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Obsidian Entertainment’s recently released Peril on Gorgon DLC for their sci-fi RPG The Outer Worlds was directed by the studio’s lead narrative designer Carrie Patel. And as such, we can now check out this Gamasutra interview with her that goes over the challenges of designing a narrative-driven DLC and what it’s like to direct one.
Here’s a quick excerpt:
When it came to taking over the role of game director, Patel said there wasn't necessarily pressure to live up to Cain and Boyarski's original vision, and that the main challenge was in learning to provide vision for other, non-narrative departments that were outside her previous purview.
The DLC's noir-focused vision meant the team had to figure out how a far-off asteroid could resemble the classic look of '40s crime flicks, and how character and story could be filled out without an area filled with bustling NPCs.
"The pulp noir version of The Outer Worlds had really big implications for environment art and area lighting," she explained. "[As a director,] it's really helpful to just say 'here's the vision we want to create, and as a cross-disciplinary team, if we're all on the same page about this, what are the different tools that we have from our disciplines to do that?"
Laying the foundation for making that shared vision meant learning how to ask questions over her seven years with the studio. "I think doing well in that transition is very much about learning how to ask the questions that you need to ask," she said. "I will never be an expert programmer or an accomplished artist. But I do need to be able to talk to the programming and the art teams to understand what their processes and concerns are and how that affects the content we're gonna make."