"When our involvement was first announced, there was a bit of fear along the lines of 'Oh, no, the white coats are going to come and say 'this is unrealistic, throw it out of the game'.' But that's not our job. We are here to help the writers, not get in their way," says Alvarado.
"Wasteland has this very tongue-in-cheek humor and off-the-wall crazy sensibility in creating their world," he says. "The writers ask us questions and we answer to the best of our ability."
As a whole, Thwacke stays up to speed on scientific trends, and they can get game designers in touch with new discoveries in a timely fashion.
Alvarado says, "We always keep in mind that anything we include should be relatively new, [something] that's trending in exciting science, and then incorporate it into the game. With any luck, the release of the game will coincide with that information becoming more generally available and widely understood."
Alvarado argues that game designers are often scrupulous about creating visual realism, but less careful when playing with scientific ideas. "I'm someone who's finishing a Ph.D, a molecular biologist. It irks me, for example, when I see storytellers vaguely using, say, DNA to wrap up their loose ends."