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News for Monday, April 30, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 21:54

Mostly covers things our readers should be familiar with, but Digital Trends has an article-style interview with Brian Fargo on Wasteland 2. Snip:

Halfway through the Kickstarter campaign, InXile promised that if $2.1 million was raised, Alpha Protocol developer Obsidian would be brought on to assist in Wasteland 2’s creation. That goal was shattered, so Obsidian is on board. “Obsidian’s involvement is the help of Chris Avellone helping in the design of the Wasteland world and the levels themselves,” explains Fargo, “He spends 2-3 days a week over here brainstorming everything from storylines to combat systems. It’s been a joy to work with him again. Additionally Obsidian has a host of tools that may help us to get story and dialogue assets organized and integrated more easily. The coding is happening at InXile.”

Things could have been so different. While the Kickstarter game development boom of spring 2012 has been accompanied by plenty of rhetoric on the problems with traditional publishing models, few creators have been as vocally bilious towards the industry old guard as Brian Fargo. Would Wasteland 2 have been made if a publisher backed it in 2012? Would it be the same game? Maybe, but the game’s connection with its audience would definitely be lost. “I highly doubt we would have the same relationship with the public that we do. In the past I had to fight for features that I knew the fans would want and now we have none of that. A publisher may well have given us more money but it is normally with doled out slowly with heavy conditions on each check,” says Fargo, “The best development happens in a more fluid manner with priorities and ideas shifting around the core tenets. Publisher led deals are typically more contract driven in that you must crystal ball the details and do them in that order no matter what the impact on the overall game or the shift in ideas.”

Posted by WadeKSavage - at 9:51

Wethegamerz offers an interview with Fallout Lanius director Wade K Savage.

What inspired you to create a short film about Lanius?

I’ve been a Fallout fan since the first two games, of which I’ve played over and over. I enjoyed Fallout 3, but Fallout: New Vegas was something altogether different. I really loved the atmosphere and writing. I loved the characters and voice acting, how the world was put together and fleshed out.

I’ve been wanting to do a Video Game Fan film for years, but I just needed to do something no one had done before. I thought the Lanius origin story was really fun, and that the tribal/Caesar’s Legion dynamic is rarely looked at. I wasn’t really interested in doing the usual Fallout stuff, as I think that ‘Nuka Break’ covered it.

Have other Fallout fan films, like Fallout: Nuka Break, inspired your creative direction at all?

‘Nuka Break’ played a big role in my wanting to do a ‘serious’ toned Fallout film. They’ve done an amazing job at creating a parody/comedy/meta Fallout world. I’m more interested in drama, conflict and the exploration of people in a harsh world. I’ve also seen ‘Desert Story’, ‘Deprivation’ and I’ve been contacted by the ‘Fallout: Houston’ folks, who are fantastic. My primary inspiration however is the tone and atmosphere of Fallout: New Vegas. Nothing can beat that.

News for Saturday, April 28, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 20:36

GameBanshee writer, Gamasutra blogger, all around RPG knowhow guy Eric Schwarz (aka sea) has written an opinion piece inspecting the opening of Fallout, and how it succeeds at introducing you to the game world and mechanics. Not much new material for our regular readers, of course, but a very worthwhile resource to link to the next time someone is telling you "I can't play Fallout, it's too inaccessible".

Fallout teaches the fundamentals of its interface in surprisingly intuitive and covert ways. This is accomplished through the corpse near the player - after all, just about everyone's going to want to inspect it. To do so, Fallout requires the player right-click to change the cursor to "interact mode" and then left-click on the corpse once more. This opens up the looting panel, which clearly displays both the player's inventory and the container's own items (in this case, a machete). When the player's done, however, another problem appears - the player can't move anymore! Well, right-clicking worked once, so what about again? Sure as can be, a second right-click returns the cursor to movement mode and lets the player continue exploring.

But what about the machete on the corpse? Provided the player can read, he/she will no doubt notice the "INV" icon prominently displayed on the user interface. Clicking it opens up the inventory, where the player will notice a few things: first, that he/she hasn't been sent out without supplies; second, that the machete appeared at the top of the player's list; third, that any items can be equipped in the "Item 1" and "Item 2" slots, not just weapons. Thus, the player has learned not just how to use the interface for moving, interacting, looting, and equipping items, but also that items can be used in the weapon slots - suggesting not only that, say, Stimpaks can be used to heal one's self, but that they can be used to heal others as well.

Although this seems counter-intuitive and difficult to figure out, this is actually one of the most effective "invisible" tutorials I've ever seen. With a single sequence, the game has taught the player the fundamental differences between movement mode and interaction mode, how to change between the two modes, how to interact with the environment, how to manage inventory, and a whole other mode of interacting with the world, through items. It's not mandatory, but unless the designers wanted to break immersion with tutorial messages, this is about as quick and effective a way as you can teach the player these things.

News for Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Posted by Mad Max RW - at 23:03

As Vostok Games' description notes, with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2's development is cancelled or "frozen". No official word has come out, but we can consider it confirmed.

The rights to the brand lie with GSC's founder Sergiy Grygorovych according to the GSC StalkerTwitter, but stalker-gsc.ru offers a quote from the same person that Bethesda published the IP.

EDIT: the STALKER facebook feed confirms Bethesda did not buy the property.

Posted by Brother None - at 19:11

Vostok Games - a studio founded by ex S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 developers - has announced Survarium, a post-apocalyptic F2P MMO.

Survarium is a free2play MMOFPS game set in the near future. The game focuses on a mass- scale ecological catastrophe on Earth, the reasons behind vaguely known.

Impassable woods advance onto cities from every side, maddened animals and birds attack industrial complexes, military structures, warehouses and power plants. Towns are cut off from each other, there are no water supplies, no electricity, gas, communication is lost. Countries collapse, anarchy spreads throughout the world. Now force dictates who to survive. In the meantime, new species of greenery and animals purposely destroy human civilization. Strange plants and mushrooms grow through concrete and steel. Scientists all over the world haplessly try to cope with the anomaly sprawling across the Earth with terrifying speed.

"The concept of Survarium is a next evolution step for the idea of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. we’ve been working on for the last ten years. – said Project Lead Ruslan Didenko. – Survarium will go way further forcing mankind to fight for survival not only within the closed area of Chernobyl zone, but also far beyond."

"Technology versus nature, rational versus mystical. Such a confrontation enables us to take a new look at the current happenings in our world, - said Aleksey Sytianov, Lead Game Designer of the project. – Survarium will offer players an atmospheric world of civilization crash, filled with factions and loners, stalkers and hunters surviving in a wild anomalous environment."

The game is developed on a new proprietary Vostok Engine technology and is planned for release on PC at the end of 2013.
(Former?) social media manager for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Joe Mullin describes it like this:
despite no official continuation of Stalker 2. it looks like the ideas and spirit will live on in the team's new game – “Survarium”

News for Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 8:41

Now that the Kickstarter campaign has ended the press coverage for Wasteland 2 has understandably slowed down, but there's still a new interview with producer Chris Keenan on Forbes. Snippet ahead:

A lot of people are calling the Wasteland 2 team a “dream team” and are pretty excited to see at least some of the old Black Isle team getting back together. Can you tell me a little bit about who is on this project and what they’ll be doing? How did you get everyone involved?

As a grown man, I haven’t been ‘giddy’ in a while but being able to work with this team literally makes me giddy. Brian was able to get almost all of the original team back for the sequel. Mike Stackpole is on board and will be doing design and writing much of the story elements, Alan Pavlish is going to design a few areas and consult throughout the process, Liz Danforth will be doing the same. Early on, we also got Mark Morgan signed up as our composer…he is famous for setting the musical score on Fallout 1 and 2, Planescape Torment and many other great moody RPG’s from the past. Of course, Brian is leading the project every step of the way. On top of reviving the old team, we enlisted the help of Andree Wallin who has done some amazing concept art for us. Finally, RPG designer extraordinaire Chris Avellone from Obsidian has joined on to help with the project. It’s an amazing list of people to help revive a genre they had such a huge hand in starting.

(...)

Do you think the nature and mechanics of storytelling in games has changed in the years spanning Wasteland and your current project? How can games convey that “literary nature of the world” in ways that other mediums, or perhaps even older games, cannot?

I definitely think it has and it could be due to a few things. First, the technology is getting better. With games now, we can get a ton more detail into the world that we had to describe in text before to convey these elements. That’s certainly not a bad thing. It has pushed the limits on how developers can get across the information they want to. I think we as developers also want to keep progressing the nature of storytelling in the medium. This has always been a challenge due to the non-linear nature of games. Obviously in movies it’s a single cohesive story. It will be the same for every person that watches it. Games allow people to infuse their personality into the world and play the way they would like. It certainly makes it more difficult to get across the beats of the narrative in a way that makes sense. Since we’re doing an old-school RPG, we aren’t going to shy away from descriptive world text in Wasteland 2. We get to pay homage to the old days when developers had to come up with creative ways to immerse their fans due to technology constraints.

News for Friday, April 20, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 22:31

inXile design director Chris Keenan has commented on how inXile will offer releases across the different release platforms (Windows, Mac and Linux).

We discussed this with the tech team and will be supporting SteamPlay and the equivalents on other digital distribution platforms that we use. So if you have a single digital copy and Mac, Windows and Linux systems, you will be able to use your 1 copy on all 3. Of course, that's assuming you grabbed the copy off a system that supports this. Since Steam doesn't offer Linux games, you will get access to Windows and Mac systems if you get the game there and so on.

Space willing, we want to put all 3 copies onto the physical discs as well.
Essentially, inXile will make use of digital retailer offers when it comes to offering it as a multiple platform titles (like SteamPlay, which offers Windows and Mac copies), but not being a dedicated retailer themselves, they can not offer such alternatives when retailers do not.

News for Thursday, April 19, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 20:28

In a series of tweets, inXile CEO Brian Fargo expresses his opinion on DLC and how the industry uses them.

The movement against many forms of paid DLC is only going to get stronger. DLC has now become a 4 letter word with one less letter. I have no problem with things that you download that are cosmetic only and other smaller forms that are more trivial and non-essential. I used to look forward to expansion packs for games. Tons of new game play for like $20. I never had an issue with that. To get as much content in the expansion packs of yesteryear would probably cost $100 in the new DLC model today.

Of course the Red Boots DLC pack is a different story... Maybe I should Kickstart the Red Boots DLC pack and then sell the shoelaces as extra DLC. I bet my sarcastic humor is going to get me in trouble one of these days!

News for Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 22:59

In case you enjoyed the Nuka Break fan webseries it's worth noting that Wayside Creations has launched their own Kickstarter for the second season. The goal is of $60,000 which will be used for "production, locations, props, visual effects, special effects, etc" in the words of the team.

As expected for a fan webseries, the large majority of the rewards is non-physical, with the lowest one being your name in a special thank section of the credits for $10, while the highest rewards include Fallout-themed props.

And here's the press release:

Los Angeles, California – (April 28th, 2012) Wayside Creations, in association with Dracogen Strategic Investments, has launched its Kickstarter for a second season of Fallout: Nuka Break. After releasing a successful first season completely funded by fans, the creators are excited to film another six episodes that will be released on YouTube. With director Vincent Talenti once again at the helm, actors Zack Finfrock, Tybee Diskin and Aaron Giles will all reprise their roles from the first fan film, and fan-favorite actor Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) will play one of many new characters introduced in the second season.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/waysidecreations/fallout-nuka-break-season-2-0

Wayside Creations is a Los Angeles-based production company specializing in online media. In 2010, Wayside took the reigns of Indymogul.com’s popular do-it-yourself filmmaking web series, “Backyard FX.” In the beginning of 2011, Wayside released the virally popular fan film Fallout: Nuka Break, a short film set in the “Fallout” video game universe. Several months later, a successful “Nuka Break” series was released and nominated for two awards by the IAWTV. Wayside consists of several writers, directors and producers with several years of film industry experience.

To view the original fan film and season one of Fallout: Nuka Break, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/7abqmwe

About Dracogen Strategic Investments

Dracogen Strategic Investments provides early critical-stage seed capital for new, game-changing startup businesses. Steven Dengler assisted Wayside Creations by donating $5,000 on the Fallout: Nuka Break IndieGoGo.com page, making him an Associate Producer on the project. http://www.dracogen.com

About 11:11 MediaWorks

11:11 MediaWorks is a full-service design/effects studio located in beautiful Van Nuys, California. Launched in July of 2001 by veteran effects artist/designer Roger Nall, 11:11 specializes in producing visual effects and imagery for feature film, television, commercial, music video, and interactive multimedia projects as well as for special presentations and events. Some recent credits include Starship Troopers 3: Marauder, Blood Diamond, The Hurricane Season, Spread, Van Wilder 2 & 3, Eragon, Little Man and The Omen. http://www.1111mediaworks.com/

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 20:34

While understandably scarce on new details and not solely Wasteland 2-focused, The Critical Bit has a new interview with Wasteland 2 designer and Obsidian's CCO Chris Avellone. Here's a couple of snips:

What piece of content that you contributed to was hardest to see cut from a project?

Ulysses in Fallout: New Vegas, seeing all of Van Buren canceled after 3+ yrs of design work, and losing the EPA in Fallout 2. Who knows, maybe I can use the EPA in Wasteland 2. [Note: "EPA" refers to the Environmental Protection Agency, an area that was planned for Fallout 2.]

Seeing some pitches get flushed is also a sad experience, since you invest a bit of your soul into each one.

(...)

What specifically about the Wasteland IP makes you excited to work on the sequel?

There’s a lot of things:

- First, Wasteland is one of my top 10 games of all time.

- Second, Wasteland is in my top 10 because it did some amazing things that RPGs today have yet to do. I got to venture inside an android’s brain, fight with my intelligence skill, help a railroad nomad predict the future with Snake Squeezin’s, and unmatched until recently, fight a giant robotic scorpion with my fists.

- Third, no publishers. Obsidian and inXile worked out a quick, simple deal, it took little to no time, and now I’m talking directly with inXile and getting ramped up on the design. It’s. So. Easy.

- Fourth, I’m able to do a turn-based, text RPG. I never get to do those anymore. I love those games. I’d love to do more. Wasteland 2 is that opportunity.

- Lastly, the fact that people want us to work on a sequel and are proving it on Kickstarter. Guess some dead genres aren’t dead after all – and I hope Shadowrun gets the same support that we and Double Fine have received from the community.
Comics and Gaming magazine also has an article-style interview with Fargo.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 8:50

For the latest Wasteland 2 Kickstarter update inXile thanks the fans for the successful funding and then moves on to talk about how to solve problems with the Kickstarter payments, shipment surveys and their recently-opened store, which is currently offering a pre-order for a digital copy of the title and will integrate backers-only items:

Now on to the fun stuff… If your tier contained any rewards where we need to gather your information fo use in the game, we will soon be doing so through Kickstarter. Keep on the lookout for this notification. There is no need to update your shipping address yet as we will collect it when we get closer to the release of the game next year.

We have opened up a store at http://wasteland.inxile-entertainment.com/store. We currently have the digital copy available for $20, and we will leave that preorder up during production. If you have friends that missed out on the Kickstarter but still want a copy of the game, they can go there and still get it cheaper than after it is released. Also, if you forgot to add $15 for international shipping on physical rewards, we have added a PayPal option to do so in the store. In the near future, we will open a backer-only store with some great exclusive items that won’t be available to the general public.

So, now we get started on the game! We are in full production mode for the next 18 months. Expect to see many updates as we start to shape the experience that you’ve helped create. If you want to stay in the loop in between our Kickstarter updates, head to our blog and forums at http://wasteland.inxile-entertainment.com/. We will be spending a lot of time interacting with all of you there.

News for Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 21:14

With Kickstarter and Paypal finalized, and inXile having moved on from pledges to accepting pre-orders, Wasteland 2 is well and truly on the way.

What better time to help familiarize people with Wasteland, or to dig up memories for those of us who did play it. With that in mind, NMA has launched an ongoing Let's Play of the original Wasteland, by our very own Tagaziel, who has already done a nifty job presenting the first' games backstory in video and text form.

We are currently recruiting rangers for the Let's Play, so log in and sign up.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 16:59

Polish videogame website Gameplay has published yet another Wasteland 2-themed interview with Brian Fargo, and luckily for us they have the English version together with the Polish one. Here's a snip:

Szymon Liebert: Let’s talk about Wasteland 2 itself. What’s so special about this game that makes it so interesting today?

Brian Fargo: I think what makes it special is a variety of factors. Clearly people like the bleak and gritty post apocalyptic world and they are seeking an intelligently designed and written version of it. I also think people want to play a party based RPG which offers a deeper and more customizable experience. We also offer a world that does not preach morality or try to be politically correct. You play in this world the way you want. There are consequences for all the actions but we don't tell you how to behave. There was also a literary vibe that the old school RPG games had that people responded to. I just think some of these traditional RPG games were intelligent.

Szymon Liebert: Survivaealism, sandbox experience, story – which of these elements is the most important for you with Wasteland

Brian Fargo: I guess I would have to rate sandbox at the top of the list since that boils down to cause and effect. RPG players are very clear that they want their decisions to mean something. Look at the uproar from Mass Effect 3 and the ending. That was all because people felt their actions didn't really matter. And for story I find the journey to be the reward. The individual moments along the way are what people remember.
Thanks Goral.

Posted by Brother None - at 15:07

The Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Drive just ended, closing in at $2,933,147. The Paypal Drive (which will not close until later today for the Johnny-come-latelies among us) adds $107,152. This puts the total funds raised at $3,040,299.

While Wasteland 2 did not end up beating Double Fine Adventures, it raised significantly more than most of us were predicting beforehand. It has hit all of the funding goals it set for itself, and because of that added Linux and Mac versions, Russian and Polish localizations, Chris Avellone design, Obsidian tools and a modkit to its development goals.

Well done, everyone!

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 12:59

With only 2 hours left to go, the combined sums of the Kickstarter drive and Paypal have pushed the Wasteland 2 project over $3 million. This means we're going to get a modkit for the title.

Oh, and if any of you intends to and still hasn't donated, this is the last chance.

Posted by Brother None - at 3:46

Here's a PR shitstorm waiting to happen, as the free Fallout poster (hi-res image) site fallout-poster.com has been issued a C&D from Bethesda's legal firm.

So far, so good. I made some free posters, set up a quick one-page site and leaned back to enjoy the fact that I was helping Fallout-fans around the globe.

But suddenly, after a few weeks, I got an email: What’s this in my inbox? A legal letter from the global law firm DLA Piper on behalf of Bethesda?

(...)

Now, I’m not out looking for trouble. I set up the website out of pure “fandom”, and the last thing I wanted – or expected – was to be threatened with a lawsuit by Bethesda. What pisses me off isn’t the fact that they’re looking out for their trademark – as they have every right to do so. What I’m pissed about are large companies abusing their monetary power, hiring global law firms to go after a fan online, immediately threating with a lawsuit.

Had they had the slighest bit of PR-savyness, they would have shot me a quick personal mail asking me to remove the (supposed) infringing content – and preferrably sent me some nice Fallout-swag as a nice gesture (yes, I am that corrupt).

But no, they had to bring DLA Piper into the picture. You know what? I’m tired of behaviour like that. I’m tired of intellectual rights holders – be it RIAA, MPAA or in this case Bethesda – going after little guys like myself and threatening them into obedience. Some people doesn’t have the intellectual capacity or money to fight their cause, so they just fold after receiving a letter like that. But just because you can’t afford to fight, doesn’t mean your oponent is right.
This is - and should be - a bad PR move. But to be fair to Bethesda, people should understand that lawfirms like DLA Piper often function very independently from the main company and the PR branch of Bethesda. This is reminiscent of the "Scrolls" lawsuit, another one that I would judge was not "from Bethesda" as much as a lawfirm acting in their name. That said, this happening time and again should encourage Bethesda to put some tighter reins on their legal representatives.

And, secondly, I should note NMA has never been so much as looked at askance by any legal representatives from Bethesda, and they seem perfectly content to let non-profit fansites operate. As such, I can't help but feel this is a mix-up that can easily be made right.

Thanks Sam Ecorners.

Posted by VRaptor117 - at 3:10

The WL2 live streaming event will start at 10 pm EST, which is about two hours off from this posting (1 hours 50 minute from the timestamp). Watch it here.

News for Monday, April 16, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 15:26

Less than 24 hours remain on the Wasteland 2 drive as of this posting. Currently, Kickstarter and Paypal combined, we are over $2.75M. I have good hope the final spike will lift it over $3M. Keep on pledging, people!

Posted by Brother None - at 2:30

After English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish, Brian Fargo now announced Wasteland 2 will be localized in Polish and Russian too. All localizations will utilize fan assistance, and presumably be text-only.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:04

The 13th update sees inXile upgrade the $30 tier to pull $15 pledgers upwards, and talks about the upcoming end-of-drive live streaming event.

Also we have spent some time thinking about and asking fans what we could put into the $30 tier to make it more interesting and to not disrupt what has already been offered. I think we have come up with an interesting list that may persuade a few people to upgrade. Based on your top requests and a forum poll we now offer the following as part of the $30 tier:

• An extra digital download of the game in any format. Many people wanted to be able to get a Mac AND a PC version, or PC and Linux, or even an extra PC version for a friend. Now you can.
• Access to a collection of exclusive Ranger portraits that will double the pool of character portraits you have to choose from at the start of the game when you are rolling up your Rangers. This unique image collection will not only give you more Ranger portraits, but more Ranger icons used to display your party location on the world map.
• Access to a four-episode Video Development Blog that will show you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the design and development of Wasteland 2. Sit in on designer meetings and art-review meetings to see the process behind how the game is made. See interviews with Brian Fargo, Chris Avellone, Mike Stackpole, Alan Pavlish, and the rest of the development team as they explain to you what they are doing and why they are doing it.
• A novella by Chris Avellone based on the universe of Wasteland.
Of course, all backers who are in at higher levels will also get all of these added items too.

Also we will have a live streaming party on Monday night (16th) from 10pm-12am EDT to celebrate the green light of production on the game. Our Kickstarter does not close until 5am the next morning, but we wanted to get some of our friends and family together to celebrate this little bit of history and share it with you. On attendance will be Nolan Bushnell the founder of Atari, Chris Avellone and a few other surprise guests. We will be answering questions received through live chat on the Twitch TV stream as well as from Facebook fans. I will tweet the URL Monday afternoon as well as post it here on Kickstarter.
Fargo also confirms the vision document (which was discussed as a possible tier reward) will be available to everyone.

News for Sunday, April 15, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 21:18

While the Kickstarter drive keeps going at a fast and steady pace during its last 48 hours, Neogamr has published a new interview with Brian Fargo on Wasteland 2. Here's a snip:

How far along is Wasteland 2 in development at the moment? Has work started on the design and has any preliminary code or artwork been made?

Jason Anderson worked on the story elements for nearly a year and we did some audio experimentation for ways to enhance the depth of the world. We have an overall story arc and some specific locales called out but now is the time we put the meat on the bones. The game itself has been knocking around my head for two decades so there is no lack of vision for where we are going. I had waited to nail down the look of the game until recently and now you can see the first two pieces that Andree Wallin did. We are clearly on a path that is unique from the Fallout universe yet is still distinctly post apocalyptic.

Will Wasteland 2 be inXile's major project for the next year or does the company have any other projects coming up?

This is THE project we will be focusing on. There is lots of pressure to deliver here and we don't want to deliver anything but the best so we need to stay focused. Success means we get to make RPGs for another decade plus. Fan funding is great in that we can just worry about the game and not chasing money down.

News for Saturday, April 14, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 18:15

Expanding the Fallout Cathedral so it is more than just a facade has been worked on by several Fallout modders for some time. Now Kilgore posted this on the FOnline Wasteland 2155 forums:


In less positive news, ActionBoy has suspended work on the "the Wastelander" project (originally Fallout 8-bit). He did put up a four-minute video of the game in action:

Posted by Brother None - at 15:48

I have no idea if it's one of the engines Fargo was talking about with us earlier, but Unigine Corp CEO Den Shergin tweeted he is offering a free license for the Unigine engine to inXile for Wasteland 2. According to Shergin, inXile is evaluating the option now. We've contacted Fargo for comment.

Unigine is a multi-platform (Windows, Linux, MacOS, PS3, Android, iOS) engine. It is best known for Heaven benchmarking tool, and I don't think it's been used on too many released titles, though there is Unigine Corp's own Oil Rush, intended to be a small release and engine demonstration. See some gameplay here or listen to Total Biscuit talk about the engine and game here. The system requirements of Oil Rush are really low (2 GHz processor, 1 GB memory, GeForce 8600/Radeon HD2600), so that's a plus.

See some benchmarks of the engine here. Phoronix discusses some of its strengths and weaknesses as a multi-platform option here. Worth keeping an eye on.

Posted by Brother None - at 1:56

Following the great new concept art and the Ask Me Anything Q&A, with $2,431,203 from Kickstarter and $68,910 from Paypal, the Wasteland 2 drive has passed its $2.5M goal with three-and-a-half day to go. $3M is not unthinkable with the expected final-day spike.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:52

inXile has released another piece of concept art for Wasteland 2 in the Scorpitron 2.0.

News for Friday, April 13, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 20:13

Ask your questions here. We'll pick up and post the best questions and answers right after it closes.

Ongoing article with quotes from the AMA can be found here.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:39

GOG.com follows up giving away Fallout for free with another internet related promo, with all Interplay titles at 50% off, which includes Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel. Each one is $2.99.

In other post-apocalyptic sales news, Steam has the post-apocalyptic RTS/FPS Nuclear Dawn on sale for €6,11 or $6.79. I have no idea if it's any good, though.

Thanks Kilus.

Posted by Brother None - at 3:13

After numerous questions on the reward tiers, inXile has clarified the Kickstarter tiers, and the details of each tier can be found written out in the FAQ. Among other things, it confirms the state and shrine stack with the earlier artifact+NPC/Weapon/Location name vanity rewards, that the medals stack over tiers, and that the $150+ tiers have either a T-Shirt OR a poster/coin/boxed copy.

News for Thursday, April 12, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 0:51

Right after inXile announced Obsidian's involvement was a real possibility, we shot a short list of questions to Fargo and MCA asking about the specifics. A while passed since, the goal for Chris Avellone's involvement and licensing of Obsidian tools has been met and it has been much clarified what it consists of in Kickstarter updates and other interviews. Still, here is our contribution, containing this bit of new info on the search for an engine:

Are you looking to license the Onyx engine from them? Has inXile decided on an engine?

BF: We have narrowed it down to 2 engines (not Onyx) and are now running art tests to make sure it can accomplish the look we want. The other important factor is it needs to be set up so that we don't need high level programmers and artists to get the assets in. There will be SO many world states, quests and interactions for the player that we need to be able to throw enough scripters in to capture all the ideas and outcomes. This is critical.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:40

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a guest blog piece from Wasteland and Wasteland 2 designer Michael Stackpole on his memories of working on Wasteland at Interplay.

This was not the first time I’d gotten a call akin to that. The calls usually ended with an invite to get in touch whenever I just happened to be “in the neighborhood,” a neighborhood which was a good six hours away by car. But then Brian said the magic words, “So, we’d like to come out and talk to you about it.” If he was willing to spend money to meet, that meant he was serious, so this was good.

Brian and Alan [Pavlish, designer and programmer - and who's also rejoined the team for Wasteland 2] came out, and we all got along together like a house afire. We were definitely on the same wavelength when it came to the project, which Ken dubbed Wasteland. We agreed on a tone and direction, then started in.

One of the key reasons Wasteland innovated all over the place is because Ken and I, and to a lesser extent Alan, had never done a game like this before. From my COLECO days, and time spent at Flying Buffalo, Inc., I’d learned how to understand programmers; and Alan was up for any challenge we tossed at him. Because we were wandering into the unknown, adding skills to a game where skills had never existed before, and doing other unique stuff, there were no boundaries we couldn’t cross. There was never a “No, we can’t do that,” dictum; but a “let’s figure out how to make that work” ethic that really defined the whole project.

News for Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 21:54

The 11th update of Wasteland 2 talks about the party based system, adding T-shirts as backer rewards, and most importantly features a 10-minute video with Brian Fargo talking about the combat, camera, story and more, which even has Chris Avellone popping in.

I did want to give some detail on what the definition of a party based game was since there seems to be some confusion. In specific terms you will be creating and customizing four Rangers at the start of the game and typically you would give each of them different skills to create experts in certain fields. Skills in Wasteland range from lock-picking to bomb disarming to even toaster repair. This creates the dynamic of having players taking very different approaches to exploring the world. In addition there will be three slots for non-player characters to join the party. They will be similar in most respects to a player created member except you will not have 100% control over them. They will have quirks that could range from momentary indecision with them not firing their weapons at an opportune time, to being trigger happy and wasting ammo or even stealing from your characters. This opens up a wide range of possibilities on which NPCs you decide to have join your ranks.


To sum up: 4 ranger party, 3 followers. Top-down exploration with isometric town map and combat is "envisioned". Turn-based combat mostly taking inspiration from Jagged Alliance and the like. Story set right after Wasteland, starts you out as Ranger recruits playing in the area of the first game, later has you going into California to establish a new base.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 16:30

While we wait for the juicy details that will no doubt surface after Fargo and Avellone's AMA and the upcoming Kickstarter updates, it's worth noting that VG247 is offering a Wasteland 2 interview with inXile's CEO. Snippets ahead:

You’ve mentioned that you want this to be a resurrection of old-school Black Isle RPGs in general. So how do you cater to Wasteland fans and Fallout fans while also touching on games like Planescape: Torment, Baldur’s Gate, etc? There’s so much expectation in terms of what people want this game to be. How do you deal with all of that?

There are common threads that work their way across all those games that we are keeping a keen eye on. Having true cause and effect is a big one. A deep and interesting world is also key and there need to be surprises coming at you throughout. And yes Wasteland is party based game and that is one of the big differences from Fallout. Also there is a strong literary vibe to those games that is especially highlighted with Torment that we will continue on. We are reading every comment on our forums and setting up polls to make sure we have the broad strokes covered. Once we finalize those things we will go off and do what we do best.

(...)

You’re making Wasteland 2 with old-school RPG fans in mind, so what do you, personally, miss the most about those games? Do you think they went away out of necessity, or because misinformed investors willed it so?

I think I have articulated above many of the elements that I miss as a player. There is just a certain charm that comes from a game where the developers get to tinker and riff with new ideas during the process. The games just felt so connected in their humanity. Slick and polish only goes so far… it is always the human moments we remember. There is just no way the publishers can maintain their infrastructures selling just 500K or even a million copies of a game so they moved into categories or formats that could. If we sell a million copies of Wasteland 2 we will be bringing you RPGs for another decade!

Posted by Brother None - at 11:38

Brian Fargo tweeted he and Chris Avellone will do an Ask Me Anything (an open Q&A on Reddit) on Friday.

@Chrisavellone and myself will be doing an AMA this Friday morning for those interested.
Chris has visited the inXile offices and had his first design talks.
1st visit to inXile today and 1st design talks. Felt great talking to the crew and getting the "welcome aboard" handshake from @BrianFargo.
Between the AMA and upcoming Kickstarter updates a lot more information should soon be available on things like the camera, combat and story.

News for Monday, April 9, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 16:34

Gamasutra is offering an article-style interview with Brian Fargo which mostly focuses on the decision to go with Kickstarter to fund Wasteland 2 rather than the title itself. Snippet:

"For Wasteland 2, the PC is the root of the product. The Fallout series, at least for now, is focused more at a console group, and for me, there's a major difference. There's a lot of people that loved Fallout 1 and 2, and Fallout 3 just isn't what they want. To me, Wasteland 2 is for those people," he said.

And since those nostalgic players are providing the funding for the game, Fargo said he's doing everything he can to ensure that their voices are heard. Fargo pointed out that Kickstarter backers won't have a final say on the game's content, but InXile wants to keep communication channels open so the team doesn't miss any key feedback.

InXile has already taken some cursory surveys about Wasteland 2, and Fargo said he's been surprised by what his backers are looking for.

"As an example, we asked fans what they'd like to see once we hit a certain funding level. More audio? A bigger world? And almost universally, people said, 'Please don't waste my money on audio.'"

Instead, players wanted InXile to include more text, giving the game a more robust, branching narrative. Adding voice-overs would only limit the game's scope, as dialogue trees would be bound by the game's audio budget. "It was an interesting thing to hear from [the fans], and I'm glad I heard that," Fargo said.
Tangentially related, Michael A. Stackpole has a post on his blogs on his time designing the original Wasteland and his hopes for the sequel.

News for Sunday, April 8, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 11:51

G4 has a report on a Chris Avellone's PAX panel which deals with continuing Fallout: New Vegas' story with DLC. Here's a snippet:

Having a four hour limit on the narrative arcs turned out to be an advantage by helping Obsidian to focus their themes and stories. The limitation of a smaller voice cast kept the stories tight between three or four main characters. And New Vegas was so huge, Avellone and his team had a lot of content left over, like areas the player couldn't explore in the main game. With these limitations tackled the question became, “What sort of hooks can we include in the main game to hint these DLCs were going to happen?” said Avellone.

Obsidian made sure they dropped a lot of references to Joshua Graham, the fallen Caesar’s Legion commander known as the Burned Man, in New Vegas to set up the Lonely Hearts DLC. They made sure the player knew another courier could have taken the package that was stolen from the player before the game began, but refused the job once they saw the player's name was next on the list. The question of another courier who knew a lot about the player, and who could have set them up to be killed, set the stage for Lonesome Road. And the player's companion from the Brotherhood of Steel, Veronica, mentioned her mentor from the Brotherhood, Father Elijah, who would appear in Dead Money. Obsidian also used visual cues, like pre-war posters for the Sierra Madre hotel and the entertainer Dean Domino in New Vegas to foreshadow Dead Money.

News for Saturday, April 7, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 21:02

For the latest Wasteland 2 Kickstarter update, Brian Fargo talks about the jobs crowdfunding can generate, how we can help spread the word about the game and showcases the very first Andree Wallin concept art for the title:

Did I just hear all 43,000+ of you say ‘How can we help?’

I am glad you asked!!

One thing you will notice in that list of potential jobs above is that nowhere in that list do you see ‘Marketing Lady’ or ‘PR Guy’. That is because we don’t have these positions, nor do we plan to hire them. We want to spend the money on the game, and only the game.

This is where you come in…

All 43,000+ of you are our marketing and PR team. We need your help to get the word out that the Kickstarter countdown is on.

• Post to your Facebook pages with links back to the Kickstarter.
• Follow @BrianFargo on twitter and retweet my Wasteland related tweets.
• Post it to forums where you think it is relevant.
• Send emails out to everyone you know.
• Go to our website and put our Doomsday countdown clock on your website.
• Get a friend or family member to buy in.
• Shout it from the rooftop.
• Do some early shopping for Christmas 2013!

If every person who has pledged manages to get one more person to buy in for $15, we will increase the budget by over $600,000. You can help the project in very tangible ways by helping us get the word out.
NMA was sent the Andrée Wallin art earlier, so we can offer you a much higher resolution version:

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 17:34

Rock, Paper, Shotgun is offering an interesting interview with Obsidian's Chris Avellone about Wasteland 2, Kickstarter, the state of the industry and related subjects. Snippets ahead:

RPS: The whole “getting Black Isle back together” news story set off a chain reaction of nostalgic comments, tweets, Facebook posts, and probably a few extremely meme-able YouTube videos. Meanwhile, Baldur’s Gate is coming back via Beamdog. There’s this giant contingent of RPG fans who constantly pine for the “golden age” to return, and now they’re getting their wish. Is that a good thing, though? Or is there a risk of pushing the genre backward — looking back without moving forward?

Chris Avellone: It depends what you mean by “backwards.” I still consider a lot of innovations that occurred with Fallout 1 and Wasteland to be unmatched in today’s RPGs. I feel true innovation often gets lost beyond features that require new engine tech and the latest video card when we can achieve more interesting game mechanics in tighter constraints.

I don’t think anything involving Kickstarter would stop future RPG iteration across the major franchises in the slightest. There’s still a market for those huge budget RPGs that people want, and they’re fun to play, so no harm there. I also don’t see the harm in the industry going “backwards” and forwards – again, I think there’s a lot of gameplay elements that can be learned from working on “old school” titles that are just as applicable in current titles and can push both genres forward.

(...)

RPS: I’ve seen an interesting trend in fan responses to the Wasteland-Obsidian probable partnership: “YES, IT’LL BE JUST LIKE FALLOUT 2.” Except that Wasteland and Fallout 2 are very different games — especially in terms of battle system, etc. How do you cater to Wasteland fans and Fallout fans while also making something that gamers who’ve never experienced either will dig?

Chris Avellone: I don’t think “modern gamers” want Wasteland 2. I think the people that remember and played these games want the Fallout 2/Wasteland experience which is a different target audience. Now, you could argue that they still don’t know that they want that and that they may have unconsciously become used to modern game mechanics or features like voice-acting.

Still, I have faith they don’t need the more expensive trappings that I often feel can hinder the experience as much as it potentially helps it. It may be the section of fans I interact with, but all of them are old-school turn-based RPG lovers, and they know what they’re getting into.

Lastly, this is my opinion: it’s Wasteland 2. It should be a Wasteland game. While there were differences between F2 and WL, there’s a lot of similarities as well: open world, open exploration, skill-based solutions, stat-based solutions, enemy types, coping with radiation, etc. I’ll be honest, we worked at playing around with Wasteland elements in Old World Blues, and people never felt the difference – they loved it all the more for those elements.

News for Friday, April 6, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 9:16

The Wasteland 2 fundraising drive has now passed $2.1 million, combining Kickstarter ($2,059,408) and Paypal ($40,610). With this amount raised, Chris Avellone will join as a designer, and inXile will license tools from Obsidian to improve the game.

More updates coming today.

Posted by Brother None - at 4:14

The 9th update is to announce a new digital-only tier for Europeans who want some extras but do not want the VAT headache, and the addition of a countdown clock.

As our Kickstarter continues to build momentum, we will keep focusing on how we can best deliver what our fans want. We've seen quite a few messages from our international fans expressing concern with the cost of shipping and physical goods relating to VAT and customs costs. For that reason, we opened up a purely digital pledge level at $55 that contains no physical items. You will get the digital copy of the game, digital soundtrack, digital novellas 1 and 2, digital concept art book and early beta access.

We've had an amazing amount of support from our fans, and we couldn't be happier with how many people are showing up to help make this game special. Please continue getting the word out in the remaining days of the campaign to help us finish strong. A countdown timer on our Wasteland 2 website is now ticking away the days, minutes and seconds to the finish. You can help spread the word by adding the counter to your own blog or website—just use the handy “Add to your site” button next to the counter. Thanks!
Between Kickstarter and Paypal, we're currently about $25K short of the Obsidian $2.1M goal. This should be reached tomorrow. And keep your eyes peeped tomorrow, since more awesome should be coming your way.

News for Thursday, April 5, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 23:14

As a site run by volunteers who get no compensation, NMA has never been too fast on the draw on updating the websites, forums and look. We're slowly progressing though, planning a forum update (hopefully soon) and updates to website functionality.

In the meantime though, we have a new front-page design, created by NMA users Wooz and monsharen, with Odin and korindabar doing much of the behind-screen work on the website and forum functionality.

The new re-design is quite a jump from the old so no doubt many will shout foul, but the layout is quite similar, while it is more functional than the old one: it is much smaller and should thus load more easily, the dropdown menus and gallery menu have been improved, social buttons have been added for further integration, and the color scheme and custom fonts should make for superior usability. The header - simply text now - should be rotated in coming years, so you probably will see good old Marcus back in the header at some point.

Provide feedback in this thread.

Posted by Brother None - at 21:00

As a promotion for the digital retailing service, which is rebranding and offering newer and independent titles, GOG.com is offering Fallout for free for the next 48 hours for new and existing users.

The servers are, naturally, overloaded right now, but log in or register at some point in the next two days to add it to your library and get a free copy, even if it's only to back up your existing one.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:32

Wade K. Savage let us know about a very ambitious Fallout fan film project he is independently directing in Australia, getting helpful notes from Chris Avellone and John Gonzales.

“FALLOUT” FAN FILM “FALLOUT: LANIUS” IN DEVELOPMENT
Original Voice Actor Mitch Lewis attached

Perth, Western Australia- (April 2, 2012)
Australian Filmmaker Wade K. Savage is happy to announce that he is now in development of a high production value Fallout Fan Film, "FALLOUT: LANIUS". "FALLOUT: LANIUS" will be a Fan Made, not for profit, short film based on the "Fallout" series of video games by Black Isle Studios, Obsidian Entertainment, and Bethesda Softworks. The film will bring together a host of upcoming talented filmmakers to produce a cinematic Fan Based "Fallout" experience.

The team is also happy to announce original voice actor Mitch Lewis, will reprise his role of "Legate Lanius" for the short.

The film is a blood soaked high concept action epic, which will explore the origin story of the primary antagonist "Legate Lanius" from the 2010 video game "Fallout: New Vegas". Graphic design will be provided by graphic designer Jeffrey Phillips (www.jeffreyphillips.com.au), whilst concept art and design will be by Simon Boxer (www.simonboxer.com).

A crowd-sourcing funding campaign is expected to take place mid-year.

STORY SUMMARY

On the brink of ruin, the Hidebark people are about to be wiped out by the slaving organization, Caesar's Legion. However, their most ruthless warrior would prefer death to dishonour. "FALLOUT: LANIUS" will recount how a single man brings ruin to his people due to his lust for bloodshed and victory.

ABOUT THE TEAM

Wade K. Savage is an award winning theatre and film director. His short films have shown globally. His most recent short film "Hunt" (2011) screened at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival. His 2010 short "The Dead Wastes" won the Night of Horror International Film Festival's coveted 'Independent Spirit' award. This is the filmmakers' first Fan Film.

Mitch Lewis is a Hollywood based Voice Actor with experience in narration and voice work for both video games and film. His credits include Guild Wars 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Thor: God of Thunder and The Incredible Hulk amongst others.

Jeffrey Phillips is an Australian illustrator and designer. His portfolio includes a multitude of clients in all industries and sectors.

Simon Boxer is a Melbourne based concept artist and game developer. He works in film, TV and video game sectors internationally.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:20

The 8th update to the Wasteland 2 funding drive talks about what happens as the money increases (at $1.980 mil now (Kickstart + Paypal), with 12 days left to go).

I would like to give a little visibility on what we would expect to add to the game if we hit $2.5 million and $3.0 million. And do keep in mind that ALL money raised goes into development.

Scope and scale is the number one request, and it is what we are focusing our monies on primarily. So at 2.5 million dollars we would bring in another couple of designers to help create more areas. This will not only increase the overall size and depth of the world, but it translates to more story lines and more player options as well. At this funding level we would also bring more level scripters in to allow us to get levels in faster. When we get levels in faster it allows more iteration time to really hone things in. I believe that iteration time is the single most important factor towards shipping a polished and deep game.

In addition, we will add more NPC portraits and equipment artwork as per what the fans have requested in the forums. We would also increase the music budget to allow Mark Morgan to layer in even more atmosphere. The bottom line is that this kind of budget
ensures that Wasteland 2 is BIGGER than Wasteland 1. And for the people that remember little Billy from WL1... well he was left for dead and he is pissed.

The third most asked about feature is for us to provide a mod kit to allow players to create their own scenarios. I have always loved those kinds of tool-sets to set players loose to keep the world expanding. To create these kinds of tools is time consuming and requires a separate team of guys to do it. While we are not ready to commit to that feature yet, we can say that if we were to hit 3 million dollars, it would be possible to do a mod kit without cutting into the plan for the main game. In fact, IF we ended up making the mod kit we would not release it until after Wasteland 2 shipped as our hands will be quite full to ensure things are done well. The game will also increase in scope as well so this is not a binary equation. As always, we will be posting polls in the forums to help with these sorts of decisions. Yes we are reading the forums!

On the production front we have already started our pre-production process. We have our art team starting work on setting the look of the game. Once we have the look established, we will run tests across several different technologies we are evaluating to settle in on our tech for the project.

And Andrée Wallin is wrapping up his first concept piece for the Desert Rangers and they look bad ass. It's a beautiful mixture of the military with touches of the old west rangers.

News for Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 21:49

inXile has added to the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter tiers, adding 25 $2000 tier options where you can add a personalized artifact, updating $2500 to make it clear it means both a name and an artifact, and adding 100 $1000 tiers. That's...a lot of named NPCs. Let's hope it doesn't sell out.

Meanwhile, another update is coming today.

I'm working on another Kickstarter update today...
Fargo also lets us know that he'll post Andree Wallin's desert ranger concept art when it's done:
First pass of the concept piece of the Desert Rangers from Andree Wallin and they are some real bad-ass dudes. I'll post when done.
For those who have Kickstarter fever, note other classics are popping up in fundraisers, including Leisure Suit Larry and Shadowrun (Shadowrun is in on Fargo's Kicking It Forward).

News for Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 21:09

In case you want to help the Iron Tower Studio team you'll be interested in knowing that The Age of Decadence is now available for pre-ordering. You can read the details on the indie dev's forums:

When to expect?

2013. We’re probably a year away. You can judge the progress by the demo – it has all the features except for Alchemy. All the areas are done and some were shown before, but as you know, we prefer to take our time and do it right. Or at least what we consider to be ‘right’.


Why are you asking us to pre-order?

First, to show your support. Second, to help us. For example, Nick’s (our programmer) computer just died. He’s using an old box for now, but we’ll have to get him a new one. It would be nice to be able to do so without dipping into personal savings. Also, Nick has to make a living by teaching (yeah, he’s a bright guy) in a computer academy. It would really help us if he didn’t have to teach and could focus on AoD full time. Same goes for Oscar and Ivan. Third, it would be nice to recover past expenses (like Torque’s license - $1,000) and help with the current one. Our bandwidth went from 70-120GB to 220-250GB in the last two months. Etc.


Specifics:

PRE-ORDER: pay $25, you’ll be sent a download link. The download file is a placeholder. When the game is released, it will be enclosed in a zip file of the same name and you will be able to retrieve the updated file using the same download link sent with your original order.

If you lose the email, contact us and we’ll sort it out.

DONATE: you can select a higher amount and pay more, if you want to. The ONLY reason we set it up this way is because we were repeatedly asked to do so in the past. We’re not asking anyone to pay more, but if you want to, the option is there. To show our gratitude, the very least we can do is offer you some “rewards”, for the lack of a better word:

- $25 (pre-order) – will be listed and thanked in the credits
- $30 (pre-order plus $5 extra) – will receive a nice, golden tag – Patron of the Motherfucking Arts (PM Nick your real name to receive it)
- $40 (pre-order plus $15 extra) – you can create a filler character* for the game
- Any more than that – we will be very, very grateful. We don’t want to copy the Kickstarter approach and offer tiered rewards. Donate if you feel like it. The tag and the filler character aren’t to entice you to give you more money, but to thank you if you choose to do so.

(...)


BOXED VERSION: We aren’t offering a box version at this stage. It will be offered when the game is ready and when we place an order and will have something to show. You will be able to order it separately (i.e. you can pre-order the digital version now for $25 and upgrade it to a box for another $25 at any time)

Posted by Brother None - at 2:03

No interview spacing for Wasteland 2, but hell, the more coverage the better. NowGamer is next up talking Wasteland 2 in general.

What can you tell us about your plans for Wasteland 2 in terms of gameplay, visual themes etc? Will it remain true to the original?

We are going to build upon all the elements that made Wasteland great. You control of a group of desert rangers in the southwest part of the states who are seeking to restore some law and order into a post apocalyptic world.

But despite their mission of restoring peace it is up to the players to decide the morality of their choices. We will not preach what behavior to take and nor will every negative thing you do necessarily turn into something bad happening to you.

The game will be party based like the original, feature modern day weapons for combat and use the skill system that everyone loved so much. Visual themes will run the gamut from desolate and bleak to cities that are attempting to recover from destruction.
Additionally, Fargo let us know on Twitter that MCA will be signing the $250 edition of the game, along with other members of the core team.

News for Monday, April 2, 2012

Posted by Brother None - at 22:08

We've hopefully got our own interview on this topic coming soon, but in the meantime, here's Rock Paper Shotgun talking to Brian Fargo about the recent news of Obsidian helping out on Wasteland 2 and the general success of the drive.

RPS: Do you think it’s going to work naturally or might there be a clash, in that Wasteland is about player agency and freedom, while the game he’s most revered for, Planescape, is very much a fixed, set narrative?

Fargo: No, they won’t clash at all. What Chris brings is this wonderful density to his levels. So he’ll be involved with the overall, but he’ll also be given some sections in particular that he’ll be able to put his stamp on. It’s sort of like in science fiction novels where multiple authors get involved and do their own parts, all with their own style.

To me, it’s going to be cool because it’s going to give a greater sense of variety as you move around the world. But there’s no way on Earth this is not going to be a sandbox type game.

RPS: Who’s going to handle the story element? Are you going to do that in-house or are you going to pool it like those science fiction authors where it’s a completely collaborative thing?

Fargo: It’s going to be a little bit myself and Mike Stackpole making the world sense come together. So we’l be helping to coordinate the overarching story of it all, but the individual parts, that’s where we have different people, whether it’s Chris Avellone, or Liz Danforth, who are working on their areas.

Creatively, when you work on a product like this, you say “listen, we need this prison yard and just make sure at the end they walk out with an Uzi, OK, I don’t care what happens in there but just make sure they get an uzi at the end for the next part.” They say “great” and we turn them loose.

The most important that this adds, and what our players continue to want and ask for from us, is scope and scale. That’s what this is about. Every time the numbers go up, the game just gets a little bit bigger and a little more dense, and this helps ensure that.

RPS: Have you had any really crazy moments, in the middle of the night thinking “I wonder if we could make five million, what could we do then?” Sort of fantasy figures.

Fargo: (laughs) Dare to dream, right? I guess our fantasy number is if we end up getting over what Double Fine did, that would be…

I was looking back at the budget for the original Fallout. That was about three million dollars, and that included a lot of audio, a lot of cinematics and some publisher overhead. Also, the salary levels were different back then. To me, if we get to something like three million dollars that really starts to…I mean, we’re going to be able to make a great game as it is, it’s not like a problem, but it provides a little more leeway I guess in terms of not having to work 12 hour days.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 20:10

For the latest episode of Matt Chat, Matt Barton has done a video retrospective of Wasteland. No doubt the recent Kickstarter drive for Wasteland 2 played a part here:

Posted by Brother None - at 18:25

Dagon's Lair offers an interview with Brian Fargo on Wasteland 2 and his career, in both French and English.

Will you stay totally « hardcore old school » or will you make Wasteland 2 evolve in some ways (which ?). Is there a risk to alienate less than 30 year old players staying too hardcore ?

We are not going to make the user rely on knowledge of 20 years ago and we aren’t going to treat the experience like it is an Apple 2 game. We just plan on offering a lot of cause and effect options that have been lost in many way and there is no way that such a thing should alienate anyone. Old school to me means less narrative/linear and more choices, less morality on telling you what to do and more tactical combat situations so I really am not worried if someone can figure the game out.

How far are you in Wasteland 2′s creation ? Just an idea ? Design documents ? Main scenario done ? … Will you create your game you have in mind or try to please most of fans’ demands on the ideas… ?

Quite a bit of work was done by Jason Anderson while he was here. Lots of locations, dialogue, characters and story ideas were flushed out. Now we are bringing the design team on like Stackpole, Avellone, Danforth etc. to fill in more of the personality. It is a similar process that we did with the first game. Most of the fans « demands » have really been around the systems and tone and not the specific story points.
Thanks RPGCodex.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 9:35

GameBanshee has put online an interview with Obsidian's Chris Avellone focused on his (and his company's) possible collaboration with inXile on Wasteland 2. Here's a couple of snippets:

GB: Jason Anderson already spent a great deal of time working on Wasteland 2's storyline, and Brian Fargo has already made it pretty clear what the team's design goals are for the game. Assuming you'll reach the $2.1 million milestone, where does Obsidian Entertainment come in? Will you be tweaking existing story elements, adding more, or contributing in other areas?

Chris: It’s up to the design goals of the project. While Jason Anderson isn’t at inXile anymore, I have a lot of respect for Jason's story skills based on Fallout 1 and the story layouts for Fallout 2. I suspect I'd be doing area and narrative design, and fleshing out a piece of the wasteland, but we'll have to see what the needs of the project are.

Also, a game story is always a starting place - it provides an overarching vision for the game. If it’s anything like Obsidian’s narrative structure process, stories and areas get divided for individual designers to flesh out – it’s easy to say “Quartz is taken over by a gang that’s holding the mayor hostage,” or “New Reno is home to 4 mob bosses” but going from there is a long, fun design journey.

[...]

GB: Could Obsidian's Onyx engine handle a top-down/isometric perspective and a turn-based combat system like inXile is shooting for with Wasteland 2? If so, have you talked to Brian about the possibility of licensing your Onyx engine, if only to make it easier for you and the rest of the team at Obsidian to contribute content at a faster pace?

Chris: Sure. To be clear, the Onyx engine isn't being used for Wasteland 2 - that said, there's information and structure components we can share based on how we've constructed RPG mechanics (notably conversation systems and editors, for example) that Brian has expressed interest in and we'd be happy to provide metrics and layout suggestions for. All of the programming and coding is in inXile's hands, however, as our programmers and tools programmers are focused on our other titles.

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:39:43 GMT
Texas-based fan-made Fallout game: "Fallout: Lonestar" currently in the works
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:58:40 GMT
After Reset reaches and exceeds kickstarter goal in 10 days with 30 days to go
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 07:47:01 GMT
Fallout series on sale on Steam
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:21:23 GMT
No Fallout 4 at GamesCom
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:43:33 GMT
Fallout: Distress (A Fallout fan film)
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:38:38 GMT
Fallout: Van Buren being reborn under fan development (includes Q&A interview)
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:18:58 GMT
Post-apocalyptic RPG "After Reset" rebooted on Kickstarter
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 10:06:45 GMT
Underrail Development Log #52: Blood Sports
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:02:14 GMT
Wasteland 2 Update #53: Progress Report
Sat, 05 Jul 2014 10:08:38 GMT
Bethesda to have a presence at GamesCom
Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:00:05 GMT
Fallout: Nuka Break - Tales from the Wasteland KS launched
-Opening Analysis: Fallout
-AMA Q&A with Brian Fargo and Chris Avellone
-Wasteland 2 Interview with Chris Avellone and Brian Fargo
-Circle Junction
-Wasteland Kickstarter Project Interview with Brian Fargo
-The Origins of Fallout
-Afterfall: InSanity review
-Afterfall: InSanity preview
-Lonesome Road Review
-Old World Blues review
-Fallout2 Hi-Res Patch v4.1.5
-Fallout1 Hi-Res Patch v4.1.5
-Falloup, a Fallout Comic by 'Ten'
-WayDowntown V1.1
-FO1 bos grenades quest
-FO1_pistol_sound_patch
-Fallout FIXT
-Graphics Viewer v1.36
-RobCo Systems Beta 1.0
-S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Anarchy Cell Design Document
-Koan's Gift: Oblivion Lost Design Document Pack
-S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Oblivion Lost Design Document
-S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Oblivion Lost Story Outline
-Uptown v1.4
-Fallout Script Editor 1.5a
-Mission Mojave Fixpack
-Garden Of Eden Creation Kit
-The Weapon Mod Menu
-The Mod Configuration Menu
-Interior Lighting Overhaul