Well my opinion on the matter is turn based combat, whether traditional or real time has a complex, rule based system underlying the hack and slashing on the screen. Meaning if you change that complex combat system you change the nature of combat. Action real time games though have none of that, their combat engines are based on mainly collision detection and reflexes. And let's not forget A.I, far more complex in real time turn based games. All this results in action hack and slashh games offering little to nothing for a turn based RPG even though they may appear to resemble one superficially.
Changed my mind about the Unity engine now that I've read more about it. Although it's graphics aren't as good and neither is it as featured, it's alot cheaper than Gamebyro. The only thing that concerns me is it's middleware support. As I now consider GUI and A.I middleware essential. Other great middleware available to speed up development would be for FX and sound both rich immersion tools that should be used extensively in this game. And implementing weather effects would be greatly sped up with vegetation and physics middleware. Scaleform a GUI middleware comes with a UI 'kit' for MMO games. If used a good chunk of the GUI work has already been done, great.
Fargo said in a recent interview . http://www.nma-fallout.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=60856
We do have the advantage of this being a top down game which saves tremendously on the art creation which in turn allows us to script out numerous outcomes without the concern of creating graphics for every possible situation. Artists can spend months on a single 3D model in a 1st person game and that would make a lower budget title impossible.
From the sound of Fargo in this interview, where he seems to indicate his knowledge of how time consuming 3D can be and him previously mentioning top down graphics. I suspect the graphics will be 2D top down view/isometric view world exploration and combat, but the engine will be in 3D. Perhaps there will be animation of characters, but I doubt it, most characters will be in 2D with the bare minimum in animation. This will save him untold hours of time in art creation, as all he will need is one drawing for the background in an area. And a few drawings for a character. The use of a 3D engine will enable him to use the latest tools and knowledge to speed up development, and with middleware rapidly add advanced immersion enhancing things like weather effects, explosions, dust, lighting, complex sound effects and vegetation.
The game will look and function (except in combat) like Commandos 3: Destination Berlin. More top down than isometic 2D background. Sparsely animated characters. A sprinkling of 3D art assets, and 3D effects applied over it all to give it more mood. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9sUarEh ... re=related
And the game will somewhat resemble the original Wasteland in spirit too.
This also explains the importance of the 6 month preproduction stage. In that period they'll design and create all the art in the game cause it will be in 2D, including all the GUI's. And also design and balance the game mechanics. All this completed, they will then start development and immediately begin hardcoding the most important game mechanics, while the art gets digitized, placed in the game and enhanced with 3D effects. (lighting, dust blowing, leaves rustling, branches swaying, insects buzzing stuff like that)
So we might be surprised at how simple the graphics are, but they will enable Fargo to concentrate on the gameplay, story, game mechanics and combat system as much as possible. Which is after all the core of this game, and not worry about graphics quality. The use of a modern 3D engine will make the game visually, easily upgradeable in the future though.
I guess now with the modest graphics, use of the open source infinity engine GemRB is a possibility. But I doubt it, the engine is too limiting in it's tools for the game mechanics envisioned for Wasteland 2. Requiring hard coding anyway, which will be time consuming given the open source not well supported nature of the engine.