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Interview Brian Fargo talks about the Wasteland 2 beta at VG247

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Tags: Brian Fargo; InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

VG247's Dave Cook had a chat with Brian Fargo about Wasteland 2's upcoming beta. While a large portion of the interview is dedicated to questions about the logistics of releasing the beta and gathering player feedback, there is some fun information about the game itself. I quote:

VG247: I’d agree with that definitely. So I’m aware we’re straying a bit from the actual beta itself so can I clarify one thing? I understand this beta is 95% complete in terms of mechanics. Is that correct?

Fargo: “Not exactly. What it is, is about 90% of the game’s underpinning, so all the systems are in place and in some ways it will feel like a finished product. You’ve got combat, UI, inventory, the majority of the skills working, sound effects and you will get a sense of the game. However, we’re only giving away a portion of Arizona to play, and that was always the plan because we didn’t want to have spoilers and ruin the whole thing.

“We can get enough out of this first group to help us dictate the second half of it. That said, we’ll have a smaller group look at it, but we never intended to go live with the whole thing. You’re really kind of getting a snap-shot of the Arizona levels, and there’s four main areas and a bunch of smaller areas that we’re putting out, then through the beta process over the next couple of months, we’ll continue to release a couple more areas for Arizona. But we will hold Los Angeles back.”

VG247: That overworld map sounds brutal. It really does with dehydration, being jumped by raiders and without any sign-posting to let you know where the harder encounters are. It’s sort of your own fault if you die when wandering around and that to me sounds pretty hardcore. It’s a bit like Demon’s Souls where if you’e dying a lot you’re probably not ready for an area yet. Does that difficulty scale at all?

Fargo: “There’s two parts to dying in the game which really strikes to the difficulty level. First of all, you can die in the first five seconds of gameplay. You start off at a funeral scene, and if you want to pick the shovel up and start digging up the grave of the guy who just got buried in front of the other Desert Rangers, you’re dead.”

VG247: [laughs] Jesus.

Fargo: “But you get a warning, and you pretty much blame yourself for that. There are lot of things where the signs were there, you acted inappropriately, and it’s not like it just says ‘game over.’ You’re in a combat that you could theoretically win if you had higher-level characters, but it’s not going to happen, so there are areas like that. I like that. Have you ever read a book where you’re 50 or 100 pages in and they kill a major character, and you’re like ‘wow,’ and then the rest of the book is a little more tense?”

VG247: Because suddenly everyone’s fair game?

Fargo: “Yeah, there’s this feeling that anyone could die at any time, like Game of Thrones does a brilliant job of that. I like the fact that if you do stupid things it will result in death, and that it keeps the tension high for other areas. So that’s part number one. Number two is, we do make it clear where you’re supposed to go, in that we want to make objectives clear because for me, that just makes good sense for players.

“However, if you want to go wandering off the beaten path and find other things, fantastic. But again, you have to blame yourself if you want to go off into the desert. You might find another area, you might find a map full of robots. If you can fight them, win it and get some upgraded weapons it’s going to make some of those early maps easier, but it comes back again to the users making the choices themselves. I always try to focus on, ‘it’s okay if people die as long as they’re blaming themselves,’ for the most part.”

VG247: Letting people do what they want and then suffer the consequences or reap great reward is – to me – the essence of any good role-playing game.

Fargo: “Yes, you’re acting how you would act and you’d like to see the people in the game react the way people are supposed to react. That’s when it get’s tricky because people always want to take it ten levels deep. Like, ‘well I offended him so now his wife should be mad at me, and his kids,’ They want to go and go and go.

“It’s always tricky to find that spot but in this first beta it won’t get the total sense of what we’re talking about because not all the maps are in Arizona. There are many areas you can go off to early on and have those experiences happen. Those aren’t all in this beta yet, but they will certainly be in the final build. So, it’s not that there’s not much of that, but there’s not as much as there’s going to be.”

VG247: So LA and Arizona each have their own overworld map?

Fargo: LA is a whole other map.
The Wasteland 2 beta should be arriving very soon.
 

VioletShadow

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Really awesome. I loved this part of the interview:

VG247: [laughs] God, but you’ve managed it still.

Fargo: “You know what’s interesting is, when I’d go out and talk to the press about game design or ideas, they would always get it, then I’d talk to the gamers and they’d get it. Then I’d talk in these rooms, these pitch meetings and they didn’t get it. I’d pitch the game and their questions would be, ‘how many weapons are in it?’ I’d be like, ‘who cares? I’ll know what the number is later but that’s not the point.’ I’d get all of these inane questions, so it’s been perfect that it ended up this way.”

:lol:
 

Servo

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First of all, you can die in the first five seconds of gameplay.

:bounce:

I like the fact that if you do stupid things it will result in death

Man, this game is gonna be fucking awesome.

we do make it clear where you’re supposed to go, in that we want to make objectives clear

So it's like Fallout minus aimlessly wandering around.:dance:
 

NotAGolfer

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First of all, you can die in the first five seconds of gameplay.

:bounce:

That's great and all but why did they choose such a shitty example? They want to emphasize that there will be no level scaling (the original Wasteland and the Fallouts didn't have that abomination of a cheap-ass game balancing mechanic so there better be none) which is great. But should I really be impressed that I can't beat experienced rangers in the first seconds of a TB game?
Oh well, I guess they say obvious stuff like that to warn retards fans of It Which Must Not Be Named (*whispering* Fallout 3), you know, that game where you can herpaderp through the starting vault because you are that awesome!
:kingcomrade:

Still, it's not at all reassuring for me when they talk like that.

Same with that orc raid example in D:OS. Why should I be impressed that you can still solve most quests after such a massacre when in the end it seems to boil down to nothing more than implementing random alternative questgivers (animals)? Nice idea and all but that's not reactivity and C&C, that's just usual content plus a cheap RNG failsave backup.

OMFG DOWNLOADING BETA NOW!!

:bounce:
Waaaaaaah!!!
speeeeeedy.gif
 
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Oesophagus

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I like the fact that if you do stupid things it will result in death, and that it keeps the tension high for other areas.

What sorcery is this?! But what if I'm a moron who can't breathe and think at the same time, how will I collect all achievements? :outrage:
 

Servo

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But should I really be impressed that I can't beat experienced rangers in the first seconds of a TB game?

Yes, you should be impressed. You couldn't even die during the first five minutes of Fallout. Well, I suppose you could theoretically... but to me his statement is that the game proper starts right away. i.e. there's no derpy tutorial section. Or if there is, you can fucking die in it!
 

tuluse

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Yes, you should be impressed. You couldn't even die during the first five minutes of Fallout. Well, I suppose you could theoretically... but to me his statement is that the game proper starts right away. i.e. there's no derpy tutorial section. Or if there is, you can fucking die in it!
The first place you go is dangerous, but an average player should make it though without getting wiped.

I ended up dying on my 2nd random encounter though
 

Grauken

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DOWNLOADING NOW!!! Just can't resist the urge to try it out!!!! I never try "unfinished"/ "beta" games... but... I... CAN"T... RESIST!!!!

we will remember your sacrifice when we play the bug-free version
 

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