Update #15 – Welcome to our New Home

You found us!  Please bookmark this page for future reference.  Since we have some backers who supported us through Kickstarter and others through PayPal, we’ve decided to use this space for all new updates related to Wasteland 2.  We will still send out reminders through Kickstarter when we post important updates, but check back often for development information and to give your fan feedback.

Now that we’re funded, you’re probably wondering what happens for the next 18 months.  We’ve been hard at work preparing our core design principles vision document.  This document contains a solid overview of the important elements from which we will be crafting the detailed game design document.  Before we started on the vision document, we spent a lot of time on our forums reading what elements you feel are important and what systems and features you’re not too fond of.  The vision document will be available on our Wasteland portal in the next few weeks.

We already have an amazing community on our forums, and we know that it’s going to get better and better as we get further along in the game.  If you haven’t done so already, head there and let us know what’s important to you.  We’ve seen some wonderful suggestions that have already improved the vision of the game!

We are still working with some backers on account reconciliation through Amazon, and we will have a final list of all backers and reward tiers tomorrow.  Very soon we will prepare the questionnaires that correspond to your reward tier.  Here you will be able to give us all relevant information on your shirt size, NPC characters name, what package you want or any other applicable bits relating to the reward you selected.   Any information relating to in-game rewards (i.e. Statues, weapon names, shrines) we will use when setting our production specifications, so please try to send it back relatively soon.  We’ll set a deadline on it, but you’ll have a few weeks to reply.

Once we have that information back, we will also set up a backer database on our site.  You will be able to login with the user information you presented to Kickstarter or PayPal and can manage your reward tier here.  If you move in the future, just stop by and update your address.  If you’d prefer to be contacted at a different email, modify that in our database.  If you accidentally selected the wrong reward, you will have the opportunity to change it.  If you wanted a higher tier, but didn’t have the funds to secure it during the campaign, you will be able to upgrade your tier in a backer-only store.  We are not changing any of the tier limits, so sold out tiers are unavailable as upgrades.

Thank you for using the backer database as it will help things run smoother during the coming months of development, and we look forward to hearing your feedback on our vision document!

Even politicians agree that Kickstarter is awesome.

I just read an article on President Obama’s Jobs Act getting bipartisan support and being signed into law.  When the Obama White House AND the House Republicans can agree on something it is a pretty big deal.  While the bill is not just about Kickstarter, it is about small companies, like inXile, turning to the internet to get funding that they need to grow and create jobs.  I know a lot of you are involved in this project mostly because you are excited about the game, but seeing the news today about this Jobs Bill reminded me of some of the real impact this Kickstarter will have on the lives of the people that will be working hard the next 18 months to make the game.

All of the money we raise through Kickstarter is being spent on making the game.  Most of the cost of development is in paying for the team to create the game.  There will be a team of engine programmers, game-play programmers, UI engineers, character artists, environment artists, animators, effects artists, UI Artists, sound designers, composers, writers, game designers, systems designers, level scripters, and testers.  Not to mention all the interns it will take to handle the mailing out of the physical goods.  It is simple math that the bigger this budget gets, the more jobs it will create.  The bigger the team, the deeper and bigger the game gets.  If you want a deeper and larger game, and we think that you do, you want us to raise as much money as possible to spend on the game.

Did I just hear all 41,000+ of you say ‘How can we help?’

I am glad you asked!!

One thing you will notice in that list of potential jobs above is that nowhere in that list do you see ‘Marketing Lady’ or ‘PR Guy’.  That is because we don’t have these positions, nor do we plan to hire them.  We want to spend the money on the game, and only the game.

This is where you come in…

All 41,000+ of you are our marketing and PR team.  We need your help to get the word out that the Kickstarter countdown is on.

  • Post to your Facebook pages with links back to the Kickstarter.
  • Follow @BrianFargo on twitter and retweet my Wasteland related tweets.
  • Post it to forums where you think it is relevant.
  • Send emails out to everyone you know.
  • Go to our website and put our Doomsday countdown clock on your website.
  • Get a friend or family member to buy in.
  • Shout it from the rooftop.
  • Do some early shopping for Christmas 2013!

If every person who has pledged manages to get one more person to buy in for $15, we will increase the budget by over $600,000.  You can help the project in very tangible ways by helping us get the word out.

Lastly, I am very excited to release the first official piece of Wasteland 2 concept art.  We asked the very talented Andree Wallin to help us establish the look and feel of the Desert Rangers.  I think this image speaks for itself…

Brian

The Desert Rangers

 

 

So what next?

Things are sure looking good to hit our next milestone of $2.1 million dollars, which makes the game deeper of course, but it also brings the design talents of Chris Avellone of Obsidian. We look forward to having Chris bring his style and prose to the game. When you include the PayPal money on top of the Kickstarter funds we are over $1.980 million with 12 days left to go. One of the questions I constantly get is an understanding of what happens when donations continue to grow. The question is especially important as I think there are more RPG gamers out there than almost any other category.

I would like to give a little visibility on what we would expect to add to the game if we hit $2.5 million and $3.0 million. And do keep in mind that ALL money raised goes into development.

Scope and scale is the number one request, and it is what we are focusing our monies on primarily. So at 2.5 million dollars we would bring in another couple of designers help create more areas. This will not only increase the overall size and depth of the world, but it translates to more storylines and more player options as well. At this funding level we would also bring more level scripters in to allow us to get levels in faster. When we get levels in faster it allows more iteration time to really hone things in. I believe that iteration time is the single most important factor towards shipping a polished and deep game.

In addition, we will add more NPC portraits and equipment artwork as per what the fans have requested in the forums. We would also increase the music budget to allow Mark Morgan to layer in even more atmosphere. The bottom line is that this kind of budget ensures that Wasteland 2 is BIGGER than Wasteland 1. And for the people that remember little Bobby from WL1… well he was left for dead and he is pissed.

The third most asked about feature is for us to provide a mod kit to allow players to create their own scenarios. I have always loved those kinds of tool-sets to set players loose to keep the world expanding. To create these kinds of tools is time consuming and requires a separate team of guys to do it. While we are not ready to commit to that feature yet, we can say that if we were to hit 3 million dollars, it would be possible to do a mod kit without cutting into the plan for the main game. In fact, IF we ended up making the mod kit we would not release it until after Wasteland 2 shipped as our hands will be quite full to ensure things are done well. The game will also increase in scope as well so this is not a binary equation. As always, we will be posting polls in the forums to help with these sorts of decisions. Yes we are reading the forums!

On the production front we have already started our pre-production process. We have our art team starting work on setting the look of the game. Once we have the look established, we will run tests across several different technologies we are evaluating to settle in on our tech for the project.

And Andrée Wallin is wrapping up his first concept piece for the Desert Rangers and they look bad ass. It’s a beautiful a mixture of the military with touches of old west rangers. I hope he will allow me to post it tomorrow.

And lastly I wanted to include a description of the Desert Rangers background, as many players are not familiar with them:

On the same day that the U.S. and Soviet Union were attempting to extinguish each other, a company of U.S. Army Engineers were in the southwestern deserts building transportation bridges over dry riverbeds. They worked deep in the inhospitable desert valleys, surrounded by a number of survivalist communities. Located directly south of their position on that day was a newly-constructed federal prison. In addition to housing the nation’s criminals condemned to death, the prison contained light industrial manufacturing facilities.

Shortly after the nuclear attack began, the Engineers, seeking shelter, took over the federal prison and expelled the prisoners into the desolate desert to complete their sentences. As the weeks passed, they invited the nearby survivalist communities to join them and to help them build a new society. Because of each community’s suspicions towards one another, times were difficult at first. But as time nurtured trust, this settlement — which came to be known as Ranger Center — grew to be one of the strongest outposts. Ranger Center even proved powerful enough to repel the hands of rancorous criminals who repeatedly attacked in attempts to reclaim what was once “rightfully theirs.”

The citizens of Ranger Center, after first believing that they were the only ones who survived the nuclear maelstrom, soon realized that communities beyond the desert’s grip had also survived, Because they had such success in constructing a new community, they felt compelled to help other survivors rebuild and live in peace.

Toward this end, the Desert Rangers, in the great tradition of the Texas and Arizona Rangers a century before, were born.