The seventh annual DICE 2012 summit is on at the moment, and games industry veterans are normally invited to give keynote presentations to the attendees. Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard is one of those veterans, and as can be expected, his keynote focused on Skyrim.
Howard revealed that more than 10 million people have been playing Skyrim since it launched in November last year. “Millions” of those players are on the PC, and thanks to Steam’s statistic tracking facilities, Bethesda knows that the average playtime is 75 hours. I wonder how many hours of that average are thanks to game-extending mods from the community? Now, with Steam Workshop support and the official Creation Kit out, the mod quantity and quality is only set to increase. During his keynote, Howard admitted that the Creation Kit is “something we’d like to see come to consoles one day”.
Another topic of discussion was an annual Bethesda tradition: a Game Jam. Bethesda’s Game Jams are week-long sessions during which employees can create anything they want to while at work. This year’s only rule was that they had to make things in Skyrim. What kind of things were made? Hit the jump for a video as well as a full list courtesy of Joystiq.
Flow based water shader
Spears as weapons with a new animation system
Kill cams for ranged combat and magic
New stealth options like water arrows and assassinations
Guards relight areas
Moving platforms and hanging structures in dungeons
Water current in dungeons
Dark dungeons, requiring you to light your path as you progress
New companion options like switching combat style, getting them to train and even craft for you
List favorite followers in the game’s menu
Build your own home from scratch
Combine magic to create new attacks
‘Way Gate’ fast travel
Epic mounts like a flaming horse
Mounted combat on horses
‘Soul bug’ familiar
Enhanced water effects
Footprints in the snow
Better animations for fabrics
Varied enemies, like fat giants
Ice and fire arrows
Lycanthropy-specific (werewolf) skill tree
Become a flying Vampire Lord
New Vampire imp minions
New Mudcrab animations
Giant Mudcrab enemy
All of these were shown off in a video clip during Howard’s keynote. You can check it out below and hopefully it won’t be removed from YouTube any time soon.
After showing off some of these awesome ideas, Howard said: “How much of this stuff sees the light of day? To be determined. Could it be in a future DLC? We don’t know. Could various parts of it just be released for free? We don’t know.”
Of course, with the Creation Kit now out, every one of these created by Bethesda employees could theoretically be made by modders. It would, however, be quite awesome if Bethesda released a “Skyrim Game Jam 2011 Mod Pack” as DLC via the Steam Workshop. Let’s hold thumbs because a dragon mount would be the coolest thing after a skeletal butler.