Bethesda teases Starfield's two big 'step-out moments'

Bethesda's Starfield is still a year away, but ever since E3 2021, the company has been slowly teasing new details about the game. Today, the company published what is presumably the first in a series of developer diaries called "Into the Starfield." While the first episode doesn't really get into specifics about the game, Bethesda boss Todd Howard does drop a particularly tantalizing tease at the end.

How Starfield sticks to the Bethesda formula

Most of the discussion in this first episode of Into the Starfield is less about the game itself and more about the high-level concepts behind it. For instance, Bethesda director Todd Howard starts the episode by talking about the sense of accomplishment associated with video games and how that can often be underestimated.

The discussion then shifts to art director Matt Carofano, studio director Angela Browder, and Howard talking about the team at Bethesda and its desire to stay true to the feeling of a Bethesda game with Starfield. Howard also explains that Bethesda has wanted to make a science-fiction game since the days of Morrowind, and such a game was second only to Fallout in terms of where the team wanted to branch out from The Elder Scrolls franchise.

The video is worth a watch just to get an idea of the design philosophy behind Starfield, but also because of a moment toward the end where Howard teases that Starfield has two "step-out moments" – a tease he immediately identifies as "cryptic."

What is a "step-out moment?"

If you've never played a Bethesda game before, it might not be clear what a step-out moment is, but fans of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls likely knew what Howard was talking about as soon as they read the words in the previous paragraph. Most Bethesda games have a step-out moment at the beginning, where the player makes it through the game's opening and steps out into the open world for the first time.

In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, this was something simple like getting off the ship and stepping into the town of Seyda Neen for the first time. Later Bethesda games had more build-up before that step-out moment, such as in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, where the player has to navigate the Imperial sewers before exiting into the region of Cyrodiil. Something similar happens in Fallout 3, where players spend the opening of the game inside Vault 101 before stepping out into the post-apocalyptic wasteland that used to be Washington DC for the first time.

Howard's tease that we're getting two such moments in Starfield will undoubtedly get players guessing about what they could be. A moment where you step out into the in-game world for the first time seems like a given considering Bethesda games of the past, but what is the other? Perhaps it's the first time players leave a planet and fly into space? We'll just have to wait and find out, which unfortunately means waiting until this time next year. Starfield is out on Xbox Series X|S and PC on November 11th, 2022.