What a great way to end the year!
As we end our Holiday break and wrap up this amazing year I wanted to again take the opportunity to thank you so much for making this all possible. I’ve been quite vocal that without crowdfunding, we would not have been able to make the kind of RPGs that we’ve been wanting to do and this is still the case. So many of our backers are developers themselves and we all have the common goal of making games that we are passionate about. And thankfully Wasteland 2 was well received and is considered a success story for crowdfunding. The pressure was intense and we loved every minute of it.
We capped this year off by hitting #1 on the Steam sales chart again during the winter sale and being awarded the 2014 Game of the Year Award by PC World. This along with other wonderful mentions like TotalBiscuit announcing Wasteland 2 as the "Best Thing to come out of Crowdfunding".
Much of this yearly update is focused on Wasteland 2 for obvious reasons but Torment is making great strides and visually looks spectacular. The writing style is on point and does an excellent job of capturing the otherworldly feel of Numenera and the spirit of Planescape: Torment. Every word is being carefully crafted by an incredible design team. We are applying lessons learned from Wasteland 2 to Torment and are happy with our progress.
As for Wasteland 2, we will continue to support it in a myriad of ways, in fact we just released our fifth major patch. We will continue to address bugs, improve localization, make balance passes and you can expect a few surprises in the future. We will always go above and beyond the call of duty to build your trust in our studio. We value goodwill greatly here at inXile.
Wasteland 2's beta launched late last year, and activity and feedback was massive and very valuable. In January, we released an extensive update with many technical and user interface improvements. In February, the new build added a brand new inventory interface based on user feedback. In April the Canyon of Titan was unleashed and the new vendor screen added, as well as a large balance pass done. In May we added the final Arizona maps and did huge iterations on various HUDs. In August we added the local area map along with a huge pass on weapons, dropset and balance.
The takeaway from all the above is that this game could not have been what it ended up being without your input and help… seriously. From providing ideas or even having some of you work directly on the game itself. Wasteland 2 became a much better game thanks to this process and all your help. There are so many moving parts to these large games and no amount of planning will be as valuable as our ability to iterate.
Of course we couldn't leave such good deeds unrewarded, we were so happy about this process and our working with the backers that in June we decided to give beta access to all our backers. This is just one of our various rewards we've been releasing: depending on your tier you will find multiple game keys as well as digital copies of our three novellas with Chris Avellone still slaving away on his. We also had a blast working directly with our higher-end backers to implement their various ideas for NPCs, weapons and locations and every "that's awesome guys!" email just makes it better.
Another big step was starting localization in May. We opened up the process to our fans and backers and have continued to support it after release, dedicated to giving our various fans the best version they can get in their language. This was not without its issues though, and we realized that the foreign language versions need more time for editors to make their continuity and play passes, but one thing we were more than happy with was the effort our volunteer translators put in!
Physical goods have also been going out and we've been pleased to see how happy people are with the standard and collector's editions of our games. We tried to capture the classic spirit in the design of our box, manual and map and looks like we succeeded! The last step in the physical goods process was the very LONG day of hand signing the Collector's Edition boxes for the hundreds of backers due those!
Of course, then there was the big one, releasing at midnight on Friday September 19th. Over 25 years of persistence had finally paid off. And thankfully the overall response was quite positive and you all picked up on the nuance and depth we put in.
That’s not to say we feel Wasteland 2 is the perfect game. When you’ve been in this industry as long as I have you realize every game is a matter of give and take and making concessions and hard decisions. But whenever I tell one of my colleagues what budget we made Wasteland 2 on they are surprised we could do it for so little. So while you always feel like a video game can be better no matter what, we are proud of the game we put in your hands.
Next year we will continue supporting and making Wasteland 2 better, Torment will release later in the year and we will be looking at crowdfunding for our next title! Another exciting year for us at inXile and a good year for all of our fans as well!
With the holiday season upon us I got a nice opportunity to give our backers a gift for the holidays! I was contacted by John Joseph Adams, a science fiction author who shares our love for the post-apocalyptic and noted that the old Wasteland 1 was among his original inspirations!
Thanks to his generosity, we're now offering a free copy of his post apocalypse anthology book The End is Nigh to all of you! It is the first volume of an anthology series, the three parts of which are set before (volume 1, this one), during (volume 2) and after (volume 3) the apocalypse. This 350 page eBook contains over 20 all-new, never-before-published pre-apocalyptic short stories from various authors for your reading pleasure during the holidays, you can read more about it on its own website.
To get your copy, go to the Rewards tab on your Ranger Center account. All our backers are getting a copy, so be sure not to miss out. If you backed for a copy of Wasteland 2 through Torment: Tides of Numenera, you will find this rewards by clicking downloads on your rewards tab at the Torment website. Thank you again and have a great holiday season!
Your Leader inXile