The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Interview

AusGamers has put online an interview with Bethesda Game Studios' Todd Howard about the next installment in The Elder Scrolls franchise, Skyrim. Among the topics touched upon are the "unscripted" dragons, the new Creation Engine, the eventual plans to support the game with DLC and more. Here's an excerpt on the engine:
AusGamers: Now let's step it back a bit, I want to talk a bit about Creation Engine. You guys have been demoing the game on Xbox 360, is there any particular reason why you haven't shown the PC version? Because clearly that would be the higher end.

Todd: Yeah it does, obviously the PC version looks better. It has higher textures, it can run much higher resolution and a lot more graphic features. We tend to show it on 360 so that it's a good baseline for people to look at. So when they then see the PC version it's going to go up. We'd rather do that than have people see the 360 later and it takes a step down.

We're really excited with how it looks on the 360 and the PS3. So we do author the art the same for all the platforms, it's just that they render it differently. Also for things like this [tradeshows] -- I don't know if people realise -- but as a game developer, the 360 is just much easier to show it on, from getting it started, to showing it, to controlling it, it's just much easier to demo on logistically.

AusGamers: Okay, now going from Gamebryo to Creation, what was the outset goal for you guys, in terms of the features that you wanted and the stuff that you didn't want anymore -- the kind of hang-ups that you had. What was the process going forward?

Todd: Well we came off of Fallout 3 and we're always moving our own technology forward. Whether that's using a piece of middleware or doing AI or things like that. We had a pretty big list of what we felt the 360, the PS3 and the high-end PCs could do, and it wasn't like we said (we're going to re-write the engine); we just sort of started with (okay, let's do this to the graphics; let's do this to the gameplay).

We started hitting that hard right after Fallout 3, so I'd say after the course of the next year and a half it turns out we'd re-written all of this -- look how it looks; we're not using this anymore; we're not using that anymore. So that's when we actually decided to brand it; we should call it something of our own.

But it wasn't from the get go (we're going to re-write the whole engine). It was a priority list and we ended up re-writing more than we thought we were gonna, but it worked out.