Fans of the Elder Scrolls have been harboring excitement for the upcoming Skyrim downloadable content. However, attention has recently shifted to the massive multiplayer online release Elder Scrolls Online, which was confirmed on May 3rd and will be developed by Zenimax Studios.
Gaming industry veteran Matt Firor recently sat down with Game Informer to dish out some details on the project, slated for a 2013 release date. Firor has previously worked on games such as MMO Dark Age of Camelot, but left to begin work on the Elder Scrolls. Oblivion, the fourth Elder Scrolls release that came out in 2006, was a launching point for the MMO currently in development.
Everyone has called 'Oblivion' the single player MMO, and so it seemed like a reasonably logical thing to do, Firor said in the video interview.
The upcoming game is a collaborative effort with Bethesda Softworks, the studio behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but Firor says that Todd Howard is truly the driving force behind the game.
He [Howard] was enthusiastically in support of it, said Firor. Of course, Todd Howard is the 'Elder Scrolls guy.'
But for Firor, one of the most important aspects for the Elder Scrolls online is a kick-ass player-versus-player (PvP) system. This term is used for games that involve players interacting with each other rather than a computer-controlled character. According to Firor, the MMO will take Elder Scrolls PvP to the next level.
All of the 'Elder Scrolls' games, everyone one of them has a conflict built into them, said Firor to Game Informer. Well in 'Elder Scrolls Online,' you can actually be one of those factions and join in the fight in a war situation between the different alliances.
Each installment of the Elder Scrolls series has its own unique culture within the different providences, and the development team is working to portray that in the new title. Firor cited Cyrodiil as an example, saying that the team worked to keep the height maps the same so that the hills felt identical to the previous version.
Keeping a solid development team intact was also key in creating Elder Scrolls Online, as Firor explains.
We really wanted to make sure that we had a good community of game developers. This is a long process; tempers get short sometimes believe it or not. There's a lot of arguing, you want to make sure you have that group of people that is capable of doing that [working together], he said.
But that isn't stopping the team from expanding.
We're at the point now where we're growing to maximum capacity to get the game going in production, Firor said.
However, despite the growth, finding developers for the project may not prove to be an easy task.
[It's] somewhat of a challenge finding experienced MMO developers because of course they're hugely in demand right now all over the world, he said. But we've got a really strong group and we're really happy with it.
To see the full interview with Game Informer, head over to the gaming magazine's website.