Bethesda’s Todd Howard has spoken to Eurogamer’s Tom Bramwell at this year’s QuakeCon in a mammoth interview that those with even a passing interest in the studio’s games should read. Covering a dazzling array of topics from how they suck at ladders and need to get better at animation, the executive producer has also dropped all sorts of information on games such as Fallout: New Vegas and what the studio has planned for the future. Commenting on a “secret game” that has been in development for a number of years, Howard also suggests that the game is so impressive you’ll feel like you’re on next-next-gen.
“One thing I can say is that from when you first hear about it to when it’s out will be the shortest it’s been for us. It’s pretty far along. When we show it, we want to show a lot, because there’s a lot of game there to play right now […] It started with Morrowind, we went to Oblivion, we did a lot between Oblivion and Fallout 3 because now we had final hardware – with Oblivion we had six months on final hardware, so Fallout 3 technically does a lot more than Oblivion. The new stuff is an even bigger jump from that.
I can say it is on the existing platforms, which we’re really happy with. You almost feel like you have a new console when you see the game.”
The interview goes on to cover such topics as ZeniMax’s acquisition of developer Arkane, iPad development, how they personally plan to battle the second-hand game market (simple: make better games so people don’t want to trade them) and the lessons learned from their earlier DLC mistakes. There is even some discussion about the dreaded issue of level-capping within their games. Howard states:
“I don’t know – I mean, a lot of games do it, like World of Warcraft, so we tried it. I think it worked out okay for that game, but going forward if we had to completely redo Fallout 3 we’d probably not have a level cap, because it just makes the game more fun to level up.
It just does. The sense of accomplishment every time you do something to get some XP. So I think we’ll make efforts in the future to not have one.”