The future of Bethesda and its stable of games has been up in the air following the company entering the fold of Microsoft’s studios. While certain games will maintain their respective deals, such as Deathloop on the PlayStation consoles, others remain mysteries with little to no details. The roleplaying game, Starfield, just so happens to be one everybody is keeping an eye on. If you have been itching to know everything you can about this game, Bethesda’s Todd Howard has shared something at the Develop: Brighton conference. The Starfield map will be the biggest play area the company has ever made.
Howard compared the Starfield map to Fallout 76, which is already four times the size of Skyrim. Now that is one huge area for players to explore and get up to no good in. However, he did not specify if it was one gigantic area or made up of several spaces. Areas of the map had to be procedurally generated in order to fill out a map that size. According to Howard, procedural generation has been invaluable in creating large areas quickly. The team then adds handcrafted landmarks afterwards. The result is a huge map with plenty to marvel at and to explore.
What this means for both Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI is that cities will become more bustling. They will grow in size as well as feature even more NPCs than before. These characters will also have bigger roles to play. How that will unfold is anyone’s guess, but perhaps we will see more than just shopkeepers this time around.
Overhauling the experience
The Starfield map is being made possible by a significant change to the engine powering the game. Howard shared that the improvements pertain to rendering, animation, and particularly AI. Collectively, it will deliver the Bethesda open-world experience many have come to know and love. This time around, you can expect a jump in overall quality unlike anything we have seen yet.