Starfield Devs Discuss “Leveled-Up” Character Creation, New Persuasion System, and More

Nathan Birch

Bethesda has dropped their latest Into the Starfield video, and it’s packed with new details that should make old-school RPG fans happy. Director Todd Howard and other Starfield team leaders really emphasize that this is a real RPG, more akin to some of their earlier work, rather than more recent games like Fallout 4 and Fallout 76. That means “embracing the chaos” of player choice and colliding systems, as well as deeper character building and interactions. Check out the latest Into the Starfield video for yourself, below.

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One of the more interesting subjects Howard and company touch on is character creation, which goes old school with a focus on backgrounds, traits, and lots of sliders. According to lead artist Istvan Pely character creation has also been leveled-up in a big way on the technical front.

We've always allowed the player to create really interesting, unique characters. This game we've definitely severely leveled up. The tech is based on scanning of real-world models, similar to the photogrammetry we do in our landscapes. We're applying the same thing to our people as well. Because it's not just the appearance of the player and all that, we want all the personal interactions with NPCs, other characters in the game, to be as impactful as possible.

Once you create that character, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to roleplay with it, as Starfield will have deeper dialogue options than recent Bethesda games, including a return of the persuasion system…

Will Shen (lead quest designer): Yeah, we sat down, and it was funny, we didn't start with, "Let's look back at the old Oblivion system," but there are a couple of beats there. You have to think about, "What's my risk here?" We didn't want it to be a system where there was definitely the "right" thing to say.

Howard: It feels like you're having a conversation where you're actually trying to persuade somebody. As far as new system in dialogue, I think it's definitely one of the most successful ones we've had.

Starfield launches on PC and Xbox Series X/S on November 11.

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