At the end of the year, we did a long team meeting to discuss about the game’s design and development, both in terms of where we are at and where we’d like to be heading. We mostly discussed about the quality and the coherence of the game we want to make, and whether or not we were going in the right direction.
As such, we made the decision to cut or simplify some systems and features to make sure we have enough resource left to polish what ends up in the game. So for instance, we decided that there won’t be mules in Outward at launch, while it remains something we could add in a later update, either in a free update or as part of a paid DLC or expansion. We decided to make cooking, alchemy, crafting and enchanting more similar, instead of all having unique mechanics. We decided to have a lesser amount of skills, and make each of them matter more.
Rest assured however that the vision remains unchanged. This is a matter of contracting the scope of the game to ensure every element is up to our quality standards. We’d rather deliver something that feels finished and complete, but to which we can add more stuff in the future, than to deliver a game in which some parts feel unfinished or botched.
Ubisoft Indie Series contest
This week, Ubisoft announced the 9 finalists for a contest called the Indie Series, which offers marketing, mentoring and a 50,000 dollars cash prize to the winner. We are honored to be named finalists in this contest, and on January 26th we’ll be pitching the game in front of a jury. The winner will be decided on the same day, so please cross your fingers for us!
Release window for Outward
We’ve always been very careful about the release date of the game, not announcing anything official and being pretty vague on the matter. But when pressed, I usually answered that it would either be in summer of 2017 or early 2018. Following up on our assessment of the situation at the end of the year, we now think it is much more likely that we release in 2018. Last month I said that it is not impossible to do Early Access. Should we do it, we’d probably start in summer this year. Take this info with a grain of salt however, as we are still too far to truly commit to a date.