Greetings from Outer Wilds Ventures!
Wow, it's been another month since we've gotten an update out! Anothermea culpa from everyone here at Outer Wilds Ventures, as we've had our heads down in production! What's everyone been up to on the team in June?
Design: The main goal of the designers is to get the entire solar system redesigned and playable at once, since following essential clues take players not across one planet but across the entire solar system. Currently our designers are finishing up the two most design-heavy and complex planets in the game: Brittle Hollow & the Hourglass Twins.
What makes these planets so complicated? Well, in addition to having the most content, these planets are the most intense applications to the design pillar "Things Change Over Time." For a game that takes place in a time loop, that means a lot of finetuning and playtesting and making sure that locations feel right through the significant systemic changes that take place on those planets.
The picture below shows a glimpse of what it feels like to explore the caverns of the Hourglass Twins, where rising sand affects when a player can reach certain caverns beneath the surface.
Art: The big focus of the art team recently has been modeling the ship and the characters. We're going to devote an entire update in the near future to the ship, so we're just going to show a few of the updates this time around: a lot of the focus in remodeling the ship has been trying to reincorporate the "Backpacking in Space" design pillar and incorporating more of an Apollo-era NASA feel. Another big part of the redesign has also been updating the UI to be more diegetic with every system the player uses while flying.
We'll also be showing off the characters as we give them all more of a polish pass in the very near future. That being said, we've started posing and animating the characters as well, as seen by the incredibly shy Galena below.
Tech: The tech team has been creating some super secret set piece systems that, unfortunately, we cannot reveal! These systems have to do with the biggest answers and clues that the player discovers in the game, so we want players to feel and experience something very special on reaching those locations.
We've also done a complete pass on all the ship systems. Damage is now much more specific to how and where the ship is hit, and the subsequent repair mimics what systems go out. If you hit the front of your ship, for instance, your landing cam might stop being functional. And speaking of landing cams, we updated the way you track your progress and approach to a planet with a pretty nifty analog facelift!
Additionally, we've finally gotten a body on the player character. While the spacesuit is still a work in progress, it makes a huge difference o be able to see your character in understanding how to navigate spaces by adding perspective, especially in Zero G. We're currently adding more player animations to the PC to help increase the amount of feedback the player gets when navigating complicated areas.
Audio: We are finishing up a pass of all the player SFX and updating the range of surfaces the player can step on. Amazing that the original Outer Wilds only had one footstep sound!
Writing: We just added a massive amount of text to the planets that allow players to follow clues throughout the solar system. This is a really huge step in being able to test the larger narrative and entire game, since the player is deciphering the narrative clues to figure out goals on other planets.
Woo! And that's just the not-super-secret-stuff we're allowed to show y'all in this update! As always, things are developing fast and furious here at Outer Wilds Ventures. Also, as what has fast turned into our ongoing tradition, our team rocked another Escape Room last month!That's it from Outer Wilds Ventures! We hope wherever you are, you're exploring!
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