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Default Skyrim - Modular Level Design

May 3rd, 2013, 12:01
Well this news is a little late, but I just came across the blog last night. The whole topic gives insight to how Bethesda develops their games.

While many developers understand the basic concepts behind a modular system, and some have dabbled in it for a project or two, very few have made a career out of it. Thatís exactly what Nate and I have done, however. Our current project will be our fifth together in the near-decade we have known and worked with each other. Every one of these projects has taken this kit-based approach, including those we worked on before joining Bethesda.

We recently realized that there are many unspoken understandings we and our colleagues share; expectations and assumptions taken for granted as part of our process. We've struggled to explain ourselves in detail for new artists and designers who had joined our team. This talk was a way for us to explore and articulate this accumulated knowledge.

To understand our approach, itís useful to know where weíre coming from as developers, and where Bethesda Game Studios is coming from as a whole
The slide presentation to the topic is also available here.

More information.
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May 3rd, 2013, 12:01
Well, while modular approach is fantastic for some situations, imo it's mistake to just put it anywhere. For me atleast, when i played skyrim and while visiting dungeons, in all honesty, they felt very repetitive and boring. It felt like i saw the same dungeon like 20 times already, and for me it was really killing the experience.

I think that's mostly because they wanted such a huge number of dungeons, and all made with somewhat low number of modular pieces (relatively speaking), and that was the result.

For me, it's far better to have much, much lower number of dungeon, but make it so that each dungeon feels like a whole different, unique experience. I much more prefer 10 memorable dungeons over 300 "modular" onces….

Still, very intresting article, so tnx!
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