Ok, this is a complex topic so I divided my impressions:Timeline.
Being a futuristic game I don't really think time to be a big asset. Sure, you need some kind of base to plot the world around but that same world should've evolved in its own way since the apocalypse. Still, if you talk about the basic setting, I'd like -as others before me- to see a '80s-'90s feel in the game. Fact is that most of the people interested in this product is familiar with that time frame, some spent childhood there, others their teenage years and some more went to college during the last two decades of the 20th century. So if you're trying to build a top-down rpg, turn-based game you'll probably find that setting as the most fitting not only to distinguish yourself from other games like Fallout, but also as a link to what would be your main public once the title is ready
. From my point of view is a win-win situation for both us gamers and Wasteland's heritage.Setting.
I think Fallout and Wasteland have already showed us what the post-apocalyptic US mid-west / west coast looks like. Maybe it's time to move to another region, yes?
Bethesda's Fallout 3 tried moving the game to Washington in which -at the time before it was released- I saw as a good effort, problem was they took everything we saw in the previous games with them.. making DC look pretty much like California. Tim Cain said that himself during an interview with Matt Chat, while he praised the game overall, he stated that "supermutants" and other stuff like that was meant to be an isolated case in the West, and that "it's a post-apocalyptic world, there're lots of stories they could tell out there". That's what Wasteland 2 needs to get right, we want a new adventure on a world we're familiar with, not the same adventure we had decades ago in a new world.
The challenge for the developing team regarding the setting should be to move it away from what we saw before, while keeping the feel of the game and giving us a whole new experience with it. My suggestion would be to try the south, or even north next to Canada. The bayous around the gulf would be my personal favourite setting for being both fresh and different from desertic wastelands like the ones we've been walking all these years
This is related to point 1. Most of the people willing to play Wasteland are mature, so i'd like the game to keep in line with that. I know that much of the team that work on Fallout 1 and 2 is around, but from what we keep seeing these days is pretty easy to fall into the trap of the "wider audiences" like so many did before. Please inXile, avoid that.
If there's one thing I loved from RPGs back in my childhood days was the fact that most of them tried to tale a real full-fledged story. My best example would be Baldur's Gate, a game so complete that you could explore and wander through the world finding new quests and characters for a long, long time. Old RPGs even gave you the chance to set up your own party, recruiting people you wanted and not people the developers wanted you to recruit.
I hate the fact that some modern RPGs give you a set of companions that you'll necessarily acquire over the course of the game, whether you like it or not.
Hearing Brian talk about how Wasteland 2 would be party-based and how it would give you the chance to split and move your party as you like make me think about what a great experience could it be if you were able to set up that party the way you want.Adventure (Setting: Part 2)
I'll like to adress the adventure factor in this last point. Games like Fallout have -IMO- lost it.
Sure, you're faced with a huge sandbox world to explore it the way you want, but that take away the feeling of progress (not to mention that most buildings looks the same, since they use the same textures and stuff over and over and over again) and once you've been in one place you can simply teleport back there anytime you want, which allows you to avoid any danger in the area nearby. Old school RPGs used a system that featured random encounters while quick-traveling, it would be nice to see the same here. Why? Because I want to feel that "hope I don't run into anything nasty" feeling I got when playing Fallout, Arcanum, and other games like them.
I think that titles like Baldurs Gate and Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magick Obscura are two games that represent the perfect "huge open world / Adventure" relationship. Sure, the world isn't entirely open, but that could easily be fixed in Wasteland 2. Another important thing regarding adventure is to give us players the feeling that we're actually moving through the world and progressing into areas we couldn't reach before. Wait, doesn't Fallout 3 do that too? No, actually Fallout 3 gives you the chance to reach your father before you ever get near DC and, in case you don't want to take on the main quest immediately, you'll be jumping through different points of the wasteland until you really hate them.
The main problem with that is, from my perspective, that you never feel like your journey is progressing somehow. In Fallout 1 you could visit Shady Sands, get all the quests there done and move on. If I had to return to Shady Sands over and over after completing their quests I would've felt that "deja vu" I feel when playing Fallout 3 or NV, that "I've already been here 300 times, I DON'T WANT TO COME HERE AGAIN" feeling I got when teleporting myself around DC's or Mohave wasteland.
So basically what I'd like to see is an epic journey
(meaning I won't have to go back and forward on the map all the time) through a post-apocalyptic setting, for which the developing team would have to think about memorable locations, such as the ones featured on the first two games in the Fallout series, the ones on Baldur's Gate, Arcanum, and so on.
Please inXile, feel free to handcraft the world as big or little as you want, just don't give us generic nothing-important-here locations like Bethesda like to do with their Fallout games.
If you survived reading this, I salute you