Chris Keenan here. Before we get into the juicy stuff, a quick status update on the backer beta.
Development at this point is going faster than ever! Now that we have all of our tools in a great place, we’re spending most of our time making the experience better. You might have noticed that we haven’t updated the beta code in a while and there is a good reason for that. The next update contains some major upgrades almost across the board. We’ve made some huge leaps in optimization and reducing our memory footprint. With your help, we’ve killed over 200 bugs in this update and implemented some great reactivity and conversation suggestions that we received from the community. The inventory system has had an exciting overhaul (more on that later) and a new town (Prison) is being added. The Prison used to be Ranger Center until they took over the Guardian Citadel and made it their home. The OSX build has been in testing and we’re fixing some compatibility issues so there is a good chance it will be ready when the next code update is live. Linux has not been forgotten and will follow after OSX is released.
Because of the scope of the update it's taking a little longer than anticipated, we'll keep you posted on its status as we keep working on it. Last update we talked about offering a one-time chance to get into the early beta for only $10 to all our backers. The timing of this promotion will coincide with the update going out, so it is not yet available now. It will be a short run promotion so we’ll make sure to notify everyone in an update when it has started.
Broken Age Released
Double Fine’s industry changing Kickstarter for Broken Age (previously known as Double Fine Adventure) could not have come at a better time for us at inXile. They proved that there are other opportunities for small to mid-sized team besides the traditional models that had become stale for both developers and game fans alike. It was literally a few weeks after Brian decided to shelve his dream Wasteland 2 project when Double Fine made waves by taking to Kickstarter. It's become so regular now for larger Kickstarter projects to appear that we forget how much Double Fine changed the landscape, and without them making Wasteland 2 would never have been possible.
Like us, Tim was looking for ways to connect directly to his audience and bypass the traditional publisher model, and succeeded to the tune for raising over $3.6 million. And now the first fruit of the combined power of DoubleFine's creativity and fan's support is here. DoubleFine just released the first part of their adventure game, Broken Age. It is available for $25 from Steam as a season pass, which means it includes access to Act 2 when it’s released. Broken Age is getting great reviews and feedback so if you’re a fan of the genre, check it out!
Novellas & T-shirt
Stephen Blackmoore's novella All Bad Things has gone through copy editing and proper formatting for digital release, and we're releasing it to our backers as of right now! If you have the Early Access package the novella will download automatically within a day, into your Steam install folder (that is ..\Steam\SteamApps\common\Wasteland 2\Books\All Bad Things). You can also find it in your Ranger Center account, we included a link and download code for you to use under the Rewards tab (bottom of the page). Enjoy the read, we certainly did!
Following our collective disappointment at the idea of not having the Stackpole novellas, we put our heads together and came up with a solution that works for all parties involved. Rather than Nathan working on his own novella, he is combining forces with Mike Stackpole. Together, they will be delivering two action-packed novellas that tie in seamlessly with the storylines of both Wasteland and Wasteland 2. These are in the works now and we will give you more details as they near completion.
We shipped out the backer-only shirts in mid-October. If you specified your choice on Ranger Center but have not yet received your shirt, please do contact us. If you've been given a redemption key to use on the J!nx website for your T-shirt choice, please be aware the cut-off date for the use of those is February 14th.
Inventory & Character Screen Upgrade
We’re extremely happy with how the new inventory is coming along. It greatly reduces the amount of unnecessary micromanagement and is much more visually appealing than the previous iteration. Instead of being list based, we were able to make it more icon based with unique icons for all items. The list style inventory works well for a game like WL2 with lots of items to collect, but lacks a bit of the soul that comes with an icon based inventory. There is something special about getting to see all the items you own in one spot. We had always hoped to go with an icon based system, but early in the project we were hesitant to commit to it due to the greatly increased art costs. We’re now at the point where we feel comfortable taking on the challenge and know it will make for a better experience.
The image above shows the new backpack. Long gone are the days of hitting the backpack button and having 4-7 packs pop open. By selecting the party member along the side, you can see the contents of their pack. If you select the “All” button, it will show you the contents of all packs in one easy to read space. Hovering over an item in this mode will highlight the party member on the left to show whose bag it’s in. Drag it to the PC you want to have it and you’re good to go!
When you mouse over the item, you will get all stat and useful information displayed in a small pop-up. You also can further examine the items by double clicking to read the details and see any additional description information.
This grid-based inventory is not limited for space. You can manually keep it sorted yourself under the all items tab if you have your own system in mind, or have the game auto-sort it under one of the other tabs (which will not re-set your manual sorting).
At the same time, we’re also updating the character, attribute, skills and dossier screens. No longer will they be full screen but instead a more compact window, which gives us space to combine it with another screen. Additionally, dropping items in the world, adding them to hotkey bars, and trading becomes much easier when you can move this compact window around to the most convenient screen spot.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the new inventory vs. the previous one. Please leave comments on our forums or in this Kickstarter update. It will be included in our next code update so those in the beta will go hands-on shortly!
In the news
Strategy Informer offers a new interview with Brian Fargo about crowdfunding and the development process of Wasteland 2.
Until next time,
Your Wasteland 2 Project Lead
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Digital Downloadable copy of game DRM free for PC or MAC OSX or Linux. This low price only available for those who helped fund. Also your party will start with a unique and quirky skill. (It won't affect game balance.)Estimated delivery:
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Previous reward + Downloadable DRM free digital soundtrack by Mark Morgan and digital WASTELAND 2 CONCEPT ART BOOK + Extra Digital Downloadable copy of game DRM free for PC or MAC OSX or Linux + Exclusive Ranger portrait collection + Access to Four episode Video Dev Blog. Also receive a Novella on the Wasteland 2 world created by Chris Avellone.Estimated delivery:
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One digital copy and one full LARGE BOXED COPY OF WASTELAND 2, complete with worn cloth game map and old school instruction book. Also features the digital soundtrack and digital concept art book from previous award. Also receive an early release episodic Novella (Part 1) on the Wasteland 2 world created by Mike Stackpole, a member of the original Wasteland story team. The Novella will give hints and clues being built into the actual Wasteland 2 game. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
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THE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY ALL DIGITAL PACKAGE! You get one digital copy of the game DRM free for PC, Mac or Linux, digital soundtrack, digital concept art book, episodic novella part 1 and 2, and premiere access to an early playable beta on steam. This comes with no physical goods to help with VAT, duty and shipping costs for our international fans!Estimated delivery:
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$50 pledge + Early release episodic Novella (Part 2) on the Wasteland 2 world created by Mike Stackpole, a NYT bestselling author and member of the original Wasteland team. Also, get PREMIER ACCESS TO AN EARLY PLAYABLE BETA ON STEAM. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
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Previous reward + COLLECTOR'S EDITION PREMIUM BOXED VERSION which of course contains map and instruction book. But additionally comes with Wasteland miniature, Wasteland 2 faction badge. Also get your name in the credits in a special thanks section. The premium box replaces the standard box but also comes with a digital copy of the game. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
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The $100 reward + a limited edition numbered collectible coin, a WASTELAND 2 POSTER and one large boxed copy. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
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One $150 reward + your boxed collectors edition copy of the game will be AUTOGRAPHED BY BRIAN FARGO, ALAN PAVLISH, MIKE STACKPOLE, CHRIS AVELLONE and other key development team members. You will also receive 2 digital download copies (so you can leave your collectors edition sealed up!) and a lv1 Desert Ranger medal of honor (real metal medal) limited edition collectible. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
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Previous reward + WASTELAND DOOMSDAY PREPARATION SURVIVAL KIT. All your doomsday needs in a themed Wasteland collectible bag. You’ll also receive a lv2 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
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Previous reward + BECOME AN NPC, WEAPON, OR LOCATION in the Wasteland 2 world! We will get your name and (if relevant) a picture of you to add your general likeness to the actual shipped game. Brag to your friends and beg them not to take you out with a Meson Cannon. You’ll also receive 5 digital copies of the game and a lv3 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible.Estimated delivery:
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YOU GET TO PLACE A PERSONALIZED COLLECTIBLE ARTIFACT IN OUR WORLD and write its backstory! It could be anything from an engagement ring to a teddy bear. We will have 100 of these rare and semi rare items that can be found throughout the Wasteland 2 world. When collected, all players will learn about the personal touch that you added to the world. You'll also receive a signed Collector's Edition, boxed version and 8 digital copies of the game to do what you'd like with, in addition to a lv4 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible. (This does not include NPC/Weapon/Location as well)Estimated delivery:
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BECOME AN NPC, WEAPON, OR LOCATION AND PLACE A PERSONALIZED COLLECTIBLE ARTIFACT IN OUR WORLD and write its backstory! You'll also receive a signed Collector's Edition, boxed version and 10 digital copies of the game to do what you'd like with, in addition to a lv4 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible.Estimated delivery:
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Previous reward + We will BUILD A STATUE, in your honor. After getting a picture of you, we will carefully craft this in game statue. You are now forever a part of Wasteland history. At this level, we will also sign and frame actual original concept art from the game. With 30 digital copies of Wasteland 2, you will be a hit with your friends. You will also receive a lv5 Desert ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible and AN EXPLODED BLOOD SAUSAGE Wasteland limited signed and numbered collectible figurine. (for the game, you'll get 1 signed collectors edition and 30 digital copies)Estimated delivery:
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Previous reward + COME TO AN EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE PARTY hosted by Brian Fargo, Alan Pavlish and other key members of the Wasteland team (must be able to travel to Newport Beach, CA). Talk design, previous works or anything else you’d like to discuss. Also, a shrine in Wasteland 2 will be erected in your honor. You’ll receive 50 copies of the game to do what you want and our deep appreciation. You'll also receive a medal and AN EXPLODED BLOOD SAUSAGE Wasteland limited signed and numbered collectible figurine.Estimated delivery:
- (35 days)