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Interview "The story now is 900 pages long": Brian Fargo on Wasteland 2's Progress @ GamesIndustry

Crooked Bee

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Tags: Brian Fargo; InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

GamesIndustry.biz has talked to Brian Fargo on how Wasteland 2 is coming along. Here's the more relevant part:

Development on Wasteland 2 is moving rapidly, with multiple writers (including Chris Avellone, Michael Stackpole and Liz Danforth) creating scenarios. "The story now is 900 pages long," said Fargo. How does that compare to the original Wasteland? "It's much bigger," Fargo noted. "I'm doing one of the smaller maps, and I'm at 40 pages so far, and I'm not verbose. It's a lot of content. What if I rescue the kid? What if I don't rescue the kid? That's what everybody wants."

The project is large in scope, with many moving parts. Fargo is pleased with the team that's assembled, but is the schedule on track? "It's still too early to tell," Fargo admitted. "I'm very happy with the team; we have three or four ace programmers and the designers are having trouble keeping up with them. The design is the biggest short-term concern. We've just signed up three other writers."

The overall result is that Fargo believes the project is achieving his goals. "I think it's going to be one of the densest, deepest RPGs ever; just the cause and effect is fantastic. Ultimately, that's what everybody wants. That's what made GTA so great, it's what made Sim City so great - when you do something it has an effect, and things hold together smartly."

One of the things that has helped the project forward is the quality of the tools available today, and the capabilities of the hardware. "It was difficult to program things in the first Wasteland, not like the tools today," Fargo noted. He illustrated this with a personal anecdote. "My son is 14, and he got some things up on the screen in a week that would have taken me two years." Fargo isn't concerned with actually coding the game. "Implementation is the easy part. The design, from a narrative perspective, is just a lot of if-then statements. So we can just write our hearts out and it will go in easily. It won't be like it was before, where every square was a program, and we had to worry about what we could fit on a disk."

With so many writers working on Wasteland 2, coordination is obviously a factor. It's helped along by the nature of the world, with towns that are separated by (of course) wastelands, making each one its own world, effectively. Fargo likens it to Star Trek, where each episode takes place on a different world. Still, there are threads that connect these separate stories together, and Fargo explains how it works. "I'll go through my map with the whole group and tell them what things I want to affect other things outside of my story," said Fargo. "I'll purposefully leave some hooks open so we can talk to the other maps. As we talk through each other's maps, we make it a symbiotic task. It requires a hell of a lot of coordination, which is my task."

[...] Kickstarter is as much of a product development and marketing tool as it is a fundraising tool, in Fargo's view. "One might argue that Kickstarter is a focus test. I'm constantly asked about Bard's Tale, a classic Bard's Tale. We'll look at that later on, but we are focused on Wasteland 2 right now," he said. The relationship that's been created with fans via Kickstarter is valuable to Fargo. "I vet everything with my fans right now," he said. "For instance, we planned to offer a special skill for the game at one of the reward levels. The fans went crazy; they said 'do not give us anything that will change the game balance.' What Wasteland 2 shows to me is that people want an emphasis on design, not on graphics. We asked them if we got more money, what would they want to see? More graphics, more audio? Every time, the fans said they wanted more game play, not more glitz."​

There's also some stuff about publishers only being interested in billion-dollar franchises, and about the ongoing Kickstarter craze in general. If you're interested, have a look at the full article.
 
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With so many writers working on Wasteland 2, coordination is obviously a factor. It's helped along by the nature of the world, with towns that are separated by (of course) wastelands,making each one its own world, effectively. Fargo likens it to Star Trek, where each episode takes place on a different world. Still, there are threads that connect these separate stories together, and Fargo explains how it works. "I'll go through my map with the whole group and tell them what things I want to affect other things outside of my story," said Fargo. "I'll purposefully leave some hooks open so we can talk to the other maps. As we talk through each other's maps, we make it a symbiotic task. It requires a hell of a lot of coordination, which is my task."

DLC incoming :incline:

:troll:
 

mbpopolano24

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Tags: Brian Fargo; InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

GamesIndustry.biz has talked to Brian Fargo on how Wasteland 2 is coming along. Here's the more relevant part:


The overall result is that Fargo believes the project is achieving his goals. "I think it's going to be one of the densest, deepest RPGs ever; just the cause and effect is fantastic. Ultimately, that's what everybody wants."​


There's also some stuff about publishers only being interested in billion-dollar franchises, and about the ongoing Kickstarter craze in general. If you're interested, have a look at the full article.

I don't know about everybody, but I definitely WANT that. :incline:
 
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^That depends on whether he means "not rescuing the kid gives you -20 karma points and you get to make a post-ironic nietzchean statement about survival of the strongest" or "not rescuing the kid makes the bandits get bold and they destroy this settlement, heading for the neighbours soon after". You can make involving stories out of anything.
 
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I think I will up my pledge to 100$ collectors edition if I manage to scrape enough money. This could be a last train call to play a real crpg. And in my favorite setting (apocalypse mixed with a bit of sci-fi). And everything that he says fills me with joy, and a bit of fear will he deliver all he talks about in the vision document. Also a lot of great people work on this game IMHO. Almost that I couldn't think of better band of merry rpgers. And even if it fails to deliver I don't give a shit I gave him my money (which is very precious cause I don't have much of it), the hope I can live in now alone is worth it. :love:
 

zeitgeist

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"I think it's going to be one of the densest, deepest RPGs ever; just the cause and effect is fantastic. Ultimately, that's what everybody wants. That's what made GTA so great, it's what made Sim City so great - when you do something it has an effect, and things hold together smartly."
Two of the finest classic computer RPGs in the same sentence, and then the article continues to detail all the important RPG elements and features. It's like 1999 all over again, I must be dreaming.
 

Roguey

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That's what made GTA so great...when you do something it has an effect, and things hold together smartly.
Does GTA stand for something other than Grand Theft Auto in this case? Running over a stoplight, driving away a few blocks, then coming back to see it back to normal is cause and effect held together smartly?
 

Johannes

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450-47k8z9.jpg

When was this released? It's more Wasteland-y to me than most (or any?) of the other concept arts so far.

Acceptable high-fidelisation of
warbot.gif
chopter.gif
cyborg.gif
 

shihonage

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Fargo isn't concerned with actually coding the game. "Implementation is the easy part. The design, from a narrative perspective, is just a lot of if-then statements. So we can just write our hearts out and it will go in easily. It won't be like it was before, where every square was a program, and we had to worry about what we could fit on a disk."

Ah, the honeymoon stage. Eventually, Fargo will realize that the "easy implementation" will dramatically spike in difficulty. In-house tools are required to keep track of quests and dialogue codependencies. There will be a lot more of those codependencies in implementation than it ever seems on paper. Someone has to design and code those tools.
 

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Ah, the honeymoon stage. Eventually, Fargo will realize that the "easy implementation" will dramatically spike in difficulty. In-house tools are required to keep track of quests and dialogue codependencies. There will be a lot more of those codependencies in implementation than it ever seems on paper. Someone has to design and code those tools.

That someone is Obsidian Entertainment, remember? They're providing tools.
 

EG

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Ah, the honeymoon stage. Eventually, Fargo will realize that the "easy implementation" will dramatically spike in difficulty. In-house tools are required to keep track of quests and dialogue codependencies. There will be a lot more of those codependencies in implementation than it ever seems on paper. Someone learn and use those tools.

That someone is Obsidian Entertainment, remember? They're providing tools.

That doesn't really improve things, does it? D:
 

FeelTheRads

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Running over a stoplight, driving away a few blocks, then coming back to see it back to normal is cause and effect held together smartly?

I have no idea if GTA has any "cause and effect" (didn't play) but DERP? What life changing effect do you expect from a broken stoplight? That's really all you could do? Couldn't find a better example to argue that there no effects?

Ah, right, it's Roguey. Tell me some more about how Leprechaun Annah is sexist.

But, actually I don't remember any big fucking choices in Wasteland if I think about it. Fargo kept wanking about it, and I think still does, but what the fuck were the amazing choices and most importantly consequences in Wasteland?
 

Brother None

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Ah, the honeymoon stage. Eventually, Fargo will realize that the "easy implementation" will dramatically spike in difficulty.

Yeah, coz he's never produced a game before, yeh? It'll totally come as a shock to him that they're complex things.

I don't like this interview much either, particularly citing page-counts as if that means anything other than "we're progressing well", but if we're going to criticize, it should at least make sense, not just be for the sake of criticizing.l
 

eric__s

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"I think it's going to be one of the densest, deepest RPGs ever; just the cause and effect is fantastic. Ultimately, that's what everybody wants. That's what made GTA so great, it's what made Sim City so great - when you do something it has an effect, and things hold together smartly."
Two of the finest classic computer RPGs in the same sentence, and then the article continues to detail all the important RPG elements and features. It's like 1999 all over again, I must be dreaming.
What's with the cynicism? Brian Fargo found something worthwhile in two phenomenally important games and wants to draw from them. Is this bad? Are RPGs so incestuous that they can only draw inspiration from other RPGs? Are you questioning Brian Fargo's competency?
 

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