We’ve finally goon Bethesda’s upcoming space RPG. During a recent interview, Bethesda Studios’ creative director shared some new light on Starfield.
It’s the biggest announcement since we first saw the reveal trailer in 2018. On that same note, Howard stated Starfield will have the most giant open-world map Bethesda has ever created.
In specific, the world will be for times as big as Skyrim -for better or worse. That’s also about twice as large as Fallout 76.
Bethesda is creating a massive open-world for Starfield
The developer is crafting a lot of landmasses. To achieve the results, part of the map is procedurally generated. Let’s call that “POG” for we can continue.
POG means an algorithm creates the scenery as you enter by re-arranging the available assets for a set landscape. That means every time you enter a map -like a dungeon or a ship- the code makes a new area based on specific rules.
It’s a method standard in many dungeon crawler games. Titles like Path of Exile or the Diablo franchise have pioneered POG maps for quite some time.
According to Howard, POG is the best tool to create large areas quickly. However, Bethesda is hand-crafting distinct landmarks, which is the standard practice for most open-world games.
The studio is also creating lively cities and hubs for both The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield. That also means smart NPCs playing significant roles.
A new game engine
Additionally, Howard mentioned the company is overhauling its current 3D motor. Bethesda’s Creation Engine will deliver a “larger quality jump than from Morrowing to Oblivion.”
In specific, the exec listed better animation, rendering, and AI.
That said, Starfield will be a single-player only game. There won’t be any multiplayer features and, hopefully, no loot box mechanics.
Because Microsoft bought Bethesda, both TES: IV andStarfield will be available at Game Pass from launch.
Moreover, both games are probably getting massive financial backups to create the crazy worlds they want. By design, these kinds of titles must feature a lengthy playthrough and remain relevant for years, like The Witcher 3.
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Is it a good thing?
It’s not safe to say that a game will be useful simply because of its sheer size. A massive map often is detrimental to the game if there are not enough things to do, or sites to explore.
Starfield’s direct competition, the Mass Effect saga, took full advantage of its non-linea storytelling with linear maps. You got to select the order of your missions, and each episode was straightforward. Aside from the tough choices you had to make on some levels, everything worked more or less on a straight line.
A massive world can only be as good as the number of quests, locations to explore, and activities you can do. For example, Ubisoft’s recent Watch Dogs: Legon features a life-like city of Londo. And even though the map is big and gorgeous, it’s a lifeless canvas with unreactive AI walking and driving around.
Either way, Bethesda is taking such a long time to create the game as a good omen. The studio even built a new game engine for both Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI.