Outcast: A New Beginning Director Discusses In-Game Freedom And More

Freedom was also the central theme of the original Outcast.

Story Highlights

  • Outcast: A New Beginning is an open-world action adventure that was released on March 15, 2024.
  • It is the sequel to the 1999 cult classic title, Outcast.
  • We spoke with Yves Grolet, Co-Founder of Appeal Studios, over an email interview.

Appeal Studios is a Belgian studio that was created in the late ’90s to make one of the first open-world games ever in its time, Outcast. The title had a massive impact on the gaming industry and even defined the open-world genre during its time. Unfortunately, the IP has not been utilized much since the first release, making it severely underrated in the current market compared to the influence it once had.

After two and a half decades, the cult classic Outcast has finally received a sequel named Outcast: A New Beginning. With Appeal Studios at the helm again, this game offers players a similar adventure but with much more freedom and a unique quest system. To learn more about how the studio has redefined the decade-old title, we interviewed Yves Grolet, Co-Founder of Appeal Studios, over an email Q&A session.

Outcast: A New Beginning
Wildlife Screenshot From Outcast: A New Beginning – via THQ Nordic.

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your work on Outcast: A New Beginning?
Yves: I am Yves Grolet, and I have been making games since the 80s. I started on the Commodore 64, then the Amiga and arcade machines. But my most famous game is the original Outcast, for which I co-founded the studio. I did a lot of roles back then. For Outcast: A New Beginning, I focus on the creative direction.

How did the studio keep the core concepts of the original while adhering to some of the modern trends in video games? Were there any features that you revamped completely?
Yves: The theme of the original game was freedom. This aspect of freedom was present in the way that you could go anywhere you wanted from the beginning of the game and do the main quest in any order you wanted.

For Outcast: A New Beginning, we kept freedom as our central theme, but we offer it in many other aspects of the game, such as traversal freedom with the jetpack, combat freedom with the weapon module system, and quest freedom by allowing the player to do quests in the order they want with a finer granularity.

Outcast: A New Beginning
Screenshot From Outcast: A New Beginning – via THQ Nordic.

Did you take any inspiration from modern titles or other media?
Yves: Not directly. But of course, game design and quality-of-life features have improved a lot over the last 20 years. So, especially in terms of controls or player guidance, we’ve updated our approach.

Outcast: A New Beginning is essentially a revival of the decades-old IP, but will the studio continue to expand upon it with DLC content or more games?
Yves: We are excited to bring back Outcast and have received a lot of positive feedback about that. In the future, we’ll be happy to expand on it further, but nothing has been decided yet.
Outcast: A New Beginning
Town Screenshot From Outcast: A New Beginning – via THQ Nordic.

Why did you choose to go for Unreal Engine 4 rather than 5?
Yves: We started developing the game in 2019, but Unreal 5 was not available at that time. And when Unreal 5 was ready for production, it was too late for us to change our engine.

What was your approach to adding freedom throughout the many choices in the game?
Yves: Freedom is present in the game by allowing the player to choose what they want to do from a panel of many missions available. The player can choose to complete quests in any order but can also choose to complete parts of quests or missions in any order. This is possible because the quest system is designed as a network of interconnected objectives and their relationships. This system can suggest several available missions at the same time and track the dependencies of their completion.
Outcast: A New Beginning
Environment Screenshot From Outcast: A New Beginning – via THQ Nordic.

Did the studio use any AI technology during development like other studios?
Yves: We did not use deep learning AI technologies to create our game.

Do you think the sequel will fare well when compared to the original? We both know people compare games critically, which can massively impact the overall opinion.
Yves: The sequel is very much in the original game’s spirit but also very different. For instance, it’s an open world with much more freedom regarding traversal abilities, like the jetpack or the glide. Plus, we’ve put a special focus on combat. What we can say is that we designed the game as a modern extension of the game design principle we used for the original. We extended the theme of freedom as far as we could. So we hope that both old fans and new players will love the game.

Are there any parts of the game you are excited for the fans to see?
Yves: Yes, we’re especially excited about the new quest system that allows you to choose freely and makes you really feel that you are part of Adelpha. Additionally, we hope that players will have fun with our modular weapon system – just playing around with it and finding new combinations that fit your playstyle or are just fun – we hope the players enjoy that.

YouTube video

Outcast: A New Beginning is a third-person, open-world, action-adventure developed by Appeal Studios and published by THQ Nordic. It was released on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on March 15, 2024. We express our gratitude to Yves Grolet for answering our questions and Bonnie Adams for helping with the interview.

Did you find this article helpful?

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How can we make this post better? Your help would be appreciated. ✍

Get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered right to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.

Mudassir is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the stories behind our favorite virtual worlds. Armed with a trusty notepad and a keen curiosity, he dives headfirst into the gaming industry's most exciting personalities. His knack for insightful questions and his ability to connect with developers and gamers alike makes his interviews a must-read. While on the lookout for the next person to interview, Mudassir keeps himself busy by writing news surrounding the gaming universe. Experience: 4+ Years || Senior Journalist || Education: Bachelor's in Psychology.

Related Articles