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Wasteland 2 has been released to great acclaim, earning Game of the Year from PCWorld, and reaching #1 on the Steam sales charts. Now, the Director's Cut comes as a free PC update to all backers as our thanks for making the game happen!
Wasteland 2 has been released to great acclaim, earning Game of the Year from PCWorld, and reaching #1 on the Steam sales charts. Now, the Director's Cut comes as a free PC update to all backers as our thanks for making the game happen!
61,290 backers pledged $2,933,252 to help bring this project to life.

Early Screen Shot and Website News

It has been just over a month since my last update and we have been making progress on many fronts. The designers are all working at full steam and generating a wonderfully diverse set of ideas that are well written, nuanced, original, and sometimes creepy. There will be no lack of originality and deep game play in Wasteland 2. The team has risen to the challenge of making a rich world that will capture a post apocalyptic atmosphere and provide a unique experience for each player that dives in.

We are nearly complete with our backer web site which will consolidate our backer database with Kickstarter and PayPal and eventually allow backers to upgrade their tiers or more easily change such things as shipping information. A soft launch is imminent and then we will roll it out for all.

We also have our first pass at a Wasteland 2 screen shot to share that is running inside the Unity engine. The process up till now has been in getting up to speed with Unity but also much discussion about look and feel. Our environment art director Koy Vanoteghem has written a nice piece below on our approach and process.

Releasing a screen shot this early in the process is a new concept for me as we typically want to hone in every element before we show it. But based on the requests and our desire for fan input, we are doing so to solicit feedback on the basic look. Please keep in mind that we have not put in the particle effects and post-processing which will have a dramatic effect on the scene, and this represents just one of the various environments for Wasteland 2 so expect to see other quite different locales. Also, this particular camera angle is on the low end of a range that the player can adjust upwards to a much more top-down view, for those who prefer that style during game play.

I am frequently on twitter sharing my thoughts, soliciting opinions on various subjects and highlighting interesting projects and technology. You can follow me at @brianfargo if you want to stay tuned into such things.

Again I thank you for allowing us to create this game the way it was meant to me made. We’re going to make you all proud.

Brian Fargo

See the full size image on our Facebook page at Facebook/Ranger.HQ or here.

In our effort to establish the appropriate look and feel for the re-launch of the Wasteland franchise, we sifted through a variety of media types available on the market for inspiration. Among all of the similarly natured games, CG film shorts, and various documentaries, it became increasingly clear that the modern day conception of a post-apocalyptic world has diversified.

Of course, the desert-oriented wasteland devoid of life was still there. But a newer and more compelling version which highlighted nature's reclamation of vacated places took hold of our attention. This new conception gives us the opportunity to generate a variety of environment types while staying true to the narrative. It also allows the location and geology to dictate the flora and fauna, as well as the manner and state of decay. From the dry deserts and icy mountaintops of Arizona to the coastal conditions of LA and larger southern California region, each region generates its own flavor. You saw a bit of this in our early concept pieces we had commissioned. Because the early part of the game, where our development is currently focused, takes place in Arizona, this first screen shot depicts (surprise) a desert scene.

As we moved into prototyping game-play scenarios and in-game environments, we wanted to keep in mind the long-term strategies we had been talking about in the press. With our small team structure and the expectation of a significant integration of contractor and fan/backer based assets, we wanted to consider the efforts that would be involved in synthesizing those contributions into a consistent style and theme. The Unity engine has this wonderfully integrated asset store, full of props, environment sets, FX and tools, and it seemed the perfect proving grounds for our first pass at this new approach of game environment creation.

Certainly, purchased or prefabricated assets are nothing new; a variety of sites are out there selling "game-ready" props, and like most developers, we are familiar with that opportunity. But Unity's Asset Store had a few distinct advantages that we found appealing. The store, being accessible from within the editor itself, along with the purchase, downloading and importing of those packages, made this surprisingly painless. Packages containing not only the models and textures, but also materials, particle attachments, and animations were ready to use and then modify immediately upon purchase. And so our goal was to purchase a variety of packages, modify them to suit our stylistic needs, and put together a scene by combining them with assets and textures generated in-house.

The big exception to all of this is of course characters, which we are developing primarily in house. RPGs have always generated strong relationships between the player and the characters they craft and breathe life into as the game progresses. And to this end, we will be working to create characters that can be read cleanly with our camera angles. Strong silhouettes and bold colors in costuming and accessories, and their animations and poses working with a camera angle (that is still being tested), seemed a tall order for this approach, and so in this shot a few examples of that effort are present.

We will continue to develop the style and look of the game, undoubtedly that is something that will evolve as we move forward and branch out with other environment types. As we become more familiar with our new found friend Unity, and the technologies that are available to us for lighting, shadowing, and material set-up/execution, we hope you'll enjoy seeing it evolve along with us.

Koy Vanoteghem


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    1. Matt Depew on

      Any sign of another update??

    2. Dave Michalak on

      Can I just get a current ETA on the final release? You guys take as long as you need to make the game as awesome as possible, I just need to update my Kickstarter spreadsheet, is all. Thanks!

    3. Charles Clerc on

      Yes, better to wait longer and have the good stuff :)

    4. Missing avatar

      Dan B on

      @Laszlo: At least then the poster can include game related stuff, unlike the Double Fine poster which is basically just a logo, since no game has been made yet.

    5. Timothy Patrick Bishop on

      Why are so many people trying to link a gritty color palette with realistic. Real life does not involve a gritty palette and this game shouldn't be all browns and gray. The bomb did not drop yesterday and they are not in nuclear winter. You guys need to go back and play Bethesda Fallout as most of you have obviously never played Wasteland or Fallout 1/2.

    6. Missing avatar

      Laszlo Z. Antal on

      LOL do I really have to wait over a year for the poster to arrive?

    7. Tiago on

      Good to see.

    8. Missing avatar

      M K on

      Is it mandatory to register on the ranger website in order to receive the digital copy of wasteland 2?

    9. Missing avatar

      Pubzombie on

      Awesome, me so happy..."

    10. Xpgamer7 on

      I love it, though I feel the area is a little sparse of clutter. But maybe that's just my Fallout memories punching me in the brain.

    11. Missing avatar

      Mamali Kosari on

      LOVE IT! Awesome stuff! Can't wait!

    12. theAnton on

      Wow, that looks really nice, can't wait to explore and blow up the scenery. :P

    13. clippedwolf on

      Massimo Cesario, 80 years after WWIII, even a worst case scenario for nuclear winter puts it more than 70 years in the past.
      "Salted" nuclear bombs explains the radiation hot-spots because 80 years later you could camp in the crater of a conventional thermonuclear device and not have any immediate effects.
      80 years later the golden sun would be shining up from the big blue sky helping giant vegetables to grow and they, in turn, would get munched on by killer bunnies. Huh, what?

    14. Missing avatar

      Luke Stirling on

      I initially wasn't going to comment. I liked what I saw, and that seemed enough for me. But reading through the comments, I noticed that a great many people have complained about the oversaturation of colour. Personally, I am much heartened by the generous use of colour. To me I noticed the long shadows, indicating that it was late in the day, and assumed that that was why the red was dialled up in most of the image. This to me suggests that the game has the potential for a wide and varied palette. Personally, I've had more than enough of the games are brown, films are amber & teal trends of recent years. It feels like the lazy man's way of establishing a look and feel to something to fall back on these tropes, and laud anyone willing to go their own way instead.

      I'm not sure my opinion counts for much, but reading the comments here, I just got a little worried that the next post would be a "we listened" one which muted all the colours and killed any hope of the game having a varied look and feel to is environments, so I thought I would add my voice in support of a broad colour palette with decent amounts of saturation.

    15. Igor on

      this is great! i want to play it already :)

    16. Steve Knight on

      Looks really good. Keep the shots coming.

    17. Randy Snow on

      Or just do what Uncharted did.

      Add a "Next Gen" filter, which makes everything dark, brown, and bloomy.

    18. Alex Cargile on

      I think it looks great. I'm excited to see more.

    19. Jonathan Krarup on

      Just make a saturation slider in options. Sorted! :P

    20. silvercross on

      ^ Seconded on the zooming.

    21. K on

      When it comes to colors just let the community mod the game and we'll get it to our liking. Some will want something more down to earth while others will want a more colorful world. Just leave it up the community and we'll handle it.

      I kinda feel like the Humans are a tad bit too small in that image, but as long as we can zoom in that shouldn't be a major concern.

    22. Blue Eclipse on

      The colors are fantastic! Please leave as is.

    23. Missing avatar

      James on

      a great start for sure

    24. Missing avatar

      La Poune on

      wow i'm impressed it looks beautiful

    25. Zombra on

      Although I spoke out in favor of saturation, I would also be fine going along with what Brett Nieland said: "colder but brighter" would look good too.

      As long as we don't get the washed out brown-on-Fallout-brown. Hey Fallout fans, I loved Fallout too. But Wasteland is not Fallout, nor should it be.

    26. Missing avatar

      Janus on

      Hmm... I'm not too fond of the art direction. The colours are just too bright and over saturated. Kinda looks like what Blizzard would do to Wasteland. :(

      I do realize that this is still very early in development and that things might change. Actually that's the whole reason why I voice my opinion in the chorus of complainers. It's not too late to change direction!

    27. Brian Holme on

      i just hope that you can zoom in if you want to look at more detail. how detailed will the world actually be and will u be able to do that.
      i guess im asking how much control will you have over the camera?

    28. Brett Nieland on

      Wow, I feel so validated. I, too really like what I am seeing, but the saturation level of the terrain is visually distracting. A colder but brighter pallet would increase a sun-drenched feel that syncs with the vibe of a post-apocalyptic desert.

    29. metzger on

      well done brian & co., lookin' good!

    30. Jonathan Krarup on

      Love it! Thanks for posting the screenshot Brian :)
      It'd probably work with *some* scenes having lower saturation and colder colours so you get the gritty gray/brown Fallout feel, but I'm happy to see that you're not afraid of colours and hope to see both styles for different locales :D Lighting will do a lot too I'm sure. Overall I'm very impressed with this for an early screenshot and more psyked than ever.

    31. Missing avatar

      Blakkr on

      This screenshot looks amazing! Especially for this early in development.

      Only criticism that has been that I can agree with is that it's a little on the bright side. I can adjust my own graphics card / monitor settings to compensate for that though, though.

    32. David Bolack on

      The colors really depend on the period of post apocayptic lit being emulated by the game.

      Personally, this is what I want to see.

    33. Absurdist Productions on

      If you had enough nuclear explosions to actually darken the sky permanently with dust you'd also have a nuclear winter in which the world would be covered in ice and everyone would be dead.

      You really don't need that many nuclear bombs going off to set off an apocalyptic scenario. If enough infrastructure and leadership is removed, the panic and chaos will bring down civilization on its own. There is a reason that technology in Europe fell dramatically when the Roman Empire fell, and it had nothing to do with nuclear weapons.

    34. Soeverein on

      I like the colours as they are. They are suitable for the desert environment in this screenshot. I get f-ng annoyed about the trend lately that everything that isn't covered in soot and shit isn't mature enough. Maybe just make the game into a black screen so you can't see anything at all. Now that would be "hardcore".

    35. Massimo Cesario on

      Very funny. But... You are wrong. In post-apocalittic worlds (or cyber-tech ones) the sun is BY DEFINITION oscured by clouds. In high-tech settings this happens mostly because of smog. In post-apocalittic worlds this happens because of dust risen by nuclear bombs... think of vulcanic eruptions, only (sort of) permanent. That give light a darker "color" due to filtering through dust.. Same spectrum, don't worry...

    36. clippedwolf on

      Put a gamma bar in the video options, that should allow people to make the game 'darker'.
      But even in post apocalyptic America their would be 'cheery' pastel colors. Nuclear war wouldn't grey out the light spectrum.

      When I read mountaintops I said a hopeful prayer: turn-based strategy meets mountain warfare? Please, let it be so!
      Am I hoping for too much? Can we at least get beautiful scenery? What about environmental hazards other than "magical death miasma" radiation?

    37. Massimo Cesario on

      I have two suggestions: 1. its too colorful: I think that a darker palette would fit better (you know, DE: Human Revolution palette is a distinctive trait of that game, immediately recognizable); 2. I know this is only a screenshot, but I have a gameplay advice: those rangers NEED to take cover! It's a Scorpitron they are facing! Take this in mind on next screenshot, or it will be a bloody mess!

    38. Missing avatar

      Gambler on

      Great, but I have a request: Could you please post/host any further full sized pictures and other stuff outside of Facebook, too?
      Because some of us don't have a Facebook account for various good reasons and have no intention to create one. So... if you could post those stuff on your homepage as well, it would be great. Thanks :)

    39. Timothy Patrick Bishop on

      When it comes to character design, I think most of the characters will not be based on generic templates. Just like in the Fallout series weapons or armor did not define the character, I have no doubt every character will look and possibly react differently in combat. They can only improve on that even more with this game.

      I disagree with previous comments about level design. I don't see how having some bright levels takes away from the game. I'm sure the game will have various level designs. The fallout series had areas that were bright that took nothing away from the feel of the game and only added to it.

    40. Pete Mezei on

      I too immediately thought of Krater when I saw the screenshot. I'd prefer darker too. And no Christmas lights if at all possible, pretty please?

    41. Damian on

      I know i am a lowly $15 backer but is it possible to add a filter that darkens and "gritify" the colour palette? For some reason the colour scheme reminds me "Krater", a game that just left me cold. Other than that it looks excellent. Thank you for all yoru hard work!

    42. Zombra on

      On characters: when I first read Koy's notes on the character art and saw the low-res version of the screenshot, I was confused. At first glance, the characters are almost indistinguishable from one another! Then I saw the full size version and felt somewhat better; I could tell them apart. NOTE: character art is the *most* important part of the art, to me, and MY characters are the most important characters in the game. :)

      From looking at these character poses (particularly the dramatic pistol brandish vs. the guy aiming the rifle), I am worried that a character's distinctive silhouette will be defined more by his gear than anything else! If my rifleman pulls out a pistol, suddenly his main identifying feature will disappear!

      To get to the point, I earnestly request that there be not only body types (thin, average, fat, bruiser) and possibly a height slider a la ToEE, but POSTURE types (slouching, standing tall, shifty, sexy) that define character silhouettes just as much as (if not more than) which type of firearm they wield. I realize that this may multiply the amount of work for the art team, but again, distinctive, customizable character visuals are more important to me than any other graphics.

      (I can't tell, but is the guy on the left actually *thinner* than the other characters? That would be great.)

      Additionally, it would be great if the clothing colors could be even bolder. Bring back the bright green shirts and hot pink halter tops of the original Wasteland. That would make character identification even easier.

    43. Dan George on

      I can't wait to use my toaster repair skills on that big bastard.

    44. Roy on

      Shaping up nicely Koy, keep up the good work team.

    45. William McDonald on

      I think it looks good. I also like the fact it's more colorful and less monochromatic than the current fleet of modern "sci fi epics" out there. Looking forward to seeing how it develops.

    46. Missing avatar

      Chris Robinson on

      @Antonios Anastasiadis and Rasmus242. Either or I think both solutions compared to the original really help with the feel I expected in the color palette. The Environment and graphic themselves look just fine if not great though. Kind of there own take on how DoW2 looked, which is a bleak looking game despite the color it is able to portray, similar to this.

    47. Donnicton on

      If anything, the Scorpitron needs to be jazzed up a little bit to look like it used to...

      Keep those Gears of War gray-brown lotus bloom lens flare fanboys out of any game design influence and stay the course. I'll reserve real judgment until we're looking at real post-processing and particle effects.

    48. Estephan Sarcinelli on

      @Antonios Anastasiadis wow wow wow with saturation -40 it's a whole lot better!!! oO

    49. Tomimt on

      In the end it matter very little what the game looks like. There will be people, who think it looks fantastic and people who thinks it looks bad because of some reason. There's people who will think that that it should have been static 2D sprites and peopl who will think it should have been top down EGA or ASCII characters.
      Only thing that will matter in the end is, that the game is good. That it offers you possibilities and game play no other game has done in years.
      Right now some people are acting like this will be the final look of the game, which we all know is not true. All we know, that this scene is not finished, far from it. Yet still, judging from some comments, some people think this is it.