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Wasteland 3 Fig Update #17: Status Report and Vision Document

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Wasteland 3 Fig Update #17: Status Report and Vision Document

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 7 February 2017, 01:09:24

Tags: inXile Entertainment; Thomas Beekers; Wasteland 3

inXile have published the first major Wasteland 3 Fig update since the campaign concluded back in November. It's a brief status report.

It is time to give you all another status update on Wasteland 3! As we mentioned previously, we are deep in our pre-production phase. We have a set of core team members working to build out the vision for the game. In the coming months we have a set timeline to ensure our future team members will roll onto the project smoothly. Lead Designer George Ziets and the content team are hard at work hammering down the overall storyline, as well as working on area design and coming up with all kinds of quirky characters and companions to populate Colorado.

Beyond area and system designs, a key goal for our pre-production period is to get working prototypes for our internal use. These are focused on major gameplay elements, such as combat, missions, exploration, skill use, and so on. A lot of those designs are heavily rooted in Wasteland 2, which gives us a firm basis in the kind of rich reactivity and systemic depth we want. Our prototype work will focus on answering larger questions about new gameplay elements, such as vehicles, multiplayer, and ice and cold. We showed some of this prototyping work in our crowdfunding campaign, but for pre-production it is essential to create prototypes that explore the riskiest gameplay elements, and this will be our focus in coming months.

Since we now have a good idea of the basics, our humble team has been growing. The art lead on Torment, Charlie Bloomer, has begun work on Wasteland 3, and will be concepting and prototyping scenes to figure out how we can maximize the aesthetic of our unique, wintery setting. Dan Jenkins and Chris Wiedel, engineers who worked on Wasteland 2 and Torment, have started exploring Wasteland 3's programming needs, such as integrating useful code from Wasteland 2 and Torment, as well as investigating our requirements to get multiplayer off the ground.
It's clear that the game still has a long way to go, but they have put together a vision document for it. It's not quite as detailed as Torment's was, but there are some reassuring-sounding things in there. For example:

Improved Combat System

In Wasteland 2, we created a combat system that allowed for myriad tactics and weapon types, and in the Director’s Cut, we added perks and quirks that let you play through combat your own way. We know that people loved that greater level of depth and customization, and in Wasteland 3 we are planning to push this even further.

Combat Abilities are special attacks, techniques, and benefits that are tied to your characters’ skills and perks, as well as to their equipment. Maybe one character is especially good with melee weapons and can learn to kneecap enemies to knock them flat on their backs. Another might be an expert spotter who can mark targets so the rest of the team gets an accuracy boost. And maybe one character really, really likes to attach portable flamethrowers to their arms. These strategies, and many more, will help you outwit and outflank your enemies, allowing you to dominate the battlefield through smarter tactics and respond to different situations in clever ways.

Encounter design is another place where we want to innovate. Wasteland 2 had a few memorable encounters, such as battles against the Scorpitron, or huge firefights inside enemy bases, and we want to continue making more and more battles you’ll remember. This extends to more careful level design and placement of cover, but it also includes more ways to interact with the environment. Over the course of some encounters, you will be faced with new and daunting challenges, battlefields that shift as reinforcements come in, or objectives that change mid-fight. We want to vary your combat experiences throughout the game so that each significant fight brings something new with it.

Last, the overall look and feel of combat are getting an overhaul. Wasteland 3 will feature faster-placed gameplay with snappier animations, player input queuing so you spend less time waiting and watching, and a new level of intensity in violence and chaos.
I like that "encounter design" has become a thing worth boasting about. Some of our readers (hi, Zombra!) will also be glad to hear that the document explicitly clarifies that "Wasteland 3 will be a party-based game, meaning you play a party of Rangers rather than one individual with followers". Better late than never on that!

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