Bethesda’s Todd Howard has revealed just how many of Starfield’s planets will support their own life forms – and it’s very good news for the explorers among the playerbase.
Starfield is set to be one of the biggest launches in recent memory when it drops in early September 2023. Bethesda are drip feeding fans details as its launch approaches and, in a June 22 interview with Kinda Funny Games, Game Director Todd Howard delved deeper into the game’s intricate universe and planet systems.
Not only did NASA (yes, that NASA) help Bethesda make the galaxy as realistic as possible, the developers have revealed that, in true No Man’s Sky style, the planets players encounter will be unique to them. With over 1,000 featuring in Starfield, they will generate depending on a player’s character, progress and requirements.
When asked about the game’s planets and whether there’ll be enough to do on them, Howard explained that the planets’ intricacies were something the development team “struggled” with early on. They’ve since overcome those difficulties, handcrafting individual locations on the planets, with the planet forming around those core POIs and regions.
“For us, we view it as… here’s the menu of things you could do and, like science we’re pushing it, about 10% of those planets have life on them,” he said. “We’re pushing it to the edge of… what planets are in that goldilocks zone. Versus planets that have resources.”
He continued: “If you look at a planet and you see the resources; it has things you want… I think there’s a certain beauty to land on those [planets] and feeling I’m one of the only people or the only person to ever visit this planet. It’s a difficult design thing… it [could] start feeling too gamey. I think we’ve dialed that in pretty well, depending on the planet that you’re on. We hope everyone enjoys it for what it is.”
In short, Howard confirmed there will be some planets that are “barren” and others that are teaming with flora and fauna to explore and harvest. They say variety is the spice of life – maybe it’s the spice of Starfield’s planets too.
Starfield will release on Xbox Series X|S and PC on Sept. 6, 2023. Early access starts on Sept. 1, 2023 and is obtained by buying the Premium or Constellation Editions of the game.