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RPS Talks with Brian Fargo about Wasteland 2 and Obsidian

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RPS Talks with Brian Fargo about Wasteland 2 and Obsidian

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Mon 2 April 2012, 21:14:56

Tags: Black Isle Studios; Brian Fargo; Obsidian Entertainment; Wasteland 2

Dear me, there's a lot of Wasteland 2-related news and interviews popping up these days. Not that it's a bad thing, mind you. Quite the contrary. It's just that my fingers hurt. But even though they hurt, I just can't help informing you that RockPaperShotgun's Alec Meer has had another chat with Brian Fargo, entitled "Back to Black Isle: Fargo on Obsidian Joining Wasteland 2". It's about you-know-who joining the you-know-what, and here are the highlights:

RPS: I’m really glad it worked out. So we’ve just head your news about Obisidan potentially joining the game’s development, which is pretty amazing.

Fargo: I’ve been working on it since the beginning. It’s not like that was easy for me to pull together but there was a desire for me…we’ve been wanting to work together for some time. There’s a mutual respect and of course when it comes to Fallout, that’s yet more people who helped work on that, so I’m super-happy to be working with them. And especially Chris [Avellone] in particular. He’s a real talent and he’s gonna help…

To me, I bring on all these people and they help to set the bar very high so that everybody follows. Even the concept artist you might have seen, Andrée Wallin, you get this super-talent involved and they get the bar up there and then everybody else follows.

RPS: You’ve got to hope there isn’t a weak link among all these super people, but it does sound like a hell of a team.

Fargo: It’s fantastic. And the thing about Chris [Avellone] is that he’s hyper-passionate about Wasteland. For him, it was one of the seminal products that got him into the industry, developed his love for roleplaying games, so I think it’s really kind of a dream for him too.

RPS: Do you think it’s going to work naturally or might there be a clash, in that Wasteland is about player agency and freedom, while the game he’s most revered for, Planescape, is very much a fixed, set narrative?

Fargo: No, they won’t clash at all. What Chris brings is this wonderful density to his levels. So he’ll be involved with the overall, but he’ll also be given some sections in particular that he’ll be able to put his stamp on. It’s sort of like in science fiction novels where multiple authors get involved and do their own parts, all with their own style.

To me, it’s going to be cool because it’s going to give a greater sense of variety as you move around the world. But there’s no way on Earth this is not going to be a sandbox type game.

RPS: Who’s going to handle the story element? Are you going to do that in-house or are you going to pool it like those science fiction authors where it’s a completely collaborative thing?

Fargo: It’s going to be a little bit myself and Mike Stackpole making the world sense come together. So we’ll be helping to coordinate the overarching story of it all, but the individual parts, that’s where we have different people, whether it’s Chris Avellone, or Liz Danforth, who are working on their areas.

RPS: How do the team sizes for this and Fallout compare? Have you got roughly the same headcount?

Fargo: We’re going to be contracting out more on this. There are better tools now than there were back then, so it allows us to have a lot of stuff that’s already built for us and to contract out more. And we’re a little smarter now too.

RPS: Do you know how much of Obsidian would be working on it if it came to pass? Would it primarily just be Chris and a couple of guys, or would it be the whole team?

Fargo: There’s two parts of it. They have a lot of tools also over there that they’ve built over the years that are going to help save us some time. So there’s a tool component that takes their time – historical time – and then primarily it’s just Chris and maybe a couple of the guys, but it’s mainly from a design perspective. Pure writing/design.​

Pure joy, I'd rather say.

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