We’ve got lots of things to talk about in this update about our new art style!
The New Art Style
We know a lot of people were surprised by the upgraded art style in Outer Wilds, so here’s our Art Director, Wesley Martin, with a little more information on what’s been going on behind the scenes.
Working with Annapurna, we tested a variety of approaches from higher detail and more realistic to stylized and cartoony. We eventually found a solution in the graphic simplicity of national park posters, which not only felt true to the naturalistic feel of the Outer Wilds’ Alpha, but fixed a number of our production problems. By creating geometry with sharp, stylized shapes, we were able to clearly define walkable surfaces for players and adhere more closely to the design greyboxes. By using simplified textures with large-scale gradients, we were able to create a sense of depth and make the planets look good while on foot and from afar. In addition, because we had spent time iterating on the art style, the design team had time to dramatically improve the level design throughout the game before our new final art pass.
Outer Wilds will be at PAX East next week. If you’re going, you can stop by and play the game!