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Nukapedia News Digest - 13 April

Agent c April 13, 2012 User blog:Agent c
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Welcome to another Nukpaedia News Digest.

This weeks edition is brought to you by The Desperado: Its where Jesus chooses to play.

In your digest this week

Attention Nukapedia Shoppers

Its not quite as good as last week's Free Fallout; but now all Interplay games are now 50% off on Gog.com; if Fallout 1 wet your appetite this includes Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics, and if you missed Fallout 1 well this is your chance to at least get it a bit cheaper.

Also included is Fallout's often forgotten brother "Lionheart" which adapted the Fallout 1/2 mechanics into a fantasy game.

From the Administrative Enclave

We don't usually cover Mystery Polls here on the News Digest… But here's one we can. Mystery is running for Administrator. Have your say by 20 April.

Yes-Man and Cartman have been assigned Chatmod rights.

From Wikia

Just a reminder, Wikia's next Webinar is Best Practices for Structuring your Wiki: Categories, Navigation and More, oh my. This webinar starts April 20, 3PM Pacific time. You can find more on Wikia's Webinar page.

News from the wastes

Nukapedia is proud to be affiliated with The Wasteland Wiki, and not just to please Fat Freddie.

Kickstarter Update

This whole Wasteland 2 experience takes me back to when games were made with art and passion and not just as another commodity.

— Brian Fargo, Twitter

There's just 3 days left to make your pledge to Wasteland 2, more than 50,000 people have already pledged over $2.4 Million.. The revolution may not be televised, but its on Kickstarter!

Interview Roundup

No Mutants Allowed

Chris Avellone and Brian Fargo have been talking to No Mutants Allowed. Lets take some highlights:

NMA:Brian, between having Jason Anderson having written much of the story, bringing the old team back together, and now adding Chris Avellone, is there any "too many cooks" problem? How do you ensure a consistent vision?
BF: Wasteland 1 was created the exact same way in which I brought in a number of different designers to give their spin on an overall world. Jason provided some great ideas and detail on the world of Wasteland 2 and we will parcel out the areas to the different designers like Mike or Chris and they can design what they wish within those areas. We will detail out what we need for them to accomplish in their locale and it might be a simple set of variables like "make sure they get the proton axe, make sure they meet Mad Dog Fargo and they received a certain clue". As long as they get those points across and stay within the framework of the world then I want to see their spin on it. This keeps the world fresh and with variety throughout. This is a similar process as to when sci-fi writers collaborate on a book.
NMA:Are you looking to license the Onyx engine from them? Has inXile decided on an engine?
BF: We have narrowed it down to 2 engines (not Onyx) and are now running art tests to make sure it can accomplish the look we want. The other important factor is it needs to be set up so that we don't need high level programmers and artists to get the assets in. There will be SO many world states, quests and interactions for the player that we need to be able to throw enough scripters in to capture all the ideas and outcomes. This is critical.
NMA:Chris, share some memories of Wasteland. What influence did it have on you when working on Fallout 2, and later on New Vegas and its DLC?
CA: Wasteland was the 1st post-nuclear RPG I ever played, and as much as its influence was felt on Fallout, it definitely affected future design decisions. In Old World Blues, in particular, when the goal of the DLC was to reach back into history and answer questions unexplained, I wanted to make sure we were saluting Fallout's roots as well, which is the reason for some of the content: (Giant) Robot Scorpions, Proton weapons, and more. Only a few of the fans saw the homage for what it was, but getting that nod in there and supporting our history was important to me.
NMA:Chris, can you tell us what this means for your own Kickstarter plans? Do you still want to go forward with it, and does this delay it in any way?
CA: I still want to go forward with future Kickstarter plans. There are a lot of games I'd love to make, and this isn't an obstacle, this is a boost toward that goal in a number of respects, not just from a gaming standpoint but from a game development standpoint:
1. I want to support this publishing model. This feels like a better way to deliver to fans (myself included) who I feel get sidelined by the publisher model that doesn't allow for adventure games, turn-based iso RPGs, or even get a Shadowrun game rolling because of the return on investment. I miss those genres and worlds, I grew up with them, and I want to play those games so much so I'd pay (at least) 5x the cost of a triple A game to do it. Furthermore, I support Kick It Forward, and I want to encourage other companies to use this publishing model as well.
2. I want to learn from Brian. He positioned himself very well with Kickstarter, and he made a lot of smart decisions on how to approach Wasteland 2 and interface with fans. Working with Brian has been great, and when the time comes to announce a project of our own, I'd love to have Brian's help with it, he’s been really pro-active in this whole process.
3. Selfishly, I also wanted to work on Wasteland 2. :)

Also, Chris has confirmed he does indeed has a fear of clowns (for those of you looking for blackmail material).

VG 24-7

VG 24-7 has also been talking to Brian Fargo. Here again are some clips.

VG: What sort of game are you hoping to create? It’ll be reminiscent of ’90s “golden age” RPGs, obviously, but how so? What sort of battle system are you hoping to implement? What sort of stat progression are you looking at? Is it linear or can players choose how they want to evolve their characters? Is the game party-based? Where will it be set?

There are so many elements of Wasteland that worked quite well and we plan to build upon that foundation rather than start over from scratch. Those elements are the sandbox type world, dark humor, party based combat, tactics in battle and a skill based system. However, combat isn’t going to consist of scrolling text so clearly we need to up the tactics part of the game.

BF: And we don’t want the tactics SO deep that you feel disconnected from the world by being in long battles all the time. The last thing we want is someone groaning every time combat pops up. The game is going to take place shortly after Wasteland 1 ends. And by the way for everyone who remembers little Bobby – he is pissed off having been shot by Rangers and left for dead.
VG: You’ve mentioned that you want this to be a resurrection of old-school Black Isle RPGs in general. So how do you cater to Wasteland fans and Fallout fans while also touching on games like Planescape: Torment, Baldur’s Gate, etc? There’s so much expectation in terms of what people want this game to be. How do you deal with all of that?

There are common threads that work their way across all those games that we are keeping a keen eye on. Having true cause and effect is a big one. A deep and interesting world is also key and there need to be surprises coming at you throughout. And yes Wasteland is party based game and that is one of the big differences from Fallout. Also there is a strong literary vibe to those games that is especially highlighted with Torment that we will continue on. We are reading every comment on our forums and setting up polls to make sure we have the broad strokes covered. Once we finalize those things we will go off and do what we do best.

VG: And where does nostalgia fit into all this? I mean, Double Fine Adventure may as well be the Nostalgia Justice League between Schafer and Gilbert, and now you and Chris Avellone are, I don’t know, The Avengers or something. Do you think rampant fan demand for blasts from the past could keep RPGs or even the industry from progressing? Also, between you and Avellone, who’s going to be played by Chris Hemsworth in the eventual film adaption?

No way is this going to push the genre back in any way. It is all good. There are some elements to those “golden age” games that are timeless but have gotten lost due to a number of factors. It became impossible to sit in a room with an executive to discuss the finer points of RPGs and why there was a demand and what things could be added to make it more exciting.

BF: The vantage point of most publishers is from a console perspective so that sort of kills the conversation pretty quick. Just the simple need of a keyboard and mouse changes the dynamic of an RPG. Those meetings I made fun of in my video are pretty accurate. Getting dragged into conversations about the color and size of a boot as a top priority was pure insanity and would suck all the creative juices out of the room.

I guess my attitude on this is more philosophical in that if the game doesn’t achieve fan funding, then it probably should not have been made. These fans just did you a favor by not voting with their wallets and saving you the time and money making something no one wanted.

Gamers are not trying to risk money for a profit like a publisher is. They just want a certain game and they are willing to pay for it ahead of time. A publisher is analyzing the market to determine what people want, determining if the upside is high enough, analyzing the opportunity cost and making sure the team is capable of delivering. Ironically the fans have far more trust in developers than the publishers do, and it will be interesting to compare the track records of success. Trust vs. heavy handed management.

AMA on Reddit

Chris and Brian have been doing an "Ask Me anything" on Reddit, I'll update when its done.

Project Spotlight

New User Network

The New User Network is proud to announce the "Graduation" of Crimson Frankie. Since his first visit to the Wiki, Frankie has been an amazing help to the wiki; clocking up an impressive 639 article edits, and taking the lead on no less than 2 projects.

For his efforts so far, the Nukapedia New User Network is proud to present Frankie with the covered "Editors Red Pen"… Take a squiz here.

Chrisdesign red glossy pen
You have been given A stylish Editors red pen.
Your efforts and diligence have not gone unnoticed, and you have been given a small token of appreciation.
For all your hard work on the wiki to date - hey, do you know how hard it is to find a working pen in the wastes? The New User Network Team

Want to earn your own shiny new pen? Join the Nukapedia New User Network.

Wrap

Relic of the war that wasn't

Today's relic was part of a system that sadly wasn't completed, they called it "The Last Radio station" , but its name was "WGU-20".

WGU-20 confused ammeter radio buffs after it first went on the air. Broadcasting on 179Khz 24 hours a day with a pre recorded voice reading simply the station name, and the time. This piped the interest of the magazine "Popular Mechanics".

In those days amateur radio buffs would often send away for a "QSL Card" from stations that they heard - a radio version of pokemon. WGU's card contained a picture of Paul Revere, raising the alarm of an upcoming attack.

WGU-20 would have, if the plan had been completed, served the same purpose as a part of the larger Decision Information Distribution System. Cheap long wave receiver units would be included into consumer electronc devices - TVs, Radios and even smoke detectors were seen as perfect recipients for this additional circuitry, and in the event of an alarm being triggered in the continental USA (Alaska and Hawaii were left out of the system).

Vietnam War Wiki needs your help

KingClyde has put out the call for anyone who may be able to help with another wiki he contributes to the The Vietnam War Wiki. If you can help with articles about the war, or just help with a bit of cleanup, your efforts will be appreciated.

Your Next Nukapedia News Digest

Friday is your regular news day. See you then, and over the weekend for updates on the Ask Me Anything. Agent c

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