Exodus’ Time Dilation is “All About Hard Choices and Long-Term Consequences,” Narrative Director Says

Narrative director Drew Karpyshyn speaks with GamingBolt about how Exodus' Time Dilation will impact its choice-and-consequence mechanics.

Posted By | On 08th, Apr. 2024

Exodus

A new AAA sci-fi RPG coming from former Mass Effect veterans would have been strong enough as an elevator pitch in and of itself, but everything that developer Archetype Entertainment has revealed about Exodus has only made it that much more of an exciting prospect. Most recently, the studio shed light on what will serve as the central hook for the game- time dilation, and how every time players travel long interstellar distances, when they come back home, years and decades will have passed for the people they left behind.

Speaking in a recent interview with GamingBolt, narrative director Drew Karpyshyn – known for his work on titles like Mass Effect, Knights of the Old Republic, and more – explained in greater detail what role time dilation will play in Exodus, and how it will tie into its choice-and-consequence mechanics.

In Exodus, players will play as a Traveler, tasked with traveling great distances in a hostile, alien galaxy in order to ensure the continued survival and growth of your people. As Karpyshyn explains, however, doing so will come at a cost. Players will have to make “hard choices” with “long-term consequences”, with time dilation being the centerpiece of the story and how it will react to players’ choices.

“Time Dilation is one of the key features of our game, and an inescapable part of being a Traveler,” Karpyshyn told GamingBolt. This is the great sacrifice every Traveler must make – to save humanity, you lose years or even decades of time with the ones you care the most about. The game is all about hard choices and long-term consequences, and the effects of Time Dilation are central to that conflict, so we are focusing the entire core story around this cycle.”

How exactly will time dilation work in terms of gameplay mechanics though? As per Karpyshyn, when traveling shorter distances – like a planet or moon in your own system – players won’t need to travel at lightspeed, which, in turn, means time dilation won’t be a factor. That said, every time you set out on something that isn’t a shorter mission, that will change.

“Time Dilation only comes into play when Travelers go on Exodus – a major journey to another system light years from their homeworld,” Karpyshyn explained. “Exploring a planet or moon within your own system doesn’t cause Time Dilation, as you do not need to travel at near lightspeed to visit these nearby locations. You will still make choices that affect the game on these shorter missions, but Time Dilation only becomes a factor when you prepare and embark on a true Exodus.”

In the same interview, Karpyshyn told us that the primary goal for Archetype Entertainment is to ensure that players “truly feel the weight of every decision they make” in the game.

Exodus is in development for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Stay tuned for our full interview with Karpyshyn.


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