Daggerfall, the award winning CRPG, was the first major title I worked on at Bethesda. For it's time the graphics received some praise but I always thought that they were lacking in a coherent style, not surprising after 2 and half years and 20 artists that had come and gone! I think there were about 3 of us who stayed on it until the end. I was responsible, as were most artist there, for a whole host of stuff. Character portraits, Logo design, textures, monsters, NPCs, Animation sequences, manual design. Most of it was a rush job, trying to get the job done by the deadline only to have it move forward again,and almost everything was redone at least once. (including the engine!)

Still, out of the mayhem came an award winning game. Perhaps even a classic. I've included some of the stuff here for you to see. Bethesda's video compression left something to be desired so where possible I've used the original render for the animation sequeneces. Bethesda have since upgraded to Smacker , which they are using on the forthcoming Redguard title.
The above image is meant to represent the inside of a mage's tower. It's intended to tie together all the Elder Scrolls titles. This is where the scrolls are held. Part of the model is reused in the Redguard intro, so keep your eyes peeled!

Lysandus' spirit is finally put to rest. The image on the right comes from an animation in which Lysandus and his skeletal spirit army areblown away by some magical wind. During work on the animation the design for castle Daggerfall in the background was changed and the model had to redone!



The Death Sequence If you've ever played Daggerfall you've seen this scene a few times. The Death sequence. You body is bourn by mages to your final resting place as a crow watches over. The mage modeling and animation is mine, as is the lighting and texturing. The crypt and landscape was modelled by Dave Plunkett. Tamriel's twin moons, Masser an Secunda, look down on the sombre proceedings.
Horse Although never used in the game the horse and rider was going to feature heavily in the game with combat on horses, and jousting. Like many other things it never made it. The original model I made was terrible! A fact that I was pointed out to me by Judy Weller, a tester for Bethesda. I remember she would come in daily to check my changes! I have to thank Judy for her critcisms though, the final result is much better and I was pleased to have it go in the game. It didn't of course, but what's an artist to do!? It actually made it to the final CD and was on the back of the box until very late in the day. If you take a look at any of the old advertising for Daggerfall you'll find the shot. Oh well...Perhaps Morrowind will implement it.


The Lich king's tomb. This was also used on Bethesda's first website, which itself was modelled on a small Tamriel town, with each area representing a different aspect of the site. I forget what the tomb represented. If anyone out there still has any of the other images I would be very grateful if you could send me a copy! Most of the graphics that were not used in Daggerfall are gone forever, such as the realtime 3D dragon, although it's skin still remains on the Daggerfall disk for all those with Andypic out there!


The Lich king's tomb. Lysandus Awakes. A major plot point in the game where the spirit of lysandus is roused from his eternal slumber and sets you on a quest. from scratch again.

The model of the skelton was from viewpoint datalabs. For a long time the skeletons in Daggerfall were hand-drawn. Players of Daggerfall may notice the strange mix of hand drawn and rendered characters. Originally after some disapointing experimants with 3D characters in Arena it was decided to use 2D for Daggerfall. After some new tests were done with the SGI's and Alias, 3D was again choosen. By that time over half the monsters had been drawn in 2D and so we set about creating them
The mesh was bought because of perceived time contraints. It was thought building the model would take too long. The average time for each monster was about one a day at that time. The 3D mesh was somewhat expensive, hence the amount of times it appears in the game, Lichs, Skeletal warriors, zombies, demo death sequences, Battlespire textures!
The Dreugh, pictured on the left, was one of the last characters to be designed. We decided that there was not enough varity in the underwater creatures so the dreugh was added to "pep" things up a bit. Its original design came from a sketch by Mark Jackson, who also worked on sketch work for Battlespire and Redguard. Once a Bethesda employee he left after Daggerfall to become freelance once again.

Centaur. The horse may not have made it into the game but the 3D mesh was used to design the centaur to the right. All of the Daggerfall characters were animated with at least 16 frames for each cycle. Unfortunately most of that animation had to be cut out to fit the grpahics into the game. The high frame graphics are now lost as Bethesda has changed networks since that time and a complete backup was not made.

Frost and Fire Daedras The fire Daedra, as does the Frost Daedra below, makes extensive use of Alias' particle system. It looked so nice in the test renders! Again due to the every present memory restraints it had to be chopped back quite a bit. Both characters went on later to reappear in Battlespire, although by then they will have doubled in size, and have more frames. Still that was not enough for many who thought that they still appeared too "pixelated".

The gargoyle. This was one of the first creatures I designed for Daggerfall. In its original rendereing it was far more human like, and much less threatening. With the ever shifting Daggerfall deadline it became obvious that the artists were going to have much longer to tweak the graphics than we had anticipated . So I decided to go ahead and redo the graphic, and tweak many more.

Orc Witch Doctor This character, a variation on the standard Orc, was completed late in Daggerfall's development. By the time I had a better grasp of modelling, texturing and lighting so I believe that this is one of my favourite characters from Daggerfall. Bare in mind that all the human-like figures that you see here are based on a model I made after only two weeks of using Alias. They were later refined for Battlespire, I gave them fingers and better proportioned bodeies, but I always felt that I should just find the time to redo them completly. Unfortunately on Daggerfall the schedule only allowed at Maximum 2 days for a character, including modelling, animating, rendering, and finally getting the graphics into a format that the programmers could use.



Please check back regularly as I intend to add links to some of the animations mentioned above.

All graphics on this page are copyright Bethesda Softworks 1996/1997/1998