Wasteland 2 - All News
Thursday - March 06, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Charisma Question
Brother None has posted a new question on the Wastland II forums about how Inxile Entertainment can strengthen Charisma.
Ranger Corner: How should we strengthen Charisma?So it's pretty unambiguous that Charisma is the weakest of the current attributes list. Next week we plan to do another attribute balance pass with a strong focus on Charisma, so now would be the ideal time to open this up to you guys: pitch us your best ideas for giving Charisma more weight in Wasteland 2.Thomas Beekers
Friday - February 28, 2014
Wasteland 2 - News Roundup
I have three news-bits for Wasteland 2 today , and decided to make roundup of them instead. The first part of the roundup is a new interview from EDGE with Brain Fargo.
Players have been leaving desire lines in Wasteland 2 since December, when the Kickstarter-funded postapocalyptic RPG sequel was made available to backers and entered Steam Early Access. It was pitched to lovers of turn-based RPGs with the promise that it would recapture the hardcore spirit of 1988’s Wasteland. The Kickstarter campaign received more than three times its asking amount, in part because it was helmed by Interplay founder Brian Fargo, who led the original game’s development and assisted in the creation of Fallout.
Next Combat Designer Devin Morrow answers a few questions on guns and gun variety in the game. So head on over to the games forum for that.
We are working very hard to make sure the range of weapons we have is both inclusive and interesting. That being said, no one wants to leave out an expected or iconic weapon. If you see something missing you would absolutely expect to be on the list please continue to post about it. The Carl Gustav RR was a perfect example and I thank you for it. Please keep the feedback coming, it's a big help!
And for the final part of the roundup we get information on a new Beta Update.
Wasteland 2 Early Beta Update #34119 Notes
Fixed CNPC lost control locking out combat
Exploding pod fragments now stack to 10
Switch PaGa SMG to fire 9mm rounds from .45
Added 1000 scrap to Gorkinivivh
Custom portraits should properly save
Saving and loading at the end of a radio conversation should no longer cause the conversation to not have dialog options
Pigs and Pitbull should properly spawn
When changing graphic settings a confirmation window with a 10 second timeout appears.
HOTFIX: Fixed infinite loading in Agricultural Center
Thursday - February 27, 2014
Wasteland 2 - First Impression @ Steamfirst
Steamfirst has posted a video were they take a look at the Beta of Wasteland 2.
The highly anticipated post-apocalyptic game from inXile is finally out! (kinda) After raising nearly 3 million dollars on Kickstarter, can Wasteland 2 live up to all the hype? Unfortunately it can not. While the game lacks in fun factor, it still manages to shine in many of the areas that made the old Fallout games, as well as the original Wasteland, great. Despite its flaws, there is still plenty to like regarding Wasteland 2. It’s strategic and gritty at heart, but struggles to maintain focused gameplay.
Wednesday - February 26, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Extended Gameplay Trailer
InXile Entertainment has released a new Extended Gameplay Trailer for Wasteland 2.
First and foremost, the large beta update has just gone live on Steam. Additionally, the OSX version of the beta is now also live for our Mac backers! The full list of fixes and tweaks runs well over 2000, you can view the long patch note list here, which runs the gamut from optimization to fixing small and large bugs to expanding the game's content. We also updated the beta's reference card and expanded it a little bit. As a reminder, this update will break existing save games. The most immediate difference you'll notice will of course be the updates character and inventory screens. Other than just looking better the new inventory adds a lot of functionality such as an all-party inventory and direct mouse-over comparisons between an item with your currently equipped item (by holding shift). The second big thing is the addition of the fifth major location in Arizona, the Prison, which was formerly the Ranger Center, now taken over by a rival militia. Ranger Team Echo heads into the Prison in search of ways into Damonta, a town seemingly unreachable beyond a radiation wall.
Tuesday - February 25, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #45
InXile Entertainment has a new post-funding update for Wasteland 2 with news the beta update has been released, and talks about a recent Twitch.TV stream.
And. Here. We. Go!
This is just a short update to notify all of you that some of the things we've been talking about of late are now live: the beta update, the $10 add-on and some new videos. First and foremost, the large beta update has just gone live on Steam. Additionally, the OSX version of the beta is now also live for our Mac backers!
The full list of fixes and tweaks runs well over 2000, you can view the long patch note list here, which runs the gamut from optimization to fixing small and large bugs to expanding the game's content. We also updated the beta's reference card and expanded it a little bit. As a reminder, this update will break existing save games.
The most immediate difference you'll notice will of course be the updates character and inventory screens. Update 43 had the goods on that so I won't go over it again in detail, we're looking forward to seeing people play around with it. Other than just looking better the new inventory adds a lot of functionality such as an all-party inventory and direct mouse-over comparisons between an item with your currently equipped item (by holding shift).
Jumping on board
We have launched our limited-time add-on option for existing Wasteland 2 backers. This $10 add-on will be available for purchase for a limited time, and will give access to Wasteland 2's beta. It does not include the other extras from the Steam digital deluxe edition. To purchase this add-on, log into your Ranger Center account, you will find it under the backer store tab.
Torment backers: If your tier included Wasteland 2 and you didn't already get the beta as an add-on, you are eligible for this $10 add-on as well. Log in to your Torment pledge management account and the add-on will appear in the Torment store listing. This applies only to tiers that include Wasteland 2. Please contact us via the system if you run into any problems.
We manually import PayPal pledge data into our system. We will increase the frequency of these updates but please be aware it can still be a few days before your pledge is registered. When it is registered, the key will show up at the bottom of your "Donations" tab, on either system. Please note the system is only set up to provide one key per account, and will not process multiple purchases from a single backer.
If you want to see some of the things this update brings, we did a live stream on Twitch TV earlier today to show off the new goods. You can view the video in its entirety on Twitch.tv here.
Thursday - February 20, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #44
InXile Entertainment has released a new post-funding update for Wasteland 2 with news on the next beta update, more screenshots, and when the game will be finished.
FTW For the When
The comments from the early beta have continued to help us craft Wasteland 2 and the next beta update will reflect the changes we have made based on your feedback along with the many scheduled additions. We've made great progress on this beta update and are currently putting it through final balancing and testing touches: it will go live on Steam next Monday, the 24th. But I know the question on everyone’s minds (and tweets and Facebook posts) is “When will Wasteland 2 be done?” Of course there is always the glib answer of “when it’s done” but we owe you more detail on the process than that.
To date we have had a total of 2,300 bugs and suggestions (not counting duplicates) reported from the beta testers and from our outside compatibility testing group since December. We have fully addressed over 1,100 of these items including a host of compatibility issues. On top of that production is moving forward on all fronts, you will see in the next update we have a new inventory UI, new locations on the map to explore, changes to existing locations to add depth, destructible objects, more satisfying combat animations, more ambient sounds, etc.
We know better than to give an exact date at this point because in addition to pushing the game in the ways we’d planned, we’re going to continue to incorporate player comments that make sense for us to address. But we are in the final stretch, and are thankful our backers have consistently agreed we should take the time we need. Our current three month plan will create a significantly better game as we are in an important development phase with each week taking huge steps to improve the game. As we progress through this plan we'll of course keep posting updates to let all our backers know how the game's progressing. But do be aware the end of this three month plan does not represent the finish line, at that point there will still be work to do before we can release the game.
Tuesday - February 18, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Brian Fargo Interview @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer chatted with Brian Fargo on Wasteland 2, Crowdfunding and Fallout. This bit is about the Early Access of Wasteland 2.
While Fargo says Wasteland 2 sales haven't "been anything crazy", he seems happy with how things have gone so far. The real indicator of success, he says, will come from sales of the game once it leaves Early Access. "Not a lot of people typically sign up for Early Access for a single-player game, that I've seen, and for that price," he says. "Most people are content on waiting. Most of the comments are, we can't wait to see it when it finally comes out. There are a lot of Early Access games that are less, like $20. We're a very different dynamic."
That price. Wasteland 2 costs £34.99 from Steam Early Access, which is higher than many were expecting. It's one of the most expensive Early Access games, more than double the cost of DayZ, Rust or Starbound.
The price has drawn complaints and, surely, has put people off dipping their toe into the game's dusty expanse. Wasteland 2 is for many a tantalising prospect, but on Steam, where yet another sale always seems around the corner, asking top dollar is sometimes asking too much.
Fargo says his hands were tied. The $55 tier on Kickstarter was the minimum you had to spend to gain access to the game and so, as he explains, it would have been unfair to undermine the support of inXile's early backers by releasing Wasteland 2 on Steam cheaper. "Imagine me doing another Kickstarter after sending the signal that, by the way, if you support us early on, we're going to undercut you later," he says.
Monday - February 17, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Beta Preview @ Pixel Related
Pixel Related had a look at the beta of Wasteland 2, and shared their opinion.
Picture Baldur’s Gate or Icewind Dale but with AP based ranged and melee combat, and you start to get an idea of the scope and depth of the experience. Though it is only in the Early Access beta stages, those willing to deal with the occasional crash and bug report can dive in now and start playing with skills and character builds. The nature of the divergent experience makes it well worth the time and investment — the level of replayability is hugely apparent, as from the beginning moments of the game you’ll see missed opportunities where you could have influenced conversations in particular ways. And as time goes on and more content is added, those possibilities continue to grow.
Tuesday - February 11, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Beta Patch Quick Look
Thomas Beekers also known as Brother None on our forums has posted an update with information on a new beta patch for Wasteland 2.
The upcoming beta update is going to be one that blows our previous updates out of the water in terms of scope, and we wanted to give you guys another quick peek at it. The update notes will likely list something in the range of 700 fixes and changes, and that’s not really factoring in the major changes of adding the Prison area along with several smaller tie-in maps, as well as the re-designed inventory we previewed recently.
The fixes will significantly improve the game in many ways, one good example is in combat. A veritable bevy of tweaks will improve not just how combat feels (think various sound, animation and effects improvements), but also its tactical depth. The Prison is a fairly combat-focused area, and it will be the first area the players will be faced by significant new threats that challenge your tactical decisions, like fast-moving grenadiers that make the placement of your characters that much more important or heavy machine gunners that will whittle down your cover in no time flat.
We’ve also said a few times blocker bugs are a high priority, such as savegame issues and optimization tweaks. To give a more concrete example: we are pretty sure we’ve overcome a significant memory issue that was causing problems for many people running 32-bit OSs, but have also done significant work topping down the memory footprint of the game, as well as its efficiency to transition between levels cleanly. Performance should see a general improvement for everyone with this update.
Monday - February 10, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ Screen Robot
Screen Robot interviews Brian Fargo to talk about crowdfunding, and Wasteland 2.
Crowdfunded projects by the biggest names in gaming have now become commonplace, but when Brian Fargo and inXile Entertainment began their Kickstarter campaign to fund Wasteland 2 back in 2012, it was something of an outlier. Keeping on the cutting edge of the industry seems to have paid off for Fargo, as nearly three million dollars that the Kickstarter raised has produced a game that is wowing fans, and critics alike.
“I feel fortunate to be on the forefront of such an important games development movement,” says Brian when asked about the campaign. “Partnering with our audience via crowdfunding allows us to greater control our destiny, and make the games we want in the fashion that works for us.” The crowdfunding model dominated videogames headlines in 2013, and as discussed in a feature two weeks ago, this years games, that have already been paid for by fans, will start being released into the wild.
Buying a game two years in advance of its release bears a greater risk of disappointment for audiences, so inXile opted to release it via Steam Early Access to gauge response from fans. “Having more players meant more feedback, and we can’t get enough of that. This interaction is going to provide us with the assistance to create an RPG that could not have possibly have had the nuance and smoothed- out edges had it been developed with a more closed approach,” Brian says. “The beta testers get to have fun with the game early and watch it get shaped by their comments and the buyers of the final game get an experience that is far better than it would have been without. It’s a win-win situation to me.”
Monday - February 03, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Beta Preview Roundup
I managed to roundup three more previews based on the beta of Wasteland 2.
Overall I enjoyed my time with Wasteland. Hopefully there will be time to flesh out the character of the game world and polish the controls. If you go into Wasteland 2 expecting a throwback to the early Fallout games then you won’t be disappointed. Old school.
As far as Early Access games are concerned, Wasteland 2 has surpassed my expectations. There are few noticeable bugs; at least none that I came across, and the story is being fleshed out enough to keep me interested for quite some time. Keeping my interest nowadays is quite hard for most games, I am constantly moving to newer release titles.
If you want a taste of what the apocalypse has to offer right now and don’t mind getting your virtual nose bloodied a few times in getting the swing of life in the beta testing of an irradiated future, Wasteland 2′s welcome mat is already rolled out. Just watch your step through the front door. They haven’t finished the house just yet, but the invitation is there to pick up a hammer and help out.
Saturday - February 01, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #43
nXile Entertainment has released a new post-funding update for Wasteland 2 with a look at the enhanched game inventory system.
Development at this point is going faster than ever! Now that we have all of our tools in a great place, we’re spending most of our time making the experience better. You might have noticed that we haven’t updated the beta code in a while and there is a good reason for that. The next update contains some major upgrades almost across the board. We’ve made some huge leaps in optimization and reducing our memory footprint. With your help, we’ve killed over 200 bugs in this update and implemented some great reactivity and conversation suggestions that we received from the community. The inventory system has had an exciting overhaul (more on that later) and a new town (Prison) is being added. The Prison used to be Ranger Center until they took over the Guardian Citadel and made it their home. The OSX build has been in testing and we’re fixing some compatibility issues so there is a good chance it will be ready when the next code update is live. Linux has not been forgotten and will follow after OSX is released.
Because of the scope of the update it's taking a little longer than anticipated, we'll keep you posted on its status as we keep working on it. Last update we talked about offering a one-time chance to get into the early beta for only $10 to all our backers. The timing of this promotion will coincide with the update going out, so it is not yet available now. It will be a short run promotion so we’ll make sure to notify everyone in an update when it has started.
Monday - January 27, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Soundtrack Preview
If you're interested in listeningto a few tracks form Wasteland 2 Soundcloud has a free preview of the games soundtrack with four free tracks.
Sunday - January 26, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ Pixel Judge
Pixel Judge takes a look at the ealy beta version of Wasteland 2.
Combining the old school point of view and control scheme with more modern graphics and art design, Wasteland 2 looks amazing. Character models look as good up close as they do at a distance, and the variety of customisation options at character creation helps to avoid confusion between the characters you've created and those you encounter in your travels. The environment design is as beautiful as you can expect from a game set after the apocalypse - and even then some areas will surprise you. I sincerely hope that Bethesda's art team is taking notes, because it leaves their latest efforts looking like a dead wasteland in comparison.
The level design is superb, and contains quite a few tricks and traps that, unlike quite a few games I've played, feel fair. There was always an element of 'you should have been paying more attention' every time I triggered a plant-based bomb or some other trap, since every one of them could have been avoided if I rotated the camera before moving, or paid more attention to what was going on around me. The UI’s design could be tweaked to make it a bit more intuitive, and there are a few problems with text scaling on higher resolutions, but those are things that the devs are still working to improve. On the whole, Wasteland 2 is shaping up to be the prettiest isometric RPG I've played.
Wednesday - January 22, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Beta Preview @ GameTactics
GameTactics previews the early beta of Wasteland 2.
I liked what I played of the game, but I was worried about the quality of the game’s soundtrack, as what little music I heard sounded like generic Country Western guitar from Borderlands. At least the voice acting is decent. But there were also some odd bugs like one that hangs after a field transition, necessitating a reset of the game. Thankfully the game has auto-saving before the transition bug occurs. You can also do manual saves to make the game easier for you. Other than that, Wastelands 2 looks to be a promising game, which will surely fix its issues and be a better experience when the full game launches later this year.
Monday - January 20, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ JumpToGamer
Jump To Gamer has posted a new preview of the early beta of Wasteland 2.
One of the most impressive things about Wasteland 2 is the writing. Everything is very descriptive in that you can picture the scene perfectly, and fill in any blanks with your imagination. The writing and dialogue is equally well versed with many characters having a distinct and believable personality. This goes a long way towards providing a suspension of disbelief that may be hard to experience in these cRPGs.
Saturday - January 18, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #42
InXile Entertainment has released a new post-funding update for Wasteland 2.
Twitch live stream and Q&A
We just wanted to do a quick update to let you know we're on Twitch TV right now, livestreaming from our studio with DJWheat. For the next two hours we'll be playing Wasteland 2 and discussing the game, and this is also an opportunity for our fans to ask us questions about pretty much anything you want; the design of certain areas, the writing process, our plans for the near future, etc etc. We will be playing a beta area so it's early-game, we'll try to keep spoilers fairly light.
Now at the time of posting the news the stream is over, but fear not you can watch the recorded show here. Just a warning the show is 2 1/2 hours long.
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ Strategy Informer
Strategy Informer interviews Brian Fargo about Wasteland 2. Below is one question I found interesting so be sure to read the full interview.
Strategy Informer: What makes a good role-playing game for you?
Brian Fargo: Choice and consequence has always been the most important thing for me, and that it has some meaning. It can’t be the magician’s trick where no matter what you choose you always end up in the exact same place; people see that quite quickly and then get let down that their choices don’t mean anything. For us it’s only a question of, ‘How deep can we go?’ You can’t take every single situation to its natural ridiculous conclusion because there are an infinite number of scenarios that could come out of any one thing, but we need to dive as deep as possible.
The other thing is that I’ve always been a big believer that the journey is the reward rather than just the conclusion. I want to have moral decisions where there is a trade off in a way that you really have to rack your brain as to whether that was the right decision or not; and then you see how those things play out.
One of the things we’re experimenting with in Wasteland 2, which I haven’t seen much of before, is thinking, ‘What does it mean for the game to end?’ I don’t mean like you die and it’s over. I mean something where the game finishes, it becomes something else and the credits roll. So we’ve been experimenting with having there be different end points depending on what you want to do.
I’m OK with there being one early ending where someone might miss another 40 hours of content and the game ends because they chose to take a particular path. We made it clear what would happen if you went down that particular line; and guess what? That’s the path you went down. The beauty of a role-playing game of course is that you get to replay it and try different things. To me, that is the fun part. I jokingly describe them as the non-heroic endings.
Thursday - January 16, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Preview Roundup
I managed to find three more previews basen on the early Beta of Wasteland 2.
For the most part Wasteland 2 excites me. What is on offer is enjoyable and returns to a particular brand of gaming that I am increasingly fond of. It's a classic CRPG awoken from cryosleep in the year 2014. It isn't finished, and it is costly, but here's to hoping Brian Fargo and his excellent team of veterans manage to pull this one off.
Wasteland 2 also highlights the problem with the new "Early Access" culture that's rapidly becoming de rigeur. What's on offer here, for a rather premium price, is the opportunity to get involved with a fraction of what the main game will become, in a state of supreme undress. First impressions can often count for a lot, and if you're someone who values that first playthrough highly, then I'd suggest holding off on handing over money just yet. There plenty of old-school charm here, but it's tempered with old-school frustrations too, and wrapped up in a bundle that would actually struggle to earn an alpha tag under normal circumstances. More than anything, the "Early Access beta" simply affirms the direction of Fargo's 25-year vision at this point. For some, that will be enough; for others, there's nothing wrong with holding off for a few months and waiting for opening night rather than settling for snippets of rehearsals.
The final impression we have of the early access for Wasteland 2 after several hours of play is that it showcases the start of a very promising game that needs a lot of work. Performance was uneven and the limited amount of content (30% is the number everyone is running with) left the world feeling a bit empty. These can and will probably be fixed by release but we found lack of tutorial is a bit troubling. The game drops you off running with not so much of a how to do leaving players to reference a quick reference card for keybinds in an attempt to figure the game out. This is how things tended to be handled in the old days and is considered hardcore but might end up driving away players that prefer the pampered approach. That would be a shame considering Wasteland 2 looks to bring classic pc gaming to a new generation.
Wednesday - January 15, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Editorial @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a short article for Wasteland 2 about a few comments on the Kickstarter page for combat improvements.
Alec and I each had a go at Wasteland 2‘s Early Access beta, and we both came away whistling upbeat tunes while prepping our shotguns for more. A lot more, hopefully. inXile’s post-apocalyptic revival/alternate dimension vision of Fallout 3 is far from finished, and it needs viscous globs of spit ‘n’ shine in many areas. But those crafty developer types, they’ve been paying attention to every article, video, and sea shanty posted in reaction to their multi-million-dollar baby. They are watching. But that’s a good thing – at least, in this case. Next on the docket for Wasteland 2: vastly more interesting combat, a better UI, improved balance, bug fixes, and even more world reactivity. In other words, pretty much all the stuff Alec and I (and most other humans) asked for.
Saturday - January 11, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #41
InXile Entertainment has released a new post-funding update for Wasteland 2.
Get Back to Work!
I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and got time to relax and spend time with the people you care about. I know we here appreciated the break and have returned with our batteries charged; attacking our to do lists with vigor.
Wasteland 2 has been in beta for around a month now, and it’s been a hectic but great time. The initial beta feedback from our backers has been amazing, not just in that many people are loving what they’re seeing so far, but also in that you guys have been terrific in giving feedback: we have around 8000 suggestions/bugs/comments (with many redundancies as you can imagine) reported directly through the CenterCode bug feedback site, and over 500 new discussion threads on our official forums. All the suggestions and bugs from CenterCode have been processed generating approximately 1800 tasks for our team, of which roughly 500 have already been resolved in the first two weeks of work on this backer beta (in the current internal build).
One of the things that makes this process unique is having an open beta for a narrative driven RPG. Typically we find that beta programs of this size focus on multi-player aspects of games so that the developer can hone in balance, server capacity and features related to multiple people playing a game. In our case we are looking at ways to improve the reactivity of a story driven game in material ways. It is a key tenet to an RPG of this style so expect to see continued changes and additions to areas you have already visited. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly and materially things evolve. We continue to learn from your feedback and apply these lessons to both the beta areas and the ones we haven’t released yet. The final version of Wasteland 2 will be a game that could not have been created in a vacuum.
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ CalmDownTom
Calm Down Tom takes a look at the early beta of Wasteland 2 in this new preview.
As a demo, a small taste, the Early Access build really shows its potential and I’m beyond excited for the full version. If InXile can get the kinks ironed out and get the game polished up, I could see this making many “Game of the Year” lists in 2014, and fully justifying what at first glance is a premium price tag.
Friday - January 10, 2014
Wasteland 2 - New Beta Patch
InXile Entertainment has posted news of a Beta patch for Wasteland 2.
Wasteland 2 Early Beta Update #29538 Notes
High Profile Fixes
Multiple improvements have been made to prevent infinite loading bugs
Multiple adjustments have been made to prevent an enemy from not ending their turn
Performance enhancements across the board
Events should now play properly even if another is already playing
Added Quick Save & Quick Load
Switching characters in conversation should allow you to use their speech skills
Modified and junk flags on inventory items should now be positioned correctly
Removed unnecessary clicks in combat to smooth out the experience. Left click now immediately attacks a target.
HOTFIX: F12 is no longer the default Quickload keybinding
HOTFIX: Ranger Squad now begins game with appropriate amount of water
HOTFIX: The character models in the character creation screen no longer duplicate and overlap
Thursday - January 09, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ PCGamesN
PCGamesN is the next site to post a preview of the Wasteland 2 beta.
InXile’s really only offering up a tiny slice of Wasteland 2 at the moment, and I wouldn’t recommend grabbing it before you can actually experience the entire game, the way it’s meant to be played. Yet I’m comforted by what I’ve played, getting a chance to return to my favourite era of RPGs, even if I’m now twiddling my thumbs and waiting for the main course, absolutely ravenous.
Wednesday - January 08, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ Red Bull
Red Bull has a new article style interview with Brain Fargo talking about the 25 year journey of Wasteland 2.
If you started gaming after 1988, you might not know just how much you owe to the original American, post-nuclear Wasteland. Gamers in their teens, twenties and even thirties will remember throwing dice on New Vegas' tumbledown Strip, pilfering munitions from Fallout 3's burned out White House, the jingling slot machines and distant gunshots of Fallout 2's New Reno - maybe even running with the caravan traders in Fallout's Hub.
But for all their adventures in world-saving and mutant-slaying, those players were born after the bombs fell. While the post-apocalypse has given us modern gems from Rage to The Last Of Us, it'd all be so much static without the quasi-text adventure that was Interplay's Wasteland.
A quarter century later, Wasteland 2 is finally nearing the end of its Beta test. Its post-nuclear American Southwest is no less full of raiders, murderers and cut-throat opportunists. Its deserts are no less barren, its mutants no less gruesome. Twenty-five years on, we're still grimly fascinated by what the world might look like scorched of humanity - and how we might carve out an existence in it.
Tuesday - January 07, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Beta Preview @ HardcoreGamer
Hardcore Gamer has posted a new preview of the Wasteland 2 beta, and come to the conclusion the game isn’t ready to be experienced.
At the end of the day, Wasteland 2 is everything inXile promised. It’s pretty, well-crafted, creatively different from the games which it draws its influences, and as fun as a beta can be — if quite rough around the edges, awfully short and easier than expected. It’s clearly not a perfect game, nor will it be for quite some time, but it does exist, however, and that in itself is quite astounding. In its current state, I would recommend Wasteland 2 only to the most-impatient of fans, but I implore all RPG lovers to keep an eye out for future updates and its eventual release. It’s simply not ready to be experienced by the lot yet, but it’s getting there, and it’s doing so with style.
Monday - January 06, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Beta Preview @ IGR
iGame Responsibly has a new preview of Wasteland 2 based on the beta version.
The original Wasteland was a game ahead of its time in 1988 and introduced gamers to the first post-apocalyptic RPG. Fallout, something of a spiritual successor, perfected the art in 1997. Gaming has come a long way since the 80′s and 90′s, and while Wasteland 2 admirably attempts to marry the old school style of the original with modern gaming touches, something seems to have been lost in the translation. There is a lot to like in Wasteland 2 in its current Beta form. The setting of an Arizona wasteland is fun to explore, the voice acting is very good, and the music is excellent. But some clunky interface problems and a few questionable design choices can induce an amount of work and frustration that tends to spoil the overall experience.
Friday - January 03, 2014
Wasteland 2 - Two More Previews
I managed to round up two more previews based on the Wasteland 2 Beta.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Wasteland 2 beta. Although I only caught an 11-hour glimpse of what promises to be a much longer game, I can earnestly say I like the direction it’s going in. With an expected 2014 release, we shouldn’t have too much longer to wait to see whether or not inXile will deliver the game that die-hard fans have been wanting for more than 25 years.
If you enjoyed XCOM and would like to see the combat as optional within a Fallout-style world, or want Shadowrun Returns with a bigger, freer post-apocalyptic world, then Wasteland 2 is going to be exactly the game for you. It’s funny, it’s interesting, it’s great to explore, and did I mention how great and Fallout-y Mark Morgan’s music is? Nonetheless while you can take the plunge and try Early Access I’d suggest waiting until the final release unless you’re willing to a) put up with potentially game-breaking bugs and b) not have your savegames carry over. While Wasteland 2 is already a great game in the classic Fallout mold, it’s not quite done yet. The release date is just “2014” at the moment, but when it does properly turn up this particular top-down RPG with the advanced 3D graphics engine and turn-based combat should be worth the wait.
Thursday - December 26, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ Should You Play It
A site by the name of Should You Play It takes a look at the early beta of Wasteland 2.
Should You Play Wasteland 2?
Casual(Easy): Except for possibly the combat, everything else in Wasteland 2 is easy since it just requires exploration and having the correct skills. There is a difficulty setting for when combat gets tough, but it currently doesn't seem to actually affect anything as of right now.
Casual(Quick Play Sessions): Unless you're in the middle of combat, you can save the game at any time, allowing you to play the game however long you want at intervals.
Hardcore: There is a difficulty setting, but so far it doesn't seem to actually affect much if anything, especially combat. Whether or not the game feels hardcore is more about what skills you choose to have present on your characters, since they will all determine what you can do while playing.
Completionist: There is a lot of content in Wasteland 2 for you to complete, and the fact that you can easily play the game over many times without playing it the same way will give anyone a long lasting game to enjoy.
Game Length: Only 30% of the gameplay is currently available in this version of the game, but even only that amount of content takes quite a while to complete. Just one of the first areas that you go to can take around 5 hours to complete if you completely explore it. On release, a guess of 50 hours worth of gameplay seems accurate, and this isn't even taking replayability into consideration.
Should You Buy Wasteland 2?
Wasteland currently costs 60 dollars as part of the Steam early access program, but as time goes on and when it is released in its completed form the price will be lowering, but there is no idea how much it will cost then. If you do buy the game in early access you will also get a copy of the first wasteland, digital music, digital art, and digital novellas. Even though the game is mostly feature-complete in terms of gameplay and areas to explore, it would still be hard to say that the game is worth 60 dollars in its current form, especially since the complete version will have a lot more polish and at a lower price. If you are a big fan of the game and the type of gameplay and have been following its development for some time, then it might be worth buying. Whatever the case, whether you buy the game at 30 or 60 dollars, you can easily expect to get lots of enjoyment out of it.
Sunday - December 22, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Early Beta Update
InXile Entertainment has news of a new update for the early beta of Wasteland 2.
Wasteland 2 Early Beta Update #28918 Notes
High Profile Fixes
Updated to Unity 4.3 which may introduce new issues not previously seen. Please report on the Early Beta Community Site.
Implemented hardware cursor
Major combat and weapon balancing (1st balancing pass).
Eliminated a variety of crashes related to saving & loading in combat.
Eliminated a variety of infinite loading occurrences during scene transitions. (Specifically Ag Center and Highpool loading crashes)
Eliminated a variety of crashes related to Highpool & Ag Center.
The game will no longer be autosaved and a duplicate party will no longer be generated when going to the main menu from gameplay.
The name of a snapshot portrait should now be set when it is created.
Custom portrait filenames should now be retained when saving/loading.
Optimization: Pre-allocate animstates for decreased load time.
Removed XP exploit for perception.
Improved individual dropsets.
Improved overall loot distribution and balance.
Eliminated circumstance of loot drop returning no items.
Clicking on a player portrait to switch to a different speaker in conversations should now work correctly.
HOTFIX - Performance improvements, and quality settings will now perform properly
Saturday - December 21, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Video Preview @ Softpedia
Softpedia takes a look at the beta of Wasteland 2 in this new preview video.
The world of Wastelands 2 is at once familiar and mysterious and the team at InXile has managed to add a lot of flavor even to the initial battles against Raiders.
The graphics quality of Wasteland 2 can be a little disappointing at the moment, especially when it comes to the random encounters, mainly because of poor quality for the textures and the characters.
On the other hand, the user interface is well designed and the soundtrack, even if a little limited, manages to underscore the western feeling of the entire experience.
Another issue with the InXile game at this stage is that it tends to crash often, but that can hopefully be solved with help from fans.Wasteland 2 could be a great experience, but the beta lacks the stability it needs to show the potential of the game.
Friday - December 20, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Early Impression @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a new early impression article for Wasteland 2.
Whatever ‘Early Access’ really means, the game’s just not yet ready to play comfortably, and in order to save myself from stropping off and giving up on it, I keep telling myself that despite the confident ‘beta’ tag this is just an alpha and I really should come back in a few months rather than try and invest anything in it now. Indeed, apparently savegames will likely be incompatible with the next update, so it really is sheer folly to try and do much at present.
So for now I’m treating it as brief proof that inXile do indeed appear to be making the game they’d promised to make, that it isn’t cheap and nasty and that it doesn’t suffer from the disappointing perfunctoriness of Shadowrun Returns. I think it’s going to pan out how we’d hoped, presuming ‘old school turn-based RPG with a big old lick of paint’ is what we’d hoped for. I’m afraid I do have to recommend against buying it right now though, at least if your primary purpose for doing so is entertainment.
Monday - December 16, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Preview Roundup
I managed to round up two more previews based on the beta version of Wasteland 2.
Even though Wasteland 2 has a long ways to go, at this stage in development I do feel it's very promising. The beta is not perfect by any means - graphics, user interface, and even quests, story and general gameplay are all subject to change - so that could turn some players off who expect a polished and bug-free time right out of the box, but at the same time, if you are interested in seeing a glimpse of what the game will offer as far as its overall gameplay experience goes, the beta is probably worth checking out.
What the beta does offer, though, is the best evidence so far that inXile is on the right track here. Already, Wasteland 2 has the spirit of the original firmly in place, and puts its designers' Kickstarted money where their mouths were during the campaign in terms of how it's been updated and to what extent. This game is more than a little clunky and certainly isn't a looker, but is leaving no stone unturned to be both the sequel that Wasteland deserves and a great RPG in its own right. That's what was promised. That's what seems to be on its way. That's what counts more than anything else, and I eagerly await the rest.
Sunday - December 15, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Lets Play Video @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer has a new video of the beta version of Wastelands 2. As usual a spoiler warning is required, and you have been warned.
Wasteland 2 is in the hands of the public! At the moment those hands belong to people who backed the game on Kickstarter, but later today (13th December) they'll belong to anyone who wants to pay for Steam Early Access. Bertie managed to sneak his way into the beta yesterday and capture his first forays into the post-apocalyptic world that Brian Fargo's inXile has built..
Saturday - December 14, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Early Access on Steam
Wasteland 2 is now available for Early Access. Here are the details and a new video.
Here’s the thing: we’ve got a sequel to the classic Wasteland 1, one of the original RPG's and the godfather of the Fallout™ series. Like the original, this one’s a turn-based, isometric, story-intensive exploration of the radioactive wastes of the American Southwest, heavy on choice and consequence. 20 years we have been waiting for the moment to have a sequel to Wasteland and the moment is near.
Now, time was we could get a publisher to do the beta for us… but like the United States in 2112, those days are long gone, a windswept, radioactive memory. Like the Desert Rangers risin' from the ashes of the old world, we’re building a new community, a new reality for the world as it is: from the Kickstarter community to the Steam community, this new world only works when people are weighing in with their ideas and impressions.
We’re starting out at $59.99 and you’re going to get a lot for your money over time, including a truckload of digital extras, including:
-- A free copy of Wasteland 1 - The Original Classic
-- Two digital novellas set in The Wasteland world
-- Mark Morgan's Wasteland 2 OST in digital format
-- A digital concept art book
* We expect the final release price will be lower, but the free copy of Wasteland 1 and the extra goodies are exclusive to Early Access
You also are joining our indie dev team. Your participation is going to make this game better.
Friday - December 13, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Lets Play Videos @ RPS
Wasteland 2′s beta is officially go! Well, for backers anyway. I booted it up the second Steam finished prying it from some server’s synthetic grip, and I realized something: I was nervous. My expectations were riding extremely high, and I couldn’t help but fear that inXile’s return to post-apocalyptic role-playing’s roots would let me down. What I’d seen up to that point had my head ready to explode like a gerbil full of uncooked rice (and also a blood sausage), but maybe it wouldn’t all come together. Maybe it was pure promise and no execution. All bark, zero bite.
I was worried over nothing. Wasteland 2′s irradiated peaks and valleys are pretty rad so far. I have some minor quibbles (the interface is awkward, enemy AI can be really dumb, some bugs and glitches), but there’s quite a lot to like here. Watch me play through a few early sections below. Oh, and fair warning: slight spoilers ahead. Nothing too major, though.
Thursday - December 12, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #40
Well if you want to play the Alpha version of Wasteland 2 now is the time according to the latest post-funding update from inXile entertainment.
Building a Better Beta - Right Now!
It’s hard to believe we're finally at a place where we're ready to put a playable version of Wasteland 2 into your hands, but today's the day. What a road it has been to get here.
It has been an enlightening experience learning what is entailed with this new transparent development process. I admit it isn’t easy to release code before it’s complete, as I have hundreds of issues on my list still to be addressed, but it’s time for the next phase. All backers eligible for the beta from your original pledge (that is, any tier of $55 or more except the $60 late backer box) or an add-on can now log in to your Ranger Center account and retrieve your Steam key for the Wasteland 2 beta. You’ll find it at the bottom of your Donations page. I should also note that we've had quite a few requests to offer the game on Steam Early Access, which we will do after our backers have had first crack at it.
PLEASE DO READ THIS UPDATE BEFORE YOU START TESTING
Creating a deep RPG is a unique challenge, in that so many elements need to be working well together, with 95% of the game's underpinnings complete before beta can begin, which is what we've all been working so hard on this last month. Now, however, is the stage of development where the magic happens. With most of the mechanical issues behind us, now we can really start digging deep into the game and finding ways of taking it from good to great. No amount of prepping and planning can replace old-fashioned hands-on playing, testing and iteration time, which is why we are so grateful to have you, our backers, help us hone this process like never before. So thanks once again to all of you for giving us this opportunity to make your game in this new and open way. Your input has been, and will continue to be, critical every step of the way, and Wasteland 2 will be better because of it.
For your convenience while playing, we put together a reference card. This serves as a basic guide to gameplay and the game's interface.
All the game's major systems are now implemented, which allows us to expedite the amount of depth, fun and subtlety that gets in, but this is an ambitious game both in terms of scale and the amount of reactivity we have planned, so please don’t forget that we are not complete, and that there are still a host of issues that need to be addressed.
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ VG 24/7
VG 24/7 has posted a new interview talking to Brian Fargo about Wasteland 2.
VG247: What’s the stupidest question a publisher asked you?
Fargo: “Well I had one publisher say, ‘we don’t want to do games based on franchises, we want to do new stuff,’ which, for a publisher to say that just cracked me up because [laughs] their whole business model is re-doing stuff.”
VG247: [Laughs] That’s the antithesis of publishers.
Fargo: “I know, and which publisher would you point to as being a great example of that? This publisher did almost all licensed products so I kind of laughed at that one. There were some who had heard of Fallout, but that was about it. I had other meetings where I’d go in and they were younger. I have no ego about it but they should at least know my product heritage, but I stepped through some of the games I’d done and they weren’t familiar. I asked, have you heard of Interplay?’ and they’d say, ‘not really.’ I just thought, ‘oh boy am I screwed.’”
VG247: That’s absolutely crazy, but how times have changed. Who could have predicted just how aggressively Sony is targeting the indie space today?
Fargo: “That’s one of the other benefits of crowd funding and the indie movement too. For years we wanted people to be recognised for their work as an individual, and so that it had some value. But now you look at Kickstarter with Tim Schafer, Richard Garriott, Chris Avellone, all these people are finally able to utilise their body of work and their name to make things happen. There was no value when you went to talk to publishers. They could care less.”
VG247: But here you are doing it, and making something that feels attuned to the source. It’s clear you’re passionate about it and want to see it sit comfortably alongside what went before. The best part – I think – is that you’ve done it yourself.
Fargo: “We are incredibly passionate about the quality of the writing, the source material, the music and complete variation. There’s nothing worse than playing a game for four hours and then you’re just doing the same thing from there on out. LA is so radically different to Arizona with the cults and the broadcasts. I mean, were going to be serving up odd all the way to the end. [Laughs]”
Thursday - December 05, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #39
In the latest kickstarter update for Wasteland 2 we get news on the beta, and told time is running out for any add-ons to your pledge.
On Track for Beta, Last Chance for Add-Ons
We’ve been hard at work on the backer beta, working through some last blocker bugs to get it ready for you, and kept you updated on @wasteland2beta and the Wasteland 2 tumblr. To catch you up: it’s almost ready: We’re fully on track to put it in your hands next week!
As we’ve said before, the initial beta rollout is the first four major areas, the associated COPS maps (smaller maps), the world map and its random encounters, and character creation. As the beta progresses, we’ll roll out more areas, though we do plan to hold LA back for spoiler reasons. We’ll have more details on the beta such as remaining known issues next week, when we launch.
We did want to let you all know that when the beta launches we will be pulling the add-on options from the Wasteland 2 store. If you want to add any of those to your existing pledge – or if you want to be able to jump in on the beta at its launch – this week will be your last chance to do so!
With all late backer donations, we manually import pledge data roughly every 2-3 weeks, but we will ensure the database is up to date when the beta launches. The digital-only pre-order options will remain available though we may pull them too in the not too distant future, somewhere in time and space. Existing backers will still be able to upgrade, so as a backer you’ll still be able to move into a higher tier and get access to the beta later, it just won’t be available as an add-on.
We’re also progressing in other procedural matters as we get closer to beta. We’ve been testing both Steam distribution and the use of our CenterCode bug reporting site with a limited group of external testers, and both are looking good. CenterCode in particular will be instrumental to a successful backer beta run, it allows for bug reports to go directly into our system, so we can quickly and efficiently handle duplicates and assign bugs to the responsible developer. For our backers, it offers an easy-to-use, simple website that gives you direct access to providing us with not just bug reports, but also general feedback and suggestions. Depending on how things go we may launch the CenterCode site before the beta is out, to give you time to register, provide your PC info and get familiar with the site.
Thursday - November 28, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun interviews Brain Fargo about the beta of Wasteland 2.
RPS: What, specifically, caused you to take longer than you initially expected? Were there any major sticking points, or was it just a general polish type of thing?
Fargo: There is no one particular thing that pushed us out this last 6 weeks, we just wanted to have the minimum number of systems in place so that our backers could have a reasonable play experience. To achieve that we needed to have 95% of the final game’s systems working but of course the good news is that we now have most of the underpinnings complete. We certainly did have some technical issues in that we are pushing what Unity can accomplish and their 64 bit version isn’t ready yet.
A game of this size has a lot of moving parts which has the inevitable breaking of code when checking a fix in for an issue. I still have a long list of things I’d like to see done but it’s time to get it out and work with the fans on shaping it from here. It’s certainly a tightrope we walk between releasing it to ravenous backers who want to see it and us wanting to make sure it’s in a form we’re proud of.
RPS: How much of the game are you planning to include in the early beta? Which areas, systems, and elements of progression?
Fargo: We are going to give away a part of the Arizona area for players to explore. I’d rather not spoil which areas they are but I expect a good 6-10 hours of gameplay for a non speed run approach. There is a lot to do, and it is a virtual impossibility to see some major events in a single play through, as some are mutually exclusive. In addition, you are likely to miss some nice moments as we don’t guide you strictly on what you do. Of course this sets its up for some nice re-playability.
RPS: Have you had to cut anything from the beta in the interest of time? If so, will it make its way back in before the testing phase ends?
Fargo: There are some skills that we have not implemented – like Silent Move and Salvaging for example – and we intend to increase the size of the beta as time goes by. We will continually update Wasteland 2 with new areas, skills and options and players will get to experience seeing the current levels get an added boost of reactivity and choice based on the feedback and observations of play. We will have a relatively short roll out to our beta backers so we can get it into the people’s hands who paid early for it.
Our plan was always to make Arizona be the beta test bed but for us to keep Los Angeles for the final release so the gamers can still be surprised and to minimize spoilers. There might be a few other features and surprises that the players are going to quite like too.
Tuesday - November 26, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Beta News & Screenshot
Brain Fargo announced on twitter that the beta for Wasteland 2 should begin in 2.5 weeks for all backers, and supporters.
Feeling very confident that #wasteland2 beta will be ready within 2.5 weeks. Knocking down the list of annoying things very fast..
He also shared a new screenshot of the game.
Thanks go to Strategy Informer for this newsbit.
Saturday - November 09, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Wasteland Released to Backers
Now If you're not a backer the game will be available on November 12th. Here is a brief description for new players.
For the first time in over 20 years, we are heralding the return of a much loved piece of gaming history with the classic RPG, Wasteland!
Mutants. Again. Even more than there were last time: they seem to materialize out of the very grains of the radioactive desert sand. Venomous yellow eyes. The black gunmetal glint of Uzis as they close in for the kill. There's nowhere to run, and nothing to rely on but your MAC 17 machine gun. What a way to save the human race.
The year is 2087, eighty-nine years after an all out nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union turned vast swaths of the Earth into a hellish wasteland where survival is a daily struggle against thirst, hunger, radiation sickness, ravaging raiders, and mutants - always mutants. You are a Desert Ranger, one of a band of stalwart lawmen born from the remnants of a U.S. Army detachment who survived the nuclear holocaust by holing up in a maximum security prison. You may wear ragtag uniforms and carry make-shift weapons, but the Desert Rangers are the only law left in what was once the American southwest.
Now something more secretive and sinister than the usual roving bands of mutants and raiders is menacing humanity, and it's your job to investigate. Recruit the help you need, follow any leads you find, but beware. The wasteland is lawless desert and a lonely place, and the choices you make will shape the world around you. Better choose wisely. Your life depends on it.
Thursday - November 07, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #38
InXile entertainment has a new post funding-update for Wasteland 2 with news about the original Wasteland going gold, the Beta, a new song, and much more.
Almost there, Almost there…
Chris here to announce that our re-release of Wasteland 1 - The Original Classic has gone Gold and has been submitted to GOG.com and Steam for platform approval. If somehow you’re unfamiliar with Wasteland: this critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic role-playing game was first published in 1988, and broke new ground as one of the first cRPGs to have an open, reactive world with persistent consequences to your actions.
The year is 2087, eighty nine years after an all-out nuclear war transformed the Earth into a hellish landscape where survival is a daily struggle against thirst, hunger, radiation, raiders and mutants. You take control of a band of Rangers, sent out to investigate a series of disturbances in The Wasteland and soon uncover a vast threat to all that remains of mankind.
The Early Beta is not quite ready yet, but we are almost there. We’ve received countless messages from backers telling us not to release the game until it’s ready. Even though it’s an early beta, we feel the experience has to be at a base level of satisfaction to us before we release it. There will still be plenty of time for you to give input and help us craft the game once the early beta is released. We are focused on getting it to a state where we can give you a meaningful impression of the game and allow you to give useful feedback. We’re working hard to get it there, but it does need a bit more love, and we’d rather get it right than rush it to you. As the beta progresses, we’re also testing distribution mechanisms with an external set of users via Steam, all in preparation to get the first playable in your hands.
Wednesday - October 30, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Beta Delayed
Brian Fargo tweeted that the beta for Wasteland 2 that was promised for October is ready, but he is not happy with it due to technical problems.
Ok the beta for Wasteland 2 is really close but I'm not quite comfortable releasing it in its current (technical state).
I'm excited to get it in your hands but we want to give a little more love. Stay tuned!
Saturday - October 19, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #37
InXile entertainment has a new post funding-update with a bunch of new information about the world map, the games Beta, and much more.
The World Map
Like Fallout or Arcanum, the basic experience on the world map is one of exploration and discovery.
Your travel on the world map is limited by both physical geography and clouds of deadly radiation. Within those constraints, you can travel anywhere in the region depicted on the map. You have two alternative means of exploration while in this game mode.Primary exploration occurs in a 3D map that shows your immediate surrounding environment with representative scale and geographic features of the region. Significant locations, settlements and sites reveal themselves as you scout around. The 3D exploration is in the same style and pattern as Mount & Blade and Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir.While in the 3D world map, you can press “M” to bring up a 2D map displaying the entire region. This 2D regional map automatically updates with locations you have either explored yourself, or have been informed of by another Wastelander. The regional map has been handed down from ranger to ranger over the previous century, each adding their own details to what was originally an old-fashioned roadmap from the 1990s.
As you discover radiation zones they are marked on your map In Arizona, locations generally match their canonical layout from Wasteland 1. The map is filled with key locations you will discover through regular playthroughs; but significant sections of the map are side exploration opportunities. There is plenty of space to wander around, discover hidden resources based on your character’s build, fight random encounters and discover minor sites that may be explored in normal game mode.
You’re all no doubt anxious to get your hands on the Early Beta and we’re anxious to get it to you! We’re now in the stage where we have distributed standalone copies of the Early Beta to a small group of external individuals as a test run. This is the final stage where we ensure it is up to our standards and runs on a variety of machines, and we’ll then be ready to get it to you.
Early Beta will only be distributed through Steam, as called out in the original Kickstarter reward tiers. The final release will – of course – be available through a wide variety of channels; but running the Early Beta through Steam is the optimal option. Any other solution would require a non-trivial investment of resources into Early Beta distribution; we feel those resources are better spent on the general quality, stability and scope of the game.
We noted back in Update 33 that Wasteland 1 would be getting a standalone release.
Where is it!
First, we’re ensuring it runs on modern machines, higher resolutions, faster processors, and all that jazz. We’re also giving it some polish for rerelease including a Mark Morgan music track, integration of the original paragraph texts into the game, and optional paragraph voice over & uprezzed portraits (both of which may be toggled on and off). We've spent a very limited amount of time on the WL1 portrait uprezzes and if possible we'd like to open up the ability to customize the WL1 portraits to the community themselves. We’ve also added support for multiple save games – now you don’t have to wipe the game clean to start over.
Wasteland 1 will be made available for free to all backers (including late backers as well as people getting it through the rewards associated with backing Torment: Tides of Numenera or Project Eternity), and sold as a separate title on GOG and Steam.
Saturday - October 05, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #36
Wasteland 2 has a new post-funding update thas has more information on the games attributes, skills. and the early beta.
Attributes are the starting values that define your character. You allocate them at character creation and while they can be upgraded during the course of the game, opportunities to do so are sparse. Attributes are key in determining the core characteristics of your ranger. They affect things like how many action points you have, how much movement each action point allows, how many survival points you gain per level, your carry weight, and many other variables. We’ve always said choices and trade-offs are a main design focus and character creation certainly supports this. Attributes have a cap of 10 and you will start with a smaller attribute pool than you may be used to. Each attribute point has a dramatic effect on your ranger, which leads to some very different feeling rangers based on how you distribute them.
If a specific attribute is very low, that may cap the related skill or could mean the character is incapable of using some items with attribute requirements. Of course, we will be balancing attributes and skills throughout beta, so some of these might be modified further. Outside of the core uses, NPCs in the world will react to specific characters based on their attribute make-up.
After selecting attributes, you will be able to place Survival Points (SPs) into your many skill options. Skills start off at a zero value, meaning they are unusable. After unlocking a skill with SPs, you can place additional SPs into the skill to increase its level and functionality. Skills have a maximum cap of 10 similar to attributes. Skills are upgraded in tiers, with a total of 10 skill levels. Roughly speaking, skill levels 1-3 mean novice, 4-6 mean competent, 7-9 mean proficient and 10 means expert. Each skill level allows you to take on more significant challenges, increasing your chance of success and level of rewards as you use the skill. Skills can also be increased from use. Some skills provide additional bonuses as you reach the various levels of competency.
It is now October and we are close to getting this game into the hands of our beta-eligible backers. We’re currently cleaning things up, fixing the largest issues and working on a first pass of balance across Arizona. Have we mentioned that this game is massive?
The short-term plan is to continue iterating and fixing bugs found by our internal QA until the game is stable and playable through the sections we are opening up for early beta. This process will take a few more weeks. Once we get there, we will have a very small group jump in to get a feel for if it’s ready to release to our patiently waiting beta backers. The plan is to distribute the beta for Windows PC, as we know we can get standalone builds to work in Windows. We have not forgotten about our Mac and Linux backers and will soon do some tests to try to get a standalone executable for those versions as well. Many months back we tried a Mac test in Unity and it built great with about 30 minutes of clean up. If history repeats itself, those versions will be available as well for the early beta (what’s the worst that can happen, right?).
Tuesday - September 24, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ GameReactor
GameReactor interviews Brian Fargo about Wasteland 2, and Kickstarter.
InXile Entertainment's Brian Fargo showed Wasteland 2 to the press at Gamescom and was surprised to find so many backers among the journalists. Pressure is on as one of the most high profile Kickstarters is nearing completion.
Sunday - September 22, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Preview & Interview @ Dealspwn
Dealspwn has a preview of Wasteland 2 about the choices you can make.
Exceedingly dark elements mixed in with a little light relief, this is the Wasteland way. If anything, my time with Wasteland 2 assured me that we need games like this now more than ever. As we jump to a new console generation and once again fall in love with shinier prospects, inXile are preparing to deliver a game stuffed with the very best thing a gamer can ask for: choice. And Wasteland 2 is nothing if not a game all about player agency.
They also posted a video interview with Brian Fargo.
Saturday - September 14, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #35
Wasteland 2 has a new post-funding update that deals with feedback from the prison demo from last week.
Good day to you, Rangers,
It’s Chris again to talk some Wasteland 2. We received a lot of feedback from the demo video of the Prison with many strong and important opinions that continue to help us craft Wasteland 2.
Our philosophy on this project is to put out videos when we have a decent amount of new features to show off. That way, we can follow the discussion threads and see what elements are working and what needs improvement. It allows us to see the most hotly discussed topics and react before the game is too far along to modify systems that might not be as good as they could be. Sometimes this means we aren’t able to iterate and polish as much as we want before it goes live, but we feel it’s well worth it for the valuable feedback you’ve all provided.
Graphics and Animation
First and foremost, many of you had notes on the graphics, or more specifically animations. There were some obvious issues that we fully plan on fixing. We have to balance the trade-off between showing something that looks good enough while not impacting our schedule and production pipeline negatively. In a normal game production process, there is a HUGE amount of time wasted creating demos. We opted to instead show an actual snapshot of the status of the Prison map. Our fans were clamoring to see another update which means we weren’t able to get to some of the more detailed polish items. We know they’re there and we will continue to iterate and polish.
On to some of the gameplay points. One often seen discussion was the change from hex grid to squares. This is one of those points where crowdfunded games are unique; in a standard development cycle you would not get to see how mechanics like that work until they’re fully tested, iterated on and polished.
And as a final note, a few said that this early part of the Prison in the demo gave an impression of linearity. This is mostly due to it being a demo run, with us having a specific path and sequence in mind. Wasteland 2 is incredibly varied in regards to the feel of the levels. Some are more town based, others are underground maze/cave-like areas. We have large interiors of buildings, huge canyon areas (like prison) and more desolate plains. There is no template that is universal to Wasteland 2.
Monday - September 09, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ The Gamers Hub
The Gamers Hub has a new preview of Wasteland 2.
Cast your mind back to 1988 – if you can – and remember the delights of Wasteland. Released in the days before Windows even existed and the Apple II was one of the most desirable pieces of home computing hardware around. Wasteland garnered many fans, fans who went on to play Interplay’s delightfully dark spiritual sequel Fallout and Fallout 2. Since then, Brian Fargo’s original apocalyptic RPG epic has sat unloved. The limelight passed onto Fallout and then Bethesda changed the model into a lush open-world shooter instead of the isometric fare the classic utilised. Now though, 25 years on and 20 years of hard work pushing his idea, Fargo has finally managed to give Wasteland the sequel it deserves thanks to Kickstarter backers.
Brian’s fully aware that if it wasn’t for Kickstarter he, and his team from InXile, wouldn’t be sat in a small room with us at Gamescom showing off the latest build of Wasteland 2. It’s incredibly humbling to hear that the entire team want nothing more than to create a game that both lives up to the Wasteland legacy, but also delivers exactly what the fans want.
And that’s what the team has done. The HUD of your team stats, inventory, map, compass, notes, descriptions etc, is all fully customisable; you can put it wherever you want on screen – if you even want it at all. They’ve also painstakingly written novel-like descriptions for your environments and encounters, aping back to those text-adventure quests of the early days of PC RPGs and the style that the original Wasteland game was loved for. In essence, there’s just so much here that shows that InXile really care about what you as a player, customer and fan really want out of their game.
Sunday - September 01, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ Polygon
Polygon has a new preview for Wasteland 2 calling the game a modern reflection of glorious retro gaming.
It is oddly out of step with today's big blockbusters. It features the increasingly less popular isometric view, distinctly this-gen graphics, noticeably amateurish voice acting and text, lots and lots of text.
But the moment developer Brian Fargo brought up the game in the backroom of a Deep Silver booth and I caught a glimpse of the character inventor page I was hit with an honest-to-god jolt of excitement. This was the game I've been waiting nearly 20 years to play, the game Fargo has been waiting nearly 20 years to make. That gamers of my ilk, and developers like Fargo somehow discovered one another through Kickstarter is a miracle of the modern gaming age.
Wasteland 2 appears to be exactly the sort of game I expected and that Fargo wanted to make, a game that is distinctly not for everyone, something that publishers turned their backs on, but that some gamers waited their lives for.
Thursday - August 29, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update# 34
InXile entertainment has a new post-funding update with a new gameplay video, and shares some new information with us.
Visiting the Prison
Chris Keenan here for another update. We promised you a new video, and here it is, a twenty minute video walking through the Prison area.
We know there are a few hitches in the video, unfortunately we weren't going to be able to get rid of them without delaying the video, so we prioritized getting this video to you.
The Prison is the 4th or 5th area in the game depending on how you approach it. Wasteland 2 is an open game so potentially, you could travel straight to it if you want a real challenge... but it probably won’t go so well. This area was not built purely for demoing purposes and it is a straight video capture. While the level will be further polished and improved (we’re missing a bunch of sounds among other things), it gives you a sense of the final game flow. The level was the winner of an internal competition process (as mentioned last update). This is only a tiny fraction of the game which is very hard to show in a 20 minute update. It represents about 1/3rd of the prison map and isn’t even one of the larger levels, so you can imagine it can be tricky for us to share enough without too many spoilers or overwhelming you.
They also bring news of the the first dev diary.
First Dev Diary Released
As part of the Kickstarter tiers $30 and up, we promised a four-part development diary, where our team talks about the game’s development. Part one is available now, with CEO Brian Fargo, president Matt Findley and myself talking about the game’s design and writing processes.
If you backed during the Kickstarter for $30 or more, you’ll be able to find the video by logging into your Ranger Center account. Go to the Rewards tab and scroll down to find the video.
Tuesday - August 27, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ Wasteland 2 Guru
Wasteland 2 Guru has a new preview for Wasteland 2 about the demo from GamesCom 2013.
GamesCom is one of the largest events in the calendar of the gaming industry. This year, it was also one of the most important events in the life of a Wasteland 2 fan, as the inXile team headed down to Cologne, Germany, to demonstrate the game to the press. The Guru was also there and had the pleasure of sitting down with the Ranger team (composed of President Matt Findley, Leader-in-Exile Brain Fargo, Project Lead Chris Keenan, and last, but not least, Line Producer Thomas Beekers) to see the game live.
Monday - August 26, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ Hooked Gamers
Hooked Gamers is the next site to post a preview for Wasteland 2.
“Before there was Fallout, there was Wasteland.” With that simple statement, Brian Fargo opened Wasteland 2’s presentation at Gamescom and reminded us of the long history of his post nuclear survival RPG. In that one sentence, he not only established Wasteland as the game that started it all, but also acknowledged Fallout’s success. Wasteland’s 25 year absence seemed to frustrate him somewhat – he had wanted to make a sequel for over 20 years - but that frustration also seemed to fuel his determination to bring Wasteland 2 back to life as well as his excitement over where the game stands today. Having seen the game in action, I am glad to say that I share his excitement.
Sunday - August 25, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ Game Informer
Game Informer has a new preview were they take a look at Wasteland 2.
Before there was Fallout, there was Wasteland. Now, thanks to the magic of Kickstarter, inXile Entertainment is resurrecting the property and giving players a world that evolves as they play.
Wasteland 2 is a post-apocalyptic role-playing game that takes place in an alternate reality where the world has been destroyed by a nuclear holocaust. A group of survivors, calling themselves the Desert Rangers, band together to help other survivors eke out their existence. Gamers who played the 1988 original will find cool homages to the series, but the game is also being designed to accommodate newcomers.
The game is a turn based RPG designed in the style of old school, team based titles. inXile has updated Wastelands old mechanics and skill systems, which might feel familiar to players of the original game. As players level up the members of their team, they have access to a variety of skills that let them pick locks, open up new lines of dialogue in conversations, hack computers, and dismantle and rebuild weapons.
The game’s story is pretty massive; the script alone features over 400,000 words and is still growing. However, the most impressive aspect of Wasteland 2 so far is how gamers are able to influence the story and shape the world around them.
Saturday - August 10, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun is back with another preview of Wasteland 2. The topic this time is how the game will acknowledge gender discrimination.
If all goes according to plan, Wasteland 2 will be one of the most reactive, choice-driven games to grace PCs since man first rubbed two sticks together and invented the keyboard. Everything from juicy bits of dialogue to party members to entire locations can vanish or appear in an instant, all thanks to your actions. And wastelands, well, they tend to be pretty nasty places, radiation-scorched cesspits of violence, prejudice, and, er, waste. So naturally, some characters are going to hate you for simply being, well, you. inXile’s hinted at the system in Kickstarter updates, but I found myself exceedingly curious about how it’ll all actually come together. Here’s what the developer told me.
I adore Fallout 3, but even I’ll admit that it was hardly water-tight. If you poked at it enough, you’d eventually find holes: glitches, uninteresting characters, some sloppy quests, and so on. But there was one area where Bethesda’s Fallout revival fell flat on its face that I honestly didn’t notice until someone pointed it out to me. And truth be told, that fact makes me feel a bit ashamed.
"We want to be true to the individual characters, and not try to apply some sort of global morality."
So I was quite pleased to hear that Wasteland 2 will pay close attention to precisely that. Party composition and your various characters’ identities will be under frequent scrutiny by wastelanders’ mistrusting glares, a holdover from the real world turned up to 11 by the fact that this setting isn’t particularly kind to those who hand out free hugs with reckless abandon. Or anyone really, for that matter.
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #33
InXile entertainment has a new post-funding update for Wasteland 2, informing us that the original Wasteland is getting re-released for non-backers.
Wasteland 1 getting a separate release!
As you may know, we had a deal in place with EA to give all our Wasteland 2 backers (including late backers) a copy of Wasteland 1, which was to be integrated and launched from the game’s menu like the original Bard’s Tale trilogy into the new Bard’s Tale. We very happy about that, as we’ve always wanted to enable people to get back to the original, and it serves as a good refresher for the sequel.
We recently went to talk with EA to try and get it out in a different, separate format, and they accommodated our idea. We’ve now inked a new deal where we’ll be able to release Wasteland 1 separately. After getting the game in our hands and ensuring it runs on modern machines, we plan to distribute it FOR FREE to all our backers before Wasteland 2’s release, as well as sell it on GOG.com and Steam for anyone else interested in trying out this classic RPG.
Last but not least, time to share some more screenshots and art with you guys. First off, a set of screenshots from the Rail Nomads camp and Highpool, some of which you may have seen before if you follow us on social media (full size: Rail Nomads 1, Rail Nomads 2, Highpool).
Friday - August 09, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ VentureBeat
VentureBeat has a preview of Wasteland 2 from a visit to the studio, and also talks with Brain Fargo.
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — The offices above Jack’s Surfboards here are an unlikely place for a video game developer, especially one who has been around for decades like Brian Fargo. But the darkened offices above the surf shop are as good a place as any to stage a revolution in games. The place is just a short walk from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
“It’s a video game company, and you can design them anywhere,” Fargo said in an interview with GamesBeat. “So we might as well set up in a place where my people want to be. My guys can walk on the beach or go surfing at lunch.”
He recently announced that the role-playing game Wasteland 2 will be delayed about six weeks and debut in October, in part because the game has become a lot more ambitious in the wake of its succcessful $2.9 million crowdfunding in April 2012. But he believes the company will make good on its goal of pleasing its backers. Just one look around the spartan office — which is littered with images created by fans — shows that Fargo isn’t spending the money lavishly.
Saturday - August 03, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Limited Signed Art
InXile entertainment announces that they are offering a unique chance to own a piece of history with a one-time edition of 500 high-quality art prints.
We’re offering a unique chance to own a piece of history with a one-time edition of 500 high-quality art prints of the original Wasteland box cover art, hand-numbered and signed by the artist, Barry E Jackson.
When we originally considered this print we announced the pricing would be $500, but we understood from feedback that this price was a bit too high for many of you. We looked around for the best printing and shipping package and are very happy to now be able to offer the print for only $320, with no charge for shipping to any location world-wide!
Later this year, we will issue regular posters of some of the piece of Wasteland 2 art you’ve seen, which will give you more options in a lower price-range, but be sure to take a look at this one-time opportunity to own a classic piece of video game history.
Friday - August 02, 2013
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - A Day With Wasteland 2
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a new article with their thoughts after spending one day playing the game.
Warning: Don't read if you hate spoilers. I mean it the article is full of them.
I recently had the privilege of visiting inXile’s balmy, exceedingly pleasant beachside lair (they don’t make exiles like they used to) – at which point I of course did my best to avoid the light of day as much as possible. I was in Southern California for one reason and one reason only: to explore a festering, godforsaken bullet hole of a wasteland, and this time it wasn’t even Los Angeles. Or at least, not the real one. Wasteland 2 was the name of the game, and inXile was kind enough to show me, well, pretty much everything.
Wednesday - July 31, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Delay All About Making Choice Matter
Rock,Paper,Shotgun talks with inXile about the delay of Wasteland 2 and other topics.
The fact that Kickstarter chipped in nearly three times the game’s original budget hasn’t hurt, either. In fact, it’s enabled Fargo and co’s “risky” behaviors in multiple ways, allowing for a rather massive boost in scope and ensuring that the game’s already paid for. Sales are just an (admittedly very nice) bonus.
“We over-funded,” Fargo boasted, beaming. “I don’t make any money from this. Me, I want to make a game that people talk about the way they do Fallout and Wasteland, 10 or 20 years from now. I’m only focused on that and what I have to do to make sure it hits all the points I know work for the game.”
He then fast-balled further examples. What if, for instance, you disobey Ranger orders to the point of becoming a liability? You become a pariah. Your own organization turns on you, hunts you. The entire game changes. And then, of course, there’s the extra-colossal, radiation-mutated elephant in the room: you can kill anyone, anytime. And sometimes – for example, if a party member won’t stop selling your stuff for booze money – you might have to.
“Remember: you can shoot or kill anybody in the whole game,” Fargo interjected. “That in itself [is huge]. If someone joins your party, you can kick them out, kill them, whatever you want. There’s whole sequences you’re not gonna see later because you offed the guy. We just deal with it. There’s no replacement – no NPC that joins you and acts just like him functionally. He’s out. You’re just not gonna see it.”
Tuesday - July 30, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Preview @ Gamestar
- The game will have between 40 and 50 "maps" (they're compared to Fallout 2's 23 locations, so it might as well be referring to the overall number of places to visit).
- The main storyline will take 20 hours to complete, without side quests or alternative solutions factored in.
- On the subject of radio signals: the ether will play a prominent role in the game, reacting to the player and providing music.
- CLASSIC is indeed the attribute system, comprising Charisma, Luck, Awareness, Strength, Speed, Intelligence, and Coordination.
- 32 skills will be present in the game.
- Combat skills: Blunt Weapons, Bladed Weapons, Anti-Tank-Weapons, SMG, Shotguns, Energy Weapons, Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifle, Handguns
- Scientific skills: Picklock, Safecrack, Alarm Disarm, Toaster Repair, Computer Tech, Synth Tech, Demolitions, Brute Force
- General skills: Silent Move, Salvaging, Hard Ass, B.S. Detector, Outdoorsman, Evasion, Leadership, Folklore, Animal Whisperer, Field Medic, Surgeon, Weapon Smithing, Field Stripping, Perception, Barter
- Like in Wasteland, you can have up to seven characters in your party.
- Energy weapons deal damage proportional to the amount of metal in the opponent's armor. The more, the higher the damage.
Monday - July 29, 2013
Wasteland 2 - New Screenshot
A new screenshot for Wasteland 2 showed up on their Tumblr page detailing a train yard with a smiling train.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Tuesday - July 23, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Late Backer Store
Reminder: July is the last month to purchase or upgrade to tiers with in-game backers content ($1000 and up), as production continues and we need to lock things down for the beta. If you planned to upgrade or pledge at one of these tiers, now’s your last chance!
Source: InXile Entertainment
Saturday - July 20, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #32
InXile Entertainment posted a new post-funding update. The first bit of news is the game is delayed(no surprise there). Secondly the date for the beta is in october.
I wanted to give you all an update on the progress of Wasteland 2 and to answer some of the questions I have received on production. I can happily announce that we remain well financed for development, thus allowing us to ship a product without compromise. This is primarily due to our disciplined spending, project planning and the benefit of our back catalog sales to cover any extra product features and content we loved.
One of the unique aspects to our crowd funding campaign is that we greatly overfunded which is wonderful in allowing us to create a larger experience, one that is in fact quite epic in size. It could well be the largest RPG I have worked on to date. Of course there is an inherent struggle with the original date hovering despite our greatly increased budget and design. In fact, we learned from this lesson on Torment in adjusting our end date as the monies increased and the stretch goals were met. It’s also important to note that we do not profit from the monies raised from crowd funding as we take 100% of that money (plus extra money in our case) and put it into the game, a game that we can be proud of and one that can become a classic.
We plan to begin beta testing in October.
You have helped make this game a reality and you will be with us to the end in shaping the final piece through your comments. The best moments in a reactive RPG come during this phase, which provides for touches and details that could have never all been captured in the upfront design. The beta testing will be critical to help us hone in on finalizing a game that can become a classic. And with your help and input we will release the game when it’s ready.
Wasteland 2 - Audio Interview with Brian Fargo and Nathan Long
Through the Aftermath’s 50th episode podcast talks with Brian Fargo and Wasteland 2 writer Nathan Long. It’s a really information-dense interview and well worth the listen, but also has some spoilers. They talk inspirations, writing post-apocalyptic stories, differences between Wasteland and Wasteland 2, carry-overs from Wasteland and nods fans will recognize. Nathan describes the story transition from Wasteland to Wasteland 2, Brian reveals one of LA’s cults and talks about playing around with the endgame depending on what you do in the game. Brian also talks about the beta and how inXile will gather feedback from it.
Source: InXile Entertainment
Friday - July 12, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #31
The latest post-funding update for Wasteland 2 brings us news that Deep Silver will distribute the physical copy's. They even give some new screenshots.
inXile partners with Deep Silver to distribute Wasteland 2
inXile Entertainment and Deep Silver today announced a distribution deal for inXile’s upcoming cRPG Wasteland 2. Deep Silver is a veteran publisher and already a long-standing partner for inXile.
inXile is currently working on Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, both funded via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
The deal allows inXile Entertainment to focus on all creative aspects of developing the game, while Deep Silver handles the retail release of the game and the physical good fulfillment for the Kickstarter backers.
“This is a perfect opportunity for inXile: it allows us to continue to focus all of our energy and money into the creative aspects of the game while letting Deep Silver take our game outside of the pure digital space. This has the added bonus of allowing us to spend more of the Kickstarter funds on development while continue to retain all ownership and control”, says Brian Fargo, CEO inXile Entertainment. “I’ve known the people at Deep Silver for many years and they have always been a first rate organization to deal with.”
Deep Silver will also assist inXile in the QA testing of the localized international versions of the game.
“The uber-successful crowdfunding of Wasteland 2 through Brian Fargo and his team has shown how much interest for an RPG with traditional values still exists on consumers’ side aside from what large publishers think the market needs. Deep Silver is very happy to support inXile Entertainment in bringing Wasteland 2 to the retail market”, comments Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Koch Media.
Friday - June 28, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Post-Funding Update #30
We have a new post-funding update for Wastelands 2. The topics covered are a new production update, a couple of new pieces of concept art, and finalized t-shirt designs.
While the game is going well and steadily trucking forward, you also have a bunch of other rewards coming in the future. First up: T-Shirts! We’re happy to announce we’ve finalized the T-Shirt designs and will be ready to ship them to eligible backer soon! We have four different options to pick from, representing some of the factions of the wasteland, the Desert Rangers (twice), the Red Skorpion Militia, and the Pistol Packing Priests.
The Desert Rangers are the faction you will play as; one of the most influential groups of post-apocalyptic Arizona and the policemen of the wasteland. The Red Skorpion Militia is a well-organized band of raiders, one that has past ties and nasty future plans for the Desert Rangers. The Pistol Packing Priests are a dangerous group of fanatics who believe the apocalypse was judgment come to mankind, and are devoted to seeing its cleansing work continued on the surviving populace.
We have updated the Ranger Center Reward form to allow you to input your Shirt and Size selection. Please register on the Center if you haven’t, and input your information so we can get your rewards to you as soon as possible. These T-Shirts are backer-exclusive, only available to specific tiers and will not be sold later. Non-exclusive T-shirts are available via our partners at J!nx.
In-game Backers Content Tiers Closing
As development progresses we’re reaching the point where we have to start finalizing additional content. For that reason, we will stop taking orders on tiers $500 and above on July 31st. This applies to both late backers and the backer-only upgrade store.
Please make sure you’ve put your info into the Ranger Center. Part of the finalizing process will be collating all that data, and you can also expect follow-up emails from us should we have any more questions. This will happen in the following months up to and after the closing of the tier.
Pick a department and they’re making amazing progress. Most of our game systems are in and working. The team is currently busting ass to get the remainders in for a full feature lock. Meanwhile, the level designers are taking the time to craft each encounter and focusing on the reactive elements. Mark Morgan is about to get started on the next batch of music for us. Now that we’re starting to lock our script for the radio voice over from Vargas, we’re able to kick off the recordings next week. Radio plays a huge role in the game and adds a very interesting element to how you navigate the wasteland. That system is fully functioning and will continue to get deeper and deeper. The art team is taking additional passes on each map and adding bits of detail everywhere they can. We’ve also picked up some great team members to help us close out the last third of development. Things are moving fast here!
With that said, in our last update, we promised a bit more on an area in Wasteland 2 that you’ll come across in Arizona. After the screenshot below (full size here), I’ll turn it over to Damonta’s own Werewolf Wally with some interesting details…
Saturday - June 22, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Portrait Art
inXile has posted a pair of portrait pics on their Facebook page.
Friday - May 31, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Post-funding Update #29
Wasteland 2 has a new post funding update on the games kickstarter website. In the update they discuss the inventory and even share a new video. Also According to the update the game is currently playable and is on schedule for beta in a few months.
In this update, you’ll find a relatively quick video detailing some features of our inventory screen. Our top design goal with inventory is to make sure it is functional and easy to navigate. We considered the positives and negatives of things like grid vs. list backpacks, weight-based or “tetris” style along with navigation details to see which elements will work best with our design. Being that Wasteland 2 is a party-based game, you will essentially have between 4 and 7 inventories to access at any one point. This could become tedious if the design doesn't promote easy management and trading. To reduce this nasty element, we added things like double-click to equip/use, column-based sorting for major characteristics, hot keys for trading, and our smart-loot favorites system.
Check out the video below (in 1080p for best viewing) and let us know what you think! We want to hear your thoughts on improvements to functionality that could be made before release. Please feel free to do so as a reply to this update, on our Facebook page, and our forums and blog. The more vocal you are, the better chance you have of being heard!
Before you get to the video, here are a few things on our task lists that aren't shown in the video. These weren't fully implemented yet but will be prior to release.
- Key bindings for menus and commonly used items. You’ll have the ability to designate hot keys for quick navigation of things like trading items to a specific party member or entering into various menus.
- Mouse-overs for all relevant icons and backpack items to give detailed stats. Each of the icon details on the item pictures and inventory slots will have mouse-overs that show all of the granular stats you've come to expect from hardcore RPG's.
In our previous updates we mentioned our end-of-April milestone: “having all level geometry blocked in and all encounters and interactions scripted”. We’re happy to say we've pretty much hit that milestone. "Pretty much?” you ask? We hit what would satisfy the letter of that milestone. While we had all encounters blocked in, there were still issues that needed to be cleaned up and sorted before a full playthrough was really possible. For that reason, we set an end of May milestone to clean up the block-in pass for a true beginning-to-end playthrough from a conversation and mission perspective. This means Wasteland 2 is in a fully playable, “alpha-ish” state. The beta is still months away, and we’re tracking well towards it.
Our first priority was to block in all maps, and now we get to move onto the phase of propping them out to make them more presentable. We will be iterating and polishing the levels from a gameplay standpoint while the art team is making everything look amazing. As the art gets better, we will have many more screenshots to show off to all of you!
Saturday - May 18, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Interview with Chris Keenan
GamingBolt has an interview with Development Director Chris Keenan of inXile Entertainment about Wasteland 2, and various other topics.
Ravi Sinha: With Obsidian Entertainment, Fallout 1 & 2 composer Mark Morgan, Planescape: Torment writer/designer Colin McComb and of course, the producer of the first game, Wasteland 2 is certainly brimming with industry and RPG legends. How was such a team assembled for the project?
Chris Keenan: Everything about the way we’ve planned, financed and built this project is different from the way we’ve worked over the past 10-15 years. We have our core implementation team that has worked together for a while and just thought, “If we can have anyone we want for this title, how would we do it?”.
Brian immediately reached out to many members from the original team for design help. Being that we are not working with a publisher it, we could make decisions that would have been sticky to figure out, like bringing on Chris Avellone. Being that he’s CCO of Obsidian, it would potentially scare publishers due to him knowing “trade secrets” about the game, but Brian has worked with the Obsidian guys for many years and knows he can trust them. We’ve developed a very close relationship with Obsidian and will continue to scratch each others backs.
Ravi Sinha: We’ve seen this post-apocalyptic set-up culminate in either finding a MacGuffin to save the world and usher in a new age of man or in exploring the so-called wasteland and making one’s own choices a la Fallout. Will Wasteland be in either direction, a mix of both or completely out of left field with its plot?
Chris Keenan: Well, being that Wasteland was the original Fallout, Brian and his team decided to keep a moderately similar high-level story feel. Neither were about saving all of humanity and bringing pixie-dust and smiles to all. Wasteland was all about the moments you came across while trying to bring about a bit of order and navigate issues as they came up.
The setting is pretty bleak and there really is no way to “save the world” even if you wanted to. The citizens of the Wasteland have literally had a trial by fire and after a hundred years of being in pure survival mode, they don’t necessarily operate on logic that we’d hold true in our current world.
Ravi Sinha: In regards to its design, was there always that desire to make Wasteland 2 a throwback to the classic RPGs of yore?
Chris Keenan: We went through a bunch of design ideas when thinking about what Wasteland 2 would be, but many of the elements that stuck kept that familiar feel from games of the past. As we continued to communicate the vision to our community prior to the Kickstarter release, we kept hearing how much people missed that classic play experience and knew it was the right decision for the game.
At the time, I think there was a feeling over the game development community that many game systems evolved out of necessity to a more mass market friendly approach. Publishers weren’t funding deals unless your game could sell a million units and that generally tends to remove the option of more hardcore game systems from the designs. Our approach is that we don’t care about the mass market. Our 65,000+ backers want a more deep detail and stat oriented game.
Sunday - April 28, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Interview with Brian Fargo
Gamefront is the next website to have an interview with Brain Fargo. The topics of the interview deal with kickstarter, and various other industry questions.
Wasteland 2, and more recently, Torment: Tides of Numenera, are among two of the biggest Kickstarter-funded games of all time. What’s it been like to deal with the success of your own games?
All I can do right now is keep my head down and work on delivering against expectations. It has been a wonderful experience and I am grateful for the support that opportunity that has been given to us. Kickstarting our projects allows us to spend 95% of our energy on simply making a game.
Beyond the games themselves, do you think it’s within the ability of game makers or the media to influence the culture surrounding our beloved hobby to make it more inclusive? If so, what can we do?
I think the real question here is whether we managed to make our medium more inclusive over the last few decades. Years ago I used to constantly be asked why we don’t make more games for girls and I always questioned what that meant. It seemed like their version of that statement included games about shopping or vanity which I found ridiculous. My assumption is that women too want to run a city, manage an army, gear up for a romp in an RPG or solve puzzle physics games. There is so much variety to choose from in gaming these days. I would say that things have improved when you look over the last 20 years, but one of the things we can do now is to avoid the offensive stereotypes.
Games have the potential to address serious issues. BioShock addressed libertarianism and Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, while Spec Ops: The Line painted video game violence in a completely different light from normal, run-of-the-mill first person shooters. Is Wasteland 2 going to approach any difficult, or even political, topics?
The main purpose of Wasteland 2 is not to tackle the big questions. It’s primarily a game about having wild and dangerous adventures in a post-apocalyptic world, and, in the tradition of the first game, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Having said that, post-apocalyptic worlds have always been great venues for satire of the contemporary world, and we can’t resist taking broad potshots at our society’s obsessions and foibles as we create the various towns and people our rangers meet along the way.
The residents of the wasteland are rebuilding society from scratch, and because they don’t know much about the past, they’re pretty much making it up as they go along. Just about every form of society is being tried out, from theocracy to meritocracy to dictatorship to democracy to the-one-with-the-biggest-gun wins. What could be more fun than poking every one of those systems with a sharp stick?
We need to start delivering against our promises before we spend two seconds wondering about what’s next. For now it is all about focus.
Beyond Wasteland 2 and Torment, what’s next for InXile?
We need to start delivering against our promises before we spend two seconds wondering about what’s next. For now it is all about focus.
Saturday - April 27, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Help Us Pick The Wasteland 2 Logo
InXile has a new poll on the Wasteland 2 forums to help select the games new logo.
We've been posting versions of the Wasteland 2 logo and tweaking it based on feedback. On top of the great suggestions we've gotten, we also received some good submissions from the community, and we've selected a few that we think could work. These images - especially the fan-submitted ones - are still subject to minor tweaks and changes, but we wanted your opinion on which one you feel is best.
Keep in mind the logo could go on the T-shirts and its design should stand out for that. Colors will be changed depending on T-shirt color requirement
Tuesday - April 23, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Update #28, In the Wasteland, it's all "Self-Defense"
Wastelands 2 has another update from their funded kickstarter. It's a huge update broken down in various topics.
When we exit pre-production, we have paper design for most everything, it’s just a matter of spending the hours, days, and weeks to build, code, and craft the levels and systems you will ultimately play. It tends to be extremely time intensive, but it is one of the most exciting times of the project as you really get a sense of the game as a whole. A few key production milestones that we’ve hit:
- All 14 major areas have been blocked out with the base level geometry. And yes, this is revealing we will have 14 major areas.
- We have maps loading (from scene to scene) so we’ve stitched together all areas to form a cohesive flow.
- 95% of all conversation encounters are placed and working. That means you can talk to just about everyone and go through their various states of reactivity based on how you deal with the conversation.
- Our core AI system is built and fully functional. These tools allow the designers to build, modify and tune many of the AI behaviors we need for the game (outside of special cases).
- Our inventory system is fully functional. **We will detail this further in an update within the next month**
The next topic deals with DRM and DLC.
We have been getting a lot of questions regarding our plans for DRM-free releases moving forward. To clarify, we are offering the game on as many digital distributors as is viable. Currently we are confirmed on Steam, Origin, and GOG. The Steam and Origin versions will work just like any other games on those services and will not have any additional DRM. The GOG version will be DRM free. We will look at more digital retailers – including other DRM-free ones (such as Desura) – as we get closer to release. As well, we won’t require you to be online to play the game.
We are not currently actively planning any DLC or expansion, since we’re fully focused on delivering our promises with Wasteland 2. It’s not out of the question, but we have made a commitment to 65,000+ people to deliver a fully-complete, bad-ass successor to Wasteland and that’s all we’re concerned with right now. Once the game is released and we can take a deep breath, we’ll evaluate the next best steps for the game and our fans.
The update also features an introduction to Wasteland 2's weapon design by inXile's combat designer, Devin Morrow.
Hello everyone my name is Devin Morrow and I am a combat designer here at inXile Entertainment. I have been asked by the powers that be (read: Chris Keenan, our production director) to introduce myself as well as provide to you, our generous fans and backers, a little insight into our current weapons design progress and philosophy.
This is my first time, so please be gentle.
In the original Wasteland and many other RPG’s, there is a clear weapon progression. As you worked your way through the game, weapons like the handgun became less effective in favor of the larger weapons. While this makes some sense it does limit the ability of a player to choose their favorite weapon type for thematic or role playing purposes.
It’s hard to play the part of a wasteland gunslinger when you had to ditch your trusty M1911A1 pistol for an AK-97 because the damage just wasn’t cutting it anymore. In Wasteland 2, we want to give back a little more control to the player over how their characters are built and how they progress. This is something we have heard the community echo many times in conversation and on the forums, so it’s nice to know we are on the right track.
Monday - March 25, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Update #27, Development Update
In a development update for Wasteland 2 some information is given on their next big milestone: having all level geometry blocked in and all encounters and interactions scripted. Additionally a status update is given on the experiment they are doing with the Unity asset store. And they are providing info on t-shirts, a novella, repeating that the Torment Kickstarter will not influence the Wasteland 2 development and the M.A.D. monks, which we provided an artwork image for over a week ago.
In southern Arizona there are a group of monks that are part of an offshoot of the Servants of the Mushroom Cloud cult from Wasteland 1. These monks worship radiation itself, which they refer to as the Great Glow, as well as their hidden guardian whom the refer to only as Titan. It is the Monks belief that the only way to ascend to the afterlife is to absorb enough radiation into their bodies that they become one with the Great Glow, or better yet, to be destroyed in a nuclear event while protecting the order. This leads their warriors, or M.A.D. Monks as the locals refer to them, to the practice of strapping radiation filled dirty bombs to their chests and self-detonating at the first sign of conflict. The M.A.D. in M.A.D. Monk refers to Mutually Assured Destruction, and if you get too close to them you will find out why.
Wednesday - March 13, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Concept Art
Brian fargo tweeted a piece of concept art for Wasteland 2.
These mad little guys wear bandoliers of mini-nuke grenades and if provoked, will self-detonade.
Wednesday - March 06, 2013
Wasteland 2 - On the Relation with Torment
Update number 26 of Wasteland 2 addresses the relation between the Wasteland 2 development and the Torment Kickstarter and addresses the sometimes negative feedback they received on starting this Kickstarter.
inXile, with all of our internal employees and outside contractors, consists of enough people to be considered about the size of a team and a half. This is by design. We always want a small and efficient team (the “half team”) to design both our product and our product development plan. This is called pre-production. It is the most important time in a project’s life cycle. This is the time when we want to make sure we slow down and get it right. During this phase we don't need all the engineers and 3D Artists on the project, it is mostly concept art, design and dialog writing. When this process is completed and we are ready to roll into full production we want to have a large team of people ready to make the game. If the planning was done well during the pre-production phase we can be very efficient during production and leave ourselves with plenty of time to iterate and make amazing games. If there is no pre-production done, and the full team is trying to create the design and development plan as they go, months, if not years, are wasted. Having a full team try to start a project when the pre-production has not been completed is like stacking up a giant pile of money and lighting it on fire. This same philosophy served us quite well at Interplay in creating some of the best RPGs of all time.
The “half team” in our team and a half model consists of writers and artists as well as designers and a producer. They are the ones that define the game design, write the dialog, define the combat, the UI, the missions, and even parts of the level design. We spent about 6 months working on this pre-production for Wasteland 2 and we would like to spend even longer doing it on Torment. For inXile, this “half team” that did the pre-production for Wasteland is done, their work on Wasteland 2 is completely finished. We want to get this group into pre-production on Torment to keep them working together on a project we are all passionate about.
Saturday - February 23, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Update # 25
Wasteland's 2 Kickstarter page has been updated; this update clarifies some of the things
in the HD video shown earlier. Here's a quote about the keyword dialoque system:
The foundation of the keyword system is the player building up a keyword library through interaction with NPCs and the world. The keyword list starts out empty, and as you speak with NPCs they will reveal new keywords to you. If the revealed keyword is only of interest to that NPC, it will go into a local list. You can click on words in the keyword list to navigate through the conversation. If the revealed keyword has importance beyond that particular conversation, it is put into the regional keyword list. These keywords are of interest to most of the NPCs you encounter that region. A third option, which is never required, is to type something in - a nod to Wasteland 1's system. Keywords are also added to the keyword list through perception skill use and environmental description text. For example, if you use perception to examine an object in the world, your observations might reveal a new keyword.
Monday - February 18, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Kickstarter Chat @ Nowgamer
NowGamer has an interview with Brian Fargo focusing on the Kickstarter angle:
What stage is your game at? The second 6 months is all about integration of the assets such that we can fully play through and get a total sense of the experience. And the last 6 months is one in which we focus on iteration of the ideas, build in more nuance and get the feedback from beta testers in. It is critical to have plenty of time for iteration on an RPG as we need to accommodate for many different play styles. We will have a video demo in the next few weeks which shows off first pass at the HUD, combat, skill usage and conversation.
At this point we are at approximately the halfway point in the development cycle for Wasteland 2. I have us on a 6/6/6 plan, which had us finish all the pre-production including all the heavy lifting on design for the first 6 months.
What stage is your game at?
The second 6 months is all about integration of the assets such that we can fully play through and get a total sense of the experience. And the last 6 months is one in which we focus on iteration of the ideas, build in more nuance and get the feedback from beta testers in.
It is critical to have plenty of time for iteration on an RPG as we need to accommodate for many different play styles. We will have a video demo in the next few weeks which shows off first pass at the HUD, combat, skill usage and conversation.
Wasteland 2 - HD Video
inXile has posted their Wasteland 2 video from last week to Youtube in 1080p - no new or different content but you might enjoy the footage in HD.
Saturday - February 09, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Gameplay Video
WL2 first look is up on Vimeo.
This is the first look at the current state of development for Wasteland 2.
The first part of the video is a collection of some of the radio broadcasts from our favorite cults of the Wasteland. After that Development Director Chris Keenan will give you a tour of the Agricultural Center and show off some of the features of the game including the combat system, the HUD, the skill system, and the keyword dialog system.
All of the game-play footage was captured directly from Unity. With the exception of the not implemented yet Mini Map and some placeholder sounds and portraits, this demo shows you what you can expect to see in Wasteland 2.
Tell us what you think of the video on our facebook page: facebook.com/Ranger.HQ
Saturday - February 02, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Gameplay video next week?
Catching up on Brian Fargo's tweets, hopefully we'll get some video of Wasteland 2 next week:
I can't wait to get our video game play demo into your hands. It's looking super strong with lots of detail. Feels like next week for that.
...and Chris Avellone is impressed:
We showed Mr. Avellone the Wasteland 2 game play demo today and got a big thumbs up. We got some laughs along with some oohs and ahhs.
Sunday - January 27, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Interview with Brian Fargo @ Wasteland Chronicles
Russian Fansite Wasteland Chronicles has talked with Brian Fargo about Kickstarter, clones & adaptations, and also about some of the games he's helped on their way e.g. Shattered Steel and Descent. A quote from the inteview about this:
In 1992, you actually brought into the industry Ayman Adham and Mike Morhaime, who later took the name Blizzard Entertainment. Whom else of your "students" can you be proud of?
I knew Ayman when he was just a kid and I always knew those guys had the goods. I am also proud that we gave Ray and Greg their first contract with Shattered Steel and despite it not selling well we gave them another shot with Baldur's Gate. I also gave Treyarch their first contract with Die By the Sword and Volition their first project with Descent. I have always tried to keep an eye out for talent. It's nice to see the Indie scene emerging the way it is.
Sunday - January 20, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Preorder Price Increasing
If you didn't get in on the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter but you'd like to take advantage of the Paypal preorder system, the price is increasing soon:
The minimum amount for our Wasteland 2 Paypal tier will permanently increase from $20 to $25 at the end of the month. http://wasteland.inxile-entertainment.com/store
Friday - January 18, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ PC World
Brian Fargo talks Wasteland 2 and the future of PC gaming is the title of this interview at PC World that isn't quite as grand as it sounds:
How customizable will the Desert Rangers be in this game? We’re really hanging our hat on the customizable nature of the rangers, so that starts with character creation right off the bat. Some role-playing games have gone a different way where you play a specific character and then you get to hear his dialect and how he speaks or reacts; this is a little bit different. While designing the game we don’t really know whether you’re creating a group of Russian women or what. The game is completely customizable in terms of your skills and your attributes and even the look of it. You can import portraits that you want to have represent your groups, and we even let you choose the pack of cigarettes you like to smoke. What do you think about turn-based gameplay? For deep role-playing games I think it’s a given that you need to do [turn-based combat] because combat’s the thing you do the most, and already these types of games require a lot of reading and a lot of thinking. I think the combat system should follow suit: turn-based combat has you worrying about things like distance, height, ammunition, inventory, skill systems, etc. You’re always using your brain, and I think that’s critical for a good role-playing game.
How customizable will the Desert Rangers be in this game?
We’re really hanging our hat on the customizable nature of the rangers, so that starts with character creation right off the bat. Some role-playing games have gone a different way where you play a specific character and then you get to hear his dialect and how he speaks or reacts; this is a little bit different. While designing the game we don’t really know whether you’re creating a group of Russian women or what. The game is completely customizable in terms of your skills and your attributes and even the look of it. You can import portraits that you want to have represent your groups, and we even let you choose the pack of cigarettes you like to smoke.
What do you think about turn-based gameplay?
For deep role-playing games I think it’s a given that you need to do [turn-based combat] because combat’s the thing you do the most, and already these types of games require a lot of reading and a lot of thinking. I think the combat system should follow suit: turn-based combat has you worrying about things like distance, height, ammunition, inventory, skill systems, etc. You’re always using your brain, and I think that’s critical for a good role-playing game.
Monday - January 14, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Part 3 of Video Interview @ GamerHub
GamerHub has published Part 3 of their interview with Brian Fargo, the CEO of InXile Entertainment and the company behind the Wasteland 2 game. This time, Fargo tells us what he wishes to see from the next generation of consoles as well as the general climate in the industry from the perspective of an indie developer like InXile. You can watch it here.
Saturday - January 12, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Update # 22
Within a month, you can expect a new update which will show a few minutes of actual gameplay. The video will follow a slice of the Agricultural Center, which was designed by Mr. Chris Avellone. You'll see a team of four Rangers running around in the world, some early working HUD elements, a few combat encounters, a taste of dialog, and the ranger team using some of their skills. We've been working on each of these systems separately and this is the first time we've put them all together to get a small sample of the gameplay experience. It's beginning to look like a real game!
Friday - January 11, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Video Interview part 2 @ GamerHub
GamerHub has posted the second part of their video interview with Brian Fargo from InXile Entertainment. In it, Brian Fargo talks about the setting, his take on why rpgs need to have turnbased combat, his thoughts on pc and tablet gaming as well his take on why InXile's The Bard's Tale game wasn't a succes. You can watch it here.
Tuesday - January 08, 2013
Wasteland 2 - Video Interview @ GamerHub
An interview with Brian Fargo and some gameplay footage of Wasteland 2 is brough to us by GamerHub.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Monday - December 31, 2012
Wasteland 2 - New Screenshot @ Shack News
Shack News has posted a new screenshot for this game. You can view it here.
Thursday - December 27, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Using Real Science for Believable Sci-Fi
Gamasutra has an editorial on how the post apocalyptic world of Wasteland 2 is made more believable by using science. To accomplish this InXile has hired people from the Thwacke group, a consultancy firm that helps bringing scientific knowledge into games.
"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."
Friday - December 21, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Update #21, Free Bard's Tale
Catching up on a few items after untangling some PC issues, inXile kicked up a new Wasteland 2 update for the Christmas holidays including a free copy of The Bard's Tale for all backers:
The holidays are a time of friends, family, and eating yourself into a food coma. It is also a time where friends and family give thoughtful gifts to those that they love. We here at inXile are feeling the holiday spirit, and we can’t think of anyone we love more than the 63,000 of you that backed Wasteland 2. So that settles it; inXile wants to give all of our backers a great gift this holiday season. Since we are all out of fruitcake and snickerdoodles, we decided the best gift we could give you all was a FREE copy of The Bard’s Tale. You read that right; all of you backers who log into the Ranger Center web portal between now and the end of the year will be able to get a code that will let you download your very own copy of The Bard’s Tale from our friends at Steam.
There's also news of their success with the art-asset crowd-sourcing experiment, including an interview wit Brian Fargo on the subject at Penny Arcade:
Wasteland 2 was always a project with a large fan base, as proven by its Kickstarter success. Fargo says that people were constantly asking if they could provide music, writing, art work, anything that could get into the game. “People forget about how many young people want to get into our industry,” he explained. “For them this is a godsend, they think this program is the best thing they’ve ever heard of. They can’t wait to show their work; how else are they going to get guys like us to see what they produce? They want to try their talents out, get into the game, and get their badge of honor, so to speak.”
This allows artists to practice the skills needed to turn concept art into a working model, and they can be sure their work will be seen and evaluated by industry professionals. The team will also be looking for talent they can work with on future projects; if someone shows that they can provide above average work on a routine basis, it’s very possible the relationship could turn professional.
Tuesday - December 18, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Ask a Dev Answers @ NMA
No Mutants Allowed has collected some responses from Wasteland 2's Ask a Dev forum, making a convenient collection. Here's a sample:
Ah, yes... now this is a fascinating topic of great depth with no simple answer! Let's have at it!
I'm the team leader for the scripters. It is our job to translate the design documents and volumes of written dialog into the physical form of the game. So, let me give you my impression on the task we face.
First off, there is a difference between size and depth that we should highlight. You can have a large game in size, relative to number of locations, but have a shallow game play experience. Conversely, you can have a small game with few locations, but each location be filled with great depth and dimension. The combination of these two things create the overall "size" and it's the balance of these two that game designers strive to achieve when building their world.
I believe Wasteland 2 is far deeper than most RPGs. Of actual playable zones, we are looking at around 15 major locations. The size of each location varies, and the activities you will mostly engage in vary as well (conversation/quests, exploration, combat, etc). However, the volume of conversation and location description is on a scale that is... to be honest... absolutely, insanely awesome. We had nearly a dozen writers build out an incredibly large world with numerous cause and effects that don't just change the attitudes of the people in the area, but we have whole maps adjust based on your choices.
Specifically, it is FAR larger than the original Wasteland. However, keep in mind that when you consider the size of other classic RPGs, you should also be aware of the scope of their development budgets. For example, Baldur's Gate was developed over a four year period with a budget that was around $25 million. Now, to be fair, there were many influences to this budget that we don't need to deal with, like the cost of developing the Infinity engine, but with our modest $3 million fan funded project to bring Wasteland 2 to life, it would be extremely difficult to duplicate the scale of some of these beloved RPGs... the scale... not the awesomeness, though.
However, we can leverage conversations, descriptions and scripting in the world to flesh out a far larger environment in a smaller space. We also have a system for random encounters that will create a larger world from just the core 15 zones.
So, when judging the size of the world, do keep in mind that most RPGs nowadays have budgets in line with that of small movies with teams of developers ten times our size. However, we have made very strategic choices to leverage our nimble size and lack of an oppressive publisher to create the largest world we can with the greatest depth we can
We definitely have our job cut out for us!
Friday - December 07, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Create Your Own 3D model for Wasteland 2
InXile and Unity are partnering in a crowdsourced experiment where you can create a 3D model that might end up in Wasteland 2 and being payed for it as well.
- Download and read our Art Style Guide to get a sense of the Wasteland 2 visual style. (link here)
- Check this site weekly for the gallery of art assets we are currently looking for. Pick one (or more if you’re quick!) that you’d like to work on.
- Spend the week creating the asset and try it out in our Unity test scene available for download (link here).
- This test scene will give you a sense of how it looks under our lighting and from our approximate camera view.
- If you don't already have the free version of Unity, grab it here. http://unity3d.com/unity/download/
- Submit it to the Unity Asset Store as you would normally, but make sure to clearly put "hold for inXile entertainment" in the description.
- Unity will send us all accepted assets and we will select the best ones for our game.
- If yours is selected, we will pay you for the asset and you will receive a special "As seen is Wasteland 2" badge to place on your icon in the Unity Asset Store.
- You will also be credited in the Wasteland 2 game for your contribution (not to mention the satisfaction of showing this off to all your friends!).
- Please keep pricing in line with the normally accepted range in the Asset Store. Entries will be rejected if the price is too high.
- Whether or not your asset is selected by the Wasteland 2 team, it will be available for purchase in the Unity Asset Store by any other developers using Unity.
Wednesday - December 05, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Are your survival skills honed?
Wasteland 2 Designer/Producer Chris Keenan has supplied an update on Kickstarter, discussing general progress and then some detail on Attributes and Skills:
One of our favorite elements from the original Wasteland was the vast number of skills available to your party. By carefully selecting your skill breakdown for each character, you could create a bad-ass party of Rangers who were able to solve puzzles or challenges in multiple ways. We knew this was going to be a focal point for Wasteland 2. The following is an overview of our current thoughts on the attributes and skills system in Wasteland 2.
First, here is the list of attributes you can expect to find in Wasteland 2. Attributes are the starting values for your character traits. These are established when you create your character and can be different for each member of your party. Attributes are all passive, meaning that they won't be actively used in the world to solve issues.
- SpeedYou might immediately spot a few differences between this list and the original Wasteland. Perception has been turned into an attribute. We felt that perception tied into many other skills and played such an important role that it earned its position as an attribute. Also, there is this weird skill called Expertise on the list. Where the hell did that come from? Expertise is essentially agility and dexterity combined together into one package. We have defined it as the level of mastery of motions with your body and hands.
Tuesday - November 27, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Colin McComb on Kickstarter Fatigue
I've file this under Wasteland 2 because the comments come from designer Colin McComb but they really relate to Kickstarter. A few days back indie developer Cliff Harris wrote about his perception of Kickstarter's drawbacks...
Gamers say they hate in-game product placement and advertising. It compromises the game design for the sake of money. I agree. So why are we deciding that the best way to name our planets or design the appearance of our NPC’s is to put that part of game design up for auction? Why should gamers who are wealthy get more influence over a game that those who flip burgers for a living? The cold hard economic reality of the real world is bad enough without shoehorning it into games too.
3. TRADITIONAL PUBLISHER: Most traditional publishers won’t touch a game of the size Kickstarters generally fund. Brian Fargo got almost $3 million for his Kickstarter. 61,000 backers. How does this compare to Black Ops 2? 11,220,000 in the first week. There’s just no comparison to that scale. There is no reason for a publisher to look at the numbers for WL2 – a non-console game – and think that they need to start considering funding similar games. This is a blip on their radar. Consider: Halo 4 had a budget of over $100 million. $3 million is practically an accounting error. It’s a few months of development time. Why would a publisher turn away from their lucrative franchises and blockbusters to develop an indie game?
4. CROWDFUNDING: That brings us to the last option: crowdfunding. While it’s certainly admirable to want to open the game’s possibilities to all backers, no matter how much or how little they contribute, it’s a simple fact of human behavior that people want to get value for what they put in. Telling someone who contributes $10,000 that they can have a downloadable copy and a special digital pet is not going to motivate them… especially if someone who contributes $20 gets exactly the same thing. Consider: if you back a project at $20, don’t you want to know that you’re getting more bang for that than a $5 backer? I don’t know how to incentivize a higher-level backer other than offering them something that is not available to the lower-contributing tiers.
Sure, it might be a little strange to see names in the game and know that they came from wealthier patrons – but is that worse than *not* knowing where design decisions came from? And more: the names in a game are hardly real design decisions. They are essentially window dressing. They are not dialogue structures. They are not combat mechanics. For the most part, they do not fundamentally alter gameplay.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Monday - November 26, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ Gamestar.ru
The Russian Gamestar has interviewed Brian Fargo about Wasteland 2 and Kickstarter.
What are some major differences between development process of Wasteland 2 and your work on the original game with Alan Pavlish, Michael Stackpole and Ken Andre? And what are the similarities? Maybe atmosphere or your approach?
The tools are so much better and more varied today that it is hard to know where to start. In many ways the first game had to be hand built from scratch. It was like inventing a camera and making a movie at the same time. We made more progress in 90 days on Wasteland 2 than what took well over a year on the first one. The writing is much more difficult on the sequel as our audience is older and demands more nuance and content. Things have progressed quite a bit from back in the day. One medium size map for Wasteland 2 has more writing than the entirety of Wasteland including the paragraph book. I also have a far bigger writing staff on this version to have yet more content and pick up the slack for anyone who is slipping in delivery.
Is there a reason why you are not going to port the game on consoles or at least iOS, which is suitable to say the least for a tactical RPG? Aside from your nostalgic feelings for PC-gaming. Don't you think that by denying the right of players preferring consoles to see Wasteland 2 released on their favourite platform, you're probably acting not that different from a publishing companies that refuse to make a PC verison of some of their titles?
That is a very unique perspective but my reasons for not considering them for now is so that we are focused only to deliver on the core experience. I don't want my team to be worried about alternate platforms or memory footprints right now as that could compromise something. Publishers may not support PC due to economics but I am holding off considering console and tablet for quality considerations. They are not ruled out but I don't want to spend any time with us worrying about them right now. We must not forget that our 65,000 backers paid for PC, Mac and Linux versions.
Tuesday - November 20, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Animation Blog
Lead Animator for Wasteland 2, Josh Jertberg, has kicked up an blog entry at the official site:
Animation in Wasteland 2 was an unknown for me, never having worked with the Unity engine before. I did know one thing in my mind though when we started: I wanted to hand-key the animations. It’s an ambitious goal of mine and one I hope fans appreciate in the end. It’s my feeling that I can bring more personality and flexibility to the animation, as opposed to using motion capture. Plus, let’s face it; as an Animator I will be more artistically invested in my hand-keyed animations. Even with the best motion capture actors you are many times stuck using what you have recorded. The unique aspects and camera of this game do present some good opportunity and challenge for me as an Animator.
One of the struggles as an animator in games is the animation system. A good system can make or break the look of the animations. The animation is broken into so many different pieces that if you don’t have some decent way of controlling that, the entire flow of the animation can feel off. Animation systems have evolved a LOT in the past few years. Wasteland 2 is not a controller driven game and many of these systems are designed for analogue input. I needed a simpler solution and I think I’ve found one.
Thursday - November 08, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Thwacke Interview @ Ars Technica
Ars Techica talked with Sebastian Alverado from Thwacke, the consulting firm which is helping with the development of the game when it comes to the science in it. A quote on why he started his company:
After a year and a half of mulling over the idea, Thwacke's Sebastian Alvarado officially set up shop in April. He was pushed by a frustration with games that tend to use science and technology as a kind of unexplained magic to make things work in a fictional world. Take the "genetic memories" that power the time-spanning animus in the Assassin's Creed games. Alvarado, an expert in evolutionary genetics himself, says there's actually something to the concept of passing down learning through genes. Still, "DNA is such an easy cop-out these days," he told Ars. "It's an easy way to explain all that, and they just expect the player to say, 'Well he said DNA so now I have to buy the story.' It's like a magic gateway.
And apparently, crabs survive a nuclear fallout:
The scientists found the humble hermit crab was a likely candidate for post-nuclear survival, thanks to its ability to absorb radiation in its shell and then discard it during a molting cycle. That's the academically valid, scientific part. But since this is still a video game, they wanted to make sure it was a little "off the wall" as Alvarado put it. "We used radiation as a very simple gaming mechanism to argue that it makes animals super large, because everyone knows radiation makes things super-large... we'll just take that one as a granted," he said, laughing. "So let's let these hermit crabs get [so big] they can't find housing in their conventional shell and they'll actually seek housing in a bus or a telephone booth or something like that."
It also important no to be to realistic, it is a game after all:
Alvarado agrees wholeheartedly. "I know some people are saying, 'Oh, I don't want Wasteland 2 to be scientifically accurate or realistic, because that would ruin such an off the wall game,' we're not doing that at all. ... We know that the game would be pretty boring if it had to be 100 percent realistic. We're trying to add some science facts on to their fiction just to give it a bit more grounding in reality. If you happen to identify with some of the actual science, you enjoy it that much more. If you don't, that's fine, you're still going to enjoy the game."
Tuesday - October 30, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Consultancy Firm Thwacke Interview @ VentureBeat
VentureBeat has an interview with Sebastian Alverado about what role Thwacke will have
in creating this game. They also talk about what a company like Thwacke can bring to game development.
GamesBeat: What role can Thwacke’s consulting play in game development? Do you work specifically with writers and designers? Is it better if you’re involved in the process early on?
Alvarado:........For example, in Wasteland 2 we were asked which animals that would survive a nuclear fallout and why. In this case we found specialists in environmental biology, medicine, and evolutionary biology to craft science into ideas that can be used in game design. This saves researching time for writers and allows them to focus on gameplay. This out-of-the-box approach has been able to spark new directions for narrative and gameplay that wouldn’t have otherwise been explored. In later stages of development, we usually work on easy-to-implement text-based assets. In Wasteland 2, we will be doing this for a side mission that involves pages in a wastelander’s logbook. This information is optional but adds depth to narrative and immersion for those willing to read it.
Wasteland 2 - Concept Art - Synthetic
The Wasteland 2 forums has a single piece of concept art of a Synthetic.
Friday - October 26, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Science Consultancy Firm to Work with InXile
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.
Tuesday - October 16, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ VG247
Fargo's Wonderful Apocalypse is an interview at VG247 on Wasteland 2. It's a pretty good conversation and worth a look but let's take an early quote on the current progress:
VG247: It’s been a while since Wasteland 2 surpassed its funding goals. What stage of development are you at currently?
Brian Fargo: Right now, we are tracking really well on the development of Wasteland 2. By the end of October, we will be wrapping up all of the level designs. At that point, we’re going to do a full script run-through to make sure there aren’t any holes that were missed. We’ll then continue on with full production.
In the mean time, we are also implementing many of the core systems into the game. We currently have prototypes of the overhead map, combat, attribute, skill systems as well as full party movement. We’ve started scripting and creating task lists of all tools we will need to deliver the experience we want.
Do you have a final plan for the scale of the overhead map?
The world is certainly much larger than we had originally anticipated. Our first design was set up when we were hoping to get $1,000,000 to make the game, but we ended up clearing more than $3 million.
There are currently over 15 main areas that the player can visit along with many smaller maps that they can explore. All of this content is highly re-playable as well. I feel very comfortable saying that no two people will experience the same story on a play-through. It is a very ambitious design from a cause and effect point of view.
Monday - October 15, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Perma-death & TB Combat
In an interview with VG24/7 Brian Fargo talks about the Wasteland 2 companion system, perma-death and turn-based combat.
Fargo continued, “We love the strategy of turn-based games but sometimes, they can be monotonous in combat. We’ve played and studied many of the popular turn-based games from the last 20 years including Fallout Tactics, Temple of Elemental Evil, X-com, Final Fantasy Tactics, Jagged Alliance, and many others. ”
“One example of some “fat” we’re attempting to trim is the wait time you have during the enemy turn. If multiple enemies are in the rotation to act before a players character is, they will all move and attack together. We also hate being forced into a fight with enemies that you can mop the floor with.”
Friday - October 12, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Design phase nearly complete
VG247 has interviewed Brian Fargo, the CEO of InXile Entertainment, the company behind this game. In the interview, he states that Unity was the only choice for Wasteland 2 and that:
“Design will be complete at the end of October,” Fargo confirmed, “then we focus on full production and iteration. We’ll also have an early closed beta and will get feedback before the actual launch of the game.”
Tuesday - October 09, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Update #19
inXile has posted an overdue Wasteland 2 update on Kickstarter. There are a couple of portraits, a music sample from Mark Morgan and lots of information about the development itself. Apparently the script is on track to be finished this month and here's Technical Director John Alvarado:
As we weigh different approaches to a challenge, we attempt to gaze into the future and discern how the consequences of different decisions will play out with respect to design requirements (known and potential), content pipeline, run-time performance, and development time/cost. Fortunately, our engineering team has decades of experience over dozens of successful projects that help us make most of these decisions with confidence. So far we have made engineering strides on the following systems:
· World Map System
· Movement and Turn-Based Combat System
· Saved Game System
· Character Animation System
· Inventory system
· World State Tracking system
· Story Scripting System
· Localization System
We now have a player-controlled Ranger character moving with animation in a game-level and interacting with NPCs, triggering conversations and changing world states that affect future interactions. This is where we wanted to be at this time and we are right on schedule. Brian stressed to the engineering team the importance of having this ready by the time the writers are finishing up their level designs and story so we can begin implementing, testing and iterating. That priority and the desired iteration process informed some important engineering decisions.
Monday - October 01, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Blog Update
Brian Fargo has posted a blog update on Wasteland 2 titled It's About Time!
It has been some time since I have posted a blog here and I apologize for the delay. I need to do a better job of communicating my thoughts and ideas as that is a part of the process I know people are interested in. I have been very focused on getting the first pass at all the writing complete by October. The thing that is most critical in creating a deep and re-playable experience is for us to have plenty of iteration time on the game. There is simply no substitute for allowing plenty of time for us to play the game over and over thus allowing us to hone in on the things that people are going try in the world. A wonderfully written script is not valuable if it is delivered too far into the development process. This game is going to be much deeper than most people realize and I will go out on a limb to say it is nearly impossible for two people to have the same experience playing through the game as there are so many nuanced decisions. The caliber of writing is very impressive and for those who wanted an M rated experience… you will be more than satisfied. We don’t pull any punches on the subject matters of a dark post apocalyptic world. My attitude is that if you going into a genre that has expectations then GO THERE.. all the way. It is for the same reasons I tend to love all the great shows and writing that I find on Showtime and HBO and find myself turned off by the material on network television. I don’t like to see pandering to a mass audience for my TV shows and I certainly won’t allow this game to soften up a rough world.
In addition to the benefits of creating better cause and effect it is also key in helping us understand what the asset list we are going to need. The map designs tell us everything about props, backgrounds, sound effects etc. Of course we are making progress on many fronts and I am especially excited at the ideas we are toying with in presenting the world map. So we will be working on a Kickstarter update in the next week that hits a variety of subjects including a write up by our technical director for those who want to dive deeper into our production thoughts.
Thanks again for all your fantastic support!
Friday - August 31, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Brian Fargo Unity 2012 speech and First Footage
Brian Fargo discusses his experiences in using Kickstarter as well as crowd sourcing knowledge to get Wasteland 2 into production during Unite 2012, which is a gathering of developers who use Unity 3D. During that speech also some first footage of Wasteland 2 is shown as can be found in the next video (for the full speech klick the link).
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Friday - August 24, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Brian Fargo on development for Wasteland 2 @ GamesIndustry
At the Unite conference, Brian Fargo delivered a key note speech about InXiles development on Wasteland 2. A quote on artistic integrity and creativity
"Corporations don't have artistic integrity; people do. This sort of integrity impacts on production and how a property is exploited... There are employees of these organisations that have this integrity, but they don't have the power to do anything about it. "The best creative work we're seeing is from creative people who have the power, or the financing, to control their destinies... These visionaries can be within an organisation: Rockstar would not achieve the level of quality it does if Sam Houser wasn't running that place with an iron fist. He's not a corporation; he's a person."
Thursday - August 23, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Enemy NPC Portrait Sneak Peek
The Wasteland 2 forums have a piece of concept art for an enemy portrait - it's only one, but worth a quick look.
Thursday - August 16, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Sample Music
A short sample of the music from Wasteland 2 by Mark Morgan is available now on Youtube.
Monday - August 13, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interviews @ Eurogamer, GamesIndustry
Eurogamer has a few comments from Colin McComb on the news of his joining the Wasteland 2 team:
"What Wasteland 2 means to me?" McComb went on. "It means a re-examination of the foundation of the genre, a reminder that role-playing games are actually about making choices and seeing those choices culminate in a dramatically satisfying and logical ending. The original Wasteland was visionary; there's a good reason why people remember it so well so many years later. Seeing player choice honoured and validated, rewarding replay, and full character personalisation is a reminder of how exciting and immersive RPGs can be.
"Getting to work with the original creators and so many of my Interplay pals... I don't think I can do justice to my feelings without slipping into purely joyful profanity. What I will say is that after my call with Brian, I ran downstairs and jumped around in a circle with my kids. (I refrained from swearing there, too, I need to add)
"Now that I've got even more documentation and information to look through, I'm suddenly realising what I've signed up for. Man, this is going to be a hell of a challenge, and I mean that entirely in a good way. The best way, in fact."
...and GamesIndustry caught up with Brian Fargo for a full article-style interview:
Development on Wasteland 2 is moving rapidly, with multiple writers (including Chris Avellone, Michael Stackpole and Liz Danforth) creating scenarios. "The story now is 900 pages long," said Fargo. How does that compare to the original Wasteland? "It's much bigger," Fargo noted. "I'm doing one of the smaller maps, and I'm at 40 pages so far, and I'm not verbose. It's a lot of content. What if I rescue the kid? What if I don't rescue the kid? That's what everybody wants."
The project is large in scope, with many moving parts. Fargo is pleased with the team that's assembled, but is the schedule on track? "It's still too early to tell," Fargo admitted. "I'm very happy with the team; we have three or four ace programmers and the designers are having trouble keeping up with them. The design is the biggest short-term concern. We've just signed up three other writers."
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Saturday - August 11, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Colin McComb Joins Team
Brian Fargo tweets that Colin McComb has joined the Wasteland 2 team:
Very pleased to announce Colin McComb has come on as a writer for WL2. Worked on Torment and Fallout 2. http://colinmccomb.com
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Wednesday - August 08, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Saturation Preference Poll
Remember the first Wasteland 2 screen released recently? inXile has three versions and a poll on their forums to see which version fans prefer.
Make sure you choose Option B.
Monday - July 30, 2012
Wasteland 2 -Character Portrait Concept Art
Via Twitter, Brian Fargo, CEO of InXile, released a concept art picture for this game.
He has this to say:
Andree created a head shot of a Ranger and came through in great style as usual. Sets the bar for in-game portraits.
You can view the extra large picture of the concept art here.
Saturday - July 21, 2012
Wasteland 2 - First Screenshot
As promised, inXile has released the first screenshot for Wasteland 2 (full size via their Facebook page) - and I think most fans will be delighted. This is very early work using some purchased assets and without particle and other effects but the potential is fantastic for fans of isometric-style party-based cRPGs.
The accompanying update is worth a read, so here's a sample:
Releasing a screen shot this early in the process is a new concept for me as we typically want to hone in every element before we show it. But based on the requests and our desire for fan input, we are doing so to solicit feedback on the basic look. Please keep in mind that we have not put in the particle effects and post-processing which will have a dramatic effect on the scene, and this represents just one of the various environments for Wasteland 2 so expect to see other quite different locales. Also, this particular camera angle is on the low end of a range that the player can adjust upwards to a much more top-down view, for those who prefer that style during game play.
As we moved into prototyping game-play scenarios and in-game environments, we wanted to keep in mind the long-term strategies we had been talking about in the press. With our small team structure and the expectation of a significant integration of contractor and fan/backer based assets, we wanted to consider the efforts that would be involved in synthesizing those contributions into a consistent style and theme. The Unity engine has this wonderfully integrated asset store, full of props, environment sets, FX and tools, and it seemed the perfect proving grounds for our first pass at this new approach of game environment creation.
Certainly, purchased or prefabricated assets are nothing new; a variety of sites are out there selling "game-ready" props, and like most developers, we are familiar with that opportunity. But Unity's Asset Store had a few distinct advantages that we found appealing. The store, being accessible from within the editor itself, along with the purchase, downloading and importing of those packages, made this surprisingly painless. Packages containing not only the models and textures, but also materials, particle attachments, and animations were ready to use and then modify immediately upon purchase. And so our goal was to purchase a variety of packages, modify them to suit our stylistic needs, and put together a scene by combining them with assets and textures generated in-house.
The big exception to all of this is of course characters, which we are developing primarily in house. RPGs have always generated strong relationships between the player and the characters they craft and breathe life into as the game progresses. And to this end, we will be working to create characters that can be read cleanly with our camera angles. Strong silhouettes and bold colors in costuming and accessories, and their animations and poses working with a camera angle (that is still being tested), seemed a tall order for this approach, and so in this shot a few examples of that effort are present.
In other Wasteland 2 news, Chris Avellone tweets that ex-Obsidian colleagues Anthony Davis ans Tony Evans are assisting in some capacity:
Design meeting w/ 2 old colleagues tonight: Anthony Davis and Tony Evans. I never thought I'd get to work with again. Thanks Wasteland 2!
Monday - July 16, 2012
Wasteland 2 - WIP Screenshot Soon
Yes, I know, a pre-announcement. Still, a didn't expect any actual screens from Wasteland 2 for quite a while yet. From twitter:
We'll release a WIP screenshot next week for Wasteland 2! No particle & post processing effects but it will show progress.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Wednesday - July 11, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Fargo on including Wasteland 1
Already on our forums there has been some discussion on the inclusion of the original Wasteland with Wasteland 2, so it's pertinent to include these tweets from Brian Fargo courtesy of NMA:
We cannot release it prior to Wasteland 2. It is to be bundled as part of Wasteland 2. I'm still happy to be able to get it in there at all.
I can't give specific details but the terms were very fair. I can tell you that most publishers would not have helped at ALL.
It's too early for me to know all the detailed issues with including the original Wasteland.
Fear not my worriers... The Wasteland 1 inclusion has no conditions related to Origin.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Tuesday - July 10, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Original Wasteland to be included
inXile has announced the original Wasteland game will be included with Wasteland 2, despite Brian Fargo previously saying the rights were tied up with EA. Here's the official announcement:
Wasteland 2 now to include the original game which started the post apocalyptic RPG genre
Newport Beach, CA – July 10, 2012 - InXile Entertainment today confirmed that Wasteland 2 will include the original Wasteland game that was released in 1987. The original RPG is considered the godfather of post apocalyptic games and went on to win numerous awards. Computer Gaming World inducted Wasteland into their Hall of Fame, and in 1996 they ranked it the #9 best game from a list of 150 games.
"The #1 request we had during our Kickstarter campaign was to have the ability to play the first game. Fortunately EA has continued to support us on this project and has granted us the ability to bring the original to the players," said Brian Fargo, of inXile Entertainment. "It is great to be able to make Wasteland available for those feeling nostalgic or who want to experience it for the first time. It certainly will not be a pre-requisite to understand Wasteland 2, but it adds some extra flavor if you did play the prequel."
Thanks to NMA for also sending this in.
Wednesday - July 04, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ Fallout Wikia/Nukapedia
Nukapedia or Fallout Wikia has an interview with the producer for InXile, Chris Keenan (you'll have to scroll down a bit):
AC: Moving to the main reason why we're here - Wasteland 2. I imagine its a very fine line the team needs to walk, on one hand you need to cater for the fans of the original, whilst making the game accessible for people who have either stumbled across the title through the Fallout connection or have come at the series completely fresh. How do you address this balance, and how do you plan to ensure that newer gamers are not "left behind" in the story?
CK: With Wasteland 2, we are making an old school RPG, no doubt about it. We’ve gone back and played the original and are going to keep the elements that made it so highly regarded. Our goal is not to cater to a mass market with this project but nail many of the hard core elements of older RPGs that have been lost over the years. It’s all about customization, choices, and strategy of the situations. While the overall story is important, we want to make sure that every step of the way is a tough moral decision for players. Wasteland 2 takes place 15 years after the original. You will start in Arizona just like the original and much of the scene will feel familiar to fans of the first game. There will, of course, be kickbacks the original but the world has also changed and you’re now required to go out to California.
Source: RPG Codex
Tuesday - June 26, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ IndieRPGs.com
Brian Fargo from InXile Entertainment talked to Craig Stern at IndieRPGs.com - the link:
A quote then on what Wasteland 2 is:
For those of us who’ve been hiding in a fallout shelter since February: what is Wasteland 2? Wasteland 2 is the sequel to the godfather of post apocalyptic RPGs and the inspiration for Fallout. The first game was a party based RPG with an open sandbox type world that had tremendous world depth and plenty of moral dilemmas. It was a game that allowed you to play the way you want and didn’t try to act pretentious. And it is time for a sequel.
First, some background: where did you get the idea for the original Wasteland? My two favorite things back in the day was Dungeons and Dragons and The Road Warrior. I had just come off the success of Bard’s Tale with that satisfied my D&D scratch so next I wanted to do something in the post apocalyptic setting. I put a great team together on the writing side and used a skills based system that was influenced by an old paper and pen RPG called Mercenaries Spies and Private Eyes. I really like the way skills were used and saw it as a new way to open options up.
Tuesday - June 12, 2012
Wasteland 2 - The Vision Document
inXile sent out a new Wasteland 2 update, including a link to the Vision Document they have created that outlines the project's direction. Here's the entire update and hit the included link to read the Vision:
The progress on Wasteland 2 continues on at a healthy rate. Not a week goes by that I am not in a conversation with my team here or with other development groups about how wonderful this experience has been and the gratitude for the opportunity to work on a game under our terms. We are so much more efficient this way, and the game's development has a more organic process to it. Nothing in the world beats out the tinkering and re-iteration process.
I can't imagine a better way for Wasteland 2 to be created. We have your trust and a symbiotic relationship that will have us learn from each other. We are not afraid of the transparency of our process and thinking and intend to share it along the way. Our detailed reasoning of our choice of the Unity engine is just one example.
Today we are publishing our vision document for Wasteland 2 which details the sensibilities of the game itself. The ideas in this document come from things that worked in Wasteland 1 and are expected, things I have communicated previously, and suggestions/opinions from the fan boards. The role of a producer is often misunderstood and sometimes done poorly, but my role is to help shape a vision for a game, hit the right touch points and then watch it become bigger than any one person could make it. No one person can take credit for games of this size and intricacy, and for me it all starts with the vision document. My role is not to hammer on spreadsheets and task oriented management but to instead create a team that is excited and understands the totality of the game. I have been using this method since the beginning and it continues to serve me well. In the past I have had to rely wholly on my instincts but this new paradigm helps me to limit the surprises.
I would not expect too many surprises in the vision document, but it does answer much of the detail for those who might not be up to speed on many aspects of the game. We will have a section set up on our forums http://wasteland.inxile-entertainment.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=2333 for comments and we'll read them all as usual.
Also you will note that Andrée created another gorgeous piece of art for the game that will be used for the packaging. Those who fondly remember the original Wasteland 1 box will appreciate the handing of the baton off to this new look and camera. Our next update will be to move away from the conceptual and into reality with early screen shots and camera angles...stay tuned and enjoy the vision document read.
Here is the link:
Thanks to wiretripped who also sent this in.
Sunday - June 03, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ Game Informer
Brian Fargo chats with Game Informer about Kickstarter, the market and the vision for Wasteland 2:
Do you worry at all about the vision of the designers and the developers getting distorted by this audience participation in the development cycle?
That is another very common question I get, and no, I don’t. Because we all have versions of it, you know. Even doing the tiers, right? I’ll give you an example which was early on we said, “How about we give the backers a special ability that non-backers don’t get?” Well that sounds pretty good on paper, right? Isn’t that cool? Guess what? They hated it! They hated it. They want the same experience for everyone and they don’t want to change for them or for anyone, even if it gives them a benefit. Now to me, that is slightly counter-intuitive, but I understood where they were coming from. And we didn’t do it, and I am glad we didn’t do it. Now if you take that extrapolation to the game design there are lots of things like that which are minor in the details which they have a very strong reaction to. I think as long as you are working with them on broad strokes type stuff, they kind of know what the product is, but if I was going to introduce something new or radical or go for a graphic look that is completely different than what they are expecting, then we need to be in communication with them.
Now once we have established those key points, we’ll go silent for a little while, but then we go into beta test, right? Well what is beta test? It is just audience participation. I don’t think Blizzard is afraid to do beta test. I don’t think Valve is afraid to do beta test. And they have to make changes based upon that input. So we’re not going to get in there in the beginning and say "Do you like the way this sentence reads?" you know? "Do you like the way this music sounds?" We’re not going to go there. We’re not going to go into every nuance of the detail. But they are going to get their input on the first pass, which is the broad-stroke vision of it all, and then on the second pass they are going to get in on the specifics of the game and majority rules. You know, if I put a – even if it is a song and 85 percent of people chime in and go, “We hate that song,” well, why fight it, right? There is no point. But I find that when I work with the fans as a whole, they are pretty smart. There are always the outliers that say things that you can’t do, but as a whole I find them to be very smart and they tend to fall in the places where I think they are. I’d say 80 to 90 percent of the time my instincts are kind of in line with where I thought they’d be, but then there’s the things like I mentioned earlier about “Don’t give us something extra,” little things like that which catch me off-guard. And again, I don’t think that affects the experience negatively in anyway.
Monday - May 21, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Origin Deal
You may have heard that EA's Origin is offering crowd-funded titles - Kickstarter and IndieGogo projects - 90 days fee-free distribution, which prompted inXile to sign up with Wasteland 2. A quote from the press release via NMA:
Electronic Arts Inc. announced today a program to waive distribution fees on Origin™ for any developer that has a successfully crowd-funded, ready-to-publish downloadable PC game. Origin will provide distribution services free of charge for 90 days after the game’s launch, giving new crowd-funded games a chance to reach the growing Origin audience of more than 12 million registered users worldwide.
“I have had a long relationship with EA and it is great to see them recognize and support the crowd-funded games model”
“The public support for crowd-funding creative game ideas coming from small developers today is nothing short of phenomenal,” said David DeMartini, Senior Vice President of Origin at EA. “It’s also incredibly healthy for the gaming industry. Gamers around the world deserve a chance to play every great new game, and by waiving distribution fees on Origin we can help make that a reality for successfully crowd-funded developers.”
In turn, this lead some players to believe Wasteland 2 would be an Origin exclusive, despite the DRM-free promise. Fortunately, Brian Fargo clarified via Twitter:
It is absolutely NOT going to be exclusive on Origin. They are just one of many digital stores we will support.
Friday - May 18, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ Edge Online
Edge Online chats with Brian Fargo about Wasteland 2, although the main focus of the article is the Kickstarter process:
You asked for $900,000 - an ambitious target even after Double Fine's success.
I have the distinct record, currently, for asking for the most anyone's asked for on a Kickstarter project. There was a lot of debate, because Tim asked for $400,000 but had done a million in a day or two, so they said I should do the same - that seemed to be a formula that works. But there's no way I could make a Wasteland sequel for that money. A lot of people said I was asking for too much, but I couldn't do the game for less so I was stuck.
Ryan Payton told us that people said he should ask for less than he needed for Republique, so the buzz would help him reach his actual goal.
I think it's totally wrong for anybody to ask for less money than they think they need. I don't think some people are really mentally going through the deductions you face; no matter what you're going to have somewhere between eight and 10 per cent disappear of the top to KickStarter and Amazon. I hope people are really taking that into consideration.
Saturday - May 12, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Engine Revealed: Unity
If you have a passion for post-apocalytic goodness, experience working with Unity and amazing programming skills, please send your resume to jobs[at]inxile.net. We thought we’d put this out on our blog and forums first, before opening up the search further. Feel free to spread the word if you know of the perfect person.
We are looking for experienced engineers and engineering interns.
Sunday - May 06, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ GameStar.ru
Russian site GameStar.ru has an interview with Brian Fargo about Wasteland 2 and the industry in general. The translation is a bit spotty but you'll get the idea:
We are very disappointed that the majority of the developers make us manage a no-name deaf-and-dump Chosen. Should the main character of the role-playing game be a «full-bodied» like Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution? Or it would be harm to identification of the player with the character?
Well that is a debate that many people have. We have made games using both sides of that approach. When we did our last Bard's Tale we had the main character have a lot of personality in his snarky approach to the world. This allowed a very distinctive writing style. However, many RPG people want a fully customizable party or lead character. When it is truly customizable the players might be playing a woman or boy or a Russian or someone who is Chinese. In fact we are going to allow you to import your own character portraits so you can fully identify with your group.
What biggest failure in RPG genre could you recollect?
I think the biggest failure in the recent past is this assumption that the audience is not smart. Too much effort is being spent making it dummy proof. The situations have become bland and all the clues are being held right in front of their nose. The exploration and journey is the reward.
Tuesday - May 01, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Update #15
The Wasteland 2 blog sees a generalist update, discussing the task ahead and some details such as account reconciliation to sort out the various backer rewards:
Now that we’re funded, you’re probably wondering what happens for the next 18 months. We’ve been hard at work preparing our core design principles vision document. This document contains a solid overview of the important elements from which we will be crafting the detailed game design document. Before we started on the vision document, we spent a lot of time on our forums reading what elements you feel are important and what systems and features you’re not too fond of. The vision document will be available on our Wasteland portal in the next few weeks.
We already have an amazing community on our forums, and we know that it’s going to get better and better as we get further along in the game. If you haven’t done so already, head there and let us know what’s important to you. We’ve seen some wonderful suggestions that have already improved the vision of the game!
Brian Fargo has also been interviewed at Digital Trends, though I couldn't see anything new about the game:
“Our next step is to make damn sure we deliver the game that people are expecting,” says Brian Fargo. “We still want to be able to get this done in 18 months. Our pre-production work was complete in terms of the basic storyline, setting a visual tone and determining what the most important touch points need to be. We’re close to finalizing the tech but we need to do some art tests to make sure we are happy with the result. Once we have that we will start showing some imagery to the fans so they can chime in. From there we will open up aspects of the production to some if they would like to pitch in on asset creation.”
Monday - April 23, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ Forbes
How will this game be different from its predecessor? With all the changes in technology between now and the first Wasteland, will it be a challenge to keep the spirit of the first game alive?
That’s been a hot topic around the design round table. We’ve stated many times that we want to make this an old school RPG and we are sticking to that. That said, there are many elements from the original Wasteland that we can improve upon now. All combat was purely text based in the original. We will be keeping the great descriptive and colorful text but also adding more visual payoff to the combat. With the party based nature of the game, combat can be a bit slow. We want to make sure that it’s as strategic as the original without dragging each encounter to a halt. One element that we loved about the first was the literary nature of the world. Almost every square you stepped on had an amazing description of what was going on around you that made the environment larger than the art. We definitely want to keep the charm of the original Wasteland alive in the new one.
Wednesday - April 18, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Update #14, And it begins...
The Wasteland 2 Update #14 on Kickstarter covers the end of their Kickstarter campaign and such issues as how to address payment problems. They also announce a store to pre-order for those who didn' Kickstart:
We have opened up a store at http://wasteland.inxile-entertainment.com/store. We currently have the digital copy available for $20, and we will leave that preorder up during production. If you have friends that missed out on the Kickstarter but still want a copy of the game, they can go there and still get it cheaper than after it is released. Also, if you forgot to add $15 for international shipping on physical rewards, we have added a PayPal option to do so in the store. In the near future, we will open a backer-only store with some great exclusive items that won’t be available to the general public.
So, now we get started on the game! We are in full production mode for the next 18 months. Expect to see many updates as we start to shape the experience that you’ve helped create. If you want to stay in the loop in between our Kickstarter updates, head to our blog and forums at http://wasteland.inxile-entertainment.com/. We will be spending a lot of time interacting with all of you there.
Tuesday - April 17, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ Gameplay.pl
Polish site Gameplay.pl has an interview on Wasteland 2:
Szymon Liebert: You're going for the top-down view and (I guess) simple graphics. How important is the visual & audio side of the game?
Brian Fargo: The visuals and audio all center around the most important aspect and that is mood. You don't need a 1st person camera to be immersive. You need to set the stage with ambient music and sound, combat that moves quickly when it needs to, interesting decisions for the player to make and a strong sense of discovery. Nothing beats the experience of a game that wraps you up into its world and doesn't let you go.
NMA is putting together a Let's Play on the original Wasteland, if you never played it.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Wasteland 2 - Funding Finished, Over $3M Raised
Congratulations to inXile - and now it's down to business!
Monday - April 16, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Update #13: Less than 40 hours left...
With < 40hrs for Wasteland 2's Kickstarter to go Brian Fargo writes another update with news of an updated $30 tier.
... we have spent some time thinking about and asking fans what we could put into the $30 tier to make it more interesting and to not disrupt what has already been offered. I think we have come up with an interesting list that may persuade a few people to upgrade. Based on your top requests and a forum poll we now offer the following as part of the $30 tier:
- An extra digital download of the game in any format. Many people wanted to be able to get a Mac AND a PC version, or PC and Linux, or even an extra PC version for a friend. Now you can.
- Access to a collection of exclusive Ranger portraits that will double the pool of character portraits you have to choose from at the start of the game when you are rolling up your Rangers. This unique image collection will not only give you more Ranger portraits, but more Ranger icons used to display your party location on the world map.
- Access to a four-episode Video Development Blog that will show you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the design and development of Wasteland 2. Sit in on designer meetings and art-review meetings to see the process behind how the game is made. See interviews with Brian Fargo, Chris Avellone, Mike Stackpole, Alan Pavlish, and the rest of the development team as they explain to you what they are doing and why they are doing it.
- A novella by Chris Avellone based on the universe of Wasteland.
Of course, all backers who are in at higher levels will also get all of these added items too.
Also we will have a live streaming party on Monday night (16th) from 10pm-12am EDT to celebrate the green light of production on the game. Our Kickstarter does not close until 5am the next morning, but we wanted to get some of our friends and family together to celebrate this little bit of history and share it with you. On attendance will be Nolan Bushnell the founder of Atari, Chris Avellone and a few other surprise guests. We will be answering questions received through live chat on the TwitchTV stream as well as from Facebook fans. I will tweet the URL Monday afternoon as well as post it here on Kickstarter.
Thanks again for all the support and faith....
Saturday - April 14, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Ask Me Anything @ Reddit
Brian Fargo and Chris Avellone participated in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) for Reddit as promised. I don't think there are any huge revelations but it's definitely an interesting read for anyone following Wasteland 2 (or Obsidian, for that matter).
Hit the link above to read the full, original format but NMA has done a good job editing the Wasteland 2 material down to something more readable (but note questions posed to Chris that fall outside WL2 have not been included!).
A snip on Wasteland 2:
locust64: Brian and Chris, How linear are you thinking this game will be? And how to you think the re-play value will be? -Also, if the game is deep and long enough (and i have faith it will be) Have you considered a strategy guide?
CFA: Linearity can suck my balls. Wasteland 1 let you go anywhere and suffer the consequences - or reap the rewards.
In open-world tradition, we'd like the player character and party composition along with your choices and path through the environment cause a lot of ripples and consequences - that's what makes a gameplay experience.
Strat guide - I believe that fans (and places like Game Banshee) do a much quicker job of delivering all the facts in an easily-searchable internet format. Most strat guides feel out of date within days (ex: Ausir's Vault for Fallout is more comprehensive than anything I can imagine, and it can update rapidly with new info that strat guides have a delay on).
...and a bit on Obsidian's potential Kickstarter from the full format:
ZedCodex: Avellone! What game would you like to make with your own kickstarter project? There were talks about a "spiritual successor" to PS:T?
ChrisAvellone: That'd be my top one, yes. I have a spiritual successor idea in mind from a mini-Planescape campaign I did long ago that I'd love to turn into a game.
Thanks also to Jhwisner for the reminder.
There's also a new concept art on the Kickstarter page - the Scorpitron 2.0.
Friday - April 13, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Update #12
The Wasteland 2 Kickstarter page has a new update offering FAQs on the rewards as the increased number of options becomes more complex. At around $2.4M (including Paypal) with four days to go, the $2.5M level with two additional designers looks safe but the $3M mod support level will need a big jump in pledges:
As we try to continue to offer awesome rewards, it becomes more confusing. For that reason, we’ve added a FAQ for each reward tier to allow you to see exactly what you will receive in that reward. If you have any questions on it, scroll down to the bottom of our Kickstarter page and check out all the great stuff that you’ll get. Thanks!
Thursday - April 12, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ NMA
NMA's Brother None caught up with Brian Fargo and Chris Avellone for another chat on Wasteland 2. Here's an excerpt on consistency and their search for an engine:
Brian, between having Jason Anderson having written much of the story, bringing the old team back together, and now adding Chris Avellone, is there any "too many cooks" problem? How do you ensure a consistent vision?
BF: Wasteland 1 was created the exact same way in which I brought in a number of different designers to give their spin on an overall world. Jason provided some great ideas and detail on the world of Wasteland 2 and we will parcel out the areas to the different designers like Mike or Chris and they can design what they wish within those areas. We will detail out what we need for them to accomplish in their locale and it might be a simple set of variables like "make sure they get the proton axe, make sure they meet Mad Dog Fargo and they received a certain clue". As long as they get those points across and stay within the framework of the world then I want to see their spin on it. This keeps the world fresh and with variety throughout. This is a similar process as to when sci-fi writers collaborate on a book.
Are you looking to license the Onyx engine from them? Has inXile decided on an engine?
BF: We have narrowed it down to 2 engines (not Onyx) and are now running art tests to make sure it can accomplish the look we want. The other important factor is it needs to be set up so that we don't need high level programmers and artists to get the assets in. There will be SO many world states, quests and interactions for the player that we need to be able to throw enough scripters in to capture all the ideas and outcomes. This is critical.
Wasteland 2 - Stackpole's Memories, Interview
Michael A. Stackpole has penned an article for RPS, writing about his memories of working on the original Wasteland:
Brian and Alan [Pavlish, designer and programmer - and who's also rejoined the team for Wasteland 2] came out, and we all got along together like a house afire. We were definitely on the same wavelength when it came to the project, which Ken dubbed Wasteland. We agreed on a tone and direction, then started in.
One of the key reasons Wasteland innovated all over the place is because Ken and I, and to a lesser extent Alan, had never done a game like this before. From my COLECO days, and time spent at Flying Buffalo, Inc., I’d learned how to understand programmers; and Alan was up for any challenge we tossed at him. Because we were wandering into the unknown, adding skills to a game where skills had never existed before, and doing other unique stuff, there were no boundaries we couldn’t cross. There was never a “No, we can’t do that,” dictum; but a “let’s figure out how to make that work” ethic that really defined the whole project.
What sort of game are you hoping to create? It’ll be reminiscent of ’90s “golden age” RPGs, obviously, but how so? What sort of battle system are you hoping to implement? What sort of stat progression are you looking at? Is it linear or can players choose how they want to evolve their characters? Is the game party-based? Where will it be set?
There are so many elements of Wasteland that worked quite well and we plan to build upon that foundation rather than start over from scratch. Those elements are the sandbox type world, dark humor, party based combat, tactics in battle and a skill based system. However, combat isn’t going to consist of scrolling text so clearly we need to up the tactics part of the game.
And we don’t want the tactics SO deep that you feel disconnected from the world by being in long battles all the time. The last thing we want is someone groaning every time combat pops up. The game is going to take place shortly after Wasteland 1 ends. And by the way for everyone who remembers little Bobby – he is pissed off having been shot by Rangers and left for dead.
Wednesday - April 11, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Update #11: In the final stretch....
And while we have brought Obsidian into the mix, I think it is important to note that this is my baby, and I will be producing it and managing the programming here at inXile. There seemed to be some confusion on whether it will be a joint production, but the main facets of our involvement are with the use of their tools for asset integration and the design talents of Chris Avellone. Part of the charm and variety of Wasteland 1 came from the way different designers would approach their areas, and I wanted the same dynamic again. Only this time we have added the brains of Chris into the mix, and I am betting he will add ideas to Wasteland 2 that would have never been in the game otherwise.
Edit, RockPaperShotgun's Guest Blog is penned by Michael A. Stackpole 'detailing some of his more memorable experiences when working on the first Wasteland back in the late 1980s'.
Wasteland 2 - MCA and inXile kick off design talks
Chris Avellone tweets he visited inXile today for the first of their Wasteland 2 design talks. By the way, the Kickstarter campaign has passed $2.3M (when you add Paypal), so hopefully the $2.5M mark can be achieved, which means two additional designers will be hired to add more content - 6 days to go.
1st visit to inXile today and 1st design talks. Felt great talking to the crew and getting the "welcome aboard" handshake from @BrianFargo.
Monday - April 09, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Why inXile are better off without a publisher
Gamasutra has a piece titled Why inXile, Wasteland 2 are better off without a publisher, answering the un-asked question:
"For Wasteland 2, the PC is the root of the product. The Fallout series, at least for now, is focused more at a console group, and for me, there's a major difference. There's a lot of people that loved Fallout 1 and 2, and Fallout 3 just isn't what they want. To me, Wasteland 2 is for those people," he said.
And since those nostalgic players are providing the funding for the game, Fargo said he's doing everything he can to ensure that their voices are heard. Fargo pointed out that Kickstarter backers won't have a final say on the game's content, but InXile wants to keep communication channels open so the team doesn't miss any key feedback.
InXile has already taken some cursory surveys about Wasteland 2, and Fargo said he's been surprised by what his backers are looking for.
"As an example, we asked fans what they'd like to see once we hit a certain funding level. More audio? A bigger world? And almost universally, people said, 'Please don't waste my money on audio.'"
Instead, players wanted InXile to include more text, giving the game a more robust, branching narrative. Adding voice-overs would only limit the game's scope, as dialogue trees would be bound by the game's audio budget. "It was an interesting thing to hear from [the fans], and I'm glad I heard that," Fargo said.
inXile has also posted hi-res versions of the first piece of concept art to use as desktop wallpaper.
Finally, Michael Stackpole writes on his blog about his excitement at the opportunity to make Wasteland 2 (thanks, NMA):
Wasteland’s strongest point was that actions had consequences. Radical concept, I know. Because of that, how a player approached the game would determine the result he’d get. It allowed us to provide a different gaming experience for different players. It required more than just a hack and slash mentality—sure, you could get to the end that way, but if you used skills and smarts, the path would be different, and often more rewarding.
This is what so excites me about Wasteland II. I remember all the things we wanted to do but couldn’t, simply because of the limits of machines back then. The game’s scope will be huge, and the things players can do, the strategies that will win the game, will likewise expand. Being able to add atmosphere through music and voice acting will make the game that more immersive. In the original game we could only supply a small slice of a world, but now we’ll be able to provide a vast landscape overflowing with adventure and discovery.
Sunday - April 08, 2012
Wasteland 2 - MCA Interview @ RPS
Chris Avellone has been interviewed at Rock, Paper, Shotgun about Obsidian's involvement with Wasteland 2 but also touching on some other topics - a must-read for Obsidian fans. He confirms Obsidian is interested in their own Kickstarter but they want to "learn" from the Wasteland 2 process, that they still have two teams (South Park plus pitching a previous idea to publishers). Here's a snip:
RPS: The whole “getting Black Isle back together” news story set off a chain reaction of nostalgic comments, tweets, Facebook posts, and probably a few extremely meme-able YouTube videos. Meanwhile, Baldur’s Gate is coming back via Beamdog. There’s this giant contingent of RPG fans who constantly pine for the “golden age” to return, and now they’re getting their wish. Is that a good thing, though? Or is there a risk of pushing the genre backward — looking back without moving forward?
Chris Avellone: It depends what you mean by “backwards.” I still consider a lot of innovations that occurred with Fallout 1 and Wasteland to be unmatched in today’s RPGs. I feel true innovation often gets lost beyond features that require new engine tech and the latest video card when we can achieve more interesting game mechanics in tighter constraints.
I don’t think anything involving Kickstarter would stop future RPG iteration across the major franchises in the slightest. There’s still a market for those huge budget RPGs that people want, and they’re fun to play, so no harm there. I also don’t see the harm in the industry going “backwards” and forwards – again, I think there’s a lot of gameplay elements that can be learned from working on “old school” titles that are just as applicable in current titles and can push both genres forward.
Wasteland 2 - Update #10, First Concept Art
A new update from Brian Fargo is up at the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter page asking fans to spread the word but also offering the first piece of concept art from Andree Wallin. Brian promises a hi-res version of the Desert Rangers art soon.
Friday - April 06, 2012
Wasteland 2 - MCA On Board, Update #9
inXile's Wasteland 2 Kickstarter has passed $2.1M (adding Kickstarter and Paypal), so Chris Avellone will be on-board as a designer and Obsidian will provide some development tools. The next 'tier' is $2.5M, where another two designers will be hired to add more content.
Prior to that, Fargo added a new "digital" reward tier at $55:
As our Kickstarter continues to build momentum, we will keep focusing on how we can best deliver what our fans want. We've seen quite a few messages from our international fans expressing concern with the cost of shipping and physical goods relating to VAT and customs costs. For that reason, we opened up a purely digital pledge level at $55 that contains no physical items. You will get the digital copy of the game, digital soundtrack, digital novellas 1 and 2, digital concept art book and early beta access.
Thursday - April 05, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Update #8, More Areas, Mod Possibilities
Brian Fargo has penned a new Kickstarter update for Wasteland 2, which is currently just shy of $2M. Trying to drive more pledges, Brian promises two more area designers if they hit $2.5M and mod support if they hit $3M:
I would like to give a little visibility on what we would expect to add to the game if we hit $2.5 million and $3.0 million. And do keep in mind that ALL money raised goes into development.
Scope and scale is the number one request, and it is what we are focusing our monies on primarily. So at 2.5 million dollars we would bring in another couple of designers to help create more areas. This will not only increase the overall size and depth of the world, but it translates to more story lines and more player options as well. At this funding level we would also bring more level scripters in to allow us to get levels in faster. When we get levels in faster it allows more iteration time to really hone things in. I believe that iteration time is the single most important factor towards shipping a polished and deep game.
In addition, we will add more NPC portraits and equipment artwork as per what the fans have requested in the forums. We would also increase the music budget to allow Mark Morgan to layer in even more atmosphere. The bottom line is that this kind of budget ensures that Wasteland 2 is BIGGER than Wasteland 1. And for the people that remember little Billy from WL1... well he was left for dead and he is pissed.
The third most asked about feature is for us to provide a mod kit to allow players to create their own scenarios. I have always loved those kinds of tool-sets to set players loose to keep the world expanding. To create these kinds of tools is time consuming and requires a separate team of guys to do it. While we are not ready to commit to that feature yet, we can say that if we were to hit 3 million dollars, it would be possible to do a mod kit without cutting into the plan for the main game. In fact, IF we ended up making the mod kit we would not release it until after Wasteland 2 shipped as our hands will be quite full to ensure things are done well. The game will also increase in scope as well so this is not a binary equation. As always, we will be posting polls in the forums to help with these sorts of decisions. Yes we are reading the forums!
Brian also comments they have begun pre-production and some new Kickstarter levels have been changed.
Tuesday - April 03, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interviews @ RPS, NowGamer, Dagon's Lair
Here's a trio of Wasteland 2 interviews (and a Matt Chat on Wasteland 1 at the end).
First, RPS catches up with Brian Fargo to chat about Obsidian's assistance:
RPS: Do you think it’s going to work naturally or might there be a clash, in that Wasteland is about player agency and freedom, while the game he’s most revered for, Planescape, is very much a fixed, set narrative?
Fargo: No, they won’t clash at all. What Chris brings is this wonderful density to his levels. So he’ll be involved with the overall, but he’ll also be given some sections in particular that he’ll be able to put his stamp on. It’s sort of like in science fiction novels where multiple authors get involved and do their own parts, all with their own style.
To me, it’s going to be cool because it’s going to give a greater sense of variety as you move around the world. But there’s no way on Earth this is not going to be a sandbox type game.
NowGamer and Fargo talk about "Kickstarter, Plot and Gameplay", though there isn't much new to add:
What can you tell us about your plans for Wasteland 2 in terms of gameplay, visual themes etc? Will it remain true to the original?
We are going to build upon all the elements that made Wasteland great. You control of a group of desert rangers in the southwest part of the states who are seeking to restore some law and order into a post apocalyptic world.
But despite their mission of restoring peace it is up to the players to decide the morality of their choices. We will not preach what behavior to take and nor will every negative thing you do necessarily turn into something bad happening to you.
The game will be party based like the original, feature modern day weapons for combat and use the skill system that everyone loved so much. Visual themes will run the gamut from desolate and bleak to cities that are attempting to recover from destruction.
From French site Dagon's Lair:
About the game itself : your focus is to please the community and fans with top-down view, turn-based combats, well, all the old-school good stuff, fans loved about old RPGs. But how far will you go ? Many gamers evolved and are now used to easy interface, and often being « hand held » in games.
We are not going to stray from the original formula that made these classic games work so well and perhaps the challenge/difficulty will be more than some can handle. But there is no reason to not take advantage of UI conventions like allowing the user to customize it the way they want. There is more flexibility in change when it doesn’t hurt the core experience but it isn’t like Fallout 1/2, Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale weren’t accessible. I think people spend too much time trying to dumb down the experience when in fact most the players are quite smart.
Lastly - and not actually Wasteland 2 - the latest Matt Chat video is on the original Wasteland.
Monday - April 02, 2012
Wasteland 2 - MCA Interview @ GameBanshee
Chris Avellone has been interviewed at GameBanshee about his involvement in Wasteland 2. Chris confirms he's the only Obsidianite who will be contributing at this stage, inXile won't be using the Onyx engine and the exact scope is up to inXile. He also says Obsidian is following up the projects they were pitching before (the now cancelled) Project North Carolina took up their manpower:
GB: What role will other team members at Obsidian play in Wasteland 2's development? Will Feargus, Tim Cain, J.E. Sawyer, and others be making contributions, as well? Would Obsidian's efforts go beyond story and design, in that you could potentially be contributing art assets and sound effects, or even helping with programming and bug fixing?
Chris: Currently, it’s just me, and I would potentially be assisting with narrative and area design, as well as conversation editor suggestions and structure. Ultimately, we won't know the final logistics for a short while longer, but we'll keep folks updated - right now, it's solely design content work, which is one of Obsidian's strengths.
Sunday - April 01, 2012
Wasteland 2 - (Don't) Give me that old time RPG Combat @ Joystiq
Rowan Kaiser writes at Joystiq about balancing the combat system in Wasteland 2 between staying true to its roots and more modern forms. The article argues that combat systems were evolving at the time Wasteland came out and lists some of the changes:
The Kickstarter success of Wasteland 2 may be one of the most important developments in Western role-playing games in years. It could re-open the doors to bringing back party-based, less cinematic role-playing games of the sort that have been largely gone since the mid-1990s. The trick, however, will be in using a style of combat that assures both quality and popularity for Wasteland 2. Because if it simply follows in the footsteps of the original Wasteland, it may have problems on both of those fronts.
The original Wasteland was released in 1988, towards the start of a transitional era for role-playing games, both technologically and creatively. The core mechanic of role-playing games of the era -- combat -- started to shift, and lose some of its importance.
Friday - March 30, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Update #7 - Chris Avellone to Collaborate
Brian Fargo has kicked up Update #7 for their Wasteland 2 Kickstarter campaign and it's a big one - if they reach $2.1M (currently $1.72M, 17 days to go) Chris Avellone will collaborate on design. Brian also notes they plan to use Obsidian "tools" to "get assets into the game faster":
We have announced a major piece of good news today that inXile has reached an agreement with Obsidian for potential design assistance for Wasteland 2. What that means is that Obsidian’s Chief Creative Officer, Chris Avellone, is going to work with our team on the design and writing of the game! It is important to note that we say "potential" as they will come aboard assuming we hit $2.1 million in funding. The good news is that we have already seen a spike in just the few hours since this was announced in a press release this morning.
For those of you who don't know who Obsidian or Chris Avellone are, they are the bulk of the brains who worked on Fallout 1&2, Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment when I was back at Interplay. More of the band is back together to make sure we bring you a fantastic RPG. Chris is going to help push the density and literary content of the game.
The original Wasteland was an important game to Chris as he recently stated, "Wasteland is one of my favorite RPGs of all time, and when Brian asked if I wanted to work on the sequel, I jumped at the chance. While I've worked on Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas, getting the chance to work on the spiritual predecessor to the Fallout franchise is a honor."
While the programming work will remain with us here at inXile, we are looking to use a host of tools that Obsidian has created which will help us get assets into the game faster. The faster we can implement and iterate on content, the deeper the game and the more varied choices the gamers can make.
That’s more good news for all of you that put your faith in us.
Thanks also to the host of people who sent this in.
Tuesday - March 27, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ Ripten
Brian Fargo has been interviewed at Ripten about Wasteland 2:
MF: Along those lines, you’ve very recently mentioned that if the project hits $2M, there will be some social features. The fan reaction… well, there’s been a lot of confusion around that.
BF: Yeah. Yup. Right before you called I was working on a project update to give that a little more color. I’ve read all that. I think… I already know what they want at $2M. We have forums out there. It’s larger world and more content, more dialog, more audio, more NPC portraits. I’m going to do all that stuff! I… and I shouldn’t have done it… I threw out a fringe idea for discussion, because people keep asking, “what else are going to do?” I was focusing on the “what else.” “Social” is a four-letter word with extra letters. I understand.
People have been burned by a lot of these games that try to be “social.” So, I’m clarifying that. As much as it was like, “Whoa! Slow down, guys! We’re not getting away from this core RPG,” I still prefer this kind of communication. I prefer to know. You might go down a path… in the past, when I made all these other RPGs, I was flying by the seat of my pants, using my instincts as a gamer. Sometimes, you have to be careful. For me, this really helps close the loop, making sure that we’re working on the things that people want. The last thing that we want to do is go work on a feature only to find out that no one wants it. I don’t want to do it either, if no one wants it.
Source: No Mutants Allowed
Monday - March 26, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Socially Unacceptable
Brian Fargo has clarified his comments on social features for Wasteland 2, offering a mea culpa for jumping in too soon on the issue. From his blog post, Socially Unacceptable:
Creating fan funded projects with input and transparency is certainly a new experience for me, and I would not have it any other way. I think it is important to note that we still want to be creative and throw ideas out for debate, which is why I couch most of my details with caveats. What I have discovered is that there are some four-letter words with extra letters like “Social” which get very emotional responses. Social means casual to some people and Wasteland 2 is NOT a casual game. I will certainly be careful in my word selection as I want new ideas to be discussed without being railroaded for bad word choice. Also please keep in mind that we don’t start full production until the funding hits in about a month. Until then, the forums are helping us hone in on the most important tenets.
And to repeat… this is an old-school RPG and nothing is going to make us deviate from that experience but there could be some options to consider that make it more fun. In fact, the reason we are not doing multi-player is because it would have affected the narrative. Keep in mind that this game is pre funded, so I don’t have to use clever buzzwords to get attention or convince people to buy it. My thoughts on additions are pure in the sense of whether it would make it more fun to play. Period.
I clearly made a mistake in throwing out an idea before I communicated a cohesive vision document on the overall game. At two million in funding we will be doing the top things everyone wants anyway: a larger world and more content, more character dialog, more graphics across the board, and more audio. I should not have thrown out any fringe ideas this early on… but live and learn. [...]
Saturday - March 24, 2012
Wasteland 2 - PayPal Donations now Possible!
inXile Entertainment opened up a secondary donation option for people who would like to donate for Wasteland 2 but can't use Kickstarter. It's now possible to use PayPal too. The procedure is a bit different though, probably because PayPal is only a payment provider, not a project funding platform:
Donate via PayPal
If you are unable to provide a donation through Kickstarter (you do not have a credit card), we offer the ability to make your donation though PayPal. Please be aware of the follow conditions as donating through PayPal requires us to manage your rewards a little differently.
PayPal Terms & Conditions
- Unlike Kickstarter, PayPal will debit your account immediately. Please ensure you have all funds available. Since the Kickstarter project is 100% funded, development of Wasteland 2 is assured.
- International orders must choose from the option for shipment to International destinations if you will be receiving any physical rewards. A $15 US additional charge has been added for shipping and handling.
- Unlike Kickstarter, we are not able to compound multiple donations to achieve a reward at a higher tier. The donation you are making now can not be increased at a later date. Please ensure the reward tier you are donating to is your definite choice of support.
- We are unable to provide donation rewards beyond the $500 tier through PayPal. For rewards beyond $500, you will need to place your donation through Kickstarter.
- If you have any questions, please contact inXile entertainment through our online support form.
Wasteland 2 - Update #6
Brian Fargo has posted Update #6 for Wasteland 2, explaining the "social" aspect in a little more depth and offering this as the additional inclusion for exceeding $2M:
The most common question now is what happens when we hit 2 million and above. First and foremost we hang our hat on the density of the experience the gamers get with a great RPG, and these monies continue to insure that happens. At 2 million we will increase the staff to make the game more social so that it can become a more shared experience. We like the concepts of dropping notes into the world for your friends who are playing the game, or perhaps we may allow you to send an item their way from Ranger center to help them out. We are fleshing out the ideas but intend to increase the social aspects of the game without diverting it from being an old school RPG and without hurting the balance.
There's also a new humorous video and a list of interviews, though I think we've covered them all.
Friday - March 23, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Update #5 and More
Brian Fargo has whipped up a new Kickstarter update, focused on Kicking it Forward:
Once a project in this program has become profitable, the developer is going to spend this 5% profit, which is their own money, on whatever Kickstarter projects they want to support. They can determine unilaterally who they want to give it to and when. Neither myself nor a committee is going to tell successful developers what projects to invest in. Ultimately, this is an honor system at the end of the day. No one is going to audit their books to make sure they complied. In many ways Kickstarter is an honor system too, so this is no different. Of course some unscrupulous developer may not follow through with their promise but I believe the development community sticks together.
Back to Wasteland 2 itself, NMA has some answers on multiplayer, Day-1 DLC and quest compasses. The answers are as you would expect - except the MP one. I'm a bit perplexed that social features are on their radar - even with the expanded budget, I'd have thought there were other priorities:
Will the game contain any form of multiplayer?
We are looking into how to make the game more social as we speak. I'm just not sure such a narrative game is going to lend itself to a strong multi-player but we have not ruled it out. One thing I do find interesting is the way Demon Souls handled things like leaving notes for others in game. There are some very interesting ideas along those lines that would be more powerful if controlled to your social group rather than strangers. Perhaps your buddy can drop things into the world for you to aid you along with the notes. Again just ideas but we are exploring that.
Lastly, team member Liz Danforth writes on her blog about her work on the original game and working on Wasteland 2:
I wasn’t a big part of the original project, but Highpool was one of the areas I wrote that appears early in the game. People still make sour faces when I grin evilly and say I was responsible for the tragedy with the kid and the rabid dog. I did other bits elsewhere in the game too, but that’s the piece I hear the most feedback about.
Still, the remarks aren’t always kind! I recall a forum comment I read just a year or two ago, saying something like “What kind of sick mind thinks up a situation where you have to kill a kid’s dog? And the kid too?”
Thursday - March 22, 2012
Wasteland 2 - inXile Commits to Mac and Linux Versions
Although the growth in Wasteland 2's Kickstarter pledges has slowed considerably, $1.5M is a safe bet and Brian Fargo has committed to the promised Mac and Linux versions even though that milestone hasn't quite been reached. From a tweet:
BTW we are close enough to $1.5 that we will commit to creating the Mac and Linux versions! Keep that support coming! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/wasteland-2?ref=live
The Paypal option is also now available, according to the official forums.
Wednesday - March 21, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Update #4, Interviews
Brian Fargo has posted a new Wasteland 2 update on Kickstarter as they approach $1.5M:
We are closing in on the funding for 1.5 million which will allow us to add both a Mac and Linux version of Wasteland 2 to the release. One of the (more common) questions I am asked is whether we'll support console and I believe it to be unlikely. It is imperative that we deliver the core PC experience that the fans are expecting here and I want to avoid any elements that could distract us. The console interface is quite different when you consider the input device and proximity to the screen whereas the Mac and Linux are pretty much identical to that of the "PC". We will consider a tablet version due to the similarity of the screen and interface but even on that we need to do a bit more research.
He also proposes a "Kick it Forward" concept that is quite exciting:
But in order to help facilitate the power of crowd funding I am going to suggest that all of us that do utilize this form of financing agree to kickback 5% of our profits made from such projects to other Kickstarter developers. I am not suggesting taking a backers money and moving it to another project.. I mean once a game has shipped and created profit that we funnel that back into the community of developers to fund their dreams. I am tentatively calling this "Kick It Forward" and I will be the first to agree to it. In fact, I will have our artists create a badge that goes on all Kickstarter projects that agree to support this initiative. Imagine the potential if another Minecraft comes along via Kickstarter and produces millions of dollars of investment into other developers.
By the way, for those holding back pledging because of the limited payment options, PayPal is coming:
PayPal support for #Wasteland2 is coming very soon for people without credit cards.
Q: At $1 million, your budget is a small fraction of the cost of typical console or PC game development. What corners will you cut to be able to bring the game in at this price? Will the game be a much shorter experience, or the graphics less detailed, in order to keep costs down?
Brian Fargo: We have a series of advantages in making this game for a reasonable budget. One large cost with making games these days are all of the cinematics that publishers spend on games, with costs that hit as much as $1.6 million per minute. Not only are they expensive, but they can cut down the options a player has in gameplay depending on design. We are also having a tremendous amount of pre-production done, such that all variables are nailed down at the start so that no cycles are wasted by designing on the fly.
We also save 20% plus in not having to prove to a publisher we know what we are doing or prepping for endless tradeshows. This sounds like a small thing, but developers have to halt production countless times for these things. Additionally, we will job out much of the art to keep our fixed overhead low. Wasteland 2 will be as big or bigger than Wasteland 1.
Saturday - March 17, 2012
Wasteland 2 - Interview @ GameBanshee
GameBanshee caught up with Brian Fargo to chat about Wasteland 2. As usual for them, it's a good article and well worth a read:
GB: While a lot of us have fond memories of the CRPGs of yesteryear, there have certainly been some modern sensibilities added to video games over the years that have improved upon the experience in measurable ways. They're certainly not all welcome additions, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on whether you think mechanics like regenerating health, autosaves, a detailed quest journal, fast travel, automapping with quest objective annotations, etc. have a place in Wasteland 2.
Brian: My tendency with this game is going to be closer to the experiences we all loved during the golden age of RPGs. Part of the reason we have the excitement we do is there is this general feeling that the games have been dumbed down for the masses. Politically correct situations, linear events, being careful no one gets lost etc...it can be kind of lame. We will put the game into beta test and if a huge majority about the lack of a feature we need to consider it but in general let's recreate the wonder with modern graphics and sound. [...]
GB: Unfortunately, role-playing games have lost much of their original identity in recent years, thanks in part to the popularity of first-person action RPGs. How do you convince a newer or younger RPG fan who has grown accustomed to the action-focused titles to give Wasteland 2 a shot?
Brian: Well here is the beauty of fan funding... we don't have to convince some younger RPG player of anything. I am making this game for the wonderful fans who put their money behind us and not some nebulous group of new people. Let's make the game they all expect and let the chips fall where they may. There is just no way I'm going to consider anything that could let down the core.
Information aboutWasteland 2
Developer: InXile Entertainment
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Expected at 2014-06-30
· Publisher: InXile Entertainment