Todd Howard

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Todd Howard, 2010

Todd Howard (* 1971 in Lower Macungie Township , Pennsylvania , United States) is an American computer game developer . He is currently Game Director and Executive Producer for Bethesda Game Studios , where he is responsible for developing the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series. The US game magazine GamePro ranked him among the 20 most influential people in the computer game industry in the last 20 years. Also in 2009 he was named one of the 100 most important game developers by the US online game magazine IGN .



Todd Howard was born in Lower Macungie Township in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and developed an interest in computers, especially computer games, at a young age. He identified Wizardry and Ultima III as his sources of influence for his upcoming games. He graduated from Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Pennsylvania in 1989 . Though he wanted to work as a game developer, he graduated from The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1993 with a two-time major in engineering and finance because "it looked like the easiest way to get through" . After playing Wayne Gretzky Hockey 3 , he applied for a job at a Bethesda office that was on his daily commute between his home and school. He was turned down and asked to try again after completing his degree, but was turned down again.

Worked for Bethesda Softworks

Howard was eventually hired by Bethesda Softworks in 1994. His early development work included producing and designing The Terminator: Future Shock and The Terminator: SkyNET .

Howard first encountered The Elder Scrolls during the development of The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall , which was released in 1996. For the offshoot The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard , published in 1998 , he was already the project manager and designer. Howard eventually also became project manager and designer for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind , as well as its download extensions and also for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion .

For the subsequently developed Fallout 3 , he took on the role of game director and executive producer. This was followed by the fifth part of the Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim , published in 2011 , which received high critical acclaim.

Howard is a regular guest speaker at industry events. His games are featured in general press formats such as Newsweek , CNN , USA Today, and The Today Show , as well as magazines worldwide.

Design philosophy

During his presentations at the DICE Summit 2009 and 2012, Howard presented his three basic rules of game development:

  • Great games are played, not made. - "You can have the best design document in the world and you will still change 90 percent of it as soon as you play the game."
  • Keep it simple - “Getting something right takes time, more time than you think. When simple systems work together, it creates a complexity that the player can appreciate. "
  • Define the gaming experience - "Don't define your game by a bulleted list ... Define it by the experience you want people to have."

He also advised developers to ignore demographic predictions or stats about the installation base and instead follow their own passion, because "if the installation base were really important, we would all develop board games because there are a lot of tables". Howard described Bethesda's philosophy for The Elder Scrolls by saying that it should allow people "to live another life in another world."


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Around the Web: Interviews edition ( English ) In: Bethblog . Bethesda Softworks . May 7, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  2. 70. Todd Howard ( English ) In: IGN . News Corp . 2009. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved June 5, 2011. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Ben Hanson: Road To Skyrim: The Todd Howard Interview ( English ) In: Game Informer . GameStop . January 13, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  4. DICE 2009: The Following Colorful Wisdom Is From Todd Howard ( English ) In: MTV Multiplayer Blog . MTV . Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved October 21, 2013. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Chris Remo: DICE 09: Bethesda's Howard On Supreme Playability ( English ) In: Gamasutra . UBM, plc . Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  6. The RPG for the Next Generation ( English ) In: The Elder Scrolls - Official Website . Bethesda Softworks . Archived from the original on February 15, 2006. Retrieved January 5, 2013.