inXile and Obsidian/Avellone to collaborate on Wasteland 2

We have announced a major piece of good news today that inXile has reached an agreement with Obsidian for potential design assistance for Wasteland 2. What that means is that Obsidian’s Chief Creative Officer, Chris Avellone, is going to work with our team on the design and writing of the game! It is important to note that we say “potential” as they will come aboard assuming we hit $2.1 million in funding. The good news is that we have already seen a spike in just the few hours since this was announced in a press release this morning.

For those of you who don’t know who Obsidian or Chris Avellone are, they are the bulk of the brains who worked on Fallout 1&2, Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment when I was back at Interplay. More of the band is back together to make sure we bring you a fantastic RPG. Chris is going to help push the density and literary content of the game.

The original Wasteland was an important game to Chris as he recently stated, “Wasteland is one of my favorite RPGs of all time, and when Brian asked if I wanted to work on the sequel, I jumped at the chance. While I’ve worked on Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas, getting the chance to work on the spiritual predecessor to the Fallout franchise is a honor.”
While the programming work will remain with us here at inXile, we are looking to use a host of tools that Obsidian has created which will help us get assets into the game faster. The faster we can implement and iterate on content, the deeper the game and the more varied choices the gamers can make.

That’s more good news for all of you that put your faith in us.

Recent Press

I have been doing a series of pretty frank interviews that discuss some details on Wasteland 2 amongst other subjects. I wanted to make a few of these recent links handily available to keep everyone as informed as possible. Some information is redundant but it is good to over communicate at times.

http://www.gamebanshee.com/interviews/107335-wasteland-2-interview.html

http://www.ripten.com/2012/03/27/brian-fargo-talks-wasteland-2-abysmal-publisher-treatment-and-having-fun-again/

Please continue to help promote our Kickstarter site as we want to make this game the best that it can be: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/wasteland-2?ref=live

Brian Fargo

 

 

 

Socially Unacceptable

Creating fan funded projects with input and transparency is certainly a new experience for me, and I would not have it any other way. I think it is important to note that we still want to be creative and throw ideas out for debate, which is why I couch most of my details with caveats. What I have discovered is that there are some four-letter words with extra letters like “Social” which get very emotional responses. Social means casual to some people and Wasteland 2 is NOT a casual game. I will certainly be careful in my word selection as I want new ideas to be discussed without being railroaded for bad word choice. Also please keep in mind that we don’t start full production until the funding hits in about a month. Until then, the forums are helping us hone in on the most important tenets.

And to repeat… this is an old-school RPG and nothing is going to make us deviate from that experience but there could be some options to consider that make it more fun. In fact, the reason we are not doing multi-player is because it would have affected the narrative. Keep in mind that this game is pre funded, so I don’t have to use clever buzzwords to get attention or convince people to buy it. My thoughts on additions are pure in the sense of whether it would make it more fun to play. Period.

I clearly made a mistake in throwing out an idea before I communicated a cohesive vision document on the overall game. At two million in funding we will be doing the top things everyone wants anyway: a larger world and more content, more character dialog, more graphics across the board, and more audio. I should not have thrown out any fringe ideas this early on… but live and learn.

The mod-kit is a whole other beast which I have let people know we are considering, but it would not make launch as I want to keep our development focus on the content we plan to ship.

I do like sharing my experience with my friends when I play a game—be it conversation or leaderboards. I would be curious to see my friend’s stats when playing: how many kills he had, ammo used, his level and other various non-spoiling information. However, I think the best way to handle new concept is to put them out on the forum for people to discuss. We will also try to communicate the work required for any potential new ideas so people understand impact. We want to spend our energy on the parts that people will enjoy the most no matter what.

My statement is still true that I would rather make a smaller group ecstatic than worry about a bigger audience. All of you backers are the core group I care about the most, and I will continue to post and read from the forums to sync us up.

We didn’t start the fire.

I continue to be overwhelmed by the positive feedback and enthusiasm from the support I have gotten from Kickstarter. The groundswell of people cheering us on and the evangelism – people spreading the word – is unlike anything I have experienced. In fact, I would say the last week was the high water mark of my career.

We are closing in on the funding for 1.5 million which will allow us to add both a Mac and Linux version of Wasteland 2 to the release. One of the (more common) questions I am asked is whether we’ll support console and I believe it to be unlikely. It is imperative that we deliver the core PC experience that the fans are expecting here and I want to avoid any elements that could distract us. The console interface is quite different when you consider the input device and proximity to the screen whereas the Mac and Linux are pretty much identical to that of the “PC”. We will consider a tablet version due to the similarity of the screen and interface but even on that we need to do a bit more research.

There have been some nice human moments along the way that I thought I would share.

We started off strong in the first 24 hours raising nearly 50% of our minimum need but still I was nervous. All the signs of success were there but we all wanted it to happen so badly that it seemed to good to be true. Around 6:00 that first night we received an email from a wealthy software industry individual who is a passionate fan of Wasteland and offered to help fund the game if Kickstarter came short! Talk about feeling good. Of course I thanked him and said I hoped we would not need his assistance but he made my whole day/week/month/year.

On the next day I get a short tweet from an individual that confesses he pirated Wasteland as a kid and was donating to help make up for it. I of course forgave not knowing he had donated $10,000 dollars. An incredible gesture… now if we could get every pirate of Wasteland 1 to donate we could really beat the Kickstarter all time record.

Mason Douglass who plays the kid publisher in the Kickstarter video  has gotten rave reviews for his performance. His delivery was great and I have had people wanting to contact his manager for parts in TV/film. I jokingly told him when we shot the bit that he might become famous from this. Perhaps he will.

And just today I got an email along with a donation from a kid who lived down the street from me when he was a teenager. His note was as follows:

“This message is intended for Brian Fargo. Brian, I was your next door neighbor when you used to live in Laguna. I was a pesky 15 or 16 year old kid that would come around and ask you about games. You would sit down and take time to talk to me about games, and the industry, and I just wanted you to know how cool it was that you didn’t blow me off. It meant a lot to me. Recently, I found out about your Kickstarter movement for Wasteland 2, and I contributed to it because I believe in you and your ability to resurrect the glory of the franchise. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors, and thank you again for creating some memorable memories for me during my teenage years. Take care!”

It shows that being nice creates goodwill 20 years later.

And speaking of goodwill it occurs to me that we can harness the power of Kickstarter in a more meaningful way. Fan funding is bigger than me or Wasteland 2 as I have remarked before. The development community has come together to support us in ways that I didn’t think possible and our power as developers will ultimately come from us sticking together.  Both gamers and developers have so much more strength than they realize. But in order to help facilitate the power of crowd funding I am going to suggest that all of us that do utilize this form of financing agree to kickback 5% of our profits made from such projects to other Kickstarter developers. I am not suggesting taking a backers money and moving it to another project.. I mean once a game has shipped and created profit that we funnel that back into the community of developers to fund their dreams. I am tentatively calling this “Kick It Forward” and I will be the first to agree to it. In fact, I will have our artists create a badge that goes on all Kickstarter projects that agree to support this initiative. Imagine the potential if another Minecraft  comes along via Kickstarter and produces millions of dollars of investment into other developers. This economic payback will continue to grow the movement way beyond the current system. I hope others will join me with this idea and make this a true shakeup.

Let’s get the power shifted around a bit!

-Brian Fargo

What an incredible week this has been

What an incredible week this has been. The outpouring of support and faith is nothing like I have ever had before (except maybe from my Mom), and for the first time in years it feels good to be in the games business. I have always loved both making and playing games, but the business side of it has been painful at times. In fact, there were a couple times the frustration with publishers was so high I considered stopping. It just seemed like the era of purity was over. Even when Interplay was a large company there was such a positive vibe with everyone pulling in the same direction with a real passion for their job. I frequently run into the folks I worked with in those days, and this same memory of those times remains with them.

One friend of mine who worked with me there said recently he felt that in the beginning of the industry all the nerds were in charge, but then as the industry grew it changed, and now the guys that picked on the nerds got back on top. I think there was some great truth to that. We all hope this movement is bigger than just Tim Schafer or Brian Fargo as we want to get power back into the developers hands again. And the unbelievable Indie scene shows that there is momentum in that direction. The development community continues to pull itself together to ensure their success. They share tools, they share statistics, they share ideas, and the biggest donators in Kickstarter are always developers. All of this reminds me of the freshness the industry had in the late 80′s through mid 90′s in which creativity was being directed only by the gamers. The gamers will always rule at the end of the day.

You will probably hear me thanking you all a hundred more times, but again, thanks for giving us this opportunity to do what we do best. Make games!

-Brian Fargo

Andrée Wallin – Concept Artist

We are pleased to announce Andrée Wallin will be the concept artist for Wasteland 2.  Andrée is an extremely talented artist and will be instrumental in developing and translating the vision of the Wasteland 2 world.  If you aren’t familiar with his work, please take a look at his portfolio.  Below is just a small selection of his masterful talent.

Welcome to Wasteland 2 Development!

First off, I’d like to welcome you to the development forum for Wasteland 2… after all, it’s because of you that we are even here right now. I’ve been wanting to get back to this franchise for over 20 years and the entire reason Fallout exists today is because I was unable to make a sequel back in the day, and after I cleared up the legal issues we were not able to get publishers excited unless it was a potential “billion dollar franchise” or they just didn’t want the kind of gameplay experience that classic role playing games offered. It was frustrating!

Fortunately, we are in a different era with thanks to fan based funding and digital distribution. We have a chance to move the power back to the developers, allowing us to make genres of games that publishers just would not support. I had completely given up on making a Wasteland sequel until just recently, and I can tell you the last few weeks have been a blast re-connecting with the fans and working on designs. It reminds me of why I was excited about the games business to begin with.

Wasteland was an epic game changer among the RPG genre and did a wonderful job of creating a sandbox type world that served up morality decisions that players were not used to. Even on recent press tours around the world ranging from Europe to Asia I always without exception would be asked about a Wasteland sequel. Clearly this was a game that resonated with the fans and now for the first time there is hope.

Wasteland 2 will be 100% fan funded game through the Kickstarter website in just a short while. We know people are naturally concerned with fan funded projects but the input we receive here will help shape what Wasteland 2 becomes. Please “like” our Facebook page, be part of the forum, follow our updates here and follow me on Twitter. And we are not just looking to bring Wasteland followers to our forums but fans of all the classic RPG’s who want to bring this genre back. When I was at Interplay we produced and financed some of the finest RPG’s made, titles you may remember like Bard’s Tale, Dragon Wars, Stonekeep, Fallout, Icewind Dale, Baldur’s Gate and more. Nothing would please me more than to get back and really show what can be done without interruption from a publisher.

Ultimately it will be up to the supporters on whether the long awaited sequel to Wasteland gets made. I encourage you to get involved and spread the word by tweeting and promoting this wherever you can…. Let’s get this done!

-Brian Fargo

 

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