Bethesda — Making the (gamer’s) world a better place • Daniel Clarke
June 15, 2015
E3 always brings gamers new and exciting treats and advancements in technology, but this year I haven’t been most impressed by graphical improvements or some novelty 3rd party tool. It’s a simple UX improvement.
Fallout 4 has caused quite a stir since it leaked at the start of June and Bethesda revealed it officially today at E3. However, it wasn’t the guns or the world that stood out to me during the presentation, it was the character creator.
I’ve played a lot of games in my time that allow character creation, to varying degrees of success, but they have all been plagued by a clunky interface of hierarchical menus and sliders. This lead to some confusion about what exactly was being edited at times. Alternatively to this, there was the frankly horrific period in the mid 00’s where web and console cameras were used to create ‘facial’ maps of the player to sometimes horrific consequences.
With Fallout 4 and the power of modern consoles and PC’s to create even more detailed and emotive character faces, Bethesda has introduced a simple but powerful change to the design process. The Fallout 4 character creator allows the user to directly select the facial area they wish to edit, make some tweaks and then back out and select the next part instantly. Gone are the days of getting lost in menus trying to tweak ear lobe height between 1–99!
The results are fantastic and thankfully, the creation process doesn’t take place with the character floating in thin air. Instead it is contextual to the story with both (possible) characters at the bathroom mirror attending to their daily routines. It’s another nice touch which helps remove the interface and the roadblock of “stop playing, create your character then start again”.
Also, we all stand in front of the mirror examining ourselves and touching our face (admit it) so it all feels very familiar.
I’m not sure that this change will sell more copies of the game but Bethesda should be praised. We can only hope that others in the industry take a little more interest in these smaller, but incredibly time consuming moments. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to attempt brewing my latest potion in The Witcher 3.
For more information on Fallout 4, check out the Bethesda Official Site.
Originally published at danclarkeux.svbtle.com.