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'All New' Game Engine For Next  Elder Scrolls
'All New' Game Engine For Next Elder Scrolls
December 13, 2010 | By Kris Graft

December 13, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC, Programming

Recently-announced The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is dropping the Gamebryo-based engine used in Oblivion and recent Fallout games in favor of a new internally-developed engine, developer and publisher Bethesda said over the weekend.

2006's Oblivion, 2008's Fallout 3 and the Obsidian-developed Fallout: New Vegas from this year all used heavily-modified versions of the Gamebryo engine from Emergent Technologies. While all three games were strong sellers and critically-acclaimed, the current engine has been showing its age.

Bethesda community manager Nick Breckon said in a Tweet, "We can now confirm that the TES V: Skyrim engine is all-new. And it looks fantastic." He added that the new Elder Scrolls engine is internally-built, and the game will have a new gameplay engine as well.

Over the weekend, Bethesda Softworks unveiled Skyrim, its next open world role-playing game, via a trailer debut at Spike TV's annual Video Game Awards. Slated for a November 2011 release, it's the follow-up to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, a game that sold 3 million copies in its first nine months and became one of the highest-rated RPGs of all time.

Bethesda's long-running Elder Scrolls series debuted in 1994 with The Elder Scrolls: Arena. Later additions to the respected series included Daggerfall and Morrowind, as well as substantial expansions to major franchise installments.

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Maurício Gomes
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Morrowind used Gamebryo too (although with another name). And if you take a look in the forums, you will see people complaining of bugs in New Vegas that exist since Morrowind... Thus I approve Bethesda decision to dump Gamebryo.

Jeff Hanna
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Many games have shipped with Gamebryo that don't contain the number or severity of bugs that have existed in the Elder Scrolls and Fallout games from Bethesda. Firaxis games prior to Civ V used Gamebryo and were never as bad as New Vegas is. Mythic used Gamebryo (and its predecessor) for every 3D game they created and never seemed to ship with some of the eye gouging rendering problems that have existed in Elder Scrolls games.

Blaming the rendering engine for all of the ills of those titles is naive. Put some blame where it is due - Bethesda needs to improve their development processes and quality control. Even the best rendering engine can be misused.

Mark Buzby
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Agreed, Bethesda games have had a sizable amount of buggyness since Elder Scrolls 1. Increased stability would be a welcome change to their games, in my opinion. Though I'm mostly speaking from a PC standpoint as I haven't played any of their games on consoles.

Wyatt Epp
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Something id Tech-based, perhaps? Considering the fantastic array of silly bugs to be found in TES 3 and 4 (especially for modders), this should be a welcome step up. Probably.

Paul Waterman
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...hoping they're paying attention to a very loyal, hardcore mod community :)

Jordan Carroll
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Amen! I'd almost be disappointed if they didn't offer some development jobs to some of the better modders in the TES community.

Christer Kaitila
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Happy to hear that they are dropping Gamebryo since it has a bad reputation, but I would propose that this rep is not deserved: I point you to the GIGO rule*. It isn't the game engine's fault, it is the quality of content and scripting being sent to it. An open-world RPG with so many interacting scripts is bound to be a testing nightmare, since there are infinite combinations of game events to account for. It is completely feasible to create a game using gamebryo with zero bugs in it. Poor gamebryo gets blamed for poor QA.

* (GIGO = garbage in -> garbage out)

Sylvester O'Connor
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I agree with you completely Chris. It's like blaming computers for wars when people people are the ones using the compuers.

Dave Endresak
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The leveling system in TES is perfectly fine... for the player, that is. Like any game, people need to learn the rules. The people who have a problem with leveling their characters in TES are people who have not learned the rules and simply assume that the leveling works (or should work) the same as various other CRPGs. Well, it doesn't, and developing a character in TES requires work and planning based on the rules of the game world. The problem is that people don't want to plan development and focus far too much on action over role playing... which pretty much defeats the entire purpose of a role playing game, of course, just as so-called "real time" combat does. That's action, but it isn't role playing.