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DICE 2009: Todd Howard on Bethesda's 3 rules of game development

Jason Dobson

Some of us had only just recovered from turning back the Daedric scourge in Tamriel before Bethesda took it upon itself to obliterate the countryside altogether in Fallout 3. Destruction of this magnitude takes planning, and speaking during last week's DICE summit in Las Vegas studio director Todd Howard laid out Bethesda's three simple rules for "making excellent games."

According to MTV Multiplayer, Howard's vision for great game design can be distilled down into the following principles: 1) A dev's ability to leave even their favorite ideas on the cutting room floor, 2) the capability to think smaller and keep things simple and 3) being able to define a project "by the experience you want people to have," rather than just a laundry list of features.

During his time on stage, the outspoken director also took issue with the importance of the Wii's overwhelming dominance of the console market, with Gamasutra reporting that Howard said "if install base really mattered, we'd all make board games, because there are a lot of tables." True, but we'd still be hard pressed to trade away our railway rifle and head shots for a pricey monopoly built on the smoldering ruins of Boardwalk and Park Place.

Source -- The Following Colorful Wisdom Is From Todd Howard
Source -- Bethesda's Howard On Supreme Playability

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