Speedrunner CreeperHntr is pushing the boundaries of The Outer Worlds, having recently completed a speedrun in less than 12 minutes and 15 seconds, not counting loading screens. The Outer Worlds developers Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky sat down to provide commentary to the playthrough, relating it to their experiences in designing the game.
Cain and Boyarsky praise CreeperHntr for his skill navigating the levels, guessing that he must have either played the game many times before or taken pathing hints from other speedruns. They also mention that many of his minor shortcuts – such as jumping over a certain turnstyle or accessing the door of the good ship Unreliable from the ground instead of going up the ramp – were common ones that they did while testing the game. After all, when you have to play a part of a game over and over again to see if something was implemented correctly, you start to take some shortcuts.
CreeperHntr also uses some exploits to skip past large parts of the game. Specifically, to break into an office and get a much needed passcode before the game allowed it, CreeperHntr walks up to someone, tries to pickpocket them, then runs next to the office door, which causes an interaction where the NPC opens the door before confronting him. Cain and Boyarsky describe the move as “pretty genius,” but jokingly complained that he was “missing out on such wonderful narrative and storytelling.”
It’s also worth noting that CreeperHntr does complete the game, finishing what the developers describe as a valid ending, but it is a stretch to say that he wins. He does what Cain and Boyarsky call the “dumb ending,” which is an ending only available to players who set their intelligence score very low at the beginning of the game. This ending allows dumb characters to slingshot the Hope, along with all the colonists needed to solve the problems of the Halcyon Colony and themselves, into the Sun, killing them all.
The dumb ending is currently the fastest way to complete the game, but Cain and Boyarsky wonder how fast someone could complete an ending that ends in success, a “non-dumb” ending. That could certainly be a challenge for CreeperHntr or another speedrunner to complete in the future.