The Elder Scrolls series is known for its vast, open worlds and complete character control, from skills to the adventures they go on, but as any longtime fan knows, that’s only part of what makes the franchise special. The music and sound design help solidify each game, from Arena to Oblivion and next week’s Skyrim as the epitome of fantasy epics.

We recently shared the short live-action Skyrim trailer and a new set of screenshots. After taking a look at some of the concept art behind the game, today we have a pair of new behind-the-scenes videos for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which explore the making of the game as well as the work that went into its sound design and score.

As the team at Bethesda explains in the “making of” video, it was never about whether or not they’d make a 5th Elder Scrolls, it was how it would be different. The answer is obsessing over the little details and giving players a lot more control over all the actions and tasks in the game: cooking, eating, alchemy, skinning animals, crafting items, improving items, cutting wood, mining ore, assassination maneuvers, spell casting, etc. It’s all been changed, along with an entirely revamped menu system and leveling mechanic.

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

The key takeaway from this brief video is how the developers have so much work to do in offering so many games in one. It has to be a great fighting game, a great magic came, a great stealth game and of course, a massive adventure.

If that’s not a big enough challenge, let’s talk about the music behind the game. Bethesda’s Todd Howard explains some of the ideas they wanted to implement to make the score and feel of Skyrim unique – what they came up with is a desire to have The Elder Scrolls theme done by a barbarian choir… done in the Dragon language. More specifically, they wanted it done in the Dragon language, in theme, that not only rhymes… but when translated to English, it also makes sense… and rhyme. Not too much to ask for right? That theme, written in a single weekend by the incredibly talented Jeremy Soule, set the tone for the music and feel of the game.

The genius behind the design and the power of the music is a must-witness experience so check out the video below for the work that went into the music, the sound and the voices of Skyrim, where they’ve gone from 12 voice actors to over 70, including Hollywood talent such as Christopher Plummer:

Excited yet?

For more on Skyrim, check out:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim releases November 11, 2011 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. What type of character will you aim to play as?

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

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