Bethesda’s Todd Howard visited SpaceX and talked to Elon Musk while developing upcoming RPG game Starfield. With the Starfield release date a ways off, it’s interesting to hear how the work of SpaceX influences Howard and the NASA-punk style aesthetic and universe the team at Bethesda has been building over the last few years for its next open world game.
Howard appeared on the Lex Fridman podcast to talk about all things Skyrim, Elder Scrolls 6, Fallout, Starfield, and game design. What particularly stuck out to us was Howard’s description of visiting SpaceX, and how the work over there inspired what the team at Bethesda is doing with its upcoming space game.
Howard says he’s talked to Musk “a little bit,” adding that “visiting SpaceX and walking in there, it was like The Avengers meets NASA. I was really in awe. This giant machine that looks for imperfections on the surface.”
It’s unclear if Howard visited Musk and SpaceX at the same time, or if he simply spoke to Musk over the phone briefly.
Howard also mentioned how he would visit the Air and Space Museum, (particularly the space shuttle housed there), and think about how the machine actually ends up in space, and what that means for technology. Howard does clarify that things like SpaceX didn’t influence game development decisions directly, but they certainly seemed to inspire it.
“One of the things Elon really impresses is that we’re reaching the edge of physics on a lot of this stuff, where how hard it is to leave orbit. The gravitational pull. The engineering that has gone into that, what he’s doing now, I just marvel at. I marvel at the human ingenuity and scale.”
Speaking of Starfield, the game still has no official release date, but Xbox Gaming boss Phil Spencer has said that the Starfield delay from November 11 was the “right thing to do” to make sure the RPG comes out as ready as it needs to be.
“I have shipped games too early. We have experienced shipping games too early,” explains Spencer. “In hindsight, when you look at a game like Starfield, it’s taken so long and so much investment in new IP from the team.”
We’ve got a whole lot more about Starfield if you want to learn everything you can about the game ahead of launch, as we did a Starfield interview with an ex-Bethesda developer that revealed a fair bit about the game, and we’ve also got a Starfield traits guide and a look at the Elder Scrolls’ adoring fan in Starfield too.