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.
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