Procedural generation is not a new concept in gaming. Its use in modern gaming has made for increased reliability or for expanding maps beyond previous titles or similar games. The Elder Scrolls VI wouldn’t be the first title in its series to use procedural generation.
The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, a game that came out in the 90s, used procedural generation to create an expansive virtual world with tens of thousands of different towns and dungeons. Each dungeon was unique in Daggerfall because they weren’t hand-crafted as much as it was put together using similar rules in place using procedural generation. It followed a particular algorithm that made the world almost unnecessarily large.
What Does Procedural Generation Mean For The Elder Scrolls VI?
If you think about the size of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, many who were introduced to the series through that game believed it was immense. However, in comparison to other Elder Scrolls titles, it was very small. In fact, the entire province of Skyrim barely stretches about fifteen miles. If it weren’t for the massive mountain ranges that players tried to yeet their horses over, you could get from one side of Skyrim’s map to the other in a couple of minutes.
It also didn’t help that the game felt so vast at the time of its release because it couldn’t render that far on consoles. Even now, with the best computers, you can only see so much of the world. Procedural generation for The Elder Scrolls VI won’t mean the landscape will generate based on your location as it did with Daggerfall, or even Minecraft, but it will help Bethesda make a much larger world than we can even conceive if we’re making a side-by-side comparison with Skyrim.
Will The Elder Scrolls VI Have Procedural Generation?
Yes, Todd Howard has already confirmed they are utilizing the procedural generation to create a map more immense than its predecessor. This also opens up the towns with a larger population than in previous Elder Scrolls titles without relying on mods. There are plenty of mods available for Skyrim that had to populate the world because it felt so empty.
The procedural generation used in The Elder Scrolls VI is a better way for Bethesda to create a much larger world, but, hopefully, they’ll populate it with more things to do instead of having the world expansive for the sake of being expansive.