Starfield interview with ex-Bethesda developer

Nate Purkeypile, a former Bethesda developer, answers all of our PCGamesN Starfield interview questions regarding the upcoming RPG, the project’s scope, and the creation of new gaming worlds.

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The studio steps out from behind titles like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls to create a new universe that redefines its open-world games to be more open-universe, with thousands of planets to explore.

We had the chance to conduct a Starfield interview, which may very well be the pinnacle of Bethesda’s RPG games. We spoke with a former Bethesda developer who left the company last year and spent a significant amount of time working on Starfield as a result of this expectation.

Nate Purkeypile is the creator of Just Purkey Games, a developer for 17 years, 14 of which he spent working as an artist on numerous projects from Fallout 3 to Starfield at Bethesda. Due to contracts and the fact that Starfield won’t be released until next year, Purkeypile was unable to go into great detail, but he nevertheless shared with us some fascinating facts about the space project.

Starfield, according to Purkeypile, is not only the largest game Bethesda has ever produced but also the one that required the largest staff.

“The biggest difference between that project and Fallout 3, Skyrim, and Fallout 4 is its vastness,” says the author. With Fallout 76, which was developed by two companies primarily in Austin and Maryland (Bethesda), we received some assistance from Montreal.

Purkeypile continued, “But yeah, Starfield is a much bigger project, it’s like 500 people or something on the team, whereas I think [Fallout] 76 was maybe 200, tops.” The enormous size of the development team was one of the factors that led Purkeypile to leave and start his own game development company.

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The work and attention to detail required to create an entirely new fictitious universe, according to Purkeypile, was the largest hurdle encountered during the creation of Starfield while he was there. Keep in mind, though, that a lot about the game may have changed since he departed.

Purkeypile clarifies that “there aren’t always solved problems for how things should look, which might be so many specific aspects, like what shape are the metal panels? How are things fastened together? What shades do you employ? What resources do they possess? How do you distinguish between all of these many areas? In comparison, if you asked me to build another follow-up game, it is considerably tougher.

There is a lot of extrapolative fiction to understand as well, so you have to sort everything out. You’d be surprised by how many metal panels they created for the concept, Purkeypile added in jest.

Starfield will be enormous, with 1,000 planets that are accessible from everywhere and can be explored. As director Tod Howard had previously said that procedural generation was used to create the over 100 solar systems, we had some concerns for Purkeypile regarding how this was accomplished.

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The map of [Fallout] 76 is around twice the size of Skyrim, which was a lot of work for people to do, but it doesn’t scale, according to Purple. “I can’t delve into the tech intricacies of it,” he adds. Even if you wanted to outsource, you would still need to hire, well, a country. In actuality, just a small portion of that workforce is engaged in planet-related activities.

Purkeypile didn’t go into detail on how Bethesda created these planets directly, but it’s intriguing to learn that the developer found a clever way to create so many for Starfield while still making each one feel somewhat distinct.

Starfield interview
Starfield interview

We also discussed The Elder Scrolls 6’s lackluster reveal as well as the Starfield surprise. While the fantasy game was not revealed, Starfield was and is being released in part to set expectations for how long it will be before The Elder Scrolls 6 launches, according to Purkeypile.

They must thus say, “Look, we’re going to set expectations.” Going so long without a sequel—now it’s been more than 10 years—is pretty uncommon. Sure, Elder Scrolls Online exists, but in all honesty, I see that as sort of the MMO group’s market. I believe that telling people that it will be some time before that is unquestionably a component of it,” asserts Purkeypile.

Purkeypile’s time working on the game should be able to hold us over as we all wait for Starfield, even though he wasn’t able to disclose much about the specifics of the upcoming Bethesda game. More information about the Fallout series, Skyrim, and even Purkeypile’s next solo-developed mysterious hunting game,

The Axis Unseen, which you can find on Steam, will be available soon from our interview with him. Give Purkeypile a follow on Twitter if you want to understand more about how games are created because his feed is full of fascinating glimpses into the game production process.

We have a primer on Starfield ship builds, information regarding the Starfield Game Pass release, all you need to know about the Starfield release date, and the most recent news if you want to learn even more about the game than what’s in this Starfield interview.

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