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"I've never felt more pressure in my life": Brian Fargo Interviewed by Edge Online

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"I've never felt more pressure in my life": Brian Fargo Interviewed by Edge Online

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Fri 18 May 2012, 18:14:22

Tags: Brian Fargo; Kickstarter; Wasteland 2

Edge Online has interviewed InXile's Brian Fargo about Wasteland 2, crowd funding, Kicking It Forward, and other things. Have a snippet:

Those early '90s PC RPGs - Fallout, UFO, System Shock and so on - had so much promise, it felt like technology was the only thing holding them back. Now that side of things has caught up, do you think games have lived up to that promise?

I would argue to some degree no, because it became such a console world, and there was an oversimplification of things at points. I think part of the frustration we've tapped into by doing an old-school RPG is that a lot of people feel like games have been dumbed down, that the audience has been treated like they're not intelligent. Those games had a million words, there was a literary vibe to them.

They've become a little more shooter-oriented, and tutorials treat you are as if you've never played a game before. On console there's no keyboard, which removes a lot - being able to type in something as simple as a noun can really open up dialogue and choice. So I think they've become different, but by getting off the PC, things changed quite a bit.

Psychologically, how different is it working specifically for the fans, instead of a publisher?

I've never felt more pressure to deliver in my life. And trust me, they send me Twitter messages letting me know what they're going to do to me if I don't do a good job - messages I don't even want to repeat. But I've also never felt more confident, because I'm in such lock-step with the fans. In the beginning, I would get interview questions like, "What can you do to appeal to the more mass-market?" I don't care about the mass market. I know who my fans are, I know what they want. We're in this sort of constant communication now that a publisher would never allow.

I'm wholly focused. When doing products for publishers, I spent between 25 and 30 per cent of my time and budget making demos for trade shows or convincing them that I know what I'm doing. You're just constantly spinning your wheels. When you remove that, it’s a more organic process, you know? If we have an idea we like, we put it in. If later we decide we don't like it, we toss it. It's a more organic process, and it's a healthier one.

Being without a publisher doesn't just give you freedom to work how you want, but to say what you want.

Listen, I would go on press tours and be told in extremely strong terms to avoid using certain words. I wasn't allowed to use the word 'dungeon' when I was talking about Hunted: The Demon's Forge. I was unable to use the word. You get kinda stifled, you know? On one hand, they're paying the bills so I'm trying to be respectful; on the other, you end up going through these scenarios you're not comfortable with. If you don't stay to the script, you get these nasty emails if something wasn't said right so after a while, yeah, you don't want to talk to anyone anymore because it's not worth the fear of repercussions.

Will you delay Wasteland 2 if you need to?

We've committed to try to get this thing done by next October, but if push comes to shove I'm not going to put something out that isn't right. I've come too far, and accomplished too much, to put out a product that isn't right. But you always want to have a stick in the sand that everybody's shooting for, and we'll continue to do that. I've tried to build a lot of iteration time into the schedule and our approach, so it's still quite possible.​

The full interview can be found here.

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