Todd Howard Quotes

  1. With ‘The Elder Scrolls’, you’re looking at a 25-year-running franchise. It has stood the test of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies becoming popular.
  2. Every year, there’s a new idea we can’t do and a new technology for something that excites us.
  3. I loved playing ‘Ultima.’ Getting my computer in college and playing ‘Wing Commander.’ I hear a lot from our fans, and they are the same way. Games are where I want to be.
  4. I think if someone has a gaming obsession, ‘Ultima’ became mine. I would say no other series ingrained itself in how I want to make games or what I want them to be more than ‘Ultima’ did.
  5. With ‘Fallout 4,’ we’ve done over 20 million downloads, and most of that is mods. That’s a staggering number. It has always done well on the PC – but the console audience has such a hunger for it because they’ve waited so long. We think there’s a really good future there, with both ‘Skyrim’ and ‘Fallout 4,’ that we hope to continue to add to.
  6. ‘Fallout 76’ is a very different ‘Fallout’ game. We’re very aware of that. We think a lot of people will like it, because we like it. But a lot of people probably won’t. We need to balance that. This is an idea we have, and there’s a lot of old ‘Fallout’ stuff in it, but it’s a very new experience.
  7. ‘Minecraft’ is like that, where you might say to one of your friends who doesn’t play games, ‘Hey, just sit down and try this with me.’ There are other games you might put in front of somebody and say, ‘I know you don’t traditionally play games, but you’ve got to check this out.’
  8. I’m a believer that players are good self-directors, and I think one thing that’s good about video games is they can direct their own experience.
  9. The main thing that excites me is that games are successful everywhere now. Now it’s successful everywhere, and that’s really important for the health of the industry.
  10. There are more players on ‘Fallout Shelter’ than all of my games combined. That’s a little sobering at times. It’s not a good or bad thing.
  11. Your plan is not as important as your culture. That means you will run into problems that will disrupt your plan and schedule, and how you deal with that depends on the culture you have created within your team.
  12. Despite all of our games, all of our success together – ‘Elder Scrolls,’ when we started, it was a very generic fantasy. It had its parts. We pushed it to have more of its own unique identify. We’re proud of the work everyone did there.
  13. You never know how your work is going to be received, and to have it be not just received by the people who wanted it or knew about it or our traditional fan base, which is pretty big, but also having it spill over to everybody who plays games, and then those people telling everybody else who doesn’t play games – that’s what it became.
  14. I liked that line in the movie ‘Shakespeare in Love’: ‘How is this going to work out? I don’t know, but it always does.’
  15. I see games… as the ultimate combination of art and technology.
  16. Since I first got my iPhone and ‘Super Monkey Ball’ came out, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is great.’ I’m always searching for the nirvana of mobile gaming, whether that’s from a Game Boy or a Vita or a PSP or now the Switch.
  17. For us, it’s about having the game react to the player as much as possible. There’s ways you can do that with technology, graphics, AI – we’re doing some VR stuff right now – and so it’s what we think is great about not just our games, but what’s great about video games – how are they better than any other form of entertainment?
  18. I’m addicted to my iPhone and get a game for it every few days.
  19. A lot of times, when someone’s going to pick up a game, it can be a bit daunting, like if they haven’t played a roleplaying game, or they haven’t played things in the series. We spent a lot of time on flow. How it feels to move through the world. How the game rewards you depending on which way you turn.
  20. When you start over and jump into new tech, you don’t know what the negatives are going to be until you go through a few cycles. We’re always changing our tech, but we don’t wholly destroy it with each game. We’re taking parts out.
  21. Time makes a bigger difference: just making a game, shipping it, looking at what you did, how you did it, what you did well, what you didn’t do well, and doing better.
  22. I liked hacking into and pirating computer games while in college. One of my favorites was Bethesda’s ‘Terminator 2029.’ So I drove to their offices and asked for a job.
  23. Ashley Cheng, who I’ve worked with for 20 years, he’s the studio head in Rockville now. He manages more of the day-to-day stuff. I can focus creatively on what we’re doing now and what we should be doing in the future.
  24. We do not focus test our games and never had. People ask why we don’t, and I say, ‘I have so many opinions in this studio, I don’t need anymore!’ We really debate everything – and it’s a good debate. That’s why the games turn out well: it’s not me – it’s not this guy – it’s the collective. Together, we figure out what we want.
  25. Memory is a big one: our ability to use the memory and move things in and out efficiently – that affected what we were able to do more than anything.
  26. People tend to look at processing power as how to gauge a piece of hardware is powerful for us.
  27. One of the things that we really like about ‘Fallout 76’ is that we’ve built it so that we can support it on a month-to-month and week-to-week basis.
  28. Epic science fiction game, that’s always been on my mind. Post-apocalyptic, ‘Fallout,’ was our first choice. Sci-fi was our second at the time, when we got the ‘Fallout’ license. We were going to do our own post-apocalyptic universe if we didn’t get ‘Fallout.’
  29. I think the journey of making a game… we want to enjoy that process.
  30. The way we built ‘Future Shock,’ you have a height map and instanced 3-D objects rendering on top – that, believe it or not, is still how we build today. It’s our basic paradigm for how to build a space.
  31. ‘Fallout 76’ and ‘Blades’ get a lot of my time right now. I’m in more meetings as it’s gotten bigger.
  32. The technology for radiant stories in ‘Skyrim’ is phenomenal. We tried and pared it back.
  33. We didn’t start at ‘Fallout 3’ and think about how to add to that. We take a step back and think, ‘Okay, if we look at all the ‘Fallout’ games, what would a new one feel like?’ So the focus is not ”Fallout 3′ plus this’. Then we start really digging into the world.
  34. What’s funny is that by the time everyone plays the game – you know, we finish it, and then it takes a long time to make copies and ship it and get on the shelves – we probably haven’t worked on it for a month, two months. So, we’ve already taken our break, and then we’re on to the next thing.
  35. I’m happy that you can play ‘Morrowind’ now on an Xbox One, as it’s backwards compatible.
  36. I’d been playing everything and decided that this was something I maybe wanted to make a career out of. I knew where some companies were, but I saw the name ‘Bethesda, Maryland’ on ‘Wayne Gretzky Hockey 3.’
  37. Games have gotten so big and interesting that they’ve moved beyond the toy/entertainment space. It’s not just a diversion from their regular lives; for a lot of people, it becomes an important part of their lives.
  38. Batman. I like the idea that if I had enough money, time, and vengeance, I could become him.
  39. Don’t define the game by the list of the features. Define it by the experience you want to have.
  40. If you look at previous generations, even where they didn’t open up power, you look at an early Xbox 360 or early PlayStation 3 games and compare those to the ones that came at the end. The developers are just getting better. So time is far more important than opening up a little bit here or there, though it does all help.
  41. Great games are played, not made.
  42. Particularly with our games, people get involved with the characters and the world. They’re going to take their time with it pretty seriously, so we need to take it even more seriously to make it good.
  43. We all have bad things that happen in our lives, and a lot of us wonder how we can go back to before the event, whatever it is. ‘Fallout 4’ is about realising that your life has a new normal. We want to put you in the shoes of someone who knows what life was like before this.
  44. Eventually, there will come a day where I’m not making games at Bethesda. Hopefully that’s a long time away. But I want to make sure that who we are, what the worlds are, what the company is, that’s sustainable far beyond me.
  45. I played everything, but the games that kept me up and night and tickled my fancy were the larger role-playing games like ‘Ultima.’
  46. I think streaming technology is definitely coming, and it’s gonna make people’s access to games infinitely easier. You’ve seen it happen to music and movies, and I think it’s a great thing.

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