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Interview No retailers, no publishers. Fargo: "This, to me, is the future"

Zed

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Tags: Brian Fargo; Chris Keenan; Digital distribution; InXile Entertainment; Kickstarter; Wasteland 2

PC PowerPlay ("Australia's #1 Game Mag") offers an article/interview with Brian Fargo. The interview doesn't cover any new ground, so don't expect anything breathtaking. It is, however, a pretty nice recap of Fargo's journey with Wasteland 2, Kickstarter and all that.

Game funding… has changed. Yet some nay-sayers are lamenting that it’s only a matter of time before a high-profile failure discredits the entire Kickstarter system. Fargo, the über fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, is far more optimistic. “I think that this whole Kickstarter business is bigger than me, and bigger than Wasteland. I’m ecstatic that there’s this model that can exist. There’s a purity to the system now. A lot of people said: ‘What if they don’t give you the money to do it?’ Then I said: ‘Well, the game probably shouldn’t have got made!’

“The second part of it is that now with digital distribution, we have access to sell it directly to them. So with digital, we removed the retailer, and with Kickstarter, we removed the publisher. So: Boom! Both guys are out! Direct! That’s a wonderful thing. On top of it, we have the forums, with which we communicate with [our customers], so now they’re even involved in the design process.

“This, to me, is the future.”​

I'll drink to that!

In other Wasteland 2 related news, No Mutants Allowed picked up on an interesting post by Wasteland 2 producer Chris Kennan - on character appearances:

We've been playing around with character customization already as we're building the core system for model creation. We started with a bunch of customizable slots on the character and found that in an isometric/top down view, most of the details get lost very easily. One element that helps us quite a bit is the character portraits. You'll be able to select from many portraits and also import your own. We will have enough slots to give enough choice in gameplay, but not as many as you'd find in a fantasy based game, like WoW. Does a leather strip around your wrist really help you survive the wastelands better? Probably not.

I've been following the armor discussion as well. I tend to agree that having everyone look like space rangers at the end of games can be a bit distracting. We are looking into designing into the world some additional paths beyond simply "bulky is always better". There are some interesting groups in the world working on different technologies. It is possible to get strong but thin materials.

Chris Keenan​

Don't underestimate leather wrist wraps.
 

zeitgeist

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We will have enough slots to give enough choice in gameplay, but not as many as you'd find in a fantasy based game, like WoW.

Outfitter_1.jpg


I wonder how much less than this will be "enough". 10 slots? 6? 2?
 

Brother None

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Somehow, imagining Fargo going "no retailers, no publishers, just me" brought this to mind...

244447.1020.A.jpg
 

felipepepe

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I've been following the armor discussion as well. I tend to agree that having everyone look like space rangers at the end of games can be a bit distracting. We are looking into designing into the world some additional paths beyond simply "bulky is always better". There are some interesting groups in the world working on different technologies. It is possible to get strong but thin materials.
Just make the top tiers armors really rare, so each character has his own unique gear, that always help me LARP....also, they should make something like the Terminator armor in Dawn of War 2, a unique & very bulky armor that "defines" the character.
 

SuicideBunny

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no publishers, no retailers, just an endless stream of lightweight smartphone games cloning each other
 

Black

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no publishers, no retailers, just an endless stream of lightweight smartphone games cloning each other
Or modern pseudo realistic military shooters cloning each other.
Or bad action game that pretend to be rpgs.
Oh, wait, that's now.
 

Zarniwoop

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Yet some nay-sayers are lamenting that it’s only a matter of time before a high-profile failure discredits the entire Kickstarter system.

Guess I'm one of the naysayers then. It won't even need a high-profile failure, just several low-profile ones will do the trick. Or, you know, time. Devs will eventually get too comfortable with the system of getting piles of cash before anything is done, and inevitably start putting out inferior products. This will go on for a while and eventually people will just get fed up with it and demand to be taken back to the "good old days" when we pre-ordered only 2 months before the game was released and got free cut content in collector's editions.

I’m ecstatic that there’s this model that can exist. There’s a purity to the system now. A lot of people said: ‘What if they don’t give you the money to do it?’ Then I said: ‘Well, the game probably shouldn’t have got made!’
“The second part of it is that now with digital distribution, we have access to sell it directly to them. So with digital, we removed the retailer, and with Kickstarter, we removed the publisher. So: Boom! Both guys are out! Direct! That’s a wonderful thing.​


While this does sound good, I'm getting just a teensy little Molyneux/Garriot vibe from the way he put it. I just hope he clan cling to his sanity at least long enough to finish Wasteland 2 before being consumed by the urge to catch the next rocketship and explore the purity of redefining rpg's by turning them all into The Sims.
 
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Kickstarter has been around for years and is full of failures. FULL OF IT. Failed projects number in thousands. So far, it doesn't seem to have made an overall negative impact.
 

Brother None

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Heh. Zarniwoop, you do realize Fargo isn't getting paid for his work on Wasteland 2, yeah?

Kickstarter has been around for years and is full of failures. FULL OF IT. Failed projects number in thousands. So far, it doesn't seem to have made an overall negative impact.

Because they're hardly of a noteworthy scale. These videogames are. When Ouya inevitably fails, it'll be a big deal.
 

l3loodAngel

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Kickstarter has been around for years and is full of failures. FULL OF IT. Failed projects number in thousands. So far, it doesn't seem to have made an overall negative impact.

Because they're hardly of a noteworthy scale. These videogames are. When Ouya inevitably fails, it'll be a big deal.

Todays game market is a one huge failure and I only see apologists... It's gonna be a big deal for a few weeks and then the new game will arrive and everybody will just forget as always.
 

Untermensch

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some nay-sayers are lamenting that it’s only a matter of time before a high-profile failure discredits the entire Kickstarter system.

This, to me, will inevitably happen, probably soon. 2-3 big projects will fail and people will lose faith in bigger projects, and you can be sure their faliure will be covered in the media a lot.

That's why I'm glad that Fargo jumped on the bandwagon early. If they deliver a good product they will be one of the few companies, after this system crashes, that people will give lots of money without too much doubt.
That's also why I want Obsidian to fire their project off as soon as possible, before people lose faith in kickstarter.
 

Metro

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Trying to recall what Bard's Tale and original Wasteland allowed. Helm, armor (don't recall if they were separate leg items, don't think so), gloves, and boots? Of course that was in a text/list UI so you could conceivably have an endless amount of slots but they still limited it.
 

Kane

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We will have enough slots to give enough choice in gameplay, but not as many as you'd find in a fantasy based game, like WoW.

Outfitter_1.jpg


I wonder how much less than this will be "enough". 10 slots? 6? 2?

What's fascinating though is that despite all these slots, the whole "outfitting" of your character is completely trivial. Not only is gear a catered per class ordeal, but it also comes in neatly packed tiers you simply have to progress through.
It's so ridiculous considering they spent all that time on those gazillion outfit slots and then you can do nothing with it.
 

Zed

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What's fascinating though is that despite all these slots, the whole "outfitting" of your character is completely trivial. Not only is gear a catered per class ordeal, but it also comes in neatly packed tiers you simply have to progress through.
It's so ridiculous considering they spent all that time on those gazillion outfit slots and then you can do nothing with it.
I haven't played WoW in quite a while now...

But back in my day you had to do quite a lot for so-called BiS (best in slot) items. Until you got them, there were definitely choices.
After the second expansion they started handing out gear like candy though, so what you're saying is quite accurate.
 

Kane

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What's fascinating though is that despite all these slots, the whole "outfitting" of your character is completely trivial. Not only is gear a catered per class ordeal, but it also comes in neatly packed tiers you simply have to progress through.
It's so ridiculous considering they spent all that time on those gazillion outfit slots and then you can do nothing with it.
I haven't played WoW in quite a while now...

But back in my day you had to do quite a lot for so-called BiS (best in slot) items. Until you got them, there were definitely choices.
After the second expansion they started handing out gear like candy though, so what you're saying is quite accurate.

i never played beyond a few weeks in closed beta and it was like you describe back then as well. granted i never played enough to get to a point where i asked for choices but I couldn't see those matter anyway, with the items revolving around +10 to this +20% to that.

it's the same with the traits, great my fireball does +2% damage now, why should I care? Its all so disconnected from being fun and engaging.
 

Zed

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Item choices not really mattering too much is a consequence of having so many slots, I suppose. Which is part of the reason why Diablo 3 items are so awfully boring.
 

Kane

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Item choices not really mattering too much is a consequence of having so many slots, I suppose.

well, in eve online a ship can have a comparable amount of slots and yet a single module can decide wether you fly with a shitfit or not. gear can matter even with many slots, it just depends on how you tackle the issue.

outfitting your character should be a strategic minigame like in eve.
 

Infinitron

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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
Wonderful future of clouds, digital distribution and DRM. Can't. Fucking. Wait.

These things are not necessarily related to one another. We have DRM in our boxed games right now. We can buy MMO ("cloud") games in boxes right now.
 

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