The History of Bethesda Game Studios - Elder Scrolls / Fallout NoClip Documentary

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Arnust, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016


    Pretty interesting stuff. NoClip delivering as always. You don't really have to care about them as the focus is in the games.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Proletären

    Proletären Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Mar 15, 2012
    Lot's of Fallout stuff in there! Please do a summary and post on the main page
     
  3. PlanHex

    PlanHex Useless layabout oTO Moderator Orderite

    Nov 4, 2007
    You do it.
     
  4. BigGuyCIA

    BigGuyCIA Mildly Dipped

    Oct 26, 2016
    @Proletären

    In no particular order:
    • Some stuff that would make @Gizmojunk disappointed. Particularly, Todd explaining the desire to acquire the IP and why exactly (the skin not so much the mechanics). He acknowledges the fan backlash and mentions he would have felt the same way.
    • They discuss how development for Fallout 3 consisted of 2 different teams - one for quests and one for level design.
    • They talk about the initial rumors and leaks that led up to Fallout 4's launch and how it impacted the team. Todd in particular was annoyed by it but expressed surprise at how much manages to stay a secret because of how much is going on at Bethesda.
    • Todd talks about Fallout 3's initial quest (escaping Vault 101) and how they were happy with how it turned out. He did mention how it was annoying on following playthroughs to have to sit through that sequence again, but says that opening moment from exiting the vault really hammered home that 'fish out of water' feeling.
    • One of the world designers talks about how he went about creating and figuring out the layout for Diamond City and the idea of centralizing everything. He didn't like having a layout where towns were isolated in varying parts of the city (ala Oblivion or Fallout 3), and wanted Diamond City to present players with all the shops in a central location because he knew players would visit often to interact with the shops.
    • They talked about some of the Vault designs, particularly the Gary vault, and how they spent additional time recording dialogue for each Gary to say. They really liked the fact that it was nightmare fuel despite the comedic overtone.
    • Emil mentioned the use of verticality in designing the Fallout wasteland, and how they used it to inject the feeling of black and white differences between the poor and the rich (Tenpenny Tower vs Megaton). Two societies but one is literally dug into shit and the other towers above it.
    • They wanted that initial impression to be overwhelming to players, which is why Fallout 3, Skyrim, and Fallout 4 all feature the player staring out into an open expanse when they exit the starting sequence. They wanted players to try to say "where do I go, what do I do" when they play.
    • Lead animator discusses some of the quirks that went into leveraging newer, more complex animations using the Havoc engine. They mention it was easier to work with having spent time working a little on Skyrim's engine and getting better with it in Fallout 4. Lots of work went into creating the "scenes" and attaching animation instances to them (e.g. when the player meets piper for the first time outside of Diamond City).
    • Emil P. talks about how he came up with the meme guard dialogue ('arrow in the knee') and that it was a throwaway line of dialogue he came up with in 5 seconds. He was responsible for writing most of the guard dialogue in Skyrim and the Dark Brotherhood questline. He discusses his design inspiration for the Dragon dialogue. Overall pretty informative and he seems to really enjoy what he does.
    • Gamejams are monumentally important to the team because they provide an interactive, creative reprieve from actual work and let's them learn and develop new ideas and technologies. This in turn has gone on to influence lots of individual mechanics and systems in their future games.
    • Workshop/settlement building was born from one of their game jam systems which almost ended up on the cutting room floor because they didn't feel like it would become something people were actively interested in.
    • One of the lead designers (Matt Gardiner) mentioned that they didn't really anticipate workshop mode being a huge hit, so they only implemented bits and pieces of it into the main story towards the end of the development cycle. He says that had they known it would be a major hit amongst players, they would have developed it even more and integrated it into deeper parts of the story like rebuilding an entire town.
    • They mentioned FNV and one of the developers was really pleased with how the game turned out. They seemed to have nothing but praise for the guys that worked on and developed FNV.
    • The town of Salem in Fallout 4 was originally going to feature a quest that had a lot of cross-over to TES. There was going to be a plotline following the witch trials involving telekinesis and fireballs - literal magic. It was cut because the code base they had imported from Skyrim didn't include any of the magic stuff and they would have to rewrite it from scratch for Fallout 4 (at that stage in development). One of the newer quest designers insisted on not cutting it but making it more of what it is now (a Deathclaw trapped in a church).
    • There's no other specific mention of cut-content outside of the Salem segment.
    • One of the artists (Carafano I believe?) talks about how they were happy with the technical features of capturing a downtown, metropolitan area. He was really pleased with the technical and artistic aspects of it all.
    • A developer (Ashley Chang is his name I think?) says that Fallout 4 was the biggest technical feat for the studio as a whole because they were able to get it to a playable state faster than any of their products. They were beta testing the systems far sooner than other titles.
    • Overall Todd mentions the team has a good sense of camaraderie and everyone is usually excited to be working with each other on the projects they put forth. Employees there have quite a long tenure due to the environment and people generally enjoy their job, which leads to a more quote on quote, hardened development team when moving onto new projects.
    • Bethesda's "process" involves overlap between projects to ensure that the team is constantly iterating and integrating things they've learned from the previous project into the next. Each project usually starts and ends in this order: a map -> add new technologies -> add quests/story -> QA.
    • They've mentioned that following this process has helped reduce the amount of content that gets cut at the end of each dev cycle. Todd does mention the last year or so of a project is a mess where they end up with lots of conflicting systems that they shave away to make it more seamless.
    • Carafano talks about the obsessive nature each member has when working on any given project. They have a desire to push out the best possible product they can and often times have to step back and say "this is enough."
    Overall, Bethesda Game Studios seems to inspire a great deal of confidence from their employees. Say what you will about the final result of their games, but it can't be doubted that they genuinely enjoy what they do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
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  5. Norzan

    Norzan A Smooth-Skin

    Apr 7, 2017
    And they still went through with it. Just great. :roll:
    Oh god, i think i just puked a little. I mean i wouldn't be surprised if it ended up in the game, but didn't stopped me from having a gag reflex.
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  6. Proletären

    Proletären Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Mar 15, 2012
    The bit about Bethesda acquiring Fallout from Interplay could be interesting to our readers. Another interesting thing was that Morrowind made a huge success on Xbox and that they started to develop for consoles after that. For example they had to cut dialog in Oblivion because the voiced lines couldn't fit on the disc

    So apparently Fallout 4 could be set anywhere, it wasn't Boston originally. At one point they were event thinking San Fransisco, at 1:09:52 it's mentioned that they asked Obsidian to remove one line in New Vegas about San Fransisco being totally nuked. They wanted the bay area to be an option for future games.

    That's means Bethesda could do anything with the lore and even change things in New Vegas to be consistent.

    e: That's something for the front page!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2018
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  7. BigGuyCIA

    BigGuyCIA Mildly Dipped

    Oct 26, 2016
    They seem to like metro areas for their games.
     
  8. Proletären

    Proletären Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Mar 15, 2012
    Ok so if I were to write a summary for the front page, that is relevant to Fallout fans it would be something like this:

    Noclip, a company that makes crowdfunded documentaries about video games, have made one that tells the story of Bethesda and their games. It's well produced but doesn't delve deep, it's actually pretty shallow. But that's the price of access.

    However, we learn a thing or two that could be of interest to Fallout fans. First of all, after the failures of Battlespire and Redguard Bethesda was in need of a commercial hit or else they would go bankrupt. That was one of the goals of Morrowind.
    The game turned out to be a much bigger success than they had ever anticipated and especially on the original Xbox. They talk about have they developed Morrowind with the Xbox in mind. After the huge success of Morrowind the importance of the console market became apparent to Bethesda and Oblivion was developed even more so with the Xbox 360 in mind.

    Oblivion was very costly for Zenimax, with four years development time and all and it was at this point in time they started with having two projects at once. Bethesda were asked by Zenimax what they would like to make. Todd and his crew made a list of what they wanted to make and the number one game was Fallout. It took a year from that time to acquire the IP. [More things about Fallout 3 could probably be said here]. The folks at the studio seem to be very fond of The Tunnel Snakes, the vault with the Gary's and Little Lamplight.

    The decision to develop New Vegas and give it to Obsidian was made by the owners (Zenimax?). They seemed to have nothing but praise for the guys that worked on and developed it. Todd commented on everything almost for the longest among the others but when it came to New Vegas he said nothing at all.

    Fallout 4 could have been set anywhere, it wasn't set in Boston originally. At one point they were event thinking San Fransisco, it's mentioned that they asked Obsidian to remove one line in New Vegas about San Fransisco being totally nuked. They wanted the bay area to be an option for future games. That's means Bethesda could do anything with the lore and even change things in New Vegas to be consistent.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  9. Graham2077

    Graham2077 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Sep 16, 2014
    What. The. Fuck. Can't even believe that, wow.

    I'll give this a watch when I have some free time. NoClip's documentaries are great, really enjoyed the Doom one.
     
  10. TorontRayne

    TorontRayne YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND THIS TITLE Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005

    I think it is funny they don't talk much about the pre-Todd era.
     
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