Hey – Why Aren’t There Any Ladders In Fallout?

Hey – Why Aren’t There Any Ladders In Fallout?
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

Answer: “We’re game development pussies,” Bethesda’s Todd Howard said at a QuakeCon panel on Friday. No really, the engine in Fallout and Elder Scrolls runs into AI problems if ladders are introduced, and the developer just works around them.

“One day, we tried to figure out why we wanted ladders so bad because we don’t really need them,” Howard told the panel, according to IGN. “It just felt like we’re game development pussies because we can’t do ladders.”

Howard indicated the studio’s revisited the subject repeatedly but finds it couldn’t do them without fading to a loading screen. Considering that’s the S.O.P. for most exterior doors in Fallout, introducing load screens to the interior of a structure just to take a ladder is kind of silly, especially if you can use stairs.

Why There Are No Ladders in Fallout [IGN]


  • It will be a joyous day when Bethesda finally changes ladders from simple activators that trigger a cell transition to something more akin to an actual ladder. You know, with climbing and stuff, the sort of thing first-person shooters introduced over a decade ago. C’mon guys, you bought id. Dump Gamebyro and use id Tech 5 for The Elder Scrolls V and Fallout 4!

    • Geez, they’d wanna update their engine. It’s definately looking old. I can’t believe that they’re perservering with their current one for FO:NV…
      But by the same token, Source is in definite need of an upgrade also.

  • There’s been some dodgy mechanics for ladders in plenty of games, but it never occurred to me that such an accomplished games developer can’t do ladders properly! There have been plenty of games which do ladders well! Maybe they need to expand their talent pool and grab someone who worked on Just Cause 2 (for one example).

  • haha that’s a pretty ‘cool of them’ sort of response..

    don’t worry guys, there’s not shame in it 😀

    Personally i’m scared of ladders anyways

  • Just thinking about it, how often do you really use ladders in day to day life? Would it really increase that much in a post-apocalyptic wasteland? Seems like a waste of effort to me…

  • I think their hole engine needs an upgrade in the animations department though (I don’t really care about ladders), if they make another Elder Scrolls game this generation i’ll be absolutely disappointed if the horse riding isn’t up to par with Red Dead or Assasins Creed.

  • I’m glad they didn’t apply the ‘if it causes a problem, remove it’ to all aspects of the game. If they did this for things that caused game crashes/bugs, they would’ve had to remove: talking to other characters, walking, shooting, picking up items, entering rooms, looking at things, loading/saving games, etc.

  • Still amazed at all the NPC schedules, etc, in Oblivion. Definitely don’t think this should be an issue, though. What’s wrong with these guys, anyway? An NPC should just consider a ladder a regular transition point. It should launch a seperate movement animation that has specific intervals. It’s not like they have to put in ladders with varying distances between bars.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!