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Bethesda: Starfield has more handcrafting than any game we've done

This comes as concerns were raised about the game's ambitious scope.

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We finally got to take a closer look at Starfield last Sunday during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. While the game really looks cool, it was also revealed that it will have 100 different solar systems you can visit with over a 1000 planets.

A cool feature, which does at the same time mean that Bethesda will have to use procedural systems to create them. This has been a concern for some who fears these places simply won't be interesting enough compared to handcrafted places, and this was addressed by the director Todd Howard in a recent IGN interview. He says Bethesda has always worked with procedural systems:

"We do a lot of procedural generation [in Starfield], but I would keep in mind that we've always done that. It's a big part of Skyrim in terms of questing and some other things we do. We generate landscape using procedural systems, so we've always kind of worked on it. [The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall is] one we look at a lot in terms of game flow. And we had been developing some procedural technology and doing some prototypes, and it really started coming to a head with Starfield, in that we think we can do this."

But using procedural systems doesn't mean Bethesda has scaled back on the handcrafting. Quite the opposite, actually, as Howard says Starfield offers more of this than any game they've ever made before. It is also possible to only play these parts of the massive adventure:

"I should also add that we have done more handcrafting in this game, content-wise, than any game we've done. We're [at] over 200,000 lines of dialogue, so we still do a lot of handcrafting and if people just want to do what they're used to in our games, and follow a main quest, and do the questlines, you're gonna see what you'd kind of expect from us."

Howard explains having all these other planets as a way to create variation, which you can optionally spend time with:

"But then you have this whole other part of, 'Well I'm just going to wander this planet, and it's going to provide some gameplay, and some random content, and those kinds of things.' Kind of like a Daggerfall would, if you go way back."

Starfield will be released during the first six months of 2023 for PC and Xbox Series S/X, and is included with Game Pass.


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