Big Huge Games grabs big huge game designer

Ken Rolston, lead designer on Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, skips retirement to work on new console RPG from Rise of Legends developer.

Rolston rocks the beret.

Big Huge Games, developers of the Rise of Nations series, is expanding its portfolio beyond real-time strategy titles and venturing into role-playing games with a to-be-announced RPG project. However, this doesn't mean the developer won't be without an RPG vet to guide the game's development.

On its Web site, the company today announced that it has convinced Ken Rolston, a 25-year vet of the industry, to put off retirement and join Big Huge Games as lead designer on its new project.

Rolston's last game as lead designer was one of 2006's best--the award-winning The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The former pen-and-paper RPG designer also worked on Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and its expansions, as well as the action RPG game Battlespire.

No details have been revealed about the upcoming game, other than the fact that it will be a console RPG.

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Discussion

99 comments
Cheekydude
Cheekydude

Oblvion is an excellent game and i am glad he put off retirement as if he did retire there would be no oblivion!Thank god!

dryden555
dryden555

Rumor has it he didnt like Oblivion and was happy to get away from Bethesda

Pangamaster
Pangamaster

I HOPE there will be another elderscrolls game

grim_fandango
grim_fandango

Oh cool, can't wait to see what he produces in his next game :)

Dabbur
Dabbur

Nice, but I hope he will still do The Elder Scrolls.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

YES!! As an avid fan of all RPG and RTS games since they first started making them, it's like a dream come true to hear that the designer of the best RPG of all time is working with the developer of the best RTS of all time. This should be fantastic.

Jah_Glow
Jah_Glow

Now here's to hoping that the game they make is another award-winner! :D What I mean is, I hope they can make something even more openly loved -- by fans of Elder Scrolls and casual gamers, etc. Rise of Nations crashed my PC when I attempted to install it, so let's hope they do a better job with this one, lol.

-HCMF-
-HCMF-

good pick up, and they still have a first round pick left...

dnathug
dnathug

Nice pick up, hope they made something special. I like the beret. lol

omegabyte
omegabyte

"i'm gonna have to agree with you there...auto-leveling was a horrible design decision...fortunately, it didn't ruin the experience for me...i still found a lot to love about the game" I disagree on that part, I think the auto-levelling was a good idea, but it was just poorly implemented due to how your character actually levelled up. Experience points and auto-improving main skills would have gone a long way to reducing the tedium of forcing your combat skills and minor skills up before you levelled. In any case, what really ruined the game for me was the repetitive nature of the combat system. Block, swing, block, swing, etc. There really wasn't a lot to the actual combat system at all, all the effort was put into the graphics and world design and the flawed levelling system.

sigma8
sigma8

"There was no point to leveling up your character or exploring for rare gear, when the world around you level up as you did." In addition to that, unlike Morrowind before it, there was basically only one terrain-type, rolling grassy hills, sometimes with forest. And of course, the boringly indentical oblivion-realms through the gates. Fewer cultural styles were present in the game, and were generally restricted to cities. So apart from little incentive to get better levels or gear that might be in hard to reach places, there was also little incentive to even see the place, since all the places tended to look the same. Oblivion fell somewhere between an incredibly fantasmastic technology demo and a weak game, IMO. The part I enjoyed most about it was just walking through the countryside and (almost) smelling the roses.

mwa
mwa

@gamerTag-shank: i'm gonna have to agree with you there...auto-leveling was a horrible design decision...fortunately, it didn't ruin the experience for me...i still found a lot to love about the game

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

He designed some good games. Too bad his new project will be only for consoles. :(

gamerTag-shank
gamerTag-shank

"ketsuatama Oblivion really entertained a diehard FPS fan like me so roll on , Rolston, and give me something good!" But see, it really dissapointed a diehard RPG and ElderSCrolls fan like me. Unfortunately, the same "features" that got non RPG gamers to give it a go, are the ones that ruined it for a lot of RPG fans. Oblivion had huge potential, but was ruined by the lame "auto-leveling" feature of the world. There was no point to leveling up your character or exploring for rare gear, when the world around you level up as you did.

Butcherski
Butcherski

Paje, read the lest two words of the news ... there is no hope left

Phaje
Phaje

hmm, i just hope he makes another actual rpg and not that ******* 'action rpg' bull****

Phaje
Phaje

awesome. i look forward to seeing his next project

geebus
geebus

developers developers developers

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

Have no doubt it will be ported to PC within months of it's release.

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

Greatness shall flow from his mighty brain once more. I wonder which system(s).

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

DarknessTDA "I hate console games unless they're VERY good" = What a stupid thing to say, do you like BAD PC games then ! I agree, stop moaning PC brats, if this guy wants to work on whatever project then its his choice. Oblivion was excellent on the 360. Fan-boys are, insecure, immature and pathetic ! These company's are out to make money, hence if they can release on various platforms they will, its business not some geeks personal satisfaction !

fionndruinne
fionndruinne

Whine, whine whine... unless it's a PS3 exclusive, which console I will never be rich enough to own, I'm eager to see it, console-only or no. There's nothing at all wrong with console RPG's, even though I have a fondness for the computer. But a Big Huge RPG? Sounds great! I love Rise of Legends; the scope of the world is far larger than what was required just for a good RTS. That kind of attention to detail is highly commendable, and should translate fantastically well to an RPG.

CookiesCream
CookiesCream

interesting. yeah, wish it was a PC game.

Rokin1
Rokin1

I could be interested if it was about PC game

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

Thats great news, kudos to Ken Rolston

ronnet
ronnet

DarknessTDA : ''Grrr! MICROSOOOOOFTT!!! >'' I hope your right and it is Microsoft's doing. That wya the console mentioned is the 360. 360 has one great RPG line up, and big huge games makes big huge RTS, so hopefully they are going to make on big huge RPG. With Rolston on the project they'll probably will.

DarknessTDA
DarknessTDA

Grrr! MICROSOOOOOFTT!!! >:( I loved Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends, and then I saw: "New game from BHG, awesome! What... RPG? Okay, I like RPG's! WHAT!? CONSOLES!? NOOOOOO!!!" That is one more great PC game devaloper jumping to consoles to produce a dumbed down game. This means that I'll propably have to wait for many more years to get a new Rise of Nations sequal; something I am not very happy about. And yes, I am a PC fanboi. I hate console games, unless they're VERY good. (Like Okami)

Atomic_Mutant
Atomic_Mutant

I recall him rather morose about the constraints put on his freedom as the lead for Oblivion, before his resignation from Bethesda. Oblivion may not have been the pinnacle of what he thought could contribute to the genre. I hope BHG allows him more creative leeway for him to implement the next greatest idea to move the genre forward, even if it would be console exclusive.

JLCrogue
JLCrogue

Thranin "Wonderful news! :) Anyone who worked on Oblivion not retiring is good news." Agreed, especially if it's the lead designer! :D

Thranin
Thranin

Wonderful news! :) Anyone who worked on Oblivion not retiring is good news.

tanenbaum
tanenbaum

I had Ken Rolston's brother, David Rolston, as my classical chinese philosopy professor., at University of MIchigan. He mentioned his brother worked on Morrowind, I had no idea he was the lead game designer. Funny to log onto gs, and see his picture and a news story.

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Barely got any time in retirement...

ketsuatama
ketsuatama

Oblivion really entertained a diehard FPS fan like me so roll on , Rolston, and give me something good!

UnknownPerson55
UnknownPerson55

im thinking of buying oblivion. the lack of online is making me stray away from it. ill probably end up buying it though.

LittleYoshi
LittleYoshi

RPG are awesome! Don't hate on RPG dude. Kingdom Hearts 2 ROCKS!!!

blue-fish
blue-fish

I hate RPG's for the most part, but I was blown away by Oblivion, I do not think it was over rated at all.

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

0dazubeN I personaly loved Oblivion where as Morrowind seemed to un-userfreindly and Oblivion seemed perfect for new to the series folks so In my eyes the people saying it was overrated have only statements and nothing to back it up at all... Morrowind is the more difficult game from what little I have played of it, my only real complaint about it is that, compared to Oblivion, the characters seem to move a little on the slow side.

0dazubeN
0dazubeN

I personaly loved Oblivion where as Morrowind seemed to un-userfreindly and Oblivion seemed perfect for new to the series folks so In my eyes the people saying it was overrated have only statements and nothing to back it up at all...

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

I was going to say, "Now all they need is Purina and they're all set!" but now that I see this guy was involved in Morrowind and Oblivion, I've got nothing but nice things to say. :)