The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool.
Published on October 30, 2004 By ashbenli In Game Developers
Before we started working on TES4, we needed to figure out our high level goals. We took what worked in Morrowind and what didn't -- all based on forums, reviews, tech support feedback, our own gameplay experiences, what fans were doing in plugins, etc...

Here's one of the goals: Always be entertaining. Always, always, always. Show me where the fun is. Never let me get bored. This may disturb our hardcore following (ie, "The Elder Scrolls Ph.D's, as I like to think of them - god bless 'em!). There are certain tenants that they believe are vital to an Elder Scrolls title, and when we reveal new ideas, it is like the tectonic plates on the Earth's surface realigning continents. It gets very loud and cloudy at first, but after the dust settles, it's back to business as usual.

For example, lockpicking. Rather than click a button and wait for a formula calculation to find out if you've pick a lock, we've created a beautiful interactive minigame. Is it twitchy? Will it be too hard for the "true" role player's out there who don't like action games? Will it be annoying having to play a minigame everytime I want to pick a lock?

The answers -- it isn't twitchy, it won't be too hard for anybody (my grandmother could understand and play this minigame), and I don't think it will be annoying to play a minigame to pick a lock. But I concede that is only my opinion. We looked to games like Thief and Splinter Cell -- both games require minigames to pick locks. The minigame is fun and immersive. Clicking a button and waiting for a die roll - not immersive and definitely not fun.

At its heart, lockpicking in TES4 is an educated guessing game and doesn't require lightning fast reflexes. That doesn't mean you can take forever and your lockpicking skill will have an effect on how difficult or easy it is. Emil Pagliarulo, who worked on the Thief series, designed the lockpicking minigame. Natalia Smirnova drew the concept and created the animations. She based the art on real-life lock mechanisms. Rather than describe it with words, you'll just have to wait to see it (how's that for a cop-out:)

In short, Graphic whores unite!

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