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March 7th, 2012, 21:59
Edge Online reports on a GDC talk by Bethesda lead level designer Joel Burgess that explains their practical approach to development:
Skyrim was made in under three years by fewer than 100 people. Just eight level designers made over 300 locations, while also working on creature design and combat balance. And yet it came out on exactly the date it was aimed.
Joel Burgess, lead level designer on Skyrim at Bethesda, explained in his GDC 2012 session, called Pursuing Elegance, how such a tight studio created something so large and complex. The answer: balancing idealist ideas with realist action and a culture that has arisen from game director Todd Howard’s edict, “We can do anything but we can’t do everything”.
“You have to be of two minds,” Burgess said. “The idealist’s big ideas and strong opinions about “the right way” and the realist’s consciousness of time, technology, perspective on knock-on effects and expediency.”
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March 7th, 2012, 21:59
He then turned to Lydia, the now semi-legendary player companion. “Here’s the bittersweet truth,” Burgess said. “She’s absolutely standard to all all housecarls other than her name and face. The same armour and fighting style. Player imagination is so powerful, creating valid stories about Lydia even though not technically the truth about her.”
. Except that the others will be higher level when you meet them later, and therefore more useful? So the game encourages you to constantly trade up to the most recently found follower? Weird…
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