Wasteland 2 designers stress importance of player choices in the game's universe

Patrick Carlson

Even as Wasteland 2 works towards its planned October beta phase, designers at inXile Entertainment are emphasizing a complex system of player choice, according to a new interview at Rock Paper Shotgun . The more-than-funded Kickstarter project is currently about six weeks behind schedule , but the extra time should be reflected in the final "scope and scale of the game," according to inXile CEO Brian Fargo.

"The levels are all fundamentally in," Fargo reported in the interview, "and all we're doing is sitting around all day saying, 'What about this? What about this? What about that?' We watch people playing the game, and they come up with a clever way to do something, we want to accommodate that. That's why with role-playing games, we can do difficult puzzles. It's not like an adventure game where you hit a stop and you're just done. I can level up and get around something. Brute force it. Blow it up. Find another route.”

Much of the design team's commentary in the interview highlights the "reactivity" of Wasteland 2, or how the game alters its own universe in response to player action. This could see whole sections of the game open or close themselves off, depending on the kinds of decisions that are made, according to Fargo.

“On the biggest level,” Fargo said, “there will be areas that will be completely different. Gone, destroyed. There's not one just like it to make up for it. It's just gone.”

Creating consequences for players in the life and death situations that surface in Wasteland 2's post-apocalyptic setting is intended to support a game world that isn't "just a magician's trick," according to Fargo. He said it's a "virtual impossibility" that different players will have an identical experience.

“I've felt the pressure of this since the beginning and I've just pulled out all the stops to make sure that it's hit every single point that anybody's going to want to see in these classic games," Fargo said. "But not to let myself get locked in the past. I'm not trying to re-create what it's like to be in the late '80s or early '90s.”

Hat tip, PCGamesN .

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