Blending comedy with capitalism in The Outer Worlds

first_imgBlending comedy with capitalism in The Outer WorldsObsidian’s senior designer Brian Heins also discusses why tougher moral choices are more interestingJames BatchelorEditor-in-ChiefWednesday 28th August 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleObsidian EntertainmentGiant corporations steer the course of human history, prioritising profits over people and expanding their business into any area that will deliver more of the former.Sound familiar? It’s how many people view the Googles and Facebooks of our world, but it’s also the premise of The Outer Worlds, the upcoming action RPG from Obsidian Entertainment.While it can be argued that the game is a comment on capitalism, senior designer Brian Heins tells us the early inspirations actually stretch back much further than the last ten years. The team looked at early 1900s America, and the industrialists and robber barons that were grabbing for power at the time. The US Government introduced regulations that broke up some of this power, but Obsidian pondered: what if that never happened?The result is the sci-fi setting of The Outer Worlds, where human colonies in the far reaches of space are run by vast corporations, each with their own agenda. This already sounds like quite a dark premise — and there’s certainly a sinister undertone to it — but Obsidian was determined to maximise the appeal by making it fun and entertaining at the same time.Brian Heins, Obsidian EntertainmentHeins tells GamesIndustry.biz the premise itself injects a little humour: ” Obviously, this world has a certain level of absurdity just because of the complete control corporations have over everyone’s lives, which doesn’t exist in our own.”But still there are echoes in our lives that we’re used to — everyone’s had a crappy customer service call with a corporation at some point, so everyone can understand that level of bureaucracy invading even the smallest aspects of your life.”So it was more like the idea that how we can we take a serious thing in our world and add a humourous spin to it as well.”It arrives at an interesting time where there are anti-corporate sentiments from some pockets of the gaming community. There’s the long-running perception that EA is evil, a distrust of Google and its plans for Stadia, and conspiracy theories that Tencent’s stake in Epic Games means the company is spying on Fortnite players and its store users for the Chinese government.Even Obsidian is perhaps in a precarious position now that it has been purchased by Microsoft, one of the ‘big faceless corporations’ that have been decried by gamers over the years. Heins says the fictional firms in The Outer Worlds “don’t necessarily reflect on games industry corporations specifically”, and reflects on his own experiences with such organisations.”I’ve worked for the ‘big faceless evil corporations’ and on the inside they’re not faceless or evil. There’s always reasons for why decisions are made” “I’ve worked for EA, I’ve worked for Take-Two, Rockstar, now I work for Microsoft,” he says. “I’ve worked for the ‘big faceless evil corporations’ and on the inside they’re not faceless or evil. There’s always reasons for why decisions are made. Not always ones that individual people agree with or understand because a lot of the times when a company makes a decision, they don’t always communicate ‘Here’s all the reasons behind how we got to this point.'”In The Outer Worlds, this is all personified by the Board, the group that oversees the corporations running each colony. Rather than setting this entity up as an obvious villain, Obsidian ensures players see events from the Board’s perspective as well and in a relatable way.”We wanted to put a human face on it, so you’re actually working with specific people,” Heins explains. “Each person has their own personality, their own human moments that help you relate to them. We wanted to give a personal touch to the faceless corporations. If you can’t sympathise with the corporate board, you can sympathise with the person you are dealing with in the game.”He continues: “Whether you end up agreeing with them or not, they have reasons for doing what they do and the way they are doing it. There’s a logic to it, although you might disagree with their methods. We try wherever we can to not just have one point of view we force on the player. Because ultimately we want them to be able to see multiple different points of view and then make the decision. “Choices are interesting when they’re hard, when both sides have equal weight to their argument and you have to decide which one to go with. That’s much more interesting than if one side is clearly right, the other is clearly wrong and you don’t have to think about the choice at all.”Obsidian has tried to ensure each corporation has a human face in the form of characters that players interact with, making them more relatableHeins comments echo those of co-director Leonard Boyarsky, who said the game wouldn’t deliver one point of view and won’t be “politically charged” (part of the ongoing ‘Are games political?’ debate). The senior designer says the goal of the game is to “create interesting situations, not tell the player how to feel about those situations.”As a result, Heins emphasises that there will be no good or bad choices, once again pointing to the efforts made in presenting both sides of each argument. He compares it to morality systems in past games where the bad option in any given choice might be to just slaughter everybody.”Choices are interesting when they’re hard, when both sides have equal weight to their argument and you have to decide which one to go with” “It’s hard to come up with a logic there that makes it sound like the right decision,” he says. “We do have quests that are kill quests, but we try to give the reason why that character wants these people eliminated. It may be dark, but if you buy into their world view you’ll understand why that’s what they want to achieve.”That’s our goal — to give the player enough grey. The good side isn’t purely good, the dark side isn’t purely dark. It’s all different shades of the individual motivations of the characters.”The lack of binary good and evil is complemented by the humourous tone of the game, which also dissuades any reading of The Outer Worlds as a serious, anti-capitalist piece. The humour, Heins tells us, is the direct result of the pairing in charge: Boyarsky and his fellow co-director Tim Cain. While the former has a “dark, cynical look on life”, the latter is “very goofy” so any title he works on is “never going to be a totally serious game.””Our job as the team was working out where the line was on the humour,” Heins says. “That’s something every person on the team had to understand — what’s too far, and what’s not far enough? Once we had that level of humour, we could do things like the cystypigs, which are an example of something that’s both dark and also absurdly humourous.”For anyone not aware, cystipigs are genetically modified animals that grow meat-flavoured tumours around their neck, which shed naturally and are sold as “sustainable meat products.” It’s elements like this littered throughout the game that provide “moments of light-hearted whimsy to contrast against the more dark and serious tone of the overall story that’s being told.”Finding the right balance, however, has taken a lot of iteration.”One of the things we’ve done is as we play through the game, we look at where we can add jokes,” says Heins. “And sometimes we’ve added jokes and been like, ‘No, that’s kinda ruining what we’re trying to say’ so we’ll just pull it out. Or conversely, there are bits where it’s like ‘Wow, this conversation is super serious, we need to lighten it up a little.’Heins says Obsidian would eagerly take the opportunity to grow The Outer Worlds into a new franchise”One of the nice things about The Outer Worlds’ development is we’ve been able to play through the entire game early enough to start finding those moments where we need to pull back or push forward on the humour a bit more. We luckily have some very talented writers who are good at writing comedy as well as writing the serious stuff. That’s been invaluable.”Inevitably, comparisons have been drawn between The Outer Worlds and Fallout — including by Obsidian itself in the announcement trailer. Heins attributes this to having Cain and Boyarsky at the helm, both key designers on the original Fallout, and says the words many a franchise fan has been waiting to hear: “It’s the spiritual successor to Fallout: New Vegas.”There’s a slight caveat here: by ‘spiritual successor’, Heins admits he means it’s a “Obsidian-style RPG”, with branching narratives, deep character progression systems, and player skills and attributes that play into both. These core aspects are also found in Pillars of Eternity, Tyranny and even (to an extent) South Park: The Stick of Truth, he says.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “In that sense, any game we make is a spiritual successor to New Vegas. The fact that there are direct parallels between the two is just down to the fact that this is part of our DNA as a studio, this is the type of game we want to make and how we want to make them.”The Outer Worlds arrives on October 25th for PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox One, but Obsidian’s new corporate overlord Microsoft recently said it sees potential for the IP to continue life as an exclusive franchise on its own devices. Heins is certainly open to the idea.”The team would love to take it as far as we can,” he concludes. “It’s really great to hear Microsoft sees this as a potential franchise. We would love to turn it into one… Just give us the opportunity to do it, and we’ll take it.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesGrounded: A big experimental adventure made by Obsidian’s tiniest teamGame director Adam Brennecke talks about his 16 years at the studio, and how a history of RPG development led to a backyard survival gameBy Rebekah Valentine 8 months agoThe Outer Worlds wins GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Video GameObsidian’s interplanetary adventure included an openly asexual companion character, ParvatiBy Rebekah Valentine 9 months agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

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Gegara Pria Mabuk, Perjalanan Kereta di Munich Terhenti Selama 21 Jam!

first_imgMungkin Anda tidak pernah membayangkan hal itu tersebut terjadi. Tetapi ternyata ini terjadi di Jerman tepatnya di dekat stasiun Pasing Munich, dan membuat pihak kepolisian menutup semua lalu lintas di stasiun demi mencari pria tersebut.KabarPenumpang.com melansir dari laman theguardian.com (7/5/2018), bahwa pada Minggu pagi 6 Mei 2018 kemarin, pihak kepolisian Munich menerima panggilan darurat pada pukul 05.20 pagi waktu setempat. Telepon itu berasal dari seorang pria yang melaporkan dirinya terbangun di sebuah kontainer di kereta dekat stasiun Pasing.Stasiun Pasing sendiri diketahui merupakan stasiun terbesar ketiga terbesar di Munich. Pria berusia 25 tahun tersebut tidak bisa keluar dan sudah sangat mabuk ketika dirinya masuk ke dalam kontainer sehingga tidak yakin ada dimana.Tak mau mengambil risiko, pihak kepolisian Munich harus menghentikan lalu lintas kereta api dan mencari pria tersebut dari satu kereta ke kereta lain dan menemukannya pada pukul 06.20 pagi pada 7 Mei 2018 kemarin. Karena insiden tersebut, lalu lintas kereta api yang terdampak ada 86 dengan 37 pembatalan perjalanan kereta dan 21 pembatalan parisal atau sementara.Baca juga: Adu Jotos Ketika Mabuk, Dua ‘Pegulat Amatir’ ini Nyaris Tertabrak Kereta!Insiden ini membuat si pria yang tak disebutkan namanya tersebut mendapatkan tuduhan terkait dengan pelanggaran yang dilakukannya. Di Inggris sendiri untuk warganya yang mabuk, otoritas mengingatkan agar warga waspada saat berada di stasiun.Mereka juga mengatakan agar tidak terlalu mabuk, sebab hal ini bukan hanya bisa mencelakakan diri sendiri melainkan bisa mencelakakan orang lain dan menghambat perjalanan kereta api. Diketahui, kecelakaan yang melibatkan penumpang mabuk di Inggris sendiri mengalami luka serius seperti menyalahgunakan fasilitas di stasiun hingga tergelincir di peron, tangga bahkan eskalator.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading… RelatedTeror di Stasiun Adelaide, Dua Pria Dorong Mobil ke Lintasan Kereta28/08/2018In “Darat”Ketepatan Waktu Kereta India Mengalami Penurunan Akibat Faktor Keterlambatan07/09/2018In “Darat”Kembali Terjadi di Jepang, Kereta Berangkat Lebih Cepat dari Jadwal17/05/2018In “Darat” Stasiun Pasing di Jerman (Youtube) Sebagai salah satu moda transportasi murah dan cepat sampai di tujuan karena tidak terkena macet, kereta menjadi pilihan yang tepat untuk digunakan. Meski begitu, keterlambatan atau penundaan keberangkatan karena berbagai hal kerap tak terelakkan.Baca juga: Marak Kecelakaan di Peron, Otoritas Kereta di Inggris Himbau Warganya Tak Terlalu MabukMasalah ini bisa mengakibatkan penumpang terlambat menaiki kereta dan kerugian yang cukup besar pada penyedia jasa kereta api. Nah, bagaimana jadinya jika karena seorang penumpang mabuk bisa menyebabkan perjalanan kereta harus dihentikan selama 1.280 menit atau sekitar 21 jam?last_img read more

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Bigger payout for Great American Stock Car Shootout

first_imgOSKALOOSA, Iowa – First place money has been upped to $2,000 for the headline event at Southern Iowa Speedway’s Wednesday and Thursday, July 2 and 3 Great American Stock Car Shootout.IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars take top billing at the 19th annual event and the winner becomes eligible to qualify for the Sunoco Race Fuels Race of Champions during the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s in September. The runner-up earns $1,000 and a minimum of $200 will be paid to start the 24-car feature. Tow money is $100.IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks race for $1,000 to win, a minimum of $150 to start and $100 tow.The Merv Chandler Memorial for Mach-1 Sport Compacts pays $700 to win, a minimum of $100 to start and $50 tow.Qualifying races for all three divisions will be held both nights. Drivers with the top point totals earned in two Wednesday heat races will be locked in and run a dash on Thursday to determine starting spots in their respective main events. One-time entry fees are $75 for Stock Cars, $50 for Hobby Stocks and $20 for Sport Compacts. Thursday-only entry fees are $100, $75 and $50, respectively. IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds also run on Wednesdays, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods on Wednesday and Thursday. All applicable points, including local track points, will be awarded in all divisions. Grandstand admission is $12 for adults, $6 for youth ages 7-17 and free for six and under. Pit passes are $25 for adults, $15 for youth ages 7-13 and $10 for six and under.Hot laps are at 7 p.m. and racing starts at 7:30 p.m. both nights. More information is available from promoter Mike Van Genderen at 641 521-0330 and at the www.oskyspeedway.com website.last_img read more

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‘The Last Jedi’ is a hit but how much did audiences…

first_imgNEW YORK | With glowing reviews from critics and $450.8 million of worldwide box office in the first three days of release of “The Last Jedi,” all would seem to be right in the “Star Wars” universe.But some audience reaction metrics suggest not all Star Wars fans are so thrilled with Rian Johnson’s eighth episode in the franchise. While “The Last Jedi” sports a sterling 93 percent fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, the website’s users give it only a 56 percent score . A similar dichotomy is also found on the movie review aggregation website Metacritic , where the movie has a score of 86 out of 100 from critics but earned a woeful 4.9 out of 10 from users. The role reversal between critics and fans has caused consternation throughout the Star Wars galaxy. Could “The Last Jedi” be a critical smash and a dud with audiences? Is “The Last Jedi” more “Attack of the Clones” than “The Empire Strikes Back”? What in the name of midi-chlorians is going on here?For starters, the responses on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic are to be taken with a Death Star-sized grain of salt. They’re supplied by users to the website who can, by creating numerous accounts, vote limitlessly, and need offer no proof of having actually seen the movie. Some believe a nefarious plot is at play, a theory backed up by the boasts of a few on social media . Similar ploys , after all, were used against the female-led “Ghostbusters.”But why would anyone want to sabotage “The Last Jedi”? Well, there have been growing signs of rebellion against the galaxy far, far away. Some conservative moviegoers have taken issue with the current trilogy’s embrace of multiculturalism. Claiming an anti-Donald Trump agenda, some called for a boycott of last year’s spinoff “Rogue One.” Writer Chris Weitz noted the Empire “is a white supremacist (human) organization.”Politics have always played a role in “Star Wars.” George Lucas has said he wrote it as a Nixon-era parable for the Vietnam War, about how democracies turn into dictatorships. But in carrying those themes forward to today, “The Last Jedi” has — like virtually everything else — been fed into America’s combustible politics. Even Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has volleyed with Texas Senator Ted Cruz on Twitter over net neutrality.“Similar to other movie sites, we’re currently experiencing a high volume of fan activity around ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’” said Rotten Tomaotes spokesman Tiyson Reynolds. “We’re closely monitoring all user review activity to make sure it’s valid.”But their low ratings don’t jive with other, more scientific data.Like “The Force Awakens,” ”The Last Jedi” won an A CinemaScore, which polls audiences coming out of theaters. CinemaScore counted feedback as 89 percent positive. ComScore’s PostTrak audience survey recorded an average five-out-five star rating from moviegoers, with 80 percent saying they would definitely recommend the film.And then there’s the mammoth box office. With $220 million in domestic ticket sales, “The Last Jedi” now ranks as the second highest grossing opening weekend of all time, after J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens.” Disney’s distribution chief Dave Hollis estimates “The Last Jedi” will have legs through the holiday season similar or close to those of “The Force Awakens,” which ultimately grossed more than $2 billion worldwide. “The Last Jedi” is likely to eventually rank among the highest grossing films of all time, but it will depend on strong word-of-mouth and repeat viewings to sniff the realm of “The Force Awakens” or “Titanic.”Yet regardless of any user scores, “The Last Jedi” has proved to be easily the most divisive “Star Wars” film. (Lucas’ second trilogy was too universally panned to be much argued over.)Even many fans who generally applauded the film have taken issue with its comic flashes, a Princess Leia moment roundly compared to Mary Poppins, and of the film’s treatment of Hamill’s Skywalker. (Cantankerous and ornery, he spends most of the film on an isolated island.) And by shifting the parameters for how the Force works, some have said “The Last Jedi” is, as Variety claimed, “making stuff up as it goes along.”For its part, Disney has sensed the tremors of backlash.“Rian Johnson, the cast, Lucasfilm, they’ve delivered an experience that is totally ‘Star Wars’ but at the same time is filled with things that are unexpected and new,” said Hollis. “And in that unexpected and new, it’s going to have people really talking.”Even the cast of “The Last Jedi” acknowledged they were surprised by the direction mapped out by Johnson, who wrote and directed. “What Rian came up with, I was stunned,” Hamill told The Associated Press earlier this year. Said Daisy Ridley of first reading the script: “I was going, ‘Uh, I’m not sure about this. It just took us all a second to be like, ‘OK, this is where the story is heading.”But Johnson made “The Last Jedi” disruptive by design.“Having been a Star Wars fan myself for the past 40 years, I know intimately how passionate they are about it and how everyone has stuff they love and hate in every single movie,” said Johnson. “That takes the pressure off a little bit just thinking, ‘Ok, there’s going to be stuff that everyone likes, there’s going to be stuff that people don’t like and it’s going to be a mixture.’”Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP This image released by Lucasfilm shows Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” (John Wilson/Lucasfilm via AP)last_img read more

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Birthday girl’s hale and hearty

first_imgHILLVIEW Aged Care Hostel Bunyip has been a hive of celebrations over the past week to mark resident Gladys Middleton’s…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

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