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Why all Bethesda games and assets are so generic and ugly and boring looking ?

racofer

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Looking at Starfield it reminds me of a bowl of porridge. All their games are monochromatic and just dreadful visually.
That's an accurate description. Now I know what to call the following image, other than absolute shit.

9ryBXKE.jpg
 

Barbie

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if ure talking about assets, all their games have a low production standard (not production VALUE)

their engines were always dogshit, and particularly programming is the worst in the industry

if ure talking about aesthetics, everything after Morrowind was painfully generic and unimaginative

Todd hated the weirdness of Morrowind because according to him it wasnt marketable, he often told Kirkbride to tone it down but he wouldn't listen (which ended up awesome)
Todd didn't hate the weirdness. He has stated often Morrowind is his favourite elder scrolls. His (and other Devs) issue with Kirkbride was that he would often submit text that was virtually unreadable due to how esoteric they got and Kirkbride disliked writing the groundwork for his own writing in a way that opened up his concepts to others. He was not a fan of laying down foundations for his own ideas, so often others would have little to no clue as to what he was going on about. Kirkbride would often submit just pure drafts and not revise the material, I.e. Mankars speech in Oblivion is the rough draft from an email because he never submitted an edited version.

To add to this, during Morrowind Todd was a junior software engineer who progressed to software engineer. He would not have been in a position to tell Kirkbride to do anything.
 
Last edited:

Robotigan

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To add to this, during Morrowind Todd was a junior software engineer who progressed to software engineer. He would not have been in a position to tell Kirkbride to do anything.
Isn't Todd credited as the Project Lead on Morrowind as well as Redguard? Either Todd climbed the ranks about as quickly as the player does in one of Bethesda's faction quests or you're mixing this up with his work on Daggerfall.
 

Barbie

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To add to this, during Morrowind Todd was a junior software engineer who progressed to software engineer. He would not have been in a position to tell Kirkbride to do anything.
Isn't Todd credited as the Project Lead on Morrowind as well as Redguard? Either Todd climbed the ranks about as quickly as the player does in one of Bethesda's faction quests or you're mixing this up with his work on Daggerfall.
Well Todd clumb quick, but he was not that high up during Morrowind. Kirkbride, Doug, Mark and Ken all had superiority over him. He got assigned to finish up the Imperial legion, note he did not write it nor was he allowed to change much (per Doug, he was only allowed to add details but not change things as the quest line was almost ready.)

If you look at Morrowind, it has tons of "project leads" for a game that had like 30 Devs working on it. Pretty much everyone was made a project lead because people were doing 70h a week for a year and being jacks of all trades. However, Todd was low enough that Ken, MK and Doug did boss him around according to interviews.

Edit: I remembered wrong, he indeed was a project lead. But I remember distinctly there being an interview where I think Doug stated that Todd was an errand boy. This was the same interview MK got pulled by telling them to remove the interview or all his contributions from the imperial library because Doug was running amock and breaking his NDA there.


Edit 2: Todd was made a project lead when Bethesda was down to 6 employees. The company had at that point a team consisting mostly of leads.

""There were six of us at the time, right? The studio had gotten that small, and I was in charge of Morrowind, but by that time, once you get to that point, there was this element of no fear. What's the worst that's gonna happen? We could go out of business. Well, let's go all in. This is the game. Let's put all our chips on the table. This is the game people want from us, this is the game we wanna do."
 
Last edited:

Robotigan

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Well Todd clumb quick, but he was not that high up during Morrowind. Kirkbride, Doug, Mark and Ken all had superiority over him. He got assigned to finish up the Imperial cult, note he did not write it nor was he allowed to change much (per Doug, he was only allowed to add details but not change things as the quest line was almost ready.)
In the same interview you're getting this from, Doug mentions that he left because he argued with Ken and Todd too much. Considering Todd had more company seniority than any of these guys, I'm going to guess Todd's role was that of a project manager or producer who got squeezed into active development because there was so much crunch. He probably wasn't "allowed" to change much because they were on a tight schedule.
 

Barbie

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Well Todd clumb quick, but he was not that high up during Morrowind. Kirkbride, Doug, Mark and Ken all had superiority over him. He got assigned to finish up the Imperial cult, note he did not write it nor was he allowed to change much (per Doug, he was only allowed to add details but not change things as the quest line was almost ready.)
In the same interview you're getting this from, Doug mentions that he left because he argued with Ken and Todd too much. Considering Todd had more company seniority than any of these guys, I'm going to guess Todd's role was that of a project manager or producer who got squeezed into active development because there was so much crunch. He probably wasn't "allowed" to change much because they were on a tight schedule.
Doug later amended that interview as he himself being angry and trying to fight other Devs. He also in said amendum refers that he himself was more in charge than he led on in the initial interview.
 

luj1

You're all shills
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if ure talking about assets, all their games have a low production standard (not production VALUE)

their engines were always dogshit, and particularly programming is the worst in the industry

if ure talking about aesthetics, everything after Morrowind was painfully generic and unimaginative

Todd hated the weirdness of Morrowind because according to him it wasnt marketable, he often told Kirkbride to tone it down but he wouldn't listen (which ended up awesome)
Todd didn't hate the weirdness. He has stated often Morrowind is his favourite elder scrolls. His (and other Devs) issue with Kirkbride was that he would often submit text that was virtually unreadable due to how esoteric they got and Kirkbride disliked writing the groundwork for his own writing in a way that opened up his concepts to others. He was not a fan of laying down foundations for his own ideas, so often others would have little to no clue as to what he was going on about. Kirkbride would often submit just pure drafts and not revise the material, I.e. Mankars speech in Oblivion is the rough draft from an email because he never submitted an edited version.

To add to this, during Morrowind Todd was a junior software engineer who progressed to software engineer. He would not have been in a position to tell Kirkbride to do anything.

I used to have this thing with Todd, because he was one of the ones that’s like, “Let’s not make it too weird.” So I’d bamboozle him. There was a period where I would actually draw two different versions of a monster — the one that was weird and that I wanted to be in the game, and then one that was fucking crazy. And so I’d go to Todd, and I’m like, “OK, I think I’ve got the mid-level creature set.” And I’d show him a picture. He’d be like, “Nah, dude, that’s crazy.” Then I’d go back to my office and I would act like I was drawing something new, and I’d just come back with the original drawing of what I really wanted to be in there. Like, “Hey, is this what you were thinking?” And he’d be all, “Oh, yeah, that’s much better. That’s great.”
 

Barbie

Novice
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Messages
28
if ure talking about assets, all their games have a low production standard (not production VALUE)

their engines were always dogshit, and particularly programming is the worst in the industry

if ure talking about aesthetics, everything after Morrowind was painfully generic and unimaginative

Todd hated the weirdness of Morrowind because according to him it wasnt marketable, he often told Kirkbride to tone it down but he wouldn't listen (which ended up awesome)
Todd didn't hate the weirdness. He has stated often Morrowind is his favourite elder scrolls. His (and other Devs) issue with Kirkbride was that he would often submit text that was virtually unreadable due to how esoteric they got and Kirkbride disliked writing the groundwork for his own writing in a way that opened up his concepts to others. He was not a fan of laying down foundations for his own ideas, so often others would have little to no clue as to what he was going on about. Kirkbride would often submit just pure drafts and not revise the material, I.e. Mankars speech in Oblivion is the rough draft from an email because he never submitted an edited version.

To add to this, during Morrowind Todd was a junior software engineer who progressed to software engineer. He would not have been in a position to tell Kirkbride to do anything.

I used to have this thing with Todd, because he was one of the ones that’s like, “Let’s not make it too weird.” So I’d bamboozle him. There was a period where I would actually draw two different versions of a monster — the one that was weird and that I wanted to be in the game, and then one that was fucking crazy. And so I’d go to Todd, and I’m like, “OK, I think I’ve got the mid-level creature set.” And I’d show him a picture. He’d be like, “Nah, dude, that’s crazy.” Then I’d go back to my office and I would act like I was drawing something new, and I’d just come back with the original drawing of what I really wanted to be in there. Like, “Hey, is this what you were thinking?” And he’d be all, “Oh, yeah, that’s much better. That’s great.”
This just enforces the point that legit MK was at points too esoteric. Go read his reaction to the imperial library interview of Doug, he is not an easy person and he is stubborn. MK wanted tons of things that codex would call pozzed now, like Vivec to be a hermaphrodite for example. MK is not the all god that codexers think these days. Kurt often acted as the Kirkbride to human translator during the development due to this.
 

Tihskael

Learned
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
286
Looking at Starfield it reminds me of a bowl of porridge. All their games are monochromatic and just dreadful visually.
That's an accurate description. Now I know what to call the following image, other than absolute shit.

9ryBXKE.jpg
Isn't Fallout supposed to be a bit dreadful, visually? I think any joy I had from Fallout 3 was walking through bleak, pulverised cityscapes. Fallout 4 took a different direction visually, but Fallout 3 has a better visual impression on me than 4 and New Vegas, to be honest.
 

luj1

You're all shills
Vatnik
Joined
Jan 2, 2016
Messages
8,893
Location
Eastern block
if ure talking about assets, all their games have a low production standard (not production VALUE)

their engines were always dogshit, and particularly programming is the worst in the industry

if ure talking about aesthetics, everything after Morrowind was painfully generic and unimaginative

Todd hated the weirdness of Morrowind because according to him it wasnt marketable, he often told Kirkbride to tone it down but he wouldn't listen (which ended up awesome)
Todd didn't hate the weirdness. He has stated often Morrowind is his favourite elder scrolls. His (and other Devs) issue with Kirkbride was that he would often submit text that was virtually unreadable due to how esoteric they got and Kirkbride disliked writing the groundwork for his own writing in a way that opened up his concepts to others. He was not a fan of laying down foundations for his own ideas, so often others would have little to no clue as to what he was going on about. Kirkbride would often submit just pure drafts and not revise the material, I.e. Mankars speech in Oblivion is the rough draft from an email because he never submitted an edited version.

To add to this, during Morrowind Todd was a junior software engineer who progressed to software engineer. He would not have been in a position to tell Kirkbride to do anything.

I used to have this thing with Todd, because he was one of the ones that’s like, “Let’s not make it too weird.” So I’d bamboozle him. There was a period where I would actually draw two different versions of a monster — the one that was weird and that I wanted to be in the game, and then one that was fucking crazy. And so I’d go to Todd, and I’m like, “OK, I think I’ve got the mid-level creature set.” And I’d show him a picture. He’d be like, “Nah, dude, that’s crazy.” Then I’d go back to my office and I would act like I was drawing something new, and I’d just come back with the original drawing of what I really wanted to be in there. Like, “Hey, is this what you were thinking?” And he’d be all, “Oh, yeah, that’s much better. That’s great.”
This just enforces the point that legit MK was at points too esoteric. Go read his reaction to the imperial library interview of Doug, he is not an easy person and he is stubborn. MK wanted tons of things that codex would call pozzed now, like Vivec to be a hermaphrodite for example. MK is not the all god that codexers think these days. Kurt often acted as the Kirkbride to human translator during the development due to this.

ye but u changed the subject

todd was running things + there is inside proof he disliked the weirdness

Let me add MK-Rolston was the best creative duo Bethesda ever had

Meanwhile Hines-Howard shat onto creative aspects cause of greed, and solidified the IP into industrial algorithmic garbage
 

Robotigan

Learned
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Messages
235
don't understand the hate on a toned down color scheme
Bethesda's art direction is pretty much always on point. You can tell they devote a lot of effort to it based on how much they feature their concept art. I think a lot of other games (cough JRPGs cough) fall prey to overdesigning things.
 

Robotigan

Learned
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Messages
235
I know it's a "city" (if you count 8 buildings and 15 NPCs a city) carved out of stone but does it really need to be this washed out and lifeless?
A lot of that is the flat (or overcast) lighting and low rez LOD assets whereas the concept art and ESO loading screen are captured under perfect conditions. Yeah, some of it is innate to the assets but those assets are constructed to reinforce the harsh, wintery atmosphere of the land. Kind of like how everything in the Matrix is passed through a green filter or how Westerns will use an orange filter. I think it serves the game well.
 
Unwanted
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
50,711
Codex Year of the Donut
In game screenshot, looks like something you'd see in the Creation Kit editor.
Sky_Solitude.jpg
To be entirely fair, it's never meant to be viewed from this position. Not surprising it looks bad.
There's a reason the front gate area has the most detail and the rest is just general silhouettes you'd see in the distance.
 

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