It’s been a long twenty-four years since the original Wasteland. In the interim so many post-apocalyptic games have been made that an actual continent despoiled by nuclear war could be filled with them. Between its spiritual successor, the Fallout series, id’s Rage, and many others, you’d think that people would be burnt out on fighting fleshy mutants and dogs missing patches of fur. Nope. As series creator Brian Fargo has found out in the process of crowd-funding new sequel Wasteland 2, people are all too anxious to go back to the end of the world. As of this writing, they’re willing to spend $1.4 million to make the trip.
Fargo and InXile Entertainment opened their Kickstarter fund on Mar. 13 with the goal of raising $900,000 for the development of Wasteland 2. They reached that goal in less than two days. Fargo spoke with us about his surprising success. “Our Wasteland 2 campaign exceeded my expectations and continues to do so,” says Fargo. “I feel fortunate. This funding allows me to spend all my energy working on a game I’ve been passionate about doing for many years. The most difficult thing in the games business today is finding a way to make a living making games without getting grief from publishers.”
With just about one and a half times the necessary funding for the game already promised through Kickstarter, Fargo is already planning how that extra money is going to be used. “Having more money means the writers will get to make the game broader and deeper. The bigger music and sound budget means more great music from Mark Morgan. It also allows for more varied environments, more character portraits and interesting effects like having radiation clouds that float move over areas.”
“In addition to more locations, we’ll have the manpower to create more layered effects based on what the player is up to. Cause and effect is everything in a good RPG so triggering based off more variables makes for a better world. This can range from having hundreds of different NPC dialogue remarks based on who is in the party, encounters that react to what you look like, scenes that open up based on how violent you were or perhaps how low your intelligence is. This kind of depth is what made Wasteland 1 so good.”
Prior to the Kickstarter campaign, InXile believed it would take around eighteen months to finish Wasteland 2. The studio remains committed to that deadline, but mod tools for the game may not be available right when it releases according to Fargo.
In the meantime, the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter has twenty-seven days left. That’s a whole lot of time to raise a whole lot more money to make an even bigger apocalypse.