Starfield: Todd Howard returns to talk about the game, new details
Among other things, Howard focused on the planets and solar systems present in the game, explaining that all the planets and their satellites will enjoy a real-time orbit system: this means that not only the planets will rotate on themselves and around their stars, but they will also have moons that will orbit around them, creating always different visual scenarios and, we hypothesize, occasionally also eclipse phenomena or other types of alignments between stars.
Coming instead to the level of detail in the realization of the planets, the designer explained that the team could have created many more than the 1000 planets planned, but they decided to limit the number to make sure that they were all distinctive and recognizable. All of these planets are fully explorable, with procedurally generated areas (as Bethesda did in The Elder Scrolls: Dagerfall) fused with other more characteristic and hand-crafted.
And of course many of these planets will also include threats: in this regard, all solar systems will have a level, indicating the danger of the planets inside them, so as to know if we will be able to face them with our character or if we will have to wait to progress further and level up. These threats will not only be represented by enemies of various kinds, but also by environmental dangers: gas, toxicity, extreme temperatures. For this reason we will be able to equip ourselves and equip different space suits that, among other things, will have specific protections for some of these environmental conditions.
As for the other inhabitants of this vast universe, however, Howard reiterates that this is a "deeply human" universe, colonized by man and therefore we will find mainly our fellow human beings; There will also be robots, many of which are used to help humans in various tasks, but there will also be hostile ones. In spaceports we will come across other ships coming and going, and we may also be contacted by the ships we encounter.
Our character can have traveling companions, with whom we can forge different relationships depending on our behavior; Unlike other titles in which there is a love/hate indicator that changes value based on our interactions, here the behavior of the companions will be more variable: for example, if we do something that will upset our friend, this will change his behavior towards us for a certain period of time, But then it can gradually return to normal.
Speaking about the details of the game's development, Howard explained that the team could have been able to finish the game by the end of this year as originally planned, but it was deemed too risky for the team, fans and Microsoft, and it was therefore decided to postpone it. This is currently seen as "the game" for Xbox, the one that will provide the biggest boost in console and subscription sales, and so there's a lot of pressure on the team. Microsoft is providing its best engineers to help optimize it, and from this point of view the fact that it is not a cross-platform title helps a lot to concentrate efforts.
The news ends here: we just have to hope to see the game soon and find out its release date, maybe during The Game Awards next week!