At this point, Wasteland 2 needs no introduction. The spiritual baby-daddy of the Fallout franchise, the original Wasteland sent us headlong into a world of radioactive whimsy: imagining the desolation of a post-apocalyptic hellscape, illuminating the dark, dank corners of men's souls, and inspiring games that introduced new generations to the beauty of the "brown, grey, and more brown" color palette.
Since the comically-successful Wasteland 2 Kickstarter campaign, Brian Fargo spoke to gamesindustry.biz about the state of the game, as well as his thoughts on this newfangled phenomenon known as "Kickstarter."
According to Fargo, the game is much larger than the original Wasteland. "The story now is 900 pages long [...] I'm doing one of the smaller maps, and I'm at 40 pages so far, and I'm not verbose. It's a lot of content. What if I rescue the kid? What if I don't rescue the kid? That's what everybody wants." As one might expect, towns will have their own self-contained narrative, using "hooks" to connect to the larger story. On the technical front, InXile's staff has faced some challenges. "We have three or four ace programmers and the designers are having trouble keeping up with them. The design is the biggest short-term concern."
Despite the notion that those precious, precious pixels come at a greater cost than in the days of yore, Fargo notes that technological and software advances have been a boon to game development, allowing for greater efficiency and fluidity in the creative process. As he noted, "My son is 14, and he got some things up on the screen in a week that would have taken me two years." He praised the Kickstarter model, highlighting the shift of developers' accountability to gamers, rather than publishers, and the effect it would have on Wasteland 2's design. According to Fargo, "the fans said they wanted more game play, not more glitz."
Your stalwart servant shares some thoughts after the jump!
Inevitably, the above screenshot brings to mind Interplay's ill-fated Van Buren project. As much as I will forever defend latter incarnations of Fallout - flaunting my "pretentious Fallout geek" credentials to lend credence to my position that Bethesda did not savage my beloved franchise - I tend to prefer the older games. Beyond its old-timey charm (and the pitch-black humor that seemed more prevalent in Fallout 1 and 2), part of me longs for the look of its elders: those halcyon days of what gaming historians call "isometric perspective." Regardless, it's far too early to make any kind of judgement on Wasteland 2. Perhaps inXile will create an experience so all-encompassingly stunning as to render all hitherto RPGs less remarkable than the ones and zeros of which they are comprised; perhaps my hate will become a star in the firmament - one that will shine down on Brian Fargo's smug, worthless *ss, until its supernova reduces the universe to the nothingness from whence it came.
For those interested, the full interview (including Brian Fargo's take on Kickstarter and the video game industry) can be found at this link! As for me, I'm off to enjoy a night of
box Chardonnay and off-market painkillers some well-needed rest.