The Outer Worlds Dev Reveals The Content It Cut From The Game And Explains Why
Obsidian speaks about how it removed "chunks" of the main story and cut an entire planet from the sci-fi RPG.
In a new Noclip documentary, which you can watch below, game director Leonard Boyarsky said the team "had to make one cut too many." Specifically, the studio decided to axe some content that would have shed more light on some of the companion characters, while the company also removed some main story chunks.
Despite these cuts, Obsidian remains proud of The Outer Worlds because if people are calling for more content, that means they like the game, Boyarsky said.
"We had to make one cut too many. All through the project we were making cuts. We started out with a smaller scope in mind and we found out that that was too big as we went, and we made several rounds of cuts," the developer said. "The last cut for me was the painful one. Because I feel like I would have liked to have a little more depth in some of our characters. I wish you could have delved a little bit deeper into who our companions were and had a little bit more reactivity there. But at the end of the day, if somebody says the biggest problem with your game is it's too short that means they liked it."
Regarding the story cuts, Boyarsky said this content would have helped the story more naturally progress towards its finish. In the final version, the ending feels rushed, he said.
"We had to cut some chunks out of the main story, but we did it early enough so it didn't feel disjointed. But we felt we could have built to the end a little bit better," Boyarsky explained. "That's one thing I've seen, that people feel like the end kind of jumps up all of a sudden without much warning, and I feel like we could have built a little more towards that."
The Outer Worlds' other director, Tim Cain, also remarked that it's a good sign if people finish a game and want more of it. "If the biggest complaint about our game is that it's too small and people want more of it, that's good. We told our story. We had lots of side quests and lots of interesting companion characters. And we were really happy with the scope," he said.
The developers added that it was always the plan, from the beginning of development, for The Outer Worlds to be a "shorter game" to encourage people to replay it and experience the branching narrative options.
Obsidian cut an entire planet from the game. "It hurt to cut that because it makes all the areas on Terra 2--Roseway, Byzantium, Edgewater--kind of feel disjointed," Cain said.
The Outer Worlds was the first game that Obsidian created using the Unreal Engine 4, and this led to production problems that limited what the studio could achieve in an efficient manner, the team said in the documentary.
The Outer Worlds is set to expand with new story DLC in 2020, while the base game is growing, too, with a launch for Nintendo Switch scheduled for June following a COVID-19-related delay.
The Outer Worlds was published by GTA company Take-Two's indie label, Private Division. Going forward, the franchise will be published by Microsoft, which acquired Obsidian in 2018. Microsoft believes The Outer Worlds could become a new franchise, and it's exciting to think about what the team could do with the resources and backing of a giant like Microsoft.
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