View Full Version : Interview with the Executive Producer of Oblivion

02-02-2006, 03:43 PM
This is a pretty good interview with the Executive Producer of the highly anticipated RPG (and only RPG so far) for the Xbox 360. As everyone has to know, this is the game The Mor's been waiting for for a long time.

Xbox.com: I'm dying to know—what's the best part about developing games for Xbox 360?
Todd Howard: Power tools. Like the big things that have spinning blades and cut stuff up, the Xbox 360 has great tools and great power. We also love working with the folks at Microsoft, especially the guys in the ATG group who help us get at the extra power. They've been a huge help. And I'm not just "sucking up to the man" either ... I wish everyone got to see how committed these people are to making great games.

Xbox.com: Why was Xbox 360 the obvious choice of platform for Oblivion?
Howard: Our familiarity with the tools, the hardware, what we wanted to do ... it's just a great match. It's one of those situations where we knew the people involved and we were able to talk to them very early on with "I have some crazy ideas" type pitches, and they told us their crazy ideas, and they matched up, from the graphics to the memory to Xbox Live® Marketplace. We wanted to render full forests, we wanted an extra fast thread to calculate NPCs throughout the world, we wanted to do lots of downloadable content. In terms of memory, we really wanted 512MB as well, and that was something that Microsoft eventually did, so in the end, we end up with the perfect platform for the game we wanted to create.

Xbox.com: Anything you'll be able to do with the game on Xbox 360 that just wouldn't be possible anywhere else?
Howard: Hmmm, I guess it's more about the fact that we can do it all and not really have to cut corners. So for instance, in the PC version, depending on your PC, there's a part of it you won't be seeing in all its glory, but on the Xbox 360, you get it all. Please, everyone, buy an HD set ... just please.

Xbox.com: How does Oblivion tap the Xbox 360's power in ways previously unimaginable?
Howard: We're finding new ways every day. The machine has loads of power, and it's very well put together, and what you find is that you have to think in new ways to get the most out of it. From writing longer shaders, to using multiple cores, it's going to be a long time before you see software that uses one-hundred percent of the Xbox 360's capabilities, and games for it are only going to get better and better.

box.com: Where is the emphasis going: Combat, storytelling, character development...? And what type of RPG fan is it most targeted at?
Howard: The emphasis is on doing whatever you want. We don't really target one element of play over another. We kind of have to touch on it all in this kind of game. We like action, so we present the tale in first-person. We want you to feel like you are there, that this is a real place that you can go and see anything in. If we focus on anything most though, it is the "dungeon hack" experience. That's the meat of the game. I mean, if you look at Arena, the first Elder Scrolls game, it's basically a giant dungeon hack, and it's awesome. So that was our first goal—make the best dungeon romp we can—and everything else is gravy. Good gravy, but still gravy.

Xbox.com: The absolute coolest part about Oblivion in your opinion would be? And any specific neat touches gamers should look for?
Howard: Poisoned Apples are my new favorite. You get them from the assassin's guild and can slip them into taverns and watch people come to eat and drop dead.

That last one is too funny. :lol: I really hope this game lives up to the hype. Out doing Morrowind is a large order to fill.

02-03-2006, 01:36 PM
He had me at "lots of downloadable content". I hope they follow through with it.

Poisoning people's food sounds fun. I wonder if you can poison animals? If so, I'm going to poison the unicorn. :evil: