As the release date for Starfield draws near, Bethesda Game Studios recently held a Q&A on its Discord server where Starfield’s Lead Quest Designer Will Shen and Lead Designer Emil Pagliarulo answered 16 questions fans had about the upcoming sci-fi action RPG.
If you missed the Q&A session, IGN attended and found ten new things we learned during the Starfield developer Q&A, which you can check out below.
There Are Over 20 Companions in Starfield
Similar to previous Bethesda RPGs, Starfield will have companions you can recruit, but little is known about them so far. Fortunately, the developer Q&A confirmed that “over 20 named characters” can join you in your adventures.
While the names were not revealed, we did learn from the Q&A that four of the companions are members of The Constellation, though all companions have “their own backgrounds” and can follow you around and carry any items you acquire on your travels.
“When we first began Starfield pre-production, we looked back at our previous games and realized how popular and effective the companions were,” Pagliarulo explained. “So they were a big priority for us, and we really wanted to tie them directly to the main quest.”
The Jail System Takes More from Skyrim Than Fallout 4
In the Elder Scrolls series, most notably Skyrim, there is a jail system where you can be imprisoned for crimes you commit. Starfield is no different, though you will have a few options if you are caught committing a crime: you can either go to jail, pay the fine when you are apprehended, or if you’re really bold, you can resist arrest and evade the law.
A Fully Pacifist Playthrough Isn’t ‘Totally Feasible’ in Starfield
If you prefer to play games where you can complete an entire playthrough without harming a single NPC, sadly you won’t be able to do so in Starfield (although we’re sure that won’t stop some from trying).
Shen and Pagliarulo noted that there’s no guarantee a player can complete every mission in Starfield without harming someone. But they did mention that “a couple of systems” are available to help those who want to avoid minimal physical confrontations.
One of those systems are Speech Challenges, where you can use the art of persuasion to avoid someone fighting you.
“The Settled Systems is mostly civilized, but it can be a dangerous place if you’re going off the beaten path,” said Pagliarulo. “And you’re absolutely going off the beaten path!”
Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Interstellar, and More Inspired Starfield’s Quests
When asked if any sci-fi media had influenced some of the quests in Starfield, Shen and Pagliarulo explained some of their influences, many of which are thoroughly unsurprisingly.
Shen, for example, explained how he is a history nerd and listens to a lot of history-centric podcasts, such as Hardcore History. Pagliarulo, a child of the late ’70s and early ’80s, explained how he has “very fond memories” of sci-fi during that time, citing Star Wars, the original Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, and even Event Horizon. He talked about what he called “headier” sci-fi, including Contact, Interstellar, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the writings of Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein.
“In all of those examples, you realize that outer space is two things: 1.) A source of mystery and wonder, sometimes terror, AND 2.) A giant blank page on which you can write any story” said Pagliarulo. “And we have written a lot of VERY different stories in Starfield.”
There Are Mechs, but You Can’t Use Them
In one of the animated shorts Bethesda released last month, we saw a brief glimpse of mechs. Pagliarulo revealed more history on the role of mechs in the Starfield universe, noting that they are around, but you cannot use them.
Pagliarulo explained that the mechs are “leftovers” from the Colony War. Both the United Colonies and Freestar Collective had mechs, but to varying degrees, and they were outlawed when the war ended.
While the mechs are not useable, Pagliarulo teased that there’s an old mech battleground in the game.
Your Parents Will Look Like You with the Kid Stuff Trait
One of the traits available in Starfield is called Kid Stuff and if your character has the trait, the duo confirmed that your parents will look like you. While not further elaborated, the feature is similar to that in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, where the father and son’s looks are based on your playable character.
Starfield’s Environmental Storytelling Adds to the Immersion
When asked what are some of their favorite small details in Starfield that help add to the immersion, Pagliarulo talked about how the environmental storytelling, from the books lying around to the notes on the bulletin boards, offers a ton of immersion.
Pagliarulo also explained how Starfield is a “NASApunk” game: that although humans live in space, the aesthetic is still “a very lived-in universe.”
You Can Buy Property in the Main Cities
Shen and Pagliarulo confirmed that you can purchase property in all the major cities in Starfield. Some you can purchase with the money you earn and some are rewards for completing specific
More Info on the Religions and Denominations in Starfield
Shen and Pagliarulo went into detail about the religions in Starfield. We previously learned that the three in the game are the Sanctum Universum, Enlightened, and Great Serpent.
“Existing, IRL religions are part of the Starfield universe, (with folks of all religions and denominations out there) but we don’t really focus on them,” Pagliarulo said. “Instead, we highlight three new ones specific to the game.”
A quick recap on the three religions in Starfield is that Sanctum Universum (aka Universals) believes God exists in the in-game universe. The Enlightened “are essentially organized atheists” that focus on humanitarian efforts. And The Great Serpent, which the faction House of Va’ruun worships, is filled with mystery with Pagliarulo explaining that “in the game, you’re not really sure what the complete truth is.”
Crew Members Can Be Assigned to Work at Outposts
Outposts in Starfield can be used in different ways: you can either build a domicile or make an outpost designed to manufacture things or mine for resources. And during the dev Q&A, we learned that you can assign crew members to work in the outposts. You only have to pay them once when assigning them to the outposts and you can even use the Speech Challenge game to negotiate the price.
Taylor is a Reporter at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.