True Grit: Our First Glimpse Of Wasteland 2

By Jim Rossignol on February 11th, 2013 at 8:00 am.


Wasteland 2 is now deep in the treacherous territory of full-blown development, and the brave crew that are mapping its wild landscape have sent back a transmission to show us what they’ve been up to, as you can see below. It’s looking mighty tactical and happily post-apocalyptic. Go take a look.

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172 Comments »

  1. CaspianRoach says:

    This video looks good but it felt like the game needs a tactical pause. I don’t want to get frustrated like I do playing RTSs.

    • JFS says:

      The fights are turn-based, but I’m of the same opinion as you. The game definitely needs a possibility to pause and assess the situation (e.g., read the flavour text in the right window, which comes in at a frantic pace – I couldn’t read it while still checking the main play area).

      Also, it needs a real dialogue system. Not this 80′s/Morrowind-styled keyword system. I want real answers, not “Evil”, “Neutral”, “Continue”, “Abort” as all my options in all the conversations.

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        Harlander says:

        Also, it needs a real dialogue system

        You mean like in Façade?

        • JFS says:

          That would be cool. I was, however, thinking more along the lines of the Infinity Engine games. “Real dialogue” as in “actual sentences get spoken” (or at least written), not “Ook the Caveman Ranger say Help”.

          Being able to type keywords is cool, though. I just don’t want my options to boil down to single words – I like to know exactly what gets said so I can make an informed choice. Just clicking topics without any nuances is boring.

          • Teovald says:

            Also, in Mass Effect 3 for example the conversations were a pain for me. I would select a 5 words options, see Sheperd drop 100 words that included things I really did not wanted to say and had to reload a save to try another line to see if it followed more what I wanted to say.

          • The Random One says:

            Yeah, I think that’s what they were thinking. You are supposed to get really attached to your character in W2, so they have them say just HELP so you can imagine they are saying “GRR YOU WORTHLESS SACK OF SHIT I’LL HELP YOU BUT ONLY BEGRUDGINGLY BECAUSE I AM TOO COOL AND MANLY FOR THIS” if you want.

            I think, and suggested on the KS page, that we could have it both ways if it was described as an action, i.e. “Grunty McMainCharacter asks about helping.”

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          Vartarok says:

          Just exactly this. The only thing that I really disliked from the trailer was that dialog system. I’m sure it has it’s own advantages like the ones provided by the fact you can type your own words, but sacrificing a traditional dialog system seems like a total waste.

          Not being able to have a real and coherent conversation (as real as predetermined responses allow, I know) really harms the atmosphere and ruins all the always-fun manipulative diplomatic responses. In these games I need to be able to feel ingenious, egoistical, intelligent, etc. and that is impossible if I’m operating with a character that only can say one damn word at a time.

          I hope they change this before it is too late.

          That, and make that flat, poor and boring interface a little more interesting and nice to see.

          EDIT: Whoops, I replied to the wrong post.

          • InternetBatman says:

            To be fair, dialogue trees are no more traditional than this system. In the context of Wasteland, this system is the traditional one.

      • Emeraude says:

        I don’t know, given enough reactivity to multiple successive choices and fields non-directly related to the conversation at hand, I can see that working quite well.
        I particularly like the fact that you can *type* keywords. Hopefully the system is robust enough.

        I’d prefer full text, but that’s mainly a prejudice on my part; I see no reason this couldn’t work.

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        The Morrowind system is great. It’s no-nonsense, and you don’t have to suffer through some jerkoff writer practicing his high school English skills. It means there’s a wide range of things you can ask characters, even if some of them are generic (but they’ve separated those ones anyway), and you don’t have sift through an endless, mind-numbing dialogue tree to get to the thing you wanted to know.

        • JFS says:

          Instead, you’re just exhausting an endless, mind-numbing list of words without any real context or coherence, in the hope there might be something worthwile in it. Not very much role-playing, in my opinion. More like crossing off your checklist for the next summer vacation. I think this makes conversations very technical and may take away from the flavour.

          Maybe it won’t be all that bad in the finished game, but I’d feel better if I had different options to choose from to inquire about a certain topic. In P&P role-playing, there’s a difference between “my character asks the guard about the recent murders” and “Watchman, may I ask you a question? I’ve heard there’s a murderer on the loose in your nice city, could you tell me about it?” – and I prefer the latter.

          Of course you can’t fully compare it to CRPGs (because you don’t get to word the stuff yourself), but I believe actual sentences give much more atmosphere.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            “role-playing”

            I’m sure there’s room for you to imagine you’re a big burly ranger man if you’re into that

          • Emeraude says:

            Let’s say though, that we have key words with proper reactivity, option opening and closing depending on the combination of choices made. Wouldn’t it be better than the same options in full text, with little to no reactivity ?

            What I’d love to have, and can see working quite decently, is key words + intent (questioning/lying/truth).

          • Maritz says:

            Problem is that this is a group-based game, you’re not just controlling one character. How do you know who in the group is talking at any given moment? How would their individual intelligence stat affect the dialogue options? The way I see it, this keyword system is the best way to go for this game, as long as it’s clear what the intention is behind each option.

          • JFS says:

            The group per se isn’t doing the talking. One of the rangers is (otherwise we’d have something akin asking a group of pre-schoolers about who of them likes cake the most). Just assume the topmost ranger does the talking, or let the player choose. Problem solved.

            Also, I don’t think it’s too much to expect roleplaying options and atmosphere in a roleplaying game. However, we have apparently arrived at the famous discussion level of personal attacks.

        • Onaka says:

          And I guess those single-word options will never be ambiguous as hell, huh? “Help” couldn’t possibly mean me helping them, them helping me, some third party being called in to help me, some third party being called in to help them, us helping some third party or them helping some third party.
          I’m glad I didn’t back them, this conversation system is a dealbreaker.

      • HadToLogin says:

        If there won’t be proper dialogue trees, I’ll be selling my Steam Key ASA I get it. If I want to wander around google or wikipedia, then I start internet browser, not a game.

      • malkav11 says:

        Sounds like pretty much how dialogue worked in Wasteland (not to mention plenty of other old-school RPGs), except more user-friendly. I can’t say as I was ever that big a fan of that system, but I’m guessing that’s why they’re doing it.

        • InternetBatman says:

          I’d be interested to see if they considered something like the system from Fallout 1, where they had both a text parser and full lines of dialogue for the next Wasteland project.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I prefer full lines of dialogue too, but I don’t see why they need to be in this game. A large portion of the backers were fans of Wasteland and other RPGs from before the Infinity engine. They should be served by their game, while Infinity Engine fans can be served by Project Eternity. Claiming that both projects should act the same way is a bit selfish.

        On another note, the keyword system is more responsive to player input even if it gives less content, which is in and of itself a gameplay decision. That’s not good or bad, just a separate type of design.

      • noom says:

        Honestly not getting the negativity towards that dialogue system, especially from an RP perspective. Simple one word options mean I’m free to imagine for myself exactly how my characters might be persuing a question. Wizardry 8 used a similar approach and I honestly continue to cite that as the best dialogue system I’ve ever used in an RPG. Rather than be limited to an incredibly limited choice of pre-determined sentences, you’re free to quiz any character on pretty much anything you want, and if the writers have done their job well you’ll get a relevant response. From an RP perspective that sounds perfect to me.

        • Trithne says:

          This. Even in a pen-and-paper game you eventually end up with ‘I ask the guard about the murders’. Everyone fills in the blanks. This frees you up to imagine your characters however you want, rather than Shepard’s frequent forays into Chaotic Idiot.

        • ResonanceCascade says:

          It’s a perfectly fine system, and keeps the sequel in line with the first game. I can’t help feeling like most of the criticisms this game is getting from backers is coming from people who literally just wanted a re-named Fallout game, not Wasteland 2.

    • Maritz says:

      Huh? Isn’t it turn based?

      • CaspianRoach says:

        The walking around inbetween fights isn’t.

        • Paroxysm says:

          Why would you need to tactically pause while walking around?

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            lots of games have tactical walking now

          • CaspianRoach says:

            Because there are shittons of wandering monsters around with cones of sight? Because I want to order my guys to come from different angles at the same time? Because I want to read the flavor text and it keeps sliding up? Because there might be missions where enemies move up on you? Because I like to have time to think? Because I don’t like the RTS model of select all-move but if you do it one by one without pausing you’re potentially putting your first man to move in a position where he’s alone against a bunch of guys? Because I want to order my guys to take cover in the next room at the same time in a walking mode and not at the beginning of combat turn?

          • Emeraude says:

            I’ll be damned it you can’t switch from turn-based/non turned base on the fly when out of combat, like you could do in Fallout. Seems like a given to me.

            Remember we haven’t seen everything of the UI (I quite liked the on/off grid, though I’d probably leave it on most of the time myself).

          • CaspianRoach says:

            If there’s a SWITCH between the two modes instead of a pause, it’s not any better, really, because this way you will lose action points by moving and end up in the same horrible situation on contact. There needs to be a real-time mode pause in which you can order commands to your squaddies to even justify having a real-time mode.

          • Paroxysm says:

            So end your turn before making contact so you’ve got full AP.

          • Emeraude says:

            I must be missing something then, because I can’t think of where/how you can see those very specific problems erupting that couldn’t be solved with switch mode. And a pause button.

          • CaspianRoach says:

            This is a crutch. I shouldn’t need to do that.

          • El_Emmental says:

            NPCs are moving around and some other elements might be moving (machinery, elevator, etc), so if you need to check your inventory, change the fire mode of the weapon, or avoid getting detected by a patrolling guard, you might need a Pause button.

          • InternetBatman says:

            That’s not a bad thing. It means that you have to move tactically and that it’s harder to get your squad in optimal position every time before you start a battle. What your describing is basically granting the players the advantage of an extra turn before the fight starts, but without the pesky trade-offs of letting the enemy do the same thing.

            If you start a battle in a bad position, just retreat.

        • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

          Oh I’m sure it has a pause button. Lots of games do.

        • Maritz says:

          The game really doesn’t seem that frantic.

    • Tuco says:

      I can’t even tell if you’re serious.
      It’s a turn based game and beside that a pause key is pretty much a given.

      • CaspianRoach says:

        “A pause key” means you can’t do anything during that pause. “Tactical pause” means you can still order commands while the world is paused. This wasn’t shown in the video. You can’t say that it’s a “given” because you can’t know that.

        • zeroskill says:

          So you basically want it to be Baldur’s Gate. Zzz.

          • The Greatness says:

            Hang on, isn’t Baldur’s Gate really good?

          • Panda Powered says:

            Pausable like Baldur’s Gate outside combat and regular turn based in combat.

          • zeroskill says:

            Hang on, isn’t Baldur’s Gate really good?

            Of course Baldur’s Gate is really good. Where does it say otherwise. But Wasteland isn’t Baldur’s Gate, and Wasteland 2 isn’t Project Eternity.

  2. Mr. Mister says:

    I wonder where all that static comes from. Not that there’s a lot of interference in a post-apocalyptic world, so the walkies’ microphone must be horrible/hand-crafted.

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      dare says:

      It must be all the radiation.

      • Mr. Mister says:

        Crossed my mind, but I don’t think it’d be in the radio spectrum, and I haven’t heard of alpha and beta radiation having anything to do with electromagnetic noise.

        • Zorn says:

          Maybe it is the hostility of the post nuclear wasteland itself, grown into in an
          invisible wasteland spanning non-entity, causing that interference.

          I’m sorry, my thought processes before my first coffee tend to be… Well…

        • Arglebargle says:

          It’s the wide spectrum ghost of Tesla, still aggrieved that he was not recognized for inventing the radio.

          Until all acknowledge him, eat static!

        • LionsPhil says:

          This is a game where radiation makes big horrible mutant things.*

          If you can swallow that, I’m sure you can swallow it causing communications problems.

          (* I’m not aware of Wasteland having anything like Fallout’s FEV as a secondary excuse, anyway.)

        • meatshit says:

          I don’t want to get into the physics of it on a blog comment section, but yes, there are ways for for beta and gamma radiation to cause radio noise, either directly or through secondary interactions.

        • MacTheGeek says:

          In the Year 2000, all radio equipment will be constructed with built-in geiger counters.

          (And in space, all alien equipment will be constructed with Giger counters.)

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      Morlock says:

      Must be a tinitus due to the nuclear bang.

  3. IneptFromRussia says:

    Game does look pretty depressing, and not in a good way. Visuals are too boring, especially interface that looks like it was made by some photoshop student in one hour.

    • qeloqoo says:

      Of course first gameplay footage of product in development should have release quality/polish.

      • FreshCuppa says:

        Thank you

      • HadToLogin says:

        Funny how now-a-days pre-alpha materials (like new Splinter Cell) looks so much better than final release…

        • Thoric says:

          There’s a huge difference between a pre-alpha release and a stage demo.

    • 1Life0Continues says:

      Um, just wondering what you expect a post apocalyptic scene to look like?

      Also, the UI fits the overall aesthetic they were going for I reckon. Like the Fallout 1+2 UI, which had shades of 50′s vacuum tube technology amidst retro-futuristic stylings (again, given the Fallout concept, not out of place) this has a cobbled together look, which suits me fine. And it’s likely to change in the future anyway, this looks like a quick mock up “in photoshop” to give a general idea of what it may be like in-game.

      I’m happy to see a return to the tactical overhead view again. As much as I enjoyed the 3D FPSRPGVATSOMGWTFBBQ games of late, I do miss the old isometric viewpoint.

    • lomaxgnome says:

      Well it is a small budget Kickstarter game, one would expect the graphics to suffer more than anything as art assets take large amounts of resources. Quite honestly, the graphics are a lot better than I was expecting. The real question is if they will be able to deliver on the gameplay and the writing.

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      Lars Westergren says:

      > Visuals are too boring,

      I really liked them, I think they look great. Will be even better once they get rid of the placeholder portraits and starting adding particle effects and the other things on the todo list. What do you find lacking?

      > especially interface that looks like it was made by some photoshop student in one hour.

      Doubt it… The UI is minimizable (not a fan of the big tile in lower left corner myself), and also very moddable, so after release I guess you may show me wrong though. :) I thought the action point diodes were a nice touch.

      • LintMan says:

        Yeah, I dislike the lower left UI tile with the weapon info, also. It’s way too big for having so little functionality – most of it seems to just be non-functional clutter. I’d much rather just see more of the screen instead.

  4. operf1 says:

    At 01.37 there is a Russian speaking. He says: “I’m working for two weeks and getting 150 bucks. 150 per day”. Then the other one replies: “That’s nice!”

    Sounds like truckers talk on radio – maybe it’s just a placeholder found somewhere.
    OR IS IT?

    • GarfildMonmutskii says:

      Wow, fellow comrade. You’re right. I know a story about a guy who works as trucker in the USA. Even so he lives in Belarus. It’s no wonder that some american received radio conversation of two russian speakers.

      • operf1 says:

        I mean, is it just random gibberish just for the sake of it, or maybe it’s something tied to the plot like other fragments.

    • Grargh says:

      uptil I saw the check of $2100, I did not believe that my comrad could trully bringing home that much money in 2 weekz with there truck.. there aunts neighbour haz done this less than six months and at present cleared the loans on their radiaton traetment and bought a brand new Powerarmor. go to, http://www.youtube.com.qr.net/j8zv

  5. doma says:

    This looks amazing!

    Pretty much what Fallout 3 should have been.

    Give it to me!

    • CaspianRoach says:

      No. No. Squads in my Fallout? Fuck no.
      Keywords instead of answer choices? No, no, no. (And don’t even start about Fallout 1′s “ask about”, it sucked.)

      This is a completely different game and should be treated as such.

      • Emeraude says:

        All right: what Falllout 3 should have been, apart from being squad based from the onset.

      • doma says:

        I wouldnt mind controllable NPC’s in Fallout. Maybe Ian can stop shooting me in the back :P

        I agree on the keyword dialouge though. It also seem to be the main complaint that people have of this video.

        Everything else screams good old fallout, from the gfx to the Mark Morgan soundtrack.
        And to me that makes it more “Fallout 3″ than the actual Fallout 3 :(

        • CaspianRoach says:

          Keywords is a valid system, it worked kinda okay in Morrowind, the problem is that it leaves very little to change because you’re rarely choosing between options and just plainly exhaust all the given options to you until there’s no more new info left. It might very well work for Wasteland, but keep that stuff away from my Fallout, shoo.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Dialogue options are a poor substitute for meaningful player choices anyway.

          • CaspianRoach says:

            Too bad there isn’t a system that accepts loosely written text as a response and reacts accordingly to it. Maybe in a few years. But then it probably wouldn’t be popular with the youth who all typ lyk dis.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Plenty of old hands will remember adventure game text parsers and shudder, too.

            I’m not sure anyone really has the kind of patience to reword things a million times to appease the inscrutable logic of the computermachine any more.

          • Tuco says:

            Aaand you just picked one of the games where it worked worse.

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            Llewyn says:

            @LionsPhil: Pah, Magnetic Scrolls sorted out parsing in 1987. Perhaps they should turn to Anita Sinclair for help.

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          jrodman says:

          Let us stop this nonsense. There have only been two fallout games released so far.

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          jrodman says:

          Let us stop this nonsense. There have only been two Fallout games released so far..

          • LionsPhil says:

            Quite right.

          • Deadly Habit says:

            Someone is forgetting Tactics.

          • MomoTheCow says:

            I think of Fallout 3>Fallout like I think of Prometheus>Alien. It’s a bigger, prettier, awkwardly dumbified version of something small but special, and it sorta has enough sweat and good DNA in it to make it enjoyable. I think I accept it as family now, the retarded half brother that I’ve come to love and ignore the occasional smell of shit.

          • Beemann says:

            There was the attempt Obsidian made at making a Fallout shooter/rpg as well, but it kept making references to non-existent Fallout titles
            They also refused to call it Fallout 3, which is interesting because it continued the story of the wasteland from the first two titles
            What zany people, turning Van Buren into a shootin’ game and not callin’ it Fallout 3

        • Mr. Mister says:

          You should try the Phalanx mod (I recommend the integrated version in FOOK2).

  6. Zepp says:

    I see Rooster Cogburn right there!

  7. Shaun2406 says:

    The gameplay looks cool, but I’m a bit concerned the dialogue seems to fall into the ‘inserting fuck repeatedly while talking makes the game MORE MATURE’ thing… So hopefully the swearing won’t be quite as… pervasive in the game as a whole.

    I mean used in moderation it can add intensity where intensity is needed, and I get that its just a single example. But the forums for this game seemed to have a fair few people going ‘let us kill kids, let us have nudity, gore, mature language because you don’t need to worry about publishers and ESRB ratings’ that I worry the game might focus to much on being ‘mature’ for the sake of being ‘mature’ that it will all come across as really gratuitous.

    On that subject, the example of a ‘tough decision’ they gave a while back in a backer post was ‘theres a kid drowning in the lake by the village, you can rescue him, ignore him, or even shoot him with a supressed weapon so people don’t notice him and the fact that you ignored him’ came across as pretty much ‘lets have the option to kill kids forced in to make the game more ‘mature”, rather than a seriously interesting choice (on that note I think Connor in Dragon Age was the option to kill a child handled in a more interesting and thought provoking manner).

    But its early days yet!

    • El_Emmental says:

      Same here, I might have to go on the forums to tell the devs there’s also backers who aren’t really looking for a deluge of swearing and beheading kids, it has to make sense to be added in.

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      FhnuZoag says:

      Well, that sure sounds like a fundamental failure to understand what ‘tough’ decision making in RPGs is about.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Yeah. Where the hell’s the dilemma in that? It’s “do I feel like being needlessly malevolent or not today?”

        • Emeraude says:

          I don’t know, my natural human urge to shoot at drowning people would be in conflict with my player’s learned habit of maximizing chances to get good loot.

          The abyss opened before me at that choice. The abyss !

    • Lemming says:

      The swearing seemed entirely appropriate to the situation to me, she was angry and scared. Not much room for etiquette in a post-apocalyptic landscape anyway, I’d imagine.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I don’t care one way or another about swearing in dialogue, but the dialogue is just a bit amateurish in the section we saw.

    • Reapy says:

      You do know in the real world, which is trying to be copied, there actually are that over use curse words all the time? Maybe you should hang around some army people more, they will probably use fuck a lot and describe in epic detail their latest BM, which wasn’t as good as the one in 95′ where he shat so hard he made a nearby squirrel pass out.

      While I personally agree with you that a curse has greater impact when used infrequently and is generally how I go about cursing myself, it is not how every person does. When you have multiple people, they are going to all act differently, and there are plenty of people out there that fucking say fuck every fucking word out of their fucking mouth. Shit!

      • El_Emmental says:

        poppycock !

        hehe, you’re right regarding swearing – some people do it a lot and some of them do it well, the biggest problem is when the rest of the character doesn’t “fit” with the swearing.

        If the labcoat scientist is swearing at rangers like that, rather than being actually angry/nervous/scared (because some of the people she knew just died/almost died), it has to stick to the character: if she says “Fcking shit fuck!” then goes back to calmly describing the map and acting all scientish, it’s either bad character design, or the characters has to suffer from a tourette-like syndrom, or don’t know how to get mad at something/someone differently (because they were raised like that).

  8. mckertis says:

    That GUI is HUGE !!!

  9. Emeraude says:

    On thing I particularly like is the return of the “blast that door open” solution.

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    DrAmateurScience says:

    Looks great all things considered. I should probably hang around in their forums more.

  11. Optimaximal says:

    DOGFACE!

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    hellboy says:

    I knew there’d be some kind of fallout over the conversation system.

    • Crosmando says:

      Well, you can’t blame them for using the keyword system. It’s the same as the original Wasteland but with some tweaks. If they didn’t use a keyword system, then the accusation from backers could of been “This isn’t true to the original Wasteland, it’s just copying Fallout.”

      Seems like there’s a lot of people who wanted a modern Fallout 1/2, nothing more, and didn’t want Wasteland 2 to have it’s own unique personality as a game. Yes there’s influences from Fallout 1/2 and Tactics, but do people really want a clone game? People need to forget about Fallout, seriously, let it rest in peace, Bethesda is just raping a corpse, Fallout is dead.

      Also, it’s kinda telling the amount of nitpickers that have come out of the woodwork since the video, “I hate the UI!” (forgetting that it’s fully customizable) or whatever. I’m willing to bet most of these people never backed the project in the beginning via Kickstarter/Paypal, so they don’t really deserve an opinion on it, and they were probably never really interested in an “old-school RPG” to begin with.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        “Don’t really deserve an opinion”

        Says all I need to know about you

        • Crosmando says:

          Good Opinion: “I dislike this feature, but it can be improved/made good by……”
          Bad Opinion: “I dislike this feature [no elaboration or offered solutions]”
          Bethesda/Bioware Fanboy Opinion: “I HATE THIS, REMOVE IT FROM GAME”

          • Grygus says:

            Your opinion on what makes an opinion good or bad is deeply flawed. An opinion doesn’t need to be diagnostic in order to be a good one; in fact, a good designer will already have a pretty good idea what people don’t like the instant they express dislike. He/she knows what decisions were made, what was cut, what could have been done differently, what makes sense but only with enough information about the game as a whole, etc. There is no doubt that occasionally a player will have a great idea, but I would say the majority of the time, all the designer needs to know is what you like and what you don’t like; they are capable of taking it from there, and don’t need to be told how to fix it.

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            Naum says:

            @Grygus: Your line of thought seems to be based on the premise that the designer has access to the opinions of a significant share of the game’s target audience as well as the means to aggregate and evaluate that feedback. In that case, getting a non-constructive opinion is somewhat valuable as part of the statistical data on a particular feature. However, I’d guess that small to mid-range game companies are rarely in a position to gather this information, not least because the large majority of gamers does not participate at all in comment threads on Kickstarter, RPS or probably even the large news sites.

            Hence, the designer is in a situation where, apart from extreme cases, a simple Like/Dislike comment has very little statistical significance, and it is both easy and likely justified to dismiss it as personal, uninformed preference. Even more so if the comment shows no appreciation of or interest in the game. Combined with the fact that the designer apparently thought it was a good idea to present the feature to a wider audience in the first place, it seems very unlikely to me that such a comment will have any effect on the game.

            Constructive criticism, on the other hand, has at least a small chance of including information that the designer might not have thought of. In the context of reviews or previews, a non-constructive but well-justified comment may also have an impact on other people’s opinions of the game and thereby contribute to the conversation.

          • mckertis says:

            I see what you did there, saying opinion when you mean critique. There is no such thing as bad opinion, in my opinion.

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            Naum says:

            @mckertis: That is indeed a good distinction to make. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with the relativist notion that all opinions are equally valid to have, but that discussion is off topic here. So, to clarify in case my bad choice of words confused anyone: I was talking about the viability of different ways to express a certain opinion.

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        FhnuZoag says:

        People who haven’t backed the kickstarter are still potential customers.

        Honestly, one of the many problems with kickstarter is that actually, financial incentive-wise, people who haven’t backed the kickstarter are far more important than people who have. That’s because the backers have already paid their money, and so spending resources pleasing them earns basically nothing. It’s in Fargo’s interests at this stage to focus on getting sales from mainstream non-backers.

        Remember when all you folks all declared you aren’t ‘investors’ but mere patrons, so the developer doesn’t owe you anything?

        • Infinitron says:

          That strategy would work until the next Kickstarter, when he would need our money again.

        • Lemming says:

          You’re right, but everyone one of the nitpickers talking about the UI and conversation system will still buy it if they intended to beforehand. Anyone who says ‘dialogue trees or no sale’ is a fucking liar, frankly.

          Once the good word comes in on release, they’ll flock to it like sheep regardless. It’s just voicing their personal preferences in the hope that someone working on the game (unfortunately) will listen to them.

          I’m hoping inXile stick to their guns in this regard.

        • Ysellian says:

          60000 people were responsible for almost $3mil. Obviously you are right concerning Wasteland 2, but it may be a good idea to keep those people happy for any future games because they sure as hell are worth more in the long run.

        • InternetBatman says:

          That’s an incredibly short-sighted view that assumes that the developer cares more about maximizing profit than being able to cultivate an audience that will sustain their creative efforts. The assumption that all people seek to maximize profits, especially in the short-term only, is incredibly flawed. If anything, anecdotal evidence seems to favor the view that backers matter more than outside customers because outside customers have no means to put pressure on the creators, where the backers get better channels of communication and can generate far more buzz through their role as beta-testers.

          If you need some quasi-math, here’s an example. A backer who supported part one of a trilogy for $50 is significantly more likely to back parts two and three of a trilogy for $50, meaning that the backer is probably worth $150 (plus some inflation since they go earlier). The outside customer, who already showed disinclination towards buying the product on Kickstarter, can at most be counted on to buy the first game once it is released. Making their total worth $50 or $60, but only $15 if they get it on discount etc.

          You’re basically arguing that developers will trade security (greatly so if they open-themselves up to a class action lawsuit) for larger potential profits, which is no sure thing.

          • Premium User Badge

            FhnuZoag says:

            I’m simply saying that this is what the incentives are. Some people might choose to be nice anyway, but the system itself does not reward them. If you want to give kickstarter backers more control and incentivise developers to actually look after them, you need to give backers, for example, the ability to withdraw their investment if they think the developer has betrayed them.

            In terms of the quasi-maths, look at the lop-sided revenue difference between pre-orderers and later purchasers for most games. Observe too that even ill treated super-fans may, to some extent, be counted on to back the next game anyway, out of hope it’ll be better. And perhaps it might be reasonable to suggest that kickstarter is in decline, that by the time we hit the next project the bandwagon will have departed, and there will be less kickstarter backers anyway, so why not eat your cake while you still have it?

            I’m not saying it’s a sure thing. I’m saying there’s a substantial financial case, with of course its own trade-offs. Brian Fargo is a businessman, and InXile is not a charity. And in addition, catering to hardcore fans is far from a financially secure position, as numerous developers have found to their cost.

          • InternetBatman says:

            But to say the incentives favor one point over the other is flawed, especially since in the long run you can assume that markets will serve underserved customers. Certain entities are destined to operate in the short-term, others in the long-term. Presumably the unsuccessful will be weeded out (how many will back a failed project creator?).

            It is fair to say that abused fans will stick around for some time, but not forever. We have seen this in countless instances, interplay being the most relevant example. Well served fans will stay as long as they keep being served, and they’ll generate a stronger user base.

            It is not fair to say that crowd-funding is fading, considering the substantial recent successes of Elite, Project Godus, and Star-Citizen (the highest funded crowd-sourced game yet).

            The ability to remove pledges must be tempered by the receipt of awards and the amount of time passed. Even then, it seems like it would be creating a dangerous bank-run kind of situation if allowed.

    • Emeraude says:

      Seems like you attempt at a joke thread got wasted.

      • Crosmando says:

        Ctrl+C
        Ctrl+V

        • Emeraude says:

          Your comment was spot on though, it *is* a blamed if you do, blamed if you don’t situation..

          • HadToLogin says:

            No, it isn’t (for me). Sticking to wikipedia/google-like dialogues is – IMO – like Carmack saying “Doom 4, just like original Doom, won’t have mouse look”.

            (Edited since it wasn’t clear that this is my opinion about if google and wikipedia are good dialogue system)

          • Emeraude says:

            My, I’m so glad we have people of your caliber able to express everyone‘s opinion in a definitive way.

            Makes the world so much simpler.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            What is this petty ad hominem, he merely expressed his OWN opinion.

          • Emeraude says:

            HadToLogin isn’t just stating an opinion here, but at the same time peremptorily denying any value to the one being commented upon.

            Edit: Oh, I think I get it, the negation and following comment only applies to one proposition, not the whole sentence. Changes things quite a bit.

      • Skhalt says:

        I am appalled that you would consider the fine and very serious art of punning to be a “joke”. Appalled, I say!

        • Emeraude says:

          My coffee-deprived mutated puny non-English brain couldn’t find the right word at the time.

          I wear the crimson mask of shame.

      • Premium User Badge

        hellboy says:

        To be honest I was just fission for compliments

    • Premium User Badge

      Lumberjack_Man says:

      So many radiating negativity this morning.

  13. bigjig says:

    Wow, surprising amount of negativity here. I thought it looked pretty good for a first look. The swearing was a bit excessive, but other than that I’m glad I backed this one.

  14. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    You lot are crazy. I think this looks awesome and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

    • karthink says:

      This, basically. It’s looking great.

      • guygodbois00 says:

        My thoughts exactly.

        • Ysellian says:

          Quite happy myself. After the doublefine debacle I was fearing the worst, but it I am pleasantly surprised.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I agree. I’m really happy with how they’re handling the game so far.

    • The Random One says:

      It surpassed my expectations, definitively. I was hoping for a great game, fearing a game that gimped itself to imitate the original. Looks like I’ll be getting a great game that captures the original flawlessly.

  15. Jack-Dandy says:

    This looks fucking excellent!
    Basically, it’s precisely how I wanted it to end up.

    I had my doubts about Fargo and his team, but it looks like my pledge was worth it.

    I especially like the keyword system- Ultima all up in this. The combat also looks like it’ll allow for some pretty diverse tactics. And I love the descriptions in the text box.

    Can’t wait to see more.

  16. eightbitrobot says:

    I love it, but..
    - HUD is way too cluttered with useless art, but apparently this can be customized.
    - I’m not a fan of the dialogue system. I would prefer an actual response from the Rangers, where it becomes a proper conversation, ie. I want to tell that swearing bitch to go f herself.

    • Lemming says:

      Then you can type ‘go fuck yourself’. I’m sure the devs have accommodated you.

      Why is everyone against typing? It’s far more immersive and allows the game to have real investigation skills of the player as part of the playing experience. Dialogue trees would detract from that.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Mmm, I was expecting picking a keyword to then expand into something. If they can do a million contextual variations of NPC dialogue because no voice acting, they should be able to do the same for PCs.

      • stiffkittin says:

        Full PC dialogues absolutely limit the writing, by forcing every NPC response to be a match to 3-4 of the lines given by the player, clumsily simulating a real conversation. It doubles the writing workload and makes it a lot trickier. What matters is what the NPC has to say, that’s always been the way. The PC in most games is a cipher looking for information and the vast majority of player character lines reflect this.

        Even big budget, triple-A Bioware or Bethesda games have over half the player dialogue given as a mere illusion of choice that redundantly loops back to the same generic responses.

        I agree there still needs to be a compelling system in place for players to simulate social skills like diplomacy, intimidation or lying in conversation. However, since this video clearly wasn’t showcasing that aspect of the game, I’m willing to reserve judgement on what Inxile come up with.

  17. Jason Moyer says:

    Looks like what I’d hoped for from Wasteland 2, then.

  18. Mephistoau says:

    Holy balls why all the negativity? Man i’m friggin giddy with joy watching this stuff, finally a return to the kind of post apocalyptic feel and atmosphere of fallout. I’m excited as hell about this. See I want a new fallout like this, not fecking fps. This is sweeeeet

    • Lemming says:

      The negativity comes from people who didn’t even back it, I’m guessing. It’s not for them if they want to see it changed into something akin to Mass Effect.

    • zeroskill says:

      It has been like this for some time on RPS. I for most of the time don’t even bother to commenting here anymore, because of the staggering amount of negative creeps in the comment sections. You basically can’t have an enjoyable discussion anymore around these parts.

  19. guygodbois00 says:

    Mr Rossignol, you are a beacon of hope in an otherwise bleak and dreary world!
    Now, please, for heaven sakes, write more about this game. Use torture for info if
    needed. The nation’s safety is at stakes here, gumdaggit!

  20. Lemming says:

    I loved this. The only thing that bothered me was the robot at the end that did a monster ‘roar’ on entry, which is a huge cliche.

    Everything else, 100% exactly what I wanted don’t change a thing. It’s good-looking and atmospheric and not even out of alpha. I’m a very happy backer.

  21. Michael Fogg says:

    Rangers = Team America vs fanatics, bandits monsters etc. Also looks more like Fallout Tactics than anything else. Not impressed so far.

  22. CletusVanDamme says:

    This looks exactly like what I was hoping for when I backed Wasteland 2, so pretty damn happy about this video. As for the keyword system, I’m not really bothered by it one way or the other. I’ve played with keywords before, and I had me a good time.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Hanban says:

    Looks grand. The one thing I want to see improved are animations. Hopefully come release they’ll have polished them up nicely. I realize that for a turn based game the animations might not mean the world, but for my immersion it is sorely needed.

  24. Xardas Kane says:

    I utterly hate the keyword dialogue system. How am I supposed to immerse myself and identify with the character I am playing when said character is talking in bloody keywords?! Yes, that’s the system from the first Wasteland, but I didn’t back Wasteland HD, I backed Wasteland 2. Hated it in the original, hated it in Morrowind, hating it here. Give me dialogue trees, goddamit! And the dialogue itself really wasn’t that good either.

    That aside, definitely looks like old-school CRPG goodness. Fantastic audio design, more than passable graphics and a level of interactivity that games simply don’t have anymore. And why hasn’t anyone commented on the return of the Description box thing? All hail the description box thing!

    EDIT: I am also not too keen on the camera. Having a fully 3D environment from an isometric perspective means constantly turning and twisting the camera because you things keep getting lost behind walls and other objects. A static camera would’ve worked better IMO.

    • Emeraude says:

      Interestingly enough, I’ve heard the exact reverse complaint around the time we transitioned from keywords to full text: “How am I supposed to immerse myself and identify with the character I am playing when said character is fully written and defined and I can’t imagine the delivery that fits with the role I want to play ?”.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        The odd thing about both of those criticisms/questions is you’re not really playing a single character in W2, but a group.

        How you immerse yourself in the gestalt or consensus of the group is left as an exercise for the reader

        • Maritz says:

          Exactly this.

          … which is why I think keywords work better in this game. It lets you imagine what the group or any particular member of the group, who may be from any background with any type of character you have given them, is saying whilst still telling you what point you’re making. Although the intent behind the keyword needs to be clear.

      • Chris D says:

        You see an intense looking man here. The man says “Stranger! Ye shall not pass unless ye can answer this question truly. Which is better? Keywords or dialogue trees?” What do you say?

        1. “Keywords are better because the feeling of having worked out the correct response can give a greater sense of player satisfaction.”

        2. “Dialogue trees are better because they remove ambiguity and are therefore a better means of simulating a relationship with a person rather than treating NPCs simply as clue dispensers.”

        3. “Both approaches have their own strengths and weaknesses. The choice shoud depend on which approach best serves the overall design.”

        4. “There’s only one way to find out! FIGHT!”

        5. Kill the man and take his stuff.

        • Reapy says:

          I dislike dialog trees. They take a long time to read through and are often unclear as to what reaction you will get from a person. Further it is hard to understand which are information loops (Lets talk about the castle, 3 questions and a we are done talking here option) vs plot advancing dialog. Sometimes you see a line of questioning you want to pursue, but you ask one question ahead of it and its a plot advancer, and you’ve missed the information loop.

          Dialog trees also can be confusing, you might end up insulting a person when you didn’t mean to, or maybe you wanted to point something out to a person and they get angry and provoke a fight.

          I always liked ME dialog, keywords, but then spoken/written out in full sentences, and I’m surprised that didn’t become the defacto standard. That way you can navigate the conversation with all the information. Plot moves forward on the right, info loops on the left. Top right means you are agreeing with them and like what they are saying, middle means neutral, just let me flow through the game, bottom is hostile disagreement.

          I actually am concerned about typed keywords, but if they are simply easter egg / random/ hidden uber item/ sorts of information only, it’s ok. I don’t mind clue hunting that way, but it can be pretty crappy trying to play guess the keyword with the programmers.

        • InternetBatman says:

          I don’t know why it has to be a binary decision, Fallout had both. I prefer trees because they give you a map of the conversation and offer more opportunities to characterize the players character. However, this is diluted when the player controls more than one character. In practice, I think the difference isn’t all that great because you still use conditional logic with the wiki method, it just isn’t advertised as well.

          It would be interesting if players could assign personality traits to certain characters in creation, and then choose from group options of dialogue. Storm of Zehir did something like this with verbal skill checks.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Fallout’s low-INT runs are arguably that sort of thing to a very limited degree?

          • InternetBatman says:

            I meant do that for the entire party, so party members could interrupt when a discussion is relevant to their interest. Fallout had a ton of in-dialogue skill / trait checks, such as not being able to get the peaceful ending when you had the bloody mess trait. All of the dialogue system was reactive to only one character though.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s all about personal opinion. I did however grow up playing Black Isle and Bioware games. I breathe dialogue trees with all their issues, and they are a handful.

  25. Premium User Badge

    Foosnark says:

    It looks fantastic to me.

    Dialog system? Fine. Graphics? Totally acceptable. Grammar and dialog? Could use some work. Playing like Jagged Alliance? Yes, please.

    A little less swearing would be good, but at least it’s not Rainbow Fucking Six: Fucking Vegas, Fucker.

  26. Totally heterosexual says:

    Looks like a great deal of fun.

  27. G_Man_007 says:

    “lobotomites! Wash the walking eye!”

  28. doggod101 says:

    I just hope they haven’t forgotten that sunlight exists because I didn’t see any in that demo.

  29. Strangerator says:

    Did anyone else notice how brilliant the whole “ambush system” was? He moves the three gun-equipped rangers into range of the enemy who isn’t paying attention and initiates combat with a simultaneous burst of fire. That was just one of those, “yeah, that makes total sense” moments. More granular skill specialization adds flavor to the characters, so safecracking isn’t the same skill as lockpicking. Also like how some doors can be impossible to pick but easy to bash open, and vice/versa.

    I like the dialogue keywords, it’s like having a silent protagonist. I’ll have to see more of the dialogue system. Hopefully things like stats and speechcraft skill are automatically factored in the background when you pick a keyword, so that you’re not immediately aware when you’re getting a better result than someone else with lower speechcraft might get. The whole concept of new dialogue options popping up that have [intelligence] or [speechcraft] next to them is kind of immersion breaking. Really, any given character will broach an issue in one way, and if they have the ability they will do it the best way possible. I’ve always hated the modern RPG cliche that you are either extremely compassionate or a total asshole to everyone, and both are arbitrarily rewarded in equal measure. I know people like to pretend that they are “roleplaying” as the character, but all that happens is you wind up with the evil/good dichotomy and you have the saint/asshole two runs through the game. Sorry, but I’m tired of it.

    • InternetBatman says:

      The ambush system did look good. Just a common sense addition to traditional battle systems, and very much the thing kickstarter is about.

  30. Beelzebud says:

    The dialogue system is fine. There is no “hero” character that leads the group. The group dynamic is central to this game, hence the ambush tactics. This isn’t Fallout, nor is it a Bioware game with “good guy” / “bad guy” binary choices. If you honestly expected this to be Fallout 4, or Mass Effect Apocalypse Edition, this may not be the game for you.

    “I’d rather make a smaller dedicated fan base ecstatic than worry too much about the larger audience.” –Brian Fargo, one of the good guys.