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Interview Massive Wasteland 2 Audio Interview with Brian Fargo and Nathan Long at Through the Aftermath

Infinitron

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Tags: Brian Fargo; InXile Entertainment; Nathan Long; Wasteland 2

The hosts of the podcast series Through the Aftermath, which is dedicated to the post-apocalyptic genre in all its forms, had the privilege of speaking with Brian Fargo and Nathan Long for the 50th episode of their show. The result was one of the best Wasteland 2 interviews we've had yet. You can read a general overview over at the official Wasteland 2 blog and my own takeaways from the interview in this post. If you'd like to listen to it yourself, note that the actual interview starts about five minutes into the podcast and is just under an hour long.

Notable takeaways from the interview:
  • As in the original Wasteland, NPC companions in Wasteland 2 will have some autonomous behavior. One example mentioned is an NPC who always hides in battle, but who is useful in other ways.
  • While knowledge of the original Wasteland won't be necessary to play Wasteland 2, it appears that the game will have many, many references to it. That includes hidden dialogue nodes that might open up entire new areas for players of the original game who know what to ask, and cameos by characters from the original game's paragraph book.
  • Every single character in the game will have unique combat barks, and every single weapon in the game will elicit a unique bark from characters hit by said weapon.
  • Story details:
    • The game will take place 15 years after the original Wasteland.
    • The members of Wasteland's default party will be characters in Wasteland 2. You'll get to meet some of them, others you'll just hear stories about.
    • The story will begin when the Wasteland Rangers begin receiving mysterious broadcasts. These broadcasts will somehow be connected to the events of the original Wasteland.
    • At some point in the game, the party will travel to California, and specifically, the city of Los Angeles. There they will meet various cults, including the Mannerites, a group of extremely polite cannibals.
  • The game has enough optional content that a speedrun might miss as much as 60% of the game's content.
  • The game will feature non-standard endgames as a result of certain decisions. For instance, the party might not be sent to L.A. if they don't behave in a sufficiently Ranger-like manner, ending the story prematurely.
  • At the beginning of the game, the Rangers will receive distress calls from two towns and the player will have to choose which one to assist. The state of both towns will change radically as a consequence of this choice.
  • The game will have unusual character customization features, including a multitude of strange costumes and even the option to have three Rangers who are triplets.
  • Each NPC companion will have a personal sidequest.
Besides the stuff that's directly game-related, my favorite part of the interview is at the end, when Brian and Nathan talk about the games that they've played, both classic and modern, how they've been influenced by them, and how they compare with Wasteland 2. It's pretty interesting stuff - listen to the last five minutes or so if you'd like to hear it for yourself.
 

tuluse

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Fargo started to repeat "what does game over mean?" almost as much as Colin McComb was saying "what does one life matter?".
 

Space Satan

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So either you are heroic do-gooders, or you are fucked with entire story and won't see LA? Looks pretty screwed.
 

Crooked Bee

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While knowledge of the original Wasteland won't be necessary to play Wasteland 2, it appears that the game will have many, many references to it. That includes hidden dialogue nodes that might open up entire new areas for players of the original game who know what to ask, and cameos by characters from the original game's paragraph book.

:love:

[*]The game has enough optional content that a speedrun might miss as much as 60% of the game's content.
[*]The game will feature "non-standard game overs" as a result of certain decisions. For instance, the party might not be sent to L.A. if they don't behave in a sufficiently Ranger-like manner, ending the story prematurely.

Ah, the butthurt will be glorious.

Ninja edit: As evidenced by the post above.
 

Skunkpew

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I could listen to Brian Fargo talk all day. If the game is anything like what he claims, it has the potential to be one of the greatest rpgs of all time. The fear for me, is that this is too much like in the mid 90s when designers went on and on about what the next generations of rpgs would be capable of, (an endless amount of side quests; 'you don't even need to play the main quest'; a huge open world, etc.) and the reality of what that became.
 

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I could listen to Brian Fargo talk all day. If the game is anything like what he claims, it has the potential to be one of the greatest rpgs of all time. The fear for me, is that this is too much like in the mid 90s when designers went on and on about what the next generations of rpgs would be capable of, (an endless amount of side quests; 'you don't even need to play the main quest'; a huge open world, etc.) and the reality of what that became.

The mid-90s? More like every era ever.
 

crawlkill

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I just still don't know how their werds are gonna sound. If they've got at least a Bioware/Obsidian level of charming memorability in characters and dialogue (don't hate, Bioware can't do plot for shit but you liked Morrigan, don't lie), then it sounds like we're set for something really special here. Random dumbass typos in their gameplay demo upped my pessimism points, but hopef that was just hacked together without much editing.

What games/novels/specific areas and characters within games should I be looking at to get a sample of what some of the writers on Wasteland 2 have worked on? Is a lot of the team from old IE games? I'm terrible at keeping track of nerd celebrities.
 

undecaf

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Good stuff, will listen the whole thing when I have time later today.

I love the fact that I can fail the mainquest prematurely based on my actions, but I wonder what constitutes as "behaving in a sufficiently Ranger-like manner". Is it really as black and white as being good or evil (I doubt it, but who knows...), or is it a repercussion for maniac parties who shoot civilians for fun (while still doing their tasks in a proper manner), or does it have to do with failstates (that could range from failing to reach "must have" goals in time to doing too much "I don't care" choices and going the easy way too much to simply doing the wrong choices and despite the good intentions, causing more chaos and death all around rather than conclusions; and so on and so forth)?

A hint would be appreciated.
 

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
or is it a repercussion for maniac parties who shoot civilians for fun (while still doing their tasks in a proper manner), or does it have to do with failstates (that could range from failing to reach "must have" goals in time to doing too much "I don't care" choices and going the easy way too much to simply doing the wrong choices and despite the good intentions, causing more chaos and death all around rather than conclusions; and so on and so forth)?

Definitely the first, and possibly the second as well, I think.


What games/novels/specific areas and characters within games should I be looking at to get a sample of what some of the writers on Wasteland 2 have worked on? Is a lot of the team from old IE games? I'm terrible at keeping track of nerd celebrities.

Nathan Long did the lion's share of writing for Wasteland 2. He's never worked on a computer game before. He's a Hollywood scriptwriter who has also written Warhammer novels. He's also a big fan of Fallout, Fallout 2 and Planescape: Torment. So sorry, probably no Biowarisms.:M
 

hiver

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and Time bandits and Warriors. (Road Warrior too) - which got him into writing carrier for the movies - and the three games got him into writing for games.

Great stuff all around.
The first actual info on specifics of the game, story, quests. WE NEED MORE OF THAT.

Starting setup for the beginning of the game is great. Puts radio as one of the main mechanics and gameplay elements right from the start.
 

Kem0sabe

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Nice stuff, key points i took from it:

1. Lot's of reactivity, i mean, way more than i was expecting

2. A heavy link to the first wasteland, that was also something i was not expecting besides the occasional nod or easter egg, seems like the original story and characters will play a big part
 

Roguey

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I see Fargo's going the outdated route of having the game (instead of the world) punish the player for their behavior, a relic from the past that should have been left behind. I guess the dinosaurs at inXile aren't learning animals, maybe they'll go extinct as a result. :smug:
 

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
I see Fargo's going the outdated route of having the game (instead of the world) punish the player for their behavior, a relic from the past that should have been left behind. I guess the dinosaurs at inXile aren't learning animals, maybe they'll go extinct as a result. :smug:


Uh, this interview said nothing about the game's mechanics or systems
 

Scruffy

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I see Fargo's going the outdated route of having the game (instead of the world) punish the player for their behavior, a relic from the past that should have been left behind. I guess the dinosaurs at inXile aren't learning animals, maybe they'll go extinct as a result. :smug:

sometimes i feel that we need something that acts as the contrary of brofist. like, a "teabagging" button or something.
 

Kem0sabe

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I like Roguey's posts, they are so obviously baiting that anyone who reacts to them with outrage deserves the derision.
images
 

hiver

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yeah still, it is the same stupid schadenfreude. creating shit and then feeding on it.
 

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