brian-fargo

youtube

Brian was on stage at MCM London earlier today showing the Wasteland 2 opening movie and talking about the game and crowdfunding (you can watch the presentation onResero Network’s twitch through this link).

Of course we’d like all our backers to see this opening movie, so we put it up on Youtube for you. Enjoy!

youtube

The first footage of Wasteland 2, the post-apocolyptic, Kickstarter funded game from inXile. Looks pretty interesting!

Brian Fargo: "I think you are about to see the golden age of RPGs come rushing back"

Brian Fargo talks about the history of Interplay, Kickstarter and inXile’s current projects with Polygamia.

In the mid-90 Interplay was home for biggest RPG franchises - Stonekeep, Baldur’s Gate, Planescape Torment, Fallout. Do you think it was a golden age for the computer RPGs?

I think you are about to see the golden age of RPGs come rushing back in the next few years, with what I’m seeing from Obsidian, CD Projekt and of course what we are working on. But most certainly there was a purity to the development of RPGs in the 90’s in which we were very attuned to our players. You could not make nearly the money on a game back then as you can today, and the budgets were a fraction of today’s big spends. The risk factors changed greatly as we left the 90’s and the pressure ramped up and created a lot of craziness. But I honestly see that purity and being in sync with the RPG players coming back full circle — in fact it is even stronger than ever.

(…)

How modern video games can affect Torment experience? I mean checkpoints, lowered difficulty, radar, arrows showing where to go etc.

I think we have been very clear that the experiences we are creating have more in common with the old school games but take advantage of modern elements like configurable UI. The handholding aspects of some modern games are exactly what our backers don’t want to see, so people shouldn’t expect much help there. Discovery is a large part of the experience with these kinds of RPGs and too much sign posting can ruin that aspect.

Random game art: the cover of The Demon’s Forge, Brian Fargo’s first official game release, a text adventure from 1981. I’ve always liked this cover, despite the trite. cliche use of the woman tied up as some sort of sacrifice. Something about riding a huge battle-snake into combat against an armored warrior jousting from a massive hawk is really cool. I only recently discovered that this art wasn’t commissioned for the game, but was instead taken from Vincente Segrelles’s comic series El Mercenario, aka The Mercenary. After some confused searches, I found that this isn’t even the cover of a comic, it’s an interior panel. Every page of The Mercenary comics are painted in oils. Wow.

While searching online to make a definitive connection between the game and this art, I came across a Gamasutra blog article interview with Brian Fargo from last year which talks about marketing for his first game. It paints the starkest possible contrast with game publishing today:

Brian Fargo: As far as attracting attention, I had a budget of $5,000 for everything. My one ad in Soft Talk [magazine] cost me about 2,500 bucks, so 50 percent of my money went into a single ad. One of the things I did was I would call retailers on a different phone and say, “Hey, I’m trying to find this game called Demon’s Forge. Do you guys have a copy?” They said, “No,” and I said, “Oh, I just saw it in Soft Talk. It looks good. They said, “We’ll look into it.” A few minutes later my other line would ring and the retailer would place an order. That was my guerrilla marketing. I was selling to individual chains of stores. There were two distributors at the time that would help you get into the mom-and-pop places. It was a store-by-store, shelf-by-shelf fight.

Sometimes I wistfully miss the days when computer gaming was that small.

Brian and Chris talk Wasteland 2 GOTY with Eurogamer

Brian Fargo and Chris Keenan have sat down with Eurogamer to chat about the upcoming Wasteland 2 GOTY Edition in this massive article-style interview, including changes and improvements for both consoles and PC.

As for combat, Firaxis’ wonderful XCOM reboot is a clear inspiration. In fact it’s an inspiration for the entire Wasteland 2 console project. Firaxis took turn-based combat and made it easy to play with a console controller. Shifting between units, selecting abilities and moving about the map was never fiddly. You just didn’t notice it being an issue. And that’s what inXile hopes to replicate with Wasteland 2 on console.
The parallels are clear: Firaxis rebooted an old-school PC series for PC and console. InXile is doing the same, although the console versions arrive half a year after the PC version in the case of Wasteland 2. The combat in Firaxis’ XCOM is a party-based and turn-based affair with a top-down camera perspective you can rotate. The combat in Wasteland 2 is the same.
"Their UI on console was the gold standard for handling a complex game in a way on console that was very satisfying," Fargo says. "We recognise that. We always look at the body of work that comes before us. We want to make sure we’re looking at what gamers gravitate towards, and what they think is done right."
"[XCOM] is certainly a starting point for us," Keenan adds. "We want to make sure we have similar ease of use in controls."

The article also goes into detail about Torment and the upcoming Bard’s Tale IV, so be sure to give it a look.

American McGee Talks Kickstarter with Brian Fargo

This is more of an insider’s guide on how to run a Kickstarter, but this interview by American McGee with Brian Fargo may still be of interest to some of you.

AJM: “DRM-free” is committed to with both your Kickstarter campaigns. Can you talk a bit about the math behind this commitment? Is there any chance the games will generate meaningful revenue after release (outside of the money raised via Kickstarter)? Do they need to in order for you to be “successful” with them? And what’s the definition of success in this context?

I’m not sure of the math but putting DRM on a game ends up pissing off the legitimate users of the game for an impossible battle against pirating. What’s the point? In general I believe that people who were going to buy your game will most likely do so if you get it in front of them somehow. During my days at Interplay we used to do a fair amount of business with the hardware manufacturers bundling our games with a hard drive or a PC in which they paid us only a few dollars for our games and then they could advertise “Comes with $150 of free games.” Well they would sell hundreds of thousands of units with our games and no matter how much volume they did our retail sales never dipped. There are just audiences of people who are buyers and others that won’t pay or weren’t going to buy it anyway. And beyond that we have been pre-paid to make this game so it would be doubly outrageous to then add DRM to the very people who made it possible. I’m not entirely certain what is possible from a sales perspective outside our backers but I feel pretty strongly that when we deliver the epic, moody and reactive game that we promised that its sales will match that of other games of scope, scale and excellence.

youtube

The Fallout 1 intro

(which I think is much better than fallout 3’s and it explains all of what fallout is)

Kickstarter Update #56: The Apocalypse Is Now

I can hardly believe that it has been two and half years since I stood out in the Mojave Desert and started the filming of my Kickstarter campaign. All the while knowing it was the last and only hope for a Wasteland 2.

I’m very proud that we have delivered on our promise of the deep and nuanced CRPG that you had all been hoping for. I’m also quite proud of the team at inXile for their hard work and passion to deliver something special. It was the highlight of my career when you stepped up to support the development of this game. Having your trust meant everything and there was no way we were going to let you down.

I am really looking forward to seeing all of your comments and the unique experiences you’ll have. So much of the detail is not obvious at first as you will carve a natural path through the world, there are so many numerous ways to handle situations. If you ever think you are stuck, there are probably 2-4 more ways to handle it. In fact, we’ve re-visited the concept of where and how a game can end so some of you will find vastly different endings that don’t all take place at the same point in the story.

The power of a great RPG to me is that the memory of the time I spent playing stays with me long after I finished the game. I hope this has the same lasting effect like the classics have done prior.  

If you are loving the game, feel free to shout it to the rooftops. We just want to keep making RPGs for decades to come and your support in every way helps make that a reality for us. 

 If you reading this that means the game has gone live! Jump in and experience the world of Wasteland!

Brian Fargo,
Your Leader in Exile 

youtube

Wasteland 2 Opening Movie.

Brian Fargo Talks Torment and Reactivity

Brian Fargo talks to Games Radar about Kickstarter, the industry and how reactivity is at the core of both inXile’s projects.

Despite being very different games, Torment and Wasteland 2 share several unifying themes, the most significant of which is choice. “Player choice—or as we sometimes call it ‘reactivity’ - is everything,” explains Fargo. “It’s what makes our narrative so different because, if you want a simple, linear story-telling device then you’d just read a book. It’s your ability to change the story, to say “I wonder what would happen if I did that;” which makes our games so intriguing and exciting. We want players to be excited about going back and replaying our games, thinking “Wow, I wonder what would have happened if I’d done this thing instead of that”. For all games that offer choice, I’ve always found that the journey - what you do along the way - is really the greatest reward.