Obsidian Entertainment spoke on its creative process for The Outer Worlds’ diverse and comedic characters, in an interview with GameSpot, and revealed that the space Western series Firefly was a core influence.
I liked The Outer Worlds. I liked its grim and grimy settings; the promise of a better world that’s been sliced and diced in slapdash chunks of body and brains. Those that had escaped the grinding gears of groundless industry had their reasons, and the hero – if that’s not too strong a word – could challenge or concede to their worldview. And pick up a quest from them, while they’re at it.
Josh observed that The Outer Worlds has a tinge of Firefly to it. If you’re unfamiliar, Firefly was a television series set in the future that followed a crew of misfits on the edge of the Solar System. With a star-studded cast that included Adam Tudyk, Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin, and Adam Baldwin, it established itself as a cult classic and still sways the sci-fi scene, over a decade after its final episode aired. Case in point: narrative designer Nitai Poddar and co-director Leonard Boyarsky revealed that they had been drawn to Firefly for their conceptualisation of The Outer Worlds’ core characters.
Parvati is the first companion players will encounter on their journey. She’s optimistic but has her feet firmly on the ground, though she leaps at the chance of working as a mechanic for a real spaceship. ‘She was inspired by a little bit by Kaylee of Firefly. The old line in describing Kaylee is that whatever Kaylee says, she is probably right,’ Poddar revealed. During development, Parvati became Obsidian’s favourite because she was ‘so likeable’ and had a ‘very strong [moral] center’ unlike the majority of the NPCs populating the game.
‘As with all of our characters, we are trying to create interesting characters that are based off a specific archetype, but then they really become, hopefully, feeling like living and breathing characters that react to the situation you’re in, that react to the other companions or NPCs in the world,’ Boyarsky clarified. ‘She’s really interesting in that we were looking at Firefly as one of our inspirations, but I feel like she kind of organically became a little bit like Kaylee.’
‘She actually has a similar job, she’s the mechanic, but we didn’t set out to make our companion who’s pretty much like her. She just started becoming more like her as we were developing her. It was very interesting. I still feel she has her own voice and characterization,’ he continued. Obsidian is famed for its engaging and intricate writing, and to deliver coherency and quality, its writers are given a character to form and direct in whatever way they see fit. As a result, Boyarsky said, ‘there isn’t really a separation between character and area or character and story. They go hand in hand.’
The Outer Worlds is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox, and will be coming to the Nintendo Switch.