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Kickstarter and Wasteland 2 Thoughts.

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Chris Avellone

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blog-0244395001329873390.jpgRecently, I was asked about Wasteland, and the answer became complicated enough that I decided to respond to here.

 

In short, I

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I never got a change to play Wasteland, but with how you talk about it, it must have been quite the game. I always look forward to a game that tries something new. The only problem is that the game also need to fit some kind of modern conventions in order to remain marketable. I imagine it's the reason series like Fallout and Syndicate have to make a pseudo genre switch. They still keep their overall environment and feel, but they were forced to adapt. How do you think Wasteland would adapt? What modern genre would fit it best?

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Well, since Wasteland is my favourite game of all time, I felt I needed to write a comment here even though I really have nothing to add.

 

Thanks for bringing attention to the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter project, Chris!

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I never got a change to play Wasteland, but with how you talk about it, it must have been quite the game. I always look forward to a game that tries something new. The only problem is that the game also need to fit some kind of modern conventions in order to remain marketable. I imagine it's the reason series like Fallout and Syndicate have to make a pseudo genre switch. They still keep their overall environment and feel, but they were forced to adapt. How do you think Wasteland would adapt? What modern genre would fit it best?

 

Your entire quote only applies to making an "AAA" game - not all gamers care for production values.

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I never got a change to play Wasteland, but with how you talk about it, it must have been quite the game. I always look forward to a game that tries something new. The only problem is that the game also need to fit some kind of modern conventions in order to remain marketable. I imagine it's the reason series like Fallout and Syndicate have to make a pseudo genre switch. They still keep their overall environment and feel, but they were forced to adapt. How do you think Wasteland would adapt? What modern genre would fit it best?

 

I don't know, the strength of Kickstarter is that you don't have to go through a publisher, and its weakness is that, without a good amount of goodwill, you won't get a big budget, especially not on an RPG (which would require higher budgets, than, say, the point-and-click title Double Fine is working on). When you consider those two things, it actually makes sense to think that inXile's team will go for a similar approach to the original titles.

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I never got a change to play Wasteland, but with how you talk about it, it must have been quite the game. I always look forward to a game that tries something new. The only problem is that the game also need to fit some kind of modern conventions in order to remain marketable. I imagine it's the reason series like Fallout and Syndicate have to make a pseudo genre switch. They still keep their overall environment and feel, but they were forced to adapt. How do you think Wasteland would adapt? What modern genre would fit it best?

 

I think you're missing the point. The whole idea behind Double Fine's Kickstarter project is to use crowd-funding to develop a game that fans have been asking for for years (in their case an old school point-and-click adventure), but that publishers no longer consider marketable. And it would only be logical to assume the same goes for Fargo's Wasteland project -- it will allow fans to invest in the development of a game they really want to play: an old school 2D post-apocalyptic RPG. There will be no need for adaption or genre-switching, because it won't need to be "marketable" in the way you are talking about. Instead, they can stay true to the original's roots and make a true sequel to Wasteland.

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Your entire quote only applies to making an "AAA" game - not all gamers care for production values.

 

I would rephrase that as not all gamers care for the same kinds of production values.

 

I know personally, I could care less about graphics as long as I understand what is going on, sometimes I even prefer it like with pixel art or cell shaded objects that bring a style that I can go back to years later unlike if it had tried in any fashion to be "realism". I know I long for the day when Dwarf Fortress doesn't look like Matrix movie code to me and I'm not just talking about the ASCII, but its accessibility of information and what options mean.

 

---

 

I think the important thing Mr. Chris A has recognized is that a player's choices in any game but especially an RPG need agency. A character sheet has no value until it can represent options for outcomes that tell the story the player wants, otherwise if an RPG only wants to tell me a story the developer insists is the only one through lack of agency, for me its little better than a movie. RPGs aren't the only genre that suffers from rail roading either. I remember reading similar views from the likes of Warren Spectre years ago and it fans the flames of hope for the possibilities.

 

IMHO, a DM / GM / Game Developers task in an RPG is to flesh out the enviroment but its up to the players to decide which heading they will take on the compass.

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I have serious doubts about this venture.

 

Double Fine's success is due to the fact that there haven't been many adventure games since the 90s and the people behind it (Tim and Ron) were responsible for the best adventure games out there. They are respected and admired by the adventure games community.

 

As for Wasteland, I believe the target audience is quite smaller.

Furthermore, I don't exactly see Fargo as having a fanbase/community or having an history of having designed good games, apart from Wasteland.

I'll be surprised if he gets 50K$.

I guess it will depend a lot on what he can commit that he'll do. Even better, if he can show already some work done.

But maybe I'm wrong on this. We'll see.

 

As for Obsidian, having the people behind FO 1 & 2, ID, PS:T, having developed KotoR II and New Vegas, and also having a community... it's a whole different story.

I'm confident Obsidian would raise 1 M$ at minimum.

And this raises the question: when will Obsidian start their kickstarter project?

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To be honest I have little interest in Wasteland, I admire it in the same way I admire certain classic movies that pushed the art forward but ultimately it doesn't mean quite as much to me as more recent games, I just wasn't there for it.

 

I'll probably donate out of goodwill but it's not where my heart is.

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I was 2 years old in 1988 so the Commodore 64 is hardly a part of my childhood or something I've fond memories of.

When I see those games, even a retro-friendly guy like me thinks I couldn't play that ever. I don't have any tolerance beyond SNES graphics, probably because I met video games around its time.

But I saw some Wasteland screens and for once, I can quite understand why the jazz is all about. It got a lot of details, making the universe sweet and way easier to submerge in. That's good worldbuilding.

Maybe I should try it one day.

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I have serious doubts about this venture.Double Fine's success is due to the fact that there haven't been many adventure games since the 90s and the people behind it (Tim and Ron) were responsible for the best adventure games out there. They are respected and admired by the adventure games community.As for Wasteland, I believe the target audience is quite smaller.Furthermore, I don't exactly see Fargo as having a fanbase/community or having an history of having designed good games, apart from Wasteland.I'll be surprised if he gets 50K$.I guess it will depend a lot on what he can commit that he'll do. Even better, if he can show already some work done.But maybe I'm wrong on this. We'll see.As for Obsidian, having the people behind FO 1 & 2, ID, PS:T, having developed KotoR II and New Vegas, and also having a community... it's a whole different story.I'm confident Obsidian would raise 1 M$ at minimum.And this raises the question: when will Obsidian start their kickstarter project?

Well they have said they were still talking about it. Odds are they have no idea what they would do with it and are trying to figure out what would be the best to try kickstarting. They can't just put one up saying "give us money and we will think about making a game". I never really played Wasteland but hey if chris likes it and it's that good why the hell not I'll put some money down on it. I'm still waiting with baited breath for Obsidian's Kickstarter though. Also a quick idea if any of Obsidian reads through this since you have a lot of people who have been lead designers on other games why not try having a kickstarter for both of them at once rather than just pour a few million into one game when it could be split into 2 piles of over 1 million each for 2 different games. Just a thought if there's enough programmers, artists and etc to do it.

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Inxile has hired mark morgan to do the soundtrack. This gives me enough reason to back the project honestly. :D

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also crpg games are much more costly than adventure games. i doubt that fargo can collect 2½ million $ even. i hope i will be wrong.

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Molarbear, I'm not sure if that is true. If its a 2d CRPG then Im guessing it doesn't require so much as a fully fledged 3d CRPG would. But I must admit to not knowing quite how much these things cost.

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I can't wait to get shot to pieces by a new Scorpitron.. I mean, 1,5 million dollars with 25 days left to go.

 

 

I hope it will be awesome.

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