Todd Howard Interview

Bethesda's Todd Howard recently talked with GameStar about the studio's past and future projects, including Fallout 4, Fallout 76, The Elder Scrolls VI, The Elder Scrolls: Blades, and even briefly mentioned a potential "Fallout 5" main series single-player RPG. Seeing how GameStar is a German website, the interview is in German, however, the folks over at RPGWatch have dug up an English transcript of the interview on Reddit. Here are a few sample questions:

Q: What do you think, how smart is it for established franchises, trying to push into new directions. e.g: Fallout pushing into the survival multiplayer? Is triple A titles trying something new, a positive thing? Or should they stay conservative and keep to their core gameplay mechanics?

A: I think it's good for franchises to try new things. There's still a lot of good ones out there, where they get released year after year and it stays basically the same. Thats not who we are. If you go back in time: Fallout 76 is a new thing but not as new as Fallout 3 was.

If you look from Fallout 2 to Fallout 3, that's a significant change. When we look at our franchise, we always want to reinterpret them we always want to try new things. I admit that Fallout 76 is something very new, but if you look at someone playing it you will look at it and say: "Oh that's a classic Bethesda style Fallout game".

A lot of the time you'll be doing a lot of similar things, but the mood and the vibe are different. When you run into someone it will feel completely different than running into someone in Fallout 4, because you know that they are an NPC, designed by us to probably help you. You kind of know what you are going to get.


Q: Going back to Fallout 4, the multiplayer idea for 76 kind of came from the development time of that game. Were there other lessons you learned from developing Fallout 4? Something you guys could have done better?

A: We wanted every aspect to be better. From the graphics to how the controls work, the gunplay, enemy AI, overlapping quests. In Fallout 4 we tried so many new things and re-did so many things we had before, we took our lessons in how you strike that balance going into 76.

We improved the hit detection for 76, it feels much better but you won't notice unless you go back to 4 and compare those two games. There are a lot of thing we redid for Fallout 76, that i don't know if the people will notice.

Q: OK but there was serious criticism on major gameplay elements in Fallout 4. RPG elements for example, i too think they got the raw deal. Was this part of a major decision to streamline and focus on the gunplay to make the game feel like more of a shooter experience?

A: With Fallout 4? Not at all. Admittedly there are some major quests where the player doesn't have as much of a choice as we would have liked it to be, but I don't think that casts across the whole game. When we went into Far Harbor, one of the DLCs for the game, we wanted to make sure that there are not just interesting questions we are asking, but also that the player has a lot of interesting answers. The end for Fallout 4 gets very complicated with a web of things, so we had to simplify some of it.

But it's still a game where you can do whatever you want and be whoever you want. That's what we are very proud of. In Fallout 76 we have a similar opportunity because the game will be connected to the internet the whole time. Though the game offers a new concept, we know we can change things on a monthly basis with the help of our community.