish.)
     
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