Revving Up: InXile Expand, File Autoduel Trademark

Even with Wasteland 2’s enhanced edition [official site] in the bag, RPG revivalists inXile Entertainment still have a couple of irons in the fire. There’s the not insignificant matter of Torment: Tides of Numenera, which began as one of the most successful gaming Kickstarters ever, and the recently announced The Bard’s Tale as well. The company is expanding, with a New Orleans satellite studio set to open and create 50 new jobs over the next five years.

A trademark filing spotted by the RPG Codex suggests one possible reason for the expansion – another license for another RPG. This time it’s Autoduel, the vehicular combat game derived from Steve Jackson Games’ Car Wars.

If you were to suggest that Mad Max meets Ultima is something of a dream combination in my mind, you’d be right. I love games about cars having fights – Interstate ’76, Quarantine, Carmageddon – and an honest-to-goodness RPG bolted onto a Road Warrior chassis would be splendid to see.

Brian Fargo seemed to confirm that the Codex were onto something when he quoted their discovery on the Twitters. The official Car Wars site also has a space for an upcoming sixth edition. Scott Haring, once line editor of the Car Wars tabletop games and editor of the magazine accompaniment, has spoken about plans for that new edition recently. If that were to release sometime soon, an InXile-created tie-in would be lovely.

22 Comments

  1. Infinitron says:

    Senior inXile employee Maxx Kaufman was involved with this little-remembered Autoduel Kickstarter, increasing the odds that this isn’t just a random trademark grab: link to rockpapershotgun.com

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      Phasma Felis says:

      Wow. WTF happened there? They just decided to make a game called “Autoduel” that had no relation to Autoduel or Car Wars? At least they changed it to “MotorGun” before launching the Kickstarter, presumably after some strong words from Steve Jackson, but I’ve got to question the judgment of anyone who thought that was a good idea in the first place.

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        Phasma Felis says:

        Doing some Googling, it seems that there’s a possible question as to whether Steve Jackson Games (accidentally?) let the “Autoduel” trademark lapse in 2005. Given the association with a company that tried to appropriate it once already, I’d really like some confirmation as to whether this is an actual SJG-blessed Autoduel/Car Wars game, or they’re just vultures taking advantage.

  2. MattMk1 says:

    Hmm. Heard good things about Autoduel, never played it.

    Although to be honest, after Wasteland 2 (does the enhanced edition actually fix some of the fundamental flaws of the game, or does it just smooth away the worst of the rough edges and bugs?) I don’t know if I trust them.

    Definitely wouldn’t support a Kickstarter for any new game of theirs.

    • geisler says:

      In my opinion? No. It even introduced a new god-awful camera that isn’t capable of a true isometric viewpoint (the zoom and angle control is limited).

      • Infinitron says:

        The camera hasn’t been changed, other than a limited zoom that was hotfixed within 24 hours.

        • geisler says:

          Hi jew. I actually played the game after the hotfix and was sure the angle was skewed completely top-down as you started zooming out (i know it’s normal when you zoom out completely, but it was happening as soon as you started zooming out).

          However, just launched the game again, and you’re correct, the camera is back to how it was in the original game now.

    • Cinek says:

      Very much agreed MattMk1. I’m under the same impressions.

      The last game I backed from them is TTOn, and I really want TToN to succeed, but I know that if they’d try to kickstart it after the Wasteland 2 – I wouldn’t give them a single $. Now I’m just left waiting for TToN in a slightly troubled mood… hoping it won’t flop… but at the same time having a feeling that it will…

      • MattMk1 says:

        Yeah, playing Wasteland 2 made me *very* uneasy about Numenara as well.

        On the other hand, the core stuff they’re ostensibly focusing on in Numenara – quests and dialogue rather than combat, and cool locations with interesting art direction – are exactly what Wasteland 2 needed to do better, and it is a different development team working on this. So I try to be optimistic.

        I still have misgivings, though… I don’t like the PnP Numanara system, and think it’s a difficult one to translate into a CRPG.

        I’ve also read comments from the devs about some things they were thinking of putting in – like solving the problem of people resting too much and always approaching each challenge at 100% by putting in hidden timers for quests and events, which are incredibly hard to implement in ways that don’t drive completionists like me insane (do I need to explore 100% of this town square the first time I enter it, because maybe one of the three NPCs that said they wanted to talk to me won’t be there anymore if I go through an area transition? Do I dare enter that interesting looking building before completing my detailed inventory of the area?) – that made me kind of worried.

        • Chris Cunningham says:

          Who are you people that had such a bad impression of Wasteland 2 that you’re claiming you wouldn’t even have paid for it? What exactly were you expecting from it?

          • MattMk1 says:

            I didn’t actually say I wish I hadn’t bought it, just that I wouldn’t support any new Kickstarters inXile attempts. From now on, I’ll wait for the reviews before giving them my money.

            But since we’re on the subject – what did I hope for from Wasteland 2? Lots of things. A more interesting story. Less filler. An attribute and skill system that wasn’t awful. A 2014 game that was inspired by a 25 year old RPG, but not held back by misplaced nostalgia.

            I’m not saying it was a terrible game – I probably just barely got my money’s worth – but I stopped halfway through it, and it had enough little disappointments I don’t see myself ever going back. I’d rather load up Fallout 2 again, or replay Shadowrun: Dragonfall, or buckle down and finish Pillars of Eternity (which also started to drag a bit for me, once I hit the level cap) than try to go back and finish Wasteland 2.

            Or play Shadowrun: Hong Kong, like I’m actually doing right now.

          • PancakeWizard says:

            This confuses me as well. Wasteland 2 (even DC) might have a few niggles, but it’s a great game full of world building, tactical character building, hard choices and wit. Clocked 52 hours so far. This is something, to date, I’ve spent a grand total of $20 on.

  3. GuybrushThreepwood says:

    The revival of games from the 80s and 90s keeps rolling along. I’m sure that Steve Jackson Games would be thrilled if Fargo and Co can bring Car Wars into the mobile age. Would probably be a good boost to their tabletop sales if it happens.

  4. Tallfeather says:

    If they make Autoduel, it’s a “shut up and take my money” situation for me.
    I played Car Wars PnP to death, and played Autoduel on the 8-bits nearly to death.

  5. Napalm Sushi says:

    Together. we will make Desert Chrome cool again.

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    Harlander says:

    Despite not really liking Wasteland 2 in the end, I’m still pretty interested in what can be done with this.

  7. Hawk52 says:

    Really wish RPS or someone would talk about the fact that Wasteland 2 DC, ten days after release, has game crippling bugs with no announced ETA on the release date for a potential patch. In fact it may be being actively delayed by console development.

    Given the hype around WL2 DC it’s been a disaster.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      “has game crippling bugs”

      Define.

      • Josh W says:

        Why define it, when you can just import it? The only issue is likely to be slightly unexpected functionality.

      • Hawk52 says:

        Try dismissing a companion for instance. They disappear from the game world to never be seen again. So if you make one mistake in the composition of your party, well, you done fucked.

        People are having constant freezing, crashing, and performance issues far worse then with the original game.

        There’s even a massive memory leak if you use dynamic shadows.

        All you have to do is look at the Steam forums and see pages and pages of people becoming incredibly frustrated at the bugs and the lack of any progress to fixing the game.

        • bwion says:

          Apparently the missing companions do come back in the second half of the game.

  8. wodin says:

    A proper Car Wars PC conversion would be awesome.