FTW For the When
The comments from the early beta have continued to help us craft Wasteland 2 and the next beta update will reflect the changes we have made based on your feedback along with the many scheduled additions. We've made great progress on this beta update and are currently putting it through final balancing and testing touches: it will go live on Steam next Monday, the 24th. But I know the question on everyone’s minds (and tweets and Facebook posts) is “When will Wasteland 2 be done?” Of course there is always the glib answer of “when it’s done” but we owe you more detail on the process than that.
I’ve always envied when big developers like a Blizzard or Id were able to give such answers as there is huge correlation on iteration time and the final game quality. It’s why so many classic games stayed in development for the time that they did.
To date we have had a total of 2,300 bugs and suggestions (not counting duplicates) reported from the beta testers and from our outside compatibility testing group since December. We have fully addressed over 1,100 of these items including a host of compatibility issues. On top of that production is moving forward on all fronts, you will see in the next update we have a new inventory UI, new locations on the map to explore, changes to existing locations to add depth, destructible objects, more satisfying combat animations, more ambient sounds, etc.
I promise I’ll soon stop boring you with yet more statements about how great this process is but it truly has been invaluable. Having a large passionate group like yourself playing the game early assures we don’t miss any critical details.
I must confess that we dared to make an ambitious game. Wasteland 2 is big in every conceivable way, from the amount of writing, hours needed to complete, re-playability options, graphic diversity etc. One might argue that it’s more ambitious than it needed to be but from the outset we wanted to create a classic that would hold a spot in your mind along with the other top RPGs of our time. We know we have some big shoes to fill and we want to push the envelope for what makes a great RPG.
As we've said before we wanted to use the beta period to evaluate our release window. To outline our current plan: we will have the team working to lock down every aspect of the game within three months such that we are only addressing bugs. On the systems side of the game, over those three months you will see a number of iteration passes on combat which covers things like crouched stance, ambush mechanics, weapon jamming, special attacks, further UI enhancements, and a few surprises. On the skills we need to make several more passes on making them more useful or better message how they are working. We are adding AI to the remaining enemy types and adding the appropriate animations. Art wise we are wrapping up the LA maps and adding additional combat animations and particle effects to give the game more flavor. And most importantly we are continuing our iteration passes on choice and consequence, providing new options that come from the results of your actions.
We know better than to give an exact date at this point because in addition to pushing the game in the ways we’d planned, we’re going to continue to incorporate player comments that make sense for us to address. But we are in the final stretch, and are thankful our backers have consistently agreed we should take the time we need. Our current three month plan will create a significantly better game as we are in an important development phase with each week taking huge steps to improve the game. As we progress through this plan we'll of course keep posting updates to let all our backers know how the game's progressing. But do be aware the end of this three month plan does not represent the finish line, at that point there will still be work to do before we can release the game.
OSX owners will be happy to know that Wasteland 2 will be available for their platform at the same time as we're putting the beta update out. We're making progress on the Linux version and it will follow sometime after.
We of course wanted to share screenshots of the upcoming update with all of you, and to do something a little different we shot them in 4K resolution (3840x2160). Click on the screenshots to view at full resolution.
A pair of Kickstarters caught our eye of late. One is the massively ambitious Kingdom Come: Deliverance, in the final 24 hours of its funding period and well over 300% funded, they are looking to lock up their final stretch goal. At the start of their campaign is the Middle Eastern culture inspired Zaharia, a unique project which offers a prototype for you to try before you decide on backing it.
If you want to read a little more about the upcoming update, we did a short dev blog post on it on the Wasteland 2 tumblr. There is also this meaty Eurogamer interview with me that digs in on both Early Access, the upcoming update and future plans for Wasteland 2.
As we mentioned in update #41 we are going to make the beta available for purchase to backers who don’t already have access in a limited time $10 deal. This will launch at the same time as the update. We will be doing another Kickstarter update on Monday with specific instructions.
And lastly we will be giving a live feed of the new features of Wasteland 2 via TwitchTV on Monday, February 24th at 11am PST (UTC 19:00). Please come watch us play if you want a greater understanding of the new UI and the subtle reactivity of the game.
Leader in Exile