Todd Howard Won't Even Tell His Son Anything About The Elder Scrolls 6

If you were working on one of the most anticipated video games in the world, would you tell your children about it? That's a parenting challenge most of us don't have to face, but Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard is in a category of his own.

The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimScreenshot: Bethesda

"[My youngest] was like, 'OK, when is Elder Scrolls VI coming?'" Howard, who directed The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4, said on a recent episode of the Game Maker's Notebook podcast. "And I'm like, 'Uhh, I'm not gonna talk about that right now either.' He's like, 'Can I give you my ideas? Can I work on it? Come on, tell me a few things, I'm not gonna tell anybody.'

"I'm like, 'Well, you might, so I'm not gonna say anything.'"

The Game Maker's Notebook, hosted by Insomniac Games boss Ted Price, launched last year and has been full of fascinating interviews. I recommend adding it to your podcast rotation.

Here's the relevant part of the Howard interview:

Todd Howard: My youngest, I got him a Switch, and he really got into Zelda. And he hadn't traditionally played those games, and he was too young to play Skyrim when it came out. Then when Skyrim came out on Switch, I said, 'Well you've played a lot of Zelda, I think you might like Skyrim." And I want to do it as the father, like 'Please, play this game, and see if you like it.' And the short story is: he got obsessed with it

Ted Price: Oh, that's great.

Howard: It was great for a while, and then he got, like every dinner conversation, 'Dad what's with the Thalmor? Do you believe in Talos? Is he a god in this? What is this? What are your favourite Daedra? Why do they want to do this? What are your weapons? Where did Tiber Septim come from?' He knows, and I forget a lot about it.

The other week, I was like, 'I'm done talking about this, I don't want to talk about this. I get this enough at work. Let's talk about something else.' And he got really upset, and then he went through all the cycles. So I got to experience it firsthand every day. He played on the Switch, then he went to the Xbox One version and then he discovered mods.

So he follows all these YouTubers who talk about Skyrim mods, a lot of old videos, but some of them new. Then he's downloading all these mods and showing them to me, what all the creators have done in the game. Seeing it again through that filter was really special actually, it was really great.

Price: That's one of the reasons we make games, right? Is to influence people to that degree, so they can become inspired, perhaps. Does your son talk to you about making the games?

Howard: He does, then he's like, 'OK, when is Elder Scrolls VI coming?' And I'm like, 'Uhh, I'm not gonna talk about that right now either.' He's like, 'Can I give you my ideas? Can I work on it? Come on, tell me a few things, I'm not gonna tell anybody.'

I'm like, 'Well, you might, so I'm not gonna say anything.' But it's great -- I think a lot of kids want to get into video games. If you're a creator, I kinda want my own sons to find their own way as opposed to, 'Yes you should absolutely make games.'

Listen to the full episode here.


Comments

    I'm curious what the next hooks gonna be that sets it apart.

      I imagine it might have the base building from FO4, or expand on skyrims own homestead mechanic. Maybe expand the companion mechanic? Combat could use some work (although I never hated it).
      Story-wise, there’s heaps to draw from, plenty of daedric lords to chose from to take centre-stage. Skyrim certainly had a meaty story, compared to Oblivion (which I still liked). Maybe something substantive about the Dwemer? And I guess vampires and werewolves are pretty much compulsory ...

        Even if the Daedra don’t get involved, there’s still the ample opportunities for a truly ambitious entry to tackle an all-out war, following the fracturing of the white-gold concordat.

        Skyrim’s civil war was mechanically pretty clumsy... Howard’s previous comments about the next Elder Scrolls have all focused heavily on the technology not being ready for the story they want to tell next. Makes me wonder if a full-blown war influenced by the player might be the kind of undertaking they’d need new tech for.

      Better animations. Better overlapping systems (ie BOTW style interactivity).

      God I hope they don't mess it up with MTX.

        I had pretty much assumed the creature and character models would get an overhaul much in the style of Fallout 4 and I suppose that finally building on and fleshing out the existing series systems could take the place of a hook like the Dragonborne, much like the power armour being upgraded from a set of clothes to an actual powered suit.

        I really do hope they actually break the mold of the current ES/FO style and pull from all the other standout games like BOTW and Witcher to finally break the stale and samey template.

      The new hook is you start as a prisoner and have to escape in the first 5 minutes.

        Lol, of course, it wouldn't be ES without the escaping Jesus intro

    I'm thinking there will be a bit of pressure on Elder Scrolls 6 after games like Witcher 3 that went to a whole new level with quality of side-quests and overall story.

    I'm hoping for a Shot-In-the-Knee mini-game as maybe first day DLC ($19.99 plus GST plus Aussie tax). The aim (pun intended) is to shoot a Dragon/King/Elder Scroll/sweet roll ** in the knee ** (some targets might not have a knee).

    Obviously, this would be a timed mini-game (accuracy to 10ms preferred). Successfully hitting "n" knees ("n" = 50..RNG x 10 + 50) would be tied to a hidden trophy. Nightmare mode (required for platinum) would mean that the knee-in question was either the size of an atom (1x1 pixel in 4K TV mode) or disguised as a Skeever.

    TLDR; can't wait for next Elder Scrolls :)

      A creature assembled entirely of knees but you have to hit the right one as it gallops around.

    That's because it doesn't exist. They're going to pull the curtain back and it's SKYRIM! AGAIN! BUT *ENHANCED*!

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