An in-depth 3-hour interview with programmer/game designer Julian Jensen (aka Julian LeFay), the creator of the Elder Scrolls, and one of the primary forces behind classics like Arena, Daggerfall and Battlespire.
Julian LeFay is one of the most important people in the early development of The Elder Scrolls as a series, sometimes even credited with being its father. This is due to his high profile during the early development of the series, and comments by Ted Peterson and Vijay Lakshman that LeFay "spear-headed the initial development". This was really needed as, up until that time, Bethesda had never released a Role-Playing Game. Eventually, Arena developed into the most award-winning Role Playing Game of 1995.
Julian now goes by Julian Jensen, and he was kind enough to interview for a few hours while we talked about his origins, his long history with the Elder Scrolls and Terminator games at Bethesda Softworks, as well as his vision that was to be Morrowind and the continuation of the series he had a major hand in creating.
LeFay was born on Oct. 30, 1965 in Denmark. During the early 1980s, he began programming and quickly became known as one of the best Amstrad and Amiga programmers during the high period of Commodore's success. His programs have won numerous industry awards in virtually every category. Julian LeFay joined Bethesda shortly after its creation in 1987 and eventually became Chief Programmer. At this time, he was considered by many as one of the key technical people in the entertainment multimedia industry as he combined a rare mix of programming knowledge and computer language skills with proven design capability and music composition experience.
2:24 - What was your role in creating the Elder Scrolls?
13:28 - How’d you get into programming?
22:06 - Elder Scrolls tabletop origins
31:18 - Arena’s influences
40:41 - Do you still talk to the original Elder Scrolls team?
49:33 - How could Daggerfall be improved with modern technology/experience?
53:47 - Improving procedural generation
1:11:34 - What could have been done if Daggerfall got another 6-12 months?
1:29:09 - PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
1:41:39 - Why do modern devs play it safe and not innovate?
1:43:51 - Tabula Rasa
1:46:07 - Favorite game to work on
1:48:45 - Were there any big plans for the Elder Scrolls after Battlespire?
1:51:53 - Machiavelli’s prudent archers
1:55:22 - Star Citizen
1:58:39 - Elite and Elite: Dangerous
2:00:49 - The Morrowind that never was
2:05:28 - The Witcher 3
2:07:31 - Elder Scrolls: Redguard
2:18:42 - Why did you leave Bethesda?
2:22:43 - What are you up to now?
2:32:06 - Do you agree with post-2000s Bethesda’s direction?
2:34:05 - What makes Daggerfall so special and immersive?
2:37:48 - Daggerfall fan remakes
2:44:59 - Do you still play music?
2:47:34 - Eric Heberling, composer for Daggerfall
2:49:16 - What games do you play now?
2:51:24 - Mods and paid mods
2:57:18 - Anything to say to fans/modders remaking your games?
2:58:41 - Naming the gods of Tamriel
2:59:39 - Was there any secret arc or plan for the story?
3:05:38 - Work on Skullgirls
Daggerfall soundtrack was composed and arranged by Eric Heberling.
Remixes in this video were created by:
Dan Goodale, Karl Christmas, Ramon Molesworth and Robert Hood.
ARTWORK / FOOTAGE CREDITS
The Division screenshot/real life comparison:
The Terminator (1991), Terminator 2029 and The Elder Scrolls: Arena gameplay by Thriftweeds:
Battlespire gameplay by zirkoni88:
Daggerfall Unity gameplay by Galactic Chicken:
Elder Scrolls icons / mock covers by Blakegedye and King Reverant:
Sword of Sodan gameplay by World of Longplays:
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