Bethesda’s Todd Howard Discusses Fallout 4, the Freedom of RPGs
Bethesda director Todd Howard is getting inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame tonight, but before he was able to receive the honor he talked to Polygon about his two most recent games. Those would be Skyrim and Fallout 4, respectively, both of which ended up being huge hits for Bethesda.
The excellent interview touches on a lot of interesting topics, but one that stood out was when Howard was talking about the strengths of open-world RPGs. “Video games put you in a different place,” said Howard. “They do geography so well. We can put the player anywhere, and the player can do anything.” He continued to say that due to the popularity of the genre, he has to “think about creating the kinds of interactivity that make you feel like you’re really in that world.” In order to do that, Howard says that it’s important that developers stay away from activities that feel too “gamey,” due to it taking players out of the story being told.
Howard went on to talk about what the studio does really well (moral choices), but also recognizes there is definitely room for improvement. “I think we have a very long way to go in how the other characters act and react to you. That’s the big issue we’re trying to solve. We’re pretty good at pushing technology and world building. We have a good handle on game flow, the rate you get new things, how you’re rewarded over time. But we need to be innovating on [characters].”
Check out the full interview for more of Howard’s thoughts on where Fallout 4 succeeded and failed. He’s rather tight-lipped about the company’s future products, but there’s still plenty of good information present.