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Todd Howard Talks About Skyrim

No High Scores

I’ve been seeing this excellent AusGamers interview with Bethesda’s Todd Howard make the rounds on various sites because in it Howard mentions their intention to do bigger DLC for Skyrim that’s more in line with doing an expansion pack. A good notion, that, but if Skyrim is on your must buy list you should read the full interview for everything else discussed there. Lots of good details about the mod community and Howard’s desire to find a way to put them on the Xbox. Some good nuggets about the quest engine, “Radiant Story,” how they unintentionally rebuilt the Gamebryo engine for this game, and why they demo on the 360 even though the PC version will look better. Here’s the bit about the evolution from Gamebryo to Creation:

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.

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Todd Brakke

Todd was born in Ann Arbor with a Michigan helmet in one hand and a mouse in the other. (Never you mind the logistics of this.) He grew, vertically anyway, and proceeded to spend over 16 years as a development editor for Pearson Education, publishing books, videos, and digital learning products under the Que and Sams Publishing imprints. Because that wasn't enough of a challenge, Todd has also been a 20-year part-time snob about video games, writing reviews, features, and more for multiple outlets. Follow him on Twitter @ubrakto or check it out his website at

2 thoughts to “Todd Howard Talks About Skyrim”

  1. Agreed. That and the absolutely terrible character animations. I’m kind of amused that he talks about constantly updating their tech, because it always seems like they upgrade everything but what you spend most of the time looking at, ie. character faces, people moving, etc.

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