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Preview Oblivion daily update

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Can't get enough of Oblivion news? Welcome to the Oblivion Codex, a premier source of Oblivion information and other cool stuff like goatse!
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<a href=http://www.elitebastards.com/page.php?pageid=12316%20>Gavin Carter at Elite Bastards</a>
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<blockquote><b>As a writer I'd like to know how you keep track of all the (creative) writing that needs to be done for a game like Oblivion, especially when there's so much dialogue, and when aspects of the game might change in development? How do you keep the writer(s) involved so that they don't end up 'adrift' from the development of the game?</b>
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It really boils down to having the proper tools for the job, and the tools we have this time around for tracking and maintaining dialog are a quantum leap over Morrowind.
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(<b>Historic note:</b> The last guy who used words "quantum leap" to describe something in a game was DW Bradley, so you may want to rethink the whole quantum leap thing, Gavin - VD )
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We have much more control and changes are far easier to make and track. The writing for the game, much like the dungeon design, follows a very iterative process of drafting, review, and redrafting. The writers had most of the plots drafted out and most of the dialogue written before even putting them into the game.
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Early on, we actually made them present the plotlines of their quests to the entire team. Of course, then we play it, and things can and frequently do change drastically from that point. But everyone here plays the game and is always looking for ways to improve the quests. <u>I think the strength of our dialogue and characters in Oblivion are actually going to surprise a lot of people.</u> </blockquote>That is a bold statement that goes into my collection of the "Before" quotes.
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<a href=http://www.mygamer.com/index.php?page=interviews&mode=viewinterviews&id=35>Pete "The Epic Boy" Hines at MyGamer</a>:
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<blockquote><b>Thanks so much for taking this time to speak with us, Pete. My first question is something near and dear to all fans of the series- the consistent depth of the writing. The Elder Scrolls franchise has built its reputation on the depth of its storytelling. What will Oblivion do to raise the bar on your past successes in regards to creating an epic narrative?</b>
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Well, much of the “<b>epic</b>” part of <b>epic</b> narrative is drawn from the game itself. Given that our games are set in big huge worlds where you can go where you want and do what you want, our narratives always feel <b>epic</b> simply because of the way we design our games and game space. We’ve certainly done that again with how vast the world is in Oblivion. As far as the narrative, I think folks will find that the main quest has similar themes and tones as in past Elder Scrolls games while at the same time, it is a bit of a departure. We aren’t asking you to be the chosen one. We’re asking you to find him, protect him, and help him. You get to go to a lot of cool places (both in Cyrodiil and in Oblivion) during the main quest, so by the time it’s said and done you really feel like you’ve done something pretty <b>epic</b>.</blockquote>That sounds pretty epic to me.
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Thanks, <b>MSFD</b> for the excellent PR job!
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HardCode

Erudite
Joined
Aug 23, 2005
Messages
1,138
(Moved from: http://www.rpgcodex.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=159443)

Okay, I'll piggyback on this thread to comment on the two interview links on the offical website that MSDF pointed to the blind, like myself:

From: http://www.elitebastards.com/page.php?pageid=12316%20

Gavin Carter said:
Economy has been a much bigger focus for us in Oblivion than it ever was in Morrowind. Our designers have produced reams upon reams of spreadsheets, charts, graphs, and statistics examining player advancement and linking it up to the world economy. One major step we’ve taken is providing the player with higher level economic goals – things like houses and horses and high level weapons and armor in shops. These are meant to be goals to save your money towards over the course of the game.

This is good news, and new news I believe. Some more-specific information regarding what a PC can do with all the money they collect over the course of the game. In MW, we all know you had more money than you could ever use. This shows promise for the monetary system.

Stealth got a big upgrade from Morrowind. The formulas for whether or not you’re detected now take into account light and sound, so marching around in those heavy iron armored boots probably isn’t your best option for sleuthing. Also, we’ve included special sneak attacks as skill perks. They aren’t instant kills all the time, but depending on your skills, a successful sneak attack can put a big multiplier on your damage.

More good news. Some actual rewards for sneaking around, other than for not being seen stealing. This sounds promising.

Pete's interview at http://www.mygamer.com/index.php?page=i ... iews&id=35

Text in [ ] is mine.

mygamer.com: People new to the Elder Scrolls will doubtless be amazed, but what will long-time follows of the series instantly notice is different/better in this latest installment?

Pete: It’s hard to say. ... [more nonsense that doesn't answer the question]

Really? You're the VP of PR and Marketing and you can't think of an answer? Does "VP" stand for "Vacant Position"?

mygamer.com: One of the better aspects of modding Morrowind was the fact that the game took place on an island, so as new real-estate was created in both official add-on packs and by modders it was simplicity to just build new land mass out in the ocean. How will Oblivion provide the mod community the elbow room their projects will require?

Pete: You can build off our game world in any direction. More importantly, you can have the game generate whatever terrain you want in that location for you. So it’s not just about having elbow room, but having the world generated with the click of a button so you can spend more time creating things and less time dragging the landscape around and placing trees/rocks/etc.

Finally, he knows something! That sounds promising to the modding community, but I am totally unfamiliar with modding. Perhaps someone else can comment.


The rest of the articles didn't pique much of my interest.
 

GhanBuriGhan

Erudite
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
1,170
HardCode said:
Pete: You can build off our game world in any direction. More importantly, you can have the game generate whatever terrain you want in that location for you. So it’s not just about having elbow room, but having the world generated with the click of a button so you can spend more time creating things and less time dragging the landscape around and placing trees/rocks/etc.

Finally, he knows something! That sounds promising to the modding community, but I am totally unfamiliar with modding. Perhaps someone else can comment.

Terrain generation, and more so population with plants and rocks etc. was very time consuming in MW. Look at Tamriel Rebuilt, they spent way over a year just doing that, with a lot of people. That is why the much maligned "soil erosion" is really a very worthwhile feature - it frees a lot of time for the designers. It should be a very important factor in seeing more "content" instead of "feature" mods for Oblivion, or that's my hope, at least.
 

LlamaGod

Cipher
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
3,095
Location
Yes
We aren’t asking you to be the chosen one. We’re asking you to find him, protect him, and help him.

"You Must Choose The Chosen One"?
 

Chefe

Erudite
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
4,731
LlamaGod said:
We aren’t asking you to be the chosen one. We’re asking you to find him, protect him, and help him.

"You Must Choose The Chosen One"?

Until he turns evil or unexpectedly dies, then you become the chosen one.

Just look who's voicing him.
 

Data4

Arcane
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
Messages
5,539
Location
Over there.
Chefe said:
LlamaGod said:
We aren’t asking you to be the chosen one. We’re asking you to find him, protect him, and help him.

"You Must Choose The Chosen One"?

Until he turns evil or unexpectedly dies, then you become the chosen one.

Just look who's voicing him.

I'm going to guess it's both. Boromir/006/the character in National Treasure doublecrosses you, turns evil, and then you have to kill him. While standing at the vertex of multiple Oblivion gates opening, you grab ahold of the Amulet of Kings from the heir's body, put it on and.... WITH OUR POWERS COMBINED....!

Emperor [player name] Teh f1rst!

-D4
 

Chefe

Erudite
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
4,731
Data4 said:
I'm going to guess it's both. Boromir/006/the character in National Treasure doublecrosses you, turns evil, and then you have to kill him. While standing at the vertex of multiple Oblivion gates opening, you grab ahold of the Amulet of Kings from the heir's body, put it on and.... WITH OUR POWERS COMBINED....!

Or, they could mix it up a bit. He betrays you, causing you to go after him, but then he has a revelation after you defeat him, right before he is suddenly killed by the big bad guy. Then it's up to you to save the world! OMG!

Captain Planet, he's our hero, gonna take pollution down to zero!

Heart!
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
I detect some disapproval. I didn't know you were an avid Oblivion fan, pooper.
 

Balor

Arcane
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
5,186
Location
Russia
By the way, why POOPER-guy avoids his dumbfuck title so far?
At least illiterate wil fit him fine...
Or it's so obvious that you don't need a tag on him telling that?
Guess so. *shrugs*
 

jiujitsu

Cipher
Joined
Mar 11, 2004
Messages
1,444
Project: Eternity
Pooper is awesome, fag. He's fucking DAC mafia.

Oh and:

crpgnut said:
Boromir! Don't trust the chosen one, hero. He will take Bagginses precious.

:lol:
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
63
Frankly, I'm surprised at your reaction, VD. In the past, I thought that this was just the type of information that you were hoping to hear. I know that you don't have examples and haven't played the game yet, but can we give Beth some credit for talking about more in-depth things about the game? You can't really cry "soil erosion and Stewart" on this one...
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
Tetragrammaton said:
Frankly, I'm surprised at your reaction, VD. In the past, I thought that this was just the type of information that you were hoping to hear. I know that you don't have examples and haven't played the game yet, but can we give Beth some credit for talking about more in-depth things about the game? You can't really cry "soil erosion and Stewart" on this one...
What exactly are you referring to?
 

bryce777

Erudite
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
4,225
Location
In my country the system operates YOU
Tetragrammaton said:
Frankly, I'm surprised at your reaction, VD. In the past, I thought that this was just the type of information that you were hoping to hear. I know that you don't have examples and haven't played the game yet, but can we give Beth some credit for talking about more in-depth things about the game? You can't really cry "soil erosion and Stewart" on this one...

By saying "WE HAVE THE BEST STORY EVER!"???

You ever notice that every game does that?
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
I went word by word through the interview and can't say that I see anything exciting:

One major step we’ve taken is providing the player with higher level economic goals – things like houses and horses and high level weapons and armor in shops. These are meant to be goals to save your money towards over the course of the game.
Meh. How many houses do you need? A better horse? What for? Ride faster, carry more loot? I'd understand if it was a rare combat horse, but... The best weapons/armors are usually found, not bought, otherwise it makes exploring less rewarding.

Also, we’ve introduced the concept of investing as a skill perk. Once you achieve a high enough mercantile skill, you can invest in a store and permanently raise the maximum amount of money the merchant has to purchase items from you. Over time you can use his increased wealth to your selling advantage because he’ll have more money to buy your loot.
So, that's what investing in stores is all about? Lame. Makes selling overpriced loot easier. Hardly impressive.

For characters, we have worked our system of facial animation into the Speechcraft skill. Whereas in Morrowind persuasion was simply an invisible die roll against your skill, we’ve created a persuasion system where you look carefully at an NPC’s expression to determine how they’ll react to certain forms of persuasion.
Has already been commented on.

Stealth got a big upgrade from Morrowind. The formulas for whether or not you’re detected now take into account light and sound, so marching around in those heavy iron armored boots probably isn’t your best option for sleuthing. Also, we’ve included special sneak attacks as skill perks. They aren’t instant kills all the time, but depending on your skills, a successful sneak attack can put a big multiplier on your damage.
Nice if works well.

The guilds are definitely aware of one another and you’ll hear them refer to each other as part of the plot. Since the whole “Oblivion gates opening everywhere and spewing monsters” theme is a global crisis, you get some overlap between them. We like to keep guilds largely separated though, both to keep the plotlines more coherent and to allow the player to better wander from one to another at will.
Sounds awesome. Can't wait to unite all guilds under my leadership and lead them to victary!!!

It really boils down to having the proper tools for the job, and the tools we have this time around for tracking and maintaining dialog are a quantum leap over Morrowind. We have much more control and changes are far easier to make and track. The writing for the game, much like the dungeon design, follows a very iterative process of drafting, review, and redrafting. The writers had most of the plots drafted out and most of the dialogue written before even putting them into the game.
The writing on those "Russian" screens was amazing! You can tell that much drafting, reviewing, and redrafting took place.

What did I miss?
 

Tintin

Arbiter
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
1,480
You really love to do those one-line responses to paragraphs.
 

POOPERSCOOPER

Prophet
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
2,739
Location
California
Balor said:
By the way, why POOPER-guy avoids his dumbfuck title so far?
At least illiterate wil fit him fine...
Or it's so obvious that you don't need a tag on him telling that?
Guess so. *shrugs*

Go back to your LOTR world and go masturbate to some hobbits or something faggot.





Thanks for standing up for me JIU

Pride, honor, Jiu
 

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