Above: It seems everyone loves Fallout 4’s dog.

GamesBeat: Was John Carmack any part of this engine, or any more than previous engines?

Hines: Truthfully, yes. John was at id so long that his work is in there. But a lot of this was born when he left. The tech team reevaluated—what are we building on? What are we using? Does this help us making the best games faster? Does it give our developers tools? Are we in the business of making technology or making games? A lot of what’s in id Tech 6 is a shift toward an engine that allows for more flexibility, with an eye toward the games.

GamesBeat: Was it just the levels or my imagination? It seems a lot lighter.

Hines: A lot more lighting, a lot more stuff that we didn’t—megatextures doesn’t allow for dynamic lighting. That’s the opposite of how megatextures work. It’s all baked-in stuff. Part of id Tech 6 is allowing for dynamic lighting, smoke and particle effects, a lot of stuff that just wasn’t part of the picture in previous versions.


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GamesBeat: The style of Doom was just a dark world, though.

Hines: DOOM 3 certainly was. It was a lot closer to survival horror. It was a very dark game. They wanted to move away from that with DOOM and go back to its roots. The foundry has a lot of bright areas to it. There are darker parts to the game, but yeah, they didn’t want it to be seen as a horror game. That’s not how they view DOOM. They want it to be a visceral action game.

GamesBeat: What did you think of people wanting to play the dog?

Hines: It’s pretty funny. I enjoyed that today. But we’re not going to do it. We’re stopping at the humans. Men and women only. But people were expressing relief and joy at the fact that Todd said Dogmeat cannot die in the game. As dog owners, we all just could not handle that. He is unkillable in the game. It would be heartbreaking.

He was actually in the office, the original Dogmeat, the model we used. He belongs to one of the members of the dev team. You can’t help but be super excited when you see actual Dogmeat walking in the office. He got petted more that day than in the entire rest of his life.

Fallout Shelter E3 2015 - Dweller

Above: Fallout Shelter was a big surprise that no one spoiled for Bethesda — Apple included.

Image Credit: Bethesda

GamesBeat: Battlecry, any thoughts on how that’s progressing?

Hines: It’s coming along. The testing in Australia has gone really well. They’re scaling up the size of the texting and trying different areas. Part the challenge is testing character progression from level one to three, and then from three to five, five to seven, making sure the game is balanced the whole way through.

One thing they’ve focused on is decreasing the size of the maps. They felt like the space was too big, too wide. They’re also putting more emphasis on a 6v6 mode, similar to what people are playing outside, where you have smaller-scale skirmishes as opposed to much larger ones. I’m glad that Australia and New Zealand testing is going well. We’re on track to get to a wider global beta later this year to let everyone else jump in and try it out.

GamesBeat: There’s an interesting competition to make this sort of cartoon-style shooter eSport game, something that catches on. People view it as the next League of Legends. Whoever really nails it will have a big success.

Hines: You have Overwatch, which has a very Blizzard style to it. It looks exactly like what you’d expect from their game. Battleborn has a very Borderlands, Gearbox feel. This was something that Viktor Antonov—it’s just a style he was particularly keen on, before those games ever existed. He’s the one who did the art direction for Dishonored, and he also did Half-Life.

He had a keen eye for doing this very stylized—he’ll talk to you for four hours about the allegory of war and the final moments of life before death, the brightness of the colors and the contrast in the sky and the way the sun is represented and all that stuff. There’s a lot more to it than, “It looks kind of cartoonish.” He had a very specific idea in mind for how he wanted it to look and feel. He didn’t want it to be realistic. He wanted to play with dramatic colors, to be able to do that visceral combat where you’re beheading folks or cutting them in half, but not have it be disgusting. It’s stylized enough that you’re not grossed out. It’s more cool than disgusting.

GamesBeat: Dishonored continues this trend toward woman heroes. It’s one of those about-time sorts of things.

Hines: For sure. Harvey has been talking about this for a while. From the beginning of Dishonored 2, he was excited about the idea of having Emily as a playable character, the idea of fast-forwarding in time. The little girl whose mother was assassinated, that Corvo spends Dishonored trying to get back and protect, is the emperor. Corvo, as her father, has embraced his talents and abilities to become a stealthy assassin of hers. Offering the player to play the game as either of those characters and giving them distinct sets of powers and abilities, being able to play up and portray a woman as the protagonist, that was super important to him. I’m glad to see it’s being done in other places as well.

GamesBeat: It seems like a good E3 for you, to sum it all up.

Hines: We’re very pleased. Fallout Shelter is doing amazingly well, with no real buildup. To take such a light approach to monetization compared to other free-to-play games—we felt like we wanted to err on the side of caution and make it very unobtrusive, make sure it was fun first and foremost. So far so good.

Dishonored 2 E3 2015 - Emily

Above: Emily is back in Dishonored 2.

Image Credit: Bethesda

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