The 57th Best News Of All Time: Outcast To Return

By Alec Meer on July 3rd, 2013 at 11:00 am.

I should play the original again, my PC might be able to run it by now

This will inevitably end up on Kickstarter, and in the light of Double Fine’s budgeting mayhem that phrase is a far less reassuring one today than it would have been yesterday. But let’s cling tight to hope for now, for the good news is that the creators of ahead-of-its-time 1999 voxel adventure Outcast have rescued the rights from The Artist Formerly Known As Infogrames and announced plans to bring the remarkably ambitious old open world sci-fi dear back to life. Hurrah! Hurrah! Thrice hurrah! Please be 100% sure of your required budget before asking people to fund it! Hurrah!

There’s very little to go on, but devs Appeal, aka Yann Robert, Franck Sauer and Yves Grolet briefly say they have “started the revival of the franchise and will soon announce further developments”.

[Checks]

No, they’ve not announced further developments yet.

[Checks again]

No, they’ve not announced further developments yet.

[Checks again]

No, they’ve not announced further developments yet.

[Checks again]

No, they’ve not announced further developments yet.

Actually, I might just come back later, if that’s OK?

.

60 Comments »

  1. Jerppa says:

    What exactly are the 56 news better than this? One of them probably has something to do with boners.

  2. Jekhar says:

    This makes me dance!

  3. Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Well I’m excited.

    I can’t definitively say what the best 56 PC games are, but I know for sure that Outcast is number 57. This has been proven with words that contain facts.

  4. Premium User Badge Skeletor68 says:

    YES

  5. Premium User Badge AndrewC says:

    I very much like Outcast, and haven’t a clue what a new one would be like.

    Back then its worlds were incredibly open and expansive. Nowadays, the worlds feel refreshingly small and focussed. Times have changed!

  6. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    [Checks again]

    No, they’ve not announced further developments yet.

    BTW: The original is currently on sale on GOG.com for the fewest of dollars.

    Also: We need more Voxel-engine developments. Between this and the earlier mentioned Ace of Spades (which had the best graphics-mindfucks due to the voxel-engine) only very few games these days use *true* voxel engines.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I really must give that thing a shot again on the old XP-and-CRT box, since it was a bit temperamental on the newfangled one.

    • Skabooga says:

      Huh, just checked my GOG account and it looks like I’ve already bought it. Now for the hard part of gathering the initiative to play it. Curse you backlog!

  7. Ultra Superior says:

    Alec, Alec. I know your little trick. You fill your articles up by cheap doubling, tripling, quadroupling of banal words or sentences. Hurrah, Hurrah. Check, check. No developments, no developments.
    SPACE HULK, SPACE HULK, SPACE HULK, SPACE HULK, SPACE HULK, SPACE HULK.

    Just admit it. You’re tired. Burned out. Too old to write anything anymore.
    It’s time to free your space and send in the younger blood.
    Yes, Adam Smith, I’m thinking of you.

    • lowprices says:

      Well somebody certainly had a big bowl of grumpy-o’s this morning.

    • Premium User Badge AndrewC says:

      I count 13 full stops just in your two paragraphs. It is almost like repetition is both an integral part of written language and a valid stylistic choice.

      I count 13 full stops just in your two paragraphs. It is almost like repetition is both an integral part of written language and a valid stylistic choice.

      I count 13 full stops just in your two paragraphs. It is almost like repetition is both an integral part of written language and a valid stylistic choice.

  8. Premium User Badge Lambchops says:

    I await further developments with great anticipation.

    Now all we need is Little Big Adventure 3 and then my two absolute favourite games from my youth will be revived!

    • Skabooga says:

      For a year, Little Big Adventure 2 was my childhood. I shall always look fondly upon that game; it always felt like the developers had written a little love letter specially for me.

  9. Premium User Badge DrScuttles says:

    Outcast was on sale for about £1.30ish on GOG not too long ago, so remembering good reviews and enjoying the demo I snapped it up. I should really play it at some point.
    Can we do awesome things with voxels yet? They always looked like bum in games like Outcast, Delta Force and Blade Runner. And by awesome I mean not horrifically blocky like someone with a pixeldisease.

    • Jekhar says:

      Excuse me? At the time they were released everything else was horribly blocky, voxel games had beautiful landscapes with rolling hills, bumpy roads, etc. While the tech was always very taxing on the hardware, i’m sure we could do a lot better nowadays then just minecraft clones.

      • Premium User Badge DrScuttles says:

        Yes, I get why they were used at the time; they made open landscapes like Delta Force and Outcast possible… but I really stand by my opinion that they look like bum. While the units in Alpha Centauri and Red Alert 2 are fine, but those rolling open spaces always struck me as blurry, jaggedy messes. It could just be a matter of personal preference though; it’s either that or horrible blocky polygons with dodgy repeating textures.
        It would be very neat indeed to see what could be done with voxels and modern CPUs outside out of, like you point out, Minecraft clones.

        • Jekhar says:

          Maybe it is personal preference, i love voxel graphics, even the old blocky ones. There are a couple current projects using voxels, but it seems everything is trapped in the tech demo stage. Atomontage Engine looks quite nice, for example.

          • Premium User Badge DrScuttles says:

            Ooh, it does rather. Bounding across terrain like that on a motorcross bike would charm me no end.

  10. Premium User Badge Ninja Dodo says:

    Yeeeeeessss.

    Also, anyone that missed this… Outcast post-mortem by Franck Sauer:

    http://francksauer.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47:outcast-pc&catid=15:published-games

  11. Tuhalu says:

    How exactly does something become ahead-of-its-tie? Was there a sudden gust of wind that blew the tie over its shoulder?

    • The Random One says:

      That was obviously a typo, you pedantic moron. He clearly meant “a head-of-its-tie”, which is to say something that matches perfectly with its own accoutrements.

  12. MuscleHorse says:

    Is there anyway to easily mod the original to a sensible widescreen resolution etc? I bought this on GoG ages ago but every time I attempt to give it a go I seem to be stuck on a 320×480 window or something similar.

  13. MOKKA says:

    pleasedontsuckpleasedontsuckpleasedontsuckpleasedontsuck

  14. shadowy_light says:

    The gaming press reviews to this upon release were distinctly tepid, I recall. For the most part, anyway. Ambitious but too flawed for serious consideration, at least for a youngster with limited funds, was the message I took from those early reviews.

    Interesting to see how opinions have warmed to it in the intervening 14 years.

    • Premium User Badge Jackablade says:

      IF I’m remembering rightly, one of the biggest issues was that 3D accelerators weren’t optimised to run with voxels, so it ran like the proverbial dog on release.

  15. Freud says:

    Outcast is a fantastic game that had a sense of place that few games have had since.

  16. Acorino says:

    You really love to overdramatize Broken Age’s budget problems, don’t you? As does the whole rest of the internet.
    So, Outcast. One of my favorite games of all time. A sequel to that…after all those years? I’m in!

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      Couldn’t agree more re Broken Age. Sensationalist reporting ahoy.

    • bigjig says:

      Sadly sensationalism is the order of the day to get clicks. Sometimes I miss print media..

    • Prime says:

      I usually defend this site to the hilt against all who would disparage it…but when it comes to Kickstarter RPS seems determined to write some grand sweeping narrative about the entire affair, usually with a heavy ladle of doom and gloom mixed in. It’s incredibly annoying. There’s a very grounded, reasonable explanation for most of what happens on KS but does anyone even try and float the possibility?

      And now Double-Fine can’t budget properly = Kickstarter in Crisis!!! Arrrrrgh.

    • RProxyOnly says:

      Wait a minute.

      Shaffer and co FULLY deserve to be villified over their screw up, and at least we know who to blame this time, no passing the buck “Oh, it was the publisher, blah blah.”

      The amount of money he got and he STILL couldn’t deliver. It’s a bloody mess and Shaffer is the cause of it. No free pass.. he gets it in the neck.

      • Premium User Badge Ninja Dodo says:

        You don’t know what you’re talking about. And frankly, saying someone should “get it in the neck” for being honest about the reality of game development and trying to make the best game possible with the resources they have suggests you are a terrible person. Blocked.

  17. Premium User Badge RedViv says:

    Procedural voxel adventures, go!

  18. onsamyj says:

    Outcast HD, you say? Yes, please!

  19. Chris D says:

    So are the top 57 games considered to be so good that no modern game can hope to surpass them as their secrets are lost to the mists of time, or does someone retroactively erase one from history every time another one takes it’s place?

    Wait! It’s Gillen isn’t it? I knew it!

  20. MeestaNob says:

    Best news of the year so far.

  21. int says:

    Ulukai hey ho!

  22. Colonel Mustard says:

    Probably near the top in my hall of fame, completely fell in love with this game – awesome soundtrack too.. but to be honest I’m sceptical that a reboot would either 1), live up to the nostalgia of the original or 2) be a new game that accomplishes what its predecessor did back in the context of the games at the time.

  23. Premium User Badge Tunips says:

    Adelpha is among my most beloved game worlds (after Vvardenfell). Outcast presented you with a functional, coherent world. They had their own language. They wandered around. If you asked where they had last seen a particular Talan, they would point, rather than dropping some GPS waypoint on you.
    By the time I reached Okaar, I’d gone the full Costner, and truly felt I belonged.

    • Jekhar says:

      Yes, i really liked that too, having to ask around to locate someone. It instantly pulled me in so much more into the gameworld then some stupid blinking arrow. Same with Morrowind, you only got written description of how to get somewhere. After that you had navigate using landmarks and your map to get to your goal. That was really fun. It was a shame Oblivion robbed you of that experience. While you could turn off the questmarker, you really weren’t given any other info on how to get where you are supposed to go. So you had to switch it on again.

      • Premium User Badge Lambchops says:

        “You cannot see him from here.”

        I’m always found in these sort of comments threads absolutely fawning over the details in Outcast; the Gaamsaav crystal, the minaturisation backpack, the explanation of why killing plot characters ended the game, the language (and why they’ve adopted English). Really added to what was already a great world, the characters who doled out quests had their own lives and idiosyncrasies and didn’t feel like cutout quest dispensers.

        Plus the horrific orange jumper.

        Sorry, I’ll stop drooling over the game now!

        • Jekhar says:

          Plus, in the german version i played, Cutter was voiced by the guy doing the local dubbing of Bruce Willis. Which was extra badass. Today it’s somewhat common for games to have celebrity voices, but back then it was a novelty.

  24. RProxyOnly says:

    I’d just like to say.. W00T!

    That is all.

  25. EthanAsia says:

    “…rescued the rights from The ATARIST Formerly Known As Infogrames”

    Fixed that for you.

  26. Anym says:

    That’s great news! Especially as I’m currently playing Outcast for the first time and rather enjoy it.

  27. Prime says:

    Gaming is such a fun hobby right now! I’m loving all these reappearances from those grand old classics gearing up to tackle new audiences! Outcast was a game I loved but, shamefully, never managed to finish. Perhaps I’ll give it another go while I await whatever is coming at us from its creators.

    Now if only we could get a new version of Omikron: Nomad Soul…

  28. ChromeBallz says:

    ANY NEWS YET? COME ON!

    F5
    F5
    F5
    F5
    F5
    F5