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Curiosity-Driven Exploration: The Design of 'Outer Wilds'

Alex Beachum (Co-Creative Lead, Mobius Digital)

Loan Verneau (Co-Creative Lead, Mobius Digital)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

How do you design an open world game that avoids giving players explicit objectives and instead relies on their intrinsic sense of curiosity as the only source of motivation? Come with us now on a journey through time and space as we explore how Outer Wilds attempts answer this question. We dig into the meta design of Outer Wilds, from early 2D prototypes to the final structure of the game's overarching mystery. Along the way we share techniques for inspiring and rewarding player curiosity, the challenge of communicating an unconventional game structure, and how curiosity-driven exploration fits into the broader landscape of open world game design.


Attendees will gain a better understanding of how to instill and reward player curiosity, as well as how to leverage that curiosity into the primary force driving player progression.

Intended Audience

Intended for anyone interested in exploring non-conventional approaches to open world game design.