The Outer Worlds - Carrie Patel on Writing Challenges

During a recent GDC Showcase, Obsidian Entertainment’s game director Carrie Patel answered a number of questions regarding her work on Pillars of Eternity and The Outer Worlds, and the key differences between writing for an isometric and a first-person RPG. This Gamasutra article transcribes a couple of those.

Here’s a quick excerpt:

Patel broke down differences like this: at the top-level, Pillars of Eternity’s top-down camera (and occasional tableau scenes) afforded much more reliance on prose and third-person descriptions to carry the mood of a scene. In Pillars, Patel and her colleagues wrote not just dialogue, but brief character descriptions that captured their reactions, and what they might physically do in a small bubble around them.

When working on The Outer Worlds, Patel said she “really miss that ability to write descriptive prose and let that do some of the storytelling and heavy lifting, and handle the emotional beats of someone who is saying one thing but emoting another.”