Outer Wilds - jeffl
(this is a crosspost)

Hello everyone!

We’re making our way to Brittle Hollow in this week’s developer update.

Meaningful Play

Our writer Kelsey Beachum will be presenting a talk at Meaningful Play this year, October 11 - 13th. This talk will address the challenges of writing for an open-world game and in telling a linear story through a nonlinear delivery. This would be an excellent talk to listen to for those who are interested in writing for video games!

Details about the event can be found here.

Brittle Hollow

Brittle Hollow is one of the most alien locations in Outer Wilds. From the outside, it appears to be a rocky planet with glacial poles, orbited by a volcanic moon known as Hollow’s Lantern.


The fragile geode, Brittle Hollow.

As time passes, however, it is revealed to be a planet-sized geode that crumbles to pieces as it is bombarded by meteors ejected from its moon. When a chunk of the planet’s crust takes enough damage, it falls into a black hole at the planet’s core. The interior of the crust is covered in striking crystal formations and a variety of Nomai structures.


Most of Brittle Hollow’s fragments destroyed.

Brittle Hollow’s geode crust is made almost entirely from an extensive rock kit. The rock kit is composed of seven different sets, each defined by its size, and within each set there are around eight variations of the rocks, totaling over 50 pieces. All of these pieces add up to a highly adaptable kit that works to support the hand crafted level design.


Top and bottom of one of Brittle Hollow’s fragments.

The crystalline portion of the crust uses the same custom BRDF shader we talked about in our previous update, which allows us to give it a unique lighting model that appears to refract and scatter light in unusual ways.


​Under the crust of Brittle Hollow.

Other than the modular rock kit that is unique to Brittle Hollow, this planet’s poles are capped with snow. The glacial poles also contain many modular ice chunks, combined with a lot of custom work to carve out their interiors. Using Brittle Hollow’s unique rock and ice kits the team was able to support the complex nature of the planet’s level design.

PAX West 2018

Just another reminder that Outer Wilds will be at PAX West! More details in the coming weeks!

PAX West is August 31st through till September 3rd 2018 in Seattle, WA.

That’s the End of This Update

Join us in another two weeks for another development update. Have a great weekend everyone!

Cheers,

Mobius
Outer Wilds - jeffl
(this is a crosspost from the Mobius website)

Hello everyone!

Before we get into our development update, we’d like to recap our E3 experience.

E3 Recap

We won one of the Rock Paper Shotgun’s Editors Choice Award 2018 and received two nominations from Game Informer for Best in Show 2018 and PC Gamer for Best of E3 2018.

Thank you to all of you who made it out to E3 and for all the enthusiastic responses to everything we show!


Before our Twitch segment at E3.

For those curious, here are links the various articles that mention Outer Wilds from E3:

Outer Wilds Gameplay Demo - E3 Live 2018
Top Ten of E3: Rock Paper Shotgun
Outer Wilds: Rock Paper Shotgun Article
The Best Indie Games of E3: Game Informer
10 Best Games of E3: Paste
Top Ten Games of E3: Arstechnica

What is the Actual Release Date?

While we haven’t announced a specific day or month yet, we will definitely be releasing Outer Wilds in 2018. The crazy date listed on the Xbox One store was the result of placeholder shenanigans. Let us reassure you that you won’t need to employ the services of a cryostasis lab to get your hands on a copy of Outer Wilds.

Giant’s Deep: Visual Effects (VFX)

From the outset we knew Giant’s Deep would be our most visual effects (VFX) heavy planet. As a gas giant with an ocean that is dotted with tornadoes that send islands flying, Giant’s Deep was our testing ground for developing and refining many of the VFX techniques that we use throughout the game.

The first and largest feature of Giant’s Deep is its various layers of atmosphere. At its outermost layer, Giant’s Deep uses the same atmosphere shader as Timber Hearth, with different settings to reflect its non-breathable atmosphere. Below that is a thick swirling layer of clouds, created with multiple overlapping textures to create the churning effect, with special rotating spiral caps on the poles. To add to the stormy nature of the planet, we created a dynamic heat lightning generator that spawns randomized chains of lights inside the cloud layer. This was made translucent so that the lightning shows up brighter in the areas where the clouds are thinnest.


Lightning arcs through the clouds of Giant’s Deep.

Dotted across the surface of the ocean are the wandering tornadoes that form Giant’s Deeps’ complex physics system. As the tornadoes wander, they will toss islands (or the player) into orbit, where they will float in Zero G before plummeting back down through the clouds. It was important for us that these tornadoes all look unique, so we created a system of joints for each tornado that each move in randomized circular patterns, much like a sand pendulum. We also created volumes at the base of each tornado that modify the height map of the ocean so that the water is pulled visually into the cyclones.


A field of wandering tornadoes.

In addition to the massive structural elements like the clouds, ocean and cyclones, there are a number of other effects that help to sell the physical nature of the stormy surface. There is a rain system that dots the player’s helmet visor with refractive water droplets and streams that respond differently based on whether you look up at the sky, drop your head down, or dunk under water. There are leaves fluttering on the wind that intensify when a tornado is near. Finally, we created massive, complex splash meshes so that when an island crashes from space we have an appropriately large scale effect to signal the impact.


An island dropped into the sea of Giant’s Deep.

The underwater layer of Giant’s Deep also contains a variety of challenging visual effects problems, but those secrets must remain hidden until you explore them for yourself!

That’s the End of This Update

Join us in another two weeks for another development update. Have a great weekend everyone!

Cheers,

Mobius
Outer Wilds - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

outer-wilds-preview-1

My spaceship has taken off. This ought to be cause for celebration, a moment that engenders cheers from mission control. Except there’s a problem: I m not in the cockpit. I d been looking at the ship s log in the back and considering my next journey when suddenly the whole ship just rose up. Oh no, I say, as the sensation of free fall kicks in. No no no no no. I run back to the cockpit and look around. The ground outside is still there, the trees and the grass. This is odd, because it s also pitch black – we re definitely in space. This is when I realise: My ship didn t take off. The entire island did.

This is space exploration game Outer Wilds. And I have no time to understand how the whole island on which I’ve parked has been launched into space, because it s already falling back down. I need to take off, right now. (more…)

Outer Wilds - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

cyberpunk-2077-interview-3

During this year s E3, I saw the largest screen I d ever witnessed, folded around the corner of a building like a giant piece of glowing paper. It told me to buy Nike. LA is already the neon futuretown of California, never mind Night City. But I didn t just see ads for shoes at the LA convention centre, I saw a lot of games too. From the bustling streets of Cyberpunk 2077 to the twisting tornadoes of Just Cause 4. From the crumbling Capitol of The Division 2 to the clumsy motorcycling of Trials Rising. Here are my highlights from the game industry s annual festival of bullets and colour, the sci-fi dystopia that was with us all along. (more…)

Outer Wilds - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Outer Wilds

Do you remember Outer Wilds? If you’ve forgotten, that’s understandable – the last time we saw anything concrete about this miniature-scale game of space exploration in a solar system mere minutes from destruction, it was three full years ago.

Between now and then, all we’ve seen was a brief confirmation that the game (which first surfaced as a prototype demo in 2013) was officially in full-time development, followed by a whole lot of radio silence. We were starting to worry if the game hadn’t gotten lost out there, but it’s back on our radars now with a release window and a flashy new trailer.

(more…)

Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds, you may recall, is a first-person game about exploring a solar system in 20-minute intervals on account of the time loop the whole shebang is trapped in. We played and rather enjoyed an early build in 2015 but haven't heard much about the game since, until now. Today, developer Mobius Digital Games announced a partnership with publisher Annapurna Interactive, who also published What Remains of Edith Finch and Gorogoa. Together, the two will finally bring Outer Wilds to PC later this year, well over three years after its announcement.  

The prospect of exploring a solar system may remind you of No Man's Sky, but in practice Outer Wilds is closer to Subnautica. Its solar system is contained and proudly handcrafted, which makes sense since you only have 20 minutes to take in as many interesting things as possible every run. It's also fully simulated, at least as much as a cartoon solar system should be. The planets orbit a sun, as planets tend to do, and traveling between them takes a basic understanding of how gravity works. Otherwise, you might fling yourself into the void or into that massive sphere of fire. Here's how the newly minted Steam page describes it: 

"The planets of Outer Wilds are packed with hidden locations that change with the passage of time. Visit an underground city of before it's swallowed by sand, or explore the surface of a planet as it crumbles beneath your feet. Every secret is guarded by hazardous environments and natural catastrophes." 

Outer Wilds made quite a bit of noise around its initial reveal. It won the grand prize at the 2015 Independent Games Festival for one, beating out nominees like Invisible, Inc and The Talos Principle. It was also one of the earliest projects on crowdfunding and investment hybrid site FIG.  

...

Search news
Archive
2018
Aug   Jul   Jun   May   Apr   Mar  
Feb   Jan  
Archives By Year
2018   2017   2016   2015   2014  
2013   2012   2011   2010   2009  
2008   2007   2006   2005   2004  
2003   2002