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Open-World in Starfield?

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I heard that Creation Engine, the same as all engines that were not specifically created to cater to space games - have a technical limitation due to the data type they use and its maximum possible value.

For example, float variable that represents one of 3 axis of vector point has a maximum value of 2³². Which is limiting, you cant have objects outside o these numbers


1. What prevents the developers from swapping 32bit variables to 64bit? Is it that hard? 

2. Why Bethesda didnt adapt their engine for space games, while Hello Games managed to make an open-world space-sim from scratch?

3. Using current state of things - what prevents modders from shrinking the ship and the world 50 times down to fit the 32bit precision point, split world into chunks, add directional gravity to planets and make them landable? 

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The possibility that Starfield being an open-world game intrigues me. I work in electrical estimating, which is the process of calculating the amount of electrical equipment required for structures. It's similar to playing a game where you have to be cautious and mindful of details when exploring. I'm interested to see how Starfield enhances the immersion of video games. Like dealing with electrical estimates, it's like going on an exciting trip.

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  • 2 weeks later...

While I know original poster isn't active anymore, for futere reference:

The engine wasn't developed for all this yes but had BGS given Starfield worldspaces as content rich and large as in their other titles, beyond a few modders with grandiose custom city and world projects, most people wouldn't even consider this "limitation". Max value of object reference coordinates isn't a limitating factor in practice. In theory, it is but in theory every limit is limit. Also, Starfield uses Meters so 1 "Game Unit" is much larger than 1 unit in Skyrim or Fallout 4.

1., 2.:

It's time consuming (expensive) enough for a game developer rather not do it if they think they can release a profitable game without doing so.

The code assigns/releases IDs all the time; I don't think the solution in 2024 is to replace uint32_t formIDs with uint64_t ones but to properly implement both the ID remapper or the loader. v1.9.67 is supposed to patch this issue, I haven't compared the two codes though.

From my perspective, the Creation Engine is not "inherently bad" or "completely outdated" and Starfield was a huge step toward a "fully 2023 ready" engine which step was required to release a game last year.

The engine isn't responsible for the loudest critics either:

   - procedural generation is a great addition but it's not meant to replace 90% of a handmade game world especially when it was expected from the developer based on their other titles

   - "from load screen to load screen" is bad design choice, could have been avoided but... draw calls are CPU intensive already.

   - forced dialogue menu: quickest to implement (less possibility of unexpected player input; helps out the "not always quite nice" character (face) lightning with custom light nodes; etc..)

   - enclosed menus: easiest (fastest) to make a system of them. 1. create a "template", 2. use the template as a base for the others, 3. reach the others from the template. Less designing required; more immersive menus (e.g., Chronomark UI integration) means more development time; etc..

   - character lightning is mostly a result of "fine tuning": they should've invested more time in it (the "new" lightning favors world objects but handplaced light sources still look better on NPCs).

   - "Chronomark HUD widget" shows gibberish data like 30 Celsius while snowing: whoever thought PlanetData should hold many of the environment data like temperature information wasn't thinking (unfortunately there's no other way to put it).

   - NPC AI is not a lost cause, the crowd system (without the visual appearance of crowd NPCs which is more of a result of buggy FaceGen and watered down race data like morphs) was a v0.1 toward an AI more suitable for very large number of NPCs (>160 loaded)).


It's not an open source game, no one is able to / allowed to rerelease the game almost enterely differently beyond BGS.

Edited by LarannKiar
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