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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.

Beyond the Current Boundaries

Posted by inXile entertainment (Creator)

Howdy Rangers,

Chris here to give you a snapshot on our current progress. First off, the next beta update is being wrapped up! It’s been in testing for the past few weeks and we’re putting the final touches on it as I write this. You can expect it to go live next week. 

This beta update will include the first release of the Linux build, new merchant UI elements, the Missile Silo map, the Darwin Village map, an updated leadership skill, a few new enemies with unique AI (I dare you to get in combat with the suicide monks…), many additional balance tweaks, tutorial, lots of optimization and oh-so-much more. As always, we will put full patch notes up on our tumblr when the patch goes live.

One thing we were excited to look into were stats showing how long people were playing the game. It can be hard for a developer to estimate exactly how long a game takes because even when playing through fully, we're still too familiar with it to not go through it fast. But now that we've had people playing it and based on how long they've been taking on the live content, we can estimate the full game will likely take the average new player around 50 hours on a normal playthrough. Though it'll take quite a bit longer if you're looking to fully explore every location and mission.

Now let's talk development: at this stage we are working not just on beta builds and polishing those areas, but on tweaking the game's systems and taking lessons learned from beta feedback and applying them throughout the game. Every day our level designers are adding new touches and various levels of reactivity to the game. For example, in this next update you'll find major areas are now open to you right from the moment you leave Ranger Citadel, rather than being plot-gated.

As we're finishing up more Arizona areas we are intensifying our work on Los Angeles, and for the entire game we are making great progress. Much of the team is on California right now, adding layer after layer of depth into the current design.

There's a few points I’d like to talk about a bit more in-depth…

Systems & communications

One easy-to-forget but very important point going forward for us has been the way the game communicates on its systems. What I mean by that is how much the game informs the player of its underlying systems, how clear and easily available this info is, and to what extent the game helps and guides along the player. At the heart of these kind of cRPGs lies a sense of discovery and figuring things out by yourself. We consider it one of Wasteland 2's strengths that you can often try something new and then have a mission proceed differently because of a different approach you tried out.

That said, when it comes to interface and understanding systems there is no harm in showing off much of the details necessary to make informed tactical choices (assuming it’s done in a non-intrusive way), starting with the simple tutorial tooltips we put in. The game will ship with a sweet old-school manual and reading it before you start will give you a good head start, but we've also added a number of "tutorial" tips in the game. These pop-up on the right side of your screen when specific triggered events happen, and give a quick explanation of the way things like combat, dialog and levelling up work. We focused on making them clear, short and non-intrusive, and experienced players or those who just don't like tutorials can switch them off with a single click.

The other big thing in systems communication is how much and how clearly the game details its under-the-hood system formulas. This was not something we spent a lot of time on prior to the beta launch, in part because it is relatively low-priority, in part because many of the systems are still fluid and up for tweak and balance patches. The new character and skills screen was a step forward in this as it enables players to see how stat increases or equipment switches influence their key stats. For those interested in learning more details in this code update, the tooltips in character creation (for derived stats) give a deeper breakdown. Check those out on your next playthrough!

Wasteland 2 as it stands has not had many balance passes done, and that influences how balanced the attribute and skill system may seem. In the currently live builds, you might feel like you’re leveling up more often than you should or you have too many skill points. This is intentional as part of the goal is to have you try out the various options and give us feedback.

One very significant system we have not yet put in is the tying together of attributes and skills, where the skills are either capped or heavily influenced by a specific attribute. This is an important balancing factor in a party-based cRPG like ours, because you are likely to have a total of seven party members not far into the game and will have a large pool of skill points to use. It continues to tie into one of our pillars of having to make difficult choices that will affect gameplay. Early on in the final game, this heavy feel of a multi-talented group will remain, but once we start putting our caps and ties system in, you will need to be more careful in your skill choices when you progress further into the game. Of course, by this point, you will have tried a variety of skills and become more informed about what you wish to focus on and how to spread your skills among various characters.

In general, we pride ourselves in our flexibility to adapt our systems based on feedback and internal and external discussion, a good example of which would be our Ranger Corner thread where we asked for feedback on charisma, with my reply and thoughts here. Charisma was the attribute most in need of updates to make it more viable, and we are constantly evaluating and modifying the way our attributes work.

Barter Screen

When we launched the new inventory screen in the last beta update we had not yet started working on the new barter screen. This was also a good opportunity to do a Ranger Corner thread talking about the barter screen, and you can find my reply on the topic here.

As with the inventory screen, it was key for us to significantly improve functionality as well as the look of the screen. In the new barter screen, it is much easier to compare items you're buying to what you have equipped, as well as sell and manage multiple stacks of junk, view full stats of items before purchasing, and sell from your entire party inventory rather than going character-by-character. Here's a look at the screen:

Los Angeles

One thing we've long since avoided talking about is LA. And we're still pretty wary of spoilers, so the following text will be spoiler-light, but if you want to avoid them completely you may want to skip.

In the near future, we will have almost all of Arizona in the hands of our beta backers (after this upcoming update the beta will include all but one major area and the final small maps), we can't resist the temptation to talk more about the second half of the game…the Los Angeles area. I specifically say "Los Angeles area" as it includes some locations that are in the Los Angeles metro area, rather than just "the city proper".

Los Angeles is a separate world map from Arizona. A lot of Arizona has a feeling of familiarity for the Wasteland 1 fans, as it sees the return of quite a number of Wasteland 1 locations and factions. This familiarity was important for us to keep, as there's a long gap in time between the release of WL1 and the upcoming release of WL2, and strong narrative ties help bridge that long gap.

On the other hand, Los Angeles allows us to get back to some of the wildness the Wasteland setting allows, by opening up a fresh new area with weird possibilities. Los Angeles as it stands now is a sprawling city-scape, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world, with recognizable landmarks such as Hollywood and the L.A. Coliseum. The current L.A. with its nearly four million inhabitant’s needs water imported and thus may seem like a naturally semi-arid climate, but this is primarily due to human influence. With most of the human presence wiped out by the war, the creation of small and mostly toxic lakes of water by the post-war storms, and the shifting of air and water currents, the Los Angeles of Wasteland 2 is a lush area. Nature has reclaimed much of the ruined cityscape.

In L.A., we decided to make many of its recognizable landmarks key locations, including the aforementioned LA Coliseum and Hollywood, but also such spots as the Watts Towers and the Griffith Observatory. Our design process started with, “What would be the most bad-ass areas in L.A. for the player to visit”? We then sprinkled these areas with weird cults and weirder creatures. One example is the Pistol Packing Priests faction (conceived by our lead writer Nathan Long), which were previewed in the first Wasteland 2 novella. This burgeoning religious cult believes the apocalypse was God's justice brought to man, but the task is left unfinished, and it is up to them to sweep the last vestiges of sinfulness off the earth, by word and by bullet. Mostly bullet…or hammer…or any other blunt/sharp/shooty object.

With these areas dominated by strong factions that have no familiarity with the Desert Rangers, this opens up great new possibilities for us to challenge and offer diverse choices for you. One faction may have an internal conflict, a splinter group with beliefs that differ from dogma, giving the opportunity to choose one side or play them out against each other, or re-unify them. But another may have an external enemy with no chance of reconciliation, a conflict the player might decide is best to avoid entirely, but one which they can also use to their advantage to help one side gain dominance and wipe the other side out.

Many L.A. areas are in a state of equilibrium as you arrive at them (though not all are, some may require immediate action), giving you more time to explore the "towns" of various shapes and size, and get familiar with the people and the faction's beliefs, trade, resolve smaller missions, or even progress without ever triggering any conflict at all. Los Angeles shines in a strong variety of locations. That variety evincing itself not just in visuals and flavor of the location, but also in how open or guided an area is, how conflict or hub-oriented it is, etc. etc.

Here is a behind-the-scenes look at one of our LA levels in the Unity editor. This town – built around the Watts Towers – is between the stages of Wild West and civilized, the arrival of the Rangers may well determine which way it goes…  

Since such a high-level view may seem a bit obscure, here is a closer level render (but with the camera still further out than it would be in-game). Each building can be entered, making Watts the kind of open hub that you could find around the halfway point of Wasteland 1.  


We wanted to give another shout-out to a smaller, promising Kickstarter: The Red Solstice, a squad based strategy RPG. It set on Mars in a distant future, with all the science fiction trappings you could hope for. The game has tactical 8 player co-op focused on hardcore survival, class-based character advancement and advanced tactics. Aside from the 8 player co-op campaign, they're also going to offer a narrative-heavy single player campaign.

The campaign is over halfway there, with $27K funded of a $50K goal with 10 days to go, so let's give 'em a boost in the final stretch! They're also part of Kicking It Forward, pledging to spend 5% of their eventual profits into funding new Kickstarter projects.

And lastly, we are posting portrait art and quotes every week, you can check them all out on our tumblr.

Chris Keenan
Project Lead

Jeremie Lariviere, Randall, and 75 more people like this update.


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    1. TechnoSphere on

      Gamers are a whiny bunch.
      They whine if a game is released unfinished,but they also whine when it's delayed to make it better.Can't have both people.

    2. Michael Chen on

      It is now roughly half a year pass the estimated delivery time. Perhaps it's because I didn't play the first Wasteland, therefore not holding the same level of enthusiasm as some of the other backers. Either way, these days, logging on to steam, and watching Wasteland 2 going from one update to another, I started to wonder whether the game will remain in beta indefinitely, and whether or not my 15 dollar has gone down some sort of bottomless pit, never to be seen again.

      To be honest, I don't even have the energy to read the post anymore, all these well rendered picture is just a reminder of the things that I'm missing, or rather things I'm suppose to enjoy if all goes according to plan. I don't hate, I don't get angry, but I can't say I'm not disappointed. Think what you will, but rest assured, I think I'll be very hesitant to back another inXile project in the future.

    3. Wushu on

      Great update. Take your time in releasing and ignore the hate that comes from those that are too impatient to see the longer we wait, the better the game gets. Already seeing vast improvements from when I first got the game, despite being still in an "unfinished" state. Way to go and keep up the good work and progress as well as communication and the game will be a hit.

      One suggestion I have is maybe add more randomness to the areas where raiders attack - also not quite as closed-in space. My snipers get butchered on some of these :)

    4. relaxin on

      I would like to have this game released soon. My excitement and anticipation has evaporated over the two years since backing the project. I had eagerly devoured the first 20-30 project updates but now I just feel frustrated when I see another update email telling me anything but the game has finally released, so I've just stopped reading them entirely. To add insult to injury, I now recently saw the beta of the game advertised on Steam's "Now Available" banner for the folks willing to pay early access prices and $55+ Kickstarter backers and can't help but feel left out of the fun compared to the whales willing to fork over extra money. I understand their additional funding makes them more valuable over us inferior backers (I'm but a lowly $15 backer), but damn, that really feels like rubbing us lower caste players the wrong way. I do hate having to put up a piss and moan post, but in my opinion, inXile's people, especially those involved with public relations, should be made to know this sentiment.

    5. Jeremie Lariviere

      Thanks for the detailed update!

    6. infestor on

      inXile, please release the game for linux platform at the same time with the windows. don't be like the double fine and their broken age release (still no linux build!).

    7. Missing avatar

      Alex on

      so what is the actual release date? Even steam says 14th Dec 2013 but looks like its still in beta stage. Would be good to get clarification on this.

    8. Missing avatar

      Markus Crouch on

      I'm confused. I haven't really been keeping up with this since I backed it at the $15 level 2 years ago, but I saw it on Steam and was wondering, can I play yet or am I waiting for the official full release to play? Thank you.

    9. Vincent on

      @ Trister yeah, i thought that was a good idea as well.. a cyber-punk isometric RPGS would be a must buy for me. There is nothing like that out there except for Shadowrun Returns but i think they could do a 100 times better.

    10. Trister - OO's Tormented Master Wetboy on

      @ vincent

      that's entirely reasonable, considering it would just be a sub-genre within the genre of isometric RPGS. i'd be interested in seeing their take on cyber-punk. or steam-punk for that matter.

      the other problem is that inxile has no rights to fallout at all, and they don't really want to work with bethesda again (who owns the rights). so it wouldn't even be a fallout game, it'd just be some post apocalyptic FPS that wouldn't really have a hook since it's been done already by a number of other companies.

      but again, by the time that they're done with WL2 and tides there's a very good chance that FO4 will be out by then. just seems very unlikely for something to happen at kickstarter. i'm not convinced a 10 million dollar budget is actually possible on here. nor am i really convinced that it's a big enough budget to actually make an FPS that would look good enough for people to actually play it.

    11. Vincent on

      @ Archangel & Trister last suggestion i would raise is after WL2 and Tides i'd imagine they might want to try their hand at a different genre... like some sort of cross between Deus Ex and this new TECHNOLUST: True Cyberpunk VR game that is being developed. Same game engine\mechanics as WL2 just different story, setting, characters, etc with a dash of hacking, advanced crafting or some other greater depth defining features.

    12. Vincent on

      @ Archangel & Trister it's just an idea, last time i checked they were also a business with the aim of making money. There an opportunity to seize a current gap in the market. Now if he wants nothing to do with it fine, at the very least then it was worth a shot mentioning it so that maybe he might mention it to others in the industry who might decide to have a go at it. I dont see why we can't have our cake and eat it too if people are willing to pay.

    13. Missing avatar

      Gabriel on

      I'm using ISO 8601 for dates

      The project ended 2012-04-17
      Estimated delivery was 2013-10-01
      Which means the project was estimated to take 268 days to complete

      The project asked for $900,000.00
      It ended with $2,933,252.00 (from kickstarter) + $107,152 (from PayPal) = $3,040,404.00
      Which means 338% of the budget

      If scope increased linearly (which is a dumb assumption since overhead is either static or progresses much more slowly), then we should expect also a 338% increase in completion time (yes I've read the Mythical Man Month, this is a simple estimation, stay with me here)

      That would mean 905 days to completion
      This moves the deadline to 2014-10-09

      So, no, the deadline is *NOT* busted. They still have 6 months to go before we can say they "missed" the deadline.

    14. Trister - OO's Tormented Master Wetboy on

      @ vincent

      the only real problem with that is that their knowledge, refined skill and experience would all be with isometric turn based games, and those are vastly different from an FPS. so, aside from the fact that it would be compared to pretty much both FO3 and 4 because of when they'd actually be able to start working on it, they very well might not even get something like that out (considering bethesda and obsidian had VASTLY larger production groups working on it) they might not get something like that out until FO5 came out. there's just no actual incentive for them to even think about going that direction when it's not the type of games that they want to make in the first place.

    15. Missing avatar

      Archangel on

      Well Tides of Numenera will not be out before end of 2015 and maybe later, and if they did do this kickstarter and developed it in a different engine with more detailed graphics it would be done probably after Fallout 4 and everyone would be comparing it to F4 that would probably be developed with 5x more money.
      So it is a bad idea from the start. Better they do WL3 and Tides 2 or their expansions.

    16. Vincent on

      @ Chris Keenan progress look grand keep it up.. that said, after WL2 and Tides... surely you would have the brains, skill, talent and experience to take a bite at the big time ... why don't you want to have a swing at an inXile FPS answer answer to Fallout 3?....i know every single FO3/NV FPS nutter will gladly give your $60 bucks a piece if you started a kick-starter for that concept.... .the gap and market demand is there given there wont be a Fallout 4 for another 2 or 3 years... are you that repulsed by FPS games? hell you could set the goal at 10 million if you're worried about the risk... go on i dare you.

    17. Kim Fredrik Svendsen on

      Please take ALL the time you need!

    18. Christian Dannie Storgaard

      @gcala From the first paragraph: "You can expect it to go live next week."

    19. Christian Dannie Storgaard

      Yes! Finally Linux build!

    20. Missing avatar

      Tom Surace on

      Mmm, new inventory screen looks very slick. I kind of overdid it on the first alpha, so I'm pacing myself on these intermediate releases. Don't want to be playing the final game while also totally sick of the first few zones. :) Hey, here's an idea, fill in time waiting for the final release by trolling the comments section! Oh wait it's already been done. @Turboapostrophe-edone #obvioustroll

    21. Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on

      Regarding the vendor screen I totally agree with Kim & Alastor. Oh and I checked out "The Red Solstice" - I don't like the RTS element but I really like the setting, character progression etc. So thanks for the shout out!

    22. Missing avatar

      Archangel on

      "For example, in this next update you'll find major areas are now open to you right from the moment you leave Ranger Citadel, rather than being plot-gated." - this part is enough for my faith in inExile to be fully restored :)

    23. Missing avatar

      gcala on

      Finally the linux beta is out! Where I download it? On Steam wasteland 2 is only in windows library. Is there a direct download link?

    24. Trister - OO's Tormented Master Wetboy on

      they also refuse to say when something is going to be released until it's, you know, pretty solid on when that'll happen, nowhere NEAR before they even start on production or anything. seriously, those of you complaining about the release date being missed just don't get it.

      also, how the hell are they exploiting early access? any of you that didn't pony up for beta access have nothing to complain about because, guess what, you wouldn't have had access anyway. they gave every single one of you a chance to get it for drastically less than ANY OTHER BACKER, or anyone that's buying it now. how many other early access games are there now? if you want to blame anything for that, blame minecraft for making it a popular, and profitable, thing to do. if you can't understand that you had your chance, that's not anyone's fault but yours. get some perspective people.


      take your time, i want the best game you can get to is. take the blizzard line on this, it's finished when it's finished.

    25. bonuswavepilot

      One more vote for "Take longer if you need to". Much rather have it later and cooler, myself.

      Kickstarters are often late, ones that make more than expected and add more stuff, even more so. Also @Tyler et al - 'professional gaming companies' like Blizzard constantly overshoot their release targets.

    26. J.L. on

      Looking gorgeous, as usual, keep up the good work!

      50 hours, eh? I will probably be lost for at least a 100 hours then, I like to take my time and explore! (c; And that's just the first run... Oh my. (c8

      And as other say, no one can estimate when software will be done to 100% (why do you think big companies never announces the date when they start working on something, and even towards the end often push the release date back more still?) -- and this one hit many, many stretch goals! Kickstarter (the software side, at least) is not pre-order on Date X, but a way to help something you want to see happen. Patient, young padawans, in the end it will be worth it!

    27. Missing avatar

      Turbo'd1 on

      @Nigel: I sure haven't received ANYTHING but promises. :/ @Tobi: the people that funded this game [that we waited for over 20 years to see a sequel] are not the type to "speed-run" through the game. You have no Idea what you're talking about; our ire is earned and justified.

    28. Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on

      lol, i can already hear the whiners who will speed-run this thing and then complain that it's not 50 hours. anyway, i think the 50h for a normal playthrough is awesome! it shows how big this game has become / is going to be in its final state (as usual: pls ignore the people who don't get it with the release date, even though it has been explained in every update comment section).
      secondly the screenshot are absolutely beautiful! kudos to the designers/developers. I am so looking forward to this game, pls take all the time you need to polish and balance it.

    29. Nigel Heng on

      @Turbo'd1 - I received my Wasteland Red Skorpion shirt ;)

      I wouldn't mind if inXile spent another year polishing the game.

    30. Missing avatar

      Turbo'd1 on

      To those saying to ignore people bothered by the release date run over: They received more than 2 MILLION more than they asked for and this delay is becoming unacceptable. At the very least, where are our physical goodies promised?

      Not only did they get $2,033,252 more than they asked for, as mentioned, they are milking Steam to make EVEN MORE. Smh.

    31. Missing avatar

      Tyler on

      More delays and early access exploitation, surprise surprise. They are going to milk early access for all it's worth. Dishonorable behavior, if you ask me. It'd sure be nice if professional gaming companies could realistically estimate a release date, hell, even one with extra time padded on. Then they could release it EARLY and people would be happy! I'd prefer that to being misled.

    32. Missing avatar

      Skirge01 on

      @Kim Fredrik Svendsen: Man, I thought it was just me! I considered writing something here in the comments and was like, "nah, stop being so picky". Then, I read your comment and figured I'd just say that I agree. Everything looks great in the style they're going for, but then you see this almost-neon-blue highlighting.

    33. Alastor on

      I like the vendor screen but it is missing something... it's a bit bland, the gray square and the black background, maybe out a static image in the background

    34. dungeoncrawl on

      Ignore anybody complaining about release dates. It's called stretch goals and kickstarter forcing a early estimate. Your pacing is fine. The game gets better each release.

    35. Kim Fredrik Svendsen on

      Wow, looking good!

      Speaking of, if you want some constructive critics from a graphic designer perspective the scroll bars seems to visible. On a distance and if you dont focus the iris, they are the main objects that you see on the screen. They steal the focus attention points. I dont know wether or not you want this. It certainly have a retro widows dos/80ties computer feel to it.. This concern could be fixed with toning down the scroll bar color darker, or make them more tiny. Its up to you guys. Just nit picking I guess. ;)

    36. Missing avatar

      Lucas Baer on

      Keep up the good work guys, you are doing an awesome job. Absolutely loving this game.

    37. nitrium on

      I don't really understand why so many people would prefer a half finished product over having to wait for a complete one. It's not like there aren't enough other games to play. Sure inXile COMPLETELY botched their projected release date, but then again they also raised a hell of a lot more money than they were expecting resulting in the game having a much larger scope (necessitating a longer development time). I guess some here would prefer a stretch goal where estimated release dates are bought forward (by hiring more devs) as opposed to having the date pushed back due to providing more game (with the same number of devs working longer).
      Also there are more games out there than Wasteland 2.

    38. Missing avatar

      Dimitris on

      Sadly, your deadlines are long overdue, guys. Do what you have to do and finish up your tasks :/

      It's only gonna get harder and harder to deliver the complete product without resorting to not doing planned features.

    39. Ryan "Keokuk" Smith on

      I like the product so far, I hope you guys can do everything you need to do to wrap up without burning out. Can't wait to see the full scope of the game executed debugged and launched!

    40. Missing avatar

      Cutter on

      Crack that whip. Burn that midnight oil, lads. Let's get this done and shipped already.

    41. Bryy Miller on

      Love the Carantulas.

    42. Billy Gilmore on

      The game is really shaping up! I don't have beta access and I'm really looking forward to the full release.