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Default Wasteland 2 - Science Consultancy Firm to Work with InXile

October 26th, 2012, 20:15
InXile Entertainment, the company behind this game, issued a press release detailing that Thwacke, a science consulting firm will be working with InXile in order to bring some
believability to narrative, inXile will be working with the Montreal-based scienceconsultancy, Thwacke. Thwacke will bring in experts in the realms of evolutionary biology, nuclear physics, and medicine to add depth and believability to the wasteland, its people, its creatures and its afflictions. As part of their collaboration with inXile, Thwacke, will be working closely with the writers and producers behind Wasteland 2 to enrich their fiction with interesting science.
More information.
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October 26th, 2012, 20:15
Brian isn't messing around with this one.
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October 26th, 2012, 20:46
Yeah, this is sounding like some serious business. I love it, keep up the good work!!!


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October 26th, 2012, 20:47
Originally Posted by DarNoor View Post
Brian isn't messing around with this one.
He can deliver the goods since he already has the funding, and his "bosses" are in fact the fans who funded him and not some suit bureacrats of a publisher.

In order to please a boss that is a publisher you have to make the product as cheap as possible, as fast as possible, and with the most potential to sell to every crowd.

In order to please a boss that is a dire-hard fan you just have to make a product that is good for the fans and keep him in the loop with sneak-previews that he likes.

This is how games should be done. Funded by the fans, with no publishers that like to set the rules. A direct channel between the gamer and the developer is the way to go imho.

Brian is the right guy in the right project with the right bosses. Very little can go wrong and i'm realy excited about this one.
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October 26th, 2012, 21:08
Originally Posted by KnightPT View Post
He can deliver the goods since he already has the funding, and his "bosses" are in fact the fans who funded him and not some suit bureacrats of a publisher.

In order to please a boss that is a publisher you have to make the product as cheap as possible, as fast as possible, and with the most potential to sell to every crowd.

In order to please a boss that is a dire-hard fan you just have to make a product that is good for the fans and keep him in the loop with sneak-previews that he likes.

This is how games should be done. Funded by the fans, with no publishers that like to set the rules. A direct channel between the gamer and the developer is the way to go imho.

Brian is the right guy in the right project with the right bosses. Very little can go wrong and i'm realy excited about this one.
Which brings me to a question - Is Kickstarter the beginning of the end for some PC Publishers?
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October 26th, 2012, 21:21
I'd say that we'll know if Kickstarter is really the beginning of something new when this game and others come out via this avenue. If they really kick ass, I suspect some publishers will be crying to their mommies.


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October 26th, 2012, 21:30
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
I'd say that we'll know if Kickstarter is really the beginning of something new when this game and others come out via this avenue. If they really kick ass, I suspect some publishers will be crying to their mommies.


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FTL is a Kickstarter game that's been released, and it's been a very successful seller on Steam. Its a good game, too. It has that addictive quality that hooked me for a little while. The only thing I'd like to see to keep me hooked is some more complexity — more options.

Not sure FTL or the others are going to revolutionize the industry, but I do think it'll provide some extra variety for we folks who want to play something besides mindless shooters.
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October 26th, 2012, 21:36
Yeah, I agree with others that if a few big projects make big money, we're going to see some publishers take note and stop brushing it off as "'sideline' projects they wouldn't do anyway." I mean, if the revenue is substantial enough, which I hope it will be, it will have an impact on PC publishing. It has to, as that's money they could've/would've seen had they not been so damn myopic in their funding models.
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October 26th, 2012, 22:03
Originally Posted by Capt. Huggy Face View Post
FTL is a Kickstarter game that's been released, and it's been a very successful seller on Steam. Its a good game, too. It has that addictive quality that hooked me for a little while. The only thing I'd like to see to keep me hooked is some more complexity — more options.

Not sure FTL or the others are going to revolutionize the industry, but I do think it'll provide some extra variety for we folks who want to play something besides mindless shooters.
Giana sisters and chivalry medieval warfare are also released.They just came out but reviews are very good(I got giana sisters, chivalry is PvP only game so I am not much interested).I hope we will know sale numbers soon because I am very curious.Also budget need to make FTL isn't high even for indie but game is huge financial success so might this make publishers consider funding this kind of small projects?
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October 27th, 2012, 03:39
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
I'd say that we'll know if Kickstarter is really the beginning of something new when this game and others come out via this avenue. If they really kick ass, I suspect some publishers will be crying to their mommies.


-Carn
It will be hard because we all know that in this industry a lot of the publicity and visibility are payed in big dollar bills to big review sites where a lot of people go to check for new stuff. In fact most of us already know how exactly reviews are made in the top visibility sites…

Coincidently, after the big initial rush for kickstarter campaigns, it's been amazing how the realy big review sites started to ignore kickstarter more and more and started to pretend it isn't big news for the industry. Since i don't believe in coincidences, i smell foul play already.

Fortunately from time to time it pops up a "big name" developer from old times sponsoring a new project and then kickstarter comes back alive a little bit, like its hapening now with project eternity from obsidian, for example.
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October 27th, 2012, 08:56
Reads as they have excess funding and looking for ways to use that.

Sci Fi is past its golden age and in the past, authors made good stories without sinking that much in technicalities. Today, the technician point of view prevails.
Does it add to believability? I am not sure about that. In the past, major pieces took technology shortctut without explaining the how. Things just happened.

Today, sci fi books reading turns into a contest to find the technological inaccuracies. That sums up the reviewing of Sci Fi books today. What about the story?

Additionally, most people live without understanding the basics of technology surrounding them so why should that be different in a future world?

Excess funding to be used. I expect that lengthy paragraphs dedicated to show that money was put on hiring scientific consultants. Just for the sake of it.
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October 28th, 2012, 02:16
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Reads as they have excess funding and looking for ways to use that.

Excess funding to be used. I expect that lengthy paragraphs dedicated to show that money was put on hiring scientific consultants. Just for the sake of it.
Even if that's true, the excess funding part, i see no problem using the money to anything they believe it will make the game better, as long as every feature they promissed will be in the game, with no excuses of being short on funding nor anything else.

The fans funded the money they wanted based on the promissed features the game would have, if they even had excess funding then by all means its better to put that money into a science consultancy firm than to raise their monthly wages and keep the money in their pockets…
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October 28th, 2012, 03:23
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Reads as they have excess funding and looking for ways to use that.

Sci Fi is past its golden age and in the past, authors made good stories without sinking that much in technicalities. Today, the technician point of view prevails.
Does it add to believability? I am not sure about that. In the past, major pieces took technology shortctut without explaining the how. Things just happened.
It depends on whether you're talking about golden-age pulp scifi or the golden-age classics whose works and names are still widely known to this day. In the first case the authors did indeed use science as more of a handwavey excuse for things to happen and often resorted to the worst of scifi tropes and excessive use of all-powerful macguffins. In the latter case though those authors did greatly concern themselves with the science and engineering involved in their stories and went to great lengths to try to get right those things they reasonably could.

Isaac Asimov for example explained he had to do significant research before resuming the foundation series because of advances in theoretical physics as well as technological advancements that had relevance to his far future musings.
Robert A. Heinlein had an engineering background (aeronautical engineering) and had also briefly pursued a graduate degree in physics. He had described using this knowledge and experience a great deal during his writing. Though he did admit that he did far less of this for his books written for juvenile/young-adult readers and he has said he did not think very much of those works beyond providing paychecks. Arthur C. Clarke, in an attempt to make sure something he was describing in one of his stories made physical sense, ended up providing the first mathematical proof of the possibility of using geosynchronous orbits (also known as Clarke Orbits.)

Of course the research performed by Asimov, the engineering experience of Heinlein, and the orbital mechanics work of Clarke did not overtly intrude into their stories in the form of strangely out of place explanations. They used these things instead as a way to inform certain aspects of their world and plot in order to maintain a logical consistency that other authors might have failed to achieve. They were able to do this because they actually each possessed a useful amount of technical and scientific knowledge that allowed them to serve as their own science-technology advisers.

There's a difference between inserting overwrought explanations of the scientific basis of scifi elements and doing as best as is practicable to have the science and scientific basis be sound. So if InXile is hiring a science advisor for the reasons that the best of the golden age science-fiction authors turned to their own science and engineering knowledge then that's great. That's far better than using science as a shortcuts in lieu of intelligent plotting.
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October 28th, 2012, 04:11
perhaps they will add soil erosion, or hire sociologists to help with conversations.

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http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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October 28th, 2012, 08:39
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
It depends on whether you're talking about golden-age pulp scifi or the golden-age classics whose works and names are still widely known to this day. In the first case the authors did indeed use science as more of a handwavey excuse for things to happen and often resorted to the worst of scifi tropes and excessive use of all-powerful macguffins. In the latter case though those authors did greatly concern themselves with the science and engineering involved in their stories and went to great lengths to try to get right those things they reasonably could.

Isaac Asimov for example explained he had to do significant research before resuming the foundation series because of advances in theoretical physics as well as technological advancements that had relevance to his far future musings.
Robert A. Heinlein had an engineering background (aeronautical engineering) and had also briefly pursued a graduate degree in physics. He had described using this knowledge and experience a great deal during his writing. Though he did admit that he did far less of this for his books written for juvenile/young-adult readers and he has said he did not think very much of those works beyond providing paychecks. Arthur C. Clarke, in an attempt to make sure something he was describing in one of his stories made physical sense, ended up providing the first mathematical proof of the possibility of using geosynchronous orbits (also known as Clarke Orbits.)

Of course the research performed by Asimov, the engineering experience of Heinlein, and the orbital mechanics work of Clarke did not overtly intrude into their stories in the form of strangely out of place explanations. They used these things instead as a way to inform certain aspects of their world and plot in order to maintain a logical consistency that other authors might have failed to achieve. They were able to do this because they actually each possessed a useful amount of technical and scientific knowledge that allowed them to serve as their own science-technology advisers.

There's a difference between inserting overwrought explanations of the scientific basis of scifi elements and doing as best as is practicable to have the science and scientific basis be sound. So if InXile is hiring a science advisor for the reasons that the best of the golden age science-fiction authors turned to their own science and engineering knowledge then that's great. That's far better than using science as a shortcuts in lieu of intelligent plotting.
I thought of Clarke, Asimoov, Heinlein and some others.

They had more in the chest of technological knowledge than they showed. But they kept the line that is confirmed today: technology has not to be understood to be used. A lot of people do not even know the basics behind a TV set and still use it. As such, these authors managed to keep the credibility of their universe out of direct concern from the reader (even though indirect concern can be brought in) Their universe had technology, scientifically valid or not and they used it.

Today, it is very different as sci fi reading has turned into speculating around possible valid scientific thesis and the writer is being drawn constantly into assessing if the surmises are correct. After reading a scifi book from today, the main question is: has the author got the science right?
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October 28th, 2012, 08:47
Originally Posted by KnightPT View Post
Even if that's true, the excess funding part, i see no problem using the money to anything they believe it will make the game better, as long as every feature they promissed will be in the game, with no excuses of being short on funding nor anything else.

The fans funded the money they wanted based on the promissed features the game would have, if they even had excess funding then by all means its better to put that money into a science consultancy firm than to raise their monthly wages and keep the money in their pockets…
They believe it will make the game better or know they can deliver on it.
Hiring a consultant team, reaping the production, and staging situations to show that indeed some money was put into hiring a consultant team is something that can be delivered for certain.

Considering how expensive a game developpment is, any money in excess can be used on other games features that would indeed make the game better. During a video game developpment, there are so many opportunities that raising their monthly wages and keeping the money in their pockets is down the list. They were many other uses before introducing that option as the one to be.

Time is catching on old school gamers as games will not be that old school, including many new school features.
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October 28th, 2012, 22:30
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Time is catching on old school gamers as games will not be that old school, including many new school features.
Which is just fine with this old school gamer; there's plenty of room for improvement in those old-school games, as long as the general feel is still there and the story and game are enjoyable.
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October 29th, 2012, 08:40
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Today, it is very different as sci fi reading has turned into speculating around possible valid scientific thesis and the writer is being drawn constantly into assessing if the surmises are correct. After reading a scifi book from today, the main question is: has the author got the science right?
Excactly what recent Sci-Fi have you been reading to form that cynical opinion? I regard alot of recent Sci-Fi as some of the best books I've ever read. Expecially the Comonwealth Saga by Peter F Hamilton. Absolutely fantastic.

In regards to the topic of the thread, I think the initiave is sound. I don't at all require my games to be realistic, but I do want them to be believable. To me it sounds like that's what they're trying to do.
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October 29th, 2012, 14:11
I, for one, welcome any efforts to create a more immersive, more believable game.

For all the character that Fallout 3 and New Vegas had, there was always a groaning voice in the back of my mind when I looked at 200 year old edible food and legible newspapers.
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October 29th, 2012, 18:41
Just stumbled across this Gamesbeat interview of the consulting firm (Thwacke) via NMA. I think it should help to calm a lot of the naysayers.

GamesBeat: What are some “bad” examples or misrepresentation of science in video games? Do you think these examples pose some sort of danger for the audience since they’re not given an accurate portrayal of these scientific concepts?

Alvarado: It’s not so much of a danger as it is a factor that can make the game dull and forgettable. While I don’t explicitly pick on developers who don’t incorporate science into their games, I can say that those who do stand apart from all the rest. This is not just due to the science but also in their execution in delivering a deep experience through their product.

Furthermore, gamers are smart, and they can easily spot plot holes in science fiction. We do our best to pick out oversights in scripts and edit them to create a more cohesive in-game experience. Doing this early in development saves face, time, and money in the long run.

Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2012/10/26/th…sXHsHfVxvAT.99
To reiterate, it sounds like a fine investment of KS funds to me.
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