Time’s A-Wasteland: Wasteland 2 Delayed

By Nathan Grayson on July 20th, 2013 at 12:46 am.

In all honesty, I don’t get terribly excited about many games anymore. I mean, I still love them, but there are just so damn many all the time, skittering around in the vents of my life and eventually emerging to nest in my hair. So it is something of a significant statement when I say I’m really, really excited about Wasteland 2. I want it gracing my radiation-scorched palms right this very moment, but instead it looks like I’ll have to wait until a sooty, mysterious undetermined date. Now, there is good news here: a beta’s launching during the game’s original release month of October, but it will (at least, initially) be backer-only.

inXile Xplained in a Kickstarter update:

“One of the unique aspects to our crowd funding campaign is that we greatly overfunded which is wonderful in allowing us to create a larger experience, one that is in fact quite epic in size. Of course there is an inherent struggle with the original date hovering despite our greatly increased budget and design… A feature complete playable is about 6 weeks behind where I had wanted it to be but I can’t be too surprised considering the increased scope. We have been able to accomplish so much in so little time by our experience, fantastic team and tools.”

“Once the beta testing begins in October and once we have enough feedback from testing, we can evaluate where we’re at and set a new release date. By that stage, over ten thousand of our backers will have gotten to play the game with us. In the end, quality comes before everything and fortunately the backers have been in line with us to make sure we get it right.”

So basically, it’s a bit behind schedule, but it’s also gone up a good many mutant roach bootie sizes. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely fine with sacrificing timeliness for scope and quality – especially when inXile’s promising a highly reactive world and encounters that take into account everything from party health and gender makeup to the state of the wasteland itself.

All that’s left now is to wait, first for the beta and then for a new release date based on how the test goes. Me, I’m not sure if I’ll face the beta’s onslaught of bugs and giant bugs or not. Wasteland 2 is the sort of experience I want to throw myself into fully, and I feel like unwrapping an unfinished version might scuff some of discovery’s intoxicating sheen. I don’t know, though. I’m still mulling it. How about you?

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77 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    JiminyJickers says:

    Doh, all good though. Looking forward to it’s release. Very much excited about this game, everything I have seen of it looks brilliant.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      I agree. I’d rather they take their time and add all the polish they can.

    • Premium User Badge

      El_MUERkO says:

      No problems with the delay for me, gives me more time with Shadowrun Returns.

      /is a happy kickstarter

  2. Mario Figueiredo says:

    It sure is a good thing when you delay to make it better. But it sure has also become a fashionable thing… like saggy pants.

    • povu says:

      It sounds like it can be a dangerous thing though, if not properly budgeted. When you run out of Kickstarter money and the game isn’t done, you don’t have a publisher who can keep paying you until it is.

    • abremms says:

      I can’t remember who said it, but some developer came out with a blog a little while back in response to some of these early kickstarters delaying or asking for more money, their take on it was this:

      This is game development. This is what happens on every project, ever. The only difference here is that Kickstarter has granted the process an unprecedented level of transparency. Normally this all happens between the the developer and the publisher and the general public doesn’t even find out about a release date until a month or two beforehand.

      This is a perfectly normal part of the process that really should have been expected by backers. The only difference is that a traditional publisher might force a dev to release an unfinished product to recoup their losses, whereas kickstarter backers don’t have that power. Which is a good thing, I think.

      • bill says:

        I agree with the comment, but I’m not sure i agree with your conclusion.

        Sure, a publisher might force the game out early, but they might also put more money into it to get it finished. If a kickstarted game runs out of money then they’ll be forced to release it early anyway, as they will have no publisher to bail them out – unless they can find another way to get more cash.

        Kickstarter seems great, but I think people have forgotten that there is a reason why game publishers exist. And that they aren’t purely this evil entity that destroys studios and forces out unfinished games*, but also they are the ones who put up the cash, and then often put up more and more cash to enable the game to be made.

        *though they do that too.

        • Premium User Badge

          skalpadda says:

          On the other hand they won’t have a publisher or console manufacturer in the way if they want to patch and update the game after release.

    • Triplanetary says:

      But it sure has also become a fashionable thing…

      What a banal thing to say. Driving on the correct side of the road and eating food orally are also “fashionable,” if you want to stretch the definition of the word beyond recognition.

      • Njordsk says:

        the correct side beeing the right. Right?

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        By “fashionable” I meant that we seem to have come to accept it, even nurture it, without as much as posing some provocative questions. By shaggy pants I meant that fashionable doesn’t necessarily mean it looks good.

        Don’t worry. I’ll start being more verbose just for you.

        • Nick says:

          And why should we question it? What would that achieve and why does it matter?

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            Every game and every person will be their own case. But if you are trying to imply that “resistance is futile” or that people arguing for what they want is a waste of time…

            The thing that surprises me about all this is that so many people think that being critical is taking a jab at the indie community. As if this community of developers never actually asked us, the gamers, to be critical, be a part of their projects, make our own suggestions, help improve their projects and be thanked for that. And them, the developers, never tried to listen to our criticism, our suggestions, our ideas.

          • WrenBoy says:

            Is your suggestion, develop faster?

          • The Random One says:

            I think his suggestion is, let’s be a little more critical. Let’s act less like PR people and more like informed consumers.

            I don’t think his advice is warranted in this particular situation, but I do think it’s a healthy thing to keep in mind. Though, frankly, I don’t mind delays one bit.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @The Random One
            He was clearly talking about developers listening to his suggestions, not RPS commenters.

            I have nothing against criticism per se but its a little empty when you clearly have nothing to say.

          • Nick says:

            I just don’t see the point in complaining about a game being delayed because its not ready to be realeased.. I mean history is littered with games that would have seen their full potential if not forced out the door too soon (oh and many of them are extremely good RPGs to boot).

            Its not like we are high level investors demanding a return.

  3. Infinitron says:

    You might wanna switch out that ancient screenshot, though.

    • Choca says:

      Yeah the game doesn’t really look like that anymore if we go by the last few gameplay videos.

      • DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

        Thank god that’s good to hear. I couldn’t get over just how ugly the game looked in all the early stuff

    • Lemming says:

      Yeah that screenshot was from right at the beginning of the Kickstarter. Surprised they’ve used it here, tbh.

  4. Michael Fogg says:

    So it’s the same story as with the Doubleplusgood adventure – the curse of having too much money. The joke is that everybody wanted little nice old-school games, not the equivalent to Hollywood blockbusters.

    • Infinitron says:

      No, because the game isn’t being delayed for a year nor split in two.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        Yeah, but there’s a point being made that highly successful Kickstarter projects may force projects into a level of complexity that may have not been the wish of early backers, or even the developers themselves.

        inXile statement speaks none of that. But does make it clear that being overfunded forced them into a new development cycle. One for which they were not prepared. It’s not a problem if the team (or single developer, depending on the project) can handle the added requirements. But money alone won’t buy you more creativity, won’t buy you extra staff if you leave in a rural or technology detached area, won’t buy you time if you have a job.

        • InternetBatman says:

          The point about a level of complexity is a bit moot since backers can remove pledges.

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            Indeed you are right. LIONESS just did something similar.

            But the fact we are ultimately in control of our projects doesn’t really mean the point is moot. I honestly doubt many people will show the same restraint as Zak Ayles when faced with a surprise overbudget due to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Meanwhile backers and public in general seem to be all too interested in added content (as some of the comments on this article illustrate) for them to not represent an influencing, or even coaxing, force.

            It’s still a bit early to make a case of this though. I’m just following on Michael Fogg lead above and agreeing that indeed there’s some food for thought and we shouldn’t be so dismissive of the possibility of a real negative influence an over the top budget can have on what would have been an otherwise great indie project. The very recent Double Fine decision to delay Broken Age should have called more attention to this. Is somewhat hard to properly contextualize a project that ended with an 8x budget and is now considered significantly delayed and requiring even more money. And while we may call this business as usual in the gaming industry, it will be impossible to convince me that Broken Age started as this magnificent ultra large point and click adventure. The resulting ultra successful kickstarter campaign ended up completely rearranging the initial project — to some backers, beyond recognition.

            And it’s a bit early to see what will be the end result of this. And how much of it was worth it. Not only does Double Fine face the fact its developing now a much bigger game than initially conceived, but it is walking this dangerous path of accumulating high expectations in the minds of those waiting for it.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Who is this “everybody” who wants “nice little old school games”?

      I’m pretty sure there are a lot more people who want wonderful great big blockbusters rather than a bunch of nice little old school games. The problem is, nobody seems to have the creative wherewithal to make a wonderful great big blockbuster any more, so we get “old school” as in, done before.

      • DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

        Are you seriously saying nobody makes big blockbusters anymore or what here, I can’t tell. Also I don’t think “creative wherewithal” and “big blockbuster” even go hand in hand.

      • GameCat says:

        Every time I see “Y, the sequel/spiritual successor of 10-20 years old X from Z devs” I want to laugh and cry at the same time.
        Do:
        – make game based on fresh and unique ideas for world and gameplay and etc.
        Don’t:
        – make a game which will use same old and dated mechanism but with more shiny graphics.

        Thanks.

        • Kerey Roper says:

          And yet those are the Kickstarters that make the big bucks while anything from an unestablished team with no IP to fall back on faces an uphill battle to raise anything more than a few thousand dollars. Just getting eyeballs to look at your video is insanely difficult if you don’t have a pre-existing community of fans.

        • Nick says:

          Old is not the same as dated. Old is not the same as bad.

          • GameCat says:

            No, but problem is that most of these nostalgia-driven kickstarters seems to be just old games with higher resolution, better graphics and some minor tweaks in gameplay.
            Of course there are people who will want to see new Torment etc. but I think that these famous devs can go beyond old formulas and bring something new.

            Look at Arkane Studios. They made games like Arx Fatalis, Dark Messiah of M&M, Dishonored and Bioshock 2. While all of them are FPP games with some sort of shooting/slashing they all are just different. I would want to see diveristy like that in kickstarters made by famous devs/studios.

          • Grayvern says:

            The problem with that statement is the assumption that Torment, and Eternity won’t have any variance from prevous RPG’s.

            Eternity and Torment will both be using different role playing systems than what has come before which will make them significantly different from their spiritual forebears.

            A lay person would view Arkane’s work as all being very similar the same applies to you view of top down RPG’s given how different Planescape Torment Icewind Dale 2 and Fallout are from each other.

            Arkane are also not the best example given that a lot of their work has been inspired by and, often unfavorably, compared to the past works of other studios. Arkane in wider context is very similar to a problem you couch ,wrongly, as a problem of people making sequels to their own games given that Arkane have mainly made spiritual successors to other studios work.

            I also reject the tacit implication of all statements like this that extant videogame forms aren’t mostly stable.

          • Shooop says:

            That’s why I ended up backing Torment Grayvern. They said it wasn’t just going to be the same game again, but they wanted to do things differently – and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the weakest part of the previous game they’re changing the most, the combat.

            The flood of 8 and 16 bit side scrollers though are being fueled by nothing but nostalgia and trend-whoring.

          • Emeraude says:

            No, but problem is that most of these nostalgia-driven kickstarters seems to be just old games with higher resolution, better graphics and some minor tweaks in gameplay.

            Old severely underrepresented on the market genre games.

            Some genre have been totally ignored by the industry, not because they at undeserving, but because they do not make enough money.

            Complaining that those games are coming back is akin to complaining that SF movie or books are finally getting produced again after a long period of drought.

            At least it sounds so to me.

      • Nick says:

        Um, the people who backed the old school projects?

      • Lemming says:

        big/little does not = blockbuster/old school. We want big old-school games, which is what it looks like we’re getting. No one wants Project Eternity to be four hours long.

    • AngoraFish says:

      I’m completely disinterested in “nice old-school games”.

      What I want is big budget, gorgeous, huge games, with full voice overs and high resolution textures that require the latest video cards and a quad core CPU as a minimum … and that don’t assume every player has the IQ of a moron, the attention span of a five year old and the morals of a puritan.

      More huge over-subscribed budgets with unforeseen delays due to having too much money to spend and taking the time to do it right rather than releasing a buggy mess due to a publisher’s arbitrary deadline?

      YES PLEASE!

  5. RehashLastYear says:

    Game delays are common, and I think most people backing a Kickstarter are pretty understanding. The fact their keeping the communication channel open, and being honest and open about the situation lends to more trust from the consumers.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Most backers appear to be very understanding.

      Unfortunately, the ones that tend to dominate the forums and comment threads are self-entitled, holier-than-thou, emotionally stunted teenagers who think they’ve owed some kind of “investor” rights simply because they made a $15 preorder on a completely speculative product.

      • Convolvulus says:

        “Holier-than-thou” you say?

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        So, let’s see… You are talking about entitlement. We know it’s bad to feel entitled when you purchase a game. Apparently it is also bad, according to you, to feel entitled when you back a game on Kickstarter.

        I’m not one to support entitlement. But either I’m drawing a line too soon or you are just simply not interested in drawing a line ever. I’m tempted to believe the latter.

      • Kerey Roper says:

        Yeah, as a dev, I don’t really love the fact that Kickstarter makes you put a hard date to the month for delivery, but it makes sense for backers to have some idea of when they will get something. It’s an interesting legal question too, which I would rather not deal with. Are you failing to meet the obligations of a pre-order contract at some point? Where is the line drawn on this? It’s a really good thing most backers are cool, but you kinda wonder how long it’s going to be before someone ruins it for everyone.

        Also, I’ve noticed a big thing with stretch goals recently blowing out the scope of projects without adjusting dates, or releasing certain features over time. You can only trade money for features/time to a limited degree when you increase the scope. Anybody who has managed any project ever should understand this, and it is quite amazing that it isn’t communicated up front.

  6. Sakkura says:

    What about the people who backed the Torment game at the tier that also gives a copy of Wasteland 2 – do we also count as Wasteland 2 backers, or do we have to wait for the retail release?

  7. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    This is one of the reasons Kickstarter is attractive to these developers (I believe). They do not have to stick to a publisher’s time table and can finish and polish the game before it comes out the gates. Remember how many bugs shipped with take-your-pick-of-any-90s-RPG?

    • AngoraFish says:

      Exactly

    • WrenBoy says:

      While I like the idea of Kickstarter for many reasons, you are only kidding yourself if you think a funding model will prevent games being buggy. Especially lowish budget ambitious games.

      I expect Kickstarter funded games to be as late and as buggy as games funded through any other model because software development is complicated.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        I never liked the phrase “you are kidding yourself.”
        I’m likely just wrong, but I’m not kidding.

  8. Kinth says:

    I can deal with a 6 week delay.

    It’s much better than the near a year delay that the Double Fine Adventure is currently estimating,

    • AngoraFish says:

      Backers will end up with four times the game this Christmas that they would have received had DF just scraped over the line of their funding goal.

      Anything on top of that is a bonus, which DF are generously giving away for free to early backers a little further down the line.

      If only more developers were so dedicated and altruistic.

      • Kinth says:

        Except the second part of their game now depends on whether they get enough cash through selling the first part of the game. So if they don’t make enough through Steam, backers wont be getting the second part of the game they backed (and were promised, If DF made it too big in scope that is their problem, the backers were promised a complete game, not half of one regardless of how bit it now is). Basically trying to encourage them to buy it twice. If you call that generous and free then I feel you may not know what those words mean.

        Though It seems you may not be aware that they are releasing the game in two parts? Since you are calling anything past the first half of the game a bonus. Or do you truly consider that the second half of the game (and it’s story) to be a bonus? The second part isn’t just some DLC, it’s the second half of the full game that the backers were promised. You wont see the end of the story unless that second half gets funded and considering the first half had a near $4 million budget I wouldn’t say that second half is the sure thing everyone thinks it is.

        4x The game they originally promised is cool, but not when you consider they had 8x times the budget they originally wanted (And that’s not including the slacker backer budget) and are still asking for more money to complete it.

        You can’t pawn everything off as being altruistic. And giving developers more time isn’t always the best plan nor will it always lead to the best game. Duke Nukem Forever is a testament to that. As are many DF games, which often come out as a mish mash of half finished ideas.

        Tim Schafer has always had a problem with setting realistic goals and deadlines for himself. If it wasn’t for Brutal Legend being dropped by Activision it likely still wouldn’t be finished today. Tim Schafer is a brilliant idea factory, the problem is he no longer has anyone above him to put a limit on him, so he just keeps going and going, constantly adding new ideas until he ends up in the mess he is in now where he has no money left and the game is likely to suffer for it.

        The Massive Chalice Kickstarter coming a couple of weeks before they announced all this is no coincidence. It’s not like they just suddenly realized that they were going to go way over budget, any one who has watched the DFA documentary will have known they were hitting budget and time problems around month 3 or 4. Massive Chalice is DF’s back up plan for Broken Age. Up until MC the future of DF pretty much solely rested on Broken Age. The fact they have created a fall back plan should stand out like a big neon “Oh Fuck!” sign above the current state of Broken Age.

        • AngoraFish says:

          You make many fair points concerning DF’s business nous. I’d be curious, however, to know whether you consider a cliffhanger ending only half a game.

          • Kinth says:

            Cliffhangers for me always tend to depend on how much they affect the original story.

            For instance you can resolve a story and then still leave a cliffhanger i.e the typical “villain is still alive” or “main character is now stranded elsewhere plot twist” that basically just leaves a sequel open. I do tend to dislike the majority of cliffhangers though and would argue that you aren’t getting the full story.

            A cliffhanger can work in a format like TV. But the asking price for a new game is too high to expect someone to pony up just to see the end of a story for a game they already bought. Also the time gap between games is generally too long to keep people caring.

            It can work if you do the each game has it’s own sub plot that resolves itself and then there is a bigger over arching story where the cliff hanger happens. But that rarely is the case. Another problem with Cliffhangers is it’s mainly just used not for story purposes but just to set up interest in a sequel which I find overly cheap and a pretty shit way to thank your fan base.

            I highly doubt Broken age will be a cliffhanger though since it was never designed to be split into two parts in that way. There are two ways they could really do it.

            1. They split the boy’s and the girl’s story up and release them separately. A realistic option but then it kind of destroys the whole vision of the game.

            2. They release half of each story and just stop them at what seems like a good rounded point to lead into the next part of the story.

            The only other option would be to rewrite the game to include some form of Cliffhanger. Which would not only be worse but cost them even more money they don’t have.

            Any of these ways is likely going to be detrimental to the game though.

          • AngoraFish says:

            I guess we’ll see, but I would hope that the game Part A will end with something like Boy & Girl finally meet… with the second part both of them overcoming their respective challenges as a team.

            I have trouble believing that the game will simply pause as one of the characters walks through some arbitrary doorway, at which point you see a pop up message “to be continued”… if it does, I’d certainly agree that’s pretty lame.

            Ultimately, however, it’s not like multi-part, episodic games aren’t already established in the industry (The Walking Dead, Sam & Max, Back to the Future, Tales of Monkey Island, etc.).

  9. MadFox says:

    1 month – 3 months isn’t a big delay. It sounds like they have all the content in place so this will just be a period where they get rid of bugs. You get to play the game early if you realize it may be buggy.

  10. wodin says:

    I wont bother with the beta..it will ruin the full game experience.

  11. PopeRatzo says:

    Wasteland 2 Forever.

    Still waiting to see that first Kickstarted masterpiece. Sometimes, deadlines are a good thing, as in, someone there to ask, “Is it done?” Not “is it done yet”, but just, “are you sure it’s not done and you’re just afraid it’s nowhere near as good as you wanted it to be?”

    We really need to see a crowd-sourced game that is as good as any AAA title. And like the games themselves, that first really great one is just around the next corner.

    This might be a problem with crowd-sourcing. When a AAA falls short, the people involved regroup and try again. There’s a perceived finality to crowd-sourcing though. If you fall on your face, you might just not get people to get behind you a second time.

    Seems like it’s still to be seen whether or not crowd-sourcing is good for gaming and gamers or not.

    • Kentauroi says:

      Uhhh what exactly do you mean we need to see a crowdfunded game as good as any AAA title? FTL is better than most AAA titles I’ve played in the past 2 years.

      Kickstarter isn’t going to be raising enough funds for Witcher 2 level polish/detail if that’s what you’re going for, those games cost way more money than even the most successful kickstarter game has made.

  12. BTAxis says:

    Seriously though, who even pays attention to release dates anymore? I know I don’t. The first I know of a game’s release is usually the game’s actual release. I find it a workable attitude.

  13. Premium User Badge

    DrScuttles says:

    As a backer, I’ve got in the habit of just vaguely glancing over the Wasteland 2 updates. In all honesty, I couldn’t even claim to know when the original release date was scheduled. Not for a lack of enthusiasm, but more an attitude of, “here’s some money, make that game you wanted to. Let me know when it’s finished or you crashed and burned trying.” But it’s nice for them to be communicative for the people who want that sort of thing.

  14. Dizzard says:

    Better delayed than cancelled.

    The three kickstarter projects I backed all have delivery dates in July 2013 but I can see from reading updates that they’re still working away….so really that’s enough for me. At least for now.

  15. Kerey Roper says:

    In other InXile news (what a mouthful) Torment team is hiring a Senior Programmer:
    Unity forum
    InXile page

    Expect these delays to continue all around. I wouldn’t be surprised if I see a posting for Wasteland 2 later.

  16. lilly_watson says:

    my roomate’s step-aunt makes $61 hourly on the computer. She has been out of work for five months but last month her paycheck was $20774 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site…..b­u­z­z­5­5.ℂ­ℴ­m

  17. Arach says:

    These delays on kickstarter projects are a bit annoying,some of them had pretty unrealistic release dates but still…I guess it´s better to delay it and then release a much better game later,but it bums me out,I was so excited to play Shadowrun Returns last month but at least there´s only a few days to go now…unless they delay it again!

    • InternetBatman says:

      Ha! They sent out steam keys already. It’s just sitting there. Taunting me.

      • Arach says:

        Yeah,and not even a preload,I was looking forward to play it the minute it became available but I still have to suffer through the install lol.

  18. The Petulant Platypus says:

    I wonder if it makes people appreciate publishers a little more, of course appreciate is probably the wrong term to use but make it makes people have a better view on publishers. Quite a few people are upset over recent Kickstarter delays and question why the money wasn’t better spent, time allocated better, things planned better etc.. I guess something that the publishers also deal with, except they have funded all of a project and not just slapped $30 on the table.

    *shrug*

    It’s looking good and I’m hoping for a great result for this game, I guess it will be one of the first big KS releases that needs to show what KS/crowdsource funding can really deliver for gamers.

  19. Enkinan says:

    I’d rather play a less buggy and fully complete game than have them rush it out regardless of if I am way too excited to get my hands on it.

    I’d like to wait to play the final version instead of beta and not have any spoilers, but I know when it actually is beta I’m going to get twitchy. Verrrrry twitchy.

  20. PegasusOrgans says:

    I don’t think I’ll be able to stop myself from playing the beta… I did pay more for it, afterall… and I’m used to bugs in games. I even do a rough run for a few hours to get a feel for how I want to form and grow my party.