The Outer Worlds Toyed With Flaws That Affect Dialogue Choices, But It Didn’t Make The Cut
The Outer Worlds is a good first-person RPG by the folks at Obsidian. One of the neat ideas it has is the flaws system, where you can take one negative perk to gain an extra positive one on the spot, with the flaw tailored to your play style. Take too much fall damage and get a flaw of fear for heights which makes fall damage worse, for example.
In an interview with Gamasutra, that idea could have also involved flaws that affect your dialogue choices. Co-directors Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky have responded to why the flaws system mostly affects combat but not dialogue or stealth. Apparently, they toyed around with dialogue flaws- but ultimately didn’t make the cut.
“One of the flaws we wanted [in the game] was to be impulsive,” Cain said. “When dialogue options come up there would be a little timer. When it ticked down to five seconds one of the response options disappears, just greyed out. Then another one after another five seconds until there was only one option left.”
The… flaw to this implementation, Cain explained, is it did not make you feel impulsive with dialogue choices. Instead, the game will make dialogue choices for you if you’re not impulsive enough.
“This flaw didn’t make it into the game as the team was already having trouble keeping up with their AI demands and an individual flaw was low on the development team’s priority list (players also wouldn’t be reading most of the text if they had to rush through it),” he added.
Other ideas for a dialogue flaw include being a pathological liar (always pick the lie option if presented) and hotheadedness (always pick attack option and launch to combat if presented).
The whole interview is a good read, and Cain hopes the flaws system where your character doesn’t necessarily grow over time but not grow stronger, is something that catches on.