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Game News Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #35: Follow Up on the Prison Demo

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
Tags: InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

In the latest Wasteland 2 Kickstarter update, inXile officially respond to some of the criticisms that have been levelled at last month's prison demo. Here are the parts about combat and exploration:

Combat Systems

On to some of the gameplay points. One often seen discussion was the change from hex grid to squares. This is one of those points where crowdfunded games are unique; in a standard development cycle you would not get to see how mechanics like that work until they’re fully tested, iterated on and polished.

Here is a little backstory on the change. Originally, we didn’t intend to have any hex or square grid during combat. It was going to be more free form movement. One of our engineers added a hex grid as a debug test to approximate spacing of characters in combat encounters. When we saw that grid turned on, our mouths watered. A few days prior to recording the first video, we made some tweaks to get our movement working with the hex grid. It worked great for our early combat. One unfortunate side effect was that since it wasn’t in our original design, we didn’t account for it from the beginning of development. We had already done tests and created our tile set sizes, including doors and surrounding props. We could have redesigned the size of the tile sets and doorways (which would have been a huge amount of work since we had grey boxed many of the levels) or look into other options. Squares came next. We had introduced cover at this point and squares lined up nicely with the doors and cover.

Of course, while the advantage in positioning, production time and map layout is there, many of you justifiably pointed out you’re losing flexibility in movement, from a grid’s six-way movement to a square’s four-way movement, and that creates undesirable situations where you move four squares east and four squares south to move to a relatively close position. With the help of backer suggestions, here are two points we have already implemented to improve the mechanics and feel:
  • Moving around the world in combat is much more free form. Your player won’t just follow the exact grid, which created an unnecessarily artificial look. They will take the shortest unblocked distance from the point they are standing to the point you are moving to. Movement is still calculated based on an underlying (optional on/off) grid and is displayed to you in your AP cost.
  • Moving diagonally in the calculation costs 1.5 times as much as a straight movement. Do note that your speed attribute changes the AP cost used as movement for all characters, so the calculation is never very simple.
Another pattern we saw discussed had to do with stances as a tactical choice in combat. Stances may not seem like a big deal to implement, but it is a deceivingly large amount of work to do correctly in our game. There are a few issues to consider when evaluating this as a feature. First, is the amount of work necessary to get it done vs. how much it will add to the game as a whole. It involves additional code to simply implement the base feature, UI work to get the HUD elements, a large amount of AI to have enemies react to it differently (assuming we don’t just have the rangers use it…which would be lame), design work to fit it on to all applicable humanoid enemy NPCs, gameplay balancing, bug testing and the finally largest risk comes from animation. Our animation system is pretty robust. We’d essentially be adding 2 additional states (crouching and prone), which need to have our full suite of animations related to all weapon skills. 9 skills (or 7 without melee skills) doesn’t seem like a lot but when you break them down, it gets unwieldy quick. Each weapon has firing, jamming, equip/unequip, reloading, aim up/down, multiple player damages from that pose (i.e light, medium, heavy, crits) plus all of the blends in and out that make them smooth from different player states. In all it turns into around 15-20 animations per skill, per stance. Finally, there would be visual issues from our 6 foot tall rangers with a 3 foot long sniper rifle lying prone. Weapons would clip through the world props all over the place. As we continue iterating and polishing, we will evaluate all options as they are available, but as you can see, this is not a particularly easy decision to make.

Exploring Environments

And as a final note, a few said that this early part of the Prison in the demo gave an impression of linearity. This is mostly due to it being a demo run, with us having a specific path and sequence in mind. Wasteland 2 is incredibly varied in regards to the feel of the levels. Some are more town based, others are underground maze/cave-like areas. We have large interiors of buildings, huge canyon areas (like prison) and more desolate plains. There is no template that is universal to Wasteland 2.

We’ve made sure to design a ton of missions that will take you all over. Many are optional, meaning that you will be able to do them or not do them as you wish. Others will open up (or be shut down) based on decisions you’ve made before. There will be no lack of exploration and discovery.​

Besides all that, the update also comes with a nice new Mark Morgan track. Man, this game's OST is gonna be like "Redding: The Soundtrack".
 
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Excidium

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P. cool music.

I guess the trouble with the combat grid is really explained then, their fault for not planning for a hex grid since the beginning.

Another pattern we saw discussed had to do with stances as a tactical choice in combat. Stances may not seem like a big deal to implement, but it is a deceivingly large amount of work to do correctly in our game. There are a few issues to consider when evaluating this as a feature. First, is the amount of work necessary to get it done vs. how much it will add to the game as a whole. It involves additional code to simply implement the base feature, UI work to get the HUD elements, a large amount of AI to have enemies react to it differently (assuming we don’t just have the rangers use it…which would be lame), design work to fit it on to all applicable humanoid enemy NPCs, gameplay balancing, bug testing and the finally largest risk comes from animation. Our animation system is pretty robust. We’d essentially be adding 2 additional states (crouching and prone), which need to have our full suite of animations related to all weapon skills. 9 skills (or 7 without melee skills) doesn’t seem like a lot but when you break them down, it gets unwieldy quick. Each weapon has firing, jamming, equip/unequip, reloading, aim up/down, multiple player damages from that pose (i.e light, medium, heavy, crits) plus all of the blends in and out that make them smooth from different player states. In all it turns into around 15-20 animations per skill, per stance. Finally, there would be visual issues from our 6 foot tall rangers with a 3 foot long sniper rifle lying prone. Weapons would clip through the world props all over the place. As we continue iterating and polishing, we will evaluate all options as they are available, but as you can see, this is not a particularly easy decision to make.
DO IT RIGHT
 

FeelTheRads

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The hell... 15-20 animations per skill, per stance. Are they fucking kidding me. How about just cutting down on pointless animation and adding more gameplay options instead because this is not a fucking AAA game?

But oh, right... how to grapple ooze????
 

Seerix

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In all it turns into around 15-20 animations per skill, per stance. Finally, there would be visual issues from our 6 foot tall rangers with a 3 foot long sniper rifle lying prone. Weapons would clip through the world props all over the place. As we continue iterating and polishing, we will evaluate all options as they are available, but as you can see, this is not a particularly easy decision to make.

Durr, Bethesda didn't worry about such silly things. You get invisible holster for guns, rifles clipping trough bodies and walls all over the place, even armors are clipping trough their own pieces since real professional developers are too busy to pay attention if models actually match the skeleton, duh.

We’ve made sure to design a ton of missions that will take you all over. Many are optional, meaning that you will be able to do them or not do them as you wish. Others will open up (or be shut down) based on decisions you’ve made before. There will be no lack of exploration and discovery.

Sweet. Too bad there's no time during events like Gamescon to actually prove that. I'd prefer if they did finally showed some proper demonstration of what you actually can do in the game(or at least what you should be able to do after the game gets released) instead of using that stupid "no spoilers" argument. It's not like every single backer and potential buyer gonna rip it apart like hungry dog and shit all over it. :troll:
 
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Excidium

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Yeah...They sure talk a lot but never show anything that matches. The stuff they show I'd be ashamed to use as an example of the scripts working, let alone as an example of the quest design.

Wouldn't hurt to show an entire questline or part of it, specially in a game with multiple solutions.
 

Fat Dragon

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Really liking what Mark is doing with soundtrack, can't wait to have the whole thing. Is he also going to do new Torment's soundtrack?
 

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
Yeah...They sure talk a lot but never show anything that matches. The stuff they show I'd be ashamed to use as an example of the scripts working, let alone as an example of the quest design.

Wouldn't hurt to show an entire questline or part of it, specially in a game with multiple solutions.

I doubt they're going to make another video when the beta is next month.

The hell... 15-20 animations per skill, per stance. Are they fucking kidding me. How about just cutting down on pointless animation and adding more gameplay options instead because this is not a fucking AAA game?

But oh, right... how to grapple ooze????

Yes, well, a disturbingly large percentage of this game's backers are graphics whores, so that might not go over too well.
 
Last edited:

Wizfall

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I'm more worried about the quality of the quests and the corridor design than the stances.
Don't really care about hex grid too and the graphix were fine for me.
While i was mostly ok by the last demo because it showed things are going on, it was a corridor design map (which is ok if not every place is designed like that) and quests /dialogues were very average at best. Why not all the rangers try to push the chariot together, checking success by adding their strength score instead if a single one for example, it was really weird/stupid.
And the ill lady quest was quite lame as well, not only she was very easy to find (even if unlike the tester we did not knew where she was) but the resolution of the quest with her husband coming straight after your choice did not feel right. Would have been much better if he comes back latter, when you exit the area for example.
 

DeepOcean

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People still upset about the hexes?
Hexes are only the beginning.When this game will be released, people will need sunglasses for the nuclear explosions of rage or a chemical suit because of all the cum is in the air. Probably, both.
 

Roguey

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I already heard Csárdás in the prison theme. That's one.
 

FeelTheRads

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Yes, well, a disturbingly large percentage of this game's backers are graphics whores, so that might not go over too well.

I don't know if this is a reference to my whining about the UI, but I'd say it's not quite the same thing. It's one thing to have an UI that's usable and doesn't look like it's been copy/pasted from Russia and another thing to make animations for every goddamn thing.
Sure, it looked nice in the video when they push that cart and there's actually an animation of the character doing that, but is it really necessary? All the "use" animation can be replaced with one generic animation, for example. It's just insane what they're saying with 15-20 animations per skill. It's an RPG for fuck's sake. If you need your characters to have a different animation for everything they do you're in the wrong genre.

But, they probably didn't intend to do stances anyway (for other reasons) and they're just using this as an excuse.
 

tuluse

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I don't know if this is a reference to my whining about the UI, but I'd say it's not quite the same thing. It's one thing to have an UI that's usable and doesn't look like it's been copy/pasted from Russia and another thing to make animations for every goddamn thing.
Sure, it looked nice in the video when they push that cart and there's actually an animation of the character doing that, but is it really necessary? All the "use" animation can be replaced with one generic animation, for example. It's just insane what they're saying with 15-20 animations per skill. It's an RPG for fuck's sake. If you need your characters to have a different animation for everything they do you're in the wrong genre.

But, they probably didn't intend to do stances anyway (for other reasons) and they're just using this as an excuse.
They have a whole section devoted to graphics and animation because backers were bitching about the characters looking a little floaty in an alpha.
 

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
I don't know if this is a reference to my whining about the UI

No.

But, they probably didn't intend to do stances anyway (for other reasons) and they're just using this as an excuse.

Likely. During the inception of the Kickstarter, there were lots of people on the forums who didn't want the game to go full JA2. Probably still are.
 

Roguey

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And it's all stolen from something else.

Yeah. That never happens in music. I mean The Beatles, The Stones and Zeppelin never, ever, ever listened to American blues music. Ever.
I think the Stones and Led Zep can go to hell for getting absurdly rich by stealing from impoverished black people.

I mean I enjoy a lot of their music and all, but I still want them to go to hell.
 

felipepepe

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So, they were going to do free movement, then a guy did a hex grid and they loved it, so they decided to go with squares.... GENIUS!
 

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