Post-Kickerstartpocalypse: Fargo Swats Wasteland Fears

I'm not really sure what to take away from this image. It could be anything.

Wasteland’s rags-to-riches-to-reuniting-Black-Isle tale has been one for the ages, but – with the Kickstarter account four days from ascending to Money Heaven, where the streets are paved with people – what happens now? If offered millions of dollars and one (1!) Chris Avellone, I’d do just about anything someone told me – so has Wasteland 2 taken on an out-of-control life of its own? Not even a little bit, says Brian Fargo. Wasteland 2 is still, first and foremost, his “baby.”

Via Kickstarter, Fargo claimed totalitarian domain over the wastes while also outlining nitty gritty details of party member control and characteristics.

“While we have brought Obsidian into the mix, I think it is important to note that this is my baby, and I will be producing it and managing the programming here at inXile. There seemed to be some confusion on whether it  will be a joint production, but the main facets of our involvement are with the use of their tools for asset integration and the design talents of Chris Avellone. Part of the charm and variety of Wasteland 1 came from the way different designers would approach their areas, and I wanted the same dynamic again.

“I did want to give some detail on what the definition of a party based game was since there seems to be some confusion. You will be creating and customizing four Rangers at the start of the game… Skills in Wasteland range from lock-picking to bomb disarming to even toaster repair. In addition there will be three slots for non-player characters to join the party. They will have quirks that could range from momentary indecision with them not firing their weapons at an opportune time, to being trigger happy and wasting ammo or even stealing from your characters. This opens up a wide range of possibilities on which NPCs you decide to have join your ranks.”

And, to top it all off, here’s a video addressing issues like story (still set in the Southwest, will encounter old characters), fan feedback (will provide input on bigger issues, have access to a beta), and combat (turn-based with elements of Jagged Alliance and Fallout Tactics, but faster). Also, if you stick it out until the end, you’ll get to see Chris Avellone teleport. So you should probably watch it.


  1. Mr. Mister says:

    I’m gonna max out my toaster repair skill

    • 2late2die says:

      I’m personally going for the more exotic, “Toaster Steal” skill – once you hit 10 points you can steal toaster *white* it’s making toasts… mmmm, toast.

    • RedViv says:

      I will be so good at toaster repair, I will create the ultimate in kitchen appliances. And all the other appliances will have their doneness settings turned… to darkest!!!

    • JackShandy says:

      Sure, toaster repair is a hilarious thing to see on a skill sheet, but I hope they at least try to balance the skills this time around.

      The original Wasteland had a skill that did literally nothing. It was called “Combat shooting”.

      I have seen people defend this.

      • Vorphalack says:

        It’s Zen skill design. Taken to its most literal extreme.

        The skill is not perfect when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      If memory serves, wasn’t Toaster Repair good for EXACTLY one situation in the original game, which involved getting some sort of all-important electronic component out of said appliance?

    • Diziet Sma says:

      As a backer of the project you have now made me want to go and play Wasteland. I somehow overlooked it (as I managed to overlook Fallout 1, which I’m now playing through a lot). I blame not owning a PC when they came out.

    • Bhazor says:

      Theres a running joke about pretending to be a toaster mechanic in Fallout: Equestria. Is that a reference to Wasteland? Because I really never got what that was a reference to.

      • VincentR says:

        The joke in Fallout: Equestria could be a call-out to Wasteland, but it’s more likely a reference to Fallout 3, where-in the DJ, 3-Dog, says in one of his looped radio-broadcasts that his “toaster’s been on the fritz”. However, that in itself is likely a call-out to Wasteland. So… yes?

  2. Meat Circus says:

    The key is, by all means take *suggestions* from backers, but retain overall control of the design to ensure the game has a focused artistic vision of what it wants to be.

    Design by committee rarely produces an engaging product.

  3. Terragot says:

    Fallout 2 still has the most fitting soundtrack for anything ever. Didn’t realise he had Mark Morgan on board for this, suddenly I’m interested. The man has a wonderful talent for finding the soul of a game.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      They could have just licensed SAW2.

    • hermitek says:

      The man has also wonderful talent for reusing his older stuff. Just listen to NetStorm OST. But I backed Wasteland 2 only because of him too.

  4. Meat Circus says:


  5. bfandreas says:

    I’m also quite stoked about this.
    But keep in mind:
    The hype machine is rolling. And it will be for the next couple of years.
    Wasteland 2 will not walk your dog.
    Wasteland 2 will not empty your kitty litter box.
    Nor will it make you a nice hot cup of brew first thing in the morning. Tuck you in at night. Kiss you better. Bring world peace.

    They have some amazing talent on board but it still is a software project. And with their funding model they have plenty opportunity to be sidetracked.

    Design by comittee in the forums. *shudder*

  6. apocraphyn says:

    With Wasteland 2 and Shadowrun Returns in the pipeline, Dark(GFWL!?!)Souls and Guild Wars 2 on the way, as well as stellar stuff like Legend of Grimrock that’s out right now, does anyone else feel rather ecstatic with the state of things in general? I know I bloody do. THESE ARE THE BEST OF TIMES~

  7. Furius says:

    Looks like he’s working behind the counter in a game shop. I kept expecting a polite “ahem” and the camera to pan round to a queue of people waiting to be served.

  8. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    OK so I’ve changed my mind about this yet again… Gah!
    I think I’ll just take some advice from commenters yesterday and pay the monies and then ignore Brian Fargo’s ramblings until something significant happens.

  9. frightlever says:

    Any point tracking a version of Wasteland down and playing it? It’s on the abandonware sites and my moral code is flexible when it comes to games I can’t actually buy any longer.

    • Apples says:

      I would also like to know this. I looked at some screenshots and watched a video of someone playing it, and it mostly looked like a load of scrolling text about hilariously named people shooting/missing rats. OK, OK, I know it’s an old game but what does it have to offer that makes everyone love it so much (obviously not the combat gameplay)? I don’t actually really like any of the Fallout games so I don’t know if it’s worth grappling with the outdated gameplay if it’s basically the precursor of those.

      • Wizardry says:

        That’s like watching videos of the rat cave at the start of Fallout and then judging the whole game on it. And what’s wrong with “scrolling text”? It’s no less interactive than animations.

    • Pemptus says:

      Sure, of you’re fairly tolerant of cumbersome interfaces, Bard’s Tale-like combat systems, balance issues (some skills are pretty much useless, some attributes much more important than others, melee kills give double exp AND are more powerful than guns, etc) and having to read story bits from a downloaded pdf. I had a fair amount of fun with it a couple of years back, though I was a bit more patient back then.

    • Wizardry says:

      You can get it on Abandonia. It’s one of the best CRPG of all time. I don’t know why you’d want to miss it.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      It’s definitely worth playing if you can get past the oldness of it. Though the interface and mechanics are a lot easier to learn than some of its contemporaries. The combat is actually really engaging once you get the hang of it, and the writing oozes charm.

      Do your homework before you play though, or you’ll find yourself re-installing every couple of hours because you screwed up and the game files changed permanently.

  10. Mattressi says:

    Well, I’ll certainly toast ter that

  11. Lemming says:

    I appreciate what Brian is trying to do, but I backed him because I want to see HIS Wasteland 2. I imagine alot of these videos and fan consulting is probably because he feels beholden to the backers and he’s too nice a guy. I can’t say if I was in the same position that I’d give two shits what some NMA forum goer does/doesn’t want in my game.

    I hope he doesn’t have to compromise his vision, and I hope his output from the cut off date is restricted to more professional press releases that don’t revolve around ‘fan’ appeasement. I say ‘fan’ in quotes because it’s a dubious moniker at best concerning people who think they somehow own the direction of this game.

  12. noom says:

    Gotta say, while I’ve not played the original, this does sound so far up my street that it’s gone right off the end of it and is sitting in the woods somewhere.

  13. Bhazor says:

    He has the big box version of Sacrifice.

    Total bro.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      IIRC Sacrifice was the last big box game I got, its either that or Morrowind

  14. daphne says:

    Anyone kind of bothered by how static Avellone’s face looks during his segment? Not to riff on my favourite games-related writer, of course, but wow, he’s speaking with this constant “:)” face on. He looks less expressive than your average Shepard, even.

    • B1A4 says:

      Yeah, typical sociopath.

    • UnravThreads says:

      Avellone has the emotional range of a potato. You can hear it in his voice.

      Gods above, how I hated listening to those dev diaries for New Vegas. Him and Sawyer together is a path to madness, I tell you.

    • Cinnamon says:

      His eyes are too far apart. A clear sign that he is an evil manipulative person. Possibly someone who kicks small animals when he thinks that nobody is watching. I hope that Bioware can save us from this terrible, terrible man.

    • lordfrikk says:

      In fact his face is a constantly like this:

      link to

    • Infinitron says:

      He’s like Dr. Manhattan, so god-like that he’s slowly losing touch with earthly human emotions.

  15. Calabi says:

    This is great.

    I’m just hoping the worlds and everybodies economies dont collapse before some of these games are completed. There is an unknown probability that they might.

  16. LionsPhil says:

    “You know, [combat system] has to be somewhere between [the two worlds of slow, tactical JA-style combat and something faster]”

    Sounds like the solution is real-time with pausing!

    (Dives for bomb shelter.)

    • InternetBatman says:

      I thought JA was real time with pause?

    • cassus says:

      Real-time with pausing is the best combat system ever devised. giving me time to think about moves when I see fit is just perfect. Standard turn based systems are awesome and all, but they are never as in depth as I want them to be, and that means I’m playing super slow with a feeling that there’s really no reason for this slow pace..
      That said, Silent Storm is amazing. Best Turn Based tactics game ever IMO.

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        theleif says:

        Agreed. But as I understand it, WL2 will have turn based combat. And that’s probably for the best.

  17. Fearzone says:

    I want to carry with me a BOOK of LAW.

    If they don’t have it I’ll have to mod one in or pretend it is there.

  18. cassus says:

    Said it before, and I’ll say it again.. Black Isle back together gives me just a tremendous amount of butterflies. A day I’d never thought I’d see again.