In the Wasteland, it's all "Self-Defense"
Update #28 · Apr 23, 2013 · 57 comments
You’ve heard plenty about Torment over the last month (pretty amazing, huh?!?!) and now it’s time to bring back the good ol’ Wasteland 2 update! The main reason you haven’t heard from us for a while is because our development team is knee-deep in production to get to our end of April milestone. When we exit pre-production, we have paper design for most everything, it’s just a matter of spending the hours, days, and weeks to build, code, and craft the levels and systems you will ultimately play. It tends to be extremely time intensive, but it is one of the most exciting times of the project as you really get a sense of the game as a whole. A few key production milestones that we’ve hit:
All 14 major areas have been blocked out with the base level geometry. And yes, this is revealing we will have 14 major areas.
We have maps loading (from scene to scene) so we’ve stitched together all areas to form a cohesive flow.
95% of all conversation encounters are placed and working. That means you can talk to just about everyone and go through their various states of reactivity based on how you deal with the conversation.
Our core AI system is built and fully functional. These tools allow the designers to build, modify and tune many of the AI behaviors we need for the game (outside of special cases).
Our inventory system is fully functional. **We will detail this further in an update within the next month**
Before I continue with this update, I’d love for everyone reading this to check out this link, showing the success of fan involvement with this game. From the first day we were discussing this Kickstarter, we knew we wanted to be directly in touch with our community but I’m not sure we had any idea how much it could change our fundamental process of making games. All of these (and more) fan-created contributions will make it into Wasteland 2. More on the W.A.S.T.E program later…
First, we’d like to talk a bit more on our weapons system and the thought process that led us to the implementation we have now.
What sort of weapons are at my disposal?
Hello everyone my name is Devin Morrow and I am a combat designer here at inXile Entertainment. I have been asked by the powers that be (read: Chris Keenan, our production director) to introduce myself as well as provide to you, our generous fans and backers, a little insight into our current weapons design progress and philosophy.
This is my first time, so please be gentle.
In the original Wasteland and many other RPG’s, there is a clear weapon progression. As you worked your way through the game, weapons like the handgun became less effective in favor of the larger weapons. While this makes some sense it does limit the ability of a player to choose their favorite weapon type for thematic or role playing purposes. It’s hard to play the part of a wasteland gunslinger when you had to ditch your trusty M1911A1 pistol for an AK-97 because the damage just wasn’t cutting it anymore. In Wasteland 2, we want to give back a little more control to the player over how their characters are built and how they progress. This is something we have heard the community echo many times in conversation and on the forums, so it’s nice to know we are on the right track.
With that in mind, Wasteland 2’s weapons are divided into a number of classes, each with their own progression. We’ve created a system where if you invest into pistols, you can use them from start to finish and be effective throughout. The same thing goes for sniper rifles, sub machine guns, blunt weapons, bladed weapons, brawling weapons, anti-tank, demolitions, energy weapons, and rifles (list subject to change™). We even took this a step further and allowed more specific, thematic progression within the classes. For instance, we have a range of revolvers from starting equipment up to end-game death dealers that are all part of the handgun class/skill. The same is true for semi-automatic pistols if they are more to your taste. Do you like bolt-action or semi-automatic sniper rifles? One-handed or two-handed melee weapons? How about rockets or grenade launchers? Not to worry, we have something for all of you!
That’s not to say that each of these weapons will be as effective as the others in every combat situation. A core design tenet that spans all systems we’re creating has been one of “the trade-off”. We applied this to the weapons system by creating a defined role for each class. Most of these roles you will pick up on quickly. SMGs aren’t as accurate as rifles, don’t shoot as far, and don’t hit as hard or penetrate armor as easily. They do however put out a respectable amount of lead, have the advantage of using pistol rounds which are in greater supply, and require less Action Points to move with. A fast character can be devastating with a SMG, quickly closing in and unloading on an enemy where the accuracy penalty is drastically reduced. On a lightly armored enemy, the damage per action point will be much higher with a SMG versus a rifle (of the same approximate level). Anti-Tank weapons fire and reload slowly, will reduce your character’s speed in combat and are expensive to use, but will do massive damage to a large area. Just make sure you don’t have rangers standing behind your rocket-propelled grenade or the back blast might take them out too.
To keep things fun and allow a little flexibility to the system, we have incorporated weapons within each category that blur the lines between different roles. The perfect example of this is the D18 (totally not the Glock 18) automatic pistol. While not as effective at being a SMG as an SMG, it does allow the player heavily invested in handgun skills a little more flexibility in roles. Some other examples are the shotgun shell firing revolver and the .55 caliber WW2 anti-tank rifle.
Before I go I want to thank the community at Ranger Center. The “Weapons you would like to see in Wasteland 2” thread is one of the largest threads in our forums. You have been a great resource of creativity. I also think you’ll all be pretty happy with the weapon lists we have compiled. We have done our best to incorporate as many of the serious, real world fire arms as we could while still leaving room for some of the crazier suggestions as well (I’m looking at you, welded-together double SMGs). I will hopefully be back soon with an update on our weapon and ammo crafting/upgrade/mod systems and other assorted goodies. Until then please keep the flood of ideas and feedback coming, I assure you we are listening.
W.A.S.T.E. Batch 4
The fourth batch of our Wasteland2 Asset Store Threedee Experiment (W.A.S.T.E.) is now out. After discovering the impressive quality level of assets we received for the previous batches, our art team decided to up the challenge a bit for our contributors. With this latest batch, we’re looking for even more variety and creativity, as many of these props are frequently used and the more varied the set we have to work from, the better the game world will look. We’re also requesting “tile set” meshes for the first time. If you’re interested in contributing, please see the Unity page for more information as well as the gallery of art assets we are looking for.
While our contributors are working on batch 4, we are processing approved contributions from batch 3, as well as reviewing a fresh set of contributions from that batch. While W.A.S.T.E. has not been without its hiccups and delays, we’ve been working to smooth the process, and it’s still exciting to see the high-quality work of your submissions.
We have been getting a lot of questions regarding our plans for DRM-free releases moving forward. To clarify, we are offering the game on as many digital distributors as is viable. Currently we are confirmed on Steam, Origin, and GOG. The Steam and Origin versions will work just like any other games on those services and will not have any additional DRM. The GOG version will be DRM free. We will look at more digital retailers – including other DRM-free ones (such as Desura) – as we get closer to release. As well, we won’t require you to be online to play the game.
We are not currently actively planning any DLC or expansion, since we’re fully focused on delivering our promises with Wasteland 2. It’s not out of the question, but we have made a commitment to 65,000+ people to deliver a fully-complete, bad-ass successor to Wasteland and that’s all we’re concerned with right now. Once the game is released and we can take a deep breath, we’ll evaluate the next best steps for the game and our fans.