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Wasteland 2 Interview and Official Blog Update

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Wasteland 2 Interview and Official Blog Update

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 24 November 2012, 01:38:59

Tags: Brian Fargo; InXile Entertainment; Josh Jertberg; Wasteland 2

The ever tactful and polite fellows at Gamestar.ru have scored an interview with Brian Fargo. Most of it is retreading familiar ground, but there is some hard data on the game's systems:

What about the characters? Will players be able to customize them or are we going to choose from several pre-made characters with their own dispositions and preferrences? Are the conflicts within the team possible? Are NPCs going to react on different characters in different ways? Or are all those promised kilobytes of text going to be simple «you got the job, now go fight»?

Players will be able to create a character from scratch or choose a military occupational specialty (like corps of engineers) which will set the base stats and skills. But even then the player can continue to tweak the skills and attributes the way they want. There will be over 30 different skills that the player uses to customize themselves with. The ranger squad that the players creates are wholly under the control of the player. This is more classic role playing however the NPCs that join the party will not be under full control which means they waste ammo, steal from the party, open fire on people and potentially cause havoc for the rangers. Players won't always quite know what they are getting when someone joins up.​

What about the roleplaying system? Are we getting the classic strength, intellect, luck, agility, dexterity, charisma and other dozen and a half of characteristics? Or are you planning to upgrade the leveling mechanics of the original Wasteland? If you're not, chances are you might get in trouble with Bethesda that owns the rights on S.P. E.C.I. A.L system and, not to mention, just loves taking other companies to the court. Don't you apprehend such possibility?

We are improving on the original skill system from Wasteland. Much of that system was pulled from Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes and influenced the other popular RPG systems that are around today. It provides more than enough flexibility in what we are trying to achieve.​

And there's also this response from Brian that should be a crowd pleaser:

So, Interplay and Black Isle are coming back to life. Have you received any offers to return to your lares and penates? What do you think, wouldn't it be great to gather the dream-team together once again and make another game with your old friends?

I feel like I am already working with my old friends at Black Isle already. We speak frequently and I gave them input on their Kickstarter pre launch to share my experiences. InXile and Obsidian are going to work hard to make Southern California the RPG hub again.​

For complaints about the lack of a console version, complaints about lack of voice acting, complaints about hardcore difficulty levels, complaints about Chris Avellone being a marketing gimmick, and complaints about not using a Russian game engine, you can read the entire interview here.

In other news, there's also a new official Wasteland 2 blog post. This one is by Josh Jertberg, the game's lead animator. Much like the Kickstarter update with John Alvarado, it's highly technical. Here are the relevant bits:

Animation in Wasteland 2 was an unknown for me, never having worked with the Unity engine before. I did know one thing in my mind though when we started: I wanted to hand-key the animations. It’s an ambitious goal of mine and one I hope fans appreciate in the end. It’s my feeling that I can bring more personality and flexibility to the animation, as opposed to using motion capture. Plus, let’s face it; as an Animator I will be more artistically invested in my hand-keyed animations. Even with the best motion capture actors you are many times stuck using what you have recorded. The unique aspects and camera of this game do present some good opportunity and challenge for me as an Animator.​

One of the struggles as an animator in games is the animation system. A good system can make or break the look of the animations. The animation is broken into so many different pieces that if you don’t have some decent way of controlling that, the entire flow of the animation can feel off. Animation systems have evolved a LOT in the past few years. Wasteland 2 is not a controller driven game and many of these systems are designed for analogue input. I needed a simpler solution and I think I’ve found one.​

Browsing the Unity store for animation solutions I found exactly what I needed. I am familiar with the use of an animation tree to drive in game animation states. Sage: Anim Graph Editor is a tool that allows me to intuitively build animation trees that drive the different states of the characters. This is all accomplished without me writing a single line of script. I have no talent for that, but Sage helps me overcome my inability to write script in Unity. I have built up one heck of an animation tree for our rangers so far, and I love the level of control I have over the flow of the animation. The Rangers have a lot of “states” they can be in, so being able to manage and build those states myself is liberating.​

Josh invites you to discuss this topic on the official Wasteland 2 forums.

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