This month in Outer Wonders: January 2021

This month in Outer Wonders: January 2021

#outer-wonders #design #art

Welcome to this first issue of This month in Outer Wonders! Starting today, we will be releasing monthly updates on the first Friday of each month, where we highlight the progress made during the previous month. Let's start out with January 2021!

A new look for water-powered Bibi

If you've read our blog post on interactions, you probably remember Bibi will be able to acquire special powers connected to natural elements. The example we used to illustrate special powers back then showed the water special power, turning Bibi blue. However, we wanted to provide Bibi with a more… watery look!

For this reason, in addition to designing new scenery and improving existing scenery, Batpoussin has been working on this new look. His research has yielded the result below.

Bibi rolling downwards with its new water look, made of a massive drop surrounding Bibi's head, where wavelets can also be seen.

So, "water" your thoughts on this? We really enjoy those wavelets spreading all over the water surrounding Bibi's massive head!

Transitioning to a more organic look & feel for puzzles

Lyra started designing a short adventure that will be implemented in the playable demo we will be releasing in a few months at most. The point of this short adventure is to showcase the open and non-linear design of Outer Wonders.

In our blog post about how the level design of Outer Wonders evolved, we briefly discussed our plans to transition from a blocky look to an increasingly organic look for the puzzles, while keeping their grid readable by players. Reaching this compromise requires prior research.

Which is why Lyra also started tackling this topic. Here are 3 different looks she came up with for a single puzzle.

Puzzle shown with three different organic looks, each of which differs by the use of different looks for the ground and the bushes.

Puzzles posted each Wednesday on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will transition to this type of look.

In the process of making our playable demo of Outer Wonders, Peacebringer has taken on several important programming tasks. The most visible and tangible one consisted in implementing the possibility to pause the game, which would bring up a menu letting the player resume or quit the game.

Video of Outer Wonders showing Bibi rolling upwards, interrupted by the player's pause request, and then reaching its objective after the player exited the pause menu

Achieving this required implementing the capacity of stopping the time using the arcane magic of code.

We also had to teach our technology to display text using pixel art fonts. For now, we're using Font End Dev's Digital Disco font, which fits the fanciful visual style of Outer Wonders.

The pause menu can be controlled using your keyboard, your controller, as well as your mouse. We're aiming for full controller support to design an experience that you can enjoy on your game console as well as your desktop computer.

And this concludes this first monthly update! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to read our news and play weekly puzzles! Subscribe to our RSS feed to keep informed about our latest blog posts. A Discord community server is also on the way.

See you soon!