Content of the article: "Bethesda’s development process. What is it?"
So here's a question I've had for a bit and given what I know about game development in general I've got some theories. But generally speaking I wanted to ask about it here.
Does anyone know what Bethesda's game development process is for these games?
As with anything, with game design there is a proper way to do production. Or a recommended set of steps. Like with movie production. You want to have your script nailed down before you start in on set building, and you want editing done before you add in CGI in post production. It's all about efficient use of time and not wasting money.
So Fallout 76 is what really gave me this theory. It's got a fantastic map. An amazingly deep and nuanced one with so much character to it. Which is a shame as it was (at launch) the most empty, soulless Fallout game so far. I'm not saying it wasn't enjoyable. Just that there were almost no NPCs, voice acting was minimal, and quest lines were rather simplistic compared to previous entries.
So to me, this result only makes sense IF map design and creation maybe comes first after initial writing and pre-production. They design the game, get the concept art up, then put a team on mapping. After that, start work on NPCs, voice acting, quest design, and that detailed content. Then start implementing the second on the mostly finished map and make changes as needed, adding in locations for new quests they thought up. Either that or the mapping team is for some reason a separate team or is somehow separate from other parts of the dev process. Like I said, I'm guessing here.
Looking back at Fallout 4, and Skyrim, I can see some evidence that might support this, though more in F4 than Skyrim. Things like the southern map of Fallout 4 being richly designed, but scarce in quests. Like, Qunicy, the Gunners HQ and vault 95. Well designed and made, but very light on quest and story content. Meanwhile on the top half of the map, most locations have some story work, even if minor, put into them. Like the foundry for instance.
As I said, this is just me guessing. I know nothing concrete about this. So has anyone ever read or heard anything about how Bethesda goes about the design/creation process that would explain these odd design quirks?
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