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Skyrim: more quests, fewer branches

Published 3 years, 4 months ago by Wesley Yin-Poole

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim developer Bethesda is focusing on telling one story well rather than branching quests.

You get a single story with the fantasy role-playing game, lead designer Bruce Nesmith said in a Skyrim fan interview on the Bethesda forum.

"We've focused on telling one story well," he said. "There are decision points in all the quest lines that can change things, but overall it's a single story.

"Because the side quests are smaller stories, they are more likely to have major branches. For example, you can decide to save or betray someone, which changes the whole end of the quest.

"Overall the quest structure in Skyrim is closer to Oblivion than Fallout 3, in that there are many more quests, but they have fewer branches."

Meanwhile, lead artist Matt Carofano confirmed that Skyrim will employ a one piece body armour system, unlike Morrowind's two piece system.

"The armour system is very similar to Oblivion's," he said. "The main difference is that the upper and lower body armours, the cuirass and greaves, have been combined into one piece.

"This helps create armour styles that have the look we needed for Skyrim. In most of the Nordic designs we created, the upper armour would completely cover the lower armour, making it unnecessary.

"We get much better visual results combining those pieces, and it renders a lot faster too, so we can put more people on screen, so that was an easy trade-off for us. We can also make a lot more armours now, so the number and variation types are more than we’ve ever had."

Game director Todd Howard explained how the PC version of the game will differ from the console versions.

"64-bit specific exe? Not at this time," he said. "As far as UI, it visually looks the same across the platforms, but the controls are entirely different.

"There's also a lot of 'power user' stuff we do with the keyboard from how favourites work, to quick saves, and more that is similar to what we've done before in that area.

"We're packing a lot of info on the screen and the whole interface is much less 'look at giant fonts!' than, say, Oblivion. The PC version also gets higher res textures, larger render modes, and a bunch of other effects you can scale up if your machine is a beast.

"Last but most important, is the Creation Kit we'll be releasing for the PC. Modding the game and making it your own is very important to us and our fans, so we’re going to keep doing whatever we can in that area."

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