Interesting timing with the reveal of their next project in a few days, Obsidian Entertainment project director J.E. Sawyer offers a fireside chat write-up on building better worlds. Here's a taste, as usual:
No matter what the flavor of the setting may be -- fantasy, sci-fi, modern day espionage... a town in Colorado -- worlds are places we want to explore filled with characters we feel passionate about. Curiosity makes us want to explore. An interest in the unknown. Fascination and wonder at what we'll see if we go left instead of right. Visuals are part of it, but it's about the atmosphere and the feeling we get from stepping into a place we've never been part of before. When we see the way the world and the folks in it work, what drives it and them, no matter how mundane or fantastic, we believe in it.
To feel for characters at all, we need to make a connection with them. To make a connection with them, we need to believe that if we were put in their shoes, maybe we'd follow the same path they're on. When we talk about mature themes, we're not describing arterial spray. We're talking about character motivations that we sympathize with in the setting. When we get to our nemeses after hunting them down for 50 hours and they say, "Man, do you see what I have to deal with?" we nod and say, "Yeah, I guess I do..." even as we're reluctantly beating their faces in with a morningstar.