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.