Wasteland 2: Fargo On NPCs, DLC & Save-Scumming

By Alec Meer on August 5th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

When I sat down for a chat with Wasteland 2’s Brian Fargo (he of Interplay as-was, and now of InXile as-is), it wasn’t yet known that the Kickstarted alterna-Fallout RPG was to have its release date moved from August to September. Hence, I didn’t ask him about that. But we did talk about the state the game’s in now, what post-release plans are, sneaking recordings of his revivalist preacher granddad onto the soundtrack, mysterious NPCs, butterfly effect consequences and the importance of continuity.

RPS: You’re basically finished now?

Brian Fargo: We’re in the final stretch. We’re gonna give an update tomorrow or the next day, which is pretty darn representative of the Arizona section of the game. That goes out to all the beta testers. All we’re really doing at this point – because we have very few critical error bugs remaining – is adding more polish. We make changes all the way to the last second, so it’s adding particle effects, adding more variants of things going on, messaging things better, typos, lots of little things. That’s all going to happen over the next four to five weeks. You can play the whole game start to finish, everything’s in there now, we’re just in the final stretch.

RPS: What will “finished” mean for a game like this, released like this? Presumably it won’t just be washing your hands of it bar a couple of patches?

Brian Fargo: Oh, I think those days are over. There’s no such thing as “you’re just done.” There’ll always be follow-on support, although we’re somewhat fortunate that, because it’s been a beta tested game since December, we’ve dealt with so many of the compatibility issues and so many of the things that you would usually have post-launch. But no doubt they’ll found things, but also we want to add some other content later for free, to keep it fresh and exciting for people who paid us for it. Then we’re going to be putting out some mod tools also. That’s a mini-project into itself, that’s going to create a whole series of lovely problems.

I wouldn’t mind doing an expansion pack. We’re going to consider it, but we just look at our resources because we’re a small company, we’ve got to get Torment done, some people would love to see a console version. So we’ve got to look at all the things and what we can spend. There’ll be definitely be add-on support and add-on content one way or the other. It might just be free.

RPS: And you’ve got to make the Red Boots DLC still, of course. [This is an in-game joke – Exposition Ed]

Brian Fargo: That’s very expensive to make, too. That’s why it’s $60. We got to put a lot of effort into that [laughs].

RPS: I wonder how many people clicked on that link, despite the crazy price.

Brian Fargo: I don’t know, but I did see one time where somebody posted about how outrageous it was. They were all “see, this is the kind of thing they’re doing, right off the bat, charging $60 for DLC.” Of course, the other users just shredded the person. He just went away and pretended he hadn’t said anything. Did you ever see that NPR thing that proves nobody ever reads beyond the headline? They gave some weird headline, and the body said ignore the headline, it was just attached to see if anyone reads anything, then all the comments were just about the headline. It’s the nature of the beast.

RPS: You were saying about how many bugs the community had identified for you – is that stuff removing the need for QA?

Brian Fargo: Oh, we have quite a big QA team, we have a whole group in Poland that’s helping us to do QA. Remember, on the LA map side, that isn’t in the public yet, so we’ve had to throw a bunch of bodies at that. Even on the Arizona side of it, we still have it, because we can say “we need you to play through the game and shoot everyone,” because that’s a different play experience. Most people who play it are trying to play in a more normal fashion, so we’ll dictate that QA play it in certain ways. Plus there’s ourselves, a small team internally, but there’s a lot externally. We do regression tracking and all that, there’s a whole science to keeping it bug-free.

RPS: With some Early Access games, it does seem like the developers are hoping the players will do all that stuff for them.

Brian Fargo: Oh, yeah. You can’t rely on that. You have to do your own checks.

RPS: You also mentioned that you were still tweaking the messaging, and I’m curious about the design philosophy in terms of making it obvious what the player can do versus their having to figure it out themselves and maybe missing huge things if they don’t. There’s an optional bit early on where there’s a kid drowning in a lake, but you can only save him by getting a strong character to knock down a totem pole for him to cling onto. Nothing in the game tells you that, and there’s only a short window you can do it in, but clearly you feel great if you do figure it out. Er – I hope I don’t sound like the guy at a Simpsons convention saying “in episode EF17 Comic Book Guy says that…”

Brian Fargo: No, no, I know that bit, actually that’s my map, so I know exactly what you mean. That’s little Ralphie Parker. There are several ways to knock that pole over, actually. You can brute force it, you can use an explosive, several ways. In a way, that kind of sums up the game. There are all of these events like that, and it’s OK if you figure them out or you don’t. You’re really carving your own path.

There’s all this content that you’re not going to see, or by virtue of your decision or lack of decision you’re cutting things off constantly, but you’ll feel it when you’re playing it through. You’ll probably say no to someone who wants to join your party, then you’ll keep wondering “what would have happened?” Or you say yes and they get into a scene or solve a problem for you, and you think “what if they weren’t there with me, how would that have played out?” You will logically figure out that this thing is constantly adjusting based on your decisions.

I was thinking – when you were talking about design philosophy – is that we try to make things behave correctly as much as we can, and that’s what we pour our hearts into. That’s all we’ve been doing for the last seven months. I’ll give you another example. There was the film I was watching recently, and the guy got into a car accident, right. And then in the next scene, he’s talking to his wife. Doesn’t mention the accident. Well… it kind of ruins the moment for me, because no human being on Earth would not mention to their wife that they just got in a car accident.

The thing about it is, when you’re writing a film, that’s not a reality. He didn’t really get in a car accident. You could see how a writer, in their mind, might make a stupid mistake like that, because it didn’t really happen, so there’s not a natural human emotion that goes on. That stuff really bothers me. My wife, I drive her crazy because I’m “that makes no sense!” when we’re watching a film, she’s going “shut up and just enjoy it, quit pointing all this stuff out”, and I’m “but it wouldn’t happen in that order, how could that person have known that!” Drives her nuts.

By the way, it’s not to say we’ll never make a mistake like that, but we try really, really hard not to. So that’s why we keep trying that “what if they do that, what if he’s there”, always throwing things at it. Even our users will help remind us of things. Here’s one from the other side, where we had all the story of your Rangers and this and that, then somebody said “where are the other Rangers?” And we were like, “oh yeah!” Now we had to do another pass of other Rangers you could hear on the radio or see if they’d been somewhere already. All of these things in the world so that you didn’t feel like you were the only one, but it was a very obvious problem where we’d been so laser-focused on your experience that we forgot about building out the fact that there were more of them out there. So we did that. That’s the kind of stuff you need all this iteration on these games for. You need massive, massive iteration time.

RPS: Where do you stand on save-scumming? I have to confess that’s how I rescued little Ralphie Parker in the end, because I didn’t want to be the guy who doesn’t save drowning kids, but was I breaking your puzzle there?

Brian Fargo: Because people are able to save games and restore easily? I’ve got you covered there, because for so many events, the cause and the action are so very far apart. So you can’t just be doing that. In many ways, a lot of the tension is lost in some modern games because you can save it, try it, not like the result and immediately reload. We have things that happen because of what you’ve done, a kind of butterfly effect, 2, 3, 4, 5 hours later on. You want to go back five hours of gameplay? Go for it. It’s not worth it – so you are stuck with it. Once that happens a couple of times, you’re really going to start thinking about your decisions. “I didn’t do that, and now four hours later this happens, I got to be really careful with my decisions.” Nothing makes the game unwinnable, we wouldn’t do that to you, but it does change things, and that’s just the way it goes. “I would have liked to have met this cult, but now they all hate me and I will never know what it’s like to go into this town and talk to them because I’m not going to replay four hours.” Design philosophy-wise, that’s how we attack that.

RPS: Is the cause of these consequences always transparent?

Brian Fargo: If it’s a big impact, we try to message it obviously, if it’s a smaller impact, no. There are other things where there’s a more subtle butterfly effect. There’s this one NPC companion, which I love, and remember there’s like 12 or 14 different ones, but if you kept this one all the way to the end of the game – and I don’t know why you would, only I do know, because you get emotionally attached to these people – there’s a whole sequence that happens in the last 20 minutes. It’s hilarious. I don’t know what percentage of people will see it, maybe 5%, but I absolutely love it. If you do have the guy, you’ll be thinking “I can’t believe I’m getting a pay off for keeping him in my party.” It’s just a visual pay-off, but it’s very, very funny.

RPS: In that sort of vein, I like to ask developers what one element in their game that they were personally responsible for and might not get noticed at all they’re most proud of?

Brian Fargo: Well, I was pretty actively responsible for several parts of the game. One is that in one of Mark Morgan soundtracks you’re going to hear a preacher coming in and out of the music. That preacher is my grandfather. He was a fire and brimstone preacher, he travelled the Bible belt during the 30s and 40s and gave these revival talks, he was a revival minister. He died of a heart attack in his 30s, he was so over the top, but before that he recorded an album – he was that big. So I lifted that into this soundtrack and you can hear it in there.

Another one is I put this other character in, it’s just this odd moment and I love reading people trying to figure it out, he’s named Probost. You’re playing the game, and all of a sudden somebody starts following you. He says nothing. He won’t speak to you, he’s just following you. You go into combat and he’ll actually get into combat with you and help you. Then he just goes away. Never a word. The conjecture about what it means is fantastic. And if you kill him for no reason, he drops an Owl of Minerva, which is an Illuminati thing. There are some other Illuminati references in LA, so was he related? I love those moments where it’s ‘what did it mean?’ I love the non-sequitur stuff.

I don’t like in movies and TV where everything thing has to be right on the nose, every message that you get is right there helping you solve the puzzle or push the story forwards. I like that there’s a lot of other chatter going on in the world. Some of it is nonsensical, some of it you have to make sense out of it. One of my other parts is I have a whole bit in Russian, where there’s two Russians having a conversation over the airwaves that of course makes no sense to you. Unless you speak Russian. And if you do, you actually get a clue that you’d never have otherwise. I put in a bunch of old Cold War radio signals that we still to this day don’t quite know what they meant, and odd tones… I love the atmosphere of the world-building.

It was also my idea to put in the children’s choir singing. I was actually at one of my kid’s recitals, and they were singing about an event – that was actually a really shitty event – but the singing sounded wonderful. I was “this is brilliant! This is perfect! We have to get a kid’s choir!”

RPS: So basically you’re trying to get every member of your family to sing in Wasteland 2?

Brian Fargo: Well, I was going to get that choir, but then they convinced me to get a real kids’ choir, so that’s what we did. I think the kids’ choir is one of my favourite moments. I have a lot of little things in there. There’s another little musical piece late in the game, a licensed thing, I won’t ruin that but when it comes on it’s very odd. I just want to make sure that when you start this game – and it’s a big game – from beginning to end you never once feel like you’re just seeing the same stuff. You’re meeting people, seeing people, hearing music, odd moments from start to the very end. In fact I even had us introduce a new game mechanic in the last 20 minutes. The game actually operates completely differently in the last 20 minutes than it did the prior stuff.

RPS: It turns into Super Irradiated Mario?

Brian Fargo: Well, not quite that. More Sinistar. [laughs]. No.

Part two to follow!

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54 Comments »

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  1. Utsunomiya says:

    A new mechanic in the last 20 minutes?
    Like, a pick-your-ending button?
    Like, there’s a dialogue wheel, and you have to talk to this kid, and you can’t shoot him… right?

    • Premium User Badge

      Bradamantium says:

      I’m hoping for a Blood Dragon-style laser shuriken weapon, myself.

    • WiggumEsquilax says:

      Will we be able to initiate combat at will? Even during the ending?

      Can we shoot the ending?

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        Lars Westergren says:

        Can we talk to the ending? And pursuade it to self-destruct if our charisma/persuation is high enough?

    • LintMan says:

      Perhaps like a super gravity gun?

  2. Drake Sigar says:

    Note to self – learn Russian.

    • Maritz says:

      I did Russian GCSE a long time ago. It was hard. I can’t remember more than about five words of it :(

  3. Orija says:

    So, have the character models started to resemble their portraits now?

    • Premium User Badge

      Sunjumper says:

      The portraits have changed and the options to make your character have expanded.
      While you won’t get 1:1 correspondence you can get close to the portait you chose.

      • khomotso says:

        I think this is simply not true. There are different portraits now, but not better ones, and they are still very few in number. The character model options are also very limited and just plain crude and ugly overall.

        I’ve played through the Arizona section a couple times, and think I will love the full game when it matures. But this one area – character customization – is screaming out for some serious mod improvement, and I don’t think I’ll feel that the game has matured until these mods start to appear.

        As it stands, I make a team of people and feel like it’s not really the people I want to imagine. Just a set of skills in my Swiss army knife of tactical combat, not characters I’ll get attached to. As shallow as it may seem, the really limited customization seems like a big part of this.

        • tetracycloide says:

          Oddly I came to the opposite conclusion after customizing the characters. I think they would be easier to get attached to if there was not customization because that’s what makes them feel like “skills in my Swiss army knife of tactical combat.” I need a guy that does ___ so this guy will be __ guy. That’s not a character, that’s a bundle of pixels that makes a previously grayed out button light up.

    • Lucid Spleen says:

      There is now an option to take a snapshot of your character model in the character creation screen to use as your portrait for that character. Which works pretty well. Well it did until the game got a bit confused and decided to use the same portrait for the two characters that I’d made. The pre-made character portraits were ok though. So, er, almost there, swings and roundabouts..

    • Hawat says:

      Most of the portraits that were not reproduceable at all in game were removed.

      • JFS says:

        What about the extra portaits backer reward? Will they ever exist, if reproducability is a criterion?

        By the way, I dislike this blunt approach to the problem. They could have fixed it by adding customisation options to the models. Or they could havs left the portraits in, Minsc’s model didn’t look like his portrait but who cared!

    • khomotso says:

      Character portraits are fine, mostly because it’s easy to replace them. In fact, InXile seem so eager to encourage this that a mouseover in the UI tells you exactly what size to make them and where to put them. And galleries of reasonably good fanmade alternatives are already emerging:

      https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.781722505188171.1073741836.349361458424280&type=3

      So I’m not so worried about the ingame options, which are pretty spare.

      What’s still really disappointing is the character model customization. Very few options, mostly unattractive ones, even if you forgive the low poly count and textures for a low budget game. Then there are ethnicity choices like ‘American’ (which is apparently an alternative to ‘Latino’). I tried to make a black character, but the closest I could get just looked like a surfer dude with a deep tan.

      When the stated aim is to have you become attached to your cast of characters, this seems like a pretty serious oversight.

      I think the bottom line is that they’ve basically punted on character customization. You supply your own custom portrait, you write your own bio, etc. Fine. That’s not entirely a bad thing. But it comes to a screeching halt when you try to see your custom work realized in the appearance of your in-game avatars. I’m holding out hope for modding work in this area – which is where modding usually starts, anyway.

      • Juke says:

        Just adding a +1 for the Facebook Wasteland Portraits resource.

        That’s where I got my 4 PC portraits, and surprisingly, I was able to make decent representations of them on the in-game avatars. Decent, mind you. Character creation is still limted; it has some of the wonkiest hairstyle models this side of Fallout 3, for example, but I think is a testament to the quality of the Facebook page, that they’ve added photos that actually work really well for the game.

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    Lars Westergren says:

    The game has improved hugely during the beta. The latest update days ago increased my framerate from 25 FPS to over a hundred.

    I also like that consequences aren’t immediately obvious. That was one scene I reacted against in the first beta –
    SPOILERS!
    There is a terminally ill woman who begs you to put her out of her suffering now that her husband is gone looking for medicines. If you leave, I think she weeps and curses you, if you do as she asks he immediately pops into the screen and goes “Elisabeth, I found the medicine! You can be cured! OH GOD YOU MURDERED HER!” *attacks*
    It was suspension of disbelief breaking, plus its this “Hey, moral gray areas!” thing that the Witcher often pulls where you know no matter what you choose the game will try to guilt trip you for it, so you know there is really no reason to get emotionally invested in anything.

    So hopefully that particular scene has been fixed.

    Prize for worst writing in that category goes to Divinity: Original Sin though.
    MORE SPOILERS!
    Hit an ice crystal, find someone inside. Policemen (snowman policemen even) teleport in and say almost literally “Hi, we represent a monstrous dictatorship, and that earth elemental you just freed is a freedom fighter who tried to help his downtrodden people whom we love to oppress. He killed many innocent snowman kids when revolting though. Now choose which side to be on, because it’s time to fight.” The dialogue choices you are given are of course completely binary too, no “to hell with this, you can fight it out yourselves”. And no, a occasional joking tone isn’t a universal excuse.

    • Orija says:

      I don’t remember the player getting guilt tripped in the Witcher, the game just has you make tough choices that makes you take decisions that you wish you didn’t have to. The sort of choices where you have to decide whether to slaughter a bunch of terrorists or a group of bigots looking to massacre innocents.

    • toxic avenger says:

      The Witcher has many instances where it continually tries to guilt you by your choices in game? Can’t say I see it that way. Life is always lived in the gray areas, and in fact, when games resolve things in an extraordinarily neat way where there is a definite “good” and “bad” choice, it’s almost laughable, similar to the way the ending of South Park episodes are funny in the way they parody 90s family sitcoms. In another way, taking your snowman example, if you stumble upon a prisoner crying out because he/she is painfully oppressed and imprisioned, what kind of character (or even player) would chose to leave the prisoner suffer? You almost are forced into choosing one side of the coin *every single time.* Choice is all but eliminated.

      Sign me up!

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        Lars Westergren says:

        I don’t object to difficult choices or moral gray areas, I object to poor writing.

        If it is obvious which is the correct choice, then it’s not much of a choice (unless you are roleplaying a psychopath). If it is also obvious that there is no correct choice and the game is going to berate you no matter which you pick (“Oh so you choose to side with [the dictatorship | the childkiller], eh? INTERESTING!”), then it isn’t much thought or choice involved either, you might as well flip a coin to advance the story.

        The interesting choices (for me) are when you have to think and investigate before choosing, and you might not be sure if it was the right choice until much later, if ever.

        • jerf says:

          Sorry, but where are the “childkiller/dictatorship” choices in The Witcher? At one point you have to side with one of two factions which both have negative aspects to them, but they also have many positive aspects. This is like real life, where almost nothing is entirely positive or entirely negative, while the majority of other RPGs tend to portray the world in purely black&white terms. I cannot agree that The Witcher is an example of poor writing, if that’s what you meant.
          Especially comparing it with other recent RPGs like Mass Effect, where I couldn’t make any choices at all due to it’s stupid Paragon/Renegade mechanic.

  5. IneptFromRussia says:

    Main question: will it do something better than Original Sin did? Playing the beta left me disappointed in almost every way, from HUD (probably the first game i consider skipping because of interface) to combat (weaker than Fallout tactics, Divinity:OS and probably any other tactical rpg i’ve played). It doesn’t offer anything apart from it being new Wasteland game. Lets hope story’s good.

    • fdisk says:

      I love Divinity: OS but I also played the Wasteland 2 Beta and really enjoyed the combat. I had two melee guys and two ranged ones, one of which was a medic. I really liked how you have to use the cover mechanic in order to even stand a chance. It feels very old school in a good way. Original Sin’s combat is like D&D whereas this is more like new XCOM.

  6. Jenks says:

    “I don’t like in movies and TV where everything thing has to be right on the nose, every message that you get is right there helping you solve the puzzle or push the story forwards.”

    So happy I backed this on Kickstarter, and quotes like that make me even happier.

    • Emeraude says:

      It makes one hopeful, if anything.

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      Foosnark says:

      I had a friend who was an author, who ran roleplaying games that had a lot of this sort of thing in it. Lots of little and not-so-little mysteries and details that our characters never figured out, which might or might not be related to the running campaign, and might or might not ever be solvable given information available to us. Some of them had elaborate plots behind them. Some of them were just whims.

      Sometimes it was frustrating and annoying, because of the expectation that loose ends be tied up and that everything is related. But sometimes that was really cool to be a part of, for the same reason.

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    Wowbagger says:

    I’m still hopeful for a whale carcass and bowl of petunias random encounter.

  8. RogueJello says:

    Please add a “Spoiler Alert” the to Ralphie Parker discussion.

  9. TMA says:

    Thanks to this I just have to get the game now.

  10. newguy2012 says:

    Is the game running ok now? I heard rumours of overheating tendencies.

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      Goodtwist says:

      Well, your CPU might overheat to the point that YOUR HEAD WILL EXPLODE LIKE A BLOOD SAUSAGE.

    • Beelzebud says:

      This issue still worries me. The latest beta plays much smoother but my GPU still gets up in the 78-80c range. It hasn’t blue screened or anything, but that runs hotter than BF4 does!

  11. Hahaha says:

    “There’s an optional bit early on where there’s a kid drowning in a lake, but you can only save him by getting a strong character to knock down a totem pole for him to cling onto. ”

    Thanks for that

  12. Keyrock says:

    This is a great read. I like how candid Fargo is with his answers and doesn’t just give industry standard generic answers. I still haven’t played the game, even though it’s sitting right there, all downloaded and ready in my Steam account. I’m going to hold out until final release then play it all for the first time.

  13. MadTinkerer says:

    “They gave some weird headline, and the body said ignore the headline, it was just attached to see if anyone reads anything, then all the comments were just about the headline.”

    Yesterday, I discovered a Youtube video posted by a semi-popular let’s-play-er that was posted about a week ago. I suffered through the whole thing but it was driving me crazy because the guy was completely slandering Phil Fish. Now let me be clear: there are legitimate fact-based reasons to support a negative opinion of Phil Fish’s public persona, but this was just outright slander. Sixty dislikes and over a hundred thousand likes, where the main topic is that the guy is criticizing Phil Fish for something that Phil Fish never did, and anyone who does even the tiniest bit of fact-checking would know better.

    I’m specifically bringing this up here because the only way for this intellectual microbe to have made the mistake of thinking that Phil Fish stole money from Kickstarter is to have misread a headline. (Because anyone who actually was paying attention, whether they like Phil Fish or not, should remember that Fez and Fez 2 had nothing to do with Kickstarter.) But sixty dislikes and over a hundred thousand likes for bold-faced slander.

    Before some lunatic decides to flame me because they think that I am defending Mr. Fish in any way, I am not. He would have better served his fans with a better sense of “netiquette” and less trolling. But slander means you’ve already failed to have a legitimate opinion, because you’re lying. Phil Fish was abrasive and sarcastic and perhaps too bluntly honest when he should have been more discreet and probably should have been clearer about when he was being honest and when he was being sarcastic. And it’s fine to dislike him for things he actually did. But it’s not okay to just blatantly lie about anyone regardless of whether you think they “deserve it”. Especially when the lie is so easy to disprove.

    But sixty dislikes and over a hundred thousand likes.

    On a more on-topic note, I’m really looking forward to Wasteland 2!

    • Hahaha says:

      Someone be getting sued

    • El_Emmental says:

      So basically an idiot lied on the Internet because he/she misread something ?

      You’ll find hundreds of people who will think FEZ is a CIA false-flag and Phil Fish is an undercover agent, no need to get all outraged because misinformed people can now post videos online for little to not cost.

  14. scritty says:

    As far as delay goes. There are two types that need to be treated differently in my book
    On the one hand, games that are never playable. The Alpha is little more than a tech demo, years pass, the Alpha is still a tech demo.
    Or. on the other hand, games that are playable soon after announcement. Gnomoria, Dwarf Fortress, Prison Architect, Kerbal Space Program, Prject Zomboid, Craft The World… and other games where the games are immensely playable and enjoyable after say a year – and just keep getting better.

    If they were sold as “Here’s a full price game – with the added benefit that the developer will just keep supporting it – forever – and making it better – forever” Then I’m fine with that,

    However, if it’s a tech demo with little functionality, no gameplay to speak of, and years pass, I have a different attitude.
    Games like Castle Story when – almost 18 months after backing it, it still offers the gameplay depth of a spit puddle and seems like the devs are really dragging their feet – I’m much less happy about. You’d struggle to see anything added. Stonehearth is another one. Of course Cubeworld takes the biscuit.

  15. NotToBeLiked says:

    On one hand Fargo wants things that happen to make sense to the player, but on the other hand there is a kid drowning in a lake you can only save by knocking over a pole? Why can’t they just jump in the damn water, throw something floatable in there,…?

    • Booker says:

      It’s a rather hectic situation and you don’t have much time before the guy will actually die. It’s only one of many little things that happen in that place. I was okay with that.

  16. sgallaty says:

    I’m a backer and a long time beta participant.

    This game is real, and it’s fantastic.

    There’s really little to say about this game other than to praise it. If you haven’t played it yet and you liked fallout, fallout tactics, Jagged Alliance, or many other games – this one will blow your mind. It’s what those old games would have been with today’s production values and lessons learned with a very determined and clear vision of what they were trying to achieve, without ever having to compromise to a conflicting agenda.

    • teije says:

      This interview and your comments have moved me off the fence into the will buy category. I’m looking for that old-school goodness in a “new, but not too shiny kind of retro” package. Don’t disappoint me :)

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    JiminyJickers says:

    Just tried the beta, a bit annoyed that there was no disclaimer that getting a steam beta key means that you can no longer get a DRM free version, like was promised in the kickstarter rewards.

    The character models are really bad, the overland map is also pretty bad. Hopefully the gameplay will make up for it, the combat is also very simplistic. Hopefully the new Torment doesn’t use the same engine and artists.

    I’m sure I’ll still enjoy Wasteland 2, but it is very clunky and those character models … ugh.

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      Talking to myself, sad. After having played the beta a bit more, I find it is not as bad as it looked at first. The character models doesn’t come through as much in the main view, it is just in character creator and in your inventory menu that you notice how bad they are. The overland map isn’t as bad as I first thought, could use a bit more details to spice it up but it is functional.

      The gameplay is very fun though and I’m quite enjoying the game. Wish the combat was a bit more detailed, it is rather limited.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I think I saw that lurking in a backer e-mail somewhere but, yeah, it seems a bizzare thing to do.

      “We can’t give the backers, people who already threw money at us out of hope and enthusiasm toward our success, DRM-free copies as well! They might be PIRATES!”

      • Premium User Badge

        JiminyJickers says:

        I had no warning. Because I backed Wasteland 2 through the Torment kickstarter, i.e. by backing at a scale that gave me both games, I received no message.

        I was checking out the Torment backer site where I saw that there was a link to get a beta key for Wasteland 2, I clicked it and only discovered later that it meant that now I can no longer get a Gog key.

        Very disappointed in this, if they actually had a warning, then I would not have clicked the beta link.

        • Premium User Badge

          JiminyJickers says:

          Posting for completeness. They have now changed their minds about how the Steam Keys work. The Beta’s are run on Steam but the Beta Steam key won’t convert to a full game. When the game is released, you can then get a new Steam key, or get a GOG key.

          Good stuff, very impressed with their customer service.

          Edit, wrong Kickstarter, seems Pillars of Eternity also had a Wasteland 2 tier. InXile, however, has agreed to give me a gog key and de-activate my Steam one, which is good of them.

          Would be better if they follow Obisidan’s example, but I’m happy now.

    • Booker says:

      The Steam version is DRM free, AFAIK. As soon as the final is out, you’ll need Steam to download it, but then can play it without it. Just as if you would have bought it on GOG. Divinity Original Sin does it the same way, I read in several places.

      I also don’t understand why someone would choose to activate his key on Steam and then complain that his key is activated on Steam. Although I don’t think this would be necessary (apparently the Wasteland dudes made the same mistake as me) I’m pretty sure they mentioned this in the usual KS updates.

      • Premium User Badge

        JiminyJickers says:

        Because I thought they were giving both keys to backers, not just one. I don’t mind steam but prefer to be able to install, update and play the game without the need for activation servers to be up.

        With steam I need to connect to steam everytime I want to install the game. With gog, I just need to download the intaller and patches, then I can be a hermit in a cave without internet and still install and play my game on my rock PC I constructed.

        They guys have sorted it now anyway, they will give me back my gog key instead of the Steam one, so good customer service. Just wish their communication to the community was as good. As a backer of only Torment, it means I don’t see any Wasteland 2 ones, unless I actively check the kickstarter etc.

    • El_Emmental says:

      If I recall correctly, Steam and GoG keys aren’t all 100% free or given in unlimited amounts to devs.

      Also, giving out 2 keys could be used to be sold again, allowing 2 different people to hold 2 LEGAL licenses for the game, massively inflating the second-hand/key reseller market for the game – people who don’t want to pirate the game but want the cheapest price will just buy the extra GoG/Steam keys.

      Also, regarding DRM :
      – on Steam, you need to launch the Steam client and connect on your account to download the game’s files.
      – on GoG, you need to go on the GoG website and connect on your account to download the game’s files.
      => once it’s done, you can just freely backup these files (on both Steam and GoG).

      So yeah, I understand that activating the Steam key (for convenience) and realizing you can’t use it on the GoG platform too sucks, but it’s not *that* extremely horrible and unjustified.

  18. CookPassBabtridge says:

    “I don’t know what percentage of people will see it, maybe 5%”

    Several thousand YouTubers beg to differ.

  19. Naseer says:

    Part two, is it around the corner mayhap?