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Thread: Wasteland 2 Ask a Dev Answers #1

  1. #1
    But best title ever! Vault Fossil
    WorstUsernameEver's Avatar
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    Wasteland 2 Ask a Dev Answers #1

    We've rounded up some of the most interesting replies from the Wasteland 2 Ask a Dev forums.

    On inventory:
    I'll answer these in order:

    Grid

    Icon + Text

    I'll say "Tetris" since some items can take up multiple squares. However inventory is weight limited but not space limited, so there shouldn't be any of the pain that goes with Tetris style systems.

    The latest designs I've seen have a separate window right now but I'm still trying to talk Chris & Design into hovers or at least the option of having hovers instead.

    Per character inventory.

    Hardpoints, as in a spot for your equipped weapon and armor, etc? Yes.

    Quick items, yes.

    Weight limited but not space limited.

    In a nutshell, functionally like Neverwinter Nights 1 but there's no space limitations.
    On combat mechanics:
    Combat will be action point based. There are no defined rounds for "rangers turn" and "enemies turn". Instead it is based on the speed attribute of each party member. Characters with higher speed attributes will get more turns than those with lower speed attributes. Put more points into speed if you'd like to attack more in any given combat encounter.
    On the amount of content:
    Ah, yes... now this is a fascinating topic of great depth with no simple answer! Let's have at it!

    I'm the team leader for the scripters. It is our job to translate the design documents and volumes of written dialog into the physical form of the game. So, let me give you my impression on the task we face.

    First off, there is a difference between size and depth that we should highlight. You can have a large game in size, relative to number of locations, but have a shallow game play experience. Conversely, you can have a small game with few locations, but each location be filled with great depth and dimension. The combination of these two things create the overall "size" and it's the balance of these two that game designers strive to achieve when building their world.

    I believe Wasteland 2 is far deeper than most RPGs. Of actual playable zones, we are looking at around 15 major locations. The size of each location varies, and the activities you will mostly engage in vary as well (conversation/quests, exploration, combat, etc). However, the volume of conversation and location description is on a scale that is... to be honest... absolutely, insanely awesome. We had nearly a dozen writers build out an incredibly large world with numerous cause and effects that don't just change the attitudes of the people in the area, but we have whole maps adjust based on your choices.

    Specifically, it is FAR larger than the original Wasteland. However, keep in mind that when you consider the size of other classic RPGs, you should also be aware of the scope of their development budgets. For example, Baldur's Gate was developed over a four year period with a budget that was around $25 million. Now, to be fair, there were many influences to this budget that we don't need to deal with, like the cost of developing the Infinity engine, but with our modest $3 million fan funded project to bring Wasteland 2 to life, it would be extremely difficult to duplicate the scale of some of these beloved RPGs... the scale... not the awesomeness, though.

    However, we can leverage conversations, descriptions and scripting in the world to flesh out a far larger environment in a smaller space. We also have a system for random encounters that will create a larger world from just the core 15 zones.

    So, when judging the size of the world, do keep in mind that most RPGs nowadays have budgets in line with that of small movies with teams of developers ten times our size. However, we have made very strategic choices to leverage our nimble size and lack of an oppressive publisher to create the largest world we can with the greatest depth we can deliver.

    We definitely have our job cut out for us!
    On dialogue:
    Most of the dialog in Wasteland 2 is text based. There are very few actual voiced roles in the game. This was something we decided early on for a few reasons.

    1. We missed the emphasis on awesome descriptive text from older games. They had to do it out of technical necessity, but as an industry, we've pushed towards more graphical means to show off the world. Wasteland 1 had tons of text that gave you great details on the environment...even more than would be feasible to show with art.

    2. During the Kickstarter campaign, we asked our community what they would like to see as stretch goals. Overwhelmingly the answer came back with bigger world, more content and deeper story. VO was very low on the list

    3. Part of what's allowing us to continue to create deep interactions is not having to worry about VO. Costs aside, it is a production nightmare to do proper VO work. There are so many variables that tie into it. You have to lock down the script quite a bit before release. This really limits the changes you can make at the end of the game when you're tuning all systems.

    4. With a game this large, the total cost for VO work on all characters would likely exceed the entire budget we got from our Kickstarter campaign.
    On party generation:
    We are retaining much of this. You will be able to start the game with fewer than 4 individuals. The game will be balanced for most encounters with the player expected to have between 4-7 rangers, but if you'd like to give it a go with a single ranger, good luck!

    We've discussed getting additional rangers back at HQ if/when one dies along the way and are currently thinking this will be available. Starting them at the lowest rank might not provide a good play experience and we aren't fully decided on this yet.
    We will keep you updated with similar round-ups in the next few days.
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    I should set a custom title Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
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    how are they handling the grid system to allow for the tetris style inventory without having space be a limiting factor somehow?

    multiple pages/tabs in case you want to put like 300 1lb items in your pack?


    it could work in high resolution where it would allow for large amount of grid squares, but on a low resolution it would not.
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    Ms Fish It Wandered In From the Wastes
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWesDude
    how are they handling the grid system to allow for the tetris style inventory without having space be a limiting factor somehow?

    multiple pages/tabs in case you want to put like 300 1lb items in your pack?


    it could work in high resolution where it would allow for large amount of grid squares, but on a low resolution it would not.
    Arcanum? Scroll mouse button?
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  4. #4
    I should set a custom title It Wandered In From the Wastes

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    Thanks for the summary WorstUsernameEver.

    About VO:
    I have replayed 2 old games recently : shadowrun snes and BG2.
    No VO at all in shadowrun snes and it was very fine.
    On the other hand i have found that the partial VO in BG2 added quite a bit to the game, at least more than in my memory. Without the game would have been dull.
    The reason of this dissimilarity is that in shadowrun when you talk to someone you go in a dialogue screen and the music change.
    It's a very good process IMO.
    In any case i still think that there is better thing to do that spending money in a partial VO.

    About content :
    I like much better cRPG where the focus is more on exploration and huge quest than than a multitude of short quests.
    It is the big flaw of F:NG.
    I enjoyed it but too many short and dialogue-given quests.
    And most of the biggest quest quest in FNV were decomposed in small quests.
    Moreover the exploration/discovery aspect was low unlike in Wasteland, fallout 1/2 and older cRPG.
    Almost nothing surprise me in F:NV ( i can only remember the Brother of steel bunker being a good surprise).
    In fallout 1 everything was a surprise : the other towns, the discovery of ghouls/mutant, the brotherhood and the Glow...
    Still a lot of surprise in fallout 2 : Vault City, Gecko, New Reno, the Sierra military Base,Navarro and the Enclave...
    Lot of amazing/surprising location in BG2 too : planar sphere, Astral Prison, the Unseeing aera with the forgotten god, all the Underdark (especially the drow city), Suldanessellar...
    In Wasteland 1 : Guardian Citade, Sleeper Base, Darwin Village and Base Cochise.

    In short i want more exploration/discover yourself quests than dialogue-given quest and being surprise by the locations/story.
    Oh and kill a maximum of those speech (or dialogue-stat check) auto success stupid 2 seconds quests please.

  5. #5
    eaten by a grue. Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
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    Re: Wasteland 2 Ask a Dev Answers #1

    There are no defined rounds for "rangers turn" and "enemies turn".
    This is good. Turns-by-side is a major flaw in most of my favorite turn-based combat games, including JA2 and Silent Storm. I'd like an option to re-roll combat order after every turn, actually.

    At least this should minimize the tactic of everyone in the player's party targeting the guy with the rocket launcher to kill him first before the enemy turn comes up.

  6. #6
    I should set a custom title Mildly Dipped
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    I have a feeling when it comes to review time a lot of dumbass reviewers are gonna bash the game for not having full voices regardless that it was the backers who didn't care if it was VO'd or not.

  7. #7
    I should set a custom title First time out of the vault

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    Quote Originally Posted by FearMonkey
    I have a feeling when it comes to review time a lot of dumbass reviewers are gonna bash the game for not having full voices regardless that it was the backers who didn't care if it was VO'd or not.
    Most reviewers thought FO3 was better than FNV. Buyers who care know that there are major issues with game reviewers (moreso than with movie critics), and those that don't are probably the kind of people that won't like Wasteland 2 for that very reason (and because it isn't first person view).

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