Studio Spills The Beans On World-Crafting
It's a little hard to believe we're just weeks away from the fifth Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim. It's such a massive game, its every nook and cranny filled with detail and interest, that it's sort of surprising Bethesda had the chance to finish it all within three years! But, lo and behold, it's all set for its November 11th release. Bethesda even took time from their crunch schedule to record a podcast, where a number of staff such as lead artist Matt Carofano, concept artist Adam Adamowicz and of course executive producer Todd Howard discussed crafting the all new province of Skyrim, and how the Nord's native land stacks up next to prior Elder Scrolls landscapes.
"Oblivion was a very classic medieval setting, and we felt some of that was a bit generic," reveals Carofano. Oblivion, you'll remember, was set in the province of Tamriel. Stacked up next to the rugged, Scottish Highlands-esque region of Skyrim, Carofano's comments ring true. "We wanted to do something that showed a lot more of the culture of the people who lived there. Skyrim was all about creating a world that seemed believable."
Adam Adamowicz, part of Bethesda's supremely talented concept art team, revealed that when Bethesda started work on the fifth Elder Scrolls game, he and his crew were given free rein to create what they thought Skyrim should look like. He described the process as "completely blue sky", with Howard tasking the team to produce all manner of "cool, weird s***", at which point they'd sit down and decide what to throw out and what to keep.
"I would pull a lot of Conan references, because there's a lot of different Conan art that I like," said Howard. He explained the team drew from a number of inspirations, such as the aforementioned Conan, but also Viking culture, which is evident in a lot of Skyrim's native Nord architecture. Adamowicz admitted "about 90 percent of that early work didn't get used", however. Oh well. Don't worry, Adam; that's just more pages to put in to the requisite Skyrim art-book, eh? [Bethesda]