Fallout 4 lead Todd Howard: dialogue system "didn't work as well"

In an interview with Gamespot (ta, PCGamesN), Fallout 4 creative director Todd Howard spoke about what he considers to be that game's successes and failures. Like a lot of people, myself and Andrew Kelly included, Howard doesn't think the new dialogue system worked out all that well, but he's positive about Fallout 4's expanded combat.

"We do like to try new things and we have some successes. I think the shooting in Fallout 4 is really good—I think it plays really well. Obviously the way we did some dialogue stuff, that didn't work as well. But I know the reasons we tried that—to make a nice interactive conversation—but [it was] less successful than some other things in the game. For us, we take that feedback. I think long-term."

Many people took issue with the new, streamlined dialogue system, leading to a mod that replaced it with a hard list of the things the player character was actually going to say. While the dialogue wheel wasn't removed for Fallout 4 expansion Far Harbour, from what I hear the DLC did offer more choice, more ways to resolve things without resorting to violence.

"Then we have an opportunity with something like Far Harbor," Howard continues, talking about learning from feedback. "Like: okay, how many different ways can it end—let's give them some more choice. So it's not just a one-off, meaning Fallout 4 comes out and then we forget about it—it's an ongoing thing. The feedback we get is really, really helpful."

I'm hopeful this means we won't see a similar dialogue system in The Elder Scrolls VI, which is a thing that is obviously in development.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.