It’s still early in the New Year and we’re coming out of the gates hot!
We recently released the sixth major patch for Wasteland 2, which added Steam achievements for Mac and Linux, cleaned up some issues that were sitting on our lists, and included another pass on text and localization to make sure even the finest details are polished as best they can be. You can read the full patch notes here.
Part of the newfound freedom we’ve gained from being an exclusively crowdfunded company is that it allows us to offer a high level of post-release support. While this is normal practice for an active multiplayer game, we believe that the ongoing improvements to the single player experience in Wasteland 2 are worth the time and money. The game truly continues to be a passion project for the team here at inXile.
And we’re not done yet…
If you've been keeping a close eye on things, you might have heard tell that we're looking at doing some more balancing and improvements of Wasteland 2 in the future. We have expanded our original plan and decided that this is going to be a part of something much larger for all our fans.
In pursuit of this goal, one task we're working on right now is migrating the Wasteland 2 codebase from the Unity 4.5 engine to Unity 5, which will enable some new possibilities for us. A major benefit of moving to Unity 5 is that 5 will include many of the tools from Unity 4.x Pro. We relied on many of these tools during our development (like creating and building navigation meshes), and they will be available to modders without having to pay thousands of dollars for a Pro Unity license. There is no doubt that this migration will allow us to release better tools for modding to our community in the future.
So what’s the “something bigger” that I teased earlier? Let’s just say that the Orange County lifestyle might be getting to us as the game will be receiving a facelift. Unity 5 offers physically based shading, which is already starting to look amazing in the scenes we’ve touched up.
As well as visual improvements, we have quite a few quirky tricks up our sleeves. The character system is getting perked up and will include some new elements to modify gameplay. Of course, more details will be released in the future so stay tuned!
The Bard’s Tale IV
We’ve got much more going on at inXile right now than just Wasteland 2. Most of the team, of course, is currently working on Torment: Tides of Numenera, which is shaping up great! But, in addition to that, we’re also embarking on some very early technical research and design for our next title: The Bard’s Tale IV!
We’re a ways out from giving more details on Bard's Tale IV, but it’s been thrilling to see the excitement that Brian’s announcement at PAX South has brought. His tweet on the topic is his most shared ever, and our posts on Facebook had incredible reach as well, combining for over 200,000 views, 2500 likes and 700 shares. Over 100 press stories followed on Brian’s announcement; there's too many to show, but IGN, Destructoid, Eurogamer and Rock, Paper, Shotgun are just the tip of the iceberg.
Wasteland 2 Physical Goods
By now, the vast majority of our physical goods have shipped out, including standard boxes and Collector's Editions. If you have not received your Wasteland 2 boxed copy, please get in touch as soon as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or using the Ranger Center contact form. We do not yet have a strict cutoff date, but we'd prefer everyone gets their copy sooner rather than later.
Some of our backers were also due Doomsday Kits with their pledges. All of these have now shipped out to our backers in the United States, and we are in the final stages of shipping out to international backers - if that's you, don't worry, we'll contact you by email shortly with more details once we know they've left the building (and are no longer stacked ceiling-high in Matt's office).
We love seeing promising new games on Kickstarter, and we've got some notable ones we’d like to share. Our friends at ArtCraft Entertainment, helmed by Gordon Walton and J. Todd Coleman, has recently launched their Kickstarter for Crowfall, a new type of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. It is a unique MMO which focuses on passage of time, destructible environments, and massive player factions, politics, and warfare. It’s off to a great start, having funded in its first few days, so be sure to take a look.
Meanwhile, OtherSide Entertainment has been running its campaign for Underworld Ascendant, which promises to be a spiritual follow-up to Ultima Underworld, a game that's near and dear to many folks at inXile. Underworld is spearheaded by Paul Neurath, who some of you might know for his work with Looking Glass Studios, which spans a pretty impressive portfolio: System Shock, Thief, and, of course, Ultima Underworld. They’re 99% of the way there as we’re posting this, and have 6 days left to hit some very enticing stretch goals. Consider jumping on board!
We’d also like to congratulate our friends at Harebrained Schemes on their highly successful Kickstarter campaign for their next Shadowrun title, Shadowrun: Hong Kong. They were able to raise $1.2 million, and will be bringing a new mini-campaign to the Shadowrun universe. Missed the Kickstarter, they're running a second chance backer campaign until March 13th, check their website for more info.
In Other News
Brian Fargo has done an interview about crowdfunding, working with fans, and Wasteland 2 with Making Games.
After winning PC World’s Game of the Year among other end-of-year mentions, we’re honored to be nominated for the SXSW Awards as one of the top crowdfunded projects of the year. We're sitting in good company among excellent titles such as The Banner Saga and Divinity: Original Sin, and we're blown away by the game's reception even several months after release.
Finally, we have another gift for all of you: a free subscription for 3 digital issues of RETRO Magazine. RETRO is a Kickstarter-funded magazine written by veteran game journalists that focuses on revisiting some of history’s greatest games, and exploring the heritage of modern video games. Check the reward tab on your Ranger Center account to access this offer.
Looking forward to another great year with you all!