Hello? Outer Wilds Ventures to Earth, do you read us? Transmissions cut out for a while back there but everything seems to be back online. We are alive!
Our sincerest apologies for the radio silence of the past few months. After getting caught in a pocket of dark matter and having to reshuffle some things internally, we are back and ready to post updates again. We have big announcements coming in the future, but we can’t talk about them just yet. In the meantime, here are a few updates on design, music, and world-building.
First up is a quick peek at the WIP level design graybox for one of the ruined Nomai cities.
Thanks to a new modular building kit, we are able to build much more expansive and intricate ruined cities, while keeping it reasonable for our art team to handle.
The rest of the solar system is coming along too. Giant’s Deep, Dark Bramble, and Timber Hearth are all officially design locked, and we’re almost done with the cave systems inside the Hourglass Twins. The caves have gone through numerous iterations since the alpha version as you can see from these snapshots of the graybox.
The caves in the alpha build. Nearly all of this has been replaced.
First iteration from the alpha. This design proved to be too sprawling considering almost every playtester became immediately lost and eventually died from lack of oxygen.
The current (near final) cave layout. Many of the extraneous paths have been pruned and playtesters now die horrible deaths only where intended.
Of course not everything hidden in the depths is waiting to kill you. We don’t want to give too much away, but this short piece composed by Andrew plays when you discover a particularly important Nomai curiosity.
We weren’t kidding earlier when we mentioned we’ve been caught in a pocket of dark matter. “Dark matter” is the temporary production name of the final new mechanic we’ve added to the game.
“A strange, exotic substance scattered in small pockets across the Solar System. It’s invisible, intensely cold, and quickly fatal to any living thing unfortunate enough to wander into its midst. Even though it cannot be seen with the naked eye, you’ll know it’s nearby when you see the unnatural frost that forms on anything in its immediate vicinity. Thankfully, the Hearthians discovered that large bodies of water are capable of preventing this strange invisible substance from spreading.”
Now anyone with a bit of familiarity with modern astrophysics will be quick to point out that although we’ve yet to detect real world dark matter, it’s almost certainly none of these things.
We’ve considered a bunch of alternative names, but none of them feel quite right, so we thought we’d invite our fans and supporters into the conversation. Here is a link to the Forum thread discussing possible names for “dark matter”. Feel free to jump in and share your ideas and opinions!
Updates on our games, our process, and the joys of being Mobius Digital.