Joined: 10 Apr 2012
|Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:41 am Post subject: Wateland 2 - fundraising ends 17th of April!
Brian Fargo: 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.
Wasteland 2 will be 100% fan funded game through the Kickstarter website ending April 17th. We know people are naturally concerned with fan funded projects but the input we receive here will help shape what Wasteland 2 becomes. [...] And we are not just looking to bring Wasteland followers to our forums but fans of all the classic RPG’s who want to bring this genre back. When I was at Interplay we produced and financed some of the finest RPG’s made, titles you may remember like Bard’s Tale, Dragon Wars, Stonekeep, Fallout, Icewind Dale, Baldur’s Gate and more. Nothing would please me more than to get back and really show what can be done without interruption from a publisher.
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.
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.
Things are sure looking good to hit our next milestone of $2.1 million dollars, which makes the game deeper of course, but it also brings the design talents of Chris Avellone of Obsidian. We look forward to having Chris bring his style and prose to the game. When you include the PayPal money on top of the Kickstarter funds we are over $1.980 million with 12 days left to go. One of the questions I constantly get is an understanding of what happens when donations continue to grow. The question is especially important as I think there are more RPG gamers out there than almost any other category.
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 Bobby 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.
We have also adjusted the tiers a bit to move around the in-game items. We added 100 slots to the $1,000 backer level as the first 100 slots sold out far faster than we anticipated. We then reduced the $2,500 tier significantly to just 25 slots and added 25 slots at $2,000. With those reductions we increased the $1,000 tier in proportion. Also we clarified that Chris Avellone would sign the collectors edition as part of the $250 tier.
And lastly I wanted to include a description of the Desert Rangers background, as many players are not familiar with them:
On the same day that the U.S. and Soviet Union were attempting to extinguish each other, a company of U.S. Army Engineers were in the southwestern deserts building transportation bridges over dry riverbeds. They worked deep in the inhospitable desert valleys, surrounded by a number of survivalist communities. Located directly south of their position on that day was a newly-constructed federal prison. In addition to housing the nation’s criminals condemned to death, the prison contained light industrial manufacturing facilities.
Shortly after the nuclear attack began, the Engineers, seeking shelter, took over the federal prison and expelled the prisoners into the desolate desert to complete their sentences. As the weeks passed, they invited the nearby survivalist communities to join them and to help them build a new society. Because of each community’s suspicions towards one another, times were difficult at first. But as time nurtured trust, this settlement -- which came to be known as Ranger Center -- grew to be one of the strongest outposts. Ranger Center even proved powerful enough to repel the hands of rancorous criminals who repeatedly attacked in attempts to reclaim what was once “rightfully theirs.”
The citizens of Ranger Center, after first believing that they were the only ones who survived the nuclear maelstrom, soon realized that communities beyond the desert’s grip had also survived, Because they had such success in constructing a new community, they felt compelled to help other survivors rebuild and live in peace.
Toward this end, the Desert Rangers, in the great tradition of the Texas and Arizona Rangers a century before, were born.