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Session Name:

Independent Games Summit: Sparking Curiosity-Driven Exploration Through Narrative in 'Outer Wilds'


Outer Wilds' development began with one main goal: Create a game that motivates players to engage with and explore an open world not through assigning missions or other forms of explicit gameplay direction, but instead through a more diegetic and player-determined approach to game progression. What resulted was an odd, experimental space exploration game that relies on inspiring and rewarding curiosity as players explore a dynamic solar system caught in a time loop and unravel the world's nonlinear story. This talk explores narrative's role in achieving Outer Wilds' primary design objective of curiosity-driven exploration, and examines specific narrative design choices and their effects on player experience.

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  • Game Developers Conference 2021
  • Kelsey Beachum
  • Independent
  • free content
  • Independent Games Summit
  • Independent Games