Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin a new series on The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Bethesda Game Studios RPG classic from 2002. We situate it in time and then dive right in, having been released from imprisonment and sent on a specific mission. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
A few hours of play
Issues covered: 2002 in games, Todd Howard's first mainline game as director, a little about Bethesda, Tim's history with the series, early games feeling open world, finding the titles generic, Brett confesses, not playing just the main quest, directing the player via POIs, self-motivated quests, interview homework, the prophecies, something is going on in Vvardenfell, name/job, situating you in the world with character creation, the census bureau, the clever setups, tutorial and usability, the death of Ultima as a franchise, Brett the battlemage, being able to pick up anything, we try to find the names of the elven races, all the skills and accidentally thieving, sleeping in the wrong bed, having laws enforced, not being able to barter because of contraband, thoughtful world-building, imagining a bigger world from small interactions, playing the good assassin, being opposed to the outlanders, coming up with concepts from the real world, coding the Khajiit as shifty Arabs, homebrew and archetypal sources, steering away from making particular races evil, slavery in RPGs, walking to Balmora, doing some quests, different architecture, Tim's sidequest to woo a Dunmer, directions to get to a quest, what is the arc of the game?, feeling like you have chapters even when a game doesn't have progression or leveling up, the small decisions you make all the time in game design, the crosshairs in Halo.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Jonah Lobe, Jean Simonet, Andrew Kirmse, Republic Commando, Oblivion, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Kingdom Hearts, Eternal Darkness, Ratchet & Clank, Xbox, Metroid Prime, Splinter Cell, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Sly Cooper, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Jedi Starfighter, Battlefield 1942, Age of Mythology, Jedi Knight II, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Neverwinter Nights, Bioware, Jade Empire, Knights of the Old Republic, Todd Howard, Redguard, Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones, NHL series, Terminator, Fallout (series), Starfield, The Witcher III, Reed Knight, Ultima Underworld, Arena, Daggerfall, Patrick Stewart, Firaxis, MechAssault, DoubleNegative (youtuber), Liam Neeson, Fallout: New Vegas, Underworld Ascendant, Paul Neurath, Baldur's Gate, Tyranny, Planescape: Torment, Pillars of Eternity, Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, WoW Classic, Infinity Engine, Sea of Thieves, Ifthatisyo U'rerealname, Halo, RE VII, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.
You're Finally Awake
The game we referred to as the spiritual successor to Ultima Underworld was Underworld Ascendant and not Ascension (which was the subtitle to Ultima IX). We regret the error.
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