Todd Howard is the executive producer at Bethesda Game Studios.
Howard has spent over a decade in the video game industry. Having been educated at the College of William and Mary in Virginia he joined the fledgling Bethesda game development studio in 1994. One of Howard's first assignments was to work on the first Elder Scrolls game, The Elder Scrolls: Arena.
Over the years he continued to contribute to various titles, and is currently Executive Producer of The Elder Scrolls series. Howard has commented that he intends to avoid inclusion of mindless filler in any of Bethesda's games, especially Oblivion, although he admits this has happened in the past—saying that despite the fact each game is the previous one's sequel, total reinvention is the prerogative.
His major credits include being project leader and designer of Morrowind, design on Daggerfall, producer and designer of The Terminator: Future Shock and SkyNET. He was also the project leader and designer of The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard.
Todd Howard spoke before developers at the 2009 D.I.C.E. Summit, sharing his three rules of game development:
- Great games are played, not made – "You can have the greatest design document ever made, and you're going to change 90 percent of it as soon as you play the game."
- Keep it simple – "Doing something really well takes time, more time than you think it will. Simple systems acting together create complexity that players can appreciate."
- Define the experience – "Don't define your game by a list of bullet points... define it by the experience you want people to have."
He also said that developers should ignore demographics and installed base, and follow their passions, saying "if install base really mattered, we'd all make board games, because there are a lot of tables."