Skyrim's New Engine

Posted by Jayzilla (2560 posts) -

I was really stoked when I saw the trailer for Bethesda's latest in the Elder Scrolls franchise: Skyrim. Then I got immediately skeptical. I remember the same two dungeon skins that were rehashed for every dungeon in Oblivion. I remember the awful bugs and beefy specs that Oblivion wanted when I bought the CE on day one for my PC(it was rated "T" for Teen til they had to change it to "M". I am stoked to have that original box). The character animations were really clunky as well as having a pretty terrible combat system.  
 
The setting and story for Oblivion was the game and that speaks highly of how gifted the people at Bethesda that take care of those parts of a game are. Here's to hoping they take a page from the people that made Demons' Souls when revamping combat.  Skyrim is coming out in 2011 and gone should be the days of swinging my sword at a rat 10 times before I kill it. I want to plunge a well timed sword thrust into the belly of a foe and watch him grimace and crumple to the floor this time around. I want a streamlined inventory system that I don't have to download from a user 5 months after the game comes out. I want a game that is polished and closer to 95% free of bugs than 75% free of bugs.  
 
I really doubt that we will see Skyrim on its supposed release date but I will keep my fingers crossed. This time around though, I am waiting to read reviews. New Vegas, Oblivion, and Fallout 3 have shown me that Bethesda is willing to put games out that are wallowing in glitches and frustrating crash/locks. Here's to hoping they fix that. I used to be an unabashed fanboy of the TES series, but this isn't 2002-2007 anymore and I expect more from a AAA developer at this point in time.

#1 Posted by Jayzilla (2560 posts) -

I was really stoked when I saw the trailer for Bethesda's latest in the Elder Scrolls franchise: Skyrim. Then I got immediately skeptical. I remember the same two dungeon skins that were rehashed for every dungeon in Oblivion. I remember the awful bugs and beefy specs that Oblivion wanted when I bought the CE on day one for my PC(it was rated "T" for Teen til they had to change it to "M". I am stoked to have that original box). The character animations were really clunky as well as having a pretty terrible combat system.  
 
The setting and story for Oblivion was the game and that speaks highly of how gifted the people at Bethesda that take care of those parts of a game are. Here's to hoping they take a page from the people that made Demons' Souls when revamping combat.  Skyrim is coming out in 2011 and gone should be the days of swinging my sword at a rat 10 times before I kill it. I want to plunge a well timed sword thrust into the belly of a foe and watch him grimace and crumple to the floor this time around. I want a streamlined inventory system that I don't have to download from a user 5 months after the game comes out. I want a game that is polished and closer to 95% free of bugs than 75% free of bugs.  
 
I really doubt that we will see Skyrim on its supposed release date but I will keep my fingers crossed. This time around though, I am waiting to read reviews. New Vegas, Oblivion, and Fallout 3 have shown me that Bethesda is willing to put games out that are wallowing in glitches and frustrating crash/locks. Here's to hoping they fix that. I used to be an unabashed fanboy of the TES series, but this isn't 2002-2007 anymore and I expect more from a AAA developer at this point in time.

#2 Posted by Depth (355 posts) -

I hate gamebryo so much.

#3 Posted by Heartbreak (288 posts) -

For the first time ever, to celebrate the year 2011 we will include
 
DIAGONAL WALK ANIMATIONS

#4 Posted by sodiumCyclops (2644 posts) -

People are getting so hyped over this twitter update. I'm not putting any eggs anywhere until I know it's not just a super modified version of Gamebryo, which it still very well could be.

#5 Posted by atombrain (47 posts) -

I never liked the gameplay enough to finish it. I don't know why it got such high reviews considering how bad it is.

#6 Posted by Jolt92 (1551 posts) -

So I might be able to play this game without getting mad at the shitty engine? Great, if only they would've done this for one of the Fallout-games that could've been great. 

#7 Posted by Bloodgraiv3 (2712 posts) -
@sodiumCyclops: 
 
 
Exactly, I want to see screens or video of how it runs, the new animations and so on, I dont want an updated version of the one they've been using for years.
#8 Posted by SomeJerk (3216 posts) -

The only problem with GameBryo is if they use the GB we've seen in Ob/Fo3/NV. Buying a license for the latest version would be preferable. Doubt they're making an actual engine from scratch - was a while since they last did that.

#9 Posted by Ventilaator (1501 posts) -

"New" engine doesn't automatically equal "good"

#10 Posted by sodiumCyclops (2644 posts) -
@Ventilaator said:
" "New" engine doesn't automatically equal "good" "
Yes, but it still means 'new' which is what people have been wishing for.
#11 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -
@Ventilaator said:
" "New" engine doesn't automatically equal "good" "
Of course not, but at this point I think we're all sick of the old engine. And to be honest, it's not good anyway. Sure it looked amazing when it was new, but not only does it nolonger look amazing (not that I'm saying it looks BAD), but it's just not a good engine. So many problems and glitches. 
 
More than that, when you play multiple games on a certain engine, you get used to it. It has a feeling, per say, just the way things move and control and so on. I think a lot of people are just sick of the old engine. 
 
I know when the trailer came on during the VGAs I said to my friend "new engine or not interested" and he said "same". I've never been the most hardcore fan of TES or Fallout - I think they're alright - but a new engine sold me, because I think the game has a lot of potential, and a new engine could give it the freedom to live up to it. 
 
Or it could be even buggier. We'll see.
#12 Posted by animathias (1185 posts) -

I really don't understand this GameBryo hate. People say they can't stand the buggy engine, the glitches, and the crashes, but then they play Fallout for 100+ hours. I've personally clocked over 150 hours into Morrowind and 300+ hours into Oblivion, and the clunky engine was simply part of the experience. It didn't impede my fun of the game one bit. I would have played more Fallout 3, but I can't stand post-apocalyptic wastelands.

I'd rather they didn't put their necks on the line to make the combat better for people who can't stand Morrowind and Oblivion. Turns out: those games aren't for you. I kind of like the idea of well-timed one hit kills mentioned above, but wouldn't that mean you would likely receive the same treatment? I don't want to get taken to a critical state from full health because the AI archer managed to get an arrow into my brain, and that's the same concept as sliding your sword into the enemy's belly. 

If it does come out buggy, then hey: that's a Bethesda RPG. It will still get my 300 hours and 4 star reviews, because even in buggy states those games are still amazing compared to what's been released in the past 6 years. As much as people continue to screech hatred at the current engine, they keep buying the games. Maybe people should have listened to everyone saying Fallout 3 was a buggy mess and not bought it, that would have sent the message plain and clear. Instead people bought it because it's a stellar western RPG, even when the bugs and glitches are taken into account, and I'd be perfectly happy if they released Elder Scrolls V on the same exact engine and simply refined the game with what they've learned, because history has taught us it will be a brilliant piece of work.

#13 Posted by Heartbreak (288 posts) -

Or it will be amazing and I'll never be able to play it again when I try to pick it up 3 years later like Oblivion.

#14 Posted by Jayzilla (2560 posts) -
@animathias: i hear what you are saying. i loved morrowind and oblivion a ton. but that doesn't change the fact that bethesda has released their last few games in a really broken state and there is no call for that. does it mean i won't buy the game? heck no! it just means i may wait a few months until some modders come out with some great UI changes and tweaks to inventory, weapons etc. Morrowind and Oblivion are so much better on the PC after the mod community gets a chance to play with some upgrades. Both of those games ran way more smoothly after official patches as well.
#15 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -

I think it has to be something new, even from the stand point of how GTA: Episodes From Liberty City and Fallout: New Vegas got critically slammed for using the same engine of a game that's only two or three years old. If Bethesda did just tweak the old Gamebryo, it would surely still stand out so much.

#16 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@HandsomeDead said:
" I think it has to be something new, even from the stand point of how GTA: Episodes From Liberty City and Fallout: New Vegas got critically slammed for using the same engine of a game that's only two or three years old. If Bethesda did just tweak the old Gamebryo, it would surely still stand out so much. "
Yeah. That's the problem people had with FNV. Yep. It's a perfectly good engine clearly that works like it should, people just didn't like it being the same engine.
#17 Posted by DriveupLife (913 posts) -
@animathias: 
Agreed 100%. Everyone continue whining over any and all things, but play the game for 100+ hours like I and many of us have done.
#18 Posted by 27thRed_Martyr (118 posts) -

Im sooo hype about this game, i do hope no more DLC exclusivity this time.

#19 Posted by animathias (1185 posts) -
@Jayzilla:

You're absolutely right, and I don't think I was directing anything towards someone like you. :) I'm certainly not hoping it comes out a buggy mess like New Vegas, but if it does I won't be any less happy. The way I see it, it's all uphill unless they try to reinvent the wheel and muck the entire thing up. I think at this point the people who know they like Elder Scrolls will play it regardless, with the exception of a few stragglers hoping for a polished engine. I don't want Bethesda to rework the entire way the game plays to try and cater to the people who hate the combat or the way the game itself flows, because then they risk alienating everyone who loves it.

All that said, an Elder Scrolls game on a polished and perfect engine would be like nirvana for me, and a new Elder Scrolls game on the New Vegas engine would be cloud nine, so I'm happy in any capacity unless they muck up the game, which I don't think they will.

@DriveupLife:

Thank you, and I must say: awesome avatar. It looks much creepier when caught as a picture. :)

#20 Posted by Tsarevich (14 posts) -

The characters and animations are still going to look like shit unless they've made some significant changes to the team. Gamebryo certainly plays a part in Oblivion and Fallout's jankiness, but Bethesda themselves have just as much to do with it.

#21 Posted by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

I still don't think it's a new engine.
 
Rather a heavily modified gamebryo-engine (which Todd Howard said a few months ago) that they now renamed and call "brand new".

#22 Posted by Redjoker (39 posts) -

If anything I was fairly amused by the oblivion bugs. I very well may have been one of the "lucky" ones but I don't recall many bugs that impeded my game progression. The ones I did encounter were either amusing or were few and far between "Game breaking" . How do you not find a merchant getting cut down in the street by the city guard because you stole the key to his shop and he had to break in. Or take all the food from the inn during the day and use the poison apple glitch to thin the market district population out a bit at night.  The point is I enjoy the gamebryo engine even if her gray hair and wrinkles in new Vegas are more prominent  she is still a class act. So until I can start stocking the Normandy cargo hold full of nuka cola,teddy bears.skooma and anything that aint fuck'in nailed down I will just stick to gamebryo thank you. even if  I have to reset my damn console every now and again. Rant over... seriously I hope it is based off of the gamebryo to some extent

#23 Posted by ClaritySam (594 posts) -
@animathias said:
"

I really don't understand this GameBryo hate. People say they can't stand the buggy engine, the glitches, and the crashes, but then they play Fallout for 100+ hours. I've personally clocked over 150 hours into Morrowind and 300+ hours into Oblivion, and the clunky engine was simply part of the experience. It didn't impede my fun of the game one bit. I would have played more Fallout 3, but I can't stand post-apocalyptic wastelands.

I'd rather they didn't put their necks on the line to make the combat better for people who can't stand Morrowind and Oblivion. Turns out: those games aren't for you. I kind of like the idea of well-timed one hit kills mentioned above, but wouldn't that mean you would likely receive the same treatment? I don't want to get taken to a critical state from full health because the AI archer managed to get an arrow into my brain, and that's the same concept as sliding your sword into the enemy's belly. 

If it does come out buggy, then hey: that's a Bethesda RPG. It will still get my 300 hours and 4 star reviews, because even in buggy states those games are still amazing compared to what's been released in the past 6 years. As much as people continue to screech hatred at the current engine, they keep buying the games. Maybe people should have listened to everyone saying Fallout 3 was a buggy mess and not bought it, that would have sent the message plain and clear. Instead people bought it because it's a stellar western RPG, even when the bugs and glitches are taken into account, and I'd be perfectly happy if they released Elder Scrolls V on the same exact engine and simply refined the game with what they've learned, because history has taught us it will be a brilliant piece of work.

"
/Signed
#24 Posted by TzarStefan (428 posts) -
@Tsarevich: Very doubtful that the characters will look like shit.
#25 Posted by VilhelmNielsen (1734 posts) -

I think people forget that Bethesda has always made janky games. The second Elder Scrolls was dubbed Buggerfall by many. Morrowind was widely critiqued for the combat. And we all know how Oblivion and Fallout 3 went. I think they just aim to damn high, and again and again fail to reach their goals.

#26 Posted by theditor (61 posts) -

I'd be cool if they went back to the Morrowind engine. Physics, schmysics.

#27 Posted by SSully (4159 posts) -
@Pinworm45 said:
" @Ventilaator said:
" "New" engine doesn't automatically equal "good" "
Of course not, but at this point I think we're all sick of the old engine. And to be honest, it's not good anyway. Sure it looked amazing when it was new, but not only does it nolonger look amazing (not that I'm saying it looks BAD), but it's just not a good engine. So many problems and glitches.  More than that, when you play multiple games on a certain engine, you get used to it. It has a feeling, per say, just the way things move and control and so on. I think a lot of people are just sick of the old engine.  I know when the trailer came on during the VGAs I said to my friend "new engine or not interested" and he said "same". I've never been the most hardcore fan of TES or Fallout - I think they're alright - but a new engine sold me, because I think the game has a lot of potential, and a new engine could give it the freedom to live up to it.  Or it could be even buggier. We'll see. "
I couldn't have said it better myself. You are right about engines having a feel. If i play any source engine game you can just tell by how things look and feel no matter what the art style is. Same goes for the Gamesbryo engine, when you play fallout 3 it feels just like TES, in other words like shit.  
They just better not come out and say it is just a modified engine.
#28 Posted by stinky (1544 posts) -

one of the things i hated was trying to talk to a merchant, then accidentally stealing something off his counter.  
fuck, now i got to reload this all over again.

#29 Posted by Belonpopo (1823 posts) -

get hype 

#30 Posted by Nick (659 posts) -
@Heartbreak said:
"For the first time ever, to celebrate the year 2011 we will include
 
DIAGONAL WALK ANIMATIONS "

hahah i never really got caught up on the bugs in that game but the no-diagonal walking in 3rd person mode always seemed funny looking!
#31 Posted by Sin4profit (2924 posts) -
@VilhelmNielsen:  
   
yes, but like it was said on the podcast, Bethesda's success was something of a fluke, PC gamers loved them but you have to tap into the console market to be any kind of success outside of MMO and RTS.  I think it was more success of Fallout 3 that proved them to be a developer that can deliver on sales...

@TzarStefan said:
" @Tsarevich: Very doubtful that the characters will look like shit. "
...and deliver they did, which brought them the money to expand and hire more talent in the team to take them into the future. That's my theory anyway. 
 
My worry is more in the location...Skyrim, which technically would be all snow and ice. That strikes me as a pretty boring environment. 
#32 Posted by Diamond (8634 posts) -
@Heartbreak said:
" For the first time ever, to celebrate the year 2011 we will include
 
DIAGONAL WALK ANIMATIONS "
Unfortunately, in the process of adding diagonal walk animations, all other animations were lost.
#33 Posted by Sjupp (1910 posts) -
@Heartbreak said:
" For the first time ever, to celebrate the year 2011 we will include
 
DIAGONAL WALK ANIMATIONS "
Laughed so hard at this.
#34 Posted by Jayzilla (2560 posts) -
@Sin4profit: agreed about the location of skyrim. fallout 3 suffered from that as well. I truly hope they will vary up the look of the dungeons this time around as opposed to Oblivion too. I also would like to see a less vanilla player character. I am through with the nameless hero thing. It was great in '02 with Morrowind and to a lesser extent in Oblivion(KOTOR 1 and 2 also?). I would like the player character to start off already specced out and just get burlier over time. There were some mods for Oblivion where you could cast meteor showers etc. that really made that game enjoyable and actually made your character feel powerful. Like I said before, I am over having to stab a rat 10 times with my sword, or any enemy for that matter. If that means I die easier too, so be it.
#35 Edited by vidiot (2737 posts) -
@animathias: 
I remember playing Oblivion on the 360 and wondering why everything began to chug. A quick look online of course, pointed me to the cache clearing fix. That really was the only thing that really stemmed my enjoyment at the time. Outside of that, the only "problems" with GameByro for the 360 at least were all the hilarious exploitable bugs one could do. 
 
I've always been confused by GameByro. Even back when I was trying to get Morrowind to run on my PC, I remember hitting a bunch of walls and having to check online for fixes. Fallout 3 was the real big realization that there was something wrong. Now, like you've said: I have an S-Rank in Fallout 3. I played it to death. That didn't stop me from wondering why NPC's thought I had slaughtered a town that was attacked by wildlife. That didn't stop me from wondering why an NPC had decided to walk over a ledge and fall to his death, thus kicking me out of an entire quest line. Why my ability to continue through a quest was completely glitched. Why items I had stored away in a locker decided to disappear. Why every DLC that was released had a plethora of problems, confusing because of Microsoft's draconian certification process.  
 
Then I bought Fallout 3 for PC.
That's when I got scared, and became terrified of the up-coming New Vegas.
 
I have 9 gigs of Ram/ Intel i7 950/ 1gig on the graphics card. It's a pretty awesome gaming machine if I do say so myself:
I almost gave up trying to get Fallout 3 to run on my PC.
 
In fact, at one point I had someone telling me that I shouldn't have an easy time running it because I had a 64-bit processor. I really had no idea how to act or think after such a ridiculous statement was uttered, I kinda just sat there slack-jawed trying to comprehend that concept. What I learned, with over a month of on-again/off-again research was that the game's engine is completely unoptimized. I applied so many user-made fixes, uninstalled codecs, and edited the game's .ini file so many times I eventually forgot what I was doing half the time. I felt like a game-tester, except I wasn't getting paid. What I learned, and this is the part that freaks me out: Is that it felt, as if the community understood the game engine better than the people who made the freaking game. I want to be wrong about that, I really do. After finally getting it running at an acceptable speed I began thinking hard about it. The fact I have yet to see a product released by Behtesda that hasn't had major/huge problems, regardless of context. With this knowledge in-hand, reading the fact Obsidian was using GameByro for the next Fallout game: I made the right choice to stay the hell clear of that debacle.
 
It never stopped my enjoyment of the game, again, you're right about that. At the same time: I don't think that's the real problem. 
 
There are good games buried within GameByro, and I think because of the mess GameByro is: It makes the situation worse. At the same time it sets a bad precedent. I really don't believe that the reason GameByro falls apart is because how expansive a game like Fallout is. It's not that complicated. I think it falls apart because: It's a freaking old engine and they're trying to do too much with it. To add insult to injury, there's a history of general incompetence, or something, regarding the technical stability of Bethesda's games and they usually give the impression that they don't care.
 
I don't like the precedent. I don't like the idea of people expecting it to fall apart, because that's the way it works. I hope this new engine will be an opportunity to change this, and I'm more than happy to proclaim that's it's well over-time for the death of GameByro. 
Stick it in a coffin, nail it shut, and never let it out. Set the damn thing on fire if you have too.
#36 Posted by animathias (1185 posts) -
@vidiot:  
That story brought back memories of trying to install Morrowind on my PC after playing it on a friend's Xbox. The end of that story? I bought an Xbox. It's definitely time for the GameBryo engine as-is to be left as a footnote of history. The thought of an Oblivion without all the weird, weird things happening because of the engine makes the little schoolgirl inside of me giddy with joy. I've seen my share of shopkeepers chased down and murdered mercilessly by the guards for breaking into their own shop, I've picked my share of locks to get into stores that should be open, and I've watched rats fight the toughest of demons and win unscathed. (I've also been mauled by a cougar and one shotted at high levels, that too can go.) 
 
I wouldn't go as far as to say Bethesda doesn't care, but I do agree they're pushing a very old engine to its highest limits. With Oblivion, it feels like they spent a majority of their time making it look really good in a screenshot sort of way, and in Fallout they focused more on the world and the story, leaving an already dying engine to strain under the weight. In the case of New Vegas, I don't think Obsidian had the time or resources to tweak the engine to what they needed, and I'm guessing Bethesda was too busy working on whatever this new iteration of the engine is to help. It's certainly not a good precedent to set, and if the games weren't as good as they were, Bethesda would probably have disbanded long ago. There's something very odd about such an old engine being pushed to limits so high that random, weird things can happen to just about every player in a game like New Vegas, yet it gets 4 stars on this very site.  
 
Even though I would be perfectly happy playing Skyrim on the GameBryo engine, I'm right there with you when you say it's time for something more modern. Something better. It's time for them to bring the brilliant games that are hidden behind this buggy engine into the forefront and let them shine as brightly as they should, instead of being muddied as they have been since Morrowind.
#37 Posted by Brendan (7763 posts) -

What's even crazier is that I always assumed it was pronounced skee-rim, not skahy-rim. 
#38 Posted by AuthenticM (3715 posts) -

People saying that the bugs and glitches were "part of the experience" are fucking delusional. The only reason people put up with this shit is solely because of just how freaking awesome the games Bethesda makes are. Now imagine how mind-blowing said games would be if they didn't have a single problem. Yeah.

#39 Posted by Driadon (2997 posts) -
#40 Posted by keyhunter (3207 posts) -

Generally when a game doesn't have any bugs it's because it's about 6 hours long and you don't do anything but run around in hallways.  Or in the case of open world games: do the same 3 tasks over and over again for about 28 hours.
The amount of player freedom in bethesda's games comes at an expense. That being bugs. There's just too many objects and variables in their games for everything to work perfectly. And that's just how I like it. 
These games offer a hundred+ hours of content on average and cost 60 beans at launch.  6 minutes with a stripper costs more than that. Quit your bitching!
Also patches people!

#41 Posted by animathias (1185 posts) -
@AuthenticM:
The bugs and glitches were part of the experience. Maybe not the intended experience, and certainly not the best experience, but part nonetheless. Plus, I've echoed your point twice now, and have agreed that an Elder Scrolls game on a seamless engine would be amazing. That doesn't change the fact that some of the most fun I've had in both Elder Scroll games came about completely randomly because of glitches in the engine. I don't know why that horse was sent flipping into the air at high speeds, but I don't recall laughing so much at a video game in years. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything, and I certainly don't think I'm delusional for having fun with it.

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