Starfield isn’t ‘hard sci-fi,’ says Todd Howard, it’s a video game

Starfield isn't 'hard sci-fi,' says Todd Howard, it's a video game
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A new video from Bethesda has given us more details about star fieldthe studio’s first new original franchise in years.

On Tuesday, the studio released a new video series called Constellation Questions, where he submits various fan questions to the game’s director, Todd Howard. The video covers a wide variety of topics, from space flight to dialogue options and even traits.

First, Howard addressed the inspiration for star field. He recalled two games that had a particular influence: sun dog for Apple 2 and Atari ST and Travelera pencil and paper role-playing game.

This led fans to wonder if star field it’s either “hard” science fiction, that is, more rooted in real science, or it isn’t. Howard said that Starfield is hard sci-fi in his opinion, but that mileage will vary based on what fans think. However, it was clear to Howard that this is still a game about having fun, so the team got rid of some of the potential frustrations that a more realistic sci-fi setting would bring. For example, the player could originally run out of fuel in space, leaving them floating. That has since been removed, and the player’s fuel and gravity unit type limit how far players can travel at once. Unrealistic, yes, but certainly less frustrating for fans.

Howard then addressed the various features of the game, which offer both positive effect and negative compensation. Here are some of the example traits that appeared in the video:

  • Dream Home – Own a customizable house on a peaceful planet, but have to pay off a 50K credit mortgage every week
  • Extroverted: uses less oxygen if you have a partner, but more if you are alone
  • Freestar Collective Settler – Get special dialogue options and better rewards from certain factions, but higher rewards for crimes with others.
  • Beloved Hero: A random fan of yours will show up to annoy you frequently, but will bring gifts.
  • Introverted: more stamina when alone, less when with peers
  • Kid stuff: You can visit your parents at their home, but 10% of your money will automatically go to them.
  • Neon Street Rat – Gain access to special dialogue options and better rewards in Neon. Bounties for crime with other factions increase.
  • Enlightened Servant – Gain access to a chest full of items in the House of Enlightened, but lose access to another chest
  • Raised Universal – Gain access to a chest full of items in the Sanctum Universum, but lose access to another chest

Basically, players can remove these traits to get rid of their negative (and positive) effects when completing a quest or activity. Players who make a poor decision early on won’t need to restart the game just to reroll their character traits.

Finally, Howard talked a bit about the dialogue system. Without digging too deep, there is now a point-based persuasion system where players can spend points to get a better result. In this section, Howard also revealed that the game currently has over 250,000 lines of dialogue to Go along with your 1,000 planets.

Bethesda encouraged players to reach out with more questions via the #starfieldquestions hashtag on Twitter. Bethesda and Microsoft will release star field exclusively for PC and Xbox consoles early next year.

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