Wasteland 2 - All News
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.