The first time I left the starter town in the Outward game, I found something that looked like a giant chicken. This thing followed me when I tried to do my first quest: finding mushrooms in the troglodyte cave. She was stubborn.
He killed me.
The outside is what happens when you take an open-air RPG and throw elements of survival games like Ark: Survival. It takes the intricacies of the flashing point on the map to show you where you are. Want labels? You will also not find them on the map. And burdening is important – and you will end up fighting your wishes to be a footstep Kosto and take everything to prepare for your first voyage in the wild.
This is charming and disappointing. And Guillaume Bouche-Vidal would not have it any other way.
The creative guide and CEO and founder of Nine Dots Studio made an interview with me about Outward, which came out today on Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This is the third indie-company of the game, after its debut with the brand in 201
This is an edited transcript of our interview.
GamesBeat: This RPG feels like Ark: Survival Evolved. But then you will die for the first time. Go back to your town. Then it looks like an RPG. Guyom Bushe-Vidal: Honestly, we had some problems with people's expectations being everywhere. People who have experience with a game such as Skyrim or Fable or Witcher expect that precisely because they are familiar with this experience. Then you have this other category of gamers who play Arc and Growth and because this is their basis, they see it in the Outside. We try to be consistent when we say Outward is an RPG with survival elements, not a survival game with RPG elements.
GamesBeat: This seems really clear in the first city. That's your base, right?
GamesBeat: Is this the only city?
Boucher-Vidal: There are four cities. We have four different regions and they all have different biomies. They all have their own city to visit. I think this is one of the things we'll be talking about: this is an RPG, the fact that there are traders and NPCs and quests. People can interact with this and make the world more alive. This is not just a survival attempt, where you would expect to build your own base or something.
GamesBeat: When I was passing through the city, I've already found some quests. Just go and pick up some mushrooms, but the meaning I get from this game is that the simple search to get some mushrooms is not so simple. Boucher-Vidal: This will be a good guess, yes.
GamesBeat: This is hard. Boucher-Vidal: Well, one thing that I think will be difficult for some, and very nice to others is that Outward requires the player to learn. This will be the biggest challenge. We played so many games where we've always been content. We get our pocket devices. We are always in situations where we can easily deal with this situation. We thought that in a game like "Outside" we wanted to make it more simulating, a little bit of experience. We wanted to put on the shoes of someone who would do something dangerous. What do you need to do if you are in danger? You have to be careful. You do not have to see two bandits and think, I'll just jump in there and kill them. You just left the village. You have no experience. Two bandits that are better equipped than you, more dangerous than you – obviously can survive there and you can not. Why would you run into it without getting ready?
This idea of teaching a player, no, can not just jump on it, and if something works, well, do it. If it does not, do not go there and expect things to get better. We know that some players will hit the wall, and we are doing that. We do not agree with this. It is not meant to be a game for absolutely everyone. It is meant to be a game for people who are looking for a special special challenge.
GamsBeat: My first wall wore things. I love RPGs with weights. I started out as a player D & D and in my campaigns I used the load rules. The "External" seems to be very criminal. Even with the first bag I found lying in my house, I was so overweight. All I had was a set of padded armor, ax, flour and food. I'm still pretty early, but can you carry more? The first backpack you find the bag is just a starting point, but in the same way you can increase your bumper and weapons, you can find an improved version of backpack and ultimately have more capacity.
GamesBeat: Can you strengthen yourself to wear more?
Boucher-Vidal: There are several bumps that give you extra capacity. For example, the trader, the caravan at the entrance of the city, sells some commercial armor. This increases inventory capacity because it has pockets and everything else. This is the only way. The general merchant, even in the first village, sells a backpack, which is not just – the bag itself is just a piece of leather that is connected together.
GamesBeat: Why is the inventory so limited? Boucher-Vidal: I know quite a few games that are actually more restrictive than Outward. I think about State of Decay, for example, or even DayZ. But the essence of the idea was that any thing we can think of in the usual RPG experience that will remind me that it's a game we appreciate if we want to change it. With the inventory, the main example was that it was moving around Skyriam. I have nothing to suggest that I have a lot of room in the inventory. I see five sets of full armor in the cab and I just pick it up and then change nothing. This is almost unlimited. It just reminds you that it's just a game. For some, it is good, but for me, at the core of my experience, when I play large, especially open world games, I want to feel immersed in this world. I want this world to feel real to me. We were trying to achieve as realistically as possible the capacity of the inventory.