The Outer Worlds devs talk gameplay missions, DLC, character companions and more (Pic: gamerant.com)
Once I wrapped up my demo session- playing The Outer Worlds hands-on at E3 – I sat down with Narrative Designer Dan McPhee for a quick chat about his work on the upcoming RPG.
First off, I asked about the postgame – why not start at the end, right?
According to McPhee the game has a very static ending like Fallout New Vegas – youll see vignettes that go through what happened to each character or faction in the game – but theres plenty of reasons to come back once you wrap The Outer Worlds. Obsidian Entertainment knows gamers value that sweet, sweet replayability.
“Even our playtesters are eager to just jump back in and try a different thing and keep going,” McPhee tells us.
McPhee says that instead of having a crucial decision to make at the end that decides everything, it's a bit more nuanced than that – youre more making lots of decisions throughout the story that will ultimately cater your playthrough.
At least you'll have a reason to play through it again and again, though – that Obsidian humour that you may have come to love and respect from games like Fallout New Vegas and South Park: The Stick of Truth.
McPhee tells me that most mission names “are references to golden age sci-fi short stories,” the one I saw being Slaughterhouse Clive. Cute! Expect a lot of love letters to classic Sci-Fi.
The delivery of this humour is helped by the fact that everyone in the game is voiced – except for the player character. McPhee says “it made such a difference” when the files got into the game after the many studio sessions.
Whilst they might not have been able to have two characters conversing in real time – they would bring the other characters lines into the studio to inform the direction of the conversation – so expect some quality non-rigid dialogue when the game ships out!
I asked McPhee about something hes really proud of that perhaps hasnt been pushed in the marketing campaign – we're used to seeing the bombastic trailers, the panning shots of the environments, the character models, but often the developers favourite elements of the game they've worked on are over-looked massively when the publisher rolls out the sizzle reel for the game.
He told me its all about “the little touches” for The Outer Worlds. One that he is most proud of, in particular, is a campfire soirée.
“At some point, there are three guys around a campfire with little vodka bottles. And if you take those bottles, theyll react to that – it results in a really fun conversation. Probably 99% of people arent going to do that, theyre not gonna see it, but the 1% that do are gonna crack up. Ive tried to litter that stuff through the game.”
McPhee also tells me about the factions he worked on that inhabit Monarch.
“When I was setting up two factions, I imagined, it would be interesting if you had two groups of people who dealt with this situation differently. One group is trying to hold on to that corporate identity. And the others are like, well screw them, they left us here, corporations are not the way to go.”
“And they're much more pseudo-anarchistic. They're kind of a cult of personality. And then once I establish that I have them slowly, like start to butt heads on the planet and eventually come to a conflict with a lot of really cool character-driven drama. That was really fun!”
According to McPhee, you can actually push away companions if you oppose their ideas in a serious manner, though its apparently fairly difficult to achieve.
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