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Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, a couple of legendary game designers who are currently working on The Outer Worlds over at Obsidian Entertainment, recently had a chat with the Den of Geek folks. If you'd like to know what role-playing means for these two developers and how their ideas that originated with Fallout can now be traced to The Outer Worlds, you should read the resulting interview. Here's a few sample paragraphs:
“We don’t want you to feel like you’re doing something wrong by playing the character the way you want to play them,” Boyarsky says. “You have to deal with the consequences of your actions, but it’s your story. You should feel like the game is, in its own way, rewarding you for playing your character.”
In The Outer Worlds though, playing your character isn’t just about telling the game who you think you are. More often than not, you define yourself through your actions.
“In our game you wouldn't say you were an alcoholic,” Cain says. “You'd play the game for a while and if you drink a lot of alcohol, we'd say, ‘Hey, you seem to use a lot of alcohol, you want to be a drug addict?’ We offer it to you. So a lot of our character building stuff doesn’t just happen during character creation.”
The idea of forcing players to deal with the consequences of their actions in a potentially negative way isn't something we see in a lot of RPGs and other games which want to send players on a power trip. In games like Fallout and The Outer Worlds, though, part of the joy of the experience comes from watching how the world reacts to your sometimes bad decisions. In fact, there are times when those bad decisions end up being more memorable than the good ones.