I used to be an adventurer like you…
Skyrim celebrated its ten-year anniversary in November with yet another re-release of the game and a new fishing minigame.
Now, a video by character artist Jonah Lobe, featuring himself and eight other Skyrim developers, gives a fresh retrospective on the game’s development process while sharing some cool insights.
The panel includes Joel Burgess (level designer), Lianne Cruz (animator), Salinee Goldenberg (video editor), Dennis Mejillones (character artist), Nate Purkeypile (world artist), Rashad Redic (world artist), Jean Simonet (programmer), and Mark Teare (FX artist), all of whom formerly worked at Bethesda.
Some of my favourite highlights from the video include the fact Skyrim is full of artificially lit windows because the game didn’t have global illumination capability at the time: “It kinda killed me we didn’t have full illumination, so I figured out how to fake it, and that’s why Skyrim has lit windows, you’re welcome,” Redic said, in jest.
Another cool insight was the development of the werewolf. Initial designs saw a werewolf head on a human body similar to the Khajiit. “It was horrible,” Mejillones recalled. Even in its final form, there was concern the werewolf would break a lot of the game, which it did, upsetting many in the design and programming teams. In the end, Dennis went to Todd Howard with a proof of concept, who responded (to paraphrase): “This is fucking great! No, this is going in”.
There are a ton of other great Easter eggs in the video, so I highly recommend you give it a watch even if you’re remotely interested in this iconic game.