No stone is left unturned in Starfield, as all of the Starfield planets contain mysteries to become enraptured within. Such mysteries also relate to the many Starfield religions you can become affiliated with. With so many aspects of the game to perfect, Bethesda calls upon the perspective of a former Fallout franchise writer to give the game’s religions a touch of authenticity.
In a recent interview with Polygon, lead designer Emil Pagliarulo explains “We actually had Shane Liesegang, who was one of our writers [at Bethesda] […] He’s now studying to be a Jesuit priest. We talked to him about ‘If we were to make this real, this religion, what would we do? How would we write it?'” Linesegang previously provided his writing talents on both Skyrim and Fallout 4.
“He advised us and did some writing for us, he wrote for the Sanctum Universum, and it really grounded it in the believable,” adds Pagalirulo.
Pagliarulo details that Starfield’s two main religions are where much of the focus is, at least from a story perspective. “There’s the Sanctum Universum, and they’re sort of the church where they believe that humans going through space and being able to explore the universe is a sign that God exists, and God wants us to be closer to him. And then there’s the Enlightened, basically an atheist church. They’re humanists; they’re just like, ‘There’s nothing theological about this’.”
To flesh out the worlds of Starfield further, Pagliarulo says that Bethesda “all the existing religions are still there in the world, in the universe, but we focus on the two new ones because those two religions accentuate the vibe of theology in the game.” Crafting the game’s religions isn’t just informed by Liesegang’s assistance, but also Pagliarulo’s childhood and growing up Catholic.
Pagliarulo says “that’s why both views are represented in the game. There’s the atheist view, there’s the more agnostic, religious view, but we don’t answer that question for the player. We don’t say what’s out there or what’s causing their thing — it’s open to interpretation.”