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The outer worlds are an RPG to control the narrative



If you fall into the category of people who believe that 2010's Fallout: New Vegas was the best game in the series so The outer worlds may be for you. Last week at E3, I spoke to the game's co-director, Leonard Boyarsky, for a bonus episode of Kotaku Splitscreen, which dug deep into this cyberpunky role play.

In a closed door in a cabin belonging to Private Division, Take Two-Owned Publisher Tag The Outer Worlds a few developers from Obsidian Entertainment gathered to show the game. Through a 20-minute demonstration, they shot and swapped their way through a mission on a failed colony plan called Monarch. It looked great, combining sci-fi gunplay and abilities (plasma rifles! Slow time!) With the massive dialogue trees and branch paths that obsidian fans expect. The demo showed a variety of ways to approach each piece of the mission, and it was so strange, quirky and fun.

Then I spoke to Boyarsky about developing The Outer Worlds player's choice, gunplay, the scope of the game and much more. Listen to the above or read an excerpt here:

Jason Schreier: Of course, this is a game of player choice, but it is also a game that explores some very relevant political issues: companies, dystopia, capitalism. Is there anything you are trying to say with this game? Is there a message you are trying to send?

Boyarsky: Ironically, it did not seem to be as prescient as it does now, when we started it in April 2016. It has become a bit more pointed than we had hoped for. Even more so than capitalism or business, it is really about people who control stories and stories. And if people control the story, you tell yourself, they control you.

We always love to make a game where the player comes from outside, and we have done this again – you enter this world where all these people have been indoctrinated in this mindset and even the people who are rebellious against it, has been brought up in that system, so the ways they think about traveling against the system are also created by the system. Then the player comes in and looks around and says, "This is insane." It really is where we were, and it seems much more prescient and point-headed than we might have originally wished. Of course, there is much talk about companies and how they are, so it's not an accident, but we're about exploring philosophical themes while having a fun, great gaming experience.

We never want it to be too heavy. We will never feel that we are refining people or trying to make a very specific point. We really tried hard to ensure that whatever character it is in the game, they feel as if they are very realistic and have realistic motivations. When you talk to the people on the board, they have a very realistic or at least understandable perspective. You may not agree with that, but it makes sense why they think that way.


Listen much more to the whole episode. As always, you can subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts and Google Play to get all episodes as it happens. Leave us a review if you like what you hear and reach us at splitscreen@kotaku.com with all questions, requests and suggestions.


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