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If Bethesda Made a Science Fiction Game...

#1
The subject came up elsewhere in the forum of whether Bethesda Softworks might get bored of just flipping between Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises.

What if they created a new franchise, and it was set in a science fiction universe?

I'm curious whether folks here might be interested in that, and what you think such a world, and a game, might look like.

I have some ideas. :) But I'm interested in hearing yours.
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Re: If Bethesda Made a Science Fiction Game...

#2
Open world or open galaxy type game would be neat. I'm thinking of a Star Wars setting such as Tatooine which has deserted areas for bandits and small seedy cities where people can conduct business. If done properly I might be interested in playing in such a setting.

I've had a lot of bad luck with story driven games, so I'd suggest dropping the story, adding a dynamic economy with real missions (such as those found in LT) and give the player the gear and tools to make anything happen.

While I'd love to see this on the planet side and intergalactic scales I'd assume that those would have to be two different games. (LT and Skyrim?)
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Re: If Bethesda Made a Science Fiction Game...

#3
As I said elsewhere, Flat, I would find the template used in the TES games but applied to a science fiction world to be perfectly acceptable. ;) :)

As long as it's based on open world(s) gameplay and does not contain a bleak premise like Fallout I'm sure I would fall in love with it. :angel:

Being a person of few words, some of which can occasionally be inclined towards the wrathful, I would thoroughly enjoy your game theorycrafting on the subject

...If you don't mind. :D
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Re: If Bethesda Made a Science Fiction Game...

#4
BFett wrote:I've had a lot of bad luck with story driven games, so I'd suggest dropping the story, adding a dynamic economy with real missions (such as those found in LT) and give the player the gear and tools to make anything happen.
Why you want to let me out of the party? I don't play "games" without a story. :cry:

EDIT: I should say that Monster Hunters Freedom Unite is the exception.

I would prefer a game with a main storyline and the ability to provide optional emergent narratives, like X-Com and Peace Walker. Though I'm not sure if Bethesda is the right one to do such a thing. They should remain doing what they have been doing and let the risks to other people.
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"Playing" is not simply a pastime, it is the primordial basis of imagination and creation. - Hideo Kojima
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Re: If Bethesda Made a Science Fiction Game...

#5
Etsu wrote:
BFett wrote:I've had a lot of bad luck with story driven games, so I'd suggest dropping the story, adding a dynamic economy with real missions (such as those found in LT) and give the player the gear and tools to make anything happen.
Why you want to let me out of the party? I don't play "games" without a story. :cry:

EDIT: I should say that Monster Hunters Freedom Unite is the exception.

I would prefer a game with a main storyline and the ability to provide optional emergent narratives, like X-Com and Peace Walker. Though I'm not sure if Bethesda is the right one to do such a thing. They should remain doing what they have been doing and let the risks to other people.
Etsu, why are you going to play Limit Theory if you only play games with a story?
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Re: If Bethesda Made a Science Fiction Game...

#6
I would argue that Fallout is science fiction for many, many reasons, but that's clearly not in line with the point of the post. I must say I have absolutely no idea how they would do a space-opera-type universe, or a 'canonical'-scifi universe. The trouble with Elder Scrolls (though I love it so much) is that it's actually reasonably generic, among Tolkienlikes (feel free to disagree with me here). What could they bring to the table - setting-wise - that would set their science fiction universe apart from others?
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Re: If Bethesda Made a Science Fiction Game...

#7
I'm not sure what the point would be.

In my mind Fallout IS a Science Fiction game. It has ray guns and power armor and such. What are you looking for in a Science Fiction game? What defines a Bethesda Game Studios game is open world first person RPG in my mind. If you set it in a traditional Sci-Fi future the question becomes why can't I hop in a ship and fly to another planet? Then does the game become a space sim? So do you want a game like Star Citizien is supposed to eventually become? That doesn't seem to be Bethesda to me. The whole post apocalyptic thing to me is just a reason why, in the future, you're stuck on one planet, or even one city. Why aren't there major densely populated cities all over the place? You can't really even repair or drive cars in Fallout 3 (or 4) I just don't see them making a game where you fly around in flying cars and fly spaceships between planets. Then the game becomes more of a flight simulator with FPS element and less of a FPS RPG with vehicles.

Even since Daggerfall Bethesda has turned away from procedural generation. Daggerfall was larger than any of their games because it was procedurally generated but the tech was so new it had vast barren spaces and samey dungeons and such and so they moved away from it and instead they design and hand place just about everything now. Now that the tech has matured (heck look at No Mans Sky!) I'd like to see them go back and try again with making things more procedurally generated. I'd like to see them get back to a world a big as Daggerfall (or bigger) but with different procedural algorithms for different types of dungeons/buildings/etc. so things aren't so samey but aren't hand placed either. With the increase in processing and graphics power large spaces don't need to be open anymore. I think they need to do that in an Elder Scrolls and/or Fallout game before they try to do something even larger like a Sci-Fi game where you have to generate content for an entire planet or even a large number of planets. It takes them years now to make the content for one City (D.C. in Fallout 3, Boston in Fallout 4) without even having vehicles to move around. They need to move away from the manual stuff and back toward procedural generation if they are ever to tackle something like a traditional sci-fi setting... I'm not even sure they'd want to do that. They may be very happy with their niche being the guys who make the hand placed, manually designed RPGs instead of the procedural ones.

I really don't want to see them make a flight sim game. So maybe if the did get the content generation down so that they could make content for multiple worlds then instead of flying ships around maybe make it more like a Stargate thing where you move between the worlds through wormhole portals you just walk through instead of flying ships everywhere. I don't want to see them bound by a license in someone elses IP though so I don't want it to be stargate specifically but the concept of having portals between worlds that you can just walk through isn't unique to Stargate.
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Re: If Bethesda Made a Science Fiction Game...

#11
Scytale wrote:I'm totally gonna sound 15, but what if Bethesda made a Mass Effect game but open-world and better
You'll have to be more specific in what you mean by that. I picked up the Mass Effect combo pack for the PS3 a while back but haven't gotten around to playing it. As such I don't really know what's in a Mass Effect game other than it's a Sci-Fi game and I skipped it on initial release because my understanding was it was story based and NOT open world. I just picked up the combo pack because I got a deal on it and the series had huge hype so I figured I'd eventually give it a try. (Logic I used with The Last of Us: Remastered which turned out poorly as I gave up on the game a few hours in... apparently my taste in games is VERY different from the general public)

I always kind of figured Mass Effect was BioWare's Fallout anyway. Just like Bethesda skips back and forth between Elder Scrolls and Fallout Bioware skips back and forth between Dragon Age and Mass Effect. It's just Bioware's took a turn more story oriented and less open in the Mass Effect series and Dragon Age 2 but has moved back toward open with Dragon Age 3 and hopefully the next Mass Effect will move toward open as well.

I'm hoping CD Projekt Red ends up doing a similar approach going forward as well. Their fantasy setting is Witcher and their next game is CyberPunk 2077. After CyberPunk 2077 I'm hoping they do a Witcher 4 then back to a CyberPunk sequel and so on.
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Re: If Bethesda Made a Science Fiction Game...

#12
BFett wrote:Etsu, why are you going to play Limit Theory if you only play games with a story?
Well, I'm hoping Limit Theory to be the exception to the rule. We may agree that the game will be if we are lucky enough exceptional in many ways, so I'm not planning to compare it with any other. However I still need to see if that's the case. I also play Kerbal Space Program, another game with a strong emphasis on emergent stories, because I considerer it an exception. But truth be told I don't play these games as often as story driven games because I don't have a reason to do it. (I play games not just because I enjoy them but because I want to know what is going to happen, and because I care about the characters, so if I don't care -if the story is not engaging enough for example- I lost interest very quickly.)

I want to play LT among other reasons because I want to explore dusty systems and find new spaceship shapes never seen before. 8-)

***

I realized that I didn't answer the question. Yes, I would like to play a Bethesda game set on a different environment, and even if Fallout is science fiction I would like to see their approach to proper science fiction, not humorist (like F3/4) or fantastic (like Star Wars or Star Trek). Something futuristic in the line of Blade Runner. (Deus Ex in a big open world? Awesome.) Let me be a private investigator on a futuristic and dirty city involved in all kind of bizarre cases, like taking photos of a cheating wife, looking for a missing brother with mental issues or serving as an intermediary in a kidnapping case where the blackmailed husband doesn't want to contact the police, driving my own car. And make the world really huge this time. ;)
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"Playing" is not simply a pastime, it is the primordial basis of imagination and creation. - Hideo Kojima
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Re: If Bethesda Made a Game Set in Space...

#13
Scytale and Asmodai, of course you're both completely correct that Fallout is a science fiction universe.

My subject title and description were both unintentionally imprecise. Thanks for the corrections.

As you said, Scytale, what I was thinking about was a game set in space -- that kind of "science fiction."

My feeling is that some of the shape of such a game (that is, a space-based game made by Bethesda) starts to look a little more clear if we consider some of the requirements it might reasonably have, many of which build on the features common to Bethesda's prior games:
  • open-world
  • role-playing
  • player character as protagonist
  • game universe spans an enormous area
  • basic lore of the game world affects the entire vast area
  • game takes place in a relatively small zone of that overall area
  • zone contains oases filled with people with whom the protagonist can interact
  • interesting (valuable|dangerous|funny) things happen while traveling between oases
I don't know what the specific story or backstory of such a game might be. But one thing that suggests itself to me is to define the faster-than-light technology of this game such that FTL engines have to be big -- really big. There wouldn't be any single-person ships.

And the point of that is to insure that when your character travels between planets, it's aboard a ship filled with lots of NPCs. Each ship would have its own distinctive character -- every ship would have a history, a feel, based on the technology of that ship and on the exploits of past captains and crew and passengers. And this character of ships would determine the kinds of quests available on each ship for your protagonist to solve.

I imagine there'd be a number of large and different "hero" ships that contain detailed pre-written stories, some of which would help to forward the main story/quest of the game. Additionally, space would contain many other smaller (but still large) ships on which Bethesda's Radiant AI would be used to randomly generate quests. And of course star systems would contain places where there are lots of people (and strange cultures) as well.

Obviously this is just a very rough concept. How does it sound? (Friendly disagreement is fine.)

Any obvious requirements that I missed, or other features that a space game by Bethesda ought to have?
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Re: If Bethesda Made a Science Fiction Game...

#15
I could live with a space folding concept as used in the Dune universe which would cover any vast distances involved in the game and I see no reason why a smaller shuttle service couldn't be used in a similar manner to the way the carriages are used in Skyrim for the shorter journeys between areas of denser population.

I can see this idea might alienate some who are more inclined to the idea of a space sim type game. I'm not really interested in yet another take on the traditional space sim game though. :angel:

Edit: You would still have something in place of the solo horse travel, some kind of vehicle perhaps and of course plenty of shanks' pony travel to appreciate the finer detail of the places you would explore/visit. ;)

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