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Wasteland 2 Interview with Brian Fargo at Ripten

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Wasteland 2 Interview with Brian Fargo at Ripten

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Tue 27 March 2012, 20:18:03

Tags: Brian Fargo; inXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

Ripten.com's Michael Futter has done a large interview with InXile's Brian Fargo on Wasteland 2, "abysmal" publisher treatment and having fun again. Have a generous chunk:

MF: There seem to be two halves of the gaming universe. Old guys like me who grew up on Fallout. I remember pouring over decisions and redoing combat, just because an NPC died. I loved that dog too much to let him go. The other half, though, are much younger. Their first introduction to the universe was Fallout 3 and New Vegas. How are they going to be able to relate to this game having no real frame of reference for these classic, wonderful RPGs?

BF: The thing about this project being fan-funded is that I’m not worried about this new group of people and how they might get it. This is being made for people like yourself that grew up playing Wasteland, Fallout and Fallout 2. These new people, who have never played these games, I think they’re going to check it out and have a great time. I’m simply not going to worry about how I get these console guys to come over and like it, because there is no reason to. We all know the experience that we grew up with. We all loved it and we’ve all been wanting one, so that’s what I’m going to bring. It’s not a putdown on the console product, it’s just that I’m not going to worry about how to get them.

MF: Now that you’ve got Ken St. Andre and Michael Stackpole involved in the project, what are you planning for the combat system. Will it be identical to the original Wasteland, or will there be some modifications to make things more contemporary where it makes sense.

BF: We’re going to use the original Wasteland as the base and build upon it. Everybody liked the skill-based system of the world. We’re definitely going to stay with that and add upon it. We’re going to use a lot of the basics of combat, but because this is graphical in nature and you’ll be able to see your guys on the map, as opposed to just reading about it, it opens up to be more tactical.

MF: One of the things that Wasteland did, possibly because it was way ahead of its time and due to space issues, was the text for players to read separately…

BF: … and copy protection, actually, but yeah. That’s how tight space was back then. We couldn’t even put in all the text we wanted to.

MF: Is there anything like that, even just as a nod to the original game that you’re planning on.

BF: We’re kicking the idea around, because that paragraph book was quite fun. Whether we will really make you read or not, though? Probably not in this digital world. Might we do a paragraph book? Maybe, as a nod.

MF: The new Bard’s Tale is still sitting on my shelf. I love that game.

BF: Well, the hard core aren’t too fond of it, but it definitely has its fans. Here’s how I explain that game. I had just left Interplay, I was kinda in a funny mood and I was playing other people’s roleplaying games. They were sending me to kill rats in a cellar and I was like, “Are you kidding me? They’re still doing this stuff?” So, I was fed up and Bard’s Tale was my parody of it. So, I set out to do a light RPG that was a parody. For that effort, I think I deserve an A. For the hard core, they wanted an absolute Bard’s Tale sequel, so for them, it was an F. In my defense, I accomplished what I set out to do. Just like with this Wasteland game, this is what we’re going out to do: old-school RPG, deep cause and effect, dialog, exploration, etc. We’re now going to execute that. I understand why people weren’t happy with Bard’s Tale, but if you look at iTunes, it’s one of the highest rated RPGs out there. So, people like it, but if you were expecting a hardcore RPG, you wouldn’t have liked it.

MF: Is tension between developers and publishers, especially around creative issues, normal?

BF: There is more tension than you can believe. You would not believe the stories you hear about how developers are treated by publishers these days. It is abysmal.

MF: Why don’t we hear more about it…?

BF: Because they are afraid to talk, because they’ll never get another contract if they do. That’s why. You cannot believe… it’s awful. It’s really bad. You should try to dig in and get some stories out there. Look at the most recent one with those poor guys at Obsidian. They did Fallout: New Vegas, the ship date got moved up and, who does the QA on a project? The publisher is always in charge of QA. When a project goes out buggy, it’s not the developer. The developer never says, “I refuse to fix the bug,” or, “I don’t know how.” They never do that. It’s the publisher that does the QA, so if a product goes out buggy, it’s not the developer’s fault. So, (Fallout: New Vegas) goes out buggy and they didn’t do the QA, their ship date got moved up and they missed their metacritic rating by one point. Did they get a bonus? No. Do you think that’s fair? I tried to get some of my publisher friends, who I used to make a lot of money for, to donate. Do you think they donated? No. Their employees did.​

Be sure to read the full interview. It's interesting.

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