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Kicking Up The Dust: Fargo On Wasteland

Wa2teland or Wastelandier?

Brian Fargo has been talking about the past and future of the Wasteland sequel that he hopes to fund through a Kickstarter campaign, and as many suspected he hasn’t suddenly decided to put forward the idea because his eyes sprang out of his head and turned into dollar signs after seeing this action. Nothing of the sort. In an interview with No Mutants Allowed, Fallout’s co-creator explains that the design was already coming together but “publishers just had no interest in a party-based RPG and they felt like they would need to go up against the production costs of BioWare which are in the tens of millions of dollars.”

Thankfully for the economic security of Wasteland fans, Mr Fargo is not hoping to create a game with six million hours of voice acting and a world so pretty that Hollywood will immediately assume it would make a good series of movies. Instead, he promises something old-fashioned, although not without “newness”.

“It needs the right combination of nostalgia and newness to shine and we have much of that content created.”

How to model all the different outcomes possible in an RPG that allows freedom though? Surely every choice that a player makes costs the developer at least ten million pounds? Not so! With a top-down viewpoint rather than an every-angle-you-can-possibly-conceive-of cinimmersion appearance, Fargo reckons the team can “[save] tremendously on the art creation which in turn allows us to script out numerous outcomes without the concern of creating graphics for every possible situation”. Hurrah!

Fargo also talks about how he’ll be approaching the design of this project in the early stages.

“We need to design out every locale, conversation, item and NPC before we start coding… and I mean EVERY detail. This way the game is ensured to be deep and production is kept efficient and focused. We will also use that time to solicit feedback from key hardcore players…changes are free at the writing stage so ideas can be changed and incorporated without fear of making the budget become impossible. Also the original Wasteland team was pretty small so efficiency was key then also.”

Jason Anderson, previously of Interplay and Troika, was involved in the early writing and design, and although he has since left inXile, Fargo reckons that his work will be used in the game. The Kickstarter campaign begins soon, as does a bold and dramatic new era in an industry where YOU are the publisher. Maybe.

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Adam Smith

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