Each installment of The Elder Scrolls series is massive and with each release, players have learned to expect two things: a countless amount of gameplay hours and a countless amount of bugs/tweaks/patches/mods which define the experience after the game launches.

With Skyrim, the series reached a new high in what Bethesda can offer players, but it was still missing a lot of the little things needed to make the experience complete. Normally, this is where the community comes in now that the official Skyrim Creation Kit is available to download, but we can’t forget that the developers of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are also a part of that community and want similar things from the game.

So, when Skyrim launched, Bethesda conducted a “Game Jam” where they had all of the staff who worked on the game create and work on whatever they want for a full week, as long as it was within Skyrim. They then met for big company meeting and showcased what came of the week and the results were rather impressive, while partially disappointing at the same time for the simple reason that this stuff wasn’t included in the game. They’ve now released a sizzle reel of some of the videos shown internally at the meeting, showcasing gameplay improvements and new features including:

New Gameplay Mechanics & Creatures

  • Build a house.
  • Goblins, outdoor Draugr, werebears, giant monster crabs.
  • New Mounts: Dragons, flaming skeletal demon horses
  • Kinect dragon shouts.
  • Snow foot prints.
  • Vampire feeding.

Environmental Improvements

  • Seasonal Foliage.
  • Flow-based Water Shader.
  • Improved underwater visuals.
  • Lights can be knocked out with water arrows.
  • Hanging structures and moving platforms in dungeons.
  • Strong water currents in dungeons.
  • Fast-Travel waygates.

AI Improvements

  • NPCs will re-light darkened areas with torches.
  • Companion commands: set favorites, combat style, equipment, distance, training & more.
  • Adopt NPC kids!

Combat Improvements

  • The return of spears! (not been in the series since Morrowind)
  • Kill cams for magic and ranged attacks.
  • Paralysis ruins to trap enemies.
  • Combo spells (mix two and create something new).
  • Mounted combat
  • Water, fire, ice arrows.

Now, take a look for yourself and see what creativity can result in:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYOFLqItuW4

A lot of these things seem simple and certainly make us wonder why they weren’t included at launch. Snow footprints, companion commands, mounted combat, spears, vampire feeding, etc. are basic gameplay features that other RPGs, and in some cases, even previous games in the series had. Things like Kinect dragon shouts and other commands have been implemented in the game by users in a far deeper and complex way already, so watching this video raises our expectations in what Bethesda should release in upcoming patches and/or DLC.

The end of the video reads:

“That was just a taste. It was one of the most productive, creative weeks we’ve had. What if we worked like that more often? What could we do?

Now, what if they spent an extra week or two doing this stuff before the game launched? What a twist! We love Skyrim and it’s easily one of our favorite games of 2011, but it was missing a lot of the smaller things and it did have too many bugs. So, for The Elder Scrolls VI, let’s slow it down and worry about polish more than a release date. Take advantage of the team’s creativity and definitely do more of these creative weeks more often. It would result in a better, more realized game.

What things from the video do you want added to Skyrim the most?

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

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