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News for Saturday, March 31, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 19:35

In the 24 hours since it was made public that Obsidian and Chris Avellone would lend a hand to Wasteland 2 if the drive reached $2.1M, well over $155K has been pledged by way of Kickstarter (plus around $7K from paypal) according to the Ruined Kingdoms charting. As of this writing it stands at $1,811,644 (plus $25,820 from Paypal). The rate of donations is slowing down again, but even if it doesn't pick up again at the end, the steady rate of $20K a day means that even with this most negative of projections, it will hit $2.1million (16 days left at $20K a day is at least $320K still to go). More likely is that the Kickstarter will slow down now and then pick up again in the final days as fence-sitters donate and the media pays attention again.


In slightly related news, the NMA bar drive will be open until this Friday (I will probably close it around the same o'clock as this newspost). It has raised 1395 so far, so we have more than enough for the bar itself, but if you've got money to burn, there's a good spot to burn it. All money donated to the Chipin drive goes directly to inXile.

Posted by Brother None - at 3:42

Joystiq editorializes on the combat of Wasteland and Wasteland 2, and discusses how it needs to find a balance between what it was and expectations players might have now. They don't argue for real-time, but do seem to think the old pace of combat was all about "technological restraints". Ah, we've grown quite familiar with that phrase.

From this point on, combination real-time and turn-based combat systems became more and more popular, until they became the default. The most famous of these was Japanese, Final Fantasy's Active Time Battle system, but there were dozens of PC games as well. Dungeon Master-inspired clones, like Eye Of The Beholder and Lands Of Lore. Ultima Underworld and The Elder Scrolls series were also directly descended from Dungeon Master, utilizing more free movement and closer to straightforward real-time combat. BioWare built its empire on phased combat, specifically with the Infinity Engine utilized by Baldur's Gate, but also Knights Of The Old Republic and Dragon Age. Perhaps it's most clearly seen in Everquest-style massively multiplayer RPGs, with their set cooldown timers and intricate strategies built around maximizing use of turns and timing.


The technological constraints that forced "old school" turn-based combat quickly disappeared after Dungeon Master. Ultima VII and Diablo were almost purely real-time, existing alongside games with phased combat and turn-based holdouts. Other series adapted, like Might & Magic, which sped up its combat pace by its third installment in 1991, or Wizardry, whose addition of positional tactics in Wizardry 8 made one of my favorite combat systems ever.

Here is Wasteland 2's dilemma: how can it create a combat system that manages to appeal to fans of the dense 1980s-style menu-based combat, while also enticing fans of Fallout and its single-character, fast-paced tactical combat? The two may initially seem similar, but there are major differences. And Dungeon Master and its successors opened up a wide variety of different styles of RPG combat of varying depth and degrees, all of which can easily be labeled "old school." And they're all going to have fans ... and detractors.

News for Friday, March 30, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 21:56

For the seventh Kickstarter update Brian Fargo clarified on the potential role of Obsidian Entertainment in the development of Wasteland 2. In short, the code will be inXile's responsibility while Obsidian will help with tools and Chris Avellone will join in for some design and writing work:

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.

Brian Fargo

Posted by Brother None - at 19:09

InXile sent out a press release, announcing that if the Wasteland 2 fundraiser reaches $2.1 million, InXile will bring in Obsidian to co-develop.

inXile to collaborate with Obsidian on the design of Wasteland 2!

Newport Beach, CA - March 30, 2012 - inXile entertainment confirmed today that they have reached an agreement with award-winning RPG developer Obsidian Entertainment to collaborate on the game design and writing for their Wasteland 2 project if the funding level reaches $2,100,000. Obsidian’s Chief Creative Officer Chris Avellone will be working directly with the design team at inXile to help bring the world of Wasteland together. Avellone 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 successor to the Fallout franchise is a honor." Brian Fargo added, “I have a history with the guys at Obsidian that dates back to the days of Interplay’s Black Isle studios. Together we created some of the greatest RPG’s of all time, from Fallout 1 & 2 to titles like Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment. It is great that we now have a chance to reunite on a project like Wasteland 2.”

In addition to Chris Avellone's help, Obsidian will be lending the experience they have in the development of RPG games and tools to inXile. Fargo believes this collaboration will allow him to focus more energy on the game, “Obsidian has an incredible library of story, dialog and design tools that they have used to create hits like Neverwinter Nights 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, and of course, Fallout: New Vegas. Regardless of the tech we use to develop the game, experience with these tools will help us efficiently design the game without wasting time and resources on the tools needed for development.”

Wasteland still has 17 days remaining until the Kickstarter funding ends. At this time the project has around 33,000 backers and has raised more than $1,650,000. In addition to the PC version, inXile has officially announced Mac OS X and Linux versions of Wasteland 2.

InXile is also announcing a solution for everyone who wants to back the project, but who live in a country where backing it on Kickstarter is just not possible. Fargo reports, “We want to let everyone know that we are now accepting PayPal pledges directly though the Wasteland web portal. Some of our biggest fans come from Germany and Eastern Europe, yet they have been unable to support us through the Kickstarter/Amazon pay system. We now have an alternative PayPal site set up for such gamers at Wasteland.inXile-entertainment.com.”

Details can be found on the Kickstarter site at:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/wasteland-2
or at:
http://wasteland.inxile-entertainment.com

About inXile Entertainment:
Founded by long-time industry veteran @BrianFargo in 2002, inXile Entertainment develops interactive entertainment software for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices. The most current projects being: The Bard's Tale for IOS and Choplifter HD. For more information about inXile Entertainment visit www.inxile-entertainment.com.

About Obsidian Entertainment:
Obsidian Entertainment is an entertainment software development company passionately dedicated to making high quality, next generation games for Windows PC and console systems. Obsidian was founded in 2003 by five game development veterans who've produced, programmed, and/or designed award-winning role playing games for a variety of platforms over the last 20 years. The five founders are: Feargus Urquhart, Chris Parker, Darren Monahan, Chris Avellone and Chris Jones. Obsidian Entertainment's Web site is located at www.obsidian.net.

Fallout and Fallout: New Vegas are registered trademarks of Bethesda Softworks LLC. Wasteland is a registered trademark of inXile Entertainment. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 18:30

It seems like sometime today we should get a new interesting Wasteland 2 update according to a tweet from Brian Fargo:

We have a very exciting update in regards to #Wasteland2 coming today....
Probably not related, Chris Avellone believes it is "interesting times" too.

News for Thursday, March 29, 2012

Posted by Bewitched - at 0:39

Fallout-Archives has acquired the original presentation file of Tim Cain's 2012 GDC presentation on Fallout, straight from the man himself.

Tim Cain GDC 2012 Fallout development presentation
Tim Cain GDC 2012 Fallout development presentation (PDF)

News for Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 23:14

Ripten asked about "getting the old gang back together" with InXile CEO Brian Fargo, and now has a follow-up reaction from Obsidian's Chris Avellone.

Brian gave me my first job in the industry, I loved being at Interplay while he was there, and I love Wasteland. If there was a way to work both with Obsidian and work with Brian and InXile, I would do it.

Posted by Brother None - at 22:25

Rock Paper Shotgun has a little editorial for low-intelligence characters in Fallout 2.

Al is an idiot. Not in the mean-spirited, pejorative sense, but in the literal ‘there are dead fleas that make better conversation’ sense. I’ve made a moron. When he was told to quest for the GECK he probably didn’t stoically grit his teeth or ask every question in the conversation tree – as your typical post-apocalyptic typical heroes do – he more likely dribbled from tooth to toe and burbled a few rhymes. GECK? Heck. Neck? Feck.

Huh-huh-huh.

Chosen One? It’s a wonder his tribe didn’t kill him at birth.

What Al lacks in smarts he compensates for in his capacity for violence, however – he’s bigger than a Radscorpion and his Perception rating is so far off the charts that they had to invent a new kind of telescope. I am, in other words, fairly confident that this lummox can handle Fallout 2’s wastelands even despite his skull-headed handicap. It’s not like the Science skill is ever actually useful for anything and, even if it was, Fallout 2 is my game. The one I know inside and out; it’s the one I play in my head when my boss is talking to me. Low Intelligence score isn’t going to hold me back for long. Or so I thought.

News for Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 22:59

In their regular Fine Art feature, Kotaku highlights the work of Joe Sanabria, Fallout: New Vegas' art director. Head over to the pages which has several highlights, or Joe's own website. Here's some of his stuff, available in our gallery:





Posted by Brother None - at 20:38

Ripten offers a very good interview with InXile CEO Brian Fargo.

MF: There have been a lot of questions, and people are very interested, are we going to see any Fallout influence bleed back into the world of Wasteland 2?

BF: I got a similar question another way, when we put things into the game, it’s hard to say who inspired what. There are Wasteland things in Fallout. If I put something into Wasteland 2, am I taking for Fallout or am I taking from Wasteland? From a copyright perspective, we’re not going to take anything from Fallout that isn’t ours. That’s owned by Bethesda, so we need to be clear on that, but there are overarching elements. The way the religions work and some of the combat, there are going to be some similarities because one is the heritage and the other shares it.

MF: Do you think people who have never played Wasteland are expecting the game to be more like Fallout?

BF: The games are very similar. I think the things that drew people to Wasteland and Fallout are the similarities. It’s not like the top-down graphics are what grabbed people with Wasteland. There was this open sandbox world and we weren’t preaching to you as to how to behave, in terms of a morality perspective. The “correct” thing to do was never clear, and sometimes, there weren’t clear, correct things. There was also a lot of cause and effect and a lot of subtlety; layers and layers of gameplay in a post-apocalyptic world, with an interesting combat system.

Both of those games have the exact same things going for them. Really, it was the worlds that drew people in, without so much concern about “that one was top-down” and “this one is isometric.” Well, we’re probably more likely to be going with isometric, because, graphically, it looks more interesting. It’s all the things that the two games have in common that are going to be in Wasteland 2, except for the party system. Wasteland was more of a party-based game. You start off with your four main rangers, and you swapped NPCs in and out based on what particularly skills they had. All the things that people loved about those two games? Wasteland 2 will have all of those elements.

(...)

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.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 16:38

The folks of the Mutants Rising team have put out a new update on the status of their mod, which lists all the progress that has been made since the release of the demo:

Our Christmas demo turned out to be a huge success (for a Fallout 2 mod), having received a lot of kind attention from the community and well over 1000 downloads in the past quarter of the year. We also got a lot of praise as a team, for which we are very grateful. But the moment of relishing in our *cough* worldwide celebrity *cough-chuckle* has passed and now we're back in the workshop again. In the first months following the release of the demo, we decided to focus on precising and freezing the design element of the mod. This will not only enable us to better assess the time and resources needed to complete the game, but will also help us make sure every element of the plot comes together and ties in nicely with one another.

We have also made significant progress in the art department, mainly thanks to the impressive works of Stampedo who churned out about a dozen ending screens within a week. To provide you with a proper dose of classic Fallout eyecandy, we did a major tidying up of our website's Gallery, removing all the old screenshots that did a very poor job of showcasing the current shape of the project. Note that all of the new screenshots in the gallery have been taken during one continuous playthrough of the mod. To top it, we have added some cinematic/end-game illustrations and some concept art.

We are also happy to introduce our new members: BBmultipass, a scripter known for his involvement with the Fallhope project, and Gaspard whose tasks include proofreading, writing and providing more artworks for the game. We are always looking for recruits and will be very happy to take on hard-working writers, a talking heads 3D artist and an experienced mapper.
You can find the official screenshots/artwork gallery of the mod here.

News for Monday, March 26, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 5:08

In a new blog update, Brian Fargo talks about the response to the "social features" idea for Wasteland 2, though he doesn't say much that's really new.

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.

News for Sunday, March 25, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 18:29

Eurogamer is offering a retrospective article on the original Wasteland, no doubt due to the ongoing Wasteland 2 Kickstarter drive. Here's a quote from it:

What I'd forgotten about Wasteland in the years since I played it last was just how much of that experience it actually offered. Where most other RPGs of its era were content to vomit up lots of space and monsters, Wasteland set out to create a whole fallen civilisation full of puzzles and characters and things to twiddle with, all magically crammed into less than a megabyte of space. It was a world that felt alive like few others, where things had a purpose and there were surprises to look forward to uncovering.

True, achieving this feat did mean making some hefty concessions to the technology of the time. Much of the in-game text isn't actually in the game for example. Instead, big chunks of plot and flavour text are handled by a polite little message saying "Read paragraph 13", which is your cue to turn to the printed manual (which of course you have, since there's no way you can find this information online) to see what's happening.

What stops you simply reading them in advance and spoiling the entire game for yourself? Nothing, save for the risk of lies and red herrings. There may be someone out there who didn't simply devour the entire list within five minutes of discovering it, but I've never met one.

Even with a little stolen knowledge on your side, it's a long, brutal path to actually making use of it. You're given a starting team whose most useful first mission would be to drop their gear to the ground and politely turn themselves into delicious protein shakes for your handcrafted heroes to sip as they wander the blighted landscape. Out in the wilds, monsters both human and animal are everywhere, and not always the kind you can be proud of killing. At the Agricultural Centre not far from your starting location for instance, you don't just face the usual giant rats. No. In Wasteland's dark future, there are opossums that want a piece of you.

That's a big part of Wasteland's charm though - that as bleak as it might sound as a setting, its mutant tongue is constantly pressed up against the insides of both cheeks. You never know what you're going to find in each new settlement, and something memorable is rarely far away. It may be from an era when disk space was so precious that the main plot had to be outsourced to the manual, but that doesn't mean it'll skimp on the bytes to serve up descriptions like "Four foot tall pears, pleasingly plump, perfectly prepared, possibly, to plummet perilously from their precarious perches and pummel any passing pedestrian to a pasty, putrid pulp" or throw a random shout-out to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

News for Saturday, March 24, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 20:51

Steam has a 66% off sale on the Fallout Collection. You can buy the Fallout 1/Fallout 2/Fallout Tactics bundle for 6.79 EUR/USD, or individual titles for 3.39 EUR/USD.

Gamefeel has an editorial up about Fallout's use of co-authorship.

In the above graph, I’ve noted the differences between Fallout’s construction and the comparatively ‘narrative-based’ style Bioware used in Baldur’s Gate 2 and has been building off from since. While Baldur’s Gate 2 is concerned with telling a story, which necessitates a degree of linearity, Fallout exists as a formless soup—a model where the player can not only move forward but in all directions. In Fallout the player creates a story on the fly using the innate game mechanics handed to him or her by the designers. The personality of the protagonist is left wholly up to how the player utilizes their avatar to interact with designer-placed elements such as other characters or objects. To summarize, the designers of Fallout claim authorship on the rules and scenario of their game, but allow the player to dictate complete authorship within those boundaries. In this way Fallout’s “formless soup design” (as I’ve obnoxiously decided to name it) acts as a perfect model for interactive storytelling.

One would assume that the trade-offs of this style of design would mean a lower caliber of emotional connection that comes with a carefully crafted narrative, but that surprisingly is not the case. Having control of the scenario and setting alone affords the designers just enough control to indirectly reinforce the context to all of the player’s actions. Non-playable characters become deeper as even the least essential of the lot must have a reaction prepared towards being punched, shot at, stolen from, threatened, or… spoken to politely. Perhaps even helped or made friends with!
And in unrelated post-apocalyptic news, Le Wastelander linked to a nice-looking WIP animation project called Ruin.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:17

The Kickstarter page of Wasteland 2 has another update in which InXile confirms Mac and Linux are on, and talks about new goals, as well as a new video.

We just made our next major milestone, thanks to you all, which means more content plus a Mac and Linux version. And the number continues to grow, and that means a better product for all as we can hire more writers and scripters to add even more depth of consequence to the world, add more music and sound to set the atmosphere, and make the world larger to explore. Let's keep the number increasing and really knock it out of the ballpark. I have been having a blast reading the messages of excitement from the RPG players who feel neglected over the years.

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.

We have received many questions about multi-player, and my feeling is that we do not think it would be the right decision for such a heavy narrative RPG. Even in an open sandbox world there are sequences and clues that need to happen in order for things to flow and make sense. This is not an MMO where we create instances of one-off events and scenarios, but it is a deep fluid world in which your actions do matter later. I don't want a game where my buddy triggered an event I didn't know and causes a repercussion for me, and at the same time I don't want to see every little event that my buddy sees to insure I didn't miss it. Multi-player is a design issue and not a technical one in this case. However, we will introduce social elements like I hinted at above so there can be a communal type experience.

More important than multi-player I would prefer to have a robust set of tools so the community can create mods and make the Wasteland world bigger than any one company ever could. Rest assured we are spending our efforts to determine at what tier we can have a team work on this. But keep in mind that making Wasteland 2 a deep RPG experience is mission critical, so even if we make the mod tools they are likely to come out after our ship date.

Edit: an update from InXile:
Everyone remain calm....

There has been a lot of panic that any kind of element of sharing will ruin the classic old school RPG. I think some people are overreacting to the word "social" which I can kind of understand. But here is the bottom line. We will post a description of our thoughts in the forums and if YOU the fans still don't want it then we will not fight the majority. We can now get back to our normal shouting.

News for Friday, March 23, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 4:52

The 5th update for the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter is about the Kicking It Forward site being up, and affirms for those worried about it that Fargo's involvement ends more or less at putting the site up, and that it's an honor system idea.

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.

Posted by Brother None - at 1:23

Designer Liz Danforth writes on her own site about Wasteland.

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?”

*ahem* Wasteland is a post-apocalyptic world set in our near future. An animal infected with full-blown rabies can’t be saved in our world, today. With limited medical supplies and a trashed infrastructure, how in hell do you imagine you could possibly do anything but put a rabid dog out of its misery?

You never had to kill the kid, either. He’d throw himself at you, yes, but you’re playing a squad of big strong mega-weaponed Rangers! Grownups! Walk away. It’s not like you were chickenshit for backing down from some evil-hearted final boss bent on scourging the world and all you loved within it. It was a little boy.

True, if you passed through the area again, the kid would scream and yell and accuse you of terrible things — forever. But why would the boy forget the bad strangers who killed his beloved dog? He’d only asked you to help him.

(...)

Right now, it looks like I’ll be doing just a little in the new game, but at least one map. Expect a worthy successor to Highpool. Expect me to jack around with your emotions and expect your decisions to have consequences. I know more about games and game design than I did then, and I’d like to think I’m at least as creative today as I was then, if not more so.

That’s one advantage to being a Maker. Doing so many different things, I don’t get too set in my ways about any one thing I do, whether art or writing or game design. I may not be as well known as some who specialize — that’s the downside to being a jack of all trades — but I’ve worked steadily as a creative Maker for almost four decades. I still get as excited by challenging new projects as I did when I was twenty. And I’m really stoked about some of the ideas and evil plans growing in my notes for when I get the green light to start on my part of Wasteland 2.
On an unrelated note, producer Matt Findley not they will ship the Wasteland 2 physical rewards at the value of the physical items, not the total pledge, which should help alleviate concerns about duty/tax hassle for international backers.

And in additional unrelated news, the Mac and Linux versions are confirmed, despite not quite being at $1.5M yet InXile is committing to making them.

News for Thursday, March 22, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 23:24

We approached InXile CEO Brian Fargo for a very quick Q&A on some issues that have popped up in discussions here and on the Wasteland 2 forums. The quest compass question was also asked and answered on the Codex, but regardless, here is Fargo's thoughts on it, multiplayer and DLC.

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.

Will the game contain any form of day-one or small DLC (not expansion pack-sized ones post-release)?

Hell no there won't be day one DLC... everything is going to the game as it should be. I feel like I've been taken advantage of in other games in which they tried to sell me stuff that was already completed. This isn't a free to play model. Now of course I might insist on a red boots DLC pack for fun.

Will the game contain a quest compass?

We have no plans for a quest compass. We are designing this game to maximize exploration and discovery and through good design it should work fine. I like the tension of wandering off and stumbling upon random encounters... makes you pay attention. I made one comment that IF for some reason despite everything people are complaining about getting lost all the time then maybe we would look into ways to counter that. We are not making this game to try to appeal to a mass market and it has always served me well to assume the audience is smart.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 21:39

We have been covering The Age of Decadence in the past so it goes without saying that we would be posting when the public beta of the title, which includes the content that is going to be available in the final demo, got finally released.

Direct links to it are available on RapidShare and our host AtomicGamer, while a Torrent can be downloaded from both File-Upload and Demonoid.

Thanks to all the mysterious anonymous contributors that pinged us about it, by the way.

Update: A new link is available on our host AtomicGamer, so the post has been updated accordingly.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 15:49

The folks at RPG Codex have posted the third in a series of interview about Wasteland 2, this time again with Brian Fargo on community feedback and design decisions:

How do you strike a balance between a professional design vision and the desires of a diverse audience? Do you believe that the nature of this project will have a significant impact on the game's development process?

BF: Every project that I have managed has started with a vision document that calls out the important things we must deliver on. In conjunction with those call outs I make the team deliver examples of such things. If we say great characters with interesting dialogue then I want to see a sample. If we think gorgeous character portraits are important then I want an artist to show me one. It is one thing to promise a feature, but another to deliver. So instead of my relying on my instincts or team meetings I am able to solicit the feedback from the fans to make sure we nail what is important. The process now is very similar but actually better than ever since I don't have to be flying in the dark. We are not going to try and satisfy EVERY desire of EVERY fan, or it would be a mess. My instincts for this game have been pretty much in line with what I have seen, but there have been new ideas or priorities that were not intuitive to me and I was thankful for having the input that has been supplied. And there will be an extra step soon where I post the vision document based on all these things, but I have not had a second to type something up that communicates well. I don't think there will be any big surprises on it... we all know what we want to see here.

(...)

Fallout is often cited as the spiritual successor to Wasteland, even though there are some fundamental differences between the two games. A lot of people want to see features closer to those in Fallout. Do you feel that it is important to preserve the differences between the two franchises? Even though it's understandable that many younger gamers missed out on Wasteland, can you assure us that Wasteland 2 will feel more like a Wasteland sequel than an alternative Fallout 2 successor?

BF: There will be zero need to have played Wasteland 1 in order to slide into the sequel. We will obviously take elements of both games into account on the sequel. There are so many similarities in the two worlds that it is difficult for me to say what is spiritual to what. But again I will share more specifics via our vision document soon.

Posted by Brother None - at 3:02

InXile now has made a paypal pledge option available for those of us without credit cards.

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. Had we not been 100% funded through Kickstarter, these donate buttons would not have been possible.
• 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.

News for Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 20:01

Games Industry is next up with a Brian Fargo interview.

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.

(...)

Q: Any other thoughts about the project so far?

Brian Fargo: Just to repeat that I am overwhelmed by the response and the faith and support from the fans makes me happy to be in the games business again. Never have I been at a better place to just make the games I love to make and this whole fan funding has provided.

Posted by Brother None - at 18:15

Slacker Heroes has an interview with InXile CEO Brian Fargo, mostly peripheral stuff about Kickstarter and what this means for developers.

Tim Schafer stated that he felt it was impossible to get a traditional point-and-click adventure game published today, yet obviously there was enough market interest to far surpass his budget. I know the same is often said of isometric or turn-based RPGs, that there simply isn’t a market for those games today. Do you think there will be a revival of niche genres?

I believe that this project is more than just bringing back Wasteland, it is about bringing back a lost genre of party based, turn-based RPGs. Tim is right when he says the point and click adventure couldn’t get published today. Yet when you ask any gamer about the point and click adventures from the past they light up when they talk about them. It is an awesome style of game that many people love to play. It is obvious by his success and the success of our Wasteland project that there are fans out there who agree with us both. I could see this happening to other genres too, I hope we are experiencing a revival of sorts.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:36

Now at $1.43M, close to that $1.5 multi-platform goal, there a new update on the Kickstarter drive.

I continue to be overwhelmed by the positive feedback and enthusiasm from the support I have gotten from Kickstarter. The groundswell of people cheering us on and the evangelism - people spreading the word - is unlike anything I have experienced. In fact, I would say the last week was the high water mark of my career.

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.

There have been some nice human moments along the way that I thought I would share.

We started off strong in the first 24 hours raising nearly 50% of our minimum need but still I was nervous. All the signs of success were there but we all wanted it to happen so badly that it seemed to good to be true. Around 6:00 that first night we received an email from a wealthy software industry individual who is a passionate fan of Wasteland and offered to help fund the game if Kickstarter came short! Talk about feeling good. Of course I thanked him and said I hoped we would not need his assistance but he made my whole day/week/month/year.

On the next day I get a short tweet from an individual that confesses he pirated Wasteland as a kid and was donating to help make up for it. I of course forgave not knowing he had donated $10,000 dollars. An incredible gesture... now if we could get every pirate of Wasteland 1 to donate we could really beat the Kickstarter all time record.

Mason Douglass who plays the kid publisher in the Kickstarter video has gotten rave reviews for his performance. His delivery was great and I have had people wanting to contact his manager for parts in TV/film. I jokingly told him when we shot the bit that he might become famous from this. Perhaps he will.

And just today I got an email along with a donation from a kid who lived down the street from me when he was a teenager. His note was as follows:

"This message is intended for Brian Fargo. Brian, I was your next door neighbor when you used to live in Laguna. I was a pesky 15 or 16 year old kid that would come around and ask you about games. You would sit down and take time to talk to me about games, and the industry, and I just wanted you to know how cool it was that you didn't blow me off. It meant a lot to me. Recently, I found out about your Kickstarter movement for Wasteland 2, and I contributed to it because I believe in you and your ability to resurrect the glory of the franchise. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors, and thank you again for creating some memorable memories for me during my teenage years. Take care!"

It shows that being nice creates goodwill 20 years later.

And speaking of goodwill it occurs to me that we can harness the power of Kickstarter in a more meaningful way. Fan funding is bigger than me or Wasteland 2 as I have remarked before. The development community has come together to support us in ways that I didn't think possible and our power as developers will ultimately come from us sticking together. Both gamers and developers have so much more strength than they realize. 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. This economic payback will continue to grow the movement way beyond the current system. I hope others will join me with this idea and make this a true shakeup.

Let's get the power shifted around a bit!

News for Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 21:48

Chris Avellone let us know on twitter he's having New Vegas maquettes made, for his own use.

Wanted to do series of Fallout New Vegas maquettes, here's a draft of Ulysses from my pal Stone Perales

Would love to see em when they're done.

Posted by Brother None - at 20:50

Brian Fargo has a few short comments on the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter success for Digital Trends. Amusingly, Digital Trends headlined the article with a bit of Rick Lion fanart.

“In addition to more locations, we’ll have the manpower to create more layered effects based on what the player is up to. Cause and effect is everything in a good RPG so triggering based off more variables makes for a better world. This can range from having hundreds of different NPC dialogue remarks based on who is in the party, encounters that react to what you look like, scenes that open up based on how violent you were or perhaps how low your intelligence is. This kind of depth is what made Wasteland 1 so good.”
Furthermore, there's a pair of editorials on the Kickstarter success of DoubleFine and Wasteland 2 available. One rather speculative one from Kotaku/Ripten, and a quote-filled one from the Verge.

EDIT: also, the next Wasteland 2 video update should be up this Friday:
Also I will be putting a new video out this Friday. It will be hard to top the first one but we will have some fun with it.

News for Monday, March 19, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 0:03

So, the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter drive is already beyond successful, having raised $1.3 million so far. But it can always use additional funds.

Imagine this: wandering into town, you see a heavily fortified bar, perhaps a former police station. Above the door is an old traffic sign, painted over with our logo, with below it the words "No Mutants Allowed". Entering the bar, chills run up and down your spine, as the unfriendly glares of the residents make you fear for your life.

Worth an extra fundraising drive? We think so. So we're looking for you, our users, to pool together $1000 to add an NMA bar to Wasteland. Brian Fargo has already confirmed to us he has no problems adding this even though the tier is technically sold out.

We are using Paypal to raise the amount needed. In case we don't make the total, NMA will supplement from its own funds or reimburse people who donated. $150 has already generously been donated before I could even put up a widgit, so we have only $850 left to go. All money will be donated without any physical reward, so the full amount goes to development.



I for one will proudly put the NPC named after me in this bar.

EDIT: We have reached our goal, so no more donations are needed. The widgit will be up just a little longer since we've been asked to delay the donation for a while anyway.

Brian Fargo said he's fine with the idea of naming the bar No Mutants Allowed and then putting a clipboard in it with "tabs left open" listing our own pledgers and their names/amounts. I will send out a mass email about this to our pledgers once the Chipin closes. I will use the Paypal-tied-in email for that so PM me if it's not the one you use.

News for Sunday, March 18, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 23:31

You may remember Russian videogame artist Rick Lion from Project Serenity (art from which has been made available before). He's been uploading some awesome fanart to the NMA galleries:



Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 12:53

While most of the attention right now is rightly focused on the ongoing Wasteland 2 Kickstarter, there have been a few pieces of news related to Fallout.

New Vegas' project director J.E. Sawyer put on his blog the slides of a presentation he gave at GDC, focused on the "choice architecture" and narrative design in New Vegas, while also expanding and clarifying on some points.

Joystiq decided to dedicated their weekly WRPG-focused column to Fallout, which they call "the first modern RPG".

Finally, Chris Avellone confirmed with a now-deleted tweet that Obsidian didn't receive a bonus payment for Fallout: New Vegas due to missing the metacritic score that was asked of them by one point. Here's the story via Joystiq.

News for Saturday, March 17, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 23:04

The folks at GameBanshee are offering a two-pages interview with inXile CEO Brian Fargo about the already-funded-with-30-days-more-to-go Wasteland 2 Kickstarter, which goes in-depth about the design of the game, the differences in tone between Wasteland and Fallout and more. A couple of snippets:

GB: There are quite a few differences between Wasteland and Fallout, but due to the fact that the latter was a spiritual successor of the former, they oftentimes get construed as near-identical post-apocalyptic games. Do you think it's important to retain the Wasteland identity in the sequel and perhaps even try to push the game further away from the Fallout formula to ensure its uniqueness?

Brian: I think there might be varying opinions on what the formulas were for each and how they might be different. Wasteland excelled at many things like tactical combat, interesting situations that did not have clear cut correct solutions and it continued to surprise you along the way. Not only with those elements not be lost they will be expanded upon. We have the advantage of hindsight now since we can clearly see what things people reacted well to. We were flying blind while we made the first game. Fallout excelled in many of the same things but it really shined in tone and style. We need to make sure that we have an interesting art style and vibe. If there is any feeling that you have seen something a hundred times before you lose interest pretty quickly.

(...)

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.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 21:23

Another milestone has been reached and surpassed by Wasteland 2's Kickstarter drive, as the total of money that donors have pledged to it has now reached more than $1,270,000, and as a consequence of that Brian Fargo has penned a third update in which he talks about what he thinks this means for the project and the gaming industry as a whole:

What an incredible week this has been. The outpouring of support and faith is nothing like I have ever had before (except maybe from my Mom), and for the first time in years it feels good to be in the games business. I have always loved both making and playing games, but the business side of it has been painful at times. In fact, there were a couple times the frustration with publishers was so high I considered stopping. It just seemed like the era of purity was over. Even when Interplay was a large company there was such a positive vibe with everyone pulling in the same direction with a real passion for their job. I frequently run into the folks I worked with in those days, and this same memory of those times remains with them.

One friend of mine who worked with me there said recently he felt that in the beginning of the industry all the nerds were in charge, but then as the industry grew it changed, and now the guys that picked on the nerds got back on top. I think there was some great truth to that. We all hope this movement is bigger than just Tim Schafer or Brian Fargo as we want to get power back into the developers hands again. And the unbelievable Indie scene shows that there is momentum in that direction. The development community continues to pull itself together to ensure their success. They share tools, they share statistics, they share ideas, and the biggest donators in Kickstarter are always developers. All of this reminds me of the freshness the industry had in the late 80′s through mid 90′s in which creativity was being directed only by the gamers. The gamers will always rule at the end of the day.

You will probably hear me thanking you all a hundred more times, but again, thanks for giving us this opportunity to do what we do best. Make games!

-Brian Fargo
Thanks maggit and another Mysterious Stranger.

News for Friday, March 16, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 21:07

The team at inXile must have noticed that absolutely no one seemed to be interested in the $2500 reward tier and decided to change it to attract more potential backers, and changed it from a blood sausage sculpture to the chance for people that choose this tier to get their own personalized 'artifact' in the game:

You get to place a personalized collectible artifact in our world and write its backstory! It could be anything from an engagement ring to a teddy bear. We will have 200 of these rare and semi rare items that can be found throughout the Wasteland 2 world. When collected, all players will learn about the personal touch that you added to the world. You'll also receive a signed Collector's Edition, boxed version and 10 digital copies of the game to do what you'd like with, in addition to a lv4 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible. (This does not include NPC/Weapon/Location as well)

Posted by Brother None - at 16:10

GameZone is up next with an interview with InXile CEO Brian Fargo.

GZ: So in the Kickstarter, you were saying you were planning for six months of pre-development and 12 months of development, how far along would you say the game is now?

Brian Fargo: We were working on a lot of the storyline, and the character development and individual plot scenes, but to that extent, that work's been done. There's still a tremendous amount of work that still needs to get done. It's funny because when you talk about the $1 million you've got one group of people saying 'Wow, how can you do it for so cheap?' but then others saying 'I know an indie that made a game for 30 grand, why does it cost so much?' For making a full scale RPG, it really isn't that much, you have to become super proficient. One of the things that saves us money is not doing cut-scenes. Those are incredibly expensive and time consuming and frankly, the hardcore crowd doesn't care that much about them, so that saves us a tremendous amount of time. Really it comes down to having a template for having the perfect map, and then we send that out to six or seven designer, and they will all jump on creating their areas and then we collate it, bring it together, and then we'll be feeding this stuff out to the beta testers throughout to make sure the sensibilities that we promised, were hitting all those right notes. I feel more confident in building this product than I have pretty much any other, because of the fact that the fans were involved in the beginning on the front end to test our sensibilities and clearly they like what they've been hearing, and then we're going to deliver it to them. It's like if we say, 'We're going to have gritty writing', it's one thing to say it, but then have fans look at it and say 'This is horrible writing!' that we'll then have to tweak, so the process is really well organized.

GZ: Right when you talk about fan feedback, my mind goes to Notch and Mojang with Minecraft with how personal they are with their fanbase, are you hoping to replicate something similar to that?

Brian Fargo: We're going to obsess over it. We already have the fan boards set up. I'll give you an example, people are saying 'What if you make it past your goal, and make it to 1.75 million, 2 million?' and in the old days, I'd say we might do this, we might do that, but now we can go to the fans, and ask them what they would like. More special effects, more audio, bigger content, an iOS version, and I let the fans vote and that way we can figure out what we can provide.

GZ: So what we read is that it's going to be a top-down, turn-based RPG very much like Fallout 1 and 2. How will it differ from those games, and will there be some modern conventions, or more of a classic gameplay experience?

Brian Fargo: I think it's going to be a nice hybrid experience between Wasteland and Fallout 1 and 2, along with quite a few graphical updates, but with that said, we're going to experiment with a couple different things, throw it out to the forums, and say what do you guys think about this and that, and adjust accordingly. Overall, yes, it's more of a party based game, much more than Fallout was, focusing much more on the group, rather than the individual.

News for Thursday, March 15, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 22:43

Since the Kickstarter drive for Wasteland 2 is now over $1 million and the goal has been met for a while, it comes off as no surprise that the inXile team would issue another update, which among other things confirms the game is projected to be released in October next year:

Sorry we are late. We honestly thought we had another week to write this update…

YOU DID IT! We are funded and Wasteland 2 is a reality. A dream that began more than 20 years ago has actually come true. After years of attempting to get Wasteland 2 kicked off and countless pitch meetings to every major publisher out there, we had almost given up. Even six months ago we didn’t see any way that Wasteland 2 was ever going to happen. Then the world suddenly changed.

This is a paradigm shift that is way bigger than Wasteland 2. This is the beginning of a new era in gaming where the developer gets to work directly with the fans to build the type of product that the fans want. No focus groups, no pitches to the marketing team, no trying to get an executive committee to group-think their way to a project green-light. Now we just have a developer with a creative idea that resonates and a group of dedicated fans who are willing to lay down their money to buy it.

We knew we were taking a risk by asking for the most money anyone had ever asked for on Kickstarter, but we did it because every time we have interacted with the gaming community for the last decade they have asked about getting this sequel done. Even while we have been on press tours for other products, doing press interviews and presentations all over the planet, it always comes up. When are we getting Wasteland? Well, I finally have an answer for everyone. You all get a Wasteland Sequel in October of next year! Not only did we meet the highest funding goal ever on Kickstarter, we did it in 2 days! I know… we can’t believe it either.

So thank you all for making this happen, and please don’t stop spreading the word. If the entire community continues to help spread this through social media, there is no telling how much money we can raise. Every time you get someone else to participate, you are working to make the game bigger and better. We will be making some announcements very soon about what we will be adding to the development if we hit even higher levels.

Right now we want to be clear on a few things people are asking about:

Through the support of our amazing fan community we will be localizing the game into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Polish. For anyone in those territories that want to help with this, please look for information on our Forums.

At the $1.5 Million level we will be adding a Linux version along with the Mac OS X version. We know that the Linux community is a very dedicated and internet-active group, so we hope their support will help us make that goal.

For those of you in Europe who want to support us but don't have a credit card, please check out our FAQ for some help.

Check out the Wasteland 2 Facebook page for Wasteland updates and links to a lot of the great press we have been getting in the last few days. There are some really neat articles to read.

Thanks again,

Your friends at inXile
Thank you Brian. This is some of the most heartening news we've heard about gaming in years.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 21:50

Massively is offering another interview with Brian Fargo which comes just after the project exceeded its goal and offers some interesting insight into his mindset for the project and the future of the industry. Snips ahead:

You'd been working on getting a true sequel to Wasteland out for the last 20 years. Can you give us any examples of the resistance you faced when you brought this idea to publishers?

In the beginning it was just a matter of having rights to do so. When we released Wasteland we were one of the top developers in the world and had several #1 successes with Bard's Tale, yet we really were not making much money. I tried to re-negotiate terms but I was offered but a small increase from what we were getting. It would have been crazy to stick with the same business model if a #1 hit wasn't getting us anywhere. There were people making decent money on games in the late 80's but they tended to be 1-2 person teams and there was no way I could make decent RPGs with that few people. So I became a publisher to change our model and EA wanted to pursue making a Wasteland 2 without us which was certainly in their rights to do so. I continued to pursue them to license the rights since they were not producing a game but they wanted to hold onto them. I finally gave up and decided I would just go make a new post-apocalyptic game that shared many of the sensibilities with the first one. We had many discussions about what made Wasteland great and through those discussions Fallout was born.

But then I was able to work out a deal with EA that allowed me to get the rights I needed and secure the trademark. At long last I was finally going to be able to jump back into the post-apocalyptic fray after so many years. But incredibly, I had no interest from ANY publisher. And then Fallout 3 became a HUGE success in 2008 and I thought for sure that would get me a deal, but again, zero interest. And then I brought Jason Anderson and Mike Stackpole aboard and still nothing.

The resistance from publishers ranged from absolute indifference to not knowing what I was talking about. I would speak quite enthusiastically about how great party-based RPGs were and that there was little competition, but I might as well have been pitching 4D tic-tac-toe. Most times I would not even get an reason as to why the publisher didn't like the idea or it would be a very generic "moving in another direction." It was aggravating.

(...)

Tell us about the game. How true to the original do you plan to make it?

I want this game to be comfortable for either a Wasteland of Fallout 1/2 player to be able to step into like a comfortable pair of shoes. Obviously the graphics need to be updated and will have different combat systems etc. but there is a tone, stats, and interface that comes with the RPGs from that era. People are very clear about wanting THAT experience and none of this "re-imagining" business. The game will initially take place in the (American) southwest with you controlling a band of desert rangers like the first game. The game will have scope and scale like both Wasteland and Fallout; it will be open-world in the sense that we don't lead you around by the nose; it will have multiple approaches to most things to avoid the moralistic "right" solution; it will be skill based; NPCs will join the group and not always behave like you want, and it will not require hand-eye coordination. Oh, and tons of weapons so people can shoot their way through situations instead of charming anyone.
Thanks Goral.

Posted by 13pm - at 9:55

Wasteland 2 just hit $900 000 with 33 more days to go. It means the project will definitely be funded. Now it's just a matter of how much money it will raise beyond.

Brian Fargo just tweeted about it:

Woot!!! We did it!!!! Fantastic! I am going to sleep like a baby tonight. Once again I am awed by the support! A dream come true today.

Also, Brian has been tweeting about some gameplay details recently:
You will most definitely get to create your entire party like Wasteland 1 or like Icewind Dale did (as an example).

You will be able to go with an existing group of Desert Rangers or make your own customized mix. And of course NPCs will join along the way.

The word "options" sums it up. That's what people want the most.

We are leaning towards isometric but we want to show some screens in our forum for fan feedback. You guys are my new boss after all.

News for Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 22:34

The Wasteland 2 Kickstarter drive keeps bringing good news, as fans have managed to put together more than $700,000 already, making the project only $200,000 (roughly one fifth of the required sum) short of its goal, only two days in. Furthermore, Brian Fargo tweeted that the team is working on a new video in the vein of the first:

We are going to start work on a new video soon that you will enjoy if you liked the first one.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 18:22

From Brian Fargo's twitter we learn that another member of the original Wasteland team has joined the Kickstarter-powered Wasteland 2 project, Liz Danforth, responsible for the Highpool map in the original game.

In other great news we have brought another original #wasteland designer aboard. Liz Danforth. The HiHighpool map was one of hers.
In related news, the project has already raised more than $600,000 in a little more than one day and seems well on track to actually reach its goal of $900,000. Crossed fingers for this one and a heartfelt good luck to Brian Fargo and the Wasteland 2 team.

News for Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 22:55

A sum of $ 243,033 has already been raised for Wasteland 2's Kickstarter, and if it keeps up at this steady pace, it will probably be more by the time I click "submit" to this newspost, and it's worth noting that Brian Fargo has written the first update, which mentions the chance of a Russian localization for the title, and points to a guide for Russians that want to pledge:

WOW!!! You guys are amazing! The fans are really stepping up here with donations and spreading the word. I haven't been more excited to make a game in over a decade. It is a dream to focus all my attention on making a wonderful experience without distraction from outside forces. We will not let you down!

Я не знаю английский язык. Как мне поддержать Ваш проект?

Also for our Russian fans, our buddy Yegor at fallout-archives put together instructions for how to pledge and navigate Kickstarter. If our funding stays at this rate we will be able to localize in Russian. Thanks a ton, Yegor! http://blog.fallout-archives.com/podderzhim-fargo-vmeste

Posted by Brother None - at 19:55

It's been up for a few hours and ramping up to $150K, but press releases are always good for extra spotlighting, and besides, one of our users gets quoted in this one.

Wasteland™ 2 is live on Kickstarter!

After 20 years, the sequel to the godfather of post apocalyptic RPGs and inspiration for Fallout™ is now up for fan funding

Newport Beach, CA - March 13, 2012 - inXile Entertainment today confirmed that Wasteland™ 2 is now live on Kickstarter for fan funding. Following in the step of the other successful crowd sourced projects, Wasteland is looking to the fans of classic role-playing games to realize this long awaited sequel.

"I have waited a long time to make this game, and I now have my dream team put together to help make it a reality," said Brian Fargo of inXile Entertainment. "I had the main storyline created by Jason Anderson, the co-creator of Fallout™. We have Mike Stackpole and Alan Pavlish aboard who were the main designers of the original Wasteland™. Mark Morgan is doing the music and he composed the score for Fallout™1 and 2. And we have the fantastic talent of Andree Wallin helping with the concept art."

The original Wasteland, released in 1988 has been widely held as one of the top RPGs of all time. IGN named it one of the top 25 PC games of all time and it was short-listed for inclusion in the Smithsonian Institution’s current “Art of the Computer Game” exhibition. inXile has stated that Wasteland 2 will stay true to its roots. The game promises to be a top down, turn based, tactical RPG, similar to its predecessor. The player will be forced into moral dilemmas and will need to deal with the consequence of their actions throughout the game. Not all decisions are a net positive but it’s up to the player to decide which course they take.

With Wasteland 2 being fan funded, inXile has said they will be focused on working closely with the established Wasteland fan community and their Kickstarter backers to create the game the fans are asking for. To Brian Fargo, this is more than just a sequel to Wasteland; “This is a chance to move the power back to the developers, allowing us to make genres of games that publishers just will no longer support.” Brian Fargo went on to say, “This Wasteland sequel exists only because of the fans have pushed us to make it happen. As excited as we are to make the game, it's the fans' excitement that matters the most, and their quotes say it all."

"This is the best thing that's happened in years"- Jon Oden

"Thank you so much for doing this! Just tell me where to send my money, you got all of it!"- Bruno Germani

"A group of 4 Desert Rangers with tactical combat it's a dream become reality with Wasteland 2"- JMR Orange

"I am seriously about to have a nerdgasm this year! Avengers is coming out in May, the Hobbit is in December, AND Wasteland 2 is being made!" -No Mutants Allowed site reader TorontRayne

"WASTELAND is the game that made me a gamer. It's still my favorite game of all time, simply because of how influential and mind-blowing it was at the time." - Rock Paper Shotgun reader Zerosociety

About inXile Entertainment:

Founded by long-time industry veteran @BrianFargo in 2002, inXile Entertainment develops interactive entertainment software for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices. The most current projects being the Bard's Tale for iOS and Choplifter HD.
Thanks GameBanshee.

Posted by C2B - at 15:22

With a total window of 34 days, the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter campaign has launched. The goal has been set at $900K. As Brian Fargo mentioned, they need $1M but if they don't make it to that amount he'll pitch in the final $100K himself. Watch the pitch video where Fargo explains the core ideas and his experiences pitching this to publishers, or read to lengthy write-up.

Nuts and bolts time.

We’re going back to the original and building from there. No first person shooter, we’re going top down so you get a tactical feel for the situation. And we’re not ditching the party play to turn it into some hack-and-slash bloodfest. It’s turn based, tactical, with a storyline that will be deeper and broader.

We’re determined to keep the gritty, grim and satirical writing. We’re going to pitch those moral dilemmas at you. You’re going to be faced with the consequences of your actions.

We’re planning on an initial 6 months of pre-production. We’ll nail down every important element that you, our creative partners, want. Once we have all that figured out, we buckle down for 12 month development cycle. During that time, players can get a sneak peek on a private closed beta through Steam. In addition, we will be giving you constant updates and showing you our progress along the way.
Some points on Kickstarter for people new to it:
- Money pledged to Kickstarter is "pledged". It won't be immediately removed from your credit card. Rather, only if Wasteland 2 makes it goal (of $900K) will the money be donated, on the final day of the Kickstarter drive.
- Kickstarter works with Amazon payments. You'll need an Amazon account and a credit card. If you don't have a credit card, try a prepaid service like My Wirecard, or a service offered by your bank. Ask in this thread if you have any questions, we might be able to help.

EDIT: the FAQ on the Kickstarter drive page has been updated. There is no shipping for the box inside the US, but outside the US you need to add $15 to your pledge amount to get the box (either the normal box or CE box) shipped to you.

EDIT2: Russian users, here is a Kickstarter guide for you.

News for Monday, March 12, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 23:16

Per this tweet, InXile has submitted their Wasteland 2 proposal to Kickstarter. I don't know how long Kickstarter approval usually takes, but assume it will be up some time this week? The campaign will run for 30 days, with a goal of $900K, though looking to raise $1M.

EDIT: it will be up tomorrow:

#Wasteland 2 update! We have been approved by #kickstarter and we go live tomorrow. I will post the link the minute I get it.

Posted by Brother None - at 18:49

RPS offers a nice, extensive interview with InXile CEO Brian Fargo.

RPS: To what extent have you got the design already, you said you had these documents you almost shelved three weeks ago, how complete were they, or are you still making it up as you go along?

Brian Fargo: We worked on it at InXile for nearly a year, and so we worked through the storyline, what the life of the ranger is, dialogue structure, social skills, party influence, character stats. We worked through quite a lot of things so we’re not starting at ground zero. We pretty much know the templates, the next step after that was to bring all the writers in, and bring the artists in, and really fill out the meat of the world. That’s the costly part and where we didn’t get anywhere.

RPS: So potentially it could happen a bit sooner than people expect I guess if you do have the nuts and bolts of the design already nailed down?

Brian Fargo: It’s still going to take a while, we’re going to spend a good five months…it’s not that it’s no money, a million dollars is a lot of money. And by the way we’re lowering it to $900, 000, and I’m going to kick in the last $100, 000 just to make sure this thing happens. That said, in order to do this and be super efficient you have to design everything up front. We’ll have a pile [of paper] a phone book high, we’ll sit around in a conference room and we’ll step through the game over, over and over again.

It kind of works like, sometimes science fiction authors all collaborate on a book, and say ‘look in my book or in your scene, make sure a plane crashes, I don’t care what else you do after that’ and so there’s a little bit of that where we will have these constant threads and let some creativity happen within the areas that we assign off to the designers. But we’ll bring that all together and step it through, and then it becomes a matter of getting it all in a.s.a.p and we’ll repeat the same monster picture a hundred times but at least we’re now playing the game, and we’ll start to fill in the assets, and that way we’re polishing, or balancing, as we go.

It’s the cause and effect that makes a true role playing game so there’s a lot of ‘what ifs’ and then we want to keep ‘hey, what happens if you walk up to this encounter and this NPC’s with you, ‘oh that’s a good one, let’s deviate that way’, or ‘how about if they’re all wearing guard costumes?’ So coming up with all these ‘what-if’s’, that’s what makes these things shine.

(...)

RPS: Is there any sense that you’ve got to make up for lost time because there wasn’t a solid continuum of isometric turn based stuff being made, so there’s like ten years of development that didn’t happen, and now you’ve almost got to compensate for the work that wasn’t done to make sure you make a suitably modern game?

Brian Fargo: I don’t think we want to go too far forward from what was last done, because I want people who played those RPGs in the 90s to be able to step seamlessly into this game and get it. I don’t want to try to figure out ‘well, if there had been ten years of iteration, where would we be.’ I think I’d be asking for trouble on that, people need to feel really comfortable getting into this, and we have some things that we can do to take them in some different directions. But if we really nail from a production perspective, visually, and we know so much more that we knew back then, in terms of a good dialogue and again use of audio to create drama and things like that.

If we set the mood, if we really do a great job of setting the mood and tone, that’ll go a long way along with the extremely diverse cause and effect because that is what people want. Our users are on our boards, they are telling us what they want, and we’re going to give them what they want.

(...)

RPS: In terms of new people, is there any risk that it could be a hard sell for those for instance who have only played the newer Fallouts and expect something very different?

Brian Fargo: I’m trying to make this game to appeal to people who like the old school roleplaying games from the 90s, not just Wasteland, so it goes beyond that, it’s Wasteland, it’s Fallout, it’s Baldur’s Gate, it’s Icewind Dale, it’s that whole genre of product. Having just party based games, good old party based games with tactical combat, I love that stuff, love that stuff. Icewind Dale was a very simple game but I had such fun with that.

(...)

RPS: So you’re launching the Kickstarter [this week], that’s still the plan?

Brian Fargo: Yeah, we think we’re still on track to submit today, and there’s an approval process which takes a couple of days. It’s not like I’ve done this before with them right so we need to find out how long that takes. I would say early [this] week; Monday, Tuesday, something like that. It’s imminent, that’s for sure.

News for Sunday, March 11, 2012

Posted by Bewitched - at 13:44

The excellent Russian Fallout site Fallout Archives has uncovered the original vision statement for the Fallout GURPS project (later just Fallout), the one quoted from by Todd Howard here. Go to this page and the document will start downloading/open automatically, or grab it from NMA here.

4. The players actions affect the world (and the world reacts to the player)

The game will notice what the player does and respond accordingly. If the player shoots up people in a tavern, the other patrons will notice. If the player seems badass, then the patrons will leave him alone and go on their way. If the player looks like a wimp, the patrons could take him on. As the player gains a reputation, NPCs will notice – moving out of the way, or going out of their way to kill the player.
Once again, we want the player to get involved with what is happening within the game. If the player feels like he is making a difference, then he will want to play more – even if it is just to see how he can change the game world

12. Detailed character creation rules and premade characters (more choices, imagine that from a role-playing game)

The player can choose between detailed rules for making his character (like buying attributes, skills, advantages and selecting disadvantages to get more points) or he can choose from a set of three characters that we will make.
The premade characters will be detailed, and will embody the three types of players: combat, stealth and diplomacy boy. This will let some players nitpick their characters to death, or jump right into the action.
As the player gains experience, he can improve his character’s skills and attributes. This will let the player change his character during play.
Detailed character creation is important to many role-playing games, and it is certainly important to GURPS. Letting the player fine turn his own character will get the player more involved in the character, and thus the game.

13. We are making this for the public, but we’ll make the GURPS players happy (it gets pretty ugly when they get too happy, you need a lot of paper towels)

GURPS Fallout will be a GURPS title, using the GURPS rules. But first and foremost, it will be a fun role-playing game. It will just happen to have enough GURPS material to make the GURPSers happy. We must keep this in mind. The game comes first.

GURPS gives us:
• detailed tactical combat (turn-based but not slow)
• realistic NPC reactions and reaction based skills
• complex characters that are very life like (with faults and advantages)
• non-combat skills that are useful
• balanced encounters
• a core following of dedicated players
The document was put on Game Pitches two years ago, but somehow everybody missed it.

News for Saturday, March 10, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 3:16

Brian Fargo has announced Andree Wallin will be on board to do concept art for Wasteland 2. Wallin is a Swedish freelance concept/promotional artist who has worked on films (like the upcoming Tom Cruise film Oblivion) and games (Napoleon: Total War, Halo 4). Check out his impressive portfolio here.

News for Friday, March 9, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 3:11

InXile has taken the feedback they have received for the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter proposed tiers on board. A few updates they have made:

DRM Free!
The skill and weapon for supporters will not affect the game balance but will absolutely be entertaining
Added a Wasteland 2 poster to a 'light' level
Added a digital concept art book
Did a solid pass on clarification of reward levels
DRM-free is good. Pre-order DLC being just entertaining sounds good. And the $30 tier having a digital concept art book and thus being more meaty...also sounds good.

News for Thursday, March 8, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 20:06

GameSpot is offering a live stream of Tim Cain's Fallout post-mortem going on now at GDC 2012. The video most likely will get uploaded when it's finished, so we'll update the link then.

EDIT: embedded video: Cain appears from about the 8 minute mark, and speaks for about an hour.

EDIT 2: Since that video doesn't work we've switched to another one that focuses solely on Tim Cain, linked to us by comrade Ed of Vault 13.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:00

In a forum post on the official forums, InXile has unveiled the Kickstarter tier rewards, and is asking for feedback.

Pledge $15 (unlimited)
Copy of game free via Steam for PC. You will also get a special skill and weapon only available to those who helped fund the project.

Pledge $30 (unlimited)
Previous reward + Downloadable free digital soundtrack of the game.

Pledge $50 (unlimited)
Previous reward + Full large boxed copy of Wasteland 2, complete with cloth game map and old school comprehensive instruction manual.

Pledge $75 (unlimited)
Previous rewards + Early release episodic Novella’s on the Wasteland 2 world created by Mike Stackpole, a member of the original Wasteland story team. The Novella will give hints and clues being built into the actual Wasteland 2 game. Also, get premier access to an early playable beta on Steam

Pledge $100 (unlimited)
Previous rewards + collector’s edition boxed version of game with in-game soundtrack, old school comprehensive instruction manual with back story. Contains premium box, wasteland miniature, and a Wasteland 2 faction badge. Also get your name the credits in a Special Thanks section.

Pledge $150 (unlimited)
Previous rewards +a limited edition numbered collectible coin.

Pledge $250 (1000 max)
Previous rewards + Autographed boxed collectors edition copy of the game by Brian Fargo, Alan Pavlish, Mike Stackpole and other key development team members. You will also receive 2 digital download copies (so you can leave your collectors edition sealed up!) and a lvl 1 Desert Ranger medal of honor (real metal medal) limited edition collectible.

Pledge $500 (500 max)
Previous rewards + Wasteland Doomsday Preparation Survival Kit. All your doomsday needs in a themed Wasteland collectible bag. You’ll also receive a lvl 2 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible.

Pledge $1000 (150 max)
Previous rewards + Become an NPC, Weapon or Location in the Wasteland 2 world! We will get your name and (if relevant) a picture of you to add your general likeness to the actual shipped game. Brag to your friends and beg them not to take you out with a Meson Cannon. You’ll also receive 5 digital copies of the game and a lvl 3 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible.

Pledge $2500 (100 max)
Previous rewards + An exploded blood sausage Wasteland limited signed and numbered collectible figurine. You’ll also receive 10 digital copies of the game to do what you want and of course, a lvl 4 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible.

Pledge $5000 (15 max)
Previous rewards +We will build a statue in game, in your honor. After getting a picture of you, we will carefully craft this in game statue. You are now forever a part of Wasteland history. At this level, we will also sign and frame actual original concept art from the game. With 30 digital copies of Wasteland 2, you will be a hit with your friends. You will also receive a lvl 5 Desert ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible.

Pledge $10,000 (8 max)
Previous rewards + Come to a private party hosted by Brian Fargo, Alan Pavlish and other key members of the Wasteland team (must be able to travel to Newport Beach, CA). Talk design, previous works or anything else you’d like to discuss. Also, a shrine in Wasteland 2 will be erected in your honor. You’ll receive 50 copies of the game to do what you want, and of course, a lvl 6 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible.

News for Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 16:57

RPGCodex offers a solid interview with Michael Stackpole on Wasteland 2.

- Wasteland built upon the ideas present in older cRPGs. Similarly, Fallout was constructed on Wasteland's foundations. Do you think that it is important to build upon the style of more recent games? If so, which modern games do you think come closest to sharing Wasteland's design goals? Do you feel that there are elements that were introduced in Interplay's Fallout games that could make their way back into Wasteland?

MS: As I noted above, we have to take into account more recent developments in games. In that sense, everything is on the table. We can pick elements that work very well in games and figure out a way to make them work in our game. We can also look at elements that never reached their full potential which we can spin up into something really exciting. Plus, we now have a chance to address after the holocaust gaming in depth and length and breadth in ways we couldn't before. That's the part I'm most looking forward to.

- An extremely important part of Wasteland was its puzzles. Today, however, it seems that elaborate puzzles have no place in cRPGs. Why do you think this is? Do you consider them a viable element in modern game design? If not, what could be a contemporary replacement and would it be possible to create something as memorable as, say, Finster's Brain without them?

MS: The things that players tend to remember the most about Wasteland adventures were not the puzzles per se, but the moral choices players had to make. When I do book signings, now 24 years after Wasteland came out, I still get folks wanting to know what the "correct" solution was to dealing with the rabid dog. Why? Because they felt like hell killing the dog. The dog puzzle, if you will, engaged players on an emotional level. That's not something that happens when you're killing ten orcs to get a key to unlock a chest which contains a scroll which will let you find a treasure which is the sword that lets you kill a monster. Why designers haven't stepped up to engage players emotionally is beyond me; though it may have to do with the difference between making puzzles and creating stories. Ultimately, creating stories is what we did with Wasteland, and what we'll do with the new Wasteland.

- Wasteland represented conversations through a hybrid system of keyword typing and multiple choice selection, separating knowledge acquisition and quest progression. However, over the 15 years, full-blown dialogue trees have taken over the genre, with games such as Wizardry 8 and Morrowind being the last ones to experiment. Do you see any merit in alternative dialogue systems today? How would you approach conversations in Wasteland 2?

MS: The idea of handling conversations isn't as exciting for me as handling consequences of how the conversations conclude. I'd rather get into the meat of how you know someone is telling the truth, and what you do when you find out they've lied. It's possible to design an interface that not only takes into account player choices in a dialogue tree, but selects responses based on factors which the players might not even know about. Their actions in killing everything that moved in the last town might have a serious effect on how folks deal with them in this town. Ditto an action they take immediately, or even the folks they have in their party. I do a lot of dialogue in my day job. What is said isn't as important as how it makes folks feel. That's for the player. Determining how the NPCs feel and how that tempers their responses is just one more fun part of the design.

News for Monday, March 5, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 23:28

The Inxile official forum for Wasteland 2 can now be found over here, and a blog has been launched as well.

First off, I’d like to welcome you to the development forum for Wasteland 2… after all, it’s because of you that we are even here right now. I’ve been wanting to get back to this franchise for over 20 years and the entire reason Fallout exists today is because I was unable to make a sequel back in the day, and after I cleared up the legal issues we were not able to get publishers excited unless it was a potential “billion dollar franchise” or they just didn’t want the kind of gameplay experience that classic role playing games offered. It was frustrating!

Fortunately, we are in a different era with thanks to fan based funding and digital distribution. We have a chance to move the power back to the developers, allowing us to make genres of games that publishers just would not support. I had completely given up on making a Wasteland sequel until just recently, and I can tell you the last few weeks have been a blast re-connecting with the fans and working on designs. It reminds me of why I was excited about the games business to begin with.

Wasteland was an epic game changer among the RPG genre and did a wonderful job of creating a sandbox type world that served up morality decisions that players were not used to. Even on recent press tours around the world ranging from Europe to Asia I always without exception would be asked about a Wasteland sequel. Clearly this was a game that resonated with the fans and now for the first time there is hope.

Posted by Brother None - at 18:30

Ken St Andre lets us know on twitter he's joined the Wasteland 2 team. Brian Fargo confirms.

And in more news, I have joined @BrianFargo's Wasteland team to make a new version of the first post-apocalypse crpg.
That means all of the core team of 1988's Wasteland (St Andre, Fargo, Michael Stackpole and Alan Pavlish) is now working on Wasteland 2.

News for Sunday, March 4, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 1:51

Wasteland 2 is steadily moving forward: the Facebook page is up (as shared by our own facebook page yesterday), and InXile CEO Brian Fargo notes the website will be up on Monday.

Fargo notes he has "most major websites" ready to announce, which is always good. He also notes on twitter that the Kickstarter page should be up in about a week, but might be delayed a bit.

We hope to launch Kickstarter by late next week, but there's an approval process that we're not familiar with. Could be small delay.
If you've got no credit card and are worrying about how to pledge for this project, Lexx noted Wirecard might offer a solution. If it's not valid in your country, ask in this thread for local suggestions for pre-paid cards.