As many will know the Gamebryo formally used by Oblivion and Fallout 3 has been dying a slow death of late. On November 10th 2010 the assets of the engine were put up for sale. Such events have raised questions about Bethesda's choice of engine for TES V and the modability of any new engine that Bethesda might choose to use.
The most likely engine candidate was thought to be the id Tech5 engine that is currently being used for the upcoming RAGE game by id as well as the next Doom game. With Zenimax's (Bethesda's parent company) acquisition of id Software earlier on in the year TES V on the id Tech5 seemed like a very real possibility. Unfortunately the engine is not great for open world games and is even worse for modders due in no small part to the massive texture system the id Tech5 engine employs.
Since the announcement of TES V last night Nick Breckon has tweeted
that TES V will use an all-new engine:
We can now confirm that the TES V: Skyrim engine is all-new. And it looks fantastic.
This coincides with a recent interview with Todd Howard on Eurogamer
Is it fair to say then that it's based on existing technology?Todd Howard:
The technology is ours and it is inspired by the technology we have. We have a lot of it. But that's our starting point - the Fallout 3 tech. It started with Morrowind, we went to Oblivion, we did a lot between Oblivion and Fallout 3 because now we had final hardware - with Oblivion we had six months on final hardware, so Fallout 3 technically does a lot more than Oblivion. The new stuff is an even bigger jump from that.
And finally an IGN interview with Todd Howard
should put the rumours to bed:
Bethesda Game Director Todd Howard explained in a separate interview with IGN that his game would not use id Tech 5. The studio's new engine built for its upcoming title is more beneficial to creating huge, open-world games, such as Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, while id Tech 5 is better for more contained environments.
"We decided to really reboot our technology after Fallout 3, so we had been making plans for that and started doing some things. The id thing came along later, so it's a mix of that plus the kinds of games we do are a bit bigger and more dynamic.
"Id Tech 5 is the best thing in the world at doing a very static environment that looks pretty and you're going to run through. But for the kinds of things I like to do, I like the world to be more dynamic."
While we have no details on this new engine it sounds like it has been specifically tailored for the Elder Scrolls series and games of similar ilk. We can only hope that Bethesda still love us, the modding community, enough to develop their tools with the end user in mind as well.
As it is an SDK is always at the furthest edges of a developer's mind so I wouldn't expect to hear anything about it (modding) way in to the new year and much closer to the release date. I would love Bethesda to prove me wrong though.