Starfield’s lead quest designer, also a Bethesda design director, is leaving the studio to help other genre veterans make another open-world RPG.
Will Shen was the lead quest designer and eventually design director on Starfield - meaning he’s responsible for some of the space epic’s very best moments - but he’s actually been working on Bethesda RPGs since Fallout 3. In an interview with Game Developer, Shen confirmed that he’s now joining developer Something Wicked Games, a studio that was founded by another ex-Bethesda lead. The team now houses an all-star lineup of RPG developers with former BioWare, Bethesda, and Obsidian staff employed at the new studio.
Shen said his new role would bridge the gap between the studio’s narrative and design teams to help the game achieve a more cohesive vision. “I think one of the things that makes triple-A role-playing games really come together is when it feels like the game has some kind of singular direction,” he said.
Something Wicked’s debut game is a brand-new RPG called Wyrdsong, which combines a dark fantasy setting with real-world myths and historical horrors. We interviewed the studio’s CEO, Jeff Gardiner, last year to chat about the Lovecraftian horror, and he shed some light on the game’s differing tones.
“I’m a big fan of contrast, so there’s times when it’s more relaxed and you’re having fun and it’s sort of serene,” Gardiner said. “Then there are these moments of abject horror.” Gardiner also likened the world’s moody but fun atmosphere to Fallout - a shattered world that can still make you laugh.
While we wait for those frights, here are the best RPGs to play right now.