Starfield’s lead designer was inspired by Cyberpunk 2077 and Spider-Man

Let’s be clear on something: the hype potential for Bethesda’s next RPG is suitably astronomical. The developer of The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series entries has carved out an influential space for itself, with many fans still roaming the worlds it created, while Starfield will be its first entirely unique creation in over two decades. In a recently published article blog postthe game’s writer and designer has revealed a few more details about the huge project.

Emil Pagliarulo is Design Director at Bethesda Game Studios and Starfield’s lead designer and writer. With a career spanning 19 years for the RPG innovator, Pagliarulo shared stories of working on Morrowind and Fallout 76 in an interview posted to the developer’s blog. The director also talked about some of his influences coming into Starfield, as well as the challenges imposed by a pandemic as they work on the game.


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“Any developer’s role can change drastically depending on the stage of the project. In the beginning, during pre-production, it was a super fun and daunting task to find the fictional basis for a whole new universe – our first new IP in over 20 years. What are the main locations? Who are the main characters? And, more importantly, how do they relate to the main story?” he said.

Starfield - via Bethesda

Responding to a question about what Starfield means to him, the designer and writer replied that game development can be complicated, especially in the early stages, but watching it come together can be “awesome”. When that happened with Starfield, Pagliarulo said, “It was really like, ‘Oh. Oh wow. Yeah. It’s… something really special. Players will lose their minds. “Now we just have to finish it!”

Regarding the inspirations he and the team have taken, Pagliarulo quoted numerous sources: “The whole team also takes a lot of inspiration from other games. Thief is still one of my favorite games of all. time. But I play a lot of games, of all different genres”.

“So there’s always something that inspires me or excites me. I really like playing games that just make me shake my head, like, ‘Wow. I know how they did that, and that’ is a mad feat.’ The last Spider-Man games have been like that for me. Or Cyberpunk. Man, creating a giant, open-world environment like Night City? That’s no small feat. Really impressive.”

Now, isn’t this palpable excitement contagious? While Elden Ring is clearly one of the top contenders for Game of the Year, with its abundance of rave reviews, Starfield could still be in contention. It’s currently slated for a November 11 launch date, on Microsoft Windows and Xbox Series X/S. Those who want to read the full interview can head over to Bethesda website.

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Kimberly B. Nguyen