There is so much science fiction these days, whether modern or classic, it’s hard to think of new things. A task Obsidian also had to solve in the sci-fi role-playing game The Outer Worlds released last year. There is always inspiration, the stories repeat themselves with different parameters. The question arises: how do I stand out from this futuristic mass?

“It’s very difficult to do something new and unique these days and get attention,” said Obsidian Tim Cain, co-director of the game at The Outer Worlds. “A useful aspect of our game was humor. The humor is very specific and difficult to imitate. Our game had a humorous approach that extended to many other areas such as visual style, dialogue, story, and individual names and object names. Due to the humor, the game was not only different from others, it remained in the memory of the players. ”

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In the end, there were a lot of different inspirations for the game, Cain explains, “because we’re all huge fans of movies and video games.” As his greatest sources of inspiration, he names Fallout for the game mechanics and humor, Firefly for the setting, and Futurama for “even more humor and silly science.”

Futurama meets Fallout meets Firefly.

It’s no surprise that The Outer Worlds is very similar to Fallout: “Leonard Boyarsky and I developed the first Fallout together, so you can clearly see that influence in The Outer Worlds,” he says. “It goes from game mechanics to humor, which is a mixture of Leonard’s black and my rather light humor. Although “influence” is not the right word to describe it. Fallout is more of an example of what Leonard and I do when we work together. And The Outer Worlds is just another example. They are similar because we both developed them. ”

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One thing Cain touched on in The Outer Worlds was the difficult entry into role-playing games. “In the 90s and early 2000s, I did role-playing games that allowed the player to watch an intro sequence for a few minutes at the start,” he recalls. “Then they created their character, choosing their skills, traits and other values ​​that they wanted to explore in this new world. “

“They were able to adjust their decisions later, but I still felt like we were asking them to make big decisions,” Cain added. “And before they get a feel for what’s important or what you’re having fun with, The Outer Worlds players first make some basic decisions. They choose the attributes and categories of skills, the big decisions come later. There is no need to focus on specific skills, advantages or weaknesses until you have played the game for a while. ”

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The genre has evolved.

There were a few years between the first Fallout (1997) and The Outer Worlds (2019). A time when the genre developed. How does this manifest in the latter? “I can think of a few aspects of how The Outer Worlds illustrates the evolution of role-playing games,” he explains. “One of them is the way we handle quests. There were very simple tasks in Fallout, like finding the water flea. And that’s all. No clue as to where it is or what to do with it after using it found. It was the player’s job to find out all of this. ”

“The opposite of The Outer Worlds is to find a current regulator,” he continues. “The task is:” Go to Edgewater and find out about a current regulator. Once you find it, bring it back to the ship to set it up. It’s a lot easier and clearer, and most importantly, if you don’t play for a week, you won’t lose track. ”

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Another aspect is the system of weaknesses. “The idea of ​​having a character who doesn’t always improve and has drawbacks from time to time makes it an entertaining role-playing game,” Cain is convinced. “It’s an idea that was difficult to sell 20 years ago. In truth, I did not succeed at the time. It took decades before I found a way to add weakness to an RPG, which on the one hand reacts to player actions and secondly there are decisions you like to make. The weaknesses represent the “role” in the role play. Hopefully, these will pave the way for more systems that define character instead of just saying “here are new things your character can do.” “”

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Immerse yourself in a sci-fi world with the creators of Fallout.

Another point where The Outer Worlds differs from many modern games is the game length. Compared to the latest games in the Assassin’s Creed series or other current role-playing games, it is significantly shorter. According to Cain, this is not due to the fact that it is a new brand: “We made the decision in favor of a shorter game only for reasons of time and budget”, emphasizes- he does. “Of course, a new brand is more difficult to develop than a well-known brand. And I’m convinced that Fallout: New Vegas had the advantage that all the developers knew what a Fallout game looked like and how it felt. “

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“They also had thousands of pre-built assets and an engine designed specifically for the game,” Cain added. “There were a lot of scripted examples of how many things could be done. At the Away Worlds we did everything from scratch – with an engine we had never used before. And I think the team is doing a fantastic job done! ”

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