“It all helps but you know what?”: Todd Howard Revealed the Secret Recipe Behind Fallout 4 Success That Transcends Next-Gen Consoles and Better Graphics

The recipe for success for any game according to Todd Howard is a game changer.

todd howard, fallout 4
credit: wikimedia commons/IceWelder

SUMMARY

  • Todd Howards gives a one word answer to solve the puzzle of what makes a game successful.
  • Howard talks about how technological advancements in a gaming console play a huge role in making a good game.
  • Howard breaks down how timing plays a crucial role in the success of a game.
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The consoles today have immense power, which means better graphics, faster loading time, smooth gameplay, and more effects on screen. The consoles are aiming to simulate the most immersive experience they can provide.  With the introduction of haptic feedback and adaptive triggers in PS5 controllers, Sony revolutionized the way people look at controllers.

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The Fallout loading=
Fallout 4 opening window

The horsepower available to developers today is a lot. Hence, the bar for what makes a good game has increased significantly. Fallout 4 has been a bestseller game ever since its release in 2017 and owes its success largely to its director, Todd Howard.

Todd Howard’s edgy outlook toward game production

Irrespective of the technological advancements, some games fail to impress. According to Howard, there is something more important than power, i.e. time.  Howards believes that games that get developed alongside the launch of a console often fail to utilize the maximum perks that the machine has to offer as opposed to the games that come out during the end of a console’s lifecycle. Howard said –

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Time makes a bigger difference. Just making a game, shipping it, looking at what you did, how you did it, what you did well, what you didn’t do well, and doing better. 

Todd Howard's success story
Todd Howard sits in front of a world of his creation

The simple logic behind Howard’s approach can be compared to any art form: the more time you spend on making something, the better the output turns out to be. For example, God of War 2 came pretty late in the console’s life and facilitated the developers to utilize its power to a greater extent, making the game an all-time classic.

Similarly, Ghost of Tsushima made a late entry into PS4’s life and was able to use everything the console had to offer, especially the use of buttons on the dual sense controller, in a better way. Be it navigation, melee battles, or parkour, players felt immense control over the game.

Todd Howard’s rise to glory

Fallout 4’s success is not a hidden story. Howard’s game has become so popular that a TV show was signed by Amazon Prime, of which Howard himself was one of the producers and the Executive producer.

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Owing to the success of Fallout 4 Todd Howard said –

I think our fans are used to it over time, that we do like to try new things. And we’ll have some successes, you know 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 it was I think — I know the reasons we tried that, to make a nice interactive conversation, but [it was] less successful than other things in the game. For us, we take that feedback, and I think long term.

Todd Howard's genius mind helped him climbed the ladder of success
Todd Howard sits on the sofa in his Studio

Bethesda Softworks recruited Howard in 1994 as a producer. His first game development credit for Bethesda was as the producer and designer of The Terminator: Future Shock (1995), followed by his work as a designer on Skynet and The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, both of which were released in 1996. He was project leader for the first time on The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard, released in 1998.

In 2000, Howard was appointed project leader and designer for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and the expansions that followed. The game was released in 2002 and was a critical and commercial success, winning many Game of the Year awards. He then led the creation of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006) as its executive producer. After this, he served as game director and executive producer of Fallout 3 & 4, that released in 2015.

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Written by Anupam Lamba

Articles Published: 100

Anupam Lamba is an avid gamer and film lover. After completing his bachelors in Mass Communication he started working as a writer in the Indian film industry before his love for gaming made him venture into the lanes of Fandomwire and he started working as a gaming writer here.