Some reasonable ideas for what might be in Starfield

Not about OpenMW? Just about Morrowind in general? Have some random babble? Kindly direct it here.
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afritz1
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Some reasonable ideas for what might be in Starfield

Post by afritz1 » 13 Nov 2018, 06:55

This post isn't necessarily what I want to have in Starfield. It's just educated guesses based on Bethesda's previous work, engineering expectations, and Bruce Nesmith's 2012 presentation that I think are reasonably believable for me to spend the time bringing it up here.

They said the game is playable in June this year, so it probably has another 1.5-2.5 years of development after that. Before 2021, I'm sure. I think we can assume that Starfield has all of its concept art done (not including DLC), and the gameplay systems and assets are in alpha and beta stages (although your guess is as good as mine).

Reusable NPCs
- A balance of specific/scripted behavior and general/adaptable behavior
- NPCs can do more than one job
- They don't just give one quest or quest-line and then become a boring background character. They stay relevant either through some occupation or other continuing obligation
- Alias system (NPCs can temporarily fulfill a role if someone is unavailable)

Responsive, convenient gameplay
- Systems for responding to the player's actions and responding to the world itself
- Reasonable responses to things the player could do without getting too complex or out-of-hand
- One example: when the player does a negative action to a faction, the faction responds while taking the state of the world into consideration (i.e. instead of just sending "assassins", they send "relevant, purposeful assassins")
- Responses also need to fit the gameplay vision. Realism by itself is not fun enough for the gameplay model

Massive, sprawling, organic experience
- Expanding on what made Skyrim more lifelike, while still preferring being convenient over being realistic
- Increasing the time the player spends being convinced that NPCs are real and not robots
- Encouraging the player to explore unique places because discovery is designed to be important

Preferring artist-made content over procedural content
- Artist-made content complimented by procedural content
- In other words, a few carefully designed planets instead of huge, procedurally generated solar systems
- A selection of unique locations: asteroid fields, rings of Saturn, planets with frozen water, etc.
- More exotic locations like black holes, neutron stars, fictional places influenced by astrology?

Suspension of disbelief for sci-fi content
- It might not seem like something man could make soon, but there would be sufficient reason for why it exists at that point in time
- Maybe more like Interstellar and Space Engineers than Mass Effect and Star Wars. Less fantasy?

Other notes:
- Some repetition in content, but not enough for a pattern to be easily identified by players
- Warp/hyperspace presentation might be one of the new engine systems, maybe streaming in data using skewed 3D chunks of space instead of 2D chunks of land. No heightmaps in space...
- Play-testing will (again) determine what combinations of features players like the most. The devs can't do everything, so instead focus on doing a handful of things well
- Doesn't need to be better than or unique compared to competitors like Star Citizen -- just needs to be good

Let me know what you guys think. Personally I'm not hyped for Starfield but I think it could be an interesting game to pass the time with if my expectations roughly match what it eventually comes out to be.

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Sslaxx
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Re: Some reasonable ideas for what might be in Starfield

Post by Sslaxx » 14 Nov 2018, 17:45

Radiant Story honestly didn't do much for me, and it felt a lot like the Radiant "AI" from Oblivion had been considerably dumbed down with Skyrim. This list sounds reasonable? We'll see.
Stuart "Sslaxx" Moore.

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Re: Some reasonable ideas for what might be in Starfield

Post by afritz1 » 14 Nov 2018, 21:16

I think I agree with you at least a little bit on that. Of course the system was an upgrade, but maybe I didn't see as much of the Radiant Story aspects because I usually didn't remove shopkeepers and other relevant people because I thought they were important to the game, so I rarely saw replacement NPCs and things like that. However, there were instances where I was like "Hey, the game is actually paying attention to me and has some decent responses for what I'm doing". The Whiterun guard responses are probably the one that sticks with me the most ("Skyrim could use a lot more healers..."), although there are definitely better examples, like random encounters and things.

For the list I made, I tried keeping it within my impression of what their engineering philosophy is. I think Bruce's presentation gave a really clear insider look on how they approach system design and it gave enough details that I thought some decent predictions could be made on how they approach the approximation of real life behaviors in their games.

Obviously we don't know what Starfield is yet, and speculating about in-game specifics is kind of a waste of time. From my understanding, their vision centers around quality over quantity (hence why I said they prefer artist-made content over procedural content), so from that, we can probably say there won't be any big fleet battles or things like hundreds of individual entities being rendered at once. The game will be a step in a interesting direction, but many of the same Bethesda roots we expect will still be there.

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Re: Some reasonable ideas for what might be in Starfield

Post by Sslaxx » 18 Nov 2018, 12:27

The guard remarks were in Oblivion ("All hail the Champion of Cyrodiil!", "You've got the eyes of a trained marksman."). Random encounters could be done in Oblivion too if you wanted, very likely not needing OBSE either. None of that was an "upgrade" in any way. Hell, Morrowind could do something that'd at the very least be close to that (not easily, perhaps, and definitely needing MWSE or OpenMW's extended features).
Stuart "Sslaxx" Moore.

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Re: Some reasonable ideas for what might be in Starfield

Post by Chris » 19 Nov 2018, 02:58

Sslaxx wrote:
18 Nov 2018, 12:27
The guard remarks were in Oblivion ("All hail the Champion of Cyrodiil!", "You've got the eyes of a trained marksman."). Random encounters could be done in Oblivion too if you wanted, very likely not needing OBSE either.
Not the way they were done in Skyrim, using simple preconditions with templated events and spawn points. Bethesda themselves said they had a random encounter setup with Fallout 3, but it relied on a massive global script to control what spawned when and where. The system they created for Skyrim aimed to make setting something like that up easier and more flexible.

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